Broadband Distribution Specialist (Self-Paced)

The Broadband Distribution Specialist (BDS) course focuses on radio frequency distribution of signals in the access network. All aspects of the access network from the optical node to the distribution tap are included in this comprehensive training course that supports SCTE's BDS certification. Length: 10 weeks

Format: Online

Participants view pre-recorded, narrated presentations and complete learning activities at any time that is convenient for them. Participants are encouraged to contact the instructor for questions and discussion.  

Participants spend approximately 5-10 hours per week, completing the various course activities in order to maximize the learning benefits. It is recommended to complete the course in 10 weeks.  A certificate is awarded at the conclusion of the course. Completion of the course evaluation is required in order to receive the certificate.


The access information will be emailed 24-48 business hours after registration.  


System Requirements: A high speed Internet connection (Cable or DSL), Internet Explorer 6.0 or above, and Java.


Cable outside plant (OSP) and hybrid fiber coax (HFC) professionals can conveniently learn about system architectures, power supplies, active and passive components; and construction in the access network. Additionally, this course will explore how signals operate in the access network and use system design calculations to verify proper signaling.  The course discusses proper maintenance and troubleshooting along with explaining the safety concerns while operating in this type of environment.  

Broadband Distribution Specialist Training focuses on the RF distribution of signals from the optical node to the distribution tap, including:

  • Safety and Construction-personal protective equipment, ladders, pole climbing, equipment and vehicle operation
  • System Architectures-design principles, mapping the broadband access network and HFC architectures
  • Distribution Components-actives, passives, amplifiers and coaxial cable characteristics
  • Signal Types-analog, digital, modulation schemes, frequency spectrum and impairments
  • Maintenance and Troubleshooting-sweeping, FCC requirements, signal impairments, return path, test equipment, status monitoring and troubleshooting techniques


    Topics Include:

  • Field Safety
  • Network Architecture
  • HFC Active Devices  
  • HFC Passive Devices
  • System Design
  • Electrical Characteristics of Cable
  • Cable Math
  • Coaxial Cable
  • Coax Connectorization
  • Modulation Techniques
  • Powering a Coaxial or HFC System
  • Intermodulation Distortions
  • Return Path
  • Signal Types
  • Troubleshooting and Maintenance
  • Analog and Digital Signal Impairments
  • Plant Sweeping
  • Proof of Performance Testing
  • Construction
  • Activation and Testing


    Recommended Audience

    Broadband Premises Installer/technician

    Broadband Premises Maintenance Technician or equivalent



    The course helps participants prepare to earn the SCTE Broadband Distribution Specialist (BDS) certification, a nationally recognized certification for individuals interested in working in the cable telecommunications industry for a cable provider or contractor.

    Save $$ when you bundle the course with the Broadband Distribution Specialist (BDS) certification exam.



    Steve Harris, SCTE Sr. Director of Advanced Network Technologies


    Course Narrator

    Dr. Lamar West

Requirements for Successful Course Completion

  • Completion of Course Feedback Form
  • Assessments with a passing grade of 70%
  • Final exam with a passing grade of 70%

 Upon Successful Course Completion You Will Receive

  • SCTE Course Certificate
  • College credits when registered with an SCTE college partnership
  • 3 Recertification Units (RUs) toward SCTE certification renewal

 Cancellations and Extensions

  • All cancellation requests must be received by midnight of the 7th day after the course acess begins and must be in writing or email. All cancellations are subject to a $75 cancellation fee.
  • Students may request a 3-week extension with an extension fee of $70.
  • Individuals who fail the course's final test two times will need to request a Retesting Exception and pay the Retesting Fee of $80. The Retesting Fee includes up to a 3 week course extension from the date of the request, allowing learners to prepare and retake the course final an additional two times. The final test must be completed before the course enrollment or extension ends.
Save $ by bundling the course and certification exam. 

Broadband Distribution Specialist (BDS)




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