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HOTS 04/2002

Issue: April 2002

By: Frank Bisbee

Headline News

Featured Story


What have we learned from 9/11? It appears that the collapse of the World Trade Center may have been caused by the spread of fire throughout the buildings. Some of the top researchers at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) began their informal investigation shortly after the attack. NIST began assisting federal and local agencies in many ways to investigate the spread of fire through the buildings and their subsequent collapse. In less than four months after the collapse of the WTC, preliminary findings indicated that most of the fuel stoking the conflagration came from materials already inside the buildings, not from the jet fuel on the planes that struck the towers. In the future, it is imperative to restore public confidence in the safety of tall buildings nationwide, and to improve the protection of the people and property in these mega-structures.

Fire played a critical and highly visible role in the collapse of the WTC buildings. Unfortunately, current building design practice does not consider FIRE as a design condition. The current testing standards are based on work carried out at NIST in the 1920s. The standards do not represent real fire hazards in modern buildings. These standards should be updated and changed. NIST currently has the capability to simulate building fires on the computer to explain critical events and the outcomes to an extent previously not possible.

The relationship between the standard fire resistance tests used to qualify fire resistive building assemblies and the actual performance of fire resistive building assemblies under actual fire conditions must be investigated. Comprehensive disaster investigations mean increased safety.

The jet fuel in the WTC disaster was consumed by fire quickly. However, the fires continued to burn for more than 3 months. The lingering fires were fueled by materials that were already in the buildings before the disaster. If we look at the requirement for communications and data in the modern office building, we find a potentially huge quantity of cabling. There are many types of materials used in cabling. Some materials offer excellent transmission properties for data, but have approximately the same fuel content and performance as "bunker C grade" fuel oil. One study found that there was an estimated 29 million feet of CAT 5e UTP cable, required to replace damaged or destroyed cables in the WTC. We feel this estimate is very conservative. The wrong choice of materials in these cables could contribute a significant fuel load towards another fire catastrophe.

We must raise the bar for safety. There are commercial interests that would prefer the reduction of fire safety standards. Confusion, concealment, and misdirection may make reduced fire standards look very acceptable. The legal track records of the tobacco, asbestos, and leaded paint products, have shown us that there may be a potential day of reckoning in the future. Liability issues and huge compensation judgments may await the reckless or careless purveyors. Safety is too important to compromise. Lives cannot be replaced with dollars.

Remember the great recovery we predicted? If 5-6% is considered great, then we are true prophets of profit. The recovery looks like a slow slug-fest. We must persevere to maintain our industry standards, keep up the quality, maintain or improve the safety, and bolster the value. Somehow, we don't think that datacom and telecommunications is a passing fad.

Next month numerous associations and organizations will be holding their training conferences and expositions. We will also see the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) holding their World Safety Conference & Exposition, (May 19 - 23, Minneapolis, MN)

BOMA (Building Owners & Managers Association)

has strongly urged the NFPA to cancel plans to develop a separate building code and to instead recommit to working with the ICC (International Code Council,Inc.)

to develop a framework for ONE coordinated set of codes. That is what the more than 17,500 BOMA members want, it's what the industry wants, and it's what the public wants. It appears that not a single technical issue has been identified as a substantive flaw in the current set of International Codes. We simply ask - Why do we need another set of codes?

Remember, BOMA International has aggressively and actively participated in the NFPA Consensus Codes; however, BOMA's participation in the NFPA process does not represent an endorsement of either the NFPA process or the NFPA Building Code Project (NFPA 5000). Note, BOMA International will be holding its 95th Annual Convention & The Office Building Show ™ June 23-25, Chicago, IL.

We can't say enough fine things about the upcoming BICSI Spring Conference in Las Vegas.

But while you are there, you should also make plans to attend the Networld + Interop 2002, Las Vegas Convention Center, May 7-9.

Next you may want to focus on the ultimate specifiers, the architects. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is holding their National Convention and Expo May 9-11, Charlotte, NC.

We have already heard rumblings from this organization about their concerns related to the cabling infrastructure in the building and the requirement for the removal of abandoned cable. At this time, the hapless recipients for the bill to remove and dispose of the abandoned cable, appears to be the Building Owner. That will change as these costs are redirected. Ultimately, if you cause the costs, you will pay for it.

Olson Assumes Advisory Role With CDT

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA), announced on March 20th, 2002, that Paul M. Olson notified the company that he is stepping down as a director of the company. Mr. Olson will continue as a consultant to the company. Mr. Olson noted, ''I appreciate my relationship with CDT and its Board of Directors. Working at CDT has been a great experience and I have a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction and pride to have participated in the formation of one of the best specialty electronic cable companies in the world. I am confident in CDT's management team and their ability to successfully expand the company's global footprint.'' Bryan Cressey, Chairman of the Board, stated, ''The Board is grateful to Paul Olson for his building CDT into a leading company over the years and are pleased that his expertise and knowledge will remain available to the Board and the Company.''

Editors Note:

This writer has known Paul Olson professionally and personally for more than one quarter of a century. During that time, we have watched Paul pour himself completely into the building of CDT. Throughout all the years he has given 110% to the people and the company they represented. His commitment to the highest level of integrity, loyalty, and, always, quality, has been the glue that held the CDT team together, even during the toughest times. Loyalty in corporate America is an anachronism. Over the past 20 years, we have seen the reality of corporate loyalty on both sides becoming more like a surrealistic apparition. This is not true of the "Mohawkers" and the CDT family. Their loyalty is remarkable and it has given CDT the competitive edge to continue their solid growth. Loyalty flows downhill first. Anyone who has worked with Paul Olson has had the pleasure of knowing a man of the highest character. For many of the CDT staffers, Paul Olson has set the pace.

We salute Paul Olson of Cable Design Technologies for the myriad of positive contributions that he and his team have brought to the cabling and electronics industry. Certainly, Bryan Cressey (COB) and Fred Kuznik (CEO) have their work cut out in this financially troubled marketplace. However, we believe that the foundation which Mr. Olson helped build, will give them the ability to compete and win, as well as grow and diversify.

Mohawk/CDT and Lead-Free

We have received hundreds of inquiries from contractors and building owners regarding the availability of Lead-Free copper datacom cabling. We are pleased to report that Mohawk/CDT now has a complete line of copper datacom cables that are LEAD-FREE. This includes plenum and non-plenum versions.

It has only been a little more than a year since the PVC compounders offered a Lead-Free jacketing material (at the same price). We understand that AlphaGary, a leading PVC compounder, offers a PVC jacketing compound for plenum and non-plenum, that is free of all heavy metals.

Dealing with the environmentally safe disposal of cables, which contain lead and other heavy metals, is a relatively new set of concerns. Most of the contractors and buyers of datacom cable, were completely oblivious to the hazardous materials which were contained in almost ALL PVC UTP telecommunications cable jackets (plenum & non-plenum). Disposal can become a real problem when we recognize these hazardous materials are a major challenge to handle safely. Our research indicates that there are no reasonable methods to remove the heavy metals from the PVC in the recycling process. The only way to get the lead out, is not to put it in.

Face it, there may be several billion feet of installed cable that contains hazardous materials. In the return air plenum, we face a serious concern for air quality. No definitive study has shown us that the lead and other heavy metals in the FRPVC jackets, are not released (as dust) during the degradation process of the cable jacket. Imagine the liability issues that could arise from the lead-dust in the indoor air system. This could take the "sick building syndrome" to a new and far more dangerous level than mold. Lead is a toxic substance. It doesn't go away. It accumulates in the body.

Lead and TRI Reporting - July 1 Deadline

Many companies that have not had to file Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports in the past will have to start in 2002, because of changes in the reporting rules. July 1, 2002 is the deadline. This is a Federal requirement. Companies that have missed TRI deadlines in the past have faced substantial penalties. Don't wait until June 30.

The new rules apply to companies that handled more than 100 pounds of lead or lead compounds during any calendar year, starting 2001. That is a substantial reduction from the old rules, which started at 10,000 pounds. Many companies, in many industry sectors, use lead in some form. With the new rules, all sources of lead count, no matter how low the concentration may be. The National Metal Finishing Resource Center (NMFRC) has developed a simple, plain language introduction to the new lead reporting rules. You can also find a number of examples developed specifically for the metal finishing industry. But even if you are not a metal finisher, the general introduction to the rules might be a good place to start.

Nexans to supply automotive (LEAD FREE PVC) wires to Ryosei

Nexans, (Paris, France) the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has been awarded a contract by Ryosei Electro-Circuit Systems, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Cable, for the supply of automotive wires to Kyushu factory in Japan. Nexans will supply the Japanese firm with 3000km of AVSS 0.5 SQ per month from February to July 2002. Nexans developed the Lead - Free PVC Wire in June 2001, which passed Ryosei's strict technical tests in November 2001, and signed the contract for the initial order in December 2001. Japanese car manufactures are renowned for their strict technical requirements for suppliers, and it is a real endorsement of the quality of Nexans product to be awarded this contract. Through this contract with Ryosei, Nexans expects to develop its automotive activities by diversifying its customer base in Japan and throughout the rest of Asia. Yvon Raak, President of Nexans' Energy Division, said : "We are delighted and proud to be a partner of Ryosei. This contract reinforces our rive to expand our activities in Asia. The strict tests that we have had to pass to become a supplier of Ryosei are proof of our products' technical performance." Manufacture of AVSS 0.5 SQ began last month at the Nexans South Korea plant in Cheongwon.

Wire® 2002 - Dusseldorf, Germany
April 8 - 12

The March/April 2002 issue of Wire & Cable Technology International Magazine contains an excellent preview and overview of this remarkable trade fair. Michael J. McNulty, Editor, said this may be the world's leading trade event for the wire & cable industry, with more than 1000 exhibitors, this show is only a few percentage points below the record set in year 2000 (with 38,000+ attendees).

This outstanding publication serves manufacturers, specifiers, and users of wire & cable. There is a free subscription available for qualified subscribers.

Telcom Market Growth Predicted

Enterprise spending will drive telecom market growth this year The U.S. telecommunications market for equipment and services will grow by 7.6% in 2002, generating revenues of $713 billion, with enterprise spending driving market growth.

Telecommunications Industry Association(TTIA), President Matthew Flanigan made this prediction after discussing findings of the 2002 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast. "In 2003, we project network infrastructure markets will grow as business and consumer demand for content and collaboration taxes existing network capacity," Flanigan says.The report says the U.S. telecommunications market for equipment and services grew by 7.2% in 2001, generating revenues of $663 billion. Spending on telecom equipment and software totaled $167 billion in 2001, down 2.8% from 2000.

The report states that spending on transport services rose 6.5% to $303 billion in 2001, led by a 23.2% increase in wireless services. Specialized services, which consist of selected high-speed Internet access options (DSL and cable modems), unified messaging, video and audio conferencing reached an estimated $9.2 billion in 2001, up 51.6% over 2000. Each component of this category recorded double-digit growth in 2001, with high-speed Internet access leading the way with a 78.7% gain.

"Although last year brought challenges to communications companies, the industry fundamentals remain solid," says TIA Vice President Mary Bradshaw, project director for the report. "We project high single-digit growth in the U.S. market overall in 2002, led by strong surges in enterprise spending on applications that make businesses more profitable and productive."

Belden is world leader in copper cable sales

Belden Communications may have become the world's largest maker and supplier of external metallic cabling for the telecoms industry.

This new number one position is based on sales volume, according to preliminary estimates for 2001 from wire and cable industry consultants CRU International.

Belden's rise to the top has happened in the past few years. Before that it did not figure in any sector league tables for telecom cables. Sales and marketing director Mark Williams said becoming number one has been the result of continuing growth and a series of acquisitions.

''This is a significant achievement," Williams said, "particularly when you consider our position only a couple of years ago, when we simply didn't register on the telecoms marketplace radar. "And while other cable suppliers have cut investment levels and streamlined their operations, we've continued to invest and to have faith in our product."

Belden, based in America and with manufacturing facilities in Manchester UK, Holland, Hungary, Germany and Australia, acknowledges the rise of fibre optic technology, but believes the need for copper cable in so-called 'last mile' applications will remain for some time.

