A US appeals court dismissed a move by Huawei to overturn a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling barring companies awarded government subsidies from purchasing the vendor’s equipment.
The appeal relates to an FCC ban issued in November 2019 preventing companies receiving Universal Service Funds from purchasing equipment from Huawei and Chinese rival ZTE because of their designation as a national security risk.
Huawei had also argued the FCC did not have the expertise to judge whether its equipment posed a national security risk.
In a 60-page filing, the court of appeals explained it denied Huawei’s petition to review the decision, stating assessing security risks to telecoms networks “falls in the FCC’s wheelhouse” and it dealt with national communications issues, not foreign relations.
“The agency’s judgments about national security receive robust input from other expert agencies and officials,” the court stated. “We are therefore persuaded that, in crafting the rule, the agency acted within the broad authority congress gave it to regulate communications.”
Rural US operators typically access the Universal Service Fund subsidy scheme to cover network deployment costs. It makes a pot of $8.5 billion available.
Huawei argued the ban was unlawful and based on “selective information, innuendo and mistaken assumptions” it was subject to Chinese government control.
It continued to state the designation was “vague and standardless”.
The ruling is another blow for Huawei in the US, coming at a time when the FCC is considering expanding its ban on the use of Chinese equipment in the country.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back