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A Build America, Buy America Scorecard

With over $42 billion in BEAD funding at stake, manufacturers of all types are working to comply with Build America, Buy America (BABA) provisions to make their products eligible for purchase and incorporation into broadband network projects. Here’s a snapshot of companies in the fiber broadband ecosystem that have announced new facilities and production arrangements to comply with BABA. This partial list shows that 850 or more new jobs have been created, with companies investing upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars in new U.S. manufacturing facilities for fiber optic cable and electronics production. 


The Huntsville, Alabama-based company announced it is investing up to $5 million dollars at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Huntsville to increase U.S. production capacity of advanced telecommunications equipment, specifically to expand the current production of OLT equipment and to prepare to onshore the manufacturing of ONTs. The company expects the creation of up to 300 high-quality jobs adding to the company’s American workforce of more than 1,400 employees.  


Calix is working with several U.S. manufacturing solutions companies, including Jabil, Gemtek, and Hisense Broadband, to ramp up equipment production of ONTs, OLTs, and optical modules. San Jose-based Calix will make an initial investment of $4 million to $6 million and conduct an ongoing spend for operations of $10 million to $15 million per year, with the funding going to hire more than 100 U.S. workers in manufacturing, operations, engineering, quality assurance, and administrative roles, with additional jobs expected to be created during the duration of the BEAD program.


The company plans to invest $60.3 million over the next four years to expand its manufacturing facilities based in North Carolina, resulting in increased production and the creation of at least 250 new jobs. CommScope currently has the capacity to manufacture drop cable at a rate of approximately a billion feet per year in its U.S. facilities, with the increase including loose tube production and additional fiber cable counts and styles needed for rural deployment. 


In August, Corning formally opened its newest optical cable manufacturing campus in Hickory, North Carolina. The new facilities will add hundreds of new jobs to Corning’s existing North Carolina workforce of more than 5,000 employees and the new campus is a part of a series of investments by Corning totaling more than $500 million since 2020.


Nokia announced in August that it is partnering with Sanmina Corporation to manufacture broadband network electronic products at Sanmina’s Pleasant Prairie facility in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, bringing up to 200 new jobs to the state. It also announced it is partnering with Fabrinet, a global manufacturer of precision optical products, to produce multi-rate optical modules at Fabrinet’s facility in Santa Clara, California. Products Nokia will manufacture in the U.S. with Sanmina, Fabrinet, and others include OLT cards for a modular Access Node, a small form factor OLT, OLT optical modules, and an outdoor-hardened ONT. 

Prysmian Group

In 2022, Prysmian invested $30 million to retool and transition its Jackson, Tennessee, copper cable facility to produce fiber optic cable. Retraining enabled Prysmian to keep 80% of its workers at the facility, who are now making fiber. The company is also embarking on a $50 million multi-year modernization project at its Claremont, North Carolina, fiber facility to enhance process capabilities, systems, and technologies to support future growth.