The one constant that every CATV MSO faces is ever increasing demand for network capacity driven by the emergence of over-the-top (OTT) video services like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu and a flood of bandwidth hungry subscriber mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops). In order to improve speed and capacity during peak periods on a CATV hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network, operators must reduce the number of homes served per HFC node. This Node Split process, which increases capacity by creating ever smaller service group sizes, has in recent years taken on increased urgency as new competitors have emerged to challenge the traditional CATV MSOs. In 2011 frustrated by the small number of node splits successfully completed the previous year, a CATV MSO in the Mid-Atlantic area hired TrueNet to Program Manage its entire Node Split process from engineering-design through construction.
Scope of Work
TrueNet had been providing the MSO HFC node split engineering and design for a number of years prior to being selected as the overall program manager. The initial Scope of Work called for TrueNet to manage and optimize the MSO’s complete node split process. A review of the MSO’s node split process identified numerous bottlenecks that were impeding productivity including construction materials being re-purposed by service techs to handle day-to-day service tickets, delayed material ordering and poor construction quality control. Working with MSO’s department heads, TrueNet laid out its findings and proposed a complete redesign, that was almost immediately accepted.
In the year prior to TrueNet taking over as Program Manager, the MSO’s Beltway Region completed less than 20 node splits. In 2011, with TrueNet as the Program Manager over 200 node splits were accomplished. As a result of that success, TrueNet was requested to bring on additional full-time employees with responsibility for warehouse management, logistics, project management and construction QA/QC. The number of node splits continues to grow at a rate of over 25% per year with over 400 nodes completed in 2014 alone.