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Issue: November 2002

By: Frank Bisbee


Headline News

Bits N' Pieces



Bits N' Pieces

Remember a few years ago when cable management was the hot item? It didn’t fly for a lot of reasons. Today, cable management is a critical component of structured cabling systems for the future. We have CAT 6 cables that offer a level of performance undreamed of a few years ago. On the safety side of the formula, we have the new Lead-Free jackets and the ultimate "Limited Combustible Cable". These cables are free of hazardous materials and the FEP (DuPont Teflon ® FEP & Daikin ® Neoflon ™FEP) insulating and jacketing materials offer long life and protection from damaging indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ and IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) are new areas of concern for the cable designer. These important factors cannot be ignored.

Under the new NEC 2002, the removal of abandoned cable in the plenum is a requirement. The cables constructed with FEP maintain transmission performance, fire safety properties, contain no heavy metals or phthalates, and require no special handling for installation or disposal (100% recyclable).

However, these special cables have a higher cost. If you are going to buy cables that deliver a wide range of benefits over a long period of time, it is prudent to keep track of the asset. Cables without records quickly go from an asset to an expensive waste item. You cannot reuse the cable if you do not know where it is. Moves, Adds & Changes (MAC's) are a barometer for costs. Poorly managed cabling systems will attack the Information System budget like a determined vampire. It does not have to be that way. Check the marketplace and you will find a host of new and effective facilities management tools. Buying smart and keeping track equals major savings. This is a definite No Brainer…


The world of cabling used to be a man's world. Those days are over. Now, women are assuming a much more active and significant role in this industry. We see women in important assignments, on key committees, and in the executive ranks. The glass ceiling is breaking. You’ve heard of BICSI. What's next? Maybe WICSI -(Women in Cabling Systems International). These "Cabling Divas" are valuable contributors to the cabling infrastructure industry. From installers to industry analysts, women are bringing increased value to our business. If you want to put in your two cents on this subject - contact Diane Santarelli - Web Editor - (904) 645-9077

Good news for the information junkies in the world of communications cabling: Cabling Business Magazine is stronger and better than we have seen it in a long time. Margaret Patterson - Senior Editor - has energized the team at CBM. Additionally, Russell Paulov - President - Cabling Publications Inc. , brings his years of experience with the magazine to this important leadership role. For the past 3-4 months, we have seen Cabling Business Magazine evolve into a new style of publication. The guest articles have been outstanding and offered highly valuable information for the cabling contractors, installers, and the buyers. The joint three-part "how- to" article by the Ortronics Team, on "Connectorization" and other technical areas was exceptional. During the past few months, we have seen many superior "how-to" articles on a host of cabling issues.

In the world of printed media, many sources report a serious decline in advertising revenue. One report indicated that space ads were at a 50 year low. Our friends at Cabling Business Magazine are overcoming the downward trend by improving their magazine instead of reducing it to the size of a brochure. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. CBM is delivering the goods. Subscribe today. It's free!

CDT Hires New Chief Financial Officer

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) announced that William E. Cann will join CDT as its new Vice President & Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Cann is currently a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Calgon Carbon Corporation where he was responsible for finance, treasury, tax and financial reporting. Mr. Cann has more than 20 years of experience in finance and has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Toledo.

In his new role, Mr. Cann will report to Fred Kuznik, CEO of CDT. Mr. Kuznik said, "We are extremely pleased that Bill has chosen to join our team. He is highly qualified and brings with him significant operational and international experience. We believe Bill's extensive background makes him the ideal chief financial officer for CDT and we have high expectations of him."

Mr. Cann is expected to start with CDT on December 2nd and assume the CFO duties on January 2nd. Ken Hale, CDT's current CFO, will remain through the end of the calendar year and assist with the transition.

About CDT

Cable Design Technologies 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

CommScope & Furukawa Purchase 10.2 Million Shares Of CommScope Stock From Lucent

CommScope, Inc. and Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. of Japan privately purchased 10.2 million shares of CommScope stock held by Lucent Technologies. Lucent had acquired the CommScope common stock in connection with CommScope's investment in OFS BrightWave, LLC in November 2001.

The total purchase price for the 10.2 million-share block was approximately $53.0 million or $5.20 per share. Furukawa purchased 7,656,900 shares, which it plans to hold for investment purposes. CommScope purchased 2,543,100 shares, which it will hold as treasury stock. CommScope funded its $13.2 million purchase using current cash balances.

Frank Drendel, CommScope Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "We believe that we have crafted win/win solutions despite the challenging business conditions. We also believe that our long-term strategic relationship with Furukawa has been enhanced while satisfying Lucent's desire to monetize their CommScope holdings in a difficult market environment."

Dr. Katsuhiko Okubo, Ph.D., Senior Managing Director of Furukawa said, "We have built an important alliance with CommScope and believe that their stock will be a good investment over the longer term." Furukawa now holds approximately 13% of CommScope's outstanding common stock.

