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ICT Visionary Q&A with Kevin Morgan, Chief Marketing Officer, Clearfield

Aug. 1, 2023

Speed Time to Market and Connect Homes Quickly.

Topic: BEAD Mapping

ISE: The newest BEAD map released in late May shows that more than 8.3 million US homes and businesses lack access to high-speed broadband (nearly 330,000 unserved locations more than the first version, or a 0.2% increase). Share your take on mapping and BEAD funding.

Kevin: The BEAD and the FCC mapping process are to be applauded. Earlier attempts by the federal government to bridge the digital divide set lofty targets and contained funding mechanisms that only “kicked the can down the road”. This time around, the government did something right. With bipartisan support, congress authorized the right agency (NTIA) to administer the funds and tasked the right body (FCC) with developing maps. Despite disputes between states and the FCC, the mapping process prevailed and the $42.45B BEAD allocations were announced on schedule. The transparency of the process gives me hope that all Americans will now be able to participate with Clearfield in fiber deployments that enable the lifestyle better broadband provides.

Topic: Permitting

ISE: Industry leaders have urged Congress to quickly streamline broadband permitting processes. They argue that inconsistent processes, delays, pole attachment, and environmental regulations could slow fiber deployments being funded by BEAD. What is a tactic to help ease these permitting problems?

Kevin: Permitting is a fact of life when it comes to broadband fiber deployment. Two things can be done to alleviate the burden of permitting. First, choose the right product and second, streamline the process. Recent product advancements in fiber optic deployment developed ways to reduce the constraints of permitting. For example, Clearfield now has fiber distribution hub (FDH) cabinets with aerial strand mount options essentially removing the right-of-way paperwork of traditional vaults or pole-mount attachment fees. Second, some states like South Carolina have taken the guess work out of permitting by requiring any entity who receives funding to attend an orientation session specifically on broadband permitting and have developed their own special broadband permit application designed to remove unnecessary permitting roadblocks.

Topic: Converting Homes Passed to Homes Connected

ISE: Telecom providers still have trouble converting “homes passed” to “homes connected”. Only 20 countries across the globe currently have more than a 50% fiber penetration rate. What’s a feasible solution?

Kevin: At Clearfield, we always strive to make the deployment easier to install in less time and with less-skilled labor. Our FastPass Connect methodology cuts the time to connect the home by 35% using our deploy reel and factory-tested, pre-terminated fiber drop cables. A customer commissioned time study proved this FastPass Connect method saved them 30 minutes for every home connected. Equally important, that service provider was able to cut repeat resolutions—truck rolls to fix what wasn’t done right the first time—by 43%.

For more information, visit www.SeeClearfield.com.