ISPs to White House: Thriving Chip Pipeline is Critical

White House
(Image credit: Future)

Broadband providers are united in their support for the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act as part of a whole-of-government approach to protecting supply chain security.

Also Read: Biden Supply Chain Security Order Includes Semiconductors

Following President Joe Biden's executive order issued Wednesday (Feb. 24), which included a government agency review of semiconductors, NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, ACA Connects, CTIA, the Wireless Association and USTelecom wrote to the President urging him to work with Congress on passage of the bill, which would encourage investment in chip manufacturing facilities and research in the U.S.

They said that would help "ensure a thriving pipeline for this critical input into the U.S. economy and pointed out the importance of chips to the broadband industry. 

"In the broadband sector, semiconductor chips power network infrastructure and the end user devices that, together, enable American consumers to connect to the Internet to work and learn from home, see their doctor through telemedicine, order delivery of groceries and other essentials, and keep connected to their loved ones and the world around them," they told the president. "The strain on global supplies of critical semiconductor components could negatively impact broadband providers’ ability to continue to deliver world-leading services."

They added that with other countries starting to compete in the chip space,  Moreover, as other countries make major investments to compete in this space, "the United States must also invest to revitalize its semiconductor industry."

The ISPs also said that the immediate government agency review of semiconductors the President's order mandates should include also input from stakeholders and "leverage existing public-private partnerships addressing specific supply chain risks."

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a pioneering wireless executive introduced the bill.

Warner attended a White House meeting on the supply chain executive order Wednesday, after which he renewed his own call for passage of the bipartisan bill.  

Also Read: Roseworcel Pushes Deep Dive on ORAN

Among other things, the bill 1) creates a 40% investment tax credit (ITC) that decreases to 30% in 2025, 20% in 2026 and phases out the next year; 2) creates a $10 billion federal matching program through the Commerce Department for state and local incentives to build semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, and 3) funds STEM workforce development.

On the international front, the bill "establishes a trust fund in the amount of $750M over ten years to be allocated upon reaching an agreement with foreign government partners to participate in a consortium to promote consistency in policies related to microelectronics, greater transparency in microelectronic supply chains, and greater alignment in policies towards non-market economies." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.