A1: Huawei and ZTE both received a final designation on June 30, 2020.
A2: The FCC published the Covered List on March 21, 2021.
A3: Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision, and Dahua.
A5: No. Carriers must conduct their own due diligence to determine if their services or equipment were produced/provided by covered companies or their parents, affiliates, or subsidiaries.
A6: A Covered Company (or companies) are those designated by the FCC as posing a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain. To date there are two – Huawei and ZTE. “Covered List” is a list promulgated by the FCC to designate of specific equipment and services through the Covered List process outlined in section 2 of the Secure Networks Act. There are five companies on this list – Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision, and Dahua. In addition, the scope of what equipment is included for Covered Companies vs. Covered List is different. The FCC reserves the right to amend the Covered List and designate additional Covered Companies.
A8: The Covered List is limited to the list that the FCC provided in DA 21-309. In the PN, the FCC explains that it already considered the Secure Networks Act section 2(a)-(c). Therefore, all equipment and services on the Covered List meet the requirements of section 2(a)-(c) Secure Networks Act. This includes telecommunications and video surveillance equipment as stated on the Covered List and in section 889(f)(3) of the NDAA.
A9: There is no distinction between ETCs and service providers in this regard.
A10: The auditors will consider any documentation the entity provides to demonstrate compliance with the Order. Additional information that may be requested, includes, but is not limited to:
- Network architecture diagrams,
- Details of transactions with providers of telecom equipment and services, and
- Bookkeeping records to verify the flow of USF funds received and USF funds spent.
A11: If an entity or the auditors identify the use of covered equipment/services that was acquired prior to funding year 2020 before June 30, 2020 using USF funds, the entity may continue to use such equipment as long as USF funds are not used to maintain, improve, modify, or otherwise support equipment /services of covered companies. If an entity or the auditors identify the use of covered equipment /services that was acquired after June 30, 2020 in funding year 2020 or later using USF funds, USAC will work with the FCC to determine the outcome when rule violations are self-reported or discovered during an audit. Corrective actions will include any compliance activities required after the removal of equipment from the USF recipient’s network.
A12: USAC will work with the FCC to determine the outcome, whether implementing a cure period, pursuing a recovery of funds, or other corrective action, when rule violations are self-reported or discovered during an audit.
A13: Entities selected for the NSC audit will be sampled based on a sampling approach that considers relevant factors using a defined, yet confidential, set of criteria.
A14: Not every USF recipient will be audited. USAC will select a sample of carriers and service providers and program participants to audit. If you are selected, you will receive an announcement closer to the start of the audit with details on the audit and next steps.
A15: The expectation is that every entity will do their own level of due diligence in terms of identifying who the parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates would be of the covered companies.