CommScope to increase fiber cable production, roll out new HeliARC cables

March 30, 2023
The company’s North Carolina fiber-optic cable production facilities are located in Catawba and Claremont, respectively. Both will add production lines for the HeliARC cable.

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) says it will expand production capacity at two facilities in North Carolina, in part to support a manufacture of its new HeliARC fiber cable targeted toward rural broadband deployments. The moves are part of $47 million in capex CommScope says it will devote to improving its ability to support such rural fiber to the premises (FTTP) roll outs.

The company’s North Carolina fiber-optic cable production facilities are located in Catawba and Claremont, respectively. Both will add production lines for the HeliARC cable. CommScope says the production expansion will create at least 250 jobs over the next five years.

The newly announced HeliARC line (where "Heli" may refer to the cable's helical core construction and "ARC" stands for "advanced rural cable") comprises smaller and lighter-weight cable designed to enable faster installation and lower deployment costs. The cable’s helical stranding process eliminates the need for binder yarns, replaces water-blocking tape with two small threads, and reduces steel armor tape width and the amount of medium density polyethylene (MDPE) compound used, according to a brochure on CommScope's website. The reduced size and weight of the fiber cable will also lower shipping costs and enable more cables to be shipped at once, the company asserts. CommScope says this factor will make the HeliARC cable a more sustainable and environmentally friendly product. The HeliARC line comes out of the gate with a 12-fiber count.

CommScope announced the production expansion and the new cable at a ceremony March 29. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo (who had a busy day), Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson, U.S. Department of Commerce, and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper were among those who attended.

“We are in the business of connectivity. We strive to provide superior solutions to our customers who, in turn, provide connectivity for businesses, individuals and communities. This increase in fiber-optic cable production is a great step forward for our ‘Broadband for Everyone’ program, furthering our commitment to serve the fiber-optic cable market,” stated Chuck Treadway, president and CEO of CommScope. “We will produce more cost-effective and easier-to-deploy fiber-optic cable, add new jobs, and simultaneously strengthen the supply chain in America. This is a trifecta we are thrilled to announce, and we are particularly pleased to share this news today in the company of Secretary Raimondo and Governor Cooper.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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