Channel Islands to align with UK in excluding Huawei

The Channel Islands has suggested that it will follow the UK in excluding Chinese telecoms operator Huawei from acting as a supplier for its 5G networks. The UK government took the initial decision due to ongoing security concerns surrounding the company.

The Government of Jersey and the States of Guernsey both said they would align their approach to 5G deployment with the UK government and ban the use of providers seen as “high risk”. The UK government has ordered operators to stop buying new 5G mobile kit from Huawei by the end of the year, with existing equipment to be removed by the end of 2027.

The States of Guernsey said that the decision would not slow down the island’s planned work on its digital network and that it had been in regular contact with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.

Deputy Charles Parkinson, Guernsey's President of the Committee for Economic Development, said: “We’re confident that the national security steps being taken with regard to Huawei will not affect how quickly we introduce improved connectivity. That must remain a priority, particularly at this time as we look to build back and grow our economy, following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Deputy Mary Lowe, Guernsey's President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said: “Our close, constitutional relationship with the UK means it’s important we are aligned on national security matters and I’d like to thank the NCSC for its work in keeping us informed in the run up to this decision. It means we’re in a position to respond swiftly to mirror these steps, and ensure our local operators can do the same.”

Meanwhile, Lyndon Farnham, Economic Development Minister for Jersey, said: “We have already been working with our own telecoms providers to align our approach in Jersey, and JT has publicly committed to the removal of ZTE, which is considered a high-risk vendor by the UK, from its existing network.”

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