House Passes O’Halleran-Led Legislation to Assist Rural Network Providers

October 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Open RAN Outreach Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) and Congressmen Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Richard Hudson (R-NC-08), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02) to strengthen the telecommunications supply chain and protect small and rural communications providers from untrusted technology companies.

“Safeguarding both our technology supply chains and our wireless networks has never been more important,” said O’Halleran. “The Open RAN Outreach Act provides much-needed technical assistance to ensure rural communications providers have the support they need to deploy secure wireless networks, protected from the influence of untrusted technology. I’m pleased to see our bill move forward today.”

The Open RAN Outreach Act directs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to provide technical assistance to small and rural network providers regarding the use of Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) technologies.

The goal of the legislation is to support small and rural providers in building out their networks using an Open RAN standard and allow the use of parts from a wider range of companies, creating market competition and preventing untrusted technology companies, like Huawei, from cornering the market.

In the 116th Congress, the House of Representatives passed O’Halleran’s legislation to build a national strategy to protect United States 5G telecommunications systems from foreign political influence and technology companies like Huawei.