"Copper will be present for at least the next 20 years and providing for last mile connections will be very important for us," Williams said. This, coupled with continuing moves to open up the rail sector - which include the introduction of a new rail market product designed to improve railway safety - are aimed at keeping Belden at the top of the chart.

Counterfeit Electrical Products Cause Damage to U.S. Markets

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) (Alexandria, VA) held an Electrical Products Anti-Counterfeiting meeting on March 13 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. in order to develop initiatives to combat counterfeit electrical products. Clark Silcox, NEMA Counsel, hosted the Anti-Counterfeiting Meeting. Speakers included Tim Trainer, President of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition in Washington, D.C., Mark Goins from the U.S. Customs Service in San Francisco, Brian Monks of Underwriters Laboratories in Melville, N.Y., and Kenneth Kroot, Esq. from Jenner & Block in Chicago. Speakers indicated that there is a growing number of counterfeit electrical products entering U.S. markets. Most counterfeit products are shipped from China, Russia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The U.S. Customs Service estimates at least 5% of products entering the U.S. are counterfeit. These products are attractive to companies because they generally cost less money. The four types of product counterfeiting outlined in this meeting were:

  • Exact copies of product including trademark and safety marks
  • Copied packaging or similar packaging to confuse consumers
  • Copied safety labels, such as U/L, CSA and others for use on products
  • Copied trademarks that are subsequently placed on electrical products

Counterfeit items are not submitted to safety testing laboratories and may be unsafe. A counterfeit ground fault interrupter was on display that looked like a ground fault interrupter but functioned only as a standard receptacle. ounterfeit Christmas lighting and extension cords were also on display. Items shown contained substandard wiring and therefore possess a much higher likelihood of failure.

Counterfeiting affects the electrical contractor when an unsafe item is installed and results in injuries to persons or property. Product manufacturers are adversely affected by loss of sale and loss of reputation when counterfeit parts fail that have been branded with their company's trademark.

Representatives from electrical manufacturers, product safety testing laboratories and electrical associations showed up to discuss ways to combat the influx of counterfeit products. One idea that was discussed as a first step in stopping the production of counterfeit items is the development of a taskforce. Another method to fight counterfeit products is the possibility of starting a database to keep a record of counterfeiting companies and then making that database public knowledge. Established in 1957, IEC is a national trade association made up of more than 3,000 merit shop electrical contractors with 76 chapters nationwide. IEC is dedicated to promoting the common interests of those engaging in the business of electrical and communications construction. IEC also works to initiate federal legislation that makes the electrical industry safer and stronger.

For more information, contact Codes & Safety Manager John Masarick

South Korea's LG Group will spin off LG Cable Ltd and others

LG Group, one of South Korea's largest business groups, said Wednesday it will spin off four affiliates by the end of 2003 as part of a restructuring plan to focus on core businesses. The group's main businesses include electronics and chemical manufacturing. The companies to be spun off are LG Cable Ltd., LG-Caltex Gas Co ., Kukdong City Gas Co . and LG Nikko Copper Inc. LG Group's founder, the Koo family, will own major stakes in the four companies once the spin-offs are completed, the group said. The four companies will have to eliminate mutual ownership with other LG affiliates to complete the spin-off. As an initial step, the Koo family Wednesday bought a combined 13.5% stake in LG Cable held by other LG Cable Wednesday sold its 4.8% stake in LG Construction Co . to major individual shareholders of LG Group for 15,600 won a share. LG Cable will have to sell its stakes in other listed and unlisted LG affiliates including Dacom Corp. and LG Electronics Co by the end of 2003 the press release said.

Bank to blame for wire mill closure

While the banking industry willing lent money to financial basket cases like Enron, Global Crossing, and 360 networks a small privately owned wire producer was starved on operating capital to the point where the owners of Paulsen Wire Rope Corp. (Sunbury, Pennsylvania) eventually through in the towel. We understand from a source close to the situation that contrary to some publicly quoted companies that continue to operate hiding behind a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing Paulsen Wire Rope Corp. will quietly shut down the operation and liquidate the company assets.

On the media scene

Pennwells Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine March 2002 issue was accompanied by their 2002 Buyers Guide. Almost 200 pages of product comparisons and contact information makes this publication a real value for buyers and specifiers. The PennWell 2002 Buyers Guide is definitely one of the most complete reference sources for premise and campus, voice, data, and video cabling products. The team under Jim Enos, Vice President/Group Publishing Director, has hit a new high mark with this work. The regular issue of CI &M for March, has several very good articles, such as: Structured Cabling: the inside story, Don't get (re) wired when its better to zone out, and The basics of manufacturing UTP cables. There is always the interesting "Ask Donna" column and the "INDUSTRY spotlight" section. Well done to Patrick McLaughlin for this 70 page gem. The team at CI&M just keeps getting better.

Steve Paulov, Editor in Chief of Cabling Business Magazine, has set aside the reins to his world famous Clydesdale horses, and picked up the reins to CBM on a full time basis again. Steve's special touch made Cabling Business Magazine an outstanding publication and the tradition continues. Some workaholics just can't retire. However, when you are as good as Steve Paulov, it can be a lot of fun.

The BICSI Spring Conference (Las Vegas, May 6-9, 2002), will be well covered by representatives from the leading media companies that focus on the communications cabling business: Cabling Systems Magazine (Canada),) PennWell's Lightwave and Cable Installation & Maintenance Magazine, Wireville's "Heard On The Street" e-zine, Electrical Contractor Magazine, Cabling Business magazine, Cabling Standards Update, as well as a host of others.


Draka sees lower net in first half of 2002

Draka Holding NV (Amsterdam) said it expects to achieve a lower net profit in the first half of 2002 compared to the first half of 2001 due to unfavourable developments in the fibre optic telecom market. For the medium term the company said it is well positioned to benefit from the growth opportunities within its specific market segments. In 2001, net rose 21.6 pct to 117.6 mln eur from 96.7 mln a year earlier and EPS was 5.43 eur compared to 4.58 in 2000. The rise in net was in line with the company's own forecast of an increase of at least 20 pct. Draka said it will propose a dividend of 1.63 eur per share compared to 1.37 in 2000.

