Commission Seeks to Secure U.S. Communications Networks

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The FCC, at its June 17th meeting, will be considering both a planned Notice of Proposed Rule Making and accompanying Notice of Inquiry which are meant to protect our communications networks and supply chains from equipment and services that put our national security at risk.

The proposed NPRM will seek comments on prohibiting all authorizations for equipment from companies on a Covered List previously established by the Commission. The list is made up of five companies thought to have close ties with the Chinese Communist Party: Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology.

Comments will also be sought on whether to revise FCC rules to no longer permit the use of equipment currently exempted; to revoke authorizations that previously have been granted; and to require applicants wishing to participate in Commission auctions to certify that their bids do not rely on financial support from any entity that FCC rules have designated as a national security threat to communications networks or the supply chain.

The proposed NOI will solicit comments on how the FCC can leverage its equipment authorization program to encourage manufacturers to consider cybersecurity standards and guidelines.

Given Communist China’s possible nefarious role in the COVID 19 pandemic, this Commission action seems most timely and appropriate.