RWA Stunned by FCC’s Decision to Immediately Bar Use of USF Funds on Huawei and ZTE Equipment and Services During a Time When it is Critical to Keep Rural Americans Connected

RWA is stunned by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) decision, released today in a Public Notice, to finalize the designations of Huawei and ZTE and immediately bar the use of Universal Service Fund (USF) support to purchase, maintain, or otherwise support Huawei Technologies, Co., Ltd. (Huawei) or ZTE Corporation (ZTE) equipment and services in rural carriers’ networks.  As a result, rural carriers who have deployed Huawei or ZTE equipment or services in their networks will now lack the ability to support their critical networks that are serving hundreds of thousands of rural Americans and those traveling through rural America. Given the difficultly in demonstrating where specifically their USF support is being utilized in their networks, this puts rural carriers in a precarious situation while they strive to offer extended payment terms for their customers as requested by FCC Chairman Pai, adjust to the fallout of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, and continue to keep rural Americans connected to broadband and telephone services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  RWA members appreciate the opportunity to submit waivers of this prohibition but ask the Commission to give them sufficient time to submit such waivers before pulling away their USF support which is scheduled to start tomorrow, July 1.

2020-06-30T14:57:03-04:00 June 30th, 2020|Categories: Advocacy, Press Releases|
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