FCC details $1.9 billion program to rip out Huawei and ZTE gear in the US
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a new set of rules for small carriers to abide by that aims to rip out and replace network equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE, two companies based in China. The small carriers will have access to $1.9 billion in funding to replace the technology. The rules state that carriers that have under 10 million customers and allow for the possibility of some schools, libraries, and health care providers gaining access to the funds if they provide broadband services are eligible. The equipment replacing Huawei and ZTE tech will need to be capable of reaching speeds of above 200kbps in either direction, according to the FCC.
The FCC stated that older mobile networks that will be ripped out and replaced by LTE or 5G ready equipment will be allowed as older networks may not be able to undergo a like-for-like replacement process. If a tower is not capable of hosting the replacement equipment, the cost of a new tower will be considered by the FCC on a case-to-case basis. Applicants for the funds will be able to claim vendor travel expenses and salary costs of employees dedicated to the replacement program. Applicants have from October 29 to January 14 to apply for the funding.