The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made headlines on March 26 when Chairman Ajit Pai proposed that the FCC bar several companies, in the name of national security, from participation in the FCC programs. The FCC plans to vote on this proposal at its next Open Meeting on April 17, 2018.
The proposal was prompted by letters he received from 18 Congressional leaders last December, which asserted the potential for compromised security of U.S. telecommunications networks through insecure equipment supply chains required FCC consideration. Chairman Pai responded to the Congressional letters by noting that FCC itself does not purchase or use the equipment from the named companies and would not intend to take service from a service provider that does. The Chairman however did not stop there; he is proposing that certain companies be barred from participating in the Universal Service Fund (USF) program that subsidizes carrier equipment.