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Issue: March 2004
By: Frank Bisbee


In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


Bisbee's Buzz'.

Kudos to NECA - IBEW for their VDV/IBS Conference & Expo (March 2004). This conference held in Las Vegas was moderately attended and the exhibit hall was a good representation of the available technologies.

We've all been to the mega shows. My first biggie was the NCC (National Computer Conference), which was held in the McCormick Place in Chicago. The damn show was so big it filled the entire place. I got lost 6 times and my feet gave up on the first day. I doubt if I got a chance to see 15% of the expo. The next year the NCC folded. It was too big.

The VDV/IBS Conference had the best value packed educational sessions that I have ever seen in a conference. With Las Vegas as a distraction, I figured many of the attendees would have ditched many of the sessions in favor of the entertainment. Every session that we looked in on was filled, even on the last session of the last day. Why? The planning and professional packaging of the educational experience was top drawer. Almost every session was rated 5 stars by the attendees for educational value and presentation. The companies and organizations that sent their people to this conference and expo got more than their money's worth. There wasn't a huge amount of traffic in the exhibit hall simply because there weren't a lot of attendees. However, every attendee made a point of touring the exhibits, gathering information, and making contacts.

Starting in 2005 the VDV/IBS Conference will run concurrently with the NECA Convention while the VDV/IBS Expo will be incorporated into the annual NECA Show. The 2005 convention is scheduled for September 17-20 in New Orleans, LA. Check out their website for more information (www.vdvexpo.org). If you are looking for additional revenues in datacom cabling and integrated building systems, you can't do much better than this NECA treasure.


If you follow the financial news you have seen the price of petroleum and copper going up - up - up. We've heard reports of copper migrating from a stable price (for the last couple of years) of 65¢ per pound to a new and recent high of $1.40 per pound. Mid March the price was floating around $1.27 per pound. One cable manufacturer attributed a swing from profit to loss to this material cost increase.

On the plastics scene, a plant in Japan had a problem, which may keep it closed for the next year and a half. That incident could have big repercussions on the supply shortage of FEP (a major component of plenum cable - CMP). Today, DuPont and Daikin produce the lion's share of this material. Any shortage of FEP is going to mean "much higher prices at the pump". We have heard reports that the price of FEP was increased by $2.00 per pound in March. If there's a shortage, the prices could soar to shocking levels.

List of cables and street prices as of 3/9/2004

Jacksonville, FL
Cat 5e Non Plenum $66.00
Cat 6 Non Plenum $98.50
Strand Multi-Mode Fiber Non Plenum $460.00
6 Strand Single-Mode Fiber Non Plenum $220.00
Cat 5e Plenum $194.00
Cat 6 Plenum $332.00
6 Strand Multi-Mode Fiber Plenum $490.00
6 Strand Single-Mode Fiber Plenum $240.00
Cat 5e "Limited Combustible"-CMP $ No price available*
Cat 6 "Limited Combustible"-CMP $445.00*

Passes UL/NFPA 262 & 255 - all FEP construction
"Limited Combustible Cable" - NOT IN STOCK

These prices were quoted by a local distributor for 1,000' boxes

- based on an order of 100,000'.

The future of "Limited Combustible Cable" is highly doubtful. Many industry insiders have described this proposed code change as a commercial venue rather than a safety consideration. The NFPA Standards Council has put the "Limited Combustible Cable" proposal on hold at least until the next code cycle, which comes out in 2008. This Standards Council decision (#03-10-25) allows the NFPA to consider all of the emerging information on this proposed code change. We commend the NFPA on this prudent step to ensure a complete scrutiny of all of the facts. Much of the marketing hype associated with the "Limited Combustible Cable" story is getting little or no response from the marketplace. From the chart above, you can see why.

The abandoned cable issue is gaining momentum. This problem just won't go away. With more than 8 ½ million miles of abandoned cable in the American workplace, we must do something about eliminating the accumulated fuel load and the "ticking" environmental time bomb associated with this waste material.

Once again, we commend the NFPA for proposed changes to the National Electrical Code - NEC 2005 that will clarify the definitions and applications of the building code, which deals with the removal of abandoned cable. The cabling industry needed those clarifications in order to properly address the safety requirements associated with cabling. The AHJ's (Local Authorities Having Jurisdiction) have been wrestling with the somewhat unclear definitions for abandoned cable removal in the NEC 2002.


Look for BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) to take the reins on the cabling issues. Today most leases are rich with descriptions of "use and occupancy" however; the verbiage on "termination and exit" is anorexic when it comes to tenant responsibility on the removal of abandoned cable as described in the NEC 2002. For most of the communications industry, BOMA is a new blip on the radar.

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a premier network of more than 18,000 commercial real estate professionals. Founded in 1907 as the National Association of Building Owners and Managers, the association assumed its current name in 1968 to broaden its reach. Today BOMA International represents 100 North American and nine overseas associations.

BOMA provides a network forum for industry professionals to discuss mutual problems, exchange ideas and share experience and knowledge. BOMA offers comprehensive industry research and office building performance data and publications, products and services to assist the owners and managers of commercial office space.

