House representatives put forward bipartisan legislation to improve domestic circuit board production and improve supply chain security.
On Friday, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, introduced HR 7677, or the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act.
The bill is meant to reduce American dependence on foreign made printed circuit boards, or PCBs, and was written to enhance their domestic production, research, and development.
If passed, the bill would provide tax credits for American-made circuit boards for up to 25 percent of their cost. The bill would also establish a financial assistance program incentivize the improved manufacturing and research of PCBs through accredited training and educations institutions.
“The supply chain shortages for electronics are affecting every aspect of American life,” Eshoo said in a joint release with Moore. “Printed circuit boards are a critical part of that supply chain and are at risk of tampering vulnerabilities related to offshore production, yet the U.S. global production share of PCBs is only approximately four percent, compared to China’s 52 percent.”
“As we work to reshore our manufacturing, strengthen our supply chains, and prioritize national security, we are confronted by the immediate need to rebuild and bolster our entire microelectronics ecosystem,” Moore said.
The bill has been referred for review to the committee on Ways and Means and the committees on Energy and Commerce, and Science, Space, and Technology.
Tribal grant program receives additional rollout
The Joe Biden administration has rolled out additional funding to expand tribal internet penetration as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
On Wednesday Biden announced the dispersal of $77 million across 19 grants and 10 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.
This award marks the 34th of its kind to be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, bring the total amount of tribal funds to $83 million. A total of $980 million was made available to the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
This funding will go to improving myriad areas of the digital divide, including opportunities for telehealth, distance learning, and telecommuting.
“This critical funding will bring affordable, high-speed internet service to Tribes from Alaska to Rhode Island, and many places in between, expanding access to telehealth, distance learning, and workforce development,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement.
The largest grant totaled more than $35 million and will go to the Alaska Federation of Natives to improving “use and adoption.” The smallest grant was allotted to the Vejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians for just over $592 thousand and will go towards subsidizing the next five years of broadband for 215 tribal households in Alpine, Calif.
Lightpath hits 20K miles of fiber
Lightpath announced Friday that its all-fiber network now connects 13500 serviceable locations and 2000 wireless towers across its now 20000 miles of fiber.
Lightpath is a broadband and infrastructure provider that primarily operates in the New York metro area but has expanded into the greater Boston area in recent months.
“Over the past 16 months, Lightpath has evolved into a rapidly growing fiber operator, adding thousands of route miles of network, adding thousands of new service locations, more than doubling the number of wireless towers we serve,” Lightpath CEO Chris Morely said in a press release. “Lightpath has invested millions of dollars in the latest Ciena and Cisco technologies to offer customers the latest connectivity services, with the best reliability, and with bandwidth options up to 800 Gbps.”
Over that period, Lightpath has expanded its services into Queens, NY, Princeton, NJ, and Ashburn, Va.
To read this article on Broadband Breakfast, please visit: https://broadbandbreakfast.com/2022/05/circuit-supply-bill-tribal-broadband-funding-lightpath-serves-more-with-fiber/