US may subsidize Huawei alternatives with proposed $1.25 billion fund

Enlarge / Huawei sign displayed at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

The US government should spend at least $1.25 billion “to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE,” a bipartisan group of six US senators said yesterday.

The senators submitted legislation called the Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act to make that happen, arguing that the US must counter the Chinese government’s investments in the telecom sector. The money would come from spectrum-auction proceeds, and the $1.25 billion in grants would be spread out over 10 years. The money would support development of new 5G technology, with a focus on equipment that complies with open standards to ensure “multi-vendor network equipment interoperability.”

The senators’ announcement said:

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