BOMA's government affairs and codes representation addresses the needs and interest of office building owners, investors, developers and managers to national, state, provincial and local legislators. Issues that BOMA has been involved with include Capital Cost Recovery Act, the Public Buildings Act, asbestos, indoor air quality, telecommunication utility deregulation, tax legislation and building codes.

As with any profession, education is key. BOMA offers educational programs to increase professionalism through designation curriculum. Designation programs include Real Property Administrator (RPA), systems Maintenance Administrator (SMA), Systems Maintenance Technician (SMT) and the Facilities Maintenance Administrator (FMA).

We invite you to visit their Web site at www.boma.org. In the future, we predict the development of practices and leases that will include provisions for the proper labeling and documentation of the cabling as an asset that may be transferable from one tenant to another while holding the parties responsible in the interim.


Wireless continues to spread. Zone cabling gains acceptance. Fiber optic cables are pushing closer to the desktop. The prices of UTP are climbing faster than a squirrel on speed. All this adds up to a reduced demand for traditional copper based UTP cabling in the workplace of the future.

But that’s just my opinion,
Frank Bisbee

General Fiber Communications Appoints Vice President of Safety

SAFETY IS TOO IMPORTANT TO IGNORE

General Fiber Communications has appointed Scott LeCates as vice president of safety. Most recently, LeCates held the position of vice president of operations for GFC's government services division.

The new executive position reflects the company's focus on rigorous safety standards. In this role, LeCates will establish practices and performance monitoring to ensure the safety of GFC's 900 field technicians throughout the U.S.

"As GFC continues to grow, this leadership position ensures a steadfast commitment to safety throughout our organization. I look forward to Scott developing and implementing innovative programs that will set the bar for safety within the industry," says Murat Aslansan, GFC's CEO.

LeCates has 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. During a 10-year career at Dycom Industries, LeCates was regional manager of operations. Prior to joining GFC, he served as national director of quality assurance and western regional manager of operations at International FiberCom, Inc. LeCates is trained as an ISO-9000 lead auditor and in Six Sigma leadership.

GFC, based in Conshohocken, PA, manufactures wireless, fiber-optic and RF-based technologies. For more information visit www.generalfiber.com

Graybar Advances on Fortune's "Most Admired Companies" List

Moves up from 5th to 2nd in its category

Graybar (St Louis, MO), the nation's leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related supply chain management and logistics services, has again been recognized as one of the nation's "Most Admired Companies" by Fortune magazine.

This is the third consecutive year Graybar has made the prestigious list, moving up three spots from fifth to second in its category, "Wholesalers: Electronics and Office Equipment." The listing is printed in the magazine's March 8 issue, which hit the newsstands this week.

Fortune surveyed 10,000 executives, directors and analysts across the country to compile the 2004 "Most Admired" list. Companies were ranked in 64 industry categories, and survey participants rated each company according to eight criteria: innovation, employee talent, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment and quality of products and services.

"We are extremely pleased Graybar continues to hold a place on Fortune's prestigious list of 'Most Admired Companies,' and we are especially pleased to have moved up another three spots to second in our category," said Robert A. Reynolds, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Graybar. "It's a tribute to all the Graybar people from coast to coast who work hard every day to assure our leading edge technology and logistics capabilities help raise the bar on performance and value for our customers."

"To advance from eighth to second in our category in the two years since we were first named to the list in 2002 is very, very satisfying," Reynolds added. "It confirms that management has a solid plan for the future, and it's working."

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

Top OSHA Official Addresses NECA Chapter Managers Meeting on Benefits of Alliances and Partnerships

Bethesda, MD - - Paula O. White, Director of Cooperative and State Programs at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), addressed the National Electrical Contractors Association´s (NECA) spring chapter manager meeting on the benefits of OSHA alliances and partnerships. NECA and OSHA signed a national alliance agreement in August 2003.

In addition, NECA’s Central Ohio, Northern New Jersey, and Southeastern Line Constructors chapters have all entered into local OSHA alliances of their own. The goal of all these alliances is cooperating to improve of jobsite safety, the reduction of lost workdays and to address and eliminate the OSHA fear factor.

OSHA’s industry alliance program doesn’t have an enforcement component. It represents a partial shift away from an adversarial enforcement stance to a more cooperative relationship that emphasizes the safety benefits of employee training and employer’s self-inspecting their jobsites. www.necanet.org

Draka Automotive Expands Cable Division into North America

The Draka Automotive Group (Franklin, MA), the leading European manufacturer for standard and specialty cables in the automotive industry, has expanded their global product line distribution and customer support channels into the U.S. market. In a doing so, Steven A. Bates has been appointed the new Vice President Automotive Sales North America, with the office located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

The Draka Automotive Group represents around $150 million in sales for Draka Holding Group (The Netherlands), which is 10% of total sales. The German plant in Wuppental houses the extensive research and development team for the U.S, as well as the other worldwide Draka automotive plants: Draka Cables Vigo (Spain), Draka Kabely (Czech Republic) and Suzhou Draka Cable (China). www.drakausa.com

Superior Essex Product Focus - High Performance Fiber Optic Cables

Superior Essex offers TeraGain® 10G fiber optic cables for 10-Gigabit Ethernet applications. Several 50/125 micron TeraGain® 10G fiber types are available that include support for 10 Gigabit Ethernet at distances of 150 meters and 300 meters. The TeraGain® 10G product line covers the full spectrum of cable constructions including premises distribution, indoor/outdoor and OSP designs.
www.superioressex.com fiber-selections
www.superioressex.com

Check out the Great new web Look for Superior Essex. Go to :www.superioressex.com for all the pertinent information that you have come to expect.

