Rosenworcel Says Network Security is a Priority

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As part of a top to bottom review of how the FCC conducts business, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told reporters after the agency’s meeting yesterday that personnel are “assessing how we manage national security issues.” Her thought is to “develop an inter-bureau team,” which “we hope to do in the near future.”

During the meeting, Rosenworcel said: “I believe it’s time for this agency to revitalize its approach to network security because it is an essential part of our national security, our economic recovery, and our leadership in a post pandemic world.” 

The issue came up during the FCC’s vote to get public input on modifying the communications supply chain rules. The proposals are meant to align the Secure and Trusted Network Reimbursement Program rules with what Congress intended when it okayed $1.895 billion. That means modifying rules about how the reimbursement funds can be used, Rosenworcel said. 

If passed, it would allow recipients to use reimbursement funding to remove or replace Huawei or ZTE equipment and services obtained on or before June 30, 2020. The money will go to smaller carriers to remove, replace and dispose of untrusted communications network gear.

The FCC seeks comment on a proposal to raise the eligibility cap for the so-called “Rip & Replace” program. The program is aimed at providers with 10 million or fewer customers. 

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

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