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HOTS 11/2001

Issue: November 2001

By: Frank Bisbee


Featured Story


Ahh... November is a good month. From Trick-or-Treat through Turkey Day, there is change in the air. This is the time of year when we reflect on our accomplishments behind us, and the challenges in front of us. Budgets for the new year are hammered into shape, and commitments are set. Remember: if you can't forecast accurately, forecast often.

What kind of year will 2002 be? Almost no one wants to walk out to the end of the plank and make optimistic forecasts after the events and economy of 2001 to date. All things considered, the infrastructure (cabling) industry did much better than many other technology sectors. Unfortunately, some recent price-cutting has taken the blush off the rose. The values for the cabling consumer are at an all time high. Many IT departments and facility planners throughout corporate America are looking at this opportunity to build infrastructure (sustainable and safe), at exceptionally good prices. Many projects that were put on the shelf in 2001 may be reactivated and given a higher priority in the coming year.

Recent discussions with Anixter, Belden, Mohawk/CDT, and other industry leaders, reveal a solid family of products that are technically superior to any previously conceived cabling systems. Both copper-based and fiber optic cables and connectors have made real strides ahead in material and network performance. Yup, we are bullish on the cabling industry.

Education, at the design and installation levels, remains a real challenge. BICSI® (Building Industry Consultants International), an International Telecommunications Association, has updated and expanded their excellent training programs to meet the needs of our industry. The industry media led by PennWell Publishing's Cable Installation & Maintenance Magazine, and Lightwave Magazine, are doing an excellent job of covering the issues, and educating us on the new products. The Internet has opened the doors to information about almost all of the products and services, which we need to deliver the highest level of quality in the network infrastructure. Cabling is Cool.

Don't be discouraged by some of the forecasts from the corporations, which serve our industry. They are forced to make ultra conservative projections or face the firing squad. For many of us, this past year has been a roller coaster ride both emotionally and professionally. The next several years could well be a new benchmark for growth in the networking world of cabling. The re-wiring of America has made a good start, but we have a long way to go. Don't even think the work is done. Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. The sizzle is just a fizzle, but the world of networking is a competitive imperative and will not be restrained or contained.

Here is my "two cents" on why copper won't die

  1. Generally, technology drives copper cabling, but there is also a practical side; "the churn rate". In some circles, we refer to this activity as MAC's (Moves, Adds, & Changes). One cabling contractor told us, "Since 1987, I can point to most of my good clients, and easily say, we have wired some parts of their buildings as much as 5 or 6 times. Why ? - Movement and consolidation; new furniture, new departments, downsizing, upsizing, corporate takeovers, the lease is up, etc. Each time we put in copper. Sure, we have gone from CAT-3 to CAT-6 but, more often than not, the decision on what category of cabling to use, was started by a move or renovation project. People and companies are always going to be on the move. We supply the "best available" technology at any given time, but we have NEVER had a customer say, "Let's tear up the second floor because CAT-5e is out! Or better yet, let's re-cable the building with fiber!!!"."

  2. Face it; fiber electronics is still too expensive. NIC cards, connectors, LED's etc.. still add a significant cost to the horizontal link.

  3. Hub/Switch real estate. The new Cisco switches can jam 48 copper ports in a 1U blade. A similar fiber count would probably take up 3 or 4U's. - more $$$ for the manufacturer, more rack real estate, and of course, more expen$e.

  4. PC's. I'm not an electronics engineer, but I've heard that a fiber port is as much as 10 times more expensive than a RJ-45 and copper port.

  5. If you believe that the electrician will start to be the dominant force in the installation of premise wiring, remember, they are still having a tough time just getting the copper right. What are they going to do with fiber??

  6. VOIP and "smart" phone switches. The telephony business is copper, copper, copper inside the buildings, especially horizontal cabling. Even if the "big switch" vendors get their act together and really start supplying Ethernet type speeds or applications through the phone switch, they will have to stay with copper because of the installed base and copper technology in their terminal equipment.

  7. And finally, the cabling and connector manufacturers have successfully defied every barrier of obsolescence thrown in their path. Copper is now reaching beyond the 25 Gigabit speed threshold. It seemed like only yesterday, we were saying that copper would be maxed out at 350 Megabits. In the world of copper cabling, the improbable is done right away, and the impossible will take till next week.

CDT Announces Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Year 2001 Results

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) today announced net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 of $5.3 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, before nonrecurring and certain bad debt and inventory valuation charges. Reported net loss for the fourth fiscal quarter including the nonrecurring and other charges was $8.8 million, or $0.20 per share. The fourth fiscal quarter nonrecurring items, net of tax, represent a $3.8 million, or $0.09 per share, restructuring charge and a $8.4 million, or $0.19 per share, goodwill impairment charge. In addition, the company incurred $0.04 per share of higher than normal bad debt and inventory valuation charges caused primarily by the current industry conditions.

Sales for the year ended July 31, 2001 were $763.2 million versus

$797.8 million last year. Net income for fiscal 2001 was $37.8 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, versus $54.8 million, or $1.24 per diluted share in fiscal 2000, excluding nonrecurring items in both years. Including nonrecurring items, reported net income was $23.5 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, versus $54.9 million, or $1.25 per diluted share for fiscal 2000. Fiscal 2001 nonrecurring items include the fourth quarter restructuring and goodwill impairment charges and a third quarter loss on the sale of a business. In addition to the nonrecurring charges, fiscal 2001 net income was negatively impacted by approximately $0.08 per share as a result of the higher than normal bad debt charges incurred due to the bankruptcy of Anicom, a large distributor, and the fourth quarter charges discussed above. Network Communication segment sales were $512.7 million for fiscal year 2001 compared to $545.0 million last year. Specialty Electronic segment sales were $250.5 million versus $252.8 million last year. Sales attributable to acquisitions accounted for approx. 1% of fiscal 2001 sales. The gross margin for fiscal 2001 was 28.1% compared to 29.3% in fiscal 2000. The operating margin was 9.5% versus 12.9% last year, excluding fiscal 2001 was approximately $22.6 million. Capital expenditures for fiscal year 2001 were $38.1 million, including the purchase of two previously leased buildings totaling approximately $8 million.

