September 21, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, global tech trade association ITI urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider agency authority, existing and ongoing interagency cybersecurity efforts, and significant implementation challenges before advancing certain proposed changes to the FCC’s equipment authorization process. In comments to the FCC’s proposed rules on Protecting Against National Security Threats to the Communications Supply Chain through the Equipment Authorization Program and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) related to Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity, ITI underscores industry's shared interest in properly securing and safeguarding communications networks and equipment. ITI also urged the FCC to address any potential unintended consequences before implementing certain proposed equipment rules and to avoid taking overly-broad action that may lead to consumer confusion and dampen innovation.

“ITI shares the FCC’s goal of securing domestic networks from national security threats, and our association and members have spent considerable time and resources working to protect communications devices and networks,” ITI noted in its comments. “As the FCC considers taking steps to secure U.S. equipment and networks, we urge it to do so in a way that appropriately addresses its authority and carefully considers whether factors pertaining to purported risks are significant enough to outweigh the substantial burdens likely associated with implementing the proposed rules.”

Specifically, ITI recommends that the FCC not implement its proposal to revoke existing equipment authorizations or modify the Supplier Declaration of Conformity process and exempt equipment rules due to a lack of agency authority, practical problems related to sifting through thousands or even millions of existing authorizations, and the significant burdens to consumers, industry, and the FCC. Further, in response to the NOI, ITI recommends that the FCC allow other efforts by expert U.S. agencies to secure IoT devices to continue, rather than implementing its own new rules related to IoT security.

ITI also joined a coalition of organizations on a letter to the FCC emphasizing similar, industry-wide concerns with the current proposals.

Read ITI’s full comments here.

Public Policy Tags: Broadband, Communications, & Spectrum, Public Sector