In the United States, Huawei and ZTE will begin dismantling telecommunications equipment in the coming months. Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially launched a replacement cost recovery program for two Chinese companies that have been declared a threat to the country’s national security. This means that telecommunications companies will be able to apply for a subsidy to remove Huawei and ZTE equipment from their networks.
Once telecommunications companies receive funds to reimburse the costs, they will have about a year to remove the equipment. The program has a number of limitations. First, only telecommunications companies with less than 10 million customers will be able to use it. Second, the subsidies will only be granted for the dismantling of equipment manufactured by Huawei and ZTE no later than June 30, 2020.
Some operators are already expressing fears that they may not be able to complete the dismantling, find new equipment and install it on time. According to John Nettles, President of Pine Belt Communications Inc. from Alabama, the situation is complicated by the fact that telecommunications companies are also required by law to dispose of equipment from Huawei and ZTE, that is, find contractors with industrial shredders.
Nettles stressed that Huawei and ZTE devices will not be recycled before operators have new equipment ready to install from companies such as Ericsson or Nokia. “Otherwise, there will be a service interruption “, – says the head of the company.
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