Home Networking - Challenges and Technical Lessons

Home Networking
Deployment, Challenges and Technical
 Atlantic Broadband
 Who we are, what we do.
 Wireless Product
 What we deploy and why.
 Wireless Standards
 Installation Challenges
 Installation paradigm shift
 Technical Support
 Support Metrics & Challenges
 Lessons Learned
 The Future of Wireless Products
 Wireless AC standard
 Q&A
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Atlantic Broadband launched a Home Networking solution in June
of 2011 for our customers. This was done for multiple reasons:
 Competitors already offer home networking services.
 Many customers already own routers and perceive their router
problem as an Atlantic broadband issue
 Future consumer products will require a solid IP network within
the customer premise.
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Atlantic Broadband
 Atlantic Broadband services 250k residential
subscribers across multiple systems within four
independent service delivery networks (regions)
 Services
Digital Video
High Speed Internet
Line replacement phone
Both residential and commercial
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PA Region
Northern System
Bradford, Warren, Sugar Grove,
Limestone, Grampian, Salamanca
Clearfield System
Clearfield, Grampian,
Curwensville, Shippenville
Altoona, Johnstown, Canoe Creek,
Huntington, Bellwood, Tyrone,
Cassville, Todd, Calvin, Waterfall,
Broad Top, Three Springs,
Mapleton Depot
Cumberland System
Cumberland, Wiley Ford, WV,
Fort Ashby, WV, Frostburg, MD,
Kingwood, WV, Moorefield, WV,
Paw Paw, WV, Romney, WV,
Keyser, WV
Uniontown System
Uniontown, Hopwood, Masontown,
Fairchance, Tunnelton, WV
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Maryland/Delaware Region
(referred to as MD/DE or Delmar)
 Grasonville, MD
Queenstown, Stevensville,
Chester, Centreville, Rock Hall,
Kent Island, Carmichael,
Wye Mills, Sudlersville,
St. Michaels, Trappe,
Chestertown, Easton, Bozman
 Middletown, DE
Delaware City, Odessa,
New Castle, Townsend,
Clayton, Smyrna,
Perryville, Port Deposit,
Chesapeake City, Elkton,
St. Georges
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Miami Region
Sunny Isles Beach
North Miami Beach
Bay Harbour Islands,
Indian Creek
North Bay Village
Miami Beach
South Miami
South Beach
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Aiken Region
Aiken area
New Ellenton
Low Country
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Low Country
Wireless Product Overview
 Product
 Per month a la carte
 Installation covers the first 2 devices
 Trip charges also apply if only doing a HN install.
 One time charge for the USB wireless adapter (optional)
 Includes a leased Cisco E1500 router
 Includes 24x7 phone support at no additional cost
 Onsite trouble calls are extra
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Our Router: Cisco E1500
 Supports wireless b, g & n devices. That covers most all
existing devices.
 Has 4 10/100 Ethernet ports for wired connections.
 Supports WEP, WPA/WPA2 & SPI firewall protection.
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E1500 at a glance
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What is supported on install
PCs, Macs, Laptops
Current Gen Gaming
Consoles (Wii, PS3,
Xbox 360)
Tablets and iPads
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Customers with existing routers
 We will not support customer owned equipment.
 Even if the have the same Linksys E1500.
 Customers must take our leased router to get Home
 Why?
 Our techs are all highly trained on using and supporting this
device. We are not trained on other devices
 By taking our leased device the customer can get a replacement
if something breaks, like with a receiver.
 Router lease is included in the monthly HN fee so there is not
any extra charge.
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What we don’t install
Video Streaming
(AppleTV, Roku,
VuDu, Boxee, TiVo
Smart Phones
(Android, iPhone,
(Printers, Hard
Drives, etc)
Web connected TVs
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Wireless Adapter
 We offer the Cisco Linksys AE1500 High-Performance
Wireless-N Adapter. (Optional)
 $31.99 (1/2 off what retailers charge)
 Only supports PCs and laptops NOT MAC or any gaming consoles.
 Two reasons customers might want an adapter.
1) Their PC or laptop does not have a wifi card in it.
2) Upgrade to ‘N’ so that they get better range and speed.
 How can I tell if a customer needs an adapter?
 Ask them if their device is already connected to a wireless network.
 If not they need to check to see if they have wifi capability.
 Also, techs will carry these to installs and check while there.