TED Magazine

If it's important to the operation of an electrical distribution business, expect to read about it in The Electrical Distributor Magazine!

More electrical distributors and their staffs read The Electrical Distributor Magazine than any other industry magazine. Our readers include top executives, sales, marketing, operations and other key personnel.

Thier monthly columns and features include:

Selling Smart: Written for the people who sell electrical products, Selling Smart provides tips and techniques for selling electrical products and services.

NetWorks: Understanding and keeping ahead of electronic commerce trends is what NetWorks is all about. This section helps distributors use the internet more profitably and productively.

Product Blueprint: TED Magazine's primer for new technology, Product Blueprint is designed to educate distributors on new technologies and then to be photocopied and handed out to their customers as a marketing tool.

Voice/Data Section: Voice/data is one of the biggest areas of growth in the distribution business. TED's voice/data columns keep distributors informed about the newest trends in voice/data technology and standards.

Lighting: Each month TED's lighting column focuses on lighting technology and trends affecting the marketplace.

Other important topics:
New Products
People in the Industry
News Briefs
NAED Today
www.tedmag.com


Joe Salimando perspective in TED Magazine

Be sure the read the JOE SALIMANDO perspective in TED – The Electrical Distributor Magazine. Joe has a fresh review of life in the contractor’s lane…
www.tedmag.com

Superior Modular Products... A PLP Company

Superior was built on a foundation of Technical Leadership in connector design since its beginning in 1990, and its focus remains superior connectivity. Today SMP designs, manufactures and supports a wide range of high-speed data cross-connect products, from closet to desktop, for LAN, WAN and Residential environments.

Click here to visit www.smpdata.com

Superior Modular APPLICATION SOLUTION
25-Pair Gigabit Data Center and Cross-Connect Solutions

Superior Modular Products introduces both a 25-pair cross connect solution and network cabling design fully capable of accommodating Gigabit Ethernet Transmissions. Learn more... www.smpdata.com/smp

HCM’s Category 6 Cables Support Outdoor Applications

HCM - Hitachi Cable Manchester, Inc.’s rugged category 6, 4-pair cable is suitable for use in direct burial, duct, or aerial outdoor applications. The cable’s heavy-duty construction features a black UV- and abrasion﷓resistant polyolefin jacket, a gel﷓filled cable core that is impervious to water penetration, and a slim-profile pair-separator. The special water-blocking gel is non-conductive and has superior dielectric properties for optimum transmission performance.

This cable is perfectly suited for providing telecommunications services to satellite locations such as portable classrooms and trailers in a campus environment. www.hcm.hitachi.com

Ortronics Launches Newly Redesigned Web Site

Ortronics (New London, CT) is pleased to announce the launch of our newly redesigned web site. With a fresh look and new structure, www.ortronics.com is now even easier to navigate. A more simplified menu and improved search functionality will allow users to find the information they need more quickly and with greater certainty.

NAED Sales Expectation Survey Indicates Continued Improvement

Distributors Anticipate Sales to Increase in Fourth Quarter 2003, First Quarter 2004

According to the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) Quarterly Sales Change Expectation Report (QSCE), distributors are optimistic about sales for the first quarter (Jan. - March) of 2004. Of the survey's 321 respondents, 78.8% expect sales to increase in Q1. Furthermore, respondents anticipate that sales during the last quarter (Oct. - Dec.) of 2003 were strong, with 71.7% estimating sales growth.

Positive Expectations

Optimism seems to be growing among all distributors, with 19.6% anticipating negative sales for the last quarter of 2003, but only 8.7% expecting that trend to continue into the first quarter of 2004.

However, some distributors are still not so quick to jump on the bandwagon. The number of distributors expecting no change in sales increased slightly. For the most recent past quarter, 6.9% expected flat sales while 8.4% expect no change in sales for the first quarter of 2004.

Not only is the outlook bright for the beginning of 2004, but most distributors expect sales increases to be significant. The largest percentage of respondents (17.4%) predict growth of 10% or more, followed by 5 to 5.9% (13.7%), 3 to 3.9% (10.6%) and 4 to 4.9% (9.0%).

The survey was distributed in early January via fax and email to approximately 3,700 distributor locations. The questionnaire focused on sales expectations for the previous and upcoming quarter and features statistical breakouts by geographic region and number of employees.

