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HOTS 09/1999

Issue: September 1999

By: Frank Bisbee


 

Featured Story

 


The concept of residence cabling is not a new idea. Chuck Siebuhr of the Cabling Business Institute has written numerous articles on this important sector of our industry. For more than five years, Chuck and other authors have warned us that this is a complex challenge that should not be taken casually. The residence cabling market and home automation systems offer a new marketplace valued at more than $1.3 Trillion.

The Association of Cabling Professionals is gathering a package of materials providing a "snapshot" of the communications cabling opportunities developing in residence cabling. Many experts now predict a "smart home" before we accomplish the "smart building" in the workplace.

The Association of Cabling Professionals intends to utilize more of its resources and contacts to guide the communications cabling industry towards safety and performance in the home. The Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA) recent upgrade to the residential cabling standard, EIA/TIA 570, provides a much needed improvement in the selection of cabling system and performance levels. But it does not address cable material safety, in particular fire safety, which is outside the scope of the document and TIA's charter. The ACP believes strongly that the fire safety of residential cabling needs to be addressed and is considering formation of a committee to develop volutary residential fire safety codes for low voltage residential cabling. We'd like to hear from you on this important issue.

Soon, the network carriers will be delivering the "big pipe with bundled services" to the homeowners' doorstep. The speed and bandwidth will most likely require a level of performance in the residence cabling which exceeds virtually all of the installed base cabling. It's rewiring America . . . it's rewiring the world. We will see a mixture and proliferation of all the technologies available. However, copper-based cabling in the residence will definitely be the dominant infrastructure.

Most residence constructions do not utilize return air plenum designs. The decision to use low fuel load plenum rated cabling is the wisest and safest method and material choice. Some contractors may say that it is not required by the building code. ACP says, "It's your house, it's your choice."

Nobody in their right mind would string a high-fuel load fuse all over their house in order to save a few pennies. Correction: Nobody in their right mind (informed of all the facts) would choose that kind of risk, in their own home.

Michael Shannahan, Vice President of Operations at Communication Planning Corp. (Jacksonville, FL), told us that CPC only recommends plenum cables insulated with DuPont Teflon® FEP for a "home run" with both safety and performance bases covered.

ACP will continue to update these resource materials and post them on this website. ACP will also publish information on this vital topic in the ACP WIREGRAM and other communications publications such as Cabling Business Magazine.



Mohawk/CDT (Leominster, MA) introduces HomeLAN™ cable to give you tomorrow's technology for tomorrow's homes . . . TODAY. HomeLAN™ allows you to select and/or install future-ready home systems with the full support of Mohawk/CDT (a world leader in cabling technology for half a century) and their selected hardware partners . . . with advanced technologies of Mohawk/CDT's benchmark LAN, WAN, and MAN architectural systems. Home automation is evolving faster than I can spend money on fishing gear at the sporting goods store. You can contact a residence cabling specialist by e-mail: homelan@mohawk-cdt.com. In addition to copper-based cabling products, Mohawk/CDT has an impressive array of fiber optic cable products for all applications.



Y2K - AN OPPORTUNITY

Y2K is an emotional issue. That is why it is reassuring to all of us when we see a spokesperson explain to a reporter that their industry is Y2K compliant. The problem comes when reporters interview those who take advantage of the emotion.

"I wouldn't want to be on an airplane when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st!" This is the quote we have all heard before.

If your industry or company is Y2K compliant, you should have no trouble responding. If you are not, you must explain why and what your plan is. If you are concerned about causing panic, emphasizing your planning will help prevent that.

Tired of being intimidated by Y2K? We've checked and found that all of the cabling manufacturers are currently producing Y2K compliant cable. Go ahead and get wired - and Fuhgeddaboutit!



NORDX/CDT (Montreal, Canada), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cable Design Technologies (CDT) Corporation, has introduced the new and improved Optimax2™ optical fiber field installable connector, SC and ST Compatible. The Optimax2™ can be installed in just a few minutes by even the novice technician, using simple tools such as a fiber cleaver and a fiber stripper, eliminating the need for expensive tools such as ovens and materials used for polishing and epoxy.

Optimax2™ is an improved version of the original Optimax™ optical fiber field installable connector that used to be offered by NORDX/CDT. The Optimax2™ has been completely redesigned to establish new quality standards - critical ferrule polishing operations are performed to exacting tolerances in the factory, where strict manufacturing and testing controls ensure outstanding product quality and performance. This unique approach significantly increases productivity in the field and results in a high quality connection every time.

This revolutionary product requires no polishing and no epoxy, abolishing the need to heat-cure or bond. The patented mechanical splice body of Optimax2 incorporates a factory-mounted fiber stub and a pre-polished ceramic ferrule for consistent, hassle-free, secure and reliable optical fiber cable termination. www.nordx.com



To steal a quote from the movie Runaway Bride, "The difference between literature and journalism is speed . . ." It seems like no sooner do I get one column finished when the next one's due. The Heard On The Street column depends upon the materials contributed by the readers and their companies. Please send your ideas and press releases to:

Frank Bisbee

Heard On The Street

4160 Southside Blvd., #3

Jacksonville, FL 32216

(904) 645-6018

Or E-mail me at frank@wireville.com. Thank you for your support.



Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, MI) is buying Union Carbide Corporation (Danbury, CT) for $9.3 billion in stock and $2.3 billion in assumed debt, creating the world's second-largest chemical company behind DuPont. The merged company, which will operate under the Dow Chemical name, will have $24 billion in annual revenues. "This was the right time and combination, and the deal positions us for going forward in the future," said Union Carbide's CEO William Joyce. Mr. Joyce also said that despite rumors, Union Carbide was not talking to other suitors, "We have really been working with Dow and only Dow."

William S. Stavropoulos, President and CEO of Dow Chemical, said that despite some bumpy times for Union Carbide recently, over the long term the merger makes sense. Stavropoulos added that Dow Chemical expects to have a cost savings of $500 million over the next two years and that his company plans to make similar deals that are also accretive to earnings over the next few years.

About 2,000 jobs will be cut as a result of the Dow Chemical / Union Carbide merger, leaving about 49,000 employees.

Union Carbide shareholders will own about 25% of Dow Chemical after the deal is complete, and Union Carbide CEO Joyce will become Vice Chairman of the Dow Chemical board of directors.

Under the deal, Union Carbide shareholders will receive 0.537 shares of Dow Chemical for each of their Union Carbide shares - or $66.96.

The merger depends on the approval of Union Carbide shareholders and regulatory authorities. The companies expect the deal to be completed by the first quarter of 2000. www.dow.com



Nordx/CDT Inc. (Montreal, Canada), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cable Design Technologies (CDT) Corporation has announced the availability of the new and revolutionary IBDN 4800LX Cable.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable represents the "next generation" of UTP LAN cables. This cable exceeds all of the performance criteria with respect to the Category 6 proposals. Included within these performance criteria are two key transmission parameters that limit the maximum data-rate capability of copper cable networks. The most important transmission parameter is the signal level, which is primarily determined by the attenuation of the cable. The second is the noise level, which is primarily determined by internally generated crosstalk noise between cable pairs. This new cabling technology focuses on improving both of these parameters, hence providing a cabling system with an available bandwidth far beyond traditional cabling systems.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable incorporates a unique central cross-web design to separate and hold the twisted pairs of the cable firmly into position at a uniform distance from one another. This design provides improved Near End Crosstalk (NEXT) and Far End Crosstalk (FEXT) performance in comparison to conventional cables where the twisted pairs can nest into each other and change position during manufacturing or installation. The end result of this design is a very stable transmission performance that is less susceptible to manufacturing and installation variables.

"By implementing a forward-looking attitude, NORDX/CDT has pioneered new territory in cable technology," explained Eric d'Allmen, Product Manager at NORDX/CDT. "By taking advantage of this next generation cable technology, users can benefit from the additional headroom that it provides for today's most demanding and mission critical applications, as well as the multi-gigabit applications of the next millennium.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable is designed to provide low signal attenuation. This feature enables increased signal power over a higher range of frequencies. Where most cables may suffer a drop in performance at higher frequencies, the 4800LX cable provides twice the signal power at 200 MHz compared to the current Category 6a proposal.

The higher signal power of the IBDN 4800 LX Cable also results in a higher "signal-to-noise" ratio (SNR). With this higher ratio, the IBDN 4800LX Cable is able to provide fewer transmission errors and higher data rate capability.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable supports all popular networking protocols including 10Base-T, Token Ring, 100Base-T4, 100Base-TX and 155 Mb/s ATM. It surpasses the requirements for Gigabit Ethernet 1000Base-T and is ideal for emerging high-speed protocols.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable combined with the IBDN PS6 MDVOFlex Jack and PS6LX Modular Cords, will create the first end-to-end 300 MHz system in the industry, the IBDN System 4800LX. (PS6 components will be made available in the fall of 1999.) www.nordx.com



Florida's senior institutions of higher education have a long history of leading edge research, diversified and high quality educational programs, and the use of networks to support these activities. However, the networking needs of advanced research can no longer be met solely through the current Internet. To remain on the frontiers of research, Florida's universities require access to a high-performance network infrastructure with characteristics that are suited to the research environment - the NSF very High Speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS).

To address these challenges, seven of Florida's ten state universities and one of the state's leading private institutions have come together to develop a coordinated plan for building a high-performance statewide network for research and education. These institutions are: Florida A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, The Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, and the University of South Florida. The proposed network will link these institutions with each other, with other research universities in the southeast, and with the NSF vBNS. All of the universities represented in this proposal are members of the Internet2 consortium.

This proposal requests partial support for the FloridaNet project from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $2,800,000 to support the construction of a distributed gigapop linking the eight participating institutions and a high-speed connection to the vBNS. "Matching" funding from the participating institutions will exceed this amount. The University of Central Florida will serve as fiscal agent for this proposal.



Hang on to your hats! CAT 5e is almost a done deal. We're already seeing changes in the products and a whirlwind of technical variations in the new "CAT 5e" cables. Some cables are meeting only the MINIMUM standard and some offer a generous buffer of performance to compensate for increased future speeds or demands. Characteristics of cabling components under CAT 5e can be vastly different. For instance, impedance can vary as much as 30 ohms between a patch cord and a horizontal run.

Confusing? Yes, and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. Fortunately, some manufacturers and distributors have developed "systems" that are tested to assure performance. Anixter has just completed their new testing laboratory and are uncovering even more reasons to get a system that's designed and tested to work together. They've shown our industry a "better way to build a mousetrap" with their Levels Program, and now they're finding even more reasons why these "tuned" or "matched" systems are even more important than anyone realized. It seems that the Levels Program had some embedded benefits that were not apparent initially. Not all of the CAT 5e standard products have the ability to deliver the performance of the Levels Program components, and the systems as a whole might not even be close. Ain't technology grand? When it comes to Cat5E, remember, your PC was obsolete before it left the store. www.anixter.com

In the midst of all this turbulence I'm reminded of a favorite saying from our French cousins: "The more things change, the more they remain the same". There's plenty-a-changin' but it's remarkable what has also remained the same, and that is cable insulation. FEP (Commonly known by the DuPont tradename Teflon®) has remained far and away the top insulation choice for plenum cable manufacturers. This unique and amazing product has both the electrical and fire safety performance that allows manufacturers to continue to expand the performance envelope. They may be out there, but we still haven't seen the limit boundaries for FEP and copper cabling. More changes and exciting new performance options are still ahead of us.



Anicom, Inc. (Rosemont, IL), a distributor of multimedia technology products, has announced that its Board of Directors, at its regularly scheduled quarterly meeting, made the following promotions, effective September 1,1999.

  • Alan Anixter - Founding Chairman of the Board will chair a newly formed executive management committee.

  • Scott Anixter - Chairman and CEO will become Chairman of the Board

  • Carl Putnam - President and COO will become CEO and President

  • John Figurelli - Vice President of Operations will become Senior Executive Vice President and COO

  • Don Welchko - Vice President and CFO will become Senior Executive Vice President and CFO

These five executives will also constitute the members of a newly formed executive management committee that will oversee the operations and growth strategy of the company, including future acquisitions, and the company's finance function. www.anicommm.com



Tyco International Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda), a diversified manufacturing and service company, has announced that Raychem Corporation's shareholders have overwhelmingly approved Tyco's acquisition of Raychem.

Raychem, with annual revenues of approximately $1.8 billion, is an international designer, manufacturer and distributor of high-performance electronic products for OEM businesses and a broad range of specialized telecommunications, energy and industrial applications. www.tycoint.com



Cabledrop.com, a subsidiary of DataStar Computer Systems, Inc. (Carrollton, TX) announced the launching of the world's first network infrastructure services company to provide nationwide E-Commerce based voice and data cabling services. www.cabledrop.com



News from ACUTA (Association of College and University Telecommunications Administrators):

-ACUTA continues to grow with an increase of 7 new institutional members and a net increase of 3 silver and 2 gold Corporate members. Over 92% of the association's members were retained from the prior year.

-ACUTA's Strategic Plan was evaluated and updated with a new mission statement, goals, objectives, and action items. Many of the new goal and action items were the result of the feedback received from the Member Needs Assessment that was completed in July 1998. Electronic access was improved by expanding and improving the ACUTA website, making it easier to access ACUTA resources. New dynamic software was unveiled which will be kept constantly up to date by drawing directly from the association's databases. Some databases will soon be able to be updated by the members on-line. The software of listserve administration was also changed, providing more options for reading listserve messages. The on-line Product and Services Guide is also available on the website. Audio and Video highlights of the Seminars and Conferences are now available on the website.

-Since the website was introduced in July 1995, over 65,079 visits have been made to the site. This is an increase of over 26,000 since last year. The ACUTA website was selected as a "World Class Website" of associations, in a study sponsored by the American Society of Association Executive Foundation.

-The Journal continues to receive a lot of positive feedback from both their Institutional and Corporate members. It is now entirely self-supporting.

-Relationships and information exchange with other professional associations in education and telecommunications continue to strengthen, and have increased ACUTA's visibility and reputation as a resource for information on technology in higher education. www.acuta.org



Staples Inc. (Framingham, MA) has announced it has renamed its telecommunications subsidiaries, The Claricom Companies, to "Staples Communications". Staples acquired the privately held telecommunications products and services provider in March 1999.

"Staples' brand recognition and reputation will enable us to expand our telecommunications customer base," said Neil Lichtman, President of Staple Communications. "Offering high-quality telecommunications products and services is another way Staples is helping customers run their businesses more efficiently and effectively."

Staples Communications offers a full spectrum of network services, such as local and long distance, internet access, paging, data and other related network services, as well as a full portfolio of business communications solutions including voice, data, and videoconferencing hardware and software from some of the world's leading manufacturers.

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses, from home-based businesses to Fortune 50 companies, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has more than 44,000 associates serving the business customer through more than 980 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. www.staples.com



NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (Rosslyn, VA), has released its Performance Standard for Category 6 and Category 7 100 Ohm Shielded and Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable, WC 66-1999, the first North American standard of its kind. "We wanted to drive a stake in the ground to generate an industry standard for Category 6 and Category 7 cables," says Bob Brunelle, Senior Product Engineer at BICC General. "With WC 66-1999, we accomplished that."

