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 CottonAsian caucus urges fellow lawmakers not to 'perpetuate racist stereotypes' amid coronavirus fears Overnight Defense: More closures possible at US bases in Europe as coronavirus spreads | Pompeo says Afghan 'reduction in violence is working' | Man accused of trying to blow up vehicle at Pentagon Top general: More closures at US bases in Europe possible as coronavirus spreads MORE (R-Ark.), who have warned of the national security risks that Chinese telecommunications companies pose.

Cotton and others, including Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayLive coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Laughter erupts at hearing after Democrat fires back: Trump 'has 5 Pinocchios on a daily basis' Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption 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.