back to article You'll never get Huawei with this, FCC tells US telcos: Buy Chinese kit and you won't see another dime from us

America's broadband watchdog has told telcos they cannot use government subsidies to buy any more Huawei or ZTE equipment. The FCC is also mulling extending this ultimatum to include the continued use of the Chinese manufacturers' gear, meaning cellular and internet providers will have to replace their installed Huawei and ZTE …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Perhaps the way to go is to disconnect it all and make absolutely clear to the public why service has deteriorated and to whom they should address their complaints.

    1. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change
      Alert

      Too much damage to the innocent.

      Not to mention uncomfortably close-to-home while the threat of brexit remains.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "why service has deteriorated"

      I'm not sure how US telcos will be able to differentiate between their "normal" service deterioration and service deterioration caused by not using Huawei/Chinese kit..

      I suspect US telcos would just add another charge onto existing customer bills referencing the Chinese telecoms engineer "Phouc Yoo".

      It would be approved by the FCC as being in customers best interests.

  2. Anon

    Does the FCC have the authority to do this, or is this just "respect my authoritah" impotence/incompetence?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Presumably they can't stop people using the equipment, but they can turn off the funding tap to make it more difficult...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Surely in the capitalist market, government funding shouldn't be needed? Market forces ahould be driving investment, yes? Government subsidies is what those pinko commies do. </sarc>

        1. bobsmith2016

          I know it's sarcasm, but that's why most countries have mixed economies.

          Eg Business run most of the time, but the government steps in for things that are necessary, but not necessarily commercially viable. (E.G road/power infrastructure (not mentioning the NHS, coz I don't want to start an argument)).

        2. jbburks

          Universal Service Fund

          The Universal Service Fund, or USF, funds telecom service (mobile, wireline phone and broadband) for rural areas that are very expensive to serve, due to low subscriber density, as well as schools and universities.

          It is funded by a surcharge (tax) on telephone bills in the 10% range, so that's a HUGE pool of money. It is doled out back to the Telcos to provide these services once approved.

          Like all big pools of government money, this gives them a level of control much more than what they are allowed to prohibit or require through laws.

  3. Dinanziame
    Angel

    Probably they use the same source that Bloomberg had for that "spy chip" story...

  4. aregross
  5. ma1010 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    So True...

    Both Huawei and ZTE have close ties to the Chinese government and military apparatus and are subject to Chinese laws requiring them to assist with espionage, a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations,

    Yes, indeed. I'm terrified about what the Chinese might find out about me with all their snooping. Thank $DEITY we all live in countries where no telecoms company is ever forced to divulge any of our communications to any "government and military apparatus," eh?

    What was that you said? "Snoopers Charter" and "Patriot Act"? Oh. Yeah. Crap.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: So True...

      If you cannot see the difference between the US government using extraordinary rendition (i.e., kidnapping) on Al-Qaeda suspects, and the Chinese government running a million-strong concentration camp (which Huawei supplies with the electronic gubbins to make it work) then I worry for you.

      The US/UK have done bad things, but current Chinese acts are in a different league.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So True...

        Remind me, when the UK invaded China, to force them to buy their opium production when the Chinese government was trying to make drug use illegal, that was in which league, exactly?

        Whatabout all the way down it is, but it boils down to: the US/UK have no high horse to climb on and spout their moralizing to the world.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: So True...

          Sure, you can back in time and found even worse Chinese action, i.e. Mao, and later the Gang of Four?

          And while the Western world is apologizing for the horrible mistakes it made, I can't see anything as such from authoritarian governments like China - which just decided they need more horrible mistakes, because they can't still understand they are mistakes.

          Feeding China today could be another horrible mistake by Western countries.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So True...

            "Apologizing for the horrible mistakes it made".

            Well, it's quite debatable they are, and the amount of reparations certainly vary from country to country.

            You'll be happy to learn that, in China, the official party line is that Mao was 30% wrong.

            Now you know they can also pay lip service to past mistakes, you'll absolve them too, right?

    2. Velv Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: So True...

      "...live in countries where no telecoms company is ever forced to divulge any of our communications.."

      Of course the Telecoms companies aren't forced to divulge any of our communications. They're forced to install back doors so the authorities can access the information without even asking.

  6. ma1010 Silver badge
    Coat

    Communism IS terrible

    Under Communism, man exploits man. Fortunately, we live in countries that follow Capitalism, which is the exact opposite of the way those commies do things!

    1. Chika
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Communism IS terrible

      You mean rather than a country where the state holds sway over you and can monitor your every move, you prefer a state that is controlled by a shady group of people who can hold sway over you and monitor your every move.

      I see your point. So can all the other victims worldwide of US Intelligence monitoring. Huawei? ZTE? Feh!

      1. MJB7 Silver badge

        Re: Communism IS terrible

        I think you have missed the irony. Given "dog bites man", the exact opposite is "man bites dog". Given "man exploits man", the exact opposite is ...?