Geographic Trends-South Leads in Sales Expectations

The Southern region of the United States was the most optimistic about sales performance for the first quarter of 2004 with 83.2% expecting an increase, followed by the Midwest (81.7%), Northeast (76.1%) and West (71.1%).

Sales estimations for the end of 2003 mirrored expectations for the start of the new year, with the Southern region again leading with the highest percentage (81.1%) estimating increases, followed by the Midwest (72.1%) Northeast (65.2%) and West (63.2%).

Mid-size Businesses Are Most Confident

Businesses of all sizes expect sales increases for the first quarter of 2004, however mid-size companies appear more optimistic. Those with 30 to 49 employees were the most confident with 90.3% expecting positive sales, followed by businesses with 20 to 29 employees (83.6%), 50 or more employees (82.2%), 1 to 4 employees (82.1%), 10 to 19 employees (79.6%) and 5 to employees (65.2%).

Sales estimations for the end of 2003 varied from expectations for the start of the 2004. While businesses with 30 to 49 employees (80.6%) and 20 to 29 employees (76.4%) remained the two highest percentages, they were followed by businesses with 10 to 19 employees (72.0%), 50 or more employees (68.9%), 1 to 4 employees (67.9%) and 5 to 9 employees (66.7 %).

Improving by Informing: Participate in Next Survey

QSCE is a management tool provided by NAED to its members and affiliates at no additional cost. It supplies detailed information to help NAED members run their businesses more effectively.

To participate in the next survey, watch for notification by fax or email in early April. Past reports are available under the "research" section of www.naed.org . For more information, contact Branton White, NAED senior director of marketing and associate editor of research for TED Magazine, at (888) 791-2512 or bwhite@naed.org.

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.

Berk-Tek GIGAlite-10XB Fiber Technology Supports 10 GbE At Greater Distances

The new 50 micron multimode fiber guarantees 10 GbE using serial 850nm to 600 meters distance- the longest in the industry.

BICSI 2004 Winter Conference, Orlando, FL - January 12, 2004 –Fiber optic and copper cabling technology and solutions leader Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, introduced today GIGALite-10XB, the industry’s highest performing 50 micron multimode fiber. Berk-Tek cables featuring GIGAlite-10XB optical fiber will support 10 Gigabit Ethernet using serial 850nm VCSEL technologies to a guaranteed distance of 600 meters.

Utilize the Modified Chemical Vapor Deposition (MCVD) process; the GIGAlite-10XB fibers come with the highest available effective modal bandwidth, at 4,900 MHz•km, of any laser-optimized fiber. GIGAlite-10XB fiber delivers a maximum attenuation of 3.0 dB/km as well as the industry’s most tightly controlled Differential Mode Delay (DMD) performance in finished cable form, doubling the maximum 10 Gigabit Ethernet distances that IEEE currently specifies for multimode fiber.

GIGALite-10XB will be able to support legacy systems including fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet beyond 1km. For campus backbone distances above 300 meters (984ft) and less than 600 meters (1968ft), the system designer can continue to utilize lower cost VCSEL based electronics versus single mode fiber systems. Berk-Tek’s standard 50 micron GIGAlite fiber is ideal for 10 Gbps systems up to 150m. For distances up to 300m, the GIGALite-10 product will continue to provide the best value. “With the launch of GIGAlite-10XB, Berk-Tek now has the most complete and highest performing 50 micron laser-optimized cabled fiber product portfolio in the industry,” said Beni Blell, Berk-Tek’s optical fiber product business manager. “The key value of the 50 micron GIGAlite-10XB product is the cost savings over single mode systems and the invaluable performance headroom that these cables offer in a campus or building backbone infrastructure.”

About Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company

For more than 40 years, Berk-Tek has been a leading manufacturer of more than 100 different network copper and fiber optic cable products. The company has led in the development of high-performance and enhanced fiber optic and UTP cables designed to transport high-speed data and voice transmissions. Berk-Tek has major manufacturing facilities at New Holland, PA, Fuquay-Varina, NC and Elm City, NC. For more information, visit www.berktek.com

About Nexans

Nexans, a worldwide leader in the cable industry, brings an extensive range of advanced copper and optical fiber cable solutions to the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans cables and cabling systems are used in several areas of everyday life such as: telecommunications, energy networks, aeronautics and railways as well as in aerospace, building, petrochemical, automobile and medical applications. With a manufacturing presence in 28 countries and commercial activities in 65 countries, Nexans employs 17,150 people globally, and had sales US$ 4.1 billion in 2002. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange as NEX. For more information, visit www.nexans.com

CDT Announces Second Fiscal Quarter 2004 Results

Cable Design Technologies reported today a loss for the second fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2004 of $3.4 million, or $0.08 per diluted share. This compares with net income of $2.7 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the quarter ended October 31, 2003 and net income of $0.2 million, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the quarter ended January 31, 2003. The earnings for the same period last year included expenses of $1.5 million, before tax, related to restructuring activities. The loss for the current quarter includes unusual employee benefit related expenses of $2.4 million, before tax, and expenses related to the previously announced pending merger with Belden Inc., of $2.5 million, before tax. The expenses related to the merger with Belden are not deductible for tax purposes and were not included the preliminary results announced early last month.

