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Wireville.com

Issue: February 2004
By: Frank Bisbee


In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


Bisbee's Buzz'.

Plenum Cable Prices to soar if Limited Combustible cable is approved by NFPA for NEC2005.

The supply and demand formula is getting a little preview of what is to come. "Teflon(r) FEP and Neoflon(tm) FEP will soar to highest prices ever seen and so will the plenum cable," commented one of the attendees at the BICSI Codes Committee meeting (January 2004).

The temporary plant failure is only a preview of what is to come when only two companies control the majority of a material that is required to make the CAT5e and CAT6 plenum cables under the proposed code changes. One cable manufacturer source told us "DuPont makes more profit on a box of cable than we do."

During the past two years, DuPont and Daikin have developed a "very close" business relationship, even sharing marketing resources. This relationship is fertile ground for collusion and price fixing.

Many industry insiders believe the prices for FEP are artificially high and do not reflect competitive pressures. However, at this time there are other material constructions available.

That is the real story behind the news. By the time you read this e-mail, the prices on cable have already started to rise.


We were very impressed with the Graybar "mini exposition" and the significant representation of manufacturers with products that dovetail into VDV (Voice Data Video). The interest in security is at an all time high. We are grateful that Karl Griffith, RCDD and the Graybar Team has recognized this compelling need in the marketplace and gathered an impressive collection of products/services to meet the challenge


The information, which we gathered at the BICSI winter conference, could fill volumes. Unfortunately we are not equipped to give our readers that depth of coverage. We are hoping that many of the announcements will be posted on the purveyors' web sites, thus reducing our coverage requirement and routing the reader directly to the source.


Cabling systems increase in value with the proper testing and documentation

One of the most enlightening opportunities at the recent BICSI winter conference was a presentation by the FLUKE NETWORKS Team. The presentation by Hugo Draye Marketing Manager, Copper Certification Products reviewed the full spectrum of valuable services that can be captured through the use of FLUKE NETWORKS testing equipment for copper based and fiber optic data communication cables. The presentation also included the applications of records with performance data as a business tool to make the cabling infrastructure into a sustainable and functional asset.

The FLUKE NETWORKS LinkWare™ Cable Test Management Software is awesome not only does it keep statistical data for cable asset management and performance records but it also can present them in graphical format. This graphical format is an amazing management tool when looking at the entire system or sections thereof. If you have ever used Quick Books Pro™ and the graphical conversion of reports, you will know how easy and useful the LinkWare software can be. We must start treating the cabling as an asset not a throw away expense.

www.flukenetworks.com LinkWare

Every major commercial real estate operation should have a FLUKE NETWORKS DSP-4000 Series Digital Cable Analyzer and the associated software to document the cabling asset. Remember a well labeled and documented cabling system becomes a transferable asset, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

www.flukenetworks.com DSP4000

We wish you a prosperous year ahead. If we did not see you at the BICSI Winter Conference, then we hope to see you at the VDV-EXPO in March.

But that’s just my opinion,
Frank Bisbee

Alcatel and Draka to create a world leader in optical fiber and communication cables

Paris - February 10, 2004 – Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) and Draka (Amsterdam : DRAK.AS) announced today their intention to combine their global optical fiber and communication cable businesses into a jointly owned company. It is agreed that Draka would own 50.1% of the new company and Alcatel 49.9%. In fiber and fiber cables, the combination would be the undisputed number one in China, through the combination of Alcatel’s assets with Draka’s interest in YOFC, the leading Chinese optical fiber and fiber cable manufacturer. The new company would also be a leader in Europe and a major player in North America.

It is Draka’s intention to issue EURO150 million of new equity in parallel with the creation of the new company. This new equity will be fully underwritten by Draka’s two largest shareholders, Flint Holding N.V. and Parcom Ventures B.V.

Alcatel should contribute all its optical fiber and fiber cable assets to the new company, which would be accounted for as an equity company.

“With this announcement, we are making another important step in our strategy to focus on communication solutions. As part of this strategy, Alcatel is playing an active role in fostering the necessary consolidation of the fiber and fiber cable industry. This proposed transaction will allow Alcatel to benefit from an improved fiber cable capability in its FTTH activity, thereby further strengthening its leading offering in broadband access. The proposed combination of Alcatel’s and Draka’s assets will also generate substantial technical and industrial synergies”, said Olivier Houssin, Executive Vice President of Alcatel “Draka is delighted to be joining forces with Alcatel, a world leading telecommunications solutions vendor. The proposed combination reinforces Draka’s capabilities in the fiber and communication cable industry and as such would represent a major step in the group’s strategic development. In this context, it provides a unique opportunity to roll out Draka’s long-term growth strategy to become a top five player in the global cable industry and to create value for Draka’s shareholders”, said Jan Van Kesteren, Chairman of the Board of Management of Draka.

The new company would have a comprehensive product portfolio across fiber and fiber cable, addressing the full range of telecommunication and data communication applications. The new company’s product portfolio would also include a comprehensive copper telecommunication and data communication cable product range.

Alcatel would bring fibers and fiber cables, including TeraLight™, the advanced long-distance fiber, enhanced single mode fibers and optical cables. These products use Alcatel’s proprietary, cost-effective Advanced Plasma Vapour Deposition process and draw coloring ColorLock™ process. Draka would bring complementary optical fiber activities to the combination, as well as communications-related, copper-based cables. Among the major features, Draka would bring its versatile proprietary Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition process, as well as a top-notch LAN/Premise fiber solution, led by the MaxCap™ product family and JETnet™ networking systems The proposed combination, which has already received approval from Alcatel’s Board of Directors and from Draka’s Supervisory Board and Board of Management, is subject to confirmatory due diligence, agreement on final legal documentation, and customary regulatory and other approvals. It is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2004.

About Alcatel

Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or to their employees. Alcatel leverages its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks, applications and services to bring value to its customers in the framework of a broadband world. With sales of EURO 12.5 billion in 2003, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet: www.alcatel.com

About Draka

Draka Holding N.V.(“Draka”) is the holding company of a number of operating companies which are engaged worldwide in the development, production and sale of cable and cable systems. Draka’s operations are centred on its Telecommunication Cable and Systems Product Group and Low-Voltage and Special-Purpose Cable Product Group. Draka has 59 operating companies in 25 countries in Europe, America and Asia. The company has a flat, decentralised organisational structure, in which the operating companies enjoy a large measure of independence and are accountable for their own net turnover and results. Draka Holding N.V. ordinary shares and subordinated convertible debentures are listed on Euronext Amsterdam. The company has been included in the Midkap and Next150 indices since 2001. As from 8 July 2002 options on Draka-shares are traded on the Euronext Amsterdam Derivative Markets.

About Alcatel and Draka technologies

Alcatel’s TeraLight™ fiber is a long-distance fiber (G655B in ITU specifications) which allows a large number of wavelengths (DWDM). It achieves a consistent set of world records in terms of quantity of information over long-distance (e.g. unregenerated 6Tbit/s over 2,700km).

Alcatel’s enhanced single mode fiber is compliant with G652C ITU specification which can accommodate any telecom wavelength, including the traditionally impossible “waterpeak” around 1380nm.

Alcatel’s Advanced Plasma Vapour Deposition (APVD) is a process used to manufacture fibers that allow the direct use of sand instead of chemical vapours to manufacture the jacket of optical fibers (i.e. all the glass but the core part).

Alcatel’s ColorLock™ is a fiber drawing process that inserts colors directly during draw operations, so that off-line coloring operations are avoided, and fibers are of a smaller volume.

Draka’s Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (PCVD) is a process used to manufacture fiber cores that allows efficient and extremely precise designs.

Draka’s MaxCap™ is a comprehensive family of multi-mode fibers, including most advanced Gigabit Ethernet and 10Gbit/s Ethernet fibers.

Draka’s JETnet™ is a networking system particularly suited for FTTH that enables networks to be reshaped without any civil work.

"Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to Alcatel's strategy, possible benefits from future fiber cable capability in Alcatel's FTTH activity and the generation of technical and industrial synergies by the jointly owned company, including without limitation, its ability to remain competitive in the industry in which it operates and its ability to successfully combine the two businesses. These forward looking statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those projected. Alcatel disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Alcatel Press Contacts
Aurélie Boutin / HQ Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 50 84 Aurelie.boutin@alcatel.com
Mark Burnworth / HQ Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 50 84 Mark.burnworth@alcatel.com

Draka Holding NV Press Contact
Jan van Kesteren – CEO +31 20 568 9888

Alcatel Investors Relations
Laurent Geoffroy Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 50 27 Laurent.geoffroy@alcatel.com
Pascal Bantégnie Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 52 20 Pascal.bantegnie@alcatel. com
Peter Campbell Tel : +33 (0)1 40 76 13 11 Peter.campbell@alcatel.com

Draka Holding NV Investors Relations
Jaap Sulkers – Director Control +31 20 568 9805

Wire Wagon™ wins award. The Model 105 Wire Wagon is a versatile and comprehensive mobile wire-dispensing cart. It can hold 6 – 1000 ft. spools or up to 9 boxes of data cable. It moves easily around the job site and fits through a 30” doorway.

This rack won the “NECA Show Stopper” award at the 2001 National Electrical Contractor’s Association convention. Wire Wagon ™ by Elder Designs, Inc., Arapaho, OK, www.wirewagon.com

Advanced Fiber Solutions of Milton, MA has shipped the first units of its new low-cost fiber optic bandwidth tester that can verify the performance of multimode fibers for gigabit networks.

