Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) president and CEO Tim Donovan (pictured) berated progress in a US programme to replace Chinese mobile network equipment, arguing an update by regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) showed the scheme needed further funding to be a success.

Donovan told Mobile World Live the FCC’s update highlighted a lack of funding was hindering progress by operators which had already commenced programmes to replace Chinese-made equipment, or stalling plans while the companies wait to receive additional monies.

Referring to an FCC update delivered to US politicians earlier this week, Donovan said it showed “the programme is clearly floundering in the absence of full funding by Congress”.

“The need for full funding is very urgent in order for the programme to succeed and Congress’s national security objectives to be met.”

On 10 January, the FCC reported a total of $41 million had been allocated to operators as part of the Secure and Trusted Communications Act. It added 30 recipients had submitted a total of 1,988 requests.

Congress allocated $1.9 billion for the programme, but FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel previously noted it will take an additional $3.1 billion to complete.

In its update, the FCC highlighted smaller US operators face funding, supply chain, staffing and weather-related challenges in replacing current equipment.