OSP Expert: Don McCarty

Testing Copper Infrastructure


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…

Start the New Year Right


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,…

Training Field Technicians in the Past and the Present


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.…

More About Cable Locating


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…

Using the Resistance Bridge Feature


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…

Underground Conductor Locating


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…

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