Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2017

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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64 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2017 MAPPING The Circuits Circus Managing a telecom network sometimes feels like managing a circus – but the right software can tame even the wildest beasts. By Rachel Gulliksen / Mapcom Systems T hough I wasn't doing death-defying stunts with lions, I occasionally referred to myself as "the ringmaster" when I turned up a new optical carrier (OC) ring. Awful jokes aside, managing a circuit network can feel quite a lot like wrangling wild beasts or handling a three-ring circus without the right tools to stay on track, not to mention sane. PHYSICAL INVENTORY How many times have you run to the grocery store for an item you already had at home? I do this more than I would like to admit. If I inventoried my pantry before creating my shopping list, I could prevent this problem. Taking inventory of the hardware needed to deploy circuits is even more critical. Buying an extra can of peas wastes only about 75 cents, but buying an unrequired optical transceiver can waste thousands of dollars. Purchasing only the equipment needed immediately increases available monetary resources. And if you don't have to use up the outdated surplus equipment you bought by mistake, you'll be able to purchase the latest models when the equipment is needed. BUILDOUT Understanding what is already deployed in a network improves the potential for network expansion. My husband and I recently decided to add a new room to our house. Everyone in our family had suggestions about what type of room to add and where to add it. After arguments, tears, battle lines and an eventual group hug, we settled on a sunroom off the kitchen because the kitchen area had the greatest amount of activity and occupancy. A digitized circuits network can provide the same clarity of direction for a capital buildout – it reveals just where the major traffic is and where the service area will grow in the future. A revenue-maximizing software module can build on the circuits assessment to maximize the results of a new network build. Tracking circuits individually and projecting the circuits network as a whole makes it possible to mark concentration points and target potential customers. e mapped-out circuit deployment structure shows which potential customers could be served with the least buildout, based on existing facilities already in the same area. A map of an established circuit network can also help answer any questions on serviceability for new customer requests. OUTAGES At my company's last conference, I gave four workshops on outages. In each session, I asked attendees to raise their hands if they had ever been involved in an outage restoration. Not a single hand was left down at any session. Outages will happen, and you need to be ready for them. One way the FCC assesses outages is by measuring the circuits affected in terms of bandwidth and services disrupted. A digitized map of active circuits, linked to a database with extractable circuits information, enables an operator to immediately identify and localize an outage. Subsequent reporting becomes

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