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Heard on the Street Index

Issue: September 2002

By: Frank Bisbee


Headline News

Featured Story


Page 1
  Wednesday, October 09, 2002
Copyright ©


Remembering 9/11

The events of September 11, 2001, changed many lives in profound ways. The television images of this horrific event were witnesses by more people than any other event in recorded history. Most of us had seen the attacks live on television. We knew we were watching thousands of people being killed.

The tragedy still doesn't seem real. In the days immediately following the 9/11 attacks, we realized that the devastation was hard to describe because our emotions were running very high. The fact that the World Trade Center buildings actually collapsed brought many new concerns regarding our vulnerability. In the year since this tragedy, we have reviewed this event many times in our hearts and minds. How can we make this a safer and more secure world? This challenge should remain a priority as we go about our business in the communications world.

The hidden hazard of Polyolefin insulation in plenum spaces

A few years ago, we experienced a market supply shortage of FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene). During this scarcity, cable manufacturers turned to alternative constructions (for plenum cable) using 1 or 2 pairs of the 4 pair construction insulated with Polyolefin. It was cheaper and it was available. When the shortage was over, virtually all manufacturers returned to the low fuel load construction of all 4 pairs insulated with FEP.

Today, we see Polyolefin hybrid constructions creeping back into the plenum market - because it is cheap - not because of a shortage. Tests conducted under realistic fire conditions demonstrate that Polyolefin insulated cables burst into flames within seconds after contact with an ignition source. The fuel load on this material ranks right up there with gasoline. Think of it like this: 3 x 1 (3 FEP x 1 Polyolefin) = 25% gasoline. This is not a step towards improved safety, even if is passes the CMP rating.


The 51st International Wire & Cable Symposium (IWCS/FOCUS) ( )will be held Nov 18 - 21, 2002 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL. This is the same property where BICSI held their last few winter conferences. If you are planning on attending, you may wish to seek lodging outside of the Disney complex. The rooms at the Coronado are comparable to the Red Carpet Inn and the amenities and food services at this resort are virtually non-existent. Don't forget the rooms on the other side of the lake are almost in another time zone. You don't want to make that hike without a compass and a canteen. On the positive side, Orlando has beaucoup golf courses; and Epcot, Universal Studios, and Sea World are very nice.

Our review of the IWCS program revealed several good presentations on fiber and a keynote speech by the President of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). On the copper side of the agenda, there was an obvious omission of any presentations on safety or security. There are no presentations dealing with the new Safety Cable - Limited Combustible - CMP-50. The issue of removing LEAD and hazardous materials from cabling goes hand in hand with the removal of abandoned cable. This scenario goes directly to the heart of the cabling industry. It is about the right of the public to be free from harm, not about techno games with the cone calorimeter. It is more than a fire safety issue; it is a health safety issue.

It is time for the cabling industry to wake up and smell the coffee. The most recent national statistics, compiled in 1994, showed 4.4% of US children with elevated levels of LEAD. This problem has been under study for over a decade. And, we still can't remove the LEAD in the PVC recycling process.

The TURI (The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute) report on Environmental, Health and Safety Issues in the Coated Wire and Cable Industry, is a serious wake up call. The TURI Technical Report No. 51 (April 2002) is available on the Internet. ( ) More than likely, time will not shrink accountability for Lead Poisoning. Lawyers are long on memory and short on forgiveness.

Cabling Design Technologies (CDT) which owns Mohawk/CDT and NORDX/CDT and many other cabling businesses, made a move to assure that their fine family of cabling products are LEAD-FREE as soon as the technology was available. Purchasing and Specifying Mohawk/CDT cable will get you a safety bonus at no extra charge!

What does the distributor bring to the table? Value, Quality Control & Assurance, and the purchasing clout of a "Big Hitter". Recently we overheard a contractor telling two distributor sales representatives (one from Rexel and one from CSC), how he had saved money by buying his cable and connectors directly from the Internet. I sat by quietly and wondered which one of the major distributors had rejected that load of cable materials and returned them to the manufacturer. If you connected all of the product that fails to meet the tough standards of the distributors, it would stretch to the moon and back each year. There are many hidden benefits that the distributors bring to the table. While buying directly may seem like a smart shopper move, you may have just bought somebody else's rejects. Also, you can be assured that the distributors have more influence than the individual buyer with the manufacturers. Face it; they buy truckloads to your boxes. [Refer to the golden rule: " He who hath the gold, makes the rules"] Don't get suckered into a technical catastrophe by low-ball pricing. Remember: Quality and Service is the keystone to the distributors value for the contractor.

