Supply Chain Improvements, Bill for Broadband in Public Parks, FCC Grants Alert System Compliance Extension

The Biden administration announced Wednesday a list of new measures to promote supply chain resiliency.

Supply Chain Improvements, Bill for Broadband in Public Parks, FCC Grants Alert System Compliance Extension
Photo of Congressman Raúl Grijalva, taken by Gage Skidmore 2018. 

November 30, 2023 – President Joe Biden announced at an inaugural meeting Wednesday new measures to improve national supply chain resilience, many of which are targeted at bettering semiconductor manufacturing.

These new measures will see the development of a geospatial mapping protocol that will be used to account for and track trade disruptions of raw materials, with a special focus on ones that are involved in semiconductor manufacturing.

Additionally, the US plans to develop a resilience center to assess risks and supply chain vulnerabilities specifically inside national ports alongside looking at how to better implement CHIPS and Science funding.

In July of 2022, the Biden administration signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act, which was broadly supported by lawmakers, putting $52 billion into semiconductor research and development and a 25 percent investment tax credit to promote manufacturing.

More recently, Biden has announced tech innovation hubs supported by CHIPS Act funds, four of which will focus directly on improving semiconductor production and manufacturing.

Legislation put forth to expand broadband to public parks

Congressman Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas, and Congressman Raúl Grijalva, D-Arizona, introduced legislation Wednesday that would bring broadband connectivity to public parks and lakes.

The Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences Act would include increasing broadband connectivity in those visitor centers and surrounding areas as well as create digital passes for visitors to use when going to those parks.

“The increasing popularity of outdoor recreation is a boon for local economies and job creation, but we must make sure our public land management agencies have the tools, resources, and staff they need to keep up,” said Grijalva.

The broader legislation looks to improve access to public lands and waters, modernize visitor experiences and reduce overcrowding.

FCC granted emergency alert development extensions to broadcasters

The Federal Communications Commission granted extensions to certain national broadcasters Wednesday, allowing them more time to acquire equipment needed to comply with national emergency alert system requirements.

There are two ways that broadcasters can transmit emergency messages, either to devices connected to the internet using what is called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System or over audio channels, which is referred to as the legacy emergency alert broadcast system.

Historically, messages sent via IPAWS transmit more information to the recipient than ones that are formatted for being transmitted via the legacy system. Because of that, in 2022 the FCC required emergency broadcasters to alert constituents via the IPAWS unless they were unable to.

Broadcasters were required to comply with this by December 12 of this year. However the National Association of Broadcasters and REC Networks, a broadcast advocacy group, filed a joint request for a 90-day compliance extension.

They explained that Sage Alerting Systems, a manufacturer of firmware needed to encode and decode emergency messages, is not able to meet supply demands for broadcasters to update equipment by the December 12 deadline.

As a result, the FCC waived the deadline and granted a 90-day extension to emergency broadcast participants who are customers of Sage Alerting Systems.