In 2001 sales climbed to 1.917 bln eur compared to 1.810 bln. In the first half, Draka said sales benefited from favourable market conditions worldwide, in particular in the product group Telecommunication cables and systems. In the second half, the economic downturn that started in the US spread to Europe and had a negative effect on sales.

Draka said it plans to restructure its financing in 2002 by strengthening guarantee capital and replacing part of its short-term borrowings with long-term loans.

Superior Telecom Reports a Loss

Superior Telecom Inc., a Manhattan, N.Y. supplier of wire for the telecommunications industry, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $22 million. Its revenue declined 27%--to $362 million. For the year, the firm had a loss of $32.5 million. Its revenue declined 15%--to $1.7 billion. The U.S. Business Journal and reports on distressed and expanding companies nationwide.

CIENA cust 22% of workforce

Optical networking company Ciena Corporation (Linthicum, MD) has cut 650 people from its staff approximately 22 percent of its total workforce in an effort to return the company to a more profitable state.

Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO, said the company has to adjust to the changes in the telecom equipment market to maintain a leadership position. "Ciena's future success depends on our ability to adapt the way we think and the way we run our business in this dynamic environment," said Smith.

Ciena estimates that the job cuts will generate between US$145 to US$155 million in annualized cost savings, including approximately US$85 to US$90 million in operating expenses. The company expects the majority of the cost savings to be in place by its third fiscal quarter, 2002.

The company, also expects a restructuring charge of between US$125 to US$135 million in association with these job cuts, lease terminations, non-cancellable lease costs and the write-down of certain property, equipment and leasehold improvements. In addition, Ciena expects a charge of approximately US$200 to US$225 million in association with its long-haul transport products and purchase commitments with suppliers.


One way to keep abreast with the ever changing standards to the cabling industry is to subscribe to an informative publicated called Cabling Standards UPDATE .Independently published by Business Communication Services, the Cabling Standards UPDATE continues to be the only quarterly report that covers the latest changes to telecommunications cabling standards for commercial, industrial and residential buildings. These standards are developed by the TR42 Committees in TIA, the ISO/IEC, NFPA, ICEA, SCTE, NEMA, among others, and could be adopted by ANSI. As a user, your understanding of the changes will help you plan and design for the future.

For further information on the Cabling Standards UPDATE (domestic or international), or for secure access to their website, contact Business Communication Services at 800-492-8422 or visit

Berk-Tek has first verified 24-pair CAT5e cable

Berk-Tek A Nexans Company Introduces Power Sum Category 5e, First Third-Party Verified 24-Pair CAT 5e Cable Berk-Tek, (New Holland, PA) a Nexans company, introduced the industry's first ETL third-party verified 24-pair Category 5e Power Sum Cable. The release of Power Sum Category 5e is the culmination of ground breaking, patent pending research into the development of multi-pair cable designs.

''Power Sum Category 5e reopens many uses for multi-pair cables that have fallen out of favor", said Dan Kennefick, copper products business manager for Berk-Tek. "Category 5, 25-pair cable was a very popular design in the early 90's. This design was used primarily in interconnect and zone cabling applications. Since that time, four-pair cable performance has increased to Category 5e, enhanced Category 5e and ultimately Category 6. Unfortunately multi-pair cable designs didn't keep up."

With the introduction of Power Sum Category 5e, Berk-Tek has introduced the first in a series of multi-pair cable designs that will allow many designers, integrators, OEMs and end-users to reconsider the use of multi-pair cables in interconnect and zone cabling applications. Power Sum Category 5e will give designers and users a cable design that will reduce tray and conduit fill rates and allow for the high density switch to switch and switch to panel interconnections.

ITS ETL SEMKO verified the product to meet or exceed the ANSI TIA-EIA 568B.2 Category 5e standard. Category 5e power sum cables are available from Berk-Tek in plenum and nonplenum rated designs.

About Berk-Tek

For more than 40 years, Berk-Tek has been a leading manufacturer of more than 100 different network copper and fiber-optic cable products. The company has led in the development of high-performance and enhanced UTP cables designed to transport high-speed data and voice transmissions. Berk-Tek has three major manufacturing facilities in New Holland, PA, Fuquay-Varina and Elm City, NC.

BELDEN Introduces HOMECHOICE line of composite cables

Belden Electronics Division, a unit of Belden Inc. and a worldwide leader in the development of wire and cable products for a variety of home automation, communications, entertainment, industrial and network applications, announces the HomeChoice line of composite cables for the "Intelligent Home" and "Smart" office/commercial markets. These cables are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) verified to Category 5e structured cabling system standards providing an assortment of services both easily and cost effectively. Through a single HomeChoice composite cable, any room in the home or office can be wired for computer multimedia and networking, cable and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television, telephone services, security and energy management systems and more.

New Graybar Digest provides Information Technology Solutions

The Information Technology Solutions Digest 2002 is now available from Graybar. This 40-page publication provides communications and networking solutions for decision-makers wanting to implement their information technology strategies more profitably.

These solutions incorporate products from industry leaders such as: 3Com, ADC, Allen Tel, Allied Telesyn, APC, AT&T, AWC/US Fiber Optics, Brother, Carrier Access, Command Communications, Ericsson, Fluke Networks, GN Netcom, Great Lakes Case & Cabinet, Harris, Microtest, Minuteman UPS, Mitel, Noyes Fiber Systems, Panasonic, Panduit, Plantronics, Polycom, Southwest Data Products, Tempo, Transition Networks, Tripp Lite, Valcom and Viking. The quality products featured include:

  • Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • Labeling
  • UPS and Surge Protection
  • Tools
  • Headsets
  • Wireless
  • Feature Phones
  • Network Jacks
  • Faxes and Printers
  • Cabinets
  • Media Conversion
  • LAN Furniture
  • Integrated Access Devices
  • Caller ID
  • Patch Cords
  • Emergency Phones
  • Testers
  • Audio Conferencing
  • Software
  • Campus Products

To find out more, request a free copy of the Information Technology Solutions Digest 2002 by contacting your nearest Graybar location or call 800-825-5517.

