Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Ban Huawei, ZTE from 5G Networks

A group of senators last week introduced legislation to establish a national policy for the safe deployment of commercial 5G networks and funding to help U.S. communications providers to get rid of Chinese equipment from their networks.

The United States 5G Leadership Act would ensure American networks don’t include equipment or services provided by Huawei, ZTE or their affiliates. The legislation would also create a grant program to help rural communications providers remove Chinese equipment from their networks.

The bill was introduced May 23 by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska.

“5G networks need to be robust and secure, and not rely on equipment or services that pose a national security risk,” Wicker said in a statement. “This legislation would ensure continued American leadership in advanced wireless technology deployment. It offers relief to those providers that need to replace foreign equipment within their networks while augmenting the availability of secure 5G networks for all Americans.”

The legislation would also establish policy to find additional spectrum for 5G and direct the Federal Communications Commission to finalize a rule that would ban the use of Universal Service Fund subsidies to purchase equipment or services from providers deemed a risk to national security.

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