US Senate approves $1 billion plan to replace Huawei tech in rural areas

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The current international game of chicken between Huawei and the United States shows no signs of ending anytime soon, especially as the US Senate recently approved a $1 billion project to remove and replace telecommunication hardware from rural areas of the United States.

ZTE has also been bundled into this project, with security issues also being raised about the Chinese firm.

This newly proposed bill will now be sent to president Donald Trump for signing, and if he does sign it, an estimated 40 rural carriers across the country using Huawei or ZTE hardware will need to find an alternative.

“Telecommunications equipment from certain foreign adversaries poses a significant threat to our national security, economic prosperity, and the future of U.S. leadership in advanced wireless technology,” said senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi in a statement about the bill.

“By establishing a ‘rip and replace’ program, this legislation will provide meaningful safeguards for our communications networks and more secure connections for Americans. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to help move this bill to the President’s desk,” he adds.

Naturally Huawei has voiced its concerns about the bill, also questioning its validity.

An unnamed spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal (paywall) that the bill was, “considerably underfunded,” adding that it will, “simply reduce the ability of broadband providers to provide the most secure network equipment and in turn hurt local consumers and businesses.”

Regardless if that is indeed the case, it looks like the United States government is not budging from its position on the matter.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.