Adtran's Strategic Investment Powers High-Speed Internet Deployment

By Greg Tavarez August 23, 2023

High-speed internet is no longer simply a luxury for homes and businesses. It is now a requirement, and the U.S. government is working to make this happen through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program. The BEAD program is a federal grant program that provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access. The program was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in late 2021.

So, companies are working to make sure homes and businesses have access to affordable high-speed internet. Joining the fray is Adtran, a provider of open, disaggregated networking and communications solutions that enable voice, data, video and internet communications across any network infrastructure.

Adtran empowers communications service providers around the world to manage and scale services that connect people, places and things. But Adtran has seen a growing demand for domestically produced network electronics, spurred on by initiatives like the BEAD program.

Therefore, Adtran announced the expansion of advanced telecommunications equipment manufacturing at its facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

With an investment of up to $5 million, Adtran's latest endeavor not only promises an injection of economic vitality but also underscores the company's commitment to simplifying and making communications more accessible to millions of Americans.

The expansion initiative is projected to yield an influx of high-quality, well-compensated positions, with estimations suggesting the creation of as many as 300 jobs. This development comes as a resounding testament to Adtran's enduring dedication to fostering innovation and driving progress in the field of telecommunications.

Adtran is committed to investing in the success of new employees with on-the-job training and by extending the same industry-leading benefits it offers its current employees, including a college tuition reimbursement program.

And with those 300 jobs coming to Alabama, it should be noted that Adtran is dedicated to diversity and inclusivity:

  • 40% of Adtran's manufacturing team consists of individuals from diverse racial backgrounds, with African American employees constituting one-third of the team.
  • The company's commitment to gender equality is also evident, with 57% of manufacturing employees being women, surpassing the industry average of 30%.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has made the largest investment in high-speed internet in our country’s history to ensure all Americans are connected to affordable, reliable high-speed internet using Made-in-America materials,” said Mitch Landrieu, Senior Adviser to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator. “Adtran’s announcement is part of a manufacturing boom that is creating good-paying jobs and boosting our economy – including here in Huntsville, Alabama.”

Central to this expansion is Adtran's decision to augment its ongoing production of optical line termination equipment. OLT equipment are hardware devices that act as the endpoint for a passive optical network. OLTs are located in the central office of the network and manage the transmission and reception of information across the network.

The company is also poised to embark on the strategic relocation of the manufacturing process for optical network terminals to domestic soil. An ONT is a device that converts fiber optic signals from an ISP into digital ones. It's the box where fiber internet connection enters a home.

“The investments announced today will help ensure that broadband is able to reach more Americans with equipment made right here in North Alabama, supporting our economy and the U.S. as a whole,” said Rep. Dale Strong, R-Alabama.

While Adtran's visionary expansion strategy encompasses not only economic growth but also societal enrichment, the company underscored its commitment to local partnerships. Adtran is collaborating with nearby schools to establish a high school apprenticeship program, laying the foundation for aspiring students to acquire invaluable hands-on experience.

Adtran is actively shaping pathways for higher education students through the creation of a co-op program. This initiative is set to provide college attendees with a unique opportunity to seamlessly integrate classroom knowledge with real-world applications, effectively bridging the gap between theory and practice.

“This expansion not only represents a strategic investment in Adtran’s growing workforce and manufacturing capabilities but also demonstrates our long-term commitment to strengthening the domestic supply chain and securing communications networks with American-made equipment,” said Tom Stanton, CEO of Adtran.

Edited by Alex Passett
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