On Friday, Suddenlink Communications became the first major MSO to have all of its broadband technicians and installers that have been with the company for at least 90 days earn one or more certification from the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers.
In the second half of 2008, Suddenlink, which is the nation's seventh-largest cable operator, started its "Careerlink" project for its technical staff. Careerlink was designed to build employees' knowledge and skills while assisting them in reaching SCTE certification. Since the start of the project, more than 1,500 Suddenlink engineers and field personnel have earned more than 3,000 STCE certifications, which came out to an average of more than 125 certifications a month.
Suddenlink estimated the training and certification effort contributed to millions of dollars of savings due to meaningful reductions in repeat service calls and customer churn. Specifically, between the end of 2008 and 2009 – the first full calendar year with Careerlink in place – Suddenlink realized a 10 percent reduction in repeat service calls and a 4 percent reduction in customer churn.
"The effects of SCTE certification and our Careerlink program have been felt throughout the organization," said Jerry Kent, Suddenlink's chairman and CEO. "We made this investment because we know that enhancing the knowledge and skills of our workforce leads to greater customer satisfaction and improved operating results. We have every intention of continuing this initiative and introducing similar development programs for other members of our workforce."
The SCTE's eight certification programs were designed to confirm skill levels for professionals involved in all areas of cable network technology. The SCTE's certification programs include: Broadband Premises Installer (BPI), Broadband Premises Technician (BPT), Broadband Premises Expert (BPE), Broadband Distribution Specialist (BDS), Broadband Transport Specialist (BTS), Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS), Digital Video Engineering Professional (DVEP) and Internet Protocol Engineering Professional (IPEP).
"We applaud Suddenlink, as they are the first major MSO to achieve this milestone," said Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of the SCTE. "Suddenlink's Careerlink program is a template for how cable system operators can use SCTE certification resources to help ensure that their employees are prepared to provide the best possible customer experience."