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SBE Supports an Advanced Skill Set

Society sets out a new résumé goal: Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer

It’s been almost 10 years since the SBE Certification Committee rolled out the Certified Broadcast Network Technologist level.

It has become one of the most popular certification levels — which is really no surprise to those of us on the Certification Committee who helped develop it. We saw the emergence of computer networking within broadcast facilities and sought to find a way to help broadcast engineers meet the new challenges associated with computer networking.

It was a two-pronged approach. First was the development of the certification level itself. We decided that it would be a standalone certification — an individual could make application and take the exam without holding any other SBE certification. An applicant would still need to be involved within the broadcast industry or allied fields in order to be eligible.

The second element was developed by Terry Baun, CPBE, AMD, CBNT. Terry wrote and presented a class on broadcast networking and the implementation of both computer systems and their networking.

He presented this class many times in many cities in the United States. After the class, participants had the opportunity to sit for the CBNT exam. And most were able to pass, which should not have been too surprising since Terry was one of the authors of the CBNT exam question pool.

Advanced skill set

Much of the material covered in those early days is considered rudimentary by today’s broadcast networking requirements.

As more equipment within a broadcast facility has integrated network interfaces for either control and/or media/data distribution, the networks themselves have become more complex.

The added concerns about network security for either the protection of assets or maintaining the integrity of the computer network itself have taken the skills required for a broadcast engineer to maintain such systems beyond what CBNT was intended to review.

Jim Bernier says ‘Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer’ will delve into deeper networking and IT issues such as firewalls, DNS, DHCP, VLANs, NAT, routing tables, SAN, NAS and cloud computing.

In early 2010 the SBE Certification Committee decided that a new certification level needed to be developed to meet this new challenge.

Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer is expected to be introduced for 2011. It will be equivalent to a five-year certification level, such as CBRE or CBTE. It is expected that applicants already will have the basic competencies tested with the CBNT exam.

Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer will delve into deeper networking and IT issues such as firewalls, DNS, DHCP, VLANs, NAT, routing tables, SAN, NAS, cloud computing and more, topics that are permeating the broadcast technical environment and which broadcast engineers are being required to understand.

It was decided not to offer this as a “specialist” certification level so that it could be standalone, as the current CBNT is, if the applicant so desired. Also, because we are hoping to appeal to an emerging segment of engineers within the broadcast community, the plan allows an IT professional working within broadcasting to achieve a certification level sponsored by SBE and become more deeply involved in the broadcast engineering aspects.

A test rollout of this new certification level is expected to be conducted this fall, with a full introduction shortly thereafter.

James T. Bernier Jr., CPBE, CBNT, is chairman of the SBE National Certification Committee. He is director of maintenance, design & engineering for Turner Entertainment Networks, TBS Inc., Atlanta.

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