Network Visualizer – Configuration Options

Jun 5, 2024 | Fiber, Vizaport

Blog

New Options for Internet Service Providers

In Vizaport’s latest release, we’ve added new configuration options for our Network Visualizer, used by Internet Service Providers to allow customers to view proximity to fiber and cable lines. We’ll highlight all of the configuration options in this blog post.

User Experience
First, let’s preview the user experience. The customer sees the Network Visualizer widget on the ISPs web page, and may start by providing an address.  Reminder, that users can ask the AI nearly any type of question about products and services and it will answer. This blog post focuses on the features displayed when the user provides an address.

When the customer enters an address, a calculation is performed to the nearest fiber line, at a defined splice point. This is divided into three categories: 1) On Net, 2) Near Net and 3) Off Net. On Net requires little to no work to bring the customer online. Near Net typically requires installation and possible trenching to extend the line to the customer location. Off Net is outside of the ISPs coverage range. Below is an example of the customer typing an address and a NearNet response. The blue line is the installation path to the red line (existing fiber).

 

ISP – Administrator Experience
The admin at the ISP begins by uploading AI training data, which includes KML data with Internet route lines and splice points. This is used by Vizaport to calculate customer proximity to fiber and potential route paths.  After loading data for route lines and additional documents to train the AI, the Configure Widget page in Vizaport allows the admin to make customizations to branding, features, etc. Under the Industry tab (see screenshot below), there are the following configuration options for Network Visualizer.

 

 

Configuration Options
A summary of each option:

 

  • OnNet message – The text that is shown to the customer when their location is determined to be OnNet (see OnNet radius). This message can be configured with HTML such as <a> anchor links to point to a web page to continue the process to sign up. Hint use target=”_top” to exit the widget when the user clicks on the anchor link text.
  • NearNet message – The text that is shown to the customer when their location is greater than the OnNet radius, but less than the NearNet radius. In addition to text, NearNet calculations are performed for routes, and potential installation costs, which can be enabled or disabled (see Show Route and Installation Cost Per Meter configuration options).
  • OffNet message – The text that is shown to the customer when their location is greater than the NearNet radius.  
  • OnNet radius – The radius from the customer’s location to fiber to be determined to be OnNet (in meters). By default, OnNet calculations are performed based on lat/longs of customer locations and splice points and use right-of-way route distances. An optional configuration exists to modify to use straight line distance calculations.
  • NearNet radius – The radius from the customer’s location to fiber to be determined to be NearNet (in meters). There is no setting for OffNet because anything greater than the NearNet radius is assumed to be OffNet.
  • Installation cost per meter – By default, this field is blank and estimated installation costs are not shown to the customer. If a number is added to this field, then the estimated route distance is multiplied by this number to arrive at an estimated cost to install, which is displayed to the customer and clearly marked estimated. Note this is a cost per meter.
  • Show fiber – When this checkbox is enabled, the ISPs fiber map is displayed within the customer’s proximity in red. The customer only sees KML data for that area and is not able to download the data.
  • Show route – When this checkbox is enabled, the route calculation by Vizaport’s AI is shown in blue, connecting the customer’s location with the optimal splice point. This occurs only for NearNet calculations and can be turned off by disabling this checkbox. Also, note that Vizaport’s recommend route can be edited on screen for splice point or route by dragging-and-dropping to a new preferred location or route.
  • Show splice points – When this checkbox is enabled, splice points appear with the route lines, if points are configured in the KML file. Route lines appear as red lines and splice points are white circles on these lines.  
  • Calculate optimal route – When this checkbox is enabled, Vizaport’s AI will iterate from the customer’s location to many different splice points, using many different routes, to find the optimal path. This calculation requires time and can often take many seconds to return a response. For faster results, disable this checkbox and Vizaport will find the splice point that is the closest straight line distance from the customer’s location and then find the shortest path to that splice point. This results in faster performance, but may not always be the optimal route.
  • Calculate fiber availability – For ISPs intending to use Network Visualizer to allow a customer to enter an address and perform OnNet, NearNet and OffNet calculations, this checkbox should always be enabled. After an address is entered into the input bar, it will check for Internet access. There are cases when this box can be disabled, for example, if the address check should be used to check for assets in the area instead of fiber routes. In most cases, ISPs will want to keep this checkbox enabled.

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