Arrow FAQ2023-04-11T16:31:28+02:00
User Guides
Release Notes
User Interface2023-03-22T20:37:53+01:00
Is the left side of the screen just for visualizing map elements, or is it used when setting up optimizations?

The toggles on the left side of the screen are predominantly used for data visualization (for example, to visualize selected Fibers and Network Equipment), but the Locations menu (top-left corner) is used in determining which target endpoint types are selected for optimization.

Imagine that the locations data layer selected in Settings includes small, medium and large businesses. If a user wants to run a plan that targets only small businesses, he/she should select Small Businesses in the Locations menu. Medium and large businesses in this scenario are going to get ignored. If a user does not select any target location types in the Locations menu, all endpoints from the data layer are going to be included in the optimization (i.e. small, medium and large businesses will be all targeted).

Why is the data selection greyed out? Why can’t I change it?

Data and Resource Selection sections become greyed out when the plan has been run and its settings are locked in place.

To unlock the selection, user may Create a New Plan to start new plan setup from scratch, or Modify existing plan to refine its settings before rerunning optimization.

Data Prep2023-03-22T20:42:06+01:00
How do I import data into Arrow?

Please refer to Arrow Data Preparation Guide for detailed explanation of how prepare and upload various data layers.
View PDF >

Cost Inputs2023-03-22T21:34:13+01:00
Where do I insert my network and equipment costs?

All network capex inputs are specified in Price Books, under Settings -> Resource Selection -> Price Book.

Fiber costs can be specified on Fiber Construction tab, while equipment cost inputs are on Equipment tab. Additionally, Fiber Cable tab allows users to specify cable size surcharges.

Can I use different cost inputs in various geographies / service areas?

Yes. Arrow can vary price book cost inputs for each service area it analyzes.

If your analysis requires such setup, please contact Arrow support to discuss best approach for your specific use case.

Is drop cable cost part of the upfront capex?

No. Drop cable costs are considered success-based, and are only assessed to locations that subscribe, at the time of their signup. As such, drop cable costs are not part of Total Capex figure displayed in plan output (they are part of expenses line item in later years).

Drop cable costs should be factored into the total success-based capex figure a.k.a. “connectionCost” in ROIC manager.

What is Connection Cost? Where does it show up in plan financials?

Connection Cost (part of ROIC settings) is meant to represent total success-based capex of newly-subscribing location. Typically, these costs include drop cable, CPE, truck roll/install, etc.

Connection costs are incurred when a location converts into a customer (i.e. in later years). Arrow keeps track of new subscribers in each time period and reports their counts and corresponding connect costs in “Financial Output” reports.

Business Case Setup2023-03-23T17:50:10+01:00
Where do I set up my business case assumptions?

Monthly location revenue inputs can be set using the ARPU Manager.

Inputs governing the financial/business model, such as operating margins, discount rate, churn, etc. are set in the ROIC Manager..

For complete list of available settings, please consult Resource Managers User Guide’s pages dedicated to ROIC manager.
View PDF >

How do I enable Telecom Spend Matrix (TSM) ARPU usage for Business/Enterprise modeling?

Go to your ARPU manager and select Telecom Spend Matrix strategy next for desired target endpoints.

How is competition / fair share information inputted into Arrow?

For US-based Arrow deployments, users have two options for specifying fair share of target endpoints. By default, the tool is going to leverage FCC’s Form 477 provider presence and speed data (for Residential and Small Business targets), or provider fiber route presence sourced from Geotel (For Enterprise and Tower targets) to calculate expected fair share of each location. More on this process can be found in Fair Share and Penetration Calculations guide.
View PDF >

Users also have the ability to specify the exact fair share value that the tool should use for each endpoint. Whenever location-level override is present, the tool is going to use it over the FCC/Geotel-derived fair share value. Details on how to set up locations layer with this override can be found in Locations chapter of Data Preparation Guide.
View PDF >

For Arrow plans run outside of the USA, users should use location-level fair-share overrides. Otherwise, in the absence of competition data, all locations will have implicit fair share of 100%, resulting in overstatement of the revenues planned network could generate.

How and where can I set up my monthly ARPU inputs?

Arrow’s ARPU Manager is used to define ARPU strategy for each endpoint type (e.g. Global, Location Layer, TSM, Segment).

  • When “Global” strategy is selected, user can specify desired ARPU value directly in the manager.
  • “Location Layer” strategy should only be used for locations layer(s) that specify every location’s monthly revenue via dedicated attribute.
  • “Telecom Spend Matrix” (TSM) strategy should only be used in combination with Telecom Spend Matrix Resource Manager that defines addressable business sizes, industries and telecom product.

What is the difference between cat3 and cat7 categories in resource managers?

cat3 category is used to specify Business-as-Usual (BAU) financial inputs, to allow Arrow to calculate how the existing legacy network is going to perform, in the absence of any new investment, i.e. “What will happen if I do nothing.”

cat7 inputs correspond to the Planned Network generated in Arrow optimization, i.e. “How is the planned network going to perform.”

cat3 inputs are only relevant in brownfield scenarios and are used to determine net impact of the planned network, after factoring in any potential cannibalization of the legacy network revenues.

How do I set up BAU (Business-as-Usual) case in Arrow?

BAU case inputs in Arrow is governed by cat3 category inputs found in both ARPU and ROIC manager.

When setting up BAU inputs, user should leverage known performance metrics of the legacy business. For example:

  • set cat3 ARPU to current legacy network’s ARPU
  • set cat3 starting penetration to the current penetration level, and allow it to change over time (by adjusting “penetratioRate” ROIC setting to -0.25 to -0.4 range [most common])
  • set cat3 operating margins, churn, connect costs, etc. to match current legacy network’s performance metrics

This process needs to be repeated for each target endpoint type.

Where do I change discount rate used in NPV calculations?

Discount rate used in plan is set in a ROIC Manager, on “Configuration” tab, under “Discount Rate” field.

How does the Broadband Adoption (ROIC resource manager) setting impact premises passed, customer count and resulting fair share?

Broadband Adoption setting is intended to simulate population’s propensity to purchase any broadband product, effectively acting as a haircut between total number of addresses that the new network passes, and how many of those addresses are revenue-generating (i.e. addressable locations).

For example, a fiber network passing 100 addresses, with 90% broadband adoption, is going to be show up in Arrow as 100 points that need to be connected (100 ports incurring capex), but only 90 Premises with revenue-generating potential. Capturing 100% of prospects in such area equates to capturing revenues from 90 subscribers. Similarly Customer Penetration is calculated off the base of addressable premises (90 in this example).

Housing Unit Occupancy Rate, while not available as separate setting in Arrow, can be combined with Broadband Adoption to derive a combined haircut from total housing units passed by the network and the number of potential customers.

How do I model subsidies in Arrow?

Please refer to Subsidies user guide.
View PDF >

Network Architecture2023-03-22T21:44:18+01:00
How do I set drop cable length?

Drop cable length can be adjusted in Network Architecture Manager. On the left hand pane select Hub-only Split -> Terminal Configuration -> Max Distance From Terminal (Meters).

Additionally, Distance Constraint Strategy field allows user to decide how strictly drop cable length setting is enforced. “Always Connect” allows locations that are too far from road edge to be connected, even if they are beyond maximum drop cable distance, while “Honor Distance” will drop the locations that fall outside of drop cable range.

How are MDUs handled in Arrow?

From network design point of view, Arrow connects MDUs using dedicated network equipment (MDU equipment), and feeder cable running directly to the premise. SFUs, on the other hand, connect to the network via drop cable linked to a FDT, which is then connected to FDH using distribution fiber.

MDUs are automatically detected in Arrow by looking at number of households present on a given lat-long. This could be either a single location/data record with large number of households attribute assigned to it, or many records/locations of size 1 on the same lat-long.

Location size cutoff between SFUs (and connecting via FDTs) and MDUs (connecting via MDU equipment) is set in Network Architecture Manager. Select your plan type in the left hand pane (Direct Routing, Hub-only Split or Point-to-Point -> Fiber Capacity Configuration -> Consolidation Rules -> Multi Dwelling Unit Upgrade Threshold -> Threshold. The threshold value is the minimum number of locations to qualify as MDU.

