Agency bars Chinese telecom carriers from offering US broadband services

By Thomson Reuters Apr 25, 2024 | 12:12 PM

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday it is ordering the U.S. units of China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile to discontinue fixed or mobile broadband internet operations in the United States.

The FCC said it was requiring the Chinese carriers to discontinue services within 60 days of the effective date of the net neutrality order approved on Thursday. The order also applies to Chinese telecom Pacific Networks and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet. The commission previously had barred the companies from providing telecommunications services.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said on Thursday the commission had evidence Chinese telecom carriers were providing broadband services in the United States.

The FCC had cited national security concerns in revoking or denying Chinese companies the right to provide U.S. telecommunications services.

The FCC had said Chinese telecom firms were “subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese government.”

This is the latest action by Washington to restrict Chinese telecom carriers including on undersea cables handling internet traffic.

The FCC previously barred approvals of new telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE and other companies saying they pose “an unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Andrea Ricci)