Lucent had held CommScope common stock since November 16, 2001. At that time, CommScope acquired an approximate 18.4% interest in OFS BrightWave, a company formed by CommScope and Furukawa to acquire certain fiber cable and transmission fiber assets of the Optical Fiber Solutions Group of Lucent Technologies. CommScope issued 10.2 million shares of its common stock to Lucent in lieu of a portion of the cash purchase price payable by Furukawa to Lucent in connection with the acquisition of a portion of Lucent's OFS Group.

CommScope and Furukawa have also entered into agreements that outline various investment terms, including resale restrictions, registration rights, standstill provisions, as well as call and limited put rights related to the CommScope shares held by Furukawa. CommScope and Furukawa have also agreed to change from 2004 to 2006 the date when CommScope could first exercise its contractual right to sell its ownership interest in OFS BrightWave to Furukawa for a cash payment equal to CommScope's original investment.

Through its relationship with OFS, CommScope has an ownership interest in one of the world's largest producers of optical fiber and cable and has access to a broad array of technologically advanced optical fibers.

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

This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management's beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected.

Belden to Acquire CDT's NORCOM

Belden Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) and Cable Design Technologies Corporation announcee the execution of an agreement whereby Belden will purchase substantially all of the assets of CDT's NORCOM wire and cable business in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. NORCOM is a division of NORDX/CDT, a Canadian subsidiary of CDT.

Belden will purchase for cash the accounts receivable, inventory, and equipment and will assume the accounts payable and certain other current liabilities of NORCOM, for approximately US $11.3 million, subject to adjustments for asset values as of the closing date, with additional contingency payments over three years of as much as US $8.1 million depending mainly on Belden's achievement of future business levels. The transaction is

expected to close on or about October 31. Belden plans to finance the purchase utilizing its existing credit facility.

"NORCOM is the leading Canadian supplier of copper wire and cable products for the telecommunications industry," said C. Baker Cunningham, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Belden. "The business maintains a strong relationship with Bell Canada and is the sole supplier of certain products meeting the Bell Canada specification," he continued. "This acquisition strengthens our presence in the North American market and further positions Belden to benefit when our communications customers resume a more customary level of spending for their vast installed copper network.

Corning to Cut Jobs, Close Plants in Australia & Germany

Corning Inc. (Corning, NY) is closing optical-fiber plants in Australia and Germany and cutting an extra 2,200 jobs, or 8.5 percent of its global payroll, as it scrambles to rebound from an alarming slowdown in the telecommunications industry.

The overhaul was announced as the world's biggest maker of optical fiber and cable posted a third-quarter loss of $260 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a loss of $220 million, or 24 cents a share, in last year's third quarter. Sales plunged to $837 million from $1.509 billion a year ago.

It was the sixth quarterly loss in a row for Corning, which also warned of continuing weakness in the fourth quarter in the optical fiber and cable business. It expects a larger fourth-quarter loss before charges than analysts expected.

The telecommunications industry's sudden slump last year left Corning badly shaken. It is already eliminating 4,600 jobs this year on top of 12,000 last year. The latest cuts will shrink its worldwide payroll to about 23,500 people.

The cutbacks "are designed to protect Corning's long-term financial health and move us toward our goal of returning to profitability in 2003," chief executive James Houghton said.

Last fall, all four optical-fiber plants were idled for several months because of a sharp drop in orders. The company also had to write down huge amounts of fiber-optic equipment in its warehouses that had become obsolete before being sold.

Amherst FiberOptics closes its operation

Amherst FiberOptics, Inc., a distributor of fusion splicers, has closed its operation.

According to the Nashville, Tenn.-based company's Web page, the company shut down "due in part to the dramatic downturn in the fiber optics market."

The parent company, TVC Communications, has terminated all of Amherst FiberOptics' employees. Amherst FiberOptics was purchased by TVC Communications, Inc. on August 1, 2000. It was sold by The Ware Group, a privately held corporation, for an estimated $70 million.

Amherst was the sole distributor of Ericsson fusion splicers and sister company, Seca Photonics. Seca Photonics manufactures automated fusion splicing solutions in North America.

Corning to Close Concord, N.C., Plant, Cut 2,200 U.S. Jobs

Corning, the world's biggest fiber-optic cable maker, which continues to be hurt by the declining telecommunications industry, said Wednesday that it will close its Concord NC plant and eliminate 2,200 jobs nationwide, bringing its total job cuts this year to 5,800.

About 525 workers will be let go immediately from the Concord plant, said John C. Cox, chief executive of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, who met with the workers. A skeleton crew will remain to complete current orders. Laid-off workers will receive severance packages based on their positions.

"I think the whole world is surprised how quickly the fiber-optic demand was satisfied. The brakes were applied heavily, and that has affected us here in Concord," Cox said.

The Corning, N.Y.-based company reported its sixth straight quarterly loss of $260 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $220 million, or 24 cents, during the year-earlier third quarter. Sales dropped to $837 million from $1.51 billion. Since June 2001, Corning has reported losses of $6.22 billion and cut 18,800 jobs.