"With revenues being lower sequentially due to the seasonality of our business, especially in the November-December timeframe, results were as expected," CEO Fred Kuznik stated. "We had $4.9 million of unusual items during the quarter, including expenses related to the merger with Belden that we are required to recognize. Despite the impact these expenses have on our current results, the merger will provide long term benefit to our shareholders by combining well-known specialty brands for a more comprehensive array of products and a broader range of preferred cabling and connectivity solutions."

Revenues for the second fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2004, were $121.2 million, compared with revenues of $130.6 million in the previous quarter and $112.0 million for the same period last year. Revenues for the second fiscal quarter 2004 benefited by approximately $7.4 million over the same period last year from the favorable effects of currency translation. Sales outside of North America represented 39.7% of CDT's current quarter revenues compared to 38.7% last quarter and 35.5% for the same period last year. The majority of the increase in sales outside North America came from sales in Western Europe.

Gross margin was 20.7%, for the current quarter compared to 23.6% for the first fiscal quarter 2004 and 23.1% for the same period last year.

Mr. Kuznik noted, "Our margins deteriorated this quarter due not only to the decline in revenue but also due to an increase in workers compensation expense and an unusual benefit charge, as well as product mix, the effect of seasonal discounting during the period, and higher material costs," said Mr. Kuznik. "We have and expect to continue to increase prices to offset and recover rising material costs. However, we would expect margins to continue to come under pressure until material costs stabilize," Kuznik added.

Operating Expenses: Selling, general and administrative expenses were $26.3 million for the current quarter compared to $23.8 million for the quarter ending October 31, 2003 and $21.8 million for the same period last year. The increase in SG&A over the same period last year is primarily due to the benefit and merger related costs noted above, and an additional $1.2 million due to the effect of foreign currency translation.

Other Information: Also included in the loss for the quarter is the tax impact of the expenses associated with the merger between Belden and CDT. These expenses are discrete items in the quarter and the full tax impact must be accounted for in the period in which the expenses are recorded. This treatment has reduced the tax benefit for the quarter and has resulted in a large tax provision relative to earnings for the first six months of the year.

The Company generated $3.7 million of cash during the quarter, or $2.8 million net of the benefit of foreign exchange translation. The positive cash flow was driven largely by cash flow from operations.

Depreciation and Amortization for the quarter was $5.0 million, and the Company expects that the six month run-rate to continue throughout the remainder of the year.

About 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.

Question of the Month?

With so many choices in OSP cables, how do I know which products would be suitable for my installation?

We have product application charts on our website for fiber and copper OSP products. These application charts will help you determine which products are best suited for your installation environment. In most cases, a link to the appropriate product specification is provided for your convenience. Should you need additional information or clarification, please contact our technical support department.

See Fiber Applications by clicking on link below

www.superioressex.com fiber

See Copper Applications in PDF by clicking on link below
www.superioressex.com/cableapplications

Click below to view all FAQ's
www.superioressex.com/faqs

Electrical Contracting Foundation to Set Safety Standards

The Electrical Contracting Foundation (ELECTRI*21) has begun a research project to identify the safest and most effective means of grounding mobile construction equipment used in construction and maintenance of high-voltage utility power lines and facilities (often called "line construction"). The University of Kansas will conduct the research, with professor Thomas Glavinich leading the project.

Working on and around conductors energized at thousands of volts creates special safety challenges not seen in other types of electrical contracting work. Grounding—literally connecting equipment to the earth through a conductive element—is a common electrical safety technique, and required by regulatory codes for most types of electrical distribution systems. Proper grounding is also very important in line construction and maintenance work, to help minimize electrocutions due to accidental contact between mobile equipment and energized conductors.

The elevated voltages on utility transmission and distribution systems also make it possible for electricity to arc (jump through the air) from energized conductors and equipment to non-energized metal objects. Sometimes these include mobile construction equipment such as cranes, bucket trucks, digging derricks, etc. High-voltage arcing can result in death or serious injury to equipment operators and other construction personnel, as well as destroying equipment.

In addition to arcing hazards, crowded utility right-of-ways and ever-higher transmission voltages increase the likelihood of induced voltages in metal objects located near power lines—including deenergized lines being worked on, and construction equipment and vehicles. These induced voltages can be very dangerous for both linemen and groundmen.

While most electric utilities and line contractors require mobile equipment to be grounded when operating around high-voltage lines, there are different ways to do this. At present there is no consensus on which grounding techniques are most effective in protecting personnel against arcing and electrocution.

