Adtran’s Investment, White House Wants Texas Social Media Law Blocked, Anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act

Adtran will partner with local area schools for its high school apprenticeship program.

Adtran’s Investment, White House Wants Texas Social Media Law Blocked, Anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act
Photo of Elizabeth Prelogar by Rod Lamkey

August 16, 2023 — Adtran, a global provider of networking and communications equipment, announced Wednesday that it is investing up to $5 million at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Alabama to increase American production capacity of advanced telecommunications equipment.

The investment will see the creation of up to 300 high-quality and good-paying jobs, read the press release. Adtran is expanding its current U.S.-based production of optical line termination equipment and preparing to onshore the manufacturing of optical network terminals.

“As a leading US telecommunications equipment provider, we look forward to partnering with state broadband offices and network operators across the country as they expand secure, high-speed internet access to millions of Americans,” said CEO Tom Stanton.

“This expansion not only represents a strategic investment in Adtran’s growing workforce and manufacturing capabilities but also demonstrates our long-term commitment to strengthening the domestic supply chain and securing communications networks with American-made equipment,” he continued.

The company will partner with local area schools for its high school apprenticeship program and is developing a co-op program for college students.

“This announcement is the latest example of how we’re turning ‘Made in America’ into a reality and expanding manufacturing across the country,” said Gina Raimondo, secretary of Commerce.

“The Internet for All initiative is not just a connectivity program, it’s a jobs program – for the people who build the networks and for the people who make the equipment those networks need,” said National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator Alan Davidson.

Demand is growing for domestically produced network electronics due to the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program that requires that at least 55 percent of the cost of material for broadband builds are sourced domestically.

Nokia announced in early August it’s U.S.-based manufacturing of key electronic components for fiber-optic broadband networks. The White House released guidance Monday clarifying rules surrounding the domestic procurement of materials used for projects funded under the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act.

White House asks Supreme Court to block Texas social media law

The White House asked the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision to uphold Texas’s social media law that aims to prohibit social media companies from banning users based on political views.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote a brief on Monday saying that conflicting decisions from circuit courts over similar laws in Texas and Florida warrant a Supreme Court review. She said the court should reverse the 5th Circuit court’s decision to uphold the Texas law, arguing that social media companies have first amendment protection to carry out content moderation.

“The platforms’ content-moderation activities are protected by the first amendment, and the content-moderation and individualized explanation requirements impermissibly burden those protected activities,” she wrote.

Prelogar wrote that the court should not consider changes to provisions for the law that would require tech companies to disclose the details of their content moderation. She said that the general disclosure provisions have “not been the focus of this litigation.”

Texas’s law is similar to a Florida law which would limit companies from being able to moderate content and users, even if they violate the website’s terms and conditions.

The 11th Circuit ruled to block Florida’s similar law. The conflict sets the case up to be heard by the Supreme Court. In January, the Supreme Court asked for the Joe Biden administration’s input on the state laws.

One-year anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act

One year in, the Inflation Reduction Act is having “a significant impact on American workers and families,” said a White House press release.

The Inflation Reduction Act directed $400 billion in federal funding to clean energy and domestic manufacturing in the United States. “Outside groups estimate the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy and climate provisions have created more than 170,000 clean energy jobs already, companies have announced over $110 billion in clean energy manufacturing investments in the last year alone,” read the press release.

“According to Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, my plan is leading to a boom – they called it a boom – in manufacturing and manufacturing investment,” said President Joe Biden in remarks on the IRA anniversary.

The IRA followed investments in American infrastructure and manufacturing in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act, which funds domestic semiconductor manufacturing. According to the White House, the IRA will reach the Biden Administration’s goal of cutting carbon emissions 50 percent below levels in 2005 by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

“We’ve added more jobs in two years than any president has in American history in a four-year term. More in two than any has done in four,” Biden said. “And unemployment has been below 4 percent for the longest stretch in over 50 years.”

“We’ve recovered all the jobs lost during the pandemic, and we’ve added millions more. People are coming off the sidelines and getting back into the workplace,” he continued. “Since I took office, we’ve attracted more than one half trillion dollars… in private investment in American manufacturing and the industries of the future.”

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