Megladon Manufacturing Group, Ltd. designs and builds passive fiber optic devices, and is committed to improving fiber connectivity. Products that have undergone our patented HLC laser termination process feature ScratchGuard® mating surfaces and improved optical performance.

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Issue: April 2013
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee’s Buzz

STEP FOUNDATION Selects DuPont As Chair of Environmental Product Selection Group

“How does an alleged "Environmental" association appoint a representative of a company with one of the worst environmental and safety records to chair the committee (manufacturers group) on products selection (rating)? It’s like putting lipstick on a pig!!” commented Art Padgett, a 40 year veteran telecommunications industry consultant.

According to CROCODYL – Collaborative research on corporations: DuPont  Company Profile

There is hardly a single chemical toxin in which DuPont has not played a major role in developing. The company pioneered the production of sulphur dioxide, leaded petrol, CFC's and recently deep well injection of hazardous waste. The company then used dubious science, political manipulation and cover up to avoid restrictions on their use.” During its 200 years of existence, DuPont has committed a staggering amount of corporate crimes (far too many to mention here).

Health and Safety

DuPont has a miserable environmental health and safety record and, in the past, has frequently run afoul of occupational safety and health laws. In 1987, the New Jersey Supreme Court found that DuPont had deliberately concealed medical records identifying that several workers were suffering illnesses related to asbestos exposure. The same year, DuPont’s then subsidiary Consolidation Coal was cited for ‘reckless disregard’ in reporting worker injuries. Consolidation Coal was also among a group of coal companies fined for falsifying air samples provided to federal inspectors testing for conditions that could cause black lung disease.

In 1999 the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined DuPont $70,000 for Health and Safety record keeping violations at its Seaford DE plant in the US. The company was also ordered to implement a series of Health and Safety improvements. Health and Safety records at the site were investigated in response to a complaint filed by an employee, whose cumulative trauma injury was not acknowledged by the company as work-related. It was found that the company failed to record 117 occupational injury and illness cases during 1997 and 1998 that should have been recorded and that certain cases of injury and illness were recorded incorrectly.

Environment and product safety:

DuPont was rated as the number one worst polluter on the Political Economy Research Institute's Toxic 100 index. The index is based on 2002 EPA Toxics Release Inventory data. PERI's Toxic 100 index ranks the nation's largest companies based on the quantity of their emissions, relative toxicity of chemicals emitted, and proximity to population centers, among other criteria.

Dupont was fined $10.25 million dollars and agreed to pay an additional $6.25 million for environmental projects to settle charges that it concealed information on the toxicity of a particular chemical used in its signature Teflon coating. The EPA argued that for 20 years Dupont deliberately covered up facts about the serious environmental and health dangers of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also called C-8, which contaminated water supplies near its plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. PFOA has been identified as a likely human carcinogen.

Studies have shown that DuPont's Teflon non-stick coating releases toxic and potentially deadly gases as the particles breakdown under intense heat during cooking. Toxic offgases are produced at as low as 446°F, and at 680°F Teflon coating emits six toxic compounds including two cancer-causing agents, two global pollutants, and MFA which at low doses can be lethal to humans. Temperatures of 1000°F (which can be reached by stovetop pans) will cause Teflon and other non-stick coatings to break down to a chemical warfare agent called PFIB. DuPont has stated that non-stick coating can suffer serious decomposition at temperatures above 660°F, which the company claims is far above average cooking temperatures. The Environmental Working Group conducted tests that showed Teflon coated pans reaching 721°F within five minutes of sitting on a stovetop.


Gases from Teflon coating can cause "polymer fume fever," the symptoms of which resemble the common flu. Ailments include tightness of the chest, cough, headache, chills, fever, and shortness of breath. Teflon and non-stick coating has been linked to the deaths of hundreds of household birds.


According to the United Steelworkers International Union, DuPont lacks sufficient safety training for its workers, safety guidelines are poorly written and implemented, and factories are poorly designed. In addition, DuPont fails to record workplace injuries to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. According to OSHA, in 1997 and 1998, DuPont neglected to report 117 occupational injuries and illnesses. DuPont was fined $70,000 with instructions to conduct a corporate-wide review of injury and illness records over five years.


DuPont’s factories have experienced hundreds of chemical accidents:

o                    On October 11, 2004, four citations were issued to DuPont after its Wurtland, Kentucky facility leaked hundreds of pounds of sulfuric acid into the ground, water, and air.

o                    In July 2003, DuPont reached a $1.1 million legal settlement with the Justice Department and the EPA over Clean Air Act violations for the May 1997 chemical contamination in Louisville, Kentucky. Roughly 11,500 pounds of hydrogen fluoride had escaped into the air.

o                    In July 2005, seven people had minor injuries during a maintenance clean-up at Sabine River Works plant.

DuPont has contributed to over 20 superfund sites, which are identified as the nation’s worst toxic waste sites. Sites that put people most at risk are placed on the National Priority List (NPL); two of DuPont’s sites have made the list. In addition, DuPont has numerous other contaminated sites that require clean-up and remediation. US Steelworkers International Union, 09/01/2005.

STEP Foundation appoints DuPont Regulatory Manager to head committee to select preferred environmentally-friendly cabling and IT products.

The STEP Foundation Convenes Manufacturers Group

The STEP Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to bringing sustainability practices to the process of planning, designing, integrating and operating information communication technology (ICT) systems has announced the formation of the STEP Rating System for Manufacturers Group. Members of the group met for the first time on September 11, 2012, at the TIA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

The objective of the STEP Manufacturers Group is to capture, record, and applaud manufacturers’ sustainability practices and initiatives, while encouraging manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, system integrators, and VARS to grow their sustainability programs and exceed building owners and user expectations in commercial building materials and equipment. The manufacturers’ rating system is designed to be a standardized, fair, consistent, and transparent corporate recognition program.

“I am very pleased by the swift and immediate support that the major manufacturers have shown for the STEP Rating System and for the STEP Foundation,” said Allen Weidman, Executive Director of the STEP Foundation. “These manufacturers have recognized the importance of sustainability when it comes to commercial applications.”

The STEP Manufacturers Group is represented by the following people and manufacturers:

Fred Dawson, Regulatory Affairs Manager, DuPont

Vice Chair
Jeff Lechtanski, Marketing Manager, Leviton


This is just wrong! But that’s just my opinion.

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column


AFL Receives 2012 SCMA Safety Performance Recognition Awards

Spartanburg, SC – March 12, 2013 – The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) presented Safety Performance Recognition Awards to AFL’s Ridgeview and Hidden Lake manufacturing operations during the annual Workforce Protection Conference held in Spartanburg, S.C. For 2012, both AFL facilities had zero injuries resulting in lost workdays, job restrictions or job transfers.

“AFL’s manufacturing facilities house a large sector of the company’s operations, so keeping them safe and operating smoothly is a huge factor in whether or not we are successful,” said Don Heatherly, environmental, health and safety (EHS) manager for AFL. “We strive to provide our customers with the best products and services on the market, and step one is to ensure the safety of our employees while maintaining productivity at our plants.”

Recipients of SCMA’s safety performance award must have a recordable and lost work day injury rate that is below the state’s average. Ridgeview manufacturing associates have worked 1.9M hours without a lost work day incident and Hidden Lake manufacturing associates have worked 3.1M hours without a lost work day incident.

AFL’s EHS program is committed to providing a safe work environment for all its associates. Policies and procedures are audited annually to expose areas that need improvement, and every associate must complete annual EHS training courses.

For more information about AFL, its products and services, visit

About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting inside plant central office, EF&I, outside plant, enterprise and wireless areas.

Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit 


ShoreTel Partners to Offer On-Premise and Hosted UC Solutions to Customers

Longtime ShoreTel Cloud Division Partners Join Champion Partner Program

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 2, 2013 -- ShoreTel® (SHOR), the leading provider of brilliantly simple unified communications platforms, including business phone systems, applications, and mobile UC solutions, announced new additions to its Champion Partner Program. Longtime ShoreTel Sky cloud division partners, Myriad Supply, Flexible Business Systems, Derive Technologies and Precision IT, will now offer customers ultimate choice in UC platforms, by offering either on-premise or hosted and in the cloud solutions.

ShoreTel relies on its outstanding network of channel reseller partners to deliver end-to-end solutions that produce a competitive advantage for customers. ShoreTel is the only provider of UC communications solutions that consistently leads the industry in customer satisfaction. ShoreTel's on-premise solutions are built to scale and grow as needed. Myriad Supply, Flexible Business Systems, Derive Technologies and Precision IT will now offer customers on-premise voice, unified communications, mobility and contact center solutions, in addition to the cloud-based solutions they have been selling for years. With the freedom of choice between on-premise and hosted, companies are able to select the business communication solution that best fits their needs and operational model.

"ShoreTel's value proposition for partners is unique in the industry. With our top-rated on-premise solution as well as our hosted ShoreTel Sky solution, reseller partners can offer their customers ultimate choice," said David Petts senior vice president worldwide sales at ShoreTel. "ShoreTel reseller partners, as evidenced by ShoreTel's high Net Promoter Score across all products, can feel confident that customers will have a brilliantly simple experience no matter which solution they choose."

"Amnesty International has been a ShoreTel Sky customer for four years now and couldn't be more pleased with the quality, efficiency and reliability of our system," said Lesley Edinboro, director of IT at Amnesty International. "What sets ShoreTel apart is its commitment to customer satisfaction and helping organizations implement a unified communications system that best meets their unique needs, whether it's on premise or in the cloud."

ShoreTel's acquisition of M5, now ShoreTel Sky, in March 2012, positioned ShoreTel as a leading provider in the emerging Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) industry, enabling it to provide customers a choice between on-premise IP-PBX and hosted cloud solutions. The acquisition was well-received by ShoreTel's reseller partner community, with nearly 50 ShoreTel Champion Partners also signing on to refer or sell the ShoreTel Sky cloud solution.

The latest additions of longtime ShoreTel Sky cloud division reseller partners to ShoreTel's on-premise Champion Partner Program indicates the direction of the industry toward closer integration between cloud and premise-based solutions.

"Moving forward, we want to make sure that we're providing the ultimate in choice to our customers. With our top-rated on-premise solution as well as our hosted ShoreTel Sky solution, we are looking to innovate the space between on-premise and hosted solutions," said Peter Blackmore, ShoreTel CEO. "We are also building a hybrid approach that will allow us to deliver cloud apps and services to on-premise customers."

ShoreTel's outstanding network of reseller partners provides world-class UC services to their customers:

  • "Derive Technologies has been a ShoreTel cloud partner for seven years and an HP networking partner for many years as well. When ShoreTel acquired M5, I thought it was a natural fit to position hybrid to our growing healthcare practice as many hospitals need a premise solution, but would love to offer cloud to its doctors as part of industry consolidation. I don't know anyone else who could do that ― and our existing partnership with HP made this a no brainer."
    ― Bill Eggers, vice president, Derive Technologies
  • "We sold ShoreTel Sky for many years when it was M5 and had a great experience. Ingram Micro had encouraged us to consider adding ShoreTel for many years to round out our offering. So we were thrilled with the acquisition and see a huge amount of opportunity in our home marketplace of Long Island and our bourgeoning health care practice."
    ― Marty Schmitt, principal, Flexible Business Systems
  • "We are thrilled to add these solutions to our product portfolio. Some customers prefer cloud, some customer prefer premise, and all of our customers want to include smartphones in their UC solution. No provider has the breadth of solutions that rivals ShoreTel's and we are excited for future solutions that let our customers utilize a combination of premise and cloud applications together."
    ― Andrew Fisher, CEO, Myriad Supply
  • "The world of technology is changing quickly and we realized our clients were struggling with the phone system piece of their technology puzzle. Our core MSP business is based on making the right technology recommendations. We were a longtime partner of M5/ShoreTel Sky and when we looked into ShoreTel premise we realized it is something extraordinary. The system is so easy, it is basically intuitive and clients love it. We looked at the competition and there is just nothing else like it on the market, not even close. The very first customer we recommended it to, jumped on board. It's just easy."
    ― Anthony Butler, vice president of sales, Precision IT

ShoreTel, Inc. (SHOR) is a provider of business communication solutions whose brilliantly simple unified communications platforms, applications and mobile UC solutions promise a new rhythm of workforce engagement and collaboration. With costly complexity eliminated by design from its award-winning, all-in-one IP phone system, UC and contact center solution, and its industry-leading hosted phone system, workers enjoy a freedom and self-reliance that other providers can't match. Users have full control to engage and collaborate, no matter the time, place or device, for the lowest cost and demand on IT resources in the industry. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices and partners worldwide. For more information, visit or

Communication Planning Corporation is North Florida’s leading ShoreTel dealer.

Since 1980, CPC has provided quality service for their communications and cabling needs. CPC and ShoreTel can deliver unified communications.

Contact Michael Shannahan, Vice President – Communication Planning Corporation (Jacksonville, FL) Tel. 904-645-9077 or


Berk-Tek and Ortronics ending NetClear partnership

March 6, 2013

In a joint statement issued March 4, the presidents of Berk-Tek and Ortronics (Legrand Data Communications) announced that on May 19 the companies will end their NetClear marketing alliance.

“In the coming weeks you can expect to hear more from us individually regarding future product plans,” said the statement from Berk-Tek’s Paul Trunk and Legrand Data Communications’ Mark Panico. “Our first priority, as it has been for the past 15 years, is to assure you, our valued customer, that we are committed to delivering world-class quality products and services throughout this transition period, even as we wind down our alliance activities,” the statement continued.

The two further confirmed they “will stand behind all existing NetClear warranties. Additionally, we are both committed to supporting ongoing offers of NetClear warranties on qualifying solutions during this transition period.

“We recognize that the changes we are making raise some questions,” Trunk and Panico’s statement added. “But be assured that these changes will result in new options to meet your needs. We will continue to collaborate in providing outstanding customer service through this transition.”


NFPA - Natl. Fire Protection Association News Releases

03/28/2013 announces recipient of 2013 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year



NFPA launches new Authenticity Program to help users of NFPA codes and standards to be sure they have the real thing


NFPA signs Memorandum of Understanding with South Africa’s FFA Non Profit Company

NFPA awards 2013 Jensen Grant to Springfield Fire Department of Massachusetts

NFPA announces first Colorado Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service

NFPA Journal features Ikea’s safety criteria development

NFPA and NVFC release Standards Guide for Fire Departments

Fire Adapted Communities coalition announces release of wildfire report and video


NFPA adapts electric vehicle training for Canadian first responders

NFPA offers multimedia presentation on lightweight construction and fire sprinklers

NFPA teams up with Domino’s Pizza® to deliver fire safety messages

NFPA Standards Council appoints a new member

NFPA partners with LEGOLAND® California Resort for fire safety education

10th anniversary of The Station nightclub fire

NFPA marks 10th anniversary of The Station fire with plea for caution

Learn Not to Burn® Level 1 makes fire safety fun in the classroom



NFPA and ESPN’s Hannah Storm release PSAs on grilling safety

NFPA’s 5th Backyards and Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference slated for Salt Lake City in November

NFPA Board of Directors appoints new members to Standards Council

Firewise launches national wildfire safety challenge for communities

Fire Protection Research Foundation to host Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium

NFPA Journal features the rebuilding of the St. John Medical Center in Joplin, Mo. after the 2011 tornado


NFPA awards Isman Educational Grant to Austin Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team



Jones/NCTI™ and The Light Brigade Offer New Course in Fiber Optics

Centennial, CO and Tukwila, WA (March 27, 2013) – Jones/NCTI and The Light Brigade have teamed-up to offer a comprehensive 2-day, instructor-led Fiber Optics Workshop for Jones/NCTI graduates of Fiber Installation and Activation and Fiber Testing and Maintenance courses. This hands-on course is presented in a lab format with multiple stations and features the latest in fiber optic technology, products and standards. Students will be provided the practical understanding and skills required to properly design, install, and maintain fiber optic networks.


“I am excited about offering the hands on fiber training with The Light Brigade. This alliance is a win, win, win! Jones/NCTI students win by receiving industry leading hands on training, the MSO wins as their staff gains required and highly sought skills and Jones/NCTI and The Light Brigade win by expanding our successful relationship,” said Vincent DiBiase, President of Jones/NCTI.


This course will enhance what students have previously learned in their Jones/NCTI fiber courses with the added benefit of face-to-face guidance from instructors well-versed in this highly-specialized and indispensable subject. Beginners to experienced fiber technicians will benefit from this exclusive offer. Upon successful completion of this hands-on course, the student will have the experience required to immediately contribute to the building and maintenance of a fiber optic network. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Jones/NCTI certificate of graduation and a Light Brigade certificate of completion.


About The Light Brigade

Founded in 1987, The Light Brigade has instructed over 45,000 attendees worldwide in its public and custom classes on fiber optic design, maintenance, and testing, including advanced topics such as FTTx, DWDM, and PMD/CD.  In addition to creating custom courses tailored to any need or skill level, the company produces educational DVDs and CDs that provide focus on specific fiber related topics.


About Jones/NCTI

Jones/NCTI, Inc. is a leading provider of technical training, consulting services and education in the cable and broadband industry. Founded in 1968, Jones/NCTI has provided training to more than 400,000 broadband professionals. Jones/NCTI provides both companies and individuals with information tools, customized blends of paper-based and online training courses that mirror industry trends, assessments of workforce competencies, a broadband-specific college degree program and pre-employment skills testing development.

For more information, visit


Exactly what is cable management? Article from CNS Magazine – Canada’s leading publication for structured cabling, networking and telecom

It has become a “catch all” reference that, to understand it, often entails the perspective of the person using the term.

By Jim Norton

In today’s technology-driven environments, providing the appropriate technological support for staff to perform their jobs is paramount to a successful work environment. And the connectivity this technology requires continues to grow.

Planning and installing the power and communication connections that this equipment needs, has become a very challenging aspect of both the design and maintenance of our buildings. With this development, the term “cable management “ is one that is often used in both areas and as a result there is an ever growing list of products who advertise themselves as cable management  systems and solutions.

So exactly, what is cable management? It seems to mean many different things and different products.

Like many terms used today, cable management has become a “catch all” reference that, to understand it, often entails the perspective of the person using the term. Certainly, an electrical contractor has a cable management perspective that is different from the communication contractor, and very different from the facilities manager.

Add to these core services, audio-visual, security, fire alarm, public address, etc. and you start to realize that all are cable-based services that need to be managed as individual components of the complete environment. In addition, each has its own view of how best to manage their cabling.

One uncontested fact from a user’s point of view is that cables and wires can pose a very real safety hazard and are viewed as ugly. As a result, we do our best to protect and hide them, wherever and however we can. This can be verified by simply inspecting any and all building voids. Typically wires are hidden above ceilings, in walls, columns, inside conduits or ducting poured into the floor slabs.

Cabling has become the invisible information highway within our buildings.

All of these individual building services compete with each other, as well as the other non-cable services, for the same limited hidden spaces within our building structure.

This makes the management of these cables even more important, and increasingly more challenging to address.

Additionally, we understand that the service outlets are the connection points we need. These outlets are NOT held in much higher regard aesthetically, but because they are necessary, we accept them. The challenge is planning their locations to be serviceable. And because they are never where we want or need them, they seem to be everywhere. Once installed, we have no choice, but to work with what we have. Or as can be seen in most facilities, they exist unused, in hopes that someday their location will be usable.

So there seems to be a “construction “ or “building installation” cable management perspective, a perspective that focuses on this invisible cable highway.

The serviceability of an outlet leads us to the next level of cable management. More often than we realize or care to admit, our outlets are not used, for the simple reason that their location does not meet our needs. This introduces another perspective.

The “user cable management” requisites are quite different, because further use of the building voids is no longer an option. As we start to design the interior space of our building, we are immediately confronted with how to best connect our users with our fixed outlet locations. We are presented with a multitude of cable management options for our furniture, our walls, or false structures, so that connectivity is where we need it. We have designed additional spaces that can protect and hide wires by incorporating them into the desks, tables and partitions, or run the cables down power poles. Everything except the chairs seems to incorporate some type of cable management accessory.

As all of these options are evaluated, you must confront the fact that all of your spaces do not have universal needs. Offices, administrative areas, meeting rooms, classrooms, IT rooms, control centres, and training rooms all have different connectivity requirements. Some work environments are static in nature and some require re-configurability. So a “One Size Fits All “approach rarely satisfies all the needs.

One last point of confusion is that the terms, cable management, cable management solutions, cable management systems, etc. are all used as equal and interchangeable terms. Somehow, cable management (a process or procedure) and a cable management system (a product) and a cable management solution (a result) ….. all mean the same thing.

Based upon these standards any space that is designed into the building or furnishings, or can be added to the building or furnishings, that provides a space for your contractor or your staff to install cables in, is considered cable management , or a cabling solution, or system, depending upon who you are conversing with.

Now that we have a clear picture of what cable management is, we must ask ourselves a more important question: Do any of these processes, products, or scenarios provide us with the end results that we need?

If the answer is yes, then why do we find ourselves entering the “When all else fails” phase of our design.

Usually this occurs on move-in day, and we realize the building’s cable management system does not exactly align with the furniture’s cable management s system.            

We are then offered a host of additional cable management solutions including multi-outlet strips, plastic wall chases, rollout rubber floor strips.

Most of these offerings will involve your staff making do and making it work, because to do otherwise would involve considerable cost and labour, followed by more contractors with change orders clutched in their hand.

Specifically, “do these solutions allow you to manage, handle, direct, move or control your cabling? Are they really a “complete solution,” or just parts of a concept that requires additional parts to be a unitary whole solution? 

Do they provide you with a timely and cost effective means to solve your connectivity needs?

The final question is: Are these cable management systems really a system that includes ALL the parts that allow you to truly manage your cables? 

Each building, room or office will have different and ever-changing requirements for handling cables. Rarely will one system or approach handle all of these requirements. I say “rarely” because there are some viable options. You just need to know where to look and do your homework carefully.

When you consider “the perfect world” scenario, you really want a system that will allow you to move and reconfigure your outlets whenever and wherever you need them within the room. In addition, these features should be simple and cost-effective, and require minimal contract labor to accomplish. The solution is out there if you know where to look.

Do any of the processes, procedures, products described above include ALL of the components necessary to provide a finished product from a single source without the necessity of sourcing additional vendors or staff time to achieve a finished cable management result?

Have your cabling needs reached the point where the cost in time and money require that we re-evaluate these standard approaches ?

When dealing with the problem of locating power, data, voice or AV connections within a room so they are located exactly where you  need them, and equally important, can be relocated as needed without special tools or additional contract labor, the choices are fewer, but still available.

One viable option to be considered is a standalone cable management system. This type of product focuses on your total needs.

It provides a space dedicated solely to protecting and hiding the cabling, while allowing for the changes in location and servicing you want. It is a complete approach that can include all of the various cable based services that you need. It provides an adaptable link between the building construction aspects of your design and the reality of your staff’s need to function.

Even though this approach involves a floor mounted raceway, it is not your traditional computer raised floor. These types of products vary dramatically depending upon their design. Some systemstypically require multiple trades to achieve the final result.

While most of them will initially locate the power and communication connections in the floor where you initially requested them to be, making changes to those locations may be very difficult and costly depending upon system you select.

Equally, servicing your connectivity utilizing this approach is as difficult as any closed, fixed building void. Systems are available that represent a true turn-key approach and provide everything you need in a single package.

For over 40 years, the term “computer raised floor” has become synonymous with computer or server rooms. These raised floor products were originally designed to accommodate the cooling and cabling required for large mainframe computers or servers.

Today, these traditional raised floor products have evolved to include providing cable management and alternative HVAC delivery systems for other building areas. For the most part, these modular floor products provide an additional horizontal space, used by the various trades, allowing for electrical and communications outlets as well as HVAC registers to be located in the middle of floor areas.

The result is an additional building void, which now requires the same cost, labour and time to address the “end user” cable management requirements, as all the other voids used in the building.

More recently, a new “Low Profile” raised floor group of products has entered the market. These products, typically 3” high +/-, are totally committed to cable management, abandoning any HVAC functions. Features, functionality and installation time will vary depending upon their individual designs.

Some simply offer a shorter, less intrusive building void, requiring the additional multi-trade participants for completion.

Others offer various pre-manufactured or pre-assembled components that provide a complete solution and typically reduce on-site work and time. Some provide floating floor panels that do not require attachment to the sub-floor and can be installed directly over the customer’s existing short nap carpet or, if the floor is bare concrete, a layer of foam is laid down to act as a non-slip surface. Most offer a pre-manufactured electrical option and a few even offer a pre-terminated communication cabling solution.