Orders for optical fiber and cable has decreased significantly as the economic slowdown has crippled telecommunications giants such as Nortel Networks, which has cut nearly two-thirds of its work force in the past two years. The Corning plant closing comes on the heels of fiber-optic cable maker Alcatel's announcement Tuesday that it will close its nearby fiber-optic cable plant in Catawba County and lay off 97 workers. Both companies are leaving open the possibility of reopening production at the plants if the industry rebounds.

"We haven't seen any improvement in the telecommunication business," said Dan Collins, Corning's spokesman. "We have had to restructure business to meet the new market, which is simply going to be smaller."

Concord's production will shift across the state to Corning's Wilmington plant, Collins said. But no new workers will be hired in Wilmington, nor will Concord workers be shifted to the Wilmington facility.

"We have more than enough capacity in Wilmington to meet demand," he said.

In addition to closing the Concord plant, which at its peak employed nearly 1,000 workers, Corning is closing two other fiber-optic plants in Australia and Germany and a thin-film manufacturing plant in Marlboro, Mass., Collins said. About 1,000 of the latest job cuts will come from Corning's Cable System Business, which has facilities throughout the country including its headquarters in Hickory, with about 1,400 workers, and a small plant in Winston-Salem with about 200 employees.

Collins said the company has not identified which plants will be affected by the Cable System Business restructuring, but all cuts will be completed by the end of the year.

Corning's shares rose 14 cents Wednesday to close at $2.02 and have tumbled 77 percent in the past year.

Fiber-making Alcatel plant to be idled

The latest round of Alcatel layoffs will mean one of the company's Claremont plants will go idle until business picks up.

French cable maker Alcatel laid off 97 Claremont workers Tuesday, part of an overall plan to cut about 1,000 more U.S. positions, or about 13 percent of the company's domestic work force, by the end of the year, said company spokesman Brian Murphy.

Alcatel has two facilities in Claremont -- one that makes optical fiber and another that packages the fiber into cable, Murphy said. The fiber-making operation will be put on hold for now, Murphy said. "That one, we'll put into hibernation until business improves," he said. "For now, there's no fiber being made there."

Alcatel also cut 194 jobs in Texas and six in Raleigh this week, Murphy said. Specific numbers and timeframes for the pending 700 cuts were unavailable, Murphy said.

Tuesday's layoffs were the latest in a series of job cuts to hit Hickory-area high-tech manufacturing, a key part of the Catawba Valley economy, as the economy has slumped and sales for telecom makers have plummeted.

In all, Alcatel and the Unifour's other two cable makers, Corning Cable Systems and CommScope, have combined for more than 3,200 job losses since spring 2001, according to data from the N.C. Employment Security Commission. Alcatel has laid off more than 1,100 workers in the past year, according to ESC figures.

Murphy declined to reveal how many workers Alcatel still employs in the Unifour, saying the company wouldn't divulge that information for competitive reasons. The company lost about $1.33 billion in the third quarter, according to an earnings report released Wednesday.

Hubbell Premise Wiring Product Category 6 Component Verified

The ETL SEMKO division of Intertek Testing Services announced today that Hubbell Premise Wiring's Category 6 product line offering received ETL Verification by meeting the Category 6 component specifications Addendum No. 1 to ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2.1- Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard - Part 2: 100-ohm Balanced Twisted Pair Cabling Components. All components, Xcelerator (TM) Category 6 Modular Jacks, NEXTSPEED (R) 6 Patch Panels, NEXTSPEED 6 -110 Cross Connect Blocks and NEXTSPEED Category 6 Patch Cords were thoroughly tested and found to be in compliance. Continuing compliance to this specification is monitored through production testing, quarterly inspections by ETL SEMKO at the production facility and random sample testing.

"Compliance with ETL SEMKO performance testing and verification to the Category 6 Standards requires the highest levels of product performance, technical capability and manufacturing process control," says Don Nicholson - National Business Manager, IT Telecom Products Testing Services at ETL SEMKO. With this verification all Category 6 connectivity components now meet the individual Cat 6 component requirement, as well as when configured in an end-to-end link or channel.

LCR Transmission Parameter Test System

The NEW DCM Model LF-2000 is a high-speed measurement system designed for testing the low frequency transmission parameters of twisted pair communication and instrumentation cables. The LF-2000 is ideal for testing data cables, control cables and telecommunication cables.

The LF-2000 consists of an LCR measurement module and operating software combined with an automatic, 4-pair switching system. Up to four pairs are automatically scanned and measured with the results normalized for length and temperature, and compared against pre-programmed cable specifications. The operating software is uniquely designed for cable testing allowing the entry of cable length, conductor diameter, insulation type, specification and other administrative information.

Measurement parameters include Capacitance and Capacitance Unbalance, Resistance and Resistance Unbalance, and Inductance.

GS Metals - FLEXTRAY(R) introduces a new product family, Flextray RF

The acquisition of this patented technology allows cable tray to be installed in the raised floor environment in a totally new way, an installation that is 100% self-supporting, requiring no cutting and no tools for installation.

Most tray systems attach to the pedestal supports, or require stringered access flooring system, an installation that may raise warranty issues with the access flooring installer. Cutting tools are required, and labor can be extensive during the installation. In addition these systems allow no future access for reconfiguration, or the addition of more tray segments.

The Flextray RF System is self-Supporting, meaning no stanchion or stringer variables to consider. RF is installed with two vertical supports that fit around the floor support, but don't require attachment to it. Floor stanchions can be round or square, centered or offset, with or without stringers. RF's patented construction eliminates labor or materials that require splicing. Horizontal support bars snap into the vertical supports and trays can simply be laid and locked into place.

Bends, tees and intersections are completed with a 2x2 flat grid, which locks into the horizontal supports. This eliminates the need for any cutting of the trays, or on-site reconfiguration.

Multiple layers of tray can be installed using the RF system, and future additions of tray can be added with minimal disruption to existing tray sections.

Tyco Cuts Jobs at Winston-Salem, N.C., Plant

About 90 workers will lose their jobs at Tyco Electronics Corp.'s Netconnect plant in Winston-Salem, a Tyco spokesman said.

The cost-cutting move comes a little more than a month after 68 jobs were cut at the plant, which is a former AMP operation.

Tyco has had a significant presence in the Triad since acquiring AMP in November 1998. Tyco bought Long Communications Group, a Winston-Salem supplier of business telecommunications and teleconference systems, in March 2000.

Tyco's electronics and telecommunications operations have suffered greatly as demand for those products has fallen sharply amid the economic downturn. The company is also embroiled in a financial scandal involving former top executives. L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive; and Mark H. Swartz, the former chief financial officer, were charged last month with enterprise corruption allegedly involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

Workers were told of the layoff plans yesterday. "We will do all we can to make the transition for the employees and the community as smooth as possible," said Peter Ferris, a Tyco spokesman.

Netconnect is a business unit of Tyco Electronics, and makes and installs wiring and cabling systems for data communications in commercial buildings. The company hasn't decided yet which employees will be affected by the decision. Those whose jobs will be cut will receive severance packages and job-searching services. Some employees may be able to transfer to other Tyco operations.

After the 90 job cuts, 390 people will work at the Gumtree Road plant, Ferris said.

Ferris said that the move should help "streamline and improve operational efficiencies."

Tyco Electronics is a division of Tyco International Ltd., which is based in Bermuda with headquarters in Exeter, N.H.

Avaya Posts $534 Million Loss in Latest Quarter on Lower Sales

Avaya Inc.(Trenton, NJ) posted a wider net loss of $534 million in its fiscal fourth quarter as sharply lower sales more than offset stringent cost-cutting by the business telephone and data system provider.

The net loss for the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company amounted to $1.47 per share for the July-September quarter. The Lucent Technologies spinoff posted a net loss of $328 million, or $1.17 per share, for the period a year ago.

Excluding a total of $467 million in one-time charges, Avaya's net loss was $67 million, or 18 cents per share. That was three times the 6-cent loss forecast by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

The special charges included $106 million for business restructuring, including severance costs for 2,255 employees whose jobs were cut in the fourth quarter, and $71 million to write down the decrease in value for two segments of Avaya's business. The remaining $290 million charge was for deferred tax assets, meaning operating losses from prior periods not yet taken as deductions.

A year earlier, the fourth-quarter pro forma loss was $18 million, or 4 cents per share.

Revenues were down 20 percent to $1.15 billion from $1.44 billion in the 2001 fourth quarter.

"I think they're getting down to business, fixing the problems they've had ... making the decisions they really have to make," said Jason Noah Ader, an analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners.

Avaya could meet its goal of breaking even in the April-June quarter if revenues decline only 1 percent or 2 percent per quarter until then. Avaya chief executive Don Peterson said the company boosted its cash balance by $191 million over the past quarter and continues to reduce costs.

Avaya also has realigned into four business segments: converged systems and appliances, which sells data networking and other products to Avaya's major customers; services, which designs, implements and manages Internet Protocol and other communications networks; small and medium business equipment and software, which recently added a dedicated sales force; and connectivity solutions, which makes wiring and fiber optic cable.

In the fourth quarter, Avaya took a $513 million charge on its balance sheet, mainly due to the decline in the value of its pension plan assets from the stock market slump. The company expects to have to contribute up to $45 million to the pension plan over the 2003 fiscal year. Peterson also said Avaya expects about $127 million in restructuring and other charges over the course of the fiscal year. "Much remains to be done. We are only beginning to see some bright spots in the United States and the international market remains weak," Peterson said.

Avaya released the results Wednesday after the New York Stock Exchange closed. Its shares closed unchanged at $1.55 per share in regular trading, then fell 8 cents a share in after-hours trading.

For the past twelve months, Avaya posted a net loss of $656 million, or $2.41 per share. In the 2001 fiscal year, it posted a net loss of $352 million or $1.33 per share. Excluding more than $500 million in one-time charges in each period, the company had a net loss of $126 million for fiscal 2002 and a net profit of $214 million for fiscal 2001. Revenues for the 2002 fiscal year were down 27 percent, to $4.96 billion from $6.79 billion.

