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Heard on the Street Index

Issue: OCTOBER 2002

By: Frank Bisbee

& Diane Santarelli


Headline News
 

Featured Story

 

BITS N' PIECES

The past month has been painful. The stock market looks like a slinky going down the stairs. Corporate confidence is anorexic and many organizations have adopted a wait and see attitude about hiring. And now, for the bad news. War looms on the horizon. I can't think of anything good to say about war.

The State of the "Distributor Union" is in a very difficult business climate. Manufacturers, factory sales reps, independent reps, distributors and contractors are all having to deal with a highly competitive battle for their piece of the shrinking market.

We see side deals made and promises reneged upon on a daily basis. Long established relationships that were built on loyalty, honesty and partnership between distribution and the customer continue to erode. "Value added" has been trumped by "lowest price" which often results in lower quality of products and services.

Luckily, some distributors like CSC (Communications Supply Corp.) (www.gocsc.com) have continued to grow and take market share. They continue to introduce new products and services in an effort to differentiate themselves from the "low price" suppliers. CSC has been a real success story. The company is healthy and responsive. How many distributors have actually opened new branches in the past three years since the market tanked? Most have closed branches while they drown in excess inventory and poor receivables; the result of a false security promised by the Public Network/ ISP industry which shut down almost overnight. Their write-offs boast such well known Wall Street Sweethearts as Exodus, Global Crossing, Bechtel, WorldCom, PSINet, etc. The list could go on forever of those that have vanished or are valued at a fraction of their 1999 inflated value.

As the famous investment firm slogan goes, " We build our business the old fashioned way, one customer at a time". Anixter, Accu-tech, Graybar, CSC and Rexel have tightened their belts and trimmed their expenses without subtracting the quality or the service. These companies will continue to build a strong foundation of solid customers one branch at a time by providing exceptional contractor value. Look for the leading distributors to carry cabling products that are safer and more environmentally preferable. The new Limited Combustible Cable (LCC) is an example of this new trend.

Who's HOT and who's not !

"Accu-Tech has opened Kingston N.Y., Raleigh N.C., Charleston S.C., just last year and Detroit this year, with Dallas being opened next month- no closings, in fact every location is in the black ytd. We thank our relationships with Suppliers and Customers (and our loyal, hardworking employees ) for our success in this tough business climate." said ,Bill Lorey,V.P .

Accu-Tech, one of the top distributors in the communications industry, has continued an amazing growth in spite of the harsh business climate.

We see this pattern to continue and accelerate as business conditions improve.

www.accu-tech.com



In the world of Higher Education

ACUTA - The Association of Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education paves the way for applications of telecommunications technology in higher education. The October issues of the ACUTA (www.acuta.org ) newsletter contains the following article on some important decision factors for selecting cable.

Cabling - Asset or Liability

by: Diane Santarelli

Web Editor - wireville.com

Today, the demand for faster networks is intense. Communication cabling is constantly undergoing changes and upgrades. Managing the MAC activity (Moves, Adds & Changes), can be a real nightmare. In most cases cabling records are "as built" only. Cabling is an asset without established value or records. New codes and standards will force most users to improve their specifications, management techniques and records, or pay a severe penalty.

The 2002 NEC (National Electric Code) requires that abandoned cable shall be removed from return-air plenum and riser areas, to reduce the fuel load and smoke in case of a fire. What is considered an abandoned cable? Article 800.2 of the NEC code defines Abandoned Communications Cable as: “Installed communications cable that is not terminated at both ends at a connector or other equipment and not identified for future use with a tag. “ A clear explanation of this code and its implementation remains elusive.

Plenum cables deserve special attention since they must pass the most stringent fire safety test, NFPA 262/UL 910 Steiner tunnel test. A recent report by NFPA (National Fire Protection Assn.) revealed that there is a significant accumulation of fuel load in the plenum. Communications cables are the single largest contributor to plenum fuel load. Re-cabling occurs on average every three years and the old cabling is usually left in the plenum.

In 1991, there were approximately 5 billion feet of plenum cable in place. One industry expert noted that in 1997 the estimated length was 30 billion feet of plenum cable and by 2000 the estimated growth showed the potential of 45 billion feet. And it keeps on growing.

Plenum rated communication cable (CMP), is primarily insulated with FEP and jacketed with FRPVC. FRPVC (fire resistant polyvinyl chloride) became the dominant jacketing material during a shortage of FEP almost 15 years ago. Recently, concerns over FRPVC have prompted risk assessment research. The vinyl chloride industry is heavily regulated from an environmental, health and safety perspective.

FRPVC was found to contain high levels of lead, as well as plasticizers with harmful phthalates. Additionally, FRPVC generates dioxins (a known carcinogen), when burned. Recycling efforts have made major progress, however, they still cannot remove the lead. Lead compounds make up 2- 5% by weight in cable insulated or jacketed with PVC. The plasticizers / phthalates used to make the PVC flexible are carcinogenic and harmful to the environment, If landfilled, PVC eventually releases its harmful additives, threatening ground water. We predict additional life-cycle costs will be added to PVC in the future>

FEP (Fluorinated ethylene propylene) is an ultra stable material that requires 95% oxygen to burn (at approximately 1550 degrees F). Remember air contains only 20% oxygen. From an environmental and health safety point of view, unlike PVC, FEP contains no lead, no phthalates, and is not a carcinogenic material. FEP is also a highly efficient electrical insulator, which makes it well-suited for high-speed data cable. As far as a fuel hazard is concerned, FEP ranks right in with concrete. Today, we see a new limited combustible safety cable (LCC) in production by most of the major manufacturers. The burn tests are even more stringent than the CMP requirements. Most LCC safety cable is insulated AND jacketed with FEP, and it is 100% recyclable. This new classification is additive and has been established to provide users with an option for more fire and environmental safety when selecting plenum cables.

