FCC adds PacNet/ComNet and China Unicom to Covered List

On September 20, 2022, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a Public Notice announcing that the international telecommunications services provided by Pacific Network Corp and its wholly-owned subsidiary ComNet (USA) LLC; as well as by China Unicom (Americas) Operations Limited, have been deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security, or safety of U.S. persons and added to the list of communications equipment and services covered by Section 2 of the Secure Networks Act (“Covered List”).  The inclusion of these services on the Covered List extends both to subsidiaries and affiliates of the named entities.  The updated Covered List can be found at: https://www.fcc.gov/supplychain/coveredlist.

As you may recall, the Secure Networks Act established a process to prohibit the use of federal subsidies to purchase equipment or services deemed to pose national security risks, as well as a reimbursement program that provided for the replacement of communications equipment or services that posed such risks.  Recipients of reimbursement funds under the Reimbursement Program and Eligible Telecommunications Carriers that receive Universal Service Fund support must remove and replace equipment and services included on the Covered List within 60 days of being placed on the Covered List.  In addition, the FCC has also launched a rulemaking that proposes to modify its equipment authorization rules to prohibit the authorization and marketing of any equipment listed on the Covered List, and that explores the FCC’s authority to revoke authorizations that previously have been granted for equipment on the Covered List.  This rulemaking is pending.

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