National Credential
Credential: Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS) certification is for individuals with knowledge in maintenance and troubleshooting of the inside plant facilities and of advanced entertainment, data and voice networks within the headend. Candidates must have a minimum of six to eight years of experience in cable television headend operations. Candidates must also pass a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 3 years

Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 1C Satellite Systems/Network Coordinator ASI other          
Enlisted 25C Radio Operator-Maintainer MOS other          
Enlisted 25L Cable Systems Installer-Maintainer MOS most  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information. III      
Enlisted 25P Microwave Systems Operator-Maintainer MOS other          
Enlisted 25S Satellite Communications Systems Operator-Maintainer MOS other          
Warrant Officer 255N Network Management Technician WOMOS some        
Warrant Officer 255Z Senior Network Operations Technician WOMOS most        

Army Table Legend

Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 6 years recommended
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 3 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)
140 Philips Rd.
Exton, PA  19341-1316
Phone: (800) 542-5040
Fax: (610) 363-5898

Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)

Candidates must have a minimum of six to eight years of experience in cable television Headend operations.

The Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidates must agree to uphold the SCTE Certification Code of Ethics.

Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)

  • Facilities
    • Facility resources at the hands of critical facility managers.
    • Important principles regarding planning, installing, and caring for an effective headend operating climate.
    • Purpose, procedures, theory and operation of headend fire protection equipment and its related components. Familiarity of OSHA, safety, and security regulations and practices related to headend site layout and personnel.
    • Operation, procedures, and practices relating to headend and network system monitoring. Headed rack design relating to organization, specifications, and environmental performance.
    • Theory, acrhitecture, methods, procedures, and specifications used to ensure proper headend and facility grounding practices.
    • Commercial and backup headend powering and the associated safety implications.
    • Headend towers, cable routing methods and practices, including labeling, as well as cable and connector types.
  • Cabling and Fiber Transport
    • Basic technology of coaxial cable, optical fiber and optical fiber transport systems.
    • Microwave links for the transport and distribution of voice, video and data.
    • Channel frequency assignments used in broadband hybrid fiber/coax networks.
    • Hybrid fiber coax networks for business services and cellular backhaul applications.
  • RF Signal Modulation, Demodulation, and Processors
    • Relationship of symbol rate, bandwidth and channel size to the cable system.
    • Analog and the digital modulation orders used in the cable access network.
    • Demodulation and the demodulation process.
    • Multiplexing signals; the differences and features between them.
    • Cable operator devices used to format video signals for transmission over the HFC network.
  • Baseband and Digital Signaling
    • Analog RF and baseband audio and video signals, the various types, their standards, testing procedures, and maintenance operations.
  • Signal Transmission and Reception
    • Analog and digital transmission systems and describe how these two systems work over metallic, fiber and RF based facilities.
    • Fiber based facilities and the different types of fiber optic cables.
    • Satellite systems from the orbital and satellite itself to the equipment used to make it all happen.
  • Network Fundamentals
    • Various network topologies and five distinct types of networks, and the numbering behind them.
    • Ethernet, VLAN technology, and various Ethernet cabling standards.
    • How Networks indicate errors and various packet flows.
    • OSI model and the TCP/IP model, common network protocols found in today's network, and the way media is digitized and sent over IP based networks.
    • Network IP addressing and static and dynamic routing techniques and error detection and correction.
  • MPEG Systems
    • Why cable operators are interested in compressing digital video.
    • Basics of compression.
    • Block elements of encoding.
    • MPEG and how it is used in cable to compress and transport digital video.
    • ATSC standard.
    • Difference between the MPEG standards.
    • MPEG digital audio standards.
  • Video Services
    • Physical interfaces and common protocols used for video transport and the role headend controllers play in accessing video content in the cable network.
    • Types, characteristics and operation of narrowcast services. Architectures used by VoD systems and types of server management used by operators in the cable network.
    • Commerical and Emergency Alert Program Insertion (Analog and Digital): components of commerical or digital program insertion.
  • Circuit Switched Telephony
    • Phone company entities and switching concepts, including call processing, PSTN switches, ISDN and SS7 signaling.
    • PSTN call features.
    • Various aspects of central office configuration and PSTN supported Customer Premise Equipment (CPE).
    • IPSTN facilities; digital hierarchy, local loops, trunk groups transport CSV traffic and how cellular networks provide wireless coverage.
    • PSTN versions of broadband delivery.
    • Different methods of testing used to validate PSTN networks.
    • PSTN reference architecture documentation and applicable standards.
  • Cable Telephony
    • How VoIP packets are created, from a high level overview.
    • VoIP signaling protocols needed to make a call.
    • IP Multimedia System (IMS) networks.
    • CableLabs "cable-VoIP" solution "PacketCable."
  • Data Services and DOCSIS
    • How the DOCSIS protocol is used within the cable network.
    • Components that make up the DOCSIS protocol.
    • How RF operates in the upstream and downstream.
    • How DOCSIS cable modems function and initialize in the cable network.
    • Security concerns and how DOCSIS addresses these concerns.
    • Tools used for DOCSIS traffic management and bandwidth efficiency.
    • Service identifiers and how they are used in DOCSIS.
    • Feature set of DOCSIS 3.x.
  • Test Equipment and its Applications
    • The theory and operation of the various types of test equipment, as well as their applications.
    • RF Equipment Theory and Application.
    • Leakage Measurements.
    • Photonic Equipment.
    • Other Headend Equipment.
  • Testing and Maintenance
    • The equipment and methods used to test Digital Video, Audio, and Digital Performance. Measurement techniques and troubleshooting procedures, and techniques to correct impairments.
    • Measurement Techniques.
    • Testing and Troubleshooting.
    • Impairments and Mitigation.
    • Proactive Network Maintenance.

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)

Renewal Period: 3 years

The Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS) credential has the following recertification information:

  • BTCS certification is renewable every three years. BTCS certification holders must earn 12 Recertification Units (RUs) to maintain certification without having to re-take the exam.

    Additional information about recertification is available on the SCTE Certification Maintenance page.

Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS)

Additional considerations for the Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS) include: