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Issue: December 2002

By: Frank Bisbee


Headline News

Bits N' Pieces



Wish List...

This is the time of year when friends and family ask the age-old question, "What do you want for Christmas?" If you are tired of getting shirts that are too ugly to wear, ties that look just like the other ten you already have, and let's not forget, the cologne that attracts mosquitoes, then check out our wish list. Your Christmas list might contain the following goodies:

Any kind of cable from Mohawk/CDT

(it's ALL LEAD free)

The entire FLUKE suite of products for testing, recording and managing datacom cabling

A truckload of ERICO CADDY® Fasteners - all shapes & sizes

A ton of Ortronics NetClear (tm) Clarity jacks & patch panels

A million feet of Belden DataTwist ® 600e CAT 6 plenum cables

Anything from Panduit (Panduit Can Do It!)

Another million feet of Draka Comteq MaxCap Multimode 10 Gb/s cable

A free shopping trip to any of the following:






Plus - All of their great technical support. I just love a full service distributor!

Unlimited Free consulting services from Pete Lockhart (Anixter) and Paul Kish (NORDX/CDT)

Two of every tool that IDEAL offers

Hundreds of Millepede Millie-Tie cable tie wraps (plenum rated of course)

A free BICSI RCDD training & certification course

Subscriptions to:

Cabling Business Mag (Now rated #!)

Cabling Systems Mag

Structured Cabling Mag

Cabling Installation & Maintenance Mag

Building Operating Management Mag

Buildings Mag

Outside Plant Magazine

Environmental Design + Construction


And to wrap it all up: Lots of Wiremold - It's what all the good cable systems wear

Special request for Santa: as much CAT 6 Limited Combustible Safety Cable as you can get your hands on (Tomorrows Solutions - Today!)

100% recyclable -no LEAD - optimal performance - long life -PVC free

Berk-Tek brightens Colors

Berk-Tek, (New Holland, PA) a Nexans company, offers brighter hues on its twisted pair conductors, for more identifiable pairs in low light environments. "In ongoing efforts to improve our cables, we incorporated a brighter colored Flourinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) insulation compound into the manufacture of our category cables," said Dan Kennefick, Copper Products Business Manager. "The FEP materials are more vivid, making it easier for installers to distinguish between the colors in low lighting situations."

"Finding new ways to improve products in terms of quality, performance and user-friendly characteristics is an ongoing priority for the company", he said. This month, Berk-Tek's manufacturing plant in New Holland, PA, received its ISO 9001-2000 certification in 2002. The new standard among other upgrades, the standard highlights continuous improvement initiatives.

Draka Comteq's Cable-In-Duct Saves Installation Time and Costs

Draka Comteq introduces their line of "Cable-In-Duct" which is the unique manufacturing capability to produce and place jacketed fiber optic cables inside a duct and ship on a single reel. By pulling a "Cable-in-Duct", installation time can be cut in half as it results in pulling one cable versus two.

Cable-in-duct is mainly utilized in diverse outdoor environments such as underground, but can also replace indoor cables previously installed in conduit, innerduct, trays, riser shafts, wiring closets or plenums. Draka Comteq offers a variety of duct types including outdoor polyethylene (PE) , indoor polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and low-smoke zero-halogen (LSZH) depending on the installed environment. Any Draka Comteq cable construction and fiber count, loose tube or tight buffered, indoor or outdoor, can be produced and placed in the duct in the production line.

The most important feature of fiber optic cable is protecting the fibers. Without proper protection, the fibers can not operate at maximum capacity. Therefore, the single most important component of a fiber optic cable is the jacket , states Rob Gilberti, Jr., RCDD, Director of Marketing for Specialty Fiber Cables. But, when further protection is needed, the cable is installed in conduit or innerduct. With the ability to manufacture these in our plant, not only can we provide the highest protection of the fiber, but we are also saving time for the installer. With one pull, there is less stress on the cable which even further adds to the cables performance , he adds.

