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Planning and Design Engineer

Augusta, Georgia

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OSP Planners are responsible for all decisions on technology plans and administration of feeder facilities and equipment in an assigned geographical turf.  They are the curators of detailed records and technical knowledge pertinent to that turf.  This requires them to maintain expertise on all technology and architectures (past, present and emerging) to enable them to make the most cost-effective capital deployment decisions. 

Discipline Description

Overall Purpose:

  • Designs, analyzes, plans and modifies network components and architecture in support of the wireless and wireline infrastructure.
    • Analyzes growth trends for an assigned geographical turf to determine the need for placement of fiber and equipment (such as VRADs and EMTs) for growth or relief or whether to delay capital expenditures.
    • Updates forecasts based on analysis to size fiber and equipment called for by the planner on handoffs.
    • Analyzes data and makes technology choices.  Currently this includes PFP’s, EMT’s, EMuxes, and older technologies.  This also includes the decisions needed to replace older technology being displaced by contractual obligations, damages, disasters or obsolescence.
    • Provides detailed plans for fiber placement and sizing to accommodate both wireless and non-wireless requirements.

  • May provide mid to long term planning for a specific technology which includes analysis, solution recommendations, and implementation strategies to

complex business issues.

    • Collaborate with regional and/or national staff, Fundamental loop and IOF planning, OSP Design and marketing/CCU forces to project demand and deployment for GPON/OLT deployment in wire centers.
    • Provide input to design of technology and architecture for the replacement and/or removal of outdated network equipment including voice switches, digital loop carrier & DSL platforms .

  • These activities are the basis for capital deployment and allocation decisions.
    • OSP Planners assist in the prioritization and timing of capital deployment decisions based on research and analysis of forecasted growth trends.
    • OSP Planners provide feedback to budget personnel on the impacts of capital and expense reductions to funded initiatives such as Fiber to the Node, Lightgig, Connected Community projects, etc.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Develops and evaluates network performance criteria and measurement methods.
    • Evaluates fills and growth trends to determine need for new facilities or the need to relieve existing facilities.
    • Determines bandwidth threshold for capping legacy DSL facilities.
    • Determine the need for additional bandwidth/fiber facilities based on existing circuit usage.

  • Prepares the analysis of the short term or long-term capacity needs for wireless and wireline infrastructure.
    • Analyzes growth trends, construction activity and current forecasts and develops long range growth and modernization forecasts via the route planning process.
    • Monitors network element fill percentages and issues detailed project documents for all required feeder facility relief including Central Office (C.O.) transfers, major undertakings and /or routine activities.

  • May conduct network architecture design, feasibility and cost studies.
    • Solves non-routine problems by independently applying judgment to established analysis and standard approaches.
    • Integrates/evaluates multiple factors to develop creative practical solutions.
    • Provide cost analysis of multiple scenarios along with detailed network architecture selection plans for complex items such as road moves, DLC lease expirations, damaged and/or defective plant and disaster recovery situations where existing technology may need to be removed, repaired or replaced.

  • Studies and forecasts traffic drivers to determine short and/or long-term capacity needs.
    • Performs detailed route studies to forecast the feeder/equipment needs for a 2 to 5 year view. 

May include all or some of the following functions:

  • Recommends strategic network architecture planning and network evolution policy decisions in support of corporate initiatives, customer demand, technology changes, economic and service reliability criteria;
    • Develops plans, including plant replacement, design modernization, facility relief, and similar plans, to reduce operating expenses and expand technology.
    • Recommend technology changes due to contractual obligations, disasters and customer requests.  Planners are key in making these technology choice decisions.
    • Submit zero demand candidates to allow the network to evolve to newer technology.
    • Participate in calls and evaluate choices for service Out of Franchise areas and CRAN/5G nodes.  This includes recommending these areas being served from different hubs or COs when needed.
    • Propose deployment of GPON technology for business which evolved into the current fiber forward plan.
    • Conducts monthly forum calls to discuss policy and procedure issues and recommend changes to policy and possible solutions to be considered by regional and headquarters staffs.

  • Evaluates new and emerging technologies for addition and/or application to existing network systems;
    • Develops and maintains thorough understanding of all aspects of outside plant:
      • Installation
      • Maintenance
      • Construction
      • Engineering
      • Loop Electronics Engineering/Coordination
      • Transmission Engineering
      • Past and current OSP technologies
    • Provides technical guidance to OSP Design Engineers and/or training to Engineering Assistants and new planners.
    • Independently applies knowledge of technical practices
    • Provide feedback to regional and headquarters staff on applicability of emerging technologies to certain geographical areas based on local knowledge of existing architectures and growth trends.  Examples include identifying wire centers which are prime candidates for deployment of FTTP/Gpon architecture.
    • Participates in First Office Applications (FOA) trials and implementations for emerging technologies.  This includes assisting in writing technical documents and procedures and identifying candidate locations.

  • Conducts economic and population growth studies to determine impact on network capacity and development plan projections;
    • Utilizes multiple sources (DevLog, FRVT, FPA, EGIS, Insight, ASE Activity, National Build Plans) to determine impact on the OSP Network and forecast exhaust dates.
    • Communicates relief timing forecasts and projections both upstream and downstream, impacting budgets and construction force needs.

  • Creates deliverables such as mgmt reports, business cases, infrastructure deployment guidelines, 3 Year Plans, Plans of Record, Project Approval Letters, and Serving Plans;
    • Issues detailed project documents for all required feeder facility relief including Central Office (C.O.) transfers, major undertakings and /or routine activities.
    • Create route plans forecasting 2 to 5 year plan for growth and facility requirements for each route in every wire center.  This includes detailed serving plans and sizing information.
    • Create cost analysis business case for choosing between technologies.
      • Upsizing fiber due to unusual circumstances.
      • Comparing the cost of proposing GPON equipment vs multiple single customer solutions.
      • Analyze cost of serving a customer order, proposed CRAN or new development from various directions both based on cost on covering all requirements.
      • Build business case for technology change, upsizing, or down-sizing when existing facilities are being displaced.

  • Works with key internal stakeholder and vendors to determine future business and customer needs.
    • Participates with other groups such as AFO-AT&T Field Operations, BFS- Business Field Services, Central Office forces and RAO-Facility Analysis Planners to develop action plans to position for future technology and to reduce operating expense through facility replacement, modernization, and deployment of new technologies.
    • Responds to sales inquiries regarding fiber availability and requests for fiber-based services.
    • Meets regularly with other Network and Sales teams to coordinate large undertakings to external customers.

Job ID 2230094 Date posted 06/22/2022
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