In the world of higher education, cabling is a big responsibility. Removal can cost almost as much as installation. Ignorance is not bliss. Know what type of cabling is being installed in your facility. http://www.acuta.org

For more information:

http://web.anixter.com

Environmental, Health and Safety Issues in the Coated Wire and Cable Industry, Technical Report No. 51. A report by The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

http://www.turi.org/PDF/Wire_Cable_TechReport.pdf


$$ Present in education market LAN's

Penwell Publications continue to deliver the goods for the cabling industry. The Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine October 2002 issue contained an excellent item on the education market. CI & M forecasts a continued hot arena for LAN technologies in the world of education. www.cable-install.com

Education market will continue to be hot arena for LAN technologies

Despite budget challenges, the education market will continue to be a hot arena for LAN networking technologies, according to In-Stat/MDR.

In-Stat/MDR's report, Making the Grade: Challenges & Opportunities in Education Broadband Networks, examines broadband access in educational environments in the US, including both K-12 and higher education markets.

The high-tech market research firm reports that, even though K-12 and higher education institutions alike are facing neutral or shrinking budgets, escalating Wide Area Network (WAN) bandwidth needs and the development of the campus network remain an important component of education IT budgets. As a result, future activity in the education markets will range from the implementation of Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop, through campus wide WLAN deployments, and enabling enhanced distance learning through streaming video.

The education market will continue, as it has in the past, to be a harbinger of what is to be in Local Area Network (LAN) networking, according to the report.

"Robust connectivity is an increasingly important attribute for educational institutions for streamlined administration, as well as enhanced educational opportunities," says Amy Cravens, an analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "Some schools are even using their technological prowess as a differentiator used to attract students."

As schools are increasingly restricted by tighter budgets, they are investing in new types of technologies like middleware products that aid in bandwidth management and traffic shaping to help direct bandwidth for its intended use and reduce network drain from non-academic traffic. VoIP is being investigated as a cost savings alternative to traditional analog PBX, according to the report.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

* The penetration of high-speed Internet and broadband networking into the K-12 and higher education markets is rapidly approaching ubiquity, with over 90% of K-12 schools supporting some type of broadband access and 95% of higher education institutions having such access.

* The education market is rapidly migrating to an optical fiber backbone. Compared to other industries, the education vertical is the most advanced in terms of introducing a fiber backbone, with the finance/banking industry looming a distant second. Currently, 16 % of the K-12 and 30 of the higher education network backbones are comprised of Gigabit and 10

Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

* There is a large market opportunity to serve off-campus locations with broadband access. Many universities are attempting to broaden the reach of their network, either to remote labs/hospitals or university owned off-campus housing. Additionally, there is the opportunity to connect Greek housing and non-university owned housing for students.

In-Stat/MDR is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information visit

www.instat.com.


Fluke Networks Introduces the First Certifying OTDR for Testing and Troubleshooting Fiber Optic Links in LAN's

The new OptiFiber Certifying OTDR is first to address growing demand for certification in fiber networks

Fluke Networks, Inc., (Everett, WA) announced the worldwide availability of the new OptiFiber Certifying OTDR the first field OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) to integrate loss/length certification, auto OTDR analysis, and end-face inspection to meet the rigorous test demands of gigabit, 10 Gigabit and higher speed applications. OptiFiber advances the testing of premise fiber optic cabling, providing all the individual tests and documentation required to ensure the cable plant was correctly installed in accordance with best professional practices and new proposed TIA standards.

Recently, TIA TR-42.8 approved a project to clarify testing of optical fiber cabling. The scope of the bulletin to be written includes two tiers of testing that can be chosen by a designer to be specified in a project. Tier 1 accommodates loss and length testing with an optical loss test set (OLTS) and polarity verification by means of the OLTS or a visual fault locator (VFL). Specifying Tier 2 testing includes the parameters of Tier 1 and also an OTDR trace of the installed cable plant. By incorporating the proposed two-tier testing method, installers have the most complete picture of the fiber installation and network owners have proof of a quality installation.

"Fiber testing is evolving similar to copper cable testing, explains David Coffin, general manager for Infrastructure SuperVision Solutions at Fluke Networks. Initially connectivity was the primary concern. Later, insertion loss testing was required. Now with 100 Mb/s to the desk and higher speeds in the backbone, the fiber infrastructure is being stressed and pushed to the limits. Certification that the fiber is properly installed and terminated is essential to guarantee acceptable performance. And as with copper, documentation of all measurements is usually required."

