Huawei has launched a suit against the Federal Communications Commission over restrictions placed on its products.
The FCC banned US carriers from using funding from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to buy equipment from Huawei. The USF supports purchases of equipment meant for building communications infrastructure in the US. The fund has put an emphasis on improving communications infrastructure in rural communities, a task Huawei sells its equipment for. As a result, Huawei is now suing the US government again and is taking the case to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The company is pushing for the FCC to overturn its ban on the use of USF funds to purchase its equipment, or alternatively to get the Fifth Circuit to overrule the ban.
Huawei’s equipment is widely understood to be reliable and inexpensive. This has made the company’s equipment attractive, especially to smaller carriers serving more remote communities. For now, many of these carriers are considering going with Nokia or Ericsson instead, but those companies charge higher prices.
Huawei’s lead counsel for the lawsuit, Glen Nager, claims that the FCC ban is unconstitutional. “The order fails to give Huawei constitutionally required due process before stigmatizing it as a national security threat, such as an opportunity to confront supposed evidence and witnesses, and a fair and neutral hearing process,” Glen argued.