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HOTS 06/1997

Issue: June 1997

By: Frank Bisbee

Featured Story

CABLING THE WORKPLACE '97 was a success as the very first conference to be held in the brand new Atlantic City Convention Center and the first CTW to be held on the East Coast. The focus on training in this technical conference continues to be the main theme. The attendees commented that the pace of the conference was conducive to gathering information from the vendor exhibitors and receiving the technical training. The vendors also commented on the additional value of "quality time" with the attendees. This group of conference attendees was evenly mixed between contractors and end users. The non-confrontational middle ground was very positive to bring together buyers and sellers in order to exchange value.

The city had gone all out to welcome CTW '97 to this ribbon cutting first conference at their new "jewel". The conference manual was worth the entire conference fee by itself. Chalk this one up as a real value for 1997. We will let you know when to mark your calendar for CTW '98. We understand they are considering two smaller shows for 1998 to keep it personal.

RDNP = An impressive certification . . .

Prestolite unveiled their RDNP Program (Registered Data Networking Professionals) at a sidebar symposium to CTW '97. The presentation covered the value-add concept which covered expanded warranties, discounts, and professional certified training and testing. Prestolite also introduced some of their new expanding technical and support staff. Keep your eye on Prestolite Wire Corporation . . . they are on the move.

Levels: The more you know about it, the more you'll like it . . .

The revived Anixter, Inc. (Skokie, IL) Levels Program is far more comprehensive than the first issue. Get used to hearing about it because this approach is the only program we know of that picks up where Cat 5 stopped. In the late 1980s, Anixter originally led the industry to define a set of guidelines and standards for distribution systems. This program was the guiding light needed to clear up confusion in the industry.

Then and Now . . .

Anixter's Levels Program helped protect contractors and end users from making the wrong buying decisions in an industry that was more confusing than IRS procedures. Now, the EIA/TIA standards are bogged down and performance demands have surpassed their top rating. The new Anixter Levels '97 Program was announced on April 14, 1997 to address the enhanced performance needs of the marketplace. Anixter, Inc. is a global distributor of integrated communications systems, services, and products.

Jack and his Beanstalk . . .

BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Services International) has sent out a "Long Range Planning Report", which includes numbers for BICSI's very impressive recent membership growth. With an approximate 30% annual growth rate, BICSI membership has shown phenomenal growth over the past five years. However, when we spoke with ACP (Association of Cabling Professionals) staffers, they informed us that their growth rate is proving to be even more impressive - approximately 42%!

In the "Message from the President" from the April 1997 issue of BICSI NEWS, BICSI members are told of the final stages of the new BICSI office building construction in Tampa. Members can read about the common last-minute pains with the construction and the mounting anxiety seen in every large office moves. Outgoing President John Gage also invited any members passing through the Tampa area to come and see the building plans, which are on display at the current building. They also answer one of the most universal questions when faced with such a monumental office move. Do we have to change our rolodex cards or did someone get organized enough to simply switch their phone numbers to the new building? Well, Mr. Gage answered that BICSI would indeed be keeping their previous phone and fax numbers, including direct lines!

Harry Pfister, affectionately known as the godfather of BICSI, said he was overwhelmed by the million$ that they have today. Harry reminisces about passing the hat for funds to do the mail-outs. Today, it takes an armored car to haul the load to the bank.

Higher Learning . . .

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has sent out a brochure to inform everyone of two introductory telecom courses they are giving in July 1997. One of the courses, titled "Basic Telephony" takes place in Madison, Wisconsin from July 14th to the 16th and is expected to provide valuable information on the key transmission components of a telecommunications system. In "Basic Telephony", the student will learn and understand how regulatory issues and current technology (local loop, fiber optics, electrical protection, etc.) fit into today's modern telecommunications industry. The other course, titled "Digital Switching", is also in Madison, from July 17th to the 18th. "Digital Switching" will educate the student about the digital switch, the second key component of the telecommunications network, beyond the transmission systems portion. This course is meant to complement "Basic Telephony" and will give you a firm grasp on the basics of digital switching, traffic fundamentals, networks, synchronization and timing, and network planning. These courses have been arranged by the Department of Engineering Professional Development at the University. If you are interested in either course you should call today (1-800-462-0876) to register, as class size is limited.

Spec speak . . .

Berk-Tek has also sent out a brochure concerned with education in the rapidly growing telecommunications industry. The brochure lists 18 reasons why you should "spec Berk-Tek." But we think that these reasons are good enough to work in any "spec" situation. Here's the countdown:


FEP is a known material. FEP's (fluorinated ethylene propylene) insulation characteristics are familiar and documented. The flame retardant characteristics, as well as the electrical performance, physical handling, material properties, aging and stability characteristics are constant to every manufacturer and have withstood the test of time. (Unlike some fire retardant polyolefins.)


