US bans Chinese telecoms imports – won’t even consider authorizing them

The United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has barred itself from authorizing the import or sale of Chinese telecoms and video surveillance products from Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hikvision, and Dahua, on national security grounds.

As it is not legal to offer such products in the US without FCC approval, the move is effectively a ban on the five vendors’ products.

It’s an expression of The Secure Equipment Act – a Biden administration law that requires the FCC to update its equipment authorization procedures.

As such it is at least partly a bureaucratic box-ticking exercise, which FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel acknowledged in an announcement [PDF] of the order.

“While we’ve flagged equipment as posing a national security risk, prohibited companies from using federal funds to purchase them, and even stood up programs to replace them, for the last several years the FCC has continued to put its stamp of approval on this equipment through its equipment authorization process,” she wrote. “But that does not make any sense. After all, there is little benefit in having these lists and these bans in place just to leave open other opportunities for this equipment to be present in our networks.”

The proscription on even assessing products therefore takes away an opportunity for products deemed a national security risk to reach the US.

The new arrangements mean the FCC will also ban assessing white label products built by the five Chinese vendors named above. In addition to networking equipment and

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