Anixter's 2002 National Seminar Series
Events will inform you about topics such as convergence, fiber optics and trends in network performance. Earn BICSI credit for attending!


Many reliable affiliated independent electrical distributors

Question: Why are you buying and installing CAT 6 cable and connectors?

The most frequent response to this challenging question is: " We are building in a barrier to obsolescence and improving our network performance". This act of future proofing is taking place more frequently than anyone expected during these difficult economic times. A serious cost analysis most often exposes real savings in this engineering strategy. A few basic rules ensure that you will maximize your network value.

1) Document your spec & purchase

2) Label and record your cable installation and layout

3) Test and certify the performance of the network components

4) Sit back and grin because you now have a re-usable asset, instead of an expense that holds no future value

To understand the evolution of CAT 6 testing we turned to FLUKE, ( the number one testing equipment and Software Company in the world of network cabling.

Go To Article: The Evolution of CAT 6 Field Testing by Mark Johnston, RCDD, FLUKE Networks

Cabling Systems Magazine welcomes new Editor

Vaios Petsis, Publisher of Cabling Systems Magazine, announced the appointment of Paul Barker as the Editor of Cabling Systems Magazine. ( ) Paul is an experienced industry journalist and has already plunged into the world of cabling. Keep an eye on this publication. They are on the move and the publication just keeps getting better. Cheers!

Cabling Business Magazine continues to hang in there

Their August issue cover story "High Design" about state of the art in-floor copper & fiber cabling systems, is another example of the quality material in this industry publication. Don’t forget all you have to do is subscribe to this free publication and sit back while the valuable information is delivered each month. Reading IS required.

ACP ??? (Association of Cabling Professionals, Inc.) has gone into long term hibernation. This organization and corporation is no longer active. Recently, we have had numerous inquiries regarding invoices from ACP. We did not send them. We don't know who did. Don't pay that invoice until you know who it is from

Superior Telecom could default

Mired in debt and plagued by a continuing industry downturn, Superior Telecom faces a Sept. 15 deadline to either pay up or renegotiate its credit agreement.

The company warned in its second-quarter earnings report, that there is no assurance an agreement can be reached and the company could default on its loans.

The company also faces a Sept. 30 deadline to renegotiate a $160 million short-term financing arrangement, which it has, in effect, drawn to the limit.

Superior Telecom has three main businesses - magnet wire, which includes Fort Wayne and Kendallville plants; building wire, which has operations in Columbia City; and communications cable, which is based in Atlanta. Its Superior Essex OEM unit is headquartered in Fort Wayne.

Shrinking sales to telecommunications customers contributed to a second-quarter loss of $25.3 million, more than 10 times the $2.3 million it lost during the same period last year. The company's second-quarter loss per share amounted to $1.18, compared with 11 cents.

Superior's second-quarter revenue of $391.8 million was down 20 percent from the $486.8 million in revenue it reported for the second quarter of 2001.

Because of its lackluster operating performance and reduction in cash flow, the company said it has depended heavily on its ability to borrow to finance its activities.

The company's second-quarter loss included $19.1 million in unusual charges for plant closings and operational restructuring activities. For the quarter ended June 30, 2001, it

reported $200,000 in unusual charges.

Excluding unusual charges, Superior Telecom would have lost $13 million during the second quarter, compared with earnings of $3 million for the same period last year. On Wednesday, Superior Telecom replaced the president of its Superior Essex group. H. Pat Jack succeeded Christopher Mapes, who resigned. A day earlier, the company restated its first-quarter earnings state to include a $425 million charge for goodwill impairment. The accounting change pushed the company's losses from $21.2 million for the period ended March 31, to $445.7 million.

Superior TeleCom Inc. is the largest North American wire and cable manufacturer and among the largest wire and cable manufacturers in the world. Superior manufactures a broad portfolio of products with primary applications in the communications, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and electrical wire and cable markets. The company is a leading manufacturer and supplier of communications wire and cable products to telephone companies, distributors and system integrators; magnet wire for motors, transformers, generators and electrical controls; and building and industrial wire for applications in construction, appliances, recreational vehicles and industrial facilities. .

