How Vecima’s New U.S. Manufacturing Partnership Will Bring High-Speed Internet Across Rural America

By: Vijay Raman, Vice President, Product Management
March 14, 2024

In an era where digital connectivity is as essential as water and electricity, fast broadband internet stands as a cornerstone of society. Yet, many rural and underserved areas across America are without broadband access and, in turn, lack equitable opportunities. Vecima is continually identifying programs and partnerships to bring better connectivity to more communities. Our latest endeavor is fully compliant with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program through a U.S. manufacturing partnership with MARA Technologies USA and the final NTIA waiver published on February 23. 

Bridging the Digital Divide 

There is power in connectivity, and it begins with broadband. High-speed internet is the backbone of modern education, healthcare, and government services. It drives economic development and community engagement. The BEAD program, with its $42.45 billion in funding, aims to expand America’s broadband landscape by facilitating broadband deployment, mapping, and adoption projects across the country.  

Partnering for U.S. Manufacturing 

Build America Buy America (BABA) compliance is a prerequisite for network products to be eligible for deployment with BEAD funding. Enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), BABA centers on domestic procurement and manufacturing.  

Vecima entered an agreement with MARA Technologies USA, a subsidiary of Invotek Group, to manufacture Vecima’s market share-leading Fiber Access Products. The SF-4X Remote Optical Line Terminals (R-OLT) will be manufactured at MARA’s Holly, Michigan facility. The partnership creates 100 new U.S.-based manufacturing jobs with an initial investment of $10 million at MARA’s facility while securing BABA compliance for Vecima’s flexible, interoperable OLTs. BABA compliance underscores Vecima’s dedication to supporting both the USA’s domestic economy and expansion of ubiquitous rural broadband access.

Powerful. Reliable. Obtainable. 

Vecima’s Entra Fiber Access OLTs are at the forefront of our company’s vision for fully realizing the power in connectivity. The Entra SF-4X Remote OLT Access Node was designed from the ground up to bring the internet to distant rural subscribers and embodies the flexibility and multi-vendor interoperability that service providers need to quickly and reliably deliver high-speed broadband to diverse communities.

The Entra SF-4X supports 10G FTTH connectivity, enabling service providers to offer ultra-high-speed symmetrical internet services. This capability is crucial for supporting not only internet access but also the bandwidth-intensive applications of today and tomorrow, from telemedicine and online education to 4K video streaming and beyond. The OLT can be deployed in a variety of settings, from dense urban environments to strand mounting in rural areas that ensure no community is left behind in the digital era. Its compact, temperature-hardened design allows for deployment in outdoor settings and minimizes the need for additional infrastructure, which can help dramatically speed up the rollout of broadband services.

The Entra SF-4X’s compliance with BABA requirements under the BEAD program confirms that it meets the stringent standards required for federally funded infrastructure projects. This compliance is a key factor in Vecima’s mission to support pervasive deployment of broadband infrastructure across the U.S., especially in underserved and rural communities and getting every American subscriber onto the information superhighway.

Looking Ahead 

Vecima envisions a world where broadband networks are not just available but also future-ready in their ability to deliver unprecedented speed and service. Our partnership with MARA Technologies USA marks another step forward in that vision, with U.S. manufacturing set to volume produce OLTs by Summer 2024. Through strategic partnerships, compliance with regulatory standards, and a commitment to innovation, we’re proud to help pave the way to a future where every community, no matter how remote, can enjoy the benefits of high-speed broadband today.

Read the full press release about our support of the BEAD program.


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