Scientific-Atlanta’s New Pointer System Detects and Locates Source of HFC Network Outages for Rapid Correction
New software application can deliver “real-time” network monitoring and status, and help reduce mean-time-to-repair and truck rolls to control operating costs.
ATLANTA, GA, March 22, 2005, Scientific-Atlanta has developed a powerful new Web-based software system that can monitor the two-way status of a cable network and identify the specific point where network problems occur to significantly decrease the mean-time-to-repair for outages. By quickly identifying problems in the network, virtually in real time, the new Pointer™ software system can help cable operators dispatch the appropriately skilled technician to one network location, resolving issues for multiple customers with a single truck roll.
Helps Boost Customer Satisfaction
As digital penetration in some U.S. markets has risen above 40 percent, the importance of verifying the two-way status of digital set-tops and cable modems to quickly restore essential connectivity has become a major customer satisfaction and revenue protection issue for cable operators. Customers have high expectations for cable service availability, and the revenue generated by digital services, such as VOD, DVR, HD, VoIP and high-speed data, is reduced when these services are unavailable.
“Currently, when cable operators receive trouble calls from customers, there might be multiple, costly truck rolls to the same service area, only to discover that the problem was not at several customers’ homes; it was at a single point somewhere back in the network,” said Tony Palermo, vice president business development and emerging technologies for SciCare™ Broadband Services at Scientific-Atlanta. “By specifying the location of the termination of two-way traffic, the Pointer system helps enable the cable operator to minimize the cost of resolving the issue while maximizing customer satisfaction through a rapid, well-targeted response.”
Adds No Load to the HFC Network
Developed by Scientific-Atlanta’s SciCare Broadband Services business, the Pointer software solution resides at the cable headend. The current version of the software unobtrusively monitors the routine traffic on the cable system that verifies two-way capability between the set-tops and the Scientific-Atlanta Digital Network Control Center (DNCS). A future release of the Pointer system is expected to monitor two-way status between cable modems and the CMTS.
After the software and its server are installed and they are linked to the operator’s billing system, the Pointer system “auto discovers” the cable network’s topology. This enables the Pointer system to create a hierarchical view of the devices in the network, from headend, to hub, to node, to amp, to tap, to set-top, based on the level of detail supplied by the MSO’s billing data information.
Each component in the cable system can then be assigned performance parameters within the Pointer system and alarms can be used to alert the appropriate personnel to non-responder issues. Then, by pointing a Web browser to the Pointer server, engineering, operations, network management or customer service staff can use the system’s cascading, screen-by-screen view of the cable system to drill down into the system to discover the failure point in the network.
The Pointer system has an SNMP agent that enables it to be connected to the Scientific-Atlanta ROSA™ Network Management System. This allows the cable operator to match the alarms defined in the Pointer system with the alert notification processes already in place for the TNCS or ROSA system. When performance falls below thresholds defined in the Pointer system, the appropriate phone call, e-mail or pager notification can occur. This means there is no need for a full-time operator to monitor the cable system’s two-way status – the Pointer system provides automatic, rapid notification when performance levels erode.
The Pointer system is currently available for commercial order.
About SciCare Broadband Services
SciCare Broadband Services is the systems integrator, professional services and consulting arm of Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. SciCare provides cable network expertise to help cable operators deploy new services to meet their business needs. SciCare experts help cable operators improve the customer experience with problem solving expertise that address service quality, availability, and operating support systems impacting cable’s operating expense and revenue.
Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. (NYSE: SFA -www.scientificatlanta.com) is a leading supplier of digital content contribution and distribution systems, transmission networks for broadband access to the home, digital interactive set-tops and subscriber systems designed for video, high-speed Internet and voice over IP (VoIP) networks, and worldwide customer service and support.
“Forward-looking statements,” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may be included in this news release. A variety of factors could cause Scientific-Atlanta’s actual results to differ from the anticipated results expressed in such forward-looking statements. Investors are referred to Scientific-Atlanta’s Cautionary Statements (Exhibit 99.1 to the Company’s most recent Form 10-Q), which statements are incorporated into this news release by reference.
For more information visit www.scientificatlanta.com. Writers and editors may access a variety of information on the company and its product, as well as downloadable images, by selecting News Center from the home page. Scientific-Atlanta and the Scientific-Atlanta logo are registered trademarks and SciCare and Pointer are trademarks of Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. ROSA is a trademark of Scientific-Atlanta Europe NV.
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