Sales for the fourth fiscal quarter 2001 were $164.5 million versus

$227.1 million last year. The decrease was primarily due to the reduction of spending in the common carrier marketplace, particularly for central office and fiber optic products, and the previously announced loss of a major wireless assembly customer that accounted for approximately 15% of the sales decline. Foreign currency translation negatively impacted sales by approximately $3.5 million.

Network Communication segment sales for the fourth fiscal quarter were $107.5 million versus $160.0 million last year. Network Communication segment sales represented 65% of total company revenues. Gigabit network cable represented 75% of Category 5 and above network cable sales. Specialty Electronic segment sales for the fourth quarter 2001 were $57.0 million compared to $67.1 million last year, primarily due to lower sales of cable for industrial applications. Sales outside of North America were $39.2 million during the fourth fiscal quarter 2001 compared to $50.1 million last year. The decrease in sales outside of North America was primarily a result of lower sales of telecommunication related products in Europe.

The gross margin for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 was 26.4% compared to 30.0% for the same period a year ago. The decrease in gross margin was due to volume inefficiencies as a result of the lower sales volume and competitive price pressure for certain products. Selling, general and administrative expenses ("SG&A") decreased $2.1 million to $33.2 million for the fourth fiscal nonrecurring items in both years. Depreciation and amortization expense for quarter, although as a percentage of sales SG&A increased to 20.2% compared to 15.5% for the same period last year. Although the company has been able to reduce SG&A compared to the prior year, the lower sales volume resulted in a higher SG&A as a percentage of sales. The operating margin was 5.0% versus 13.7% last year, excluding nonrecurring items.

Ken Hale, CDT chief financial officer said, "As a result of strong fiscal responsibility, solid cash flows allowed us to reduce our debt by $28.3 million during fiscal year 2001. Our net debt to total capitalization ratio, a key internal statistic, improved to 25% versus 32% a year ago. We anticipate spending approximately $24 million for capital expenditures for fiscal year 2002."

Paul Olson, President/CEO of CDT commented, "Our fiscal year 2001 presented new challenges and obstacles within our industry, but we've positioned ourselves solidly for future growth opportunities in the networking, communications and specialty electronic segments. Not only have industry conditions affected our business, but the unfortunate events of September 11th are making it difficult to forecast operating earnings trends with any degree of certainty at this time. However, due to the outstanding capabilities and positive attitude of our employees CDT will persevere as it always has in difficult environments. When our markets return to more normalized levels, CDT has adequate machines and facilities to run at a rate of approximately $1 billion in revenues. Planned capital spending at CDT in this timeframe will be targeted at strategic markets that are related to the convergence of voice, video and data and that exhibit high returns on investment." "As mentioned in our July 30 corporate restructuring press release, we took actions during our 2001 fiscal year to reduce costs and improve the profitability of our business. We reduced direct and indirect costs to bring expenses more in line with our expected sales while maintaining a dedicated and experienced sales force. The cutback in workforce represents approximately $25 million in cost reductions on an annualized basis. Through the balance of our fiscal year, we will be fine-tuning the company to capitalize on opportunities that present themselves."

"We continue to see stability in our local area network business and believe we experienced a bottom in this segment in April. By June, the volumes in our networking business began approaching year ago levels, albeit with somewhat lower pricing. The lower pricing, however, has been partially offset by lower raw material costs. Slowdowns in demand for communication cables in the central office marketplace and, to a lesser extent, the delay of next-generation wireless deployments in Europe were negative impacts to our top and bottom lines. However, we anticipate seeing an up trend in the central office marketplace over the next few months. Our facilities that manufacture central office products are capable of manufacturing other profitable specialty products used in medical and industrial robotics as well as marine, military and heavy machinery applications. These facilities are currently in the process of re-focusing a portion of their sales, engineering, and manufacturing efforts to address these marketplaces."

"We believe that government agencies and corporations around the world are going to focus on three important areas. First and foremost, we believe there will be increased interest in the safety and security of their people and installations. An integral part of new security system builds and upgrades include specialty cable requirements, which a majority of our facilities are capable of making. Second, we believe demand for secure communication links will increase, including high-speed copper and fiber optic products. Third, it is obvious there will be a major increase in military spending on advanced weaponry that requires state-of-the-art cable for military aircraft and missiles, ground support and aerospace applications. CDT has made all of its engineering talent and manufacturing expertise available to these areas and will be ready and able to provide products that assist in keeping this world safe and our nation free."

"We have started to see stability and some pick up in certain areas of our business that had been affected by the slowdown in telecommunication infrastructure spending. Prior to the September 11th events, we anticipated first quarter EPS of $0.09 to $0.13. Due to these events, it is too early to provide new first quarter and fiscal year guidance. We believe that over the next few weeks we will be have a clearer picture of order intake."

"Because of our flexible manufacturing environment and the restructuring initiatives implemented, we are confident that we are well-positioned for future opportunities in networking, communication and specialty electronic end-markets. The determination of our people to make CDT the best is evident when I walk through our factories and offices and I am confident that we will capitalize and execute on the opportunities that will present themselves in the coming months."

Cabling Design Technologies is a corporation that contains many of our cabling industries movers and shakers. CDT companies include Mohawk/CDT, Nordx/CDT, Montrose/CDT, and many other very successful business units. The most common and easily identifiable characteristic of these companies is QUALITY. They offer top quality at affordable prices. This may be one of the best investment opportunities in our industry. That's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it.