"The latest revision of the Anixter Inc. Levels™ purchase specification for Level 7 cable includes NEMA WC 66-1999 as one of the base standards," says Ron Vollink, Manager-Technology, Structured Cabling Systems at Anixter Inc. "This purchase specification is issued to the top cable manufacturers in the industry that are Anixter Inc. partners to insure that only top quality cables are sold to our customers."

The WC 66-1999 standard defines minimum electrical performance and allowable conductor sizes, stranding, and shielding for premise wiring cables for voice and data applications for 100 ohm shielded and unshielded twisted pair cables. These cables may be used for voice, data, and video applications whose spectral bandwidth extends up to 200 MHz for Category 6 and 600 MHz for Category 7.

"We will revise this standard as necessary and it will be necessary as technology evolves," Brunelle says. "But we have set state-of-the-art requirements given what is currently known and accepted today for Category 6 and 7 cable. The standard parallels what is going on in the industry and has been harmonized with other industry standards for consistency."

"The NEMA Premise Wiring Subcommittee took its cues in the development of WC 66 from the changes being made in International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) 11801," says NEMA Program Manager Dan Strachan. "We also made reference to such standards as Telecommunications Industries Association's (TIA) 568-A, as well as various American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) standards. Although WC 66 is a new standard, it is grounded in long-established and well-known standards. We expect it to be broadly referenced and adopted by other standards organizations." www.nema.org



Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY) has announced that its new carrier will deploy nearly eight million kilometers of advanced non-zero dispersion-shifted optical fiber (NZ-DSF) in the largest European broadband network ever announced. A minimum of 80% of the project's total NZ-DSF fiber requirements will be made up of Corning® LEAF® optical fiber. Corning Cables, Corning Incorporated's European cabling division, will cable approximately 50% of the total LEAF fiber being supplied to the project.

Corning LEAF fiber, an advanced NZ-DSF, allows higher levels of power to be transmitted through the fiber over a greater number of channels, while minimizing the occurrence of nonlinear effects. www.corningfiber.com



Roy J. Plunkett was the DuPont scientist who in 1938 discovered PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene) resin, later trademarked "Teflon®". During more than 60 years, we have seen thousands of uses emerge for this remarkable family of materials, including the industry standard insulation for plenum cable.

The DuPont Plunkett Awards 2000, for innovation in applications for Teflon®, are currently accepting entries. More information and an entry form are posted at www.teflon.com.



Ernest L. Hatfield has been appointed Vice President of Fiber Optic Cable Manufacturing at Berk-Tek's Fuquay-Varina, NC, facility. Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), an Alcatel company, is a recognized leader in high-performance copper and fiber-optic structured cabling solutions.

Hatfield will be responsible for strengthening manufacturing operations and the overall Fuquay-Varina organization to achieve the highest performance levels and to meet the company's strategic objectives for 1999 and beyond. He will report to William R. Francis, Berk-Tek's Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology.

Hatfield previously was General Manager for the Alcatel Shanghai Optical Fiber Cable Co., Ltd., an Alcatel joint venture that manufactures submarine, ADSS, OPGW and terrestrial fiber optic cable. Before that, Hatfield was Director of Manufacturing for Alcatel Telecommunications Cable's fiber and cable facility at Claremont, NC, and also worked as a Plant Manager at Alcatel fiber and cable plants.

Before joining Alcatel in 1988, he worked in various manufacturing assignments for Union Camp Corporation; Corning, Inc.; and Siecor.

Hatfield received a BS in Electrical Engineering for the University of Kentucky and also attended the University of Florida. He completed the Manufacturing Management Program at the University of Virginia's Darden School. He is also an U.S. Army veteran. Among his civic activities are the Critical Thinking Institute, Junior Achievement and the Project 2000 Goal 4 Committee.



Rosemary Wilson has been promoted to business Application Manager of Information Technology (IT) for Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), an Alcatel company and a manufacturer of high-performance copper and fiber optic structured cabling solutions.

Wilson, previously a Senior Programmer/Analyst, will be responsible for the company's Applications Support team, which provides all of the development and support for both Berk-Tek's in-house Package and other IT development projects.

In her new position, Wilson will manage the team, day-to-day application support and long-term critical strategic projects. Wilson joined Berk-Tek in November 1990 and has a BS in Computer Science from Millersville University (Lancaster, PA)



Alejandro Moncada Martinez has been appointed Mexico Regional Manager for Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), an Alcatel company and a manufacturer of high-performance copper and fiber optic structured cabling solutions.

Moncada, who is based in Mexico City, will be responsible for sales, marketing and customer service for Berk-Tek's comprehensive product line for all of Mexico.

Moncada previously worked as a Sales Manager for Comercial Electrica, S.A. de C.V. and Amp de Mexico, S.A.; and as Special Accounts Manager for Graybar Electric de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. In addition to his telecommunications experience, he has a systems engineering degree from the University of Valle (Mexico City).



