FCC Requires Broadband Providers to Submit Supply Chain Reports by May 5 (Updated)

JSI Urges Its Clients to File Well in Advance of the Deadline to Allow Time to Address Potential Technical Glitches

In a recently released Public Notice, the FCC established a new reporting requirement as part of its obligations under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019.

All broadband providers must now file what is known as the “Supply Chain Annual Report” no later than May 5, 2022. Notably, as part of this new reporting requirement, providers must certify whether their networks contain or use specific equipment or services obtained from five Chinese companies.

All JSI clients that provide broadband services must submit this report through the FCC’s newly created online reporting portal.

This new reporting requirement specifically applies to all providers of “high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications of at least 200 kbps in either direction.” Additionally, this requirement applies regardless of whether a covered broadband provider participated in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program or filed the April 2020 report required of all eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs).

In the Supply Chain Annual Report, broadband providers must confirm whether their networks contain or use specific equipment or services obtained from the relevant Chinese companies identified on the FCC’s Covered List, meaning that the equipment or services are considered to pose a threat to US national security interests.

Providers must answer “yes” if they have purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained equipment or services on or after August 14, 2018, from one of the following companies, their subsidiaries, or affiliates:

  • Huawei Technologies Company
  • ZTE Corporation
  • Hytera Communications Corporation
  • Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company
  • Dahua Technology Company

It should be noted that the last three companies manufacture video surveillance and telecommunications equipment that was not required to be included in April 2020 when the FCC required ETCs to file similar reports.

If your company uses any equipment or services meeting the requirements outlined above, it must provide a significant amount of detailed information to the FCC annually, including the locations, types, suppliers, historic and replacement cost, functionality, replacement plans, and a detailed explanation for your company’s decision to obtain that equipment. This year, the report will be due on May 5, 2022, and the deadline next year will be March 31, 2023.

On the other hand, if your company does not use any equipment or services identified on the Covered List, the filing is relatively streamlined and is only required once. Your company may need to make future filings if it starts using such equipment, or if the FCC adds your equipment to the Covered List.

With the FCC implementing this filing requirement for the first time, we urge clients to prepare and submit their filings as soon as possible and no later than mid-April. It has been our experience that new portal filing systems can be cumbersome and that filings can take longer than expected. Beginning the process now will help ensure that your company is not at risk of missing this filing deadline – one that pertains to critical national security concerns – and inviting an FCC enforcement inquiry. The reporting portal, instructions, and other information about the annual reporting requirement are now available at www.fcc.gov/supplychain.

If you have any questions about this new filing requirement or would like JSI’s assistance with this filing, please contact our subject-matter experts by clicking the button below.