Another 911 effect: IT May Get Faster Depreciation In Bush Stimulus

Lawmakers are urging that faster depreciation of high-tech equipment be among the measures the president enacts to stimulate the economy in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

President Bush has proposed up to $75 billion in tax credits and spending to help workers laid off and businesses crippled by the attacks. Companies would be able to accelerate the write-down of computer and telecommunications equipment purchases. Businesses typically replace computers and other high-tech equipment faster than the current period for depreciation.

Rexel to have 330+ Distribution Outlets offering Datacom to Contractors

A major strategy shift at Rexel, Inc.,(Dallas, TX) the United States operations of Rexel SA of France, will see the company offer data communications products at each of the more than 330 local electrical branches operated by the company.

When completed early next year, Rexel will have more local branches marketing and carrying datacom products than any other U.S. distributor. Called "Conectis," the program will see every one of the local electrical branches stock and sell datacom products. That has not previously been the case.

With more than $2.5 billion in annual sales in the U.S., Rexel, Inc. is a major contributor to the expected $8 billion global sales in the coming year of Rexel SA, the world's largest electrical and communication products distributor.

Conectis (pronounced "connect-eece") originated in the mid-1990s at the company's operations in France, where Rexel has a significant market share. There, the company sought to capitalize on the movement of French electrical contractors into the data communications market. Result: inside of five years, sales of communications products at Rexel's electrical branches in France went from zero to more than $100 million/year.

In the U.S., expansion of the Conectis program to all of the company's more than 330 electrical branches has just begun, and will continue into early 2002. Just as in France, the program's target market here is electrical contractors, many of whom already do business with Rexel's branches.

Rexel's major data communications distribution competitors in the United States include Graybar (which stocks and sells both electrical and comm/data products) and Anixter (which is not a major force in electrical sales). When completed, the expansion detailed above will give Rexel, Inc. more retail branches with data communications products in stock than any other U.S. distributor.

"From a customer standpoint, we'll be able to improve service dramatically," said Tim Copeland, president of Rexel Datacom. "Our customer will have access to communications products in more locations than ever before, and our ability to deliver these products will be greatly enhanced."

Dick Waterman, Executive Vice President and CEO of Rexel, Inc., will oversee a new team that will drive the national communications product initiative. The team is to include a new national vice president of communications products. Each of the company's seven geographical divisions will have a communications sales team and manager. "We believe a direct focus on marketing and selling the communications product will be a key ingredient to our success," said Copeland

"We recognize that our existing electrical branches provide Rexel with an outstanding opportunity to grow our communications business," he added. "Our current customer base will benefit from our improved warehousing, delivery, and product selection, as well as the additional resources we will be devoting to communication product sales."

Stock in Rexel SA is traded on the Paris exchange. More than 70% of the company's outstanding stock is owned by Pinault Printemps Redoute S.A., another Paris-exchange-traded company.

U.S. government seeks input to build its own Net

The U.S. Government revealed this week that it is looking into building its own Internet, dubbed GovNet, to ensure the safe transmission of sensitive government communication.

The government wants GovNet to be a private voice and data network based on IP, but with no connectivity with commercial or public networks, the GSA said. Most importantly, the government Net should be "immune from malicious service and/or functional disruptions" and all computer viruses.

Corning discontinues products, fires staff

By: Kevin Fitchard,, Oct. 19, 2001.

The fallout in fiber deployments hit Corning hard in the third quarter, leading the company to confirm today its previously announced plans to lay off 4,000 employees, shut down manufacturing facilities and discontinue whole product lines.

Corning will close its photonics products manufacturing plant in Henrietta, N.Y., and has proposed closing its optical fiber facility in Deesdale, North Wales. Corning has stopped all expansion in the telecom space, and plans to exit other industries entirely.

Next year, it will shut down all manufacturing of glass tubing and lighting for televisions and is halting its microarray technology research in its life-sciences division. The staff laid off now total 12,000, and Corning also announced plans to temporarily idle global optical fiber operations through the end of the year.

While revenues are down and risks are up in all divisions, CEO John Loose said the economic effects are most pronounced in its telecommunication segments.

"Conditions changed so abruptly and with such severity that the impact on our business is unprecedented," Loose said during an analyst call.

Corning posted third-quarter sales of $1.5 billion, down 21% from the $1.9 billion recorded in last year's third quarter. It reported a net loss almost as great as the income it posted the 2000. For the third quarter, Corning recorded a $220 million loss, down 187% from last year's third quarter, when it posted a net income of $254 million. Corning also will record a pre-tax charge of $339 million as part of a $1 billion year-long restructuring program.

Corning said it expects fiber volume in the fourth quarter to be less than half of what it was last year, and the company expects to experience extreme pricing pressure for the product it sells.

In 2002, the company will cut capital spending by almost two-thirds, and all expansion in the telecommunications market will be halted until economic conditions improve. The company expects $1 billion in sales during the fourth quarter and losses in the $200 million range.


Michael Lohr has joined forces with Ensource Inc., Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Lohr, a veteran Regional Sales Manager of Nextira, (previously Staples Communications, previously Claricom, previously Executone, previously Isoetec, previously Jarvis). Imagine keeping the same job in the same office, but the employers changing the company name so often that you consider using Velcro on your business cards.

Ensource is the fastest growing telecommunications and networking outsource company in the southeast United States. Ensource has focused on the specific needs of telecommunications in healthcare facilities. Ensource is also the premier distributor of Ascom Wireless Solutions Inc. Ascoms' in-building wireless communications system, is the number one wireless choice in hospitals and power generating plants worldwide.

BELDEN and NTL Group Limited 2001 sign

long-term contract for copper cables

Belden Communications Division has announced the signing of a long-term contract for a two year supply of twisted-pair external telephone cable to UK's NTL, (a complete broadband communications company), with a value in excess of £4 million. The Belden cables will be installed across all UK and providing the critical 'last mile' link between the fiber optic network and NTL's consumer.

