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Issue: April 2011
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee’s Buzz

How can the buyers be assured that the cable they are buying will live up to the promised performance and required safety?

Counterfeit electrical products are a $20 billion per year crime, and it’s growing every day. Protect the lives of your workers and customers, and avoid serious liability to your business. The low-voltage cable is part of that market threatened by counterfeits.

Counterfeit Products can kill. We are being warned that the counterfeit products can look exactly like the real stuff in almost every way, except maybe performance and safety. So how do we protect ourselves? First rule: Use a licensed cabling contractor. Your contractor most likely deals with a reputable distributor. Those two criteria make up a very strong barrier to being a victim of counterfeit and substandard non compliant cable products. NECA – National Electrical Contractors Association and NAED – National Association of Electrical Distributors have been pursuing the goal of QUALITY and SAFETY FIRST & ALWAYS for decades. The pressure is mounting as the global market is constantly changing and new products are introduced at an alarming rate. Just staying current on new products is overwhelming. Add the pressure of watching out for substandard or counterfeit products, and it is like trying to drink from a fire hose.

Common Sense tells us that a gold Rolex® watch for sale at $39.95 might not be the real deal. The same holds true in the arcane world of communications cabling.

The smart buyer is dealing with a reputable distributor that insures the products are coming directly from the cable manufacturers. This is the most dependable rule in protecting the low-voltage cabling contractor and the consumer.  We checked with Graybar, WESCO – CSC, and a host of other electrical distributors (all members of NAED – National Association of Electrical Distributors ) on the myriad steps they take to guarantee the genuine product is being sold. It would take a multi volume book to enumerate the quality assurance programs currently in use by these distributor organizations.

The performance testing to check and double check interoperability of components boggles the imagination. These testing processes are always ongoing and adding new products before they reach the main stream of distribution. Karl Griffith of Graybar related some of the scrutiny steps that they go through to fill their quiver with solutions and systems for communications, control, safety, and security applications.  These steps differentiate the leading distributors and resultantly the smart contractors that buy from them. This level of quality control is unmatched in any global market. It is not required by law, but it sure is the best common sense step a consumer can look for to protect their company from getting scammed by counterfeit or substandard products.

Communications cable is tested and labeled for compliance with CODE (NEC - National Electrical Code developed by the NFPA - National Fire Protection Association) and Performance (EIA/TIA). The testing in the USA is primarily conducted by Intertek ETL and UL Underwriters Laboratories. After a production grade cable product has been submitted, tested and passed it gets a listing for compliance with the proper NEC type (such as CMR for riser or CMP for plenum) and it gets verification for the Standard (i.e. CAT 5E or CAT 6 etc...). The listings and verifications of performance are enhanced by Follow-Up program in which the Testing organization pulls random samples from the manufacturers production facilities (never from distribution) and retests to verify both the listing for code and the performance to standard. If a product fails in this step only the manufacturer is notified. If the problem is reviewed and it persists the listing or verification number is removed from the manufacturers approved list until it can be corrected and retested. WARNING – at this time, there is no notification to distribution or the public as these actions are taken. The system isn’t perfect, but we hope the manufacturers will be forthcoming with their distributors in the mean time.

Counterfeits Webinar Archive Available

Just what does "genuine" get you? How do you detect the real deal from the fake? Electrical Contractor and GE Energy, Industrial Solutions hosted a webinar on November 30, 2010, discussing the latest on counterfeit electrical products, including how to detect and ensure genuine products through UL testing, warranties and quality assurances; examples of material differences (side-by-side comparisons); specific cases of counterfeit installations; common sources of counterfeit/gray product and more, and now it's archived for your viewing. The webinar details the steps the industry is taking to combat electrical products including GE training, awareness efforts, serialization of products, recall and legal actions. Click here to view for free.

We strongly advise our readers to watch this video and catch the archived webinar by GE on COUNTERFIETS.

VIDEO: Products Discussion Panel


The “Counterfeit Electrical Products: Are You Liable?” panel discussion took place Oct. 6, 2008, at the NECA Show in Chicago. If you think that you are immune, you are WRONG.

Continued education focused on the purchasing path is a great step toward delivering to quality you promised at the competitive prices for the market. An uninformed buyer frequently puts out a vague specification for product and then chooses the lowest price. In those bids job cases, there are almost always two losers: the buyer and the seller.

The complexity of designing and building a smart infrastructure for today’s needs and tomorrows applications is a real challenge and it brings out the best in results. That is why DESIGN/BUILD is sweeping our industry as all of these technologies merge into IBS – Integrated Building Systems (a.k.a. “The Smart Building”).

ECMAG article for APRIL 2011 WEB exclusive – How can the buyer be assured… by F Bisbee

REPRINTED with permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine


But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee - Editor
"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 645-9077 office
(904) 237-0365 cell
(904) 645-9058 fax


2011 NECA Show at San Diego Convention Center = THIS IS A MUST DO EVENT FOR 2011  

October 22 – 25, 2011

111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA


The 2011 NECA Energy Forum features opportunities to discover new products and services, learn about best practices, network with your peers, boost your company’s productivity, explore new markets, and enjoy the best of San Diego.


General Sessions

Opening General Session

  • San Diego Convention and Exposition Center
  • Sunday, October 23, 2011
  • 10:15am–11:30am

General Stanley McChrystal

Praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations, four-star General Stanley McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan and led the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that captured Saddam Hussein and killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Earlier, during the Persian Gulf War, he served in a Joint Special Operations Task Force and later commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment. In between, he completed year-long fellowships at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Council on Foreign Relations.

No wonder few people can speak about leadership, teamwork, and international affairs with as much insight as General McChrystal!

After 34 years of service, this West Point graduate and former Green Beret retired from the military in August 2010 and now serves on the board of directors for JetBlue Airways and the Yellow Ribbon Fund. He also travels around the country inspiring audiences with stories from his extraordinary career. He'll reveal a four-star management strategy – stressing openness, teamwork, and forward-thinking – when he addresses the Opening General Session at NECA 2011 San Diego.

Labor Relations Special General Session

  • San Diego Convention and Exposition Center
  • Monday, October 24, 2011
  • 10:00am–11:30am

Along with innovation, workforce development continues to shape our evolving industry. NECA will take a hard look at the labor relations issues that matter to our members in a special session, bringing together the local and national leaders that make the decisions and tough choices that keep our industry moving forward.

Closing General Session

  • San Diego Convention and Exposition Center
  • Tuesday, October 25, 2011
  • 09:00am–10:15am
  • SDCC

Steven Farber

An expert in business leadership and a frequent guest on talk shows around the country, Steve Farber is a senior-level leadership coach and consultant to a wide variety of public and private organizations in virtually every arena – from the tech sector to financial services, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, entertainment, retail, and even the U.S. government. He is also president and CEO of Extreme Leadership, Inc., and he'll inspire NECA conventioneers in the extreme at our Closing General Session in San Diego with a style that is part strategist, part social commentator, part comedian, and all energy.

Farber was director of service programs at TMI, an international training consultancy, and then worked for six years as The Tom Peters Company's Vice President and Official Mouthpiece (really) before founding Extreme Leadership and co-founding the Center for Social Profit Leadership. He is also a published author, and his latest work, Greater Than Yourself, has been called "a path-breaking book that brings to life the ultimate leadership lesson – that the highest purpose of our work is the development of other leaders."

NECA Showstoppers

This prominent industry program recognizes the latest and greatest in electrical product innovations. Attendees can see them on display in the Showstopper Showcase during the 2011 NECA Show. Now combined with the NECA New & Featured Products, make plans to stop in and see ground-breaking products and services designed to help electrical contractors on the job.

This showcase offers a select sampling of the latest and greatest in electrical product innovations which will be on display in the New and Featured Product Room at the 2011 NECA Show. Make plans to stop in and see what's new!


  • Sunday, October 23 – 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, October 24 – 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 25 – 9:30a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Feature your latest product, service or solution


NECA Launches New Introductory Contractor Online Course

Contractor 101: Start With the Basics

A new online course from NECA’s Management Education Institute answers the fundamental questions about what it takes to make it in electrical contracting.

Starting with the basics about who does what on a construction project, and moving into the leadership and technical skills that can improve your chances for success, said program developer Karl Borgstrom. “Contractor 101 is NECA’s introduction to the industry of electrical construction. The program covers the fundamentals for people new to electrical contracting and how contractor business and management operations are organized.”

Contactor 101 is useful for electrical contractors training office staff; students investigating career options in the industry; and electrical workers considering a move into management. “Contractors new to the industry or those interested in better business practices can often avoid costly errors by reviewing an introductory program like Contractor 101,” Borgstrom said.

The course includes six modules: Overview of the Construction Industry; Leadership: Meeting the Challenges of Contracting Organization Management; Strategic Management and Planning; Financial Management and Analysis; Construction Law and Contracts; and Labor Relations. It also covers the roles of the various stakeholders involved in a project; the economic factors that drive the construction market; the opportunities and risks inherent in construction; and the organizational structure and processes within the contracting business.

ORDERING INFORMATION: Contractor 101 is available for $49 for NECA members, $65 for non-members. Individuals who complete this online course will be awarded 0.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs.) There is no required textbook for Contractor 101. NECA members qualify for a discount for Contractor 101; contact Jackie Saldana to get a discount promo code.

Follow the steps below to register for NECA’s Contractor 101 Online Course:

1. Go to 

2. Click on the "Catalog of Courses

3. Click on “Contractor 101"  under the "Online Management" tab.


5. This will lead you to a sign on screen. If you have a username and password enter that information. Otherwise to get your username and password please contact Jackie Saldana at 301-215-4519 or via e-mail   

6. After you are signed into NECA University, click the View Button next to "Contractor 101" then click Enroll. If you are a NECA member please contact Jackie Saldana to get a discount promo code. Fill in all the information requested, click "Agree" to the refund policy, and then click "Enroll."

Once you are registered, you may take the class as many times as you wish. Simply follow the same steps to login.

If you have questions regarding specific course content, please contact Karl Borgstrom via e-mail at

ABOUT NECA: The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). has provided over a century of service to the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development. For more information, visit


You're invited to a BICSI Region Breakfast Club! U.S. Southeast April 19th in Norcross, GA

Don’t miss this opportunity to attend a free region breakfast and network with ITS professionals while earning BICSI continuing education credits (CECs)!

U.S. Southeast Breakfast Club
Date: April 19
Time: 7 a.m.-noon
Location: Norcross, GA

Click here to reserve your seat!

There is no charge to attend and RCDDs and RITPs will earn BICSI CECs toward designation renewal. CECs for all other BICSI designations will be assessed.

Register today! For more information or to reserve your seat, follow the above link or contact BICSI toll-free at 800.242.7405.

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to a colleague or friend.


COPPER CABLE that’s not really copper

Contractors Beware. Jim Hayes, President of the Fiber Optic Association alerted us to a newly discovered “faux” cable product. There was no manufacturers name on the box. But we found that there may be some Cat 5e and Cat 6 UTP cables being sold in New York made with copper clad aluminum conductors. These cables may violate NEC codes. If you install these cables in buildings, that require safety ratings (CM, CMR, CMP, etc.), the installation may not meet code or standard.

How can you tell if you have “faux” cable? Simply scrape the conductor – if the “copper” comes off and exposes a bright silver aluminum conductor, you do not have industry compliant product. We know copper cable is not your thing, but thanks for the “heads up” warning. The Fiber Optic Association Inc. - The Professional Society of Fiber Optics


Looking For Tough & Dependable Premium Fiber Optic Connectors? ScratchGuard With HLC Technology Is The Winner

Megladon's  HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) technology is what sets this products apart from others on the market today. Their patented technology produces the only durable, high performance patch cord in the industry. Today's high speed networks demand the highest quality connections to ensure reliable performance. Contamination, scratches, and poor geometry degrade network performance and cause failures during peak traffic. The industry needs a reference quality connection with durable mating surfaces to improve network performance and reduce system failures. Their customers demand it. Megladon's HLC SCRATCHGUARD Patch Cords prevent maintenance issues and traffic failures, improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs in several areas.


  • Low Maintenance matings
  •  Reference cable quality
  •  Dust and scratch resistant
  •  Extended lifespan
  •  Withstands multiple matings
  •  Minimal & Easy Cleaning
  •  Compatible with all existing  connectors
  •  Lowest signal loss in the marketplace
  •  High quality components
  • Repeatable network performance

Fiber optic cables can be easily damaged when they're misaligned while being inserted into test equipment or a hardware port. A side by side comparison of Megladon's HLC patch cords and a standard UPC cable. Each was given an identical amount of error when inserted into a port. The standard UPC cable showed significant scratching. The HLC cable is undamaged.

HLC SCRATCHGUARD Patch Cords Specifications






Storage Temerature                           







% Relative

Bend Radius




Optical Wavelength Range




Radius of Curvature




Apex Offset




Fiber Height












Don’t put your network or your job at risk. Get ScratchGuard®.


Daikin Industries, Ltd. may raise the prices for all fluorochemical products AGAIN?

March 16, 2011 – Daikin plants in Kashima (outside Tokyo) and Yodogawa (outside Osaka) both appear to be faced with work stoppages. FEP supply used in the manufacture of CMP plenum cable is affected. Shipping will continue until March 31st, then Daikin will reevaluate their situation. There may be another major price increase. There are only two major suppliers of FEP – Daikin and DuPont. We are at their mercy for the price of Plenum cable.

Daikin Industries, Ltd. raised the prices for all fluorochemical products by 20 ~ 30%. This went into effect with those shipment made on or after March 1, 2011.

“The price of natural resources continue to rise due to economic growth in emerging countries. Many of fluorochemical products are widely used for applications such as automotive parts and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. As a result, price of main raw materials used to manufacture fluorochemical products such as fluorospar (calcium fluoride), anhydrous hydrofluoric acid (made out of getting fluorspar and sulfuric acid reacted) are rising higher than our original estimation. In particular, market price of fluorospar in China, that has the highest output of fluorospar in the world, has so far risen more than 1.5 times compared with the price in early 2010, and is expected to rise even further in the future.

We have been diligently taking every possible measure in order to improve our efficiency with manufacturing, and to reduce fixed cost in order to make attempts to absorb rising raw material cost for fluorochemical products.
However, since it is increasingly difficult for us to absorb rising cost only by our own effort, we have decided to revise the selling price. Despite the difficult circumstances, we are fully committed to continue finding ways to reduce our total cost, improve quality, and ensure supply.


Product affected:

Fluorochemical Products (Compounds including fluorine Daikin sells)
Main fluorochemical products


Fluoropolymer and fluoroelastomer used for automotive, semiconductor equipment


Fluorocoating used for electric appliance coating


Etching agent used during semiconductor wafer manufacturing process


Oil and water repellant used for textile treatment


Fluorocarbon gas used for refrigerant


Revised Pricing:

20% ~ 30% increase from the current price


Price Increase goes into effect with the shipment made on or after March 1, 2011.”


FIRESTOP PLATES that are truly FUTURE PROOF from Unique Fire Stop Products

Future Proof Plates (FPP's) are firestop tools for architects, designers and engineers to be able to centralize, install and maintain firewall penetrations made by telecomm installers for the life of a new building. 

FPP's can be designed with multiple holes for all the different types of cabling to be installed, smoke sealed and fire stopped.  FPP's are sealed with firestop caulk behind the pairs of plates with a bead of caulk around each of the holes on both sides of the firewall. The key here is to only make the holes in the firewall, using the FPP's as a template for the sleeve to be installed when needed. Design in enough holes for future cabling and install the FPP's by screwing them to the wall studs or anchoring in block walls.

FPP's are unique and can be used with any type of mechanical sleeve system on the market today. All FPP'a are powder coated RED.  They are available with any number of different configurations to be able to group the cable media as well as to insure AHJ acceptance consistently.

Remember: Safety is too important to ignore


 Call to order 251-960-5018 

Unique Fire Stop Products -  Robertsdale, AL


General Cable CEO Kenny got 52% bump in pay

Business Courier

April 1, 2011, General Cable Corporation’s CEO Greg Kenny got a 52 percent raise in total compensation last year, from $3.4 million in 2009 to $5.2 million in 2010.But shareholders who receive the company’s recent proxy statement probably won’t see it that way. Because of the way accounting rules require companies to report executive compensation, General Cable’s proxy statement instead indicates that Kenny’s pay declined by 1 percent compared to 2009. The discrepancy arises because of the timing of performance-based grants of stock and stock options and how they are reported.

General Cable makes its performance-based stock awards in February for the previous calendar year, and Kenny earned much more in that regard for 2010 ($3.4 million) than he did for 2009 ($2.0 million). But based on accounting rules, General Cable reports those awards in the calendar year in which they’re granted rather than the year for which they’re earned.

So the summary compensation table its March 30 proxy statement – which shows a decline for Kenny – doesn’t really reflect the compensation he got for the company’s performance in those years. The real numbers are in the footnotes.

Adjusting for discrepancy, Kenny’s base salary dropped to $825,000 in 2010 from $856,711 in 2009, while his stock and options grants increased to $3.4 million from $2.0 million, and his non-equity incentive plan compensation more than doubled to $861,780 from $424,000.

Highland Heights-based General Cable (NYSE: BGC) is a manufacturer of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, specialty and communications markets.


Google picks Kansas City for ultra-high speed broadband network

By Samantha Bookman

Just as residents of the 1,100 U.S. cities that applied to Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) FTTH project were beginning to wonder if the search engine behemoth had forgotten about the whole darn thing, Google today announced that Kansas City, Kansas will be the lucky recipient of a 1 Gigabit broadband network with service expected to begin in 2012, pending approval of the city's Board of Commissioners.

"In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations. We've found this in Kansas City," wrote Milo Medin, Vice President, Access Services, on Google's official blog.

Google will work with several local organizations to develop gigabit applications for the network, including community, educational and medical applications.

Last February, Google launched the trial, giving cities until March 26, 2010 to submit responses to its RFI (request for information). Its selection of cities, originally slated to be announced late in the year, was postponed due to a glut of applications, with 1,100 cities and 194,000 individuals applying.

Google is already operating a smaller, "beta" network at Stanford University's residential subdivision, an 850-home community near the nascent FTTH service provider's headquarters. 

The impact of Google Fiber goes well beyond Kansas City. "I think that the Google deal is going to put the spotlight on the stark difference between those goals that have been set (at the federal level) for broadband vs. what people really want and is possible," said Craig Settles, a broadband strategist and advocate for community broadband, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We have the government saying we want 100 Mbps for urban. We want 4 Mbps for rural. You look at Google and it's putting this Gigabit network in place and people are going to say 'we want that.'"

He points to other community broadband projects, such as Chattanooga and Santa Monica, that have brought Gigabit speeds to their residents as proof that Americans can do better than the federal broadband mandate. "I'll concede that in some places you can't put 1 Gigabit... but if you have a substandard mediocre goal, all you're going to achieve is mediocrity. If you have a higher goal, you will achieve great things."

Settles also sees Google's announcement as a shot in the arm for municipal broadband, particularly in North Carolina, where a bill essentially banning muni broadband yesterday passed the state House and is on its way to the state Senate. "States like North Carolina, where a handful of legislators are basically going to legislate North Carolina's broadband situation back to the dark ages ... they're moving their state in the opposite direction, and Kansas is moving it in a forward direction," said Settles.

Rather than setting private sector companies against public sector organizations, both sides should be working together to solve broadband access issues, Settles said, and Google's Kansas City build out is a great example of public and private sector partnership.

"Google... did it artfully," said Settles. "They gave very little parameters... they asked, what can you create with this? What can you make for this? That inspired 1,100 communities with no clear promise or goal to respond. They responded, they made plans, they got stakeholders. There was silliness, but there was silliness to bring attention to a serious issue, which is providing communications for the 21st century."  brings you the latest news.


Intertek Acquires Moody for $730 Million

March 07, 2011- Summary of the Acquisition - Intertek Group plc ("Intertek" or the "Company"), a leading international provider of quality and safety services, announces that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Moody International ("Moody") for a consideration of US$730 million (£450 million) on a cash-free and debt-free basis (the "Acquisition").

Moody is a leading worldwide provider of quality and safety services to the global energy industry. It also provides systems certification services to the manufacturing, construction and service markets. Moody is headquartered in Haywards Heath, UK, and employs approximately 2,500 people in over 80 offices and 60 countries. Moody is currently owned by companies controlled by Investcorp Securities Limited, and the management of Moody.

Intertek is funding the Acquisition entirely in cash from new and available debt facilities.

Background to and reasons for the Acquisition

Moody will join the Industrial Services division of Intertek. Together Intertek and Moody will have a leading technical services platform in Intertek's sector of the global energy market.

The Acquisition offers significant benefits for and opportunities to the Company, including:

Becoming a leading provider of quality & safety services for the global energy market

Creating a global platform for the provision of Industry Services, extending existing EU and North American positions

Extending the depth of the service portfolio for energy assets, processes and products

Becoming a global player in systems certification

Increasing revenue diversification for Intertek

Pre-tax cost synergies rising to approximately £6 million are expected to be achieved by the third full year of ownership

Further information on Moody and the transaction

The value of Moody's gross assets which are the subject of the Acquisition was US$330 million as at 31 December 2009, the latest date at which audited consolidated accounts are available for Moody. For the year ended 31 December 2009 Moody generated revenue of US$457 million, operating profit before the deduction of goodwill amortisation ("EBITA") of US$66 million and profit before tax of US$49 million. (1)

Moody's unaudited management accounts for the year ended 31 December 2010 show revenue of US$476 million and EBITA of US$54 million.

The consideration of approximately US$730 million represents a multiple of 11.1x 2009 EBITA and 13.4x 2010 EBITA.

The Acquisition, excluding reorganisation and associated costs, is expected to be earnings enhancing for the Company in the current financial year and is expected to be materially earnings enhancing next year.

The Acquisition is conditional upon competition clearances in certain countries. It is anticipated that the necessary clearances will be obtained by the end of April and the transaction will complete immediately after.

Brendan Connolly, Moody's Chief Executive Officer, will remain as part of the management team going forward.

Wolfhart Hauser, Chief Executive Officer of Intertek, commented:

"Today's announcement marks an important stage in the ongoing development of Intertek.

Moody operates in one of our core industries, the global energy market, which is set for strong long term growth. Moody is a successful company with a well regarded management team.

The combination of Moody and Intertek provides a platform for the enlarged group to further develop its service offerings and network within the oil and gas industries specifically, but also to the wider energy and industrial markets. Intertek will now have a leading position in providing quality and safety services to the assets, processes and products for the energy market.

The good match between the geographic exposure of the two businesses gives Intertek scale in new countries and the enlarged group a greater presence in the fastest growing regions of the world.

We are also pleased to be merging our systems certification business with that of Moody. The businesses are strongly complementary with good geographic and customer fit and this will make Intertek a significant player in this industry."

Brendan Connolly, Chief Executive Officer of Moody, commented:

"Moody and Intertek are a perfect fit. We can offer our world class technical inspection, consultancy and training services to Intertek's clients and we will benefit from the Intertek expertise in providing quality and safety services to existing, and often ageing, energy assets.

By combining these two businesses, we will ensure that the enlarged group takes a leading position in the global energy market. The fit of our businesses also applies to the merger of our two strong systems certification platforms. Overall, this is a compelling combination."

About Intertek

Intertek is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world. From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance and certification, Intertek people are dedicated to adding value to customers' products and processes, supporting their success in the global marketplace.

Intertek has the expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers through its network of more than 27,000 people in over 1,000 laboratories and offices in more than 100 countries around the world.


New FOA Lecture Series on Fiber Optics on YouTube

            The FOA has begun offering a new series of lectures on fiber optics on its YouTube channel. Two lectures are already online and many more will be added in the future. The lectures are intended to help anyone learn about fiber optics and to cover special topics relevant to FOA curriculum for training organizations.

            The FOA lectures are short tutorials (about 10 minutes) covering basic topics relevant to fiber optics. The first lecture, Fiber Optics & Communications, provides a basic introduction to how fiber optics is used in communications systems, including telephone and the Internet, wireless, CATV, security, Smart Grid and more. The second topic, Fiber Optic Safety, covers a very important topic, how to work safely with fiber, and dispels some of the myths of fiber safety. The third lecture covers Optical Fiber and starts a series on fiber optic components.

            Future lectures will cover specific technology issues about which we are often asked such as how fiber works, how it is manufactured, how datalinks transmit data over fiber and how fiber is tested. Topics of current interest such as changes in standards or new applications will also be covered in the lectures.

            The FOA Lecture Series can be found on the FOA YouTube Channel at

FOA Now Offers Corporate Membership

The FOA is now offering corporate membership. Corporate members are companies involved in the fiber optic industry such as manufacturers, contractors, installers, consultants, etc. Corporate membership is appropriate for contractors that have their employees properly trained and FOA-certified and who wish to show their affiliation with the FOA. Corporate members will have access to a special website that provides FOA materials created to help make presentations to customers and train them for their fiber optics projects. More information is at

FOA To Present Seminars in Africa in May Come meet the FOA in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lusaka and learn what's new in fiber optics!

The FOA seminar series on "State of the Art in Fiber Optics" is coming to South Africa, Kenya and Zambia this Spring. We'll be in Johannesburg on May 9, Nairobi, Kenya on May 17 (World Telecom Day) and Lusaka, Zambia May 20. Come meet FOA President Jim Hayes and Administrative Director Karen Hayes, hear about the latest fiber optic technology and FOA programs to support the growth of fiber optics.

Africa is one of the fastest growing regions for fiber optics as countries there build out their communications infrastructures. FOA has schools that are active in training the personnel responsible for building many of these networks so we're coming to their countries with our "state of the art" seminar series.

Here are the dates, locations and sponsoring schools:

Johannesburg on May 9, Triple Play Fibre Optic Solutions Nairobi, Kenya on May 17, African eDevelopment Resource Centre Lusaka, Zambia May 20, ICT Resources Center Attendance is limited. Contact the local FOA-Approved School for details on the location of the seminars.

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is a nonprofit professional society chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Over 230 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified more than 33,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA provides technical information free to the industry to promote the proper application of fiber optics and premises cabling. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic programs for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved schools. For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website  or email or call 760-451-3655.


Retail Communications Installation Seminar “Hands-on” - CST Institute-Dallas, TX

·         Gain knowledge and skills to start a new career,

·         Add clients to your existing base,

·         Enlarge your electrical business

·         Or simply upgrade your information about one of the most overlooked fields in this industry.

Retail Communications, better known as Point of Sale (POS) is constantly evolving into new outlets for hardware and cabling due to industry demands for speedier handling of customers in the retail environment. 

What type of Systems/Applications do stores use?  The types of systems that are being installed or upgraded involve Structured Cabling, CCTV, Ethernet Local Area Networking, Point of Sale Systems (the check out point), Telephone Systems, Wireless, Paging, Intercommunications, Alarms-Egress, Digital Signage and Interface to Integration.

Who Uses a Point of Sale System?  Think of all the retail opportunities you come into contact with every day are Supermarkets, Hardware Stores and Depots, Pharmacy Chains, Superstore/Warehouse clubs, Clothing/Apparel marts, Discount Centers, Restaurants/Bars, Fast Food Chains, Convenience Stores, Hotels, Motels, Hospitals, Airports, Stadiums and Casinos just to name a few.

Where Do I Start:  The following is a sample of what will be covered:

EIA/TIA  Standards 568-B.2-1, NEC Codes and Standards, Punch Down 4 connector systems, Work Area, Backbone, Riser, Build a SM Fiber Optic Connector, Horizontal Cabling-Pulling the Cables, Wire CAT5e/6 Patch Panels, Relay Rack Installation, Build Patch Cords, 568A/B and Cross over patch cord building, Make RJ45 Ethernet Cable, Plugs and jacks, U/UTP and F/UTP, installing wall jacks, installation of wall telephones, Star Wiring, Topology, Main Cross Connect, Placing a Wall IDF, Conduit distribution to sales counters, Networking Basic and Ethernet, 10BASE-T and 100BASE-T Fast Ethernet, Designing a Cable Route, Placing Speakers, Amplifier Distribution, from the Jack to the Router, Wiring the POS station (check out counter), Coax and UTP wiring the CCTV Cameras, and finishing with 4 testing methods.

COST:  This 3 day course only cost $395.00 per person and includes a full descriptive manual and refreshments.

