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The U.S. telecommunications regulator needs an additional $3 billion to fund the removal of equipment made by Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE from U.S. networks, bringing the total cost to $4.9 billion, Reuters reported.

"Reimbursement Program will require $4.98 billion, reflecting a current shortfall of $3.08 billion," Jessica Rosenworcel, the chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, said Friday in a letter to Senator Maria Cantwell, who heads the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

She added that because Congress only appropriated $1.9 billion to fund the removal process, companies would only be reimbursed about 40 percent of the costs.

In 2019, Congress passed legislation tasking the Federal Communications Commission with requiring U.S. telecommunications carriers that receive federal subsidies to remove from their networks telecommunications equipment that poses a "national security threat" with promises to reimburse costs.

Companies are not required to terminate until they receive reimbursement.

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