UL designated a Certified Independent Test Laboratory for Verizon's Passive Fiber-Optic Components Certification Program

Underwriters Laboratories (UL®) the worlds foremost independent testing and certification organization and a leader in fiber-optic testing, has been selected as the first Verizon-certified Independent Test Laboratory (ITL) to extend its passive fiber-optic component (PFOC) testing to in-house facilities under Verizon's certification program. UL was certified in July 2002 to observe and conduct PFOC testing at manufacturers' facilities and also conducts Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS) testing as a Verizon-certified ITL.

The expansion of UL's Verizon ITL certification enables UL to perform in-house testing on fiber-optic connectors at its new North American Optic Network Test Centers in Melville, New York, in accordance with Telcordia CR 326 CORE requirements. UL underwent an extensive audit, which included an assessment of its testing equipment and documentation systems, as well as interviews with technical staff and demonstrations of their technical expertise in conducting testing. UL also developed a customized PFOC test report format to Verizon specifications. The Verizon ITL program requires sophisticated testing equipment and highly skilled technicians.

Verizon's ITS program allows manufactures to use a single testing house for different aspects of fiber-optic testing, and to avoid the need to invest in costly testing equipment at their own facilities, said Steve Galan, Manager of UL Wire and Cable Services in Melville,

NY. UL's new capabilities to provide in-house testing to Verizon technical specifications and requirements will help shorten manufacturers' time to market.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. ( is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products for more than 108 years. More than 18 billion UL Marks appear on products each year, and more than 18,000 types of products are tested at UL's five U.S. laboratories. Worldwide, the UL family of companies and its network of service providers include more than 45 laboratory, testing and certification facilities.

Maryland Underwater Cable Plan Called Risky

Maryland lawmakers raised stern objections yesterday to a California company's plan to thread 310 miles of fiber-optic cable under the Chesapeake Bay, sending a strong signal that political leaders have started to sour on such speculative high-tech ventures.

Four state legislators raised concerns about the project's potential environmental risks, but their deepest jitters were reserved for the telecommunications industry as a whole. A year ago, Maryland politicians were embracing all things telecom. Today, in the wake of the financial collapse of WorldCom Inc. and Global Crossing Ltd., they're more inclined to keep their distance. "The bloom is off the rose," said Del. C. Richard D'Amato (D-Anne Arundel). "Given the implosion of the telecom industry, we've learned that there are substantial downsides to the New New Thing," he said. "The New New wasn't as good good as we would have liked."

In a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, D'Amato and three other Anne Arundel lawmakers asked that the federal agency halt its review of the fiber-optics project so that the General Assembly can first study its environmental impact and economic viability.

The request to stretch half-inch-diameter cables along a path between Baltimore and Norfolk came from Clearstream Communications Inc.

Clearstream's chief executive, Frank Petro, said his company intends to offer small businesses between Baltimore and Norfolk the chance to access a high-speed telephone and Internet system at rates far lower than those offered now. He says research shows the demand is abundant. But the Maryland legislators have their doubts.

"A plethora of fiber optics have been laid in the recent past around the globe and within the state of Maryland which are not being utilized, nor have any near-term prospect of being utilized," says the letter from D'Amato, Dels. Michael E. Busch and Virginia P. Clagett and Sen. John C. Astle, all Democrats.

In addition to their unease about fiber optics, D'Amato said he is also worried about the potential for any environmental consequences. Yesterday, for the first time, he and other lawmakers and local activists saw a public notice from the Army Corps of Engineers that explained how Clearstream intends to sink the cables 10 feet beneath the bay and below half a dozen local rivers.

"It seemed ludicrous," said Steve Carr, an environmental consultant to the city of Annapolis. He objected to such a large-scale project being approved without public input. But Milt McCarthy, an Upper Marlboro environmental consultant hired by Clearstream, said environmental concerns are unfounded. He said the cables would follow a route chosen over more than a year of meetings with state and federal agencies designed to avoid any possible damage to valued natural resources.

McCarthy said no harm would come to fish-spawning areas, oyster seed areas or underwater grasses. What's more, added Petro, the cables can accommodate water monitors that would allow the state to constantly check for pollution and other environmental damage. If the project is not delayed, Petro predicted that work would begin in 2003 and take three to four months to complete.

Fluke Networks' New Worldwide Promotional Campaign Targets IT Approvers and Managers; Network Installers & Maintainers

Vista Sweepstakes is the largest promotion in company's history

Fluke Networks, Inc., (Everett, WA) announced a new worldwide sales campaign targeting new and existing users of handheld cable and network testers. The Vista Sweepstakes promises contestants a chance to win the trip of a lifetime, with three Grand Prize trips to some of the great "Vistas" of the world: Grand Canyon (USA), Eiffel Tower (France), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), or Mt. Fuji (Japan). Products included in this promotion include the DSP-4300 and OMNIScanner2 Cable Analyzers, OneTouch Network Assistant, NetTool Inline Tester and LinkRunner Network Multimeter.

