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Politician raises security fears over China link to 5G network

News | Published:

THE long-term strategies of the States could be disadvantaged and Island businesses ‘jeopardised’ as a result of JT’s plans for a 5G network in Jersey, a States backbencher has said.

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In a proposition which will be debated in September, Senator Sarah Ferguson has requested that the Treasury Minister add certain stipulations to an agreement that JT entered into last November with the Chinese company ZTE to launch a test 5G service in Jersey later this year.

Senator Ferguson said that, in the light of restrictions currently being applied by the United States government in relation to the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, Jersey’s Treasury Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, should look at ‘the operations of JT’ and ‘the equipment and software used by JT’ in relation to the Island’s 5G project.

Senator Ferguson expressed concern that the integrity and security of the Island’s digital infrastructure might be compromised by the deal with ZTE, and that, as well as being a security risk, this might put off potential clients of financial services companies operating in the Island. ‘If our finance industry and the Government of Jersey connects with the world through equipment which allows access to their records by other governments or companies, how secure will our clients feel?’ she said.

A spokeswoman for the States press office said that the Treasury Minister recognised that network and cyber-security were high-priority issues and that JT was engaged in detailed discussions with relevant UK authorities on security issues, with robust measures being put in place.

It was also emphasised that JT operate in accordance the Government of Jersey’s telecoms strategy, which includes 5G and was produced with independent specialist and expert advice after full consultation with the Island’s telecoms providers.

Sam Le

By Sam Le
Journalist

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