I put away my linesman tools long ago, but here’s what I remember:
CLI (Cummulative Leakage Index) is a huge concern for Cable companies. The FCC and the FAA can and do punish systems with too much leakage. Not just fines, but also by taking away the cable industry’s bread and butter; Band width.
Several times a year the FCC (or maybe the FAA. I don’t remember) flys over each cable system and measures the CLI. If it’s over a certain level the Cable Company is in deep s**t. We would hear about companies losing the use of 25% or 50% of their channels because of a flunked survey.
The company I worked for always had at least one person driving out the system each day with a “sniffer”. We would broadcast an obnoxious tone on a certain frequency over the lines. The sniffers would pick up the tone if there was significant leakage.
I pulled this duty several times and about 75% of leaks were caused by half assed attempts to steal cable service. The other 25% was caused by our own installers who at $7.00 an hour could hardly be expected to actually tighten all their connections. (Note: installers are at the very bottom of the Cable TV heirarchy, although they do most of the work.)
As a maintainace technician I was encouraged to freighten the new installers with stories of planes falling from the skys because some lazy installer forgot to tighten a fitting!