Fluke Networks pioneered the handheld cable and network test tool category nearly a decade ago, yet we continue to talk with networking professionals everyday whose only means of troubleshooting is swapping cables and parts or pulling plugs in the wiring closest to determine the source of a performance problem, said Bill Dunn, vice president of marketing, Fluke Networks. We've designed the Vista program to reach out to the

approvers and managers of those network installers and maintainers who work with little in the way of tools to assist in everyday troubleshooting. We're convinced that once they see the increased productivity and enhanced network performance that our handheld cable and network testers yield, the chance to win a vacation will seem like a secondary reward.

Fluke Networks is also sponsoring a Vista Sweepstakes for its distributors. If a distributors customer enters their name when registering and wins a trip, the distributor will win a home theater system. Plus, there will be six portable DVD player winners drawn each month for the distributor that has customers entering their name most frequently when registering. Additionally, distributors are guaranteed to win a 35mm camera for signing up for the program and taking a web virtual product tour themselves.

We've built this market through indirect channels and so it's important to recognize the value of our sales partners in this continuing effort to grow our business, adds Dunn. "It's rewarding for us to extend our latest promotion to our growing list of distributors around the world."

The program runs through January 31, 2003. To enter to win, visit and take a virtual product tour.

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 Colorado Springs, Colo., Dallas and Austin, Texas. The company has over 400 employees worldwide and distributes its products in more than 50 countries.

Anixter Levels Lab Receives 3rd UL ® Certification

The Anixter Levels Lab (Skokie, IL) has successfully completed a third rigorous, independent engineering and management system audit under UL's (Underwriters Laboratories ® Certificate Services. The Anixter Levels Lab remains the only facility of its kind in the world to be recognized by UL ® to receive this certification.

The audit, performed as an adjunct service under UL's Performance Verification Program, provides certification to research facilities that demonstrate advanced engineering, sound scientific practices and superior product testing capabilities.

Andrew Jimenez, Anixter's Laboratory Director said, "We created several new procedures since last year's audit. These are twenty-page formal documents that allow each technician we add to the staff to precisely duplicate the work of any other. We also have full-time staff continuously developing unique lab testing software. While these continuous process improvements increase the precision of our tests, they also increase the rigor of requirements needed to meet UL certification."

According to Steve Galan, UL's Wire and Cable Business Sector Coordinator, the purpose of the Certificate Services' audit is to ensure end-users that companies such as Anixter are committed to the quality of the products and services that they provide.

"UL's audit determines whether or not a company has a documented laboratory-quality program, as well as the equipment, personnel and procedures necessary to conduct rigorous laboratory testing on an ongoing basis," said Galan. "Once again, we found Anixter's Levels Program is based on sound engineering and scientific principles."

Demonstrations of nearly 100 categories of performance were randomly examined and evaluated by a committee of auditors. This was followed by interviews, a review of staff background profiles, equipment calibration checks and demonstrations of actual test

processes. Follow-up audits are used to verify continued compliance and traceability, both in documentation and procedure.

Pete Lockhart, Anixter's Vice President of Technology, says that UL's prestigious certification underscores the significant contributions the Anixter Levels Lab makes to the entire telecommunications industry.

The Anixter Levels Lab, located in Mt. Prospect, IL, analyzes manufacturing quality and performance levels of network cabling and components, such as patch cords, NIC cards and switches. Anixter's Levels Lab contains miles of copper and fiber optic cable,

hundreds of different connectors, patch panel ports and patch cords. The equipment allows Anixter to simulate many data cabling systems. Through this recreation and simulation of key network parameters, the Levels Lab can analyze performance expectations and problems.

Corning Cable to cut 220 more jobs

Corning Cable Systems announced another blow to the layoff-battered Hickory area when the company said it would cut 220 more jobs. Corning will phase out those jobs by the end of the year, leaving the company's facility at 1928 Main Ave. S.E. empty, said Debra Turner, senior vice president of human resources and administration. Corning hasn't decided whether it will sell the building, a facility used for cable research, development and engineering, Turner said.

This announcement was the latest in a series of job cuts at Hickory's high-tech manufacturers, furniture makers and textile firms. Those losses have sent the Catawba Valley's unemployment rate climbing to its highest level in more than a decade.

Unemployment in the Unifour -- Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties -- reached 9 percent in July, up from 8.4 percent in June, according to preliminary data from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

With area unemployment rates already more than double what they were five years ago, a traditional July unemployment spike -- associated with plant slowdowns around the July Fourth holiday -- has boosted unemployment to its highest level since July 1991, when joblessness reached 11.5 percent, according to ESC figures.

CommScope and Alcatel, the other major cable makers in the area, also have laid off hundreds of workers in recent months -- bringing industry job losses to more than 3,200.

Corning's Monday announcement came just weeks after the company said it would cut 520 Hickory-based jobs. Company officials said then they couldn't rule out further local cuts in light of plans to eliminate 4,000 jobs worldwide at Corning, N.Y.-based Corning Inc. The company saw a $90 million net loss last quarter amid a slowdown in sales of telephone gear.

Sales of Corning products, which are used by phone companies, TV cable businesses, hospitals and universities, have dropped by half in the past two years, the company has said.

After this round of cuts, the company will have roughly 1,500 workers in the Catawba County area -- less than half its 3,500-person Hickory-area work force in early 2001.

Pirelli Adds Riser-rated Ribbon-in-Central-Tube Cable Design

Pirelli Communications Cables and Systems North America has added to its lineup of industry-leading fiber optic cables with the introduction of FusionLink(TM) Riser cable, a Riser rated RCLT(TM) (Ribbon-in-Central-Tube) cable for indoor-outdoor transition applications, in fiber counts of 12-216. The cable's flame retardant jacket provides excellent protection from environmental hazards and meets NEC Riser Rating OFNR (UL 1666) standard for reducing the vertical spread of fire. The compact RCLT(TM) design of FusionLink(TM) Riser cable allows efficient packaging of higher fiber counts in a cable that is light and easy to handle during installation. Pirelli's placement of the strength member in the cable design also contributes significantly to handling ease, making Pirelli RCLT(TM) cables a favourite with installers in the field.

Tyco Electronics Announces AMP NETCONNECT Fiber Optic Cable

Tyco Electronics announced that it will provide a line of fiber optic cable to support its AMP NETCONNECT end-to-end cabling system solutions. The fiber optic cable, branded under the AMP NETCONNECT label, is manufactured to industry specifications and Standard requirements. The AMP NETCONNECT cables are also fully interoperable with all AMP NETCONNECT components. "The inherent advantages of the all-fiber network are well-known. What's lesser known is that the cost effectiveness of an all-fiber network, even at first installation, rivals that of traditional copper networks," says Herb Congdon, global fiber product manager with Tyco Electronics. "Combining the quality, cost and availability of the AMP NETCONNECT fiber cable and connector technology with the complete line of AMP NETCONNECT copper products provides a true one-source supply for all premises cabling networks." The AMP NETCONNECT Fiber Optic cable will be backed by the standard AMP NETCONNECT 25-year warranty. Tyco Electronics is the world's largest passive electronic components manufacturer; a world leader in cutting-edge wireless, active fiber optic and complete power systems technologies; serving customers in the aerospace, automotive, computer, communications, consumer electronics, industrial and power industries. Tyco Electronics has broadened its AMP NETCONNECT product portfolio to include a complete line of residential cabling solutions.

Tellabs Sees Loss, Will Cut 800 Jobs

Telecommunications equipment maker Tellabs Inc. (Naperville, IL) warned it expects to post a third-quarter loss due to lower spending by North American telecommunications companies and said it will cut 800 jobs worldwide, or 14.5 percent of its work force.

Analysts on average were expecting break-even results for the quarter, according to research firm Thomson First Call. Tellabs, which employs about 5,500 people, estimated third-quarter sales will fall 15 percent to 25 percent from $345 million in the second quarter.

By first quarter 2003, Tellabs said it expects to cut quarterly operating expenses to $145 million from $165 million. It expects to generate annualized operating savings of $80 million in 2003.

As a result of its restructuring actions, the company said it will record one-time charges of about $70 million in the third quarter. It also expects to take an impairment charge for facilities and investments of about $40 million.

FOA offering trainer certification through 'train-the-trainer' program

The Fiber Optic Association ( is now offering a "train-the-trainer" program for teachers and instructors that leads to a new certification for fiber optic instructors. This program prepares instructors for creating and teaching hands-on courses for fiber optic technician training and lab courses for university-level programs.

"The FOA was founded on the basis of education," says Jim Hayes, president and a co-founder of the organization. "However, we are not a training organization ourselves; we offer no courses for students. Since the beginning, we have focused on improving the availability of high quality education in fiber optics through program development and approval of training courses. With our new train-the-trainer program, we are working to alleviate the shortage of qualified instructors in fiber optics and offer to experienced instructors the opportunity to become a 'CFOI' - Certified Fiber Optic Instructor."

The program has been developed by college professors John Highhouse of Lincoln Trail College, a past president of The FOA, and Tom Collins of Northern Kentucky Technical College with the assistance of the FOA Board of Technical Advisors. John and Tom bring their experience as educators to this program which focuses as much o how to teach fiber optics as it does what to teach.

The FOA program includes classroom and laboratory (hands-on) sessions. The program is appropriate for instructors at professional training organizations, company trainers and educators from university level down to technical high schools. It can be incorporated in programs focused on telecommunications, IT (information technology) or computer networking. Each attendee gets a copy of the FOA-developed training program and a number of supplementary materials designed to help them develop and teach their own programs. Instructor certification is only available to those who successfully complete the course.

NECA Wins Highest Honor for Public Awareness Campaign

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) awarded the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) its highest honor, the Summit Award, at its annual convention in Denver, August 18-21. NECA, one of only eight selected from hundreds of entries, won for its acclaimed public awareness campaign, Born for Safety. Born for Safety also won a Gold Circle Award from ASAE in May 2002.

A part of ASAE's Associations Advance America program, the prestigious Summit Award is given annually to honor outstanding associations and suppliers that take action to improve the quality of American society through their exemplary volunteer activities. The program recognizes the best of association leadership in confronting critical education, safety, human needs, and other challenges facing our country.

"Our goal was to give something back. The Born for Safety program achieved that, touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the country and we are proud to receive this honor from ASAE," said NECA Senior Vice President and COO Dan Walter during the award ceremony in Denver.

Born for Safety was a massive public service project, conceived of as a way to commemorate NECA's 100th anniversary in 2001. The program, designed to remind parents that the power of electricity should never be taken for granted, received the blessing and support of then Chairman Ann Brown of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

During the month of May, National Electrical Safety Month, NECA chapters distributed nearly four million electrical outlet safety caps to hospitals around the country. The caps were packaged in child safety kits, which contained a dozen safety caps along with general electrical safety and home protection tips, and were given to families of newborn babies.

For more information please visit

About NECA

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. To learn more about the industry or NECA's services, please visit .

CDT Announces Retirement of Chief Financial Officer

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) (NYSE: CDT) announced that Ken Hale, the company's Chief Financial Officer, intends to retire effective December 31, 2002. Mr. Hale is leaving DT to pursue his long-standing goal of circumnavigating the world under sail.

Mr. Hale will remain with CDT through the end of the calendar year to ensure an orderly transition and will oversee all remaining financial responsibilities for the fiscal year ended on July 31, 2002, and for the first quarter of fiscal year 2003. Hale will also attend the company's annual shareholder meeting in December.

CDT has engaged a recruiting company to identify and recruit a suitable candidate for Chief Financial Officer. Fred C. Kuznik, CDT's CEO commented that, "We are disappointed to lose the services of Ken, who served as the company's CFO for the last 15 years. I have full confidence that Ken and our financial staff will handle the transition in a smooth fashion pending the retention of a new CFO. We anticipate identifying and retaining a new CFO prior to the end of the calendar year."

About CDT

Cable Design Technologies is a leading designer and manufacturer of high bandwidth network connectivity products, assemblies, components, and communication cable products used in wireless and local loop applications. CDT also manufactures electronic data and signal transmission products that are used in a wide range of specialty applications.

Ken - Thanks for doing a great job all these years. Your conservative guidance protected CDT in this time of turmoil for corporate America. May the sun shine on your face with a gentle breeze at your back.

Continued Growth for the Global Cabling Market

The world market for structured cabling—local area network copper cable and multimode fiber cable—is anticipated to grow by 4.4% per year for the next four years, according a recent report released by the U.K.-based market research firm, BSRIA.

Analyzing 37 countries worldwide, the report found the U.S. to be the most important region with 41% of the market share, then Western Europe—led by Germany and Great Britian—and thirdly, the Asia Pacific, with strong markets in China and Australia. With regards to greatest growth potential over the next couple years, China and India top the list.

BSRIA researchers also found that Category 6 cable has broken into most countries, and currently accounts for 25% of the market in large countries.

World Market for Structured Cabling in Premises,”

OFS announces LASERWAVE XL EXtended REACH 10 Gb/s multImode fiber

First Multimode Fiber to Assure Extended Reach of 10 Gb/s Applications Beyond 300 Meters with Low Cost 850 nm Lasers

OFS, designer, manufacturer, and supplier of leading edge fiber optic products, introduced LaserWave XL 10 Gb/s multimode fiber. LaserWave XL fiber supports distances up to 600 meters with low cost 10 Gb/s 850 nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs).

The 10 Gb/s 850 nm reach of LaserWave XL fiber is 600 meters with 0 dB connection loss, 550 meters with up to 4 LC connections, and 500 meters with 4 SC or ST® connections.

"OFS is able to provide extended reach by imposing very stringent Differential Mode Delay requirements on LaserWave XL fiber," said Peter Pilon, Vice President, Technology and Customer Focus at OFS" Sturbridge, Massachusetts facility. "Furthermore, the OFS MCVD process allows accurate control of the refractive index profile across the core and in the core center, which is critical to attaining the LaserWave XL level of performance."

LaserWave XL fiber provides optical system cost savings of 20% for typical installations of 550 meter links compared to single-mode fiber based systems. The large multimode core diameter of LaserWave fibers enables the lowest system cost from 10 Mb/s through 10 Gb/s by easing alignment tolerances in the optics throughout the system.

LaserWave fibers also extend reach for 1 Gb/s applications and support legacy lower speed applications. LaserWave XL fiber is the first fiber to support the OF-500 channel length described in the international cabling standard, ISO-11801 2nd edition – Customer Premises Cabling, with 10 Gb/s 850 nm applications.

"In addition to its other immediate benefits, LaserWave fibers now allow low cost multimode systems to support ultra long building backbones and many campus backbones, significantly cutting costs for our customers," said Janice Haber, Vice President Marketing and Systems Engineering, OFS.

LaserWave XL fiber joins LaserWave 300 and LaserWave 150 fibers, the world's first 10 Gb/s 850 nm laser optimized multimode fibers, which have been shipping in volume since December 1999.

About OFS

OFS is a designer, manufacturer, and supplier of leading edge optical fiber, optical fiber cable, optical connectivity and specialty photonics products for high-speed optical networks. OFS, formerly the optical fiber solutions division of Lucent Technologies [NYSE: LU], has a proven track record of being first in the industry with application specific fibers, optical connectors, ribbon cables, erbium doped fibers, Raman fiber lasers and more. OFS is committed to providing customers increased value by offering products that deliver lowest cost per bit network solutions, protecting investments through future flexible solutions.

OFS distributes its optical fiber, optical fiber cable, optical connectivity and specialty photonics products directly to end users, as well as through valued distributor partnerships and external cable customers and equipment vendors.

OFS is comprised of two shareholders including Furukawa Electric, a multi-billion dollar global leader in optical communications and majority shareholder, and CommScope, a world leader in broadband coaxial cables and minority shareholder. Headquartered in Norcross, GA, OFS operates facilities in Avon, Connecticut; Carrollton, Georgia; Omaha, Nebraska; Somerset, NJ; and Sturbridge, Massachusetts, as well as facilities in Denmark, Germany, Russia and Brazil.

For more information

Uncle Ted's Guide Is Back - And Better Than Ever!

"Uncle Ted" and Uncle Ted's Guide to VDV Cabling, the simple but complete online guide to structured cabling, is back and better than ever. Uncle Ted's Guide can now be found at

Uncle Ted was created as the mascot of "Cable U," the structured cabling training program started by Fotec, Inc. Jim and Karen Hayes of Fotec used Uncle Ted as the basis of a series of training programs and web pages that explained structured cabling clearly so everyone could easily understand it. The previous online version of Uncle Ted's Guide had millions of downloads.

Uncle Ted is now working with Jim and Karen's new company, VDV Works LLC, which creates technical content for training and websites. The new, updated version of Uncle Ted's Guide to VDV Cabling is online at It's been updated and expanded to include the latest technology like Category 6 and will continue to grow to keep pace with new cabling developments.

The wonderful world of Millie-Tie

Millepede International Limited is a developer and marketer of fastening solutions which have the potential to become industry standards.

The company holds a range of patents that relate to soft plastic ties and hard plastic fixings, together with plastics hardening and molding processes.

The flagship soft tie strip, the Mille-Tie, is currently being used and distributed by some of the Datacom industry's key global gatekeepers. This is because the Mille-Tie has offered real innovation. Millepede developed the product as a waste free fastener, because all of the plastic strip can be used and re-used, but also to address problems caused by cable damage. Modern cabling, fiber and Cat6 especially, require careful cable management. Considerable cash outlay on installations can be compromised by cheap fasteners applied in the wrong way. The Mille-Tie utilizes "intelligent grip, where the self-adjusting flexible latch, naturally controls the force applied. Cables are held firmly without pinching.

The Mille-Tie's versatility is also appreciated by installers, and importantly has no sharp edges when cut. Millepede is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) where it entered the market oversubscribed, a year ago.

The company was originally founded in England, which was the original base of ideas. The founders however chose to develop and manufacture their products in the U.S.

The company maintains an international flavor with sales in the UK and continental Europe, the USA, Australasia and Japan. Millepede has received awards on both sides of the Atlantic, maintaining a central commitment to innovation.

For more information contact Millepede US Inc., on 888-815-6455, or visit where you can order a free sample and information pack.

The BICSI (an International Telecommunications Association) fall Conference was held in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year the weather was milder than last and almost rain free. We noticed a full representation of the regular corporate attendees, however the size of their individual teams had been reduced considerably. We are all feeling the pinch of these difficult economic times. The exhibit hall offered an excellent opportunity for the attendees the view new products and meet with most of the top purveyors in our industry. We heard the attendee count was somewhere between 1100 and 1800, but we have not verified this count with BICSI. After attending several committee meetings, we have to tip our hat to the various committee chairmen. These committees can get pretty intense. Special recognition should go to Phil Janeway, Codes Committee Chairman. That meeting included a massive amount of maneuvering by "Special Interests" groups with commercial agendas. From comments by Al Feaster, Executive Director, and various other board members, BICSI is clearly focused on the important issues revolving around education, technology, safety and security. We support the BICSI commitment in this post 9/11 world.

Good News - BICSI has moved the location of their winter conference in January, 2003, to The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, FL. Many members commented that they were less than impressed with the "Spartan" facilities at the Coronado Springs Resort, the location of the past few BICSI winter conferences. The new conference site offers a substantial increase in amenities, however the nightly rate is more expensive than the Coronado.

Here is a description from their website:

Few other places can summon such an immediate response as the atrium of Gaylord Palms Orlando Resort Hotels & Convention Center. You'll be awestruck by the resort's signature glass dome, where the Florida experience is showcased in all its glory --- from the history and old-world charm of St. Augustine to the colorful and festive island spirit of Key West, to the mysterious waters and cypress of the Everglades.

Set in the style and grandeur of a turn-of-the-century Florida mansion, Gaylord Palms Orlando Resort Hotels & Convention Center offers:

Four acres of themed experiences under glass, including innovative restaurants, fascinating shops and live entertainment.

A top-notch guest experience, with all of the services and amenities you'd expect from a world-class resort hotel and convention center.

State-of-the-art and expansive convention, meeting, and exhibition space, designed with the meeting planner in mind.

The largest spa in Central Florida, a leading-edge fitness and health facility, and a championship golf course at Falcon's Fire.

Special activities for children including the La Petite Academy® Kids Station, only 5 minutes away from the main gates of Disney, offering daily activities.

All while delivering a truly unique and exciting Florida experience unlike anything that has ever been seen before.

Cabling Installation Expo/BICSI Cabling Workshop

Since 1996 Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine and BICSI®, an international telecommunications association, have partnered to present the latest developments in cabling installation solutions, products, technology, services and innovations in an industry-leading conference and show environment. The Cabling Installation Expo focus brings together cabling installation professionals and contracting company management working in the design, installation, maintenance and trouble-shooting areas of premises and campus communication infrastructure systems. Three days of expert BICSI training and presentations. Plus the latest products on display at the Cabling Installation Expo, presented by Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine. Don't miss it! October 22 - 24, Providence, RI.


Networld+Interop and Comdex

Sept 9 - 12
Atlanta, Georgia

BICSI Canada Conference

September 16-19
Quebec City, Quebec

Planet PDA

Sept 24 - 27
San Francisco, CA

CEDIA Expo 2002 (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association)

September 25-29
Minneapolis, MN

INTERNET Telephony

Oct 1 -3
San Diego, CA

Cabling Installation Expo/BICSI Cabling Workshop
October 22-24

Providence, RI

2002 ACUTA Fall Seminar

Oct 20 - 23
Marriott City Center, Denver, CO