November 15, 2021
Fujikura Ltd. (President & CEO: Masahiko Ito) announced today that AFL, a subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd., Japan, officially opened its new fibre optic cable facility in Swindon, Wiltshire, marking the start of commercial production of Fujikura’s Air Blown Wrapping Tube Cable (AB-WTC) using Spider Web Ribbon® (SWR®) fibre technology in the United Kingdom.
AB-WTC is an ultra-high density outside plant cable designed specifically for Fibre-to-the-Home and access network applications. This new facility is the first factory located outside Japan to produce this type of fibre optic cable within the Fujikura Group.
Fibre optic cables produced in the facility will be supplied to AFL and Fujikura customers who are undertaking major UK and European network infrastructure projects. The cables allow customers such as Openreach to speed up the rollout of full fibre broadband and therefore helps delivery of Europe’s very aggressive broadband availability targets including the UK Government’s target for 85 percent of UK premises to have access to gigabit-broadband by 2025.
Fujikura’s investment in the facility will also create new jobs in Swindon and the surrounding region including highly skilled engineering roles.
At the official opening ceremony, guests were given a tour of the new facility. Attendees at the event included H.E. Mr. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from the Embassy of Japan in the UK, senior representatives of Openreach, the Mayor of Swindon, Mr. Gary Perkins, and other guests.
Openreach, a communications provider, has been installing fibre optic cabling supplied by Fujikura since 2019. Speaking of the importance of the new plant to its rollout of 1Gbps FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), Andy Whale, Managing Director and Chief Engineer of Openreach said, “Our £15 billion network upgrade is hugely important, because research shows that nationwide full fibre broadband could add £59 billion to the economy every year, help level-up the UK, and bring around one million people back into work.”
“At Openreach, we intend to build the furthest, fastest and to the highest quality of any network builder in the UK, and to do that we’re forming strong partnerships with innovative companies like AFL and Fujikura.”
“We're already investing heavily in the South West where 3,400 Openreach people live and work and we're delighted our investment now extends to supporting local jobs and growth in our supply chain.”
Going forward, Fujikura is committed to providing total optical cable solutions, featuring leading-edge technologies that will contribute to infrastructure, economic growth and society-at-large throughout the world.