The model OBW-2 has the capability of testing legacy fibers and laser-rated fibers to determine their suitability for high speed networks such as Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

Problems with the bandwidth of multimode fiber have been known since the earliest days of fiber optics, when it was still used for long distance telecommunications before the advent of single-mode fiber. These problems resurfaced with the development of gigabit networks in the last few years.

Until the development of this product, testing bandwidth of multimode fiber required lab instruments costing as much as a half-million dollars. The OBW-2 is a optical instrument with digital signal processing that uses a PC to control the instrument and calculate the bandwidth of the fiber, simplifying its operation and reducing its cost to only about $12,000.

The model OBW-2 allows testing 50/125 and 62.5/125 fibers at frequencies up to 2.5 GHz and lengths up to 10km at both 850 nm and 1300 nm, making it appropriate for all current multimode fibers. It can be used to test fibers at manufacture, during cabling, and to determine the effects of termination and splicing on bandwidth.

Research done during the product's development showed surprising results from various termination types, concatenation of cables and patchcords and various launch conditions. Application notes on these results will be published shortly.

Advanced Fiber Solutions, Inc. (Milton, MA) www.advancedfibersolutions.com

Dr. Frank Adamsky joins Daikin ‘s Unidyne Management Team

In keeping with the increasing demand for Daikin’s Unidyne™ products, a family of fluorochemicals designed to impart superior water, oil, and soil repellency to a wide range of textile, non-woven and carpet materials, Dr. Frank Adamsky has joined the Unidyne™ team as Technical Manager.

Frank comes to Daikin America with extensive experience in the development and application of chemicals used in the pulp and paper industry. His areas of expertise are emulsion, inverse emulsion, and dispersion polymers and their applications. Frank's academic background is comprised of synthesis and application of fluorosurfactants and inverse emulsion polymerization in supercritical fluids.

Daikin offers an outstanding line of Unidyne high performance finishing products including: Unidyne TG-991 and TG-992 Durable Stain & Soil Release products, and a complete line of superior oil, water and soil repellants.

Daikin America, Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, New York is one of the largest fluoropolymer suppliers in the US. Daikin provides molding resins, fine powders, aqueous dispersions and melt processable fluoropolymers for many critical applications. www.daikin.cc

Graybar Adds Security and Notification Products to Portfolio

Graybar (St. Louis, MO) the nation's leading distributor of communications and electrical products and related supply chain management and logistics services, today announces the expansion of its traditional communications and electrical product portfolio to include security and notification products to address the growing demands of communications resellers and electrical contractors.

Graybar has added surveillance cameras, access control devices, and notification systems for distribution throughout its logistics supply network of 250 locations nationwide. Graybar has assembled a substantial product portfolio that includes industry leaders such as Pelco, Keyscan, RCI, Potter Signal, GAI-Tronics, Sensaphone, and Altronix. Graybar also has expanded relationships with several of its legacy suppliers to promote their security offers. Examples include Aiphone, Brady, Edwards Signaling, Lutron, Viking Electronics, and Wheelock.

To meet customer demand and ensure speedy delivery, Graybar will inventory and ship security and notification products through the Graybar zone warehouse logistics network, providing just-in-time delivery for its customers who install these products -- primarily communications resellers and electrical contractors.

"With the addition of this new product portfolio Graybar is working to our customers' advantage by providing a complete offering of low-voltage subsystems used in commercial buildings," said Al Eddings, vice president-Comm/Data Products, Graybar. "In addition, Graybar's leading-edge information technology and logistics capabilities are raising the bar on performance and value for our customers, which enables us to deliver security and notification hardware quickly, easily and efficiently," said Eddings.

Graybar will introduce the security and notification system offer to the marketplace on Monday, January 12 at the winter BICSI Conference in Orlando, Fla., at the Gaylord Palms Hotel. Graybar has assembled seventeen of its security and notification system product manufacturers to showcase their systems at the conference. Graybar will have technology experts and engineers available to answer questions and assist with technology implementatio.

About Graybar

Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical and telecommunications products, and an expert provider of related supply chain management and logistics services. Through its network of 250 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers serving as the vital link to hundreds of thousands of customers. For more information, visit www.graybar.com

Hats Off to Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, the elected chairman of the new BICSI Exhibitor Advisory Committee, and her team members. Carol has done an excellent job of developing new programs to enhance the value of BICSI to the exhibitors and attendees. Let Carol know what she can do to help your company at the next BICSI conference. www.bicsi.org

At the BICSI Winter Conference 2004, we learned that Larry Bines has joined the Para Systems team.

Para Systems, Inc. of Carrollton, Texas has brought Larry Bines back from a short industry hiatus as Regional Sales Manager for the Western US plus some additional duties in their Texas headquarters. Para Systems is the manufacturer of the MINUTEMAN UPS®.

MINUTEMAN UPS is a leading provider of uninterruptible power supplies for mission-critical equipment such as computers, point-of-sale systems, telecommunications systems, Security Systems, Home Theater Systems and internetworking devices. MINUTEMAN’s extensive line of UPS products ranges from 325VA standby units to true sine wave, line-interactive, and on-line models rated up to 10kVA. For UPS powermanagement and diagnostics, MINUTEMAN also provides SentryII software for all popular operating systems including Windows, Novell, Unix, and Linux. Additionally, the MINUTEMAN RPM™, a remote power and network management controller, allows network administrators to control their data communications devices and services remotely using a telephone, the network, or Web browser.

We are excited to see Minuteman at BICSI. With all of the recent major power outages and an abundance of dirty power we could not get along without their UPS products. "Approximately 90% of the uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) we install are Minuteman (usually the E series). Every phone system and voice mail system we propose includes a UPS to provide additional surge suppression and seamless “up time” during a power outage. With Florida’s fickle weather, the dual purpose of a UPS serves our customers well" commented Michelle Gilleo, Vice President of Operations - Communication Planning Corporation (www.communicationplanning.com) Jacksonville, FL.

Have you checked out their website yet? www.minutemanups.com It is the "greatest" for sizing your UPS requirements. We haven’t seen another company that can hold a candle to it. Their list of telecommunications systems is so complete that we never have to figure out the technical information ourselves regarding: amperages, watts, loads, etc…. You just go through and select the different items that you want to connect to the UPS and it will give you a list of units to choose from, the different “up times", and the different styles. Mrs. Gilleo added "Believe it or not, CSC (www.gocsc.com), who we purchase our Minuteman’s from, uses the Minuteman website for sizing UPS’s for their customer’s, they don’t bother calling their reps".

Gilleo added, “We do a pretty good job of convincing the Florida business person that they need one, and we won’t warranty the equipment that we install, without having a UPS installed in front of it.”

Production at Daikin’s New Elastomer Plant set for Spring 2004

Daikin Chemical France S.A.S., a fully owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries, Ltd, (Osaka, Japan) is the future site of a global production facility for Daikin’s fluoroelastomer business. Daikin Chemical France is Daikin’s first production facility in Europe and will supply European, Asian and US customers with fluoroelastomers.

Daikin Chemical France is located on the Pierre-Benite site of Atofina S.A., outside Lyon, France. The construction began in 2003 and commercial operation is scheduled to start in Spring 2004.

The plant will introduce Daikin’s newly developed production technologies for fluoroelastomers. The plant will benefit from utilizing the existing facilities of Atofina’s industrial site enabling Daikin’s products to meet market demands and allow them to be exported not only to European countries, but also to the United States and Asia.

Daikin’s Fluoroelastomer line, DAI-EL™, has excellent performance characteristics in aggressive chemicals, oils, and in high temperature environments. The diversified applications include automotive parts such as fuel hoses, and sealing materials for the semiconductor and chemical industries.

Daikin Chemical France, making base polymers, together with Daikin’s pre-compound company for fluoroelastomers, Daikin Chemical Netherlands (est. 1998), aims to expand sales in Europe. Aligning these production units from raw materials to products will meet the increasing customers needs. www.daikin.cc

NORDX/CDT NEWS
NORDX/CDT Launches Expanded GigaBIX Multi Product Family

NORDX/CDT Inc. launched a new focus for the GigaBIX family of products. With the addition of several key components that are being launched at the BICSI Winter Conference, this family of products has been brought to new level of flexibility, performance and cost-effectiveness.

The new umbrella product name is GigaBIX Multi, derived from the fact that the same system can be used to support Multi Applications like voice, data, video and sound Multi Medias like copper, fiber and specialty coax, and Multi Configurations such as wall mount, rack mount, interconnect and cross-connect.

The focal point of the product launch is the versatile GigaBIX Rack Mount Panel, 48-port. This new panel incorporates the GigaBIX Connectors with either GigaBIX Patch Cords or Cross-Connect Wire and is the most cost-effective Category 6 patch panel available. Front-access termination and the efficient use of space make installation of this panel very simple.

Another unique addition to the product family is the GigaBIX/MediaFlex Adapter. This adapter fits into both the GigaBIX Wall Mounts and the GigaBIX Rack Mounts and allows all MediaFlex Inserts, including UTP, Fiber, F, BNC, S-VHS, RCA, and SVGA to be simply integrated into the system.