A Complete Solution for LAN Fiber Certification

OptiFiber certifies and documents LAN fiber networks by integrating two-fiber dual-wavelength loss/length certification, auto OTDR trace analysis, and end-face inspection. It then automatically delivers the results in a single fiber certification report that can be archived or printed to leave at the jobsite. As proof that a fiber is properly installed and terminated, OptiFiber's certification report documents:

Length and dual wavelength insertion loss to comply with industry and customer standards

Visual ChannelMap diagram to quickly verify correct link configuration

Optical events and OTDR traces to identify and correct problems

High-resolution fiber end-face images to grade termination quality

"More and more high-speed fiber installations are requiring certification beyond mere loss and length testing before turning over the cable plant. We are finding that we need to measure insertion loss and deliver an OTDR trace to provide a complete picture of the network, says Marco Mercado, Fiber Optics Manager for Compel (www.compel.com), a technology service provider in Phoenix, Ariz. OptiFiber combines both these capabilities in one instrument. Allowing me to give my customers a comprehensive view of their network with all the test results captured in one professional report."

OptiFiber Leapfrogs Existing OTDRs

In addition to its ability to certify and document like a DSP-FTA and OMNIFiber adapter, OptiFiber improves upon traditional long-haul OTDRs by adding features designed for testing fiber in premise networks. Such networks are characterized by relatively short lengths of multimode fiber, many physical connections and short patch cables. OptiFiber's advanced multimode optical modules feature short event deadzones to accurately pinpoint events spaced as closely as one meter apart. ChannelMap automatically generates a visual representation of the entire channel, including all the patch cords and connectors, all the way across the campus. OptiFiber also incorporates an optional video microscope to inspect, grade and document the quality of connectorized fiber endfaces. With minimal training, OptiFiber users can quickly determine what's on the link and troubleshoot all potential problems with one tool.

Comprehensive Records Management and Reporting

Concurrent with the release of OptiFiber, Fluke Networks is also introducing LinkWare, a comprehensive test data management and documentation program. LinkWare makes it easy to sort and store OptiFiber test data from multiple testers or jobsites in a single database.

Pricing and Availability

Orders for OptiFiber products are now being taken from Fluke Networks distribution partners worldwide. The initial shipping interval is four to six weeks after the order is received. The OptiFiber is initially offered in three models: the OptiFiber OTDR with multimode Auto OTDR analysis and ChannelMap features for $13,995; OptiFiber Advanced OTDR adds power meter capability for $14,995 and the OptiFiber Certifying OTDR solution includes a matched pair of units (for each end of the link) and FiberInspector probes for $39,995. All prices are U.S. list. LinkWare PC reporting software ships with all Fluke Networks certification products at no additional cost.

For more information on OptiFiber, contact Fluke Networks, P.O. Box 777, Everett, WA USA 98206-0777; call 1-800-283-5853; fax (425) 446-5043; e-mail info@flukenetworks.com; or visit http://www.flukenetworks.com. In Europe and the Middle East: call 00800 632 632 00 or +44 1923 281 300

In Canada, call (905) 890-7600 or fax (905) 890-6886. From all other countries, call Fluke Networks, Everett, WA, USA, at (425) 446-4519, or fax (425) 446-5019.

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.


CDT Promotes Charles Mazur to Director of Investor Relations, Strategy and Business Development

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) announced that Charles Mazur, Director of Investor Relations will assume additional responsibilities of Strategy and Business Development. In his expanded position, Mr. Mazur will spearhead business development activities.

"Chuck brings a background that is ideally suited to strategy and business development and is a natural extension to his current investor relations responsibilities," said Fred Kuznik, Chief Executive Officer of CDT. "We are very excited about the opportunities that are present within our industry and are confident in Chuck's abilities to play an integral part in shaping the strategy of CDT."

Cable Design Technologies (www.cdtc.com) is a leading designer and manufacturer of high bandwidth network connectivity products, fiber optic cable and connectors, assemblies, components, computer interconnect cables for communication switching applications, and communication cable products used in wireless, central office and local loop applications. CDT also manufactures electronic data and signal transmission products that are used in automation and process control and specialty applications.

Charles Mazur, Cable Design Technologies, +1-412-937-8898


Alpine group takes over Superior's electrical wire and cable business

The Alpine Group, Inc.(www.alpinegroup.com) that already owns 49% of Superior Telecom Wednesday announced the signing of a Letter of Intent to purchase the assets of Superior Telecom's electrical wire business and its 51% equity interest in Superior Cables, Ltd.. The purchase price is $85 million in cash plus assumed liabilities and a warrant to Superior to purchase 20% of the common stock of the entity to be formed by Alpine to own and operate the electrical wire business. The completion of the sale is expected prior to November 30, 2002.

The purchase is subject to certain conditions, including completion of a process implemented by a Special Committee of independent directors of the Board of Directors of Superior to solicit the interest of other potential buyers of the assets, now proposed to be sold by Superior to Alpine. The execution and completion of a definitive purchase agreement and certain regulatory matters. Approval of the sale was contained within an amendment to Superior's senior secured bank credit agreement, which also included a substantial reduction in principal amortization and adjustments to financial covenant requirements for Superior through 2003.

Steven S. Elbaum, who is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Superior, as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alpine, will resign as Chief Executive Officer of Superior effective on December 31, 2002 or upon the earlier appointment of a successor. Thereafter, Mr. Elbaum will continue as Superior's Chairman. Mr. Elbaum's resignation will allow him to commit more time to managing Alpine's business, including the assets to be acquired from Superior. Steven S. Elbaum stated that "today's announcement encompasses the result of several months of careful review, by Alpine, Superior and the steering committee acting under Superior's senior credit agreement and their respective advisors

The credit agreement amendment creates further financial flexibility for Superior as it operates through the economic and telecom downturn. According to a a press release issued prior to Wednesday by Superior Telecom Inc. the company has entered into a major amendment to its principal senior secured bank credit agreement. The amendment includes a substantial reduction in principal amortization and adjustments to financial covenant requirements through 2003 and approval, subject to certain conditions, of a sale of assets comprising the Company's electrical wire business, its defense electronics subsidiary (DNE Systems, Inc.) and its 51% equity interest in Superior Cables, Ltd., an Israeli based wire and cable producer, to The Alpine Group, Inc., The Company also announced that it has entered into a commitment letter with GE Commercial Finance for a multi-year, $160 million accounts receivables securitization financing that will replace the Company's current receivables securitization financing facility which is due to expire on October 31, 2002.

http://biz.yahoo.com


BOMA International Approves Formal Policy Against NFPA Building Code

Washington, DC - The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, (Washington, DC) a lead advocate for a single, unified family of

building codes, approved a formal association policy opposing the adoption of the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Building Code (NFPA 5000) by federal, state and local jurisdictions. The policy was unanimously approved by the association's full Board of Governors during its Annual Convention, held in Chicago, Ill. from June 23-25. BOMA International has been working for several years in support of the International Codes Council's (ICC) efforts to develop a single set of building codes in order to avoid a patchwork quilt of 50 differing building codes in each of the states.

The full position statement reads, "BOMA International strongly opposes the adoption of the NFPA's Building Code (NFPA 5000) by federal, state and local jurisdictions. Although BOMA International participated on the NFPA Building Code Committees, BOMA does not endorse either the NFPA process or the NFPA 5000."

"We have concerns with both the development process and the content of the NFPA document, and we are encouraging the ICC and the NFPA to resolve their differences and put forth one single set of comprehensive, model building codes for the built environment," said BOMA International President Larry Soehren. "Our members will oppose any efforts to promote NFPA 5000 at the federal, state and

local levels in order to ensure that a coordinated and integrated set of building codes are adopted rather than competing, conflicting codes."

Founded in 1907, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a dynamic international federation of more than 100 local associations. The 18,500 members of BOMA International own or manage more than nine billion square feet of downtown and

suburban commercial properties and facilities in North America and abroad. For more information, visit the BOMA International www.boma.org .

For a copy of BOMA International's complete position statement, please visit www.boma.org/nfpa.htm .


Mohawk/CDT Key Accredited Contractor training

In today's highly competitive cabling business, many manufacturers invest heavily in their products, quality, and differentiation. Mohawk/CDT is no exception. Recently, we had the opportunity to attend a training session for Mohawk/CDT Key Accredited Contractors. The training session was a full day event packed with lots of good information for the contractors.

The Mohawk/CDT instructors, told us that this training value has been available for more than five years. During the past five years, we have seen many changes in the cabling business and Mohawk/CDT has included these benchmarks of development in their training classes. The course contained a heavy dose of standards (TIA 568). Also included were sections on codes, network configurations, and installation parameters for both fiber and copper based cabling. The DOs and DON'Ts in these sections were excellent. Every attendee got something of real value out of this training.

Mohawk/CDT contractor training included the basics on fiber (single & multi). On the copper side, they covered non-plenum, plenum CMP, and the new Limited Combustible cable (LCC) for CAT 5e and CAT 6. Tips were given on costs savings ideas in several areas including the DEMARC. Network transmission limitations and concept of speed and distance calculations were also covered. This is one of the best manufacturer "bonus values" that we have seen in a long time. For more information, call (800) 422-9961 or visit www.mohawk-cdt.com .

Remember at Mohawk/CDT the quality goes in before the name goes on.


President Bush Signs Bill Granting Commerce's NIST New Authorities to Investigate Major Building Failures

President Bush signed into law legislation giving the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) authorities to investigate major building failures in the United States. The authorities assigned to NIST under the National Construction Safety Team Act are modeled after those of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for investigating transportation accidents.

The act gives authority to NIST to dispatch teams of experts within 48 hours, where appropriate and practical, after major building disasters. The law gives the teams a clear mandate to:

establish the likely technical cause of building failures;

evaluate the technical aspects of procedures used for evacuation and emergency response;

recommend specific changes to building codes, standards and practices;

recommend any research or other appropriate actions needed to improve the structural safety of buildings, and/or changes in emergency response and evacuation procedures; and make final recommendations within 90 days of completing an investigation.

The stated purpose of the act is "... to provide for the establishment of investigative teams to assess building performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures in the wake of any building failure that has resulted in substantial loss of life or that posed the potential for substantial loss of life." Investigations are conducted under its authorities "... to improve the safety and structural integrity of buildings in the United States."

In this context, the act gives NIST and the teams comprehensive investigative authorities to:

access the site of a building disaster;

subpoena evidence;

access key pieces of evidence such as records and documents; and

move and preserve evidence.