Can I set Arrow to prefer certain types of roads/conduits?

In general, Arrow’s algorithms will consider conduit cost when determining optimal (cheapest) route to reach target locations, e.g. prefer cheaper aerial route vs. more expensive underground path.

It is possible, however, to set the tool to consider attributes of the conduit being used, and prefer running fiber through conduits with like attribute values (e.g. with sewers labeled ‘alpha’, ‘beta’, ‘gamma’, build a route that is predominantly ‘alpha’, minimizing the times fiber has to switch from one sub-type to another).

This Tollbooths functionality can be set up for projects working with data that contains the necessary attributes. Please contact Arrow support team to discuss further.

What do individual settings in Planning Constraints or Network Architecture Manager do?

Please refer to Arrow User Guide’s pages dedicated to the resource manager for detailed explanation of each setting.
View PDF >

Running Plans2023-03-22T21:04:13+01:00
How do I run a plan?

Please refer to Arrow Quick Start Guide for step-by-step instructions for running various plan types.
View PDF >

Can I create new Project templates for my work?

Yes. Navigate to Project Configuration under Settings and select “Create new”. When prompted, select “Arrow” or your current project template as Parent.

Once created, you can navigate to User Settings to confirm the new project is now set as your default.

What is the difference between INTER and INTRA pruning strategies?

INTRA pruning strategy applies optimization constraints (Budget, Coverage, Plan IRR targets) individually to every service area selected, i.e. every service area aims to achieve same budget or coverage targets.

INTER pruning strategy applies optimization constraints to the whole plan. For example, 80% coverage target input aims to achieve 80% coverage across all areas and locations selected into optimization, with coverage achieved in individual service areas varying based on where best investment returns are possible.

Segment IRR-based optimizations evaluate attractiveness of individual network nodes and are thereby not bound by service area-level constraints (i.e. the setting is irrelevant).

For plans involving just a single service area this setting is irrelevant, and both options imply same logic to be applied to the optimization.

Do I have to keep Arrow window open at all times when plan is running? Can I do multiple runs at the same time? How do I run my plan “in the background”?

Once the plan has been started and optimization is running, it is not necessary to keep the browser window open. All the computing is done by the infrastructure in the cloud, and the user can proceed to immediately set up another plan and execute it. It is advisable however, to limit the number of simultaneous plans being run, as the compute resource is shared across all active plans, and exhausting it will result in significantly slower plan runtimes across the board.

Please also note that prior to closing browser window the plan needs be saved. Only saved plans are accessible via “Open an Existing Plan” functionality later on, and all unsaved work will be lost.

What is the best way to keep track of plans that I’m running?

It is mostly up to user’s preference how to track his/her plans and iterations. Typically, users employ a combination of descriptive plan names, with dates, and “Plan Settings” report that itemizes data and resource selections used in each plan.

What are some of the standard reports available in Arrow?

Arrow comes preloaded with a number of reports that provide plan outputs in a variety of formats and granularity levels. Here are the most commonly-used ones:

  • Financial Model details (by service area),
  • Summary of Network and Equipment Capex (counts/mileage and cost by service area for each element),
  • Itemized list of Routed Locations, with corresponding lat-longs,
  • Complete list of Network Equipment elements, with corresponding lat-longs

Additionally, kml/kmz/shp files including Planned Fiber network and its Equipment are also available.

Is there a report that shows drop cable length information?

“Routed Locations List” report contains exact drop cable length information for every locations connected in a plan.

How do I visualize drop cables?

If you enter plan edit mode (pencil) and click a service boundary and select a terminal. The drop cables connected to that terminal will be visible as a green line connected from the terminal to the locations.

Arrow Customer Success team can also create a custom report to that will allow you to download the drop cables as a KML or SHP.

What does “Distribution – Overlap” represent in my plan summary output?

Overlap distance is the length of fiber that planned distribution network shares with planned feeder network, i.e. both feeder and distribution network are placed along the same conduit path.

