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HOTS 02/2001

Issue: February 2001

By: Frank Bisbee


 

Featured Story

 


The news is BICSI, BICSI, BICSI. This year's annual BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando, Florida was held at the Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World. The attendance was a record-breaking 4,000 plus of the industry's finest "players". The exhibit facility was twice as large as last year's and the aisles were wide enough to accommodate the traffic without many problems.

Congratulations to this year's Pfister Award winner, Joseph O'Brien, Jr. of Nelson Firestop Products. Mr. O'Brien has dedicated his career to making the workplace safer. Joe lost many friends in World War II while in the Pacific, many of the casualties involved the cabling on the ships and the dangerous way that the cabling furthered the spreading of smoke and fire throughout damaged ships. Joe was overwhelmed by emotion as he described the events which lead him to champion the cause of fire safety in the cabling industry. Joe concluded his acceptance speech with "All I want to do is save lives. Please help me."



It's about safety. It's about value. It's about durability. It's about time! The product is limited combustible CMP-50 cable. Today, this great new product is available from AVAYA and Mohawk/CDT. We polled other manufacturers for their plans to develop similar products in the low-combustible plenum-approved cable product line. Dan Kennefick of Berk-Tek/Nexans said they are close to releasing a Limited Combustible CMP-50 cable. The other manufacturers gave the Limited Combustible CMP-50 a thumbs-up and no one said they would not produce this type of cable. The cable manufacturers are "stepping up to the plate" to assist Joe O'Brien's mission to save lives.



AG Communication Systems (Phoenix, AZ) has announced that it is seeking a buyer for its ROAMEO® business unit. "We have sharpened our market focus on service providers who build and operate networks," said Lee Brandes, Vice President of Business Management. "Our decision to sell ROAMEO allows us to concentrate on our core strengths and strategically align our portfolio of network-based products and services for communications service providers." He said AG Communication Systems will honor product and service commitments made to its existing ROAMEO customers.

The ROAMEO wireless office system permits users to make and receive calls on either their office desk phone or standard cellular phone anywhere in the building, campus or in the United States or Canada. Whenever their desk phone rings their standard cellular phone rings also. Calls within range of the system incur no per-minute airtime charges. Subscribers can use the same handset in the external wireless environment, giving them "one-number-reaches-you-anywhere" convenience.

AG Communication Systems, a subsidiary of Lucent Technologies, offers service providers advanced network-based solutions, including circuit and packet switching, voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP), IP Centrex, call center and integrated access products. The company develops end-user applications that maximize revenue opportunities for service providers. AG Communication Systems also provides a full range of enhanced services, including installation, engineering, consulting, project management and technical support, to help customers manage their networks from beginning to end. www.agcs.com



Avaya (Basking Ridge, NJ), the former Enterprise Networks Group that spun off from Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ), has announced a high-performance local area network (LAN) cable that is the first of its kind to be listed with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) as meeting the new limited combustible cable standards.

Developed and manufactured by Avaya, the SYSTIMAX® Power Sum 4061 cable is used for voice and data communications and has transmission performance that exceeds the Category 5e industry standard. The 4061 cable is used in the space above a suspended ceiling (plenum area) where air is returned to provide ventilation. The cable meets the UL's stringent limited combustible U.S. requirements for low smoke generation and flame spread. It is jacketed and insulated with DuPont Teflon® FEP fluoropolymer resin and is not subject to performance changes due to aging or environmental conditions.

"Avaya's first to market, limited combustible LAN cable takes the lead in meeting the emerging needs for additional fire protection and higher cable networking speeds," said Todd Stratton, senior product manager at Avaya. "We've moved ahead of basic requirements to serve customers who want LAN cables with exceptional fire safety and top electrical performance."

The cable has been designed for high-occupancy public buildings, healthcare facilities, research laboratories, and structures that house sensitive electronic mission-critical equipment such as competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) central offices. Avaya's 4061 cable is available for order today by contacting your local authorized Avaya distributor. www.avaya.com OR www.lucent.com



Anixter (Skokie, IL), a leading distributor of data communication products, has helped to develop a grounding device that eliminates potentially damaging electrostatic discharges (ESD) from newly installed telecommunications backbone and horizontal cabling. Anixter introduced the LAN Static Discharge Unit at the BICSI conference held in Orlando in January of 2001.

