US regulators estimated that it could cost small telecommunications companies more than $ 1.8 billion to remove and replace equipment from Huawei and ZTE, Chinese companies accused by Washington of posing a threat to the country’s security.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has classified Chinese tech giants as threats to national security and operators are prohibited from using the Universal Service Fund to purchase their equipment.
An FCC assessment of the number of federally supported networks that rely on hardware and services from Huawei and ZTE estimated that a purge could cost a total of more than $ 1.84 billion.
“Once again, I strongly urge Congress to allocate funds to reimburse operators for the replacement of any equipment or service that is deemed a threat to national security so that we can protect our networks and the myriad parts of our economy and society that they depend on them, “FCC President Ajit Pai said in a statement.
Huawei is one of the few companies capable of building networks 5G and it is widely regarded as the most advanced option for ultra-fast data transfers behind technologies such as self-driving cars.
US mobile operator Verizon, which was among the examples cited by the FCC, has so far allocated about $ 1.9 billion to accelerate its deployment of 5G telecommunications services.
The 5G networks They are presented as the promise of an exponential leap in the amount and speed of wireless data, allowing advances in autonomous vehicles, virtual reality and connected health, among other sectors, as sensors and servers communicate instantly.
U.S is behind other countries, such as China and South Korea, in implementing this potentially transformative technology.