Browsing: OSP Expert

The following opening paragraphs are contributed by Chuck Blume, someone who’s been in the industry for a very long time, starting as a cable repairman and moving into selling and training on more types of equipment than we can name. Sometimes I feel I’m alone at the pulpit so I appreciate hearing my oft-preached messages coming from someone else! From Chuck: If you had told me in 1972 that by the mid-1980s I would be working in an electrically lit, air-conditioned/heated, and water-proof manhole (Controlled Environmental Vault), I would have thought you escaped from Area 51 in Nevada! And I…

A field technician called me to help him with a noise complaint that affected the customer’s POTS circuit and the Internet. The customer and the technician could hear the noise. When testing the vacant cable pair, the technician found the following: • AC voltage tip and ring to ground measured 8VAC: acceptable • Longitudinal balance measured 58dB: marginal • DC volts tip and ring to ground 0VDC: acceptable • Insulation resistance tip to ring, tip to ground, and ring to ground 999 megohms: very acceptable • Opens tip to ground 5,400 feet, ring to ground 5,350 feet. From that information,…

Every time someone says copper is dead, it isn’t and there is often a resurgence as new technology increases copper bandwidth and reliability. One day, which is still in the rather distant future, we can expect wholesale FTTP but not yet. Therefore, how can you take care of your copper today so that you are profitable and you can keep your customers happy? A quality multi-functional test set is an absolute necessity for today’s field technician. I have tested and used all of the leading test sets for many years: EXFO’s MaxTester 635, Tempo Greenlee’s Sidekick Plus, TesCom’s 990 CopperPro…

Rethink Your Commitment to Quality Service, Regardless of Cable Type — Most ILECs are transitioning from a copper infrastructure to a fiber-to-the-premises infrastructure. However, at this time less than 25% of US residential bandwidth customers are served by fiber-to-the-premises. The rest of the residential bandwidth customers are fed by copper cable pairs, high-speed wireless bandwidth, or cable TV companies. Meanwhile, until a full transition from copper to fiber occurs, if traditional ILECs want to thrive and retain customer loyalty, they must maintain the copper infrastructure until fiber is in place. ILECs have been in transition since the telephone was invented,…

The transition to fiber is finally progressing with more consistency. Nevertheless, copper is still around for most companies, and it requires repair and maintenance. Yet what we find is that the demands to move to cable means there is little respect and training for the copper technician. I get it. You don’t find it critical to your long-term strategy. But that’s short-sighted. Give your copper techs the tools and training (and respect), and they will perform their role more efficiently, which means they will spend less time on each call, and that results in more money to put towards fiber.…

Last year I wrote a column on locating fiber cables. Colin Ward from Norscan offered some comments that I think might be helpful to you. Hi, Don, I recently came across your 5 Questions About Fiber Optic Bonding, Grounding, and Locating article (http://www.isemag.com/2016/09/5-questions-about-fiber-optic-bonding-grounding-and-locating/), and it’s sparked some interesting discussion around the office. I wanted to share our thoughts with you. The line that stuck out the most to us was this one: Assuming that fiber cable locating is the only reason to ground the sheath or locate wire, why not just do it during cable locates, and then remove the…

In Today’s Multi-Functional Test Sets. With the broad adoption of DSL and other bandwidth services in the paired copper network, many of today’s field technicians have highly sophisticated multi-functional tests that include a resistance bridge. Those of you who don’t have a multi-functional test set will at least have a standalone resistance bridge. A resistance bridge together with an understanding of the electronics theory behind it allows you to find most resistive faults that affect bandwidth. You might wonder why you need to understand the electronics theory behind it. I promise you, it increases your efficiency and confidence considerably. Without…

Pity the poor cable locating tech. This is the type of job that requires great skill and dedication, and more than just a little luck. It is also a job that can produce terror and prayer. All this is compounded by cable maps without proper footage, not drawn to scale, and outdated by 2 or more years of change. Yet, the locator is expected to be 100% accurate in the task. A cable cut is an instant judgement of the accuracy of the location. No excuses are acceptable, and no quarter is given. You cost us money; you go home…

Line powering is a way to power remote equipment from a central location using existing cable pairs in the copper network. It is an alternative to commercial power which can be expensive and sometimes it is unavailable. This is not something new. Line power has been used as far back as the early 1960s by Telcos for T1 power and then HDSL powering and more recent DSLAM powering. Today there are a plethora of applications such as fiber-to-the-node (FTTN), distributed antenna systems (DAS), and remote unit powering among other applications including FTTH for many independent Telephone companies. Following is one…

I received an email from Glen Copeland, who is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and the Principal Engineer for a large Utility in Central Washington State. The Utility has built a fiber optic network that extends to most of their county, providing residents with broadband access speeds up to 1 Gbps. As a utility provider, their main business is to provide power to their customers. Their electric rates are among the lowest in the nation, while their customer service standards are among the highest. With a focus on the customer, their goal is simple: safely provide utility services that enhance…

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