Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission banned rural carriers in the United States from purchasing network equipment from Chinese firms Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation through the Universal Service Fund – an $8.5 billion fund set up to let carriers maintain their networks for ensuring cellular connectivity.
Unsurprisingly, Huawei has decided to challenge the ruling in New Orleans’ Circuit Court of Appeals.
Huawei has been unable to conduct business with its American suppliers normally after American authorities deemed it a national security risk earlier this year. Following the classification, which adds Huawei to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industrial Security’s Entity List, American companies who wish to conduct business with the company have to first solicit the government’s approval.
This approval started to roll out in the form of licenses last week, with Microsoft being the first company granted a license. But while the DOC’s Entity List covers American companies, the FCC’s ruling last week put restrictions on carriers in rural America.
Huawei is allowed to contest the FCC’s decision by mid-August, and to that effect, the company will file a case in New Orlean’s Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The FCC passed its decision unanimously in an open hearing. Public records of the hearing show that all Commissioners believe that Huawei’s cellular equipment placed inside rural America surrounds key military facilities.