Clearfield Beefs Up Online Fiber-Management Community
By| August 19, 2010
For those who want to read more “insider information” regarding fiber management, Clearfield Inc. is offering a new section of its Fiberpuzzle.com site that offers just that.
“The Fiber Color Pages” now features monthly online commentaries the company (which designs and manufactures the WaveSmart platform of powered optical signal products, including the WaveSmart PowerNode 1550 EDFA and the FieldSmart Fiber Management Platform) says will focus on various issues and advancements in fiber management. The first feature, authored by Clearfield Senior Member of Technical Staff Brian Schrand, is called "Is Plug and Play the Future of FTTH?"
In the inaugural commentary, Schrand considers whether the decade-old plug-and-play technology has come of age in the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) evolution. He notes "the largest issue when using traditional methods to build a FTTH network is that they’re very labor intensive, especially in the area of splicing. In most cases, 70 percent of the capital spent is for labor. Because of this, manufacturers are being pushed to develop a more cost effective way to build these networks."
Schrand continues, positing that, with the plug and play option, "connectorization replaces splicing so the need for skilled labor is reduced and the cost to deploy a FTTH network goes down." (Editor’s note: For more on connectorization vs. splicing, read the September issue of Communications Technology magazine, available soon.)
Here is the bottom line, according to Schrand: “As the deployment of fiber grows in FTTH, data center, smart grid and wind farm technologies, the demand for skilled splicing technicians will grow. This will be a major problem because the limited pool of technicians that currently exists can’t keep up with the demand and the learning curve for future techs will be too great. So, the need to develop a simple, cost effective low count fiber connector that can be incorporated into a full gamut of products is in the immediate future.” (To read the entire piece, go to http://www.fiberpuzzle.com/blog/is-plug-and-play-the-future-of-ftth/)
The Fiber Color Pages isn’t Clearfield’s first venture in building community within the fiber-management community. FiberPuzzle.com was created by Clearfield in 2009 “to allow industry leaders, professionals, and others to read the latest fiber management news, connect with others in the field, and discuss the future of the fiber industry in a single online location.” And in the “FTTx Blog” section of the site, Clearfield application engineers and market managers offer their expertise on pertinent fiber-deployment issues while “The Whitepaper Corner” provides information on how to meet the many challenges of broadband deployment.
According to Clearfield President and CEO Cheri Beranek, "Fiber Color Pages is, essentially, a variation on industry white papers addressing issues facing the telecommunications industry.” However, the new forum isn’t a platform to exclusively showcase Clearfield products or technology. Rather, Beranek explains, its purpose is to “create an online space to engage the FTTx community in dialogue about the industry. It has been created to serve as a place ‘where fiber management comes together.’"
(Another Editor’s Note: Please check out CT‘s own social media site, CT Chatter, to keep up with what’s going on coast to coast.)