Having already delivered more than 4,000 km of copper cable to Cable & Wireless, Belden will supply the consolidated C&W/NTL Company announced in April 2000. The Belden cables will be manufactured in the Blackley facility; the contract will last until May 2003.

"This new supply contract for a leading service provider such as NTL", stated Mark Williams, Director Of European Business Development for Belden Communications, "confirms Belden's position as a significant partner for the major European telecommunications corporations involved in the construction of advanced communication networks. Belden, in the ongoing partnership with NTL, will ensure all deployment and service targets continue to be met".

"The effort generated by Belden has enabled NTL to continue to grow our cable network at a significant pace and remain UK's premier Cable Operator", Richard Deavin, Head Of NTL's Supply Chain, said. "Their attention to superior quality is evident not only in the end result of the products manufactured, but also in the service provided by the employees to ensure that Belden products and service are of the highest standards in the industry".

NTL offers a wide range of communications services to homes and business customers throughout the UK and Ireland. 12 million homes are located within its fiber-optic broadband network, which covers over 50% of the UK including, Southampton, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Cambridge, Leicester, Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow. NTL now serves over 4.6 million on-net residential, cable telephony and Internet customers and approximately 1.3 million off-net Internet and telephony customers.

NTL has over 70,000 UK business customers, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Comet, AT&T and Orange. NTL offers a broad range of technologies and resources to provide complete multi-service solutions for businesses from large corporations to local companies.

CableNet provides the only customized e-business solution for the cable industry. The company licenses its unique cable industry supply chain solution to cable manufacturers and their key raw material suppliers, who use it to reduce transaction costs and accelerate cycle times. CableNet's exclusive focus on solving the supply chain problems of this very specific market segment is backed by a strong and experienced management team drawn from both sides of the cable industry.

Ortronics Introduces New Mighty Mo Server Cabinet

Ortronics, Inc., (New London, CT) is pleased to announce the introduction of the new Mighty Mo Server Cabinet. The newest addition to the Mighty Mo Cable Management product line provides a safe and secure location for servers and active devices in the Customer Access Area of service provider environments.

Ortronics Mighty Mo Server Cabinet maximizes the use of floor space and has cable access on the top and bottom. The inside rails of the cabinet adjust to fit almost any server available today. The cabinet top and the front and rear doors are heavy duty perforated steel the perfect combination of strength for protection, and ventilation to keep the internal temperature of the cabinet within the operating limits of active devices. The top of the cabinet can also accommodate fans to expedite cooling. Master keys and push-button combination locks are supplied for the front and rear doors to make the security of a multi-user environment easier to manage. The customer has access via the combination, and the facilities manager has access in the event of a network emergency through the use of the master key. A divider panel (mounted on each cabinet) provides security. Side panels are available to finish off a row of cabinets or dress up a single cabinet. The cabinet is also supplied with four equipment mounting rails with a square hole EIA pattern and 50 M6x1 cage nuts and screws.

Ortronics new Mighty Mo Server Cabinet comes fully assembled on casters, so installation is quick and easy. Its dimensions are 23.625" x 86.25" x 36" (600 mm x 2.2 mm x 900 mm), with a weight of 300 lbs. (136 kg) and mounting space of 44 units. The standard color is beige with a powder coat finish.

Avaya Profit Falls, Aims to Beat Street

Avaya Inc. (Basking Ridge, NJ) reported a net loss and lower operating profits in the fiscal fourth quarter as customer spending declined and it said it aims to top Wall Street's 2002 estimates. Avaya also said it planned to raise at least $300 million from a public sale of 20-year zero-coupon convertible bonds to refinance some commercial paper, or short-term debt. It might sell another $45 million of notes if there was enough demand.

Avaya, which makes technology for operator call centers and cabling systems for corporate campuses, posted a net loss of $328 million, or a loss of $1.17 a diluted share, compared with a net loss of $543 million, or a loss of $1.95 a diluted share, in the same period last year.

This year's results included a $540 million pretax restructuring charge and $67 million pretax charge related to its spin-off last year from Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:LU - news), offset by a $35 million pretax reversal of business restructuring liabilities recorded in September 2000. Sales in the quarter slumped 29 percent to $1.44 billion from $2.04 billion last year as virtually all business segments worldwide were affected by the industry-wide slowdown. "We're clearly in a slowdown around the world," Avaya president and chief executive Don Peterson told analysts during a conference call. "It's not just in our business area obviously, but it is significant."

"I think we're near the bottom, but we could stay there for a while," he added in an interview with Reuters. He said a few months ago Avaya expected U.S. information technology spending to grow 8 percent this year, compared with 13 percent growth last year. Avaya now sees a decline of 2.5 percent this year because spending drastically slowed after the Sept. 11 airplane attacks.

The company's shares slumped almost 12 percent initially and were still off $1.10, or 9 percent, at $10.80 in Wednesday afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Since the beginning of the year, however, the stock has outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 (.SPX) index by about 28 percent. A convertible bond is a stock-bond hybrid that usually offers current income and can be converted into company stock. Shares often fall after a company announces a convertible sale because some investors sell the underlying stock short.

Based on current prices, the bond sale, expected Monday, could eventually trigger the issuance of more than 24 million shares, or more than 8 percent of the 285 million outstanding as of June 30, according to a securities filing. Avaya's fourth-quarter operating earnings fell to $18 million, or 4 cents a diluted share, excluding restructuring charges, compared with $20 million, or 7 cents a diluted share, in the same period last year.

