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Nokia expands manufacturing in U.S. to fiber broadband optical modules for BEAD program

Nokia announced that it is the first telecom vendor to manufacture fiber broadband optical modules in the U.S. for use in the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. Partnering with Fabrinet, a global manufacturer of highly precise optical products, Nokia will produce multi-rate optical modules at Fabrinet’s state-of-the-art facility in Santa Clara, California. Production will start in 2024 and brings additional high-tech jobs to the country. The announcement builds on Nokia’s previous decision to produce fiber-optic broadband network electronic products in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Optical modules are a key high-tech component of fiber broadband networks. They convert electrical signals into light and vice versa, and are essential for connecting homes to high speed, multi-gigabit broadband. By manufacturing these optical modules in the U.S., Nokia continues to expand its list of products and solutions for networks rollouts using BEAD or other funding. States and infrastructure players seeking to participate in BEAD and the $42.45bn of available funding allocated for broadband rollouts to unserved and underserved communities are required to use equipment manufactured in the U.S..

Operators seeking to leverage BEAD funding to bridge the digital divide now have access to the latest cutting-edge technology for their deployments. Today, more than 70 percent of fiber broadband lines in North America are powered by Nokia. Using multi-rate optical modules and products allows operators to easily upgrade speeds from 1 Gig to Multi-Gig. Combined with Nokia’s award-winning 25G solutions and research into 100G technology, this ensures that operators are building fiber networks that will meet user requirements for generations to come.

Sandy Motley, President of Fixed Networks at Nokia, said: “Many in the industry have said that manufacturing optical modules in the U.S. was impossible. Today, we’re proving it can be done. Working alongside the Department of Commerce and Fabrinet, we’re excited to add optical modules to the list of technology solutions that will be produced here in the U.S. and become available to programs like BEAD which are so critical to bridging the digital divide.”

Harpal Gill, President and COO of Fabrinet, said: “Fabrinet specializes in manufacturing complex, precision optical and electro-optical products used in telecommunications networks and data centers. As a trusted partner of the world’s most demanding OEMs, we are excited to help bring the production of Nokia’s optical modules to the U.S. and support their efforts to bridge the digital divide. We’re pleased to partner with Nokia in order to help provide high-speed fiber broadband access to more people, homes and communities.”

CT Bureau

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