Alaskan carrier extends FTTH deployment

MAY 29, 2009 -- Clearfield, Inc. says it is helping Matanuska Telephone Association to advance its FTTH deployment in south-central Alaska.

MAY 29, 2009 -- Clearfield Inc. (search Lightwave for Clearfield) says it is helping Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA) to advance its fiber to the home (FTTH) deployment in south-central Alaska. Despite the harsh elements of the Alaskan tundra -- including heavy snow, extreme cold, glacial silt, and even volcanic ash -- routing fiber for improved telecommunications services is considered every time new cable is required within the combined greenfield and brownfield initiative, Clearfield says.

While Alaska is known for its harsh elements, perhaps the harshest is the economic issue associated with the cost of deploying a fiber-based telecommunications system over such a wide expanse of land. According to MTA's Outside Plant Network Planner Rod Schultz, it can cost upwards of $90,000 per linear mile to trench cable in Alaska. Because OSP FTTH costs are exacerbated by the already expensive trenching costs, Clearfield asserts its FieldSmart Fiber Deliver Point (FDP) Pedestal Inserts have proven beneficial.

"We are literally saving $300-$500 per customer on this build because of these pedestals (versus the conventional "handhole and terminal tail" method). We can now place fiber at, or close to, the cost of copper," Schultz said.

The FieldSmart FDP Pedestal Inserts integrate distribution splices, splitters, and slack cable for FTTH deployments. In addition, to withstand the often treacherous elements of Alaska, MTA used Clearfield's FieldSmart Fiber Scalability Center for its outside plant PON cabinet requirements. In addition to the snow and temperature extremes, the issue of volcanic ash and glacial silt established the importance of a tight seal and ruggedized protection.

"We're happy to report that Clearfield's cabinets are even engineered to be volcano proof. We recently went out and opened them up, and there was no sign of volcanic ash inside the cabinets, even though they were covered with it on the outside," Schultz said.

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