Ungrounded indoor telecommunications cabling can act as a capacitor capable of storing an electrical charge that can cause malfunction or damage to electronic equipment and semiconductor devices. Cable that is stored or installed adjacent to equipment that produces an electrical field-such as large motors, transformers, copy machines and fluorescent lighting-can absorb a charge by induction.

Anixter began evaluating potential ESD problems in cabling in the spring of 2000, soon after one network equipment manufacturer suggested that some of its microelectronic cards at a customer's site were failing after being plugged into the cabling plant after the installation of new UTP cabling. Working with instrumentation and equipment manufacturers, Anixter helped to produce several prototypes of grounding devices for use with RJ-45 patch panels.

The small LAN Static Discharge Unit, developed in partnership with ITWLinx, includes a grounding wire lug. The lug is bonded to a grounded rack or cabinet that is connected to a building's grounding and bonding busbar network. Prior to connecting horizontal or backbone cables from the patch panel to active electronics, a patch cord from the panel is inserted into the LAN Static Discharge Unit. Electrostatic charges are drained to the ground, and there is no further build-up of electrostatic charges after the cable is connected to active equipment.

"This device is a simple and economical solution to potentially costly problems caused by electrostatic discharge," said Pete Lockhart, Anixter's Vice President of Technology. Anixter will soon be adding the new device to its inventory. www.anixter.com



Fluke Networks (Everett, WA), a leading provider of innovative Network SuperVision Solutions™ for ensuring reliable data communications and Internet uptime, has announced its new solution to deliver reliable, more accurate test results in full compliance with the new industry standards for field testing of twisted-pair cabling installations. The DSP-LIA101S Permanent Link Interface Adapter exceeds Level III accuracy, moving the performance of the Fluke Networks DSP-4000 Series Digital CableAnalyzers™ out to the end of the test adapter, eliminating common FAIL results associated with poor link adapter performance.

"Conventional test adapter cables, even high-quality adapter cables with shielded pairs, do not survive in the field. The weakest link when testing is often the tester's adapter," said Gary Kirchberger, marketing manager for the Infrastructure Group at Fluke Networks. "The acceptance of the Permanent Link as the test configuration to be used to certify the 'fixed' cabling system has forced field test manufacturers to design new test solutions. Fluke Networks responds with a true out-of-the-box Cat 6 solution that guarantees superior performance and repeatability."

The TIA and ISO industry standards define the Permanent Link test configuration to characterize the true performance of the cabling infrastructure that is permanently in place. The updated standards also specify that the infrastructure should be measured excluding the effect of any replaceable components such as patch cables, which often play a critical role in the pass or fail of field tests. Return Loss is the test parameter most affected by the quality of the tester's adapter.

To make certain that Return Loss contributions made by an interface adapter would be excluded from the test results, Fluke Networks developed a field-tough, proprietary adapter that delivers the superior accuracy and stability required, as well as increasing the accuracy of all other test parameters measured. The DSP-LIA101S contributes directly to an increased number of PASS results, on which users can confidently rely.

"For less than the cost of one failed link, Fluke Networks now offers a single solution to test all Cat 6 installations while eliminating the very real threat of false failures," adds Kirchberger. "Maximum accuracy with our DSP Permanent Link Adapter means more PASSes, and less troubleshooting and rework."

New Personality Modules provide the link connection at the end of the DSP Permanent Link Interface Adapter, ensuring that the connection between the adapter and the link-under-test yields maximum performance. Each DSP Permanent Link Adapter includes a Personality Module for Cat 6 use, and a few additional Personality Modules will be developed for improved performance with a range of manufacturers' jacks. All modules feature a compact design that allows replacement without buying a complete adapter.

To achieve superior performance beyond Level III, Fluke Networks offers the optional DSP-PLCAL kit, the first calibration kit that enables users to obtain laboratory accuracy in a field tester. The simple calibration process is automated and supported by CableManager™ software, which is included in every new DSP-4000 Series Digital CableAnalyzer or can be downloaded from the Fluke Networks web site. With the DSP-PLCAL kit, the actual tester performance is extended to the end of the adapter, achieving the unprecedented Return Loss accuracy of just 1 dB. Even without this option, a DSP-4X00 with the DSP-LIA101S adapter delivers far better accuracy than any twisted-pair interface cable.

