[USC05] 47 USC Ch. 15: SECURE AND TRUSTED COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

47 USC Ch. 15: SECURE AND TRUSTED COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
From Title 47—TELECOMMUNICATIONS

CHAPTER 15—SECURE AND TRUSTED COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS

Sec.
1601.
Determination of communications equipment or services posing national security risks.
1602.
Prohibition on use of certain Federal subsidies.
1603.
Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.
1604.
Reports on covered communications equipment or services.
1605.
Hold harmless.
1606.
Enforcement.
1607.
NTIA program for preventing future vulnerabilities.
1608.
Definitions.
1609.
Severability.

        

§1601. Determination of communications equipment or services posing national security risks

(a) Publication of covered communications equipment or services list

Not later than 1 year after March 12, 2020, the Commission shall publish on its website a list of covered communications equipment or services.

(b) Publication by Commission

The Commission shall place on the list published under subsection (a) any communications equipment or service, if and only if such equipment or service—

(1) is produced or provided by any entity, if, based exclusively on the determinations described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (c), such equipment or service produced or provided by such entity poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons; and

(2) is capable of—

(A) routing or redirecting user data traffic or permitting visibility into any user data or packets that such equipment or service transmits or otherwise handles;

(B) causing the network of a provider of advanced communications service to be disrupted remotely; or

(C) otherwise posing an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons.

(c) Reliance on certain determinations

In taking action under subsection (b)(1), the Commission shall place on the list any communications equipment or service that poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons based solely on one or more of the following determinations:

(1) A specific determination made by any executive branch interagency body with appropriate national security expertise, including the Federal Acquisition Security Council established under section 1322(a) of title 41.

(2) A specific determination made by the Department of Commerce pursuant to Executive Order No. 13873 (84 Fed. Reg. 22689; relating to securing the information and communications technology and services supply chain).

(3) The communications equipment or service being covered telecommunications equipment or services, as defined in section 889(f)(3) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Public Law 115–232; 132 Stat. 1918).

(4) A specific determination made by an appropriate national security agency.

(d) Updating of list

(1) In general

The Commission shall periodically update the list published under subsection (a) to address changes in the determinations described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (c).

(2) Monitoring of determinations

The Commission shall monitor the making or reversing of the determinations described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (c) in order to place additional communications equipment or services on the list published under subsection (a) or to remove communications equipment or services from such list. If a determination described in any such paragraph that provided the basis for a determination by the Commission under subsection (b)(1) with respect to any communications equipment or service is reversed, the Commission shall remove such equipment or service from such list, except that the Commission may not remove such equipment or service from such list if any other determination described in any such paragraph provides a basis for inclusion on such list by the Commission under subsection (b)(1) with respect to such equipment or service.

(3) Public notification

For each 12-month period during which the list published under subsection (a) is not updated, the Commission shall notify the public that no updates were necessary during such period to protect national security or to address changes in the determinations described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (c).

(Pub. L. 116–124, §2, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 158.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Executive Order No. 13873, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), is Ex. Ord. No. 13873, May 15, 2019, 84 F.R. 22689, which is listed in a table under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Section 889(f)(3) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), is section 889(f)(3) of Pub. L. 115–232, which is set out in a note preceding section 3901 of Title 41, Public Contracts.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Short Title

Pub. L. 116–124, §1, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 158, provided that: "This Act [enacting this chapter] may be cited as the 'Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019'."

§1602. Prohibition on use of certain Federal subsidies

(a) In general

(1) Prohibition

A Federal subsidy that is made available through a program administered by the Commission and that provides funds to be used for the capital expenditures necessary for the provision of advanced communications service may not be used to—

(A) purchase, rent, lease, or otherwise obtain any covered communications equipment or service; or

(B) maintain any covered communications equipment or service previously purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained.

(2) Timing

Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to any covered communications equipment or service beginning on the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Commission places such equipment or service on the list required by section 1601(a) of this title. In the case of any covered communications equipment or service that is on the initial list published under such section, such equipment or service shall be treated as being placed on the list on the date on which such list is published.

(b) Completion of proceeding

Not later than 180 days after March 12, 2020, the Commission shall adopt a Report and Order to implement subsection (a). If the Commission has, before March 12, 2020, taken action that in whole or in part implements subsection (a), the Commission is not required to revisit such action, but only to the extent such action is consistent with this section.

(Pub. L. 116–124, §3, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 159.)

§1603. Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program

(a) In general

The Commission shall establish a reimbursement program, to be known as the "Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program", to make reimbursements to providers of advanced communications service to replace covered communications equipment or services.

(b) Eligibility

The Commission may not make a reimbursement under the Program to a provider of advanced communications service unless the provider—

(1) has 10,000,000 or fewer customers; and

(2) makes all of the certifications required by subsection (d)(4).

(c) Use of funds

(1) In general

A recipient of a reimbursement under the Program shall use reimbursement funds solely for the purposes of—

(A) permanently removing covered communications equipment or services purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained—

(i) as defined in the Report and Order of the Commission in the matter of Protecting Against National Security Threats to the Communications Supply Chain Through FCC Programs (FCC 19–121; WC Docket No. 18–89; adopted November 22, 2019) (in this section referred to as the "Report and Order"); or

(ii) as determined to be covered by both the process of the Report and Order and the Designation Orders of the Commission on June 30, 2020 (DA 20–690; PS Docket No. 19–351; adopted June 30, 2020) (DA 20–691; PS Docket No. 19–352; adopted June 30, 2020) (in this section collectively referred to as the "Designation Orders");


(B) replacing the covered communications equipment or services removed as described in subparagraph (A) with communications equipment or services that are not covered communications equipment or services; and

(C) disposing of the covered communications equipment or services removed as described in subparagraph (A) in accordance with the requirements under subsection (d)(7).

(2) Limitations

A recipient of a reimbursement under the Program may not—

(A) use reimbursement funds to remove, replace, or dispose of any covered communications equipment or service purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained on or after—

(i) publication of the Report and Order; or

(ii) in the case of covered communications equipment that only became covered pursuant to the Designation Orders, June 30, 2020; or


(B) purchase, rent, lease, or otherwise obtain any covered communications equipment or service, using reimbursement funds or any other funds (including funds derived from private sources).

(d) Implementation

(1) Suggested replacements

(A) Development of list

The Commission shall develop a list of suggested replacements of both physical and virtual communications equipment, application and management software, and services or categories of replacements of both physical and virtual communications equipment, application and management software and services.

(B) Neutrality

The list developed under subparagraph (A) shall be technology neutral and may not advantage the use of reimbursement funds for capital expenditures over operational expenditures, to the extent that the Commission determines that communications services can serve as an adequate substitute for the installation of communications equipment.

(2) Application process

(A) In general

The Commission shall develop an application process and related forms and materials for the Program.

(B) Cost estimate

(i) Initial estimate

The Commission shall require an applicant to provide an initial reimbursement cost estimate at the time of application, with supporting materials substantiating the costs.

(ii) Updates

During and after the application review process, the Commission may require an applicant to—

(I) update the initial reimbursement cost estimate submitted under clause (i); and

(II) submit additional supporting materials substantiating an updated cost estimate submitted under subclause (I).

(C) Mitigation of burden

In developing the application process under this paragraph, the Commission shall take reasonable steps to mitigate the administrative burdens and costs associated with the application process, while taking into account the need to avoid waste, fraud, and abuse in the Program.

(3) Application review process

(A) Deadline

(i) In general

Except as provided in clause (ii) and subparagraph (B), the Commission shall approve or deny an application for a reimbursement under the Program not later than 90 days after the date of the submission of the application.

(ii) Additional time needed by Commission

If the Commission determines that, because an excessive number of applications have been filed at one time, the Commission needs additional time for employees of the Commission to process the applications, the Commission may extend the deadline described in clause (i) for not more than 45 days.

(B) Opportunity for applicant to cure deficiency

If the Commission determines that an application is materially deficient (including by lacking an adequate cost estimate or adequate supporting materials), the Commission shall provide the applicant a 15-day period to cure the defect before denying the application. If such period would extend beyond the deadline under subparagraph (A) for approving or denying the application, such deadline shall be extended through the end of such period.

(C) Effect of denial

Denial of an application for a reimbursement under the Program shall not preclude the applicant from resubmitting the application or submitting a new application for a reimbursement under the Program at a later date.

(4) Certifications

An applicant for a reimbursement under the Program shall, in the application of the applicant, certify to the Commission that—

(A) as of the date of the submission of the application, the applicant—

(i) has developed a plan for—

(I) the permanent removal and replacement of any covered communications equipment or services that are in the communications network of the applicant as of such date; and

(II) the disposal of the equipment or services removed as described in subclause (I) in accordance with the requirements under paragraph (7); and


(ii) has developed a specific timeline (subject to paragraph (6)) for the permanent removal, replacement, and disposal of the covered communications equipment or services identified under clause (i), which timeline shall be submitted to the Commission as part of the application; and


(B) beginning on the date of the approval of the application, the applicant—

(i) will not purchase, rent, lease, or otherwise obtain covered communications equipment or services, using reimbursement funds or any other funds (including funds derived from private sources); and

(ii) in developing and tailoring the risk management practices of the applicant, will consult and consider the standards, guidelines, and best practices set forth in the cybersecurity framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

(5) Distribution of reimbursement funds

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (C), the Commission shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that reimbursement funds are distributed equitably among all applicants for reimbursements under the Program according to the needs of the applicants, as identified by the applications of the applicants.

(B) Notification

If, at any time during the implementation of the Program, the Commission determines that $1,000,000,000 will not be sufficient to fully fund all approved applications for reimbursements under the Program, the Commission shall immediately notify—

(i) the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(ii) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

(C) Priority for allocation

On and after December 27, 2020, the Commission shall allocate sufficient reimbursement funds—

(i) first, to approved applicants that have 2,000,000 or fewer customers, for removal and replacement of covered communications equipment, as defined in section 1608 of this title or as designated by the process set forth in the Report and Order;

(ii) after funds have been allocated to all applicants described in clause (i), to approved applicants that are accredited public or private non-commercial educational institutions providing their own facilities-based educational broadband service, as defined in section 27.4 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation, for removal and replacement of covered communications equipment, as defined in section 1608 of this title or as designated by the process set forth in the Report and Order; and

(iii) after funds have been allocated to all applicants described in clause (ii), to any remaining approved applicants determined to be eligible for reimbursement under the Program.

(6) Removal, replacement, and disposal term

(A) Deadline

Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), the permanent removal, replacement, and disposal of any covered communications equipment or services identified under paragraph (4)(A)(i) shall be completed not later than 1 year after the date on which the Commission distributes reimbursement funds to the recipient.

(B) General extension

The Commission may grant an extension of the deadline described in subparagraph (A) for 6 months to all recipients of reimbursements under the Program if the Commission—

(i) finds that the supply of replacement communications equipment or services needed by the recipients to achieve the purposes of the Program is inadequate to meet the needs of the recipients; and

(ii) provides notice and a detailed justification for granting the extension to—

(I) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(II) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

(C) Individual extension

(i) Petition

A recipient of a reimbursement under the Program may petition the Commission for an extension for such recipient of the deadline described in subparagraph (A) or, if the Commission has granted an extension of such deadline under subparagraph (B), such deadline as so extended.

(ii) Grant

The Commission may grant a petition filed under clause (i) by extending, for the recipient that filed the petition, the deadline described in subparagraph (A) or, if the Commission has granted an extension of such deadline under subparagraph (B), such deadline as so extended, for a period of not more than 6 months if the Commission finds that, due to no fault of such recipient, such recipient is unable to complete the permanent removal, replacement, and disposal described in subparagraph (A).

(7) Disposal of covered communications equipment or services

The Commission shall include in the regulations promulgated under subsection (g) requirements for the disposal by a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program of covered communications equipment or services identified under paragraph (4)(A)(i) and removed from the network of the recipient in order to prevent such equipment or services from being used in the networks of providers of advanced communications service.

(8) Status updates

(A) In general

Not less frequently than once every 90 days beginning on the date on which the Commission approves an application for a reimbursement under the Program, the recipient of the reimbursement shall submit to the Commission a status update on the work of the recipient to permanently remove, replace, and dispose of the covered communications equipment or services identified under paragraph (4)(A)(i).

(B) Public posting

Not earlier than 30 days after the date on which the Commission receives a status update under subparagraph (A), the Commission shall make such status update public on the website of the Commission.

(C) Reports to Congress

Not less frequently than once every 180 days beginning on the date on which the Commission first makes funds available to a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program, the Commission shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on—

(i) the implementation of the Program by the Commission; and

(ii) the work by recipients of reimbursements under the Program to permanently remove, replace, and dispose of covered communications equipment or services identified under paragraph (4)(A)(i).

(e) Measures to avoid waste, fraud, and abuse

(1) In general

The Commission shall take all necessary steps to avoid waste, fraud, and abuse with respect to the Program.

(2) Spending reports

The Commission shall require recipients of reimbursements under the Program to submit to the Commission on a regular basis reports regarding how reimbursement funds have been spent, including detailed accounting of the covered communications equipment or services permanently removed and disposed of, and the replacement equipment or services purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained, using reimbursement funds.

(3) Audits, reviews, and field investigations

The Commission shall conduct—

(A) regular audits and reviews of reimbursements under the Program to confirm that recipients of such reimbursements are complying with this chapter; and

(B) random field investigations to ensure that recipients of reimbursements under the Program are performing the work such recipients are required to perform under the commitments made in the applications of such recipients for reimbursements under the Program, including the permanent removal, replacement, and disposal of the covered communications equipment or services identified under subsection (d)(4)(A)(i).

(4) Final certification

(A) In general

The Commission shall require a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program to submit to the Commission, in a form and at an appropriate time to be determined by the Commission, a certification stating that the recipient—

(i) has fully complied with (or is in the process of complying with) all terms and conditions of the Program;

(ii) has fully complied with (or is in the process of complying with) the commitments made in the application of the recipient for the reimbursement;

(iii) has permanently removed from the communications network of the recipient, replaced, and disposed of (or is in the process of permanently removing, replacing, and disposing of) all covered communications equipment or services that were in the network of the recipient as of the date of the submission of the application of the recipient for the reimbursement; and

(iv) has fully complied with (or is in the process of complying with) the timeline submitted by the recipient under subparagraph (A)(ii) of paragraph (4) of subsection (d) and the other requirements of such paragraph.

(B) Updated certification

If, at the time when a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program submits a certification under subparagraph (A), the recipient has not fully complied as described in clause (i), (ii), or (iv) of such subparagraph or has not completed the permanent removal, replacement, and disposal described in clause (iii) of such subparagraph, the Commission shall require the recipient to file an updated certification when the recipient has fully complied as described in such clause (i), (ii), or (iv) or completed such permanent removal, replacement, and disposal.

(f) Effect of removal of equipment or service from list

(1) In general

If, after the date on which a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program submits the application for the reimbursement, any covered communications equipment or service that is in the network of the recipient as of such date is removed from the list published under section 1601(a) of this title, the recipient may—

(A) return to the Commission any reimbursement funds received for the removal, replacement, and disposal of such equipment or service and be released from any requirement under this section to remove, replace, or dispose of such equipment or service; or

(B) retain any reimbursement funds received for the removal, replacement, and disposal of such equipment or service and remain subject to the requirements of this section to remove, replace, and dispose of such equipment or service as if such equipment or service continued to be on the list published under section 1601(a) of this title.

(2) Assurances

In the case of an assurance relating to the removal, replacement, or disposal of any equipment or service with respect to which the recipient returns to the Commission reimbursement funds under paragraph (1)(A), such assurance may be satisfied by making an assurance that such funds have been returned.

(g) Rulemaking

(1) Commencement

Not later than 90 days after March 12, 2020, the Commission shall commence a rulemaking to implement this section.

(2) Completion

The Commission shall complete the rulemaking under paragraph (1) not later than 1 year after March 12, 2020.

(h) Rule of construction regarding timing of reimbursement

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Commission from making a reimbursement under the Program to a provider of advanced communications service before the provider incurs the cost of the permanent removal, replacement, and disposal of the covered communications equipment or service for which the application of the provider has been approved under this section.

(i) Education efforts

The Commission shall engage in education efforts with providers of advanced communications service to—

(1) encourage such providers to participate in the Program; and

(2) assist such providers in submitting applications for the Program.

(j) Separate from Federal universal service programs

The Program shall be separate from any Federal universal service program established under section 254 of this title.

(k) Limitation

In carrying out this section, the Commission may not expend more than $1,900,000,000.

(Pub. L. 116–124, §4, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 160; Pub. L. 116–260, div. N, title IX, §901(1), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2120.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2020—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(A), substituted "10,000,000" for "2,000,000".

Subsec. (c)(1)(A). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(B)(i)(I), struck out "before" after "otherwise obtained" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(1)(A)(i). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(B)(i)(II), amended cl. (i) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (i) read as follows: "in the case of any covered communications equipment or services that are on the initial list published under section 1601(a) of this title, August 14, 2018; or".

Subsec. (c)(1)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(B)(i)(III), amended cl. (ii) generally. Prior to amendment, cl. (ii) read as follows: "in the case of any covered communications equipment or services that are not on the initial list published under section 1601(a) of this title, the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Commission places such equipment or services on the list required by such section;".

Subsec. (c)(2)(A)(i), (ii). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(B)(ii), amended cls. (i) and (ii) generally. Prior to amendment, cls. (i) and (ii) read as follows:

"(i) in the case of any covered communications equipment or service that is on the initial list published under section 1601(a) of this title, August 14, 2018; or

"(ii) in the case of any covered communications equipment or service that is not on the initial list published under section 1601(a) of this title, the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Commission places such equipment or service on the list required by such section; or".

Subsec. (d)(5)(A). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(C)(i), substituted "Subject to subparagraph (C), the Commission" for "The Commission".

Subsec. (d)(5)(C). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(C)(ii), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 116–260, §901(1)(D), added subsec. (k).

§1604. Reports on covered communications equipment or services

(a) In general

Each provider of advanced communications service shall submit an annual report to the Commission, in a form to be determined by the Commission, regarding whether such provider has purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained any covered communications equipment or service on or after—

(1) in the case of any covered communications equipment or service that is on the initial list published under section 1601(a) of this title, August 14, 2018; or

(2) in the case of any covered communications equipment or service that is not on the initial list published under section 1601(a) of this title, the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Commission places such equipment or service on the list required by such section.

(b) Rule of construction

If a provider of advanced communications service certifies to the Commission that such provider does not have any covered communications equipment or service in the network of such provider, such provider is not required to submit a report under subsection (a) after making such certification, unless such provider later purchases, rents, leases, or otherwise obtains any covered communications equipment or service.

(c) Justification

If a provider of advanced communications service indicates in a report under subsection (a) that such provider has purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained any covered communications equipment or service as described in such subsection, such provider shall include in such report—

(1) a detailed justification for such action;

(2) information about whether such covered communications equipment or service has subsequently been removed and replaced pursuant to section 1603 of this title; and

(3) information about whether such provider plans to continue to purchase, rent, lease, or otherwise obtain, or install or use, such covered communications equipment or service and, if so, why.

(d) Proceeding

The Commission shall implement this section as part of the rulemaking required by section 1603(g) of this title.

(Pub. L. 116–124, §5, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 166.)

§1605. Hold harmless

In the case of a person who is a winner of the Connect America Fund Phase II auction, has not yet been authorized to receive Connect America Fund Phase II support, and demonstrates an inability to reasonably meet the build-out and service obligations of such person under Connect America Fund Phase II without using equipment or services prohibited under this chapter, such person may withdraw the application of such person for Connect America Fund Phase II support without being found in default or subject to forfeiture. The Commission may set a deadline to make such a withdrawal that is not earlier than the date that is 60 days after March 12, 2020.

(Pub. L. 116–124, §6, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 167.)

§1606. Enforcement

(a) Violations

A violation of this chapter or a regulation promulgated under this chapter shall be treated as a violation of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) or a regulation promulgated under such Act, respectively. The Commission shall enforce this chapter and the regulations promulgated under this chapter in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and duties as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Communications Act of 1934 were incorporated into and made a part of this chapter.

(b) Additional penalties

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), in addition to penalties under the Communications Act of 1934, a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program found to have violated section 1603 of this title, the regulations promulgated under such section, or the commitments made by the recipient in the application for the reimbursement—

(A) shall repay to the Commission all reimbursement funds provided to the recipient under the Program;

(B) shall be barred from further participation in the Program;

(C) shall be referred to all appropriate law enforcement agencies or officials for further action under applicable criminal and civil laws; and

(D) may be barred by the Commission from participation in other programs of the Commission, including the Federal universal service support programs established under section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254).

(2) Notice and opportunity to cure

The penalties described in paragraph (1) shall not apply to a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program unless—

(A) the Commission provides the recipient with notice of the violation; and

(B) the recipient fails to cure the violation within 180 days after the Commission provides such notice.

(c) Recovery of funds

The Commission shall immediately take action to recover all reimbursement funds awarded to a recipient of a reimbursement under the Program in any case in which such recipient is required to repay reimbursement funds under subsection (b)(1)(A).

(Pub. L. 116–124, §7, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 167.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

The Communications Act of 1934, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (b)(1), is act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, which is classified principally to chapter 5 (§151 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

§1607. NTIA program for preventing future vulnerabilities

(a) Future vulnerability program

(1) Establishment

Not later than 120 days after March 12, 2020, including an opportunity for notice and comment, the Assistant Secretary, in cooperation with the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Commission, shall establish a program to share information regarding supply chain security risks with trusted providers of advanced communications service and trusted suppliers of communications equipment or services.

(2) Activities

In carrying out the program established under paragraph (1), the Assistant Secretary shall—

(A) conduct regular briefings and other events to share information with trusted providers of advanced communications service and trusted suppliers of communications equipment or services;

(B) engage with trusted providers of advanced communications service and trusted suppliers of communications equipment or services, in particular such providers and suppliers that—

(i) are small businesses; or

(ii) primarily serve rural areas;


(C) not later than 180 days after March 12, 2020, submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a plan for—

(i) declassifying material, when feasible, to help share information regarding supply chain security risks with trusted providers of advanced communications service and trusted suppliers of communications equipment or services; and

(ii) expediting and expanding the provision of security clearances to facilitate information sharing regarding supply chain security risks with trusted providers of advanced communications service and trusted suppliers of communications equipment or services; and


(D) ensure that the activities carried out through the program are consistent with and, to the extent practicable, integrated with, ongoing activities of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Commerce.

(3) Scope of program

The program established under paragraph (1) shall involve only the sharing of information regarding supply chain security risks by the Federal Government to trusted providers of advanced communications service and trusted suppliers of communications equipment or services, and not the sharing of such information by such providers and suppliers to the Federal Government.

(b) Representation on CSRIC of interests of public and consumers

(1) In general

The Commission shall appoint to the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (or any successor thereof), and to each subcommittee, workgroup, or other subdivision of the Council (or any such successor), at least one member to represent the interests of the public and consumers.

(2) Initial appointments

The Commission shall make the initial appointments required by paragraph (1) not later than 180 days after March 12, 2020. Any member so appointed shall be in addition to the members of the Council, or the members of the subdivision of the Council to which the appointment is being made, as the case may be, as of March 12, 2020.

(c) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Assistant Secretary

The term "Assistant Secretary" means the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.

(2) Foreign adversary

The term "foreign adversary" means any foreign government or foreign nongovernment person engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States or security and safety of United States persons.

(3) Supply chain security risk

The term "supply chain security risk" includes specific risk and vulnerability information related to equipment and software.

(4) Trusted

The term "trusted" means, with respect to a provider of advanced communications service or a supplier of communications equipment or service, that the Assistant Secretary has determined that such provider or supplier is not owned by, controlled by, or subject to the influence of a foreign adversary.

(Pub. L. 116–124, §8, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 168.)

§1608. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) Advanced communications service

The term "advanced communications service" has the meaning given the term "advanced telecommunications capability" in section 1302 of this title.

(2) Appropriate national security agency

The term "appropriate national security agency" means—

(A) the Department of Homeland Security;

(B) the Department of Defense;

(C) the Office of the Director of National Intelligence;

(D) the National Security Agency; and

(E) the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(3) Commission

The term "Commission" means the Federal Communications Commission.

(4) Communications equipment or service

The term "communications equipment or service" means any equipment or service that is essential to the provision of advanced communications service.

(5) Covered communications equipment or service

The term "covered communications equipment or service" means any communications equipment or service that is on the list published by the Commission under section 1601(a) of this title.

(6) Customers

The term "customers" means, with respect to a provider of advanced communications service—

(A) the customers of such provider; and

(B) the customers of any affiliate (as defined in section 153 of this title) of such provider.

(7) Executive branch interagency body

The term "executive branch interagency body" means an interagency body established in the executive branch.

(8) Person

The term "person" means an individual or entity.

(9) Program

The term "Program" means the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program established under section 1603(a) of this title.

(10) Provider of advanced communications service

The term "provider of advanced communications service"—

(A) means a person who provides advanced communications service to United States customers; and

(B) includes—

(i) accredited public or private noncommercial educational institutions, providing their own facilities-based educational broadband service, as defined in section 27.4 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation; and

(ii) health care providers and libraries providing advanced communications service.

(11) Recipient

The term "recipient" means any provider of advanced communications service the application of which for a reimbursement under the Program has been approved by the Commission, regardless of whether the provider has received reimbursement funds.

(12) Reimbursement funds

The term "reimbursement funds" means any reimbursement received under the Program.

(Pub. L. 116–124, §9, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 169; Pub. L. 116–260, div. N, title IX, §901(2), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2121.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2020—Par. (10). Pub. L. 116–260 amended par. (10) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The term 'provider of advanced communications service' means a person who provides advanced communications service to United States customers."

§1609. Severability

If any provision of this chapter, or the application of such a provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remaining provisions of this chapter, and the application of such provisions to any person or circumstance, shall not be affected thereby.

(Pub. L. 116–124, §10, Mar. 12, 2020, 134 Stat. 170.)