By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously on Tuesday to finalize a $1.9 billion program to reimburse U.S. carriers for removing equipment from telecommunications networks from Chinese companies deemed national security threats like Huawei and ZTE Corp.
Last year, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks – a declaration that barred U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies. The FCC in December adopted rules requiring carriers with ZTE or Huawei equipment to “rip and replace” that equipment.
“There is a serious risk that this equipment may be manipulated, disrupted or controlled by foreign actors,” Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “We will evaluate network after network, base station after base station and router after router until we have rooted out our…