U.S. lawmakers will back $1.9 billion to fund a program to remove telecom network equipment that the U.S. government says poses national security risks as part of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, two sources briefed on the matter said on Sunday,- Reuters reports.
Lawmakers will also back $3.2 billion for an emergency broadband benefit for low-income Americans, senior congressional aides confirmed after Reuters first reported the planned broadband spending.
The COVID-19 relief bill invests $7 billion to increase access to broadband, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, adding the low-income program will “help millions of students, families and unemployed workers afford the broadband they need during the pandemic.”
The Federal Communications Commission said in June it had formally designated China’s Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp as threats, a declaration that bars U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies.
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