AFL Connecting America

AFL, a manufacturer of fiber optic cabling and connectivity equipment, is the latest vendor to tout its compliance with Build America, Buy America requirements. The company is investing $50 million to expand its fiber optic manufacturing operations in South Carolina.

Compliance with the Buy America requirements is critical for any vendor that wants its offerings to be used for broadband deployments that receive funding through the $42.5 billion BEAD rural broadband funding program.

AFL, founded in 1984, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujikara Ltd. of Japan. The company offers products internationally.

The new investment builds on $35 million already invested in U.S. cable manufacturing, AFL said.

Key highlights of the South Carolina expansion, according to AFL, include:

  • Increased production capacity to meet growing demand for fiber cabling
  • Creation of new jobs at AFL manufacturing facilities
  • Development of “innovative and sustainable” fiber optic cable offerings
  • A commitment to using U.S.-made materials and supporting the domestic supply chain

AFL joins a growing list of vendors that have said they comply with Buy America guidelines.

Broadband providers will have multiple fiber optic cabling manufacturers from which to choose, including Prysmian, Corning, Commscope, Superior Essex and STL.

Companies offering fiber broadband communications equipment, including Adtran, Nokia, DZS and Calix – also have said that they comply with Buy America requirements.

There is even an option from Bekaert for providers needing guy strands for aerial installations for BEAD or other government-funded builds.

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