The expense of removing Chinese technology from American wireless networks will almost certainly exceed the government’s expectations. US carriers have asked around $5.6 billion in compensation to “tear and replace” their existing Huawei and ZTE equipment.
Replacement of Huawei and ZTE equipment costs a lot to the goverment
The Federal Communications Commission unanimously agreed in 2019 to prohibit US carriers from using the Universal Service Fund. To subsidise the cost of networking equipment purchased from firms designated a national security danger. Huawei and ZTE were the first two companies put to the list by the government. The Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act, enacted by former President Donald Trump in 2020, requires carriers to replace equipment from the two manufacturers.
In the same year, the FCC launched a programme to compensate smaller telecom operators for updating equipment designated a national security concern under the statute. The government projected that complying with the order would cost carriers more than $1.8 billion at the time. So it put aside $1.9 billion to pay refunds.
Congress to lead the way for 5G
“While we still have work to do in reviewing these applications,” Rosenworcel said, “I look forward to working with Congress to ensure that adequate funding is available for this programme to fulfil Congress’s security priorities and guarantee that America continues to lead the way in 5G security.”
Before the submission window closed on January 28th, 2022, US carriers submitted 181 applications to the FCC for financing support. Currently, the organisation only has the funds to fund roughly a third of the requests it receives.