Mar 26, 2018 - Technology

FCC proposal could ban Chinese telecoms firms

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month on a plan that would block a big federal program from buying gear or services from companies that “pose a national security threat” to U.S. communications networks. FCC Chair Ajit Pai made the announcement Monday.

The backdrop: Pai didn’t say what companies or countries the measure will target. But his move comes days after he wrote congressional lawmakers about security concerns over "Huawei and other Chinese technology companies."

Be smart: Some U.S. security experts have raised concerns that Chinese-made devices and software might contain "back doors" or other risks. But the program at issue, the FCC's Universal Service Fund, provides subsidies for people who can’t afford digital access. So this national security move might also be a feint in the Trump administration's trade war.

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