BERK-TEK appointes Randy Mortensen to direct New Business Development

Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA) A Nexans Company, announced the appointment of Randy Mortensen as director, new business development. Mortensen is responsible for developing business from new vertical market segments such as federal government, global integrators, service providers and targeted telecom OEM's. He will focus on fiber business and be responsible for both the USA and Canada. He will work out of his Chicago area office and report directly to Paul Trunk, Sr. VP Sales and Marketing. "Randy's professional qualifications and interpersonal skills will be a great asset to our organization," said Trunk. "I am confident that he will help strengthen our fiber business in North America by developing new market strategies."

Mortensen brings extensive datacomm industry experience to the position with more than 15 years with a leading structured cabling systems manufacturer. Previous positions range from product engineering and management to foreign markets business development to the Executive Management level. Mortensen graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He earned his MBA from Loyola University Chicago. He is a BICSI credited RCDD, and a certified Fiber Optic Association CFOT.

Nexans Opens New Holland Competence Center International R&D Facility

Nexans, (New Holland, PA) announced the opening of the New Holland Competence Center (NHCC), an international state-of-the-art research and testing and design facility. It joins Nexans' worldwide network of ten R&D sites, all dedicated to the applications of advanced research.

In a globalization of business units, NHCC serves Nexans' Cabling Solutions Product Line (CSPL) worldwide. The lab is located in New Holland, PA-the site of Berk-Tek, a Nexans company, headquarters and copper data cable manufacturing facility. The NHCC continues to add new capabilities throughout the year, with the initial focus on advanced product design and applications and materials development.

The NHCC will strive to develop solutions to exceed customer demands on product performance and reliability. The center is equipped to support customer and marketing demands, by focusing on three technology areas: design and applications, materials development and production extrusion processes. By developing advanced materials that will be utilized in enhanced products, NHCC will work to increase market demand for high-end cabling solutions and reduce time to market on strategic products.

An Advanced Systems Laboratory and network test bed allows the mix and match of network components under a variety of simulated conditions. The laboratory will differentiate the quality and performance of Nexans' Cabling Solutions and is equipped to generate and simulate different network protocols and configurations. A broad range of analysis tools aids in the development of cabling solutions that enable more robust network operations.

The Advanced Materials Development Laboratory will characterize and fingerprint material prototypes and add analytical capabilities that facilitate developing superior materials and processes. An international team of experts with diverse backgrounds in wire and cable and networking fields support NHCC. Eric Lawrence, LAN cable competence center manager, oversees the NHCC and coordinates with other Nexans units in the global R&D network.

Nexans will improve technology intelligence by maintaining a reliable technology roadmap to serve as a tool for commercial, business and technical decisions. The roadmap will interleave the technical information from market research, standardization efforts (such as TIA and IEEE) and Nexans' customers and partners with information developed through the NHCC R&D and modeling efforts.

Such Competence Centers as the one in New Holland, form a strong R & D network of applied research, centralized by the Nexans Research Center (NRC) in Lyons, France. The expertise of the centers cover business areas including Telecom and Data, Energy Cables, High Voltage, Components, Modeling and Characterization.

Fluke Networks now offers the flexibility and cost-savings of a common link adapter technology for the OMNIScanner™ and DSP-4000 Series

Fluke Networks, Inc., (Everett, WA) announced its new Universal Permanent Link Interface Adapter (OMNI-LIA101S) for the OMNIScanner™ Series, designed to deliver repeatable, accurate test results in full compliance with the latest industry standards for field testing of twisted-pair cabling installations. Using the same proprietary test adapter cable design as the DSP-4000 CableAnalyzer™ Series, the OMNI-LIA101S exceeds Level III accuracy, providing the same repeatable test results delivered by the DSP-LIA101S.

"Repeatability and consistency of results are absolutely vital when testing Category 6 links. Twisted pair constructions used by other suppliers can't come close to matching the stability of this design," said Mark Johnston, RCDD, Copper Products and Standards Manager for Fluke Networks. "The tight margins of today's Category 6 links allow no room for variability in the link adapter. By adapting its Universal Permanent Link Interface Adapter design to work with the OMNI Series, Fluke Networks guarantees superior performance and repeatability no matter whether you choose an OMNIScanner or a DSP-4000 Series tester."

The new Universal Permanent Link Interface Adapter for the OMNIScanner Series features the same interchangeable personality modules as the DSP-4000 Series to support the broadest range of Cat 6 connector systems without the need to buy a separate adapter. Each OMNI Universal Permanent Link Interface Adapter includes a Personality Module for Cat 6 use, plus additional Personality Modules are available for improved performance with a range of manufacturers' jacks.

The OMNI-LIA101S Universal Permanent Link Adapter is an optional accessory for the OMNIScanner2. The OMNIScanner2 comes standard with a Cat 6 Permanent Link Adapter with a protective covering. The Cat 6 Permanent Link Adapter provides excellent performance, but its fixed plug is limited to a set number of compatible Category 6 cabling systems. The optional OMNI LIA101S Universal Permanent Link Interface Adapter allows the freedom to support the wide range of available Personality Modules, and also guarantees consistent results between measurements taken with either OMNIScanner or DSP-4000 Series products.

Pricing and Availability The Universal Permanent Link Interface Adapter (OMNI-LIA101S) set ships with a DSP/OMNI-PM01 personality module for $600.00 and is available now. Additional Personality modules are sold for $130.00. All prices are U.S. list. For additional information about this new enhancement, please call Fluke Networks at 1-800-253-7813 or visit

About Fluke Networks

Fluke Networks provides innovative solutions for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks and the installation and certification of the fiber and copper forming the foundation for those networks. The company's comprehensive line of Network SuperVision solutions™ provide network installers, owners, and maintainers with superior vision, combining speed, accuracy and ease of use to optimize network performance. Fluke Networks is headquartered in Everett, Washington with engineering centers in Boston, Mass., Colorado Springs, Colo., Phoenix, Ariz., Dallas and Austin, Texas. The company has over 500 employees worldwide and distributes its products in more than 50 countries

Avaya's New SYSTIMAX® GigaSPEED® XL Cabling Solution Delivers Unprecedented Performance for Voice, Data and Video in Enterprise Networks

Avaya Inc. (Basking Ridge, NJ), a global leader in voice and data networks, announced its new SYSTIMAX® GigaSPEED® XL Solution that guarantees electrical performance that is 400 percent better than the ISO/IEC (Class E) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Category 6 draft standards for network performance in Local Area Networks (LANs).

