UK telcos could be fined £100,000 a day for breaching Huawei ban

The Telecommunications Security Bill aims to diminish the threat of operators using high-risk vendors in 5G networks

The UK government has introduced a new bill which could see telecommunications companies fined up to £100,000 a day or 10% of their revenues if they violate the ban on Huawei equipment.

The Telecommunications Security Bill aims to improve the UK’s security standards as well as diminish the threat of operators using high-risk vendors such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, which was banned from being used in the UK’s 5G infrastructure back in July. 

China, along with Russia, North Korea, and Iran, has been accused of orchestrating “a range of cyber attacks” against the UK. According to the UK government, the newly-introduced Security Bill “will be a significant step to protect the UK from hostile cyber activity by state actors or criminals”.

Although Huawei has been banned from the UK’s critical infrastructure on the grounds of national security, the tech giant is still allowed to supply its equipment for other use.

The newly-introduced Security Bill will provide the government with the power to oversee telecoms’ use of goods, services or facilities supplied by high-risk vendors such as Huawei, with Ofcom being entrusted to monitor and assess the security of telecoms providers.

If found to fall short on the new security standards, operators could face heavy fines of up to 10% of revenues or, in the case of a continued breach, £100,000 a day.

Commenting on the announcement, digital secretary Oliver Dowden said thegroundbreaking bill will give the UK one of the toughest telecoms security regimes in the world and allow us to take the action necessary to protect our networks”.

According to NCSC technical director Dr Ian Levy, “the roll-out of 5G and gigabit broadband presents great opportunities for the UK”. 

“But as we benefit from these we need to improve security in our national networks and operators need to know what is expected of them,” he added. “We are committed to driving up standards and this bill imposes new telecoms security requirements, which will help operators make better risk management decisions.”

In a statement given to IT Pro, Huawei vice president Victor Zhang, said: ‘’It’s disappointing that the Government is looking to exclude Huawei from the 5G roll out.

"This decision is politically-motivated and not based on a fair evaluation of the risks. It does not serve anyone’s best interests as it would move Britain into the digital slow lane and put at risk the Government’s levelling up agenda.” 

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Recommended

Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

20 Jan 2021
SolarWinds hackers hit Malwarebytes through Microsoft exploit
hacking

SolarWinds hackers hit Malwarebytes through Microsoft exploit

20 Jan 2021
How LogPoint uses MITRE ATT&CK
Whitepaper

How LogPoint uses MITRE ATT&CK

15 Jan 2021
How LogPoint uses MITRE ATT&CK
Whitepaper

How LogPoint uses MITRE ATT&CK

15 Jan 2021

Most Popular

IT retailer faces €10.4m GDPR fine for employee surveillance
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

IT retailer faces €10.4m GDPR fine for employee surveillance

18 Jan 2021
Citrix buys Slack competitor Wrike in record $2.25bn deal
collaboration

Citrix buys Slack competitor Wrike in record $2.25bn deal

19 Jan 2021
Should IT departments call time on WhatsApp?
communications

Should IT departments call time on WhatsApp?

15 Jan 2021