Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

After speaking at the recent Broadband Communities tradeshow, I got to do a lot of listening. And it proved the old adage that you can learn a lot more with your mouth shut than you can with it open.

I was approached by a number of attendees. Some were customers who simply thanked me for Clearfield’s support of the industry, and who complimented us on our products and service. (I love to hear this!) Others, like prospective clients, were looking for assistance on product selection and network design. I promptly referred those requests to our “Smart Guys” – our team of application engineering folks.

As anyone who knows me personally can attest, that level of knowledge is outside of my core expertise. Although, working the tradeshow booth afterward, I couldn’t help but smile broadly when a prospect watching a demo of our FieldShield pushable fiber, got to their “aha” moment. It was so gratifying to witness that moment of realization that this technology was going to reduce his cost of deployment — first by reducing labor in installation and later labor in restoration time. (You don’t have to be an engineer to appreciate the power and possibility of great technology.)

For me, the most exciting part of the show was talking (and listening) to the “next generation.” And I’m not referring to age here. There was one hour of the program dedicated to “the pioneers” – those who started this industry. But the “old guard” wasn’t there talking about theoretical deployment. Some of those faces were still there, but instead, the room was now filled with practical, hands-on, network planners who were out making it happen in their communities.

There was less talk about standards and more talk about financing. There was very little talk about the “why” of fiber and more talk about the applications fiber is enabling.

I always walk away from these shows feeling energized and smarter. A little talking and a lot of listening will do that.