Broadband Distribution Fundamentals


The broadband distribution fundamentals (BDF) course introduces the learner to radio frequency (RF) distribution of signals in the access network, preparing installers to become maintenance technicians.  The access network, from the optical node to the distribution tap, is discussed in this course.  Topics include an introduction to electronic theory, system architectures, power supplies, coaxial cable connectorization, and active and passive components.  Test equipment used on outside plant maintenance and troubleshooting is introduced.

Recommended Prerequisite:

·         SCTE·ISBE Understanding Cable Technology Course

·         SCTE·ISBE Broadband Premises Installation and Service

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


Included in the Course:

  • Engaging and Interactive LightningMod to prepare learner for training
  • In-depth interactive eBook modules
  •  CORTEX mobile app to access eBook modules in the field
  • Apply eBook knowledge with real life experiences in a simulated environment
    • 2 NetworkSims Included
  •  Module assessments
  • Course final exam
  • Fun VirtuGame to improve absorption and retention of competencies
  • 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 9 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 3 days.

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

Course Modules:

Module 01: Distribution System Architecture
Module 02: Introduction to Electronic Theory (AC)
Module 03: AC Waveforms
Module 04: Resistive Circuits
Module 05: Inductance and Transformers
Module 06: Introduction to Capacitance
Module 07: Introduction to Reactance
Module 08: Coaxial Cable
Module 09: Coaxial Cable Connectorization
Module 10: Distribution System Passive Devices
Module 11: Distribution System Active Devices
Module 12: Introduction to Amplifier Operation
Module 13: Powering a Coaxial or HFC System
Module 14: Amplifier Electronic Components
Module 15: Digital Signal Analyzers
Module 16: TDR Operation
Module 17: Signal Leakage Measurements
Module 18: Network Architecture
Module 19: Preventive Maintenance Programs 


Course Objectives:

Module 01 Distribution System Architecture

       Describe the history of broadband Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) networks

       Understand conventional coaxial CATV networks

       Define HFC architecture

       Recognize the symbols used in HFC design

       List the types of system maps

Module 02 Introduction to Electronic Theory (AC)

       The electrical concept of resistance

       How resistance is related to voltage and current

       How to calculate power dissipation in a resistive circuit

       How to cascade multiple resistive circuits

Module 03 AC Waveforms

       Explain the difference between AC and DC signals

       Understand the units used to measure AC signals

       Understand the time domain representations of AC signals

       Identify sources of AC signals and sources of DC signals

Module 04 Resistive Circuits

       Explain the electrical concept of resistance

       Show how resistance is related to voltage and current

       Solve series resistance circuits

       Solve parallel resistance circuits

       Explain constant current sinks

Module 05 Inductance and Transformers

       Describe the relationship between electric current and magnetic fields

       Recognize inductors and energy storage in magnetic fields

       Describe magnetic cores and permeability

       Describe mutual inductance

       Describe the construction and operation of transformers

Module 06 Introduction to Capacitance

       Understand the concept of an Electric Field

       Understand a capacitor and the storage of charge

       List the functions of dielectric materials

       Describe capacitor construction

Module 07 Introduction to Reactance

       Understand the basic concept of reactance

       Calculate inductive reactance and capacitive reactance

Module 08 Coaxial Cable

       Discuss the operational characteristics of coaxial cable

       Understand 75-ohm characteristic impedance

       Discuss the relationship between power transfer and impedance

       Calculate signal attenuation levels

       Explain how environmental factors affect cable

Module 09 Coaxial 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 Hardline Coax Connectorization and Splicing 

Module 10 Distribution System Passive Devices

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

       Explain the placement of these passive devices, particularly taps, that drive the overall network design and operation

Module 11 Distribution System Active Devices

       List the active devices used in an HFC Network

       Explain the function of the active devices

       Name the basic functional blocks inside these active devices

Module 12 Introduction to Amplifier Operation

       Describe basic HFC architecture

       Describe the parts of a typical amplifier block diagram

       Explain the use of Equalizers

       Explain the use of variable cable compensators

       Describe intermodulation distortion

       Describe thermal noise and amplifier noise figure

Module 13 Powering a Coaxial or HFC System

       List the equipment used to power coaxial and HFC networks

       Describe the difference between non-standby and standby power supplies

       Describe the function of line power inserters

       Explain the difference between centralized and distributed powering

       List the advantages and disadvantages of 60-volt and 90-volt powering

Module 14 Amplifier Electronic Components

       Describe the operation of basic electronic circuit elements found in amplifiers like power supplies, baluns, filters, diplexers, fuses, pads and equalizers.

       Describe basic semiconductor operation via the pn junction

       List the names and types of basic semiconductor components in amplifiers

       Describe what an operational amplifier is and its basic use and operation

Use Components of an RF amplifier Block Diagram to Restore Service 

Module 15 Digital Signal Analyzers

       Describe the uses of digital signal analyzers

       List basic care and set-up procedures

       Describe RF level measurements

       Describe Constellation measurements

       Explain ingress measurements

Mdule 16 TDR operation

       List the effects of reflections

       List several causes for reflections in a coaxial network

       Describe the uses of time domain reflectometers

       Describe the TDR display

       Explain the importance of velocity of propagation

Module 17 Signal Leakage Measurements

       List the symptoms of signal leakage

       Describe the operation of signal leakage detectors

       Describe the method of patrolling for signal leakage

       Define CLI and its importance

       List the annual CLI rules

Module 18 Network Architecture

       Describe the history of broadband HFC networks

       Understand conventional coaxial CATV networks

       Define Hybrid Fiber Coax architecture

       Explain regional broadband networks and ring architectures

       Describe long distance network architectures

Module 19 Preventive Maintenance Programs

       List the types of system maps and their use in system maintenance

       Describe the types of downstream sweeps

       Describe upstream sweep systems

       Explain how leakage measurements can be used to predict system problems

       Describe how cable modem telemetry can be used as a tool for maintenance

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