All cables are 100% tested for optical attenuation prior to shipment. "Cable-in-Duct" products are offered that meet UL-1685 vertical tray fire test, UL-1666 riser fire test and NFPA 262 (UL-910) plenum fire test Specialty applications and unique constructions are the core of our fiber optic business," states William Dungan, vice president and general manager of Draka Comteq (Franklin, MA). Companies who have made investment in research and development of certain cable properties and components to adapt to each unique application, will lead the way for the next generation of fiber optic applications, he adds .

Nexans CEO named president of International Cablemakers Federation

Gerard Hauser, chairman and chief executive officer of Nexans , was elected president of the International Cablemakers Federation at the organization's most recent meeting. Hauser will be assisted by newly elected vice president Baker C. Cunningham, who is CEO of Belden , and Noritaka Kurauchi, chairman of the board of Sumitomo Electric Industries .

The general meeting was held in Beijing, China in late October. The 125 delegates in attendance also elected the following new members to the ICF board: Valerio Battista, CEO of Pirelli Cavi e Sistemi Energia SpA; Jerzy Burdzy, vice president of Tele-Fonica Kabel SA; Lary Aiello, CEO of Corning Cable Systems; and Eddie Edwards, CEO of OFS.

The IFC was founded in 1990 as a platform for worldwide cooperation in the cable industry. It represents more than 70% of the volume of activities in the sector, for which annual sales total US$69 billion.

Northern California IBEW/NECA launches Website devoted to VDV

The Labor Management Cooperation Committee (LMCC) of Northern California and Northern Nevada, which serves union electrical contractors and voice/data/video installers in Northern California and Northern Nevada, is sponsoring a Web site devoted exclusively to the Northern California VDV. The site,, provides information about the VDV industry, featuring sections for customers, union members, union contractors, and those interested in pursuing careers as installers or technicians.

The site also includes a searchable directory of contractors, information about union training and benefits, access to union agreements and other documents, a link to the current Manual of Labor Units, access to employment-benefits information, an overview of union training within the VDV sector, and a glossary of electrical industry definitions.

"The VDV industry is the electrical industry's name for high-tech services that include voice/data cabling, fiber optics, networks including LANs and WANs, AV systems, sound systems, security systems, CATV, nurse-call, and fire/life-safety systems," the LMCC said in a statement announcing the site.

"The VDV industry has enjoyed explosive growth in Silicon Valley and Northern California during the past decade," the statement continued. "VDV is one of the most rapidly growing areas of the economy, and is expected to reach revenues of $30 billion this year.

Northern California VDV grew by an astonishing 1,264% in the last eight years, leading growth in the U.S. The Northern California VDV market grew from $16.5 million in 1994 to over $225 million."

The Northern California LMCC includes representatives from both labor (IBEW) and management (NECA). Through the LMCC, IBEW and NECA work together to promote the interests of the electrical industry

ACUTA eNEWS December 2002

Awareness The First Step to Safety

By Diane Santarelli

Today, cable installers receive little or no training on the proper and safe methods of handling some hazardous materials contained in the cabling. The typical communications cable installer is uneducated to the high level of LEAD (5-10%) in the jackets of most cables. Are your methods of cable installation and/or removal meeting the intent of the EPA and OSHA safety guidelines?

Obviously, material selection will affect safety. It will also affect durability, performance, indoor air/environmental quality, fire hazard reduction and sustainability, and public health risks related to disposal considerations. For example, the most commonly used material in CAT 5, CAT 5e, and CAT 6 CMP (plenum rated) 4 pr UTP cables is FRPVC (Fire Resistant PVC). In most cases, during the past 10–15 years, the FRPVC contained lead, phthalates, brominated fire retardants, and dioxins (when burned). PVC is not a highly stable material, and it breaks down with aging, temperature, and humidity. As this material breaks down, it may release the various compounds described above. When it comes to fuel load, PVC ranks right up there with gasoline. Lead (Pb) is a major potential public health risk. We must protect our staff and our students.

When the cabling association, BICSI, expanded their training to include courses for the installers, they overlooked the full safety message. We should include a safety focus on all aspects of the cable installers job:

Fire Safety

Indoor Air Quality and Safety

Safe handling for installation/removal

Safe methods of waste disposal and numerous other areas of the installers job functions

Today, lead-free cables are available in all categories for plenum and non-plenum (i.e., Mohawk/CDT). Also, the new LCC-limited combustible cables are lead-free and PVC-free and 100% recyclable.

Read this report for more info on the hazards associated with PVC.

Environmental Impacts of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Building Materials

Leviton introduces Universal Mini DC Power Supply

Leviton (Bothell, WA) introduced its new Universal Mini DC Power Supply. Capable of operating on any incoming AC voltage ranging from 90V to 264V, the Universal Mini DC Power Supply accommodates global electrical systems. Designed specifically to install in Leviton's Series 140, 280 and 420 Structured Media enclosures, the unit provides up to three 12V DC devices with 10 watts of power, enabling distribution of audio and video applications throughout the home or small office

Designed to fit into the knock-outs on the bottom of Leviton's Structured Media enclosures, the unit uses wire nuts to connect the incoming line, neutral and ground wires. Three DC cables are provided to connect the distribution modules to the unit. In the instance of a fault, the Mini DC Power Supply offers a Short Circuit Overload Protection feature that shuts off power to connected equipment. The unit then monitors the fault and once the condition is corrected, reactivates the power. The Universal Mini DC Power Supply includes a green LED light that indicates when power is present. The unit provides both surge protection that diverts power spikes away from connected electronic equipment, and EMI/RFI filtering which limits conducted noise from entering the unit and affecting operation of connected equipment.

The Universal Mini DC Power Supply is compatible with several of Leviton;s Structured Media components including the 1x8 & 3x8 Enhanced RF Distribution Modules (1& 2 GHz versions), Enhanced Bi-directional Amplifier, Video Amplifier, Decora® Camera, Outdoor Camera, Video Sequencer, Structured Media Center Modulator, Infrared Target, Decora Digital Volume Control Kit and DC Power Distribution Module.

Draka USA Names Bill Dungan Corporate Vice President

Joe Dixon, president of Draka USA, has announced the promotion of William "Bill" Dungan to Corporate Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Draka USA, which includes Draka Comteq USA (Helix/HiTemp Cables & Chromatic Technologies) as well as the Industrial and transit markets for both BIW Cable Systems and Tamaqua Cable Products. In this new position, Bill will oversee all the sales and marketing operations for copper and fiber optic wire and cable products for many of the Draka USA markets including datacom, utility, transit, irrigation, telecommunications, industrial automation, to name a few.

These four Draka USA subsidiaries have always had the ability to utilize each other's research and development, as well as tap into unique manufacturing capabilities. "With this appointment, the sales and marketing efforts, which have previously run independently of each other, will now have a uniform directive and share common goals," states Joe Dixon.

Dungan joined Draka USA in 1996 as the Vice President and General Manager for Helix/HiTemp Cables, manufacturer of copper cable products. Under Dungan, the company grew dramatically increasing market shares and making significant progress in manufacturing and process development. Since 2001, Dungan has been the Group Vice President of Helix/HiTemp Cables and Chromatic Technologies, Inc., its sister company and manufacturer of fiber optic cables. With his guidance, these two companies became the U.S. contingent of Draka Comteq USA, the worldwide marketing communications cable alliance for data and telecommunications. In addition, Dungan negotiated the strategic structured cable partnership with Molex Premise Networks (Hudson, NH) to create Draka/Molex Cabling Systems (DMCS).

Dungan has been in the wire and cable industry since 1974, starting his sales career at Chester Cable Company (a subsidiary of Citco). He became Vice President of Sales by 1979 but left in 1986 to become Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Tensolite Co. until 1993. His other entrepreneurial ventures prior to joining Draka included setting up operations for Paige Electric Company in Jacksonville Beach, FL.

1-Punch Punch Down Tool for Xcelerator Jacks from Hubbell

A unique, timesaving "1-Punch" punch down tool from Hubbell Premise Wiring has revolutionized the typical process of terminating a jack. Hubbell's new 1-Punch tool is designed to punch down and cut, at the same time, all 8 wires of Cat 5e or 6 UTP communications cable when connecting this wire to a Hubbell Xcelerator (tm) jack. The head of the 1-Punch tool, which includes eight seating blades and four cutting blades, fits over the jack. The jack can then be accurately terminated in one motion by depressing the handle. The 1-Punch tool must be used with a termination aid, a stable platform that holds the jack steady and protects the installer's hand.

Belden Inc. Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend

The Board of Directors of Belden Inc. (St. Louis, MO), declared a regular quarterly dividend of five cents per share payable on January 3, 2003 to all shareholders of record as of December 17, 2002.

Belden is linking people and technology by designing, manufacturing, and marketing wire, cable, and fiber optic products for the electronic, electrical and communications markets. Belden has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, and Australia.

Alpine Group signs definitive agreement to buy Superior TeleCom Inc assets

The Alpine Group, Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement to purchase from Superior TeleCom Inc., substantially all of the assets and business comprising Superior's electrical wire business, 100% of the common stock of DNE Systems, Inc. and Superior's majority equity interest in Superior Cables, Ltd., for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $85 million in cash and a warrant to Superior to purchase 19.9% of the common stock of the entity formed by Alpine to own and operate the electrical wire business. The purchase is expected to be completed prior to year-end and is subject to certain conditions, including completion of required financing for the transaction.

* NEW * New Developments in Fire Safety Requirements For Communication Cables in North America and Europe.

View the presentation (in pdf format) given at the BICSI Cabling Expo by the Director of Technology for Draka Comteq, Mr. Harry van der Meer, RCDD. Very Informative..

Belden Offers Full Line of Industrial Ethernet Cables for Even the Most Demanding Industrial Environments

Belden Electronics Division (Richmond, IN)), a worldwide leader in industrial cabling solutions announces a complete line of DataTuff® twisted pair copper and TrayOptic® fiber optic Industrial Ethernet cables.

Data transmission errors in industrial networks can lead to interruptions in critical control functions, potentially meaning a loss in production time and/or safety issues. Belden's Industrial Ethernet cables help ensure optimum network performance and were designed to withstand the rigors of industrial environmental factors such as exposure to oil and sunlight, temperature variations, abrasion, crushing or the presence of electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI).

Many of the DataTuff copper cables feature Belden's patented Bonded-Pair Technology. This technology relates to the bonding of the conductors of the cable pairs along the entire length of the cable to ensure that no performance-robbing gaps can develop between the conductor pairs. Since no gaps can occur and the conductor-to-conductor spacing is always uniform, the cable offers excellent and consistently reliable electrical performance - before and after installation. Belden calls this unique after-installation performance capability Installable Performance(TM). For the most extreme factory floor environments, Belden is also the first to offer Bonded-Pair Armored Ethernet cables.

Belden's TrayOptic indoor/outdoor fiber optic cables now include a water- blocking agent and have received IEEE and UL flame approvals. All TrayOptic cables utilize Laser Certified Fiber (LCF(TM)) to handle Gigabit Ethernet light sources and any expanded bandwidth requirements.

University seeks nominations for telecom award

The University of South Florida is seeking nominations for the annual Harry J. Pfister Award. The deadline for nominations for the award is Dec. 13.

The university gives the annual award to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of telecommunications over a period of time. The award will be presented on Jan. 15, 2003 during BICSI's 2003 Winter Conference at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The award was created in 1982 in honor of Harry J. Pfister, founder of the BICSI Winter Conference, formerly held in Tampa. In 1972, Pfister brought the idea of a winter conference for the telecommunications infrastructure industry to the university. The conference soon became a reality. Pfister has provided support to the university's Alumni Association, the campus theatre, and the College of Engineering, and has served as a committee member.

Past winners of the Pfister Award include Bob Stoffels, noted author and editor; BICSI past president Dunn Harvey, RCDD/LAN specialist; and Joe O'Brien, who was recognized for his life-long efforts to promote fire safety in the industry.

Nominations should include: the person's name, address, job title, and company affiliation; a brief description of contributions made by the nominee to the field of telecommunications, and any pertinent supporting data. The nominee need not be a member of BICSI.

Nominations may be mailed to Pfister Award, c/o Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega, USF College of Engineering, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, ENB 118, Tampa, FL 33620. BICSI

CDT Announces First Quarter 2003 Results,

Sale of NORCOM Telecom Cable Unit and Other Restructuring Initiatives

Reduces Debt by $28 Million During Quarter

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) announced net income for its fiscal 2003 first quarter ended October 31, 2002 of $1.1 million,

The Company's reported results from continuing operations, which include business restructuring expenses, were a net loss of $3.6 million

ales for the first fiscal quarter 2003 were $121.0 million versus $128.6 million last year. The lower gross margin was primarily due to pricing pressures in most of the Company's markets as well as volume inefficiencies.

Network Communication segment sales for the first quarter 2003 were $71.5 million, which represented 59% of total Company revenues and compares to $74.5 million for last year's first quarter. Gigabit network cable represented 90% of Category 5 and above network cable sales. During the 2003 first fiscal quarter, CDT consolidated four operations and took various other cost reduction measures, including total work force reductions affecting 313 employees.

CEO Comments on the Quarter and Outlook

Fred Kuznik, CDT CEO said, "This was a very busy quarter with the restructuring actions and sale of the NORCOM operations. The sale of NORCOM reduces CDT's total sales, but it improves gross margin, operating income and EPS. In addition, the sale reduces our exposure to the telecommunication industry, which we think still has more difficult times ahead and will lag the turnaround in other areas of our business. The first quarter business restructurings and consolidation of four operations reduces our cost structure, further strengthening our bottom line over the long-term.

"We believe that our products are among the best in the markets in which we compete, and our sales forces continue to aggressively market these products. Nevertheless, economic difficulties in the U.S. and Europe have significantly decreased capital spending of customers for our LAN products andreduced the requirements of our OEM customers. In light of these conditions, we remain focused on cost reduction and maintaining a strong balance sheet, which is reflected by our significant debt reduction during the quarter. This not only enables us to reduce the risk of liquidity pressures, but enables us to retain the flexibility for future growth opportunities."

Kuznik concluded, "Our second fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2003 is historically a slower quarter due to seasonal factors such as customers slowing down purchasing activity as we near the end of the calendar year and fewer working days in the quarter due to the holidays. The actions taken during the first quarter to further streamline the company will benefit our bottom line despite the expected continued economic difficulties and competitive pricing. Nevertheless, we remain focused on positioning the company for future opportunities, including potential acquisitions, and remain confident that when the economy starts to turn around, we will be in a position to benefit."

Business Week Ranks Graybar Among Top Private Info-Tech Companies

Honor Recognizes Graybar's Commitment To Not Only Selling The Latest Technology But Also Deploying It To Better Serve Customers

Graybar (St. Louis, MO), the leading distributor of networking, telecommunications, and electrical products and services, has been recognized by Business Week magazine as the No. 3 private info-tech company in its annual ranking of the world's leading public and private information technology companies. Graybar's No. 3 ranking among private companies this year is up from its No. 4 ranking by the magazine last year.

The honor by Business Week, published in the magazine's June 24, 2002, edition, recognizes Graybar's commitment to selling the best and latest technologies and also the company's utilization of technology to better meet the needs of its customers. St. Louis-based Graybar specializes in project and supply chain management services and is the leading distributor for 4,500 manufacturers of components and equipment for the telecommunications, networking, electrical, manufacturing, commercial and utilities industries.