Some products will include everything you need, while others will provide only the floor, leaving you the task of outsourcing carpet, electrical and communication installations. A turnkey system that included all the elements required, including delivery and on-site installation, can certainly save time and ensure compatibility of all components, impacting the cost of future cable management activities.

Typical applications for these modular raised floor systems include training rooms, classrooms, libraries, conference rooms, control rooms, IT & computer rooms. Universities and private sector businesses have all found these cable management  systems to be an excellent investment that allows their space to be configured and reconfigured to meet the ever changing needs of today’s workspace.

In conclusion, that brings us back to the original question …. What exactly is cable management? Realistically, there is no “One size fits all “answer. You need to review and determine what you want, what abilities you need to have, and compare the cost and time impact that these activities have on your budget and operation.

If you do your research, you will find the system that works for you.  CNS

Jim Norton is president and CEO of Custom Products and Services based in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The company specializes in ergonomic manufacturing and design in areas ranging from cable management systems to pneumatic
and hydraulic tools. He can be reached at

Your checklist for selecting a system should include the following:

1. A system that is easily and quickly adaptable to your changing room usage or requirements.

2. Can the power, data and voice outlets be relocated easily without the need for special tools or contract labor?

3. Does the system come complete with everything you need for a total and complete installation (Floor pedestals, carpet, pre-terminated power, data and voice cables, ramps, railings and all necessary hardware?)

4. Does the raised floor system require the necessity of fastening it to the subfloor in your room?  If it does, installation time will be effected and the floor system now becomes a part of the building for depreciation purposes. If the floor system is NOT secured to the floor, but simply floats on the subfloor, it is not considered to be part of the building and can be depreciated at an accelerated rate and moved to another room or building with ease.

5. As we all know, plans can change even after the “final” drawings have been completed and the product is on order. How do change orders affect the overall cost of the cable management system? 

6. Are trained installation crews available to install the system efficiently and correctly?

7. Are additional trades or vendors required to complete the installation (Electricians, carpet installers, data installers, etc.)?  How does that affect the FINAL cost of the cable management system?

8. Can you easily evaluate both the short and long term cost savings when comparing the conventional construction based format vs. a modular, raised floor design for managing cables?  This becomes a bit challenging until the project is actually completed and ready for use. However, the most difficult costs to calculate are those associated with the issues of moving or adding additional power / data ports when needed. This is where the modular, raised floor cable management system will truly show savings in both raw material costs and labor. With some raised floor systems, those costs may be negligible, while other systems do not adapt quite as easily. When considering the conventional construction techniques used for the past 30+ years, costs can be substantial.

9. What is the warranty on the system you have selected?

Reprinted with permission from CNS Magazine – Canada’s leading publication for structured cabling, networking and telecom.

Cabling Networking Systems - CNS Magazine is published six times a year for over 11000 professionals across Canada.

CNS magazine covers the latest trends and issues for structured cabling, networking and telecom professionals across Canada and the USA.

The Challenge: Cabling, Networking, and Telecom Technologies are rapidly changing. Interoperability and compatibility challenges all of the industry’s engineers, designers, contractors, and installers to stay current and follow the trends as they evolve.

The Answer: Cabling Networking Systems - CNS Magazine


Attend the 41st Annual ACUTA Conference and Exhibition April 14-17 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California

ACUTA is the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education. In this difficult economy, the GEMs (Government – Education- Medical sectors) are strong areas of growth and development in IT.

From the smart building to the intelligent campus,” the 41st Annual ACUTA Conference and Exhibition is an important event.

At the conference, you may attend any of the 45 interesting sessions, and you are encouraged to visit the exhibit hall and speak with any of the 80 vendors who will have a booth. Learn how technology is “doing more with less” expense. Many of the accomplishments within the ranks of ACUTA will echo throughout the entire industry. ACUTA members have achieved numerous breakthroughs with creative applications… and the action continues. Across the campus and across the country, a sweeping tsunami of integrated systems technology is automating our buildings and communities. From the smart building to the intelligent campus, ACUTA members are integrating Control-Power-Communications-Safety-Security into a powerful set of tools for tomorrow.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet the men and women who plan, direct, and supply voice, data and video services on college campuses across North America. They expect more than 350 people to be present, and the atmosphere is relaxed and congenial, which allows you plenty of opportunity to speak with the individuals who can tell you what’s going on with BYOD, VoIP, UC, mobility, SIP, and other communications technologies that facilitate and support higher education today.

The keynote/general session presentations include the following:

Monday: Envisioning the New IT Organization – Panel of CIOs moderated by John Gallant, founder of Network World

Tuesday: The Collision of Two Worlds, Mobile Voice and Mobile Data – Bob Friday, Cisco

Wednesday: Future Technologies – Don McMillan, PhD

ACUTA  is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. ACUTA represents over 1900 individuals at nearly 700 institutions of higher education with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the largest U.S. institutions representing diverse Carnegie classifications in all 50 states, Canada, and New Zealand. ACUTA also has Corporate Affiliate members, representing all categories of information communications technology vendors who serve the college/university market.

You can get more details or register online at


100 GbE Roadblocks –Article from CNS Magazine – Canada’s leading publication for structured cabling, networking and telecom

Executive decisions are being made around whether to transition to 40 GbE or leap frog to 100. Given that standards are being developed in parallel, the decision comes down to timing and price differentials.

By Denise Deveau

The path to 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) may still be littered with roadblocks, but their numbers are fewer with each passing year. High cost and limited technology availability continue to keep wholesale migration at bay. At the same time, movement on the standards front is doing its part in bringing the price down.

According to Dhritiman Dasgupta, senior director of product marketing for Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, Calif., the time is coming soon where 100 GbE will play a key part in meeting the accelerating demand for speed.

“Networks have been bombarded over the last five years and are reeling to catch up with the changes we’re seeing in enterprise and data centre ecosystems,” he explains. “We’ve moved from mainframe to client-server to distributed architectures. Servers have changed completely from a standalone model with all the virtualization work being done. And storage is a lot more distributed and shared across different systems.”

With all the ecosystems working together, the network needs to catch up. Executive decisions are being made around whether to transition to 40 GbE or leap frog to 100. Given that standards are being developed in parallel, the decision comes down to timing and price differentials. In fact, standards bodies have already moved on and talking 400, 800 or 1 Terabyte Ethernet, Dasgupta notes. “It appears that 100 GbE is not a final destination.”

Beyond the major carriers, some adoption on the 100 GbE front is making headway in interconnecting locations for very large scale and/or high transaction volume entities. This can take the form of data centre to data centre, data centre to the cloud, or cloud to cloud.

The next obvious place for potential growth is within the data centre itself. “So many servers are being fired up and so many applications being developed, there’s a need for even higher speeds to enable servers to talk to other servers, storage systems and switches,” Dasgupta says.

Those enterprises whose competitive survival relies on microsecond-level transaction processing (e.g. a stock exchange or genome research) will be the first in line to make the investment in their data centres, albeit at a sizeable premium, he speculates. Following that expect to see the gigantic resource pools such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google or major cloud providers that rely on optimal speeds to keep their competitive advantage, taking the plunge.

By far the largest group, enterprise level data centres, is unlikely to rip and replace networks over the next two years, and will opt to wait out the four- to six-year lifecycle before retiring their current equipment.

The transition; however, has its pluses and minuses, Dasgupta explains. Engineers bringing network devices to market spend 80-90% of their time on the control plane, developing and testing protocols. In enabling components to communicate, very little effort is needed to move up the ladder since security, quality of service, routing and switching protocols would remain the same.

On the down side, 100 GbE requires specific optical interfaces, which brings up the cost of the physical layer aspects considerably. The devices are also incredibly power hungry, further adding to infrastructure expenses. 

By way of comparison, 40 GbE optics are two-and-a-half times more expensive than 10 GbE optics, while 100 GbE is many multiples of the price of 40 GbE. The inflexion point will be reached when the cost point is two to three times the previous generation speed, Dasgupta believes.

“That’s when we’ll see mass adoption. It’s definitely where standards are heading. We’ll see people throwing away 40 GbE when it makes sense to go to 100 GbE.”

The interoperability equation: Another critical component in adoption is interoperability, says John D’Ambrosia, chief Ethernet evangelist for Dell and chairman and one of the original founders of the Ethernet Alliance. “Within the past 18 months I’ve seen amazing demonstrations for 10 GbE, 40 GbE, 100 GbE, and 100GbE over OTN (Optical Transport Network).”

On the IEEE front the focus has been on cost-per-bit reduction, he adds. “Even at 40GbE, front panel capacities are so incredible you need bigger pipes across the backplane.”

The IEEE P802.3bm Task Force is defining the next generation of 40GbE and 100GbE optical offerings which include 40GbE over 40km, development of 4x25 multimode fiber solutions for 20 and 100 metres, and a new single mode fiber objective to address 500 metres.

Another project on the cabling side is the IEEE P802.3bp Reduced Twisted Pair GbE. This initiative has far-reaching implications because it will drive cabling to become more standardized for applications such as automotive, D’Ambrosia says. “What makes this so exciting is that we could be talking 200 to 300 million Ethernet ports by the end of the decade.”

For the time being, it’s 40 GbE that is taking off in data centres, while 100 GbE is almost exclusively in carrier line-type connection applications. “That’s a whole different group. They do need it and they have different economics to consider. In fact they’re already thinking terabyte over 400,” D’Ambrosia says. “When you look at the fact that 40 leverages a lot of 10 GbE technologies, it makes sense. 100 GbE; however, is an entirely different level of maturity.”

In the data centre, connections are the sticking point for 100 GbE, he adds. “You need fat pipes to transport over 100 GbE in the data centre. That requires a different link that modules aren’t able to service at the moment. It’s more in the developmental stages as vendors try to come up with more cost-effective solutions to fit inside the data centre architecture.”

Channel selection: As it stands today, mainstream applications are currently working with 10 GbE ports, explains Nathan Benton, technical director for North America for CommScope in Milford, Mich. “If an administrator needs higher speed, they bond a second 10 GbE connection to the first, then scale up to 30 and eventually 40. Once they reach that point, they swap out the 4 X 10 for 40 GbE ports. There are already shipments going out for very high end users.”

Achieving 100 GbE today would mean a 10 X 10 lane transmission over single mode fiber, or pushing it out over multimode fiber using parallel optics, Benton explains. “However 4 X 25 is an extremely important concept in migration to high-speed Internet and could make a huge impact on your capability to upgrade and adoption.”

That is because a 100 GbE transmission can use the same four fibers to transmit and receive, he adds. “So the fiber optics you invest in today for 40 GbE would be the same as 100 GbE. You would not have to add or change it. You would just have to pull out the transceiver in the server and replace it.”

Where 100 GbE is top of mind, data centre managers are installing 10 GbE and 40 GbE cabling infrastructures that will accommodate 100 GbE when the time is right. The upgrade will require among other things, extended range transceivers that allow users to migrate while keeping the same distances. “Whatever they design for 10 GbE will support them all the way up to 100 GbE,” Benton notes. “Once the infrastructure is installed it’s permanent. You’re just pulling out cards and plugging new ones in.”

The distance factor: In addition to operability and architecture, distance is a major part in the migration discussion. Core telecommunication networks today are limited on available fiber. With dramatic increases in bandwidth demand, 40 GbE will be fairly short- lived in those applications, says George Jones, vice president of marketing and business development for Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (AppliedMicro) in Sunnyvale, Calif. “Most new development work is targeting 100 GbE and there are products to support that.”

Within the data centre, by comparison, 40Gb Ethernet is increasingly important. Copper simply cannot handle even a 4x25G signal over more than 10 meters, Jones says. Rather, users are turning to active optical cable to address the issue. In this scenario, the QFSP+ socket on a switch doesn’t change, but an Active Optical Cable can capture power from using a standard QSFP+ connector to transform the electrical signal to an optical domain. The process is reversed at the other end. “This is very important if you’re thinking 40G today with scalability to higher speeds down the road,” Jones says. “A technology that enables both is very important. As it turns out, AppliedMicro has refined a technology for active optical cables and is now in partnership with Volex in the U.K. to develop products.

With the 4 X 25 approach in particular, cable diameters are much more manageable and connector upgrades easier, says Ron Nordin, director of research for Panduit Corp. in Tinley Park, Ill. “With 4 X 25 100 GbE you can use the same form factor and twin axial cable for scaling up before you have to go to bigger connectors. With fiber, making the upgrade path from 40 GbE QSFP-style optical connectors is seamless.”

A logical place for copper within the data centre is connecting servers to switches in top-or-rack or end-of-row architectures to achieve cost savings, he says.

“There simply won’t be a market for copper-based with 100 GbE,” says Jacob Macias, product manager for CableWholesale in Livermore, Calif. “Even with Cat 7 or even 8, I don’t see it anywhere near 100 GbE apps.”

He believes the decision comes down to whether to spend the money today on 40 GbE with plans to expand, or waiting it out until 100 GbE prices drop and then making a direct leap.

“Right now I just think people are looking at the fact that 100 GbE is double the price. That’s not just the cabling and equipment. Those large fiber trunks are around $75,000 and up and ports can run in the tens of thousands of dollars. You also need a lot more power, which means more space, heating and cooling requirements. Everything needs to be a bit grander. It’s not something to be taken lightly.”  CNS

Denise  Deveau is a Toronto-based freelancee writer.
She can be reached at .

Reprinted with permission from CNS Magazine – Canada’s leading publication for structured cabling, networking and telecom.

Cabling Networking Systems - CNS Magazine is published six times a year for over 11000 professionals across Canada.

CNS magazine covers the latest trends and issues for structured cabling, networking and telecom professionals across Canada and the USA.

The Challenge: Cabling, Networking, and Telecom Technologies are rapidly changing. Interoperability and compatibility challenges all of the industry’s engineers, designers, contractors, and installers to stay current and follow the trends as they evolve.

The Answer: Cabling Networking Systems - CNS Magazine



Safety is everybody’s 24/7 job. SAFETY is constantly evolving as the world around us changes. An absence of injuries does not prove the presence of safety. On the job or on the way to and from the jobsites, the need for a safety checklist in your mind is too important to ignore. From the company executives to the first line managers, we have found that by listening to workers’ personal safety concerns, wise companies learned workers are, in turn, more likely to and adopt on the job safety procedures.

Kevin Moy, a cabling field installation supervisor (Communication Planning Corp. – Jacksonville, FL) shared some interesting anecdotes on safety.  “When a new guy comes on the job, I find it better to assume that they are dumb about safety. I talk to all the crew about safety and encourage them to ask lots of questions. For example: The top step on the stepladders is OFF LIMITS. If you need to go there, get a taller ladder. Plus, because so much our cable work is done overhead, ALWAYS wear eye protection. Eye injuries can be beyond serious. Try to imagine being blind.”

There are a myriad of safety aspects that are specific to cabling installation. To name a few – (submitted by Betsy Conroy – Editor of BICSI NEWS)

1.       Fiber/glass particles – if ingested can case internal hemorrhaging or blindness if in the eye – can also stay on clothing and later get into food/drinks.

2.       Never look into end face of fiber that is lit up – like looking at the sun

3.       Good ventilation a must – or masks for cable jacket dust in plenum space

4.       Safety barriers on the job site for areas under construction

5.       Careful lifting of heavy cable reels – use your knees, not your back

6.       Working around other trades

7.       Electrical safety and grounding and bonding

8.       Asbestos exposure in older construction

9.       OSP excavation hazards or other OSP considerations

10.   Safe tool use / terminations / punch downs / ergonomics – I’ve seen some pretty damaged hands out there and have hear of carpal tunnel from punching down.

11.   Having trained medical staff and first aid on hand

12.   FALLS are the number one cause of fatalities on the job. Always use non-conductive ladders and use them properly.

13.   Make safety discussion on the job a daily ritual.

You cannot talk about safety without mentioning the safety creed of the Bell System that was established decades ago:




Develop a Safety Checklist

Common Safety Practices should include a review of First Aid, CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) and First Aid Kits. Also review non-conductive ladders, lifts, safety harnesses, and personal protective equipment (protection of eyes, ears, nose, throat, skin, hands, feet and your noggin).

Don’t forget to cover the indoor and/or outdoor potential hazardous environments.

Safety planning always includes safety training and worksite evaluation.

BE AWARE and remember Safety Is Too Important To Ignore.

Frank Bisbee is with Communication Planning Corp., a telecom and datacom design-build firm. Bisbee. He provides a free summary of cabling industry news in the HOTS – Heard On The Street monthly column on


CABA NewsBrief

CABA's 25th anniversary is an opportune time to reflect on how joint industry efforts can strengthen the goal of mass market developments. Our anniversary also provides an opportunity for the organization to show its appreciation to industry by way of providing special offers and incentives to new members.

The Continental Automated Buildings Association was founded 25 years ago as a venue to facilitate networking and collaboration between industry stakeholders, educational institutions and organizations in order to further the development of a mass market in home and building automation. Learn more.

Home Systems

§                     Time Warner continues rollout of home automation system
After launching its IntelligentHome security/home automation product in upstate New York, Southern California and North Carolina in 2011, Time Warner Cable recently announced it plans to roll out IntelligentHome in its footprint nationwide in 2013. Security Systems News (3/6)

§                     Video: HP developing 3D for mobile devices
Researchers are well on their way to creating 3D images that can be seen from multiple angles without the need for special glasses. Using multi-directional diffractive backlight technology, scientists have been able to render full parallax 3D images in a zone up to 180 degrees and up to one metre away. InAVate (3/17)

§                     New CABA study examines impact of smart grid on connected homes
CABA recently released its Impact of Smart Grid on Connected Homes landmark research study. The study investigated the current and future direction of the market and the opportunities smart grid represents for participants in the value chain. The study examined the concept of connected home desirability for consumers and the perceived benefits of controllability and energy savings that homeowners may derive. Ron Zimmer, CABA President & CEO, talks about both the benefits of the report and the organization. (3/26)

§                     Consumers crave second-screen apps for movies, TV
Applications that consumers can run on their mobile devices while they watch a movie or television show are a hot new commodity for Hollywood studios, this analysis notes. "Obviously it's a new technology, and we really felt going into it that consumers have these devices in the living room, smartphones and tablets, and they're using them not only with television but with movies," said Tracey Garvin of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. She added, "We wanted to figure out how to extend that on-disc experience and give a more interactive, immersive experience." Home Media Magazine (3/25)

§                     Mobile game development rises but console, Mac/PC interest remains
The annual Game Developers Conference is under way in San Francisco, and 58% of attendees said before the conference that they will develop their next game for smartphones or tablet computers, this blog post notes. Nearly half expressed an interest in Mac or PC games, while almost 31% are considering Web browsers for their next game platform. There still is significant interest in developing games for the various Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony consoles, the survey found. Microsoft is a CABA Board member. All Things D (3/25)

§                     Video: Smartphone makers begin implementing eye-tracking tech
Human eyes have become input devices for new computers and mobile devices, Sven Grundberg writes. LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics have brought the advanced eye-tracking technology to smartphones, but there is apparently room for improvement. "Samsung's eye tracking is definitely very interesting, but they have not yet nailed the experience," said IDC's Francisco Jeronimo. LG Electronics is a CABA member and Samsung Electronics is a CABA Board member. Wall Street Journal (3/25)

§                     Panasonic adds Nuance voice tech to its smart TV line
The Dragon TV platform from Nuance Communications is a standard feature on 2013 models of Panasonic's Smart Viera Internet-connected television sets. With Dragon TV, viewers can use voice commands to change channels, look for video content, search the Web and other functions. Meanwhile, Panasonic's ZT60 plasma TV may be the last in that line, as the company acknowledged that it is discussing the future of its plasma TV business. The NPD Group estimates that worldwide shipments of plasma TVs dropped 21% last year, compared with 2011. SlashGear (3/22)

§                     How does the TV figure into decorating the living room?
Big flat-screen televisions can dominate a living room, and decorators often suggest ways to maximize or minimize that element, William Hamilton writes. He offers five suggestions for making the TV less of a central feature in the room. Wall Street Journal (3/22)

§                     BlackBerry begins climb back with U.S. debut of Z10
BlackBerry is setting modest goals for the smartphone maker's U.S. prospects as its new flagship device, the BlackBerry 10-powered Z10, makes its debut in the U.S. on AT&T for $200 before Verizon Wireless' scheduled launch next Thursday. "Our objective and that of our carrier partners is that very quickly we emerge as a strong No. 3," says Frank Boulben, BlackBerry's chief marketing officer. Boulben has prepped the company's largest campaign ever for the Z10, which already has been unveiled in several markets overseas. BlackBerry 10's mobile application store has reportedly reached 100,000 apps. Verizon is a CABA Board member. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/22)

§                     Analysis: Quantum-dot displays may replace OLED TVs in 3-5 years
The industry delays in making and shipping organic light-emitting diode televisions could provide an entrée for a more advanced display technology -- quantum dots. Alex Wolfgram writes that according to some analysts, quantum dots are said to use less power and have enhanced color compared with conventional OLEDs. While OLED TVs are finally making it to store shelves this year, it may take another three to five years before quantum-dot displays show up in commercial products, Digitimes Research estimates. DigiTimes (3/20)

§                     CE has many next big things in the wings, according to CEA
No single product or product category will emerge this year or in 2014 as the "next big thing," because the consumer electronics industry has so many promising developments and innovations in the hopper, Sean Murphy of the Consumer Electronics Association writes in this analysis. Increased connectivity and greater ease of use are among the leading trends, he notes. "The free answer to the billion dollar question might be as simple as this: there is no room (or need) for the next 'big' thing, because there are enough noteworthy things currently capturing consumers' attention," Murphy writes. The Consumer Electronics Association is a CABA member. Dealerscope (3/20)

§                     Light Brigade, Fujikura Asia and college collaborate on FTTH customized training
The Light Brigade, Fujikura Asia and ITE College West are partnering to set up a Resource Center at ITE College West. The center will provide students with access to a wide variety of fiber optics-related training material along with an FTTH showcase. This center, coupled with industrial placement in Fujikura Asia, will allow ITE students to learn from industry experts and acquire industry-relevant skills. The Light Brigade is a CABA member. OFC/NFOEC (3/18)

§                     Motorola: Cable should rethink all-fiber strategy
Cable operators shouldn't assume that an all-fiber network is automatically their ultimate goal, Motorola Mobility LLC's John Holobinko said last week. They should instead look to incremental changes in their hybrid fiber-coax networks to match the need for increased broadband capacity, new incremental revenues and greater network efficiency. Light Reading Cable (3/25)

§                     Making motorized shades work for you
Automated window coverings have been a growth category for AV pros for years now. In addition to growing demand from clients who desire both the convenience and energy savings that motorized shading offers, in the last year there is a clear indication of its continued growth: Custom window covering companies are diving into automation, both manufacturers of shades and blinds and the otherwise décor-centric sales and design companies who’ve decided to get the motorization business in addition to the drapery business. rAVe Publications (3/26)

§                     Video: Qualcomm discusses the power of next-generation Wi-Fi
Tim Peters, Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Atheros explains how the 802.11ac wifi standard brings much higher data throughput to handsets than today's widely used 802.11n standard. Qualcomm is a CABA Board member. Mother Nature Network (3/14)

Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

Large Building Automation

§                     You can't have a smarter grid without smarter buildings
The ability to gather information on how buildings consume energy is growing more sophisticated. Companies are now able to collect vast amounts of information in the built environment. On-site, that includes meters, building management systems, individual pieces of equipment, and even occupants themselves. At the market level, that includes energy prices, weather, tariffs and everything else that might impact how a building performs. Greentech Media (3/27)

§                     Honeywell launches training program for contractors to assess energy use
Honeywell announced a new program for contractors that will provide them with the tools and expertise they need to advise commercial building owners on energy retrofit opportunities that can reduce their facilities’ energy consumption. With Honeywell’s new Energy and Environmental Optimization (EEO) program, contractors can be certified to assess and recommend energy savings for commercial buildings and help owners reduce a growing cost-driver. Honeywell is a CABA member. Honeywell (3/11)

§                     How the Internet of Things will transform building management
Intelligent, machine-to-machine, or M2M, applications that use sensors to collect information about operating conditions combined with cloud-hosted analytics software that makes sense of disparate data points will help facility managers become far more proactive about managing buildings at peak efficiency, said experts participating in the GreenBiz webcast, "Sensors, Buildings and the Coming Internet of Things." (3/27)

§                     ON Research predicts 18 million health WSN systems will ship in 2017
In 2017, there will be 18.2 million health and wellness WSN systems shipped worldwide representing 60 million annual WSN chipsets at this time. Mobile WSNs-- including wireless wearable/implantable sensors and other cloud connected body area networks-- will increase by a 75% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. ON Research is a CABA member. PR Web (3/26)

§                     Ten skyscrapers designed, built to be energy efficient, sustainable
This article lists the top 10 "ecologically sound greenscrapers" that show how designers "have risen to the challenge of designing and constructing buildings that combine quality and style with energy efficiency and environmental sustainability." It includes 340 on the Park, the second-biggest all-residential tower in Chicago; New York City's Hearst Tower, the first building in the city to achieve LEED Gold status; and the city's Bank of America Tower, which features an urban garden and green roof spaces. Property-Abroad (3/20)

§                     Video: Queensland university opens multitouch masterpiece
A new interactive installation at the Queensland University of Technology combines multitouch displays with large format edge-blended projection to create The Cube. This interactive learning space includes 48 55" MultiTaction Cell displays from MultiTouch and was installed by Pro AV Solutions of Queensland. InAVate (3/19)

§                     Project to develop appliance efficiency standards and labelling in West Africa
The Economic Community of West African States' (ECOWAS) Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Clean Energy Ministerial's (CEM) Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative have launched an initiative to develop a regional system of energy efficiency standards and labels for appliances. (3/25)

§                     Green buildings guide to put emphasis on energy metering for UAE developers
Developers seeking accreditation under an international system to evaluate green buildings will soon be required to install meters to monitor energy and water use. Developers will also be required to employ strategies to reduce outdoor water use, and separate at site the waste generated during construction and send it for recycling. The LEED system, used worldwide, is popular in the UAE, especially in Dubai. The National (3/15)

§                     Korean smart grid firms march on: International patents pave way for exports
The Korea Smart Grid Association knows an opportunity when it sees one and is kicking off an ambitious national program to promote and support the development of smart grid patents that meet international standards, and to help small and mid-size companies compete in the global market. (3/14)

§                     Is this the Google of green building?
A new tool developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) referred to as the Green Building Information Gateway, which is essentially a search engine for green buildings, allows anyone to find out what energy/water savings measures are in place, whether or not building materials have been obtained from sustainable sources, what aspects of the building make air quality and cleanliness excellent or not so good as the case may be, and lots more. The U.S. Green Building Council is a CABA member. DesignBuild Source (3/25)

§                     Video: SecurTek offers real-time video monitoring for business
There are many ways to keep an eye on one's home or business, but few ways to watch different sites all at once. When being there all the time or having someone there to watch is simply not possible, there's SecurTek Video Monitoring. SecurTek Monitoring Solutions is a CABA Board member. CABA YouTube Channel (3/8)

§                     DOE to release API for the commercial building energy asset score
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) plans to release an application programming interface (API) in conjunction with rolling out the next version of the DOE Commercial Building Energy Asset Scoring Tool (hereafter "Scoring Tool"). The API is intended to allow seamless integration of the Asset Score with third party building energy analysis tools. It will allow software developers to tap into the Scoring Tool capabilities and provide an Asset Score Report to their end users. U.S. Department of Energy (3/25)

§                     EU proposes that all new buildings get broadband infrastructure
The European Commission on Tuesday published a draft proposal that called for all new buildings, as well as those under major renovations, to be outfitted with "high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure." The proposal also has provisions aimed at making it less expensive for telecoms to access buildings' infrastructure, in a plan designed to promote competition. PC Pro (3/1)

§                     Sustainability: Why it matters
Overall, the importance of embedding sustainability into our culture, linking environmental sustainability, economic viability, and community well being cannot be overstated. Sustainability is more than preserving business longevity. It is fundamental to the survival of our economies, our way of life, and some would argue, to our continued presence on this planet. GLOBE-Net (3/26)

§                     Owens Corning introduces innovative HVAC solutions
Owens Corning has showcased some of its unique, proven HVAC solutions that are set to add new value to the Air Handling industry. The company's expertise in cutting-edge Air Handling solutions is known globally, and it offers a complete line of products that help achieve enhanced energy efficiency and greater comfort and sound performance in homes and commercial buildings. Justmeans (3/23)

Member Press Releases

§                     Pathogenic Bacteria Associated with HAI Isolated within HVAC Evaporator Coils
A recent study suggests that doctors may want to monitor the environmental condition of their air conditioners evaporator coil before surgery to help prevent the spread of bacterial infections. Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Laboratory Director at Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) and his colleagues sampled evaporator coils in healthcare air handling systems and isolated Pseudomonas aeruginosa a known healthcare-association infection (HAI) pathogen. This bacterium is listed as fourth most common cause of noscocomial infection and accounting for 10.1% of all hospital acquired infections. According to an estimate by the CDC four patients out of every 1000 discharges gets infected by P. aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa is increasingly important clinically as it is a major cause of both healthcare-associated infections and chronic lung infections.

§                     Other CABA Member Items

What are the Health Effects of Fiberglass?
Schneider Electric rolls out Energy University™ to CABA members

Strategy Analytics’ Consumer Segmentation Identifies Best Smart Home Prospects

Eagle Technology Announces Free Webinar on the Key Components to a Truly Intelligent Building

Siemon Releases New Full-line Catalog for North America - network cabling, connectivity and data center solutions

ClimateTalk Alliance Releases New Standards for Zoning and Water Heaters

QA Graphics Helps Longwood University Educate the Public about Biomass Heating Plant

Contemporary Controls to Be a Platinum Sponsor at Honeywell’s 2013 Momentum Conference

FieldServer Technologies Introduces KNX Gateway

ON World: Technology Trends That Are Driving Internet of Things Markets
QA Graphics hires 3D designer

Global Cache' Launches iTach Flex, CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award Honoree

QA Graphics Promotes Cade Ingle to Marketing Coordinator

CABA members can post their media releases by logging into the CABA Web site.

  CABA Research Spotlight

§                     How the Smart Grid Will Energize the World
Technology is rapidly changing the way we approach almost everything we do in life. A variety of influencing factors are causing utilities to get on-board with the latest Smart Grid technologies and placing consumers in the driver seat when it comes to energy conservation. There are a myriad of approaches being explored to provide everyone with accurate data and allowing something as complex as the energy grid to be able to operate efficiently and intelligently. By staying flexible and using a variety of communication resources, the Smart Grid will mean many things to many people, according to a Digi International whitepaper.

  Education & Training

§                     Event: Third International Conference of the Global Standards Collaboration M2M Standardization Task Force
This conference, organized by the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA), a CABA member, is in preparation of GSC-17, which is going to be held at the Jeju Grand Hotel, Jeju, Korea from May 13 to 16, 2013. This Atlanta event will include participation from major Standards Developing Organizations involved in Internet of Things/M2M standards and protocols such as the International Telecommunication Union, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, oneM2M Partnership, the Open Geospatial Consortium, the Weightless Standard SIG, and other Open Source-focused groups including the Open Source Internet of Things (OSIOT) Silicon Valley Group, the Eclipse M2M Industry Working Group, OASIS (Advancing Open Standards for the Information Society - a CABA member) and UC Berkeley’s OpenWSN project.

§                     Webinar: National Conversation on Energy Codes for Existing Buildings
Upgrades to existing building stock and attention to ongoing operation of newly constructed buildings must become a major part of energy performance improvement efforts in order to reduce climate impacts of the building sector. New Buildings Institute (NBI), the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) are co-hosting a national conversation by webinar on April 10 at 1 pm ET to discuss emerging trends in existing energy codes including opportunities and barriers for addressing existing buildings in national model codes.

§                     Webcast: The Future Role of Retail Broadband for Grid Integration
This webcast by EPRI explores the opportunities and issues surrounding this use of broadband networks, and identifies areas for further research and testing. The integration of broadband networks is one example of how standards for open, interoperable AMI can enable more flexibility in the underlying communications systems. The webcast will be held April 3 at 2 pm ET.

§                     Event: Qualcomm On: What's Next in Mobile in Connected Homes
Join Qualcomm executives in the Bay Area on April 30 where they will provide unique insights into what the future holds for mobile. The event will feature exciting demos highlighting the latest developments in mobile processors, connectivity and other enabling technologies. There will also be a focus on the technologies, solutions and platforms that empower the connected home. Qualcomm is a CABA Board member.

 CABA News

§                     CABA to hold Home & Building Automation Forums with CABA Board meeting
For the first time as part of CABA's 25th Anniversary Celebration, CABA will be holding two Forums simultaneously. CABA's Digital Home Forum and CABA's Intelligent Buildings Forum will be held on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. They will be hosted by Hydro One Networks Inc. in Toronto, Canada. The Forums will begin at 1 pm ET, followed by a networking reception co-hosted by Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in the evening with the opportunity to meet the 27 members of the CABA Board of Directors. See the Bonus benefits that can be received and Click here for the detailed agenda or contact CABA's Business Development Manager, George Grimes at: 613.686.1814 x 226 or

§                     CABA releases magazine, celebrates organization's 25th anniversary
The Spring 2013 edition of CABA's iHomes & Buildings magazine celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Continental Automated Buildings Association. iHomes & Buildings is the official magazine of the Continental Automated Buildings Association. The magazine provides up-to-date research and information on trends and products within the home and building automation industry. The magazine's design has been refreshed. CABA also thanks Broadband Properties, a CABA member, for placing this magazine as an insert that will go to over 9,000 subscribers.

§                     CABA continues to gain, maintain industry support
The Board of Directors of the Continental Automated Buildings Association would like to thank and recognize the following CABA members that renewed their CABA Research Subscription/Membership. Your continued support of CABA is greatly appreciated.

§                                 Green Mechanical Council (Member since 2008)

§                                 Universal Powerline Association (Member since 2009)

The CABA Board would also like to recognize the following new member that joined since the last CABA NewsBrief:

§                                 Axis Lighting

As CABA is an international not-for-profit industry association, this support enables CABA to provide networking opportunities, research programs and information to the industry in regards to the advancement of connected home and intelligent building technologies.

For information about CABA Research Subscription/Memberships, please contact George Grimes, CABA Business Development Manager at or 613.686.1814 x226. To view a listing of 300+ CABA members go to:


Leviton Expands Energy Management Offering with VerifEye™ Submetering Solutions

Turn-key revenue-grade energy monitoring solution measures, verifies and provides accurate billing in multi-tenant applications

Melville, New York, March 28, 2013 – Leviton announced today the expansion of its suite of energy management technology with the launch of its revenue-grade VerifEye™ Submetering Solutions. Easy to install and maintenance-free, VerifEye provide users with turn-key tenant billing implementation. VerifEye enables tracking, monitoring and verification of real-time energy usage, providing precise data for billing, reducing operating costs and allowing users to experience long-term energy savings of 15 to 20 percent. A robust, comprehensive submetering platform, VerifEye delivers a seamless solution to simplifying the complexities of allocating energy costs and billing tenants, while enabling smart metering and LEED compliance requirements.

VerifEye gives energy managers the ability to easily identify precisely how and where energy is being used throughout a facility, from the individual circuit-level to tenant-occupied spaces and major building systems loads. Enhancing user accountability and driving the implementation of energy-saving programs in virtually any application environment, its energy measurement and verification solutions are ideal for installation in multi-tenant residential and commercial facilities, commercial offices, retail spaces and manufacturing facilities.

“With today’s ever-increasing energy costs, knowing where and how energy is used is mission-critical,” said Richard Westfall, Leviton’s Vice President and General Manager. “VerifEye’s comprehensive line of sustainable energy solutions enables the implementation of groundbreaking strategic energy accountability programs while offering companies a way to operate more profitably and comply with the latest government mandates and green building initiatives. Our VerifEye line is the industry-leading solution that will set the pace of progress for the market.”

The portfolio of VerifEye solutions includes submeters, communication products for data translation and software options for tenant billing or energy monitoring. The submeters record consumption data in real-time and transmit the output to the communication products that send the data to the Energy Manager Data Center where it is stored, managed and used for reporting. Users can utilize the online Leviton Energy Manager to view energy usage reports or the PC-based Leviton BillSuite software to generate tenant electricity bills, helping to accelerate cash flow and improve profitability.

VerifEye Submeters are available in single-phase (Series 1000) and three-phase (Series 2000) versions in steel and NEMA 4X enclosures. The Series 1000 and Series 2000 submeters measure kilowatt hour consumption and demand. For applications requiring higher levels of output metrics, Series 3000 Smart Meters additionally provide instantaneous power, voltage, amperage, wattage, volt-ampere reactive (VAR) and volt-ampere (VA) per phase measurements. Leviton Mini Meter™ submeters afford the most cost-effective option for measuring energy consumption. All VerifEye submeters feature LED displays for quick, easy visualization of power status and signal strength.

VerifEye’s open architecture provides easy integration building management system (BMS) platforms. VerifEye also provides seamless integration with third-party billing systems, as well as utility company steam, gas and water meters, providing a comprehensive picture of total facility energy utility usage.

VerifEye Submetering Solutions are available in wired, wireless and IP versions to meet site-specific needs and afford contractor-friendly installation in new construction and retrofit environments. VerifEye is UL Listed, cULus and ANSI C12.1 certified.

For more information, visit

About Leviton

Leviton is the smart choice, providing the most comprehensive range of solutions to meet the needs of today’s residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Leveraging more than a century of experience, Leviton helps customers create sustainable, intelligent environments through its electrical wiring devices, network and data center connectivity solutions, and lighting energy management systems. From switches and receptacles, to daylight harvesting controls, networking systems, and equipment for charging electric vehicles, Leviton solutions help customers achieve savings in energy, time and cost, all while enhancing safety. For more information, visit,, or


NECA - Natl. Electrical Contractors Association NEWS

·                     Announcing the NECA 2013 Washington DC Convention & Trade Show


Mark your calendars - the largest electrical construction convention & trade show is coming to Washington DC, Oct. 12-15, 2013!

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·                     2013 Women In NECA (WIN) Leadership Summit Brings Leading Women Together


The 2013 Women In NECA (WIN) Leadership Summit was held in St. Louis, MO on March 21-22, and brought together over 60 of the industry’s leading women intent on improving their own professional skills and making new connections.

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·                     St. Louis Electrical Industry Training Center Goes Solar


The St. Louis Electrical Industry Training has installed 100 solar panels atop its roof to reduce energy costs and provide valuable training to apprentices and journeyworkers.

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·                     National Training Institute (NTI): Registration Open!


This year's National Training Institute (NTI) will take place July 27-August 2 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Online registration, and a lot of information, are available at

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·                     tED Magazine Names NECA Premier Partner Graybar "Greenest of the Green"


tED magazine, the official publication of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), has bestowed its 2013 "Greenest of the Green" award on Graybar in recognition of the company’s green business operations.

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·                     Congratulations, Ty Lazarian!


Ty Lazarian answered six questions about how he finds out about electrical products ... and thereby won a raffle hosted by NECA and NAED.

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·                     NECA Member News (Supplemental to NTW Vol. 5, No. 14)


NECA welcomes seven new members.

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·                     LED Light Bulbs Recalled Due to Fire Hazard


Lighting Science Group has voluntarily recalled 554,000 LED lightbulbs sold under the brand names Definity, EcoSmart, Sylvania, and Westinghouse because they can overheat during use, posing a fire hazard. The company offers free replacement for recalled bulbs.

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·                     NECA Website Featured on Web Design Blog


The Matrix Group web design blog, Snack O’ Clock, has a new post about how the icons were created for and highlights why icons work well for mobile ready websites.

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·                     Nation’s Infrastructure Still Crumbling, But at a Slightly Slower Rate


The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the country's infrastructure an overall grade of D+ and estimates that the U.S. needs to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 to maintain current systems and facilities — $1.6 trillion more than the amount being spent now.

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·                     UPDATE: Salisbury SAS Business Development Opportunity For NECA Contractors


Salisbury by Honeywell, an NJATC Platinum training partner, recently launched a new services business, Salisbury Assessment Solutions (SAS) to offer assessments and studies on electrical equipment.

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·                     2013 ELECTRI Wendt Scholarship Application Information


As previously announced,ELECTRI International is now taking applications from NECA chapters for its 2013 Wendt Scholarships.

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·                     National Electrical Safety Month Materials Available On ESFI Website


In anticipation of May’s National Electrical Safety Month, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is spearheading its annual effort to raise awareness about potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety.

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·                     ecoInsight Business Development Opportunity for NECA Members


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·                     Salisbury SAS Business Development Opportunity for NECA Contractors


Salisbury and NECA have formed an alliance to bring business development opportunities to NECA Contractors nationwide.

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·                     March 31, 2013, Deadline For Filing 2012 LM-10 Form


NECA contractors and chapter offices are reminded of the requirement to file Department of Labor Form LM-10 reporting certain specified dealings with a union or union officer, agent, shop steward, employee, or other representative of a union.

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·                     I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form Revised


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised version of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form on March 8, 2013, but is allowing employers a 60-day grace period before its use becomes mandatory

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·                     NECA Recognizes Chapters Promoting National Electrical Installation Standards


NECA's Boston and Southeastern Michigan Chapters were recognized for promoting our association's standards-development program through their purchases of our National Electrical Installation Standards in 2012.

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·                     NECA International Study Mission to Tour Switzerland


NECA's International Study Mission focuses on Switzerland, September 14-24, 2013.

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·                     NECA Recognizes Chapters Commitment to Management Education


NECA's Education Excellence & Distinguished awards acknowledge the chapter's commitment to hosting local management education seminars for NECA members.

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·                     Save-The-Date: NEC 2014 Code Changes Webinar


This Webinar is an extensive overview of significant changes proposed to the National Electrical Code for the 2014 cycle.

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·                     Relaunch of NECANET Includes the Chapter Staff Site


We have received some calls asking, “Where’s the Chapter Staff Private Site?” It’s in the same place, at However, you can now get there directly from ...

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·                     SAS: New Business Development Opportunity


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·                     Introducing An All New: NECANET


The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) launched a full redesign of its website,, this week.

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·                     Construction Professor Shares Insights On Workforce Recruitment And Retention


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·                     Annual OSHA Posting Requirement In Effect through April 30


Most employers with 11 or more employees are required to post a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2012 (OSHA Form 300A) from February 1 through April 30, 2013, in a common area wherever notices to employees are usually posted. Employers are also required to make a copy of the 2009 summary available to employees who move from worksite to worksite, such as in construction.

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·                     NECA Professional Development Offerings for March 2013


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·                     Administration’s Plan Brings Infrastructure Investment to Forefront, but Needs Comprehensive Long-Term Vision


NECA CEO John M. Grau issued the following statement upon examination of the Administration’s recently released Infrastructure Investment Plan. Grau calls for a comprehensive plan that includes the national electrical grid.

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·                     WIN Leadership Summit: Updated Agenda


Check out the latest speakers and schedule for the Women In NECA Leadership Summit in St. Louis, March 22-23

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·                     NECA Supports Business-Labor Proposals to Protect Multiemployer Retirement Security


The need for reform of multiemployer pension plans has been a legislative and research priority for the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) since temporary measures were adopted in 2006 under the Pension Protection Act. Today, NECA endorses the reform recommendations compiled by the Partnership for Multiemployer Retirement Security.

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·                     NECA Chapter and LMCC Staff Urged to Attend Business Development Conference


This year NECA will launch our first-ever meeting dedicated solely to the topic of business development, March 18-19 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. NECA and LMCC staff are invited to attend and network with and learn from their peers and guest presenters while discussing revenue enhancement opportunities from both traditional work and emerging technologies.

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·                     Executive Management Institute Comes to Florida in April


We are pleased to announce that our next Executive Management Institute (EMI) will be held April 2-5 at the offices of the North Florida Chapter, NECA in Jacksonville, Florida. It kicks off with a reception on the evening of April 1.

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·                     NECA Financial Benchmarker Live Online!


Great News! We’re proud to announce that the NECA Financial Benchmarker is now ready to provide electrical contractors with immediate access to more timely and accurate financial information.

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·                     Free Webinar for NECA Members: Multiemployer Defined Benefit Pension Plans


In an effort to give more information to our members and chapter executives nationwide, NECA will host a complimentary webinar addressing pension reform on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 3:00pm EST.

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·                     Help NAED Learn More About You, Win an 16GB iPad mini!


We’ve partnered with the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) to gather data about how NECA contractors find out about electrical products. This information will be used to help electrical distributors serve you better.

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·                     ConsensusDocs Releases New Joint Venture LLC Agreement


The new ConsensusDocs 299 Joint Venture LLC Agreement is the first of its kind for the design and construction industry. As always, NECA members are eligible for a 20% discount on ConsensusDocs’ best practice contract documents.

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·                     FREE Online Tour of the New ConsensusDocs Technology


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·                     New Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Study Available from ELECTRI International


ELECTRI International's latest release is a comprehensive analysis of the electric vehicle infrastructure market, including how electrical contractors can provide energy efficiency upgrades for charging stations.

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·                     Women In NECA 2013 Leadership Summit: Smart Women Stay Connected


Women In NECA’s fourth Leadership Summit, March 22-23 in St. Louis, will be an open dialogue about mentoring, personal finance skills and professional development that can help WIN members improve their companies and lives.

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·                     Member News (Supplemental to NTW, Vol. 5, No. 6)


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·                     ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine Recognized for Editoral Excellence


Two full issues of NECA’s magazine honored in annual FOLIO competition.

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·                     Milwaukee Electric Tools Extends Support for NJATC


For an additional three years, Milwaukee Electric Tools will continue to support the NJATC’s blended learning program not only through the Test and Measurement Academy but also through the augmentation of other areas within the NJATC curriculum.

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·                     NECA Professional Development Offerings for February 2013


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·                     NECA Disaster Relief Fund Ready to Help Members Hurt by Superstorm Sandy


The NECA Disaster Relief Fund remains ready to help NECA contractors who suffered company losses during Superstorm Sandy or other recent natural disasters.

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·                     Member News (Supplemental to NTW, Vol. 5, No. 5)


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·                     NECA Member Abbott Electric Wins AEP Ohio Energy Savings Award


NECA member Abbott Electric Inc. of Canton, Ohio, ranked as the top electrical contractor in the state by AEP's Ohio customers.

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·                     CELI 2012 Attachments & Meeting Information


The 2012 Chapter Executives Leadership Institute (CELI) took place in Chicago October 23-25.

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·                     NECA Supports House Passing of Final Sandy Relief Package


On January 15, 2013 the U.S. House of Representatives approved the second of two Hurricane Sandy disaster relief aid bills.

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·                     The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Safety Excellence and Zero Injury Awards Program


NECA’s Safety Excellence and Zero Injury Awards recognize thriving companies that maintain OSHA recordable injury and fatality rates at levels lower than the industry standards and have taken their safety records above and beyond basic compliance.

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·                     Heller Electric Completes Work for its 11th Presidential Inauguration


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·                     Updated NECA Tool and Equipment Rental Schedule Keeps Costs in Perspective for Electrical Contractors


The newest edition of the Tool and Equipment Rental Schedule, 2013-2014 for inside and line electrical contractors is now available from NECA.

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·                     NECA Contractor BESCO Helps Protect Great Smoky Mountains National Park


The NECA/IBEW team are helping to make life a little safer for all Great Smoky Mountain National Park residents and animals alike, by installing Electric Vehicle charging stations.

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·                     National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Awards $20,000 in Scholarships to YSU Students


The National Electrical Contractors Association awarded its annual scholarship to five Youngstown State University students.

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·                     NECA Members Comprise 60% of ENR Top Contractors in 2012


NECA members comprise 30 of the top 50 in electrical on the ENR Top 600 and reflects NECA’s commitment to innovation combined with training, education and and safety.

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·                     National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) 2013 Safety Excellence and Zero Injury Awards Program Now Open


Has your company made safety and health-related work practices a core value? Then you should know that NECA’s 2013 Safety Excellence and Zero Injury Award Program is accepting award applications online from NECA-member companies through March 1.

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·                     Electrical Contractors Welcome Passage of Storm Emergency Aid Legislation


“Our hope now is that the House and the Senate can reach swift agreement on a final package so that people living in the states hurt by this terrible storm can finally begin the next phase of their recovery and rebuilding,” said Marco Giamberardino, NECA executive director, government affairs.

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·                     Member News (Supplemental to NTW, Vol. 5, No. 3)


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·                     NECA Member, Egan Company, Joins Senator Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to Combat Metal Theft


Duane Hendricks, Executive Vice President of Egan Company, a member of the Minneapolis Chapter, NECA, is speaking out on the issue of Metal theft and is working with a member of Congress to address this problem.

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·                     NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center (NIETC) Opens New Facility: Ensures Best-Quality Work


NECA/IBEW recently opened a new training facility, implementing their new Training Partner Program, ensuring quality workmanship and peace of mind for potential clients.

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·                     NECA Presents: Top Ten Proposed Changes in the 2014 NEC®


Wondering what major changes are in store for the new 2014 National Electrical Code? Join Mike Johnston for a free webinar on Feb. 12 to discuss the Top 10 Significant Changes in the 2014 NEC®. Register Now >>

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The Light Brigade® Incorporates Latest Standards in Fiber Optic Safety Training DVD

Tukwila, WA and Spartanburg, SC – March 18, 2013 – The Light BrigadeAFL’s education and training division, has incorporated the content of the ANSI Z 136.2 standard along with the international IEC 60825-2 optical fiber communications safety standard to its Fiber Optic Safety DVD. The new ANSI standard provides guidance for the safe use, maintenance, service and installation of fiber optic and free space optical communications systems which use laser diodes that operate between standard wavelengths of 850-1650 nm. The standard is applicable for those who assemble, service or maintain end-to-end fiber optic communication systems and optical components.

“As installers build and test a system, awareness of possible risks is crucial,” stated Ron Peterson, Chairman of the Standards Subcommittee (SSC-2) under the NSIASC, and who also spearheaded the team that crafted the guidelines.

The standard is published by the Laser Institute of America (LIA), a recognized industry leader in laser advocacy and safety education. To order the ANSI Z136.2 standard (ISBN# 978-0-912035-68-0), visit or call LIA at 1.800.34.LASER.

The Light Brigade’s Fiber Optic Safety DVD serves as a training tool to help enhance the fiber optic safety program for anyone who works with optical fibers or lasers or who installs or operates fiber optic communication systems. The DVD’s 10 menu-selectable chapters focus on topics relevant to today’s fiber technicians, including:

·         Laser types and classifications, how they operate and various control measures

·         National and international fiber optic and laser safety standards

·         Optical fiber handling and safety

·         Chemicals and right-to-know documentation

·         Fiber and laser testing and inspection equipment types and applications

·         The impact of high-power Raman and EDFA optical amplifiers

·         Safety practices during installation and restoration

·         Potential safety problems along with their causes and possible solutions

·         Safety in confined spaces

·         Types of personal protective equipment

Bonus materials provided on the DVD include a student quiz with matching instructor version, written in Microsoft® Word format, which allows customization for specific safety needs. BICSI® recognizes Fiber Optic Safety DVD training for the following BICSI Continuing Education Credits (CECs): one RCDD; one RITP; one Installer 2, one Technician and one Certified Trainer.

The Light Brigade showcased this video at booth #2641 at the OFC/NFOEC show in Anaheim, CA, March 19-21. For additional information or to order a copy of the Fiber Optic Safety DVD, visit
About The Light Brigade
Since 1987, The Light Brigade has instructed over 45,000 attendees in its public and custom classes on fiber optic design, maintenance, and testing, including advanced topics such as FTTx, DWDM and PMD/CD. In addition to creating custom courses tailored to any need or skill level, the company produces educational DVDs and CDs.
About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting inside plant central office, EF&I, outside plant, enterprise and wireless areas.

Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan.


Megladon Mfg. plays a strong role in the Fiber Optic Challenge

Automation and Integration Challenge Designers

Network designers are cautiously approaching the traditional (superseded & outmoded) information transport platforms for fear that their legacy will be “the designer who brought a knife to a gunfight.” Copper will be around for many years to come and the demand for the copper in electronics is not predicted to decrease. However, as the outside networks extend their capabilities into the workplace, there is a simultaneous strong trend to automate the building. The emergent demand for the integrated systems contractor is ample evidence of the bright future for the Smart Building.

Fiber Optic Cables Provide Bandwidth, Speed, and Distance

Fiber Optic cables offer us the glowing future – a dazzling super highway of information. The infrastructure industry for fiber optics continues to grow at a steady pace, providing the contractors with the connectors and tools needed to deliver premium quality. Fiber optics are making the leap into aviation and automotive industries where, in addition to transmission challenges, vibration and temperatures are extreme. Also the tsunami of demand for wireless services has created a crushing need for fiber optic backhaul facilities, often where no was planned. It seems like the barrier of obsolescence (is the state of being which occurs when an object, service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.) is rapidly approaching the thirty million miles of copper-based communications networks in the buildings in the USA.

MILSPEC means TOUGH – especially in aviation

As the aviation industry reduce weight by replacing cooper cable with fiber optic cables new challenges abound. Fiber Optic cabling systems must deliver the physical performance required to face the special conditions of the world of flight. Not only the cable but also the connections must have the durability. MILSPEC usually means the product has made the grade for the military in the rugged world of combat operations (The military tested it twice and then tested it all over again for shock and vibration, plus huge cycles of high and low temperatures and humidity). The time to find out it doesn’t work is NEVER.

Megladon Announces Pre Qualification Test Results for US Military HLC® Termini

Austin, Texas, in December 2012 – Megladon Manufacturing Group announced a completed project for the US Military to pre qualification test fiber optic termini processed with HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) technology. The HLC process uses a laser to harden the entire mating surface and maximizes coupling efficiency in fiber optic connections.

The termini, placed in a 38999 backshell, were tested for shock and vibration, temperature cycling and multiple matings based on military specifications. The results were extremely good and warrant additional testing.

Vibration testing was done in accordance with MIL-STD-810F, method 514.6. This test simulates some of the harshest conditions in the US military. The mated pairs were tested in both the X axis and the Z axis. Each mated pair included a termini processed with HLC technology and an industry standard termini. This method validated the durability gained by the HLC process and also the interoperability of HLC termini with termini that currently exist in applications.

Temperature testing consisted of a high temperature soak at 165 deg C and a low temperature soak at -55 deg C. The duration of each test was 24 hours. Each mated pair included a termini processed with HLC technology and an industry standard termini. This method validated the durability gained by the HLC process and also the interoperability of HLC termini with termini that currently exist in applications.

Mating testing was designed to test the durability of the HLC termination and to investigate its effects on industry standard terminations when the pair is repeatedly mated and demated. The mated pair included a termini processed with HLC technology and an industry standard termini both placed in a 38999 backshell. Endface pictures and insertion loss data was collected after each 100 mates.

“Megladon’s HLC technology was tested side by side with the industry standard process and performed very well. We did not see any evidence that would suggest the process would not complete full qualification testing. The conditions were extreme and we were very pleased with the results,” stated Daniel Hogberg RCDD, Megladon’s engineering manager.

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

Contact John Culbert at 512.615.4687 or by email at

Megladon Rack Mount Ultra Dense CWDM Modules

Austin, Texas,– Megladon Manufacturing Group announced an addition to their WDM product family serving fiber optic cell backhaul and CATV markets. The Ultra Dense CWDM modules preserve valuable rack space in head ends while promoting extensive channel capability in a modular design for expansion.

The Ultra Dense CWDM modules are used to transmit multiple wavelengths down a single fiber eliminating the need for multiple long haul trunk cables. The module houses dual, bidirectional 1×8 CWDMs built on an LC connector foundation. This is accomplished in a 2RU frame that can hold up to 19 modules. This provides a density of 38 1×8 CWDMs in 2RU of rack space.

Earlier CWDM modules utilized SC or SCAPC connectors which limited density because of connector size. In these cases, a 4RU distribution panel would hold a maximum of 12 1×8 CWDMs or a total of 108 SC ports. By incorporating the LC connector, the port count is increased to 342 in one-half the size.

“We were presented with an obstacle faced by one of our long time customers. They needed maximum channel count in a minimum amount of space.” stated John M Culbert, President & Partner of Megladon. “We were able to design a solid product that met their current needs, reduced cost and provided the ability to grow long term”.


The HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) patch cable by Megladon is recommended for use in these products. CWDMs are sensitive to optical return loss and the HLC products are designed to provide minimum insertion loss and return loss enabling the network to function in a reliable manner.


Megladon’s WDM product family includes WDM, CWDM and DWDM products that are built to customer specifications. A variety of wavelengths, connector types and package designs are available.

Megladon Announces New Product Release of Rack Mount Network Simulator with HLC® SCRATCHGUARD® Interconnects

Austin, Texas,– Megladon Manufacturing Group announced an addition to their HLC Test and Measurement product family serving fiber optic transport equipment manufacturers and qualification labs. The 6RU and 3RU rack mount HLC Network Simulators allow testing over fiber optic glass up to 200km and is modular producing a variety of configuration options.


The Network Simulator products are used to test transport equipment for Telecommunication carriers and identify incompatibilities of hardware solutions before they are deployed on a large scale. Instead of simulating a network using attenuation, these products provide the length of glass to send a signal over the actual distance. This enables the carrier and test lab to identify any hardware components producing a nonconformance, make appropriate changes and then verify the change was adequate.

Based on a modular design, the 6U product contains up to 200km of glass in 25km increments or 80km in 10km increments as well as other configurations. The interconnect ports on the front panel allow for distance changes and for multiple boxes to be put in series. The 3U product contains up to 50km for applications where rack space is a critical consideration. These simulators are manufactured with glass from all major glass manufacturers.


“We found an opportunity in the marketplace that required versatility and reliability and used our expertise to provide a solution” stated John M Culbert, President & Partner of Megladon. “ We enjoy solving problems and building relationships”.

The HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) is a unique and critical aspect of the Network Simulator. Continuous testing over a duration of 3-6 months can only be accomplished if the interconnects are of the highest quality. A signal loss during the testing procedure can cause a schedule delay in large deployment projects. The HLC is designed to provide reference grade geometry, low loss and a tempered end face for stability and durability.


Megladon’s HLC Test and Measurement product family includes Test Reference Cables used to test link loss over deployed networks and by fiber optic termination manufacturers, Long Launch and Pulse Suppression products for use with OTDR testing and Network Simulators. The common use of the HLC technology across this product offering provides reliability when you need it most and an extended life span.

Megladon Announced New Product Release of Angle Polished HLC® ScratchGuard® Fiber Optic Patch Cords

Austin, Texas,– Megladon Manufacturing Group took a monumental step for the CATV market by adapting the HLC process to angle polished connectors. Angle polished connectors have been used for years in high speed video transport applications due to inherent low reflection characteristics. The fragile nature of fiber mating surfaces, however, has continued to plague an industry that is more competitive than ever.

With the growing video on demand and streaming video content on the web, a need arises for high quality fiber optic products capable of withstanding this trend. Industry leaders and providers are having to transition into a more competent network infrastructure to conform to the now industry standard of high performance fiber optic networks.


The SCRATCHGUARD Fiber Optic Patch Cords (by Megladon Manufacturing Group) is a critical step forward in quality. The fiber optic connector is a crucial component and the “gateway to the fiber optic cabling network”. Damage to the connector due to repeated use has been the biggest problem for network managers, until now. The patented SCRATCHGUARD Fiber Optic Patch Cords have virtually eliminated the problem. “We have studied the Megladon Manufacturing products and spoken with several major network operations that are using these breakthrough products. The product exceeds anything else they have ever used.” said Frank Bisbee, Editor of the Heard On The Street column (, “Jim Hayes, President of the Fiber Optic Association confirmed the need for education in the fiber optic communications industry as new solutions are coming to the marketplace like a tsunami.” Bisbee added.


Megladon’s SM APC HLC SCRATCHGUARD fiber optic patch cords are ideally equipped for network installers that are utilizing high speed video networks. The HLC technology provides mating surface durability and low loss; paired with an Angle Polish Connector we now have a product that significantly reduces reflection, cutting down on interruptions in any given network.


“Up until now CATV and high speed video applications have not been able to take advantage of our HLC patented processes due to standardization on angle polish connectors. Now they can not only experience the HLC SCRATCHGUARD durability, but we added a reduction in insertion loss and reflection over traditional angle polish products,” said John Culbert, President of Megladon.


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

Megladon Mfg. -- Fiber Optic Builders of Tomorrow


Megladon Manufacturing Group, Ltd. was created as a subsidiary of Tyrex Group, Ltd. on January 1, 2000 after spending three years as an incubated division. Megladon became the first company to emerge from the Tyrex Partnering Program.


In 2000, STG 4Fronts, a technology incubator specializing in optical research and development was created as a subsidiary of Megladon. With knowledge from and relationships within the scientific community, this entity was created to provide Megladon and the Fiber Products Group with intellectual property in the fiber optic arena. The first project, the Hardened Lens Contact (HLC) for fiber optic patch cables was a huge success. The project was completed within a tight budget and timeline. The technology was patented and transferred to the Fiber Products Group for application engineering, creation of manufacturing processes and marketing. The result was a core technology with far-reaching effects in the fiber optic industry.

Today, Megladon promotes the same original culture that has made us successful over the years. Megladon’s company culture is based upon the Tyrex Diamond Disciplines: Economic Prosperity, Entrepreneurship, Employee Well-Being and Community Citizenship. We believe all four aspects must be not only present, but in balance, in order to succeed.


Our quest as part of the Tyrex Family is to become “special” as well as successful. This includes a longevity factor that claims we are “Built to Last.” With our individual commitments to our customers, vendors, communities and each other, Megladon is building a strong foundation that will prove invaluable in the years ahead.


Quality is another integral piece of the Megladon company culture. We strive to incorporate the highest level of quality in every transaction. This includes all communications and tasks involving any customer, vendor, employee or community in which we reside. This philosophy allows Megladon to ensure the quality of our products and services are a result of our overall quality mentality. Quality is another integral piece of the Megladon company culture. We strive to incorporate the highest level of quality in every transaction. This includes all communications and tasks involving any customer, vendor, employee or community in which we reside. This philosophy allows Megladon to ensure the quality of our products and services are a result of our overall quality mentality.


The Light Brigade®, Fujikura Asia and ITE College West Collaborate to Develop FTTH-Ready Workforce

Tukwila, WA and Spartanburg, SC – March 26, 2013 – The Light BrigadeAFL’s education and training division, is partnering with Fujikura Asia and ITE College West, both located in Singapore, to form a Resource Center at ITE College West. The center will provide students with access to a wide variety of fiber optics-related training material along with an FTTH showcase. This center, coupled with industrial placement at Fujikura Asia, will allow ITE students to learn from experts and acquire skills relevant to the fiber optics industry.

The Light Brigade will offer training expertise, consultancy services and course material for ITE to ensure the program addresses the latest technology and techniques. The first of several planned training courses supports the Fiber to the Home Council’s Certified Fiber-to-the-Home Professional (CFHP) program. Upon completion of the ITE training program, students will have the necessary knowledge and practical experience to successfully complete the CFHP certification exam accredited by the Fiber to the Home Council.
“The Light Brigade is committed to support students and academia in the area of fiber optic expertise and certification,” commented Dario De Paolis, vice president and general manager of The Light Brigade. “We hope to inspire the next generation of designers, planners and technicians in the field of FTTH networks.” 
The FTTH showcase at the Resource Center will prepare students with market-related hands-on skills to develop an FTTH workforce by incorporating industry standards into relevant ITE courses. This showcase is sponsored by Fujikura Asia with equipment and consumables valued at $40,000.
“We are delighted to have established a close working relationship with Fujikura and The Light Brigade,” stated Dr. Yek Tiew Ming, principal of ITE College West. “The collaboration will offer an excellent platform for the three parties to draw on each other’s individual strengths and synergize our resources. This partnership is a perfect example of the philosophy of ITE to continually engage industry to provide industry-relevant education that produces industry-ready technical specialists.”
Toshi Takahashi, managing director of Fujikura Asia added, “Being one of the leaders in fiber optic technologies, Fujikura is privileged to contribute effectively to the industry and the local community in an educational collaboration with ITE. Education and continuous training are important necessities which enhance one’s knowledge and add value to the entire workforce.”
The demand for higher speed data transmission is expanding at an astounding pace. Consumers require faster downloads for streaming video, voice, music and data. Fiber optic networks provide the pathway to move this data to the end user. This trend has sparked the need for a new generation of fiber optic personnel proficient in such networks. Realizing the need to meet new manpower demands, ITE will continue to keep its training up-to-date by working collaboratively with The Light Brigade and Fujikura Asia, both leaders in the fiber optic industry.

About The Light Brigade
Founded in 1987, The Light Brigade has instructed over 45,000 attendees worldwide in its public and custom classes on fiber optic design, maintenance, and testing, including advanced topics such as FTTx, DWDM, and PMD/CD. In addition to creating custom courses tailored to any need or skill level, the company produces educational DVDs and CDs that provide focus on specific fiber related topics.

About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting inside plant central office, EF&I, outside plant, enterprise and wireless areas.

Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit

About Fujikura Asia Ltd.
Established in 1987, Fujikura Asia Ltd. serves as regional headquarters for the Asia Pacific, offering a growing range of products, notably optical fibers and optical components, electronic materials and multi-layer and fine pitch flexible printed circuits, delivering steadfast dependability in fields related to telecommunications, FTTx, energy and electronics industries, visit

About ITE
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore, was established as a post-secondary education institution in 1992 under the Ministry of Education. ITE is a principal provider of career and technical education and key developer of national occupational skills certification and standards to enhance Singapore's workforce competitiveness. Under its "One ITE System, Three Colleges" Model of Education and Governance, ITE has three Colleges, comprising ITE College Central, ITE College East and ITE College West. For more information, visit


BICSI opts to walk away from STEP – Article from CNS Magazine – Canada’s leading publication for structured cabling, networking and telecom

By Paul Barker - Editor 

Tampa, FL — The biggest news coming out of the 2013 BICSI Winter Conference occurred after the event had ended.

On Feb. 12, BICSI president Jerry Bowman announced that BICSI was withdrawing as a founding member of the Sustainable Technologies Environment Program (STEP) Foundation, citing concerns about the direction the organization was heading.

The timing was ironic for three weeks earlier, four key members of STEP — Allan Weidman, Herb Congdon, Julie Roy and Charles Fox —spoke at length about their goals and plans for the organization during a conference roundtable for BICSI delegates held in the Tampa Bay Convention Centre.

BICSI’s board of directors voted to become a “sustaining member” in November 2011 joining InfoComm, CompTIA and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Last year, the Communications Cable & Connectivity Association (CCCA) joined as a supporting member.

“The original STEP Foundation concept was a fairly simple one,” Bowman said in a statement. “Its Mission was to bring sustainability to the process of planning, designing, integrating and operating technology systems, as well as to reduce the long-term environmental impact from technology deployment. The fulcrum of STEP would be a STEP sustainability rating system, and STEP membership would require a manageable start-up investment by BICSI.

“Over the past months the STEP Board of Directors has been involved in a series of long term strategic planning activities. During this process it has become evident to us that STEP’s direction was changing and the new direction was significantly different from the original STEP concept and not consistent with our BICSI sustainability vision and not in the best interest of our members.

According to the STEP Web site, while “LEED focuses primarily on building construction, STEP focuses on the technology systems that operate within the sustainable buildings, employing a five phase approach to planning and implementing, and measuring the impact of a project.”

Roy, chair of the TR 42.10 subcommittee on STEP, wrote in a blog posted prior to the conference that while TIA has been working on writing a standard to help support the rating system, the foundation has been part of implementing pilot projects to validate the rating system. One such project is the new TIA office in Arlington, Va., which has been deemed a “STEP certifiable site.”

In it, she also referenced the pending roundtable at the BICSI Winter conference saying she was  excited to join a group that includes Allen Weidman, The STEP Foundation executive director; Herb Congdon, associate vice-president of technology and standards for TIA; and Charles Fox, general manager of vector resources in charge of the implementation project at the new TIA offices.

When CNS contacted Weidman for comment he replied that the “STEP Foundation remains strong, despite the departure of one of its supporting members. CCCA, COMPTIA, InfoComm and TIA are strongly committed to continuing the mission of the STEP Foundation and advancing the mission of promoting sustainability in the built-environment.

“The Foundation is grateful for the valuable contributions made by BICSI in the early years of the organization and we will continue to work with BICSI members and staff to find common points of interest and mutual support to help advance a smart and sustainable Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry.”

Further coverage will appear in the May/June issue of CNS.

Reprinted with permission from CNS Magazine – Canada’s leading publication for structured cabling, networking and telecom.

Cabling Networking Systems - CNS Magazine is published six times a year for over 11000 professionals across Canada.

CNS magazine covers the latest trends and issues for structured cabling, networking and telecom professionals across Canada and the USA.

The Challenge: Cabling, Networking, and Telecom Technologies are rapidly changing. Interoperability and compatibility challenges all of the industry’s engineers, designers, contractors, and installers to stay current and follow the trends as they evolve.

The Answer: Cabling Networking Systems - CNS Magazine


Anixter and two other CIA contractors to pay $3 million to settle allegations that they violated anti-corruption laws

Former Anixter Sales Rep Whistleblower sparked investigation that resulted in a settlement that Anixter agreed to pay part of a multi-million dollar fine for violating corruption laws. Anixter is a Global distributor of communication and security products, electrical and electronic wire & cable, fasteners and “C” Class inventory components.

Three companies that contracted with the CIA agreed on Thursday to pay $3 million to settle allegations they violated anti-corruption laws, the U.S. Justice Department said. The Justice Department had alleged that American Systems Corp, Anixter International Inc (AXE) and Corning Cable Systems had, among other things, paid for meals and entertainment and provided tickets to sporting events to both CIA staff and consultants.

The three companies, which had teamed up for the project, hoped to shape specifications that would help them win the unspecified 2009 contract "to provide supplies and services," the Justice Department said.

The investigation was sparked by a whistleblower, former Anixter sales representative William Jones. The three companies were accused of violating both the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act while securing the contract. Jones will receive $585,000 of the settlement, as provided for under the False Claims Act, the Justice Department said. "Plying government officials with meals and entertainment to gain favorable treatment in the award of federal contracts corrupts the procurement process and will not be allowed," Stuart Delery, principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's civil division, said in a statement. CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz said allegations of employee misconduct were always "thoroughly investigated." The case "remains under review internally," he added.


Industry Leaders to Explore “What Office Tenants Want” at BOMA International’s Annual Conference

Conference Also Will Feature Keynote by Decorated SEAL Team Six Veteran

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 3, 2013) In the commercial real estate industry, great customer service is contingent upon understanding tenant needs and having strategies in place to meet and exceed expectations.  In an uncertain economy where tenant retention is particularly crucial, anticipating these needs is more important than ever.  On Monday, June 24, 2013, at 9:00am, five experts in the fields of real estate, architecture and customer service will explore the evolving needs of commercial real estate tenants as part of the 2013 Every Building Conference & Expo, presented by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and BUILDINGS, in San Diego.

During the highly anticipated Monday General Session, “The Tenant is King: What Office Tenants Want and How to Wow Them,” panelists will discuss the future of the workspace and the customer service challenges and opportunities it presents.  Hear findings from new global research on tenant needs conducted by BOMA International and Kingsley Associates; learn about tenant attitudes toward sustainability and green practices; and explore the importance of customer service strategies to attract and retain tenants.

The panel will be moderated by Gensler’s Robert A. Peck, Hon. AIA, director of Workplace Consulting for the Southeast Region.  Panelists will include:

·         Peter Merrett, National Head of Customer Service, Jones Lang LaSalle (Sydney, Australia)

·         Phil Mobley, Vice President, Kingsley Associates (Atlanta, Georgia)

·         David L. Pogue, LEED AP, Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, CBRE (San Jose, California)

·         Derek Williams, Chief Executive, The WOW! Awards (London, United Kingdom)

“New telecommuting technologies, increased demand for collaborative workspaces and global markets that require non-traditional hours of operation have reshaped the modern workplace,” commented BOMA International Chair Joe Markling, managing director of Strategic Accounts with CBRE.  “Tenants expect buildings to evolve with them by providing the latest services, amenities and office layout options.  It is crucial for building owners and manager to anticipate tenants’ evolving needs to ensure a continued high level of customer service.  This timely panel discussion will provide valuable insight into the latest trends in the workplace and how the commercial real estate industry can keep pace with this evolution.”

Just prior to the panel discussion, BOMA International President and Chief Operating Officer Henry Chamberlain, APR, FASAE, CAE, will present the 2013 State of the Industry address.  His in-depth annual report will focus on the performance of the commercial real estate industry, with predictions about how the industry will be affected by trends in technology, energy efficiency, economic policy and more.

The Monday General Session complements a full roster of conference events, including a keynote address by featured speaker Robert O’Neill, former team leader of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six), on Sunday afternoon.  One of the most highly-decorated combat veterans of our time, O’Neill will share his compelling story and translate his elite SEAL team training into high-impact, actionable insights on leadership, decision-making and operating in uncertain environments to become the “best of the best.”  O’Neill will be speaking June 23, 2012, at 1:00pm during the Sunday General Session, which is sponsored by Yardi.

The 2013 Every Building Conference & Expo, which will take place June 23-25, 2013, in San Diego, is the commercial real estate industry’s premiere professional event.  This collaborative meeting of the industry’s best minds includes more than 40 expert-led sessions across six education tracks on topics ranging from creating and sustaining high performance buildings to maximizing asset and portfolio performance.  More than 450 exhibits by leading manufacturers and suppliers at the Expo will help attendees find solutions to operational challenges and strategies to enhance asset performance.


About BOMA International

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 93 BOMA U.S. associations, BOMA Canada and its 11 regional associations and 13 BOMA international affiliates.  Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types, including nearly 10 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 3.7 million jobs and contributes $205 billion to the U.S. GDP.  Its mission is to advance the interests of the entire commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information.  Find BOMA online at


Generation W : Julia Pierson becomes the first female director of the United States Secret Service

Generation W - Women are busting ceilings in all areas of safety and security.

March 26, 2013, Julia Pierson becomes the director of the United States Secret Service.

President Obama appoints Julia Pierson, a veteran U.S. Secret Service agent and senior official, as the first female director of the agency. Pierson, 53, began her career in the Secret Service as an agent in Miami three decades ago. She now serves as the service's chief of staff. She does not need Senate confirmation for the post, which White House officials said would be announced later Tuesday afternoon.

Next month: the HOTS column plans to feature a very impressive expanded list of the women that make a positive difference in our industry.


BICSI (first of 2013) Northeast Regional Meeting – a powerful success for all participants

This letter was posted on the BICSI Website for the Northeast page.  It has information about the Northeast Region Meeting that was held in Laurel, MD on March 15, 2013.  Carol E. Oliver – BICSI NE Regional Director

Check out the successful agenda for that meeting. 

The next meeting is on June 4, 2013 in Lawrenceville, NJ.  See the agenda for that meeting also. 

Others NE Regional BICSI meetings planned for this year include July 25, 2013 in Amherst, NY; Oct 10, 2013 in Providence, RI and November in Dulles, VA (joint with the Southeast region).

I hope you don't miss the first 2013 BICSI Northeast Region Meeting

Friday, March 15, 2013

At Johns Hopkins APL, Laurel, Maryland

BICSI U.S. Northeast Region Meeting – AGENDA Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Friday, March 15, 2013

·         7:30   Continental Breakfast & Exhibits

·         8 a.m. Welcome, Introductions and BICSI Overview Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS, BICSI U.S. Northeast Region Director

·         8:15 a.m. What's New, What's it Do?

·         Presentations on New Products or Services

·         9 a.m.   Standards & Committee Update

·         Bob Hertling, RCDD, OSP, Parsons

·         9:30 a.m. Break

·         10:00  a.m.   Pathways for Cabling Infrastructure

·         David Lamphair, RCDD, Erico

·         11:00 a.m.  Underfloor Wiring in the Modern Workplace Walter Taylor, FreeAxez

·         12:00 noon Lunch & Exhibits

·         1:00 p.m.  GPON Optical LAN Myth-Busters and Design Considerations Michael Wilson, RCDD, Tellabs

·         2:00 p.m. Break

·         2:20 p.m. Building Intelligent Buildings Julie Roy, RCDD, NTS, ESS, CommScope

·         3:20 p.m.  Convergence of A/V Systems with IT Eric Wenocur, Lab Tech Systems, SMPTE DC Section Program Chair

·         3:50  p.m. Q&A, Closing Remarks and Door Prizes

·         Speakers Dinner – Stanford Grill, 6 PM


BICSI U.S. Northeast Region Meeting – AGENDA Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ – Tuesday June 4

7:30   Continental Breakfast & Exhibits

8 a.m. Welcome, Introductions and BICSI Overview Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS, BICSI U.S. Northeast Region Director

8:15 a.m. What's New, What's it Do?

Presentations on New Products or Services

9 a.m.    TSB - Encircled Flux Testing

Roland Schlehuber, Fluke Networks

10:00 a.m. Break

10:30  a.m.   Technology Trends Update

Todd Harpel, RCDD, Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company

11:30 a.m.  Intelligent Building

Robert Carlson, RCDD, SIEMON

12:30 noon Lunch & Exhibits

1:30 p.m.  NFPA-72 Update

Ernie Schirmer, Vanderweil

2:30 p.m. Break

3:00  p.m.  Cooling Trends in the Data Center David Roden, Schneider Electric

4:00 p.m. Q&A, Closing Remarks and Door Prizes

BICSI is a professional association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry. ITS covers the spectrum of voice, data, electronic safety & security, project management and audio & video technologies. It encompasses the design, integration and installation of pathways, spaces, optical fiber- and copper-based distribution systems, wireless-based systems and infrastructure that supports the transportation of information and associated signaling between and among communications and information gathering devices.

BICSI provides information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies in the ITS industry. We serve more than 23,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians. These individuals provide the fundamental infrastructure for telecommunications, audio/video, life safety and automation systems. Through courses, conferences, publications and professional registration programs, BICSI staff and volunteers assist ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services, and offer opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature.


AFCOM Announces Data Center Manager of the Year Finalists for 2013 - IT Industry Leaders Honored at Data Center World in Las Vegas

West Chester, OH—April 4, 2013—AFCOM, the world's leading data center association, today announced the finalists for its annual “Data Center Manager of the Year” award. The 2013 finalists are Tate Cantrell, chief technology officer for Verne Global; Donna Manley, senior IT director, computer operations at the University of Pennsylvania; and David Shaw, senior vice president of IO. These IT professionals have all been recognized for outstanding leadership and excellence in the field of data center management. The Data Center Manager of the Year winner will be announced on May 1 during a special reception at 2013 Spring Data Center World

AFCOM’s Leonard Eckhaus Data Center Manager of the Year Award recognizes outstanding leadership and excellence in the field of data center and facilities management. Award recipients are effective leaders who run highly efficient data centers, giving their company an edge in the industry. The award embodies innovation, organization, versatility and ambition in data center management.

“We received many submissions this year for the DCMY award and like in the past the selection was difficult.  These three individuals stood out at as leaders for their companies and have shown a high level of commitment to the Data Center industry,” said Tom Roberts, president of AFCOM and chairperson of Data Center World.  “Their methods, innovations and contributions inspire all of us to keep moving forward toward continual improvement.”

Tate Cantrell, Chief Technology Officer at Verne Global

Notable Achievement: Verne Global’s Icelandic campus is the industry’s first efficient, sustainable, recyclable, zero emission data center.                                  

Tate Cantrell is responsible for product design and development, and data center operations. Mr. Cantrell has overseen the build-out and operations of some the largest and most sophisticated data centers in the industry.

·      15+ Years’ Experience

·      25 Staff Members

·      Innovative designs utilizing geothermal and hydroelectric energy for power and cooling

·      ISO 27001 Certification Standard for Information Security

Donna Manley, Senior IT Director at the University of Pennsylvania

Notable Achievement: University of Pennsylvania is the only Ivy League University Data Center with ISO 9001:2008 certification and HIPAA, PCI, and FISMA compliancy

Donna Manley is a senior IT director at the University of Pennsylvania's Information Systems and Computing (ISC) Systems Engineering and Operations organization. Ms. Manley evaluates evolving technologies and the changing demands of the Penn community, finding creative ways to prolong the life of the existing Data Center well beyond the expected capacity limits. Despite several additions to the Computer Operations’ services portfolio, process reengineering and workflow automation strategies have resulted in sustained staffing and budget levels over an eight year period.

  • 25+ years’ experience Data Center Management in various industry verticals
  • 28 Staff Members
  • IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) V2 and V3 Certified – Foundations
  • President – AFCOM Mid-Atlantic Chapter (6 years)

David Shaw, Senior Vice President at IO

Notable Achievement: Manages over 1.5 million square feet of data center capacity  - including the world’s largest modular data center.

As Senior Vice President at IO, David Shaw is responsible for IO’s global Data Center as a Service (DCaaS™). Mr. Shaw oversaw the opening of the world’s largest modular data center, IO.New Jersey, in Edison, New Jersey, and ensured that the data center was 100 percent operational during Hurricane Sandy and in its aftermath in late 2012.

  • 4 US data centers and currently implementing new data center in Singapore
  • 50 Staff Members
  • 25 years of global data center operations, engineering management & information technology experience
  • Certified Specialist in Information Technology Infrastructure (ITIL)

More detailed bios on the Data Center Manager of the Year Finalists can be found at

The Spring Data Center World 2013 will be held April 28 – May 2 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Highlights of this five-day conference include:

  • Keynote Session, Commoditization of the Cloud: Ensuring Sustainability and Resiliency for Data Centers” by Microsoft’s Brian Janous
  • Virtual Data Center Tours of Via West and University of Michigan

The schedule for the Spring 2013 Data Center World can be found at

To track the conference on Twitter, follow us @datacenterworld and/or search for the #datacenterworld.

About Data Center World Conference
Data Center
World is produced by AFCOM (, the leading association supporting the educational and professional development needs of data center professionals around the globe. Established in 1980, AFCOM currently boasts 3500 data centers professionals and 40 chapters worldwide, and provides unique networking opportunities and educational forums and resources through its bi-annual Data Center World Conferences, published magazines, regional chapters, research and hotline services, and industry alliances.  For additional information on the conference and exhibits, visit


Newly Formed Berk-Tek/Leviton Technologies Alliance - replaces old NETCLEAR (Berk-Tek and Ortronics)

New Holland, Pennsylvania, April 2, 2013Berk-Tek, a Nexans company, and Leviton announced the completion of a strategic agreement, creating the Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies alliance. The combined strength of Leviton’s extensive connectivity portfolio with the leading performance of Berk-Tek’s cables creates the industry’s premier copper and fiber solution that provides customers with a best-of-breed option for reliable and high-performance networks.

The Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies (BLT) alliance extends beyond marketing to include product development and manufacturing as well as joint sales and support. Both companies are leaders in copper and fiber networks for data centers, healthcare, financial, government and enterprise applications. Together, Berk-Tek and Leviton deliver the highest performance, pre-terminated copper and optical fiber solutions for data centers, capitalizing on both firms’ well-known capabilities. The scope of BLT is the United States and Canada as well as global customers that demand consistent network performance across all their networks. Both companies are mutually represented in the United States through industry-leading local sales representative companies that provide customers with a complete network infrastructure solution.

“Berk-Tek is the industry leader for cabling solutions and this agreement truly offers customers the highest level of service and return on investment in the industry,” said Ross Goldman, Vice President and General Manager of Leviton Network Solutions. “Together we offer customers, contractors and distributors a best-of-breed solution, outstanding value, industry-leading technology, support and quality.”

 “We are pleased to align with Leviton, whose enterprise and data center solutions combined with their expanded global reach allow us to provide exceptional value to our customers and channel partners,” stated Paul Trunk, President of Berk-Tek and Vice President and General Manager of Nexans LAN Division North America. “The combined product and engineering development offerings, backed by the joint sales and support model creates tailored end-to-end solutions to worldwide end users in all markets, resulting in customer satisfaction and loyalty,” he adds.

BLT projects are backed by a limited lifetime warranty and supported through an integrated contractor program.

About Leviton Network Solutions

Leviton Network Solutions delivers complete network infrastructure systems for enterprise, data center, government, education, health care and residential markets around the globe. Solutions include copper and fiber optic connectivity, power distribution units, and much more. All Leviton products are engineered to exacting standards, offer industry-leading performance and are backed by the industry’s best service and support. Builders, contractors and other industry professionals consistently rank Leviton products as the most preferred brand in the industry.  Make the smart choice for a better network. or

About Leviton

Leviton is the smart choice, providing the most comprehensive range of solutions to meet the needs of today’s residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Leveraging more than a century of experience, Leviton helps customers create sustainable, intelligent environments through its electrical wiring devices, network and data center connectivity solutions, and lighting energy management systems. From switches and receptacles, to daylight harvesting controls, networking systems, and equipment for charging electric vehicles, Leviton solutions help customers achieve savings in energy, time and cost, all while enhancing safety.,, or

About Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company

For more than 50 years, Berk-Tek has been a leading manufacturer of more than 100 different network copper and fiber optic cable products. The company has led in the development of high-performance and enhanced fiber optic and UTP cables designed to transport high-speed data and voice transmissions. Berk-Tek has major manufacturing facilities at New Holland, PA, Fuquay-Varina, NC and Elm City, NC.

About Nexans

With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide expert in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry, building and Local Area Network markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments: from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotives, electronics, aeronautics, material handling and automation. Nexans is a responsible industrial company that regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee development and engagement, and the introduction of safe industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future. With an industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 23,700 people and had sales in 2010 of 6 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A.


BOMA - Real Estate Groups Release Study on Economic Impacts of Mandatory Building Energy Labeling

(BOSTON AND WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 28, 2013) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) announced today the release of “An Economic Perspective on Building Labeling Policies,” a report co-authored by Harvard University Environmental Economist Robert N. Stavins that examines the extent to which mandatory building energy labeling results in reduced energy use.  The research and the resulting report were sponsored by BOMA International and GBREB.

The project was prompted by increased interest in laws mandating energy scores and energy efficiency programs throughout the United States and in Massachusetts.  The City of Boston is currently considering mandated reporting for office buildings, apartments and condominiums.  It seeks to answer the question of the effectiveness of these programs.  Although BOMA and GBREB are committed to energy efficiency and many other measures intended to protect the environment, both organizations are opposed to policies that arbitrarily intervene with market forces, assign market value to buildings, stigmatize property or otherwise interfere with transactions.

According to Professor Stavins and his colleagues from the Analysis Group, a Boston-based economic consulting firm who helped conduct the review, there is no credible evidence to date that a regulatory approach is effective in achieving these goals for which they are intended.  The report analyzes the effectiveness of mandatory energy labeling for commercial buildings in the U.S.  The results of existing programs are still to be measured but the report finds:

·         Building labels could affect property values, with properties that receive a “green” score seeing appreciation in their market value and properties receiving a brown score experiencing depreciation.

·         Building labeling programs that are now in effect in select cities throughout the U.S. vary in the quality and usefulness of the information developed and the requirements and costs imposed on property owners.  There is insufficient history, therefore, for any city to employ best practice in this area.

·         Building energy labels differ greatly from the energy labels currently placed on many consumer products such as refrigerators and automobiles.  While product labels provide consumers with information on the energy savings from their product decisions, building labels provide no information on energy costs or savings.  Moreover, they provide no information on how building owners can cost-effectively improve their building’s energy use.  Building labels are also unique to each building, thus making them more costly to produce and more prone to error.

·         The premium associated with labels may “overvalue” the underlying energy savings, suggesting that other factors could be affecting market decisions.

·         If building scores are concentrated in particular neighborhoods, it could affect property values across neighborhoods.  Likewise, building sectors may see overall appreciation or depreciation if scores tend to be high or low within individual sectors.

“Mandatory benchmarking and energy labeling often adds expense to building owners without necessarily improving energy efficiency significantly,” commented BOMA International Chair Joe Markling, managing director of Strategic Accounts with CBRE.  “The voluntary marketplace has been making great strides in reducing energy consumption. Imposing mandates will impose a big burden on many owners who may or may not see improved performance or a return on their investment.”

“Unfortunately, cities follow one another passing laws like this in their competition to be greener than the next.  Boston should not be another guinea pig until some definitive evidence shows that laws like these actually work,” commented Gregory Vasil, President of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board.


About BOMA International

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 93 BOMA U.S. associations, BOMA Canada and its 11 regional associations and 13 BOMA international affiliates.  Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types, including nearly 10 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 3.7 million jobs and contributes $205 billion to the U.S. GDP.  Its mission is to advance the interests of the entire commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information.  Find BOMA online at

About the Greater Boston Real Estate Board

Founded in 1889, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board counts as its members more than 8,000 professionals engaged in all sectors of the industry. One of the local boards of the National Association of Realtors, BOMA International and the National Apartment Association, GBREB is considered unique nationally due to its varied membership base. The Board is comprised of five associations: BOMA Boston, Commercial Brokers Association, Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®, Real Estate Finance Association and the Rental Housing Association.  Learn more at


HAI by Leviton Announces KNX Gateway

Allows users to control KNX devices from HAI controllers and interfaces

Melville, New York, March 21, 2013 – HAI by Leviton announced today the launch of its KNX Gateway, an interface allowing HAI by Leviton’s Omni and Lumina Ethernet-based controllers to communicate with and control KNX devices through KNX’s standardized network communications BUS protocol. Lighting devices, temperature and energy management, motors for window coverings, shades, shutters and more are among the many KNX devices that can be controlled in homes and businesses from an HAI by Leviton interface or automated via controller programming.

The KNX Gateway maps specific data points of each KNX device to a unit or thermostat number on the HAI by Leviton controller. The interface between the KNX Gateway and the HAI by Leviton controller utilizes a RS-485 serial connection. Compatible controllers include the OmniPro II, Omni IIe, Omni LTe, Lumina Pro and Lumina. The KNX Gateway is powered either via a PoE Ethernet connection or 12-24V AC/DC.

“The KNX Gateway contributes to the bountiful lighting control options within our automation solutions,” said Jay McLellan, president of HAI by Leviton. “KNX is a truly an open platform that guarantees cross-vendor interoperability, and the KNX Gateway product from HAI by Leviton allows for seamless integration with our systems.”

The HAI by Leviton KNX Gateway, part number 97A00-1, is available now in all markets. A high resolution photo of the KNX Gateway can be downloaded here:

About HAI by Leviton

HAI by Leviton creates integrated automation and security solutions for residential and commercial use. As a leader in home automation, HAI by Leviton offers a complete line of award-winning automation products, connecting all devices – from programmable communicating thermostats, smart light switches and distributed audio systems to video surveillance equipment and access control products – through touchscreen interfaces with VoIP and software that allows access and control of an automation system over the Internet or a smart phone. Learn more at,, or

About Leviton

Leviton is the smart choice, providing the most comprehensive range of solutions to meet the needs of today’s residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Leveraging more than a century of experience, Leviton helps customers create sustainable, intelligent environments through its electrical wiring devices, network and data center connectivity solutions, and lighting energy management systems. From switches and receptacles, to daylight harvesting controls, networking systems, and equipment for charging electric vehicles, Leviton solutions help customers achieve savings in energy, time and cost, all while enhancing safety. For more information, visit,,


EPA Recognizes BOMA International and BOMA Member Companies with ENERGY STAR® Awards

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 29, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and 13 BOMA member companies with ENERGY STAR® Awards during an awards gala March 26, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Six BOMA member companies received the 2013 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award:

·         Beacon Capital Partners, LLC

·         Brandywine Realty Trust

·         Cassidy Turley

·         Liberty Property Trust

·         Vornado Realty Trust

·         Wells Real Estate Funds and Columbia Property Trust

Receiving the 2013 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Awards were seven BOMA member companies:

·         Bentall Kennedy

·         CBRE

·         Hines

·         Jones Lang LaSalle

·         TIAA-CREF

·         Transwestern

·         USAA Real Estate Company

“We couldn’t be more proud of the numerous BOMA member companies that were honored with ENERGY STAR Awards,” noted BOMA International Chair Joe Markling, managing director of Strategic Accounts with CBRE. “It demonstrates the importance of energy efficiency and sustainability throughout the commercial real estate industry and showcases the power of the volunteer marketplace across all areas of energy management. Congratulations to all the winners!”

BOMA International was presented with the Sustained Excellence Award, its sixth  ENERGY STAR award, recognizing its long-term commitment to energy efficiency through programs such as the 7 Point Challenge, sustainability education programs, publications, the BOMA 360 Performance Program® and its advocacy efforts on data access issues to drive energy benchmarking.  BOMA International remains the only commercial real estate association to have received an ENERGY STAR award.

The 2013 Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited outstanding leadership year after year.  These winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals, and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches.  These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes and buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors.  Award winners are selected from the nearly 20,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

About BOMA International

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 93 BOMA U.S. associations, BOMA Canada and its 11 regional associations and 13 BOMA international affiliates.  Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types, including nearly 10 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 3.7 million jobs and contributes $205 billion to the U.S. GDP.  Its mission is to advance the interests of the entire commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information.  Find BOMA online at


ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency.  Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money, and help protect the environment for future generations.  Nearly 20,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes and buildings.  For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).


Building Owners and Managers to “Turn off the Lights” in Support of 2013 Earth Hour

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 20, 2013) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is encouraging its members to participate in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s 2013 Earth Hour. WWF’s global initiative asks that individuals, businesses, organizations and governments turn off all non-essential lighting for one hour, from 8:30-9:30 pm local time on Saturday, March 23, 2013. The aim of Earth Hour is to visibly demonstrate global concern about climate change and a commitment to find solutions that minimize negative human impact on the Earth.

“As an energy efficiency marketplace leader, BOMA International is proud to continue to support Earth Hour,” commented BOMA International Chair Joe Markling, managing director of Strategic Accounts with CBRE. “BOMA members are committed to strong energy management practices and will be ‘turning off the lights’ during Earth Hour to demonstrate that commitment.”

BOMA International has been a leader in energy efficiency for years, launching the 7-Point Challenge in 2007, which asked members to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2012. The 7-Point Challenge was widely embraced throughout the marketplace, with endorsements from more than 130 member companies and BOMA local associations representing more than three billion sq. ft. of office space. BOMA has also developed educational programming that teaches industry practitioners no- and low-cost strategies for sustainability and energy efficiency.

The BOMA STARS initiative was launched in January 2011 to promote the importance of benchmarking energy consumption in commercial buildings through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Portfolio Manager and sharing that data with BOMA’s Master Account. This effort highlighted the effectiveness of the voluntary marketplace in reducing energy consumption without costly new mandates. Since its launch, more than 3,400 buildings representing 861 million square feet have benchmarked and shared their data with BOMA International.

BOMA published the industry’s first green lease guide, which includes enforceable lease language to ensure tenants comply with a building’s green priorities. BOMA also partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative to release the groundbreaking BOMA Energy Performance Contract (BEPC) model, which allows building owners to perform major energy retrofits to existing buildings by removing key barriers.

The EPA awarded BOMA International with the 2013 ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award in recognition of its continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency. First recognized with the Partner of the Year Award in 2007, BOMA is the only real estate association to receive this honor six times. BOMA was also the recipient of EPA’s Climate Protection Award in 2009, the agency’s highest recognition.

This is the fourth consecutive year that BOMA International has supported Earth Hour, which started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. A year later, Earth Hour became a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries and territories participating. Earth Hour 2012 took place in more than 7,000 cities and towns in 152 countries and territories across all seven continents. Hundreds of millions of people switched their lights off for an hour. For more information, visit

About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 93 BOMA U.S. associations, BOMA Canada and its 11 regional associations and 13 BOMA international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types, including nearly 10 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 3.7 million jobs and contributes $205 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance the interests of the entire commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. Find BOMA online at


Legrand And Superior Essex Establish New Alliance For Cabling Systems

nCompass™ Structured Cabling Systems Will Offer a Comprehensive Solutions Approach to the Data Communications Market

Select the link above or the attachment for the full announcement.


Web seminar to cover wireless LAN trends, technologies hosted by CI&M

A web-delivered seminar that will be held live on April 17 will discuss current trends and technologies in wireless local area networks. Sponsored and delivered by Panduit Corporation, and hosted by Cabling Installation & Maintenance, the seminar is titled “Wireless Technology and Trends in the Enterprise.” Approximately one hour in duration, it will be delivered by Panduit product manager Clark M. Kromenaker.

In a description of the seminar’s content, Cabling Installation & Maintenance said, “Wireless access is becoming a mandatory service wherever we work or play. Increasingly, the method of installation, security and management is becoming codified by the businesses this technology serves. This presentation will highlight the basics of wireless access points (WAP), and recent industry standards for the physical installation and management of these devices. Participants will also receive insights to the options available to install the WAP device, the controllers and cabling, and how they fit within the enterprise physical infrastructure.”

Individuals who attend the seminar can receive one continuing education credit (CEC) toward BICSI’s professional ITS designations. Once the seminar airs live on the 17th, it will be available for on-demand viewing for a period of six months.

You can find more information about the seminar here or register for it here.


Editorial from March 2013 issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine – 20th anniversary

Got change for a 20?

As the front cover of our March issue indicates (or perhaps, boasts), it marks Cabling Installation & Maintenance's 20th anniversary of publication.

The special report in this issue is our celebration of those 20 years in business. As you'll see from the report's content, we found it appropriate to emphasize the contributions of many individuals to the health and stability of the cabling industry, for the past 20 years and beyond. In total we draw attention to 20 people whose efforts within or around this industry have benefited many.

So we've gone ahead and done it: Made a list of individuals who are worthy of recognition. By creating a finite list, we most assuredly have left some deserving names off. We acknowledge that, and it's not just hot air when I tell you that we welcome your comments and critiques about whom we coulda/shoulda/woulda included.

Beyond that, as editor of this publication, I have some opinions about the overall collection of honorees who are singled out in this issue. If you'll indulge me here, I'd like to make a few observations (acknowledgements, maybe) about the collection of individuals we honor on our pages.

Does a certain cabling-standards development organization have a strong representation among the honored individuals? Yes, it does. That speaks to me about the importance that you, our audience, places on standards development, and the regard held for individuals who carry significant loads in the standards-development process. Our list was compiled through nominations by members of our audience.

Is there any sense of gender equality represented? Not even close. If I had "socially engineered" the list of honorees by injecting my own prejudices and preferences, the gender makeup probably would have been different. But I resisted.

How does an organization end up included in a list that's supposed to honor individuals? Two reasons. First, the sheer number of times the organization was nominated could not be ignored. Second, and more importantly, those nominations came because of the efforts of the organization's individual members to enhance the professional lives of their industry colleagues. Like the political mindset that the consent of the governed legitimizes a government, a professional association's membership (a collection of individuals) enables it to serve a trade.

There. My rant/rationalization/stump speech is over. I hope you enjoy reading about the achievements of your industry peers, and please do tell us what you think.

Chief Editor

Reprinted with permission from CI&M - Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine – a leading publication for structured cabling and networking for over 20 years. CI&M magazine is a PennWell publication. Check out their powerful web seminars


SPECIAL REPORT - Recognizing The Industry’s Positive Contributors - In commemoration of Cabling Installation & Maintenance’s 20th anniversary

In commemoration of Cabling Installation & Maintenance’s 20th anniversary, we asked our audience to nominate individuals they believe have made positive contributions to the industry over the past 20-plus years. In most cases, the nominations were in fact individuals. But one prominent association—representing a large group of individuals—also was nominated.

On the following pages you will find profiles of the people selected by your peers as those having made significant, positive contributions to the cabling industry over the past several decades.

Jonathan Jew: Unsung hero’s praises finally sung

When Jonathan Jew designs a data center’s structured cabling system so it complies with North American or international standard specifications, you can forgive him if he’s not meticulously poring over every chapter and verse of said standard. That’s because there’s a very good chance he was deeply involved in the creation of the specifications he is meeting for those customers.

As president of J&M Consultants (, Jew has carried out 66 data center relocation and infrastructure projects, totaling more than 2 million square feet of floor space, over the past 33 years. Outside of that “day job,” he has taken a leading role in the creation of several of the most critical specifications governing data center cabling system and facilities design, installation and management. A speaker at no fewer than 40 industry events and author of or contributor to 18 industry magazine articles (and counting), Jew has funded his own participation in standards-development efforts that have resulted in the publication of such specifications as ANSI/TIA-942 (2005), ANSI/TIA-942-A (2012), ANSI/BICSI-002-2010 (2010), ANSI/TIA-606-B (2012), ISO/IEC 14763-2-1 (2011), BICSI Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual 13th Edition. Space limitations here permit only this partial list, which includes fewer than half of the specifications to which he has significantly contributed.

Within the many standards-creation groups he’s been part of, Jew has held and continues to hold volunteer positions including “co-chair,” “vice chair,” “editor,” and “project lead.”

Despite so many of Jonathan Jew’s efforts taking place behind the proverbial curtain of committee meetings within organizations like BICSI, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC), his contributions thankfully have been recognized by the industry at large. In January 2010 he received the Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry—essentially a “lifetime achievement award” given out each winter by BICSI. Additionally, Jew received the TIA Certificate of Appreciation Award in 2008; Mervyn’s Outstanding Achievement Award, for contributions as a consultant to that organization’s successful data center relocation in 1992; and the Chevron Special Incentive Award, also for significant contributions to that customer’s data center relocation resulting from the Gulf-Chevron merger, in 1985.

Think about that for a moment. Jonathan Jew received special recognition from a client of his, for successfully relocating a data center, in 1985—four years after earning his Master of Science degree in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley. Consider the lack of formal guidelines in existence at that time. Perhaps not coincidentally, Jew has seen to it that other, similar projects can follow well-thought-out, specific procedures and designs to ensure their success. He has dedicated countless hours of his time, as well as resources, to that volunteer effort.

While he is being singled out here, Jonathan as always is quick to downplay individual efforts and emphasize the team aspect of accomplishments. “I appreciate the support of my business partner Darrell McKay [the “M” of J&M Consultants], and the co-chairs and chairs of the subcommittees on which I have served—Chris DiMinico, John Kacpersky, Steve Huffaker and Ray Emplitt,” Jew said. “I also appreciate the guidance and mentorship of Bob Jensen, Herb Congdon, Donna Ballast, Dave Hess, Julie Roy, Jeff Silveira and Masood Shariff.” He added that he is “excited and encouraged with the rate of change in our industry. If anything, it seems to be accelerating, so there is always something we need to be working on.”

Rest assured, Jonathan Jew will be working on it.

Bob Kenny: An innovator’s innovator

Chances are many of you have worked firsthand—held in your hands—cable technology that was the brainchild of Bob Kenny. General Cable’s vice president and general manager for communications and electronics products, Kenny runs those cable businesses for General Cable in the United States and Europe. To say he has been working with wire and cable for 25 years somehow falls short of reflecting Kenny’s true contributions. While many people have “worked” with cable in some capacity and for some period of time, for Bob Kenny the cable itself has been the work. And the work he has done with it has been extraordinary.

He has been an innovator for his entire career and is named on 36 patents across four companies. Though he quickly gives credit to others for accomplishments in which he played a significant role, Kenny has been instrumental in cable innovations including bonded pairs, mixed dielectrics, halogen-content reduction, and the climbing twisted-pair performance levels of Category 5e, 6 and 6A. Although a strong proponent for all types of cabling, Kenny is best known for these and other innovations in the twisted-pair copper cabling arena.

He has presented on wire and cable technology in more than 30 countries and is widely acknowledged as a thought leader within the wire and cable industry. In 2009 the Wire and Cable Manufacturers’ Alliance named him a recipient of its Distinguished Career Award, which recognizes professional attainments and outstanding quality of mind and character. In 2012 he was named a Tau Beta Pi Honorary Society Eminent Engineer. His forward-thinking approach is constantly driving him not only to ask what’s next, but also to play a big role in answering that question as well.

“It is a great industry with wonderful people, and I have been blessed to be a part of it,” he adds. “I am especially appreciative of my wife and family who put up with me on a daily basis. They deserve the real recognition.”

Kenny says he has “been blessed with many great mentors along the way,” and gracefully shares accolades with them for some significant technical accomplishments. “Tom Siekerka deserves the real credit for bonded pairs,” he says. “Preston Speers is a true visionary and one of the best thinkers I have ever met. The Sidney, Nebraska crew is the best I’ve ever worked with. And Greg Lampert has made me better at what I do.”

And many in the industry are better for it.

Steve Jobs: Impact from afar

It’s a pretty safe bet to say that technology icon Steve Jobs never picked up a copy of Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine, nor did he visit our website using a Mac, iPhone or iPad. In fact, the most recognized connection between Jobs and “cable” could be the visionary’s plans for Apple TV as a competitor to cable television.

But the ripples of influence from such an innovative mind flow widely. As one member of our audience reflected, “I believe that without the imagination, tenacity and drive of Steve Jobs, our world would be different. Jobs was part of the PC revolution, several times. When he moved from the PC to the handheld the world changed again.” Type “BYOD” into Google and see what happens. A strong argument can be made that Jobs was the father of BYOD, and the impact it is currently having on enterprise networks.

“Others,” one nomination said, “have great technology—Google, Microsoft, Oracle—but Jobs was able to package it together like no one else. You can say other companies were always catching up to him.”

Pedro Calderon-Baca: Spreading knowledge in South America

Nominated by a university professor from South America, among others, Pedro J. Calderon-Baca not only amassed four decades’ worth of electronics and telecommunications expertise; he also used his skills as an educator to spread specific structured-cabling knowledge in several South American countries. Many students in Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay began their path to cabling professionalism in Calderon-Baca’s classrooms. “He was the first teacher of structured cabling in Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay,” one nomination cited, “informing hundreds of students.”

While Calderon-Baca’s teaching efforts represent the “acts that have benefited many,” a lengthy career in the service-oriented cabling trade provided the basis for those teaching endeavors. His resume, which is too lengthy to even summarize here, includes more than 40 years in various aspects of electronics engineering including long-distance telephone engineering; network engineering in the United States Embassy in Lima, Peru; and various cabling-system design/consultation/audit responsibilities.

Baca-Calderon’s combination of in-the-field cabling experience and penchant for explaining the trade in thorough yet easily understood terms is heralded as a gateway for many of the successful structured cabling professionals—and projects—in South America.

Herb Congdon: Setting the standard

Associate vice president, technology and standards at the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA;, Herbert V. Congdon II now is employed as an executive in the organization that produced scores of cabling specifications under his volunteer leadership. The TIA administrator post is something of a third career for Congdon, who was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy’s nuclear submarine force before holding engineering and market-management positions with the former Siecor (now Corning Cable Systems) and Tyco Electronics (now TE Connectivity). In those Siecor and Tyco roles, Congdon held top volunteer posts including chair, vice chair and secretary within the TIA’s TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling Systems Committee (which, come to think of it, also got renamed somewhere along the line, when it went from being the TR-41.8 Subcommittee to gaining full-fledged Committee status). When you have been around as long, and done as much, as Herb Congdon, you’ve seen more than a few things change. And when you are Herb Congdon, you’ve been an instrumental part of some of the most significant standard developments in the cabling industry’s history.

A prolific technical author and speaker in addition to being a stalwart contributor to standards development, Congdon is as skilled a communicator as one can find in the cabling industry. As such, he does a better job relaying his experiences than anyone else could. “My first exposure to standards was the effort to migrate from ring-striped optical fiber as fibers 11 and 12, to rose and aqua colored fiber,” he recalls. “This was a welcome change for the manufacturing process, but took several years to accomplish. A few years later I went to my first TR-41.8.1 meeting where the first person I met was Donna Ballast. As one of the ‘fiber minority,’ I found in each document, ballot and proposal, an opportunity to educate, debate and build consensus on positions related to optical fiber and cabling systems. Looking back, I can point to several contributions I created and hundreds of ballot comments that were ultimately incorporated into the TIA standards and in many cases also incorporated into international standards.”

The invitation to serve as secretary of TR-41.8.1 was the springboard to many years of cabling-standard leadership. “In these roles,” Congdon says, “the ongoing challenge remained—to take the collective expertise of the participants and produce useful documents, through consensus, for the entire industry. There has never been a shortage of controversial subjects that made the consensus-building process very complex. Regardless, we produced several documents such as 942 (Data Centers), 862 (Building Automation Systems), 1005 (Industrial), 1179 (Healthcare) and others.”

The reorganization of the complete set of standards put out by TR-42 began as a conversation between Congdon and fellow long-time standards-development volunteer Bob Jensen—“over coffee during a BICSI conference,” as Congdon recalls. “On a Gaylord napkin, literally, we mapped out an ideal for the entire TR-42 suite of standards and the migration process to get there.” Jensen has used a photo of the napkin in some of the presentations he has delivered to the industry. “Through the next four to five years,” Congdon continues, “with Bob as vice chair and me as chair, we led the TR-42 Engineering Subcommittees through that migration process.”

In his previous volunteer efforts, and now in his professional capacity with TIA, Congdon has always recognized that, “TIA standards are not developed in a vacuum,” as he puts it. “But those with the patience, expertise and fortitude to be good participants are few and far between.

“I was very fortunate to have several good influences throughout my career in the industry and especially in standards development,” Congdon notes. “The late Marvin Ashby (Siecor) offered solid advice early in my career and was a great friend too. John Siemon (Siemon Co.) set an excellent example of how to lead a committee, and how to do so when the controversy was almost uncontrollable. Bob Jensen (Fluke Networks) taught me the rules and how to take the right things seriously, but not all things too seriously. Beyond these mentors, there are too many experts to name that I consider friends, that taught me so much of what I know, and did the lion’s share of the work in the committees. These are the unsung heroes of standards development—the men and women who have a full-time job, but still find time (often their own time) to prepare contributions, submit ballot comments, engage in the debate, and support the process … My thanks go to those in positions of authority who made the decisions to support the standards development process knowing that, while it might not always provide immediate returns for the company, it is good for the industry and that, in turn, is good for the company.”

Contractors: One and all

A fact that may have been forgotten or lost in the 20 years that Cabling Installation & Maintenance has been in circulation is that the magazine was founded specifically for the contracting trade—the professionals in the service industry of design, installation and management of structured cabling systems for their end-user customers. Over the years the readership makeup has evolved and now the magazine reaches just about equal numbers of contractors and end-user organizations.

Yet the importance of an informed, competent contractor is not lost on the industry. One individual put it well when submitting a nomination. “I would like to nominate cabling contractors as a whole,” this individual said. “Why? Because there are those who put forth opinions, and then there are those who act on the opinions. Contractors mold the way standards are viewed, and drive opinions and purchases. They are consultants, and this industry needs knowledgeable consultants. This is evidenced by the sheer number of customers turning to contractors instead of internal labor.”

At the risk of inappropriately quoting a hard-rock band that may be unknown to, or disliked by, many of our readers … For those about to cable, we salute you.

Ray Gendron: For the kids

By the time Ray Gendron passed away in 2007 the charitable organization he started, BICSI Cares, had donated more than $1.1 million to children’s charities and used to help build schools, feed the hungry, prevent abuse and violence, combat illiteracy and provide for an overall positive environment. BICSI Cares has made contributions to well more than 50 organizations in the United States and around the world.

The facts that Ray was a past BICSI president and led accomplished career in the telecommunications field became mere footnotes to anyone who met or heard of him once he put his efforts into BICSI Cares. The story goes that Ray passed a hat down a row of seats at a BICSI conference sometime in the late 1970s. When the hat came back with money in it, Ray decided to give the money to a local children’s charity. The tradition was born. “What started as one BICSI member making a gesture of goodwill has evolved into an ongoing, heartfelt effort by BICSI members, conference attendees and organization supporters,” BICSI said at the time of Ray’s passing. The motto “BICSI Cares” was officially adopted in 1992.

“The telecommunications industry has served us well,” Ray said. “The objective of BICSI Cares is to be good corporate citizens and give something back to those less fortunate.”

As I wrote when I heard of Ray’s death in 2007, the first time I saw him in action—10 years earlier—I walked away convinced that many of his conversations consisted of just three words: “For the kids.” He stated that phrase to everyone he met, its purpose to remind us all of the ultimate beneficiaries for whom he was working. Furthermore, while everyone knew who Ray was, he couldn’t possibly know every one of the thousands of individuals gathered at BICSI conference. But that didn’t stop him from hitting them up for money, or from calling them by name. Many times I saw Ray glance at a conference attendee’s name badge then call them by name. Though I didn’t personally know Ray, he never failed to make my experience at a BICSI conference a better one for having spent a little time with him. Likewise, the money raised for charities, thanks in such large part to Ray’s efforts, made life a little better for so many others he didn’t know personally. “For the kids.”

Andrey B. Semenov: Russian entrepreneur

Dr. Andrey B. Semenov, who achieved a PhD in technical sciences, has authored more than 150 scientific papers in addition to reference and text books used not only by information technology specialists, but also by students at colleges and universities. Semenov founded and led the IT cabling faculty at the Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics.

“Andrey Semenov’s phenomenon as an outstanding influencer in the IT cabling field is based on his lasting personal contributions and leadership,” one nomination of him said, citing the aforementioned publication of technical papers and books, in addition to “multiple publications in professional media, the creation of one of the most successful national cabling system brands, and taking part in national standards development.”

He has been director of IT SCS development at IT Co. in Russia; the structured cabling system that he developed and is offered through IT Co. is called IT SCS.

“Dr. Semenov is considered by the majority of specialists in Russia as the top specialist in the structured cabling field—beyond competition on a national scale,” a praising nomination said. “There are myriad talented and successful specialists, but a national icon deserves special attention.”

Harry Pfister: Cabling industry forefather

If the structured cabling industry had its own Mt. Rushmore, there could be some debate about exactly which faces should appear on it and in which order. There would be no debate, however, about the appearance—in fact, the prominence—of Harry J. Pfister within such a monument. Pfister’s contributions to the industry in which we all work today have been just that: monumental. Perhaps no more evidence needs to be introduced beyond the fact that the industry’s “lifetime achievement award,” given annually by BICSI, bears his name.

Many trace the historical birth of what has become the structured cabling industry back to the Bell System breakup in 1984. As a practical matter it dates back years before that, when building industry consultants (BICs) designed the inside wiring for Bell system telephone service. In 1972, Pfister played an instrumental role in planning and carrying out the BICS (Building Industry Consulting Service) winter communications conference, in collaboration with the University of South Florida (USF) and General Telephone Company of Florida. The next year he was one of the founding members of the BICSI organization. In 1982 USF presented an award to Pfister for 10 years of excellence in service to the university and to the communications industry. Simultaneously it established the Harry J. Pfister Award, presented annually, jointly by USF and BICSI. Pfister served as BICSI president from 1982-1983.

Where basketball has Dr. James Naismith and football has Walter Camp, structured cabling as a discipline to be taught and learned has Harry J. Pfister.

He is a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Electrical Council of Florida (ECF), and has served executive roles within the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). Pfister remains busy in retirement from the telecommunications profession, in the Tampa, FL area. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Central Pinellas County, a volunteer at Allendale United Methodist Church, a volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program, and a volunteer specialist with the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Harry J. Pfister is a true living legend among us.

Robert Metcalfe: Inventor of Ethernet

In what might have been the most succinct nomination for this collection of industry contributors, one individual submitted the following: “Robert Metcalfe – The Father of Ethernet. Nuff said.” In many ways, that is enough said. But rather than risk slighting Metcalfe by giving him far less ink than others, what follows is some summary biographical information about Robert Metcalfe.

Already an Internet pioneer as of 1970, Metcalfe invented Ethernet in 1973 while working at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. He most often is recognized as the inventor of Ethernet, but also sometimes is described as its co-inventor; he shares four patents on Ethernet. He left Xerox to start 3Com in 1979 and held numerous executive titles within that organization including. After leaving 3Com in 1990, Metcalfe became an instant icon in the world of media, as publisher, chief executive officer and columnist for InfoWorld in addition to serving as vice president of technology for InfoWorld’s parent company International Data Group.

Metcalfe became a venture capitalist in 2001, joining Polaris Partners as general partner; he is now a venture partner with the firm. In November 2010 he was selected to lead innovation initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin School of Engineering and began that appointment in January 2011. At UT Austin he currently serves as professor of innovation and Murchison fellow of free enterprise.

BICSI: Individuals, together

How does an association end up on a list of individuals being recognized for having made positive contributions to an industry? The simple answer is, because of the efforts, accomplishments and professional successes of the individuals who make up the association. Founded by Harry J. Pfister and others as Building Industry Consulting Services International more than a decade before the Bell System broke up, BICSI has evolved over its 40 years from serving the information needs of Bell System BICs to providing information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals as well as companies in the industry.

BICSI’s professional credentialing program has become one of its hallmarks. As of January 2013, more than 7,500 people globally held the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) designation. More than 5,300 held an ITS Installer designation, and more than 3,900 held the Technician designation. The recognition of professional competence that accompanies these and other BICSI credentials has widened the professional opportunities of many of the individuals who hold them.

While the association is widely recognized as the industry’s juggernaut of professional accreditation and education provision, what sometimes can be overlooked is the “people power” it takes to reach these achievements. With a modest staffing level, BICSI has relied heavily on the professional abilities of that staff, and always has relied significantly on the volunteer efforts of its membership. From its board of directors to its committees and contributors to technical documents, BICSI accomplishes so much of what it does through volunteer efforts—individuals working together for a common outcome.

Jim Hayes: Optical luminary

For Jim Hayes, the founding of a fiber-optic test equipment company (aptly called Fiber Optic Test Equipment Company, or FOTEC) led to several firsts—some of which he had planned to introduce to the market and some he probably did not. “Bringing low-cost instruments to installers, and creating some unique instruments like the first fiber-optic talksets and automated factory test equipment,” as Hayes recalls, were among the technological innovations at the heart of FOTEC. However, what he may not originally have planned to do with the company, “But what FOTEC was probably best known for,” Hayes acknowledges, “was being the first company to offer commercial training in fiber optics starting in 1982, and starting the Fiber U fiber and cabling training conferences in 1993.”

More than 60,000 copies of the now-20-year-old fiber-optic training brochure Lennie Lightwave’s Guide to Fiber Optics have been distributed for free to newcomers in the industry. By 1995, Hayes and FOTEC had created one of the first commercial websites and by 1997 were offering free web-based training. “FOTEC was the go-to place for learning about fiber optics,” Hayes recalls, adding that “Lennie, by the way, is still available online and as an iBook free from Apple.”

Some of the business realities that FOTEC ran into in its early years paved the way for both its training offerings as well as the later founding of The Fiber Optic Association; Hayes remains the FOA’s president. He remembers that about three decades ago, “Within a year after starting FOTEC, we realized we were trying to sell equipment to users totally unfamiliar with fiber optics. One company—Digital Equipment Corp., the inventor of the minicomputer—asked us to train their service personnel who would soon be installing fiber. Since they were talking about almost 1,000 techs, we proposed creating a program and training their trainers. Thus began a program of creating curriculum, giving it away, and training others to teach it.”

He approximates that over the next decade, in partnership with other manufacturers in the industry to run training seminars, “We trained probably 10,000 techs on fiber, and sold them a lot of test equipment!” An idea from a 3M trainer to a large conference format led to the launch of Fiber U. “It was from Fiber U instructors that the idea for a fiber-optic professional society was developed, and the FOA was born.”

Hayes says it’s the FOA’s growth and influence on the industry he’s most proud of. “At the FOA, we continue the goals we set in 1995: to promote professionalism in fiber optics through education, certification and standards.” The FOA’s website, with approximately 1,000 pages of information “is the most trusted source of technical information in the field,” Hayes declares. “Last year more than 400,000 visitors downloaded 2.2 million pages from the FOA website, and viewed more than 350,000 of the FOA YouTube videos.” The association has approved more than 250 schools in 40 countries, which have certified more than 41,000 fiber-optic technicians.

Despite his place here among the cabling industry’s most widely recognized positive contributors, Hayes states, “I did not do this all by myself, of course. We have had the contributions of dozens of experts in the industry, many of whom have been around fiber optics and cabling as long as I, and many of whom are, like me, still extremely active in the industry. So what I’m most proud of is how I/we at the FOA have contributed to the growth of the industry.”

And we haven’t even gotten into Hayes’s contributions to industry standards, which began in the early 1980s and continues today. Proclaimed by himself (and most likely others) as a standards “curmudgeon,” Hayes describes his current participation in TIA as “mostly monitoring the work, reminding them of why we wrote lots of those standards in the first place.” Hayes has authored six books, five of which are still in print.

In 2001 he was recognized by Fiberoptic Products News magazine as one of fiber optics’ “luminaries.” A fitting term for Jim Hayes.

Charles K. Kao: Nobel Prize winner

The concept of light pulses carrying information through fiber has so fundamentally changed communications of all kinds, it probably is an insulting understatement to say merely that the man who introduced the concept to the world has been a “positive contributor” to the structured cabling industry. But certainly not as insulting as it would be to leave Charles K. Kao off the list. Kao received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009 “for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication.”

An autobiographical essay on the website allows Kao to tell his own story. In it, he recalls the 1966 paper published in IEE Proceedings and titled “Dielectric-fibre Surface Waveguides for Optical Frequencies.” “This research,” Kao reflects, “was to spawn a whole new industry over the next 20 years.”

Kao further remembers, “I had been working since graduation [from Woolwich Polytechnic nine years earlier] on microwave transmissions. The theories and limitations were ground into my brain. I knew we needed much more bandwidth and thoughts of how it could be done were constantly in my mind.”

Recalling other failed attempts to transmit light through glass—“Light passing through a rod of glass just fades out to nothing after a very short distance”—Kao says he “played around with what was causing the failure of light to penetrate glass. With the invention of the laser in the 1950s and subsequent developments, there was an ideal source of light that could send out pulses of light in a digital stream of noughts and ones.”

He says he is often asked if the idea came to him in an “a-ha” moment. It did not. “Ideas do not always come in a flash, but by diligent trial-and-error experiments that take time and thought.”

Time and thought that have enabled the communications industry of which structured cabling is one part.

Valerie Maguire: Engineering progress

As global sales engineer, Valerie Maguire’s role with The Siemon Company melds standards leadership and technical expertise with efforts to increase IT-related awareness in global markets, develop and implement product sales-and-marketing initiatives, and provide support to customers within and outside of the Siemon organization. It’s a little-known fact that she began her career in telecommunications by assembling connecting hardware on Siemon’s production floor, then expanded her skillset to include product qualification, printed circuit board design and research-and-development test methods.

Val’s behind-the-scenes lab work on technical issues such as subpar patch-cord performance and the fundamental operation of screened and shielded cabling ultimately resulted in the development of groundbreaking standardized test methods used in the cabling-manufacturing realm, as well as a patent. While some of this lab work earned her the nickname “Patch Cord Queen” within the Siemon organization, it and other efforts have made Val a mainstay on the standards scene and in front of industry audiences in all forms. She is probably most well-known for sharing her knowledge through technical seminars at industry events and conferences. Invariably, attendees commend her on her ability to use layman’s terms to clearly explain some of the most complex topics. She is considered one of the industry’s foremost experts on TIA standards.

The analogy of “making connections” is too apparent to ignore, as for the past 15 years Val also has been actively engaged with the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group, whose mission is to develop Ethernet standards. “As liaison from TIA to IEEE 802.3, I have shared TIA consensus input on every subject from cable temperature rise due to remote powering currents, to Category 8 specification development within the group,” she explains.

The list of leadership positions she either has held or still does hold within TIA and IEEE groups is extensive. Now in her second term as vice chair of TR-42, Val also is serving her sixth consecutive term in a leadership role on the TR-42.7 Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee (the group developing the Category 8 specifications, for which she is document co-editor). Other standards she has edited or co-edited have included TIA-568-C.4, TSB-190, TIA-1152, TIA-568-C.2, TSB-184 and TIA-568-B.2-10.

And she’s just getting started. “I have to chuckle,” Val says, “when I hear ‘lifetime’ tied to achievements at this stage in my career. I feel that I have so much more to contribute. Don’t be surprised if I’m still around when the industry buzz is about OM6, category 12 and CI&M’s 40th anniversary commemorative issue!”

On her work within the TIA and The Siemon Company, Val says, “I am extremely fortunate to be a member of a standards community that encourages positive action and contribution, as well as to be part of the Siemon organization, which not only manufactures world-class products, but provides world-class resources and opportunities for its employees. Every individual on our R&D staff is a treasure trove of technical knowledge and expertise. John Siemon and Bob Carlson, my mentors, encourage personal and professional growth and continue to provide opportunities for me to learn something new each and every day.”

Professionals throughout the cabling industry have the opportunity to learn something new, each and every day, from Valerie Maguire.

Alexander Graham Bell: The man who started it all

While history buffs recognize the name Elisha Gray, virtually everybody in the modern world makes regular use of the technology originally patented by Alexander Graham Bell—the telephone. Gray and Bell famously filed with the United States Patent Office, for essentially the same invention of the telephone, on the same day. About two decades after founding Bell Telephone Company, Alexander Graham Bell eventually emerged victorious from lengthy legal battles with Gray and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Except that the history of both men’s innovations live on, as Gray went on to co-found Western Electric.

But it’s Bell whose legacy is golden, whose name lives on in the annals of communications technology, who invented twisted-pair cable as well as the optical-based photophone, and who was nominated several times as an individual who deserves to be recognized as a great influencer of today’s structured cabling industry.

AT&T’s Bell System brought twisted-pair wiring into, and between, residences and office buildings throughout North America. The invention of Alexander Graham Bell spawned the construction of the world’s communications infrastructure. It would be impossible to overstate his contributions to this industry.

Paul Kish: Giant and gentleman

The contributions that Paul Kish has made to the development of cabling and networking industry standards through high-level committee, subcommittee and task-group roles within the TIA, IEEE and BICSI may be surpassed only by the gentlemanly manner with which he conducts himself and goes about his work. A former chair of TIA’s TR-42 Engineering Committee and current chair of one subcommittee as well as two task groups within TR-42, Kish also currently serves as subject matter expert team leader (SMETL) for a chapter of BICSI’s Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual, and a member of the IEEE 802.3’s study group on NGBase-T.

Kish, Belden’s director of systems and standards, has participated in the development of TIA cabling standards since 1989, and started the process that led to the development of Category 5 component and cabling standards. From there he was a contributor to the progressive development of higher-performance cabling, from Category 5e to 6 and 6A, and the current efforts to standardize Category 8. He received the Harry J. Pfister Award in 2005.

He has spent 41 years in the cabling industry, starting his career at Bell Northern Research in 1972 upon graduation from the University of Waterloo, Ontario with a Master’s degree in electrical engineering. “It has been a rewarding and groundbreaking career in the cabling industry,” Kish says. “I learned early on that it is important to take the initiative to make things happen. We all have different talents and abilities. Looking back I am amazed at how much the cabling industry has grown in the last 20 years, and I am grateful to be part of it, to make a contribution. It is fun and exciting to feel young at heart, to continue learning, to discover something new, to make a contribution. It is the engine that drives the industry. How much has changed? How much is still the same? A lot has changed and a lot is still the same—the foundation that we build upon.”

When invited to detail some of his own accomplishments, Paul Kish’s humble demeanor emerged when he opted to share the praise. “Most of all, standards development is a team effort thanks to the contributions and dedication of all the hard-working members of the team. For that reason, TIA is recognized in the forefront of cabling standards development. I have been blessed with the benefit of working with many talented individuals to achieve common goals.

“In all our undertakings and achievements we are not alone,” Kish continued. “We rely on others to help along the way. Standards development is a collaborative process involving many individuals representing different companies that devote many hours of their own time and their companies’ time to develop a standard and to validate the technical requirements. Many issues are debated and resolved by consensus in an impartial and equitable manner. A colleague once said that consensus is reached when the clamor stops, when everyone is equally unhappy but is prepared to live with the result.”

Kish also expressed thanks to his coworkers and management at Belden, “for the support and encouragement that I received over many years. I also want to thank all my friends and colleagues that are part of the growing and learning process, that together have made a difference in where we were, where we are today and where we are going in this industry. I only have to look at the leadership and volunteer efforts in BICSI and TIA to recognize many outstanding individuals, their hard work and their accomplishments.”

Many of those same individuals look to Paul Kish for the very same reasons.

Dennis Mazaris: Renaissance man

Dennis Mazaris, president and chief executive officer of Concert Technologies, has been called the industry’s Renaissance man. The description fits. What better term to characterize an individual who has worked as a cabling installer and designer for a telecom company, founded and operated a successful consulting business, invented a game-changing product, conducted research that directly influenced the publication of a standard addendum, operates a project-management business that has some of corporate America’s largest organizations sitting up and taking notice, and has taken it upon himself to fund a program encouraging the next generation of cabling-installation specialists?

Part of Mazaris’s lasting impression on the industry will be his efforts that ultimately resulted in an addendum to the TIA-568-B.1 standard, titled Minimum 4-Pair UTP and 4-Pair ScTP Patch Cable Bend Radius. “This significantly reduces the bend radius for patch cords,” Mazaris notes, “which is now being contemplated for optical-fiber patch cords with the advent of macrobending fiber cables used in spaces of tight bends.” The exhaustive research he conducted on the performance effects of patch cords subjected to tight bends, and the importance of that data to the approval of the 568-B.1 addendum, were the highlight of his several years contributing to TR-42.1 and the U.S. Technical Advisory Group JTC 1/SC25 Working Group 2, as well as BICSI’s Standards and Installation Committees and the ETL steering committee for cabling performance and testing.

He reflects on turning his attention to Concert: “After my years of involvement with organizations that have educated, promoted and made the cabling industry what it is today, I decided the best way I could give back to the cabling community would be in the form of a different approach. I started working directly with contractors around the world to develop programs that provide education in the cabling and technology industry, while increasing their revenues.”

Under the business model, Concert acts as a prime contractor on projects and works with local contractors in any geographic location. “Our processes use local contractors with cabling expertise, and allow me the opportunity to present programs to these local contractors, and receive their input on how we can work together to everyone’s benefit,” he explains. One recently created program stems from Concert’s being awarded the $5 billion GSA Connections II contract, “which has the potential to be the largest federal government contract for cabling in this decade,” Mazaris says, “as all federal agencies will be migration to VoIP systems, replacing legacy voice systems.” Local contractors will work with Concert “and use this contract vehicle to provide cabling services to all federal agencies,” he adds. “Without a program like this, the local contractors would not receive this business because they lack a federal contract to provide cabling services.”

While Concert Technologies’ business model provides opportunities for contractors in every geographic area, Mazaris’s creation of an online, social-media-driven contest for cabling installers enables the spotlight to shine on anyone who chooses to participate. “I created Cabling Icon to find the world’s best low-voltage installer or technician,” he says. “The goal of the competition is to increase awareness of the low-voltage industry, create camaraderie among installers and technicians, and increase the opportunity for education and career advancement in the low-voltage cabling industry.” Through multiple rounds, contestants showcase their skills, knowledge and hard work. Voting and judging are interactive and conducted entirely online. “For someone just starting out in the cabling industry, Cabling Icon provides the opportunity for training and professional growth for those who believe they possess the skills and talent to complete the challenges and have their videos viewed, recognized and voted on by the world.”

The annual contest has been held twice, with the winner earning a cash prize of at least $5,000 as well as an expenses-paid trip to BICSI’s Winter Conference, and, provided eligibility requirements are met, the opportunity to compete in BICSI’s Cabling Skills Challenge.

Dennis Mazaris’s roots as a cable installer run deep. Through hard work, creative business endeavors and a generous outreach of giving back, Mazaris has helped many professionals bloom where those roots are planted.

Dave Sanders: Changing lives

One of the ironies of Dave Sanders’s contributions to professionals in the cabling industry is that looking at some cold hard statistics unveils the results of his passionate approach to all he does. Senior vice president of sales and marketing with Arrow Wire and Cable, Sanders is most widely recognized for his efforts as an instructor—particularly to students preparing to take BICSI’s Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) exam. The stats: Between 2007 and 2012, Sanders had 475 students in his RCDD prep classes; 380 of those students subsequently sat for the exam and 292 passed. To characterize that 77-percent pass rate as “good” would be to ignore the exam’s intensity and the historical pass rate, which has hovered right around 40 percent for years. Many of those 475 students have sung the praises of Dave Sanders following their intense, multiple-day courses.

Sanders has been an educator for nearly 20 years, having served as an adjunct professor at the University of California at Davis beginning in 1994. The driving force behind his efforts to elevate the knowledge and skill levels of professionals in the industry is his faithful belief that doing so improves their lives. “Because of being blessed with extraordinary mentors and because of great personal tragedy, I chose to dedicate my life to the classroom and to helping others years ago,” Sanders reflects. “The humility that comes with changing or bettering the lives of others has driven me to find those in need and give all I can. The telecommunications industry, BICSI and special mentors all have given me such a wonderful life that the only response I am capable of is to help others.

“Raising the level of professionalism in the telecommunications industry, helping others achieve their ‘dream professional credentials,’ and being an agent of change has been a dream come true for me.”

One more statistic worth noting is that since 2007, Sanders has, through Arrow Wire and Cable, awarded 63 scholarships of $1,000 each toward BICSI educational offerings.

For years Sanders worked in conjunction with CET providing RCDD prep and other design- and installation-related courses. Through those efforts he received awards such as international RCDD instructor of the year, domestic RCDD instructor of the year and telecommunications speaker of the year.

His efforts to give have reached beyond the realm of the cabling industry. Sanders and his late wife Cathy created the Spirit Foundation, which focused on assisting single mothers with terminal illnesses as they approached what likely would be their final holiday seasons. An employee of Leviton at the time, Sanders explained, “Obviously this is a very hard time for these families and our goal is not only to bring joy to a mother’s last holiday season, but also to fill her children with the spirit, strength and resources to move forward after her passing.”

Tragically, Dave lost his wife Cathy to a terminal illness and is now a single father dealing with the everyday family challenges faced by the many women the Spirit Foundation helped. He soldiers on. “I would not have been successful or achieved any of my professional dreams, or quality of life, without my mentors: Brian Ensign of BICSI, Mike Cox of CET, Bill Marshall of Leviton and Zahid Karim of Arrow. I would like to thank all of these people from the bottom of my heart for standing by when I lost my wife Cathy, the tragedy with my son Brandon, and for helping me build a credible, passionate, hard-working career. These four people have all put me in a position to change the lives of others, in the classroom and elsewhere.”

Dave Sanders will tell you it has been the inspiration of others that has prompted him to change life for the better for professionals in the cabling industry. Many of those whose lives he has enhanced will tell you that Dave Sanders is an inspiration.

Glenn Sexton: Telecommunications evangelist

Glenn Sexton’s current service as vice chair of the TIA TR-42.10 Subcommittee, which is developing specifications in partnership with the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP), is only the latest example of how his donations—of time, expertise and more—benefit many professionals who directly or indirectly touch structured cabling systems. Sexton has been an active contributor to TIA standards development since the late 1990s, including multiple leadership positions in several of TR-42’s subcommittees. His TR-42.10 vice-chairmanship is just one of several current commitments to TIA, which also include participation in task forces examining standards for educational spaces, security, and wireless. He also is a member of the IEEE and of the Architects, Engineers and Building Officials section of the National Fire Protection Agency.

Even if you have never met Glenn, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen some of his work. “For whatever reason, I have become the ‘go-to’ expert for various TIA committees needing drawings,” he says. “As such, many of the illustrations in TIA publications are from me.”

Glenn has been with Northwest Information Services since 1987 and has been the company’s president and chief executive officer since 1990. Before that, he explains, “Like many in the industry I cut my teeth on various proprietary transmission protocols. I left corporate America in 1990 and came to Northwest Information Services … At NIS, we have the opportunity every day to touch the community around us in a positive way. I have been called a ‘telecommunications evangelist’ as I easily become animated and often share with a passion when asked: ‘What exactly do you do?’”

He further explains that most of his clients are public ‘and by their very nature, have small staffs and insufficient budgets. We have been able to creatively address needs for over 25 years by helping people define their communications issues and creatively address them.”

Many of those clients are public school systems. Sexton has a long history of professionally and personally helping these institutions and, importantly, their occupants. “I have a real heart for K-12 schools in particular,” he says. “In the past 20 years I have been in literally hundreds of schools and thousands of classrooms. If you do the math, I guess that means I’ve played a small part in the lives of a lot of kids as they have experienced technology in their classrooms.”

In some cases, more than a small part. Above and beyond the professional work he has performed in school settings, Sexton organized “NetDay 96” volunteer efforts to bring cable and infrastructure to two underserved schools. Other volunteer efforts of his have included the design, configuration and management of the installation of a local area network for a Catholic school in his locale. Sexton negotiated significant price reductions for the PCs, free Microsoft Office software and free shipping, all from Dell. “After getting all the cable installed for labor cost only, I found a company willing to donate first-tier Ethernet switches to the school. The PCs arrived in the midst of a cold front and on an icy weekend, my wife and I led a team of volunteers who unboxed and installed all the PCs. The following Monday, the children had all new machines and solid, high-speed Internet for the first time.”

Deeply devoted to his wife of 40 years, his four children and his Christian faith, Sexton says that next to those passions, “My greatest joy in life really comes from encouraging those around me. The success associated with growing a business for the past 20-plus years is attributable to the talents of those who have worked with me. It’s true that a leader without a follower is just another guy out taking a walk, but I have been blessed with great long-term staff and a cadre of professional friends that have made this journey a truly remarkable experience.”

Masood Shariff: Technical titan

An engineering senior principal in CommScope’s system engineering group, Masood Shariff is one of few individuals who can attend a standards meeting today and reflect on how it is similar to, or different from, the very first such meetings. “I started work in TIA telecommunications premise standards in 1989 to help with specifications for the first telecommunications cabling administration standard, ANSI/TIA-606,” Shariff recalls. “This standard was useful to further establish the paradigm that LAN cabling was a separate entity and needed to be administered carefully to extend its use over several lifecycles of equipment.”

And so it began. Shariff subsequently participated in the creation of virtually all the landmark copper-based cabling specifications, as well as others. While some may bemoan the apparently slow pace of standard development today, Shariff recalls at least one example of an extremely efficient creation process under his direction. “Following the publication of the TIA-568 standard, the committee received requests from the IEEE 802.3 to specify LAN cabling for Ethernet and Token Ring applications under development at the time,” he says. “I volunteered to chair the LAN data cabling group and the task group forged ahead with rapid interactions using email, fax and telephone discussions between meetings to create and approve TIA TSB-36 containing Category 4 and 5 cable specifications. The whole document was conceived, developed and approved in one TIA TR-41.8 meeting cycle of three months—something that I have never again seen happen over 25 years!”

Category 5 became a runaway success, of course, along with “Base-T” Ethernet applications and the 8-pin modular connector as the user and equipment interface. “This was a major achievement in standardization, which had a huge impact on the growth of balanced twisted-pair cabling and associated applications,” Shariff says.

Another crucial document he had a key role in creating was TSB-67, which provided test specifications and instrument specifications for portable field test equipment. “This document was instrumental in ensuring there is a clean handoff from the cabling vendor to the LAN equipment vendor, with no finger-pointing if there was a network problem,” he notes. Shariff chaired the effort that resulted in TSB-67.

When TR-42 was formed as its own committee, Shariff was appointed chair of the TR-42.7 copper cabling systems subcommittee. That group, which grew to include more than 30 member companies and commonly had meetings with 50 to 60 people in attendance, further evolved balanced twisted-pair cabling to Category 6 and Category 6A. “The success of TIA TR-42.7 was dependent on attracting and retaining the best and brightest technical experts in the industry to work on exciting new projects,” he says. “Creating the right environment in this committee was a large part of its success as the premier standards development organization.”

Shariff also participates in the international standards arena, including the ISO committee responsible for creating several customer-owned premises cabling standards for commercial, residential and data center facilities.

“The telecommunications cabling industry has become a key player in the LAN/SAN/MAN networks that have changed the way we live, work and play,” he comments. “It is very gratifying to see this industry evolve from scratch to a huge success. Standards have played an important role in this evolution, making the network more interoperable, usable and cost-effective, leading to high-volume adoption by the market. I would like to use this opportunity to salute many key individuals who did amazing technical work in the standards, leading to a huge impact on the market and thereby the success of the cabling industry.”

Chief among those individuals is Masood Shariff. He has been called out by many other standards-development contributors as a more-than-effective group leader with the technical expertise to lead the industry into the future, and the gravitas to bring a standards committee to the required consensus. The results of his efforts speak for themselves.

Reprinted with permission from CI&M - Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine – a leading publication for structured cabling and networking for over 20 years. CI&M magazine is a PennWell publication. Check out their powerful web seminars


Klein Tools® Acquires Civitella & Cia to Expand Operations in South America

Klein products now locally available and supported from Brazil

April 2, 2013 (Lincolnshire, IL) – Klein Tools, for professionals since 1857, has acquired Civitella & Cia Ltda (, a privately-held tool and equipment manufacturer in Brazil. Civitella’s manufacturing and distribution center is based in São Paulo and serves customers throughout Brazil. Together, Klein Tools and Civitella can provide a full range of high-quality products for the electrical, construction, oil & gas and telecommunications industries.

Klein Tools initiated its global expansion strategy with the establishment of a Mexican subsidiary, Herramientas Klein, S.A. De C.V. and subsequently acquired Australia-based Mumme Products. The Civitella acquisition builds on Klein Tools’ expansion plans. Brazil is the sixth-largest economy in the world. With its rapidly increasing middle class and already announced major infrastructure investments, Brazil provides a tremendous growth opportunity. By partnering with Civitella, South America’s largest premium grip manufacturer, Klein Tools will further its reach internationally.

“With common core values and business cultures emphasizing high-quality manufacturing as well as strong customer service, Civitella and Klein Tools are natural partners,” said Matthew Thomason, director of corporate development for Klein Tools. “The integration of these two companies creates a winning combination of global reach and national expertise, backed by a commitment to superior products and service.”

“With the upcoming Olympics and World Cup events, there is an enormous amount of infrastructure construction in Brazil,” states Giuliano Civitella, marketing director of Civitella & Cia. “We feel our customers will appreciate and benefit from the expanded product offering and industry knowledge that comes from partnering with North America's leading premium hand tool manufacturer.”

“To successfully expand into Brazil, Klein Tools needs to have a physical presence in the country,” commented Tom Klein, president of Klein Tools.  “The acquisition of Civitella provides Klein Tools with a business operation in Brazil and demonstrates a long-term commitment to the Brazilian market. Civitella is an outstanding company with premium products, excellent service and well established clients that we are proud to join.”

About Civitella:  Founded in 1959, CIVITELLA & CIA LTDA is a family-operated Brazilian company originally focused on the development and manufacturing of tools and equipment for the telecommunications industry. Today, its primary market is in electric transmission with secondary markets in electric distribution, oil & gas, and telecommunications. For more information, visit

About Klein Tools: Since 1857 Klein Tools, a family-owned and operated company, has been designing, developing and manufacturing premium-quality, professional-grade hand tools. The majority of Klein tools are manufactured in seven plants throughout the United States and are the number one choice among professional electricians and other tradespeople. For more information, visit 



FTTH Council President to Join Fiber Pioneers and Broadband Experts at FCC Workshop


(WASHINGTON) - Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas President Heather Burnett Gold will participate in a panel discussion during tomorrow's workshop on "Gigabit Community Broadband Networks" at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington.


The workshop is the first of a series of events that the FCC will be holding to follow up on Chairman Julius Genachowski's "Gigabity City Challenge," in which he called for at least one gigabit network to be deployed in every state.  A cross section of broadband experts and all-fiber network service providers will take part in the event, which will begin at 9:00am at the Commission's headquarters.


A workshop agenda can be found here, and a video feed of the full day of panel presentations can be accessed here.


Gold will present on a panel entitled "Leveraging Local Tools," during which she will discuss ways to reduce deployment costs of all-fiber networks.  The Council currently makes critical information on deploying all-fiber networks available to local telecoms and community leaders through its Online Community Toolkit and will be featured in a special event has organized for May 29-30 in Kansas City, From Gigabit Envy to Gigabit Deployed.


Other participants in tomorrow's discussion include Milo Medin, Vice President of Access Services, Google and head of the Google Fiber project in Kansas City; Mark Ansboury, President and Co-Founder, Gigabit Squared; and Blair Levin, Executive Director of the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, Gig.U.

About the FTTH Council Americas

Now in its 12th year, the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council is a non-profit association consisting of companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections - as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks. Its mission is to accelerate deployment of all-fiber access networks by demonstrating how fiber-enabled applications and solutions create value for service providers and their customers, promote economic development and enhance quality of life. More information about the Council can be found at



Telcos Saving Serious Money by Upgrading to FTTH, Survey Finds

Report also points to 20 percent yearly increase in homes connected to all-fiber networks 


(WASHINGTON) - Small and medium-sized telephone companies that have upgraded their networks to all-fiber are reporting operational cost savings averaging 20 percent annually, according to a study commissioned by the Fiber to the Home Council Americas, a non-profit group of nearly 300 companies and organizations dedicated to expanding the availability of ultra high speed, all-fiber broadband.


The survey of more than 350 telecommunications providers across North America, conducted by the market analyst firm RVA LLC, also pointed to a steady drumbeat of FTTH deployment activity, with the number of homes that can access FTTH networks increasing by 17.6 percent over a year ago to 22.7 million.


The number of households connected with FTTH now stands at 9.7 million, an increase of more than 20 percent over April 2012.


Download statistical charts.


In the survey, the Council asked telecom managers to report any cost savings they are experiencing in maintaining their network infrastructure once they upgraded from copper in the last mile to all-fiber. On average, respondents estimated those savings to be 20.4 percent, largely because of a decrease in ongoing repair and maintenance.


