One of my great pleasures is getting away from stress. For me, that means going outdoors…perhaps camping in the woods, staying at a lake resort or visiting my niece on her isolated pig farm. I’ve done this for a long time and want to stay connected to the rest of my family while I’m gone…but this meets with varying success. Years ago, it was often impossible to get broadband service in rural areas. Some people prefer disconnecting occasionally, but I don’t. If something important happens, I want to hear about it. Not having connectivity agitates me…the opposite of getting away from stress.

Electric co-ops help their members de-stress by ramping up services and bringing broadband to underserved areas, such as rural ones, or those not getting any service. They’re investing in a fiber infrastructure for technology enablement.

At Clearfield®, we support electric co-ops with our “fiber to anywhere,” craft-friendly fiber management and pathway products. Clearfield products are not proprietary to Clearfield, allowing maximum flexibility for customization.

I’m particularly happy with our new powered cabinet, the FieldSmart® FiberFlex 2000, and its ability to help electric co-op members get and stay connected. While developing it, we talked to customers and got specific feedback to reduce their stress by addressing gaps in other cabinet offerings on the market. In response to those discussions, the FiberFlex 2000 features a small footprint, flexibility and plenty of power and cooling.

Because our FiberFlex 2000 includes a PON cabinet inside of an active cabinet, it doesn’t take up a ton of room, eliminating unsightly box farms. The FiberFlex 2000 combines the flexibility and fiber density that two large cabinets usually provide but within an optimized footprint smaller than 3' x 2'…saving lots of real estate.

The cabinet’s scalability and flexibility provide a grow-as-you-go capability. Electric co-ops can optimize capital expenditures and pay for only what is needed today. As the network grows, co-ops can add additional ports. Up to 576 fiber distribution ports give co-ops the ability to split to a large number of customers and still have port space to feed cabinets further down the network.

Rural areas and extreme weather present no problems for the FiberFlex 2000…and since Clearfield’s headquarters is in Minnesota, we know about both. The environmentally controlled cabinet stands up to even the harshest outdoor conditions, providing a sealed internal environment where external air and humidity are completely isolated from the electronic equipment. The FiberFlex 2000 accepts local AC power and features an external AC Load Center. A door-mounted integrated air-to-air heat exchanger and DC-powered fans cool the equipment inside the cabinet.

If you want to know more about how we can help electric co-ops connect people with less stress, reach out to Clearfield. We’re happy to tell you more about fiber solutions that enable communities to succeed.

By Michael Wood

Product Marketing Manager for Clearfield’s Fiber Active Cabinet line, Michael Wood also manages the industry certification training program and advanced marketing work related to federal broadband funding programs. Prior to joining Clearfield, Michael held various engineering, marketing and product management positions in the information and communications technology sector.

Michael holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Notre Dame and is a Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT).