Ciena eyes U.S. BEAD programme

Created December 7, 2023
Ciena HQNews and Business

Ciena® is adding domestic manufacturing through an expanded agreement with global diversified manufacturer Flex. Ciena is expected to begin production of the industry’s first pluggable OLTs as well as its ONUs at a Flex factory in the U.S. in mid-2024. Advancing its commitment to roll out high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities, Ciena says its investments will support the U.S. government’s Broadband Equity Adoption and Deployment (BEAD) projects, create new jobs and help broadband service providers comply with the Build America, Buy America (BABA) requirements.

Under the terms of the agreement, Flex will provide advanced manufacturing capabilities, including specialised optical transceiver assembly, and supply chain services, enabling Ciena to quickly ramp high-volume production of its innovative pluggable OLTs and ONUs at scale. This U.S. expansion builds on a 20-year global relationship. As a result of its partnership with Flex, Ciena is positioned to enable U.S. network providers with greater ability to leverage the BEAD program to expand their local footprint and business opportunities.

The company says adding to its existing portfolio of innovations that reduce the environmental impact of communication networks, Ciena’s pluggable OLTs greatly increase network sustainability and efficiency by connecting more homes at higher speeds per unit of power and space than competing solutions. Additionally, Ciena’s host routing platforms are already 25G ready, future-proofing service provider network investment without the need for hardware replacement, further maximising the solutions’ sustainable footprint. Ciena will also develop its next-generation 25GS-PON pluggable OLTs and ONUs in the U.S., providing a seamless evolution path for service providers to build open, modular, and scalable broadband networks.

“As stewards of the digital networks that underpin our lives, we are excited to announce the first U.S.-based manufacture of our unique pluggable optical line terminal solution. We take immense pride in advancing American innovation and strengthening domestic supply chains. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the NTIA and Department of Commerce to advance its mission to connect the unconnected and create greater opportunities for all communities,” commented Gary Smith, president and CEO, Ciena.

For more information, visit


This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.