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An AQB Conversation with Byron Pollard Vice President of Network Operations

Running the AQB US-based Network Operations Center (NOC) team is a 24x7x365 job. Byron Pollard is charged with resolving support issues as quickly as possible for AQUABLUE’s customers. When outages occur he leads the efforts to restore service, communicating with both vendors and clients and bringing resolution as quickly as possible. Below is an excerpt of a recent AQB Conversation we had with Byron.

“You have to love what you do to be able to give 100% to your customers. You need passion for this job in order to be happy about waking up at 3am to address an outage.”

Byron Pollard

Byron Pollard

Vice President of Network Operations,

What sets AQB’s NOC apart from others in this space?

While most NOCs have moved overseas, AQB knew it was critical to keep our operations based in the US. Without a doubt, it improves both our response time and our ability to manage issues on both ends of the spectrum, and is key in facilitating client communications. Many of our customers are based in the US and we want the opportunity to be a true part of their team.

What technology do you use to monitor and maintain the network?

AQUABLUE has developed a proprietary software solution that significantly cuts down the time required to manage single and multiple circuit/day maintenance. It brings all relevant information into a central location, allowing for faster communication with clients and more efficient management of maintenance operations. It also allows for better transparency of the internal AQUABLUE processes, keeping teams on the same page and working in parallel without delays or disruption.

How do you handle incidents and outages?

We encourage open dialog with both our customers and vendors. We hold weekly meetings to review incidents and resolutions, and post-mortems on how things can be improved for the next time. We hold ourselves to very high standards because we are providing a 24x7x365 service and there is little room for error. We’re always looking for ways to do it better.

Tell us about a recent challenge.

AQUABLUE worked diligently to minimize the impact of a recent major outage incident in New Jersey. After an accident took down multiple power poles, we stayed in constant contact with our vendor's management for regular updates and managed the restoral process. This involved installing multiple poles and fiber hardware and arranging a highway closure to hang fiber and perform splicing. Additionally, with the ongoing communication between AQUABLUE and our vendor's management, we were able to provide real-time updates to our customer, making sure that they were aware of the extent of the damage and the progress of the repairs as they were carried out. I’m proud to say that our efforts resulted in a significant reduction of the estimated 96+ hour ETR to just 56 hours.

How would you describe your role?

My role is dynamic. I don’t have the same scenarios day to day, and I love the different challenges that each day brings. I am charged with everything from providing engineering support to customers to identifying issues with our carriers, and all the communications surrounding that. I leverage cross-functional disciplines, and I get to triage and resolve issues drawing from my experience and provide realistic timelines for resolution.

What skill set do you think is the most important for your job?

Communication is everything when managing highly fluid information situations. We have to both give and receive hourly updates to both our customers and vendors, and are always vetting and assessing information to make the best decisions possible and get the fastest resolutions. Being able to distill complex information into layman's terms, quickly diagnose the potential source of an issue, and act as the go-between for our customers and vendors makes what I do possible. These are often high-stress situations and it is my job to make sure everyone is feeling that their issues are being resolved in the best possible way.

Let’s talk about your team.

Our NOC team works collaboratively as a unit—our Daily Common Goal is to provide the best customer experience possible. I believe in mentoring and training the next generation of IT professionals, and taking chances on candidates who are passionate about doing this work. Talent can come from anywhere and I’m always looking to build a team of people who are committed to being a part of something exciting, dynamic, and challenging.

What drives you in your role as head of the AQUABLUE NOC?

You have to love what you do to be able to give 100% to your customers. You need passion for this job in order to be happy about waking up at 3am to address an outage.


Carli Castellano
+1 201 987 4055


Carli Castellano
+1 201 987 4055

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