After Avaya warned earlier in the month that its fourth-quarter sales would fall short, analysts cut their consensus estimate to 3 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call, which tracks such data. Avaya on Oct. 9 blamed the weak economy and delayed orders when it said fourth-quarter sales would fall 30 percent from last year and it would earn 3 cents to 4 cents a share. The company said with economic difficulties already apparent for 2002 it is preparing for lower annual revenues than the $6.8 billion in fiscal 2001. Avaya chief financial officer Garry McGuire also said the company is preparing for revenues in the fiscal first quarter to be about flat with this quarter. He added, however, the company is targeting revenues and earnings per share that will top Wall Street expectations for 2002. Analysts expect Avaya to 67 cents a share in fiscal 2002, according to First Call.

For fiscal year 2001, Avaya's net loss was $352 million, down from a net loss of $375 million the previous year. Revenues fell to $6.79 billion from $7.7 billion last year. Its operating earnings for the year rose 20 percent to 66 cents a share from 55 cents last year. Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein analyst Ariane Mahler said Avaya's results were in line, but its guidance for flat first-quarter revenues was a little better than she expected. She lauded the firm's full-year operating earnings growth.

"I can't think of any company in this sector that has, for the last 12 months, reported an increase in (earnings per share) of 20 percent," she said.

Avaya is a company in change. They are making many positive changes at virtually every level and area of operation. We began researching the "new" Avaya in October and hope to have an article, which will take a close look at this company as we move into the new year. Unlike Lucent, the apple does not always fall close to the tree. Avaya is a different kind of business, with different attitudes, and a real entrepreneurial team spirit. We will take a close look at the company, the products, the team, and the leaders. Watch for this article in December.

BICSI Membership Elects Board Members for 2002-2003

BICSI (Tampa. FL), the international telecommunications association, announced the results of its annual Board of Directors election with the selection of five officers. Board members are elected by the general membership and serve two-year terms.

Newly elected directors are: President-elect Russell B. Oliver, RCDD/LAN Specialist, CTC Communications, Waltham, MA; Treasurer Mel Lesperance, RCDD, Ortronics, Inc., Tampa, FL; Region 1 Director Edward J. Donelan, RCDD/LAN Specialist, Telecom Infrastructure Corp., Brewster, NY; Region 3 Director Albert L. Feaster, RCDD, ADC, Minneapolis, MN and Region 6 Director Carole El Zein, Anixter International, Roissy, Cedex, France.

The new officers will be installed at BICSI's Winter Conference, Jan. 21-24, 2002, in Orlando, FL. At that meeting, current President-elect John Payseur, RCDD/LAN Specialist, BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., Charlotte, NC, will become BICSI's new President, replacing Richard Powell, RCDD, KRONE, Inc, Orlando, FL.

Existing board members serving through 2002 are: Secretary John J. Bakowski, RCDD/LAN Specialist, Bell Gateways, Toronto, ON, Canada; Region 2 Director Robert Chris Lake, RCDD, AVAYA Inc., Norcross, GA; Region 4 Director Steve Calderon, RCDD/LAN Specialist, I T Design Corp., Westlake Village, CA; Region 5 Director Greg H. Porter, RCDD, Tyco Electronics, Markham, ON, Canada; and Region 7 Director Jose Roberto da Silva, RCDD, Panduit do Brasil, Ltda., Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Headquartered in Tampa, FL, USA, BICSI is a professional, not-for-profit telecommunications association that serves over 20,000 members from more than 85 countries. BICSI offers courses, conferences, publications, and professional registration programs for telecommunications cabling distribution designers and installers. Over 5,600 individuals have earned the prestigious RCDD® (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) designation. BICSI's Telecommunications Cabling Installation Program has registered more than 12,000 Installers and Technicians.

CommScope, Inc. (Hickory, NC) intends to release its third quarter 2001 results ending September 30, 2001, after the market closes on Wednesday, November 7, 2001.

How about some great news from the pages of Pennwell's Cabling

Installation & Maintenance Magazine. Look for $'s in cabling Canada.

As many as 9 out of 10 Canadian companies will need to overhaul their corporate communications infrastructure in the next five years.

That's the finding of a new report from the Boston-based Yankee Group The report is titled "Vicissitudinous Viscera: The New Importance of Corporate Communications Cabling." It explains that with the proliferation of bandwidth-consuming applications such as voice-over-broadband, video streaming and other wideband applications, IT and communications managers will be forced to upgrade and pay closer attention to the design, implementation, and management of their cabling system infrastructure.

The report analyzes the present state of cabling in Canada, and why effective IT infrastructure design and management will be the key to realizing the full benefits of technology. It says that as corporate users experiment with these seemingly inexhaustible resources, problems will inevitably erupt.

"The integration of voice and data services, combined with the multitude of bandwidth-demanding services, has created the need for transmission facilities that incorporate far more raw capacity than is currently in place," says Jeremy Depow, senior analyst for the Yankee Group's Canadian Market Strategies research and consulting practice. "Along with the increased complexities of communications infrastructure, outside expertise will be an important factor in a functioning cabling system."


Cabling Systems Magazine (a great Canadian publication for our industry) announced the appointment of Vaios Petsis as Publisher of the magazine. Vaios replaces Maureen Levy, who left the magazine in August 2001. Vaios has several years of experience in the publishing industry, and has spent the last five years in a variety of roles for Southam Inc. in Don Mills, ON. After working as sales representative and then account manager on a successful b2b publication for the Southam Magazine Group, Vaios went on to handle Internet sales and marketing for e-source He also has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, and has worked for several years coordinating special events and corporate promotions. "I look forward to learning about and participating in this vital and growing industry," says Vaios. "I will work to continue and expand upon the strong voice that Cabling Systems has in the structured cabling and telecommunications industry." Congratulations to Vaios on his new appointment.

Pirelli plans on keeping telecom cables business

Italian tires, cables and telecoms group Pirelli (Milan) plans on keeping its telecommunications cables business but could sell its electric cables activities, the president of the group Marco Tronchetti Provera said on Tuesday in a newspaper interview.