The GigaSPEED XL Solution is the newest addition to the family of SYSTIMAX® Structured Cabling Solutions (SCS), an open, modular cabling solution that is capable of simultaneously carrying data, voice, video and intelligent building management applications.

Because noise (Near-End Cross Talk or NEXT) is significantly reduced in the cable and throughout the channel, the GigaSPEED XL Solution allows even more reliable transmission in voice, data and video communications traffic in enterprise networks. Avaya has combined the company's precision quality control manufacturing processes with proprietary design tools such Modal Decomposition Modeling, Connector Field Pattern Modeling and Cable Twist Accuracy Technology to achieve the industry-leading performance of the GigaSPEED XL Solution.

"The GigaSPEED XL Solution has set a new performance benchmark in the LAN cabling industry," said Luc Adriaenssens, director of SYSTIMAX research and development, Avaya. "Our proprietary design tools enable us to analyze, design and deliver a cabling solution that allows enterprise network operators to significantly reduce network downtime and transmission errors by addressing issues of poor component performance or mismatched cabling and components."

The GigaSPEED XL Solution delivers NEXT electrical performance six decibels (dB) beyond the draft Category 6 standards with the GigaSPEED® XL7 (71 Series) Solution and 7dB beyond the draft standards with the GigaSPEED® XL8 (81 Series) Solution. While the current draft standard specifies only four connections per channel, the GigaSPEED XL Solution will support the use of six connections in any length channel and still deliver a minimum of 4dB NEXT margin. This combination of performance and flexibility gives customers the freedom to design their networks to their specifications.

The GigaSPEED XL Solution Portfolio The SYSTIMAX GigaSPEED XL Solution portfolio is available as the GigaSPEED XL7 Solution or the GigaSPEED XL8 Solution with new 71E Series Cable and the 81A Series Cable, respectively. Components in this offer include new patch panels (PATCHMAX® GS3, 1100GS3 or iPatch™ GS3), a new information outlet (MGS400), and new patch cords (GS8E Modular Cord Family, VisiPatch™ GS3 Patch Cord).


The BICSI 2002 Spring Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 6-9,2002. BICSI invites you to attend this outstanding international telecommunications event being held at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The Spring Conference will be an exciting educational and networking opportunity. Don't miss it!

BICSI Training and Manuals Approved for Government Purchase

BICSI a telecommunications association, is now a registered provider for the General Services Administration (GSA), the chief buying agent for the United States government. The GSA awarded BICSI a five-year fixed-price contract that can be used by military and government employees to purchase training courses, technical manuals, conference fees, and registered installer or technician exam fees.

Government purchases account for approximately 50% of BICSI's annual training revenue. BICSI provides low-voltage training to more 7000 students annually, directly from BICSI or from a BICSI Licensed Training Center. "In addition to open enrollment courses, we provide on-site training to U.S. military bases at least once a month," said BICSI Training Manager, Richard Dunfee, RCDD/OSP Specialist. "Our master instructors travel frequently to Germany, Japan, and Korea to teach base personnel the specifics of telecommunications cabling design and installation."

The organization sells approximately 12,000 reference manuals in paper or CD-ROM format each year, and is currently translating this material into six languages. The GSA schedule is valid in the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, and for all U.S. government and military installations worldwide. For a complete schedule of BICSI products and services covered by the GSA contract, view the catalog and price list under Training/Education on the BICSI Web site at

BICSI is a not-for-profit professional association dedicated to advancing the careers of telecommunications infrastructure designers and installers and serving the industry with standards-based technical publications, training, registration exams, and educational events. BICSI currently has 20,000 global members and has conferred the prestigious RCDD® (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) designation to 6200 members and registered more than 12,000 installers and technicians in the Telecommunications Cabling Installation Training and Registration Program.

Web-based Spaces and Pathways Course New at

BICSI, the professional telecommunications association, now offers online training that provides a better understanding of the content and context of ANSI/TIA/EIA-569, Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces.

Designed as an introductory level course, BICSI's Telecommunications Infrastructure Spaces and Pathways, provides learning modules on horizontal pathways, work area, telecommunications room, equipment room, entrance facility, main terminals space, noise and special considerations, and firestopping. The self-paced course can be completed in approximately two hours. Students who successfully complete the online exam will earn two BICSI CECs.

BICSI's first Web-based course, The Residential Telecommunications Cabling Standards Understanding ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-A, is a two-hour course based on ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-A. The fee for each of these interactive courses is US$100 for current BICSI members or US$175 for non-members.

More than 7000 students annually participate in BICSI's instructor-led telecommunications cabling infrastructure design and installation courses. BICSI anticipates 400 enrollments in its Web-based training this year.

For details on BICSI's training programs, contact BICSI +1 813-979-1991 or toll free USA/Canada 800-242-7405, or visit the association's Web site at

BICSI Schedules Three Pre-Conference Workshops at Spring 2002 Conference

BICSI, an international educational association for telecommunications infrastructure designers and installers, will hold three six-hour workshops on May 6, prior to its 2002 Spring Conference at the Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

"We recognized the need for more in-depth training than can be accomplished in our conference sessions," said Richard Dunfee, RCDD/OSP Specialist, training program manager for BICSI. "Workshop presentations are highly successful at our annual cabling installation event, and we anticipate our members and registered installers will appreciate this addition to our conference format."

Each workshop begins at 9:00 a.m., and will be in a more intimate setting, allowing the instructors to present complex issues and encouraging audience participation. Workshop fees are US$49 for conference attendees and US$99 for those not registered for the conference.

"Pulling the Pieces Together," presented by Cory Boon, RCDD/LAN Specialist, and Steve Kepekci, RCDD/LAN Specialist, techformatique, inc.; Chris Clark, RCDD/LAN Specialist, NetCBT; and Bernard Kassah, CATS Co., will create a scenario of a fictional business moving to a new premise and the networking and LAN challenges that result. This workshop will offer 6 CECs to RCDDs and RCDD/LAN Specialists.

