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Charter Communications (Telecom)

Lowering failure rates and maintenance costs in far-flung telecom networks

Introduction: Charles Bradley is a Reliability Engineer with Charter Communications Inc., based in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Company: Charter Communications is an American telecommunications company that offers cable, pay TV and telephone services to 25 million consumers and businesses in 41 states. It is second-largest cable operator in the United States.

Role: “I was brought in about a year and half ago. The goal was to get a better understanding of the network, and actually develop and introduce reliability engineering into Charter Communications.”

Challenge

“The initial task was to take an examination of the behavior of one of the market areas in one of our regions, and get a better understanding of why they were seeing some issues. Was it tied to operational issues, or was it tied to the equipment? The root cause we came up with was that not every component had issues. The original analysis reflected that we had components that had aged but had life to them. Other devices were not as reliable. They had a higher failure rate.”

Solution

“We used ReliaSoft software because I had already used it, and I understood that it was mathematically accurate. So we were able to use ReliaSoft Weibull++, and take results out of Weibull++ and drop them into BlockSim. And what that gives us is an understanding of an individual component’s behavior, versus a systems and then a network behavior. When we came back with that analysis, the results were really something that opened the eyes of the executive leadership.”

Value

“Our executive leadership listened and made a multi-million dollar investment of capital to be able to replace parts. And to be able to come back and show what the improvement to the network is. It will be measured in reduction in trouble calls, truck rolls, and outages. We can take failure rates that are three, four, five or six percent, and get them down to one point two, one percent."