Class hours are from 9 am to 5 pm

Need Additional Information, call Steve at (214) 319-6632 or email at

Location:  CSTInstitute
               12035 Shiloh Road
               Suite 350
               Dallas, Texas 75228

Make checks payable to CSTInstitute or pay by credit card – Visa, MasterCard or American Express WWW.CSTINSTITUTE.COM


USGBC United States Green Building Council in the news

We got behind on bring you the news, so here is the summary.

LEED for Healthcare Debuts at CleanMed Conference

Press Releases


Green Home Building Continues to Flourish; Passes 10,000 LEED-certified Home Milestone

Press Releases


New Exhibit Explores Green Neighborhood Design

Press Releases


LEED Professional Credentials Achieve Prestigious ANSI Accreditation

Press Releases


Engineering News-Record Receives Five Awards, Sweeping Neals

Press Releases


Registration for USGBC's Government Summit Now Open



List of Top 10 States for LEED Green Buildings Released

Press Releases


USGBC Launches New LEED Scoring Tool for Homes at RESNET Conference

Press Releases


LEED Volume Program Celebrates Its 500th Certified Pilot Project

Press Releases


New Online Tool Launched for LEED Professional Credential Holders

Press Releases


McGuyer Homebuilders, Inc. Commits to LEED Certification

Press Releases


USGBC Selects Sacramento City Unified School District as Recipient of New Center for Green Schools Fellowship Program

Press Releases


Private Sector and Government Working Together to Promote Sustainable Building Practices

Press Releases


President Obama's Green Building Initiative will Create Jobs, Save Energy and Save Money

Press Releases


Revisions to the Agreements Governing the Use of LEED Online v3 and Participation in the LEED Certification Program



U.S. Green Building Council Welcomes New Board Directors

Press Releases


U.S. Green Building Council Announces Recipients of 2010 LEED for Homes Awards

Press Releases


Generation Green Focuses on the Future at Greenbuild 2010

Press Releases


Greenbuild 2010: Opening Plenary Remarks by Rick Fedrizzi

Press Releases


Leading Business and Environmental Groups Urge Action on Buildings and Cities at U.N. Climate Summit

Press Releases


USGBC Commends National League of Cities Call for Federal Adoption of Green Building Policy Agenda

Press Releases


U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild 2010; Chicago is Leading the Way on Green Building



Two New Green Building Offerings from USGBC: LEED for Retail and LEED Volume Program

Press Releases


USGBC Launches the Green Building Information Gateway Pilot for Illinois

Press Releases


New International Alliance Issues a 'Call for Partners' to Advance Global Leadership in Our Built Environment (GLOBE)

Press Releases


                  ** To view press releases older than 6 months, go to the Press Release Archive.

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column


ShoreTel Partner Program Awarded CRN 2011 Five-Star Designation

For the second year in a row, ShoreTel is recognized as an elite IT channel partner

Source: ShoreTel On Monday March 28, 2011, 4:10 pm EDT

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ShoreTel® (NASDAQ:SHOR - News), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications, has been awarded the five-star designation in CRN’s Partner Programs Guide for the second consecutive year. CRN’s Partner Programs Guide and 5-Star Partner ratings serve as the definitive list of vendors who have robust partner programs or products that service solution providers offer directly to the IT channel.

ShoreTel’s channel strategy is 100% indirect and aims to provide reseller partners with the highest vendor margins in the industry. Within its global two-tier distribution strategy, ShoreTel’s Champion Partner Program features a reasonable cost of entry, fast return on investment and a high customer close rate to drive reseller partner profitability and success.

“The companies listed on the 2011 Partner Programs Guide represent the best channel programs in the market today. Of those, only a few get our five-star award, based on their commitment to the channel, breadth of program offerings and services offered to their partners. We congratulate ShoreTel for earning yet another five-star honor and in driving business opportunities and revenue among their channel partners,” said Kelley Damore, VP and Editorial Director, for Everything Channel’s CRN.

This honor builds on several prominent awards and distinctions that ShoreTel has recently received for its ongoing commitment to the channel and reseller partners. Last month, ShoreTel’s Director WW Channel Marketing, Annette Lorenz, was named a CRN Channel Chief for her role in building a successful and profitable channel partner program. CRN also highlighted ShoreTel as one of their “2011 Need To Know: UC & VoIP Vendors” and recognized the ShoreTel Voice Switch 50 as “VoIP Product of the Year” for 2010.

“ShoreTel’s commitment to our partners provides the opportunity to build a profitable business with world-class products and customer satisfaction ratings, as well as the most competitive programs and tools available,” said Tom Hamilton, Senior Director of Worldwide Channels at ShoreTel. “We are honored to be distinguished with CRN’s five-star designation for the second year in a row and value this affirmation of our partner commitment and success.”

The 2011 Partner Programs Guide and 5-Star Partners listing will be featured on and in the March 28th issue of CRN.

About ShoreTel

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHOR - News) is the provider of brilliantly simple Unified Communication (UC) solutions based on its award-winning IP business phone system. We offer organizations of all sizes integrated, voice, video, data, and mobile communications on an open, distributed IP architecture that helps significantly reduce the complexity and costs typically associated with other solutions. The feature-rich ShoreTel UC system offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) and the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, in part because it is easy to deploy, manage, scale and use. Increasingly, companies around the world are finding a competitive edge by replacing business-as-usual with new thinking, and choosing ShoreTel to handle their integrated business communication. ShoreTel is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in Austin, Texas, United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit

About Everything Channel

Everything Channel is the premier provider of IT channel-focused events, media, research, consulting, and sales and marketing services. With over 30 years of experience and engagement, Everything Channel has the unmatched channel expertise to execute integrated solutions for technology executives managing partner recruitment, enablement and go-to-market strategy in order to accelerate technology sales. Everything Channel is a UBM company. To learn more about Everything Channel, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at

About United Business Media Limited

UBM (UBM.L) focuses on two principal activities: worldwide information distribution, targeting and monitoring; and, the development and monetization of B2B communities and markets. UBM's businesses inform markets and serve professional commercial communities -- from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists -- with integrated events, online, print and business information products. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries is organized into specialist teams that serve these communities, bringing buyers and sellers together, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently. For more information, go to


Things you did not know that you did not know 2011

Here is a little trivia to lighten your day. Most of the news lately has been histrionic and bad. Personally, my nerves are shot and I needed a smile. Enjoy:

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S.  
 ------------ --------- -------- 

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better. 

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Coca-Cola was originally green. 
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It is impossible to lick your elbow. 

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The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: 


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The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% 
(now get this...) 

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The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38% 

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The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400 
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The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given 
hour: 61,000 

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Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.. 

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The first novel ever written on a typewriter, Tom Sawyer. 

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The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National 

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Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: 

Spades - King David 

Hearts - Charlemagne 

Clubs -Alexander, the Great 

Diamonds - Julius Caesar 

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111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987, 654,321 

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If a statue in the park of a person on a horse 
has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. 
If the horse has one front leg in the air, 
the person died because of wounds received in battle. 
If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died 
of natural causes 

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Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence e on July 4, John Hancock 
and Charles Thomson.

Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later. 

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Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what? 

A. Their birthplace 

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Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name 

A. Obsession 

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Q.. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you 
would find the letter 'A'? 

A. One thousand 

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Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common? 

A. All were invented by women. 

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Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil? 

A. Honey 

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Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year? 

A. Father's Day 

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In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. 
When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on.

Hence the phrase...'Goodnight , sleep tight' 

--------- --------- --------- 

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon. 

--------- --------- --------- 

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when 
customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.' 

It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's' 

--------- --------- --------- 

Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill , they used the whistle to get some service.

'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice. 

--------- --------- --------- 

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their 
--------- --------- --------- 


1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave. 

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years. 

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three. 

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you. 

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses. 

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries... 

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen 

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it 

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee 

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : ) 

12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing. 

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message. 

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list. 

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list 


Frank Bisbee - Editor


FTTH deployments drove $800 million in Q4 PON sales

Ongoing Fiber to the Home (FTTH) deployments by carriers in China and Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) ongoing FiOS rollout helped drive almost $800 million in revenues in Q4 2010.

"We estimate that China accounted for more than half of total GPON revenues in the fourth quarter," said Tam Dell'Oro, President of Dell'Oro Group.  

Although Chinese service providers leveraged EPON for their initial FTTH deployments, Dell'Oro said that they "have increasingly utilized GPON over the last several quarters," and that "GPON will become the leading PON technology in China within the next few years due to its higher bandwidth capabilities and functionality."

From a vendor perspective, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Ericsson dominated the top three spots in PON sales. Huawei may still be the dominant PON supplier in China, but they are seeing continual competitive pressure from non-Chinese vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.

Outside of China, Alcatel-Lucent continues to ride the deployment wave for Verizon's FiOS, which Dell'Oro said accounted "for a significant 15 percent of total GPON revenues."


What is PON - A passive optical network?

A passive optical network (PON) is a point-to-multipoint, fiber to the premises network architecture in which unpowered optical splitters utilizing Brewster's angle principles are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises, typically 32-128. A PON consists of an optical line terminal (OLT) at the service provider's central office and a number of optical network units (ONUs) near end users. A PON configuration reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared with point to point architectures. A passive optical network is a form of fiber-optic access network.

Downstream signals are broadcast to all premises sharing a single fiber. Encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping.

Upstream signals are combined using a multiple access protocol, usually time division multiple access (TDMA). The OLTs "range" the ONUs in order to provide time slot assignments for upstream communication.


NOTE that there are two major standards. One standard is controlled by the IEEE which defines Ethernet Networking Standards. The Second is controlled by the ITU-T which controls Telecommunications Standards. Both organizations produced separate and incompatible 1Gigabit and 10Gigabit standards.

  • IEEE 802.3
    • EPON (Ethernet PON) is part of IEEE standard Ethernet with options for 1/1 Gbit/s 10/1 Gbit/s and 10/10 Gbit/s. There are currently over 40 million installed EPON ports making it the most widely deployed PON technology globally. EPON is also the foundation for cable operators business services as part of the DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) specifications.
  • ITU-T
    • G.983
      • APON (ATM PON). This was the first Passive optical network standard. It was used primarily for business applications, and was based on ATM.
      • BPON (Broadband PON) is a standard based on APON. It adds support for WDM, dynamic and higher upstream bandwidth allocation, and survivability. It also created a standard management interface, called OMCI, between the OLT and ONU/ONT, enabling mixed-vendor networks.
    • G.984
      • G-PON (Gigabit PON) is an evolution of the BPON standard. It supports higher rates, enhanced security, and choice of Layer 2 protocol (ATM, GEM, Ethernet). By mid-2008, Verizon had installed over 800 thousand lines. British Telecom, Mobily-SaudiArabia, Etisalat-UAE, and AT&T are in advanced trials. It is the successor to G.983. GPON networks have now been deployed in numerous carrier networks across the globe, and the trends indicate higher growth in GPON than other PON technologies.
    • G.987
      • 10G-PON has 10 Gbit/s downstream and 2.5 Gbit/s upstream – framing is "G-PON like" and designed to coexist with GPON devices on the same network.[1]
  • SCTE IPS910
    • RFoG (RFoverGlass) is an SCTE Interface Practices Subcomittee standard in development for carrying HFC RF signals over a passive optical Network (PON).


Early work on efficient fiber to the home architectures was done in the 1990s by the Full Service Access Network (FSAN) working group, formed by major telecommunications service providers and system vendors. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) did further work, and has since standardized on two generations of PON. The older ITU-T G.983 standard is based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and has therefore been referred to as APON (ATM PON). Further improvements to the original APON standard – as well as the gradual falling out of favor of ATM as a protocol – led to the full, final version of ITU-T G.983 being referred to more often as broadband PON, or BPON. A typical APON/BPON provides 622 megabits per second (Mbit/s) (OC-12) of downstream bandwidth and 155 Mbit/s (OC-3) of upstream traffic, although the standard accommodates higher rates.

The ITU-T G.984 (GPON) standard represents a boost, compared to BPON, in both the total bandwidth and bandwidth efficiency through the use of larger, variable-length packets. Again, the standards permit several choices of bit rate, but the industry has converged on 2.488 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) of downstream bandwidth, and 1.244 Gbit/s of upstream bandwidth. GPON Encapsulation Method (GEM) allows very efficient packaging of user traffic with frame segmentation.

The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet PON (EPON or GEPON) standard was completed in 2004 (, as part of the Ethernet First Mile project. EPON uses standard 802.3 Ethernet frames with symmetric 1 gigabit per second upstream and downstream rates. EPON is applicable for data-centric networks, as well as full-service voice, data and video networks. 10Gbit/s EPON or 10G-EPON was ratified as an amendment IEEE 802.3av to IEEE 802.3. 10G-EPON supports 10/1 Gbit/s. The downstream wavelength plan support simultaneous operation of 10 Gbit/s on one wavelength and 1 Gbit/s on a separate wavelength for operation of IEEE 802.3av and IEEE 802.3ah on the same PON concurrently. The upstream channel can support simultaneous operation of IEEE 802.3av and 1 Gbit/s 802.3ah simultaneously on a single shared (1,310 nm) channel.

[edit] Network elements

A PON takes advantage of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), using one wavelength for downstream traffic and another for upstream traffic on a single nondispersion-shifted fiber (ITU-T G.652). BPON, EPON, GEPON, and GPON have the same basic wavelength plan and use the 1,490 nanometer (nm) wavelength for downstream traffic and 1310 nm wavelength for upstream traffic. 1550 nm is reserved for optional overlay services, typically RF (analog) video.

As with bit rate, the standards describe several optical budgets, most common is 28 dB of loss budget for both BPON and GPON, but products have been announced using less expensive optics as well. 28 dB corresponds to about 20 km with a 32-way split. Forward error correction (FEC) may provide another 2–3 dB of loss budget on GPON systems. As optics improve, the 28 dB budget will likely increase. Although both the GPON and EPON protocols permit large split ratios (up to 128 subscribers for GPON, up to 32,768 for EPON), in practice most PONs are deployed with a split ratio of 1x32 or smaller.

A PON consists of a central office node, called an optical line terminal (OLT), one or more user nodes, called optical network units (ONUs) or optical network terminals (ONTs), and the fibers and splitters between them, called the optical distribution network (ODN). ONT is an ITU-T term to describe a special, single-user case of an ONU. In Multiple Tenant Units, the ONU may be bridged to a customer premise device within the individual dwelling unit using technologies such as Ethernet over twisted pair, (a high-speed ITU-T standard that can operate over any existing home wiring - power lines, phone lines and coaxial cables) or DSL. An ONU is a device that terminates the PON and presents customer service interfaces to the user. Some ONUs implement a separate subscriber unit to provide services such as telephony, Ethernet data, or video.

The OLT provides the interface between the PON and the service providers network services. These typically include:

The ONT or ONU terminates the PON and presents the native service interfaces to the user. These services can include voice (plain old telephone service (POTS) or voice over IP (VoIP)), data (typically Ethernet or V.35), video, and/or telemetry (TTL, ECL, RS530, etc.). Often, the ONU functions are separated into two parts:

  • the ONU, which terminates the PON and presents a converged interface – such as xDSL, coax, or multiservice Ethernet – toward the user, and
  • network termination equipment (NTE), which provides the separate, native service interfaces directly to the user

A PON is a shared network, in that the OLT sends a single stream of downstream traffic that is seen by all ONUs. Each ONU only reads the content of those packets that are addressed to it. Encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping on downstream traffic.

Upstream bandwidth allocation

The OLT is responsible for allocating upstream bandwidth to the ONUs. Because the optical distribution network (ODN) is shared, ONU upstream transmissions could collide if they were transmitted at random times. ONUs can lie at varying distances from the OLT, meaning that the transmission delay from each ONU is unique. The OLT measures delay and sets a register in each ONU via PLOAM (physical layer operations and maintenance) messages to equalize its delay with respect to all of the other ONUs on the PON.

Once the delay of all ONUs has been set, the OLT transmits so-called grants to the individual ONUs. A grant is permission to use a defined interval of time for upstream transmission. The grant map is dynamically re-calculated every few milliseconds. The map allocates bandwidth to all ONUs, such that each ONU receives timely bandwidth for its service needs.

Some services – POTS, for example – require essentially constant upstream bandwidth, and the OLT may provide a fixed bandwidth allocation to each such service that has been provisioned. DS1 and some classes of data service may also require constant upstream bit rate. But much data traffic – internet surfing, for example – is bursty and highly variable. Through dynamic bandwidth allocation (DBA), a PON can be oversubscribed for upstream traffic, according to the traffic engineering concepts of statistical multiplexing. (Downstream traffic can also be oversubscribed, in the same way that any LAN can be oversubscribed. The only special feature in the PON architecture for downstream oversubscription is the fact that the ONU must be able to accept completely arbitrary downstream time slots, both in time and in size.)

In GPON there are two forms of DBA, status-reporting (SR) and non-status reporting (NSR).

In NSR DBA, the OLT continuously allocates a small amount of extra bandwidth to each ONU. If the ONU has no traffic to send, it transmits idle frames during its excess allocation. If the OLT observes that a given ONU is not sending idle frames, it increases the bandwidth allocation to that ONU. Once the ONU's burst has been transferred, the OLT observes a large number of idle frames from the given ONU, and reduces its allocation accordingly. NSR DBA has the advantage that it imposes no requirements on the ONU, and the disadvantage that there is no way for the OLT to know how best to assign bandwidth across several ONUs that need more.

In SR DBA, the OLT polls ONUs for their backlogs. A given ONU may have several so-called transmission containers (T-CONTs), each with its own priority or traffic class. The ONU reports each T-CONT separately to the OLT. The report message contains a logarithmic measure of the backlog in the T-CONT queue. By knowledge of the service level agreement for each T-CONT across the entire PON, as well as the size of each T-CONT's backlog, the OLT can optimize allocation of the spare bandwidth on the PON.

EPON systems use a DBA mechanism equivalent to GPON's SR DBA solution. The OLT polls ONUs for their queue status and grants bandwidth using the MPCP GATE message, while ONUs report their status using the MPCP REPORT message.


WASP SPRAY - a very good self-defense tool

I know some of you own GUNS but this is something to think about...--- 

If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you. Did you know this? I didn't. I never really thought of it before. I guess I can get rid of the baseball bat. 

Wasp Spray  -  A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead. 

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection. Thought this was interesting and might be of use. 

On the heels of a break in and beating that left an elderly woman in  Toledo  dead, self defense experts have a tip that could save your life. 

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania   Southview   High School  . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed. 

Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them." 

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. 

It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray. "That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out." Maybe even save a life. 

Please share this with all the people who are precious to your life 

Did you also know that wasp spray will kill a snake? And a mouse! It will! Good to know, huh? It will also kill a wasp.!!!!


NFPA new hires, Dennis Mathisen and Timothy Travers, will promote home fire sprinklers in new construction

March 23, 2011 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has hired two new regional fire sprinkler specialists, Dennis M. Mathisen of Roseville, Calif. and Timothy P. Travers of Whitman, Mass. to work in their respective regions to increase the number of jurisdictions requiring home fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. Travers will cover the Northeast region, while Mathisen will cover the Western region.

 “Fire sprinklers save lives and NFPA is working hard to see that all new homes are built with this proven, life-saving technology,” said Gary Keith, NFPA’s vice president of regional operations. “Tim and Dennis know firsthand from their experience in the fire service the devastating consequences of fire on families and firefighters, making them excellent choices to help us move this effort forward.”

Mathisen, who holds an associate’s degree in fire technology from American River College and a bachelor’s degree in management from Saint Mary’s College, has been division chief/fire marshal of Roseville, Calif. since 1997. Prior to that, he was a fire inspector in the American River Fire Protection District in Sacramento, Calif., during which time he served as Acting Fire Marshal from 1992 to 1993. He has been a member of the Sacramento County Fire Marshal’s Association, President of the California Fire Chiefs Association and the Sacramento Valley Fire Marshal’s Association, and co-chair of the Fire Services Education Committee.

Travers has been New England regional manager of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) since 2008. Prior to working for NFSA, he spent 35 years at the Whitman Fire Department, where he held a number of positions including chief of department for 22 years. Travers has studied at the National Fire Academy, Emergency Management Institute, the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, and holds an associate’s degree in fire science technology. He is a life member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and past president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts.

About the Fire Sprinkler Initiative: Bringing Safety Home
The Fire Sprinkler Initiative, a project of the National Fire Protection Association, is a nationwide effort to encourage the use of home fire sprinklers and the adoption of fire sprinkler requirements for new construction.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.


Fiber optics is the future of communications - OCC® Achieves Increases in Net Sales, Gross Profit and Net Income

ROANOKE, Va., March 17, 2011 / -- Optical Cable Corporation (Nasdaq:OCCF - News) ("OCC®" or the "Company") today announced financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended January 31, 2011.

The Company reported increases in net sales, gross profit and net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 when compared to the same period last year.

First Quarter 2011 Financial Results

OCC recorded net income attributable to the Company of $402,000, or $0.06 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, compared to a net loss attributable to the Company of $316,000, or $0.05 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010.  

Consolidated net sales increased 18.0% to $17.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 compared to net sales of $15.0 million for the comparable period in fiscal year 2010.  Net sales increased in both the Company's commercial and specialty markets during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 compared to the same period last year.  

Gross profit increased 16.8% to $6.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, compared to $5.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010.  Gross profit margin, or gross profit as a percentage of net sales, decreased slightly to 36.3% in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 from 36.7% in the first quarter of fiscal year 2010.

OCC achieved these increases in net sales and gross profit while simultaneously reducing expenses.  Specifically, selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 1.1% during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 compared to the same period last year.

The Company again generated positive cash flow from operating activities—with net cash provided by operating activities of $1.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011.  OCC also paid off the $700,000 balance of its revolving credit facility during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, resulting in $6.0 million in unused and available credit under this facility.

Management's Comments

Neil Wilkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of OCC, said, "We started fiscal year 2011 by building on the momentum OCC achieved during the second half of our last fiscal year.  Our first quarter results reflect the improved capabilities of OCC's fully integrated sales force as well as effective integration of the companies we have acquired.  We are experiencing favorable demand for our comprehensive suite of products across our diverse customer base and we are continuing to focus on maintaining operational discipline and controlling costs."            

Mr. Wilkin added, "We are pleased to have once again achieved positive cash flow from operations and strengthened our financial position by paying down indebtedness.  During the first quarter we also declared our second quarterly dividend.  We look forward to providing further tangible returns to shareholders, in the form of the quarterly dividend, while we continue to execute on our plan to drive sustainable growth, customer satisfaction and shareholder value creation."

Optical Cable Corporation ("OCC") is a leading manufacturer of a broad range of fiber optic and copper data communications cabling and connectivity solutions primarily for the enterprise market, offering an integrated suite of high quality, warranted products which operate as a system solution or seamlessly integrate with other providers' offerings.  OCC's product offerings include designs for uses ranging from commercial, enterprise network, datacenter, residential and campus installations to customized products for specialty applications and harsh environments, including military, industrial, mining and broadcast applications.  OCC products include fiber optic and copper cabling, fiber optic and copper connectors, specialty fiber optic and copper connectors, fiber optic and copper patch cords, pre-terminated fiber optic and copper cable assemblies, racks, cabinets, datacom enclosures, patch panels, face plates, multi-media boxes and other cable and connectivity management accessories, and are designed to meet the most demanding needs of end-users, delivering a high degree of reliability and outstanding performance characteristics. 

OCC® is internationally recognized for pioneering the design and production of fiber optic cables for the most demanding military field applications, as well as of fiber optic cables suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and creating a broad product offering built on the evolution of these fundamental technologies.  OCC also is internationally recognized for its role in establishing copper connectivity data communications standards, through its innovative and patented technologies.

Founded in 1983, OCC is headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia with offices, manufacturing and warehouse facilities located in each of Roanoke, Virginia, near Asheville, North Carolina and near Dallas, Texas.  OCC primarily manufactures its fiber optic cables at its Roanoke facility which is ISO 9001:2008 registered and MIL-STD-790F certified, its enterprise connectivity products at its Asheville facility which is ISO 9001:2008 registered, and its military and harsh environment connectivity products and systems at its Dallas facility which is ISO 9001:2008 registered and MIL-STD-790F certified.

Optical Cable Corporation, OCC®, Superior Modular Products, SMP Data Communications, Applied Optical Systems, and associated logos are trademarks of Optical Cable Corporation.

Optical Cable Corporation to Trade Under Nasdaq Ticker Symbol "OCC"

OCC® Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Nasdaq Listing

ROANOKE, Va., March 28, 2011 -- Optical Cable Corporation (NASDAQ: OCCF) ("OCC®") today announced that it will change its Nasdaq stock ticker symbol to "OCC" from "OCCF." The new "OCC" ticker symbol will go into effect at the start of trading on March 31, 2011.

The new ticker symbol is aligned with the Company's branding, as Optical Cable Corporation is known throughout the industry and to its customers as "OCC." The Company first built its strong reputation among customers and end-users as a manufacturer and provider of top-tier fiber optic cable products. Through strategic acquisitions, OCC has positioned itself as a manufacturer and provider of a full line of top-tier fiber optic and copper data communications cabling and connectivity products. OCC acquired Superior Modular Products Incorporated, doing business as SMP Data Communications, in May 2008, and Applied Optical Systems, Inc. in October 2009.

OCC's product offering now includes a comprehensive suite of fiber optic and copper data communications cabling and connectivity solutions, and integrated system solutions primarily for the enterprise market, including designs for uses ranging from commercial, enterprise network, datacenter, residential and campus installations to customized products for specialty applications and harsh environments, including military, industrial, mining and broadcast applications.

OCC is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Company's listing and trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. OCC was founded in 1983 and began trading on Nasdaq in March 1996.

Neil Wilkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of OCC(R), said, "We are pleased to announce our ticker change which reflects that OCC is much more than a fiber optic cable company. Our new ticker symbol is aligned with the OCC brand and encompasses the expanded offering of fiber optic and copper cabling and connectivity products we now manufacture and provide. We look forward to building on OCC's strong reputation and industry position by continuing to execute our strategic plan to meet the full range of our customers' needs while creating value for our shareholders."

Company Information

Optical Cable Corporation ("OCC") is a leading manufacturer of a broad range of fiber optic and copper data communications cabling and connectivity solutions primarily for the enterprise market, offering an integrated suite of high quality, warranted products which operate as a system solution or seamlessly integrate with other providers' offerings. OCC's product offerings include designs for uses ranging from commercial, enterprise network, datacenter, residential and campus installations to customized products for specialty applications and harsh environments, including military, industrial, mining and broadcast applications. OCC products include fiber optic and copper cabling, fiber optic and copper connectors, specialty fiber optic and copper connectors, fiber optic and copper patch cords, pre-terminated fiber optic and copper cable assemblies, racks, cabinets, datacom enclosures, patch panels, face plates, multi-media boxes and other cable and connectivity management accessories, and are designed to meet the most demanding needs of end-users, delivering a high degree of reliability and outstanding performance characteristics.

OCC is internationally recognized for pioneering the design and production of fiber optic cables for the most demanding military field applications, as well as of fiber optic cables suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and creating a broad product offering built on the evolution of these fundamental technologies. OCC also is internationally recognized for its role in establishing copper connectivity data communications standards, through its innovative and patented technologies.

Founded in 1983, OCC is headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia with offices, manufacturing and warehouse facilities located in each of Roanoke, Virginia, near Asheville, North Carolina and near Dallas, Texas. OCC primarily manufactures its fiber optic cables at its Roanoke facility which is ISO 9001:2008 registered and MIL-STD-790F certified, its enterprise connectivity products at its Asheville facility which is ISO 9001:2008 registered, and its military and harsh environment connectivity products and systems at its Dallas facility which is ISO 9001:2008 registered and MIL-STD-790F certified.

Optical Cable Corporation, OCC(R), Superior Modular Products, SMP Data Communications, Applied Optical Systems, and associated logos are trademarks of Optical Cable Corporation.

Further information about OCC is available on the Internet at .

About the Fiber Optics Industry:  Fiber optics is the future of communications and fiber optic connectors are one of the major profit centers within this market. The signal transmission business is in the early stages of a fiber optics bull market. All signal transmission, in their many and various forms, are being converted from electrical, using copper wire and coaxial cable, to fiber optics. In the USA the Obama administration has recently pledged an initial US$7.2-billion to a plan that calls for 100 million Americans to have access to super high speed internet. This high speed internet will require significant fiber optic infrastructure. The annual global market for fiber optic connectors is projected to grow to US$3.45 billion in 2011 (ElectroniCast Consultants:


FiberMedia Celebrates Unveiling of Two Data Centers in the New York Metro Area

FiberMedia celebrates Secaucus, NJ and Chappaqua, NY datacenters at an exclusive unveiling event in Manhattan.

SECAUCUS, N.J., March 17, 2011 -- FiberMedia, a leading New Jersey and New York data center operator announces the unveiling of two state-of-the-art data center facilities; Secaucus, NJ and Chappaqua, NY. The significant enhancements to these facilities bring FiberMedia's total data center footprint in the New York Metro area to over 130,000 square feet across five strategically placed facilities.

FiberMedia's two new facilities will be unveiled at a launch event on April 7th on the Andaz Wall Street Hotel's Rooftop Terrace. The event will be a 'Night to Remember' offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline while enjoying industry hobnobbing, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.

FiberMedia's carrier neutral data centers support a full range of services including highly reliable colocation, private data center suites, business continuity office suites and managed services with access to network connectivity options from multiple providers. In addition, its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions enable cost-effective cloud networking solutions that provide virtualized bandwidth, colocation, storage and back-up facilities, on-demand.

"FiberMedia is known for its innovation and customer service while providing clients with the utmost security, redundancy and resiliency to protect and maintain mission-critical data. This event showcases our continued commitment to state-of-the-art facilities and unparalleled customer service," says Michael Bucheit, CEO of FiberMedia. "Our Secaucus and Westchester datacenters further provide managed services and infrastructure-on-demand solutions that complement our core collocation offering to companies across many industries including finance, healthcare, manufacturing and technology."

Located less than ten minutes from Manhattan, the 35,000 square foot Secaucus facility offers a full-suite of comprehensive services and solutions. Customers can gain access to multiple networks, high-speed Internet and an array of peering partners while experiencing uninterruptible power supported through a stringent N+1/2N design that includes fully conditioned electrical feeds served from two utility substations.

The Westchester facility located in Chappaqua, NY is located on the former campus of Reader's Digest. This high-security facility is on a gated and protected campus and offers redundant interconnectivity with all of FiberMedia's New York Metro datacenter facilities. By connecting its facilities, FiberMedia's leading cloud platform delivers the ideal on-demand infrastructure and storage solutions for small, medium and large enterprise businesses.

FiberMedia also owns and operates datacenters in Jersey City, NJ, Brooklyn, NY, New York City and Cleveland, OH. All of facilities are SAS70 Type 2 and are fully staffed with a customer support teams that proactively monitor equipment 24x7x365.

FiberMedia is a privately held, shareholder-operated company known for its innovation and customer responsiveness. The company's data centers are network neutral and offer a large array of different network providers to meet the needs of today's technology-driven companies. The company provides New York and New Jersey data center locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Secaucus, Jersey City, Westchester and Cleveland. For over 10 years, FiberMedia has offered customized solutions through its dedicated sales engineers, design/build team, and 24/7 customer service.  


ShoreTel Announces March Investor Events

SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ShoreTel(R), Inc. (Nasdaq:SHOR - News), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated Unified Communications (UC), today announced its upcoming investor events taking place in March. First, Peter Blackmore, CEO, and Mike Healy, CFO, will attend the Credit Suisse Boston Communication Equipment Networking Conference on March 9, 2011 at the Credit Suisse offices in Boston, Massachusetts. Second, Peter Blackmore and Mike Healy will present on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. EST at the Wedbush 2011 Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City. Additionally, Mike Healy will present at the Lazard Capital Markets Annual Technology & Media Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on March 14, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Finally, Kevin Gavin, Chief Marketing Officer, will present at the Sidoti & Company Fifteenth Annual Emerging Growth Institutional Investor Forum at The Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City on March 22, 2011 at 2:10 p.m. EDT.

Presentations made at the Wedbush, Lazard and Sidoti conferences will be available live and, subsequently, on demand via the Internet at Investors should visit the site at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the scheduled presentations to register, download and install any necessary multimedia streaming software. The presentations will be archived and available for at least 30 days after each event.

About ShoreTel

ShoreTel, Inc. (Nasdaq:SHOR - News) is the provider of brilliantly simple Unified Communication (UC) solutions based on its award-winning IP business phone system. We offer organizations of all sizes integrated, voice, video, data, and mobile communications on an open, distributed IP architecture that helps significantly reduce the complexity and costs typically associated with other solutions. The feature-rich ShoreTel UC system offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) and the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, in part because it is easy to deploy, manage, scale and use. Increasingly, companies around the world are finding a competitive edge by replacing business-as-usual with new thinking, and choosing ShoreTel to handle their integrated business communication. ShoreTel is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in Austin, Texas, United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit


WESCO International, Inc. Board of Directors Appoints John J. Engel Chairman of the Board Effective May 25, 2011

PITTSBURGH, March 10, 2011  -- The Board of Directors of WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE:WCC - News), a leading provider of electrical, industrial and communications MRO and OEM products, construction materials, and advanced supply chain management and logistics services, announced today the appointment of John J. Engel as Chairman of the Board, effective May 25, 2011, in addition to his current role of President and Chief Executive Officer.  The Board took this action after careful deliberation, and it marks the culmination of the succession plan announced by the Board in May 2009, in which Mr. Engel succeeded Roy W. Haley as Chief Executive Officer effective September 2009, and Mr. Haley continued to serve as Chairman until the completion of his current term as a member of the Board of Directors in May 2011.  Mr. Engel will assume the responsibility of Chairman of the Board upon Mr. Haley's retirement at the close of the annual meeting of WESCO's stockholders on May 25, 2011.  

Mr. William J. Vareschi, WESCO's Presiding Director who serves as its lead independent Director, remarked, "On behalf of the WESCO Board, I would like to thank Roy Haley for his extraordinary contributions to the Company and its employees, customers, shareholders and suppliers over the last 17 years while establishing WESCO as a leader in the industry.  John Engel's outstanding leadership and commitment to excellence serve WESCO and its shareholders well going forward.  We are pleased that our careful attention to talent management and succession planning has resulted in a smooth transition."

Mr. Haley commented, "I have had the distinct privilege of being associated with WESCO, and I could not be more proud of our Company and the quality of our organization.  John Engel joined WESCO almost seven years ago, and he has done an outstanding job positioning WESCO for continued growth and profitability over the long term.  I am confident that the management team, under John's leadership, will be highly successful."

WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE:WCC - News), a publicly traded Fortune 500 company headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a leading provider of electrical, industrial, and communications maintenance, repair and operating ("MRO") and original equipment manufacturers ("OEM") products, construction materials, and advanced supply chain management and logistics services.  2010 annual sales were approximately $5.1 billion.  The Company employs approximately 6,800 people, maintains relationships with over 17,000 suppliers, and serves over 100,000 customers worldwide.  Customers include industrial and commercial businesses, contractors, governmental agencies, institutions, telecommunications providers and utilities.  WESCO operates seven fully automated distribution centers and over 400 full-service branches in North America and international markets, providing a local presence for customers and a global network to serve multi-location businesses and multi-national corporations. WESCO also owns CSC, the leading Communications Supply Corporation in the USA. See their new blog on the website.


AT&T To Buy T-Mobile For $39 Billion

Deutsche Telekom Will Get Equity Stake In AT&T In Deal

Sunday, March 20, 2011 AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $39 billion, AT&T announced in a news release on Sunday. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, AT&T said.

The acquisition means AT&T has committed to a significant expansion of 4G Long Term Evolution deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population. The expansion includes an additional 46.5 million Americans on top of AT&T's present plans, including those in rural communities and small towns, according to the company.

“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people."

Deutsche Telekom Chairman and CEO René Obermann said AT&T was the best partner for his company's customers and shareholders, and that the transaction allows Deutsche Telekom "to retain exposure to the U.S. market."

As part of the transaction, Deutsche Telekom will receive an equity stake in AT&T that would give Deutsche Telekom an ownership interest in AT&T of approximately 8 percent, according to AT&T. A Deutsche Telekom representative will join the AT&T Board of Directors.

AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $39 billion, AT&T announced in a news release.


Industry Leaders to Be Honored with Achievement Awards at 2011 NAED National Electrical Leadership Summit in San Diego

ST. LOUIS… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) will honor four industry leaders at the 2011 NAED National Electrical Leadership Summit in San Diego. The award ceremony will take place during the closing event on Monday, May 2, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.


John Duda, retired CEO and chairman of Butler Supply Company, in Fenton, Mo., will receive NAED’s highest honor, the 2011 Arthur W. Hooper Achievement Award. This honor is presented to an individual who has led an exceptional career in electrical distribution spanning many years. Duda began at Butler Supply in 1968 as the credit manager. Since that time he has served in a variety of roles including accountant, office manager, and CEO and chairman.

Duda has been an active participant in NAED, dedicating both time and energy to the betterment of the association and the channel. Over the course of his career, Duda has served as NAED chair, South Central Region vice president, NAED Education & Research Foundation chair, on the NAED Board of Directors, as well as various other councils and committees.

Glenn Goedecke, executive vice president, sales and marketing, for Mayer Electric Supply in Birmingham, Ala., is the recipient of the 2011 NAED Distributor Distinguished Service Award. The award is given in recognition of outstanding and dedicated service to NAED and the electrical distribution industry.

In the industry for nearly 30 years, Goedecke has been involved with NAED for more than a decade. He has been vice president of the South Central Region, an EPEC Gold graduate, and served as a member of the Supplier Scorecard Task Force, the Energy Efficiency Task Force, and on the Board of Directors.

Delton Nickel, retired president of Pentair’s Technical Products Group, is being honored with the Associate Service Award for his consistent promotion and support of the tenets and goals of NAED. Nickel is being recognized for his leadership on the IDEA Board of Directors, and participation in the Associates Advisory Council, National Electrical Leadership Summit and region conferences.

RAB Lighting will receive the 2011 NAED Industry Award of Merit. This award is presented in recognition of a company or individual in the electrical manufacturing business that has been exceptionally active in promoting and supporting the wholesale electrical distribution industry. RAB Lighting is receiving this award for their involvement and commitment to both NAED and the industry.

NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED’s membership operates in approximately 4,400 locations internationally.


News from NFPA

Please read the news releases below.

LisaMarie Sinatra joins NFPA Public Affairs team

Communications work to focus on reducing wildland fire loss, expanding Firewise®

NFPA welcomes Lauren Backstrom as new Social Media Manager

Bentley grad combines love of social media and nonprofit work

NFPA welcomes Dennis Mathisen and Timothy Travers

New hires will promote home fire sprinklers in new construction



Effective for all SLiPWire™ wire produced after January 1, 2011

Cerro Wire LLC, a leading manufacturer of copper electrical building wire and cable, has announced an update to its reel completeness guarantee. The improved guarantee is effective for all SLiPWire™ wire in sizes of one AWG and larger produced after January 1, 2011. 

Footages on Cerro Wire’s standard reels of SLiPWire, which were previously guaranteed to be within +/- .75 percent, are now guaranteed to be within +/- .50 percent of the tagged footage.  If the footage falls below that range, Cerro Wire will either give the customer credit for the omitted product or replace the missing wire. In addition, Cerro Wire will also reimburse the customer for reasonable, direct, out-of-pocket labor costs incurred as a result of the shortage.

The guarantee does not include responsibility for any consequential, incidental, or indirect damages, costs or expenses, including lost profits or revenue.

“The customer should not see more than one in twenty reels not actually marked zero-to-finish length,” said Rick Bennett, Director of Quality for Cerrowire Electrical Distribution. “The others will be within guaranteed tolerance. No other competitor offers this performance or cost savings.” 

Cerro Wire LLC, a leading manufacturer of copper electrical building wire and cable, supplies its products to wholesale electrical distributors and retail home improvement centers across North America. Cerrowire’s Electrical Distribution Division offers building wire for residential, commercial and industrial use. Our operating philosophy focuses on customer service, low cost operations, simplification and innovation. Our employees operate manufacturing and distribution facilities around the United States. Cerrowire® is a Marmon Wire & Cable/Berkshire Hathaway company. 

Please visit our website at for a complete description of our products and services. For more information, please contact Dale Crawford at 256-773-2522, or via email at 


Firestopping Low-voltage Cables Between Floors in Multistory Buildings

By Brian Hancock, RCDD

As an RCDD, installer or other professional in the ITS industry, it isn’t uncommon to find projects requiring pathway and structured cabling systems for multistory buildings. These types of buildings can introduce complications when it comes to passing cables from floor to floor. For example, most designers are aware that the cable jackets for low-voltage cables used in these instances are generally required to be riser rated per the National Electric Code® (NEC®). Some people may not be aware of the additional fire stopping requirements that other building codes may introduce beyond those found in the NEC. This article will attempt to identify some of these requirements as well as how the evolution from previous versions of building codes have prompted more stringent requirements when routing cables between floors.

As always, individuals should refer to the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to determine all applicable codes, but in most cases, new construction within the United States will be required to follow the International Building Code (IBC), Uniform Building Code (UBC), or a variant of one of these. Assuming that one of these codes does apply to a project, it is important to point out changes to the sections regarding the penetrations of horizontal fire-rated assemblies that have occurred over time. These changes have introduced a number of new obstacles to navigate when designing or installing low-voltage cabling systems and ensuring that proper fire-resistive ratings have been met.

A thorough review of fire stop systems listed by Underwriters Laboratories® (UL®) and the systems’ requirements is outside the scope of this article; however, the ANSI/UL 1497 standard defines the criteria for hourly F and T ratings for listed fire stop systems. The F-rating criterion prohibits flame passage through the system and requires acceptable hose-stream test performance. The T-rating criteria prohibits flame passage through the system and requires the maximum temperature rise on the unexposed surface of the wall or floor assembly, on the penetrating item and on the fill material to not exceed 325°F (181°C) above ambient. It also requires acceptable hose-stream test performance.

Why F and T Ratings Matter

Prior to the 1997 editions of the IBC and UBC, an exception was often taken advantage of (either cognitively or not) by low-voltage designers and installers. This exception specifically allowed penetrations that were less than a nominal 4-inch pipe to be provided by a through-penetration fire stop system that did not require the T-rating be maintained. However, the 1997 editions of the IBC and UBC removed that exception, and a new requirement has taken its place. This new requirement can be found in each of the subsequent versions up to and including the latest printing. For example, Section 712. of the 2006 edition of the IBC states, “Through penetrations shall be protected by an approved through-penetration fire stop system installed and tested in accordance with ASTM E 814 or UL 1479, with a minimum positive pressure differential of 0.01 inch of water (2.49 Pa). The system shall have an F-rating and a T-rating of not less than one hour but not less than the required rating of the floor penetrated.”

It would appear that this is a small change from one version of the code to another; however, it can be fairly significant if not addressed at the early stages of design. As previously noted, the criteria for the T-rating requires the maximum temperature rise on the unexposed surface of the wall or floor assembly, on the penetrating item and on the fill material not to exceed 325°F (181°C) above ambient. That means that for at least one hour, the underneath side of the system is exposed to a flame and the other side must not reach these limits. This is a fairly significant fact given the types of pathways, cables and their construction typically found in low-voltage systems. Many of these items are constructed with metallic members or conductors, such as copper twisted-pairs, shielding and armored cables, as well as conduit sleeves and metallic protective devices. Metallic members are generally great conductors of heat, which can translate to an unacceptable temperature rise to meet the requirements of the building codes. This isn’t to say that it is impossible to route metallic cables between floors and meet the requirements of the code, but it is important to recognize the issue before it is too late.

Meeting F and T Rating Requirements

The first step in addressing these issues is to verify if there is an F and T rating to the floor. If the floor is rated, a method for getting cables from floor to floor will need to be determined. There are three main ways to address this issue, each of which may have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the situation:

§         Firestop Systems—The first potential solution would be to review the available UL-listed systems for those that have been tested for the floor assembly being penetrated, including all the cables to be installed and meeting or exceeding both the required F and T ratings. Over time, new products by various manufacturers have been introduced with more are being introduced every day that make this method easier and more attractive. However, using fire stop systems can be difficult to accomplish in projects where the exact cabling hasn’t been established or where there is a desire to allow future changes to be made without jeopardizing the fire stop ratings by adding cables that have not been tested or listed as part of the system being installed. In some cases, the penetrating items may be of sufficient size and contain enough metallic content that finding a system that meets the requirements of the T-rating could be nearly impossible. To add to the difficulty, some systems utilize different materials as protection for the cabling, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) conduit sleeves or other non-metallic devices that may cause issues or violate other code requirements. An example of this might be where the penetration enters into a raised floor or other air handling space where having a non-plenum device or material would not be allowed according to the NEC and other building codes.

§         Conduit Distribution—A second method would be to provide a conduit system to route the low-voltage cable, which is similar to that provided for a typical electrical distribution. This method would take advantage of another exception to the aforementioned building codes, allowing the penetrations to occur without the need for a listed system. The only requirement would be to fill the annular space around the conduits at each penetration. In certain cases, this method may be attractive, but in others, it may not be due to cost or not being flexible enough. Depending on the distribution requirements, it may be difficult to determine where or if the cables may exit the conduit system at any point and still be considered a part of a conduit system. This method would need to be reviewed and discussed based on the AHJ’s requirements s and the specific project needs.

§         Building a Shaft—The third and final method for meeting the code is the most attractive in many cases. This method requires some additional construction considerations, but it greatly reduces complications when routing cables between telecommunications rooms (TR) on different floors. This method requires the rooms to be stacked and have the walls built to shaft construction, allowing the floors within the shaft to no longer require any ratings and significantly decreasing the complexity of running backbone cables. Often, a simple slot in the floor can be provided, which allows significant flexibility for the future. At first glance, rating all the walls of a TR to form a shaft may seem like an added expense, but typically, one or more of the walls are already rated because they tend to be adjacent to corridors and/or elevator shafts. This method is not only attractive in the sense that it can alleviate some of the issues with fire stopping, but it also creates a central stack of TRs to make routing cables much simpler. The downside is the added expense for the HVAC system by potentially requiring fire-smoke dampers, adding fire rated doors and adding fire stops to walls where cables exit the room. Depending on the number of floors and TRs involved in a project, this method can have minimal impact if coordinated in the early stages of design. Leveraging adjacencies to other rooms or spaces that would otherwise require rated construction could also serve to reduce unnecessary costs.

Before designing or installing a structured cabling system in a multistory building, consider this information as a guide to an acceptable method for routing cables between floors while maintaining code-required fire ratings.

Brian Hancock, RCDD, is a senior technology specialist at Henderson Technology Group, a division of

Henderson Engineers, Inc. that focuses on specialty system design and consulting in Lenexa, Kansas. Brian can be reached at

Reprinted with permission from BICSI News


Shielded Cabling - The Better Choice for Current and Future Applications

One advantage to using a fully shielded cable like category 7A is the ability to deploy cable sharing—the use of a single cable for multiple applications. Because a category 7A shielded cable includes four fully shielded pairs, the cable can actually be split to support up to four applications at one work area location.

By Robert Carlson - is a vice president for Siemon in Watertown, CT. He can be reached at .

In various environments from health care and industrial to enterprise LANs and data centers, high-speed links, IP convergence, power over Ethernet (PoE), density and noise interference are significant factors facing today’s ITS designer.  Accordingly, future standards are looking at shielded cabling technology—the better option to support tomorrow’s higher data rates and advanced technologies.

Higher Data Rates

New and emerging standards are recommending copper and optical fiber cabling capable of supporting a minimum of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). This advanced network performance is recommended due to the vast amount of information and higher file sizes associated with today’s LANs and data centers. Looking at today’s complex digital images, like 3D modeling used in mechanical design or diagnostic images used in health care, one can see concrete justification for deploying 10 GbE. Assuming best case data throughput, a raw image sized at 30 Gb takes just 24 seconds to transmit over a 10 GbE network but can take as long as 40 minutes to transmit over a 100 megabit (Mb) Ethernet network (see Table 1).

Network Speed

Transmission time for 30 GB

10GBASE-T (10 Gb)

24 seconds

1000BASE-T (1 Gb)

240 seconds (4 minutes)

100BASE-T (100 Mb)

2400 seconds (40 minutes)

Table 1: Time to transmit a 30 GB raw image

Furthermore, advanced network performance is required in the data center to transmit and store the ever increasing amount of electronic information critical to daily business operations. Businesses are looking more at reducing the total cost of ownership rather than upfront deployment costs, and installing the highest performing cabling upfront allows for the longest possible life cycle and least potential need for replacement.

IP Convergence and PoE

Today’s businesses encompass a multitude of applications, and IP convergence is starting to take hold as more life safety systems, security systems and building automation systems (BASs) and devices are able to communicate over IP networks. This is creating the need for higher density networks and the potential for congested cabling pathways.

As the number and variety of devices using IP increases, power over Ethernet (PoE) is becoming commonplace to deliver power over network cabling to many of these devices, including wireless access points (WAPs), telephones, thermostats, radio frequency identification (RFID) readers, security cameras and access card readers.

Ratified in September 2009, the IEEE 802.3at-2009 PoE standard, known as PoE Plus, provides up to 25.5 watts (W) of power. PoE Plus has paved the way for many power hungry devices to be powered over network cabling, including pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras, biometric sensors, door locks and laptop computers. Unfortunately, the higher power delivered by PoE Plus causes a temperature rise within the cabling, which can result in increased insertion loss that negatively impacts network performance. 

Interference Concerns

Some environments can potentially involve high levels of electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI) that can interrupt or degrade the transmission of information over the network. Cables supporting data transmission in these types of areas may require appropriate isolation to reduce the effects of EMI. Furthermore, as the number of WAPs increases in conjunction with wireless network speeds, there is the potential for increased levels of RFI. Distributed antenna systems (DASs) for cellular phone service, RFID systems and other systems also can cause RFI.

The Shielded Cabling Answer

Many of the cabling challenges surrounding today’s higher speeds and advanced applications can be easily avoided by using shielded cabling technology.

§         Provides superior network performance—When it comes to providing the advanced network performance recommended for today’s LANs and data centers, shielded systems provide much more headroom than unshielded systems because of superior crosstalk and external noise immunity and support for higher signal-to-noise margins. Unlike unshielded cabling, the physical robustness of the shield virtually eliminates the potential for alien crosstalk to be introduced into the system and degrade network performance. Using shielded cabling eliminates the need for time-consuming field testing for alien crosstalk, which speeds deployment and saves time and money. As network speeds continue to increase, only fiber or fully shielded systems like class F (category 7) and class FA (category 7A) will be able to support network speeds beyond 10 Gb. These systems enjoy the longest life cycle of any copper cabling available.

§         Facilitates work area density—To support the multitude of applications made possible by IP convergence, work areas and pathways require higher density. One advantage to using a fully shielded cable like category 7A is the ability to deploy cable sharing—the use of a single cable for multiple applications. Because a category 7A shielded cable includes four fully shielded pairs, the cable can actually be split to support up to four applications at one work area location. Using a variety of 1, 2 and 4-pair patch cord options, the fully shielded design supports a variety of application combinations, such as two 10/100 Mb Ethernet connections, two VoIP phone connections or four CATV video feeds. This cost effectively supports higher work area density, eliminating the need to deploy one cable for every connection and significantly reducing pathway congestion. Cable sharing is not possible with unshielded cable.

§         Better dissipates heat for PoE—With PoE and PoE Plus causing temperatures to rise within the cabling and resulting in increased insertion loss, it makes sense to choose cabling systems that are better able to dissipate that heat. To address the issue of rising temperature in the cabling environment, standards specify a temperature dependent derating factor to determine the maximum horizontal cable distance at temperatures above ambient 20°C (32°F). However, the derating adjustment made for unshielded cabling allows for a much greater insertion loss. On the other hand, shielded cabling systems have a more stable transmission at elevated temperatures, reducing the need for shorter channels (see Figure 2). With shielded cabling better able to support PoE Plus for cameras, magnetic door locks and other security and building automation devices, it is therefore easier to support facilities deploying IP convergence.

§         Provides EMI/RFI immunity—Optical fiber cabling provides EMI/RFI immunity, but it is not typically deployed in the horizontal cabling pathways due to its higher equipment costs and inability to support PoE applications.  When it comes to cost-effective copper cabling systems, only shielded cabling offers EMI/RFI immunity. In fact, screened and fully shielded cables offer 100 to 1,000 times the immunity protection from electric fields than unshielded cables offer. This is critical in environments like industrial and health care that experience high EMI/RFI. As facilities increase the use of RFI-causing wireless applications, the use of shielded cabling becomes even more essential.

Reprinted with permission from BICSI News


Benchmarking Income and Expense Data Helps Buildings Perform Better

(WASHINGTON—March 15, 2011) Benchmarking is one of the most important ways to improve performance in commercial buildings, helping building managers track operational indicators, identify trends and target areas that need improvement. With owners, investors and tenants all scrutinizing the bottom line more closely, tracking building performance is more critical than ever.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International’s Experience Exchange Report® (EER) is the most comprehensive resource for financial performance information on private and public office buildings in the U.S. and Canada. It includes both national analysis of real estate markets and city market-level reports, as well as reports for special use facilities, such as medical office buildings, corporate facilities and financial buildings. Widely used throughout the industry for more than 90 years, the report helps building owners and managers compare performance, market their buildings to prospective tenants, justify their budgets to stakeholders, perform due diligence and more.

BOMA International collects actual income and expense values annually through the EER Online Survey, available at  Once the survey is complete and closed, BOMA aggregates the data into reports that present the average, median, upper and lower quartiles of key office building income and expense measures, such as office rents, retail rents, utilities, cleaning, repairs/maintenance and other key expenses. Any office building with office occupancy greater than 70 percent can participate in the survey, which is free.  Submitters also receive a number of benefits for participating, including discounts on EER market reports, once the new study is published in June. The more office buildings that submit, the more useful the data is for property professionals, economists and other industry analysts, as wider data sets generally confer more reliable analysis. The 2011 EER Survey is open through March 31.

The income and expense market-level data collected through the EER survey was used to develop BOMA’s recent Economic Impact Study, The Contribution of Office Outlays on the U.S. and State Economies in 2009, which shows the broad impact of commercial real estate on the nation’s economy. This report, based on EER data, presents a comprehensive economic “calling card” for local, state and Federal lawmakers to understand the impact commercial real estate has on our nation’s economy . For example, according to BOMA’s Economic Income Report, more than one million jobs are directly supported by office building operations

“Whether comparing cleaning costs, performing due diligence or preparing to enter a new market, property professionals rely on data in the EER to help gauge their performance and refine their management strategy,” remarked BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P.  “The quality of the data is directly proportional to the number of people who share their data with BOMA. Because the industry relies on the EER, it’s critically important that we all submit our data.”

“We’re asked throughout the year how our budget compares to other buildings in our market and we turn to the data in the EER to answer that question,” says Transwestern’s Central Region Senior Vice President Karrie McCampbell. “The information we get from the report is really valuable and we use it all year long. It is the industry standard and people recognize the fact that it’s the tool you should use to compare your property’s performance.”

The 2010 EER, with data from 2009, contains data from more than 768 million square feet across 4,200 buildings in 250 markets. A partnership with industry research firm Kingsley Associates brought the report online in 2008, which allows users to query data by market, submarket, building size, building type, age of the building and ownership type. Individual building data is kept in the strictest confidence and only aggregate, market-level data is published.

To learn more about the EER, the EER survey and to submit your data, visit


About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the web at


BOMA International Celebrates 2011 World Water Day with 10 Tips for Water Conservation

(WASHINGTON—March 17, 2011) In honor of the 2011 International World Water Day, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International has compiled a list of ten tips to help commercial real estate professional conserve water in their buildings. Held annually on March 22, the goal of International World Water Day is to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Each year, the event focuses on a specific theme; this year’s theme is Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge.

“Because office buildings make up a large part of the built environment in cities around the globe, reducing water usage in commercial properties can have a substantial environmental impact,” remarked BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P. “By implementing some of these easy tips, property professionals will help make buildings more green and sustainable worldwide.”

Here are just a few ideas to help property professionals reduce water usage in their buildings:

1.       Benchmark water consumption through ENERGY STAR®

2.       Use a broom to clean driveways or sidewalks

3.       Landscape with perennial plants

4.       Install aerators in bathroom and break room sinks

5.       Install low-flow toilets and urinals

6.       Monitor activities with sensors, such as motion-sensor faucets

7.       Reduce water pressure

8.       Reset hot water thermostats to the lowest setting possible

9.       Turn off hot water heaters while building is unoccupied

10.   Harvest rainwater for landscaping

For more information, visit


About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the web at


Virginia Tech fined $55,000 related to shooting

Mass Notification no longer an option in public safety on campus.

