Tucked into the Covid-19 relief package that the US Congress passed late on Monday night was $1.9 billion in subsidies for US telecoms carriers to remove and replace Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp networks and equipment that have been deemed national security threats, reported the South China Morning Post.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first raised the idea early last year to remove and replace those systems, but since then, the affected carriers – mostly small companies in rural areas – warned that such a move could upend their businesses.
Two weeks ago, the agency finalized rules requiring US carriers to remove Huawei equipment, shortly after it designated the Chinese telecoms giant a national security threat, said the SCMP.
Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, praised congressional leaders on Monday for “working together in a bipartisan manner to reach agreement on this consequential legislation that will help protect our national security, close the digital divide, advance tele-health, and promote American leadership in 5G”.
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