FCC refunds for Huawei and ZTE kits will begin in the second quarter of 2022 • The Register

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How much national security risk does the US consider Huawei and ZTE to be?

According to the country’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has a $ 1.9 billion risk, opened its Supply Chain Reimbursement Program Filing Window, which allows freight forwarders to apply for cash to kick Chinese companies off their networks.

As explained in the FCC’s Notice of the program, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 provided for the US government to dangle dollars to cover “costs incurred in removing, replacing, and disposing of covered communications devices or services from their networks represent a national security risk “.

Only the kit from ZTE and Huawei is seen as such a threat.

The program is only open to shippers with fewer than ten million customers and only to shippers who purchased Chinese equipment before June 30, 2020, to what extent they will provide such facility-based broadband service to end-users. “Applicants must also provide 200 kbps asymmetric services. Eligible entities can submit their applications between October 29, 2021 and January 14, 2022. The FCC will notify successful applicants long after and then notify them of the budget allocation in the second quarter of 2022.

The registry Advises network administrators of eligible airlines to think carefully when booking vacations: The FCC expects bills for the replacement kit to arrive in the second quarter and will begin dispensing cash from that point on. However, it would be premature to assume that any kit ordered at this point will arrive, given Cisco’s warning that supply chain challenges could continue into the third quarter of 2022.

It’s not often that vendors get a free kick for crowding out a competitor. So when the kit is shipped and installed, Cisco and its fellow network providers will enjoy themselves. A little more joy could come from the fact that the FCC is willing to make the porters pay for their new equipment in installments and get the refund on the same schedule. In this way, network providers can spread this stroke of luck over a few quarters – or maybe even bring a few new customers onto the subscription treadmill.

Huawei described the program as “an unrealistic attempt to fix what is not broken” and lamented the disruptions that network operators will be exposed to if they tear up the kit and replace it.

The FCC information does not specify when replacement devices should be available. And, of course, there is no mention of the United States’ National Security Agency tampering with the Cisco kit to install backdoors – a practice in which Cisco shipped its products to fake identities in the hopes of spying on the identity from some sensitive customers. But of course, espionage isn’t a national security threat if you are. ®


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