"This latest survey shows not only the continued build-out of high-bandwidth fiber to the home networks in North America, but also provides one reason why hundreds of small and medium sized telcos have been upgrading to fiber - it saves them real money in the long run," said Heather Burnett Gold, the FTTH Council's President.


In recent years, fiber to the home connections have been expanding as telephone companies in particular look to improve their competitiveness by offering television programming and faster Internet, and as broadband providers in general prepare for ever-increasing consumer demand for more bandwidth and faster networks. Bandwidth demand is expected to continue to accelerate along with the emergence of sophisticated online applications for video over the Internet, online multi-player gaming, online education, work-at-home and telemedicine, as well as is the proliferation of Internet-connected devices in homes and businesses.


Although Verizon in the U.S. and Bell Aliant in Canada together are responsible for a large share of the FTTH connections on the continent, RVA has documented nearly 600 small and medium-sized telephone companies that have upgraded at least part of their subscriber base to all-fiber, as well nearly 100 municipalities that have deployed FTTH networks as a public utility. FTTH networks have also been deployed by a number of competitive broadband service providers.


From its survey, RVA documented a further increase in the number of very high bandwidth users, with more than 640 thousand North American households now receiving 100 megabit per second (mbps) service through an FTTH network, and many of them receiving that level of connectivity for both downloading and uploading. A number of FTTH providers are now offering gigabit connectivity to homes, most notably Google Fiber in Kansas City and EPB Chattanooga in Tennessee.


RVA found especially strong recent FTTH growth continuing in Canada, where more than 540 thousand homes are now connected into all-fiber networks, compared with about 100 thousand just three years ago. In addition, the survey showed renewed activity among real estate developers in building FTTH networks in planned communities, tracking the recent rebound in the housing construction market and a trend by builders of planned communities to install all-fiber networks in their new developments.


"While it is clear from our survey that many prospective FTTH providers continue to face funding difficulties and regulatory uncertainty, many are still finding ways to upgrade to all-fiber because doing so reduces their maintenance costs and strengthens their opportunities to expand their subscriber base and offer customers more services," said Michael Render, President of RVA.


The FTTH Council, will be holding a special conference May 29-30 in Kansas City - From Gigabit Envy to Gigabit Deployed - that is aimed at helping local telecoms and civic leaders learn what they can do to bring ultra high speed, all-fiber networks to their communities.

About the FTTH Council Americas

Now in its 12th year, the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council is a non-profit association consisting of companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections - as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks. Its mission is to accelerate deployment of all-fiber access networks by demonstrating how fiber-enabled applications and solutions create value for service providers and their customers, promote economic development and enhance quality of life. More information about the Council can be found at


CABA Member Ludo Bertsch Appointed to oBIX Technical Committee

The Continental Automated Buildings Association is pleased to announce that long-time CABA member Ludo Bertsch, P.Eng., President of Horizon Technologies Inc., has joined the oBIX technical committee as a CABA representative.  

The purpose of oBIX (open Building Information Exchange) is to enable mechanical and electrical control systems in buildings to communicate with enterprise applications, and to provide a platform for developing new classes of applications that integrate control systems with other enterprise functions. Enterprise functions include processes such as human resources, finance, customer relationship management (CRM), and manufacturing. 

Extending to all smart systems embedded in buildings, oBIX targets those that have traditionally been obscured by proprietary control standards, as well as non-control system sensing, including: heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), elevators, laboratory equipment, life/safety systems, access control, intruder detection, A/V event management, CCTV monitoring, environmental sensing, electrical panels, utility meters and virtually anything that measures or monitors the physical space in a facility.

CABA established the initial working group that eventually became oBIX in 2002. With the working group requiring the resources of a standard development body, a transition team was formed in late 2003 to investigate potential hosting organizations. The transition team evaluated many options for hosting and recommended the selection of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), based on their development process, reputation and ability to support this effort. OASIS is a global, non-profit consortium that focuses on the development and adoption of e-business standards. 

With Bertsch joining oBIX's technical committee, additional expertise will be added concerning advanced energy management and efficiency techniques. 

"CABA is excited that one of its highly-valued members is involved in this oBIX initiative as an official representative," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO.  "CABA monitors a range of standard and protocol groups and activities through its assorted councils and committees and historically, one of CABA's main goals has been to promote interoperability among all standards, protocols and technologies. It is a pleasure that CABA has once again officially renewed its involvement in the initiative, which it played a major role in founding."


Bertsch, P. Eng, has 30 years of experience in data communications, automation, controls, integration, energy and the environment. In the past, he was chair of the CABA Standards Committee and part of the Standards Council of Canada Task Force that developed Canada's first Smart Grid roadmap.   


He is the chair of Canada's Advisory Committee for international IEC/ISO standards dealing with "Interconnection of Information Technology Equipment" (SC25), where the role of Smart Grid toward energy management has become an important focus.


His hands-on experience of implementing Smart Home/Smart Grid technology within Solar Colwood, a municipal-wide energy efficiency program sponsored by Natural Resources Canada, has generated interest as far away as the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.


"It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve on this committee," stated Bertsch. "By contributing to oBIX, I believe CABA continues to demonstrate its strong support for open standards and interoperability in both residential and commercial buildings, and perhaps between them as well.

oBIX Technical Committee

oBIX, short for open Building Information Exchange, is the continuation of an effort started by CABA in 2003 to standardize interactions with building-based systems. oBIX defines Web Services to interact with any building control system. Since the first version of the specification was completed in 2006, oBIX has been incorporated into middleware for building control systems and is even used as the sole interface on some systems.

Last winter, the oBIX Committee began meeting again. In part, the work is aiming to make it easier for oBIX systems to interact automatically. Several European researchers are bringing their work with oBIX into the Committee. The committee wants to make it easier to use newly fashionable approaches such as JSON to interact with oBIX servers as well as define how peer-to-peer oBIX can work on very small systems with limited bandwidth. The committee is also excited about defining new advanced enterprise services.

The core specification (1.x) requires each oBIX server to provide a lobby. Clients can ask the server what is in the lobby, and thereby discover how to interact with the system behind that server. Contracts are special purpose agreements that are added to the lobby. Clients can invoke contracts by accessing the elements listed in the lobby. Vendors and integrators can add functionality to an oBIX server by creating contracts to add to the lobby.

The committee's current plan is to define enterprise services by specifying new types of contracts to place in the lobby. oBIX servers will then state which types of contracts they support, which encodings, and which transports. As of March 2013, the committee anticipates the following sections:

oBIX Servers are likely to participate in collaborative energy ecosystems including those managed by Energy Interoperation (OpenADR 2.0) or as described by ASHRAE SPC 201. The committee plans to incorporate information models and semantics developed to support the US national Smart Grid efforts, including Green Button. Potential contracts include not only energy usage reporting, but projections and commitments as well. The committee anticipates leveraging the existing OASIS Energy Market Information Exchange (EMIX) Specific information exchange requirements as defined in NAESB REQ 21

Advanced Reporting and Aggregation (Historian)
The historian does not scale well in its current form. A request for, say, a one year history on several sensors is larger and more unwieldy than it need be. It may be necessary to support variations such as projections. The committee does not want to break compatibility.

Alarm Logic
This topic extends alarm contracts to include logic for alarms. If A happens followed within three minutes by B. If the cycle between occurrences of A is less than 5 minutes. This is in effect defining diagnostics with interactions between functions. If an application is communicating with 100 oBIX servers, a controller may want to apply that diagnostic to every AHU attached to each of them.

Building Information Models (BIM)
In buildings, control systems operate building systems. Building systems support the various spaces in a building, whether securing them, monitoring, them, or conditioning them. The relation between a building system and spaces in a building is described in a Building Information Model (BIM). oBIX BIM contracts will describe how an oBIX server will make BIM accessible, and how to apply BIM as a semantic framework for the control points.

Enterprise Scheduling
Enterprise Scheduling applies the semantics of WS-Calendar to schedule interactions with building systems. This includes a notion of service oriented schedules instead of the control oriented schedules as today. (Example: Request room at temperature by 8:30 rather than Request room to begin heating at 8:10). This is likely to use the same semantic frameworks as security, i.e., to specify a room rather than a thermostat. Enterprise scheduling is made possible in part by the BIM framework as described above.

Security Composition
oBIX 1.0 relies on a monolithic model, all or nothing, for access to points and settings. This access should be limitable by role and by organization. The committee will define a means to define policy frameworks for secure access to oBIX servers. This is likely to be an intersection of roles, i.e., integrator, operator, tenant, guest as applied to business function. In buildings, business functions are.

The committee will not define a mandatory set of roles, or a mandatory framework, but instead define a means to apply notions of space (say a particular tenant) and of role to access to an oBIX server. The committee anticipates a means to discover the roles available on a server, to map those roles into a discoverable space, i.e. BIM. This topic includes addressing federated security, and may include how to apply SAML, XACML, and similar specifications to oBIX servers.

CABA is again participating directly in the oBIX Technical Committee. CABA members are also invited to participate. To join the committee, a company must join OASIS ( where after, its employees may join the oBIX Technical Committee. The oBIX Committee Chair, Toby Considine, invites anyone who wishes to join to contact him at to find out more.

About CABA 

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is a leading industry association that promotes advanced technologies in homes and buildings in North America. More information is available at


Mark Trayer of Samsung Telecommunications America Joins CABA Board of Directors

The Continental Automated Buildings Association has announced that Mark Trayer of Samsung Telecommunications America has joined the organization's Board of Directors.

Trayer currently works as a Principal Engineer within the Standards & Technology Enabling Group in Samsung Telecommunications America. 


Trayer is the Samsung voting member in SGIP, he is also part of the AHAM Smart Grid Task Force, the UPnP Smart Grid Task Force and the CEA Smart Grid Working Group.  He is the author and co-author of a number of papers primarily focusing on smart energy that have been published in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and IEEE GreenCom.


Trayer has been part of the Samsung R&D team since 2005, working across a diverse set of technologies, from Core Network VoIP systems to smart homes and smart energy. As such, Trayer has developed a depth of experience that encompasses multiple facets of the evolved consumer experience from Voice over IP, to personal and service provider content sharing and networking, to connected homes and the smart grid.


"CABA is very excited to announce the appointment of Mark Trayer," said Ronald J. Zimmer, President & CEO of CABA. "His experience in smart home systems will be a great asset for our organization." 


Prior to joining Samsung, Trayer spent 16 years working for the Nortel in both the UK and the US; primarily targeting carrier grade voice and multimedia core network technologies. He received an honors degree in electronic, communication and computer engineering from the University of Bradford in 1989.


"I am very pleased to apply my experience to an organization as venerable as CABA," said Trayer. "It is my intention to make contributions that will strengthen the association and its initiatives."  


Trayer will replace Dr. Yong Chang who has moved to another division within Samsung.  

About CABA
The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is a leading industry association that promotes advanced technologies in homes and buildings in North America. More information is available at


Siemon LC BladePatch® Revolutionizes High-Density Fiber Patching in the Data Center

Watertown, CT — Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, is pleased to introduce the new innovative LC BladePatch® fiber optic duplex jumper that revolutionizes high-density fiber patching with the easiest access available in the industry.

With its intuitive, ergonomic action, the LC BladePatch completely eliminates the need to access a latch during installation and removal, avoiding any disruption or damage to adjacent fiber connectors in the tightest-fitting fiber patching environments. With these innovative features, Siemon has taken high-density fiber patching to a whole new level:

  • Patent-pending push-pull boot design that enables precise control of the latch away from the point of termination, enhancing installation and removal in the highest density applications
  • Patent-pending rotating latch that eliminates potential connector and cable damage during polarity changes while clearly indicating that a polarity change has been made
  • Overall smaller diameter uni-tube cable design that reduces cable pathway congestion for improved airflow, energy efficiency and easy cable management

"The LC BladePatch is like nothing the industry has seen for high-density fiber patching. Its push-pull action allows easy removal from the finger grip at the end of the strain relief boot rather than trying to access an LC standard latch and potentially disrupting adjacent connectors," says Robert Carlson, vice president of global marketing at Siemon. "LC BladePatch is truly the ideal solution for today's highest density blade server, SAN and switch environments-whether Cisco, Brocade, Juniper, Enterasys or any other industry-leading high-density system."


Available with Siemon XGLO® OM3 and OM4 50/125 multimode and OS2 singlemode (UPC) optical fiber with OFNR, OFNP and LSOH constructions, the LC BladePatch is ideal for supporting high-speed 10 Gigabit fiber applications over extended distances and next generation backbones. It features a superior connector polish that meets stringent Telcordia and ISO/IEC end-face specifications and exceeds all ANSI/TIA and ISO/IEC insertion loss and return loss requirements. For use within any standard duplex LC adapter opening or LC small-form pluggable (SFP) module, the LC BladePatch is100% factory inspected to deliver precise optical performance and is warranted for 20 years to ensure optimum 10 Gigabit Ethernet serial transmission when installed in a qualified XGLO system.

Learn more about the Siemon LC BladePatch duplex jumpers at:

Siemon’s Valerie Maguire Named One of the Cabling & Network Industry’s Top 20 Positive Contributors

March 20, 2013. Watertown, CT - Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, is pleased to announce that Valerie Maguire, global sales engineer, was recently named as one of the top 20 positive contributors to the cabling and networking industry by Cabling Installation & Maintenance (CI&M) Magazine.


As the leading source of information for professionals who design, install and manage the physical-layer infrastructure in data centers and networks, CI&M celebrated its 20th anniversary by recognizing individuals who have made positive contributions to the industry within the past 20 years. Through an independent survey, Valerie Maguire stood out among hundreds of suggestions that included such industry icons as Steve Jobs and Robert Metcalfe, as well as several well-known industry leaders. She was also the only woman to make the list.


After beginning her career assembling connecting hardware on the Siemon production floor, Valerie expanded her skillset and ultimately worked to develop groundbreaking standardized test methods that resulted in an industry patent. Today, Valerie melds her standards leadership and technical expertise to increase awareness in Siemon’s global markets, implement sales and marketing initiatives, and provide support to both internal and external Siemon customers. She is well known for sharing her knowledge through technical seminars at industry events and conferences, as well as through dozens of published articles.


“We are very proud of Valerie’s tremendous accomplishments, and this latest recognition was extremely well deserved,” said Robert Carlson, vice president of global marketing at Siemon. “It is an honor to have Valerie as part of my team.”


Respected throughout the industry for her active participation in industry standards, Valerie is considered one of the industry’s foremost experts on TIA standards. For the past 15 years, she has been actively engaged with the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group as liaison from TIA. She is currently in her second term as vice chair of TIA’s TR-42 and has served six consecutive terms in a leadership role on the TR-42.7 Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee, the group responsible for developing category 8 specifications, for which Valerie is document co-editor.


On her work within the TIA and Siemon, Valerie says, "I am extremely fortunate to be a member of a standards community that encourages positive action and contribution, as well as to be part of the Siemon organization, which not only manufactures world-class products, but provides world-class resources and opportunities for its employees."


Learn more about CI&M’s Top 20 Industry Contributors highlighted in the March 2013 issue at:

About Siemon

Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specializing in the design and manufacture of high quality, high performance network cabling solutions and services for Data Centers and Intelligent Buildings. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global sales, technical and logistics expertise spanning over 100 countries, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper and optical fiber cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, data center power and cooling systems and Intelligent Infrastructure Management solutions. With over 400 patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and the development of Industry Standards, underlining the company's long-standing commitment to its customers and the industry.


Siemon Named Conservationist of the Year

April 3, 2013. Watertown, CT - Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, is pleased to announce that the company was recently named Conservationist of the Year by Moose Mountain Regional Greenways (MMRG), a grassroots non-profit organization committed to land conservation and education outreach in the Moose Mountains region of New Hampshire. Founded in 1999 by conservation commissioners from the towns of Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham and Wakefield, MMRG has helped preserve a total of 4,186 acres in the surrounding community.


With strong ties to the area, Siemon was named MMRG’s Conservationist of the Year due to its long history of progressive environment action and the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust’s award-winning 3,000-acre Branch Hill Farm located in Milton Mills and Wakefield. Cynthia Wyatt, daughter of Carl Siemon, was a founding member of MMRG and is now the vice chair. Over the years, she has donated sustaining funds and allowed MMRG to use the Branch Hill Farm for many events. Today, Siemon provides matching funds for the MMRG’s largest fundraiser, the Woods, Water and Wildlife Festival.


“Since our founding in 1999, MMRG has been associated with The Siemon Company, the Siemon Family and Branch Hill Farm,” said Art Slocum, chairman of the MMRG. “It was at this farm that Carl Siemon planted the lessons of sustainability, conservation, land preservation and environmentally-friendly practices that resulted in not only the founding of the MMRG and Branch Hill Farm, but also the green business practices at The Siemon Company—long before green was an industry buzzword and marketing tool.”


With Zero-Landfill status, a negative carbon footprint across its entire global operations, 99% recycling or reuse of all waste material, lean solar energy at its manufacturing facility that provides a yearly greenhouse gas reduction of 373,000 lbs, and several other ongoing initiatives, Siemon is highly committed to protecting and preserving the environment. CK Siemon, part owner and President of Siemon Global Project Services Division, and Tom Costello, CFO, accepted the award at the MMRG’s annual meeting in February 2013.


Learn more about Siemon’s environmental stewardship at:

Learn more about Branch Hill Farm at:

Learn more about MMRG at:


Snake Tray® Offers a New High Volume Air Flow Manager for Data Centers

Snake Tray® is pleased to announce a new high volume airflow manager that enhances the performance of door mounted chiller systems in datacenters to keep critical equipment from overheating.  Snake Tray can custom design an airflow solution to fit any customer’s needs.

Snake Tray® manufactures a series of innovative cable management, power distribution and airflow management products all designed and proven to significantly save on labor, time and materials. Snake Tray® products are made in USA utilizing solar power generated from our roof top solar array.

For information on Snake Tray call 800-308-6788, email, or go to


RoHS-Compliant TPEs For Wire & Cable Provide High-Level Flame Retardance, Broad Temperature Range, Many Hardness Options

PAWTUCKET, RI, U.S.A., April 1, 2013: Advances in formulation and compounding technology have enabled Teknor Apex Company to develop a family of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for wire and cable that are RoHS- and REACH-compliant while meeting stringent criteria for flame retardance, the company announced today. Teknor Apex will feature the compounds in its exhibit at Interwire 2013 (Booth 406).

Elexar® EL-1934 Series compounds have UL-94 flammability ratings of V0 at 0.060 in. (1.52 mm), meet UL 1581 WV-1 and 1061 flammability tests without dripping, and have limiting oxygen indices in the 28-32% range (compared with 22-26% for conventional flame-retardant TPEs used in wire and cable). All of the compounds are UL 2556-registered for long term aging at 105 ºC, are UL-1581-registered for sunlight resistance, and have brittle points of -55 ºC or lower. Shore A hardness ranges from 58 to 82.

Teknor Apex recommends Elexar EL-1934 Series compounds for use in insulation, jacketing, and molded parts for flexible cords, coil cords, and cables in power tools, appliances, industrial robots, welding equipment, and entertainment audio and lighting systems.

“Elexar EL-1934 Series compounds are high-performance elastomers that exhibit superior flame properties in comparison with conventional TPEs for wire and cable while meeting requirements for a wide range of end-use conditions,” said Ross Van Royen, market manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex. “These versatile materials exhibit good resistance to oil and UV, stay flexible upon exposure to cold weather, exhibit good retention of tensile properties upon aging, and provide excellent electrical properties for data, communications, and other low- to medium-voltage applications.”

The Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex Company is the most diversified manufacturer of TPEs, offering broad product families based on six generically distinct polyolefin, styrenic, and vulcanizate chemistries. Headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, U.S.A., the division compounds TPEs at eight locations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and is an international supplier to the appliance, automotive, construction, medical-device, wire and cable, and other consumer and industrial product industries. Other plastics businesses of Teknor Apex include the Bioplastics, Nylon, Specialty Compounding, and Vinyl Divisions and Teknor Color Company. Visit


The Light Brigade® and Jones/NCTI™ Offer New Course in Fiber Optics

Centennial, CO and Tukwila, WA – April 3, 2013  The Light BrigadeAFL’s training division, and Jones/NCTI have joined together to offer a comprehensive two-day, instructor-led Fiber Optics Workshop for Jones/NCTI graduates of Fiber Installation and Activation and Fiber Testing and Maintenance courses. This hands-on course is presented in a lab format with multiple stations and features the latest in fiber optic technology, products and standards. Students will be provided the practical understanding and skills required to properly design, install and maintain fiber optic networks.


“I am excited about offering the hands-on fiber training with The Light Brigade. This alliance is a win, win, win! Jones/NCTI students win by receiving industry-leading hands-on training, the MSO wins as their staff gains required and highly sought skills, and Jones/NCTI and The Light Brigade win by expanding our successful relationship,” said Vincent DiBiase, president of Jones/NCTI.
This course will enhance what students have previously learned in Jones/NCTI fiber courses with the added benefit of face-to-face guidance from instructors well-versed in this highly-specialized and indispensable subject. Beginners to experienced fiber technicians will benefit from this exclusive offer. Upon successful completion of this hands-on course, the student will have the experience required to immediately contribute to the building and maintenance of a fiber optic network. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Jones/NCTI certificate of graduation and The Light Brigade’s certificate of completion.

About The Light Brigade
Founded in 1987, The Light Brigade has instructed over 45,000 attendees worldwide in its public and custom classes on fiber optic design, maintenance and testing, including advanced topics such as FTTx, DWDM and PMD/CD. In addition to creating custom courses tailored to any need or skill level, the company produces educational DVDs and CDs that provide focus on specific fiber related topics.
About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting inside plant central office, EF&I, outside plant, enterprise and wireless areas.
Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit
About Jones/NCTI 
Jones/NCTI, Inc. is a leading provider of technical training, consulting services and education in the cable and broadband industry. Founded in 1968, Jones/NCTI has provided training to more than 400,000 broadband professionals. Jones/NCTI provides both companies and individuals with information tools, customized blends of paper-based and online training courses that mirror industry trends, assessments of workforce competencies, a broadband-specific college degree program and pre-employment skills testing development.


AFL Introduces Fujikura 70S Fusion Splicer to North American Market

Spartanburg, SC – March 27, 2013 – AFL introduces the Fujikura 70S fusion splicer, the newest member of the world’s most proven and technologically-advanced family of splicing products from Fujikura, the worldwide leader in fusion splicing. The 70S retains all of the advanced features pioneered by the FSM-60S that made it the leader in the industry, with the 70S offering much faster splicing in the field and new easy-to-use features.


“With this new model, Fujikura has focused improvement in two major areas: speed and reliability. To increase efficiency, both the wind protector and tube heater have been motorized. The tube heater clamps the splice protection sleeve from both sides, resulting in shrink time of an impressive 14 seconds,” commented Greg Pickeral, product manager, fusion splicing systems for AFL.

The Fujikura 70S fusion splicer offers several enhanced features:

  • Motorized wind protector and tube heater with the world’s fastest heating times
  • Long-life electrodes provide 3,000 splices
  • High resolution, 4.73-inch color LCD monitor with 300X fiber magnification for improved visibility in low-light  conditions
  • Configurable automation allows the user to customize the automated functions
  • Powerful Li-ion battery supports 200 splices and heating cycles with each full charge
  • World’s first six-direction drop-proof design with fully ruggedized rubber casing
  • Dust- and rain-proof design provides superior protection
  • Innovative transit case design with detachable, built-in worktable
  • Video guides for operation and troubleshooting incorporated into the splicer software
  • Short cleave length of 5 mm allows versatility for splice on connectors or small packaging splicing needs

Like all Fujikura products, the 70S is backed by the most knowledgeable and responsive service team in the industry. Fujikura understands that service and support are just as important as excellent engineering. Precision engineering and quality products made Fujikura the leading manufacturer of fusion splicing products, but unparalleled levels of service and support are what made Fujikura the leader in the industry.
The Fujikura 70S is also fully compatible with the FuseConnect line of splice-on connectors. The sheath clamps are easily removed for FuseConnect installations or for use with fiber holders for standard splicing applications.
AFL introduced the Fujikura 12S in January. Later this year, Fujikura will add the 19S, a fixed V-groove single fiber fusion splicer, the 12R fiber ribbon fusion splicer and the 70R four-fiber ribbon splicer.
For more information about AFL and its products and services, visit
About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting inside plant central office, EF&I, outside plant, enterprise and wireless areas.
Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit





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