Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Tollgrade launches in-home broadband testing software

Tollgrade Communications
Wednesday 19 March 14

Tollgrade Communications, Inc., the industry leader in redefining the global standard for reliability at the world’s largest electric utilities and telecommunications providers, announced today the availability of the VBT Manager software application, the latest enhancement to their groundbreaking VBT handheld testing tool for Broadband Service Providers. Installed at the residential modem, Tollgrade’s VBT acts as a “virtual broadband technician” to identify and resolve problems at the customer premises (in the home or local access network) that are difficult to diagnose and can disrupt or slow down broadband services…

Tollgrade Communications, Inc., the industry leader in redefining the global standard for reliability at the world’s largest electric utilities and telecommunications providers, announced today the availability of the VBT Manager software application, the latest enhancement to their groundbreaking VBT handheld testing tool for Broadband Service Providers. Installed at the residential modem, Tollgrade’s VBT acts as a “virtual broadband technician” to identify and resolve problems at the customer premises (in the home or local access network) that are difficult to diagnose and can disrupt or slow down broadband services, leading to expensive repeat field repair visits.

Now, with the addition of the VBT Manager, a software interface to the VBT that runs on a field tech’s laptop, service providers can aggregate all the results from tests performed by the VBT in the field, store test results centrally and measure compliance to field repair processes for the first time. This allows a service provider to realize significant savings, more quickly troubleshoot service calls and standardize test procedures to eliminate repeat dispatches and chronic problems. Currently, the VBT and VBT Manager are being deployed in North America and are successfully reducing repeat dispatches by over 50 percent.

“Until now, broadband service providers have not been able to measure compliance with their field procedures, nor have they been able to send aggregate in-home repair data directly into their Operational Support System (OSS) before or after a fault is resolved. The VBT Manager is the only tool available allowing service providers to know if their field technicians are in compliance with field repair processes.” said Mark B. Peterson, Vice President, Global Sales, Broadband at Tollgrade. “In our first deployments, the VBT has reduced repeat dispatches by more than 50 percent, while standardizing and improving repair and reporting processes. By correctly pinpointing problems that would otherwise have been left undiagnosed, the VBT pays for itself after the first saved dispatch.”

The VBT Manager centralizes field repair data, giving the operations center full access to the tests being performed in the field. Now, all of this data can be collected to look for trends or a history of repeat problems allowing the service provider to know:

• What caused the fault?
• What is the fault resolution status and how it was resolved?
• What actions were taken by current and previous technicians?
• Did the technician follow the specified procedures?
• Was the repair successfully completed and confirmed?

This field repair data can be measured across a region or the entire network and can be broken down and analyzed by individual customer, technician or fault type.

The VBT Manager’s intuitive interface is easy to use and works directly with the VBT handheld diagnostics tool which is placed in line with the residential DSL modem, automatically running a battery of 50 tests allowing technicians to address many of the most common problems, such as, no or slow Internet service, random dropping of connection, poor speed or connection at particular time(s) of day, or modem problems. Once the test is completed the technician gets conclusive results with suggestions on what actions to take. The VBT Manager allows a technician to store this test data locally on their laptop and then transfers it directly into the service provider’s OSS for further analysis and historical trending. Once the data is in the service provider’s OSS, it can be associated with any type of OSS repair, billing or marketing systems that are used across their organization. The service provider has searchable access to all in-home testing diagnostics performed by field techs using the VBT and can conduct historical trending, repair analysis, and repair process improvements and, perhaps one day, capture key test data that could predict future problems before they arise.


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