Minneapolis (August 23, 2010) – The 30,000 residents of Salisbury, NC are about to get a major upgrade in their telecommunications options as a result of a city-driven Fiber To The Home (FTTH) deployment. The project, which has been branded Fibrant under the heading “Make Life Brilliant,” is getting an assist from Clearfield, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLFD) both in the field and at the central office.
When it launches this fall, Fibrant will initially offer a “triple play” of state-of-the-art voice, video and data services that will rival anything the big name service providers can offer, said Salisbury Director of Broadband Services Michael Crowell. “We’ll be offering a better product that provides fiber all the way to the home,” he said. “We’ll have much more bandwidth than the others, and we’ll be offering a superior level of customer service.”
As an example, Crowell noted that Fibrant will provide four HD streams into the homes – something that has not been available in this market previously. This technological advantage is especially attractive to the younger demographic. In fact, one of the primary goals of Fibrant is to attract and retain younger professionals.
The FTTH project, covering 18 square miles and connecting an estimated 12,000 homes and businesses, was launched in 2006. Clearfield was selected, via fiber contractor Atlantic Engineering, to streamline the fiber management both in the central office and in the field. With Clearfield’s FieldSmart Fiber Crossover Distribution System (FxDS) patch panels in its head-end operation, the city will benefit from the highest density fiber management in the industry. Out in the field, Fibrant has 68 of Clearfield’s FieldSmart Fiber Scalability Centers (FSC) or PON splitter cabinets — each of which can feed up to 288 customers.
“For four years we looked at a lot of alternatives. Ultimately, we selected Clearfield’s cabinets because of their size and compactness. We didn’t want to go into our neighborhoods and install refrigerator-sized boxes. We knew the people wouldn’t like that,” he said. “Clearfield had a definite advantage of size. They’re small and compact. Most people don’t even know they’re there.”
Crowell also admired Clearfield’s elegant design. “It’s real easy to go into the cabinet and put in a jumper. We didn’t have to have special training for our technicians. That’s a function of good design,” he said. “There’s also good storage capability within the cabinet. So you don’t just have a bunch of patch cables looking like spaghetti. They have been designed so it’s really easy to keep your cables in a neat and orderly fashion.”
The first phase of Fibrant is expected to be completed in the 4th quarter of this year. Phase two of the project, which would add gaming, security and wireless options, is currently being discussed.
“Municipal–driven broadband networks require a sound, scalable platform upon which to deliver next generation broadband connectivity, backed by an organization that is responsive to their unique needs,” explains Cheri Beranek, president and CEO of Clearfield. “Our ongoing relationship with the City of Salisbury illustrates Clearfield’s commitment to serving the fiber management needs of this emerging category of broadband service provider.”