Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

By: Brian Schrand

When building a FTTH network, there are two basic architectures that you can choose from for your distribution segment:

1. Open architecture
2. Modular architecture

In an open architecture, the fiber cable is opened up to expose the individual fibers, either in a buffer tube or ribbon. These will be left in a splice tray in some type of enclosure such as a splice case, pedestal or terminal. This is a very inexpensive way to deploy fiber in a network; however, with the fibers exposed they’re vulnerable to breakage. This is especially true during the installation process of hooking up a customer. This method requires an expensive fusion machine and a skilled technician to install the fiber drop.

The above picture is a good example of an open architecture deployment. As you can see, there is a fiber drop installed on the left hand side of the pedestal. This drop is then fused directly to the assigned distribution fiber.

In the modular architecture, fibers are opened to the buffer tube or ribbon and are then fusion spliced into a hardened closure. This offers excellent protection to the fibers but is very heavy in capital outlay. The modular network is also often termed as a plug-n-play solution. This is because the only thing a technician needs to do to hook a customer up to the network is plug in a preterminated drop cable. No fusion machine is required. This operation can also be done by a lower skill set of technician. The drawback to this type of architecture is that the individual fibers are difficult, or sometimes impossible, to get to which results in a dedicated plant.

What if you could have the best of both worlds? Clearfield offers such a solution with our Clearview® Cassette and xPAK – the building blocks of our FieldSmart® and CraftSmart® product lines.

The Clearview Cassette and xPAK give you a connector interface but also give you the ability to access individual fibers if needed. The Cassette is a 12 fiber termination and the xPAK is 6.

Both products are the basic building blocks to our entire product line and will fit into any network element…from the CO/head-end to the customer premises.

For more information on distribution networks, watch our recorded seminar on the topic.