US FCC bans equipment from HUAWEI, ZTE and more Chinese companies

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules prohibit the importation or sale of communications equipment deemed a threat to national security. The Commission, Congress, and the Executive Branch have taken multiple steps to build a much more secure and resilient supply chain for communications equipment and services in the US.

Key Takeaways
  • The Report and Order are applicable to future authorizations of equipment on the FCC’s Covered List released under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019.
  • The new regulations ban equipment certification through the FCC’s Certification process and state that such equipment cannot be allowed under the supplier’s Declaration of Conformity procedure or imported or promoted under rules that exempt equipment authorization.
  • The Covered List includes communication equipment from HUAWEI, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision, and Dahua, as well as their subsidiaries and affiliates.
  • President Biden signed the Secure Equipment Act of 2021 in November, which requires the Commission to make these rules.
  • The Commission also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, requesting more comment on the rules and procedures barring “covered” equipment.
  • It seeks comment on potential modifications to the Commission’s competitive bidding program. The Commission wants input on potential action on existing authorizations.

New requirements follow FCC initiatives to safeguard U.S. networks. In addition to today’s actions and maintaining the Covered List, the FCC has prohibited the use of public funds to purchase covered equipment or services, launched the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program to remove insecure equipment from U.S. networks, revoked operating authorities for Chinese state-owned carriers based on national security agency recommendations, and updated the process for approving submarine communications.

Speaking on the announcement, Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairwoman, FCC, said

The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders, and we are continuing that work here. These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications.