Resources on Fiber Optic Products


Alpine Communications connects rural Iowa with the latest advancements in telephone, internet, security, TV and FTTH. The people at Alpine Communications  believe that connected communities become thriving communities. By using Active Ethernet technology, they offer a dedicated fiber connection to their FTTH customers. Running fiber directly to every single home…with no splitting…future-proofs the network for the Alpine Communication customers.

Deployment Driver

Alpine Communications has a history of utilizing Clearfield fiber and fiber management products in Central Offices and in the outside plant in order to bring their high-speed broadband to the homes and communities in Northeastern Iowa. But the significantly more rural communities – with distances up to 10 miles from the next larger town - require a different approach to fiber connectivity than typical Fiber to the Home (FTTH) services.

Delivering large count (up to 800 fibers) over a long distance does not make sense from a labor and material perspective. A better idea is to bring the capabilities of the Central Office closer to the customer. One widely used approach is to place a small building (commonly called a hut) in the wire center to house the electronics typically found in the Central Office and to create the meet-me point for the feeder and distribution fibers ultimately going to the customer home. But the expense of building and maintaining a hut, in addition to the permitting time and costs, makes the hut a less than ideal solution for the telco looking for cost and time efficiencies.


Alpine discovered a better way to deploy fiber to these rural homes. Rather than employing a building or hut, a powered cabinet, placed close to the fiber distribution area, serves as a mini Central Office - accommodating not only all distribution fibers, but also providing space for the active equipment. Chad Ruegnitz, a 17-year Alpine veteran and Outside Plant Manager, is a fan of the powered cabinets that have been deployed during his time at Alpine Communications. “Finding a location to easily place and feed a powered cabinet is by far simpler than garnering building easements,” said Ruegnitz, “and no longer dealing with the permitting time and costs associated with a hut saves both short- and long-term dollars.”

Historically, powered cabinets have utilized both copper and fiber connectivity. Alpine Communications took a fresh approach with Clearfield’s new FieldSmart Fiber Active Cabinet (FAC) as an alternative to similar solutions on the market. The FieldSmart FAC was deemed a better fit both now and in the future due to the dense fiber capabilities of the FAC. In fact, Alpine plans to go back and retrofit all of their older powered cabinets to remove the copper and add Clearfield’s fiber management insert to distribute fiber to their customers.


“We’re very happy with how Clearfield’s Fiber Active Cabinet fits our needs,” said Ruegnitz. “It’s a simple solution for a Central Office in a rural environment. It all went together really well.” 

About Alpine Communications

Alpine Communications began in 1996 with a group of telecommunications pioneers - growing steadily since that time to become a telco service provider that provides an enhanced fiber broadband customer experience throughout the Clayton and Fayette Counties of Northeastern Iowa.

The community and service-focused culture that Alpine Communications has today is a result of their commitment to connect, leading them to become the first company in Iowa to be certified by the Fiber to the Home Council and why they were recognized by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association as a Smart Rural Community Provider in recognition of Alpine’s important work in bringing broadband-enabled advances to rural America.

About Clearfield, Inc.

Clearfield, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLFD) designs, manufactures and distributes fiber optic management, protection and delivery products for communications networks. Our “fiber to anywhere” platform serves the unique requirements of leading incumbent local exchange carriers (traditional carriers), competitive local exchange carriers (alternative carriers), and MSO/cable TV companies, while also catering to the broadband needs of the utility/municipality, enterprise, data center and military markets. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Clearfield deploys more than a million fiber ports each year. For more information, visit or @ClearfieldFiber