It looks like broadband suppliers are yet another potential victim of the global chip shortage. Choked supply chains mean that orders for new routers could take as long as 60 weeks, which is more than double the length of previous waits.
With millions depending on a stable Internet connection in order to work from home, a router shortage couldn’t come at a worse time. Bloomberg shares details provided by people familiar with the situation, who claim that carriers are being quoted wait times as long as 60 weeks for new router orders – double the length of previous wait-times.
It’s worth noting that carriers have not run out of routers yet. However, according to Karsten Gewecke, head of European regional business for Zyxel Communications (a Taiwan-based router-maker), companies “have been very close several times.” He added: “It could still happen.”
The pandemic and work-from-home movement have put pressure on ISPs in more ways than one. Broadband coverage remains an issue for many, with countless Americans unable to access acceptable (or even usable) speeds in their homes. A router shortage, however, could grind new Internet orders to a halt.
Even routers which have already been manufactured aren’t safe. Last week, a batch of Zyxel routers were on and behind the Evergreen ship that blocked the Suez Canal, adding a further dose of disruption into the mix.
Elsewhere, the chip shortage is affecting everyone from Qualcomm to Apple, with analysis suggesting that we’ll see constrained supply chains into 2022 or even 2023. For now, if you have an old router lying around, don’t throw it out.