At the BICSI Fall Conference, August 23-26, 1999 in Reno, Nevada, conference speakers addressed bandwidth, fusion splicing, fiber, physical network management, and many other topics that pertain to the construction and maintenance of the information superhighway. The conference site offered many exciting diversions and the attendees had a great time.

BICSI BYLAW CHANGES APPROVED

The Engineering and Methods Committee was renamed the Technical Information and Methods (TI&M) Committee in an effort to avoid possible conflict and confusion over the term "engineering". We spoke to several licensed Professional Engineers (PE) who were somewhat satisfied with the clarification.

Got your passport ready? More BICSI Adventures:

  • SEPT. 14, 1999 - BICSI Europe Autumn Conference - Paris, France

  • DEC. 9-10, 1999 - BICSI Caribbean Educational Event

  • Hyatt Regency - Cerromar Beach Hotel - San Juan, Puerto Rico

If traveling abroad is not your cup of tea, you can always get a passport to the Magic Kingdom while attending the BICSI Annual Winter Conference at DisneyWorld in Orlando, Florida in January 2000.



When the end of the world arrives how will the media report it?

  • USA Today: WE'RE DEAD

  • The Wall Street Journal: DOW JONES PLUMMETS AS WORLD ENDS

  • National Enquirer: O.J. and NICOLE, TOGETHER AGAIN

  • Playboy: GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE

  • Microsoft Systems Journal: APPLE LOSES MARKET SHARE

  • Victoria's Secret Catalog: OUR FINAL SALE

  • Sports Illustrated: GAME OVER!

  • Wired: THE LAST NEW THING!

  • Rolling Stone: THE GRATEFUL DEAD REUNION TOUR

  • Reader's Digest: 'BYE!

  • Discover Magazine: HOW WILL THE EXTINCTION OF ALL LIFE AS WE KNOW IT AFFECT THE WAY WE VIEW THE COSMOS?

  • TV Guide: DEATH AND DAMNATION: NIELSON RATINGS SOAR!

  • Lady's Home Journal: LOSE 10 LBS. BY JUDGEMENT DAY WITH OUR NEW "ARMAGEDDON" DIET!


  • America Online: SYSTEM TEMPORARILY DOWN. TRY CALLING BACK IN 15 MINUTES.

  • Inc. magazine: TEN WAYS YOU CAN PROFIT FROM THE APOCALYPSE!



More on the residential market . . . ClearWorks.net (Houston, TX) has signed agreements with half of Houston's top homebuilders to provide a high-tech infrastructure for the majority of their new homes built in the greater Houston area. This means that a significant percentage of all homes being constructed in Houston will be pre-wired for future upgrades, allowing homeowners to have the same kind of high-tech, commercial quality technology infrastructure in their homes as they have at work. In other words, Houston may be well on its way to becoming the high-tech home capital of the world.

The home-builders that are having their new homes pre-wired by ClearWorks.net thus far are: Centex; Pulte; Pulte Classic Series; Royce Homes; Kaufman and Broad; Legacy Homes, a Meritage Corp. company; Michael Thomas; Royce Enclave; Village Builders; David Powers; and Local Custom Builders. ClearWorks.net expects to sign similar arrangement with many of Houston's other top homebuilders in the near future as well.

According to BusinessWeek (June 7, 1999), real estate experts predict that new home prices should be up 6.3% by the end of the year. With home prices in steep rise, the pre-wiring ClearWorks.net provides represents an even smaller percentage of the new home price. This should make it an easier investment decision for homebuilders and homeowners.

According to Michael McClere, CEO of ClearWorks.net, "Basic future-proofing represents only about a $500 investment, but with a full package of additional upgrades, can run up to $2,000 per home. Most homebuilders will provide the basic package for free, and then make the additional features available as upgrades. These agreements have the potential to become a major profit center for our ClearWorks Structured Wiring subsidiary. The six largest of these homebuilders already under contract are expected to complete well over 6,000 homes this year. We expect our wiring services to be included in the majority of their future construction."

Major trends are fueling the demand for ClearWorks' services. According to Gartner Group, a third of the U.S. workforce will be working remote at least one day a week by 2003. Not only will more and more people office at least part-time at home, but they will also utilize the Internet more for research, shopping, entertainment and communications.

"We believe that creating a technology master plan for residential communities and providing a rugged high-tech infrastructure for homes is the wave of the future. We enable builders to provide their homeowners access to the same powerful technology in their new homes as they use at the office. We are also working in conjunction with developers to build a fiber optics network into new subdivisions, thus effectively solving the 'last mile' problem," explains McClere.

"This revolutionary approach allows us to provide homeowners with Internet connections at a bi-directional speed of up to 100 megabits per second, which is 2,000 times faster than with a 56K modem dial-up connection. We can also provide digital telephone service with all the add-ons like voice mail, caller ID, etc., digital cable TV with absolutely no channel limitations, on-demand video and game rentals, closed-circuit security capabilities, a community Intranet and much more. And the homeowner gets it all from one vendor, with one bill, a lot cheaper than if they bought all of these services from separate companies," continues McClere. "We are giving them the home of the future, today."



