Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

Optical components are ever more prevalent in the deployment of fiber optics, offering network distributors increased performance and reliability in extreme conditions. When optical components move from controlled environments to the outside plant, such qualities become increasingly important for network integrity.

But how do you know the optical components you purchase are held to high standards of quality? Nearly every provider selling in the market today can claim product quality, but not all of them can prove it. Let’s take a look at what sets Clearfield apart from the rest.

Tested for Quality

Clearfield’s Ruggedized Optical Splitters are tested against the requirements of Telcordia GR-1209 and GR-1221 and have been certified independently to conform to these requirements. These GR’s act as a framework to ensure products hold up in extreme conditions and continue to function as intended. Each GR can be broken down into two different metrics of quality—performance and reliability.

GR-1209 primarily measures the signal performance of passive optical components, while GR-1221 measures the long-term mechanical reliability of those components in a wide range of conditions. This means our optical components perform as promised in the most extreme of conditions, from -40° to +80° Celsius.

Meeting these standards points to greater reliability and consistency, which other providers cannot always claim. Despite the quality standards many network builders require, it has, however, become common practice to claim that an optical component is GR-1209 and GR-1221 compliant, when in fact, it is not. Knowing if your optical components really are held to this standard is the key to having confidence in a reliable network.

This is why our WaveSmart® Ruggedized Splitters come with a 20-year warranty. At Clearfield, we recognize the importance of adhering to the GR’s when dealing with a product of this importance. This is especially true for products that are typically housed in the outside plant environment and are regularly exposed to the elements.

Stand-Out Features

Clearfield’s Optical Components not only stand out in our adherence to quality standards, but also in the features we offer customers. Our Optical Splitter options ensure quality, reliability, and longevity no matter your network needs.

Operational Wavelength

Many optical component providers do not guarantee their components will work across the entire commercial optical spectrum. Because different network standards use different wavelengths, guarantees for operational wavelengths are also important.

With Clearfield’s products, you can be sure that your splitter will work at all applicable wavelengths, from 1260 nanometers to 1650 nanometers. This guarantee is especially important as future network standards evolve and change over time.

Insertion Loss

Clearfield’s “Fiber Deep” technology guarantees 0.20dB or less insertion loss, meaning with our splitters, you can deliver stronger signals throughout your network build. Exceeding the industry standard of 0.35dB, Clearfield emerges as the clear choice.

The bottom line is this: using premium optical components with premium low loss terminations will reduce your total insertion loss budget and allow you to extend the fiber network, further reducing overall build costs. Additionally, our quality 1x32 splitters have a max insertion loss of 16.8dB as a terminated component. Our ruggedized splitters are tested and approved with factory-installed connectors, ensuring the performance and reliability of the entire component.

Return Loss

Optical return loss is another barometer of the quality of the fiber used in the splitter component. Return loss is caused by impurities in the fiber, which means the lower the better. At Clearfield, our optical splitters offer -50dB or better, every time.

Loss can also be generated by micro-bends or macro-bends, which are usually associated with improper installation practices.


Another critical factor important to gauge the quality and consistency of an optical component is uniformity – a measure of the range of fiber connector loss across all the output legs. In fact, uniformity can be considered synonymous with quality and consistency. With less than 1.7dB or less between the best and worst legs within the splitter, Clearfield retains high quality with low loss on the output fibers.

Quality Assurance

Clearfield offers all these features and more, tested to rigorous standards of quality, because we take quality seriously. As part of the GR-1221 requirements, our components have been tested to perform long term, enduring the most difficult of conditions and wear and tear.

To be exact, we put them through fourteen brutal tests to ensure product quality, manufacturing consistency, and long-term reliability. This includes impact testing, vibration testing, thermal shock, high and low temperature storage in both wet and dry conditions, and temperature cycling tests. We even put our components through seven additional test procedures, including a seven-day test period under water and five days in a corrosive environment. These tests all serve to ensure our optical components meet our quality standards and those of GR-1209 and GR-1221.

Final Thoughts

The Clearfield WaveSmart® Ruggedized Splitter meets and often exceeds the optical parameters listed in the Telcordia General Requirements and passes every one of our fourteen reliability tests.

Clearfield built and certified a million-dollar testing facility specifically to provide a superior product that is guaranteed for the expected life of any standard network. We believe that a network is only as strong as its weakest link and maintain that our product offers the best return on your fiber investment.

You deserve the highest level of consistency and reliability throughout your network build, even down to the smallest components. Choosing Clearfield’s optical components guarantees the best quality products in your passive network, with the long-run pay off of less time and material spent on repairing signal outages and replacing those lower quality optical components.

Gavin Rummler assists with the marketing efforts for Clearfield as the team’s Corporate Communications Specialist. He joined the company in 2022, utilizing his communications expertise to author written collateral across various channels. Before joining Clearfield, he worked in multiple communications roles, including curriculum writing, technical writing, and copywriting.