"The Aerial Fiber Optic Network: Design, Deployment and Specifications," presented by Mark Boxer and Guyton Swindell, RCDD, of Alcoa Fujikura, Ltd., will provide the designer with options in designing aerial plant using fiber optic media. RCDDs and RCDD/OSP Specialists can earn 6 CECs for this event.

The Installation Workshop will feature the following three topics presented by BICSI Master Instructors: "Testing Enhanced UTP" by Ed Phillips, RCDD, and "Firestopping: More Than its Name Implies" and "UTP vs. ScTP" by Scott Smith, RCDD. BICSI Registered Installers, Level 2, Technicians and RCDDs will received 6 CECs for this workshop.

Additional pre-and post-conference activities include committee meetings, the RCDD and specialty exams, and BICSI's award-winning infrastructure design and installation courses. Courses and exams require separate registration fees and are not included in the conference registration.

The BICSI Spring Conference is a premier event for voice, data, and video cabling infrastructure professionals from around the world. In addition to the pre-conference activities, the conference will include 18 general sessions and more than 150 industry exhibiters presenting new products and services in the morning and evening expo. The expo attendance fee is $25 nightly for visitors not registered for the conference.

BICSI seeks board nominations

BICSI is seeking nominations for Board of Directors officers for the 2003-2004 terms. Office open for the 2002 election are:

  1. Secretary
  2. Region 2 director
  3. Region 4 director
  4. Region 5 director
  5. Region 7 director

Nominations must be received by May 1. These include a BICSI nomination application, background check authorization and letter of corporate support. The forms can be downloaded from the BICSI Web site or can be requested via mail by calling BICSI at +1 813 979-1991 or 800-242-7405. Each application will be reviewed and evaluated by the Nominating Committee. Application does not guarantee an applicant's selection as a candidate. Candidates will be announced by June 2002. The election will be held by electronic ballot in September and October, with results announced in November 2002.

Elected BICSI officers are expected to attend three BICSI annual North American conferences, two region meetings, and a board planning session held each December. Board members are also given committee assignments that will require their arrival at each conference site several days in advance of the actual conference. They will be expected to participate in a minimum of four board conference calls each year. All of the above activities will be at the expense of your corporation. BICSI is based in Tampa, Fla. For more information visit

More Product News

Belden Launches HomeChoice(TM) UL-Verified Composite Cables for Home Automation

Belden Electronics Division, a unit of Belden Inc. (Richmond, IN) a worldwide leader in the development of wire and cable products for a variety of home automation, communications, entertainment, industrial and network applications, announces the HomeChoice line of composite cables for the ''Intelligent Home'' and ''Smart'' office/commercial markets. These cables are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) verified to Category 5e structured cabling system standards providing an assortment of services both easily and cost effectively. Through a single HomeChoice composite cable, any room in the home or office can be wired for computer multimedia and networking, cable and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television, telephone services, security and energy management systems and more.

''HomeChoice cables allow contractors to meet the demands of homeowners and builders for high-tech cabling solutions,'' said Bill Miller, Director of Marketing for Belden Electronics Division. ''Other manufacturers may include Cat 5e data cable components, but their finished cable performance may be compromised when they are built into a composite cable. In contrast, Belden cables provide Cat 5e verified performance as part of the HomeChoice composite cable.''

''When you put it all together our product line offers everything from the most comprehensive, high-performance cables on the market to solutions for value-priced applications,'' Miller said.

NECA Safety Expert System Software upgrade released

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)(Bethesda, MD) has just released an upgrade to its best-selling Safety Expert System software. Version 2.1 incorporates a new module that helps users comply with recent injury and illness record keeping requirements implemented by OSHA (U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It simplifies maintenance of records at a central location, while meeting OSHA privacy protection requirements.

This latest software release also includes new material dealing with OSHA training requirements for forklifts and powered industrial trucks, plus an update to "Preparing for Emergencies," which addresses terrorism concerns arising from the events of September 11.

NECA's Safety Expert System software is a comprehensive tool and reference that helps construction companies develop their own corporate safety programs in compliance with applicable OSHA regulations. It covers topics ranging from basic safety to fall protection to vehicle safety.

The National Electrical Contractors Association, founded in 1901, is the leading representative of a segment of the construction market comprised of over 70,000 electrical contracting firms. The industry employs over 650,000 electrical workers and produces an annual volume of over $95 billion. NECA includes 119 U.S. chapters in addition to others in countries around the world. The association sponsors the NECA Show, renowned as the industry's premiere event, which features cutting-edge technologies, highlights new trends, and provides courses to help contractors broaden their knowledge and skill. NECA is dedicated to enhancing the industry through continuing education, labor relations, current information and promotional activities.

Siemon Co. opens France operation

The Siemon Company has opened a sales, marketing and technical-support office in Paris, France. The opening of this office is the most recent step in The Siemon Company's expansion into Europe.

France is the third largest European market, and predominantly requires shielded connectivity. The Siemon Company plans to market several lines of shielded products which meet these needs, including the MAX and TERA shielded connectors.

''We are confident that The Siemon Company offers exactly what the French market is looking for today," says Carl Siemon, president of The Siemon Company. "We bring our long-established reputation for product innovation and excellence to an expanding market that is eager for a high-quality end-to-end cabling solution."

"The Siemon Company will fill a void that currently exists in this region for quality, high-speed telecommunications connectivity," says Chris Marks, general manager of Siemon's new French office. Based in the new high-tech Paris Axe France building, adjacent to the new Francois Mitterand library in the growing eastern Tolbiac quarter of Paris, The Siemon Company-France is now open with a team of telecommunications specialists who are ready to address distributor, installer, consultant and end-user IT concerns and needs for improved networking capabilities.

Intertek finalizes audit agreement

Intertek Testing Services (ITS) has finalized an agreement with the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation that will enable the company to provide clients with single compliance audit for A2LA ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and ISO 9000 registration.

