On March 25, 2021, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice inviting comment on the Supply Chain Reimbursement Program Study and a preliminary Catalog of Eligible Expenses and Estimated Costs, to assist the FCC with establishing the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program. Additionally, the Bureau seeks comment on a preliminary List of Categories of Suggested Replacement Equipment and Services to assist in replacement of communications equipment and services deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons. The Study, proposed Catalog and Replacement List are attached to the Public Notice.
The Bureau seeks comment on a Report produced by Widelity, which details the “requirements, timing, and costs involved in the removal, replacement, and disposal of covered communications equipment, or services, from the networks of advanced communications service providers” participating in the Reimbursement Program. Specifically, the Bureau seeks comment on the methodologies Widelity used, how the Report should inform the Reimbursement Program, and whether the Report accurately captured all anticipated steps and categories of expenses associated with the removal, replacement, and disposal of covered communications equipment or services.
The Bureau also seeks comment on a proposed Catalog produced by Widelity, which includes cost estimates that may be eligible for reimbursement under the Reimbursement Program. Specifically, the Bureau seeks comment on suggested ranges of estimated costs and cost categories and subcategories, and how the Catalog should inform the Reimbursement Program. Regarding the costs, the Bureau seeks comment on whether they are reasonable and whether the ranges are likely to help carriers estimate the costs for application submissions and identify potential replacement equipment services. Regarding the categories, the Bureau seeks comment on whether additional cost categories and subcategories should be included in the final Catalog.
Finally, the Bureau seeks comment on a proposed Replacement List produced by Widelity, which includes categories of replacement equipment and services that may be used to replace potentially covered equipment and services under the Reimbursement Program. Specifically, the Bureau is concerned with whether there are additional categories that should be included.
Comments are due on April 26, 2021.
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