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Router Considerations
 Will renew its IP address after modem
 Optimal cable demarcation is not
always optimal wireless/CAT5
 Often lags capabilities of standalone
(802.11n, etc)
 Out-pace the capabilities of
embedded routers (802.11n, parental
controls, guest networks, etc)
 Can be installed in optimal wireless
networking location
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Router Considerations cont…
 Modem manufacturers are now just starting to catch
up in terms of usability, technology and wireless
 No initial driver to use MoCA – expected in future
 Pros
 IPV6 Supported
 Simple
 Cisco Connect Software allows for quick installation
 Cons
 Extra device to track and inventory
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Installation Changes - Placement
 Typical demarcation is lacking for normal wireless
 ABB Installations moved from directly next to the PC to the
areas with the largest density of devices needing internet
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Installation Changes – Device Density
 The average entertainment center can contain a
multitude a internet ready devices.
Web Enabled TV
Web Enabled Blue Ray
Multiple Gaming Systems
Apple TV
Rok, TiVo, Boxxee etc..
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Installation Changes – Wireless Coverage
 Fortunately most installs
should have the living
room in the center of the
 This actually helps
because the wireless
coverage will now extend
to most if not all rooms.
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Installation Changes – What about the PC?
 As more and more devices go wireless or have
wireless built in this becomes less of an issue.
 Customers who have a PC are offered the option of an
AE1000, N compatible wireless adapter.
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Installation Changes – Dead Zones?
 Inevitably there may be a dead zone or area that
needs more wireless coverage. ABB uses the RE1000
network extender
 The rules ABB follows:
 When
 The extender should be used when a customer is only receiving 20%
or less signal (1 bar) and they are well within the normal range.
Devices have a tendency to drop offline when within less than 20%
 Where
 The extender should be placed roughly 50-75% of the distance
between the troubled device and the router itself.
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Installation Issues & Lessons Learned
 Top Installation Issues
 Unqualified Customers: Computer not up to spec
 Tougher more direct question about the customers PC and
Operating system
 No PC on site at time of installation
 Technicians now carry a “Pre-staged” router for installation.
 Password Recovery
 We collect passwords now at time of installation and keep a
record for our support group to reference.
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Technical Support Challenges
 Overall Technical Support has not been greatly impacted.
 Many of the calls we take today involve customer owned
routers so this is not a large shift from normal customer
 Support statistics from
the first three months:
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Technical Support Challenges – Wireless Signal
This issue can range from an issue with a current 2.4 GHz wireless
phone to electro magnetic field (EMF) interference from other
electronic devices. Indication that a base station or wireless unit is
interfering will your network signal connection drops completely during
an incoming phone call.
We have three option if this is the case:
1. Move the router further away from the base
2. Via the admin GIU on the router change the
wireless channel.
3. Via the phone’s base station attempt to
change the communication channels the
phone uses.
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Technical Support Challenges – Unresponsive Unit
A unit that is not responding to any normal troubleshooting
steps can be easily identified using the following three ways:
1. Attempt to log into the admin GUI
2. Does the router respond to ping attempts?
3. Is the power light flashing on the rear of
the unit?
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Lessons Learned
 Our biggest takeaways:
 Capturing the password at installation is critical for support.
 Investing in customer education on the use of Cisco
Connect at installs saves us support calls later.
 Building customer confidence is key since customers taking
home networking are not as likely to have purchased their
own router.
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Lessons Learned: 18 Months Later
The Numbers
Customer Count
Support Calls
Truck Rolls
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The Future of Home Networking
 Why MoCA?
 Can take advantage of existing home coax wiring if available
 As a wired standard, does not compete with wireless
networks for spectrum use
 Can provide uplink network connectivity to wireless access
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The Future of Home Networking cont…
 Wireless 802.11 AC
 Roughly Three times faster
 Theoretical maximum of 1.3Gbps.
 Real Life testing shows connecting topping out at 800Mbps.
 Uses “beamforming” technology
 5GHZ frequency band
 This puts it above most wireless home phone interference.
 802.11 AC is here today, sort of
 While Broadcom has been producing AC chips since January,
wireless retail units are not yet cheap enough for the masses.
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The Future of Home Networking cont…
 Home Automation
 The Ones we know today
 Lighting
 Security
 Devices in development
Smart Refrigerators
Plant Watering
Cofee/Tea maker
Pet Feeding
Webo - Belkin
 Basically any home appliance that
becomes internet enabled
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Yes this is a homemade
internet enabled cat feeder
Questions, Comments and Concerns
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