The new GigaBIX PS6+ Patch Cords increase the proven versatility of the expanded GigaBIX Multi family of connectivity products. GigaBIX PS6+ Patch Cords allow for high-density connections and are one part of the most cost-effective and flexible installation options available. Plug-and-go installation and rearrangement of patch cords do not require any special tools or training. Available in both BIX-BIX and BIX-8MOD configurations, the GigaBIX PS6+ Patch Cord provides performance that goes way beyond Category 6 requirements. www.nordx.com

NORDX/CDT Launches Patented Optimax LC Field Installable Optical Fiber Connector

NORDX/CDT Inc. launched the new LC version of their very successful Optimax optical fiber field installable connector at the BICSI Winter Conference. This connector is unique in that it is the only no-epoxy/no-polish field installable connector to feature a spring-loaded ferrule, allowing the connector to be mated with any LC connector on the market. The patented Optimax LC Connector also features a pre-radiused PC ceramic ferrule which ensures contact with optical fibers, improves durability, and provides high performance connections.

This new connector is part of the industry’s Small Form Factor high density family of connectors. Among all the possible options for high density installations, the LC technology offers the best performance of them all. The Optimax LC is available in 50 µm and 62.5 µm multimode, as well as singlemode versions, and completes the IBDN LC component offering as part of the IBDN FiberExpress Solutions and our IBDN Certified Systems.

Optimax has the lowest terminated cost and its simple installation process is well adapted to both the reality of project installation environments and the disparity between technicians’ various skill-levels. The use of Optimax connectors eliminates these installation issues; all critical steps are performed in the factory, ensuring a superior- quality connection every time. The Optimax technology, installation set-up, and quick termination process make it ideal for Premise Wiring projects, Fiber-To-The-Desk, remote sites, and repair situations.

Solef® Copolymer from Solvay Solexis Provides Outstanding Properties for Demanding Cable Jacketing Applications

Solef® 32008 is a highly flexible PVDF-CTFE copolymer available from Solvay Solexis, Inc. One of its main application areas is plenum cable jacketing for copper and fiber-optic communications, signal and fire-alarm, and related areas. Thanks to its high CTFE content and a strongly heterogeneous structure, Solef® 32008 combines a high range of usage temperatures, flexibility and feel, toughness and abrasion resistance, fire and smoke properties, shrinkage resistance, and ease of processing and handling.

Solef® 32008 requires no special drying or other pre-extrusion steps, and with a melting-point of 168ºC (334ºF) it processes easily at moderate temperatures (below 250ºC / 480ºF).

Solef® 32008 has a modulus of about 250 MPa (29 ksi) and an elongation typically of 500% and above. Its soft flexible feel compares very favorably to even the most flexible PVC's.

Unlike plenum PVC’s, Solef resins are not highly loaded with fillers (which often contain lead and other dangerous heavy metals), and therefore despite the high flexibility, the resin is very tough with superb abrasion resistance that leads to excellent installation performance.

Solef® 32008 easily withstands thermal aging, as well as cold temperatures, both of which leave plenum PVC’s brittle and cracked. Solef® 32008 has a broad temperature range from brittleness (-53ºC / -63ºF) to melting point (168ºC / 334ºF), and is UL 444 rated for plenum applications at 150ºC (302ºF).

It is the jacketing material of choice for demanding fiber-optic applications, and in addition to its excellent temperature-cycling attenuation performance, it has superior shrinkage properties compared to plenum PVC’s. For example, on loose-tube jackets, aged for 2 hours at 120 ºC and then 1 hour at room temperature, shrinkage was 0.5%. The same test at 160ºC gave less than 1.5%.

In fire and smoke resistance, the high LOI and charring nature of Solef® allows jacketed cables to easily pass UL 910 / NFPA 262 (Steiner Tunnel burn), even for the most challenging high pair-count cables.

Solef® 32008 is available as a standard formulation 32008/0003, which has a 65% LOI and provides sufficient fire / smoke resistance for most applications. For the most challenging applications where flame / smoke is an issue, Solef® 32008 is also available as a 100% LOI grade, Solef® 32008/0009. www.solvaysolexis.com

Fool News

www.fool.com/News

By W.D. Crotty
January 28, 2004

"So, now DuPont (NYSE: DD) calls itself a "science company?" Given the ping-pong nature of its long-term strategy -- not to mention its fourth-quarter results -- maybe it should call itself a gaming company.

Ping: Net sales were up 14%. Earnings beat the average analyst estimate. Pong: Net income (before special items) was down 14%.

And talk about a work in progress. In 1999, DuPont spun off Conoco into what is today ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP). In 2001, it sold its pharmaceutical business to Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY). Last year, the company announced a $4.4 billion sale of Investa.

Ping: We manage oil prices by owning oil. Chemicals and pharmaceuticals make for a nice combination. We are the world's largest integrated fiber and intermediates company. Pong: We're out of those businesses. We're a sciences company."

Read the rest of the story: www.fool.com News

Cabling Safety in Multi-Story Structures

By: John J. Michlovic, PE, National Marketing & Technical Manager
CENTRIA H. H. Robertson Floor Systems
www.centria.com

Several aspects related to cabling safety are typically overlooked by the telecom industry and the building design team. These issues are principally related to the hazards of smoke and/or toxic gases from heat decomposition and/or burning cables in supply and return air plenums. A plenum is a space used to circulate environmental air, either supply air or return air. The two principal locations for plenums are the spaces above ceilings and the space below raised floors or access floors that are used for air delivery.

Under heated conditions, exposed combustible thermoplastic insulated and jacketed cables in these plenums can produce highly toxic gases and smoke, which can convert to powerful acids that can incapacitate the building occupants in an emergency situation. The clear gases or thick smoke can incapacitate and represent a real life safety hazard to building occupants. This dangerous scenario happens often. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are an average of 16 office fires every day in the USA.

Plenum rated cables are fire retardant. They are tested for flame spread and smoke generation to meet the code requirements (prior to manufacture), and are not re-tested for continued compliance after installation. Plenum cables are required to comply with the test provisions of NFPA 262, which does not regulate the time or temperature of cable ignition; it regulates only the progression of the flame after the cables are burning; and the “color” of the smoke produced. Clear toxic gases are not measured at all.

This may sound like a formula for disaster in a fire event but nobody said its actually safe . . . its only “Code Approved” and thus legal to use in most cities.

All thermoplastic materials can decompose. The effects of cable aging on flame spread and smoke generation are not reported. Can telecom cables that are aged 5 or 10 years in a ceiling plenum under high temperatures and humidity conditions still pass NFPA 262 criteria? Nobody checks this and no data is available from cable manufactures on cracked, damaged, or aged cables. Sampling at the factory is not required and cable producers may submit their own samples to a test lab rather than a random sampling conducted by an independent lab.

Sustainability of test results is therefore an open issue that is rarely discussed but critical to fire safety. "Safe Today - Useless Tomorrow" is a frightening concept, yet current and proposed code requirements leave this loophole open to disaster.

On this website (wireville.com) you have learned of the serious questions about the lead content of most plenum rated cables. Now the NEC 2002 requires the removal of abandoned communications cable. There is an estimated 45 billion feet of abandoned cable containing lead (a hazmat material) that will enter the waste stream and cannot be cost-effectively recycled. There is an exception: The National Electrical Code (NFPA-70) allows tagging for future use so the cable does not have to be removed. Under the current National Electric Code there is no "fill limit" for the cable in the return air plenum spaces. This additional loophole is another invitation to disaster, because there is no limit to the fuel load accumulation.

Cables made with thermoplastic materials comprise the major "fire and smoke" threat in return air plenum spaces. The code which first allowed in 1975 communication cables to be used in return air plenums (under an exemption), has since been expanded to allow a raft of other plastic devices to flow through the broken dam.

Consider that today the following additional combustible plastic items are permitted in unlimited quantities in plenums:

      1. Pneumatic tubing for control systems
      2. Fire sprinkler piping (plastic pipe)
      3. Communications raceways (plastic cable raceways)
      4. Loudspeakers and recessed lighting fixtures and all their accessories

These items must comply with the same weak Standard (NFPA 262) that applies to plenum cables. The intent of the code may have been compromised.

Now that the life safety problem has been outlined, are there any safe distribution systems for telecom and power cabling? Yes, there are two. The first “safer” method is the use of EMT conduit for all cables and wires. The conduit will not protect cable insulation from melting but will limit smoke and gases generated by heat decomposition from entering the plenum and re-circulating throughout the structure.

Another safe solution is the use of a Cellular Floor System.

Large cellular deck cells used to support the wet load of concrete and to replace slab, reinforcing can later be used as wire and cable raceways. This Structural/Electrical System has been used in tens of thousands of office structures since the 1930’s.

Fed by a trench header from the power and telecom closets the cells deliver wire and cables to outlet boxes set on a pre-selected pattern along the length of the cells. Each box can deliver 3 services; telephone, power, and data to each activated workstation anywhere on the floor.

Buried within the concrete slab and fireproofed on the underside the steel cells and trench header protect wire and cable against burning in a fire event. Other benefits are:

        • EMI protection for all cables
        • Non-plenum cable rated is safe to use
        • Easy activation of outlets without core drilling
        • Best grounding of any raceway system
        • Lowest cost when all factors are considered
        • High capacity and flexibility

So there you have it, an excellent solution to your new construction cabling requirements . . . a SAFE in-floor cellular raceway system - possibly the best choice of an informed specifier.

About H.H. Robertson Floor Systems

H.H. Robertson Floor Systems introduced cellular floor systems to the office market in 1931 and has supplied continually improved systems since that time in over one billion square feet of office space. Innovations such as the bottomless trench header, preset outlet boxes and the three service system were all developed and tested in our research labs.

Many cellular floor systems providers have come and gone during the past 70 years but H.H. Robertson has always been and remains today the cellular floor leader.

Contact us at 450 19th Street Ambridge PA, phone: 412-299-8070 or visit our website : www.hhrobertson.com

Cabling Support Hardware may be the Hidden Treasure

By Frank Bisbee

For more than two decades, the communications industry has focused most of its attention on the cable. We have seen a churn of technological advances in both fiber optic and copper based communications cabling. The barrage of the "newest & greatest" types of cable has almost exhausted the bank accounts of the customers. From the earliest releases of the Levels & Categories Program (adopted by TIA/EIA www.tiaonline.org), we saw a stream of more than 25 different variations & generations new cable designs. The net result is today's fiber optic cables and copper cables deliver more performance than we even dreamed possible only a few years ago. However, one of the resultant damages from this technological race is a huge volume of abandoned cable.

The National Electrical Code (NEC 2002) has been adopted by most local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ's). In a move to reduce fire hazards and fuel load, NEC 2002 requires the removal of abandoned cable that is not identified for future reuse. This volume of abandoned cable could exceed 8.5 million miles of cabling waste materials. Some industry experts have concluded, "Most of the expense for this corrective safety action to reduce fuel load in the structure will be placed on the shoulders of the building owners. Many former tenants left their cable in place when they moved out."

There are some valuable assets that may remain after the abandoned cable is identified and removed. Those hidden treasures are the wire and cable management and support systems. Cable support hardware includes cable runways, cable trays, wire baskets, flexible steel cable trays, bridle rings and a myriad of J-Hooks and J-Hook trees. www.erico.com The focus on a substantial investment in support hardware has been absent from the building owners priorities. Today's structured cabling systems must allow for both the installation and the removal of datacom cabling in the workplace (particularly the multi-tenant environment). Several key Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA www.boma.org) committees are studying these issues and reviewing the language in leases to maximize the values for both the tenant and the building owner.

A well designed and installed cable support hardware system will reduce installation and removal expense substantially. This asset is highly reusable and will generate repetitive savings throughout many generations of tenant or occupant turnover. This is the permanent highway for the information systems in buildings.

A serious look at the people, policies and technologies that will dominate the agenda in 2004 will include a focus on cabling infrastructure hardware. When the tenant moves out, this valuable asset will be transferred to the building owner as an " As Built Improvement".

A consultation session with your support team at the distributor will help to illustrate some of the technical underside to this misunderstood and under-valued hidden asset. We found numerous offerings from the shelves of Rexel that were a perfect fit for current requirements, adaptable to cable removal and reuse for future installations. When it comes to SELECTING WIRE AND CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, Rexel had all of the answers. In most projects, proper support hardware is mandatory to maintain performance and the capability to handle MARCs (Moves, Adds, Removals, & Changes) without affecting working networks.

The cable support system (overhead, perimeter, infloor, or underfloor) is a critical component of a properly designed voice-data-video communications system. To find out more about this arcane technology check out EIA/TIA-569 “Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces. When designing the cable tray support system, be sure to consider the (current and future) load capacity and grounding requirements.

In summary, many of the key BICSI (www.bicsi.org ) insiders are forecasting that there will be an increased demand for substantially more robust structured connectivity components and support hardware for structured cabling systems. Several large commercial real estate firms have already begun the process of evaluating the cabling facilities in their buildings in order to covert the trash to treasure. One building owner told us, "We bought a Fluke Networks DSP 4300 cable tester and starting down the road to recovery." Additionally, there is already an increased demand for software systems to document and record the asset (i.e. Fluke Networks LinkWare ™ Cable Test Management software and facility documentation) www.flukenetworks.com

It turns out that there are literally millions of dollars of fully functional installed cabling that has been abandoned in some buildings. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that there are big savings to be captured.

The proper installation, labeling and documentation of the entire cabling system make the installed asset potentially transferable from tenant to tenant through the building owner. There will be language in the leases that cover the responsibility for removal if the incoming tenant does not find the asset acceptable. If a successful transfer of this asset is accomplished, then both the outgoing and incoming tenants will realize substantial savings. In any event, the building owner gets ownership of the cabling support hardware asset. This approach is definitely a win/win scenario.

TIA - Telecommunications Industry Association

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop voluntary industry standards for a wide variety of telecommunications products. TIA's Standards and Technology Department is composed of five divisions which sponsor more than 70 standards-setting formulating groups. We will review the standard from User Premises Equipment, Network Equipment group, including:

      • TIA/EIA-568-B Series, Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard
      • TIA/EIA-569-A, Commercial Building Standards for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces
      • TIA/EIA-569-A-6, Commercial Building Standards for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces for Multi-Tenant Buildings
      • IA/EIA-606, Administration Standard for the Telecommunications Infrastructure of Commercial Buildings
      • TIA/EIA-570, Residential Telecommunications Cabling Standard
      • TR-42 Scopes:
      • TR-42 - User Premises Telecommunications Infrastructure

The TR-42 Engineering Committee is responsible for commercial, industrial and residential cabling standards including telecommunications infrastructure administration, pathways and spaces, and copper and optical fiber systems requirements. These standards include information and requirements necessary for implementing telecommunications infrastructure.

TR-42.1 - Commercial Building Cabling

The TR-42.1 Commercial Building Cabling Subcommittee develops and maintains telecommunications cabling standards for commercial buildings. This Subcommittee specifies cabling system topology, architecture, design, installation, testing and performance requirements for commercial buildings, and campuses. The telecommunications cabling specified is intended as an open system designed to support a wide variety of voice, data, video, building control and other low voltage, power limited applications.

Where applicable, TR-42.1 integrates systems requirements and recommendations generated by other TIA Sub-committees into its standards, and provides joint approval with TR-42.4, TR-42.7 or TR-42.8 on any TIA publication that is intended to add to or modify cabling system requirements specified in standards developed by TR-42.1.

      • TR-42.2 - Residential Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • TR-42.3 - Commercial Building Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces
      • TR-42.4 - Customer-owned Outside Plant Telecommunications Infrastructure
      • TR-42.5 - Telecommunications Infrastructure Terms and Symbols
      • TR-42.6 - Telecommunications Infrastructure and Equipment Administration

The TR-42.6 Subcommittee develops and maintains standards for telecommunications administration. These standards include requirements for alphanumeric identification, labeling, color-coding and record-keeping for the telecommunications infrastructure consisting of cabling, pathways and spaces, firestopping, and grounding and bonding. In addition, these standards provide guidance for the administration of equipment assets.

      • TR-42.7 - Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems
      • TR-42.7.1 - Copper Connecting Hardware
      • TR-42.7.2 - Copper Cable
      • TR-42.8 - Telecommunications Optical Fiber Cabling Systems
      • TR-42.9 - Industrial Telecommunications Infrastructure

The TR-42.9 Industrial Telecommunications Infrastructure Subcommittee develops and maintains standards for telecommunications infrastructure in industrial buildings, structures and campuses that are beyond the scope of the commercial building standards. Industrial buildings, structures and campuses can be large, dusty, corrosive, and can contain explosive and severe environmental conditions such as extreme temperature, EMI/RFI, and hazardous gasses. The standards developed by this Subcommittee address both occupied work areas and remotely controlled equipment.

The telecommunications cabling specified is intended as an open system designed to support a wide variety of voice, data, video, building controls, industrial controls and other low voltage, power limited applications. The standard addresses special needs for design, materials, processes and installation practices.

Where practicable, the standards developed by this Subcommittee will harmonize and incorporate requirements of standards developed and approved by TR-42 Subcommittees and Working Groups through normative reference.

More news about Toxic Teflon®: Read this story at: www.ewg.org

Perfluorinated sources: Factories outside, consumer products inside?

By: Rebecca Renner
Science News
January 24, 2004

The levels of some volatile compounds that break down to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) inside North American homes are about 100 times higher than those of outdoor levels, according to the first indoor measurements of three perfluorinated sulfonamides, which are published in research recently posted to ES&T s Research ASAP website (10.1021/es0305555). Another recent article presents some of the first outdoor atmospheric measurements of these PFOS precursors, called perfluorinated sulfonamides, and measurements for telomer alcohols, a second class of volatile chemicals that could be precursors to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). These studies offer important clues to the mystery of how the nonvolatile PFOS and PFOA compounds have become ubiquitous in the environment and in people.

Perfluorinated sulfonamides and telomer alcohols are used to protect the surfaces of fabric, leather, upholstery, carpet, and paper. In 2000, PFOS emerged as a priority pollutant because of its widespread detection in wildlife, its persistence and ability to bioaccumulate, and concerns about its adverse health effects.

The U.S. EPA is investigating PFOA because of its long residence time in humans and the possibility that it may pose developmental risks to children at current concentrations in mothers blood (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2003, 37, 201A). In December 2003, an EPA work group accepted an offer from five telomer manufacturers to develop a monitoring scheme in the heart of Georgia s carpet manufacturing region to determine whether carpet manufacturers and treaters are emitting PFOA or its precursors. Details of the monitoring plan remain to be determined, according to an EPA spokesperson The measurements of the perfluorinated sulfonamides in indoor air were made by Environment Canada chemist Mahiba Shoeib and colleagues in Canada and the United States, who analyzed air inside four houses and two laboratories. N-methyl perfluorooctane sulfonamidoethanol (MeFOSE), a volatile PFOS precursor that is widely used as a stain repellent on carpets, was the most abundant of the three chemicals that they measured in indoor and outdoor air. Next most abundant was N-ethyl perfluorooctane sulfonamidoethanol (EtFOSE), a precursor that is used to treat paper. A third chemical was below detection in most samples. The mean indoor concentrations of MeFOSE and EtFOSE were 2589 and 772 picograms per cubic meter, respectively, about 100 times higher than those of outdoor values.

