MINNEAPOLIS — Optical network terminals (ONTs), once typically placed on the outsides of customer premises to terminate fiber to the home, are increasingly being moved indoors for ease of powering and battery life. However, this has made access to ONTs difficult. For troubleshooting, a service provider needs a hand-off or demarcation point to determine whether a network event is happening upstream or downstream.

To solve this problem, fiber connectivity specialist Clearfield introduced the CraftSmart Test Access Point (TAP), which provides an exterior test access or “meet me” point for a variety of small-count fiber applications. The TAP provides fiber hand-off at the customer premises with four ports of either interconnect or splice capacity.

The TAP gives installers access to the terminated or spliced fiber drop cable interconnect point outside the customer location before the circuit continues inside to the active customer termination equipment. This allows service providers to identify potential issues in conductivity without access to the customer premises. Made of durable, lightweight ABS thermoplastic material, this NEMA-rated closure consists of a base, cover and accessories for different applications, including adapter bulkhead, splice sleeves, ground bonding and slack storage.

“Consistent with Clearfield’s Small Count Delivery (SCD) and CraftSmart architecture, the TAP supports any media in and out of the device, including flat drop and traditional OSP constructions,” says Johnny Hill, chief operating officer at Clearfield. “Additionally, the box is optimized to integrate the time- and labor-saving elements of Miniflex’s TuffDuct microduct and pushable fiber delivery system.”

The TAP has additional applications beyond troubleshooting. For example, in business applications, the TAP serves as a fiber management device for delivering up to four ports of fiber connectivity or four splices in a small-count delivery application.

Product Details
The CraftSmart TAP is a two-part, self-sealing closure, which accommodates up to four fibers for test and access purposes. Its compact design, measuring 7.5”H x 8.5”W x 1 1/4”D, provides an aesthetically pleasing footprint on the exterior of an FTTH customer’s home or in any business-class customer environment. The TAP is made of high-impact, UV-resistant thermal plastic designed to withstand environmental challenges. It supports industry-standard SC or LC single-mode connectors and is available with preterminated feeder and drop cables. The TAP is patch- and splice-compatible and includes built-in splice trays for convenience. Multiple mounting options are available to meet specific application needs. Clearfield says this product was engineered with easy access, easy installation and maximum flexibility in mind.

Price and Availability
TheTAP will be available for shipping early in June, starting at a list price of under $30. Product is available direct from Clearfield or from distribution partners.