CommScope plans to invest $60.3 million over the next four years to expand its fiber manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, a move that reflects the company's desire to help meet the U.S. supply-demand driven by new broadband funding programs like Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program for rural and underserved areas.
This expansion, which CommScope says will enhance production capacity over the next four years, will create at least 250 new jobs.
CommScope currently can manufacture drop cable at a rate of approximately 2 billion feet per year in its U.S. facilities – a level of production that will allow states and their partners to connect every underserved American as a part of the BEAD program.
The expansion will further allow CommScope to manufacture the necessary cable to enable service providers to deploy broadband across the U.S. Capacity increase will align around loose tube production and additional fiber cable counts and styles needed for rural deployment, including CommScope’s HeliARC™ fiber cable. HeliARC, launched in March, is designed explicitly for rural fiber network architecture.
Chuck Treadway, president, and CEO of CommScope, said that expanding the facility in North Carolina addresses two key goals: enhancing its ties in the state and its role in helping communities and providers make the most of the BEAD funding to build new broadband networks.
“Furthering our long-standing relationship with the State of North Carolina is a great next step to bring ‘Internet For All,’ and we are thrilled to work with the State on this endeavor,” he said. “This partnership not only contributes to the economic prosperity of Catawba County but also furthers our commitment to meet the objectives of the BEAD program. This exciting expansion continues to shine a spotlight on Catawba County and North Carolina as the hub that supplies the nation with fiber cable.”
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper also praised the company’s plans to help expand broadband access and bolster new opportunities for people living in the state. “Connecting every household in North Carolina to high-speed internet is going to take much fiber, and with this expansion, CommScope is answering the call not only with American jobs but North Carolina jobs,” he said.