Meanwhile, University of Toronto chemist Naomi Stock and Canadian colleagues present strong evidence for point sources of polyfluorinated telomer alcohol and sulfonamide contamination in their survey of the air around six North American cities in research recently posted to ES&T s Research ASAP website (10.1021/es034644t). The evidence for point source emissions includes substantial differences in both total measured concentrations in various cities and the chemicals that dominated the sampling profile, says Stock.

The air samples that Stock and her colleagues analyzed were collected in November 2001 before the 3M phaseout of PFOS chemicalsfrom six U.S. and Canadian cities. Both sulfonamides and telomer alcohols were found at all sampling locations, with Griffin, Ga., having the highest levels. Because Griffin is located near the center carpet manufacturing and the air samples were dominated by MeFOSE, Stock and her colleagues believe that factories associates with the carpet industry are the source.

Many treatment products consist of fluorocarbons linked to a group that can polymerize and thus bind to the carpet. In the past, it has been assumed that this linkage would effectively sequester the fluorocarbons from the environment. However, a small percentage of the fluorinated treatment product lacks the polymerizing linkage. As a result, free chemicals may be left in the carpet fibers after treatment. Stock hypothesizes thatthese volatiles could be an important source of PFOS and PFOA in the environment. In addition, breakdown processes in homes may even release the chemically bound precursors.

Belden Announces Results For Fourth Quarter 2003
February 5, 2004

Belden Inc. (NYSE:BWC), a leading provider of specialty wire and cable, announced today that revenues for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2003, were $208.6 million, compared with revenues of $199.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2002. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2003 benefited by $10.3 million from the effects of currency translation and from the October 31, 2002 acquisition of the Norcom communications cable business.

In the fourth quarter of 2003, the company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $92.4 million pretax, or $2.36 per diluted share, related to the North American assets of its Communications Segment. The charge is related to a decision of the Board of Directors to seek strategic alternatives for this portion of the Communications Segment, which has experienced falling demand and operating losses for the past two years. The Communications Segment provides exchange cable, service wire, and other wire and cable products to wireline telecommunications service providersFor the fourth quarter of 2003, Belden recorded a net loss of $58.5 million or $2.32 per diluted share, including the impairment charge. Also included in the quarter's results were income of $3.0 million pretax ($0.07 per share after tax) under a sales incentive agreement with a private-label customer, and charges of $1.6 million pre-tax ($0.04 per share after tax) for employee severance. In 2002, the Company's fourth-quarter net loss was $24.5 million, or $0.99 per share, which included income of $11.1 million before tax ($0.30 per diluted share) from the payment under the private-label contract and charges of $44.7 million before tax ($1.32 per diluted share) for severance, asset impairment and other costs related to Belden's exiting certain non-strategic product line cash flow from operations was $33.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, resulting primarily from reductions in working capital. Cash as of December 31, 2003 was $95.0 million, compared with $19.4 million at December 31, 2002. Capital expenditures in the 2003 fourth quarter were $2.7 million and for the full year were $16.7 million. Depreciation and amortization for the full year were $35.8 million.

For the full year 2003, Belden's revenues were $826.5 million, compared with $813.3 million in 2002. The revenue comparison benefited by $35.5 million in 2003 from currency translation and from the acquisition of the Norcom business (12 months revenue in 2003 versus 2 months revenue in 2002). The net loss for the year 2003 was $60.7 million, or $2.41 per diluted share, including asset impairment charges of $92.8 million, severance charges of $6.5 million, and bad debt expense of $0.6 million related to the sudden bankruptcy of an Asian distributor, all pre-tax amounts which together amount to $2.56 per share after tax, and private-label sales incentive income of $3.0 million or $0.07 per share. The net loss for the year 2002 was $15.9 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, which included income of $11.1 million before tax ($0.30 per diluted share) from the payment under the private-label contract and charges of $44.7 million before tax ($1.32 per diluted share) for severance, asset impairment and other costs related to Belden's exiting certain non-strategic product lines.

Management Comment

C. Baker Cunningham, Belden's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Despite four years of relentless achievement in cost reduction, our North American communications business has continued to generate losses because industry demand has fallen by half from the peak in 2000. Clearly, further realignment of capacity in this market is needed, prompting our decision to seek strategic alternatives for this business"In most other parts of our business, we have been able to generate healthy operating profits--for example, in our North American electronics markets and our European telecom cable operation," Mr. Cunningham continued. "We are also pleased with the results of our 2003 cash accumulation programwhich has provided us with substantial funds to reduce our long-term debt in 2004 and to continue to invest in the business.

"One consequence of improving cash flow through inventory reduction is that we have been producing below the level of sales and reducing plant utilization, which hurt our profits by $0.09 per share in the fourth quarter and $0.22 for the full year," Mr. Cunningham said. "Furthermore, there is a lag in passing through the rising cost of copper and other materials in our pricing, whether through contracts or through pricing actions we initiate. We have increased prices in all segments of the business, but we estimate that in the fourth quarter the lag in recouping the cost of copper added about $4 million pretax to our costs, or $0.10 per diluted share."

"In addition to our cash accumulation program and the reduction in working capital, we achieved several other key objectives during 2003 that will position us well for the future," said Mr. Cunningham. "We exited a number of nonstrategic products. We consolidated our manufacturing capacity by closing three plants. We secured a new line of credit. We renewed our arrangements with British Telecom and Bell Canada. The company is much leaner as we head into 2004."

Electronics Segment

Revenues of the Electronics Segment in the fourth quarter of 2003 were $141.5 million, compared with revenue in the fourth quarter of 2002 of $142.6 million. North American electronics revenue was flat compared with a year ago. European electronics revenue fell, despite the benefit of currency translation effects, which totaled $7.8 million for the Electronics Segment. Fourth-quarter 2003 revenue for the segment rose sequentially from $137.5 million in the third quarter, with the increase occurring in North America and with Europe flat.

Operating profit for the Electronics Segment for the fourth quarter of 2003 was $10.2 million, or 7.2 percent of sales. This includes $1.1 million in severance charges related to personnel reductions, mostly in North America, in the quarter. In Europe, operating profit was hurt by lower-than-expected sales and by retraining and other costs associated with the consolidation of manufacturing operations.

For the full year 2003, Electronics Segment revenues were $553.7 million, compared with $567.1 for the year 2002. The impact of currency translation on the segment's revenues in 2003 was $28.9 million favorable. Operating profit for the segment for the year 2003 was $32.2 million, including severance charges ($6.0 million), a bad debt charge related to the sudden bankruptcy of an Asian distributor ($0.6 million), and asset impairment ($0.4 million). In 2002, the full-year operating profit for the Electronics Segment was $11.3 million after fixed asset impairment charges of $17.5 million and charges of $12.0 million for severance and the exit of certain product lines.

Communications Segment

Revenues of the Communications Segment in the fourth quarter of 2003 were $67.1 million, compared with revenues of $56.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2002. Both North American and European segment sales were better than a year ago. Currency translation effects contributed $2.6 million of revenue improvement, and the fact that Belden had revenue from the October 31, 2002 acquisition for three months of the quarter in 2003 instead of two months in 2002 also contributed to the improvement. Sequentially, North American Communications sales were lower than in the third quarter due to seasonality, but European Communications revenues improved due to higher sales to British Telecom.

The Communications Segment recorded a fourth-quarter 2003 operating loss of $95.6 million including the $92.4 million charge for the impairment of intangible assets and fixed assets of the North American operations of the segment. Results for the quarter also included severance costs of $0.5 million incurred inEurope and income of $3.0 million from a sales incentive contract with a private-label customer. In the fourth quarter of 2002, the Communications Segment's operating loss was $6.1 million, including $15.2 million of fixed asset impairment losses and income under the private-label take-or-pay agreement of $11.1 million.

For the year 2003, revenues of the Communications Segment were $272.8 million, compared with revenues of $246.2 million in 2002. The benefit of currency translation in 2003 over 2002 was $6.7 million for the segment, and the revenue of the October 31, 2002 acquisition for the first 10 months of 2003 also helped 2003 revenues. The operating loss of the Communications Segment was $104.5 million including the impairment charge of $92.4 million, severance charges of $0.5 million, and income from the sales incentive agreement of $3.0 million. In 2002, the operating loss of the Communications segment was $6.9 million, including $15.2 million fixed asset impairment loss and income under the take-or-pay agreement of $11.1 million.

The North American communications business for which the company is seeking strategic alternatives had revenue of $202.4 million in 2003 and an operating loss of $109.4 million pretax, including the impairment charge and the sales incentive income, or $3.00 per diluted share after tax.

Outlook

"Belden has implemented price increases in most areas of the business to recover the increase in the cost of copper and other material, and these price increases are being realized," said Mr. Cunningham. "Most of the industry seems to be following suit. Pricing will continue to nudge our revenue upwards, but this increase is partially offset by the absence of the discontinued products. With market demand expected to be largely stable, we anticipate that revenue for the year 2004 will increase only a few percentage points compared with 2003. For the first quarter of 2004, we expect sales up one to two percent compared with the first quarter of last year.

