facebook linkedin twitter

FCC Seeks to Secure US Communications Networks

June 18, 2021 by Victoria Turner

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday unanimously adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry intended to secure the nation’s communications networks against cyberattacks.

With seven ransomware attacks per hour in 2020, a total of 65,000, the Commission is taking a “three-pronged strategy to build a more secure and resilient communications supply chain for our 5G future,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel during the Open Meeting. 

First, it seeks to ban all “authorization of equipment that poses an unacceptable national security risk,” the FCC said, and the current entities identified on the Covered List are Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation,  and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company. Along with this prohibition, the NPRM seeks comment on whether it should remove any existing exemption of equipment on the Covered List, revoke any prior authorizations, as well as whether there are any changes necessary for the competitive bidding process of its licensing auctions. Regarding the latter, the FCC seeks further comment on whether anyone bidding in an auction should also provide national security certifications. 

“Second, we continue to speed the way for trustworthy innovation.,” Rosenworcel said. The Commission seeks to do this by both “reducing our dependence on network components developed by untrusted vendors” as well as making the FCC’s participation in standards-setting organizations (SSO) a “priority.”  According to Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, who led the efforts of including the SSO edit in the NPRM, a 2020 report pointed out the “Chinese government views technical standards as a policy tool to advance its own geopolitical interest and has systematically used its influence”through Chinese nationals in leadership positions in these SSOs.” 

“Given China’s focus on undermining the security of the U.S. and other countries, allowing it to dominate the supply chain security standards could not only provide its companies with an economic edge, [but] also result in the further incorporation of vulnerabilities for exploitation,” he warned. 

The third step of the prong, Rosenworcel added, has been a “multifaceted effort” of cross-agency engagement as well as with industry participants and “partner nations to protect our networks from threats.”

The NOI also seeks comment to see what further action the FCC could take in securing U.S. communications networks through its equipment authorization. This would be in tandem with incentivizing manufacturers to adopt the best cybersecurity practices in the development and production of consumer devices. 

In The News

Health

Voting

Telecom

July 27, 2021
by Victoria Turner
FCC Ready to Fund $311 Million Broadband Deployment to 36 States

The Federal Communications Commission announced yesterday that it is ready to release more than $311 million in funding for high-speed... Read More

The Federal Communications Commission announced yesterday that it is ready to release more than $311 million in funding for high-speed broadband deployment across 36 states through its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  Working to clean up the RDOF “waste” such as winning bids to deploy in areas... Read More

July 21, 2021
by Dan McCue
House Democrats Urge Biden to Permanently Close Digital Divide

WASHINGTON - House Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to permanently close the nation’s digital divide by targeting federal investments... Read More

WASHINGTON - House Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to permanently close the nation’s digital divide by targeting federal investments in broadband to the hardest to reach areas, while also providing a permanent, federally-funded broadband benefit program to financially vulnerable families. The effort is being spearheaded... Read More

July 19, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Digital Divide Still Widening Former FCC Commissioners Claim

A panel representing the last five decades of Federal Communications Commission leadership took the helm at Monday’s Multicultural, Media, Telecom... Read More

A panel representing the last five decades of Federal Communications Commission leadership took the helm at Monday’s Multicultural, Media, Telecom and Industry Council’s FCC symposium discussing broadband for the nation.  Despite a pending $65 billion infrastructure plan to fund further broadband deployment and access, all four... Read More

July 15, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp
Tech Hubs Can Ignite Economic Growth And Create Inclusion, Speakers Argue

WASHINGTON- Legislators want to jolt tech-related economic growth outside of the coastal regions, and according to speakers at a panel... Read More

WASHINGTON- Legislators want to jolt tech-related economic growth outside of the coastal regions, and according to speakers at a panel event this week, doing so would help ensure American relevance on the global market while lessening some of the inequality from which the country suffers. At... Read More

July 15, 2021
by Dan McCue
Boston, Raleigh to be Designated Newest FCC Innovation Zones

Boston, Massachusetts and Raleigh, North Carolina could become the nation’s next designated innovation zones and test beds for advanced wireless... Read More

Boston, Massachusetts and Raleigh, North Carolina could become the nation’s next designated innovation zones and test beds for advanced wireless technologies, under a proposal put forward Wednesday by the Federal Communications Commission. The designations, if advanced, would help spur the development and integration of 5G network... Read More

July 14, 2021
by Reece Nations
Biden Tasks FCC With Restoring Net Neutrality with Executive Order

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden issued a far-reaching executive order promoting competition in the American economy last week, one provision... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden issued a far-reaching executive order promoting competition in the American economy last week, one provision of which encourages the Federal Communications Commission to restore net neutrality rules undone by the Trump administration. Net neutrality refers to the policy of requiring internet... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top