This year, Mother Nature proved once again that the winters can be brutal. Utility companies have the overwhelming task of keeping services up and running in windy, snowy and icy weather. While cables might fall due to the weight of ice and snow, they must be protected against the one thing that can be prevented—corrosion.

Corrosion in a coaxial outside plant cable normally occurs because of moisture ingress. That ingress is most often a result of environmental damage to the cable from things like rodent chews or abrasion. The second most likely cause is moisture penetrating the cable at connector interface points because of improper sealing.

Corrosion can increase a broadband operator’s customer complaints because of poor reception and outages of services like HDTV, video on-demand, high-speed Internet and telephone service. To combat corrosion, operators continually send personnel and equipment to fix the problem. The most likely fix is the replacement of the drop cable. That means operators are looking at additional time and money spent on a problem that could have been rectified earlier.

The Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers (SCTE) wrote and adopted the “Test Method for Moisture Inhibitor Corrosion Resistance.” As the standards body for broadband cable television, the SCTE understood that corrosion was a major issue. So, it developed specifications that cables must meet including anti-corrosion treatments. With that in mind, CommScope has multiple drop cable offerings designed to exceed these specifications to protect any network. It’s our goal to provide customers with the appropriate treatment for their particular environment.

BrightWire® is a dry chemical treatment that is applied to the metals before cable assembly. It resists oxidation in the presence of water and is the least obtrusive treatment available today for both indoor and aerial applications. It provides the same protection as gel only without the sticky residue that requires a lot of clean up and additional time in the field.

Migra-Heal® is a viscous flooding compound that forms a moisture barrier, preventing water from contacting and corroding shield elements. It is often preferred to be used underground where standing water is common, sealing “nicks” that might occur during installation. Similar to Migra-Heal, APD™ (Amorphous Polypropylene Drop) is a waxy filling compound that also forms a moisture barrier. APD is often preferred in aerial cables. ETPR (Extended Thermo-plastic Rubber) is a traditional flooding compound used in the telephony industry. ETPR is used most often in twisted pair hybrid cables as it is more compatible with twisted pair splicing processes.

When you’re installing cables, take the time to protect your networks by using CommScope anti-corrosive treated drop cables.

Fix the problem before it starts.

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