Critical Facilities


Operators are changing their access networks to keep up with the demand from residential, commercial, and wireless customers. Technologies, like FTTx, and the move to distribute access architecture (DAA) will increase the amount of traffic on the network. These improvements put extreme demands on the operator's headend requirements for reliability and availability. The role of moving data is a 24/7 operation and operators need to limit potential causes of downtime, which could be caused by Hardware failure, network glitches, software problems, and application bugs. The bulk of unplanned downtime 80% is caused by processes or people issues. Operators must audit the processes in place in their facilities and the people they have on-site managing these facilities to improve reliability.

Consequently, we now need to incorporate a new mindset and decision-making structure, process, and tools to match unpredictable events such as power outages, natural disasters, or manmade incidences. This Class facilitates bridging the gap between a critical incident and the mission-critical of the structure that needs to be in place and working according to detail specifications to manage the event with safety, competence, and situational awareness.


Recommend Prerequisite:

  • SCTE·ISBE Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)

Target Audience:

  • Network Operations Center (NOC) Engineers
  • Network Operations
  • Headend / Hub Engineers
  • Inside Plant / Field Engineers
  • Maintenance Technician, Plant Technician or equivalent
  • Technical Operations and Engineering Managers


Exam Information:

Upon completion learners will be prepared to earn the nationally recognized certification of completion for each discipline in the course. The course is designed for individuals interested in working in the cable telecommunications industry for a cable provider, contractor or vendor.

More information may be found at

Included in the Course:

  • In-depth interactive eBook™ modules 
  • CORTEX mobile app to access content modules in the field 
  • Engaging and Interactive LightningMod™ to prepare learner for training 
  • Course final exam 
  • SCTE·ISBE course completion certificate 
  • 3 recertification units (RUs) towards SCTE·ISBE certification renewal



Self-paced interactive Online Course: Learners start the SCTE·ISBE VirtuLearn™ course at any time, study at their own pace, and have access to dynamic online content after they register. On average, learners will spend approximately 1.5 hours per week over 12 weeks completing course activities in each module. SCTE·ISBE provides access to the course for 3 years from date of purchase.

System Requirements: A high speed Internet (HSI) connection, Internet browser with HTML 5 support. For tablet or smartphone access, HTML 5 may be used for online eBook content.

Instructor-Led Onsite Boot Camp Course: The SCTE·ISBE VirtuLearn course may be delivered as an onsite boot camp over 5 days.

Course access information will be emailed when the course is purchased.


Course Modules:

Module 01: Critical Facilities
Module 02: Critical Infrastructure
Module 03: Cooling
Module 04: Powering
Module 05: Disaster Recovery Module 06: Greener Facility


Course Learning Objectives:

Module 01 Critical Facilities

  • Understand the history and a legacy overview of the facility
  • Define the important critical facility requirements
  • Understand the important principles regarding planning, installing, and caring for an effective facility operating climate
  • Explain routing methods and practices, including labeling, as well as cable and connector types used in facilities
  • Understand the OSHA, safety, and security regulations, procedures and practices relating to headend site layout and personnel
  • Describe the operation, procedures, and practices relating to headend and facilities network system monitoring
  • Understand facility rack design relating to organization, specifications, and environmental performance
  • Define the theory, architecture, methods, procedures, and specifications used to ensure proper facility grounding and bonding practices
  • Describe commercial and standby facilities powering

 Module 02 Critical Infrastructure 

  • Distinguish the components that are part of the network infrastructure.
  • Explain facility structures and their components.
  • Interpret the facility cleaning procedures used.
  • Explain the procedures, theory, and operation of headend fire safety equipment and its related components.
  • Identify OSHA, safety, and security regulations and practices relating to headend site layout and personnel.
  • Describe the facility design used by critical infrastructures.
  • Grade the various environmental impacts.

Module 03 Cooling

  • Identify HVAC mechanical systems, DX systems, precision cooling, capacity and efficiency ratings.
  • Define the environmental requirements associated HVAC system functionality.
  • Grade air-conditioning systems.
  • Compare air circulation methodologies, cooling topologies, cooling towers, water supplies, chillers and how they are used within a critical facility.
  • Explore headend rack placement and isle approaches related to airflow and cooling performance.
  • Explore cooling monitoring systems
  • Examine recovery from cooling system failures

Module 04 Powering

  • Interpret the types of AC and DC powering used in critical facilities.
  • Examine commercial power delivery systems used by operators.
  • Estimating your power needs.
  • Explore the operation and components of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
  • Explore the operation and components of a generators.
  • Explain power distribution in facilities along with phases of powering, bonding and grounding.
  • Describe power conditioning.
  • Describe electrostatic discharge (ESD) and an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). 


Module 05 Disaster Recovery

  • Identify what processes need to be followed when systems break
  • Explore how to uncover weaknesses in systems by using test induced emergencies
  • Analyze how a configuration change that effects the system negatively can be fixed by practicing in a change-induced emergency
  • Explore how to uncover weaknesses in processes by studying a process induced emergency
  • Identify what processes need to be followed in the event mother nature knocks out a portion or the whole facility.
  • Recognize to not repeat the past and learn from it by learning how to make a postmortem culture


Module 06 A Greener Facility

  • Identify how green a facility is by measuring the power consumption, carbon footprint, generator emissions, heat waste, and water consumption
  • Explore the use of biofuels, fuel cells, solar, wind, and hydroelectric to power a facility in a greener way
  • Review how to cool a facility in a greener way by setting running equipment temperatures at the right level, heat recovery and reuse, using more efficient mechanical systems, and setting up the equipment room for efficiency
  • Examine how a facility becomes greener by consolidation, virtualization, and automation of systems
  • Review green building techniques that include placement of the facility, building design, and material selection

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