US lawmakers allocate almost $ 2 billion to interchange Chinese language telecommunications gear Voice of America
WASHINGTON – U.S. lawmakers are expected to provide $ 1.9 billion to fund a telecommunications network device removal program that the U.S. government says poses national security risks under a year-end spending bill and a COVID-19 bill Sunday.
Legislators are also expected to fund $ 3.2 billion for a broadband emergency benefit for low-income Americans.
The Federal Communications Commission announced in June that it had officially identified China’s Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp as a threat. This statement prevents U.S. firms from drawing on a $ 8.3 billion state fund to buy equipment from the companies.
Earlier this month, the FCC laid down rules that require network operators with ZTE or Huawei devices to “rip and replace” these devices while awaiting funding from Congress.
Huawei said earlier this month it was disappointed with the FCC’s decision to “force the removal of our products from telecommunications networks. This overreach puts US citizens in the largely underserved rural areas – during a pandemic – when reliable communications are essential.”
The $ 7 Billion COVID Relief Broadband Package “establishes a temporary emergency broadband benefit program with the FCC to help low-income Americans, including those economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, themselves.” to connect or stay connected to broadband, “the source said.
The source also said the program will provide a $ 50 monthly grant to qualified households “to help them get broadband services and an Internet-connected device.”
The bill also extends eligibility for the rip-and-replace reimbursement program to communications providers with 10 million subscribers or fewer, but prioritizes reimbursement for providers with 2 million subscribers or fewer, the source said, citing a draft fact sheet.
The bill is expected to include $ 285 million for minority interconnection and will create an office for broadband minority initiatives at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).