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Congress gives small ISPs $1 billion to rip out Huawei, ZTE network gear

Enlarge / Huawei’s logo at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona in November 2019. (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images)

The US House and Senate approved legislation to create a $1 billion fund that will help small telecom providers remove and replace Huawei and ZTE networking equipment.

The bill, which awaits President Trump’s signature, also prohibits telcos from using Federal Communications Commission funding to purchase Huawei or ZTE equipment. But the Congressional action is largely duplicative, as the FCC had already approved a ban.

The Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act was approved in voice votes by the House in December and by the Senate yesterday. It doesn’t mention Huawei or ZTE by name but says the FCC must produce a list of equipment providers “posing national security risks” and prohibits ISPs and phone companies from using FCC funding to purchase, rent, lease, or maintain equipment and services made by those companies.

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