"Line contractors wanted to research the problem of mobile equipment grounding in order to reduce accidents due to these factors," said Walter Parkes. "We think some accidents are a result of different soil conditions, and must find a way to improve safety for our people in all parts of the country." The CEO of O'Connell Electric Company Inc. in Victor, New York. Parkes is also a district vice president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

www.ecmag.com

Network Cabling Mag - New Look

We picked up a copy of the Jan/Feb issue of Network Cabling at BICSI in Orlando from the editor, Leslie Wu. As usual for every BICSI, Leslie and publisher Fred Ouimette were on hand to gather all the news that's fit to print, (and even some that wasn't). We especially liked the new modern and sleek look of the magazine, which attracted a lot of attention from conference goers. We also thought that the repositioned editorial focus was right on the button for reflecting the shift in the cabling market towards networks and end users, while maintaining the magazine's contractor/installer base. The Jan/Feb issue featured a security report which broke the topic out into network, physical and wireless security to include all segments of the market. Keep an eye on this magazine as they continue to bring you high quality articles and stylish design.
www.networkcablingmag.com

KMI Announces Four Volume Set on the Building Fiber Cabling Market

KMI Research in cooperation with FTM Consulting, Inc. is releasing an exclusive offering on FTM Consulting's four reports focusing on the Building Fiber Cabling Market.

This four volume set includes:

1. Gigabit Ethernet Fiber & Copper Cabling Systems. Published in September 2002, this volume provides detailed copper and fiber cable forecast for GBe applications (not legacy) and includes product and application segment forecasts. Price: $4,990

2. U.S. Building Fiber & Copper Cabling Systems: 2003. Published in February 2003, this report focuses on the U.S. cabling market. It also includes copper and fiber cable forecasts by product type (Cat 3, Cat 5, etc and SM vs. MM). Price: $4,490

3. Fiber & Copper Building Cabling: Worldwide Markets. Published in June 2003, this report focuses on a broad overview of total cabling market, which includes total copper and fiber forecasts for 5 regions of the world. Price: $4,490

4. Fiber & Cabling Systems: U.S. Building Market. Published in December 2003, this report details fiber & cable, including product and application forecasts, and a split by legacy vs. GBe applications. Price: $4,490

If you are a fiber cable supplier, fiber cabling distributor, VCSEL supplier or developer, fiberoptic connector manufacturer or supplier, fiber apparatus cross-connect supplier, or building cabling supplier moving from copper to fiber cabling, these reports are an invaluable tool for your business.

Purchase all four reports today and receive 25% off! That's only $13,470!

Buy any three reports and receive a 20% discount OR Buy any two reports and receive a 10% discount

*Individual volumes are also available. www.kmiresearch.com.

Berk-Tek Announces Pre-Terminated Multi-Fiber Cable Product Line

Fiber optic and copper cabling technology and solutions leader Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company, today announced the launch of their pre-terminated multi-fiber cable product line. Berk-Tek now offers a comprehensive line of pre-terminated multi-fiber cables in a variety of cable constructions and connector types. These products are specifically designed to enhance Premise Local Area Network (LAN), Data Center and Storage Area Network (SAN) optical fiber network applications.

Berk-Tek's pre-terminated fiber cables feature the complete line of GIGAliteTM enhanced multimode and single-mode fiber and are available in AdventumTM, ArmorTekTM, Premise Distribution and Ribbon fiber constructions. Each pre-terminated fiber cable is custom built to the customer's specific performance requirement, application migration plan and installation environment.

The product line features and benefits include lower installation costs, lower cost of ownership and factory terminated connectors that deliver improved end-to-end attenuation and application migration capabilities.

Additionally, Berk-Tek has launched Cable Shop Direct (www.cableshopdirect.com/berktek). This website enables customers to configure their products, develop a part number and product description as well as access engineering specifications and assembly drawings specific to their design. With the click of a mouse, customers can develop a bill of materials and request pricing and delivery information.

"We recognized the value proposition of offering our best in class fiber cables to our customers pre-terminated," said Kevin St. Cyr, President of Berk-Tek. "Superior products backed with superior service are what our customers have come to expect. Our products arrive fully tested, documented, labeled, and ready for installation."

We have developed innovative pre-terminated fiber cabling solutions specifically designed to enable our customers to seamlessly migrate from 1 to 10 Gb/s in their LAN and SAN applications", said Phil Radics, director of business development for Berk-Tek. "An example is our unique ability to terminate Adventum in all connector options to include MPO. This gives designers the ability to design to a single product that can be used in all installation environments in addition to being lower in cost, have better attenuation characteristics, be more flexible and have a smaller cable OD than traditional premise distribution or ribbon cables." www.berktek.com

Factiod:

Installation Project - Texas A&M University

To date nearly 3,000,000 feet of Marathon LAN® Category 5e cable has been installed at Texas A&M University. www.superioressex.com/newsletter

Letter or Appeal to Ontario Provincial Codes:

Mississauga Training Consultants
6117 Clover Ridge Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5N 7B2
Tel:(905)785-8012 Fax:(905)824-7504

Wednesday, March 17, 2004 (9/21/2003 Original date of letter)

Section 54 and Section 60. Where are we and where are we going?

