In November of last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order preventing US service providers from using the Federal government’s $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) to buy telecommunications equipment and services from Chinese companies that may pose national security risks to the US. The Report and Order specifically names two Chinese-based companies: Huawei and ZTE.
Last week, the FCC opened a comment period to allow public comments about their initial determination that Huawei and ZTE pose a risk to national security. Comments are due on February 3rd and after the comment period, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will release a public notice with their final decision.
In response to the FCC’s November Report and Order, Huawei filed a lawsuit in December in the US 5th Circuit claiming the order is unlawful and the FCC lacks authority to make national security designations.