WASHINGTON — Today, global tech trade association ITI urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to ensure that information and communications technology (ICT) sector needs are addressed on equal footing with other affected industries as the U.S. government seeks to address the ongoing semiconductor shortage.
In a comment submission, ITI welcomed the FCC’s interest in better understanding the ICT industry impact of the chips shortage and highlighted the adverse effects that favoring a specific industry over others could have on key priorities like closing the digital divide.
“For the U.S. to maintain its leadership in technology and innovation, strategic investments by the [U.S. government] to promote a strong semiconductor ecosystem are necessary, in particular by building U.S. manufacturing and advanced packaging capacity,” ITI wrote in its comments. “However, while these longer-term efforts are likely beyond the purview of the FCC, there is still an immediate role for the Commission to play in the broader discussion. In particular, the FCC can increase its understanding of the urgency of the supply shortage within the communications industry and effectively guard against any proposals to artificially allocate chip supplies through administrative or other action.”
ITI has led to the call for the Biden Administration and the U.S. Congress to provide robust incentives to enhance the semiconductor ecosystem in the United States to drive U.S. competitiveness and bolster national security. Importantly, the government should implement these measures without picking winners and losers through market-distorting set-asides, reallocations, or quotas, even when addressing the short-term supply-demand imbalance.