ECMAG was out there with early information on this issue.

See news item and the two ECMAG articles included.

The U.S. Department of Education has fined Virginia Tech $55,000 for waiting too long to notify students during a 2007 shooting rampage.

The amount was the maximum fine Tech faced for two violations of the federal Clery Act, which requires timely reporting of crimes on campus.

In announcing the fine Tuesday, department officials said the violation warranted a fine “far in excess” of $55,000. Violations and fines are rare, with only a few dozen over the past two decades.

Can School Disasters Still Happen?

by Frank Bisbee
Published: February 2009



Putting safety first with mass notification

On March 4, 1908, at the Lake View School in Collinwood, Ohio, 172 students and three adults died in the largest life-loss school fire in U.S. history. At the 13th annual National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) meeting in 1909, then-president C.M. Goddard addressed the event.

“We have done valuable work in formulating standards, but this is not enough,” Goddard said. “We must secure the adoptions of these standards. We must begin a campaign of education of the public.”

Casey C. Grant, P.E., program director for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, said professionals must do what they can to prevent such accidents.

“It’s up to us to remain vigilant and continue our untiring efforts to make sure that such a tragedy will never happen again,” he said.

According to the NFPA, in 2007, public fire departments attended 1,557,500 fires, and 530,500 occurred in structures. Every 20 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. A fire occurs in a structure every 59 seconds, and, in particular, a residential fire occurs every 76 seconds.

In the world of education, threats come in many forms, not just fire, but also weather, crime and even terrorism. Many technology solutions not previously available are being used to alert the faculty, staff members and students.

Campus mass notification system

The goal should be building a flexible system using existing infrastructure that easily supports future expansion and implements mass notification systems (MNS) in a campus environment. The 2007 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, includes provisions for fire alarm systems to accommodate MNS.

Note that a new NFPA Technical Committee on Emergency Communications Systems has been formed to further develop requirements for these systems. The next edition of NFPA 72 is expected to include significant revisions, including a new technical chapter providing mandatory requirements.

And this is ready to be put to use. Nearly every college in the United States has examined or is examining its ability to notify students and employees of danger. Some state legislatures have passed laws requiring their schools and universities to implement reliable and comprehensive mass notification systems. The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 requires all post-secondary institutions to make timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that pose an ongoing threat to students and employees. Above and beyond legislation, those involved in public safety have a moral and ethical obligation to provide the safest possible environment for students and employees.

One valuable lesson gleaned from our experience is to keep all processes as simple as possible. Generally speaking, the more complex the process, the more things can go wrong. When many colleges were built, little thought was given to the need for timely mass notification and the need for lockdowns or evacuations. As a result, they have been playing catchup.

Convergence in action

MNS implementation would not be possible without an active partnership between the safety staff members and college or university IT departments. The staff should also have strong relationships with hardware vendors and software firms to create a dynamic infrastructure.

Announcements heard in large campus common areas, outdoors and on athletic fields present a bit more of a challenge. Many colleges broadcast voice over Internet protocol announcements over loudspeakers placed in the library, cafeteria, student activities areas and gymnasiums. Outdoor speakers and notification beacons may be mounted in the center of campus and other locations, such as athletic fields. The notification beacons can interface with external audiovisual devices, such as sirens, strobes, televisions and scrolling marquees. These features aid in getting the message to disabled and handicapped people.

Training is critical for all parties to react appropriately once the MNS is activated. Authorities should also be actively engaged with students, faculty and staff members in training sessions that cover their reaction to campus emergencies.

Future enhancements to the existing emergency notification suite of applications could involve instant communication with students, faculty and staff, using mobile phones and personal digital assistants. Many universities are looking into building systems where students can receive emergency text announcements over their mobile phones.

Safety is too important to ignore.

BISBEE is with Communication Planning Corp., a telecom and datacom design/build firm. He provides a free monthly summary of industry news on

Reprinted with permission from The Electrical Contractor Magazine Rated the number one publication in the industry.

Integrated Systems

Securing the Public

by Frank Bisbee
Published: September 2009



Low-voltage needs for public places

The demand for security and active life safety systems is growing because there is an expectation of safety in public places, and the new technology is less expensive than doing the job with “feet on the street.”

Crime, terrorism, fire and biological threats build a strong case for public places’ administrators to provide safe locations, especially considering the resultant damage and notoriety from having an unsafe history.

Recently, a Jacksonville, Fla., television station reported on the sheriff department’s crime statistics for a local shopping mall. The numbers were appalling. Theft, carjacking, rape, murder and kidnapping reports topped the totals for any other single public place in the area. The report included interviews with the shopping mall security department. Officials said that they are now implementing an extensive network of security cameras and a full-time central monitoring location on-site because “just hiring more guards is not enough.” Can you imagine the financial impact on sales from this kind of news? Whatever the new security system costs, it will be less than lost business.

There are several reliable resources for information on security challenge solutions. One is WESCO Communications Supply Corp. That company has spent thousands of dollars and man-hours putting together effective solutions and options for its customers (

Another resource is the trade organization, ASIS International—an association dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals worldwide. It defines the global scope of the security industry.

Who’s watching you?

Estimates and some surveys indicated that in 1998, a total of 2,397 surveillance cameras were operating in Manhattan; there were 75 in Times Square. In May 2000, one group located and mapped out 131 surveillance cameras in the same area. In September 2002, it returned to Times Square and—starting from scratch—located, mapped out and counted the surveillance cameras in operation. The findings were surprising. Times Square contained (at least) 258 surveillance cameras, twice the number spotted in 2000 and more than three times the number spotted by the group in 1998. In May 2005, 604 were counted in the same location.

That’s a 500 percent increase in five years. Today, there are more than 17,000 surveillance cameras in public places in Manhattan as a whole, an average of 12 cameras per city block.

The Department of Homeland Security has requested substantially more than $2 billion to finance grants to state and local governments for homeland security needs. Some of this money is being used by those state and local governments to create networks of surveillance cameras to watch the public in the streets, shopping centers, at airports and more.

Washington, D.C., continues to wrestle with the implementation of surveillance network. The district is attempting to build a system that would bring together thousands of city-owned video cameras, but district officials still don’t yet have the money to complete the network or the privacy rules in place to govern its use.

When finished, the district’s security system would conduct 24/7 monitoring of public camera systems run by nine departments. The first phase will bring together more than 4,500 cameras trained on schools, public housing, traffic and government buildings that will feed into a central command office in the Washington, D.C., Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. Hundreds of additional cameras will be added later.

By bringing all of these surveillance images to one department, district officials hope to improve public safety and emergency response times. The district surveillance system will have video analytics software that can alert operators to potentially dangerous events.

The large district surveillance system shows just how public security cameras have grown in use since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. By fall 2008, Washington, D.C., had installed approximately 5,600 security cameras, which is about triple the number it had in 2001.

Other cities have increased their use of public security cameras as well. New York plans to use a network of 3,000 public and private security cameras to monitor Lower Manhattan. Chicago had 2,250 cameras in its Homeland Security Grid, and that number has grown dramatically.

U.S. cities and federal government departments have varying regulations on the use of security cameras. The security sector is very much alive and growing, and smart electrical contractors are taking advantage and building these networks.

BISBEE is with Communication Planning Corp., a telecom and datacom design/build firm. He provides a free monthly summary of industry news on

Reprinted with permission from The Electrical Contractor Magazine Rated the number one publication in the industry.


Building Owners and Managers Take their Message Straight to Lawmakers

(WASHINGTON—March 17, 2011) Members of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International will bring their message to lawmakers around the country the week of March 20 as part of BOMA´s annual National Issues Conference. As part of an industry that supports one million jobs in the United States and contributes $118 million to GDP in office building operating outlays alone, BOMA members will meet with their Representatives and Senators to explain the critical role commercial real estate plays in a thriving economy and to gain support for key industry issues. Because of the new Congressional work schedule, the conference, which usually takes place in Washington, D.C., will be held locally around the U.S while lawmakers are in their home districts.

BOMA members will convene in local Congressional offices to outline BOMA’s 2011 legislative agenda. Key issues to be discussed include:

·         Leasehold depreciation. BOMA urges Congress to make permanent the 15-year timeline  for the depreciation of tenant improvements, which is set to revert back to 39 years at the end of the year. BOMA believes that a 15-year timeline more accurately reflects the reality of the marketplace as leasehold improvements typically don’t last longer than 15 years before they are replaced. Depreciating improvements over 39 years reduces investment in improvements that help foster productive economic growth.

·         Energy efficiency incentives. In February, the Obama Administration launched the Better Buildings Initiative, a new program that aims to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade through a series of incentives that BOMA supports, such as tax credits and improved financing. BOMA also calls on Congress to consider more robust conservation and demand side management tools, such as tax incentives, to address the growing energy challenge.

“The commercial real estate industry has a significant impact on the national and local economies and plays an important role in reducing our national’s carbon footprint,” commented BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P. “During the Local Edition of our annual National Issues Conference, we will be working with policymakers around the country to ensure that they understand the issues affecting our industry. We look forward to working together toward a more prosperous, energy-efficient future.”

For more information on BOMA International´s policy positions and the National Issues Conference, visit



THHN cable reduces labor and installation costs

Cerro Wire LLC, a leading manufacturer of copper electrical building wire and cable, now offers SLiPWire™, a thermoplastic high heat-resistant nylon-coated (THHN) cable jacketed with a self-lubricating polymer that provides an improved, lower co-efficient of friction. SLiPWire™ reduces the time, labor and cost for installation, eliminates the materials and labor needed for lubricating the wire, and avoids messy clean-up activities. Independent testing confirms that SLiPWire is equivalent to, or better than, competing products in the copper building wire industry.

Intertek Testing Services, an independent testing laboratory, observed a test pull conducted at Cerro Wire’s Ogden, Utah manufacturing facility, comparing SLiPWire with competing pre-lubricated THHN products.  Intertek verified that the methodology and setup for the test was very well designed to replicate a typical installation and that SLiPWire™ is every bit the equal if not better than other contenders in the industry.

SLiPWire™ also uses Cerro Wire’s True Sequential Footage™ technology, the only sequentially printed cable reel that provides accurate wire length with each cut. True Sequential Footage prevents the need to carry excess cable inventory, providing precision length, accurate footage, and cost control. It also uses Cerro Wire’s Max Print® identification system to quickly identify the size of the cable, which aids in selection, inspection and prevents costly errors.

Cerro Wire LLC, a leading manufacturer of copper electrical building wire and cable, supplies its products to wholesale electrical distributors and retail home improvement centers across North America. Cerrowire’s Electrical Distribution Division offers building wire for residential, commercial and industrial use. Our operating philosophy focuses on customer service, low cost operations, simplification and innovation. Our employees operate manufacturing and distribution facilities around the United States. Cerro Wire is a Marmon Wire & Cable/Berkshire Hathaway company.



Greenfield data centers represent an opportunity to nail down the best facility design from the get-go, but if any mistakes are made the consequences could be dire. 

You need to read  very carefully.

The data centre is at the forefront of two of the biggest forces affecting information and communications technology (ICT): the shift to cloud computing, and skyrocketing energy costs.

Added to this is a growing awareness of the environmental impact of ICT, and pressure for data centres to go green. This is a multifaceted phenomenon; with economic, technological, and cultural tends aligning to ensure that tomorrow’s data centres have the highest environmental standards.

“Many data centres were designed years ago to last decades, but the technology inside of them doesn’t have that lifespan,” says Chris Pratt, strategic initiatives executive, IBM Canada Ltd. “As a result, some of the older concepts around data centre design have put people in a corner.”

This has forced many enterprises to face tough decisions regarding whether to renovate, rebuild, or move processing to the cloud, where outsourcers are able to deliver cutting edge technology.

Not all organizations are up for a wholesale move to the cloud, and given that there are numerous mid-size enterprises that are not ready to invest in state-of-the-art, Greenfield data centres, it is important first to assess legacy options.

 “Not everyone needs to start from the ground up,” says Darin Stahl, lead research analyst at Info-Tech Research.  In fact, Stahl says that in the past two years many inefficient data centres have already been thoroughly assessed, with investments having been made to render them more efficient and environmentally responsible.

“There has been a lot of looking at facilities and saying ‘This doesn’t make sense,’ with 2008 having been a big year for technology refreshes,” says Stahl. “In fact, project approval and execution went in to 2009 — it didn’t turn off once it was funded.”

However, this means that when it comes to existing data centres much of the low hanging fruit has already been picked. Administrators know the value of optimizing air flow by having closed cabinets with rear venting, and much has been addressed with regard to virtualization and storage consolidation, as well as improving power management and accelerating the hardware refresh cycle.

The challenge is that some of these changes, by increasing computing density and power draw, then put added pressure on enterprises to find more ambitious green solutions for the long haul.

Climbing the tree: Moving up from the so-called low hanging fruit, and perhaps making the decision to migrate to the cloud, requires a strategic view that includes many stakeholders. Given that power is now a major determinant, the shift to a green data centre — whether proprietary, or as part of an outsourced or co-location agreement — involves input from experts in ICT, facilities, and even policy.

“If there is a change today it is that a growing number of people realize that no one person, or even one company, can build a data centre,” says John Bakowski, a career telecom professional and former president of BICSI. “There are things to consider now that we never would have dreamed of 10 years ago.”

These new concerns have a direct effect on cabling systems, just as newer approaches to cabling can have repercussions for other systems.

“Cabling is a significant factor,” says Bakowski. “More and more people realize that it has to be harmonized as one part of a larger puzzle, because more fiber is going into data centres, with bigger networks. There is a dramatic increase in fiber cabling and pre-terminated copper.”

Where a data centre used to have big boxes with a few cables, it now has smaller boxes drawing greater power and a lot more cables. Often, tied in with this is a converged network strategy that leverages 10 gigabit Ethernet, which is easier to manage and results in lower capital costs than fiber channel. Suddenly, the increased physical presence of cables poses a problem.

“Cables tend to build huge dams for air flow,” says Bakowski. “I have seen some very creative ways to address airflow that can deliver a huge amount in power savings, but you need a professional engineer to oversee the whole project.”

Whether the cables are overhead or in a subfloor, the focus needs to be on how the configuration helps meet the overall objective of a green data centre.

Central to this is an understanding that the facility needs to be not only environmentally sound, it also needs to get the job done. This means using advanced cabling and power options to increase choice from a computing perspective.

“One newer development is a bus duct solution,” says Joe Oreskovic, strategic accounts manager for Eaton Power Quality in Toronto. “Rather than run individual circuits from a panel board, with each rack having a couple of circuits, on top of the racks there can be a bus running the length of the row – you might have a 400 amp or a 600 amp bus, and then pull 30 or 60 amps as needed.”

Putting the power above then improves availability and ease of use, which makes it simpler for IT to meet business objectives.

In some cases this reconfiguration can be part of a data centre conversion, but often it results in people seriously considering going with entirely new infrastructure.

“It is the sheer need for power that is forcing people to build Greenfields,” says Oreskovic. “With the new configuration, if someone needs 10 times more power, all they have to do is change the tap box.”

It is true that within a legacy environment modest renovations can optimize airflow into hot/cold aisles, and innovations like flywheel-based UPS systems can deliver a defensible ROI.

However, once the discussion turns to a complete revamp of power supply, and options like liquid cooling, it is time to consider a brand new, Greenfields facility.

Greenfields forever: According to The Uptime Institute, a professional services and standards organization that focuses on data centres, operational sustainability requirements increase in direct correlation to construction investments.

 The Institute defines four tiers of data centres, with the criteria stressing power redundancy as the main route to high availability. At the top tier all cooling equipment is independent and dual powered — and to get there many experts think liquid cooling is a must, because the power draws are going through the roof.

“10 years ago we had racks with 5 kilowatts of power consumption,” says Pratt “and people said that if you put 15 to 20 kilowatts on a rack it would spontaneously combust. Now with some of the new technology there are installations in Canada with well-utilized, well-virtualized racks able to draw 75 kilowatts.”

Increased power draw does not necessarily represent inefficiency; it can simply be a reflection of the impressive computing capabilities that come off of virtualized servers. The simple fact of the matter; however, is that for this level of sophistication to be environmentally responsible new facilities are often required.

“We are seeing an enormous amount of additional workload with these more efficient units,” says Pratt. “And with this increase we have to allow for weight density, with floor loading then becoming an issue. As well, when you get to 75 kilowatts — there is even discussion of 150 kilowatts — then a data centre simply has to be liquid cooled.”

Liquid cooling can be introduced to just about any data centre, but much like power supply, it makes more sense to have a centralized delivery system, which usually requires a design from the ground up. According to Stahl at Info-Tech, two exciting and complimentary data centre technologies are earth tubes, which are usually air-based, and radiating tubes for liquid cooling.

“Earth tubes are pipes that are put in channels deep into the earth,” he says. “In the summer the air can be cooled this way, and in the winter it can be pre-warmed before bringing it back into the HVAC system.”

Radiating tubes, by comparison, are embedded in the building walls. From there the liquid coolant, a mixture of glycol and water, runs through the tubes to help cool the data centre. “From a facilities perspective, you can also take advantage of flat roofs, and use solar to help get through brown-outs during peak power periods,” says Stahl, who emphasizes that all of this can tie into a larger vision of building automation.

The data centre focus, for which the four tiers offered by The Uptime Institute is a good guide, can share an environmental focus with certifications such as Energy Star for computers and servers, and LEED for facilities.

A data centre is a building, too: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or “LEED”, is an increasingly popular green building rating system that functions as a third-party certification program for the design, construction and operation of what it calls “high performance green buildings”.

“Every LEED project is a standalone,” says Braden Kurczak, division head for green buildings at Enermodal Engineering in Kitchener, Ont. “You can’t really apply the identical strategies to all buildings, though some approaches make sense for all.”

One home grown example is Bell Canada, which will have a LEED Gold certified data centre up and running in Ottawa by late 2012. According to the company, that will help put it in the top 2% of North American data centres for effective power use. But LEED is only one part of the puzzle.

“The LEED rating system will not deal with the actual operations of the data centre,” cautions Kurczak who, like Bakowski, emphasizes the importance of a holistic view.  “Data centres have different energy footprints. To build energy savings we need to know what is driving demand hour by hour, and in a data centre that means taking into account issues like virtualization and free cooling.”

For Kurczak, a Greenfields data centre represents an opportunity to nail down the best facility design from the get-go, but it also includes the risk of making mistakes that could have permanent consequences.

“Given that there is no such thing as a standard practice, and you are only going to design the building once, you have to think in terms of value engineering,” says Kurczak. “What costs are being cut, what are the embodied energy components, what are the agreed-upon metrics for a kilogram of concrete, a ton of steel?”

Some energy-saving building practices can at times appear extreme, even petty, but they simply prove the point that in order to be green and to run as efficiently as possible, today’s data centres have to take everything into account.

“In looking for ways to reduce friction from air flow under a sub floor or around a rack it can come down to what paint you are using,” says IBM’s Pratt. “More people are focusing on incremental changes from both a cost and a green perspective.”

Finding your community: The message that comes through loud and clear when assessing the merits of a green data centre, whether in the context or a renovation, Greenfields, or choosing a third part provider,  is that  one person cannot do it all. There are simply too many factors, and too many intersecting areas of expertise. Fortunately, a community of interest is easy to find.

“One thing that is unique to our industry, and that I like, is the extent to which people network,’” says Bakowski. “There are plenty of opportunities to share information.”

The list of influencers can be long. First, there are the power supply people, like Joe Oreskovic from Eaton. Then there are people with specific HVAC expertise, consultants of every stripe, and of course the technology providers. The providers are a great resource, though admittedly it can be hard to get the likes of Cisco, HP, Dell, Foundry and IBM in the same room. Patience is a must.

“I know all the hardware guys and I am sometimes breathless at what the technology can accomplish,” says Bakowski. “They know their stuff, and they also know that if they are running at 20% capacity they are doing quite well. They want to deploy on a much higher usage basis, but they need to address peaks and valleys.”

Now, the new frontier in the data centre is all about data management, monitoring, and analysis. Data centres, no longer single tenant monoliths, have racks with varying densities and power demands.

Building automation can support modular approaches to power management and flexible UPS systems. In this world, going green is a group effort.

“You can refresh a six year old server and see a benefit — a blind squirrel will still find a nut,” says Stahl.  “But if you approach green in an ad hoc way you are always leaving money on the table.”

All the stakeholders then benefit from awareness of the concerns of others. The cabling people should be able to discuss air flow and business agility. The hardware folks need to expand their concerns beyond storage, virtualization, and networking, and be ready for a discussion of power costs and floor stress.

And when thinking of water cooling, HVAC experts might want to consider that in the future they may be handling water that has been used to cool processors at the chip level.

As Stahl points out, “if you hit only low hanging fruit, the grief index will rise.”

And as data centres draw more and more power, with price volatility and the risk of power shortages making energy efficiency a critical business objective, going green is no longer a nice-to-have — it’s a must-do.   CNS

Tim Wilson is a freelance writer based in Peterborough, Ont. He can be reached via e-mail at

Reprinted with permission from CNS Magazine

CNS (Cabling Networking Systems) is published six times a year and delivered to qualified industry readers across Canada. Since its founding in 1998, the magazine has gained a reputation as a leading information source for individuals who purchase, design, specify, install, maintain, test and advise on structured cabling, premise wiring, networking and telecom products.

Primary Sources:

Editorial: Paul Barker:

Sales: Maureen Levy:
         Vince Naccarato:


Cooling, Power Management and Density: 3 Keys to a Greener, More Efficient Data Center

By Denis Blouin

Data centres (DCs) today are faced with three major efficiency and environmental issues. To achieve optimal efficiency and sustainability, they need to efficiently cool the IT load, manage the use of power, and optimize use of available space.  The end goal is to increase bandwidth density and maximize processing capacity, while minimizing the data center’s footprint – both spatially and environmentally – to reduce operational costs. 

The challenge is that these issues, although interrelated, often work against each other.  For example, as you increase the IT load with high-density equipment, you increase your power and cooling requirements — and your energy costs. A better line of attack is to take a systems approach.

To do this, you need to review your DC in terms of performance and efficient operation and then create a balance between center’s power, cooling and density needs with the goal of achieving optimum energy efficiencies and application/systems performance — and maximum output of your IT investment.  Let’s briefly examine how taking a systems approach to the triad of cooling, power management and density challenges can help to achieve the desired results.

Cooling.  Deployment of high-density IT equipment can push the average enclosure heat load into the 10-15Kw range, forcing a re-thinking of the traditional hot aisle/cold aisle concept. 

Poor separation between the supply of cold air and return of hot air has caused many DCs to be oversupplied with cold air — sometimes more than twice what is really needed. Yet, despite this oversupply, most DCs still experience “hot spots.” 

One viable solution for maximizing cooling efficiency is an adaptive heat containment and airflow management technology designed to eliminate cold air bypass to the cooling unit, and hot air recirculation to the cold aisle, by providing a high level of separation between supply air and return air.

This approach allows for full utilization of the existing cooling infrastructure, thereby eliminating the oversupply of cold air and its associated costs.

Better separation also provides the opportunity to raise supply air temperature which positively impacts cooling costs.

In addition, there are remote climate monitoring devices now on the market that can monitor and detect many environmental factors, including temperature, air flow, humidity, and air pollution. The peace of mind these devices can deliver make them well worth the investment.

Power Management. Typically, DC power usage has been applied to overhead as a necessary operating expense, much like the cost of the space.

However, escalating power costs have changed that mindset dramatically. A key step in lowering energy usage is the ability to understand how power is allocated. By using power distribution units (PDUs) with remote monitoring capability on equipment racks and cabinets, you enable a real-time assessment either at the circuit-level, or even better, at the receptacle-level of power usage and provide the opportunity to quickly correct any undesirable environmental changes that could increase the power draw.  Use of the innovative adaptive heat containment and airflow management technology cited above also reduces power usage by as much as 50%. These steps can make it possible to effectively measure, monitor and remediate environmental conditions in the DC to achieve an optimal power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio.

Density.  To increase processing capability in the existing space, DCs can deploy components designed specifically for high-density installations. These include space-efficient, high-port-density patch panels, plug-and-play pre-terminated cabling systems, and other connectivity components designed to conserve space and increase density.  Selection of copper and fiber cabling components offering higher bandwidth density, such as 10G copper and 40G+ fiber systems, maximize overall processing capacity while minimizing required space.

High-density modular rack and enclosure systems are now available that can deliver up to a 60% reduction in floor space requirements, while securely housing all required equipment and connectivity systems. 

And, to simplify installation, maintenance and management and of the DC cabling infrastructure, a best-in-class cable management system is highly recommended. 

When these three issues — cooling, power management, and density — are addressed simultaneously, the results can be measurable and quite significant.  As in many other areas of data centre installation, operation and maintenance, taking a greener “total systems” approach pays dividends in terms lower energy consumption and costs, coupled with higher efficiency, performance, and ROI.

Denis Blouin is a mechanical engineer and Program Manager for Data Centres at Belden.

Reprinted with permission from CNS Magazine

CNS (Cabling Networking Systems) is published six times a year and delivered to qualified industry readers across Canada. Since its founding in 1998, the magazine has gained a reputation as a leading information source for individuals who purchase, design, specify, install, maintain, test and advise on structured cabling, premise wiring, networking and telecom products.

Primary Sources:

Editorial: Paul Barker:

Sales: Maureen Levy:

          Vince Naccarato:


Enhanced Education and Exhibits sessions or E3, went over well at 2011 edition of the Winter Conference

From the 2011 BICSI WINTER CONFERENCE - Exhibit hall ‘buzzing’ in Orlando

By Peter Levoy

Another successful BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition in Orlando is complete.

Attendance was up compared to last year and the mood was generally upbeat when conversations turned to the economy.

It was great to meet and talk to many of the Canadian delegates during the week, but there were far fewer than in years past. This was probably due to the high Canadian participation at the BICSI Conference in Montreal last May.

The Exhibit Hall floor was buzzing with activity once again with many new solutions being showcased. Enhanced Education and Exhibits sessions or E3, where attendees were educated on new offerings to assist them with their day-to-day challenges, were filled to capacity.

Another highlight on the floor was the fourth annual BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge, showcased some of the industry’s best installers and technicians competing in several different competitions, with the winner hoisting a trophy and a check for $5,000.

The Annual Awards Banquet held a special moment for Canadians when Thomas Tang was named among the recipients of the Ray Gendron BICSI Cares Scholarship. He is the son of BICSI member Tony Tang, RCDD, and a student at the University of British Colombia.

There are many new and exciting things happening at BICSI including reduced costs on material and training; the development of new standards; a strategic marketing alliance with Cisco; and our newest Authorized Training Facility (ATF), Pearson Electrotechnology Center, in Lachine, Que.

We already have a number of Canadian Region Meetings scheduled in 2011 and we are working on adding more.

There is a Breakfast Club meeting also in the works. For those interested in a BICSI event in the West, there is a two-day Technical Education Summit scheduled in November, which will be just south of the border in Seattle, Wash.

To hear more and get caught up on the latest ITS trends and solutions offerings, please plan to attend one of the BICSI Region Meetings coming to city near you by visiting If you have ideas or topics that you would like to see covered in our meetings, please let me know.

If you are looking to train your employees to become BICSI-certified installers and technicians, we have a number of technical schools in Canada working to become BICSI Authorized Training Facilities.

The benefit to students and their employers is that they are graduates from well-respected technical schools, and they also leave the school with a globally-recognized professional designation.

One of Canada’s ATFs, the Lester B. Pearson School of Technology will be graduating students with BICSI certifications later in 2011. If you are interested in learning more about this, feel free to contact me.

I can put you in contact with the faculty at the school. Also on the technical school front, I am currently entering discussions with other technical schools who want to enjoy the benefits of having BICSI conduct Region Meetings at their institutions. Stay tuned for updates on this effort.

Upcoming Canadian Region Meetings: March 30, Moncton.; April 27, Lachine, Que.; May 17, Vancouver; Oct. 13, Calgary; Nov. 22, Mississauga.

As always, if you have questions or concerns feel free to contact me at   CNS

Peter Levoy, RCDD, is the Canadian Region Director of BICSI and the vice president of Channel Sales with Anixter Canada Inc.’s Enterprise Cabling Solutions division.

