FCC Moves to Revoke US Authorization for 3 Chinese Telecoms Companies-news

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Back in December, the FCC initiated proceedings against China Telecom Americas, which could result in the telecoms company losing its US operating authorization. This week, two more Chinese companies were added to that list.

Pacific Networks and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet were asked by the FCC last year to “show cause why the Commission should not start a process for revoking and terminating their domestic and international section 214 authorizations.” The response was reviewed and “a number of significant national security and law enforcement concerns” were identified. With that in mind, the FCC has initiated proceedings to determine if both companies should have their authorization revoked and ultimately lose the ability to legally operate in the US.

“Promotion of national security is an integral part of the Commission’s public interest responsibility, and today’s action seeks to protect the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure from potential security threats,” the FCC explained in a press release. “Pacific Networks and ComNet are indirectly and ultimately owned and controlled by the government of the People’s Republic of China. The Commission has raised concerns regarding the vulnerability of subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned entities to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese government.”

By initiating this action, the companies, interested agencies, and the public are allowed to present further arguments and evidence, but it also allows the FCC to ask more specific questions of both companies. As Reuters reports, though, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks has pointed out these Chinese telecoms companies also own and operate data centers within the US. The FCC does not currently have the authority to “address this potential national security threat.”

Last week, the FCC also designated Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp, Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co, and Dahua Technology Co as national security threats under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019. The five Chinese companies were found to, “produce telecommunications equipment and services that have been found to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons.”

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