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Interbel Telephone shares rural telco monitoring tips at Remote Expo

DPS Marketing Manager, Andrew Erickson, and Rob Little from Interbel recently spoke at Remote Monitoring and Control expo in Las Vegas, NV. Little spoke of common issues faced by rural telcos, including Interbel.

Interbel telephone covers a large rural area in North-Western Montana. Little and his team experience many challenges when trying to provide service to their clients, including:

  • Low customer density
  • Long drives to facilities
  • High elevation winter access

This makes remote monitoring even more important for Interbel. In some cases, they need a snowmobile to get to sites. Remote monitoring gives Interbel better visibility of the problem and reduces the amount of drive time.

Previously, Interbel's network (which consists of three fiber rings) was managed by a Lucent 5E switch. "Our Lucent 5ESS switch used to collect alarms for the DDM2000 network we had going around our SONET rings. The switch itself had alarm points. We monitored the alarms right on it," said Little. "When we lost the 5ESS, we lost the alarms. We went to the MetaSwitch and had to pick up that functionality in our network with RTUs."

Read more: InterBel Loses Alarming After 5ESS To Metaswitch Migration - T/Mon And NetGuardians Fill The Void.

Interbel turned to DPS for help with their remote monitoring efforts. Now, Interbel uses some NetGuardian 832A G5s and a T/Mon to monitor alarms, including:

  • Temperature & Humidity
  • Smoke
  • Open Door
  • AC Fail
  • Fuses
  • Propane Tanks
  • Cisco Devices
  • Zhone Access Equipment
  • Metaswitch

Read more: How Interbel Telephone Restored Alarm Visibility After Their Switch Upgrade.

7 Keys to Good Monitoring

At the expo, Little gave some tips for good monitoring for rural telcos:

  1. Compatibility with all of your equipment
  2. Generator runtime accumulator (fuel estimate)
  3. Building access control
  4. Ping alarms
  5. US manufacturer
  6. US tech support
  7. Free training

Read more: How Interbel Telephone Monitors Their 3 Fiber Rings And Plans To Control Door Locks Electronically

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