The United States telecoms regulator needs an additional C$3 billion to fund the removal of devices from U.S. networks of equipment made by Chinese telecoms companies Huawei and ZTE.

“To fund all reasonable and supported cost estimates…, The Reimbursement Program will require C$4.98 billion, reflecting a current shortfall of C$3.08 billion. Since Congress only appropriated C$1.9 billion to fund the removal process, companies would be reimbursed for only about 40 per cent of the cost,” Jessica Rosenworcel, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair, said in a letter to Senator Maria Cantwell.

Both Huawei and ZTE were classified as threats, and in 2019 the U.S. Congress passed a law mandating the FCC to ensure that US telecommunications companies clean their systems of equipment that pose a national security risk.

Although they were promised reimbursement, which will be part of an C$8.3 billion government fund to purchase new equipment, Congress instead provided only C$1.9 billion, raising the question of how the project will be implemented if it is not properly funded.

“Absent an additional appropriation, the Commission will apply the prioritization scheme Congress specified,” Rosenworcel said, adding that the Commission will begin processing reimbursement requests “as soon as the allocations are used in the coming days.”

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.