Commissioning services in general is the integrated process of checking, testing and inspecting all operational components and systems of a project. In other building disciplines this may include the electrical power systems, air conditioning systems and water/waste water systems amongst others.
In the context of communications networks, commissioning also checks, tests and inspects network spaces and pathways, conduit and cabling and all equipment. We check for compliance to speciﬁcations and network performance of all operational equipment making up the communications network. The commissioning process has several elements, which, taken together constitute the communications commissioning service.
The commissioning should be considered as insurance that the investment in communications infrastructure results in a system that operates as designed. Commissioning costs for communications systems is approximately 10% or less of the overall communications design cost.
Review contractor’s commissioning documentation – unless otherwise speciﬁed, the installation contractor should provide a comprehensive plan to check, test and inspect all components of the communications network. Provision should be made to check a representative number of devices/elements, report on results, identify substandard results and indicate corrective actions as necessary. Veriﬁcation of equipment type, and performance should be allowed for in the documentation.
Witness contractor’s commissioning process – acting on behalf of the project owner the commissioning agent should witness all contractor commissioning activities to verify that all required tests and inspections were done, accurately recorded, sub-standard results noted with corrective actions detailed.
Operations & Maintenance
Manuals and procedures should be provided and reviewed with management and operations personnel.
The commissioning agent should review training documentation and procedures for all communications related equipment and systems. Further, the agent should witness actual training procedures to assure the project owner that all operators/users of equipment are conversant with the correct use of and maintenance of communications equipment. Dated records of attendees and follow-up dates should also be noted.
Certiﬁcation of installation technicians is required by some manufacturers. The commissioning agent will insure that such accreditation is presented prior to installation of any equipment requiring such certiﬁcation. The project owner may also require that a training certiﬁcation has been received by users/operators of equipment.
Warranty information should be provided for all equipment. Included in this information should be manufacturer’s contact information, local distributor information and an emergency service contact.