Broadband Distribution Specialist


Recommended Prerequisite:

  • SCTE·ISBE Broadband Premises Installation and Service Course

Target Audience:

  • Broadband Premises Installers / Technicians
  • Technical Operations
  • Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) or Access Network Technicians
  • Outside Plant (OSP) Technicians
  • Maintenance Technician, System Technician or equivalent
  • Headend or Hub Engineers

  • Certification Exam Information:

    Upon completion learners will be prepared to earn the nationally recognized SCTE·ISBE Broadband Distribution Specialist (BDS) certification. The certification 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:

    • Engaging and Interactive LightningMod™ to prepare learner for training 
    • In-depth interactive eBook modules 
    • CORTEX® mobile app to access content modules in the field 
    • Apply module knowledge with real life experiences in a simulated environment 
      • 5 NetworkSims Included
    • Module assessments
    • Course final exam
    • Fun VirtuGame™ to improve absorption and retention of competencies 
    • SCTE·ISBE course completion certificate
    • 5 recertification units (RUs) towards SCTE·ISBE certification renewal

    Requirements for Successful Course Completion:

    • Module quizzes 70% or higher
    • Course final test 70% or higher

    You may take the course final test up to 3 times.


    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 27 hours completing course activities. 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: Field Safety Refresher |
    Module 02: Network Architecture
    Module 03: HFC Active Devices
    Module 04: HFC Passive Devices
    Module 05: System Design
    Module 06: Electrical Characteristics of Cable
    Module 07: Cable Math
    Module 08: Coaxial Cable
    Module 09: Coax Cable Connectorization
    Module 10: Powering a Coaxial or HFC System
    Module 11: Modulation Techniques
    Module 12: Intermodulation Distortions
    Module 13: Return Path
    Module 14: Signal Types
    Module 15: Troubleshooting and Maintenance
    Module 16: Analog and Digital Signal Impairments
    Module 17: Plant Sweeping
    Module 18: Proof of Performance Testing
    Module 19: Construction
    Module 20: Activation and Testing

    Course Learning Objectives:

    Module 01 Field Safety Refresher

    • Recognize the industry standard safe work practices, for PPE and other job-related tools and equipment.
    • Recognize the industry standard safe work practices with respect to vehicle use.
    • Recognize the industry standard safe work practices with respect to work zone safety.
    • Recognize the industry standard safe work practices with respect to the work environment.

    Module 02 Network Architecture

    • Name the basic architecture types commonly used in the cable industry and identify their characteristics.
    • Define Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) architecture.
    • Explain the advantage of optical network architectures.

    Module 03 HFC Active Devices

    • Explain the use and function of active devices used in the HFC network.

    Test the functional blocks of an active device power supply

    Module 04 HFC Passive Devices

  • Explain the use of passive devices and their importance to the HFC network operation.
  • Discuss the placement of passive devices, particularly taps, to drive the overall network design and operation.
  • Module 05 System Design

    • Identify and describe the following passive devices, their corresponding map symbols, and level calculations.
    • Explain the basic principles used to design and map the coaxial portion of the HFC network.
    • Distinguish between the three types of system maps.

    Module 06 Electrical Characteristics of Cable

    • Identify and differentiate between resistance, capacitance, inductance, reactance, and impedance and explain how these concepts are used in cable and HFC networks
    • Define capacitive reactance and inductive reactance and name the symbol and unit of measure for each.
    • And identify the letter symbols and units of measure for resistance, capacitance, inductance, reactance, and impedance.

    Module 07 Cable Math

    • Explain how power is calculated using Joule’s and Ohm’s Laws
    • Explain the concepts of gain and loss
    • Understand the use of decibels
    • Explain the difference between dBm and dBmV
    • Make simple calculations using decibels

    Measure Ohm’s and Joule’s Law Metrics

    Module 08 Coaxial Cable

    • Discuss the electrical characteristics of coaxial cable
    • Explain how the dimensions of coaxial cable affect signal transmission
    • Discuss the relationship between power transfer and coaxial cable impedance
    • Calculate signal attenuation levels
    • Explain how environmental factors affect cable

    Module 09 Coax Cable Connectorization

    • Explain the use and function of coaxial cable preparation tools used in the HFC network
    • Identify the types of connectors used in the HFC network.
    • Describe connectorization in the HFC network.

    Perform Hard-line Connectorization and Splicing

    Module 10 Powering a Coaxial or HFC System

    • Describe the function of a line power supply and a standby power supply.
    • Explain how power is inserted onto the coaxial cable.
    • Describe Distributed and Centralized powering designs.
    • Calculate, using Ohm’s Law, voltage drops across amplifiers to determine whether a 60V or 90V power supply is used.

    Module 11 Modulation Techniques

    • Define and differentiate between analog and digital modulation techniques.
    • Identify an analog waveform and indicate amplitude, frequency, and phase.
    • Describe digital waveforms.
    • List advantages and disadvantages of digital and analog signals.
    • Describe BERT and testing constellation methods.

    Module 12 Intermodulation Distortions

    • Define harmonic and intermodulation distortions.
    • Define Composite Second Order (CSO).
    • Define Composite Triple Beat (CTB).
    • Define Cross Modulation Distortion (XMOD).
    • Explain the differences between the types of intermodulation distortions

    Module 13 Return Path

    • Identify and explain basic upstream components.
    • Define the differences between the downstream and upstream.
    • Introduce general issues that affect the design, construction, and maintenance of a successful upstream system.

    Module 14 Signal Types

    • Describe the characteristics of analog signals in the downstream.
    • Describe the characteristics of digital signals in the downstream.
    • Describe upstream signal types.

    Module 15 Troubleshooting and Maintenance

    • Describe the test equipment used during cable network maintenance and troubleshooting.
    • Understand and utilize the divide and conquer (also called the isolation or half-split) method of troubleshooting.

    Module 16 Analog and Digital Signal Impairments

    • Recognize common analog and digital signal impairments.

    Module 17 Plant Sweeping

    • Understand how sweeping is used on the access network to locate signal impairments.
    • Identify the five types of sweep systems used by cable operators.
    • Review the design considerations that apply to coaxial and hybrid fiber/coax networks.

    Perform a forward sweep on multiple amplifiers and node

    Module 18 Proof of Performance Testing

    • Describe the FCC Proof of Performance (POP) test requirements.

    Module 19 Construction

    • Describe the cable and equipment used in cable telecommunications construction, and its proper handling and testing.
    • Explain aerial cable placement considerations, including inspection, clearances, and installation.
    • Explain underground cable placement considerations, including open trench, boring, and plowing installations.
    • Describe the underground enclosures used in cable plant construction.
    • Describe cable plant bonding and grounding practices

    Module 20 Activation and Testing

    • Describe the process of coaxial cable activation and testing for new construction.

    Install and Activate Cabling


    Date Not Specified

    Not specified

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