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PPC blog

Dave Daly

Recent Posts

The consequences of coaxial connector problems

Posted by Dave Daly

In the modern world, we need our broadband to work fast and reliably - download speeds and picture and voice quality are what we as consumers care about most. This creates an explosion of demand for network capacity in broadband, satellite, telco and security networks.

Today’s coaxial connectors have to be high-performance and provide nearly flawless signal transmission to accommodate the very large amounts of traffic going back and forth from provider to end user.

Increased demand and better performance requirements means that service providers need to use the latest techniques to bring new and enhanced products to market. This means that connections throughout the network and the home must perform perfectly and must contribute as little as possible to the cost of maintaining a communications network.

Topics: Design and Install, Broadband, Coax

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Why is “hardening” the drop so important for broadband networks?

Posted by Dave Daly

We’ve written previously about the importance of maintaining the drop and home network to prevent ingress and egress. In the past we’ve described the potential problem as it relates to LTE and DOCSIS 3.1 performance and as it relates to MoCA signal performance.

But our research and extensive field studies have shown that even in systems where the performance thresholds are not as stringent, there can be a significant, undiagnosed problem. We feel it’s an important enough effect in the field that we wanted to go into more detail on this issue. 

If your drop network is not carefully planned, installed, and maintained, you will have increased service calls, and decreased customer satisfaction. We all know what that leads to – churn and loss of revenue.

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Delivering fiber successfully to MDUs and office blocks

Posted by Dave Daly

The advantages of fiber optic cable over copper wire are well understood. Fiber can transfer more data, in less time, over longer distances than copper. It does not degrade like copper, requires little maintenance and loses only a fraction of its signal strength over 100 meters.

Today, there is a growing demand for fiber, as consumers expect faster Internet speeds. This demand is largely being fuelled by video and music streaming services and over the top (OTT) bundles. Additionally, businesses also require faster broadband, to grow and scale their organisations in a digital and global world.

In this post, we will explore how fiber is successfully delivered to multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and commercial buildings.  

Topics: Design and Install, MDU

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What is coaxial cable and how is it used?

Posted by Dave Daly

Coaxial cable is commonly used by cable operators, telephone companies, and internet providers around the world to convey data, video, and voice communications to customers.It has also been used extensively within homes.

It has been around for a long time as a technology (since the early 20th century) and has many singular advantages for reliable, accurate transmission.

It also has limitations that will cause it to be replaced in some cases by fiber optic cable, category cable or, sometimes, by wireless signals.

The key to the coaxial cable's success has been its shielded design, which allows the cable's copper core to transmit data quickly, without succumbing to interference or damage from environment factors.

The three most common cable sizes are RG-6, RG-11 and RG-59:

Topics: Fiber to the home, Coax

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Business Innovation is the Key to Everything

Posted by Dave Daly

"Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It's the only insurance against irrelevance…" This quote from Gary Hamel highlights an issue that we hear a lot about and that anyone in a technology economy will always be concerned about: innovation vs. irrelevance. 

The idea of irrelevance keeps people up at night. Where there is competition, the long-term winner is almost always going to be the innovator. That is what the consultants, the technologists, and even the politicians preach. 

So, what are we talking about when it comes to our day-to-day businesses and our daily obstacles and challenges? We are talking about how we work and how we think. These are not simple things to change or to improve; they involve being open, experimenting, and taking risks. When you are trying to get a project out on time and under budget, there is not much time for experimentation and we all work very hard to minimize risk. So, "innovation" for the long-term can sometimes seem like an impossible dream in the short-term.

Topics: Insider

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Pioneering the 4th Utility – Fiber to the Home

Posted by Dave Daly

In this post, we explore how you can future proof and differentiate a property through delivering a fiber solution, while also increasing customer satisfaction.

The Challenge of Delivering Fiber to Multiple Dwelling Units

Over half of the world's population lives in units of 100+. In cities this figure can be even higher. This concentration and variety creates a challenge for operators looking to install fiber to the home (FTTH) connections. Essentially, multiple dwelling units (MDUs) are like snowflakes - no two are the same, meaning that each one has to be handled as a separate, complex civil engineering project.

Adding to this complexity, the vast majority of these buildings were constructed before fiber networks were even thought of, meaning they aren't designed to accommodate standard fiber connections. 83% of US MDUs were built before 2000, and over half (52%) before 1980. So there is often no obvious way to route fiber to individual apartments.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Pushable Fiber, MDU

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Lean Enterprise: Are You LEANing the Right Way?

Posted by Dave Daly

We've written a lot lately about connectors, fibers, installations, and technical problems in the field. We think we know what we're talking about there – especially when we talk about creating value for you and for your customers. What we haven't talked so much about is how WE create value when making PPC products. Our practices and our thinking are always aligned around one thing - continuously seeking to maximize value for our customers.

To tell you a little about how we go about it, we're going to switch gears here and talk about Lean Enterprise. Many of you are familiar with the concept, but we want to share with you what it means for us and why it makes us competitive.

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Simplicity of Installation is the Key to Product Selection for FTTH

Posted by Dave Daly

If you are trying to decide on a product to include in your network design or installation and you have a choice between several products that meet your technical specifications  is price the only factor that will help you to make your decision?

While it can be tempting to prioritize price, it's also important to think ahead and look to your business' future. Therefore, an important factor to consider during your product selection for FTTH is the simplicity of your installation.

Simplicity

When it comes to fiber installation, it is commonly understood that you need specialized expertise (installing, splicing), and specialized equipment (splicers, blowers, trenching, etc.). The cost of these things is well known and considered to be part of doing business, and is often the decisive factor in how or if an FTTH installation goes forward.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Pushable Fiber

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Bonding and Grounding for CATV – What's the Difference?

Posted by Dave Daly

Bonding is the electro-mechanical joining of two or more conductors, to form a conductive path that ensures electrical continuity. Grounding is connecting a circuit to the earth or to another conductor that is itself connected to earth. 

Broadband cable systems are usually connected to ground to limit the voltage potential between the cable sheath in the house and the other grounded items in the house, including water pipes, appliances and anything else connected to the utility.

A cable not properly grounded can have a high electric potential when compared to the utility ground in a house. Grounding the cable system to the same ground used by the utility minimizes voltage that could exist between them. 

Topics: Design and Install, Broadband

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Installing In-Building Fiber Broadband: First Stage and Connectors

Posted by Dave Daly

These days, operators are faced with an increasing requirement to deploy in-building fiber broadband networks. The rising demand from consumers for superfast broadband services, coupled with the growing urbanization of the marketplace, means that many operators need to focus on installation efficiencies and effectiveness.

Bringing fiber into the building

The first installation step is to get fiber cable into a multi-dwelling premise. It has to be routed from the point of presence (the outside distribution box in the example diagram below) into the building through the wall and plugged into a further distribution box or distribution frame in the basement or a comms room.

Topics: Design and Install, MDU, Broadband

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