Reprinted with permission from CNS Magazine

CNS (Cabling Networking Systems) is published six times a year and delivered to qualified industry readers across Canada. Since its founding in 1998, the magazine has gained a reputation as a leading information source for individuals who purchase, design, specify, install, maintain, test and advise on structured cabling, premise wiring, networking and telecom products.

Primary Sources:

Editorial: Paul Barker:

Sales: Maureen Levy:
         Vince Naccarato:


TIA TR42 update

0GBASE-T apps, data centre best practices among topics discussed at recent meeting in San Diego. Paul Kish is Director, Systems and Standards at Belden

I recently attended the TIA cabling standards meetings held in San Diego, Calif. The location was a welcome break from the snow and cold temperatures that have inundated eastern Canada and the U.S. this winter.  While it is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to present some of the highlights from these meetings.

First, the TIA TR 42 engineering committee is broken up into several subcommittees that are responsible for developing and maintaining standards for Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling and Data Centers (TR 42.1), Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces (TR 42.3), Telecommunications Administration (TR 42.6), Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems (TR 42.7), Industrial Telecommunications Infrastructure (TR 42.9), Optical Fiber Systems (TR 42.11) and Optical Fibers and Cables (TR 42.12).

The key issues in each subcommittee are as follows: TR 42.1 reviewed and resolved ballot comments on draft TIA 942-A, “Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers.” The revised document will be issued for a 1st industry ballot.

A contribution from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs on “Green Data Centers development Best Practices” was reviewed in the subcommittee.

TR 42.3 reviewed and resolved ballot comments to draft 7 of TIA-569-C, “Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces Standard.”

A motion was approved unanimously to have the document released for a 2nd industry ballot. A report of the power separation task group was submitted and reviewed in the subcommittee.

This task group is addressing difficult issues on the subject of power separation guidelines for 10GBASE-T applications.

System test results reported by two different labs did not show any link failures when using second generation 10GBASE-T network interface cards (NICs) under worst case conditions. To date,  there is insufficient data to explain performance differences that have been observed between first and second generation NICs.

TR 42.6 approved a new project request to revise TIA-606-A, “Administration Standard”. The revised TIA 606-B standard will incorporate addendum 1, harmonize with ISO/IEC 14763-2-1 and consider new technologies.

Work has already started in a task group that is developing a new section on Automated Infrastructure Management System. The automated infrastructure management system can be software based, software and hardware based, and may include technology required to communicate infrastructure changes (e.g. pre-printed serialized bar codes, human readable text, RFID chip technology, electrical continuity contacts).

The estimated date for the revised administration standard to be approved for publication is March 2013.

TR-42.7 approved PN-3-0396-A-1 (TSB-190) “Guidelines on Shared Pathways and Shared Sheaths” and SP-3-0382-B-1 (568-C.4) “Broadband Coaxial Cabling and Components Standard” for publication after a final editorial review. TR 42.7 also reviewed and resolved ballot comments on SP-3-0383-B, (TIA 1183) draft 2.0.

This is a new standard under development that describes test fixtures and procedures for “balun-less” measurements of balanced components and systems, currently specified up to 1 GHz.

A revised draft 2.1 will be sent for a second 45-day SP ballot. Concurrently, a task group was formed as part of ballot resolution of TIA 1183 to investigate extending testing bandwidth using these fixtures up to 2.0 GHz.

TR 42.7 approved a Project Authorization Request (PAR) to develop next generation balanced cabling for data transmission higher than 10Gbps. The work will be divided among several task groups.  This work may form a recommendation for a new category of balanced twisted-pair telecommunications cabling and associated field testing requirements.

TR 42.9 reviewed and resolved ballot comments to draft 3 of TIA-1005-A, “Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Industrial Premises.” This draft contains more detailed information on Grounding and Bonding than the published TIA-1005 standard, including an illustration of a Star Grounding System.

A motion was approved to have draft 4 of the document released for industry ballot.

TR 42.11 received a contribution on a connector loss budget proposal for different channel grades. This proposal is based on allocating a statistical connector loss performance (instead of a fixed per mated pair loss) as a function of the number of mated pair connections. A straw poll indicated support for developing a TSB based on this proposal. TR 42.11 are also developing Addenda to TIA 568-C.0 and C.3 on array polarity and testing.

TR 42.12 is revising a number of FOTP documents. The subcommittee also reviewed liaison reports from ITU-T, IEC SC86A and ICEA. The most noteworthy work item is a newly formed task group that is investigating the impact of bend insensitive multimode fiber (BIMMF) on connector loss, numerical aperture, core size and bandwidth measurements. This subject has garnered a lot of attention recently in the industry. There is a lot more work that needs to be done and it may take up to a year to get all the answers.

As you can see from this brief overview, there are a lot of activities that are taking place in the TIA standards groups in order to introduce new technologies and in support of higher speed applications.                               CNS

Paul Kish is Director, Systems and Standards at Belden.
The information presented is the author’s view and
is not official TIA correspondence.


Leviton Opt-X Unity Fiber System allows for 40GbE to 100GbE migration

Leviton recently introduced the Opt-X Unity 40/100G Fiber System, a pre-terminated MTP system featuring new cable, connector, and termination technologies. The company says that for the first time, customers will be able to use a 24-fiber pre-terminated MTP system to transmit 100GbE speeds.

The Opt-X Unity system was unveiled at the 2011 BICSI Winter Conference in January, and is available through Leviton’s distribution network.

The Opt-X Unity system was designed specifically to meet IEEE 802.3ba requirements and new 100GBASE-SR10 and 40GBASE-SR4 equipment.

It allows for a straightforward migration path to 40G or 100G performance, and is backwards compatible with existing Gigabit or 10G networks. The system meets the tight optical cabling channel insertion loss (IL) requirements specified in the IEEE standard, from 2.6 dB for 10GbE to 1.9 dB for OM3 40/100GbE and 1.5 dB for OM4 40/100GbE.


Reprinted with permission from CNS Magazine

CNS (Cabling Networking Systems) is published six times a year and delivered to qualified industry readers across Canada. Since its founding in 1998, the magazine has gained a reputation as a leading information source for individuals who purchase, design, specify, install, maintain, test and advise on structured cabling, premise wiring, networking and telecom products.

Primary Sources:

Editorial: Paul Barker:

Sales: Maureen Levy:

          Vince Naccarato:


“Who You Gonna Call?” article from Connected World Magazine

Chemical-sniffing sensors and other ways your cellphone could (literally) be a life-saver.

By Bethanie Hestermann

According to 1980s pop culture, if there’s something strange in your neighborhood (or if there’s something weird and it don’t look good), who are you going to call? The Ghostbusters, of course—thanks to the iconic film released in 1984.

But in 2011 and beyond, you may not even need to take your phone out of your pocket the next time you’re in danger. The technologies being built in and around common cellphones and smartphones won’t necessarily rely on the user to take any action at all. Mobile phones will be equipped to sniff, sense, and alert you to precarious situations on their own. In fact, thanks to systems and technologies being developed today, your cellphone might someday save your life.

Sensors That Sniff

Mobile phones continue to get smaller and sleeker, but they also continue to become more and more functional. For those of us that are not cellphone manufacturers, the dichotomy is as puzzling as it is true. And while some may just be warming up to the idea that today’s phones have built-in GPS chips and accelerometers, to put it lightly: We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, for instance, is working on turning the standard smartphone into the equivalent of a bomb-sniffing dog partnered with a regional alert system, but for chemical threats instead of bomb threats. Stephen Dennis, the technical director of HSARPA (Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency), heads up the initiative called Cell-All, which aims to equip cellphones with personal-safety sensors capable of detecting deadly chemicals and sending warnings when appropriate.

Cell-All has focused on detecting airborne chemicals a person could realistically come across, ranging from common substances, such as carbon monoxide and anhydrous ammonia, to more deadly substances, such as sarin gas. After involving first responders and health-policy officials, Dennis says it was determined the No. 1 chemical problem facing the U.S. is carbon monoxide. He says the idea of having carbon-monoxide detectors in cellphones was extremely popular in test groups, and therefore seems to be economically feasible as an extension to a mobile phone—especially if the group can hit its target of adding only $1 to the upfront cost of devices.

The team has also targeted toxic industrial chemicals typical in North America, which can cause big problems in significant volumes. For example, Dennis says a chlorine spill is a very viable scenario in industrial settings, and the ability to detect chlorine gas in the area could save lives by alerting both the phone’s owner and authorities, depending on user settings and the severity of the situation.

The key to this system is to create a solution that is smart enough to determine the level of danger a person is being exposed to, based on the type and volume of gas the phone’s sensor detects, and then take the appropriate action. For instance, Dennis says, “We will come across chlorine and ammonia in cleaning products, so if someone is cleaning their home … you need to be able to detect that, not as an alarm to the emergency-operations center, but as noise in the system.”

Similarly, if you walk past an idling cab or enter a carbon-monoxide-intensive area such as an airport drop-off area, your phone shouldn’t behave as if it had detected a sudden and intense concentration of sarin gas. At this point in time, the algorithms to sort threat levels are being tested. “There’s an algorithmic component here,” says Dennis. “On each phone is some software that understands (the) sensor and can say all right for this sensor … what kind of background do I expect to be seeing at this location? It’s trying to understand the relevance of the reading at that point in time.”

Cell-All envisions a system that incorporates software at the emergency-operations center that takes information in and processes it based on factors such as the sensor’s location and the readings of other phone sensors nearby. Dennis says the software component needs to be able to recognize: ‘I’m getting a lot of readings from chlorine in this area,’ then determine: ‘Is this something I’d expect at this point or not?’

“If it’s a laundry mat, perhaps you would,” he says, “but if it’s a football stadium, probably not.” 

Bringing Cell-All to Market

Of course, miniaturizing chemical sensors and integrating them into cellphones is no easy task. The idea is consumers would opt-in to a service using their cellphone, therefore volunteering information that would become available to emergency-operation centers in the event of a chemical threat, toxic spill, or other substance emergency. This information would give authorities early indication of a brewing public crisis.

However, Dennis says the phones would probably not come in a mode ready to communicate with an emergency-operations center without the express permission and control of the individual that owns the phone.

“That (phone owner) would have to opt-in (and) read a disclaimer saying that they’re willing to provide information,” he says. “But that being the case, we are able, we think, to completely anonymize (make nameless) that reading from the phone. There would be no association between the phone that provided that reading and … the individual.”

Creating a sensor-rich network would be an important part of this puzzle. “We haven’t created some kind of black magic here,” says Dennis. “We really are going to take a hit in the accuracy of these sensors for shrinking them down. The hope is that we’re able to overcome that with the network effect of having many sensors (providing information).”

Dennis says the Cell-All team did a lot of research prior to beginning the initiative, including talking to the cellphone industry and the people who make chemical sensors, to get a clear idea of the feasibility and deployability of the idea.

The initial partners selected to take part in the initiative were NASA, Qualcomm, and Rhevision Technology. A year later, Cell-All was in its first round of prototypes, each of which was tested in a lab with preliminary work in open environmental detection. In phase two, miniaturization began to play a larger role, and the second generation of design will lead to about 80 prototypes for further evaluation and testing.

This summer, the team hopes to prove the efficacy of the prototypes in a number of scenarios, including toxic industrial-chemical spills from a rail car and spills inside of a building. If successful, Cell-All will move toward pilot deployment—potentially involving first responders—and from there, Dennis says it could take up to three years before the chemical-sensing solution becomes widely available.

Quake Sensors

Meanwhile, an army of expert seismologists, engineers, and computer scientists—including professors and students at Caltech (Calif. Institute of Technology)—are developing a seismic network that taps into the potential of people’s everyday cellphones to save lives by detecting earthquakes and sending out early warning alerts to both civilians and officials.

The CSN (Community Seismic Network) aims to gather streams of data from the accelerometers in participants’ mobile phones, as well as other low-cost sensors that can be placed within homes, schools, and businesses. The theory is, as soon as a group of sensors near a quake’s epicenter sense seismic shaking, the system, which operates in the cloud, would analyze the situation based on data it has received, and if necessary, send out warning messages ahead of the danger.

“This warning (system) can be used to save lives in a few ways,” says Professor K. Mani Chandy, deputy chair for education, Engineering and Applied Science Division at Caltech. “The obvious way is it gives you time to get under a table or protect yourself. But also the goal is to give utilities—electric utilities, water utilities, and gas utilities—as well as trains and elevators, information so they can go into protective mode before the intense shaking happens.”

Consider, for example, the ability to stop an elevator and open the doors so passengers can exit, to lift gates at fire stations so fire engines can get through, to slow down moving trains to less dangerous speeds, and to protect power transformers, all minutes before an earthquake hits. These seemingly simple steps could add crucial seconds to emergency responders’ reaction times, and prevent or abate disasters that could cost human life.

And while there are existing seismic networks run by the U.S. Geological Service, for instance, Chandy says these typically rely on expensive sensors that make it difficult to create network density. CSN believes its new type of network—one that relies on inexpensive sensors, including the accelerometers in cellphones—is a huge benefit. “If you can tap a cellphone, or if you can tap a $100 sensor that people can put in their house, we get much more dense data,” says Chandy. “With inexpensive sensors you can have many more units than if you had $3,000 sensors, which are just not affordable.”

Plus, as the number of sensors in a network increases, so does the level of detailed information that can be mined on a city-block-by-city-block basis. This could guide emergency services to where they are needed most, in addition to providing information about the underlying geology that can help assess future risks.

Preventing False Positives

The biggest hurdle for the CSN is fine tuning the system to avoid false alarms. After all, cellphones accompany us wherever we go—they jump when we jump, they accelerate and decelerate as we drive, and they sense the ground shaking as a train charges past. How is a simple accelerometer to decipher between our normal daily life and seismic activity?

Luckily, it’s not up to the accelerometer to decide. The sensors send necessary information to the CSN’s central computers, which process the data in the cloud. But it is up to the Caltech team to create a system capable of deciphering real earthquakes from false positives.

Chandy points out, “A cellphone … is moving all the time. You don’t want to get all that information sent to the cloud-computing server; it’s far too much information and most of it is irrelevant. What we’d like to do is send information only when software on the phone detects what it thinks is an anomaly.”

So what’s an anomaly? The CSN team is tracking a ton of data from volunteers to determine what’s “normal” versus what’s out of the ordinary. Then, Chandy says, it’s a matter of identifying patterns and singling out anomalous incidences. By aggregating information from hundreds of thousands of sensors in an area, the team believes the system will be able to accurately recognize an earthquake from an aerobics session.

While it may take awhile before the system is ready, the team is being conservative because the stakes are high. “Utilities suffer substantial cost if, say, they shut down part of the power grid due to a false alarm. So we have to be very careful of false alarms,” Chandy says. “We’re hoping by 2012 we’ll be able to demonstrate really good accuracy in the system.”

In the case of other preventative actions, however, deployment may come more quickly because the cost of false positives is not nearly as high. For instance, in the event of a false alarm, holding elevators at a floor with the doors open, or lifting fire-engine doors, would be of little consequence. But Chandy says, like any other science and engineering research program that impacts society, they must exercise caution as they move forward.

“The last thing you want to do is give too many false alarms,” he says. “It just gets everybody’s anxiety high without doing much good,” Chandy says.

If all goes well with the CSN, other community-based sensing initiatives that rely on the pervasiveness of cellphones and other handheld devices may follow. In the future, we could see similar programs to help detect floods, wildfires, and many other types of natural disasters.

Mobile Alert System

Cellphones will soon be able to sense danger for themselves, but they can also be portals through which third parties can send geographically targeted information in public-risk situations. The federal government, in conjunction with wireless carriers such as Sprint, is developing a solution that will broadcast emergency alerts to cellphones in affected areas, be it nationwide or county-wide.

According to Michael Fingerhut, government affairs director for Sprint, today’s technology landscape is ideal for extending the benefits of the national EAS (Emergency Alert System), which broadcasts alerts to TVs and radios, to cellphones in the form of new technology called CMAS (Commercial Mobile Alert System). Thanks to the pervasiveness of mobile devices and the widespread enablement of broadband and 3G digital technologies, Fingerhut says the undertaking is more feasible today than ever before.

CMAS is part of the larger IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) infrastructure being developed in response to the WARN (Warning, Alert, and Response Network) Act, which was passed by Congress in 2006. The emergency-preparedness technology will allow public-safety and government agencies to create alerts and have them sent to those who are most at risk during an emergency—those closest to it.

Fingerhut says the FCC has specified three types of alerts for CMAS: presidential, imminent threat, and AMBER, which can be configured to broadcast to phones near a specific latitude/longitude coordinate, within a defined radius of a lat/long point, or within a specific county. The alerts may encompass emergencies such as terrorist attacks, school shootings, abductions, and hurricanes, among other crises.   

The ability to quickly and easily alert people in an impacted area via 90-character text messages is not only convenient, but potentially life-saving. “The problem with sending text messages or emails out during a high-level disaster is the systems would be overloaded,” says John Davis, design engineer for Sprint. “The overhead used in broadcast messaging is so very little, that you’d still be able to get these messages out in a very quick fashion. This (CMAS technology) is the best way to inform people of a situation in a broad area in the shortest amount of time.”

Consider events such as the 2007 school shooting at Virginia Tech, during which, Davis says, there was no effective method of spreading an emergency message around campus. The ability to extend broadcast emergency messages to the No. 1 device people carry with them could reduce the impact of a crisis simply by spreading critical information.

Enabling CMAS

The journey an alert takes from message creation to arrival on a handset must take less than six minutes as mandated by the FCC, says Davis. Here’s how it will work: An alerting authority—local police force, environmental agency, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), etc.—creates the alert using IPAWS-compliant origination software, sends it to a federal alert gateway, which validates and approves the message before sending it to wireless providers to disseminate to subscribers.

Davis says once Sprint or another carrier receives the alert, it is injected into the BMC (Broadcast Message Center), a connected solution provided by Alcatel-Lucent, which serves as the secure interface between CMAS and the carriers’ networks. “The BMC figures out ‘okay here’s where the (affected) area is, here are all the cell towers in that area,’ and then the message is sent down to the switch level of the network,” says Davis. “Then that single message will be announced at every cell tower within the defined area; any user’s phone that’s registering on one of these cell towers will get the message.”

Alcatel-Lucent says its solution translates geotargeted areas to network nodes/elements, including mobile switching centers, radio network controllers, base station controllers, and cell, sector, and broadcast zones. BMC is capable of retransmitting, updating, and cancelling alerts, while displaying the status of active alerts on a Web portal.

While CMAS is similar to emergency alerts broadcast on television, the added advantage of the new technology is its flexible targeting of messages to reach the right people within well-defined areas. Alerts will be free to end users, and an opt-out option will be available for two of the three alert categories. Presidential alerts will not be able to be turned off. 

Fingerhut says the largest wireless carriers have already opted in to the program, meaning 97% of the population will be within reach of CMAS alerts once the system is ready for deployment. The deadline is April 2012, but Sprint hopes to beat the FCC’s deadline by beginning tests during the first half of this year. Last summer, Sprint and the California Emergency Management Agency led the way by deploying the system as a proof-of-concept trial in San Diego.

Davis stresses the technology will only work on handsets going forward; it will not be possible to update the software on older handsets. While no special hardware component needs to be built into mobile phones in preparation for CMAS, further development needs to take place on the messaging clients inherent to devices’ software before they can accept the messages. For cellphone users with hearing or vision disabilities, the FCC says text-based CMAS alerts will also include a vibration cadence and audio attention signal.

While many among us swear our cellphone is a “life-saver,” what we really mean is it keeps us entertained when our flight has been delayed and feeds us sports scores while we’re at weddings. But in the next few years, cellphones may become life-savers in a much more literal sense—by detecting chemicals faster than our noses, by sensing earthquakes before the shaking reaches us, or by delivering critical information that can direct us away from harm. Remember when the game “Snake” was the coolest thing a cellphone could do? Welcome to the next tech generation.

So you’ve downloaded Angry Birds, Facebook, and Pandora … but can any of these apps turn your mobile device into a life-saving tool? That’d be a stretch. Here are some apps that can.


This 99-cent iPhone app offers real-time feedback for conducting CPR, empowering anyone to learn and practice so they can be ready when the seconds really count. PocketCPR uses the device’s accelerometer to measure the rate and depth of compressions, while providing live instruction to push faster or slower, harder or softer.

Just download the app, place your phone between your hands and practice CPR movements. The technology is capable of accurately detecting the depth of chest compressions. PocketCPR will remind you to call for help and to provide ventilations after it senses 30 chest compressions. The technology is the same as that used in the dedicated PocketCPR, an FDA-cleared device for use in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. The app version, at this point in time, is intended only for training purposes. Find more at


Another accelerometer-based app, CRADAR, is a “man-down application” that runs on any Android phone. The free app senses when you’ve fallen, then monitors your movement (or non-movement) for 30-120 seconds, depending on your user preference. If it determines you could be hurt, the app will send a text message with your GPS location to an emergency contact informing them you may be in trouble.

CRADAR defines a problem situation if, after a fall, you don’t move at least 8 feet within the specified time period. After a fall, your phone will start ringing and vibrating and a timer will begin counting down. If you move more than 8 feet or indicate you are okay by tapping the “I’m OK” button, the alert will be cancelled. If neither occurs the app will send your coordinates to someone that can find and help you. For more information, visit


This iPhone and Android app is not just a symptom checker, but a nationwide directory of all U.S. hospitals, urgent-care facilities, retail clinics, and pharmacies. If you suddenly fall ill, the free app will pinpoint your location and give you turn-by-turn directions to the nearest facility.

What’s more, the app hosts detailed information on thousands of symptoms, diseases, and medical procedures to help you when you need it most. If you’re headed to the ER, iTriage will provide real-time wait times for hospitals in select parts of the country. Go to to learn more.

Reprinted with permission from the March/April 2011 issue of Connected World magazine

Connected World magazine Tel. 630-933-0844

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Dow Wire & Cable Announces Price Increase

Houston, TX – March 22, 2011 – On May 1, 2011, Dow Wire & Cable will increase the prices of its products by 12 cents per pound. The increase affects all grades, and is in response to continuing hydrocarbons volatility, uncertainty and risk.

Further details will be communicated to customers by local Dow Wire & Cable account executives.

About Dow Wire & Cable

Dow Wire & Cable, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), is a leading global provider of products, technology, solutions and expertise that sets industry standards for reliability, longevity, efficiency, ease of installation and protection that the industry can count on in the transmission, distribution and consumption of power, voice and data. Understanding that collaboration is essential to success, Dow Wire & Cable works together with cable makers, utilities, municipalities, testing institutes and other organizations around the world to develop solutions and create mutual value that will sustain the industry for years to come. For more information, visit

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: Dow) combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a

broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at


Electec Founder Nominated for Manning Innovation Award

Ottawa, ON – March 10, 2011 – Electec Ltd. is pleased to announce G. Douglas Hyde, P.Eng., is a nominee for a prestigious Manning Innovation Award for his innovative work in developing eco-friendly and sustainable modular wiring systems. 

Launched in 1982, the Ernest C. Manning Awards are widely recognized as the premier innovation awards in Canada.  The Manning Awards Foundation annually salutes Canadians who demonstrate innovative talent in developing and successfully marketing a new concept, process or procedure. 

As founder and president of Electec, Mr. Hyde oversees new product development and the strategic direction of the company.  He holds several patents in the field of modular wiring systems, is a Professional Engineer and possesses over 30 years of diverse construction experience and manufacturing expertise.

Electec is a leading manufacturer of sustainable modular wiring systems for electrical branch circuits.  Products include EZ-Wiring® and EZ-Cabling®, both of which were awarded Top-10 Green Building Products of 2010 by the editors of BuildingGreen and the esteemed GreenSpec directory.

For more information on The Manning Innovation Awards, please visit <>

For more information on BuildingGreen and GreenSpec, please visit <>

About Electec

A leading-edge manufacturer of modular wiring systems (MWS), Electec offers the most consistent, safe and robust integrally-moulded modular wiring connectors on the market.  Electec modular wiring systems are saving building owners money, preserving contractors’ bottom lines and advancing the state of the art in building wiring and cabling. 

For more information about Electec, please contact Chris Pezoulas, VP of Business Development at (613) 836-0300 x226.



Mar 1, 2011

Examining the ways fiber enhances the operation and business bottom line of surveillance solutions.

By Mark S. Wilson

With a transition from analog to digital video continuing, there remains a crucial requirement for reliable transmission of the video signal during today's period of coexistence. With many legacy installations it has been coaxial cable handling images from a camera to monitoring, recording or both. Coaxial has its limitations, including restricted transmission distance, signal degradation over long cable runs and interference.

Networking, digital and Internet Protocol (IP) have ushered in unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable and high-speed Ethernet, employing IP to carry the digitized video images. In some installations wireless transmission–radio-frequency, microwave, WiFi and mesh nets–play a role. Most enterprise security video designs are not totally wireless. Instead, the technology is applied to meet certain geographic or operational challenges.

When to choose fiber

And then there is fiber-optic cabling, with its interference immunity, better inherent security, robust distances and huge bandwidth capability. For the purposes of this article, we will look over the shoulders of a hypothetical chief security officer (CSO) named Terry Jones as well as Terry's second-in-command, Helena Smith. They work for a mid-sized enterprise and face the decisions and intricacies involved in selecting fiber optics and better understanding its advantages, installation and bottom-line business benefits.

Differences exist among video signal transmission methods. Security end users, their designers, integrators and installers must consider and balance the methods with the needed functionality of cameras in light of the following characteristics.

  • Maximum cable-run distances
  • Power requirements
  • Installation issues
  • Installation time
  • Quality of video
  • Integration with other systems
  • Cost

For years coaxial cabling has been the traditional transmission method of video-surveillance traffic. The presence of a coaxial BNC connector on most every security camera underlines this traditional method for signal transmission.

The most common coaxial cable is RG-59U. It provides what many believe is an acceptable quality video path from a camera to the head end out to 750 feet. That is because the maximum recommended distance between an analog security camera and a digital video recorder, head end or monitor is that same 750 feet.

When it comes to powering the camera, many installations employ so-called Siamese cable–a single RG-59U wedded to an attached 18/2 cable for both power and video. Still, some distances will increase voltage drop and it is necessary to select a power supply and cabling that match necessary voltage to distances. Today, and especially when it comes to new and upgraded installations containing scores of cameras, a minority have coaxial while the majority boast UTP (Category 5 or better) and fiber optics.

In some ways the security shift has been spurred by popularity of local area networks (LANs) in most enterprises. Information technology's (IT's) means of transmission gravitated to UTP wiring as well as fiber optics, often as an overall communications backbone. Cameras can be more easily installed using existing UTP cabling or fiber previously laid for enterprise network use. Corporate and government IP-based platforms have accelerated the transition. That naturally has swung security to such designs, especially when it involves video surveillance.

When it comes to UTP cabling, existing enterprise cables must be verified to be within security industry standards for video performance. UTP cabling, of course, is lighter and easier to install than RG-59U, which translates to lower end-user installation cost. And the cable itself is less expensive per-foot than comparable lengths of RG-59U.

Still, challenges remain when pushing analog video signals through UTP cable. It requires conversion of the camera's unbalanced BNC output into a balanced signal that can be carried on one pair of the UTP. When reaching a head end or recorder, the signal must be reconverted to handle a standard BNC-type connector. That often means the use of a balun.

Baluns and balance

Back to our CSO's office … When Terry asked what a balun is, Helena was quick to explain it is a device that connects a balanced line to an unbalanced line. It allows a signal of one impedance value to be transmitted over a cable that uses a different impedance. Impedance is simply a measure of opposition to alternating current. A video balun allows us, she says, to send video signals over a cable not meant for video. A common situation involving video baluns is use with Category 5 cable. Coaxial cable, which transmits video, has an impedance of 75 ohms while Category 5 has a 100-ohm impedance.

So baluns convert the original impedance to the impedance of the cable and then back. Baluns are used in pairs–one on each end of the cable. Transmitting video over UTP without the use of video baluns produces ghosting images because delays in the signal will occur. Baluns are available in passive and active varieties. Passive baluns convert the signal while active baluns impart an amplification method to increase transmission distance. In a four-pair UTP cable, typically one of the four pairs handles the video so three pairs can potentially provide power and pan/tilt/zoom control from a head end to a camera. Combinations of baluns are called hubs.

But it is fiber-optic technology, a method of sending and receiving information over great distances using light as the carrier, that boasts significant advantages, whether as a backbone or a total transmission solution. Some of fiber optics' more relevant advantages are listed here.

