Trump's Huawei Ban Could Cut Off Rural Americans' Cell Service - NBC Chicago
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Trump's Huawei Ban Could Cut Off Rural Americans' Cell Service

Rural cell service providers across the U.S. are almost entirely dependent on the company, Huawei

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    Trump's Huawei Ban Could Cut Off Rural Americans' Cell Service
    Kevin Frayer/Getty Images, File
    A member of Huawei's reception staff walks in front of a large screen displaying the logo in the foyer of a building used for high profile customer visits and displays at the company's Bantian campus on April 12, 2019 in Shenzhen, China.

    The Trump administration's ban on goods produced by a Chinese tech giant would seem to have little to do with rural America. But rural cell service providers across the U.S. are almost entirely dependent on the company, Huawei, which produces inexpensive wireless communications equipment, NBC News reported.

    These small telecom companies now face billions of dollars in costs or the end of their businesses entirely after the Trump administration effectively banned the Chinese company last week over spying accusations.

    It is a prospect that could leave vast swaths of rural America with no cell service.

    In response, a bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation that would create a pool of $700 million to help local carriers replace their technology.

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

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    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)