ITS, a registrar for ISO 9000 and ISO 14001, provides environmental and quality management systems registration services for an array of domestic and international standards, including TL 9000 (telecommunications). ITS is based in Boxborough, MA. Manufacturers with testing laboratories that require corporate registration to ISO 9000 and laboratory accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard may now realize a more efficient, cost-effective process.

"As accreditation is a formal recognition of technical competence, many market leaders requiring ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for their suppliers' in-house testing facilities," says Ken Campanale, director of sales for ITS. "Similar to the ripple effect of QS-9000 and TL 9000, we saw the trend of total supply chain quality and accountability making its way to the in-house lab. Consequently, we began to work with the A2LA to ease the auditing load for our clients."

The agreement allows for specially trained ITS assessors to conduct initial, surveillance and renewal audits of clients' in-house testing laboratories and commercial laboratories for conformance to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 9000.

Tyco Electronics and iTRACS Corporation Form Strategic Alliance To Develop Intelligent Structured Cabling Solution

Tyco Will Supply, Promote and Install iTRACS Network Monitoring System

Tyco Electronics (Harrisburg, PA) and iTRACS Corporation (Chicago, IL) announced a strategic relationship to develop, market and sell an intelligent structured cabling solution combining Tyco Electronics AMP NETCONNECT premises cabling systems with iTRACS real-time infrastructure management system. The joint solution will enable enterprise customers to minimize network downtime, reduce IT staff workload, and streamline moves, adds and changes (MACs) by automating the management of the physical layer. It also provides security to the physical layer as well as a complete up-to-date documentation set as the basis for troubleshooting and disaster recovery preparedness.

In addition to this alliance, the agreement includes provisions for sales, marketing and fulfillment of the iTRACS active monitoring equipment and iTRACS enabled premises wiring by Tyco Electronics. Tyco Electronics will promote the solution, to be launched in May, to customers building new facilities as well as those seeking the addition of intelligent network management capabilities to existing installations.

There is a growing demand in the marketplace for intelligent structured cabling, and aligning with iTRACS Corporation will enable us to meet that demand with a mature sixth-generation network monitoring system that offers more flexibility and functionality than most competitive product, said Charlie Fox, General Manager for the AMP NETCONNECT group of Tyco Electronics. By allowing us to tap into the retrofit market as well as our installed customer base, iTRACS Corporation gives us the ability to reap the maximum business benefits from our entry into the infrastructure management space.

This alliance with Tyco Electronics is a powerful validation of our technology that gives us access to a huge customer base, one of the largest sales and distribution channels in the industry, and a network of installers, said Tom Reedy, CEO and President of iTRACS Corporation. It is the strongest evidence yet of the appeal of real-time network monitoring in general and our solution in particular as a means of increasing network uptime, IT staff efficiency and end user productivity. This relationship also strengthens our ability to better meet the needs of our growing base of enterprise and major account customers.

The iTRACS infrastructure management system consists of a series of sensors, patch cords and analyzers that are installed on top of the enterprise-cabling infrastructure. The system self-discovers the network topology in data centers, comms rooms and wiring closets; automatically detects both authorized and unauthorized changes; utilizes patent-pending technology to quickly pinpoint wiring trouble spots; alerts IT staff to problems via alarms, emails, pages, user-defined scripts and/or photos; and issues work orders or trouble tickets to initiate corrective action. All iTRACS circuitry is isolated from the network, ensuring that the system does not impact data flow or network performance.

About iTRACS Corporation

iTRACS Corporation develops IT infrastructure management products that enable network and communications managers to efficiently and effectively track and manage their IT investment along with the change control process. iTRACS has over a decade of experience and one of the world s largest teams dedicated to this rapidly growing market. Known as Cablesoft Technologies until January 2001, iTRACS is headquartered in Chicago, with development offices in Tempe, Ariz. The company has sales offices across the U.S. and the United Kingdom; sales, engineering and manufacturing facilities in Singapore; and distribution partners throughout the U.K., Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.


AMP NETCONNECT, a strategic part of Tyco Electronics, develops, manufactures, and supplies a comprehensive range of communications infrastructure products and systems for customers in government, education, healthcare, finance, manufacturing and technology markets. Having established itself as the preeminent provider of commercial premises structured cabling systems for optical fiber and twisted-pair copper technologies, Tyco Electronics has broadened its AMP NETCONNECT product portfolio to include a complete line of residential cabling solutions. Coupling this spectrum of industry-standard offerings with its superior customer service,the AMP NETCONNECTgroup is well positioned as a single-source system provider to meet the disparate communications infrastructure needs of commercial and residential customers.

About Tyco Electronics

Tyco Electronics is one of the major business units of Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC, LSE:TYI, BSX:TYC). Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, Tyco Electronics is the world s largest passive electronic components manufacturer, and a world leader in cutting-edge wireless technologies, fiber optic active components, and complete power systems. The company has facilities located in 51 countries serving customers in the aerospace, automotive, computer, communications, consumer electronics, industrial and power industries. Tyco Electronics provides advanced technology products from over thirty well-known and respected product brands, including Agastat, Alcoswitch, AMP, AMP NETCONNECT, Buchanan, CII, CoEv, Critchley, Elcon, Elo TouchSystems, HTS, M/A-COM, Madison Cable, OEG, Potter & Brumfield, Raychem, Schrack, Simel and TDI Batteries.

CALENDAR April 2002

Next Generation Networking 2002
April 23-25
Burlingame, CA

2002 NCSA (National Systems Contractors Assoc)
April 25-27
Denver, CO

ICC 2002 (IEEE Int Conference on communications')
April 28 - May 2
New York, NY

Networld & Interop
May 5-10
Las Vegas, NV

RCDD, OSP & LAN classes/exam
May 2 - 6
Las Vegas, NV

BICSI Spring Conference
May 6 - 9
Las Vegas, NV

AIA 2002 National Convention & Expo
May 9 - 11
Charlotte, NC

Communications Solutions 2002
May 14 - 16
Boston, MA

NFPA World Safety Conference & Exposition
May 19 - 23
Minneapolis, MN

Academy of Learning - Fibre Optics Training Course
May 13 - 17
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


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