  • Better-quality transmission
  • No interference from lightning strikes, short circuits, crosstalk, EMI or RFI
  • No interference from high voltages in fluorescent lights, card-access door strikes or outdoor lighting systems
  • Better-quality transmission
  • Light weight
  • Stable within a wide temperature range
  • Long service life
  • Secure–not easily tapped into or interfered with
  • Extremely high bandwidth

Allowance for growth as developments increase the amount of data transmitted

Fiber optics have been around for many years and should not be considered "bleeding-edge" technology. In fact, the principle that makes fiber-optic transmission possible was first demonstrated in the early 1840s. Practical applications developed early in the twentieth century before modern optical fibers, in which the glass fiber is coated with a transparent cladding to offer a more suitable refractive index. Just as consumer camcorders spurred CCD sensors into security video, consumer-driven cellular, television and Internet use more generally will accelerate development of fiber carrying images.

Consider transmission loss

Attenuation in fiber optics, also known as transmission loss, is the reduction in intensity of the light beam (or signal) with respect to distance travelled through a transmission medium. It is far less than the equivalent loss in copper cables, leading to long-haul fiber connections with repeater distances of 43 to 93 miles, or 70 to 150 kilometers. So there is no doubt that fiber optics can handle massive amounts of digital information across vast distances, and with immunity to interference.

Such functionality is built into fiber. A cross-section of fiber cables shows a Kevlar inner wrap and, because of this strong nonmetallic component, the cable cannot carry lightning pulses or transient voltages, such as those from an outdoor camera, into a facility. Within the fiber core, a blinking light-emitting diode (LED) is unaffected by electrical and radio-frequency anomalies.

Like other decisions that Terry and Helena face, there are challenges with fiber including material and installation cost, operation of the installation itself and ongoing maintenance. Smart security dealers and integrators, staying on top of their game and with their clients in mind, have invested in technician training and the proper tools and testers to handle fiber connections. And after installation, they know how best to troubleshoot.

There always remains the debate between creating and maintaining a standalone security systems transmission infrastructure or piggybacking on the corporate backbone. It is not necessarily one or the other; some designs can play it both ways. However, an obvious outcome of a separate, dedicated IT infrastructure for video and other physical-security applications is isolating that traffic from the general enterprise network. There are no "competition" or video-quality issues and there is sometimes a finer focus on security-system functionality and dependability. Yet there are technology advantages, both on the physical-security and IT sides such as higher-speed general networking, video compression/decompression modes and analytics at the edge, which tend to moot the standalone points. From organizational and budgetary perspectives, closer collaboration and sharing between security and IT are beneficial and are being encouraged today.

Uniquely, with fiber, physical security can have its own strands in the shared fiber bundle, thus achieving a standalone posture while also being part of the overall enterprise infrastructure.

Not afraid of the dark

"How much dark fiber do we already have?" is the next question Terry asks during their planning meeting. Dark fiber, or what some call unlit fiber, refers to unused optical fibers available in buildings and throughout local, regional and national networks. A good guess is that there are an estimated 80 million dark fibers installed in North America, thanks to the "dot-com" bubble of past years, new construction practices and technological advances in getting more traffic through the installed base. Often on the IT side, installers have almost always included extra fiber strands when installing structured cabling backbones between telecommunications rooms and separate buildings, for example.

That is because the cost of individual fiber strands is quite low, so extra strands have little impact on the budget. During installation it is not uncommon to break a fiber, so spares are handy to have with the aim that enough usable fibers will be available. And additional spare fibers often prepare an installation for the future.

So Jones's firm as well as many others may have existing fiber links not being used. Initial investment is cut and what installers call long cable pulls are significantly reduced. There still needs to be testing of dark fiber before considering it for security-video transmission. And, warns Helena, the type, quality and lengths of existing fiber links to be used, as well as the style of connectors installed on each end of the link, must be known.

Fiber-optic cabling comes in two basic types: multimode and singlemode. Multimode fiber has a core size of either 50 or 62.5 microns and commonly is found providing connections between telecommunications rooms within a building or campus. Preferred for most physical-security applications, multimode uses low-cost LEDs or inexpensive lasers for transmission. It is easier to terminate and test than singlemode. The drawback of multimode is its distance limitation, which is usually three miles. Singlemode fiber, with a core size of 7 to 10 microns, typically handles longer distances, sometimes more than 50 miles, in high-bandwidth applications.

Helena, with previous fiber applications under her belt, already realizes that fiber is superior to copper cabling in all performance measures. Available bandwidth of standard multimode fiber is many multiples that of Category 5 UTP. She reminds her boss not to forget that scores of cameras can transmit their signals over just one or two fiber strands.

There is a noticeable return on investment in cabling distances with fiber. Devices can move images up to two miles from end to end on multimode fiber, while high-bandwidth singlemode fiber can carry signals up to 60 miles before regeneration of the signal is needed.

The bandwidth capacity of a single stand of standard multimode fiber is more than 45 times that of Category 5 cable, while the maximum bandwidth capacity of singlemode fiber has yet to be reached. So even though IP-based video is gaining users, there remains a serious distance limitation with UTP cabling infrastructure, which hinders placement of cameras. For example, if a camera is located 1,000 feet from the head end, without any active signal conditioning at some cost, about 37 percent of the information will be lost in transmission, not counting the need and cost for signal amplification, ground-fault correction and surge protection.

Fiber as a prime security tool opens the application doorway extraordinarily wide. There are almost unlimited capabilities of security-video transmission and pan/tilt/zoom controls, for instance.

Multimode and singlemode

Fiber within most buildings is multimode, for the most part. Some infrastructures, such as those for Terry and Helena, have a combination of multimode and singlemode. No matter the mode, there needs to be a way to convert the video signal over to an optical format and back again. So several devices are part of a fiber-optic transmission system, including receivers and transmitters (which can be combined into transceivers), video-to-fiber converters, connectors and adapters.

Fiber connectors, for instance, are available in several common styles such as ST, SC and LC. These styles come into play when realizing that the devices for interfacing physical-security equipment to fiber-optic links usually can be ordered with either the ST or SC connector. Various adapters convert connections, such as connecting an ST video fiber encoder to an SC connector on a network fiber patch panel.

When facing the coexistence of analog and digital IP, consider the cost of analog-to-fiber. However, the increasing speed of the migration to IP will continue to change that equation. In addition to providing a means for transparently connecting one type of media to another, media conversion can provide a cost-effective method for integrating a hybrid video security system into one, seamless and manageable whole. Cost savings can be realized thanks to an existing, analog-based security-video infrastructure, while coexisting with the latest technology of IP-based cameras for video capture, storage or analysis as well as for expanded application of megapixel and HD cameras at added locations.

Coaxial, UTP or fiber optics? Take your pick. But in coexisting analog/IP security-video situations and truly when it comes, sooner or later, to fully digital and IP environments, fiber optics can light the way.


There is simply no question about it. End users want the increased benefits of digital/IP video. But they (whether end user or integrator) run into big roadblocks on their journey from analog to digital. With digital surveillance, it is no longer simple to mix and match analog cameras and DVR brands. With digital, the basic components of a network video system are often non-standard, including the IP camera, network video recorder (NVR) and video management software (VMS).

Integrators have been tearing their hair out because, seemingly, every digital camera vendor has created a separate camera interface. Oh yes, there are standards in the networked surveillance industry–compression (H.264, MPEG-4) and streaming (RSTP) for example–but control and command interfaces are not standard yet. Thus, software and NVR manufacturers must create camera-specific interfaces to their solutions.

The good old days of analog plug-and-play are of the past. Now there is the challenge of interoperability among hardware-to-hardware and hardware-to-software implementations. As a result many integrators are hesitant to promote digital surveillance solutions even though their customers want them.

To help, leading VMS vendors including Milestone and Video Insight have integrated hundreds of cameras and encoders into their platforms. Even so, integration between devices is lacking. For instance, the software supports some features on one camera but not on another.

Again it is the integrator who's on the line, having to determine if and how much interoperability there is between the selected software, cameras and recorders. This is the crux of why the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) has become so important.

If a product carries ONVIF certification, integration is standardized. ONVIF-certified products work with other ONVIF-certified products. If the integrator and end user agree on using only ONVIF-certified products, we are on our way back to the plug-and-play world of analog.

Why ONVIF? ONVIF is real. It provides a standard to address interoperability problems in network video, including such important needs as defining interfaces for device configuration, event handling, pan/tilt/zoom control and similar issues. Most importantly, it has been embraced by the great majority of digital/IP manufacturers, software and hardware. This will be verified by a quick stroll through most of the leading events globally. Booth after booth will tout ONVIF certification. -MSW

Mark S. Wilson is vice president of marketing with Infinova (, which manufactures product lines for analog and IP, coaxial- twisted-pair- and fiber-optic-based transmission of video surveillance. This article is excerpted from his white paper entitled "Connecting it all together: Fiber optics in security and surveillance solutions." 

Reprinted with permission from CI&M - Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine March 2011 issue.

For more than 15 years, Cabling Installation & Maintenance has delivered in-depth technical and business insights focused exclusively on the information needs of structured cabling professionals. Our approach combines the journalism expertise of our editorial staff with the knowledge of the industry’s foremost experts to deliver information that is trusted and respected throughout the industry. Also don’t miss the valuable webinars that they present. Check on the website for more information. CI&M is a PennWell publication.



Mar 1, 2011

Parallel fiber-optic links present options, and require planning, for fiber-polarity maintenance.

by Sharon Lutz, US Conec

The use of preterminated fiber assemblies and cassettes is growing, and the deployment of systems with speeds up to and beyond 100 Gbits/sec are on the horizon for many users. As a result, the issue of maintaining polarity in parallel fiber-optic links is becoming increasingly important. Described simply, polarity maintains proper continuity between transmitters and receivers. Currently users do not have "absolute musts" in the form of cabling standards to dictate how they achieve fiber polarity, and several options exist for doing so. This article discusses the emerging applications that are pushing the topic of polarity to users' front-of-mind, and focuses on the options available to maintain polarity.

Polarity in point-to-point duplex links is a simple concept. Typically it is achieved through what is known as an A-to-B patch cord. However, as users move beyond point-to-point links some complications come into play. These more-complicated links may have a duplex or parallel connection on each end, but in between those connections may be any type of structured cabling plant that includes duplex cables, array cables, adapters and/or transition modules that must be managed.

Today multiple applications use array connectivity in the cable plant. Duplex configurations include SFP, SFP+, XFP, SFF and XENPAK. These duplex connections have simple, consistent transmit-and-receive configurations and they employ A-to-A cable and/or A-to-B patch cords in combination with breakout sets to array adapter types and multiple array trunk configurations.

Parallel configurations include QSFP, 120-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel and 100-Gbit/sec Ethernet. These configurations employ various combinations of single-row and/or multi-row array cable types in combination with two array adapter types.

Array connectors and polarity

The MPO-style (multifiber push-on) connector is now being widely adopted in parallel-optics configurations to achieve extremely high data-transmission rates, such as 100-Gbit/sec Ethernet and other protocols. MPO connectors have been used in duplex fiber-optic links for some time as well. Maintaining polarity within 12- and 24-fiber MPO connectors can be challenging, and will be the focus of the remainder of this article.

There are several four-lane variants of parallel configurations, meaning that within a 12-fiber connector, four fibers are designated transmit and four other fibers designated receive. For applications such as QSFP, InfiniBand 4X, Fibre Channel, OIF VSR4-03 and IEEE 802.3ba 40-Gbit/sec Ethernet, when the 12-fiber MPO connector is in the key-up position, the four fibers on the left side are transmit and the four fibers on the right side are receive. The IEEE specification does not include lane assignments for the four transmit and four receive fibers; specifications for the others do include lane assignments for each of the eight fibers in use. For example, with QSFP the four transmit fibers are numbered, from left to right, one through four. The four receive fibers are numbered, from right to left, one through four. For InfiniBand 4X, OIF VSR4-03 and Fibre Channel, the four transmit fibers are numbered zero through three from left to right, and the four receive fibers are numbered zero through three right to left. For IEEE 802.3ba 40G, the four transmit fibers are simply designated transmit and the four receive fibers are designated receive.

Some transmission protocols use 12-lane variants within the 12-fiber connector, and there is a little more variation among these than among the four-lane variants. For example, protocols including SNAP 12, OIF VSR4-01 and OIF VSR5-01 number the fibers 1 to 12 going right to left with the MPO connector key-up. These 12 fibers are transmit or receive. HIPPI-6400 uses two 12-fiber connectors, one for transmit and the other for receive. The transmit connector is numbered 12 to 1 left-to-right, key-up while the receive connector is numbered 1 to 12 left-to-right, key-up. InfiniBand 12X also uses two 12-fiber connectors, one for transmit and one for receive. In this scenario, fibers in the transmit connector are numbered 0 through 11 left-to-right, key-up while fibers in the receive connector are numbered 11 to 0 left-to-right, key-up.

With 100-Gbit Ethernet there are three possible options. The one we will describe as Option A is recommended within the 802.3ba specification. It is a 24-fiber connector with the center 10 lanes being used. With the connector oriented key-up, the top row is receive and the bottom row is transmit. Again, with the Ethernet specifications the 10 receive fibers and the 10 transmit fibers do not have specific lane assignments.

Option B for 100-Gbit Ethernet has side-by-side 12-fiber connectors, the center 10 lanes of each being used, with the connector on the left designated transmit and the connector on the right designated receive. Option C is vertically stacked, rather than side-by-side, 12-fiber connectors with the center 10 lanes of each being used, receive on top and transmit on the bottom.

Polarity with duplex links

The TIA-568-C.0 standard provides guidance on three possible methods of maintaining array polarity with single-row MPO connectors. Method A calls for an A-to-B duplex cord to be plugged into a Type A adapter. A Type A adapter is called opposing-key because it is oriented to make a key-up to key-down connection between the internal MPO connector and the MPO array cable connector. The Type A array cable assembly is also key-up to key-down in orientation, as it plugs into the two adapters. Finally, an A-to-A duplex cord completes the link.

Method B as described in TIA-568-C.0 uses Type B array cable and adapters, which are key-up to key-up in orientation. It also uses A-to-B patch cords. Method C uses Type C array cabling, which is oriented key-up to key-down and has pair-wise flips within the cable. Pair-wise flip means that adjacent pairs of fibers are crossed from one end of the cable to the other. So the fiber that is in position 1 at one end of the cable is moved to position 2 at the cable's other end, and vice versa. Method C also uses Type A adapters and A-to-B duplex patch cords.

Currently there is no guidance in TIA-568-C.0 addressing polarity in multi-row, 24-fiber MPO connectivity. Many configurations are possible, and the A, B and C single-row methods do not directly correlate to this type of configuration because of the complications associated with row-wise flips. The examples presented here are not standardized, but rather are some of many options available.

Potential Method A uses Type A array cables, Type A (key-up to key-down) adapters and duplex cords, A-to-A and A-to-B. Potential Method B has Type B array cables and adapters and A-to-B duplex patch cords. Potential Method C has an A-to-B patch cord on both ends, a Type C array cable Type A adapters.

Using any of these methods will require you to re-label your cassette because the array-wise flip in the cable changes the positions of the fibers.

Polarity with parallel links

We'll move now to maintaining array polarity with parallel links. For single-row MPO, the 568-C.0 standard gives guidance on two possible methods, and a third method is currently under consideration as a possible addendum to the C.0 specification.

Method A, recognized in 568-C.0, uses Type A array cable with Type A adapters and Type A and B array patch cords. Method B, also recognized in 568-C.0 uses Type B throughout–Type B array cable, Type B adapters and Type B array patch cords.

The proposed Method C would use Type C array cable, which is key-up/key-down with a pair-wise flip, along with Type A adapters and Type C and Type B array patch cords.

Additionally, proposals have been put forth for TIA-568-C.0 to also support the IEEE 100-Gbit Ethernet side-by-side connector configuration. One proposed method for this configuration incorporates the use of existing 12-fiber trunks. It uses Type A adapters, Type A trunks and Type A as well as Type B patch cords.

Currently TIA-568-C.0 does not have any guidance on multi-row MPO configurations, however some configurations are being proposed to support IEEE 100-Gbit/sec Ethernet with existing 12-fiber trunks. A proposed Method A uses Type A adapters and trunks, as well as Type A and Type B hybrid patch cords–cords that have a 24-fiber connector on one end and two 12-fiber connectors on the other end.

A proposed Method B uses Type B 12-fiber MPO array cables, Type B adapters and two hybrid Type B patch cords. A proposed Method C uses two Type C 12-fiber MPO array cables, Type A adapters, one hybrid Type B patch cord and one hybrid Type C patch cord.

It is also possible to maintain multi-row polarity in systems using 24-fiber trunks and patch cords, such as 100-Gbit/sec Ethernet and 120-Gbit/sec InfiniBand. As stated earlier, the IEEE does not designate lane assignments for 100-Gbit Ethernet because it specifies a lane-striping protocol that sorts out the lanes at the receiver. For 120-Gbit/sec InfiniBand, the specification does give lane assignments. However, the lane-striping protocol used in the IEEE's 100-Gig specifications is optional in the 120-Gbit/sec InfiniBand specification.

A configuration that supports both 100-Gbit Ethernet and 120-Gbit Fibre Channel uses Type A adapters and cables. This setup maintains polarity as long as the transceivers on opposite ends of the links are flipped. In other words, set the transceiver upright on one side and upside down on the other side.

In conclusion, maintaining polarity through the use of array cables requires careful planning. Multiple cable types, fiber counts, row counts, adapter types and transceiver protocols add up to a significant number of options. The TIA has addressed single-row array cabling for duplex and parallel links. Also, multi-row transmit/receive polarity using single-row array trunk cabling is under consideration.

Sharon Lutz is applications engineer with US Conec ( This article is based on information Lutz delivered in a webcast seminar in late 2010. 

Reprinted with permission from CI&M - Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine March 2011 issue.

For more than 15 years, Cabling Installation & Maintenance has delivered in-depth technical and business insights focused exclusively on the information needs of structured cabling professionals. Our approach combines the journalism expertise of our editorial staff with the knowledge of the industry’s foremost experts to deliver information that is trusted and respected throughout the industry. Also don’t miss the valuable webinars that they present. Check on the website for more information. CI&M is a PennWell publication.

CI&M Editorial Guide: Considerations for Selecting and Using Multimode Fiber

A network manager’s choice to use multimode fiber-optic cable does not end the decision-making process. Next come considerations including cablingsystem architecture, compatibility issues, connector styles, and the type of multimode to use—including core size, bandwidth and bend sensitivity. This Cabling Installation & Maintenance editorial guide presents information that will help network managers choose the specific type of fiber-optic cabling system that best suits their needs.





File Size:

1.42 MB Kb


Feb 16, 2010

Reprinted with permission from CI&M - Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine

For more than 15 years, Cabling Installation & Maintenance has delivered in-depth technical and business insights focused exclusively on the information needs of structured cabling professionals. Our approach combines the journalism expertise of our editorial staff with the knowledge of the industry’s foremost experts to deliver information that is trusted and respected throughout the industry. Also don’t miss the valuable webinars that they present. Check on the website for more information. CI&M is a PennWell publication.


Fire Fighter Safety and Emergency Response for Solar Power Systems

Today's emergency responders face unexpected challenges as new uses of alternative energy increase. These renewable power sources save on the use of conventional fuels such as petroleum and other fossil fuels, but they also introduce unfamiliar hazards that require new fire fighting strategies and procedures.

The paper attached was prepared by Casey C. Grant, P.E. at the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

Introduction and Background
Amongst the new challenges facing the U.S. fire service is the changing nature of emergency response to incidents where alternative energy sources are in use.  The term alternative energy describes any of the various renewable power sources that can be used in place of conventional fuels such as petroleum and other fossil fuels.
The fire service has identified a number of areas of particular concern with respect to hazard mitigation and emergency response in these scenarios.  As the use of alternative energy proliferates, it introduces new and unexpected hazards that confront and challenge responders in an emergency.
Some fire service organizations are in the process of developing recommended emergency response procedures and best practices on a local or regional basis; in other jurisdictions, basic information on the hazard and appropriate response is lacking or not currently available.  This project will take a comprehensive national look at the needs of the fire service for credible information and best practices in order to address these topics for first responders and provide an overall coordinated perspective on this topic. 
The goal of this report is to assemble and disseminate best practice information for fire fighters and fireground incident commanders to assist in their decision making process for handling fire incidents in buildings equipped with solar power systems or in the systems themselves.  Specifically, this study focuses on structural fire fighting in buildings and structures involving solar power systems utilizing solar panels that generate thermal and/or electrical energy, with a particular focus on solar photovoltaic panels used for electric power generation.
While this report addresses issues of concern on solar power systems, a separate companion report addresses electric drive and hybrid electric vehicles, and it specifically addresses those emergency events involving electric drive and hybrid electric vehicles either near or within structures (e.g. residential garage). The project deliverables will be in the form of a written report, which will include best practices that can serve as the basis for the development of training programs by others.

Click here to read the complete report. [Note: it is 99 pages, and 3,061 KB, so depending on your internet speed, it may take some time to download.]     1-888-NEC-CODE (1-888-632-2633)

Reprinted with permission from Mike Holt Newsletter  National Electrical Code Internet Connection


“Cabling without TESTING, isn’t just wrong. It’s… 'TUPID”

FLUKE NETWORKS - Resources: Solve Network Issues -

Are users complaining that your network is too slow? Are network applications hanging and slowing productivity? Do you spend way too much time trying to isolate the source of the problem and to prove that often the issue isn’t the network at all but the application or the server? Below are some technical resources to help you understand how to get to the root cause faster so you exonerate the network, fix the problem and minimize the impact on business.

Download Whitepaper: Diagnosing the cause of poor application performance

View Short Video Tour on Application-Centric Analysis

View Webinar:  Speed time to troubleshoot network performance problems

Download free application-centric protocol analysis software - ClearSight Analyzer

View more Network and Application Troubleshooting Resources


Extended Distance OM4 Optical Fiber Available

Demand for high performance fiber optic cables continues to increase as more and more companies opt for higher throughput speeds, especially for backbone cables that connect data rooms as well as adjacent facilities.  10 gigabits per second (Gb/s) throughput rates have become more common place than just a year ago.  To accommodate 10 Gb/s, cable manufacturers, such as HCM, offer a number of options to provide exactly what the customer needs.  OM3 type fiber optic fiber has been the standard 50 micron fiber type for 10Gb/s.  However, OM3 fiber is limited to 300 meters for optimum 10 Gb/s performance.  If a greater distance needs to be spanned, OM4 optical fiber has the bandwidth to accommodate 10 Gb/s up to 550 meters.   If you need to span a distance greater than that, an enhanced OM4 fiber, capable of supporting 10 Gb/s up to 600 meters, is available.  HCM uses optical fiber from Corning Optical Fibers in all our standard constructions.  Also, all HCM multimode (OM-) cables utilize Corning’s ClearCurve™ bend-insensitive glass to maximize throughput in any installation environment.  The combination of Corning optical glass and HCM’s high quality, US made cable constructions delivery the performance and reliability our customers expect.

About Hitachi Cable Manchester

HCM is a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan.  Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, HCM manufactures a complete line of high-performance copper and fiber optic cables for the communication industry.  Over 4,000 different cable products are manufactured at the Manchester facility. Products include Category 5e, 6, 6A, and 7A copper communication cables as well as indoor, indoor/outdoor and outside plant fiber optic cables.  HCM also manufacturers a large selection of flat and round electronics cables.  To learn more about HCM, please visit the HCM website at 


QuickTreX® Introduces Family of Modular Plugs

 Family of QuickTreX Shielded and Unshielded Modular Plugs ranges from Category 5e through Category 6A.

Beachwood, NJ – March 7, 2011   QuickTreX®, a manufacturer of high quality datacom products, introduces its family of shielded and unshielded 8-pin modular plugs. The family includes the following connectors for use in Category 5 and Category 5E applications, as well as Category 6, Category 6 Enhanced, and Category 6A applications:

            Category 5E Modular Plugs with loadbar. Perfect for Category 5 and Category 5E applications.

            Category 6 Modular Plugs with loadbar. Perfect for Category 6 and Category 6E applications.

            Category 6E (and 5E) Shielded Modular Plugs with loadbar. Will work for any Cat6E or Cat5E cable.

            Category 6A Shielded Modular Plugs with loadbar. Will work on Cat6A cable.

Proudly made in the USA of high quality 50 micron gold connecting surfaces. This family of precision modular plugs has a staggered one-up/one-down design for enhanced performance and reduction of crosstalk. Each connector includes a patented loadbar made from a dielectric material that also absorbs more unwanted crosstalk and enhances ease of installation with virtually foolproof results. The fact that they are dual use – for both solid and stranded conductor wire, greatly increases their usage as a single solution.

It is now not only possible, but also easy to field terminate Category 6E (and Category 5E) Shielded modular plugs with the new QuickTreX Category 6E Shielded Modular Plug, which contains a new heavy duty shield and the patented Conductive NEXT Reduction System. The shielding material is heavy duty, to assure solid connections to both the drain wire and also to the shielding connection of the receptacle body. The quality of the shielding virtually eliminates any chance for ANEXT entering the cable. The Internal Conductive Loading Bar is molded from a material that substantially reduces the effect of NEXT within the Plug Body. The conductors are isolated by plastic that absorbs the NEXT from between the conductors and channels it away so that the Plug can perform to Category 6E levels and above. When assembled onto Category 6E patch cable it will pass all TIA/EIA requirements for NEXT and Return Loss, etc. If done correctly, the patch cable will pass Cat 6E Component level testing. This will help the Category 6 channel maintain increased headroom to assure the network operates at its best.

The Category 6A Shielded Modular Plug can perform to Category 6A levels and above. When assembled onto Category 6A patch cable it will pass all TIA/EIA requirements for NEXT and Return Loss, etc. This will make it possible for the Category 6A channel to maintain increased headroom to assure the network operates at its best.

To obtain additional information on this family of Shielded and Unshielded Modular Plugs or other QuickTreX products, call 800-642-8320 or visit the website at

      # # #

About QuickTrex

QuickTreX® is a manufacturer of high quality datacom products - such as copper cabling hardware, fiber optic cable assemblies, tools and testers - catering to the low voltage cabling industry for use in premise networks, security, and electrical applications. QuickTreX was founded to fill a need for products that are in tune with the technicians who use them. The QuickTrex R&D team is continually researching, staying ahead of developing trends in the market place, in order to offer quality innovative products. To obtain additional information, call 800-642-8320, or visit the website at


How to Find America’s Best Business Address

—New Findings Demonstrate How BOMA 360 Performance Buildings Operate at Highest Standards, Boost Tenant Retention—

(WASHINGTON—March 16, 2011) According to a recent study conducted by Kingsley Associates, buildings that achieve the BOMA 360 Performance Program® designation have higher tenant satisfaction scores in 47 out of 50 categories relating to tenant relations compared to commercial office buildings without the BOMA 360 designation.

The BOMA 360 Performance Program, developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, is a new commercial real estate building designation that recognizes all-around excellence in building management and operations. Since its launch in 2009, BOMA 360 has already conferred more than 200 buildings in major U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

“In this competitive marketplace, commercial property professionals need to find ways to differentiate their assets, and the findings of this study provide further evidence that BOMA 360 buildings are operated and managed to the highest standards of excellence in the industry,” said BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P.

Kingsley Associates, the real estate industry's leading provider of research and consulting services, surveyed more than 1,700 tenants at 62 BOMA 360 buildings in major markets across the U.S. The tenants surveyed rated their buildings in areas including property management, security, maintenance and green initiatives, among other criteria.

The survey found that, when it comes to tenant satisfaction, BOMA 360 buildings consistently outperformed a comparable set of commercial office buildings that have not achieved the 360 designation. In fact, the BOMA 360 buildings scored significantly higher across various rating areas. Some other key highlights:

91 percent of tenants in BOMA 360 buildings reported "good" or "excellent" overall satisfaction, versus 88 percent of tenants in comparable buildings;

73 percent of tenants in BOMA 360 buildings are satisfied with the value they receive for the amount paid, versus 66 percent of tenants in similar buildings; and

90 percent of tenants in BOMA 360 buildings are happy with office security policies and procedures, versus 84 percent of tenants in other buildings.

