WASHINGTON, DC—Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Carri Bennet continues to advocate for the interests of rural telecom companies and consumers impacted by the US-China trade war. Most recently, she was interviewed by the National Journal, on how the recent federal ban of Huawei telecom products impacts rural America.
According to the Rural Wireless Association, 25 percent of the organization’s members— many of whom are small, rural wireless businesses—use Huawei or ZTE equipment. Bennet, who serves as the RWA’s General Counsel, said the equipment ban on Huawei could have a negative impact on these rural carriers and the customers they serve, including customers of Verizon, AT&T and other large carriers who use these rural carriers’ networks when they travel to rural America.
“If we have to replace just our members’ network equipment ... we’re estimating it’s going to run around $800 million,” Bennet tells the National Journal.
She also said that rural telecom companies are willing to work with lawmakers to address any concerns they have about Chinese-made equipment.
“They’re willing to do all those kinds of things from a cybersecurity standpoint to keep from having any data breaches or nefarious activity going on in their networks,” Bennet said. But if that fails, she said there must be Congressional support for paying the costs of replacing this equipment.
Bennet has discussed the Huawei ban and related issues with a number of other national and global media outlets.
Carri Bennet has more than three decades of experience representing wireline, wireless and broadband communications providers, as well as commercial and noncommercial broadcasters, in regulatory compliance matters. She has a particular focus on advocating for small rural carriers, including serving as General Counsel to the Rural Wireless Association. Bennet represents telecom industry clients before the FCC, state regulatory agencies, the courts, and Congress.