Range Telephone Cooperative Uses Third-Party T/Mon Monitoring Service.

Range Telephone Cooperative, Inc. is a local exchange carrier providing telecommunication services to southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming. Established in 1953 as a non-profit cooperative, Range Telephone currently serves over 7,700 subscribers in eighteen telephone exchanges. The services provided by Range Telephone includes computer services, Internet (Dial-up and DSL), phone systems for both residential and business applications, local/long distance, and network communication solutions.

With a fairly wide network, Range Telephone was looking to enhance their existing monitoring solution to have more precise control and visibility of their network. They also wanted to be able to receive much more detailed information regarding their network and services.

Grow Without Compromising.

Michael Tiday, Central Office Technician.
Michael Tiday, Central Office Technician.

Range Telephone uses a third-party alarm management provider named VisionNet to manage and monitor their alarms. VisionNet uses the T/Mon NOC as its preferred alarm collection master. Range Telephone communicates to VisionNet's T/Mon NOC through the use of NetGuardian remotes. VisionNet provides 24/7-monitoring manpower along with redundant masters, equipment, and monitoring facilities. This offering of services is unique to telecom companies climbing the growth ladder. The services provided by VisionNet has enabled Range Telephone to focus on its network expansion and enhance its product offerings without sacrificing critical alarm monitoring.

Enhance Network Visibility.

Prior to the transition from their previous solution to VisionNet, Range Telephone needed more detailed information from their alarm monitoring company than the current vendor could provide. Range Telephone and VisionNet have worked together to database all of Range Telephone's alarms. This has allowed Range Telephone to have specific detail when a call comes in from VisionNet about a network-affecting alarm.

"Now we get a call and they can tell us exactly what the problem is."

"We have made progress from then, now we get a call and they can tell us exactly what the problem is." says Michael Tiday, Central Office Technician at Range Telephone. The central office can now evaluates the seriousness of the incoming alarms. They can even log into both the NetGuardians and the T/Mon NOC through a secure web interface to get more detailed information regarding the alarm. By using NetGuardian RTUs and T/Mon, Range Telephone is able to make cost-effective decisions while protecting their network and equipment.

The NetGuardians in use by Range Telephone are currently monitoring Range Telephone's network as well as other legacy units. All of the monitored units and network report to the T/Mon NOC alarm monitoring system. In NetGuardian-equipped sites, Range Telephone now also monitor door alarms, temperature, AC power, and battery levels. With NetGuardian remotes, Range Telephone plans to keeps a close eye on their AC power and battery levels, allowing the dispatch office to route generators to sites that have the most immediate needs. With the extended visibility provided by both the NetGuardians and T/Mon NOCs, Range Telephone knows when and how to route resources to keep their network healthy while also saving windshield time and expense.

Lowering Cost Through a Regional NOC and Having the In-House Monitoring Option.

With the introduction of the T/Mon SLIM at a DPS Factory Training event, Range Telephone learned how they could create a regional NOC at their dispatch office and can still maintain a seamless integration with VisionNet's T/Mon NOC. "This puts us in a position where we can do our own databasing and things of that nature," says Michael. This architecture is also more fault-tolerant because the T/Mon SLIM can provide full visibility at an element-manager level should the communications link to the T/Mon NOC fail.

The T/Mon Slim is an alarm collection master that was built for small to medium sized networks. It has many features that makes it easy to configure and simple to use. One of the more notable features available on the T/Mon Slim is the built-in web interface. The web interface on the T/Mon Slim provides a user-friendly GUI for the T/Mon Slim. From the web interface, users are able to acknowledge alarms, maintain alarm history, and program flexible automatic corrections for network problems. Many other configurations, options, and settings can also be accessed from the web interface. This web interface allows the T/Mon Slim to be a centralized alarm monitoring and management platform

T/Mon Slim Master
The T/Mon SLIM provides an in-house monitoring option for small and medium sized networks.

At the Factory Training class, both Dennis Cathey and Michael Tiday were introduced to an array of DPS solutions and capabilities. "We didn't realize at the time, well we didn't realize until this class, what the NetGuardian can actually do!" exclaimed Michael. The full-featured NetGuardian allows Range Telephone to monitor and control their network through its web browser, as well as providing terminal server functionality, advancing Range Telephone on their way to an enhanced monitoring solution.

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