"Pirelli has very strong technology in fiber optics and so will continue to develop this activity despite the difficult period being experienced because of falling orders," said Tronchetti Provera in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa.

However, Pirelli could sell off its activities for energy transporting cables. "The exit from the energy cables is determined by the strategy which aims at focusing the Pirelli groupe on telecommunications," he said, noting, "but an asset disposal in this field will depend on the price that is offered."

Last week the group said that its traditional business of making tires was "strategic" and that its sell-off was a "totally unrealistic hypothesis."

Pirelli, along with the Benetton family, in July took a controlling stake in Italian group Olivetti, which itself controls Telecom Italia. As a result of the takeover, Tronchetti Provera heads the three companies.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved

CableNet provides the only customized e-business solution for the cable industry. The company licenses its unique cable industry supply chain solution to cable manufacturers and their key raw material suppliers, who use it to reduce transaction costs and accelerate cycle times. CableNet's exclusive focus on solving the supply chain problems of this very specific market segment is backed by a strong and experienced management team drawn from both sides of the cable industry.

ANIXTER -- sales in the company's third quarter will be within its revised range of expectations, the company said. "We are pleased that sales throughout September were at levels consistent with the preceding four-to-six weeks," said Robert W. Grubbs, president/CEO.

Corporate character is important and easy to find in Fluke Networks. After the tragedy of 9/11, Fluke was there to lend a helping hand.

Fluke Networks has initiated an Emergency Relief Program aimed at helping restore communications service to companies and organizations affected by September 11th's terrorist attack.

"Network communications, whether it is email or some other form of data communications, is the backbone of any organization." said Chris Odell, President of Fluke Networks, "And we of course realize that many organizations have suffered substantial network service disruption owing to the tragic events of this past week. To assist in re-establishing damaged network infrastructure, Fluke Networks will provide loaner equipment, technical expertise, expedited delivery and on-site assistance until service is restored to those affected networks. It's our small way of helping out in a time of great need." Network managers in need of assistance are asked to email requests to

A Fluke Networks representative will contact them as soon as possible to determine what support is needed and coordinate delivery of that support. Fluke Networks already has expedited the shipment of products to major institutions in the New York and D.C area including the Pentagon, and fulfilled a donation request from the American Red Cross. Last December, Fluke Networks' parent company, Danaher, held their semi-annual investor conference at Fluke Networks' headquarters in Everett, Washington. Thirty analysts from around the country were invited, including a representative from Goldman Sachs in New York City. In appreciation for those who attended, Fluke Networks took the names of all the analyst organizations' IT people and sent them a complimentary NetTool(tm) Network Connectivity Tester.

It was a goodwill gift to maintain connections with the investment community to keep them abreast of the latest news from Fluke Networks. And then, it was business as usual. Ten months later at Goldman Sachs, whose offices are four blocks from the World Trade Center, network engineers scrambled to restore connectivity after September 11th's terrorist attacks. According to one representative, the NetTool that Fluke Networks had provided in December was a tremendous help in getting them up and running in time for Wall Street's first day of business, Monday, September 17. Fluke Networks has since dispatched a OneTouch(tm) Series II Network Assistant to help with their restoration efforts.

Contractors & Installers should check out the Fluke website for available deals on tester upgrades that includes the MicroTest as well. In our office, we have already received several requests from our installers for a tester upgrade in their stockings. Santa might even be able to swing this one.


Teknor Apex Company (Singapore) today acquired Singapore Polymer Corporation (Pte) Ltd., a diversified thermoplastics compounder with a nominal capacity of 70,000 metric tons (155,000,000 lb.). The transaction involved the purchase of shares in Singapore Polymer Corp. from Oslo-based Norsk Hydro ASA and the Development Bank of Singapore.

Privately-held Teknor Apex is one of the largest compounders in North America, with ten locations in the U.S. It has been a leading supplier of flexible vinyl compounds for more than fifty years, offers the most diversified TPE product line, supplies color concentrates to all sectors of the plastics industry, and has a growing business as a toll manufacturer of specialty compounds based on polyolefin, styrenic, and engineering thermoplastic polymers.

We are sure that PVC has many excellent and safe uses. And, we are sure there is plenty of data and examples to support this. However, we are not sure about all of the compounds used in PVC. Plastics are good and safe !! We just have to be careful what compounds they are loaded up with.

Berk-Tek names rep firm for Desert, Mountain states

Berk-Tek recently named Convergent Systems Group as manufacturer's representative for the United States Desert and Mountain states region. Formerly Electricon Resources, Convergent is headquartered in Albuquerque, NM and will cover sales territories in Colorado; Utah; Wyoming; Arizona; New Mexico; El Paso, TX; and Southern and Eastern portions of Nevada. The company has regional offices in Phoenix and Denver, with additional sales offices in Sandy, UT and Las Vegas. Convergent also has named five principals: Ken Cogan, Mark Campobasso, Sam Stanfield, Robert Smith, and Greg Hirte. Cogan and Stanfield are based in the Albuquerque headquarters; Campobasso and Hirte are in Phoenix and Smith is in Denver.

CaribeCom 2001

Puerto Rico offers a unique melting pot of cultures and technology from USA, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For example, college students come from every corner of Latin America to the University of Puerto Rico, (UPR), to interface with the cultures of the United States, and Canada. It is a unique mixture set in a Caribbean paradise. Likewise, many businesses and communications companies from Latin America are likely to attend the CaribeCom 2001, for the cross culture environment. Spanish, and English are both commonly spoken throughout Puerto Rico.

The CaribeCom technology expo serves communications professionals from Latin America, in the fields of data and voice communications. The expo and conference will be held at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday, November 14 through Friday, November 16. Now in it's 19th year, CaribeCom is described by its organizers as a "communications-technology supermarket" for the region.

