Serious concerns about Chinese intrusion into U.S. broadband technology
The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies Co. is a finalist for a contract to build the fourth-generation wireless network for U.S. Cellular Corp., the country's sixth largest wireless carrier.
Huawei is also in talks with federal, state, and local government agencies to provide wireless technology to build the U.S.'s first nation-wide public-safety network. (A public safety network is a wireless communications network used by emergency services organizations, such as police, fire and emergency medical services, to respond to emergencies).
The possibility of Huawei becoming involved in sensitive broadband infrastructure has raised alarm bells among some U.S. Senators. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has previously blocked Huawei from both acquiring U.S. corporations and sensitive technology. Now, U.S. Senators Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Richard Burr (R-NC), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Tom Coburn (R-OK), along with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), have sent a letter to President Obama urging a halt to Huawei's efforts to supply infrastructure equipment in the U.S.
The group's letter not only expresses concern for the "introduction of potentially harmful technology to U.S. broadband infrastructure," but also observes that at present "it does not appear that any measures are in place to prevent Huawei or ZTE from indirectly receiving U.S. government funding devoted to expanding broadband service."
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