A short History;

In January 2001 I phoned Mr. Ted Olencha, Ontario Provincial Code Officer, inquiring as to why Sec 60 was not in the Ontario Electrical Code. Mr. Olencha replied: “I got sick of getting hit over the head with bricks from the communications industry and removed it”.

In March 2001 I again inquired of Mr. Olencha just when this section had been removed. At this time he replied: “I’m not sure but it was at least 20 years ago”. I then (March 2001) put in an amendment to the Ontario Code Committee to have this reinstated.

I gathered information from every jurisdiction (with no exception) in Canada as to how they dealt with Section 60. All Canadian jurisdictions responded to my request.

I met with contractor groups, cabling installers etc for the following 14 months. In every instance they supported the “repatriation” of section 60. Several organizations wrote to the Electrical Safety Authority stating their support.

May 15th., 2003, at a meeting of the Ontario Provincial Code Committee I presented the amendment accompanied by a slide show of Communication cabling infractions of established codes and standards. One code Committee member moved a motion to “Repatriate Section 60” and another member seconded the motion. Mr Olencha refused the motion stating lack of quorum. He further stated that all material presented along with questions would be sent to all members as well as other affected stakeholders.

60 days later (July 15th.) I e-mailed Mr. Bob Stelzer, President and CEO of the Electrical safety Authority asking when the minutes of the May 15 meeting would be available. They were issued a few days later. (60 days after the meeting)

Later in July, Mr. Olencha e-mailed all Committee members for their mailing address to send my Section 60 presentation to them since it was too big for e-mail. These were delivered by courier on September 16th. (Complete minutes received 120 days after meeting)

An e-mail of July 14th. To me from Bob Stelzer stated that the following information would be collected from committee members as well as affected stakeholders, before an OPCC recommendation could be made.

Identify the specific safety concerns such as fire and shock hazard and provide data related to accidents, incidents, fires, injuries or fatalities to support these concerns

Assess the cost implications associated with the imposition of new regulation and inspection requirements in this area. Verify that ESA has legal authority to impose regulation in this area.

I urge the ESA and Mr. Stelzer to set time frames on these actions and I urge the industry players to also urge for, and support, a short time table to implement these changes.

During the meeting in May, Mr. Olencha stated that they did not have authority to enforce firestopping or cable flame ratings. This is my main concern. Other provinces have this authority and it is well defined in the Canadian Electrical Code.

In summary, I urge all those involved in the electrical and communications industry to support this action by writing to your individual MLA, Premier, ESA, etc. The Ontario Electrical Inspection Authority must be elevated to the same level of responsibility as other provinces and territories in Canada and further all of us involved in this industry must regain and maintain control of their Electrical Code through participation in committees, etc. Groups such as the ECAO and OEL have written letters in support of this and this is encouraging to all of us involved in the Electrical and Data Com industry in Ontario.

William Graham is a Red Seal Electrician, Licensed Toronto Electrical Contractor and a Licensed Communications Cabling Specialist in the Province of Nova Scotia. He can be contacted at 905-785-8012 or e-mail: mrfiber@canada.com

Licenses

Electrical;
N.S. Certificate of Apprenticeship Elect. Construction #2636 Red Seal 379
N.S. Industrial Electrician #193
N.B. Construction Electrician #3007
Ontario Electrical Construction #197984
Ontario Industrial Electrician #202857
Toronto Master Electrician #T89-0206380
Toronto Electrical Contractor #E2224

Communications;

Communications Cabling Specialist. Prov. of N.S. Cert # C-1057
FOA Certification Fiber Optic Specialist – Testing – Termination – Splicing/ Instructor
Siecor – Fiber Optic Installer - May 1994
AT&T Fiber Optic Installer - April 1994

Other Affiliations:

BICSI member cert # 141430
ACP Association of Cabling Professionals
IAEI #80020757
Canadian Fire Alarm Association
ETL Semko VDV Cabling Systems Inspection Techniques
N.S. Community Retrofit
Smart House Electrical Installer #2141
FOA Fiber Optic Association charter Member cert # 168
Electro Rent OTDR Fundamentals
Electro Rent Single & mass fusion splicing
ISA Instrument Society of America – Telecommunications Division #31983640

General cable hit with escalating copper prices that turn profit to loss

General Cable Corporation announced today that it is reducing its first quarter earnings estimate as a result of the recent and extraordinarily rapid escalation in the cost of copper and aluminum, its two primary raw materials. At current metal prices, the Company expects earnings per diluted share in the first quarter of 2004 to be a loss of $0.05 to $0.06, excluding the previously announced charges related to the rationalization of certain industrial cable plants. This is a reduction from the previous earnings per share estimate for the quarter of a positive $0.01 to $0.03. There could be some variance to the forecast positively or negatively depending upon relative metal cost movement over the last three weeks of the quarter. "Our ability to increase selling prices, particularly in North America, has not kept pace with the rapid increase in the cost of copper and aluminum, which puts short-term pressure on our operating results," said Gregory B. Kenny, President and Chief Executive Officer of General Cable. "The cost of copper, which is the primary raw material used in our communications and industrial products, and to a somewhat lesser extent in our energy products, has increased approximately 65% over the last 5 months and 18% since our January conference call. The cost of aluminum, which is the primary raw material used in our energy products, has increased approximately 21% over the last 5 months and 5% since January. We are taking every opportunity to raise prices in all businesses where we do not contractually adjust selling prices for changes in our copper and aluminum costs and believe that we will recover substantially all of these cost increases over time once the cost of copper and aluminum stabilizes."
www.wireworld.com