Installer-friendly construction. Cable pulling and installation are much easier because FEP insulated cables are usually smaller in diameter and much more flexible than composite core cables. You should also consider the improved cold weather handling and easier punchdown and termination as benefits of using FEP insulated cables. All the above results in easier installation, which gives you considerable time savings and consistent quality.


Easier testing after installation. The consistency of 100% FEP insulation means easier testing of each circuit with normal hand-held testers. No more questions about NVP settings when you use 100% FEP insulated Category 5 cable.


Better flame performance. In flame situations, composite core cables burn up to four times faster and up to four times further than 100% FEP insulated cables. This means that the building's occupants are four times more likely to run out of time if a fire starts in a non-FEP cabled building.


Less smoke in fire conditions. Composite core cables generate twice the smoke of 100% FEP insulated cables in plenum fires. Not only does this mean 50% less smoke damage, but it also gives your coworkers 50% better chance of seeing themselves to safety during evacuation procedures in the event of a fire.


Enhanced performance materials make for enhanced performance cables. The consistency of 100% FEP insulated cables is one of the many reasons why they meet and exceed the strict requirements for data transmission demanded by current and coming applications and protocols.


Say good-bye to bonded pairs. 100% FEP cables perform without the need for bonding the pairs together. This is a major advantage in installation efficiency as well as network value.


Future-proofing your network is automatic. 100% FEP insulated cables can handle the demanding transmission rates of future applications and protocols, and will also be predictably dependable in the future. Only 100% FEP insulated cable can claim that track record.


Improved balance. As signal frequencies increase, line-to-line balance has greater impact on signal integrity. The stability of 100% FEP insulated cables offers better control on signal balance.


Impedance control. 100% FEP insulated cables provide significantly better control on the parameters which influence consistent cable impedance.


Elevated SRL performance. 100% FEP insulated cables produce better SRL (Structural Return Loss) performance than required by the TIA/EIA 568-A standards.


Reduced Skew. 100% FEP insulated cables have a skew less than 50% of that of composite core cables, resulting in more consistent performance at higher frequencies.


Attenuation Control. 100% FEP insulation provides the ability to fine tune and control important electrical characteristics, and attenuation is a key example of this ability.


Superior POWERSUM NEXT performance. The dielectric consistency of our 100% FEP insulation greatly improves POWERSUM NEXT performance over composite core cables.


Better ACR. 100% FEP insulated cable boasts ACR (Attenuation to Crosstalk Ratio) performance that far exceeds the EIA/TIA 568-A spec. That's future proof value you can count on.


OASIS Link Performance. 100% FEP insulated cables qualify for Berk-Tek's innovative OASIS (Open Architecture Systems Interconnection Solutions) link performance program, which is built around 100% FEP cables for more open architecture systems and options.


The best network value in cabling solutions. With the installation, performance, safety and quality advantages, not to mention open architecture and link performance advantages, 100% FEP insulated cable offers gives you (the system owner) more bang for your buck today . . . and tomorrow.


Berk-Tek stands behind every cable they make. Berk-Tek backs every inch of their 100% FEP insulated cable with an iron-clad 15 year warranty. It pays to pick the right cable from the right manufacturer.

Fire Safety is No Joke!

Association of Cabling Professionals (ACP) has issued a Product Alert regarding cables and fire protection margins. Not all cables live up to their claims. Caveat Emptor! See for alot more information. The ACP representative said that they hope to have a generic specification for the Category 5 plenum cable posted to their website very soon. This spec should help the buyer clarify their purchase requirements and insure a safe-quality buy.

Smart Buildings are back again . . .

With technology and regulation in their corner, the building owners are looking at an old concept with a renewed interest. Some years ago, United Technologies, Inc. promised intelligent buildings to the building owners. Today, the revenue associated with those concepts can be captured by the building owners without tampering with the sacred "rent budget". This new and powerful is already driving a quest for "CABLING FOR DOLLARS". Expect an increased focus on BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) and NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties). The AIA (American Institute of Architects) should get their fair share of attention as well.

Believe or Not . . .

NYNEX has achieved record earnings growth for the second consecutive year, the first back-to-back years with double-digit EPS growth. We have received news that NYNEX will not publish an Annual Report for Shareholders with the 1996 results, due to the upcoming merger with Bell Atlantic. In order to inform shareholders of pertinent financial information, NYNEX issued a News Release earlier this year in which they give the following "Year-End Highlights":

Net income is up.

Earnings per share are up.

Total revenues, including NYNEX's share of unconsolidated ventures, continue to grow.

Access line demand drops at a record pace.

Operating margin expands.

Aggressive initiatives put service back on track.

. . . and, the firings shall continue until morale improves.


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