The US’ telecoms regulatory body, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has announced that the estimated cost of replacing kit produced by Chinese vendors in the country’s mobile and fixed line telecommunications networks will run to $1.837 billion.
The FCC will allocate funding for the initiative from the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019.
While it has not provided a smoking gun to support its assertion that Chinese mobile network components are more easily hacked than those of their European, Korean and Japanese counterparts, the US government has long maintained that Huawei and ZTE’s network components pose a threat to its national security.
“It is a top priority of our nation and this Commission to promote the security of our country’s communications networks. That’s why we sought comprehensive information from U.S. carriers about equipment and services from untrusted vendors that have already been installed in our networks. Today’s announcement marks a critical milestone in our ongoing commitment to secure our networks,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
“By identifying the presence of insecure equipment and services in our networks, we can now work to ensure that these networks—especially those of small and rural carriers—rely on infrastructure from trusted vendors. I once again strongly urge Congress to appropriate funding to reimburse carriers for replacing any equipment or services determined to be a national security threat so that we can protect our networks and the myriad parts of our economy and society that rely upon them.”