The CaribeCom exhibition will take place from 5:00 to 9:00 PM on the 14th, 15th, and 16th, in a hall that will house nearly 100 communications-industry vendors. Exhibiting companies provide products and services that are used in communications networks-ranging from wire and cable to system-installation and mobile-communications services. Attendees can use the evening receptions as an opportunity to receive up-to- date technology news, advice, and solutions. Networking receptions will be held from 5:00 to 7:30 PM the same three evenings.

For the record, this conference is not a boondoggle or a pleasure junket. It is a legitimate opportunity for vendor and consumer to meet and exchange offerings and requirements. This is a unique event in a unique location, which bridges South America and North America in a sort of neutral setting. Historically, the event has drawn a diverse group of communications professionals who are involved in the design, installation, and implementation of public and private networks. Many attendees are engineers, local area network administrators, information-technology managers, and network consultants. They work for organizations including commercial enterprises, government entities and communications providers.

CaribeCom is organized and hosted by PennWell, an information company that produces conferences and exhibitions, periodicals and other learning tools for professionals in high-technology industries.

The 19th year of the CaribeCom exhibition will be the first year it is held in conjunction with a conference produced by BICSI, a telecommunications association. BICSI will hold its conference November 14 and 15, also at the Caribe Hilton. Topics that will be covered during the conference include cabling-standards updates, communications technologies such as Voice over IP, fiber optics, and wireless networking.

Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine on line

Find this article at: ARTICLE ID=121810

Australia and New Zealand Achieve BICSI Region Status

BICSI (Tampa, FL) Australia and New Zealand exceeded 500 members and were officially designated as Region 8 within BICSI, an international telecommunications association.

Regional status brings the opportunity for members in the South Pacific to elect their own representative to the BICSI Board of Directors. The Region 8 Director will represent Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Guam, and other islands in the South Pacific. Regional Directors aid the association in providing worldwide education and certifications in all aspects of the design and installation of voice, data, and video technologies. The Region 8 Director will serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2002.

The number of BICSI members has increased worldwide, now totaling over 20,000 professionals in 85 countries. In addition to the newly established Region 8, BICSI Districts (100-499 members) exist in Japan, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Europe and Brazil achieved Region status in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

Australia has hosted several educational conferences and seminars for telecommunications professionals. Quarterly events are held each month and the annual conference is held in February. Regional conferences continue the tradition of providing members a local forum for sharing knowledge and improving the quality of telecommunications infrastructure.

Alcatel to cut positions from Claremont, NC site

Alcatel will cut approximately 300 employees from its optical fiber site in Claremont, NC. The site employs 1,430 people. Alcatel says the layoffs are being forced by the present downturn of the undersea network market and the slowdown of the optical fiber market, following the exceptional growth experienced by both markets during the past few years.

These measures, combined with the closing of the undersea cable plant in Portland, OR, announced in May, represent a reduction of 2,151 positions, or 48%, in Alcatel's undersea network activity worldwide workforce. They also correspond to a reduction of 887 positions, or 17%, in Alcatel's optical fiber activity worldwide workforce. In total, 3,038 positions will be reduced from a worldwide workforce of 9,320 in these two activities. Most of these measures will be completed by summer 2002.

This news item comes from the pages of Pennwell Publishing. Penwell is the publishing leader for the communications cabling industry with it's two premier publications: Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine, and Lightwave Magazine.


Firestop Products

The events of September 11, 2001, have burned a picture into our memory. Fire Safety is no longer just a term. Fire Safety is important and we have a clear mental image of the horrific alternative. Cabling is the information highway system that runs throughout the structure. Cabling is also a potential highway for fire. More than 95% of the cabling in the structure is "out of sight" and potentially a hazard in case of fire, if the cabling is not properly designed and installed. Please put a big stress on the word "Installed". Follow the attached link to an excellent article in the Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine - October, 2001.

"With the myriad of different firestop products available on the market, how do you choose the right one? Open the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Fire Resistance Directory and you will find at least 60 firestop manufacturers and more than 3,000 individual tested designs for various building service elements passing through fire-resistive-rated barriers, including floor/ceilings and wall assemblies. With all of these choices, how do you identify which product is the best product for a particular application? The purpose of this article is to provide guidance and information on product selection for applications involving voice and data cabling."

Article ID=121413

If you are looking for the latest and greatest in products and services, read the Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine by PennWell Publishing.

Greenwoods Communications becomes Krone certified

Greenwoods Communications has been awarded Approved Installer (AI) status by Krone This AI status means that the company has undergone TVSC-certified courses, ranging from installation through to engineering. As a certified AI, Greenwoods is able to install Krones data products and offer a 20-year system performance warranty with the installation. The new status follows Greenwoods appointment as an official Krone distributor in May 2000.

McNabb named NFPA regional manager

The National Fire Protection Association recently announced the appointment of Nancy McNabb as regional manager, building code, central field office. Nancy is from Dallas, TX.

She will be responsible for expanding field outreach for the proposed NFPA 5000 Building Code, and will also represent the association at code hearings and legislative sessions. She reports to Gary Keith, vice president of building codes and standards/regional operations.

Most recently, McNabb was a service coordinator for Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) International. Previously, she was a staff architect for BOCA. She holds master's and bachelor's degrees in architecture and is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Draka's First Half-Year Report 2001 exceeds expectations.

Leadership is action, not position.

  • Turnover up by 12%

  • Net profits up by 43%

  • Earnings per share up 36%

Draka, one of the leading worldwide cable manufacturers, continues to consolidate its business units and remains committed to its core business. Copper cabling continues to be a stable offering while fiber is expected to have a much weaker second half. Keep an eye on this company. Their growth and market strength is impressive.

