It’s not just GPUs suffering chip shortages, there’s a year-long waiting list for routers

Newcomers might find it difficult to subscribe to broadband with creeping router shortages

Netgear's XR500 Nighthawk gaming router sits against a white background

We’re no stranger to stock shortages plaguing the best graphics cards, latest consoles, and, to some extent, the best gaming CPUs, but chips are now so scarce that they’re affecting routers, too. Bloomberg reports that supply chains are running dry, causing broadband providers across the world to wait more than double the length of time to receive their orders.

Usually, carriers would wait up to 30 weeks for a new batch of routers to arrive, but quotes now exceed a year at 60 weeks long as manufacturers continue to suffer from 2020’s factory shutdowns. This could eventually cap the amount of new subscribers a broadband provider can accommodate, which is particularly frustrating given the elevated demand for home broadband equipment but might see a respite as global lockdowns begin to ease.

No company’s run out of routers just yet, with Zyxel Communications’ head of European regional business, Karsten Gewecke, saying it has “been very close several times.” With the supply chokehold getting tighter, however, the Taiwan-based manufacturer says “it could still happen.”

This casts doubt on Acer’s hopeful outlook that chip availability will improve throughout the year, as stock looks like it’ll struggle until 2022 at the earliest. On the plus side, you might be able to make a quick buck later in the year if you have a spare router lying around.