The DSP-LIA101S for the Fluke DSP-4000 Series Digital CableAnalyzers will be available beginning February 19, 2001 from Fluke Networks' sales channel partners worldwide. www.flukenetworks.com



CommScope, Inc. (Hickory, NC), a leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance, broadband communication cables, has announced that it has closed on approximately 85 acres of land located near Kings Mountain, NC. The Cleveland County property will be the site of a projected 200,000-sq. ft. new manufacturing facility equipped to produce broadband coaxial cable.

Preliminary site preparation is underway and construction is expected to begin within the next several months, with occupancy scheduled during the second half of 2001. When fully operational, the facility is expected to employ more than 150 employees.

"We remain confident about the global opportunities for our Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) products and we need additional manufacturing capacity to meet expected demand over the longer term," said Frank M. Drendel, CommScope Chairman and CEO.

"We chose the Cleveland County site primarily because of its proximity to our other North Carolina facilities, good road access, a strong potential work force and the availability of a municipal wastewater treatment system," Drendel continued. "We also looked for and received strong support from the surrounding communities as well as the local and county governments."

"We are excited to have CommScope select Cleveland County as the site of its newest manufacturing facility which will provide a number of our local residents with long-term, high-paying employment," said Willie B. McIntosh, Chairman of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners. "We heartily welcome it as a solid corporate citizen of our community." www.commscope.com



NORDX/CDT Inc. (Montreal, Canada), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cable Design Technologies (CDT) Corporation, proudly introduced its new GigaBIX Cross-Connect System during the BICSI Winter Conference, in Orlando, FL. This new data transmission cross-connect system offers the highest density and unmatched performance exceeding the current Category 6 drafts.

The GigaBIX Cross-Connect System guarantees a channel bandwidth of up to 300 MHz, and offers a data rate of up to 4.8 Gigabits per second. The new system allows for very high termination density while maintaining ease of administration for moves, adds and changes. Moreover, the GigaBIX Cross-Connect System offers the best performance-to-price ratio for high-performance connectivity.

"The new GigaBIX Cross-Connect System for data networks takes advantage of the proven reliability of the BIX technology that had first been developed for large voice cross-connect installations in 1979. In early 1990, at the beginning of the industry standardization, the BIX Cross-Connect System proved to exceed significantly the first Category 5 performance specifications," recalls Paul Kish, Director, IBDN Systems and Standards with NORDX/CDT and Chairman of the TIA TR-42 engineering committee responsible for telecommunications cabling standards.

"In 2000, our well-known BIX connector in its original form was still exceeding Category 6, but the accessories required some modifications to adapt to the new realities of high-performance: bigger and stiffer cables, larger conductors, etc." adds Benoît Chevarie, Eng., Product Line Manager in charge of GigaBIX at NORDX/CDT. "That is why we had BIX evolve into the new GigaBIX Cross-Connect System, offering 'Beyond Cat6'TM performance in all types of installations, with GigaBIX Patch Cords or GigaBIX Cross-Connect Wires."

Nowadays, cross-connect systems are considered privileged systems for data applications, thanks to their contact reliability, termination density, ease of administration and lower material and labor costs. The GigaBIX Cross-Connect System presents numerous innovations. Its easy-to-install modular design eliminates any risk of error during installation, and new packaging has been created to simplify system planning and ordering-and all of this in a great high-tech look!

GIGABIX TERMINATION KITS: This new packaging facilitates ordering by presenting, in one self-contained box, all components required to terminate 4-pair or 25-pair cables in a GigaBIX Cross-Connect System: high-density black base and clear graphite mount designed to accommodate 4800LX cables; twelve clear graphite 6-port connectors; black designation strips and wire guards; white labels, wood screws, Velcro ties, and a detailed installation guide.

GIGABIX CABLE MANAGEMENT ACCESSORIES: A Cable Management Module has been added to the product line to eliminate the need for a raised wall, allowing terminated cable to be brought from the same side (top or bottom) in a high-density installation (4-mount stack). Stackable side-to-side and top-to-bottom, the modules can be used horizontally for more flexible channel management.

A Patch Cord Organizer is also offered to create neat vertical management of Patch Cords. Interlocking with GigaBIX Mounts, it can also be assembled over Cable Management Modules in large installations. Horizontal Channel Plates are new accessories used in pair for system flexibility: attached to the Patch Cord Organizers, they create a horizontal management channel for Patch Cords. Finally, a new Management Ring has also been developed to achieve a high-density wall-mount cross-connect system, offering a retention capacity of 450 GigaBIX Cross-Connect Wires (1800 pairs total).

GIGABIX PATCH CORDS: New plug-and-go management patch cords complement the GigaBIX Cross-Connect System, guaranteeing performance up to 300 MHz in the IBDN System 4800LX. Available in various lengths for design flexibility, these new patch cords also offer a latching system to secure the connection.

GIGABIX CROSS-CONNECT WIRES: These enhanced cross-connect wires guarantee Beyond Cat 6TM performance when installed in an IBDN System 4800LX. They now contain FEP for better transmission and fire rating compliance, and pairs have been tightly stranded for maximum cable stability.

With more than 4 billion BIX connections made to date, the capacity and reliability of the product cannot be denied. The system offers enhanced performance and the highest density possible, in addition to the various new features (cable jacket up to connection point for quicker installation, color-coding on pair-splitters and wire guards to secure terminated pairs), confirming the market superiority of the GigaBIX Cross-Connect System. www.nordx.com



Fluke Networks (Everett, WA), a leading provider of innovative Network SuperVision Solutions™ for insuring reliable data communications and Internet uptime, has announced its new line of Fiber Test Adapters for the DSP-4000 Series Digital Cable Analyzers, adding test and certification capabilities for singlemode fiber, and Gigabit Ethernet multimode fiber installations.

"Fluke Networks continues to demonstrate technological leadership in fiber optic testing by offering a full range of Fiber Vision Solutions to meet the need for documented test certification, verification, and problem diagnosis," said Tom Jordal, product manager for Fluke Networks Fiber Optic Products. "As high-speed networks increasingly move towards optical fiber in premises and campus environments, Fluke Networks is there to provide laser-based test solutions that enable businesses and organizations to step up to fiber's full performance with confidence."

The deployment of singlemode fiber and multimode fiber in Gigabit applications such as Gigabit Ethernet is on the rise. These high-speed networks use a variety of lasers as optical transmission sources. By certifying a networks' fiber infrastructure with the same types of sources as the switches and other network equipment in use, cabling professionals and network owners can be sure that the fiber plant will withstand the demands of the network equipment.

The Fluke DSP-FTA430S Singlemode Fiber Test Adapter is designed specifically for certifying and documenting singlemode fiber installations. It provides automatic, dual-fiber loss testing and certification at both 1310 and 1550 nm wavelengths. The DSP-FTA430S also measures the length of singlemode fiber links. Because it uses the same FP (Fabry-Perot) laser light sources as the network transmission hardware, it provides accurate, uncompromised test results.

The DSP-FTA440S Gigabit Multimode Fiber Tester is the world's first dual-fiber VCSEL-based fiber test adapter, incorporating both VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) and FP Lasers. Networks running Gigabit Ethernet over multimode fiber often use a VCSEL as the transmission source because it provides a more cost effective solution than traditional lasers and provides greater bandwidth than LED light sources. The proper way to accurately test a fiber network using a VCSEL source is with a tester that uses a VCSEL.

"It's important for contractors to have the right test equipment in order to compete and win jobs," adds Jordal. "With Fluke Networks' introduction of Singlemode and Gigabit Fiber Test Adapters for the DSP Series, cabling professionals have the ability to test, certify and document any fiber or copper installation - today and tomorrow - with one compact field tester."

Fluke Networks offers the most complete line of Fiber Test Adapters, meeting the individual needs of any user. All of Fluke Networks' DSP Fiber Test Adapters can do the following:

  • Test two fibers and two wavelengths simultaneously, automatically saving the test results.

  • Perform bi-directional testing on both fibers under test and save results for both directions in the same record.

  • Utilize Fluke Networks CableManager™ Software for comprehensive results management and report generation.

  • Measure length and propagation delay automatically along with loss.

  • Verify optical connectivity and determine which fibers go to which connectors at a patch panel.

  • Communicate with a person on the other end of the fiber.

  • Track the maximum and minimum power throughput of the test.

  • Withstand drops and other mishaps that occur on the job.

