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The cost of replacing Huawei and ZTE in US networks will be nearly $2 billion

The US communications regulator has released the results of a ‘supply chain data request’, which lists all US CSPs that have any Chinese gear, writes Scott Bicheno.

In addition, the FCC has revealed the aggregate cost of ripping and replacing that kit with stuff originating from a country it’s not currently at cold war with. “All filers report it could cost an estimated $1.837 billion to remove and replace Huawei and ZTE equipment in their networks,” says the public announcement, which also listed said filers, copied below.

“It is a top priority of our nation and this Commission to promote the security of our country’s communications networks,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “That’s why we sought comprehensive information from U.S. carriers about equipment and services from untrusted vendors that have already been installed in our networks.

“Today’s announcement marks a critical milestone in our ongoing commitment to secure our networks. By identifying the presence of insecure equipment and services in our networks, we can now work to ensure that these networks—especially those of small and rural carriers—rely on infrastructure from trusted vendors.

“I once again strongly urge Congress to appropriate funding to reimburse carriers for replacing any equipment or services determined to be a national security threat so that we can protect our networks and the myriad parts of our economy and society that rely upon them.”

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That’s good news for operators being slapped with an unexpected capex bill through no fault of their own, but the list is not all that it seems. Verizon, for example, told Light Reading that it doesn’t have any of the offending kit in its networks and won’t be asking for any compensation. The tone of the Verizon’s comment implies not everyone on the list is happy with being named, but that’s transparency for you.

 

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