The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously Tuesday to implement a $1.9 billion program to reimburse U.S. carriers for removing devices from telecommunications networks of Chinese companies classified as national security threats.
The companies affected were Huawei and ZTE, as well as Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.
Last year, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks – a statement that prevented U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion state fund to buy equipment from those Chinese companies.
The FCC issued rules in December requiring carriers with ZTE or Huawei devices to stop using the devices.
The problem is of great importance for rural transport companies, which face high costs and difficulties in finding workers who can dismantle and replace equipment.
The FCC’s final order expands the companies eligible for reimbursement from companies with 2 million or fewer customers to companies with up to 10 million or fewer customers.
It also estimates that it would cost $1.837 billion to remove and replace Huawei and ZTE devices from the networks.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.