Users can choose whether the tool treats the two fiber cables independently, and effectively applies cable costs twice for the section where distribution overlaps feeder (legacy functionality), or whether it identifies overlapping segments, and uses estimated cable cost for the Feeder segment cost, and a separate cost for the overlapping Distribution fiber ($0 per meter by default).

To enable fiber overlap accounting select Fiber Planning ->”Pricebook Defined Overlap Cost” checkbox in Planning Constraints Manager. “Install Conduit – Planned Overlap” under Fiber Construction in Price Book defines the cost of the overlapping distribution fiber (defaulted to $0).

I need additional information / detail in my reports. What do I do?

Please contact Arrow Customer Success to discuss your exact need and feasibility of creating such report.

How is average cost to pass calculated?

Arrow divides Total CapEx (upfront expense, without success-based expenditures) by total number of premises connected in the plan.

Can Arrow export “Near-Net” TAM report for my plan?

There is no standard report for exporting Near-Net locations. Please contact Arrow Customer Success team to discuss your options.

Why do I sometimes see planned fiber routes outside of my planned service area boundaries?

Sometimes the shortest (or only) path to connect location that is near the edge of a service area runs outside of it. In those situations, Arrow runs the fiber network outside of the target area, to eventually reenter and connect the target.

The exact distance (buffer) of how far the network is allowed to exit the target service area is set in Planning Constraints Manager under “Edge buffer distance (m)” setting. The setting is in meters.

What is the difference between Penetration and Customer Penetration in Financial Output reports?

Customer Penetration is derived by dividing Customers by Premises, i.e. a view of penetration from the perspective of locations.

Penetration, on the other hand, is a revenue-based view. We divide Revenue by TAM (Total Addressable Market) to calculate it.

In most cases Penetration and Customer Penetration are pretty much identical, but Arrow keeps track of them separately for situations where, for example, there is a large difference in the pace with which HHs and Businesses ramp up to their fair shares. If there is a corresponding large gap in estimated revenues from each location type, we could see those two penetration measures diverge during the ramp up period.

In practice, when looking at PLANNED_NETWORK category, we want to be looking at Customer Penetration, but when you are in any other section of ROIC report you can use whichever definition of penetration you prefer.

What is the difference between Network Build and Network Analysis?

Network Build runs an optimization to target criteria, and places equipment and saves detailed financial case of the plan.

Network Analysis runs the pruning analysis and shows high level financials (coverage, NPV, IRR) for all CapEx levels of the build.

What is the logic used to determine which locations get pruned off first?

Least financially attractive locations get pruned off first. For in-depth explanation of Arrow’s pruning logic, please see Routing and Pruning Algorithms document.
View PDF >

How is Fair Share calculated and used in the tool?

Please see Fair Share and Penetration Calculations document for in-depth discussion of this topic.
View PDF >

How do I share resource managers with other users?

Navigate to Global Settings and select Resource Managers tile. Find the desired Resource Manager and click on (+) next to its name to expand its Permissions section. From there, you can select which user(s) and/or user groups should give access to the manager. Lastly, set the permission to either ‘Viewer’ (can use it, but can’t make any edits) or to “Owner” (has full edit and sharing privileges)

When I make changes to resource managers, do they impact just me, my whole team, or anyone using Arrow instance?

Resource Managers in Arrow are defined at the global level and are not specific to individual users.

When user creates new resource manager, only he/she will have the permissions to view, edit and use it, making the resource individual to that user. However, as soon as the manager is shared with another user/user group, they are going to be able to see it and (with sufficient permissions) edit it. All changes made to this Resource Manager going forward will impact every user that can use it in a plan.

How do I share data layer with someone?

Navigate to Global Settings, select Upload Data Resources tile and then enter Data Management mode. Find the desired data layer and click on (+) next to its name to expand its Permissions section. From there, user can give access to the resource to additional users and/or user groups.

How do I share a plan with someone?

Once the plan is saved, navigate to View Mode, Plan Info section, and click on Plan Info tab. Clicking on “Edit Plan Details” unlocks the details panel, where plan owner can give plan access permissions to additional users and/or user groups.