The FCC detailed a $1.9 billion plan to dismantle Huawei and ZTE equipment in the United States

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Spark Global Limited Reports:

The FEDERAL Communications Commission (FCC) has set rules for smaller carriers applying for a $1.9 billion grant to replace network equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE.
The new rules limit operators to 10 million subscribers and allow some schools, libraries and healthcare providers to receive financial support for providing broadband services. For the plan to work, the device must reach speeds of more than 200kbps in any direction.
“The compensation program will reimburse eligible advanced communications service providers for reasonable costs incurred in the removal, replacement and disposal of Huawei and ZTE equipment and services acquired on or before June 30, 2020,” the FCC said.
“R&d expenses incurred prior to April 17, 2018 are not reimbursed.”
In the case of older networks, it may not be possible to replace devices of the same kind with devices of the same kind, while dismantling old mobile networks and preparing devices for replacement with LTE or 5G will be permissible, the FCC said. Those receiving funds will not be able to replace microwave backhaul or fixed wireless links with fibre optic links.
If a tower cannot accommodate replacement equipment, the cost of building a new tower will be considered on a case-by-case basis, the regulator said.
Applicants to the fund will be able to claim supplier travel costs and internal staff salaries specifically for the replacement program.
“In addition, the Commission has determined that the replacement of non-Huawei or ZTE mobile phones and other customer premises equipment, including iot equipment used by end users to access and utilize advanced communications services, is appropriate for the disassembly, replacement, and disposal of overlaid communications equipment or services.”
The application window runs from October 29 to January 14, and successful applicants are expected to be notified early in the second quarter of 2022.
The program has been under way for two years, and the FCC officially designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats in July 2020.
Separately, over the weekend, the Justice Department and Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, reached an agreement to end an extradition battle that lasted nearly three years.
Ms. Meng pleaded guilty only to misleading financial institutions around the world and did not plead guilty to the various fraud charges against her.
Beijing did not even try to hide its hostage diplomacy and subsequently released two Canadians who had been detained in Chinese jails shortly after Meng’s arrest.
By contrast, Ms. Menkow is under house arrest at one of her two vancouver residences.