Clarity needed on role of Huawei in 5G and Broadband plans – Lawless

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Science, Technology, Research and Development, James Lawless TD has called on the Government to clarify what role communications giant Huawei will play in the nationwide rollout of 5G mobile technology and in the National Broadband Plan.

Deputy Lawless was commenting following reports from the Mobile World Congress 2019 where Huawei reiterated its commitment to roll out 5G mobile technology across Ireland. Deputy Lawless explained, „Huawei continues to invest heavily in R&D in Ireland and while investment is welcome, it must also be consistent with national industrial development and security policies.

„The Government needs to take heed of the warnings coming from the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, some of whom have banned their operators from using Huawei equipment in their core networks due to potential spying threats from China.

„At the recent Munich Security Conference, US Vice President Mike Pence had a very clear message European countries on the issue of national telecom network security and resilience.  Given the centrality of US corporations in our business community it is a message we need to pay attention to.

„To date the Irish Government has been behind the curve and there is no indication that they are even considering the issue. Without a doubt, this has the potential to impact our attractiveness as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment.

„Since first raising this matter some time ago, I have been contacted privately by senior sources in the telecoms and IT industry.  They have warned me that companies in their sector are becoming increasingly concerned about Huawei and that they will refuse to work on networks which may potentially be compromised.

„Recently the head of the UK’s MI6 intelligence agency said that the UK would need to look very carefully at their relationship with Huawei and I think the Irish Government must do likewise.

„In addition to providing urgent clarity on the role of Huawei, the Irish Government must also prioritise the National Cyber Security Centre and demonstrate to companies, both at home and abroad, that Ireland treats cyber security as a most serious matter. Failure to do so will be disastrous”, concluded Deputy Lawless.

Fianna Fáil

James Lawless TD

Spokesperson on Science, Technology, Research and Development 

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