Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

We’re on the precipice of a fiber installation boom that we’ve never seen before. Federal monies are now being spent for new fiber networks around the country through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). At the same time, NTIA and the 56 states and territories are gearing up to spend $42.5 billion in BEAD funding over the next five years. In addition, the private sector is gearing up for deploying fiber to support higher-speed cable networks, 5G deployments, and greenfield all-fiber networks, such as AT&T's recently announced joint venture with BlackRock in Mesa, Arizona, and Lumos expanding its fiber network into South Carolina.

One of the emerging themes from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 highlighted corporate investment in technology to reduce the dependence upon human labor, using a combination of the cloud, AI, and robotics to make people a “nice to have” rather than a necessary component in the delivery of goods and services. As utopian as it sounds, many industries, including those building the future-proof networks of tomorrow, are long and expensive ways away from having Mr. Roboto bury, pull, install, and splice fiber.

Human hands and human beings are and shall remain at the tip of the spear for installations, as well as the long pole of the spear to move fiber into the neighborhoods and to the side of the home. The name of the game for fiber network construction is not to eliminate people, but to give them the tools, knowledge, and skills for them to be the most effective and efficient at their jobs.

Investing in training and certification as an ongoing process is vital and paramount, providing a skills growth path for employees from the time they are onboarded day one and throughout their career. Clearfield College has been a vital part of educating fiber employees on how to use its products and industry best practices for years and is gearing up to meet the needs of our customers and the industry at large to make sure we continue to share our knowledge accumulated over a decade of operations.

Time is money, especially when that time is spent on a truck roll to the field. Every person in the field needs to be at the top of their game. The more they know about the products and technology they are installing, the more efficiently they can turn up customers and provide the best solution to meet the needs of the moment. An investment in training is an investment not only in faster revenue production and quicker repairs when the time comes but also an investment in the communities served by the fiber connections. The question is, do you have a workforce training investment plan today?

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.