Huawei gets back at FCC with legal challenge

Shenzhen, Dec 5 (IANS) Hitting back at the regulators and critics, Chinese telecom and smartphone giant Huawei on Thursday sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), seeking the court to overturn an order passed on November 22 which bans carriers in rural America from tapping the Universal Service Fund (USF) to purchase Huawei equipment.

In a petition filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Huawei asked the court to hold the FCC’s order unlawful on the grounds that it fails to offer Huawei required due process protections in labelling it as a national security threat.

“Banning a company like Huawei, just because we started in China — this does not solve cyber security challenges,” Song Liuping, Huawei’s Chief Legal Officer, said at a press conference here.

According to Song, both FCC chairman Ajit Pai and other FCC commissioners failed to present any evidence to prove their claim that Huawei constitutes a security threat, and ignored the facts and objections raised by the company and rural carriers after the FCC first made the proposal in March, 2018.

The firm believes that the FCC also fails to substantiate its arbitrary findings with evidence or sound reasoning or analysis, in violation of the US Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act, and other laws.

Big wireless providers such as AT&T and Verizon are not using Huawei’s gear but, carriers in remote parts of the US have depended on it for years.

“Huawei also submitted 21 rounds of detailed comments, explaining how the order will harm people and businesses in remote areas. The FCC ignored them all. Carriers across rural America, in small towns in Montana, Kentucky, and farms in Wyoming — they choose to work with Huawei because they respect the quality and integrity of our equipment,” noted Song.

Notably, the FCC rule could force them to look for pricier alternatives.

According to Glen Nager, Huawei’s lead counsel for the legal action, FCC has adopted a standard-less rule that, by its own admission, was designed with only Huawei and another Chinese company in mind.

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