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ICYMI: Guthrie Rural Telecommunications Bill Heads to President’s Desk

Secure and Trusted Communications Act will protect against nefarious Huawei

Washington, March 3, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate has passed Congressman Brett Guthrie’s (KY-02) Secure and Trusted Communications Act (H.R. 4998), a bipartisan bill to help secure America’s telecommunications supply chain and help rural providers replace potentially compromised equipment. 

The Secure and Trusted Communications Act will help small, rural communications providers replace equipment from Huawei, a Chinese company with known security threats to the United States.

Congressman Guthrie, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the Secure and Trusted Communications Act along with Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (OR-02), and Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06).

“In today’s interconnected world, America’s wireless future depends on having networks that are secure from malicious foreign interference,” said Guthrie, Pallone, Walden, and Matsui.  “The existence of Huawei’s technology in our networks represents an immense threat to America’s national and economic security. This bipartisan bill will help communities across the country by bolstering efforts to keep our communications supply chain safe from foreign adversaries and other dangerous actors, while helping small and rural providers remove and replace suspect network equipment. We thank our colleagues in the Senate for getting this important, bipartisan measure across the finish line and look forward to the President signing it into law.”

The bill passed the House in December 2019 and is now on its way to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

The bipartisan Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act:

  •  Prohibits the use of federal funds, administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to purchase communications equipment or services from any company that poses a national security risk to American communications networks;
  • Requires the FCC to establish the Secure and Trusted Communications Reimbursement Program to assist small communications providers with the costs of removing prohibited equipment or services from their networks and replacing the prohibited equipment with more secure communications equipment or services; and 
  • Helps the federal government better share supply chain security information with carriers, particularly smaller carriers, to help keep this equipment out of our networks in the future.

 

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