- The program is expected to offer a $50 subsidy monthly to every low-income household that will help them use internet-connected devices and broadband service
The Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei is now again in a state of turmoil and this time, lawmakers in the U.S. are investing in a program with a backing of $1.9 billion to permanently remove the firm’s equipment that is said to have posed a serious national security threat. Earlier, the British government has also asked all its companies to remove the company’s equipment as soon as possible.
The program is going to be initiated as part of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. After Reuter’s exclusive coverage on planned broadband spending, a senior congressman confirmed that there is also a benefit for the low-income Americans as the country’s lawmakers will also back $3.2 billion for emergency broadband.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added that COVID-19 relief bill invests $7 billion to escalate broadband access. They further added, “the low-income program will help millions of students, families and unemployed workers afford the broadband they need during the pandemic.”
Back in June this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially announced ZTE Corp. and Huawei as a national threat, which restricts all companies to use the $8.3 billion government fund to purchase any equipment from the threat-designated companies.
The FCC has set some rules this month to “rip and replace” these equipment, but is awaiting funds from the congress to carry out the procedure.
Expressing disappointment with FCC’s decision, a spokesperson from Huawei said, “to force removal of our products from telecommunications networks, this overreach puts U.S. citizens at risk in the largely underserved rural areas – during a pandemic – when reliable communication is essential.”
A fact sheet reviewed by Reuters stated, “The bill establishes a temporary, emergency broadband benefit program at the FCC to help low-income Americans, including those economically challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, get connected or remain connected to broadband.”
The mentioned program is expected to offer a $50 subsidy monthly to every low-income household that will help them use internet-connected devices and broadband service.