Corning Incorporated is expanding manufacturing capacity for optical cable based on a long-term relationship with AT&T as the carrier expands its fibre service. Corning will build a new cable manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona, located in the Greater Phoenix region, adding approximately 250 jobs and extending Corning’s strategic investments in optical fibre, cable, and connectivity solutions to meet record demand.

The new facility is Corning’s latest in a series of investments in fibre and cable manufacturing, totalling more than $500 million since 2020. These investments, supported by customer commitments, nearly double Corning’s ability to serve the U.S. cable market and connect more people and communities. Public and private investments in broadband, 5G, and the cloud are accelerating a large, multi-year wave of growth for fibre-based networks – and Corning, as the world leader in passive optical communications, is uniquely positioned to support these network builds.

The Arizona facility, expected to open in 2024, will be the industry’s westernmost U.S. manufacturing site for optical cable – allowing Corning to serve growing demand in the western U.S. and Canada.

“This investment is a significant step forward for our country and building world-class broadband networks that will help narrow the nation’s digital divide,” said AT&T Chief Executive Officer John Stankey. “This new facility will provide additional optical cable capacity to meet the record demand the industry is seeing for fast, reliable connectivity. We are also working with Corning to create training programs to equip the next generation of technicians with the skills to build the networks that will expand high-speed internet access to millions of Americans.”

Separately, AT&T is deploying fibre internet service to the Mesa, Arizona, area, with service expected to be available to Mesa residents in 2023.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, whose agency is spearheading the national “Internet for All” initiative, will join today’s announcement at Mesa Community College. Corning and AT&T are supporting the White House’s Talent Pipeline Challenge, a program to help employers build training partnerships that connect American workers to jobs rebuilding infrastructure, supply chains, and manufacturing. Corning and AT&T have created a program to train fibre optic technicians across the industry.

The industry will need another 850,000 workers to build and deploy these networks through 2025. Corning and AT&T created the Fiber Optic Training Program, which focused on equipping thousands of technicians with the skills critical to designing, installing, and maintaining a growing fibre network. The initial class is underway in North Carolina, and the program aims to train 50,000 American workers over the next five years.

“We believe access to broadband means access to opportunity – from education to healthcare to quality of life,” said Corning Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wendell P. Weeks. “Corning is doing our part to make sure everyone – regardless of where they live – has access to reliable, high-speed connections enabled by optical fibre. We are proud to continue partnering with AT&T and to expand U.S. manufacturing capacity and train the next generation of American workers – and we’re grateful for the opportunity to work with our customers and with the U.S. government to make this a reality.”

Image source: Courtesy of Corning

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