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Channel Islands Align with UK Gov’s Anti-Huawei 5G Approach

Friday, July 17th, 2020 (4:15 pm) - Score 1,648
jersey and guernsey map uk

The Government of Jersey (English Channel Island) has signalled that it intends to “align” its approach to the deployment of 5G mobile technology with that of the UK, which effectively means banning the use of “high risk” vendors such as the Chinese firm Huawei and ZTE. Guernsey has echoed this.

In case anybody has been living under a rock, this week saw the UK Government order mobile operators to stop buying “new5G mobile kit from Huawei by the end 2020 and existing 5G equipment must be removed by the end of 2027 (here). Meanwhile a potentially similar decision on “full fibre” (FTTP) fixed broadband services will come at a later date, following a technical consultation.

However, the situation left a question mark over British crown dependencies, such as the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey). At present neither JT nor Airtel-Vodafone use any kit from Huawei in their networks (JT does have some kit from ZTE but they’re removing it), although Sure’s 5G trial does make use of Huawei but they intend to follow the local Government’s advice.

In keeping with that, both the Governments’ of Jersey and Guernsey have now indicated that they intend to “align” with the UK government’s position.

Deputy Mary Lowe, Guernsey 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.”

Lyndon Farnham, Jersey’s Economic Development Minister, added (here):

“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.”

The Government of Guernsey added that the decision to prevent Huawei equipment is “not expected to have any impact” on the delivery of either 5G or FTTP in the Bailiwick, if it is agreed by the Assembly.

Mind you there’s still a question mark over how another crown dependency, the Isle of Man, will respond. Sure and Manx Telecom have yet to start their main 5G deployments, although both have previously used Huawei and, until now, seemed likely to harness them for 5G too.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. Avatar finalpost says:

    UK citizens will pay billions to suppress the Chinese economy on behalf of American hegemony. Sure, the UK is globally trivial, but China might want to… do a ‘national security?’ No, not an issue last year, is now, for…. reasons not connected to the US economy tanking. What’s China going to do to the UK or US, their economies are intertwined. This national security talk is just to get the masses on board with how much it’s going to cost to financially benefit people that aren’t you. Final post on this, apologies for ranting, great website!

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      To be fair, the Huawei issue has been going on for the best part of a decade and slowly growing in that time.

    2. Avatar JmJohnson says:

      Tbf… it’s got less to do with the US and more to do with China’s bad faith and dishonesty. Hong Kong was the tipping point.

  2. Avatar Packet Switched says:

    Find myself wondering about the Isle of Man, what kit would have been installed there?

  3. Avatar Sandra says:

    Let’s knock down GCHQ as well – seeing as we are Anti Spy n all.

  4. Avatar john says:

    I take the Chinese spying on me instead of the bloody Americans.

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