NIST is authorized to take the following actions based on the report it issues at the completion of an investigation:

conduct, enable or encourage additional research as recommended by the investigation team; and

promote appropriate adoption of the investigation team's recommendations.

A standing advisory committee will be created to advise the NIST Director on all aspects of investigations. Members of the committee will be recognized for distinguished professional service, possess broad technical expertise and experience, and have a reputation for independence, objectivity and impartiality.

Where appropriate, NIST will consult with other federal agencies in carrying out the act.

The new law specifically applies to the NIST World Trade Center (WTC) building and fire safety investigation that was formally initiated on Aug. 21, 2002 (go to http://wtc.nist.gov for more information). The study of WTC Buildings 1 and 2 and WTC Building 7 is focusing on the building construction, the materials used and all of the technical conditions that contributed to the outcome of the WTC disaster.

NIST has extensive experience and expertise in conducting disaster investigations following structural/construction failures, fires and natural disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. A fact sheet detailing this background and listing past NIST investigations is available online at http://wtc.nist.gov.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurements, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.


VISTA Architectural Column Provides Technology Management

Vista architectural columns from The Wiremold Company (West Hartford, CT) are an aesthetically pleasing way to provide power and communications in open-space areas. These columns serve as design elements and deliver power and communications from overhead to the workspace without compromising aesthetics. They can be used to feed modular furniture or as a stand-alone technology management system.

A Vista column consists of two round or square end channels that contain wires or cables and support a decorative center panel. Maximum design flexibility is made possible by an unlimited selection of center panel materials, or skins, including solid metal, perforated metal, glass, wood laminates, and a wide choice of fabric finishes. Designers may select from standard materials or specify their own. Vista architectural columns can also accommodate lighting, signage, and decorative accents.

The newest iteration of the Vista column allows for the integration of communications consolidation points with user-installed patch panels. Options include door size, handle, and lock. Using a Vista column for a consolidation point in conjunction with other Vista columns maintains a consistent design element throughout a space. Used alone, it adds a unique design feature. This aesthetically pleasing column brings true functionality to today's high technology and high churn work environments.

The Vista architectural column provides a direct feed to modular furniture at floor level or desktop level. It can also be installed as a stand-alone unit with integral power receptacles and data/communications jacks. Modular Vista columns are easily relocated to accommodate changing space requirements. In the event of redecorating, the decorative panels are a snap to replace.

The Wiremold Vista Configurator, located at http://www.wiremold.com/vista/vista.html, enables designers to preview how the various design elements work together, get a bill of material, and request a quote.

For more information visit whttp://www.wiremold.com


CommScope, Inc. adds fiber optic components product line

CommScope will now be selling connectors, adaptors, fiber enclosures, and jumpers to the enterprise network arena. The applications these components will support include networks for telecommunications, local area and data processing, premises distribution, Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM), security cameras and FTTX (fiber-to-the-desk, home, etc.)

Through its relationship with OFS, CommScope has an ownership interest in one of the world's largest producers of optical fiber and cable. CommScope has entered a marketing alliance with OFS to offer a broad array of connectivity components as well as technologically advanced optical fibers, including the zero water peak optical fibers used in the production of the LightScope ZWP(R) family of products.

CommScope is the world's largest manufacturer of broadband coaxial cable for Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) applications, and a leading supplier of high- performance fiber optic and twisted pair cables for LAN, wireless and other communications applications.

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, 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.

www.commscope.com


Berk-Tek Appoints Kris Lindley to Director, Channel Management

Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), a Nexans company, announces the appointment of Kris Lindley to Director, Channel Management. Lindley will take on the responsibility of developing strategic marketing and sales programs between Berk-Tek and its distribution partners. He brings a strong background in the Data Communications industry in sales, marketing and product management to this position.

During his five years at Berk-Tek, he has held various sales-related positions. Lindley will continue to be located in Orland Park, Illinois.

Lindley earned his bachelor's of science in Technology Education from Eastern Illinois University, and is a BICSI certified Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD).

"Kris brings to this assignment an extensive knowledge of Berk-Tek's relationships with key distribution partners and customers," said Paul Trunk, Sr. VP Sales and Marketing or Berk-Tek. "I am confident that his efforts will further develop these relationships."


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 major manufacturing facilities at New Holland, PA, Fuquay-Varina, NC and Elm City, NC.

About Nexans

Nexans is the worldwide leader in the cable industry. The Group brings an extensive range of advanced copper and optical fiber cable solutions to the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans cables and systems can be found in every area of people's lives, from telecommunications and energy networks, to aeronautics, aerospace, automobile, building, petrochemical, medical applications, etc. Operating in more than 28 countries, Nexans employs 18,000 people and had sales in 2001 of euros 4.8 billion. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange. More information on www.nexans.com


Anixter Closes Pentacon Buy

Anixter International Inc. (Skokie, IL) completed its purchase of bankrupt Pentacon Inc. for $124.7 million.

In a press release, Anixter said it paid $108.2 million for Pentacon's assets, with an additional $16.5 million in payments of Pentacon's prebankruptcy trade liabilities.

Anixter said that while Pentacon's operations shouldn't impact third-quarter results, it expects the company to add $48 million to $52 million to sales and 2 cents to 3 cents to earnings per share in the fourth quarter.

