Install, maintain, and service telephone lines, special circuit lines, broadband services, subscriber carrier systems, cable terminals, protection devices, and customer-owned equipment. May also diagnose and repair trouble in switching equipment, alarm network equipment, wireless systems, standby generators, fiber equipment, voice frequency repeaters, loop extenders, and cable loading systems. Repair and maintain multi-line telephone key systems and PBX’s. Coordinate with other departments on service installations and changes necessary to update billing, facilities, and other company records. Complete all installation and repair-related forms and reports. Locate and splice communications cable. Operate equipment to install aerial or buried cable. Complete on-call shifts when assigned. Responsible self-starter with the ability to work with minimal supervision. Must be able to travel to regional villages to perform repairs on short notice and overnight as required.
Specifically, the outside plant technician:
Identifies, counts and prepares groups of cable pairs for splicing or termination;
Maintains cable system by testing to locate trouble, opening cable to repair or replace defective sections using splicing techniques, and closing and sealing cable;
Splices cable to protector devices and the main distribution frame at the central office, and splices customer drop cable to the CO cable system;
Ties customer drop cable to central office cable system using splicing techniques and special equipment, such as multidistribution stubs and terminal access boxes;
Mounts demarcation devices and protectors at customer premises and attaches individual cable pairs of central office feeder cable;
Mounts terminal blocks throughout customer premises and attaches individual house or service cable pairs; ties other end of house cable to terminal block at demarcation point where all inside wiring and subscriber loop feeder cable meet;
Performs underground telephone and CATV locates;
Transfers customers’ service from one cable and/or terminal to another;
Installs drop wire from protector to house; and installs station protectors and network interface devices;
Installs concealed telephone wire and other equipment at buildings under construction;
Repairs all trouble on cable plant, drop and service wire and telephones; under supervision of CO technician, diagnoses and repairs, if possible, trouble in switching equipment, carrier systems, voice frequency repeaters, loop extenders, fiber optic equipment, cable and associated items;
Makes all types of single-line telephone installations, including identifying correct cable pair in pedestal or on terminal block, installing and properly grounding drop, inside wiring and station protector; installs wall telephones with concealed wiring, plugs, jacks and extension bells;
Locates trouble in single-line telephone and DSL installations and repairs or replaces faults;
Checks loops and records proper readings; uses test sets and interprets readings to locate line trouble; localizes line trouble, determines necessary repairs and changes cable pairs if required;
Installs or assists central office staff in the installation of switching and related equipment; performs periodic maintenance on switches, batteries, chargers and related equipment;
Creates, keeps and maintains good plant records and maps;
Tests and splices fiber;
Troubleshoots Broadband issues for both Business and Residential circuits;
Complies with all RUS specifications, industry standards, safety rules and regulations and company policies;
Installs and maintains equipment for diversified telco services, such as cable TV and cellular, as assigned;
Coordinates with accounting, commercial and other departments on service installations and changes to update billing and other company records.
Knowledge and skills usually acquired through training in electronics and one to two years of experience in telephone plant operations is preferred. Minimum High School graduate or equivalent.
Understanding of basic electronics, specification sheets and circuit diagrams. Knowledge of telco plant operations, regulatory/industry standards and procedures, and new switching and plant technologies. Understanding of plant testing techniques. Familiarity with OSHA rules and industry / company safety standards.
Use mechanical and electrical power tools. Handle heavy physical workload, including climbing, lifting and stooping. Pay close attention to detail, instructions and schedules. Respond to customers and community to ensure positive public relations and to retain customer identification with the telco. CDL “Class A” with air brakes desirable.
The outside plant technician reports to the outside plant supervisor.
Establishes and maintains close working relationship with other plant personnel. Coordinates with other telco departments on the status of installation and service projects.
Serves as a personal link between the telco, customers and the general public.
Occasional assumption of authority;
Daily contact with customers and the community on service questions and problems;
Ability to evaluate, test and repair sophisticated equipment;
Preparation of reports, such as time sheets and work logs;
Ongoing need to stay abreast of telecommunications technology, including digital switching facilities, fiber-optic cable, equipment interface standards and other services, such as cable TV and cellular;
Ability to improve or redesign procedures for specific installation/repair problems.