Lucent Posts 10th Straight Quarterly Loss

Telecommunications equipment maker Lucent Technologies Inc. posted a $2.88 billion net loss, its 10th straight quarterly loss, as customers continued to slash spending and warned sales may drop by as much as 10 percent in its current quarter.

The Murray Hill, New Jersey-based company also said it expects its sales to rise in the March quarter, but declined to call a turn in the overall telecom market. Lucent has been the poster child of an industry where companies have slashed jobs, sold units, and posted big losses.

"The financial markets may not hold the same belief that the company in this difficult market can actually grow its revenue in the next three to six months," said Tom Lauria, an independent analyst with Avtera Management.

If there is no broader recovery in the market, Lucent may be forced to make more cuts, he added.

Hobbled by the steep downturn in the telecom market, Lucent earlier this month lowered expectations for its fourth quarter a second time, warning it would report a wider-than-expected loss. Some investors worry the company may face bankruptcy, a worry executives have repeatedly dismissed.

"We have sufficient liquidity to fund our turnaround and make it through this prolonged down cycle," Lucent Chief Financial Officer Frank D'Amelio said in a statement. Lucent also said earlier this month that it would slash another 10,000 jobs to match its shrinking revenue base, helping drive its stock to an all-time low. When its job cuts are complete, Lucent will have cut two-thirds of its work force since it started restructuring in January 2001.

It posted a net loss in its fiscal fourth quarter of $2.88 billion, or 84 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss in the year-ago quarter of $8.8 billion, or $2.59 a diluted share. Excluding one-time items, the loss in the quarter ending Sept. 30 was 64 cents a share. After this month's warning, analysts were expecting a loss of 65 cents, according to Thomson First Call.

Lucent said revenue from continuing operations slumped more than 50 percent, to $2.28 billion from $4.75 billion last year, and was off 23 percent from the previous quarter. Analysts were expecting $2.26 billion, according to First Call.


Lucent Chief Executive Patricia Russo said the company's top priority remains returning to profits by the end of fiscal 2003. It plans to hit its targeted break-even rate at quarterly sales of $2.5 billion by next September.

Due to the market weakness, Lucent expects revenue in its fiscal first quarter, ending in December, to be flat to down 10 percent from the fourth quarter, meaning a range of $2.05 billion to $2.28 billion.

Based on conversations with customers, Lucent then sees revenue rising to about $2.5 billion in its second quarter, but it said that does not mean the overall market is rebounding. It also sees an improvement in its first-quarter bottom line.

Analysts were expecting Lucent to post a first-quarter loss of 21 cents a share before one-time items on sales of $2.27 billion, according to First Call. They were forecasting second-quarter sales of $2.21 billion.

Lucent repeated that it expects to end fiscal 2003 with more than $2 billion in cash on hand, down from $4.4 billion in cash and short-term investments at the end of last month. It burned through $1 billion in the fourth quarter.

At the end of September, Lucent employed about 47,000 people, and repeated it expects to reduce that to 35,000 by the end of next September. Most of the remaining cuts will be completed by the end of March.

The fourth-quarter net loss included $661 million of restructuring and related asset impairment charges, as well as $170 million in amortized goodwill and other items, and $141 million of gains for the sale of its optical fiber unit. Last year's loss included $8 billion in restructuring charges.

The loss in the fourth quarter also included charges of about 38 cents a share mostly for a significant customer financing default as well as inventory and certain other asset impairment charges. It did not identify the customer.

Lucent expects its latest restructuring actions to yield annualized savings of about $1 billion.

3COM Unveils New Network Jack "In-The-Wall" LAN Switch

NJ200 Network Jack Innovation Gives Enterprise Network Managers Sophisticated Networking Management and Connectivity Capabilities

3Com Corporation (Santa Clara, CA) announced the newest product in the Network Jack platform, the 3Com NJ200 Network Jack, a unique "in-the-wall," four-port managed Ethernet switch that quadruples LAN infrastructure port connections to quickly and easily add new users, devices and intelligence to the edge of the corporate network.

"With the NJ200 network jack, 3Com gives IT managers a way to quickly and easily expand end user connectivity while increasing control of the network at the same time," said Trey Wafer, product manager, 3Com Corporation. "This is the only networking solution on the market today with location mapping capabilities that enables IT managers to physically pinpoint locations of networking devices on the LAN from the edge of the network."

The unique 3Com network jack quickly converts a single port LAN connection into four switched ports without installing additional cabling. More secure than a freestanding hub or switch, it mounts unobtrusively inside a standard wall cutout. The switch case and downlink port are secured inside the wall and behind the faceplate, lessening their exposure to damage, disconnection, or theft. This network jack is compatible with drafted 802.3af Power over Ethernet standard - as well as with proprietary Power over Ethernet as implemented in some Cisco devices - using Category 5 or 5e cabling. For LANs without Power over Ethernet, it can use a local AC power adapter. In addition, up to two optional pass-through ports provide additional telephony or LAN connections.