Armed with $2.9 million in new contracts, Pacific Coast Cabling (Chatsworth, CA) has announced the completion of $3.6 million in key projects to cap off the first quarter. Pacific Coast Cabling was tapped for its leading technical expertise to manage, re-tool and maintain several communication systems for key blue-chip companies.

"The speed at which data communications technology is advancing is staggering, as demonstrated by our record growth. We are able to help our clients strategically design the heart of their networks in preparation for their future needs, saving time, and more importantly, money," said Pacific Coast Cabling President and CEO David S. Burr. "Our consultative and interactive approach to designing communications systems allows us to meet the challenges organizations are experiencing today and provide solutions that can handle networking technology that may be actualized in the next 20 years."

A brief description of several Pacific Coast Cabling projects in various vertical industries:

A Global Biotechnology Company - BIOTECHNOLOGY

Pacific Coast Cabling was recently awarded a multi-million dollar on-site communication maintenance services contract for a global biotechnology company based in Southern California. The contract consists of providing all labor, material, and equipment associated with communication maintenance services for the company's headquarters, a multi-building environment spread over 120 acres. Pacific Coast Cabling is providing maintenance on the company's Lucent Technologies SYSTIMAX solution, which incorporates campuswide fiber optic and voice backbone, fiber to the desk, and a horizontal cabling system supporting voice and data up to Gigabit performance. All installations are certified under the Lucent 20-year warranty and applications assurance program.

Countrywide Home Loans - FINANCIAL

Pacific Coast Cabling has been awarded the design and build work for four newly acquired Southern California Countrywide facilities, including the new Technology Center in Calabasas, California. A Siecor/Belden/KRONE Symphony solution will be implemented as the voice and data infrastructure for all four buildings, which will include more that 6,300 data/voice circuits; 18,400 copper voice backbone circuits; and 1,020 fiber optic data backbone connections. The company was also awarded the design of two remote Countrywide facilities in New York City, New York, and Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

DreamWorks Animation Studio - ENTERTAINMENT

Leading the industry in installing this one-of-a-kind high-performance system, Pacific Coast Cabling was responsible for designing and installing a Siecor/Belden/KRONE Symphony solution that implements a fiber-to-the-desk/HighBand™ copper cabling infrastructure. Over 12,000 fiber terminations were included in the multi-building campus project, which covered every application to provide a complete solution with ATM-speed data and broadband video throughout. The project was recently honored with the 1999 Excellence in Project Management Award presented by The Associated General Contractors. All work has been tested and certified for enhanced performance under the Symphony 20-year warranty program.

TBWA/Chiat/Day - ADVERTISING

Pacific Coast Cabling recently met the high-performance multimedia networking requirements of one of the world's most renowned advertising agencies, TBWA/Chiat/Day. Pacific Coast Cabling designed and installed a custom high-speed (for voice, data and video), fully-flexible Symphony solution, consisting of KRONE HighBand&153; blocks, a Siecor fiber backbone and four enhanced Belden Wire & Cable Company cables to 800 workstation locations. To complement the architectural aesthetics of its corporate headquarters, over 3200 enhanced cables are color-coordinated to correspond to the appropriate telecommunication closet (TC). This project was particularly challenging because of the atypical building construction, calling for exposed cabling throughout, underground conduit and a customized above ground system to support the dynamic network. All work has been tested and certified for enhanced performance under the Symphony 20-year warranty program administrated through KRONE. TBWA/Chiat/Day has created several well known campaigns including Apple Computer's "think different.", the Energizer Bunny, the Taco Bell Chihuahua, and other ad campaigns for such clients as Nissan, Kinko's and Sony PlayStation.

Raytheon Systems Company - HIGH-TECHNOLOGY

Pacific Coast Cabling was awarded a project consisting of the implementation of a campuswide cabling infrastructure for the Raytheon Systems Company Goleta Operations. The project involved the installation of a raceway/conduit system, a fiber and voice backbone system and a high-speed data/voice horizontal cabling system. The campus includes over five major buildings with multiple TCs and many support buildings. Pacific Coast Cabling was responsible for the design and installation of multiple fiber backbone connections totaling over 400 multimode terminations and copper backbone to feed over 650 workstations. All work has been tested and certified for enhanced performance under the Ortronics 25-year warranty program. www.pccinc.com



Intertek Testing Services (ITS - Boxborough, MA) has announced that all new and existing ETL and Warnock Hersey Listing clients will be authorized to use country-specific mark identifiers for the United States and/or Canada. The new identifiers - "US" and/or "C" - will now be affixed to the familiar ETL and Warnock Hersey Limited Marks at the four o'clock and/or eight o'clock positions.

ITS has established a five-year transition period before use of the new mark identifiers is mandatory - including preprinted labels and direct imprint applications. www.worldlab.com



BICC General (Highland Heights, KY) has completed the second phase of its acquisition of BICC plc's worldwide energy cable and cable systems businesses, which included ownership interests in businesses in Fiji, the Iberian Peninsula, Mozambique, Angola, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The Company expects to complete the third and final phase of the acquisition, which includes the remaining BICC Cables joint venture businesses in Germany and the Middle East, by year-end.

