Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

If you’ve been in the telecommunications industry for a few years (like me), when you drive around, you notice every communications enclosure on your route. You may see many different sizes and shapes, which is a result of our industry going from copper-based services to optical fiber. A lot of times, I see an old copper cross-connect cabinet next to an old active (or powered) outside plant (OSP) cabinet next to some type of fiber distribution hub (FDH). Today, with the right planning, this big cluster of cabinets collapses into one neat, smaller package.

If you’re familiar with older powered cabinets, you know they’re uni-taskers…designed to drop copper POTs lines and a few DS1s, but limited in depth, power and thermal capacity. And service providers are wanting to move away from these traditional communications shelters and big copper distribution footprints for modern, active OSP cabinets.

Enter Clearfield®. Known for exceptional FDH cabinets, Clearfield now complements our line of passive cabinets with new active cabinets. The FieldSmart® Fiber Active Cabinet (FAC) 5400 is the biggest of the powered cabinet solutions that Clearfield offers…but even our biggest cabinet is much smaller than what used to be required for its features. It has plenty of physical, power and thermal capacity, plus a small footprint of just over 48-inches square. The 2 main equipment racks provide a big 27 rack units (RUs) of mounting space in each (54 RUs total). Why is this important? Because it gives the service provider flexibility. So that when the next round of a manufacturer’s device gets released, there is space to install it and migrate quickly, with little impact to the end user customer. More flexibility to design the fiber network for growth and still maintain a smaller footprint at customer-facing locations is important to technicians and contractors. The FAC 5400 easily houses OLTs, Ethernet switches, optical components, feeder fibers and thousands of fiber ports for distribution. Having more space for distribution feeder fibers makes it perfect for supporting additional FDHs, while acting as a PON or Active Ethernet distribution center.

Depending on the active components, the FAC 5400 provides up to 264 PON ports (maybe more depending on thermal management requirements) that will support 1,152 subscribers at a 1:32 split out of the cabinet, which means 1 cabinet, 1 smaller footprint at the hub…leaving 228 ports for feeds that could support another 7,269 subscribers. That’s 51 smaller 144 PON cabinet spokes supported! One FAC 5400 could support services for an entire town/campus or a very significant 5G network. For CLECs, this means no monthly recurring charges for rack space and CFA. Bigger means ILECs can migrate and decommission larger traditional telecommunications huts.

Building your network with a combination of FACs and FDHs is the smart way to drive bigger fiber-based revenues while achieving a smaller overall operating footprint. Contact one of our Clearfield’s experts, like me, to help select the right mix of FACs and FDHs to fit your network strategy.

By Marty Adkins

Marty Adkins, Clearfield Application Engineer, is a BICSI RCDD and Telcordia GR1275-certified professional. With over 20 years in the telecommunications industry, Marty has extensive Data/Com experience in designing and constructing optical fiber infrastructure supporting multiple communications platforms, in addition to a background in network capacity planning and management. He presents on fiber optics topics at BICSI regional events and for various Clearfield customers.