Chinese vendor ‘rip and replace’ programme will cost US telcos USD5.6bn, FCC informs Congress

8 Feb 2022

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has notified Congress that US telecoms providers have requested a total of USD5.6 billion from the ‘Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Programme’ to cover the costs of removing, replacing, and disposing of insecure equipment and services in US networks. The government initially earmarked USD1.9 billion for the work.

The programme will reimburse domestic providers for costs reasonably incurred for removing, replacing and disposing of communications equipment and services produced or provided by Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation. The FCC opened the filing window on 29 October 2021; the window closed on 28 January 2022.

Chairwoman Rosenworcel commented: ‘Last year Congress created a first-of-its kind programme for the FCC to reimburse service providers for their efforts to increase the security of our nation’s communications networks. We’ve received over 181 applications from carriers who have developed plans to remove and replace equipment in their networks that pose a national security threat.’