"We see several reasons, however, to expect improved profitability in 2004," he continued. "First, we will have a full year of benefit from the significant additional cost-reduction actions we have taken in 2003, including the plant closings and the reductions in force. And, having met our goals on inventory reduction, we expect to be producing at or near the level of demand, which will further help our margins. Because of the impairment charge, our depreciation expense will be $6.6 million lower in 2004 than 2003, adding approximately $0.18 per diluted share to earnings. Partially offsetting these improvements will be higher pension and medical expense. Therefore we are projecting 2004 earnings per share between $0.60 and $0.80. This includes losses of the North American Communications business between $0.05 and $0.20 per share for the year. For the first quarter, we expect total earnings to be around breakeven or slightly better, including the loss from the North American Communications operation. The expected first-quarter results reflect a seasonally slow quarter in communications and further pressure from the lag between material cost increases and our price increases. If metals and other material prices stabilize at current levels, we expect our pricing actions to neutralize this effect by second quarter," Mr. Cunningham concluded.

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements set forth under "Outlook" and any statements in this release other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements" made in reliance upon the safe harbor of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on forecasts and projections about the industries served by the Company and about general economic conditions. They reflect management's beliefs and expectations. They are not guarantees of future performance and they involve risk and uncertainty. The Company's actual results may differ significantly from these expectations. Some of the factors that may cause actual results to differ from the Company's expectations include general economic conditions, demand for the Company's products, the Company's ability to make strategic changes with respect to its Communications Segment operations in North America, changes in the cost of raw materials including copper, reliance on large customers, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, the outcome of negotiations with third parties, and unexpected events. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, and disclaims any obligation to do so. For a more complete discussion of factors that might cause the Company's results to differ from management's expectations, please see Belden's 2002 annual report on Form 10-K.

Belden is linking people and technology by designing, manufacturing, and marketing wire, cable, and fiber optic products for the electronic, electrical and communications markets worldwide. To obtain additional information, visit Belden's website at www.belden.com or contact us at the phone number below.

Contact:
Dee Johnson,
Director, Investor Relations
314-854-8054

Following are comparative consolidated income statements for the three- and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2003 and December 31, 2002, segment information for the same periods, and condensed consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2003, and December 31, 2002.

Belden and CDT Announce Merger of Equals, Combined Company to be named Belden CDT, Inc.

With $1.3 Billion Sales, Company Will be a Market Leader in High Speed Electronic Cobber Cable
February 5, 2004

St. Louis, MO, and Schaumburg, IL - Belden Inc. (NYSE:BWC) and Cable Design Technologies (NYSE:CDT) announced today that the boards of directors of the two companies have unanimously approved and entered into a definitive agreement providing for a merger of equals. The combined company will be called Belden CDT Inc. and will be headquartered in St. Louis. Belden CDT--with sales of approximately $1.3 billion--will be among the largest U.S.-based manufacturers of high-speed electronic copper cable and will focus on products for the specialty electronics and data networking markets, including connectivity. The transaction is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2004.

Under the terms of the agreement, each Belden share will be exchanged for two shares of CDT. Upon completion of the merger:

      • The combined company will change its name to Belden CDT Inc.
      • The company will execute a one-for-two reverse stock split, reducing the number of shares.
      • The combined company is expected to have approximately 46 million shares outstanding, after the reverse split.
      • The combined company will expect to continue Belden's dividend policy of $0.05 per share quarterly.
      • The former CDT shareholders will own approximately 45% of the combined company and the former Belden shareholders will own approximately 55% of the combined company.
      • The combined company expects to be listed on the NYSE under a new ticker symbol.

Following the completion of the merger, Bryan C. Cressey, Chairman of the Board of CDT, will serve as Chairman of the Board of the combined company, and C. Baker Cunningham, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Belden, will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. Ferdinand Kuznik, currently CDT's Chief Executive Officer, and George Graeber, currently CDT's President and Chief Operating Officer, will join the office of the CEO of Belden CDT Inc. to advise and assist in the integration of the two businesses and will focus on realizing expected synergies. Richard K. Reece, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Belden, will have the same role in the combined company. Key operating management roles will be as follows:

Robert Canny, Specialty Products
David Harden, West Penn Wire
Robert Matz, Communications Products
Larrie Rose, Europe
Peter Sheehan, Networking
Peter Wickman, Electronics Products

The combined company's board will consist of ten directors, five designated by each of the companies from their current boards, including Messrs. Cressey, Cunningham, and Kuznik.

"The merger of Belden and CDT with its synergies is expected to be accretive to all shareholders. It provides the opportunity to increase shareholder value by reducing costs, broadening the product portfolio and diversifying core markets, and combining a deep and experienced management team," said Mr. Cressey. "These benefits and the strength of the combined balance sheet will provide financial flexibility and set us apart from others in our industry."

"The merger of Belden and CDT, both leaders in the cable and wire industry, creates a preeminent supplier of electronic and specialty products, " said Mr. Cunningham. "The combination of well-known specialty brands means that we have a more comprehensive array of products and a broader range of preferred cabling and connectivity solutions. Expected synergies of approximately $25 million through the implementation of best practices and elimination of duplicate costs will make us more competitive in providing value to our customers," he concluded.

The signed merger agreement is subject to certain closing conditions, including approval by the stockholders of both Belden and CDT and approval under the United States and certain other countries' antitrust laws.

UBS Securities LLC acted as financial advisor to Belden Inc., and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP acted as Belden's legal counsel. Credit Suisse First Boston acted as financial advisor to CDT, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as CDT's legal counsel.

2003. Also today, CDT announced separately the preliminary results for its second fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2004. CDT plans to release final results for that quarter during the week of March 8, 2004.

Forward-Looking Statements This release contains, in addition to statements of historical fact, certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. Actual results could differ from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors including those mentioned in documents filed with the SEC by both Belden Inc. and Cable Design Technologies Corporation. Forward-looking statements are based on information available to management at the time, and they involve judgments and estimates. There can be no assurance as to the timing of the closing of the merger, or whether the merger will close at all, or that the expected synergies and cost savings will be realized. Factors that could cause results to differ from expectations include the level of market demand for the products of the Companies, competitive pressures, economic conditions in the U.S. and other countries where the Companies operate, working capital needs, information technology spending, the ability to achieve reductions in costs, price fluctuations of raw materials and the potential unavailability thereof, foreign currency fluctuations, technological obsolescence, environmental matters, industry competition and other specific factors discussed in the Belden annual report filed with the SEC on Form 10K on March 14, 2003, and the CDT annual report on form 10K filed with the SEC on October 29, 2003. Belden and CDT assume no responsibility to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future developments.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

CDT intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant documents in connection with the proposed transaction. Investors and security holders of CDT and Belden are urged to read the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials when the become available because they will contain important information about CDT, Belden and the propsed transaction. Investors and securityholders may obtain a free copy of these materials (when they are available) and other documents filed with the SEC at the SEC's website www.sec.gov. A free copy of the joint proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available may also be obtained from CDT at 1901 North Roselle Road, Schaumburg, IL 60195 or from Belden at 7701 Forsyth Boulevard, Suite 800, St. Louis, MO 63105.

Participants in the Transaction

CDT, Belden and their respective executive officers and directors may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from their respective stockholders with respect to the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of CDT and their ownership of CDT shares is set forth in the proxy statement for CDT's 2003 annual meeting of stockholders. Information about the directors and executive officers of Belden and their ownership of Belden stock is set forth in the proxy statement for Belden's 2003 annual meeting of stockholders. Investors may obtain additional information regarding the interests of such participants by reading the joint proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available.

Note to Financial Analysts: There will be a conference call for financial analysts on Thursday, February 5, 2004, at 10:30 a.m. eastern time with members of management of both Belden and CDT. To participate in the call, dial 719-457-2617 a few minutes before the scheduled start time. The public may listen to the call via webcast at investor.belden.com or at www.cdtc.com

About Belden: Belden is linking people and technology by designing, manufacturing, and marketing wire, cable, and fiber optic products for the electronic, electrical and communications markets worldwide. Visit Belden's website at www.belden.com bout CDT: Cable Design Technologies (www.cdtc.com) is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-bandwidth network connectivity products used in computer interconnect, switching and wireless applications and electronic data and signal transmission products that are used in automation and process control and specialty applications.

Contact:
Belden Inc.
Dee Johnson, Director of Investor Relations
314-854-8054

Cable Design Technologies
Chuck Cohrs, Treasurer
847-230-1836

CDT Announces Preliminary Fiscal Second Quarter 2004 Results

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cable Design Technologies (NYSE: CDT), a leading worldwide provider of high-speed network connectivity products said today that the company expects to report revenues of $120 million and a net loss of between $300,000 and $800,000, or $.01 to $.02 loss per share, for the fiscal second quarter ending January 31, 2004. In addition to lower than expected seasonal demand, this loss includes $1.6 million of one-time employee benefit and legal charges. CDT plans to release results for the quarter ending January 31, 2004 during the week of March 8, 2004

In a separate communication today, CDT announced that it and Belden Inc. had entered into a definitive agreement providing for a merger of equals. The combined company, to be called Belden CDT Inc., will be among the largest U.S.-based manufacturers of high-speed electronic copper cable and will focus on products for the specialty electronics and data networking markets, including connectivity.

Fred Kuznik, the Chief Executive Officer of CDT, stated, "A number of factors contributed to the disappointing results this quarter. Not only was customer demand weaker than expected, we had the one time charges and the increase in copper prices negatively impacted our margins." Kuznik added, "We are taking steps to address the increase in copper prices, including instituting price increases with our customers."

