Network cutover

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What do you mean by when a area is haveing a network cutover? Is it a different fibre or something like that? Thanks.
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mcmanone, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Graham, RF Engineering

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A lot of the times we install a new higher capacity switch in a location that allows more gigabit (or 10 Gig) fibre to be plugged into it but requires a cutover period for swapping and testing all the fibre from the old switch to the new switch. Other times they are logically moving moving connections from a lower capacity link to a higher capacity without touching anything physical.
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Cj, Alum

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Graham has pretty much nailed it. In every case we are doing something to improve the network and the delivery of service to our customers, or to mitigate a threat to that service. I'm involved in many of these every week and I can tell you its a delicate balance between getting that work done, keeping our customers informed, and ensuring we don't cause problems after the release window. We test the procedure in the lab, write up complex Methods of Procedure (Mops), notify Customer Care and Test Centre, meet as a team to review the Mops, and twice weekly review with Directors and our VP to discuss schedules, impacts, cross impacts and potential issues. We engage vendors before, during, and after the releases to work toward doing better each time.

Let's take The Dauphin one as an example. There we had to move over 2000 customers from one FTTH platform to another as we couldn't add any more customers to the existing chassis, and we simply don't have enough fibres to keep two redundant platforms running in parallel. Due to a bug in the firmware, both platforms and all 2000 customers had to be upgraded before we could begin migrations. It took a year of testing, working with the vendor, and retesting before we were satisfied we could begin all the work necessary to perform the upgrades. Just to make it even more exciting, the vendor announced that the hardware we put at the customer end (called the ONT ) was being discontinued and ALL the chassis in the province needed to be upgraded before we ran out of the old ones. That also meant that in parallel we had to test the new ONTs, tweak them, and approve them for use. We also have periods when we don't do any network changes (like 3 weeks around Christmas and during tax season), since we don't want to risk an outage when our customers really rely on the network. So we first upgraded both platforms in Dauphin, and all 2000 customers last month, and then in a series of release windows have been migrating about 200 customers a night to the new chassis. We are scheduled to complete the last of those migrations on Monday. Every release is planned, executed, and reviewed. We take your service very serious!
Sorry for the long winded post. I do love talking about the work we do, but tend to get carried away.