Rep. Guthrie: We Must Streamline the Permitting Process to Secure Our Telecommunications Networks
Embedded in our telecommunications networks across the country is suspect equipment from Chinese-government-subsidized Huawei and other bad actors. This poses security risks to our telecommunications networks, which we rely on more than ever for telehealth and work. With so much of our personal information being communicated online, we need to ensure that this untrusted equipment is removed to make our telecommunications networks more secure.
Small telecommunications providers based in rural communities, like in Kentucky’s Second District, do not always have the resources to replace expensive telecommunications equipment. Last Congress, I was proud help champion the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act to help rural and small providers secure networks in the communities where they provide service. This is now law and provides resources to rip out suspect equipment and replace with trusted equipment.
However, our work is not done yet.
Although rural and small providers can now access resources to obtain trusted equipment, these providers under current law have to go through a cumbersome permitting process to take out untrusted equipment and install the safe equipment. These providers already went through a lengthy and costly permitting process to install the equipment that’s currently in place. Providers should not have to undergo a long, bureaucratic permitting process again to simply replace old, untrusted equipment with new, safe equipment.
That’s why I introduced the Timely Replacement Under Secure and Trusted for Early and Dependable Broadband Networks Act, or TRUSTED Broadband Networks Act. This commonsense bill will streamline the permitting process for replacing equipment to make our networks secure. This not only helps remove potentially dangerous equipment faster from our networks, but also helps save providers money. Broadband is an important part of our infrastructure. This bill makes smart improvements to further secure our infrastructure, and I’m proud this is part of the House Republicans’ infrastructure solutions.