WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), reintroduced the Network Equipment Transparency (NET) Act, a bipartisan bill to increase broadband supply chain transparency through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in order to ensure an on-time rollout of federal broadband programs.
“One of the many benefits of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act becoming law is that West Virginia and states across the country are slated to receive a significant amount of funding that will contribute to providing quality, high-speed broadband, which is welcome news—especially for those living in rural America,” Senator Capito said. “In order to effectively connect our communities, it’s critical that our federal agencies work to address any potential problems that would slow or hinder this process of deployment. I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing the NET Act, which will provide us with another tool to monitor the supply chain so these crucial projects can be executed in a timely manner.”
Broadband infrastructure projects have been affected by supply chain woes in the past. A lack of transparency into the health of the telecommunications supply chain may contribute to future equipment shortages as federal broadband programs prioritize high-speed, reliable, and accessible networks. In anticipation of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds for broadband projects distributed to states later this spring, the bill would help to identify these supply chain issues so they can be addressed sooner.
Specifically, the bill would require the FCC’s Communications Marketplace Report to describe to Congress the impact of supply chain disruptions on the timely completion or deployment of broadband infrastructure projects.
The senators originally introduced the NET Act in the 117th Congress last February, and the bill passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in a unanimous vote last May.
Full text of the bill is available here.
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