AFL is committed to supporting the expansion of broadband access in underserved communities across America. For nearly 40 years, AFL has proudly manufactured fiber optic cable, components, and conductor accessories in the United States, creating thousands of jobs across the nation.

We are proud to offer fiber optic cable and components that meet domestic preference requirements for federally funded projects. AFL offers superior products leveraging our international manufacturing network with a robust supply chain, allowing us to meet our customer’s needs.


Questions or comments? Email us at ConnectingAmerica@AFLglobal.com.





 




Latest News

The Department of Commerce has issued a waiver for the Letter of Credit Requirement for BEAD funding which provides additional avenues and options to address the requirement. This include ability for subgrantees to obtain LOCs from U.S. Credit Unions or to use a performance bond in lieu of a bank LOC. Also States and Territories can help reduce the LOC threshold through milestone-based reductions in percentage or providing funding to subgrantees on a reimbursement basis allowing for reduction of LOC threshold to 10%.
Ensuring Robust Participation in the BEAD Program | Internet for All

 

Members of AFL’s executive leadership team recently met with Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Stephen Benjamin, in Washington DC to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration’s Build America Buy America Act policies and funding related to the expansion of broadband access and modernizing the power grid across America.
AFL Meets with White House Officials (aflglobal.com)

 

Department of Commerce has launched a new dashboard tracking progress by States and other applicants on proposal submittals and approvals for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program.
BEAD Initial Proposal Progress Dashboard | Internet for All

 

Department of Commerce received hundreds of comments from across the industry on their proposed waiver for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program. Final issuances of waiver is targeted for end of the year.
BEAD BABA Waiver Replacement.pdf (commerce.gov)

 

Department of Treasury compliance supplement - Awards made under the Corona Virus Capital Fund Program authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) are not subject to the Buy America Preference requirements set forth in section 70914 of the Build America, Buy America Act included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. 117-58.
2023 CPF Compliance Supplement (treasury.gov)

 

Department of Treasury provides final rule - Awards made under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) are not subject to the Buy America Preference requirements set forth in section 70914 of the Build America, Buy America Act included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. 117-58.
SLFRF Final Rule FAQ (treasury.gov)

 

Depart of Agriculture provides final rule on RUS Rural eConnectivity Program - only Non-Federal Entities must be compliant with Buy America Preference requirements set forth in section 70914 of the Build America, Buy America Act included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. 117-58.
https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2023-01621.pdf

 

Depart of Agriculture provides final rule on RUS Rural eConnectivity Program - For-Profits and Electric Cooperatives may source materials from eligible counties.  Where “eligible country” is any country that applies with respect to the United States an agreement ensuring reciprocal access for United States products and services and United States suppliers to the markets of that country, as determined by the United States Trade Representative.
https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2023-01621.pdf

 

Department of Commerce Middle Mile Waiver has been approved providing waivers for several different equipment areas including optical connectivity - cabinets, splitters, terminals, cable assemblies, and DWDM mux and transponders - see
National Telecommunications and Information Administration Limited Applicability Nonavailability Waiver of the Buy America Domestic Content Procurement Preference as Applied to Recipients of Middle Mile Grant Program Awards for more detail. It should be noted the waiver does not cover Optical Cable.

 

 

Helpful Resources

  • BABA compliant product requests
    • To help facilitate requests for BABA compliant products, the questionnaire should be submitted to your AFL contact* before placing your order. Your AFL Customer Service Representative with work with our International Trade Compliance Department to evaluate if we have the proper items which meet the required criteria. Failure to include certain pieces of information about the Prime Contract could result in customer receiving non-compliant product. The customer is responsible for providing valid contract domestic requirements to ensure proper order fulfillment. This information should be verified prior to order placement and referenced in the relevant purchase order. *You can also email a copy to ConnectingAmerica@aflglobal.com.
    • BABA compliant product requests questionnaire can be found here.

 

  • Build America, Buy America Act – Federal Financial Assistance
    • The Build America, Buy America Act ("BABA") requires that all of the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in infrastructure projects are produced in the United States. This is also known as a "domestic preference." 
    • More information can be found at MadeinAmerica.gov.

 

  • Exceptions and Waivers to Domestic Preference
    • Exceptions and waivers will be made by the head of a Federal agency – but first the agency must post the proposed waiver online for 15 days to allow the public to review it and submit comments. Waivers posted for public comment are posted by each agency. 
    • A consolidated list can be found here.

 

  • International Trade Agreement Obligations
    • The BABA provisions apply in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements. Typically, Federal financial assistance awards are generally not subject to international trade agreements because these international obligations only apply to direct procurement activities by signatories to such agreements.
    • In certain circumstances, however, 37 of 50 States and some sub-Federal entities have opted to obligate their procurement activities to the terms of one or more international trade agreements, and as such, are included in schedules to the international trade agreements.
    • A list of the U.S. States, other sub-Federal entities, and other entities that are subject to U.S. obligations under international agreements can be found here

 


 

BABA AFL Timeline

U.S. Department of Commerce, NTIA “Internet For All” Info Sheet, May 2022