BICCGeneral also announced the purchase of SpecTran Corporation's joint venture interest in General Photonics. General Photonics, a manufacturer of optical fiber cables, was formed by General Cable Corporation and SpecTran in 1996. The General Photonics optical fiber cables business, now wholly owned by BICCGeneral, will be combined with the optical fiber cables business that BICCGeneral recently acquired from BICC plc. Taken together, BICCGeneral will be among the North American leaders in fiber optic cabling for local area data networks and specialty defense communications applications. The General Photonics product line will now be marketed and sold with BICCGeneral's complete line of data communications products, which includes both optical fiber cable and high-speed, enhanced copper Category cable products, further enhancing the Company's highly successful Power of One strategy. The General Cable brand name will be adopted for the former General Photonics product line. www.biccgeneral.com



Belden Wire & Cable Company (Richmond, IN) will introduce its new line of upgraded fiber optic cables at the Networld+Interop '99 Expo in Las Vegas in November 1999. The BelOptix™ series offers future-proof, environmentally protected cables designed for easier installation, organization and long-term performance. www.belden.com



Tyco International Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda), a diversified manufacturing and service company, has terminated exploratory discussions with William Plc. about a range of options for the combination of their respective fire and security businesses.

"Our acquisition discipline requires that we demonstrate clear benefits to Tyco shareholders in any potential transaction. Every acquisition must provide superior financial return, be immediately accretive to our earnings, have excellent long-term growth prospects, produce strong cash flow, and fit within our four existing business segments," said L. Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco's Chairman and CEO. "While there were substantial potential synergies with Williams in our complementary fire and security businesses, we were unable to structure a transaction that would have achieved these benefits for Tyco shareholders," he added. www.tycoint.com



Advanced Linear Devices, Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) has announced a family of monolithic CMOS analog processor chips that implement precision, low power, low noise integrating dual slope A/D converters having a resolution of 16, 17 & 18 bits, plus sign bit and overrange bit. These devices are ideally suited for a variety of high accuracy line powered and portable digital multi-meter applications requiring 4½ to 5½ digit plus sign measurement resolution.

Designated the ALD500 Series, these front-end analog processors feature low linearity errors typically 0.001% full scale, 10mW total power dissipation, 2 pA input current at OV, ± 3.5V input signal range, and a 1µs fast zero-crossing comparator. Conversion speed can be regulated by an external microprocessor under software control or by utilizing fixed logic digital inputs.

Typical applications for the ALD500 A/D Converter include sensor and scientific measurement add-on modules and boards for PC based systems. Also, PCMCIA lap top computer add-on precision multimeters, battery operated DVMs with on-board microcontroller and other custom ASIC based systems which demand higher analog measurement accuracy than available from generic 3½ digit devices.

ALD500 prices start from $2.44 US in 10k pcs volume for standard ALD500 devices to $3.15 for the "AU" 18-bit grade. Industrial temperature grade devices are also available. Standard packaging includes 16-pin plastic DIP and small outline SOIC. Evaluation quantities are available from stock.



SyNet, Inc. (Warwick, RI), an information systems integrator, has announced three new business development deals that are instrumental to the future development of their company.

First, SyNet has become an authorized value-added reseller of Cabletron Systems' Spectrum Enterprise Manager software product. SPECTRUM Enterprise Manager is the most flexible and scalable management platform in the industry today. Through the implementation of leading edge, object-oriented, artificial intelligence technology -- SPECTRUM addresses the major challenges facing network managers today: change, complexity and cost-of-ownership.

Second, SyNet has also become a Cabletron SyNergy Plus reseller of the company's full hardware line of switches and routers in 1996. Two years later, the status was upgraded to a Synergy Level Platinum Partner. Now, with the addition of the SPECTRUM software agreement, SyNet can offer a full compliment of the Cabletron product line of hardware, software management, services and support.

In addition, SyNet has been named an approved information systems integrator for WANG Global Services. Wang Global is a world leader in networked technology services and solutions with annual revenues in excess of $3 billion, and approximately 20,000 employees around the world -- serving major commercial and government customers, and leading IT vendors. The agreement allows SyNet to provide information system integration services to WANG and its customers on a contract basis. Presently, SyNet has projects bid to WANG in excess of $750,000.00 -- with an anticipated July closing timeframe.

And finally, after completing an extensive qualification process SyNet has become an approved information systems integrator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM). The DCAM certification is required for any company seeking to be the prime bidder on any construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance or repair of any building by a public agency estimated to cost more than $25,000.

This certification allows SyNet the ability to bid its services directly to public agencies without having to go through a middleman.

"We are very excited about receiving our Certificate of Eligibility from DCAM", stated Jeffrey S. Deckman, President and CEO of SyNet. "To be subjected to such an extensive review of our organization and our work history was a bit draining on our resources; however, being approved makes it all worthwhile."

Deckman anticipates that the DCAM certification will afford SyNet the opportunity to bid on no less than $1 million worth of contracts over the next 12-month period.