Berk-Tek and Ortronics Sign New Agreement to Continue NetClear® Technology Alliance

New Holland, PA – During a NetClear Leadership Summit held on March 4 – 5, 2004, Kevin St. Cyr, president of Berk-Tek, a Nexans company (New Holland, PA), and John Selldorff, CEO of Ortronics (New London, CT), renewed the NetClear Technology Alliance Agreement, extending and reinforcing the partnership that has been bringing significant advancements to the structured cabling industry for more than five years.

At the leadership summit, the NetClear team set aggressive goals, including a commitment to increase joint research and development efforts. Rigorous co-engineering efforts and advanced research capabilities will enhance NetClear optimized cabling solutions to provide greater support for the demanding applications of today's enterprise networks, such as VoIP and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, as well as future technologies. NetClear will continue to validate the promise of maximized dynamic performance and exceptional quality through third party testing, certified installation, a 25-year warranty, and superior engineering and technical support.

"Ortronics remains committed to the NetClear Technology Alliance. It is an important part of the future for both Berk-Tek and Ortronics, and we hope that our dedication to the alliance in this constantly changing industry will prove to our customers that we are here to stay while other marketing alliances may come and go," states Selldorff. "Our joint investment in the NetClear R&D efforts will allow us to provide even greater network reliability and unparalleled performance for reduced long-term total cost of ownership for enterprise networks."

"Our extensive working relationship with Ortronics creates synergies in marketing, sales, product development, and systems engineering and support that are second to none in the structured cabling arena. We are excited about the work being done by our joint engineering team and believe that our next generation solutions will provide our customers with performance that is unsurpassed in our industry," adds St. Cyr.

For more information on the Berk-Tek/Ortronics NetClear alliance, call 1-877-96CLEAR or visit our web site at www.netclear-channel.com. You can also visit the Berk-Tek web site at www.berktek.com and the Ortronics web site at www.ortronics.com

Cabling Standards Update

If you do not subscribe to Cabling Standards Update here is a sample of what you missed.

Installation/Design Information
Tutorial on how to use the “Bluetooth” technology.
Opinion article in Q&A format on using fiber today.
Explanation of BICSI’s CLA Design Institute and what they plan to accomplish.
Overview of 3Com’s latest Network Jack (NJ220).
A new use for FDDI-grade multimode fiber?

Cabling Standards
Headline activity from TIA’s recent TR 42 meetings in San Diego this month.
What do “Open,” “Proprietary,” “Generic,” and “Interoperable” mean to you?
How to get involved with investigating cabling for the Health Care industry.

Industry News
A new low-cost tester for gigabit Ethernet bandwidth.
Security
Think beyond Biometrics!
Keeping Informed

Our recurring up-to-the-minute industry hot links as of this issue, provided by Joe Salimando (see pages 9-10).

Upcoming Events

Marilyn Michelson
Business Communication Services
Publisher, Cabling Standards UPDATE
Associate Publisher, Joe Salimando
505-1 So. State Hwy. 49, #242
Jackson, CA 95642
209-295-3975, Fax: 209-295-3974
www.cablingstandards.com

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

2004 NSCA Systems Integration Expo
March 19-21, 2004
Las Vegas, NV
www.nscaexpo.org

International Wire and Cable Trade Fair Wire 2004
March 29 - April 2, 2004
Düsseldorf, Germany
www.mdna.com

CTIA Wireless 2004
March 22-24
Atlanta, Ga.
www.ctiashow.com

FOSE 2004
March 23 - 25th, 2004
Washington DC Convention Center, Washington DC
www.fose.com

ISC Expo/West
March 31-April 2 2004
Las Vegas, Nev.
www.iscwest.com

NWPPA 2004 Engineering and Operations Conference
April 6 - 8
Boise, ID
www.nwppa.com/EO2004

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

Graybar Dallas Technology Showcase 2004
April 15
Hyatt Regency Dallas
Dallas, TX 75207
www.graybar.com

BOMA Southern Regional Conference
April 22 – 24
Jacksonville, FL
www.bomajacksonville.org

BICSI 2004 Spring Conference
May 3 - 6th, 2004
Baltimore, MD
www.bicsi.org

National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
New Orleans, May 2-5
www.thenationalshow.com

NETWORLD + INTEROP Las Vegas 2004
Las Vegas Convention Center
May 9-14
Las Vegas, NV
www.interop.com

GSA Expo 2004
May 11 - 13, 2004
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando FL
expo.gsa.gov

NAED
May 15 – 19
San Francisco, CA
www.naed.org

REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE

   
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