Business Week Ranks Graybar Among Top Private Info-Tech Companies

Honor Recognizes Graybar's Commitment To Not Only Selling The Latest Technology But Also Deploying It To Better Serve Customers

Graybar (St. Louis, MO), the leading distributor of networking, telecommunications, and electrical products and services, has been recognized by Business Week magazine as the No. 3 private info-tech company in its annual ranking of the world's leading public and private information technology companies. Graybar's No. 3 ranking among private companies this year is up from its No. 4 ranking by the magazine last year.

The honor by Business Week, published in the magazine's June 24, 2002, edition, recognizes Graybar's commitment to selling the best and latest technologies and also the company's utilization of technology to better meet the needs of its customers. St. Louis-based Graybar specializes in project and supply chain management services and is the leading distributor for 4,500 manufacturers of components and equipment for the telecommunications, networking, electrical, manufacturing, commercial and utilities industries.

This recognition underscores the fact that Graybar has the power and stability of a big company and the integrity and drive of an employee-owned business," said Graybar Chairman, President and CEO Robert A. Reynolds. "Our 8,400 employee-owners across the country are committed to helping our customers power and network industrial facilities, offices and housing with speed, intelligence and efficiency."

Illustrating its commitment to technology, Graybar recently embarked on an ambitious program in which the company will invest $90 million over the next three years in information technology infrastructure to improve services to its customers and suppliers. The company-wide IT project began in early 2002, and the first Graybar district will go "live" on the new IT system in early 2003.

"Our leading-edge information technology systems, combined with our logistics capabilities and regional zone warehouses, are raising the bar and the first Graybar district will go "live" on the new ITsystem in early 2003."

Market Share?

Cable Design Technologies (CDT) is prepared to meet the challenges of the current market and the improving effects of a business environment that is ready to “move on” with communications enhancements that are overdue. The market is buying smarter, faster, and safer cabling products because they have to. Leading technology in the information system is a competitive imperative. CAT 5e and CAT6 cable products from Mohawk/CDT and NORDX/CDT appear to be gaining market share in spite of the reduced margins.

The low prices are partially the result of one major manufacturers attempt to “BUY” market share last year. You cannot buy share. You have to earn it the old fashioned way. It appears CDT understands quality, service and working smart.

CDT companies have to work hard because there are some fierce competitors out there!

IBEW Continues Its Uphill Fight

The IBEW continues its uphill fight to persuade the U.S. Department of Labor to reverse their decision on the designation for a new job classification called the Electronic Systems Technical (EST).

Their efforts have been greatly aided by the overwhelming response (95%) the EST survey sent to inside construction locals.

“We continue to believe that the EST standards violates long-standing DOL policy by duplications much of the existing electrician standard. This standard will make it more difficult for our inside locals to compete for voice-data-video work,” stated IBEW President Hill.

Cabling Business Magazine Ranked #1

Over the past two years, we have seen many changes in the cabling world. Many of these changes were similar to the general economy. It has been a tough financial period. As many of the communication companies “tightened their belts”, we saw a devastating effect on the media publications in all sectors.

Most of the industry publications are totally supported by advertising revenue and when that revenue shrank to a 50 year low, the magazines in the cabling industry became anorexic. These publications are vital to the educational requirements of a communications industry that is rapidly changing. These publications have been the most effective media for the product and system producers to educate the contractors, technicians, and consumers to the value and functionality of the offerings.

When the purveyors cut the advertising programs, they may have cut their future revenues much more than they estimated. Some companies even reduced their sales force, and then failed to take alternative strategic moves (like “beefing up” their websites and stimulating the Internet search engines). We still see many pieces of industry literature that fail to offer contact info or even a website address. You have to ask “Don’t they want to sell products?”

