Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Holy Crepes!

The point of demarcation of any circuit is where the local exchange carrier (such as Verizon) hands the service off to the customer. On your home phone, this is usually the first jack that the cable hits as it enters your house or apartment. All of the wiring after that point is your property. That's why you only get billed for phone repairs if the tech actually has to fix something in the home.

The situation is just as simple - or it should be, anyway - with Special Services circuits. We hand off a T-1 to the customer on a smartjack. There is a device in it that allows us to test them, but from a tariff point of view, it is still just a big, fat telephone jack. After the plug on the smartjack, everything belongs to the customer.

A 56K digital is a two-way data circuit that runs at that speed in both directions (a 56K dial up modem can only send or recieve at that speed, but not at the same time, and it never actually connected at that high a speed, despite the fact that Windows would tell you that you were connecting at about that rate). It's a circuit that was in wide use by the financial industry for their tickers until about four years ago when decimilization rendered them useless for that purpose. Now, they're pretty much only used for Lotto machines and ATMs.

Like T-1s, this was traditionally a 4 wire (two pair) circuit that has recently experienced a major technological upheaval, and is now available on a 2 wire (single pair). However, whereas the standard method of handing off a digital was on an RJ48s 645 block. That sounds fancy, but it was really very simple. It was just a jack. No extra equipment. The 2 wire digitals require a smartjack with an OCU card in them in order for them to be converted into a signal the customer can use. The former (4 wire) version of the circuit could have been dmarced on pretty much anything. The new version is more specific, and there are cases where the customer requires the old school version.

The job I had today was a 2 wire digital that came into the building on copper. It went directly to a tenant's NOC center. Originally, it had terminated in a bank in one of their cabinets. Then Chase, whose ATM this was, changed their service. The circuit now needed to have a smartjack installed, and there was no place in the phone room to put the smartjack. What they did was take the smartjack after the circuit was installed and move it on their own wire to the end of the circuit, which is in a locked ATM vault, access to which requires an armed escort.

Verizon, of course, wants nothing to do with the customer's inside wire, and by moving our dmarc, the end user had violated tariff regulations. In order for us to re-establish a dmarc, I needed to redesign this circuit to a 4 wire form, either on copper or the numerous SLCs (lower level fiber) that the customer had on site. When I called up the test bureau, the foreman there angrily informed me that they would not accept any design changes because the end user was responsible for changing the dmarc and we were only responsible to prove the existing circuit to the official demarc. I expected this.

What I wasn't expecting was how furious the AT+T tech I spoke to was that they had done this. I called him up because the end user had performed a Class A (check all the wiring, repunch everything, perform the "tug test") on his length of the circuit and I wanted to see if it was working or not. It was, and the AT+T tech was able to run to the customer's equipment. But when it came to how this happened, he was livid for many of the same reasons that the bureau manager was angry, and he is reporting the end user for tariff violation and requesting a redesign to proper facilities (which I provided the relevant information for in the job log).

I'm worried that the end user technician, who is a decent enough guy, is going to take the fall for this. While he was the guy who physically did the work here, I know that he was just following the instructions that Chase gave him. He's screwed because he did what they told him to do - a completely victimless crime - and none of the people who told him to do it are going to own up to it.
Tags: work

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