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NTIA Letter to FCC on Protecting Against National Security Threats to the Communications Supply Chain Through FCC Programs

Docket Number: 
WC Docket 18-89 PS Docket 19-351 PS Docket. 19-352
June 09, 2020

The Executive Branch applauds the Commission’s decision to protect the information and communications technology (ICT) supply chain by prohibiting the use of Universal Service Funds (USF) to acquire equipment or services produced or provided by a covered company posing a national security threat to the integrity of U.S. communications networks.  The Executive Branch also agrees that, when properly implemented, rules requiring carriers to remove and replace embedded equipment and services acquired with USF support and produced or provided by covered companies from their networks will provide critical protection to the nation’s communications infrastructure and supply chain.

The Executive Branch also fully supports the Commission’s initial designation of two Chinese companies – Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation – as covered companies.  As discussed below, the Executive Branch agrees that the companies’ ties to the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), “along with Chinese laws obligating them to cooperate with any request by the Chinese government to use or access their system, pose a threat to the security of  communications networks and the communications supply chain.”  We urge the Commission to promptly take all actions needed to make those designations final.