Tens of thousands of telco IPTV installations ago we blog’d about IPTV installation times. In that March 27 post we noted that as much as industry watchers would like draw comparisons about home networking from IPTV installation times, it’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma (apologies to Winston Churchill).
The differences between a European telco offering HomePlug and a North American telco installing HomePNA is much more than HomePlug versus HomePNA (or MOCA, UPA, HD-PLC, …). In some cases – especially North America -- most of the stuff done during installation has little to do with home networking and more to do with the IPTV service itself.
So what does the installer do when he gets to the customer’s home, you ask? Several HomePNA members have done ride-alongs on telco IPTV installations so we are able to shed a little light on the process (at least for some North American telcos).
If you have had cable or satellite service installed, you won’t be surprised to learn that the first step is to review the order with the customer. The installer then does a site survey and determines where the passive components, residential gateway and set-top boxes will be installed. For older homes it’s likely that there is old equipment that needs to be disconnected.
Since the new IPTV service may involve upgrading or adding new broadband service, the technician also needs to install, provision (turn on), and test new DSL or fiber service. (In some cases installers use commercial test equipment that can test both the broadband access service and the home networking wires.) If the fiber or DSL is installed on the outside of the house, the technician needs to figure out which wires he will use to bring the service into the house. The remaining equipment is then installed, middleware updated, and the system, including the home network, is tested.
In many cases the installation also includes a wireless LAN which must be configured and tested as well. And don’t forget training the customer on use of the new remote control and DVR features, setting up the customer’s Internet, and so on.