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AFL’s Strategy Regarding the Infrastructure Act for Broadband Expansion

In November of 2021, Congress passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act focused on building out U.S. roads and bridges, transportation systems, broadband infrastructure and strengthening the electric grid. Two of the most important elements of the Act were the Build   America, Buy America statute and the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program.

Build America, Buy America, commonly referred to as BABA, establishes a minimum domestic preference threshold for the manufacturing of any component which attaches to or is part of the infrastructure. Put simply, components used in federally funded projects must be produced in the U.S., with very few exceptions.  

The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program, commonly known as BEAD, is a $42.5 billion funding program targeted to close the digital divide and provide universal broadband coverage to all Americans by the year 2030.  All 50 States and U.S. territories received funding – from Texas, which received over $3.3 billion, to the U.S. Virgin Islands, which received $27 million. BEAD is the single largest investment for broadband infrastructure ever passed by the federal government.  When added to other stimulus passed since COVID, there is over $90 Billion in federal funding driving broadband expansion and grid modernization. 

To support our customers on this once-in-a-generation opportunity in broadband deployments, AFL is executing across several fronts. First, AFL continues to invest in optical cable capacity expansion in our South Carolina facility.  Next, we are focused on establishing a full BABA-compliant Fiber-To-The-Home portfolio through expanding our U.S. based connectivity and conductor hardware manufacturing footprint and establishing a resilient and reliable U.S. supply chain.  Finally, we are putting in place the necessary processes and systems to better enable us to partner with our customers on federally funded programs.  

AFL is committed to working with our customers to deliver on the vision of universal coverage for all Americans. Keep up to date by visiting our Connecting America webpage. If you have any questions on complying with BABA requirements, please reach out to

About the Author

Seán Adam is Vice President of Market Strategy and Innovation at AFL. Seán holds a degree in Electric Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has over 20 years of experience in the Semiconductor and Telecom industry with a focus on system-based solutions and architectures. Today, Seán is focused on developing and guiding AFL's overall growth strategy in the key markets we serve. You can learn more about Seán on LinkedIn ( or follow him on Twitter (@AFL_SeanAdam).

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