PPC blog

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: Outside Plant, Coaxial

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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: Premises, Coaxial

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Avoid broadband network installation failures with proper training

Posted by Krista Thresh

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: Industry, Coaxial

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Why every home should have a MoCA filter

Posted by Krista Thresh

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: Premises, Coaxial

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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: Premises, Coaxial

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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.

Topics: Premises, Coaxial

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What is coaxial cable and how is it used?

Posted by Krista Thresh

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, Coaxial

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Overcoming Hidden Costs in the Broadband Network's Last 200 Feet

Posted by Rick Haube

Many people involved in broadband network deployments appreciate that there could be "hidden" costs down the line because less expensive products have been chosen upfront, for use in the critical transmission path close to the subscribers. The real issue is how to balance slightly higher capital costs for quality components and training, against true savings in operational costs. 

Substandard components are apt to need replacement sooner than those of higher quality - not to mention the costs resulting from the poorer performance profiles of low-quality products.

But what of the hidden costs associated with a poorly or improperly trained workforce? These costs appear in the form of more service calls and repeat service calls.

Topics: Fiber, Coaxial

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Tools To Get the Best Broadband Network Service Levels in the Home

Posted by Dave Daly

With increased bandwidth beyond 1 GHz, maintaining the correct carrier levels at a subscriber location is becoming more difficult. The challenge is not always widespread and may be limited to certain areas within the physical network, where limits to the system design have been reached. The addition of DOCSIS 3.1 and MoCA technologies has raised the threshold required for in-home equipment performance and also, therefore, for broadband and CATV signal quality.

All-digital broadband networks are also driving the need for correct signal levels; the tolerance for noise and distortion in these networks is much tighter. Older analog systems had a wider margin of error. Adding to this problem is the increased number of TVs and other devices used. Finally, most techs now have to ensure that each customer's home meets a certain level of performance and must pass a strict performance check before they can leave.

To measure up to these higher expectations, you will want these simple products for making delicate and critical adjustments to signals at the home: attenuators, cable simulators, equalizers, and high pass filters, to name a few.

Topics: Premises, Industry, Coaxial

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How to understand price and value in broadband networks

Posted by Rick Haube

In managing the infrastructure of broadband networks, an often underacknowledged element is the coaxial cabling and connectors required to deliver the very services your customers pay for.

Research shows that possibly the most significant issue for service providers is service calls in "the last mile" (or "the last drop") - the connection from the end of the distribution network up to and including the customer premise equipment.

The research indicates that the leading cause of service calls, as much as 40 percent, is due not only to improper installation of coaxial cable and connectors, or simply loose connectors, but also that the connectors being employed are of sub-standard quality within the environment, affecting electrical and mechanical performance. This has historically been such a chronic issue that some operators have come to accept it as a cost of doing business.

Topics: Industry, Coaxial

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