An Anixter spokesman said a complete fourth-quarter guidance isn't yet being released.

www.anixter.com


Cable Design Technologies Announces New Red Hawk PowerSense(TM) In-Line Power Hub Innovative Solution to Send Power Over LAN Data Cabling for VoIP,

Wireless and Remote Access Applications

Cable Design Technologies announced availability of the new BL-8000 Red Hawk PowerSense(TM) series of modular and fixed multiport In-Line Power Hubs, an IEEE 802.3af compatible standards-based solution.

CDT's Red Hawk brand exemplifies leading innovations in Power over Ethernet technology. The new Red Hawk Power over Ethernet MidSpan Hubs, BL-8520, 8556 and 8551, 20, 6, and single-port configurations are IEEE 802.3af standards based compatible midspan devices. Red Hawk PowerSense(TM) In-Line power hubs provide a safe and efficient way to send power over LAN data cabling to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, wireless networking access points, security cameras and other remote access devices.

The new PowerSense(TM) MidSpan family of products features both a modular and fixed port form factor. The PowerSense(TM) BL-8520 is a modular 20-port 19" rack mountable chassis. Each module is hot swappable so that modules may be added to the chassis without powering down the unit. Every port is 2000V isolated from the other ports as required per IEEE 802.3 specification. Each module is separately fused and protected from any unexpected current surge. By deploying PowerSense(TM) gear with uninterruptible-power-supply (UPS) systems in secured wiring closets, network administrators can now ensure that building power outages will not affect network telephony connections. In addition to the IEEE 802.3af standard-compliant detection, the 8000 PowerSense(TM) family of products enables error proof installations, eliminating the possibility of damage to non-power ready devices. This unique innovative design reduces maintenance problems and preserves customers' investments in Category 5 infrastructures

"Power over Ethernet allows for the consolidation of data, telephony, power and security within the infrastructure," said Ron Bose, Sr. Vice President, Red Hawk. "We are dedicated to removing barriers, reducing costs and designing solutions using the new emerging IEEE standard for powering devices over the Ethernet which takes advantage of the existing LAN infrastructures." The Red Hawk PowerSense(TM) Multiport In-Line Power Hubs are the latest addition to CDT's network connectivity portfolio of products.

The full 8000 series of MidSpan In-Line Power Hubs are currently available from CDT distribution partners.

About CDT and Red Hawk

Cable Design Technologies (www.cdtc.com) 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 is a founding member of the IEEE 802.3af Task Force leading the development of an industry standard for powering Ethernet devices over the LAN infrastructure. CDT also manufactures electronic data and signal transmission products that are used in a wide range of specialty applications.

From its Silicon Valley, California headquarters, Red Hawk (www.red-hawk.com) designs and manufactures cutting edge networking products that are integral to today's converged networks. Using ISO 9002 certified manufacturing, with worldwide sales and service, Red Hawk is uniquely positioned to provide both standard and custom product solutions to meet the customers needs.


The Next Dimension in Cabling Flexibility CADDY CAT-CM

The new CADDY CABLECAT CAT-CM from ERICO, (Solon, Ohio) is a high-performance cable support system that brings unprecedented installation flexibility. The system provides a convenient pathway for wires and cables in applications where cable tray is traditionally used. Specially designed U-Hooks and double J-Hooks have large-diameter, rounded support surfaces/edges to avoid over-bending and kinking of cables. The U-Hooks are available in a range of sizes for different cable capacity needs.

The CAT-CM Has Three Distinct Installation Options

The Rod-Mounted Option allows for field assembly of the hooks onto All-Thread Rod. Benefits include customized intervals between hooks, easy level changes without special fittings and direct attachment to a ceiling or building structure with CADDY Fasteners.

The Cantilever-Mounted Option consists of U-Hooks being mounted on brackets. This option allows for cable runs along walls or columns.

The Strut-Mounted Option is accomplished by assembling the hooks to strut for a cost-effective alternative to center rail cable tray and wire basket systems. This option utilizes standard strut, has sheet-metal U-hooks (rungs) with specially designed quick-attach strut fasteners for virtually any half-slot strut, allows for customized support spacing and has fittings for horizontal and vertical change of direction.

The CAT-CM system is designed to work seamlessly with the entire line of CADDY CABLECAT components to provide pathways in premise wiring systems. Components include J-Hooks, vertical supports, pulleys and the CATTRAX continuous cable support system. For more information about the new CAT-CM, call ERICO at 1-800-252-2339

Established in 1903 as the Electric Railway Improvement Company, today ERICO is a diversified global manufacturer with a network of offices and manufacturing facilities in over 25 countries and with more than 1600 employees. Headquartered in Solon, Ohio, USA, ERICO has two businesses: the Fixing and Fastening Business selling Electrical, Mechanical and Concrete Reinforcement products; and the Electrical Business offering Facility Electrical Protection, Industrial Electrical, Panelboard and Rail Electrical products. Well-known brand names include: CADDY® fixings and fasteners; CADWELD® welded electrical connections; CRITEC® surge protection devices; ERIFLEX® low-voltage components featuring FLEXIBAR® busbar; ERITECH® lightning protection and grounding, and; LENTON® mechanical rebar splices. Visit ERICO online at www.erico.com.


