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PPC blog

Comparing 3 in-building fiber cable installation methods

Posted by Krista Tysco

A crucial step that every installer will negotiate during fiber cable installation in an apartment block or multi-story office building is to decide on the most appropriate way of getting the fiber cable from the basement of the building to each floor.

In new-build apartment blocks and commercial buildings, this process can often be fairly straightforward - and especially so if the architect has designed the building with fiber in mind and has included a microduct from the basement to each of the floors.

For the network operator the key step is deciding on the best method of getting the cable to each floor - whether that’s by blowing, pushing or pulling the fiber cable. Here we explore the pros and cons of each approach.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Pushable Fiber

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House amplifiers need power - what's the best way to do it?

Posted by David Barany

No two homes are built the same, which means a TV and Internet service provider technician never quite knows what they’re getting into until they arrive at an installation.

Experienced technicians will of course be prepared for all types of issues, the first of which will be to identify where to plug in the power source for an amplifier.

In this blog post we explore the three most common types of installations for powering a house amplifier and we offer our own recommendation for the best solution to cover any situation.

Installation Option 1: Electrical outlet near the amplifier (dedicated port)

The most convenient scenario for installing an amplifier is to have an electrical outlet within a few feet of the amplifier installation location. In this situation, a technician will then simply be able to plug a standard power supply into the outlet and connect the power supply to the dedicated power port of the amplifier using a short coax cable jumper. This is a great solution when an electrical outlet is close by, however technicians often come across more challenging scenarios when they're out in the field.

Topics: Design and Install, Broadband

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Avoid broadband network installation failures with proper training

Posted by Krista Tysco

TV and Internet service providers are always looking for ways to help improve the customer experience of their broadband network, while keeping costs as low as possible.

Proper on-site training for technicians and maintenance teams is key to achieving both of these goals and correcting any bad habits before they turn into problems.

This is easy to say, but is it easy to do? Here are some practical thoughts on using training to your advantage.

Reduce costs with thorough network installation training

It might seem obvious that all new employees need some training, but it should go far beyond basic training and customer service tips. Technicians and maintenance teams need to learn how to properly install all products they are working with, and how to troubleshoot quickly and efficiently, reducing the amount of time and resources spent in the field.

Topics: Design and Install, Broadband, Coax

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Why every home should have a MoCA filter

Posted by Krista Tysco

Cable and Internet providers around the world have been challenged by today’s technology demanding faster Internet service and video streaming on their own time.

More cable providers are looking to MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) in their installations to help with this, but they may not realize they’re missing a key element – MoCA filters installed at every subscriber.

MoCA uses a household’s existing coax cable to transfer data quickly and efficiently throughout the home. A MoCA connection utilizes the unused frequency spectrum offered by coaxial service providers to extend the existing wireless connection to the entire home and cause less demand on the network.

Sounds great! So what’s the catch?

Topics: Design and Install, Broadband, Coax

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Category Cables - are they all the same?

Posted by Brian Hanson

Category cable is one of the most widely used cables for domestic and commercial broadband networking. Whether you are installing access points, network interfaces, or security systems, category cable is going to be part of what you will need.

We know what you are thinking – category cable is all the same, right? Not exactly.

There are actually several factors to consider when choosing the right cable. Here we will discuss 5 details to look for when buying category cable.

Topics: Design and Install, Broadband

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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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