Summit Ridge Announces $500 Million FCC Reimbursement


The money will reimburse ISPs affected by the FCC’s rip and replace program.

Teralyn Whipple Summit Ridge Announces $500 Million FCC Reimbursement Photo of Armand Musey, president of Summit Ridge Group

June 5, 2024 – Finance and business consulting firm Summit Ridge Group announced that it secured over $500 million in approved reimbursements for its clients through various Federal Communications Commission programs on Wednesday.

The company specializes in telecom, media, and satellite industries. Over the past seven years, SRG has dedicated its expertise to assisting clients in programs such as the TV Broadcast Repack, C-band Clearing, and the Rip & Replace program. 

SRG helps its clients receive reimbursements from the FCC for costs related to regulatory compliance. The FCC mandates certain changes, such as relocating broadcast frequencies or removing and replacing equipment deemed insecure, which companies must comply with, often to great cost. The reimbursement programs help alleviate these financial burdens for providers. 

The rip-and-replace program requires internet service providers to remove Chinese-manufactured equipment from their networks, specifically products from Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE, as the U.S. government has raised significant concerns about the potential for espionage and other malicious activities emanating from the Chinese government.

Since entering the FCC reimbursement scene in 2017, SRG has continuously expanded its capabilities, significantly increasing the volume and pace of reimbursements, particularly through the Rip and Replace initiative.

The reimbursement programs involve detailed and often complex processes which SRG assists its clients with navigating. It ensures that clients have accurate and thorough documentation to meet FCC requirements.

SRG said that the $500 million reimbursement mark reflects the company’s dedication to navigating the landscape of FCC regulations. “SRG has worked diligently to uphold the FCC’s mission of eliminating fraud, waste and abuse by ensuring proper documentation and accurate submissions,” the company said.

Armand Musey, president of Summit Ridge Group, said that he is proud of the team “for this incredible accomplishment and am grateful for our loyal clients who entrusted us with their critical reimbursement projects. Our client-focused mentality allowed us to reach this $500 million milestone and reflects our commitment to providing high-quality, results-oriented services.”

A Senate bill introduced in March aims to inject an additional $3.08 billion into the rip-and-replace program, which would effectively plug the shortfall in the program that the FCC has warned about for months.

The bill, designated as S.B. 4049, was put forward by Senators Steve Daines, R-Montana, Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming. It has since been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, where Senators Wicker and Lummis serve.

Tasked with overseeing the rip-and-replace program, the FCC approved $4.98 billion in applications seeking reimbursement funding in July 2022. Originally budgeted $1.9 billion, the program has grappled with cost underestimations, prompting the proposed $3.08 billion supplement.

Due to funding constraints, the commission was compelled to prorate funds, providing only 39.5 percent of reasonable costs to carriers upfront to replace the equipment.

With the deadline for numerous providers to remove Huawei and ZTE communications equipment from their networks set for September 23, 2024, concerns have surfaced regarding the potential that carriers may face disruptions mid-effort.

Despite efforts by the FCC to eliminate insecure network equipment, data disclosed in February showed thousands of network sites still use Chinese equipment. It was then reported that the FCC had paid out $429 million of the nearly $5 billion in approved applications for Rip-and-Replace initiatives, so far.