Huawei: FCC proposal would hurt poor, rural communities

Huawei: FCC proposal would hurt poor, rural communities
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Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is fighting back against some of the negative claims that U.S. government officials have been making about the company in recent months.

In a Thursday filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Huawei focused on recent moves by the agency to restrict rural carriers from purchasing telecommunications equipment made by Huawei and other Chinese companies.

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Huawei, with the help of telecommunications economist Allan Shampine, argued that by imposing new rules, the agency could hurt poor, rural communities.

“These high costs, which would particularly harm Americans in remote and low-income areas, cannot be justified by the supposed national security benefits of the proposed rule, because these are speculative,” Huawei wrote.

The company argued that some rural providers would likely stop participating in the Universal Service Fund (USF), an FCC program that subsidizes broadband and telecommunications services and equipment for low-income households and communities.

Huawei said it would make more sense for them to do this, than to “rip out and replace their core network.”

Many small, rural providers rely on Huawei equipment.

“At best, the proposed rule would only target one of many potential threats to the integrity of the supply chain, leaving many other vulnerabilities unaddressed,” Huawei argued.

The FCC in April voted in favor of considering a rule to not spend USF money on equipment from companies that pose a national security threat.

Their consideration of the policy was a direct response to prodding from lawmakers, such as Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSprint/T-Mobile deal must not allow China to threaten US security GOP senators condemn 'vulgar' messages directed at Collins over Kavanaugh GOP turns its fire on Google MORE (R-Ark.), who have warned of the national security risks that Chinese telecommunications companies pose.

Cotton and others, including Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioNikki Haley: New York Times ‘knew the facts’ about curtains and still released story March For Our Lives founder leaves group, says he regrets trying to 'embarrass' Rubio Rubio unloads on Turkish chef for 'feasting' Venezuela's Maduro: 'I got pissed' MORE (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayRussia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Congress prepares to punt biggest political battles until after midterms Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe MORE (R-Texas), have moved to push other Chinese telecommunications firms out the of the U.S. by attempting to reimpose harsh penalties on ZTE for violating sanctions.

Other agencies, such as the Defense Department, have taken action as well. The Pentagon earlier this year barred Huawei and ZTE from selling phones on U.S. military bases.