Energy and telecom cable industry giant Prysmian Group announced that on Thursday, June 30, the company welcomed White House officials to its Jackson, Tennessee facility to discuss Prysmian’s latest fiber investment and celebrate new fiber-optic cable production in the state's Madison County.
White House officials touring the plant included Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator for the Biden Administration, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communication and Information April McClain-Delaney, Department of Commerce.
$30 million cable plant conversion
The Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative requires the use of Made-in-America materials and products for federally funded infrastructure projects, including high-speed Internet deployment. As a result, Prysmian Group has invested $30 million to convert its Jackson, Tenn. copper cable facility into a state-of-the-art fiber-optic cable manufacturing plant, creating new jobs in America that will help close the digital divide.
Prysmian announced its Jackson investment in May 2022. Since then, the company notes it has implemented a retraining program that allowed it to retain nearly its entire workforce. Prysmian said its commitment to the production of domestic optical fiber and fiber-optic cable will be foundational in connecting rural households across America to high-speed Internet service.
The visit from White House officials comes on the heels of Prysmian’s invitation to the White House to join President Biden as he announced funding for high-speed internet infrastructure deployment through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program—a $42.45 billion grant program created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and administered by the Department of Commerce.
According to the White House, nearly 24 million Americans nationwide cannot access high-speed internet. All 50 states, D.C. and U.S. territories will be able to use BEAD funding to access resources to connect every resident and small business to reliable, affordable high-speed internet.
Prysmian’s U.S.-made fiber optic cables are manufactured not only at the company’s Jackson, Tennessee plant, but also domestically in Claremont, North Carolina and Lexington, South Carolina.
Prysmian Group has made significant investments across its North American footprint to support the growing need for fiber infrastructure and the BEAD program funding, including the $30 million investment in its Jackson, Tennessee factory to retool the facility from legacy copper to fiber-optic cable production, and a $50 million multi-year modernization project at its Claremont fiber facility to enhance process capabilities, systems and technologies to support future growth.
“Internet for All is not just a connectivity program – it's a jobs and manufacturing program. Together, we’ll create thousands of jobs nationwide,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary McClain-Delaney. “Prysmian has not only answered that call, but trained a workforce to do it. This company is an example of what we’d like to see other manufacturers do across the country. I am particularly thrilled by Prysmian’s trailblazing work to bridge the gender gap in the telecom workforce.”
“Access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury – it’s necessary to fully participate in today’s society,” said Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will help us connect every community across the country to high-speed internet by 2030, and we’re going to do it with American-made fiber. Working alongside Prysmian and other manufacturers, we can grow our economy from the bottom up and middle out, create good-paying jobs, and close the digital divide once and for all.”
“We are very happy to welcome Mayor Landrieu and Deputy Assistant Secretary McClain-Delaney to our Jackson plant,” said Andrea Pirondini, CEO of Prysmian Group North America. “We have invested in people, technology and assets to support the increased demand for fiber and ensure each American has access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet. We are proud to do our part in this initiative.”