Optical Cable Corp sales down 30.9% and reports loss in 3rd Quarter

Optical Cable Corp (Roanoke, VA) has reported a net loss of $755,000 for its third fiscal quarter of 2002. Excluding the charges associated with the anticipated settlement of the shareholder class action suit ($992,000 expensed in the third fiscal quarter of 2002 and $1.1 million expensed during the nine months ended July 31, 2002), and the $110,000 charge in connection with a staff reduction announced June 14, 2002, net of the related tax effect, Optical Cable would have had a net loss for the third fiscal quarter of 2002 of approximately $42,000. This compares to a net income of $875,000 for its third fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2001. For the nine months ended July 31, 2002 the Company reported a net loss of $43,000, compared to a net loss of $2.9 million or $0.41 per basic and diluted share for the first nine months of 2001. Excluding the charges stated above, Optical Cable would have had a net income of approximately $765,000 for the first nine months of fiscal 2002.

In an ongoing effort to control costs, and as a result of lower production volumes, on June 14, 2002, Optical Cable announced the layoff of approximately 15% of its workforce. The layoffs were part of a company-wide downsizing and resulted in a charge of approximately $110,000 during the third quarter of 2002 that adversely impacted both gross profit and selling, general and administrative costs during the third fiscal quarter of 2002. As a result, the anticipated cost savings from this action will not be substantially realized until the fourth fiscal quarter of 2002.

Net sales for the third fiscal quarter decreased 30.9% to $9.7 million from $14.1 million for the same period last year. Net sales of $9.7 million for the third quarter compared to net sales of $10.9 million for the second fiscal quarter of 2002. The decrease was the result of weak economic conditions on market demand, a trend that has significantly affected Optical Cable beginning in the second half of fiscal year 2001. http://www.wireworld.com/wirenews/


Ericssons cable factories in Sweden get pink slips

Eriksson advised that a total of 195 employees workers and staff at their Cable factories in Hudiksvall and Sundbyberg Sweden will be let go. The layoffs are part of the restructuring and business right sizing currently underway at Ericsson. As earlier reported Ericsson has been looking for a buyer of both factories now being downsized.

http://www.wireworld.com/wirenews/


DMJMH+N System Solutions Becomes iTRACS Consulting Partner, Opening New Channel for iTRACS Intelligent Cabling Management System

iTRACS Corporation, (Chicago, IL) the leading provider of intelligent cabling management systems, today announced that DMJMH+N System Solutions, an arm of the world’s third largest engineering firm, has become an iTRACS Consulting Partner. The relationship will put iTRACS products in front of prominent DMJMH+N clients ranging from airports to corporations, government agencies and financial institutions, including a major bank in the Southeast that has signed a contract with DMJMH+N to manage its network wiring with the iTRACS system.

Infrastructure management is so critical to efficient operation of the physical plant that our clients have begun asking about it even before we broach the subject, said Bill Sewell, DMJMH+N Vice President. We evaluated all the cabling management solutions on the market, and we are recommending the iTRACS system because it offers significant flexibility, functionality and space advantages over competitive products.

Sewell cited iTRACS ability to retrofit to any cabling equipment and thereby eliminate the need for an organization to replace its existing wiring; minimize hardware purchases and space requirements through an architecture built on one patch panel per wiring sector rather than two; and manage cabling associated with voice and security systems as well as computer networks. All of these capabilities are unique in the industry.

DMJMH+N has extremely close relationships with some of the major players in a broad range of industries, including every single airport in the U.S., said Mark deBroeck, iTRACS Vice President of Sales. The fact that they have chosen to partner with iTRACS promises to broaden exposure for our infrastructure management technology, secure important installations, and work in tandem with our other partnering and OEM initiatives to rapidly accelerate our market penetration.

The iTRACS system is a combined hardware/software solution that documents network wiring without manual intervention, detects both authorized and unauthorized patching changes, and instantly alerts system administrators to connectivity problems.

The system's ability to self-discover the network topology as well as moves, adds and changes (MACs) in wiring closets, data centers and communications rooms facilitates change control, troubleshooting and disaster recovery. Its ability to identify faulty port connections speeds problem resolution, makes IT staff more efficient, and minimizes network downtime for end users.

With its open architecture, the iTRACS system also is the only solution of its kind that is capable of accommodating initiatives to converge the management of data, voice, security, and emergency control wiring. This gives customers a single management platform for intelligently managing all the cabling in a building.

Any number of iTRACS analyzers can be networked to the same database over a TCP/IP connection, giving administrators up-to-the-minute information in both centrally and remotely managed environments.

About iTRACS Corporation

iTRACS Corporation (www.itracs.com) 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.


About DMJMH+N

DMJMH+N System Solutions (www.dmjmhn.com) offers a broad range of architecture, engineering and construction services crossing all disciplines, geographies and market sectors. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles and employs over 3,200 professionals in 17 cities around the globe. DMJMH+N is an operating company of AECOM, an employee-owned consortium of architectural, engineering, facility management, environmental and transportation companies with 12,500 employees and over 50 offices worldwide.


KRONE supply contract renewed with Verizon

KRONE's contract to supply network connectivity products and solutions to Verizon has been renewed.

