According to a CNN report, an FBI investigation into Huawei reveals that the Chinese telecommunications company had a pattern of installing equipment on cell towers near military bases in rural America – even if doing so was not profitable. The discovered investigation sheds some light on the US government’s motive behind the stalled “rip and replace” program, which calls for the removal of Huawei’s technology across the country.
According to CNN, the federal investigation centers around the ability of Huawei’s equipment to intercept military communications transmitted by the US Strategic Command, the agency tasked with handling the US nuclear arsenal. It’s no secret that Huawei sold cheap equipment to smaller, regional telecommunications providers in states like Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, but, as CNN reports, it raised suspicion among federal agents. As CNN points out, investigators found that these rural, low-traffic locations did not bring any financial benefits to Huawei, but were located close to military bases.
John Lencart, a former senior FBI agent, told CNN that investigators have opened an “investigation” [Huawei] less from a technical lens and more from a business/financial standpoint,” noting that it deals with companies in locations that “make no sense from an investment-on-profit standpoint.” while the FBI alleged Having found that Huawei’s equipment could technically intercept military communications, sources close to the situation told CNN that it is difficult to trace a piece of stolen information to actually prove it.
In a statement to CNN, Huawei denied any claims that its equipment is capable of interfering with US military communications. “Our equipment only operates on spectrum allocated by the FCC for commercial use,” Huawei told CNN. “This means it cannot access any spectrum allocated to DoD” [Department of Defense]Huawei did not immediately respond. ledgeComment request.
a report from Reuters Indicates the presence of a similar ongoing investigation by the Commerce Department that began shortly after President Joe Biden entered office. The agency is also concerned about the possibility that Huawei equipment could intercept communications with nearby missile silos and military bases. According to ReutersThe Commerce Department may further ban Huawei in the country if it considers the company a threat to national security.
In 2019, the US began cracking down on both Huawei and China-based ZTE over concerns that they pose a risk to the country’s security, prompting telecommunications providers to use federal subsidies to buy equipment belonging to either company. stop from. The FCC later announced a rip-and-replace program to get rid of pre-installed equipment—three years later, companies are still using banned devices, partly due to a lack of funding.
Since the plan was first launched, the estimated cost associated with replacing existing equipment has increased from $1.8 billion in September 2020 to $5.6 billion in February 2022. That’s a big concern for smaller telecom providers who rely on funding to replace Huawei’s equipment, a brand. They chose it probably because of its power. On Friday, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel sent a letter to Congress (PDF) explaining that the agency is short on $3.08 billion on the funds needed to fully reimburse telecommunications providers. The FCC can cover only 39.5 percent of the total $4.98 billion needed to satisfy telecommunications providers applying for the program.