February 3, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – USTelecom | The Broadband Association and a coalition of trade groups including ITI, CTIA, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), the Security Industry Association (SIA) and TechNet today sent a letter urging the Biden Administration to support the timely and strategic procurement of essential equipment to enable the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
In a letter to administration officials overseeing the law’s implementation, the groups underscore the importance of acquiring necessary commercial information and communications technologies (ICT) from the global market in a timely and cost-effective manner to ensure the success and security of the law’s projects that span a range of industry sectors and promise to create millions of jobs over the next decade. The associations ask the administration to provide a waiver of Buy America requirements, which could impede reliable access to critical ICT products needed for the law’s projects.
“The [Bipartisan Infrastructure Law] includes provisions that impose certain domestic sourcing requirements for acquisitions in a wide range of federally funded infrastructure projects,” the groups wrote. “At the same time, the law does not include customary provisions that would enable procurement of certain key, widely produced and broadly available commercial ICT products, including for automation and cybersecurity in a broad range of public works and broadband projects. As a result, the ability to obtain much-needed infrastructure technologies from the global ICT market in a timely and cost-effective manner could be jeopardized, and funding recipients may be unable to access the most up to date, highest quality technologies at competitive prices, delaying the benefits to be achieved by consumers from these critical projects. The ubiquity of ICT components in a vast array of applications, including virtually every public works project and broadband network, necessitates a strategic, nuanced approach to BIL implementation that takes into account how to procure this equipment in a reasonable time frame. This approach could help to ensure the broader goals of the BIL are met, such as creating good-paying jobs, improving transportation options, upgrading power infrastructure, and providing reliable connectivity to the most vulnerable communities across our country.”
ITI, CTIA, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), the Security Industry Association (SIA) and TechNet signed the letter.
Read the full letter here.
USTelecom is the national trade association representing technology providers, innovators, suppliers, and manufacturers committed to connecting the world through the power of broadband. Visit us at www.ustelecom.org.