At last, some great news on the media front… Cabling Business Magazine is showing the readers and the advertisers some new energy and ideas

Last week, CBM unveiled a new dynamic website. This site has many new features and it is easy to use. Visit the site and judge for yourself. New staffers at the magazine like Margaret Patterson, Senior Editor and David G. Deal, Webmaster, are making real achievements in the improvement of this magazine, and it shows. “ We feel like Cabling Business Magazine has kept the traditional technical content, and added a new strategic approach that pushes them back into the #1 ranked publication for our industry.” Commented Diane Santarelli, Web Editor of (Jacksonville, FL) We think you will agree.

More good news…. Many of the other industry publications are implementing similar enhancements.

Alcatel to restructure optics business and cut more jobs

Alcatel (Paris, France) said that due to an "unprecedented crisis" in the global submarine network market and a sharp decline in fiber optics operations, it is introducing measures for the optics business -- including job cuts -- which form part of previously announced group-wide restructuring.

It said the global submarine network market is expected to decline over 80 pct in the period 2000-2002 while the fibre optics market will fall 60 %.

The measures include the closure, by end-2003, of the Conflans Sainte-Honorine plant in the Yvelines department near Paris, with the loss of 290 jobs and 90 transfers to other facilities. Some 280 of 745 jobs in the Calais

submarine operation will be lost, along with the loss of 70 jobs out of 830 in Ormes, France both by end-2003


Software and the Internet continue to proliferate in spite of the market failure. We are seeing new applications all the time. The Internet is being recognized in the cabling industry as a tool to distribute company and product information to enhance sales & marketing. There are also new applications on the Internet, which assist in "back office" solutions and services. The small contractor is the predominant business unit in the cabling industry. Many of these businesses struggle to handle the myriad of administrative challenges.

Recently, we uncovered a new application of software and the Internet for assisting the contractor with the challenges of getting insurance information to their technicians and staff. Many contractors do not have dedicated full time staff, handling Human Resource services.

The PeoplePACK is an employee self service system that automates HR tasks, employee benefits, open enrollment, and provides online forms and documents. Through Internet technology, there's no need for hardware, software, or maintenance, and information can be accessed 24/7.

This new offering is designed to help a business of any size deal with the employee health insurance benefits.

Check it out for yourself. These services have become a real priority as medical and insurance costs rise to unexpected levels. The complexity of using the health insurance coverage has become as simple as the IRS policies and procedures. We can use as much help as we can get.

Berk-Tek and Ortronics Advance NetClear™ Solutions

With Increased Performance Guarantees Field Verification Confirms New Promises

Netclear - the Berk-Tek/Ortronics alliance, is pleased to announce elevated performance guarantees for all the NetClear solutions. Berk-Tek and Ortronics are continually striving to increase the performance levels of NetClear technology in order to provide significant improvements in network capacity and transmission speeds. The most recent improvements boost the performance of all the NetClear solutions even further beyond the standards.

NetClearGT3 is a Category 6 cabling solution that provides elevated performance for real world networks today, with an enhanced ability to support network migration for the future. The NetClearGT3 solution integrates LANmark-2000 cable and cordage, the latest development from Berk-Tek, with Ortronics Clarity6 optimized Category 6 connectivity components, to deliver unsurpassed dynamic and static performance. Through extensive testing and development, Ortronics and Berk-Tek have increased the NEXT, PSNEXT, ELFEXT, and PSELFEXT guarantees of NetClearGT3 for installed channel performance 4dB above the TIA Category 6 requirements, verifiable by approved field testers. The return loss guarantee for NetClearGT3 remains at 3dB.

The NetClearGT2 enhanced Category 6 channel solution combines Berk-Tek’s LANmark-1000 UTP cable and Ortronics Clarity6 connectivity components to offer guaranteed performance 2dB beyond the TIA Category 6 standard for all cross talk and return loss requirements, verifiable by approved field testers. NetClearGT2 guarantees a network cabling system engineered to run applications such as Fast and Gigabit Ethernet, and to ensure network migration capabilities for future applications requiring four-pair, full-duplex transmission. NetClearGT2 provides a minimum usable bandwidth of 250 MHz for a channel capacity of 2.5 Gigabits per second.

