Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

NTIA Technical Report TR-94-305
An Assessment of the U.S. Telecommunications Industry Dependence on Foreign Sources as it Impacts the U.S. Telecommunications Infrastructure

April 1994

David F. Peach; Michael D. Meister

Abstract: The National Communications System (NCS) is responsible for defining operational infrastructures and processes that could be detrimental to the provision of telecommunications equipment and services necessary to the National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) needs of the Nation. To this end, the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) studied the industry's dependence on various infrastructures within the United States to (1) identify possible impediments to effective telecommunications industry mobilization, and to (2) assist in the development of corrective actions to overcome any identified impediments. This study was published in 1989. The information presented in this report is a result of follow-on investigations that attempt to determine those components and materials used in the telecommunications equipment manufacturing process that are obtained from foreign sources. This report lists those components that are primarily procured from foreign sources. For example, plastic-coated relays, printed circuit mounted transformers, and some types of semiconductors are a few of the components that represent vulnerabilities in the telecommunications switch (Class 5) manufacturing process. A result of this study is an analysis of the trends that are evident between the 1989 study results and the results of this report. This report shows an increase in the components that are obtained almost exclusively from sources outside the U.S. and Canada. A contributing factor to the trend toward more foreign sourcing of components is the general trend toward a more global economy. In the final analysis, one must determine the components, and their sources, that could be the most detrimental to the mobilization of the Nation's telecommunications resources if these sources were no longer available. A determination of the sources that are most likely to be cut off is also important. An analysis of the circumstances that could result in the cut off of foreign sources is not a part of this study.

Keywords: telecommunications; telecommunications switch; Class 5 switch; telecommunications manufacturing; foreign source; foreign source dependence

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

Back to Search Results