Broadband providers are seeing delays of more than a year when ordering internet routers as a result of the continuing global shortage in semiconductor chips.
Some firms have reported delays of as long as 60 weeks when placing their orders, according to Bloomberg, more than double previous wait times.
Taiwanese router manufacturer Zyxel Communications has since January begun asking customers to order new broadband routers a year in advance to get around the long supply times.
“We have been very close [to running out] several times,” Zyxel’s European head Karsten Gewecke told Bloomberg. “It could still happen.”
Zyxel broadband router supplies faced further disruption last week after a shipment of the devices was on board the Ever Given container ship which ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking the crucial trade route.
Other shipments of the routers were reportedly stuck in the queue of ships waiting to pass.
The shutdown of factories in Asia last year combined with harsh weather conditions in the US and elevated demand for electronics during the coronavirus pandemic has led to a months-long supply drought for the crucial components.
The production of components for broadband routers has been pushed down the priority list of semiconductor plants which have prioritised production of chips used in smartphones due to the higher margins on their sale.
Carmakers around the world have been forced to shut down factories, with a US industry group warning earlier this week that it could take six months to recover from the shortage.
The Alliance for Auto Innovation said the ongoing shortage could mean 1.3m fewer cars are made in the US compared to last year.
However, the higher prices caused by the shortage could benefit some gadget makers. Samsung reported bumper profit expectations earlier this week that had risen 44pc.
The US, Europe and China have all announced efforts to improve homegrown semiconductor production as they attempt to reduce their reliance on global trade and other supply issues.
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