The NJ200 Network Jack gives IT managers big cost and time savings by eliminating the need to pull additional cabling for increased connectivity, while at the same time providing an added level of control with support for SNMP management capabilities," said Nick Lippis, president, Lippis Consulting.

"The 3Com NJ200 Network Jack solution lets us expand our network in-wall wiring the easy way, saving us money and time," Charles Armour, chief information officer, PensaWorks, Inc., Milton, Fla. "Working with the 3Com NJ200 Network Jack is a breeze. Configuration is quick and painless, management is fast and effective, and installation couldn't be easier. I particularly like the location mapping feature that allows me to pinpoint where any networked device is plugged into the network."

3Com NJ200 Network Jack Key Features and Benefits The second generation of the network jack family, the 3Com NJ200 Network Jack gives enterprise IT managers key management, VLAN and flexible connectivity support. Following is a summary of the solution's key features:

SNMP-compliant management provides port-level control and device monitoring; Advanced switching features include port-based VLANs, 802.1p traffic prioritization, and system alerts; Location mapping feature physically locates any device on the network;

"In-the-wall" design is more secure and reliable than a freestanding switch or hub; network jack can't be easily disconnected or stolen; Unique form factor enables one LAN drop to support four 10/100 Mbps switched ports and up to two pass-through ports; Inline Power over Ethernet lowers the risk of power interruptions; Port #1 can forward Power over Ethernet to another device NEMA-WD6 and ANSI-compliant building standards for easy installation in wall cutouts; AC power supply supports the network jack in a LAN without inline power capabilities; portable and convenient for installation, and; Choice in adapter plates for both Panduit and Avaya connectors. .

3Com's Network Jack Family

3Com® NJ100 and NJ200 Network Jacks are unique "in-the-wall" Ethernet switches that quadruple LAN infrastructure connectivity more cost-effectively than rewiring. They mount inside standard wall cutouts, making them more secure than freestanding switches or hubs. The NJ200 model is fully managed, supporting SNMP and port-based VLAN set-up, and includes utilities for location mapping and centralized control.

About 3Com Corporation

3Com is a tier-one provider of innovative, practical and high-value networking products for enterprise customers. 3Com is also a leader in Internet protocol (IP) service platforms and access infrastructure for the network service provider market.,

Advanced Fiber Solutions new Fiber Optic Test Kit

Advance Fiber Solutions is please to announce the availability of its new line of fiber optic product, the OLK-51 series fiber optic test kit. As a new entry to the marketplace, the mission of Advanced Fiber Solutions (AFS) is to develop the highest quality fiber optic test equipment with a superior level of performance and support. With over 15 years of industry performance, AFS strives to produce the most cost effective and cutting edge products available today.

The OLK-51 test kit is designed with the technician and installer in mind for ease of use, reliability and affordability. The OLK-51 kit includes an OM120 power meter and an OS420 or OS430 optical source. With the OM120 you have an easy to read backlit display for those dark telecom closets, an auto-zero feature that doesn't forget your reference when you turn off the power meter and an auto off feature that you can disable at your convenience. The OS420 LED light source is for premises and campus cabling networks with multimode fiber, or single-mode fibers under 5km. The OS430 Laser source is for single-mode fibers in the outside plant environment where the long wavelengths are used. The Single output allows the user to test at both 1310nm and 1550nm without disconnecting and reconnecting the cable. When used with an Advanced Fiber Solutions OM120 power meter, the OS430 is ideal for testing insertion loss for single-mode fiber optic cables and connectors.

Red Hawk Brand Awarded `Best of Show' at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & Expo 2002

PowerSense(TM) Singled Out for Innovation and Quality

Cable Design Technologies announced today that its Red Hawk PowerSense(TM) has been named a "Best of Show" winner at Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC(TM))'s INTERNET TELEPHONY® Conference & Expo, San Diego 2002. The show, held earlier this month at San Diego's historic Hotel Del Coronado, is widely considered the #1 global event focused on voice, video, fax, and data convergence.

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. PowerSense(TM) Hubs provide controlled low voltage power over LAN data cabling to power VoIP phones. By deploying PowerSense(TM) gear with uninterruptible-power-supply (UPS) systems in secured wiring closets, over category 5, data cabling, 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 is scalable, reliable, affordable and certified interoperable.

"CDT's Red Hawk brand and their innovative product PowerSense(TM), are a standout indication of why so many enterprise buyers, developers, and service providers flock to INTERNET TELEPHONY® Conference & Expo," said TMC President and Conference Co-Chairman, Rich Tehrani. "Their innovation and commitment to quality attract serious prospects to their booth. Attendees know they'll find solutions in the Red Hawk booth that can help them in their businesses today."