“Our tenant surveys reveal that BOMA 360 buildings rank higher than comparable buildings in their class,” said Phil Mobley, a vice president in Kingsley Associates' Atlanta office. “Despite a recovering real estate market, owners and managers of BOMA 360 Performance buildings have been able to deliver significantly better tenant service than their peers.”

The BOMA 360 Performance Program evaluates six key areas, including operations and management, security and safety, training and education, energy, environment and sustainability and tenant relations. This comprehensive approach has helped some of the most prominent office buildings in the country showcase their efficient operations overall:

Time Warner Center in New York City

Tucson Federal Building in Tucson, Ariz.

1300 Clay in Oakland, Calif.

For more information about the successful operations of BOMA 360 buildings, please view the BOMA case studies.

About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at

About Kingsley Associates

The most successful firms in real estate rely on Kingsley Associates for cutting-edge business intelligence solutions. With a depth and breadth of insight unmatched in the industry, we bring thought leadership and passionate client service to every engagement.  Kingsley Associates is a leader in real estate research initiatives such as tenant and resident satisfaction surveys, client perception studies, strategic consulting and operations performance benchmarking. For more information, contact Kingsley Associates at 770/908-1220 or visit .


New IDEAL LanXPLORER In-Line Gigabit Network Tester Troubleshoots Passive and Active Networks

SYCAMORE, IL, April 1, 2011 --  IDEAL has launched the new LanXPLORER PRO , an in-line gigabit network tester capable of troubleshooting passive and active LAN connections over both copper and fiber, and featuring a Network Discovery/Verify function to identify all active network devices and compare them against previous device lists.

"Network faults or slow performance can have a direct impact on the profitability of any business, whether a small enterprise or a large corporation," explained Dan Payerle, Business Unit Manager, IDEAL DataComm Test. "Our new LanXPLORER PRO has been designed to resolve issues quickly to reduce downtime and costs. It is the most comprehensive network tester on the market today with extensive test capabilities, from locating simple cable faults to identifying causes of network slowdowns."

Aimed at installers, IT administrators, network technicians, system integrators and cable installers, LanXPLORER PRO cost-effectively meets the testing needs of professionals installing or maintaining IT systems in an enterprise, campus or industrial Ethernet environment.  In addition to testing active LAN connections over copper and fiber, the LanXPLORER PRO can wirelessly connect to LANs via Wi-Fi (802.11 b, g and n), meaning the user doesn't need to make physical contact with the network. 


Devices like printers are often added to networks without the IT administrator's knowledge - and when such items are configured incorrectly, problems can occur.  The LanXPLORER PRO has a Network Discovery/Verify function that will immediately identify these rogue devices. It further reduces downtime by being able to compare a previously stored network device list against the current device list, making any changes to the network easily identifiable.

The inline test capability can also monitor the performance of devices such as PCs, and can identify any devices that are consuming bandwidth and resulting in poor network performance. The user can select peak, instant, 30-second or continuous bandwidth monitoring. Powerful VoIP testing features also help to identify causes of poor call quality or drop-outs by measuring jitter, packet loss and maximum bandwidth, as well as to identify the network's Top Ten talkers. 


An advanced, best-in-class wire mapping function provides cable length and distance-to-fault information, and can test by pin and pair, displaying wiring faults such as opens, shorts and split pairs.


LanXPLORER PRO can test Power over Ethernet (PoE) with load simulation to fully examine PoE power supply equipment, or can be used inline to measure power consumption of PoE and PoE+ devices. This functionality will be welcomed by network administrators hosting IP network video cameras which are increasingly leveraging PoE as a power source.    


Competitors' network testers are complicated to use as well as to interpret.  In contrast, the LanXPLORER PRO achieves a high level of test capability, yet is simple to use and easy to understand.  Most tests can be completed in just three steps, thanks to a "virtual keypad" for faster data input, a 3.5-inch color touchscreen interface, and an icon-driven menu navigation system. Even a novice can learn to operate the product in minutes, without any real need to consult the instruction manual. 

Results of any test carried out are quickly delivered and easily interpreted via a clear, color graphical display, significantly saving time when fault finding. To assist users further there is an internal memory for up to 100 tests and a job manager function for efficient organization.  In addition, an auto test pre-programmable option makes common tests even easier.

The LanXPLORER PRO can be directly plugged into a wall socket for power, or run off a rechargeable battery pack or standard AA batteries.  It is supplied with a convenient carrying case including a CD instruction manual, quick reference guide, two RJ45 STP patch cables, a smart remote adaptor and six dry cell batteries. The LanXPLORER PRO - PREMIUM version also comes with a NiMH rechargeable battery pack, a power supply with adaptor, and an IDEAL amplifier probe.

For more information, phone 1-800-947-3614. On the web,

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has been serving the electrical industry since 1916. IDEAL is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional quality tools and supplies serving installation professionals in the construction, maintenance, data communications and original equipment manufacturing industries.


CABA Teams Up with Continua Health Alliance to Study Personal Connected Healthcare for Seniors

March 17, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), an international not-for-profit industry association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a liaison agreement with Continua Health Alliance, the international non-profit, open industry alliance of more than 240 leading healthcare and technology organizations dedicated to developing a global ecosystem of personal connected health solutions.

The liaison agreement will allow both organizations to benefit from CABA's collaborative research study entitled "Aging in the Connected Home". The study will examine and determine potential connected home product, service and business opportunities based on needs and expectations of the senior consumer market to support aging-in-place.

"CABA is thrilled to have entered into an agreement with Continua Health Alliance," said Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "Our organization is a leader in developing actionable, collaborative industry research. We look forward to working with the Alliance to strengthen CABA's Research Program."

Continua products and services leverage standards-based technology to keep individuals, healthcare providers and families connected and empowered to manage health and wellness anytime, anywhere.

"We are excited to begin working with CABA," said Chuck Parker, Executive Director, Continua Health Alliance. "This partnership will allow us to examine new cost-effective ways to enable individuals who wish to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible to use personal connected healthcare to do so."

During the past several years, CABA has been true to its mission and objectives through the formulation of multiple reciprocal cooperation agreements with trade organizations and governments worldwide. CABA is focused on working collaboratively with multiple organizations that are also committed to expanding integrated systems for connected homes and intelligent buildings.

The Automation Federation and CABA Sign Memorandum of Understanding

March 11, 2011

The Automation Federation (AF) and the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) announced today that they recently signed a memorandum of membership initiating CABA as one of the newest members of the Automation Federation.

AF is an association of member organizations providing awareness, programs, and services that continually advance all facets of the automation profession. AF serves as the "Voice of Automation" by providing advocacy and industry-wide strategic analysis and coordination through its member organizations. AF recognizes the importance of bringing like-minded organizations together to create a stronger "Voice" that represents the whole profession, including the home and building automation sector.

CABA, an international, nonprofit industry association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies, is supported by nearly 400 companies involved in the design, manufacture, installation, and retailing of products relating to home automation and building automation.

Through its membership in AF, CABA will work with AF and the other AF member organizations to collaborate on educational improvements; new technology, recommended and best practices, and standards development and promotion; and dedication to improving the working environment of the automation profession.

"CABA is absolutely gratified to be entering into an agreement with the Automation Federation," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA president and CEO. "We believe that this agreement will lay the foundations for a strong alliance within the wider automation industry and represent a significant milestone toward enhancing industry productivity, progress, and profitability."

"The Automation Federation is glad to welcome CABA as one of our newest members. We look forward to working together to advance the home and building automation sector and the automation profession as a whole," stated Mike Marlowe, managing director of the Automation Federation. "Together, our organizations can further our common objectives to promote the Automation Competency Model, advance the automation profession, and advocate the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education for our youth."

CABA Signs Memorandum of Understanding with SmartGrid Canada

March 8, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association and SmartGrid Canada have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at furthering the provision and sharing of high quality information concerning intelligent home and building technologies and the smart grid.

Under the agreement, CABA and SmartGrid Canada will establish forums for a timely and open exchange of information and establish vehicles for engaging a broad array of stakeholders including the utility industry, regulatory organizations, energy service providers, building automation vendors, telecommunication firms, information technology vendors, consumer groups and government organizations.

SmartGrid Canada is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting a more modern and efficient electricity grid in Canada. A Smart Grid will help Canadians to better conserve energy, connect new renewable sources efficiently, and provide a more reliable supply of power. For more information, please visit SmartGrid Canada at

"This memorandum of understanding provides greater visibility and recognition for both home and building automation technologies and the smart grid in Canada," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "We are extremely excited to be working with SmartGrid Canada to strengthen and enhance industry experience and expertise."

CABA anticipates that through the agreement, it will be able to assist SmartGrid Canada with its mission to educate and build awareness of the need for and benefits of a modern, smarter electricity system in Canada. CABA, through its information sharing and research capacity, will also assist SmartGrid Canada promote research for the development and deployment of new and innovative energy technologies and products.

"We are pleased to be able to enter into an agreement with CABA," stated Alex Bettencourt, President, SmartGrid Canada. "Such cooperation benefits our diverse membership which is dedicated to delivering innovation and leadership to advance Canada's smart grid infrastructure."

CABA and Australia's Commercial & Home Automation Association Enter Into Agreement

February 24, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association is pleased to announce that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Australia's Commercial & Home Automation Association.

The Commercial & Home Automation Association was recently formed to offer assistance in the areas of training, certification and licensing for its membership in consultation with national and state governments in Australia.

The Commercial & Home Automation Association seeks members who believe in the premise that all new homes in Australia should have some form of home automation installed, in order to provide cost savings, significant environmental and security benefits, and increased quality-of-life.

"We are extremely excited to have entered into an agreement with CABA in order to enhance the home and building automation industry," stated Andrew Hendy, Chief Executive Officer at the Commercial & Home Automation Association. "We are looking forward to working together to expand our outreach as well as exploring opportunities to increase public awareness concerning the benefits of home and office automation technologies."

Over the past several years, CABA has been true to its mission and objectives and increased its association member presence to over 100 countries . CABA has signed cooperation agreements with trade organizations and governments in such countries as South Korea, Russia, Brazil and UK. CABA is focused on working collaboratively with organizations that are also committed to expand integrated systems for 'connected homes and intelligent buildings'.

"CABA is delighted to be cooperating with the Commercial & Home Automation Association," said Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President and CEO. "It is within our international mandate to forge closer links with our colleagues in Australia and throughout the world in order to strengthen the global marketplace for home and building automation products and services."

CABA Completes "Energy as a Managed Service" Research Project

February 23, 2011

The Continental Automated Buildings Association has completed a research study that measured consumers' opinions and attitudes about energy as a managed service in the home.

Energy as a managed service broadens the scope of the product and service offerings in the energy space and allows for the redefinition of the customer relationship through service bundling and enhanced metrics and consumer control.

CABA's study assessed and quantified the key demand drivers and enablers that determine consumer appeal, interest, applicability and potential adoption of home energy management products and services.

The report found that the concept of energy as a managed service is appealing to the great majority of North American homeowners. The majority of consumers surveyed said that they would consider purchasing energy as a managed service if it was available at a reasonable price.

The report also found that consumer interest in using managed services is equally high, regardless of the size of potential prices hikes in energy. The report further determined that residential energy consumers in all regions of North America like the concept of managed energy services equally, regardless of average electricity costs and how they are billed for such services.

CABA's research also determined that consumers have the greatest interest in managed energy services that control the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning functionality in their homes. Respondents to CABA's survey assume that controlling aspects of HVAC will result in the greatest impact on their energy costs.

"CABA's "Energy as a Managed Service" research project is the first of its kind to collaboratively examine the possibilities of enhanced control over energy usage by consumers," stated David Ainslie, Director, Business Development at Direct Energy Marketing Limited, who acted as project manager for this research study. "Through identifying consumer interests, companies that participated in this research project will be able to develop more compelling and competitive products and services for their customers."

Companies that participated in CABA's "Energy as a Managed Service" research project included: 3M Company, Best Buy, Direct Energy, Freescale Semiconductor, Honeywell International, Intel Corporation, Landis+Gyr, Microsoft Corporation, Ingersoll Rand/Trane/Schlage, Tyco Electronics, Whirlpool Corporation and two major telecommunication companies.

"CABA was pleased that a number of world-class companies and organizations came together to support this project," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "The result was actionable research which determined the clear potentials of managed energy solutions and identified various strategies that companies can adopt to capitalize on a new wave of services in the age of the emerging smart grid in North America."

The report has been released to its funding partners and will be made available for purchase to the rest of the industry after an embargo period. Companies enquiring for details and pricing can contact George Grimes, CABA's Business Development Manager at or 613.686.1814 x226.

The research was conducted for CABA by POCO Labs, a management consultancy which specializes in strategic consulting.


Leviton Launches new Secure RJ Copper System

New keyed connectivity solution complements recently expanded Secure LC Fiber System

March 8, 2011 – Bothell, WA:  Leviton today announced the launch of its Secure RJ Copper System. The system adds to Leviton’s line of keyed connectivity solutions, which also includes the Secure Keyed LC Fiber System. With the two systems, organizations can physically secure all of their high-priority copper and fiber ports.

The new secure copper system provides physical port security with a patent-pending locking mechanism that can only be released with a matching-color keyed extraction tool. In addition, the design is compatible with industry standard RJ ports in network equipment, devices, patch panels, and work area outlets. System components include patch cords, trunks, port blockers, and extraction tools, and are available in CAT 6A and CAT 6.

Secure RJ components work together to prevent unauthorized and inadvertent moves, adds, and changes. Potential uses include any application where continuous connectivity and/or data security are critical, including data centers and colocation facilities, secure government networks such as SIPRnet and JWICS, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and retail and financial organizations. In public spaces such as libraries, hotel rooms, and computer labs, deploying patch cords with Secure RJ housing on one end only can also prevent cord theft.

The system includes features to support a range of applications throughout enterprise data networks:

Works with high-density network equipment and 1RU, 48-port patch panels

Single system is compatible with all flush and most recessed RJ ports

Port blockers prevent access to unused ports

Available in eight color options to reserve, identify, segregate, and secure network ports

Transparent polymer housings enable port security without blocking visibility to Link/Status LEDs on electronics

“Data security and reliability are top priorities for enterprise networks today,” says Keith Kosanovich, RCDD, senior copper product manager for Leviton Network Solutions. “The Secure RJ System addresses these needs by ensuring secure connectivity in high-priority network ports, even in high-density data centers, telecommunication rooms, and work area applications.”

Leviton’s secure connectivity solutions also include the Secure Keyed LC Fiber System, the industry’s only truly lockable LC solution. The system has a patent-pending locking mechanism that can only be released with a keyed extraction tool, works with industry compliant LC adapters or interfaces, and is available in eight colors. System components include trunks, harnesses, patch cords, and recently added pigtails and field-installable connectors.

The Secure RJ and LC Systems, along with all of Leviton’s connectivity solutions, are available through the company’s extensive distribution network. For more information on the new Secure RJ System, visit, and on the Secure LC System, visit

About Leviton Network Solutions

Leviton Network Solutions was created 25+ years ago to meet the growing need for telecommunications and high-speed data technologies. Today, the division is dedicated to producing complete network infrastructure systems for the enterprise, data center, government, education, health care, and residential markets. Copper, fiber, and power solutions include structured cabling systems, enclosures, PDUs, and much more. All Leviton products are engineered to exacting standards and offer guaranteed performance. For more information, visit


Magnepull XP1000-LC cable retrieval system -New TOOL Saves Labor on Cable Installations

Arlington, TX. March 8, 2011— Magnepull, a Labor Saving Systems LTD. company, has addeda new product to its family of wire fishing tools. The Magnepull XP1000-LC cable retrieval system was developed to assist in pulling cable inside walls and ceilings in both residential and commercial applications. The tool uses a patented radial magnetic technology to pull wire or cable in non-insulated and insulated walls. The XP1000 also includes a new smooth rolling soft rubber wheel and ¾ inch low drag magnet that increase productivity and eliminate wall damage. Powerful magnets provide the technician confidence of knowing where the cable is inside the wall prior to cutting their exit hole.  This new patented design makes any wire or cable installation an easy, one-man task and reduces cable fishing time by as much a 70%.   The XP1000-LC kit includes a ¾ inch drop magnet, 6 foot drop chain, rolling retriever unit and impact resistant polyethylene carrying case.

Mark Turner

2146 Corzine Dr.

Arlington, TX 76013

Ph 817.320.2288



WADSWORTH, OHIO – March 16, 2011 – MaxCell, the exclusive provider of fabric innerduct solutions for multiple cabling applications, is dramatically more efficient to install than traditional rigid innerduct, according to the latest Manual of Labor Units (MLU) published by the National Electrical Contractors Association.

Average installation for MaxCell’s most commonly used product – 3-inch three-cell fabric innerduct – under normal circumstances takes approximately eight hours per thousand feet according to NECA. Installation time for traditional 1-inch rigid innerduct averages three hours per hundred feet – the equivalent of 30 hours per thousand feet – under normal circumstances according to the report.

The report also found that, under what NECA defines as “very difficult” conditions, installation of MaxCell flexible innerduct is even more advantageous than traditional rigid innerduct.

“The NECA Manual of Labor Units shows MaxCell is perfectly aligned with the global trend toward reducing construction costs and maximizing existing infrastructure,” said MaxCell Vice President Mike Miller. “Our continued worldwide expansion, including growth in every region of the globe, combined with success in particular segments like government and wireless backhaul, means more and more contractors and end-users will be able to realize the enhanced efficiencies of using MaxCell instead of rigid innerduct.”

Miller also noted that MaxCell fabric innerduct provides a separate pathway for three cables while rigid innerduct provides only one pathway for one cable. In other words, rigid innerduct takes dramatically more time to install one-third the number of pathways.  “This enhanced efficiency is a major reason why MaxCell has seen four straight years of double-digit sale growth,” added Miller.

About MaxCell

More than 200 million linear feet of MaxCell innerduct has been installed around the world in a variety of applications, including cable TV, telecom, power/utilities, municipalities, universities, corporate and hospital campuses, and military/government installations. For more information, visit

About NECA’s Manual of Labor Units

For over 80 years NECA’s Manual of Labor Units has been the industry standard for electrical construction estimators and project managers. Updated every two years to stay abreast of evolving technology, it lists national average direct labor time required to install electrical materials based on input from electrical contractors, engineers and facility managers.


Megladon Remembers the Life of Dr Robert Mays, Jr.

Austin, Texas, March 25, 2011 – Megladon Manufacturing Group is grieving the loss of Dr Robert Mays, Jr. who recently went to be with the Lord. Dr Mays became Megladon’s Chief Scientist in 1999 and was the inventor of the HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) technology that Megladon continues to market today. He was also instrumental in defining Megladon’s technology path using the HLC as the foundational building block.

“We greatly miss Dr Mays. Bob and I worked together in fiber optic research and development for 12 years. He made an enormous contribution to the fiber optic industry and Megladon specifically with the creation of the HLC process” stated John M Culbert, President and Partner of Megladon. “He was a great friend, teacher and mentor whose contribution to my personal life will be felt for many years to come”.

Megladon® Manufacturing Group Ltd., a subsidiary of TyRex Group Ltd.®, is recognized as a leader in the fiber optic marketplace. Founded in 1997, Megladon made it their mission to provide customers with fiber optic products that far exceed industry standards. As technology innovators, Megladon created the HLC® (Hardened Lens Contact) termination, which has changed the market and taken it to the next level. For additional information on Megladon and their patented processes please visit the company’s website at

For additional information regarding Megladon’s variety of fiber optic products please contact John Culbert at 512.615.4687 or by email at


Electrical Instructors and Training Directors Take it to the Next Level – Mike Holt

Instructing, directing, managing, and developing electrical training programs can be extremely challenging, and at times frustrating. Balancing the demands of the students and instructors with the industry’s changing needs, not to mention technology delivery methods, all within the budget and legal requirements can be overwhelming.

Doing what we have done in the past isn’t working for today’s students. In today’s economy, we all need to self-evaluate where we are, where we want to go, and how to get there. Training is important; it changes the lives of the student and their family; it saves lives by ensuring electrical installations are NEC compliant; and it’s the foundation of developing tomorrow’s electrical industry leaders.

We at Mike Holt Enterprises understand the complexities associated with developing and revising training programs to meet the needs of today’s students and the industry. We are totally committed to the industry and would be honored to help you evaluate how to improve your program(s), to create a new program, or to tailor a custom program to meet specific needs. We can help you integrate current technologies such as videos, PowerPoint presentations, software, and online tools for a more diverse and efficient delivery.

We can create student syllabi as well as detailed instructor lesson plans containing teaching objectives and expected learning outcomes so your program maintains consistency. All of this to help you deliver the finest training to the student; yet reduce time on lesson planning so the instructor can keep the focus where it matters most… the classroom. 

You can even contact us regarding Solar Photovoltaic Systems courses if you want to keep pace with the future job market.  Our programs are suitable for, but not limited to any of the following:

·         Apprenticeships

·         Career Schools

·         Colleges & Universities

·         Continuing Education Courses

·         Job Corps

·         Online/Distant Learning

·         Test Preparation Classes

·         Vocational Programs

Brian Spaziani, Director of Program Development
(610) 809-5395

Brian is a master electrician and an expert in electrical training program design, implementation, and operation. He has a long track record of getting results in a variety of program structures. Having worked in the field, the classroom, and the administrative side of education coupled with an intimate knowledge of our products gives him a very unique skill set.


NEMA Announces New Board Officer and Members

ROSSLYN, Va., March 16, 2011—The Board of Governors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) elected Christopher Curtis, President and CEO of Schneider Electric North America, treasurer of the association at its recent spring meeting. Curtis was also named to the executive committee of the NEMA Board of Governors.

Zia Eftekhar, CEO, Philips Lighting, North America, and Michael W. Pessina, President, Office of Product Development, Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., were elected to the board of governors.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.


New Accu-Tech Homepage

Accu-Tech has launched our new homepage. This was done in an effort to maintain a minimalist and clean looking site, while still providing all of the information customers and our team relies on. This is just one improvement of many to come as we continue update and enhance our site to ensure we remain ahead of our competitors and provide the best user experience for our customers.

About the New Design
-The main home page graphic has been replaced by a much more interactive and user friendly navigation.
- Cleaner display of information with less clutter.
-The Spotlight module, where we display industry news and highlight products has been replaced by our News Ticker at the bottom of the screen. This allows us to feature as many items as we want without  adding clutter to the site.

More changes to come in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks for reading and be sure to let all of your customers know about the new homepage.

Brian P. Brown
Lead Web Developer & Internet Marketing



Irvine, California. STM Group, Inc. (STM), the leading supplier of DVB-RCS satellite network systems, announced today the appointment of Walter Reichert to the newly created position of General Manager for North America.

Previously, Mr. Reichert held the position of Senior VP and General Manager at Advantech's Advanced Satellite Networks, with prior positions at EMS and Spar Aerospace. "We are pleased to have Walter join our executive team and look forward to his contribution," said Umar Javed, Executive Vice President of STM Group.

"I have spent the past ten years contributing to the adaption of the DVB-RCS standards for broadband VSAT networks, and am proud to be joining STM, which has clearly demonstrated its commitment and leadership in product innovation and ongoing R&D based on the evolving standards," said Mr. Reichert. In his capacity as GM, Mr. Reichert will have broad responsibility in serving customers' requirements for standards-based VSAT networks.

STM Group is a global provider of satellite and cellular wireless network systems and services for mobile and fixed IP-based telephony, data and multimedia applications. With its SatLinkR product line, the company is a leader in the development and manufacturing of MF-TDMA, bandwidth-on-demand solutions with certified compliance to the DVB standards. STM's services include custom network design, turnkey deployments, and operations management. STM and SatLink are registered trademarks of STM. .


NFPA Conference & Expo 2011 Boston – Fire & Life Safety Event - June 12 – 15

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2011 NFPA Conference & Expo, presented by ROC-NFPA, LLC will be held from Sunday, June 12 to Wednesday, June 15, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), located at 415 Summer Street in Boston, Mass. Over 5,000 fire and life safety professionals are expected to attend.

The annual Conference & Expo is the most significant event for fire, security, electrical, and life safety professionals in the nation. While it provides for an exchange of ideas between experts in these fields, it also furthers NFPA’s mission to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards – many of the meetings that take place there will result in new safety and building codes to be voted on at the NFPA’s Technical Meeting on June 14 and 15.

Over 130 education sessions, as well as pre-conference seminars on June 10-11 and post-conference seminars on June 16, will be featured this year. Twelve conference tracks will help attendees gain experience in their particular field:  Building and Life Safety, Codes and Standards, Detection and Notification, Electrical, Emergency Preparedness/Business Continuity, Fire and Emergency Services, Fire Protection Engineering, Fire Suppression, Green, Loss Control/Prevention, Public Education, and Research.

Harvard psychology professor and author of the New York Times bestseller Stumbling on Happiness Daniel Gilbert will be the keynote speaker this year. In addition to the many educational opportunities, over 300 exhibitors from the fire and life safety industries will be present. For the latest information on the conference, to see the complete exhibitor list, or to register in advance, visit

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.


Oberon, Inc. Announces New Home and Office Network Cabinet

Oberon, Inc., a leading manufacturer of wireless access point and telecom enclosures, has announced a new enclosure for home and office aimed at reducing clutter and providing secure, convenient, aesthetic placement of networking equipment and computer peripherals. 

Oberon’s new Home and Office Network Cabinet is a wall-mounted home/office cabinet for organizing networking components. The Network Cabinet provides a convenient way to interconnect and stow broadband modems, wireless routers, small network switches, power strips, network storage, external hard drives, and other components.

"Aesthetics were a major consideration for this project," explained Oberon President and Chief Engineer Scott D. Thompson.  "The typical office has a variety of components sitting around taking up space.  This vital equipment is vulnerable to dust, spills, being knocked over, and someone simply walking away with them.  The Home and Office Networking Cabinet protects those components behind a locking door while at the same time making them basically disappear from view."

 The "invisibility factor" also comes into play in the cabinet's door material, an impact-resistant ABS plastic designed to be virtually transparent to wireless signals.  The white enclosures accept wall paint for a completely personalized look.  For orders over 50 units, Oberon will produce custom enclosures in any decor-matching color for a small additional fee. 

 The Oberon Home and Office Network Cabinet measures 22” x 22” x 4" deep with a steel back-box.  Adjustable shelves, hook-and-loop strips, and tie-downs for wiring give the user the flexibility to mount equipment in a wide variety of configurations to suit individual needs.  The user's power strip can be placed directly inside the enclosure, further reducing the visual clutter of the office.  Ethernet switches and other equipment can be mounted directly in the space where they are needed, Bringing Bandwidth Closer to the UserTM.

The Network Cabinet mounts to the wall in minutes.  The low 4" profile of the enclosure makes it appropriate for mounting just about anywhere in the home or office.  Wireless equipment for multiple cubicles can be mounted across the room in open space, external hard drives can be placed in easy reach just over desk height, or the cabinet can be mounted completely out of sightlines near floor level.

The  Oberon Home and Office Network Cabinet (Model 1082-00) has an MSRP of $180.  The product is currently available directly from Oberon, Inc. and through a variety of partners as listed on Oberon's website.  For more information regarding this product and other secure, convenient, and aesthetic telecommunications and wireless access point enclosures, please call 1-877-867-2312 or visit

ABOUT OBERON, INC. - Since 1999, Oberon, Inc. has been providing products and services to integrators and end users of wireless LAN "Wi-Fi" network products. Oberon's wireless enclosures and antenna products are used where the RF coverage, infrastructure security, environmental robustness, and aesthetics are paramount in the network design and implementation.  Oberon offers ceiling-mounted telecommunications enclosures for Ethernet switches, patch panels, wireless controllers, and other networking and A/V components - ideal for structured cabling and Fiber-to-the-Enclosure (FTTE) deployments.

Oberon's products and services have helped thousands of integrators and end-users in the global healthcare, government, transportation and logistics, education, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing achieve reliable indoor network connection mobility.


Registration Now Open for 2011 NAED Women In Industry Forum June 5-8, 2011

Conference attendees will learn how power and influence can help deliver impactful results

ST. LOUIS… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announces that registration is open for the 2011 Women In Industry Forum. The event will take place June 5-8, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Newport in Newport, R.I. The conference expands on NAED’s popular networking events for women professionals held at all regional and annual conferences. Members of the Women In Industry Conference Committee are responsible for implementing and organizing the conference.

