Clearfield Taps Zhone to Deploy Fiber Network at its Minneapolis Facility

  • Clearfield
  • Zhone Technologies
MINNEAPOLIS, MN and OAKLAND, CA — Clearfield, a provider of fiber management and connectivity platforms for ISPs, has deployed a gigabit passive optical network (GPON) using access solution hardware from Zhone Technologies at its manufacturing and operations facility in Minneapolis, Minn. The companies also announced their intention to co-market GPON solutions for enterprise customers and develop integrated hardware/software solutions that optimize the implementation of Clearfield's fiber optic products with Zhone's fiber access solutions.

Clearfield designs, manufactures and distributes fiber optic management products, helping service providers reduce the high costs associated with deploying, managing, protecting and scaling a fiber optic network to deliver mobile, residential and business services. With the popularity of fiber-based Local Area Networks (LANs) and GPON networks increasing, Clearfield is aggressively expanding, which led it to lease a new 70,000-square-foot space for its company headquarters earlier this year.

Walking the Talk
"When we built our new headquarters in Minneapolis, we chose to walk the talk," said Cheri Beranek, Clearfield CEO and president. "We needed a broadband network with screaming speeds that would showcase the benefits of fiber optic solutions while also supporting the needs of our employees now and far into the future. A gigabit PON was the answer, and Zhone provided the key access solutions to make it happen."

"As an IT professional who has been running traditional copper Ethernet for 25 years, initially this was outside my comfort zone," said Michael McMillan, Chief Information Officer, Clearfield. "Once the project was completed, I found the GPON network to perform exceptionally well. It is 100 percent reliable and breathtakingly fast."

Pairing Clearview Cassettes with Zhone Hardware

Zhone Technologies' hardware was paired with Clearfield's Clearview Cassette products, a single-architected, modular fiber management platform. Utilizing the Clearview Blue Cassette and the Clearview xPak Cassette, McMillan lowered the cost of the deployment and its maintenance while ensuring Clearfield can expand the network without having to reconfigure it when and if the company expands into the remainder of the building that is not currently leased or occupied. Zhone Technologies' 2624 Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) enabled with four-port Power over Ethernet (PoE) were mounted on each desk while 2804 ONTs were mounted on the walls in private offices. Eight-port 2608 ONTs were used to support connectivity at guest desks where out-of-town employees work when they visit the facility. The network is supported by Zhone's MXK-319 with seven line cards, providing service to as many as 360 Active Ethernet subscribers. The result is a network that can deliver up to one gigabit throughout to every single desk in the facility — a capacity that is only limited by the throughput of the electronic devices.

It only took eight weeks to deploy the network from the moment McMillan ordered the equipment to the day employees moved into the office. "The GPON system was fast and easy to design, administer and install," McMillan adds. "So far it has been absolutely bullet proof. I would recommend that anyone who is considering a network migration, major renovations or a new build, to spend a day on a GPON network to see what it can do."

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