U.S. might spend up to $1 billion to make U.S. networks 100% Huawei-free

U.S. might spend up to $1 billion to make U.S. networks 100% Huawei-free
FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, a Democrat, was confirmed by the Senate in January to that position joining fellow lefty Jessica Rosenworcel to make up the 2-3 minority on the regulatory agency. In an interview with CNET, Starks says that not only should the U.S. continue to prevent Huawei networking equipment from being used to build out 5G networks, the gear should also be removed from older 3G and 4G pipelines.

Starks says that older networks using Huawei equipment are just as risky to the U.S. as 5G networks containing Huawei gear would be. In fact, the commissioner states the U.S. needs to make sure that there are no security risks in current networks. The first thing, he says, is to find out how many carriers have risky gear in their networks. One association made up of rural carriers told the commissioner that it is smaller, rural wireless providers that still have Huawei equipment in their networks. According to this association, a quarter of its 50 members have such risky gear in use today.

After that is accomplished, the next step is to determine what the depth of the problem is, and how far it extends on problem networks. This would require finding out whether the particular network uses Huawei software and code or equipment that should be prohibited.  He adds, "Does it go to the core of the network, like routers and servers? Or does it extend to antennas and radios that go to the edge part of the network? We need to figure out which equipment has issues."

Huawei, the largest supplier of networking equipment in the world, is considered a threat to U.S. national security

Huawei, the largest supplier of networking equipment in the world, is considered a threat to U.S. national security


The final step is to remove the equipment considered to be a security risk.  The Commissioner says that the best way to do this is to just "rip and replace." For smaller carriers, who bought Huawei gear because it was less expensive, they will need funding from the FCC to afford such a project. This wouldn't be considered a bailout; the decisions to buy cheaper and more affordable Huawei gear were made by rural wireless operators before it was clear that the Chinese manufacturer would officially be considered a national security risk. Based on bipartisan legislation, the cost to remove risky networking equipment from Huawei and other suppliers will run anywhere between $700 million and $1 billion.

The cost to remove risky equipment from U.S. networks could reach $1 billion


What is the risk? U.S. lawmakers are concerned that under the laws of communist China, Huawei could be forced to spy and gather intelligence on behalf of the government. And that has led many to suspect that Huawei products have hidden backdoors that can send American consumer and corporation secrets to Beijing; Huawei has denied this a number of times and company Chairman Liang Hua has offered to sign a "no-spy" agreement with any country. Meanwhile, the National Defense Authorization Act prevents the U.S. government from buying gear from both Huawei and ZTE.


While the four major U.S. carriers do not employ Huawei in their networks, Starks says that if the U.S. has just one carrier with a security problem, "then we all have a security problem." Starks says that the FCC is thinking about pulling Universal Service Fund support for any carrier with "insecure" telecom equipment. The fund helps provide internet and telecommunications service to those Americans with low-income, and those living in rural areas.

Huawei is the largest networking equipment supplier in the world, and several countries are still debating whether to ban its gear in their 5G networks. So far, joining the U.S. in such a ban are Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

FEATURED VIDEO

18 Comments

1. jacky899

Posts: 426; Member since: May 16, 2017

The only "risk" identified by Europe folks identified in old Huawei equipment is the telnet vulnerability, which Cisco, Netgear etc all have if put under the same microscope. It's part of diagnostic function that was common in network equipment. This fact twisting deceptive propaganda is disgusting.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7004; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If Huawei is willing to sign a no spy document. Then Huawei should be able to hand over the source code for their hardware. Just like Apple had to give the code for their iOS if they wanted their devices to be sold in China. So Huawei should hand over the code as well. If they don't then they should be banded, plain and simple. That is the real truth.

14. jacky899

Posts: 426; Member since: May 16, 2017

Stop spreading fake news. Apple already declared publicly this accusation is completely false and they never handed any source code over to the Chinese gov. On the other hand, the NSA already stole the source code of many Huawei products and used it to install backdoors in Huawei products to monitor and conduct offensive covert operations against foreign citizens, government and civilian organizations including hospitals according to the data leaked by Edward Snowden. The spying through Huawei equipment by the US extended to ally nations that used Huawei equipment. After a decade of spying by the NSA on Huawei internal communications, they did not find a single piece of evidence of Huawei working or spying for the Chinese government.

16. oldskool50

Posts: 929; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Now those are the facts. Very good post. +1,000,000

2. UstadG

Posts: 10; Member since: Oct 13, 2018

Total waste of money, when all of it could be used in somewhere improving some less privileged people's life in your country

9. Fred3

Posts: 432; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

I agree.. The Gov and large companies sadly uses tactics to make more money off the less privileged but cater to the wealthy.

3. alanrock

Posts: 280; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

100% Huawei free lol ... like with sugar.

4. inFla

Posts: 70; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Great news.

5. whatev

Posts: 2152; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

They are doing the right thing

6. d1g1te

Posts: 59; Member since: Oct 04, 2016

What a colossal waste of US tax payers money. Oh god US what happened to you. :(

10. Fred3

Posts: 432; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

US tax payers money always went to waste for years other than using it for the that really needs it.

7. lyndon420

Posts: 6589; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

China 'possibly' spying is such a huge deal. But the NSA 'does' spy on everyone...and nobody cares. I thought the USA and China were friends.

11. Carlitos

Posts: 650; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Thing is .most people won't make a fuss about being spied cause it's always been an assumption before the NSA I can guarantee you the average Joe would rather be spied by the US then some foreign authoritarian power

12. jacky899

Posts: 426; Member since: May 16, 2017

You think China would hire an army of expensive english literate staff to spy on your porn habits?

8. JMartin22

Posts: 2354; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

1 billion is not a lot money for this feat actually

15. D34ever

Posts: 221; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

$1 billion is chop change. Cleanse the US of all Huawei equipment is the first step. Then ban them 4ever is the second. Whether they spied or not is irrelevant. China has stolen so much tech from the US thru various methods. Time to pay the piper.

17. FLOGROWN

Posts: 44; Member since: Oct 25, 2018

The Chinese Government never let any foreign company have a presence on sensitive key areas so why is this outrage....????

18. Habib111

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 12, 2019

So 90 days ban was for them to reach to a level of banning Huawei completely in the US. Is it a political game by the name of the trade? Might be a labelling game

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.