The Fluke Networks Fiber Test Adapters were due to be available February 1, 2001 from Fluke Networks sales channel partners worldwide. Formerly part of Fluke Corporation, Fluke Networks became a separate company in May 2000. The company has over 300 employees worldwide and distributes its products in more than 50 countries. www.flukenetworks.com



Ortronics Inc. (New London, CT), has introduced OPTIMo™, a high capacity, high performance fiber optic structured cabling system featuring a broad selection of interconnect options. Responding to an insatiable demand for bandwidth, Ortronics has developed an end-to-end optical solution featuring standards exceeding performance to ensure a robust cabling infrastructure now and in the future. Based on thorough market research and critical customer input, Ortronics now offers the broadest range of connectivity products available, enabling the end user to determine what is right for their needs. The OPTIMo™ line features products including MT-RJ Jack/Plug, MT-RJ feed-through, LC, SC, ST, and FC compatibility.

Ortronics offers three excellent rack solutions for the most effective management of cabling infrastructure, whether distributed or centralized. These include the revolutionary FiberMo™ for high capacity fiber installations, the FortissiMo for mixed media applications and the Mighty Mo 3 for installations requiring great flexibility in design.

Compatible with these racks, they now offer two fiber cabinet families designed to accommodate all connectors. Ortronics' fiber cabinets offer tremendous installation advantages, whether installing conventional six-pack connector panels or their own revolutionary Mini-Mod high-density connector panels.

To complete their optical cabling systems, Ortronics offers attractive and flexible workstation products. Choose from TracJack®, Series II, or Mini-Mod and take advantage of a large selection of Fiber Optic Workstation Solutions, including faceplates, surface mount boxes and modular furniture outlets that accommodate a wide array of snap-in fiber modules. These workstation offerings meet any network requirements to support your fiber optic system.

The new Ortronics fiber optic systems meet the ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A and ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.3 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standards, which specifies maximum attenuation and minimum bandwidth requirements for all fiber media including singlemode, 50/125 and 62.5/125µm multimode. www.ortronics.com



Cablesoft Technologies, a leader in enterprise and infrastructure management solutions, has changed its corporate name to iTRACS Corporation, effective immediately.

The new identity comes as the company changes its strategic focus to developing network management solutions, with particular emphasis on the enterprise and infrastructure markets. iTRACS Corporation will be used to identify the company with its new business direction and help move away from being known as strictly a cable management software provider.

iTRACS Corporation's flagship product iTRACS is the first non-proprietary, real-time infrastructure tracking, reporting and asset control system. iTRACS provides any sized organization a complete network management and control solution over all IT infrastructure.

"Our new name iTRACS Corporation reflects our new strategic direction to move beyond cable management and position our company as a leading network management solution provider," said Tom Reedy, CEO and President of iTRACS Corporation. "iTRACS will offer an innovative, complete network management solution that helps create value for our customers, suppliers, partners and investors." www.itracs.com



SyNet, Inc., a LAN/WAN integration firm based in Warwick-RI, is pleased to announce the hiring of Kim Carpenter as its Business Development Specialist.

Prior to joining SyNet, Ms. Carpenter was an Account Representative with Verizon Communications. Ms. Carpenter will be responsible for identifying and qualifying business development opportunities for the company throughout New England. Kim will also be providing an additional layer of customer support to SyNet's existing client base.

SyNet, Inc provides design, engineering and installation services for fiber optic and copper cabling systems; switching and routing hardware; and asset management solutions for voice and data communications within buildings and throughout campus environments. www.synetinc.com



Microtest®, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ), a leader in network test equipment and Business Communications Services®, an independent authority on cabling industry standards progress and information and publisher of Cabling Standards UPDATE, has announced that the latest standards information will be available on www.cabletesting.com.

Each week, a new chapter of information will be posted on the Microtest-sponsored web site. This cabling standards intelligence, extracted from recent publications, will be available for free viewing and downloading.

Cabling Standards UPDATE is published by Business Communications Services and provides a timely and concise summary of standards activities from many organizations including: subcommittees of the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), CENELEC (Comite Europeen de Normalisation Electrotechnique), ISO (International Organization for Standardization), IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturing Association), FOA (Fiber Optic Association), NFPA/NEC(R) (National Fire Protection Association/National Electrical Code®), and others. The UPDATE is expected to be available on cabletesting.com by March 2001.