Laying the groundwork for the creation of a new category of consumer electronics products, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dedicate 36 MHz of radio frequency bandwidth to provide free, high-quality multi-channel digital radio, information and high capacity data services for a new broadcast service to mobile receivers. CEMA outlined the proposal in a filing submitted to the FCC last week regarding its proposals to adopt rules to permit new wireless and broadcast services using UHF-TV channels 60-62 and 65-67. These channels are scheduled to become available in 2006 as part of the transition to digital television.

"This is an exciting and historic opportunity for the Commission, for mass media entities, for receiver and transmitter equipment manufacturers and mostly for the American public," proclaimed Gary Shapiro, CEMA President. "CEMA believes that the frequency bands under consideration in this proceeding are ideal to create a new terrestrial Mobile Multimedia Broadcast Service (MMBS) which will bring features currently popular in home entertainment and information products to the mobile environment."

Among the services that could be made possible by MMBS are 5.1 channel digital audio (Left, center, right, left rear, right rear and sub-woofer) with CD, or better, quality.

"With multi-channel audio, MMBS would give mobile listeners an exciting immersion into the entertainment experience already a part of high-definition television and DVD," noted Ralph Justus, CEMA director of Technology and Standards.

MMBS also would bring to the mobile user access to digital information including navigation, weather and emergency data, such as evacuation warnings, in real time. And with data rates of up to 384 Kbps per channel and more that 70 channels, Internet Protocol (IP) services, other data services and Intelligent Transportation Systems also may be offered.

"Mobile access to this much digital information and data services would spawn an entirely new category of mobile products," explained Justus. "The entire local paper could be delivered electronically to mobile receivers throughout a given city. In-dash navigation systems could use real-time map and traffic data to calculate the fastest route dynamically. Everything from sports scores to flight schedules and congressional hearings to comic strips could be delivered to small wireless devices. The possible applications are limitless."

The two pieces of radio spectrum under consideration are 746 to 764 and 776 to 794 MHz - or television channels 60 through 62 and 65 through 67 in the UHF band. These frequencies have been made available by the FCC as part of the transition to digital television and will be auctioned off for commercial purposes after January 1, 2001. Outside of the basic public interest requirements, the FCC has currently sold to the highest commercial bidder.

In its submission, however, CEMA urged the FCC to designate the spectrum only for MMBS and adopt the specific technical system to use. Only then, CEMA argued, can the FCC realize the full benefits of MMBS for the public and maximize potential spectrum auction revenues.

"CEMA strongly supports the Commission's efforts to adopt rules that will permit the creation of new services on these frequencies," explained Michael Petricone, CEMA director of Technology Policy and Legal Affairs. "It is clearly in the public interest to allocate the necessary bandwidth to new services for which there is demonstrable demand."

"We believe the FCC has an opportunity and an obligation to establish rules ensuring that this radio spectrum will be used in a way that best serves the public," added Shapiro. "MMBS serves this interest by integrating free over-the-air broadcasting of high-quality multi-channel audio with high-capacity data services intended for mobile use."

CEMA has scheduled a "Discovery Group" meeting for September 15th in Washington, D.C. to gauge further interest in MMBS and devise technical and service requirements needed to meet listener and user needs. More information on the meeting will be posted shortly on www.CEMAcity.org. CEMA's filing with the FCC can also be viewed at this site.

CEMA is a sector of the Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA), the 75-year-old Arlington, VA-based trade organization representing all facets of electronics manufacturing. CEMA represents more than 500 U.S. manufacturers of audio, video, accessories, mobile electronics, communications, information technology and multimedia products that are sold through consumer channels.

CEMA also sponsors and manages the International CES - Your Source for Workstyle and Lifestyle Technology (SM). All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, product promotion, engineering standards development, market research and governmental and legal affairs support. As the first major technology event of the new millennium, the 200 International CES is the launch pad for 21st century technology.



The Association of Cabling Professionals (ACP) is developing into a Wired Community! Be sure to check this website TODAY for details on a free new interactive area within the site. Word has it that it is modeled on a highly successful site elsewhere on the Web. We also hear that the Grand Opening of this new part of Wireville will be attended by a cross-section of the most influential people in the cabling industry. This might well be the most important networking opportunity the cabling industry has seen in years! BE THERE!



Cabling Business Magazine is ALMOST FREE. You have to fill out a subscription renewal every 6 months. If you haven't been doing this, start NOW. Subscription forms are in the magazine and on the website www.cablingbusiness.com or call (214) 328-1717. This is a small sacrifice for such a big value.



Be sure and check the class schedule for Cabling Business Institute in Dallas. CBI has also added the ACP certified 200 course to their offering. www.cablingbusiness.com The have a world-class training facility with regular classes on installation, structured wiring with Category 5 certification, LANs, fiber optics and design.



ACP Continuation Training Program

Course 200

Available at Cabling Business Institute

OR

On the Road from ACP: When you want it & Where you want it.

For additional information, contact:

Grace Shimp at ACP at 904-645-6018, email acp@wireville.com

OR

Cindy Webb at Cabling Business Institute 214-328-1717,

email cindy@cablingbusiness.com

 

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