NetClearGT is an enhanced Category 5e solution that combines Berk-Tek’s LANmark-350™ UTP cable with Ortronics Clarity5E Category 5e connectivity components to provide a total usable bandwidth of 155 MHz for a channel capacity of 1.5 Gigabits per second. The horizontal channel solution is engineered to significantly surpass all requirements of Category 5e applications and optimize capabilities for future applications. NetClearGT guarantees installed static channel performance 6dB above all Category 5e cross talk requirements and 3dB above all Category 5e return loss requirements for standards compliant designs and installations with field verification by NetClear approved handheld channel testers.

The NetClearGTO enhanced optical fiber cabling solution featuring GIGAlite™ multimode fiber is engineered for high-speed performance in the horizontal and backbone. NetClearGTO guarantees 850nm serial transmission of 10 Gigabit Ethernet over 300 meters specified in the IEEE 802.3ae document, as well as extended Gigabit Ethernet performance well beyond the IEEE 802.3ab standard .


One Hundred Years and still growing, The Siemon Company is planning a banner celebration to last the whole year through

Willard Scott eat your heart out! You're not the only one who can bark out a big-old birthday greeting. The Siemon Company (Watertown, CT), a world leader in the telecommunications market, is proving that after four generations and 100 years of operation, it has only just begun to have fun.

2003 marks the centennial celebration for The Siemon Company. Started in Connecticut in 1903 by Carl F. Siemon and run today by his great-grandson Carl N. Siemon (his Grandfather and Father ran the company before him), The Siemon Company is a time capsule of 20th century principles and ideologies. It is an American dream come to reality and proof that planning, hard work and dedication are the right ingredients for success.

Now an international powerhouse in its field, The Siemon Company is planning a year- long celebration that will only end when Father Time gracefully surrenders his staff to the fresh baby new year: 2004. Throughout the year the company has a great many things in store:

· An industry-wide celebration in January at cabling's largest trade event

· An invitation only dignitary dinner at the company's world headquarters designed to give attendees a look into the heart of the company

12 Monthly celebrations that focus on a significant event or invention during the year 1903 (The Wright Brothers first flight, Gugliemo Marconi sent the first trans-atlantic radio message, The Ford Motor Company was incorporated, The world's first western movie "The Great Train Robbery"

· premiered)

· A road rally with Harley Davidson - also turning 100 in 2003

· A gala outdoor summer party, complete with live entertainment and fireworks

· Special promotions and much, much more

Siemon's centennial celebration is much more than a simple 100-year anniversary. The Siemon Company's growth through the last century and emergence in the 21st century as among the most respected manufacturers of telecommunications cabling systems tells the story of one family's desire, and determination to succeed despite the hardships and challenges. It is the story of a company that has over it's 100-year life-span had only four leaders; and each one of them was named Carl Siemon. It is the remarkable story of a company's unyielding commitment to it's employees, its community and its environment. It is the story today, of four-brothers working together, side-by-side, each and every day to build not just a domestic manufacturing organization, but a true global entity - one capable of delivering the same quality services in Beijing, China and Hamburg, Germany as they are in Hoboken, New Jersey or San Francisco, California.

This is the story of one family's commitment to provide not just for themselves but for the thousand of families that have been touched by Siemon throughout the years - and for future generations as well.


January 2003

International Consumer Electronic Show

January 9-12, 2003

Las Vegas, Nevada

ACUTA 2003 Winter Seminar

Jan 12-15

Tempe, Arizona

BICSI 2003 Winter Conference

Jan 13-16

Orlando, FL


Jan 27 – 30

Washington DC

BOMA Winter Business Meeting & National Issues Conference

Jan 24 – 28

Washington DC

International Builders Show

Jan 21 – 24

Las Vegas, NV


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