The Best of Show awards emphasize technologic innovation and product feature sets. Forward-looking products that will aid in the development of the next generation of VoIP solutions were also awarded. Each winner displayed and demonstrated their product on the INTERNET TELEPHONY® Conference & Expo show floor. "By all accounts, INTERNET TELEPHONY® Conference & Expo San Diego 2002 was one of the most successful VoIP events ever staged. Attendees and exhibitors alike agreed the energy at the show signaled good times ahead for the IP telephony industry. Red Hawk and their PowerSense(TM), are positioned perfectly to lead a strong resurgence in sales and installations of Internet telephony products and services," added Marc Robins, TMC's Vice President of Publications and Trade Shows.

A full list of the winners will appear in the December 2002 issue of Internet Telephony® magazine.

About CDT and Red Hawk

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 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 office, Red Hawk 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.

Nexans buys back part of Alcatel's stake in company.

Cable producer Nexan said in a press release that the board of directors had authorized management to buy back to treasury 1.5 million shares (6.5% of its share capital and 30% of Alcatels stake in Nexan). After the transaction Alcatel owns 15% of Nexans.

In a separate press release Alcatel, the struggling French telecommunications equipment group, of which Nexan until last year was a division unveiled a sharply widened net loss for the third quarter as continuing deterioration in demand forced the company to book bigger asset write-downs and provisions than expected. While the decission may be viewed as a rescue operation considering Nexans diversified product mix one tends to agree with Gerard Hauser, Nexan's CEO that the transaction long term is positive for Nexans shareholders. builds New Generation website for Cabling and Networking Supplies

Atcom Inc. has just unveiled their new from the ground up website Cabling and Connectivity Superstore. Every single facet of the site has been re-designed with the customer in mind. Customers will find it simple to quickly locate what they are looking for. Many new products, unique and hard to source items and various product options are among the many features that will set the new far apart from the competition.

"This was a long time coming" said Atcom President Tony Casazza. "Having been an e-commerce merchant for over five years, we learned a lot about e-commerce and how it relates to our customer's needs. Our goal was to make the very best by far of its kind", he said.

The following is a partial list of Changes, and/or additions that were made:

Choices / Options: Many new products and product categories have been added. Custom Fiber Optic patch cables are now available in 6 different colors and singlemode cables now have different polish options. Custom Category 5E and Category 6 cables in lengths of up to 295 feet are available in four different boot style choices (including molded) and even a Plenum rated version is offered. Other new lines include the MTP Solution group which contains twelve fibers in one small connector and an entire line of professional tool cases and carrying carts. Other new products like the LAN-PRO 8 Toolkit for example are exclusive to and represent incomparable values.

Navigation: A tiered hierarchical navigation menu was implemented so that a customer can go directly from page to page (or product to product). For those who have older version browsers that do not support these menus, transitional pages were added. These transitional also serve people who need more information in selecting a category of a product.

Product Information: Every product was given a thorough description. Some items that have special features have links for additional information. Every product image is displayed clearly and some even show multiple views, or may show the product with and without various options.

Tutorials: New technical tutorials have been added to assist the customer in every phase of the installation. Other tutorials on Category 5 Cabling and Making Patch Cables have become benchmarks on the internet and are presently being utilized by many colleges and universities as course reference material.

Look & Feel: Consistency and flow is the theme to give the customer a pleasant shopping experience. A standardized color scheme and look has been implemented throughout.

Customer Service/Pricing: Special pricing is offered to Resellers, Government and Educational buyers. Customers have the ability to retrieve past orders and tracking numbers online. Almost all prices have been lowered and are very competitive in the industry.

Belden To Reduce Work Force At NORCOM, Might Close Plant

Belden Inc. (St. Louis, MO) will reduce the workforce at its new Kingston, Ont. plant immediately, and is considering closing the plant.

In a news release, Belden said the near-term reductions would affect about 100 workers. Belden completed the acquisition of the Kingston business 10/31/02 from NORCOM, a division of NORDX/CDT, which is a subsidiary of Cable Design Technologies Corp. The plant, which employs about 300 people, makes wire and cable products for the communications industry.

Belden said demand for the plant's products has fallen by half from a year earlier.

Belden makes specialty wire and cable products.

Research Shows 82 Percent of Surveyed IT Managers Will Specify High-Performance LAN Cabling for Future Networking Needs

Study Confirms Users Have Less Network Downtime With Category 6 Cabling

Avaya Inc. (Basking Ridge, NJ), a leading global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, today announced the company's own research shows 82 percent of enterprise network decision makers surveyed will specify Category 6 high-performance cabling in their next installation.

Ratified in June 2002 and September 2002 respectively, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and ISO/IEC Category 6/Class E cabling standards establish a benchmark for network performance in Local Area Networks (LANs).

The Avaya SYSTIMAX® Structured Connectivity Solutions (SCS) research report, "Cabling Infrastructure: Ready for Tomorrow's Network Traffic or Heading for Congestion," surveyed more than 2,000 organizations in 38 countries. The report also found that 28 percent of the complete sample have already installed high-performance Category 6 cabling.

