After finding in March that Huawei and other Chinese companies posed an unacceptable risk to national security, the US telecom regulator wants to go further. The FCC is thus proposing to revoke the certifications of their network and telecom equipment.
Between Huawei and the United States, the war continues more than ever. After declaring last March that the Chinese company – along with ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology – posed an unacceptable risk to national security, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is mounting pressure on a notch. The American telecom regulatory authority wants to review its certification rules for network and telecom equipment from Chinese manufacturers. In the event of adoption, their entire activity risks being compromised. “In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we propose to prohibit the authorization of any equipment which is on the list of equipment and services which the Commission maintains under the Secure and Reliable Communications Networks Act 2019. such equipment poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and the safety and security of persons,” the FCC explains in its document.
These bad relations are not new. Already in 2012, Huawei and ZTE had been singled out by the United States. In question, the fact of presenting a threat to national security, with the key advice for American companies not to buy their equipment. At the end of 2018, Donald Trump, then President of the United States, also threatened the two Chinese companies before a few months later to promote a plan to support their competitors.
A one-month consultation period opens
“Despite identifying security issues with telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE in 2019 and in recent years, the agency has continued to approve their equipment. This time, we propose to close the door to them, “warned Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC acting chairman, lawyer and member of the Democratic party. “This is common sense, it will better align our equipment authorization procedures with our national security policies.” Unsurprisingly, we see an identical story from the side of Brendan Carr, member of the FCC, lawyer and member of the Republican Party: “We are launching this request with a simple and important objective, to protect American communication networks and national security. We also defend 5G values that communist China clearly does not share with the United States by working with companies providing equipment for our networks in which we can trust, and with whom we share our commitments to transparency, state of law and of man”.
To encourage companies to no longer use equipment from Chinese suppliers, the FCC had already offered financial aid. But the agency is considering other measures to oversee this transition and make it more acceptable to operators and customers. Until then, a period of one month opens to allow the FCC to collect all the opinions of entities likely to be affected by a change in rules, including operators, radio frequency license holders and communications equipment manufacturers. It remains to be seen what will happen in the event of an outcry on their part, with their economic interests on the one hand and the need to preserve national security issues on the other.