An impending federal policy to ban Huawei Technologies from government-funded wireless networks would have a steep price tag in Colorado.
The Colorado Sun reports that Viaero Wireless, based in Fort Morgan, would pay approximately $410 million to replace all of the Huawei components it installed.
U.S. officials are concerned that Huawei is a conduit for Chinese spying, and in January the federal government brought theft of trade secrets and obstruction of justice charges against the company.
Union Wireless, based in Wyoming, has 40,000 Colorado customers. The company reports that Huawei supplied 75% of its equipment. The cost of replacement is $300 million, but the cost of not replacing is $20 million annually in federal funds.
“In the end, the ones that suffer the most are those in current underserved and unserved areas that once again have to wait to get the services that the vast majority of others receive today: the customers in Rural America,” Eric J. Woody of Union said, according to The Sun.
Currently, 86% of rural households have broadband, an increase from 77% two years ago. Cost is the main factor limiting the spread of broadband.
Congress is considering proposals to compensate rural networks for the cost of replacing the equipment of Huawei — or, as President Donald Trump alluded to them in an executive order, “foreign adversaries.”