The Women In Industry Forum is geared toward professional women in the electrical industry who want to:

·         Make industry connections for professional and personal growth

·         Share and learn valuable tips for success in the electrical industry

·         Get involved in building a strong support group

·         Increase the visibility of women in the electrical industry

·         Create an opportunity for experienced, successful women to mentor other women

Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc., will deliver the keynote address, “Poised for Leadership.” Since 1998, Miller has developed and implemented coaching programs that have benefitted women worldwide, logging many thousands of hours coaching women who are in executive and management positions, or aspire to be. Her presentation explores ways to gain credibility, get buy-in for ideas, and make a larger impact in business, through understanding the mechanisms of power and influence.

The following sessions will also be offered: 

·         How to Connect with Others Regardless of Age, Wage & Lifestage

·         Presenting with Excellence

·         Industry Expert Panel on Leadership and Influence

·         Innovation Tournament focusing on Developing Women’s Initiatives in the Electrical Industry

NAED’s Women In Industry Forum is supporting the Soles4Souls campaign this year. This charity has committed to collect and distribute 11 million shoes in 2011 to people living in extreme poverty and recovering from natural disasters. Forum attendees may participate by bringing gently worn footwear to the conference or making a cash donation online at 

Visit to register. The early bird registration deadline is April 25. For more information, contact the NAED Conference Department at (888) 791-2512.

NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED’s membership operates in approximately 4,400 locations internationally.

Siemon Adds Intelligent-Ready Patch Panels to its MapIT G2 Line of Intelligent Infrastructure Management (IIM) Solutions

Designed specifically for users planning future deployment of IIM systems, the new field-upgradable patch panels and fiber enclosures provide a cost-effective migration path that can be easily integrated into existing network infrastructures

March 23, 2011. Watertown, CT – Siemonâ, a global leader in network cabling solutions today announces new “Intelligent-Ready” patch panels and fiber enclosures to its popular MapIT G2â intelligent infrastructure management (IIM) solution. Intelligent-ready MapIT G2 panels can be installed day one and later upgraded to Smart Patch Panels and Fiber Enclosures with the addition of MapIT G2 electronics.  By providing the ability to add IIM functionality as needed and without disrupting horizontal cabling, the new panels create a wider range of deployment options for MapIT G2 IIM systems.

Once MapIT G2 electronics are added to the panel, it is ready to integrate into the full MapIT G2 system, linking with user-friendly Master Control Panels and MapIT software to provide real-time tracking and reporting of network-wide physical layer activity. 

Available pre-installed in fully functional Smart Panels or as an add-on upgrade kit, the MapIT G2 electronics add intelligent physical layer monitoring capability, displayed on an integrated onboard LCD screen that provides connection status, diagnostics and dynamic label information. The LCD display provides more detailed instructions to technicians versus simple LEDs or traditional non-intelligent panels.  The ability to monitor and display copper and fiber patching fields in real time and perform diagnostics through this onboard interface reduces troubleshooting time and speeds the completion of work orders.

The network infrastructure data provided by the Smart Patch Panels and Fiber Enclosures is transferred to the MapIT G2 Master Control Panel (MCP) which can monitor up to 2880 ports in just 1 rack mount space (U). The MCP features an integrated LCD display and keypad that provide technicians access to key network architecture and diagnostic information.  By providing this interface locally within the patching zone, the MCP virtually eliminates the need for technicians to carry PDAs or directly access the MapIT software server.   The MCP interface allows full end-to-end graphic circuit traces for any channel in the system and can perform extensive diagnostic tasks on any component or port.

Available in Category 6A (Class EA) shielded  and unshielded and Category 6 (Class E) unshielded as well as singlemode and multimode 10Gb/s optical fiber, the MapIT G2 system is fully scalable.  It can handle networks from 24 ports to 65,000 ports in a single patching field, making it equally effective managing a massive data center or a widespread network of small remote sites.

For more information on Siemon’s MapIT G2 Intelligent Infrastructure Management solution, visit:

About Siemon

Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specializing in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global offices, manufacturing and service partners throughout the world, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper (unshielded and shielded twisted-pair) category 5e, category 6 (Class E), category 6A (Class EA) and category 7/7A (Class F/FA), and multimode and singlemode optical fiber cabling systems available. With over 400 patents specific to structured cabling, from patch cords to patch panels, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.


Snake Tray Offers New Cable Management System for Solar Pole Mount Installations

Snake Tray is pleased to announce the new Solar Snake Tray Pole Mount System for field solar applications. This UL classified cable management system is capable of spanning distances in excess of 30 feet and is designed with integrated supports. Solar Snake Tray for Pole Mounts has a built-in mounting rail for attaching combiner boxes and is available with optional seismic dampeners. Solar Snake Tray nests together for eco friendly shipping and easy onsite material handling. Available in stainless steel or hot dipped galvanized.

Snake Tray manufactures a series of innovative products for all applications of cable management and power distribution, all designed and proven to significantly save on labor, time and materials. Snake Trayâ products are Made in USA utilizing solar power generated from our roof top solar array.

For information on Snake TrayÒ call 800-308-6788, email, or go to


CSC announced two new industry resources: The CSC Blog and The Data Center Blog

The CSC Blog ( contains structured cabling industry news, hot product announcements from CSC manufacturers, and special offers for visitors.  

The Data Center Blog ( uncovers unique solutions from industry-leading suppliers and helps visitors resolve today’s hot-button data center issues without investing an arm and a leg.   

Subscribe to each blog today!  This takes less than 5 seconds, and as is done by inserting your email address, then clicking on the “subscribe via email” box in the upper right-hand corner of each blog.  Make sure you subscribe to BOTH blogs individually. By subscribing, you’ll receive email updates on all new stories that are posted.  This’ll make sure you’re automatically updated on everything that gets posted.  You can even post comments on a story or help it go viral via one of the several social media engines we’re now supporting.

By subscribing, you will get regular email updates on new products along with industry news.  Also, we never, ever sell the email addresses of our subscribers.


Sticklers™ Launches First Complete Line of Fiber Optic Cleaning Products

New products offer the most cost effective cleaning option in the fiber optics industry

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – March 8, 2011 – Sticklers™ introduces the first complete line of fiber optic cleaning products specifically designed as a system to clean any connection, in any configuration, in any installation, anywhere, anytime. 

“With the increased sensitivity and widening implementation of fiber optics, we created a complete line of cleaners to meet the needs of a changing industry,” said Tom Tattersall, vice president of Sticklers Products. “We designed Sticklers Fiber Optic Cleaning Products to clean 100 percent of the fiber network 100 percent of the time for just pennies per clean.”

At the heart of the cleaning system is Sticklers Fiber Optic Splice & Connector Cleaner, the industry’s premier cleaning fluid specifically engineered for cleaning fiber optic connectors or fiber before splicing. Designed to be used in conjunction with Sticklers CleanWipes™ and Sticklers CleanStixx™, this nonflammable, plastic-safe, high purity cleaning fluid is static dissipative and easily removes fingerprints, oils, dust, lint and other surface films.

To better clean fiber optic termini, jumpers and splices, Sticklers makes CleanWipes, a patent pending high-modulus wipe that outperforms traditional cellulose, paper and woven fabric wipes. The wipes are highly absorbent, static dissipative, and provide fast and consistently high-quality cleaning results. To meet the cleaning needs from the benchtop to the field, Sticklers offers four sizes of CleanWipes at just pennies per clean. When used with the Sticklers Fiber Optic Splice & Connector Cleaner, the CleanWipes utilize “wet/dry” cleaning to offer the cleanest results possible.

For cleaning fiber optic end-faces already in alignment sleeves or installed, Sticklers offers CleanStixx, a high-purity, “cleaning stick” available in five different color-coded sizes to ensure the right cleaner is used for any size or configuration of termini endface. CleanStixx features a patented cleaning tip that spreads to clean the entire end-face, eliminating the possibility of leaving harmful residue, a common occurrence when cleaned with cloth or foam. When used in conjunction with the Sticklers Fiber Optic Splice & Connector Cleaner, CleanStixx utilizes “wet/dry” cleaning for cleanest possible end-face in the industry.

Sticklers cleaners are available from Sticklers distributors world-wide. To find a distributor, or to learn more about the full line of Sticklers cleaners, visit

About Sticklers
Sticklers cleaners are manufactured by MicroCare Corporation, a world leader in precision cleaning, coating and lubricating. As a supplier of advanced cleaners for the fiber optics market, Sticklers distinguishes itself by offering practitioners a complete line of cleaning options for just pennies per cleaning. Learn more about Sticklers at

Sticklers, CleanWipes, CleanStixx and the Sticklers logo are trademarks of MicroCare Corp.



Many tools used today to monitor the network can indicate that a problem has occurred, but they cannot go back and investigate the problem in depth, because they have not captured and stored all of the packets related to the problem. The root cause of the problem may remain elusive resulting in finger-pointing and continuing loss of productivity. Fluke Networks’ Network Time Machine, a high performance stream-to-disk Network Recorder, captures and stores network traffic and provides automated deep packet inspection (dPI) for fast root cause analysis.

Here are a few links to help you learn more about network forensics analysis: 800-283-5853 or email for more information about our solutions.


Ventas to Serve as Presenting Sponsor of BOMA’s 2011 Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Facilities Conference

(WASHINGTON, D.C.—March 7, 2011)   BOMA International announced today that Lillibridge Healthcare Services, Inc. (“Lillibridge”), a Ventas company (NYSE:VTR), will be the Presenting Sponsor of BOMA’s 2011 Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Facilities Conference, to be held May 4-6, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

”We are pleased to serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2011 Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Facilities Conference in a key healthcare market such as Dallas,” said Todd Lillibridge, Lillibridge President and Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, Medical Property Operations of Ventas. “We consider the annual BOMA conference to be a gathering of the most visionary and progressive organizations and individuals in our industry, so it was a natural fit for Lillibridge to stand tall among these healthcare leaders.”

“Lillibridge’s Presenting Sponsorship of this conference helps to reinforce the importance and stature of healthcare real estate and this conference to the industry,” noted Gordon Soderlund, conference co-chair and Senior Vice President Business Development, Lend Lease DASCO.  “As one of the market leaders, their perspectives on the challenges that healthcare systems face and the emerging trends in ambulatory facilities are sure to generate tremendous discussion.”

“Healthcare real estate continues to be one of the top performing assets, even as other commercial real estate asset classes suffer amid the recovery,” remarked BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P. “The Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Facilities Conference is considered a must-attend by healthcare real estate professionals as attendance continues to grow year after year.

Driven by population demographics and medical advances, demand for healthcare real estate is expected to remain strong as healthcare systems continue to expand their ambulatory care offerings to address rising costs and competitive market pressures.

This year’s conference will examine a number of issues converging on healthcare systems, including the increasing trend toward ambulatory care, particularly in the wake of uncertainty surrounding the implementation of healthcare reform, persistent capital constraints, and competitive pressures to expand service areas.  The conference will explore ways in which real estate strategies can help systems respond effectively to their operating challenges and leverage their real estate to fulfill their healthcare missions. The conference will also highlight the implications of healthcare reform on physician practices; access to debt and equity for real estate development and monetizations; and merger and acquisition activity among both healthcare systems and real estate entities.

Registration and information about the education program for BOMA’s 2011 Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Facilities Conference, to be held May 4-6 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, is now available online at

About Lillibridge

Lillibridge has been a leader in the healthcare real estate industry for nearly three decades.  The company develops, funds, acquires and manages healthcare facilities and provides advisory services to the nation's leading hospitals and health systems.

Lillibridge is a subsidiary of Ventas, Inc., an S&P 500 company and a leading healthcare real estate investment trust. Ventas's diverse portfolio of over 600 assets in 44 states (including the District of Columbia) and two Canadian provinces consists of seniors housing communities, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, medical office buildings and other properties. More information about Ventas and Lillibridge can be found at and

About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the web at


NJATC & Union Built PC Partner to Further Web-Based Linemen Training Program

Upper Marlboro, MD ─ Upper Marlboro, MD ─ The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry (NJATC) announced today that they had received a donation of a complete mobile laptop training-lab from Union Built PC, Inc., to be used to further the Blended Learning and other online training initiatives spearheaded by the NJATC in an effort to bring better, more current training solutions to apprentices and Journeymen.

When asked what goals the company had with this initiative, Brandon Weber, Managing Partner and owner of Union Built PC, replied “We're pleased to be able to offer our high-quality, IBEW assembled equipment to the NJATC, in an ongoing effort to assist the industry, the NJATC, and the JATCs in deploying technology that helps apprentices and journeymen meet their training goals. Especially as more young people come into the industry, using computers for online Blended Learning solutions is key."

Union Built PC assisted the NJATC in the launching of the Blended Learning program two years ago when it took a "road show" of laptops and projection equipment on tour with the Cengage, Delmar Learning crew as the program was rolled out to each AJATC.

At the Outside Conference in Alaska in May 2010, the AJATC directors gave universal positive feedback on the Blended Learning program, and many of the attendees who have been using Union Built PC equipment, software, and tech support to assist in deploying online training solutions also gave positive feedback about the quality of the equipment and the expertise that Union Built PC offers to all IBEW Locals, JATCs, and NECA contractors.

"We've had your laptops for over 2 years now, and we've been very happy with the quality; I can't say anything about tech support, because we haven't needed it!" said Virgil Melton, Director, SELCAT.

About the NJATC

The NJATC is a nonprofit organization founded in 1941 by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The organization is committed to developing and standardizing education in the electrical industry to properly and effectively train members of NECA and the IBEW; providing the electrical construction industry with the most highly trained and skilled workforce possible. Since its inception, more than 325,000 apprentices have completed NJATC training programs and become competent Journeymen, making the organization one of the largest training and apprenticeship programs of its kind. For more information, go to

About Union Built PC

A proud NJATC Platinum Training Partner, UBPC is approaching 10 years in business. It provides IBEW assembled laptops, desktops, and servers for Local Unions, JATCs, NECA Contractors, and non-profit organizations nationwide. The tech support team is in the United States and they are all members of IBEW Local 17. UBPC also provides websites, grievance management software, and web-based class registration/hours reporting applications. (; (877) 728-6466; (248) 910-3955)

About National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)

NECA is the voice of the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development. For more information, visit

About The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

The IBEW is an international labor organization that has trained the most qualified electrical workers in the trade for more than 119 years.  With approximately 725,000 members in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Republic of Panama, the IBEW has members in construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government. For more information, visit


Hardware and designs to cut expenses with FIBER OPTIC CABLING

Fiber Optic Cabling Improves Your Competitive Edge

Transmission speeds are increasing to levels that were only science fiction a few years ago. The communications industry is wrestling with establishing fiber optic design standard operating procedures as we tackle new bandwidth demands.

If the costs are relatively equal, are you going to build a two lane road or a super highway?” Larry Johnson, Director and Founder of The Light Brigade

If you are looking for ways to differentiate your deliverables, design with fiber.

While fiber optic technologies are often discussed in terms of the value they offer network designers or end-users. One excellent example is preterminated cabling assemblies, also, the proper choices of cables or field termination methods used.  There are many powerful ways that fiber optic connectivity can improve your business without increasing operating costs:

Senior Systems Engineer (Megladon Mfg Group – Austin, TX) Daniel Hogberg, RCDD explained that the marketplace rapid shift to fiber optical cabling systems is driving the increased use of cable assemblies with factory-installed terminations. He added, “ You can’t match the quality in the field with poor working conditions. Bad lighting and dust are just some of the negatives on the job.”

By using a preterminated cabling assemblies – cabling infrastructures that have been preterminated and tested in the manufacturing facility prior to shipment – network installers can reduce the number of personnel required at each job site.  The result is the opportunity to either bid more competitively on a single project – requiring fewer personnel to do the same amount of work as a traditional installation. In most installations, whether local area network, data center or plant floor, up to 50 percent of the total project time can be spent on termination via splicing or field connectors. Preterminated cable assemblies deliver unsurpassed performance and time savings. The newest and most durable technology in this arena is the ScratchGuard HLC termination. 

In order to keep a project on schedule, a network installer may have to deploy multiple splice or termination technicians to a single location. The project manager for one leading fiber optical cabling system’s industrial customer had multiple splice technicians working side-by-side, daily, in the main computer room to terminate the several dozen fibers aggregating at that location.  By using a preterminated system, at the main crossconnect end, the manager could have sent out a single technician to plug the preterminated connector ends into modules and conduct the testing, taking a half day, at most. Meanwhile, other technicians could have been deployed to other revenue-generating projects. 

Fiber optic splicing and other more traditional methods of field termination are advanced skills that often take years of experience to perform well and, logically, draw higher labor rates. However, it is almost impossible to match the quality of the in the field/on the job to the factory installed connection While there will, almost certainly, always be times when field splicing and termination are appropriate choices, there is a distinct economic advantage for installation or integration businesses that can use a more “generalist” staff to take on network installation projects. 

A preterminated system connects so easily that it makes network connectivity something virtually any installer/integrator employee can do. Furthermore, as splice and connector technicians are added to the roll, this generally requires additional investment in the equipment they use, from VERY EXPENSIVE fusion splicers to connector tool kits.

Given the variability of hand-epoxying and polishing, a field-polished connector will rarely, if ever, meet the end-face geometry requirements of Telcordia GR-326, even with highly skilled technicians. 

Deploying more preterminated cabling systems enables network installers and integrators to maintain their current level of splicing and connectorization personnel and equipment without requiring additional investment when new, larger or simultaneous projects appear on the horizon.  The skill requirements and expense of fusion splicing are relatively clear, but many installation companies continue to rely on the time-consuming process of epoxying and then hand-polishing connectors in the field, a process that can result in less than ideal outcomes even with the most experienced technician. Epoxy-and-polish connectors also take several minutes per connector to terminate, which may have a negative impact on the number of personnel required to complete the project in a timely manner. 

For many network installers or integrators, fiber optic connectivity can be a challenge to business operations, either due to a lack of experience with fiber optics, or because their operational focus is on cable and conduit pulls versus termination.  It is not unusual for an installer to outsource the termination and testing portions of a network project due to lack of experience or staff and equipment necessary to conduct the work.  First, it is important to appreciate that in the past several years, fiber optic connectivity has actually become far easier and cost-effective to deploy than copper systems. The engineering for copper technology has become increasingly complex – and therefore more challenging to install – in order to keep up with bandwidth and distance, as well as the environmental performance concerns, such as electromagnetic interference. If splicing or connectorization is not part of the typical business model for an installer or integrator, he no longer needs to outsource this portion of the project but can instead use his standard personnel to complete the network installation.  While fiber optic technologies offer great value to end-users, their advantages for network installers and integrators cannot be ignored.

Fully preterminated solutions can greatly reduce cost, complexity or the need to outsource project elements, while careful consideration of the connectors, cable and hardware can also provide cost savings and simplicity benefits.  These advantages enable installers and integrators to grow their business and bid more competitively on projects without negatively affecting the bottom line. 

Check out the websites of DRAKA, Corning Cabling Systems, OFS, OCC, AFL and the rest of the cable manufacturers. Their websites are rich with information and it’s free


World-Class Speakers Gergen, Linneman and Fascitelli to Headline BOMA 2011 - the BOMA International Conference and The Every Building Show®, June 26-28 in Washington, D.C.

(WASHINGTON—April 7, 2011) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is pleased to announce its general session speakers for the BOMA International Conference and The Every Building Show®, June 26-28 in Washington, D.C. David Gergen, a distinguished journalist and advisor to four Presidents, will present the Sunday keynote address, sponsored by Constellation Energy and AOBA Alliance, Inc. Dr. Peter Linneman, a respected economist, and Michael Fascitelli, president and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO), the third largest REIT in the country, will discuss the global state of commercial real estate at the Monday General Session, sponsored by Yardi.

“These experts are leaders in their respective industries and will provide BOMA conference attendees with unparalleled insight into what the future holds for politics, the economy and the commercial real estate market,” remarked BOMA International Chair Ray H. Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, partner and chief operating officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P.  “Key insight from these experts, along with the industry’s best networking opportunities, first-class education sessions and a trade show full of innovative solutions, make the BOMA conference the event commercial real estate practitioners can’t afford to miss.”

A White House adviser, journalist and teacher over the past 40 years, David Gergen worked in the administrations of Presidents Nixon and Ford and was director of communications for President Reagan. He also served as counselor to President Clinton on both foreign policy and domestic affairs. He is a senior political analyst for CNN, a professor of public service at the Harvard Kennedy School and the director of its Center for Public Leadership.

Gergen began a career in journalism in 1985. He was the moderator of World @ Large, a 13-part PBS discussion series for two seasons and for five years teamed up with Mark Shields on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour for widely-acclaimed Friday night political discussions. Today, he contributes to CNN as a senior political analyst, Parade Magazine and the U.S. News & World Report as editor-at-large. He holds 19 honorary degrees and sits on many boards, including Teach for America, the Aspen Institute and Duke University.

Dr. Peter Linneman is the principal of Linneman Associates and also serves as the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate, Finance and Public Policy at the Wharton School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania. A member of Wharton's faculty since 1979, he served as the founding chairman of Wharton's Real Estate Department and was the Director of Wharton's Zell-Lurie Real Estate Center for 13 years. He is the founding co-editor of The Wharton Real Estate Review. His teaching and research focuses on real estate and investment strategies. He has published more than 80 articles during his career.

Linneman is widely recognized as one of the leading strategic thinkers in the real estate industry. He was cited as one of the 25 most influential people in real estate by Realtor Magazine and was named one of the 100 most powerful people in New York real estate by the New York Observer. He is also a co-coordinator/sponsor/moderator of the prestigious industry roundtable, The Marshall Bennett Classic.

Michael Fascitelli is president and chief executive officer of Vornado Realty Trust, where he also serves as a Trustee of the Board. Prior to joining Vornado, he led the real estate investment banking business of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He joined the firm in 1985 in the Real Estate Department and became a partner in 1992. He also served on the firm's investment committee for the Whitehall Investment Committee. In December 1996 he became president of Vornado Realty Trust.

Mr. Fascitelli has been active over the years in the real estate industry and his community.  He is a trustee and member of the Urban Land Institute.  He is the chairman of the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School.  He serves on the Boards of Child Mind Institute, The Rockefeller University and St. Bernard’s School.  From the Greater New York Councils Boy Scouts of America he received the Good Scout award and the James E. West Fellow award in 1997 and he received the Silver Beaver Award in 2003. 

The BOMA International Conference and The Every Building Show® is the premier educational conference and tradeshow for commercial real estate professionals to learn strategies and build relationships that are vital for achieving operational excellence and sustaining their business through this challenging market cycle. For more information, visit


About BOMA International

Founded in 1907, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. The 16,500-plus members of BOMA International own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties in North America and abroad. BOMA’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at


Jacksonville’s CPC - Communication Planning Corporation partnered with ShoreTel for their Priority 1 E-Rate VoIP services. The Leading Pure IP Telephony Solution built as one integrated solution

As a service provider, CPC - Communication Planning Corporation picks best-in breed technologies to build our services. Michael Shannahan, CPC’s VP of Operations said “We carefully evaluated all of the major VoIP solutions on the market including Cisco, Avaya, and MiTel and chose ShoreTel as our strategic VoIP technology partner.  They won our evaluation hands down.” 

There are several key differentiators that make ShoreTel stand out:

The Leading Pure IP Telephony Solution built as one integrated solution

ShoreTel is the only vendor with a pure IP telephony solution built from the ground up as a totally integrated VoIP solution.  Unlike legacy VoIP providers that "IP enabled" their existing solution or Cisco that built a solution through company acquisitions, ShoreTel started with a "clean sheet of paper" designing a tightly integrated and elegant VoIP solution that works and is easy to use.

ShoreTel has consistently won industry awards for their VoIP solution

For four years in a row, ShoreTel has received the highest ratings for quality, reliability and end user satisfaction – beating Cisco, Avaya and Nortel hands down in every category.  This annual study is conducted by Nemertes, an independent firm that surveys customers who have deployed VoIP. 

View the details of this report

For three years in a row, ShoreTel has won "Best in VoiceCon"

Learn more about this award

ShoreTel is based on a unique distributed architecture

The ShoreTel system is a fully distributed IP telephony system that can be installed with no single point of failure. The result is a “single-image” system across all geographies, with complete feature transparency. Gone are the days of multiple PBXs, voice mail systems, automated attendants, and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) systems.

All Sites receive the same features and functionality regardless of size

Unlike other platforms that offer one solution for satellite offices and another solution for large corporate offices, the ShoreTel solution enables all sites to receive the same features and functionality regardless of their size.  As an example: the two phones in the gymnasium office will have the same features and functionality as the 500 phones in the central campus. This is very unique in VoIP solutions.

Extensive features and functionality are included

The solution includes extensive features and functionality as part of the solution that many vendors charge extra for.  These include features such as three-way conferencing, desktop call manager (powerful windows-based or web-based application that allows users to control their phone, access and online directory, use speed dial, view call history and more; Unified Messaging which integrates voicemail with MS Outlook to enable voicemail messages to be accessed via the inbox without integrating with Exchange; and more.

Very Easy to Use

Administration is very simple and centralized via a web application.  This the System Administrator to make simple changes to any phone anywhere in the district within minutes from his or her desk without having to travel onsite or dispatch a vendor to make the change.

ShoreTel delivers industry-leading Customer Satisfaction

Like CPC - Communication Planning Corporation, ShoreTel is fanatical about customer satisfaction.  They pole their customers every year to ensure they are happy with their solution and the service they receive from their partners. 

More about ShoreTel

ShoreTel is a company based in Sunnyvale, CA. They are a provider of commercial, closed-source VoIP products. Current implementations of ShoreTel systems include telephone handsets, as well as voicemail servers, switching hardware, analog phone outputs, and other telecommunications-related hardware and software. ShoreTel's Unified Communication solution is based on a distributed architecture with a single image for administration. While traditional TDM systems or competitor VoIP solutions require 2N redundancy, ShoreTel accomplishes redundancy at N+1 by balancing the load on their voice appliances. Their ShoreGear appliances do not have any spinning media or hard drive, and instead uses embedded flash memory. The ShoreGear appliance runs on VxWorks or Linux. The distributed architecture can be uniquely designed with no single point of failure.

ShoreTel primarily sells and markets their product through channel partners, including Tier 1 carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, TWT, and Qwest in North America, and Telstra in Australia. Over 700 communication providers sell ShoreTel solutions in over 28 countries around the world.

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHOR - News) is the provider of brilliantly simple Unified Communication (UC) solutions based on its award-winning IP business phone system. We offer organizations of all sizes integrated, voice, video, data, and mobile communications on an open, distributed IP architecture that helps significantly reduce the complexity and costs typically associated with other solutions. The feature-rich ShoreTel UC system offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) and the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, in part because it is easy to deploy, manage, scale and use. Increasingly, companies around the world are finding a competitive edge by replacing business-as-usual with new thinking, and choosing ShoreTel to handle their integrated business communication. ShoreTel is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in Austin, Texas, United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit

More about CPC - Communication Planning Corporation

Communication Planning Corporation -- CPC, founded in 1980 by Frank Bisbee, is a family owned and operated full service systems integrator/telecommunications and service/support company. It is our job to help you effectively harness the power of technology by linking telephones and computers together to form a superior communications network. Our client base is primarily located in the South Eastern United States, yet geographic boundaries aren't an issue with our broad reach of solutions. Our Vice Presidents of Service and Operations, Mike Shannahan and Michelle Gilleo guarantee the same quality and service our current customers have come to expect.

The CPC system design methodology is simple -- build the best telecommunications system possible for our customers. We believe that there are several levels essential to building and servicing your telecommunications system.   The CPC service offers Physical (cabling); Communications hardware; Applications; Contract maintenance and management services.

At CPC, we partner with many national companies to ensure that the equipment we provide is the best in the marketplace, our relationship with these firms is important to our business and your success. By working with companies like ShoreTel, Siemon, Ortronics, Leviton, and Minuteman UPS Power Protection Systems, we can guarantee that your telecommunications equipment is in line with current technology.

With our North Florida centrally located location, we are confident that we can sell, service and maintain your system better than anyone - why?   Our 31 year track record speaks for itself.   We have helped many Jacksonville firms with their telecommunications needs.   Our staff frequently monitors your system to see how it can be made better and more efficient. We ensure that our customers are confident that their system is maintained and serviced to our exacting standards.

CPC -- Making the connection for Business in powerful new ways. Jacksonville’s and North Florida’s leading resource for cabling, communications systems, and IBS – Integrated Building Systems.

Communication Planning Corporation
4949 Sunbeam Road, Suite #16
Jacksonville, FL 32257

PH (904) 645-9077


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