Graybar opens Springfield, MO underground warehouse

Graybar opened its 12th regional distribution center, this one in Springfield, MO, on September 17. The 186,000 square-foot warehouse and office features 15 truck docks, as well as parking for visitors and employees, underground. The distribution center will serve customers in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Nebraska, as well as parts of Illinois, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Sales and customer-service functions, as well as counter and will-call service, continue to be handled out of existing Graybar branches in the region. The Springfield facility employs 44 people. Mike Patoka, the company's manager of corporate distribution, and Springfield zone manager Jim Sales spearheaded the preparations for the facility's opening, including hiring 39 employees.

Cable Design Technologies (CDT) Announces

Czech Republic Acquisition Agreement

Cable Design Technologies Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA) announced today that it has entered into agreements to acquire 79% of Kabelovna Decin - Podmokly, a.s., a manufacturer of communication, fiber optic, signal and control and medical cables and harnesses based near Prague in the Czech Republic. CDT is purchasing 67.4% from the Bancroft Eastern Europe Fund, L.P. and the remaining portion from an unaffiliated Czech Republic based bank. The closing is expected to take place in the fourth calendar quarter of 2001 and is subject to customary conditions, including competition approval in the Czech Republic. Kabelovna Decin's calendar 2001 sales are expected to be approximately $45 million. The acquisition is expected to be accretive.

In commenting on the announcement, Paul M. Olson, president and CEO, stated, "We are very pleased about this opportunity. Kabelovna Decin has outstanding personnel with both technical and manufacturing skills in CDT's product lines. The company also has a very strong balance sheet and is extremely profitable, and will give us a low cost manufacturing base in Central Europe for communication, network, fiber optic and specialty cables. The company has state-of-the-art equipment, largely installed by Siemens between 1993 and 2000 when Siemens owned Kabelovna Decin. The combination of CDT's world-wide sales and marketing forces with Kabelovna Decin's large product mix potential and manufacturing cost advantages should significantly increase Kabelovna Decin's cable sales. Kabelovna Decin also has a highly qualified management team and employee workforce. We believe this acquisition will prove to be an important and meaningful part of CDT's operations."

Analyst: Nortel, Lucent in danger of becoming 'dinosaurs'

By: Glenn Bischoff, published in Telephony Online e-zine. This is an excellent publication and we recommend that you add this to your favorites list.

Nortel's announcement this week that it was slashing 20,000 more jobs--on top of the 30,000 cut earlier this year--triggered a flurry of analysis concerning what it and the other equipment vendors must do to assure a catastrophic situation doesn't worsen.

According to Hilary Mine, executive vice president of Probe Research, both Nortel and Lucent--another high-profile vendor that has cut about 50,000 jobs this year--are "in danger of becoming dinosaurs." She said both companies have significant chunks of profitability tied up in segments that have been slipping of late.

One of these is circuit switches, a market upon which both companies long have been dependent and one that is going through a significant change.

"Anyone who has been in the software business for a number of years eventually faces a point where their technology becomes legacy and someone else comes in with better technology," she said. "And switches are essentially software driven."

While both companies share this challenge, their circumstances are entirely different which will affect how each goes about meeting the challenge, Mine said.

"Lucent's mess is different than Nortel's. Because it got spun off late, it learned how to compete later than the others," she said. "Nortel globalized long before Lucent. They used to be dependent on Bell Canada, but they cut back on that dependence quite a while ago."

The companies have completely different cultures and perceptions in the marketplace, which may help Nortel and hurt Lucent as each begins to reinvent itself in order to cope with a "new world order that is still up in the air."

"Nortel is perceived as responsive, while Lucent is perceived as arrogant," Mine said. "Though Lucent may think it is being more responsive right now, it might be too late for that."


Lucent Posts $8.8 Billion Loss, Looks To Future

Telecom-equipment maker Lucent Technologies Inc.'s fourth-quarter net loss ballooned to $8.8 billion, up from $484 million in the year earlier period. Despite the loss, the company remains focused on returning to profitability.

Vodafone to Cut 650 Jobs

The world's largest mobile phone carrier said it would cut roughly 650 jobs between now and January, a Vodafone spokesman confirms. The layoffs will be confined to Vodafone's United Kingdom payrolls, and will take place across all divisions and at all levels.

Nortel to sell CRM division for $200 Million

Telecom software vendor Amdocs will buy Nortel Networks's Clarify CRM (customer relationship management) division for $200 million cash, the companies announced Tuesday.

The sale comes just two years after Nortel paid a high premium for CRM vendor Clarify in a deal worth $2.1 billion in stock when it first was announced in October 1999.

HP may cut more jobs as part of COMPAQ merger

As part of "business as usual," Hewlett-Packard could further trim its workforce before finalizing its planned merger with Compaq Computer, the company said in a report filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In addition to the already announced 15,000 layoffs -- or 10 percent of their combined workforces -- that HP and Compaq have slated to make in the first two years following the merger, HP could make further reductions "in defined areas of the company," the SEC's FAQ filing read.

Nortel forecasts loss, replaces CEO

Telecommunication equipment maker Nortel Networks Tuesday gave a grim financial forecast for the current quarter and announced major changes to its business and management, including a new CEO. Citing a reduction in spending by service providers, Nortel said it would also lay off about 10,000 employees.

Nortel said the company would replace its president and CEO, John Roth, who announced in April that he would step down from the position. Frank Dunn, Nortel's CFO and a director, will replace Roth on Nov. 1, and Roth will remain on the company's board as vice chairman through the end of 2002.

Siemens to cut another 7000 jobs

The market for "boxes" is hurting. There is little doubt that the industry is preparing for a leap in technology from telephone switches to information switches. The CAT 5e and CAT 6 cabling will support a new generation of multi-tasking information systems which will absorb the plain old telephone system (POTS). Siemens plans to cut another 5000 jobs from its fixed-line division by the end of 2002 and 2000 jobs from its mobile communications group by the end of the current fiscal year. Two thousand of the fixed-line unit's job cuts will come from sites in Germany.


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