"We are happy to combine the latest information on cabling standards with the most in depth and active web site available on cabling information and issues," said Marilyn Michelson, President, Business Communication Services. "These two sources of information in one place create a very powerful tool for everyone in the cabling industry because this information isn't available anywhere else," she concluded.

Cabletesting.com is the largest Internet site for information on cable standards information, cabling measurement and link definitions, pass/fail tables for all international cabling standards, links to hundreds of related sites, and topical information on current field testing issues.

"Adding Cabling Standards UPDATE increases the quality and depth of cabling standards information currently available on cabletesting.com," said Mark Johnston, Senior Director of NTM Technology Development, Microtest. "Professional cabling installers all over the world view cabletesting.com as their source for the latest information on new developments in the industry. We are pleased to form this alliance with Cabling Standards UPDATE to make cabletesting.com the one site that cable installers must visit on a regular basis."



Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY) has recently announced that Oklahoma City, Oklahoma will be the location of its newest optical fiber manufacturing facility. Preliminary engineering plans for the new site are intended to begin in the first half of 2001, with implementation pending full funding approval from the company's board of directors. To be located on the western side of Oklahoma City in Canadian County, the new facility's initial production is anticipated in 2004. When fully operational, the plant is expected to employ several hundred people. www.corningfiber.com



Wieden & Kennedy (Portland, OR), one of the largest independently owned advertising agencies, is keeping a close view of its network infrastructure by rolling out Crimp Enterprise Server 5.0.

The advertising giant needed a central management system to monitor its IT and administration departments. The company implemented Crimp 5.0 from Cablesoft (Tempe, AZ), a leader in network management solutions, for its robust engine, versatility and added functions. Crimp 5.0 enables Wieden + Kennedy IT managers to track and document the 4000 data points in its international headquarters.

Crimp 5.0 provides Wieden + Kennedy administrators with an accurate diagram of all its telecom and data assets, and correct location of furniture and seating positions. Before installing the solution, network managers used Excel spreadsheets and Access databases to diagram the building.

"Being an international advertising agency, we co-ordinate global accounts and must be in constant contact with different markets," said Jean DeVour, Telecom Administrator at Wieden + Kennedy. "This means we can't afford the slightest downtime, especially in the telecom department. After carefully examining the competition, we felt Crimp 5.0 offered us the most versatile product and would incorporate our needs of keeping an accurate picture of our infrastructure."



A new 12-page, 4-color brochure from Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), a Nexans company, details the benefits of the company's LANmarkTM-1000 and LANmarkTM-350 premium UTP copper cabling solutions that meet the most demanding applications and provide the headroom necessary to extend the lifespan of structured cabling networks.

Berk-Tek is a manufacturer of high performance copper and fiber optic cable in North America. Its LANmark series cables are two of the highest performing UTP cables available. Each offers guaranteed performance that exceeds applicable current and pending industry standards in support of protocols such as 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T Ethernet and ATM, said Dan Kennefick, Berk-Tek Copper Products Business Manager.

LANmark-1000 is Berk-Tek's premium UTP solution. It exceeds the TIA/EIA draft specifications for Category 6 cable. With its superior headroom and usable bandwidth beyond 200 MHz, it is engineered for users who demand the ultimate performance in their horizontal structured cabling systems. LANmark-1000 can handle Gigabit Ethernet, Gigabit ATM and next-generation applications that will utilize full duplex operation and/or simultaneous bi-directional transmission.

Kennefick said that Berk-Tek's LANmark-1000 series riser and plenum enhanced UTP copper and patch cables are the first to receive independent certification from ITS ETL SEMKO as meeting the TIA Category 6, Draft 7 standard. The LANmark-1000 product family also was upgraded recently to cover the latest draft 7 of the TIA/EIA 568-B.2-1 Category 6 and Draft N506 of ISO/IEC 11801 Category 6. TIA's draft Category 6 standard represents state-of-the-art in the evolving structured cabling industry.

LANmark-350 is engineered for users who demand enhanced channel performance for their networks. It sets new standards for 100BASE-TX Ethernet network performance, far exceeding the specification for Category 5e. LANmark-350, Kennefick said, has greater minimum performance characteristics for near-end crosstalk, return loss, power sum near-end crosstalk and attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio (ACR).

