Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

Edge networking and edge compute resources continue to grow in importance every year, with emerging applications requiring low-latency and rapid responsiveness. Apple’s new Vision Pro headset signals an era of spatial computing, seamlessly blending digital content with physical space and providing new methods of interacting with information through eye, hand, and voice interfaces.

To be clear, today’s first-generation hardware device has a long way to go in terms of market adoption and price – $3499 list price isn’t exactly an impulse buy for either a home or business – but it’s more important to look five years down the road and imagine where it will be, along with making sure we build the highways and supporting infrastructure to support it and other applications in the pipeline, including the growing use of AI/MR, IoT, and cloud.

Multi-access edge compute (MEC) is one of the keys to unlocking all the “Rs” of reality, be it virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and/or mixed reality (MR), as well as 5G, mobile payments, image processing, and other applications requiring quick response times. We’ve gotten a lot out of cloud and increased adoption of fiber over the past two decades, but compute resources are moving from the data center and to the edge out of necessity.

To implement MEC, you need three things: a physically and logically secure location to place compute resources, a reliable power source, and lots of fiber for its reliability and low-latency attributes. Keeping the two micro-OLED displays in the Apple Vision Pro refreshed for 4K plus resolution will require MEC responsiveness that can’t be overcome with data center brute force. Making spatial computing work without triggering nausea requires a response time of 12 milliseconds or less, making any sort of long-distance trip to and from a data center to be extremely problematic.

Building MEC resource is taking place at a lot of interesting locations, including at cell tower sites and micro-style data center facilities in urban areas that have proximity to high-speed metro networks and 5G microsites. Fiber connectivity is the (glass) thread connecting everything together to provide the necessary balance of high-speed and low latency to enable the Intelligent Edge.

Kevin leads the marketing efforts for Clearfield as Chief Marketing Officer. He joined the fiber company in 2016, leveraging his extensive experience in advanced communications technology, fiber optic systems, and business product marketing. Prior to joining Clearfield, he spent two decades serving in various senior marketing positions at ADTRAN. Before that, he spent a decade at telephone operating company BellSouth, now a part of AT&T, where he worked as the lead broadband product evaluations resource in the Science & Technology department.

Morgan currently serves on the Fiber Broadband Association Senior Council Committee and has also held various leadership positions at the Fiber Broadband Association, including Board of Directors Chair for 2015, 2019, and 2022. Morgan holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Alabama.