On November 22, local time, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official website published a unanimous vote to ban Huawei and ZTE’s equipment from appearing in projects funded by the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF). Purchases of equipment and services are effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.
Huawei said it opposed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to bar carriers from using federal subsidy funds to buy Huawei equipment. The FCC’s decision was based on one-sided information and a misinterpretation of Chinese law. It found Huawei to pose a national security threat without evidence, which not only violated the legislation’s due process principles, but was also suspected of violating the law.
As part of its ongoing effort to maintain the security and integrity of the nation’s communications networks, the FCC prohibits the use of its $8.5 billion annual Universal Service Fund (USF) to purchase equipment and services from companies that pose a threat to national security, the FCC documents said. While the passed order initially designated Huawei Technologies and ZTE as covered companies and established a process for designating other covered companies in the future, the order also established a certification and audit system to enforce the new rules.
The FCC said that modern communications networks are an integral part of the U.S. economy, enabling voice, data and internet connectivity that fuels all other critical industry sectors including our transportation system, power grid, financial markets and emergency services. But these networks are vulnerable to various forms of surveillance and attacks, resulting in denial of service and loss of integrity and confidentiality of network services. As the United States upgrades its networks to 5G, the next-generation wireless technology, secret “back doors” in our communications networks will make it even more risky for hostile foreign powers to spy, inject malware or steal American data.
The following is the full text of Huawei’s statement:
Media Statement Regarding FCC Decision to Ban Huawei from Federal Subsidy Programs
Huawei opposed the FCC’s vote to ban carriers from using federal subsidy funds to buy Huawei equipment. The FCC’s decision, based on one-sided information and a misinterpretation of Chinese law, determined that Huawei constituted a national security threat without evidence, which not only violated the legislation’s due process principles, but was also suspected of violating the law.
The FCC’s Universal Service funding is primarily used to improve telecommunications and broadband Internet service in rural and remote areas. Without the support of this funding, U.S. operators in many remote areas will not be able to continue to obtain competitive Huawei products and services, and will not be able to continue to provide reliable, high-speed communication services for public facilities such as schools, hospitals, and libraries, and U.S. telecommunications equipment. Competition in the market (especially 5G networks) will be weakened, and ordinary consumers will have to pay higher prices for network services.
Banning carriers from buying Huawei equipment won’t really improve America’s cybersecurity situation, and the FCC is well aware of that. Network security and user privacy protection are Huawei’s highest business guidelines. Since its establishment 30 years ago, Huawei has established end-to-end network security practices ranging from strategy, supply chain, R&D, to products and solutions. Huawei’s business covers more than 170 countries around the world. And region, which has never had a major cybersecurity incident, has won the trust of customers by fully meeting their cybersecurity needs.
Huawei urges the FCC and Chairman Ajit Pai to reconsider this decision, and we are willing to openly communicate with the U.S. government and policy makers to find effective solutions to secure U.S. telecommunications networks and protect the interests of consumers in rural and remote areas of the United States.