Proactive Network Maintenance Pre-Equalization

What is the Proactive Network Maintenance and how does it use Pre-Equalization? In a nutshell we change DOCSIS network maintenance from reactive to proactive. Sure, these are buzz words. Everyone wants to be proactive, but the Proactive Network Maintenance – PNM concept and the products developed around this actually build proactivity into the applications. It makes proactivity part of DOCSIS plant analysis with products you already have. Here’s how.

Every DOCSIS Cable Modem is a Test Probe

Through working groups at CableLabs we have learned that by analyzing the pre-equalization data in cable modems we can locate outside plant impairments to within 50 feet or less. This means times savings, customer satisfaction improvements, and increased quality for both the subscriber and the technician.

What does this mean? It means that every cable modem now becomes a troubleshooting device. Let’s take a hypothetical example. A cable modem’s pre-equalization data indicates that there is an impairment on the cable network in addition you can determine that the impairment is located roughly 2491 feet away from the cable modem. This impairment has the CSR line lite up. However, you have the solution to remedy the situation and get all your subscribers back online FAST. Since your network maps show that there is an RF amplifier 2500 feet from this particular cable modem, you are able to send a truck directly to the amplifier and find out that there is a corroded center seizure screw causing micro-reflections. You repair the amplifier and see that the cable modem’s pre-equalizer data no longer shows the impairment and its uncorrectable codeword errors are also no longer present. Thus, we have dramatically reduced the typical troubleshooting repair time. Most importantly customers are not threatening to leave your service behind.

How Do We Do It?

Our applications analyze data in your cable modems using SNMP protocols or data you already have in your databases. Using a number of complex algorithms, we are able to deduce the tap values from the cable modems, upstream frequency response, impairments such as group delay and micro-reflections. Then we can estimate the distance to the impairment. Our accuracy to the distance continues to get better with each iteration of our algorithms.

Next, we plot the cable modems on a map using your subscriber database address information and our geo-location services. Cable modems are marked as red, yellow and green depending upon the severity of the impairment. So, when you look on our dashboard or on the map you know where there trouble locations are. Further, you know the distance from the cable modem to the impairment. The map makes it intuitive to correlate the impairment and location of your plant as a circle with the radius of the impairment is drawn around the cable modem showing the intersection of the impairment with your plant.