AFL, an electronic and telecommunications specialist, has opened a new fibre-optic cable facility in Swindon, UK. It will produce Fujikura‘s air-blown wrapping tube cables and is the first factory in the UK and Europe to produce this type of fibre-optic cable.

Paul Bennett, general manager of AFL, said: “We are delighted that we will now be producing in the UK, at our Swindon plant, where we have a strong, skilled workforce and a long manufacturing history. AFL’s further investment in Swindon is not only significant for network roll-outs and upgrades, but because we have added state-of-the-art equipment, it also enables us to increase cable production.”

The investment allows the company to better serve its European customers and will support the UK government‘s target for 85% of UK premises to have access to gigabit broadband by 2025.

Openreach, a London-based communications provider, has been installing fibre-optic cabling supplied by Fujikura since 2019. Andy Whale, managing director and chief engineer of Openreach, explained the significance of the new factory to its roll-out of 1Gbps fibre to the premises: “Our £15bn ($20.1bn) network upgrade is hugely important, because research shows that nationwide full-fibre broadband could add £59bn to the economy every year, help level up the UK, and bring about one million people back into work.”

AFL was formed on in 1984 as a joint venture by Alcoa Securities Corporation and Fujikura. The company now has locations in the Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and the US.