Adtran is the latest telecom equipment company to announce that it’s ramping up domestic manufacturing in order to meet “Buy America” rules for the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.
The company on Wednesday said it will invest up to $5 million in its Hunstville, Alabama, facility, creating 300 jobs. The investment will allow Adtran to expand its US production of optical line termination (OLT) equipment and onshore the manufacturing of optical network terminals (ONTs).
“We of course expect to be BEAD-compliant,” Adtran CEO Tom Stanton said at an event hosted at the company’s 270,000-square-foot facility in Huntsville.
Adtran further said it will work to engage new hires by partnering with local schools for its high school apprenticeship program and developing a co-op program for college students.
The announcement from Adtran follows this month’s news that Nokia will partner with Sanmina Corporation to manufacture broadband network electronics products for BEAD at Sanmina’s facility in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, starting next year.
Additionally today, Nokia announced its partnership with optical supplier Fabrinet to domestically produce fiber broadband optical modules for BEAD. Production will start next year at Fabrinet’s facility in Santa Clara, California, “and brings additional high-tech jobs to the country,” said the company.
Jobs and manufacturing
Speaking at Wednesday’s event at Adtran’s Huntsville facility, NTIA Chief Alan Davidson thanked the company for its investment and noted that BEAD is “not just a connectivity program. It is a jobs and manufacturing program.”