CDT's expectation regarding sales and earnings is based on preliminary results and is subject to normal quarter-end closing and review processes. www.cdtc.com

Fiber is certainly the future and Fiber Connections Inc. can get you there

Fiber is certainly the future. Fiber Connections Inc. has had considerable success with their new EasyLAN Modular Cabling System, especially with electrical contractors since it is easy to install, saves time and labor and enables them to provide a reliable factory terminated and tested solution to their customers. The EasyLAN modular cabling offers a cost effective system for data centers, school districts, financial institutions and hospitals.

For more than a decade, Fiber Connections Inc. has been an industry leader and innovator at the forefront of fiber connectivity technology. FCI manufactures and markets a wide array of fiber optics assemblies, components, enclosures and solutions. Their proprietary polishing procedures are recognized to be the best in the industry on a variety of fiber optic connectors and components. Fiber Connections Inc. provides leading players in the industry with high quality, custom products to meet their changing needs of fiber technology on products such as:

      • MTP based multi fiber connectorization
      • Modular fiber optic cabling systems
      • 10 Gigabit Ethernet solutions
      • Polarization Maintaining (PM) assemblies

For more information about Fiber Connections Inc. products and capabilities, please visit their new web site: www.fiberconnectionsinc.com

Latest news from Mike Holt - Mr. NEC
Check it out:

www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarchive/Economy-HTML/HTML/Construction-Employment-Climbs-in-December~20040129.php

www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarchive/BM-HTML/HTML/Office-Market-Remains-Dim-But-Outlook-Brightens~20040205.php

Fiber Reel-in-a-Box by Superior Essex

Superior Essex offers Reel-in-a-Box packaging for many sizes of premises fiber optic cables that also includes the QuickCount® footage marking system. The ease-of-use of the reel payout system and the countdown-to-zero length markings provide for an installer-friendly yet rugged cable offering that is ideal for fiber optic premises cabling projects.

See attached catalog page for details.
www2.superioressex.com/products/fiber/spec-sheet/reel-in-a-box.pdf

Lowes selects Superior Essex

Lowes Home Improvement Selects Superior Essex Fiber Cable for Store Expansions

Lowes, the second largest home improvement chain in the United States , has an aggressive store expansion plan to close its gap with Home Depot, and each store utilizes a significant quantity of fiber cable to interconnect its many computer terminals and servers. The use of optical fiber over copper pairs assures the company that the bandwidth demands on their network are unlikely to ever exceed the limits of the cabling system. This past year, Lowes selected Superior Essex as its supplier of tight buffer fiber cable for all store expansions and retrofits. The cable provided by Superior Essex utilizes TeraGain fiber, with guaranteed Gigabit Ethernet performance of 300/500M (for 850 and 1300 nm wavelengths).

Question of the Month

What is the life expectancy of typical OSP copper cables?

Outside plant (OSP) cables are designed based on a life expectancy of 30 years. Both the raw materials and finished cable products are tested using life-cycle test procedures to support this claim. Choosing the appropriate product design for the installation environment provides the greatest chance for 30+ years of trouble free service.
www.superioressex.com

BICSI Winter Conference - Orlando, FL (January 2004)

This conference and exposition was a new benchmark for regeneration in the communications cabling industry. Everyone we talked to reported that their business was improving and growth looked like it would be sustainable.

The term "decimate" is derived from Roman origin and meant killing one out of each ten prisoners. Today as many businesses redirect their sales and marketing efforts for new opportunities, they are discovering that the ranks of many marketing organizations have been more than decimated. Sometimes the casualty lists exceed 40 - 60%. That means there will be a real challenge as they rebuild to capture new business and compete in the future market. Fortunately, BICSI www.bicsi.org and NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) www.necanet.org offer significant resources within their memberships to rebuild.

The event was very successful, with more than 3,100 attendees and over 200 exhibiting companies from throughout the telecommunications cabling industry. We enjoyed the BICSI conference experience and, like many attendees, gained new and useful information and business contacts.

We attended both the codes and standards committee meetings. The duct cable proposal, NFPA activities, and toxicity/safety concerns were topics for extensive discussion in both meetings. There were the usual "shills" for special interest, but the majority of the attendees were concerned industry participants. The attendees of both of these committees made personal sacrifices of time and money to "raise the bar" for BICSI's participation in setting improved codes and standards. Special recognition is merited for: Phil Janeway (Chairman), Donna Ballast, Bob Jensen, and Ray Keden of the Codes Committee for their extensive research and reports on the NEC (National Electrical Code) development by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Also, hats off to T. J. Roe (Chairman), George Thorning, Ray Craig, Ballast, Jensen, Keden, and Marilyn Michelson (Editor - Cabling Standards Update) for their continued efforts to keep BICSI in the forefront of standards development.
www.bicsi.org

NORDX/CDT and RiT Technologies to Form Strategic Alliance

Companies to Market IntelliMAC Plus, Intelligent Physical Layer Management Solution (IPLMS)

Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada and Tel-Aviv, Israel – January 26, 2004 — NORDX/CDT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cable Design Technologies Corporation - CDT (NYSE: CDT) and RiT Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: RITT), the pioneer of Intelligent Physical Layer Management Solutions (IPLMS), announced today that they are entering into a strategic partnership. Under the terms of this partnership, NORDX/CDT will market, sell and distribute passive hardware, including patch panels and patch cords, and RiT will provide the active equipment and software required for comprehensive Intelligent Physical Layer Management Solutions (IPLMS).

“More than ever, companies are relying on their networks for both mission-critical applications and for life-saving applications such as E911. Real-time monitoring of the structured cabling system has become a necessity,” states Marc Laporte, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for NORDX/CDT. “We understand the need for our customers to have a robust, reliable solution that is easy and cost-effective to manage. As a result of this partnership, NORDX/CDT and RiT Technologies can offer customers the best possible solution: IntelliMAC Plus.”

“We are proud that NORDX/CDT has chosen us to supply this solution,” added Liam Galin, President and CEO of RiT. “Intelligent physical layer management solutions are becoming more and more mainstream in the IT world and we are happy that NORDX/CDT, a leader in the development of structured cabling solutions, has recognized the value of our technology and our experience in this field. Together, we will deliver a top quality solution to those organizations that depend on their networks to determine their business success.”

IntelliMAC Plus offers organizations of all sizes 100% accurate real-time network connectivity information. The solution is based on RiT’s PatchView™ technology and offers key benefits for mission-critical enterprises. It reduces the total cost of network ownership by enabling IT departments to extract the maximum benefits within tight operating budgets. The system achieves this cost reduction by improving response times to problems of unplanned downtime, redundant ports, inaccurate documentation, and inefficient maintenance. Beyond cost reduction, the solution addresses security issues by its ability to pinpoint the precise physical location of network devices and the web-based application makes it easy to manage remote sites from a central location.

About RiT Technologies

RiT Technologies pioneered the development of intelligent physical layer management solutions, designed to provide superior control, utilization and maintenance of networks. RiT's innovative solutions help customers capitalize on network investments and reduce cost of ownership.

With a global sales network spanning 60 countries, and over 2.5 million managed ports installed, RiT's key customers include many FORTUNE 500 companies such as major financial institutions, corporations and global telecommunications companies such as: Deutsche Telekom, TELMEX, TELENOR, The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), ING Barings, INVESCO, DIAGEO, Daewoo, and Reuters.

RiT is a member of the RAD group, a world leader in communications solutions.
www.rittech.com
www.nordx.com

Looking for news? Look no further than Mercury News. This is an excellent publication. Mercury News stays plugged in to what's hot and what's not. www.mercurynews.com business

For an excellent example of this publications quality coverage, read the following:

FIVE ALARM CABLE DANGER

FIRE HAZARD: PILES OF CABLE AMASSED IN OFFICE BUILDINGS POSE A THREAT, EXPERTS SAY.

Mercury News - Mon, Nov. 24, 2003

A little-known legacy of the high-tech boom -- the massive accumulation of old computer, fax, phone and other cable in building ceilings and floors -- poses a huge fire danger, experts say.

An estimated 45 billion feet of such low-voltage cable has piled up, layer upon layer. That's nine times as much as existed a decade ago and enough to circle the globe 340 times. That's why California and a number of other states have adopted a new electrical code that will require most unused cable to be removed when new cable is installed or the structure undergoes significant renovations.

``There's a bunch of junk in our ceilings,'' said Douglas Hansen, a Palo Alto electrical specialist with Code Check, a building code consulting firm. ``Every time a new tenant comes in, they just add more. It's just packed full of all this spaghetti up there.''

While this sort of cable generally doesn't carry enough electricity to burst into flames by itself, it often can burn quickly if exposed to fire from another source. Moreover, it frequently sits in well-ventilated spaces above ceiling tiles or below floor panels, making it relatively inaccessible to fire sprinklers and smoke alarms.

As a result, once the plastic-coated cable ignites, it can spread flames and toxic smoke quickly through a building. Several catastrophic fires have been blamed on the problem.

The version of the new fire code adopted several months ago in California, which applies only to non-residential commercial buildings, is expected to go into effect next year, when the state's Building Standards Commission plans to publish it.

But getting rid of the cable won't be simple. Some real-estate specialists believe at least 500,000 buildings in this country are affected and that the tab for complying with the code in North America could total $10 billion.

``It would be nice to get that stuff out of there,'' said Ron Burton, vice president of advocacy for the Washington, D.C.,-based Building Owners and Managers Association International, which plans to discuss the problem with its members during a telephone conference next month. But it could prove nettlesome sorting out who should pay to remove the cable -- building owners or the tenants who installed and then abandoned it when they moved out, he added.