Cabling that meets Category 6 standards gives businesses the infrastructure performance they need to increase productivity through greater use of networked systems. It enables the reliable, high-speed communication essential to handle the extra traffic generated by greater use of networked, productivity-enhancing software.

Avaya's SYSTIMAX GigaSPEED® XL Solution, available since April 2002, guarantees electrical performance that is 400 percent better than the Category 6 standards.

This extra performance is of particular value with applications such as video and Voice over IP (VoIP) that demand support of 1 gigabit, or 1 billion bits, per second (Gb/s) transmission to meet their bandwidth and quality of service requirements. For example, the research shows that 19 percent of respondents were already using video conferencing and 27 percent intend to increase their use of multimedia video applications, including video conferencing.

Demand for quality and reliability is on the rise. The research revealed that network downtime, together with moves, adds and changes, is costing businesses millions of dollars in lost productivity. From research data, it is estimated, for example, that downtime is costing companies with more than 7,500 network users an average US$5.5 million annually in lost employee productivity alone.

The significance of these losses is widely recognized by respondents. Network downtime was cited as the issue of greatest concern more often than any other. Unprompted, 26 percent of respondents said downtime was the most likely network issue to keep them awake at night and a further 15 percent said degraded network performance was their biggest worry.

Network downtime experienced by users of Category 6 cabling was less than among users of Category 5 and 5e solutions. Among the global sample, only eight percent of Category 6 users experience more than five hours a month downtime compared with 11 percent among users of Category 5 and 5e.

"Respondents who said downtime had a major impact on productivity were the most likely to be deploying fast networking technology in the horizontal, but their deployment of Category 6 cabling was only marginally above the average for all respondents," said Dennis Curtis, vice president and general manager, Avaya Connectivity Solutions. "As a result, when traffic levels grow, some of these organizations may find their cabling has too little headroom to avoid long wait times and poor streaming media quality when traffic peaks."

The importance of quality in selecting a cabling infrastructure was, however, widely recognized. Thirty eight-percent put product quality at the top of their list of priorities, twice as many as the next most commonly named criterion, technical performance.

Faster networking drives backbone upgrades

Organizations worldwide have also been upgrading their networking technology at the same time as cabling. Gigabit Ethernet is now used by 31 percent of respondents in the Local Area Network (LAN) horizontal. Within five years, 73 percent anticipated using this 1 Gb/s technology. Notably, 26 percent of respondents expected to adopt even faster 10 Gb/s connections in horizontal applications, indicating a very high demand for speed and reliability in network infrastructures.

In the backbone, the shift to 10 Gb/s technology has already begun. Currently 7.2 percent of the global sample said they were using 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 4.4 percent were using 10 Gb/s laser optimized multimode fiber cabling in the backbone. Rapid acceleration in the use of 10 Gb/s in the backbone is anticipated in the next 5 years with 59 percent of respondents expecting to deploy it in their backbone by then.

Despite this high proportion of the sample intending to adopt 10Gb/s in the network backbone where traffic from horizontal connections is consolidated, only 21 per cent were aware that new standards for 10 Gb/s laser optimized multimode fiber bad been ratified.

"Network and IT managers must soon make decisions on upgrading backbone applications and cabling to handle the extra traffic they have planned for in the horizontal," added Curtis. "There are choices to be made between laser optimized multimode fiber which utilize less expensive electronics and singlemode fiber which requires more complex electronics, but low awareness of new fiber standards suggests some managers lack the information they need to make the right decisions in this area."


Research Methodology

IT professionals were invited to participate in the survey via an Internet Web portal during August and September 2002 using a questionnaire designed for clarity and simplicity. Its 22 questions were available in 12 languages, enabling network and IT managers to respond in the language they preferred.

The 2,047 IT professionals who took part in the research were from a representative sample of SYSTIMAX SCS and non-SYSTIMAX SCS customers in 38 countries worldwide. They spanned organizations with between 50 and 10,000+ network users across all industry sectors.

About Avaya

Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses around the world, including 90 percent of the Fortune 500. A world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems, communications software applications and services, Avaya is driving the convergence of voice and data applications across IT networks enabling businesses large and small to leverage existing and new networks to enhance value, improve productivity and gain competitive advantage. For more information visit the Avaya website: .

CommScope posts 3rd qtr loss on lower demand

CommScope Inc. (Hickory NC), a maker of coaxial and fiber-optic cable, posted a net loss on weak global demand.

The Hickory, North Carolina-based company posted a third-quarter net loss of $19.6 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with a net profit of $6.3 million, or 12 cents, last year.

Revenue in the quarter fell to $147.8 million from $177.7 million last year.

In July, CommScope forecast sales would fall to a range of $130 million to $145 million in the third quarter from $155 million in its second quarter.


OSP Expo
Nov 6-7
Charlotte, NC

NEMA Annual Conference
Nov 9 - 11
Chicago, IL

NFPA Fall Educational Conference
Nov 16 - 20
Atlanta, GA

Comdex Fall 2002
Nov 18 - 22
Las Vegas, NV

November 18-21
Orlando, Florida, USA


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