Using Automated Live QC to Reduce Construction Costs and Improve Readiness (2023)

By Scott Johnston, Comcast; Anthony Curran, Comcast; Michael O’Dell, Comcast

Multiple systems operators (MSO) are deploying a remarkable number of new amplifiers in modern hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) systems to facilitate mid-split, high split, and data over cable system interface specifications (DOCSIS) 4.0 full duplex (FDX) and frequency division duplex (FDD) deployments. This capital investment is focused entirely on our industry’s ability to increase the bandwidth needed to satisfy our expectations around customer expansion. This capital investment doesn’t come cheap, and all operators are interested in a rapid return on investment. Network upgrades should yield the desired result on the day of the cut. Remediations in the form of partner go-backs or internal investigations are very costly. Lost partner time result in construction slowdowns as crews are required to go back to areas they’ve previously worked. Network investigations performed by the local plant maintenance team take away from demand and preventive maintenance activities. The customer experience is lackluster due to additional, unwanted service interruptions. Regardless of who is going back, the cost is high, and the impact is an overall reduction in value. If we look at today’s construction environment, we find ourselves in a fast-paced culture of cut, swap, and align. The desired end state in terms of network architecture dictates whether business partners, generally, will only cut the amplifiers in the HFC node or the taps and passives as well. As one can imagine, the “amplifier only” solution is the most affordable and straightforward option. Typically, a single node with four bus legs can be cut in as little as two days depending on the number of homes passed and the workforce doing the job. Resources, time, and peoplepower are in limited quantity in today’s world. This upgrade activity requires a high level of trust between both the MSO and the business partner. Expectations must be clearly delivered in the statement of work and both parties must be made aware of the overall objective and the focus on quality. In most upgrade situations, we’re trusting the splicers, technicians, and coordinators to manage the quality and performance of the amplifier setup with limited interaction. This focus on quality is generally assumed as both parties work with each other in good faith. But, as inferred, the upgrade process must be completed with limited error. MSOs expect to turn up more advanced modulation methods in larger sections of bandwidth in both the forward and return paths. Those turn-ups are the foundation for increased speeds, lower latency, and additional capacity for the customer to utilize and enjoy. Many of our splicers and technicians are extremely capable, talented, and trusted, while some need more training. Given the varying levels of knowledge, skill, and ability, we expect inconsistent outcomes at the end of the day. Since skill variation does exist, the quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) process continues to be a valuable function in the construction process often constrained to the lowest common denominator. Our biggest problem is that Quality Assurance/Control coordinators simply cannot be in all places at all times to evaluate network performance.

By clicking the "Download Paper" button, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions.

Similar Papers

Photon Avatars in the Comcast Cosmos: An End-to-End View of Comcast Core, Metro and Access Networks
By Venk Mutalik, Steve Ruppa, Fred Bartholf, Bob Gaydos, Steve Surdam, Amarildo Vieira, Dan Rice; Comcast
Comcast Underground: Innovative Fiber Deployments Over Existing Underground Critical Infrastructure
By Venk Mutalik, Pat Wike, Doug Combs, Alan Gardiner, Dan Rice; Comcast
Software Revolution of Field Meters Using a Field-Capable Measurement Device
By Anthony Curran & Andy Martushev, Comcast
Key Learnings from Comcast’s Use of Open Source Software in the Access Network
By Louis Donofrio & Qin Zang, Comcast Cable; Vignesh Ramamurthy, Infosys Consulting
Two Years Of Deploying ITV/EBIF Applications – Comcast’s Lessons Learned
By Robert Dandrea, Ph.D., Comcast Cable
It’s 9:00 AM And Your Fiber Is Still Dark
By Justin Riggert, Joel Swan, Simone Capuano, Tony Curran & Scott Johnston, Comcast
Right Technician at the Right Time: Using Machine Learning to Predict Network Maintenance Issues
By Anastasia Vishnyakova, Rama Mahajanam, Mike O’Dell, May Merkle-Tan, Catherine Hay & Lisa Pham, Comcast Cable
Rapid and Automated Production Scale Activation of Expanded Upstream Bandwidth
By Rob Thompson, Rob Howald, John Chrostowski, Dan Rice, Amarildo Vieira, Rohini Vugumudi & Zhen Lu, Comcast Cable
A PNM System Using Artificial Intelligence, HFC Network Impairment, Atmospheric and Weather Data to Predict HFC Network Degradation and Avert Customer Impact
By Larry Wolcott, Michael O'Dell, Peter Kuykendall, Vishnu Gopal, Jason Woodrich & Nick Pinckernell, Comcast
Detection and Classification of OFDMA Spectrum Impairments by Machine Learning
By Jude Ferreira, Comcast; Kevin Dugan, Comcast; Maher Harb, Comcast; Mike O’Dell, Comcast; Larry Wolcott, Comcast
More Results >>