The Secure Equipment Act, which blocks ZTE and Huawei from receiving network licences has been signed by Joe Biden, the US president. According to Reuters, the new rules prohibit the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), from considering any application for network equipment that could pose a threat to national security.
The measure means that the FCC cannot issue or review licenses for companies listed on the FCC "Covered Equipment or Services List". The measure was approved by a vote of 420-4 in the House and unanimously passed by the US Senate. Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner, stated that the gear is a serious threat to national security.
We know that this gear is a danger to national security. Therefore, closing the "Huawei loophole" (which I call it) is an appropriate step.
Last year, the FCC officially designated ZTE/Huawei as national security threats. This was due to their close ties with the Chinese Communist Party. They were still allowed to apply for licenses, provided that no federal funds were involved. Carr is pushing for the passage of the Secure Equipment Act.
"Once we have concluded that Huawei and other gear pose an unacceptable national security threat, it is not sensible to allow the exact same equipment to continue to be bought and inserted into our communication networks. Federal dollars will not be involved." Carr stated that the threat is not the source of funding, but the presence of insecure devices within our networks." Carr made the same statement back in March.
The FCC launched an $1.9 billion "rip-and-replace" program earlier this year to assist US telecoms in replacing any Huawei or ZTE equipment. House member Steve Scalise stated last week that ZTE and Huawei "are probably two of the most prominent companies that still own a lot equipment where Americans' data runs across these networks."
Huawei has not yet commented on the legislation. However, last summer called FCC's revision "misguided" and "unnecessarily punitive". Joe Biden will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping next Monday in a "virtual Summit" tentatively scheduled.