US rural telecommunications networks, which have relied on inexpensive network equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp, have told the government that it would cost $1.837 billion to replace those switches and routers, the Federal Communications Commission said on Friday, reported Reuters.
In June, the FCC formally designated Huawei and ZTE as threats to US national security, a declaration that bars US firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies.
The US telecommunications regulator voted last year to propose requiring rural carriers to remove and replace equipment from the two Chinese companies from US networks.The FCC said it believes the carriers would be eligible for reimbursements of about $1.62 billion.
“By identifying the presence of insecure equipment and services in our networks, we can now work to ensure that these networks — especially those of small and rural carriers — rely on infrastructure from trusted vendors,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, urging Congress “to appropriate funding to reimburse carriers for replacing any equipment or services determined to be a national security threat so that we can protect our networks.”
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