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PPC blog

Why it helps to DIY with subscriber self-installs

Posted by Krista Tysco

Self-install kits (SIKs) have many benefits to both broadband service providers, and subscribers. They can help reduce operational costs and subscriber fees, and can provide more flexibility for doing the installation. But with this convenience also comes complications if the installation is perceived as being too hard or complex.

The products shipped in a self-install kit vary by service provider, but an SIK for a new set-top box could include a coax jumper, a set-top box, a power supply cord and instructions for the installation, for example.

There are many reasons why service providers send SIKs to their subscribers, so here we’ll discuss a few describing why they can be great and situations when a technician appointment may be a better option.

Topics: Costs/ROI, Broadband

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Does “American Made” help your customers?

Posted by Krista Tysco

Made in America is a rare sight on packaging and labels, but seeing that label doesn’t just instill American pride and tout American jobs for cable and Internet providers.

Working with a company that can provide innovative and custom products with delivery in a matter of days, instead of weeks or months, can save time and improve subscriber satisfaction.

Local facilities prepared for customer requests

If a product needs to be shipped from the other side of the world, it will take much longer to arrive at a service provider’s facility than if it’s shipped from within their own country, possibly from within their own region or state. Installations and repairs can be done much sooner if product is locally available, generating revenue and customer satisfaction. Ideally, providers should source products with shipping as one of the major considerations for purchase.

Topics: Costs/ROI, Broadband, Fiber innovations

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How cable terminators protect tap ports from environmental damage

Posted by Amos McKinnon

Cable taps that are being left empty and open on telephone poles are causing problems for TV service providers and technicians. This can be due to a number of reasons, for example if a subscriber cancels their service or a newly-installed tap does not have enough neighborhood subscribers to fill the ports.

These unused ports are becoming a problem because of corrosion from moisture, and noise from RF egress and ingress, but could be solved with the use of a terminator.

Terminators are simple devices that electrically terminate RF coaxial ports both inside and outside of the home. The use of terminators can help protect nearby broadband networks from noise, avoid corrosion of ports and enable technicians to easily decipher the availability of a port.

Topics: Costs/ROI, Broadband, Coax

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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.

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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