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PPC blog

Back to basics: 5 tips for hardline coax connector installation

Posted by Eric Purdy

Hardline coax connectors are some of the most important pieces to delivering service to a subscriber’s home network, so making sure the connectors and cables are prepped and installed properly is vital to network performance.

Hardline cable is used from the headend through the trunk and feeder lines, to the subscriber’s home, and there are many connectors used at the fiber node, amplifiers, line extenders and multitaps. If even one connector is not installed properly, it’s a source of potential failure and can severely impact performance of the entire network.

Topics: Headend, Broadband, Coax

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Protect your broadband network: how to prepare for a natural disaster

Posted by Rebecca Firmani

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and ice storms will always be the enemy of cable and internet service providers, but there are things you can do to ease the burden of long-term issues from a storm or earthquake.

We’ve seen the challenges first-hand and have tips to help make your broadband network post-disaster restoration as flawless as possible.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Broadband

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The global broadband market 2017 - is fixed broadband still growing?

Posted by Krista Tysco

The global broadband market is becoming increasingly mobile. According to data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), mobile broadband subscriptions have grown more than 20 percent annually in the last five years, and 4.3 billion people worldwide are expected to be using mobile broadband at the end of 2017. According to the OECD, mobile broadband penetration was at 99 percent across the 35 countries they represent at the end of last year.

Topics: Market trends, Broadband

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Is your drop network too old for today’s demands?

Posted by Noah Montena

The quality of components used in drop networks and the skillfulness of the drop installation play a major part in a subscriber’s network performance. But what happens when those parts are out of date?

The parts visible from the headend to the side of the home, and components from the wall plate to the CPE (customer premise equipment), may be brand new and installed properly, but that doesn’t mean most of the premise wiring is up to date.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Headend, Broadband, Coax

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How to get the most out of prep tools during your cable installation

Posted by Esther Wise

We’ve previously talked about how proper on-site training can help improve customer experience and keep costs low for TV and Internet service providers, but there’s another factor that can help reduce operating costs: good prep tools and sharp blades.

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many technicians, contractors and service provider managers overlook this important detail. Dull blades and defective tools are a major contributor to faulty installations and service calls, and could dull your profits.

Worn coax cable tools and blades cause service issues

Each tool lasts for about 2,500 preps – on average in the industry – but we see technicians and contractors using tools that far surpass the life-expectancy and are clearly too worn to use. Of course, this number varies based on the quality of the tool, how well the tool is cared for and the environment.

Topics: Design and Install, Broadband

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A mid-year roundup of the 2017 global FTTH broadband market

Posted by Krista Tysco

In today’s technological world, internet speed is important to everyone. Almost every household has multiple web-enabled devices, and with the Internet of Things (IoT) driving increased home automation, it’s not just laptops and mobile devices in the home that will rely on the internet, but everything - lights, appliances, windows, blinds, you name it. Access to high-speed internet is now a top priority for people when moving home or relocating to a new area.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Broadband

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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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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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