Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals


Last week, I attended the Regional Conference of the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council in Chicago. For those who don’t know, the FTTH Council is a non-profit association of companies and organizations, like Clearfield, that manufacture or deliver FTTH products, and/or plan and build FTTH networks. Occasionally, we get together to share ideas and build consensus on key issues surrounding FTTH.

Recently, I was asked to join the Public Policy Committee, which held its first meeting in conjunction with the conference. I was happy to participate because, along with the rest of the Clearfield leadership team, we feel strongly about having our voice heard. This is a pivotal and transformative time for our industry. So, it’s particularly critical for opinion leaders to thoroughly understand and then take a stand on important industry issues, such the CAF II initiative for broadband funding, and some of the changing dynamics of municipal broadband.

Coincidentally, Mark Erickson, Economic Development Director of the City of Winthrop, Minnesota, also spoke at the conference. Winthrop is a rural community of approximately 1,500 people, and it happens to be a Clearfield partner. Winthrop is one of the cities and townships within Sibley County and eastern Renville that have built an innovative fiber-to-farm cooperative network, RS Fiber. It is a smart, grassroots deployment that broke ground last July, and hopes to ultimately connect 10 towns and 17 townships in rural Minnesota. (And, on a personal note, it is less than a half hour from where I grew up.)

It was thrilling to hear Mark and others share their stories on this remarkable time in the fiber industry. I value my colleagues’ points-of-view, and I appreciate the opportunity to share mine. Like Winston Churchill said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”