The new multi-year contract for KRONE's high-performance connectivity solutions is a multi-million dollar agreement with the telecommunications company. KRONE's public network connectivity solutions incorporate its patented silver-plated 45-degree insulation displacement connector, which provides secure and reliable termination.

KRONE, which has offices in Marlton, N.J., is a wholly owned subsidiary of GenTek Inc. It is a global manufacturer of high-performance telecommunications solutions with more than 70 years of experience in the design, development, and manufacture of cable and connectivity solutions for enterprise and public networks.

www.kroneamericas.com.


Belden Introduces HomeChoice(TM) Banana Peel(TM) Cable: A Unique Jacketless Cable

Belden Electronics Division (Richmond, IN), a unit of Belden Inc. a worldwide leader in the development of wire and cable products for a wide range of communications, entertainment, network and industrial applications, announces Banana Peel(TM) Composite Cables, a revolutionary new addition to its HomeChoice(TM) line of cables for today's "Intelligent Home."

The new cable, certified to deliver superior performance in a wide range of home and small office/commercial applications -- including computer multimedia and networking, sophisticated home theater systems, multiple phone lines, security and energy monitoring and control, distributed digital audio, and cable and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television, features a patent- pending design that affixes four or six application-specific, individual cables to a center spline, eliminating the need for an outer jacket. So, there's no overall jacket to strip off; and an instant identification of the individual cable components can be made. Without an overall jacket, the Banana Peel cable is also smaller than traditional composite cables.

According to Frank Koditek, Belden's Marketing Manager for Home Automation Products, "With this breakthrough product design, installing composite cables just became simpler and less labor-intensive than ever before. Just peel the cables off the center spline, and you're in business. Installers and building owners will find our new Banana Peel cables to be an affordable and efficient choice for the 'Intelligent Home."

www.belden.com

About Belden

Belden Electronics Division, a unit of Belden Inc., is a leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of specialty wire and cable products for the electronics and electrical markets. Belden Electronics Division is headquartered in Richmond, Indiana. Belden has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary, with distribution centers in the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia and the Netherlands. A majority of Belden's manufacturing, engineering, and support functions are registered to the International Organization for Standardization.

Belden has been recognized as one of Forbes Platinum 400 Best Big Companies in 2002.


Estimating Takeoffs Go Mobile

Electrical contractors can now offers do estimating take-offs anywhere, using a handheld PDA.

A contractor using McCormick Systems software can load its estimating database onto a PDA, enabling any estimator to do an on-site take-off. In doing on-site counts, the estimator can just tap the button on the PDA once for each item . . . getting a lump-sum total at the end of a walk-and-count operation. This is impossible on a lap-top.

McCormick Systems (Chandler, Ariz.) says the new enhancement is perfect for job walks, service call estimating, and change orders. www.mccormicksys.com


Lucent Technologies Inc. completed the sale of its interest in two joint ventures in China - Lucent Technologies Shanghai Fiber Optic Co. Ltd. and Lucent Technologies Beijing Fiber Optic Cable Co. Ltd. - to Corning Inc. for up to $225 million.

In a press release, Lucent said the purchase price includes Corning common stock valued at about $50 million and a future cash payment of $25 million should the ventures achieve certain business milestones.

Lucent's interests in the ventures were part of Lucent's Optical Fiber Solutions business, the majority of which was sold to Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (J.FKW) last year.

In July 2001, Lucent agreed to sell its fiber unit to Furukawa Electric and Corning for a total of $2.75 billion in order to raise cash and restructure its business.

www.lucent.com


BICSI courses and exhibits

Don't miss your opportunity to stop by these exciting events!

OUTSIDE PLANT EXPO (OSP): The Infrastructure Show

November 6 - 7, 2002 Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC

Visit www.ospmag.com for more information and to register for this event.

BICSI will be holding the following course at this event:

OSP100:Introduction to Customer-Owned Outside Plant

Two full days of instruction on customer-owned outside plant taught by

a BICSI Master Instructor November 7 - 8, 2002 at the OSP Expo 2002.

Course will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte,

North Carolina. The course fee is $595.00 for BICSI members and

$695.00 for non-members.


ELECTRONIC HOUSE EXPO (EHX) Fall 2002 Long Beach

Conference: November 11 - 14, Exhibits: November 13-14

Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA

Visit www.ehexpo.com for more information and to register for this event.

BICSI will be holding the following course at this event:

RES100: Residential Network Cabling: Theory

Two full days of instruction on residential network cabling taught by

a BICSI Master Instructor at the Electronic House Expo Fall 2002 at

the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Long Beach,

California. The course fee is $450.00 and will be taught November

11-12, 2002. Each participant will receive 15 CEC's.

www.bicsi.org


EVENTS for October 2002


NECA Show 2002

(National Electrical Contractors Assoc)

Oct 6 - 8 2002

Chicago, IL

www.necashow.org

NGN2002

Next Generation Networks conference (NGN)

October 14–18, 2002

Boston. MA

http://www.ngn2002.com/ngn/info.asp

ACUTA Fall Seminars

October 20 - 23, 2002

Denver, CO

www.acuta.org

BICSI Cabling Workshop & Cabling Installation Expo

October 22-24, 2002

Rhode Island Convention Center

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

www.bicsi.org


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