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FCC Seeks Public Comment on Efforts to Keep Huawei Out of Wireless Networks

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on January 3 that it will accept public comment on its decision to prevent wireless network providers from using the Universal Service Fund, a federal subsidy program meant to reduce the costs of expanding network coverage in the U.S., to purchase Huawei equipment.

According to the FCC, which issued the relevant order in November 2019, relying on Huawei's equipment could pose a national security risk. Rather than banning that equipment from American networks outright, the FCC's decision to withhold federal subsidies gives telecoms a financial reason to seek alternative suppliers.

Huawei challenged the FCC's order in December 2019. The company filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit claiming the FCC's order stood "in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act and other laws" because it lacked the evidence to back up its claims of national security risks.

Now the American public will have the opportunity to comment on the FCC's claims. The commission said last Friday that "comments are due February 3, 2020 on initial designation of Huawei Technologies Company, its parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries as a covered company in National Security Supply Chain Proceeding."

The full text of the FCC's announcement can be found on its website. Huawei's response to the FCC order, which the company said "is threatening the improving connectivity in rural America," can be found on its corporate website. Details about the order--as well as comments on it--are available via the Federal Register.