FCC Releases Rip and Replace Best Practices for Equipment Disposal

On September 30, 2021, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice announcing best practices for equipment disposal under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program and revising some of the required certifications for the program.  The best practices, attached to the Notice as Attachment A, are intended to help guide participants in both their disposal and verification obligations.  They include procedures to effectuate equipment removal, data destruction, media sanitization, storage, transportation, physical destruction and recycling, and also cover the selection of certified data sanitization services, equipment destruction services, and electronic waste (e-waste) recycling services.  In addition, the best practices discuss what documentation is sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the FCC’s requirements.  While utilizing the best practices is voluntary, providers that utilize alternative compliance measures risk the FCC finding that the alternative measures are not in compliance with the FCC’s rules and requirements for the program.

In addition, on its own motion, the Bureau revised and included additional certifications that providers participating in the program will be required to attest to.  The Bureau anticipates that the revised and additional certifications, contained in Attachment B to the Notice, will help protect the program from waste, fraud, and abuse.

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