Weaving Real-Time Fiber Data Analysis Into a Reliable Network (2023)

By Matthew Wichman, Comcast; Venk Mutalik, Comcast; Errol D’Souza, Comcast; Josh Cook, Comcast

Fiber network problems have historically been difficult to diagnose, requiring dispatching multiple teams to locate and fix the issue. However, today's availability of real-time data from both sides of the link and common fibers has enabled faster and more accurate problem identification and resolution. Comcast, as the largest provider of multi-gig speeds to homes and businesses, has implemented a range of hardware and software telemetry tools to monitor its network. Cable operators can leverage real-time data to improve the monitoring and reliability of fiber networks. By combining multiple metrics, the level of intelligence is amplified, enabling the early detection of problems that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. When the fiber path degrades, diagnosis is possible within minutes, and the impacted fiber of the fiber path is isolated for technician dispatch. Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) metrics and the common fiber-monitoring platform are used to measure fiber loss in both directions, enabling the detection of failing fiber jumpers in hubs and single-wavelength fibers past the Optical Multiplexor (Mux) in the field. This approach has reduced repair time and can help avoid unplanned outages. We will cover new insights into how real-time data analysis can enhance fiber network reliability and help providers avoid costly downtime for customers. The methodology and findings presented may be of interest to other providers looking to improve their network performance through data-driven insights.

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