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Fiber optic manufacturer OFS has announced that it is adding 100 jobs at its Georgia manufacturing facility, where products meeting Buy America requirements are built. Some of these are union jobs, according to the company.

OFS also said it will expand its U.S. fiber production. 

Build America, Buy America rules will play an important role in the $42.5 billion BEAD rural broadband funding program. The rules aim to ensure that as much of that money as possible goes to U.S manufacturers for equipment and materials used in the deployments.

In February 2024, NTIA announced that the majority of fiber broadband equipment for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program —including optical fiber, fiber optic cable, key electronics, and enclosures— will be made in the United States.

There are some exceptions to those rules. For example, NTIA determined that nearly all semiconductors used in broadband equipment are manufactured overseas, and U.S. semiconductor manufacturing is not expected to gear up in time to supply providers undertaking BEAD deployments.

OFS compliance with Buy America rules was previously announced.

The announcement from OFS is “the most recent example of how the Investing in America agenda is helping create jobs in Georgia and boosting U.S. fiber production to connect everyone in the U.S. to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a prepared statement.

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