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Guthrie’s Bill to Strengthen Small and Rural Communications Providers Passes House

Washington, October 21, 2021 | S.K. Bowen (202-225-3501)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie’s (KY-02) bill to further strengthen our telecommunications networks, especially for small and rural providers, passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

Guthrie helped introduced the Open RAN Outreach Act with Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32), Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08), and Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01). The Open RAN Outreach Act follows other bills Guthrie has supported to secure telecommunications networks and promote competition, including the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act and USA Telecommunications Act.

Click HERE to watch Rep. Guthrie’s floor speech on this bill on October 19, 2021

As Prepared for Delivery

Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of my bill, H.R. 4032, the Open RAN Outreach Act.

Untrusted telecommunications companies, such as Chinese Communist Party-backed Huawei, are able to offer low-cost equipment to small and rural providers across the globe due to the Chinese government subsidizing them.

Due to congressional action, untrusted vendors can no longer provide telecommunications equipment in the U.S., and bills I’ve supported, such as Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act and USA Telecommunications Act, help remove untrusted equipment to secure our networks and promote competition.

The Open RAN Outreach Act further builds on our efforts to strengthen our supply chain and ensure untrusted equipment is kept out of American telecommunications networks.

Open RAN technology can help diversify telecommunications technology and help increase competition. This technology is an open network infrastructure that can have multiple components from multiple manufacturers.

The Open RAN Outreach Act requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to provide small and rural providers information on the opportunities and challenges of implementing Open RAN compatible technology.

If providers would like to use this technology, this bill also requires NTIA to support the implementation of Open RAN technologies.

Promoting a more competitive market of trusted alternative vendors to provide 5G equipment remains an important component in the strategy to protect U.S. networks.

I want to thank Representatives Allred, Hudson, and O’Halleran for working with me on this legislation, and I encourage my colleagues to support this bill.

I yield back