On January 31, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) shared support for the vital investments outlined in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) -- but cautioned that "parts of the Buy American provisions could hamper creating a truly connected nation."
Therefore, TIA announced that it and a coalition of groups including the CCA, CTIA, NCTA, NTCA, TechNet and US Telecom have sent a public letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to consider a waiver for information and communication technology (ICT) products from the “Buy American” provisions of the law.
The groups said that “a limited, programmatic waiver is a necessary precondition to effective and efficient investment in broadband and will help ensure that every American has access to the digital infrastructure of the future.”
“Americans without access to broadband cannot wait for a domestic supply chain to be developed out of whole cloth, and the federal government has a clear path forward to ensure the success of the President’s infrastructure agenda by instituting a waiver,” the coalition said.
The coalition pointed out that "a limited waiver would be in line with previous waivers from the NTIA and other agencies implemented in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," and would be "a vital and necessary step toward the goal of ensuring that every American has access to high-speed broadband."