Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it is requesting public comment on the development and implementation of the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund (Innovation Fund).
The Innovation Fund is a $1.5 billion grant program that will support the promotion and deployment of open, interoperable, and standards-based radio access networks (RAN). Authorized under the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act and funded through the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, this historic investment aims to strengthen U.S. leadership in the global telecommunications ecosystem, foster competition, lower costs for consumers, and strengthen our supply chain.
NTIA is charged with administering the Innovation Fund and establishing criteria for grants awarded. The comments submitted will provide vital input and recommendations for consideration in the development and implementation of NTIA’s Innovation Fund grant program.
“The highly consolidated global market for wireless equipment creates serious risks for both consumers and U.S. companies,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “Our $1.5 billion fund will jumpstart innovation in the industry and open it up to a more diverse set of suppliers. We expect the increase in competition to lead to more secure, resilient and cost-effective networks.”
Commenters are encouraged to address any or all the questions in the Request for Comment. Written comments may be submitted to regulations.gov by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2023. All comments submitted will post publicly on Regulations.gov.
In addition to requesting written comment, NTIA will host a public virtual listening session on January 24, 2023.