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Communism IS terrible

      It looks in Hong-Kong they think so - and you can ask to any people living in an ex-communist country.

  7. Yes Me Silver badge
    WTF?

    WTO WTF

    Hmmm... that's clearly a discriminatory subsidy so I would guess that it's a serious breach of WTO rules. Not that the Trump administration seems to care about little details like international treaty obligations, of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTO WTF

      The WTO will soon be defunct, or at best reduced to a talking shop. Its "enforcement" arm is being closed down by the US. Not sure where that leaves any countries planning to trade by WTO rules.

    2. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: WTO WTF

      Someone come up with a good reason why American Telcos have to buy Huawei equipment in the first place besides cost.

      Therefore, the FCC must step in.

      Never underestimate the drive of a CEO and Finance guy or purchasing agent of any company who will seek out the cheapest equipment that won't get them fired. Useless MBAs. Fsck the whole lot.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: WTO WTF

        Someone come up with a good reason why American Telcos have to buy Huawei equipment in the first place besides cost.

        They prefer to avoid being illegally spied on by the NSA as will happen when they use Cisco kit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WTO WTF

          "They prefer to avoid being illegally spied on by the NSA as will happen when they use Cisco kit."

          Surely you have to demonstrate that the kit that the Telco's would use would be Cisco to make your argument relevant?

          If it turned out to be European, Korean or Japanese kit, then you argument would be false. Even using Juniper kit would make it false.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: WTO WTF

        What do you mean, "besides cost"? What world do you live in, where that's a thing you can even think?

        Every dime spent on new equipment is money that could have been spent on other services, or else it has to be clawed back from customers. What better reason is there than "cost"?

      3. ST Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: WTO WTF

        > Someone come up with a good reason why American Telcos have to buy Huawei equipment in the first place besides cost.

        US Telcos can still buy Huawei equipment. They can't use it on US 5G networks infrastructure. And they can't use US taxpayer money - i.e. Universal Service Fund subsidies - to pay for it.

        Last time I checked, the US was a sovereign country. It can decide, at its sole discretion, where to spend its tax revenue.

        Someone please provide a good reason why US taxpayers should subsidize the Chinese Telecom industry.

        If you don't like buying US-made Telecom equipment, don't buy it. Build your own. If you can. If you can't, because you don't have the know-how, o-well. You are in no position to set conditions.

        And even if you manage to build something functional, NSA is still going to intercept your shit if they want to. Because they can.

        Funnily enough, the US doesn't even have a monopoly on 5G infrastructure equipment. Nokia and Ericsson are major players in this market. Neither are US companies.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: WTO WTF

      Because China is respecting WTO rules?

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

    NO. Abso-fucking-lutely NO.

    Only the UK, as the White House's habitual lapdog, has recognized anything. THERE IS NO OTHER GOVERNMENT that gives this shit any credit whatsoever.

    My GOD it is so annoying to see US governmental institutions spout utter bullshit like that and get no comeuppance whatsoever.

    The US is officially a shitty country now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

      IIRC Australia are currently following the Trump line on just about everything.

    2. hj

      Re: "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

      It pains to say this, but my shitty Dutch government is also very deeply in the pockets of the US (spy agencies)...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

      Oz was a lap dog, now it just has its mouth full

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

      You mean, apart from France, Germany, Japan, Australia and New Zealand? Well, the governments of Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and India are also taking it pretty seriously, although they haven't outright banned the equipment yet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

        I'm not sure why you put France there. My country has not banned Huawei. There's a new law n°2019-810 that requires more control for 5G equipment, that applies to *all* hardware, explicitly including that from the EU. So looks like American companies should be worried too.

        The restricted hardware list will come from the Prime Minister, but hasn't been published yet.

        It's not likely to be as crazy as what the US do. The law already explicitly excludes 4G hardware already in use from those checks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

          "I'm not sure why you put France there"

          *cough* Alcatel *cough* I mean Nokia/

          Security takes many forms, protecting state industries is one of them

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "a threat recognized by other federal agencies and the governments of other nations"

            Since EU manufacturers are not exempt from review, they're not doing a great job at it. Let's at least wait until the official list is out, shall we?

  9. danielanthony

    How much US kit does China buy?

    I suppose the Chinese government will now stop buying Cisco and Arista kit, that should really teach Trump a lesson.

    1. Michael 43

      Re: How much US kit does China buy?

      I'm sure they can do better than that.. They can stop buying in bigger industries like commercial aviation..

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: How much US kit does China buy?

        Even better, they can forbid all carriers worldwide to fly certain aircraft anywhere in or over their territory. And yes, Payback is the older sister of that lovely bitch Karma.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: How much US kit does China buy?

      Do you really think they have US equipment in their core networks? LOL!

      Just they don't have to tell publicly anything.

  10. tin 2

    This point has already been made but I'll make it again.

    "The USF is an $8.5bn nationwide fund that subsidizes telcos"

    In capitalism-is-everything America? surely not?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019