The US Communications Regulatory Authority has asked Congress to fund it with another $3 billion, so it can end its plan to take China’s Huawei and ZTE out of US networks, known as the “removal” program, which would bring the total cost to about $4.9 billion.
In a letter to Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworsel asked, “All cost estimates for Huawei and ZTE take out and $4.98 billion be paid.
Although Congress has allocated just $1.9 billion to fund the operation, US companies will be able to pay only roughly 40 percent of the cost, reflecting the current $3.08 billion funding gap.
In the absence of additional funding, Jessica Rosenworsel stressed that the authority will use the prioritization scheme set by Congress, to complete the removal plan and remove Huawei and ZTE from its communications network, in which the two companies contribute very significantly, especially in the southern and remote regions.
In 2019, the US Congress passed a bill calling for the FCC to compel US telecom operators that receive federal subsidies to work to “remove networks of communications equipment that pose a threat to national security,” and promised compensation, allocating only $1.9 billion to fund the so-called program “Removal”.
In a related context, reports revealed that the Chinese company, Huawei, is seeking to develop a processor for its smartphones that competes with American technologies within a secret program, in an attempt to bypass the American sanctions imposed on it, which deprived it of using American technology.
Huawei’s secret program includes hiring dozens of highly trained engineers to help develop the new processor program, as the hiring spree represents the latest effort by the Chinese technology giant, Huawei, to develop technologies for its upcoming phones and devices.