Jim Kail, chief executive at Laurel Highland Total Communications, a Pennsylvania-based broadband provider, said the company was “literally replacing these Huawei units with new equipment that has Chinese components in it as we speak”.
“We are replacing one Chinese product with another,” said Kail. “The difference is the replacement doesn’t have the Chinese label on the outside.
“It’s not ‘made in China’ that’s the problem, it’s ‘connects to China’,” said Lewis. “Huawei and ZTE had control of the code, software updating process, and in some instances some operational control of the network. That’s where the risk came from.”
Franell said he had not been able to get equivalent gear from Juniper or Cisco Systems to replace Huawei’s core electronics. For example, he said, it takes two pieces of Juniper equipment to get the same functionality that a similar piece of Huawei gear provides.
In the seven years Blue Mountain has used Huawei, he said, there has been just one failure of equipment, a record he called unbeatable.
The policy, instead, needs to “look at the guts of these electronic devices and equipment to figure out whether there are Chinese components in them”, said Kail of Laurel Highland.