FCC Prohibits Equipment Authorizations for Covered Equipment

On November 25, 2022, the FCC released a Report and Order, Order, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“R&O” “Interim Freeze Order” and “FNPRM”) in its latest effort to protect the nation’s networks and supply chains from equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security or the safety of U.S. persons.  The R&O amends the FCC’s equipment authorization rules to prohibit authorization of equipment that has been identified on the FCC’s Covered List as posing an unacceptable risk to national security of the United States or the security or safety of United States persons, and to prohibit the marketing and importation of such equipment in the United States.  The Covered List currently includes certain telecommunications and/or video surveillance equipment produced by Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, and Dahua Technology (and their subsidiaries and affiliates) that will be subject to this ban (discussed further below).  The FNPRM seeks further comment on additional revisions to the rules and procedures associated with prohibiting the authorization of “covered” equipment in our equipment authorization program and on related revisions to the Commission’s competitive bidding program.  A full summary of the item is attached here.

The new rules will become effective upon announcement from the FCC in the Federal Register except for rules that impose information collection requirements, which will be subject to further review by OMB, and a later effective date.  To avoid an influx of authorization requests during this pendency, the Interim Freeze Order adopts an interim freeze on further processing or grant of equipment authorization applications for equipment produced by any entity identified on the Covered List as producing “covered” equipment.  The freeze is effective as of the release date of the Order (11/25/22) and will last until the FCC provides notice of the effective date of the Report and Order (unless otherwise modified or extended by OET).

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