Huawei ban: UK networks breaking new law face big fines
A new security law being unveiled on Tuesday threatens telecoms giants with hefty fines if they fail to tighten security.
The Telecommunications Security Bill bans the involvement of Chinese firm Huawei in the UK’s 5G mobile network.
But it also says that companies which fail to meet deadlines for higher security requirements could face enormous fines.
Some of these could be 10% of turnover, or more than £100,000 a day.
Attempts to ban Huawei from the 5G network have been continuing for more than a year. But the new bill is the first step in enshrining such bans in law, and offers details of exactly how it will work – assuming Parliament passes it.
The bill provides government with national security powers, allowing it to give instructions to the big telecoms companies such as BT about how they use “high risk” vendors including Huawei.
But a new measure contained within the draft law is that any companies which do not live up to expectations will face heavy fines for failure. The threatened sum of £100,000 a day would only be used in the case of “continuing contravention”, the government said.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, will be given the job of policing the rules – along with new powers it may need to do so.
The move to formally legislate follows months of national and international political wrangling over the company’s threat to security and its alleged links to the Chinese state.
Initially, the UK decided that Huawei equipment should be removed from the sensitive part of the core network, and only make up a maximum of 35% of the non-core systems. The deadline was set to be 2023.
However, amid pressure from the United States, it was revised to order the complete removal of Huawei kit from the entire 5G network by 2027. – bbc.com