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Consolidated Communications Lays Ground For Fiber Transports With The NetGuardian 216F

Frank Fetchak
Frank Fetchak
Network Engineer

Serving markets in three states, Consolidated Communications is the 13th largest independent local telephone company in the nation. Consolidated Communications offers a wide range of services over its technologically-advanced IP-based network, including local and long-distance telephone, digital phone, high-speed Internet access and digital TV.

Frank Fetchak, a Consolidated Communications network engineer, is responsible for alarm monitoring for their network in Pennsylvania. "I make sure things get done so we have visibility over all devices and environments," said Frank.

New Internal Improvements Incite New Ideas

With the company expanding and upgrading to fiber-optic systems, Frank wanted an alarm remote that would meet their transport needs to consolidate their systems. Most important was finding an RTU that was both compatible with the company's fiber transport and fully capable of monitoring a remote site cabinet.

Also critical for any new RTU was SNMP reporting capability. "We recently turned down our deployment of [old TBOS] equipment," said Frank. "We're replacing it with SNMP capable devices."

"I tested it within our labs with many different fiber interfaces. It worked with every one."

Working As A Team With DPS Engineers

To get everything he needed into one build, Frank knew he needed a custom solution. He worked closely with the DPS Telecom team to develop a new fiber interface unit, called the NetGuardian 216F. As part of the DPS custom solution process, he played a critical role in the testing phase. "I was sent an initial product, full-blown with all the software and inputs," said Frank. "I tested it within our lab with many different fiber interfaces. It worked with everyone."

"We like the fact that it was easy to customize and get the features we needed or wanted. That was definitely a plus..."

Chad Cates has done similar work with the NetGuardian 216Fs in their Texas sites and he has equally positive results. "So far, we've got 4 of the units and we've deployed 2 of them," said Chad. "And they seem to be working fine with no problems." He was pleased by how easy it was to get custom work done. "We like the fact that it was easy to customize, get the features we needed or wanted. That was definitely a plus," said Chad.

Spreading New Innovations To The Rest Of Their System

The NetGuardian 216F fiber interface and integrated 10/100 switch have also allowed Consolidated Communications to extend Ethernet across their fiber network. "Using the NetGuardian 216F out in a remote fiber-fed cabinet, we can actually connect back to an Ethernet switch in the office," said Floyd King, engineering manager from the Texas branch.

"The NetGuardian 216F fits the bill with the fiber interface..."

Frank confirmed that SNMP reporting is working well. "The NetGuardian 216F has a direct uplink back to our network, so we can collect SNMP traps for the environmental conditions within the cabinet," said Frank. "It sends the system a trap and we can react to it."

Overall, Mr. Fetchak feels that the new, customized product he received was a good match for the company's needs. "The NetGuardian 216F fits the bill with the fiber interface," he said.

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