"Because cable constitutes a majority of the cost of a structured cabling system, users can optimize their investment by ensuring that they install high-performance products like our LANmark cable with its independently verified and guaranteed performance. This is especially important when it comes to future-proofing the cable plant," commented Kennefick.

"As the structured cabling industry migrates to Enhanced Category 5 (CAT 5e) and Category 6 cabling solutions, performance of the system components becomes much more critical. Thus, choosing a minimally compliant cabling system, such as Category 5e, will not provide adequate support for 1000BASE-T just as Category 3, the minimally compliant cabling system for 10BASE-T Ethernet, does not provide the support for 100BASE-T Ethernet that Category 5 does. Following this same logic, Berk-Tek continues to recommend LANmark-350 for 100BASE-T applications and LANmark-1000 for gigabit transmission LAN protocols," Kennefick added.

The new brochure also provides details on the LANmark-1000 and LANmark-350 solutions that are part of the NetClear™ offering, an alliance of Berk-Tek and Ortronics, as well as Berk-Tek's own OASIS (Open Architecture Systems Interconnection Solutions) program.

A special 12-page, 4-color insert, "A Case for LANmark Copper Cabling Solutions," provides extensive product and technical data on the entire LANmark product family. www.berktek.com



Microtest®, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ), a leader in network test equipment, has recently announced a new retail distribution agreement with ADI to sell the MICROSCANNER™ Pro at all 120 ADI locations throughout the United States. ADI is North America's largest wholesale distributor of security and low voltage products.

This relationship with ADI continues Microtest's aggressive expansion into the residential networking market. The arrival of the new "wired" home has created the need for residential network verification and troubleshooting tools. Microtest has developed the product that enables installers to easily verify and troubleshoot this new cable once it has been installed in the home. Analysts believe residential networking will grow to 10-20 million homes by 2003. ADI is poised to be a key distributor in this new market segment.

"We chose ADI to be a flagship distributor of the MICROSCANNER Pro because they cater to residential cable installers of data networks, security systems and home entertainment systems," said Jim Boren, Vice President of Sales, Microtest.

The MICROSCANNER Pro, the first product in the MicroTools™ line, is the all-in-one cable tester for network cable verification and troubleshooting for home networking professionals, datacom specialists and IT/network managers. The MICROSCANNER Pro was the recent award winner of the "Coolest Networking Product" at the Electronic House Expo in Fall, 2000. The durable, pocket-sized tool features coaxial and twisted pair cable testing as well as trouble shooting for speaker wire, security networks and telephone cabling.

The MICROSCANNER Pro verifies continuity and wiremap; finds opens, shorts, crossed or split pairs and miswires; and measures length and distance to fault, using the most accurate means of measurement available today.

"This is the only residential all-in-one tester available on the market today and we are very pleased to have it in our stores," said R.J. Hirshkind, Structured Cabling Product Manager at ADI. "Once a customer sees a demonstration of the product, they buy it," he added.



GS METALS' (Pinckneyville, IL) new HELIFLEX Connectors allow for fast installation without any tools…another FLEXTRAY first. Each section of FLEXTRAY is shipped with the HELIFLEX Connector at no cost. It simply spirals around wires at splice points for a strong, fast connection. The HELIFLEX Connector offers unparalleled site flexibility, whether splicing sections together or in configuring the bends and curves in a typical FLEXTRAY installation. The no cost availability reduces greatly the total installed cost of a FLEXTRAY system, while providing the secure and robust solutions that FLEXTRAY has continually provided.

FLEXTRAY is an innovative, wire mesh cable management system. As the pioneer, market leader and recognized name in flexible wire management solutions, FLEXTRAY provides total on-site flexibility. Its design enables faster installation with less labor and materials. Simply cut and bend to create drops, bends, climbs and intersections. Its comprehensive product offering, US based manufacturing, sales and marketing, and leading channel partners all provide the highest quality products and customer support. FLEXTRAY will continue to lead the market, as its products and services evolve to offer the highest in quality and value to both its customers and the marketplace.



Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) announced that it was presented with the prestigious Photonics Spectra 2000 Circle of Excellence Award for CORNING® MetroCor™ fiber. The award, presented at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Photonics West Conference in San Jose, California, recognizes the year's 25 most innovative products in the optics industry.



