Commission Restrictions Lead to New Certification Requirements

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As you may know, the FCC has prohibited the use of Universal Service Funds to purchase, obtain, maintain or in any other way support equipment or services from companies found to post a threat to national security. After release of the Supply Chain First Report and Order in November, 2019, Huawei and ZTE were identified as posing such a risk.

A Second Report and Order was later implemented, prohibiting prospective use of USF to purchase, rent, lease or otherwise obtain or maintain any covered communications equipment or service, or any equipment or service previously obtained, as identified on the FCC-issued Covered List. To date, Hytera, Hangzhou, Hikvision and Dahua have joined Huawei and ZTE as ineligible to receive USF or other federal support.

The list of foreign companies above is subject to change, as more providers are identified as security risks. It is the responsibility of all USF recipients to stay up to date with companies added to the list.

The bottom line: USF recipients may not use Universal Service Funds to buy new equipment, or support or maintain equipment previously obtained, from these listed companies, their parents, affiliates, or subsidiaries.

Later this spring or summer, USF recipients will be required to certify, on their universal program forms, that they are in compliance with supply change rules. In addition, USAC will conduct audits for compliance with these rules, and a new supply chain certification will be included on FCC Form 481.