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Small carriers fight to survive amid delayed Huawei rip-and-replace funds

The FCC chairwoman warns that rural areas are set to lose cell service if Congress does not fill a $3 billion funding shortfall.

Jerry Whisenhunt, general manager of Pine Telephone Company in a rural corner of Oklahoma, has some choice words about the Washington bigwigs who ordered him to rip up his mobile network but have failed to cough up the promised funding to help him replace it.

"It's kind of a train wreck," he said. "They're slow as Christmas getting things done."

Four years after Congress ordered U.S. network operators to remove all telephone and internet equipment made by the China-based companies Huawei and ZTE, citing security risks, the "rip-and-replace" program remains stalled due to a $3 billion funding shortfall - a shortfall that is larger than the $1.9 billion Congress appropriated for the task.


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