Anixter Inc., the world's leading distributor of data communications products and electrical wire and cable, has agreed to purchase certain inventory and operating assets from the bankruptcy estate of Anicom, Inc. The assets being acquired are located in the Detroit market. Anixter's expansion now provides former Anicom customers with a single source for products and distribution services needed to grow their businesses.

This is a serious commitment to the entire Detroit marketplace, stated Bob Grubbs, president and CEO of Anixter. Its a commitment in terms of people, inventory, engineering and short and long term growth. We look forward to the opportunity to serve those companies who were customers of Anicom. We intend to work aggressively to help them grow by providing them with the highest level of service and quality products in the industry.

Our newly expanded presence in Detroit will allow us to more effectively serve our existing contractor and IT customer base. It also puts us in a position to increase our support to the highly specialized markets and industries unique to the metro complex, Grubbs remarked. These would include the automotive, broadcast, telecommunications and OEM markets to name a few.

Grubbs pointed out that the acquisition is a perfect fit for Anixter: Our extensive, specialized inventory, coupled with our global distribution network and logistical management services, provide a solid foundation for our expansion into the Detroit metro market and bring new opportunities for our customers.

Founded in 1957, Anixter (NYSE:AXE) now employs more than 5,000 people in 180 cities throughout the world. Anixter customers benefit from the company's technical expertise and market specialization and have access to best-in-class products through the company's partnerships with the world's leading manufacturers.



Cabling Infrastructure Industry Strong at BICSI Conference

Tampa, FL, January 24, 2001 -- The annual BICSI Winter Conference, held January 15-18, 2001 in Orlando, FL, was the largest ever held by the international telecommunications association. Over 3770 delegates registered for this voice, data, and video cabling infrastructure educational conference. Many attendees used the event to reconnect with their peers in the industry, as well as learn about new technologies.

Opening speaker Todd Buchholz, a former economic advisor to the White House, spoke about his three-level economic theory and the need to develop a business plan that protects against attacks by outside competitors.

Technical speakers presented information on cable models and testing for electrostatic discharge standards, plenum cables, network throughput, voice over IP, and codes and standards. Also addressed were premises fiber cabling test technologies, interlocking armored optical fiber cables, 50 vs. 62.5 micron fiber, and global network rollouts. Conference summaries and presentations may be viewed on the BICSI Web site at www.bicsi.org.

Other conference activities included BICSI design and installation training classes, 207 product exhibits, and an industry awards banquet. Four individuals were recognized with awards at the banquet on Wednesday, January 17. Tom Rauscher, Archi-Technology, was recognized as the BICSI member of the year for his efforts on behalf of the Division 17 initiative to create a separate telecommunications division in the Construction Specificiation Institute (CSI) Master Format. Two members from Australia shared the spotlight for the BICSI committee member of the year award. Dennis Middleton, DESA Australia Pty, was recognized for his Membership and PR Committee work to increase membership and to have BICSI recognized by the Australian government. BICSI Technical Information and Methods Committee member Colin Browitt, RCDD, Krone Asia Pacific, was recognized for his work to update and internationalize the 9th edition of the Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual. The University of South Florida (USF) presents an industry-wide award annually to an individual for lifetime achievement in the telecommunications industry. For his singular efforts to prevent loss of life through promotion of firestopping techniques, Joe O'Brien, Nelson Firestopping Products, was recognized with the "Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in Service to the Communications Industry" by Dr. Mel Anderson, P.E., Dean of Engineering, USF.

"BICSI conferences offer a unique blend of education, networking, and access to industry products and services," said BICSI Executive Director Jay Warmke. "This formula has been used successfully in North America and is being replicated to meet the needs of our global members at our conferences in Australia, Brazil, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean."

Headquartered in Tampa, FL, USA, BICSI is a professional, not-for-profit telecommunications association that serves 20,000 members from more than 85 countries around the world. BICSI offers educational courses, conferences, publications, and professional registration programs for telecommunications cabling distribution designers and installers. Over 5500 individuals have earned the prestigious RCDD® (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) designation, and more than 10,000 have been registered in the Installation Program. For more information, contact BICSI at 800-242-7405 or 813-979-1991, e-mail bicsi@bicsi.org, or visit the association's Web site for full details at www.bicsi.org.

 

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