The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) on Monday announced it would set up a $1.9 billion plan to reimburse mostly rural U.S. telecommunications companies for removing network equipment from Chinese companies deemed national security threats such as Huawei and ZTE Corp .
The program was finalized in July and will be available for applications on Oct. 29 through Jan. 14, 2022.
In 2020, the FCC classified Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks – a statement that prohibited U.S. firms from tapping into an $8.3 billion government fund to buy equipment from the companies.
This has become a major problem for rural transport companies, which face high costs and challenges in finding workers to remove and replace the equipment.
The FCC’s final decision expanded the companies eligible for reimbursement from companies with 2 million or fewer customers to companies with 10 million or fewer customers.
The FCC estimates the cost at $1.837 billion to remove and replace Huawei and ZTE technologies from the networks.
For more information, view the original story from Reuters.