Aside from the bother and expense of removing the abandoned cable, building owners and tenants have been reluctant to touch these piles, fearing they might damage the cable that is being used.

John Petersen, a senior vice president with Equity Office Properties, Silicon Valley's biggest office landlord, said his firm generally removes abandoned cables whenever a tenant leaves.

Nonetheless, Gerard Lederer, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who represents property owners, said he suspects buildings here are more likely to be packed with old cable because this area is so dependent on high-tech gear that uses cable. Lederer added that he has counseled some California companies about the problem, but declined to identify them.

Hard to pinpoint

It's difficult to say how many fires can be blamed on old cable. While fire departments take pains to identify the origin of building fires, ``Their reporting systems don't address particularly whether cables were involved or not,'' said Gary Lougheed, who is studying the problem for Canada's National Research Council.

Nonetheless, several catastrophic fires involving cable have been documented. Among them:

      • • In 1996, a welder accidentally ignited cable above a ceiling at Germany's Dusseldorf Airport, sending fire and toxic smoke throughout the building and killing 17 people.
      • • In 1993, a fire suspected of starting in a ceiling area filled with telephone and other cables broke out at the Bankers Trust Building in New York. The blaze caused $10 million in damage, the most destructive high-rise fire in that city in a decade.
      • • In 1988, toxic smoke from burning cable spread throughout a telephone company's central office building in Hinsdale, Ill., causing widespread damage.
      • • In 1975, a fire at One World Trade Center in New York spread to a ceiling space where it was intensified by the cable stored there. An investigative report later compared the flammability of the stacked cables to ``a group of logs in a fire.''

Some ambiguities

After the code goes into effect in California, it is expected to be adopted by most cities and counties. But reaching a consensus about how to interpret its cable-removal provisions could take awhile, according to some local authorities.

One ambiguity is how much old cable must be removed if the amount of new cable installed or building alterations done is minor. It's also unclear to some officials whether routine maintenance to an area with unused cable should trigger those cables' removal.

``This could create a lot of confusion for building departments,'' said Sheila Lee, who oversees building-code issues in the city of Santa Clara.

``It's a good idea; it's a good thing to do,'' added Amal Sinha, San Jose's building official. ``But I don't know who will be enforcing that.''

Given the seriousness of the problem, however, those questions will have to be resolved eventually, said John Michlovic, an engineer with H.H. Robertson Floor Systems in Pennsylvania, which makes equipment for storing cable under floors. And when local officials start cracking down, he added, it's not going to be pleasant for many building owners.

``The building inspector is going to have to hold somebody's feet to the fire,'' Michlovic said. ``There will be hell to pay.''

Contact Steve Johnson at sjohnson@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5043.
Posted on Mon, Nov. 24, 2003
www.mercurynews.com business

Miller Named Incoming Western/Region 1Vice President-Elect NAED

(ST. LOUIS, MO)… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) has named Tammy Miller, executive vice president & treasurer of Border States Electric Supply, in Phoenix, Ariz., as the incoming Vice President-Elect for NAED’s Western Region (formerly Region 1). The Western Region Council appointed Miller by majority approval.

“I am delighted to serve as the Vice President-Elect. My experiences with NAED, its members and affiliates have greatly enriched my career,” said Miller. “I have taken advantage of NAED's many resources, including great research, networking opportunities, PAR reports and training. I am looking forward to working more closely with the Regional Council and the Board of Directors, as we strive to enhance NAED's value for its members.“

Miller will lead the Western Region in 2005-2006. She joined Border States Electric in 1991 and has served as a member of the NAED Board of Directors for the past five years. Miller is currently the association’s Finance Committee Chair.

Miller’s contributions extend outside of the industry. In 2001, she was elected president of the North Dakota State Society of Certified Public Accountants. In addition, Miller has helped organize successful fund raising campaigns for several community outreach programs including the United Way and YWCA.

As a regional Vice President-Elect, Miller will be responsible for attending and helping direct the region’s conferences and council meetings. She will also be participating in NAED’s Membership and TED Advisory Committees.

The NAED Western Region is currently led by Mike Lockard, president of Hunzicker Brothers, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla. At NAED’s Annual Meeting in May, Barry McEachern, president of Star Electric Supply, Inc., Wichita, Kan., will become Western Region Vice President for the 2004-2005 year.

NAED is the trade association for the electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and advocacy, NAED helps electrical distributors prosper and improve the channel. NAED’s membership includes distributors of all sizes, representing approximately 4,150 locations throughout the United States. www.naed.org

Join NECA National Electrical Contractors Association
AND/OR … be an Online Subscriber

Get your issue of NECA's newsletter for electrical construction industry professionals. "Contractors' Code Letter" is a quarterly e-mail newsletter about the National Electrical Code, other electrical standards, inspection and listing issues, and other matters of on-the-job significance.. It is intended for electrical contractors, inspectors, engineers, and distributor personnel.

Click here to read the latest "Contractors' Code Letter:"

www.necanet.org Contractor_Code PDF

Sincerely,

H. BROOKE STAUFFER
Executive Director, Standards & Safety
National Electrical Contractors Association
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 215-4521
(301) 215-4500 Fax
mailto:brooke@necanet.org

Wes Summers, RCDD, Regional Sales Manager-Communications/Data for Cooper B-Line confirmed the increased emphasis on cable management throughout the industry. Summers, a former president of BICSI told us that they are seeing a growing demand for sustainable cabling infrastructure and that means more cable management hardware. "The asset is too valuable to ignore." Cooper B-Line has developed a line of cable management accessories that are flexible for any application. Use their accessories in your cabinet for a custom solution to your needs! Every day, Cooper B-Line products are hard at work for you. www.cooperbline.com

What's new at Ortronics?

Mighty Mo 6 is a complete advanced racking system specifically designed for higher density cabling applications, such as premises networks, data centers and SANs. Its innovative design features patented rear channels to securely route distribution cables, and front-mounted vertical management cages to protect patch cords, while allowing easy access for moves, adds and changes, as well as rack unit markings and a deeper top trough.

Check out their refurbished web site, lots of new goodies.
www.ortronics.com

From the pages of top-rated Electrical Contractor Magazine:
"Don’t Gamble with Abandoned Cable"
by Marilyn Michelson

There’s a problem that is either right in front of us or lurking around the corner.

The problem involves data communications cabling above drop ceilings in commercial buildings—some of that old cable has been accumulating in ceiling spaces for years and years. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is doing something about it—it’s a possible life/safety hazard to people inside those buildings if that space is used as a plenum (part of the air distribution system). Read on to see what you can do as a contractor to help your customer and yourself at the same time.

www.ecmag.com

Michelson is co-publisher and editor of the Cabling Standards UPDATE (a quarterly report dedicated to informing about standards revisions focusing on cabling). Her website is www.cablingstandards.com

DYMO Industrial (www.dymo.com/industrial) has an excellent line of labeling systems for cabling and they continue to refine their offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of the cabling contractor. We spoke with DYMO's Al Feaster, RCDD, Consultant - Industrial Business Unit at the BICSI winter conference. Mr. Feaster confirmed the increased demand for well labeled and well documented cabling infrastructure in the commercial real estate industry. The new NEC 2002 requirement for the removal of abandoned cable** has many contractors looking for money saving solutions through the use of cabling as a transitional asset. "If it ain't labeled, it might as well not be there".

We called several California sources and found that some local AHJs (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) in California have adopted the NEC 2002 provision for the removal of abandoned cable. By BOMA International estimates there are more than 41,000 local, state and federal AHJs acting on various building and safety codes. We just don't have the resources to track all of their activities and don't know of a single source that does follow all AHJ adoption status.

ERICO CADDY® Cable Support System (www.erico.com) and hardware are a real lifesaver on the job site. Tom Potts, a lead tech for Communication Planning Corporation (Jacksonville, FL) is famous for referring to ERICO hardware on the job site as "handier than a shirt pocket".

At Wireville, we are very pumped up about the increased value perception of cabling infrastructure hardware. The BOMA International (Building Owners & Managers Association www.boma.org) and the 115 local BOMA Associations are anxious to learn more about the concept of treating this infrastructure as a transition asset. We are also getting the same response from NAIOP (National Association of Industrial & Office Properties www.naiop.org). While we understand that these two huge commercial real estate organizations do not encompass all commercial real estate holdings, they are certainly home to their industry's "bell cows".

The labor savings associated with ERICO hardware is significant. However, it needs to be quantified, both from an original installation and a reuse application. Face it! The infrastructure hardware may be the real treasure in the structure.

Need Training?

You might add: BICSI Technician Class being held at the BICSI ComNet Training Center in Dallas Feb 23-27, 2004. Visit our website at www.comnetcomm.com for complete BICSI Training opportunities through June, 2004.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Electric West 2003
February 2 – 4
Las Vegas, NV
www.electricshow.com

Internet Telephony Conference & Expo
Feb 11-13, 2004
Miami, FL
www.itexpo.org

Optical Fiber Communication Conference & Expo
February 24-26, 2004
Los Angeles, CA
www.ofcconference.org

Broadband Wireless World
February 24-25, 2004
San Diego, CA
www.scievents.com

VDV/IBS EXPO and Conference
March 8 – 13
Las Vegas, NV
www.vdvexpo.com

ACUTA Spring Seminar
April 18-21
Miami Beach, FL
www.acuta.org

REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE

   
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