back to article FCC starts probing effects of semiconductor drought on the US telecoms supply chain

America's communications watchdog has issued a public request for comments from telco providers and suppliers to see how they're faring amid the ongoing chip crunch. Operated by the FCC's Wireless Communications Bureau division, the consultation [PDF] aims to gauge the health of the telecoms semiconductor supply chain, with a …

  1. martinusher Silver badge

    It was quite healthy before we started messing with it

    Although I'm not a great fan of 'just in time' supply chains and a big critic of outsourcing at the level we've been doing in the US I think we rather shot ourselves in the foot here when we started needlessly attacking Chinese companies for the egregious sin of 'being competitive'. Our outsourcing policy, the 'smiley faced curve', where others did the work leaving us to cream the profits was never sustainable, it was only a matter of time before those who did the work would develop their own branding and sales and so pull the rug out from under us. We explained this by the narrative of "IP theft" and came up with knee jerk reactive policies designed to undermine our competitors, to put them in their place. This upped the ante from normal commercial rivalry to a conflict between states, and unfortunately in this type of conflict those who make the goods have the upper hand. Like it or not a lot of supply chains run through China at least in part and so our attacks on China are going to interfere with those chains -- not enough that I can't buy the usual Made in China products on Amazon but enough to dent our profits and send a strong, if indirect, message.

    I've posted quite a few comments in defense of Huawei against the unreasonable and unwarranted attacks on them. I did this not as a "Huawei supporter" but as an engineer. This company got to its position by a combination of hard work and savvy marketing, initially serving markets that established corporations found too small to bother with. They then plowed the profits back into the company, and one result was they ended up with a commanding lead in 5G technology (they own most of the patents) and a substantial slice of the smartphone market (they make really good and very competitively priced phones). This ate into the profit forecasts of US corporations so they chose a political solution -- rather than spend the money investing in engineering talent and development they'd use their investment in lobbyists and government contacts to attack this competitor. This goes against the very foundations of our economic system and will ultimately not just fail but will irrevocably weaken us. Sure, its uncomfortable to be beaten in the marketplace but our response needs to be to step up our game.

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