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Wireville.com

Issue: August 2011
By: Frank Bisbee


Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


Bisbee’s Buzz

NOT ALL THE NEWS IS BAD, but we having difficulty finding the silver lining…

STOCK MARKET slides then plunges.

The reality is that, unlike 2008, governments' money is no good in today's stressed environment. U.S. and European markets closed sharply down Monday as investors responded to the unprecedented downgrade of U.S. debt on Friday and concerns around the ongoing eurozone crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 630 points, or 5.5%, and was pushed below 11,000 for the first time since November. The S&P 500 fell 6.6% and Nasdaq Composite was down around 6.9%. This is the sixth largest drop in the 112 year history of the Dow.

"Expecting something cataclysmic to happen in the U.S. is just not the case," according to Pedley, who acknowledged that the timing of the downgrade was a surprise given the state of the markets last week. Rating agencies such as S&P, Moody's and Fitch analyze risk and give debt a grade that is supposed to reflect the borrower's ability to repay its loans. The safest bets are stamped AAA.

Verizon sabotage uncovered while CWA strike goes on

Verizon said yesterday it has encountered at least 12 acts of sabotage of its wireline network in the midst of a strike by members of The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The strike began Sunday when a labor contract that covered 45,000 workers in its wireline business units expired before Verizon and the unions could agree on a new deal.

The strike, the first Verizon has experienced since 2000, includes wireline employees in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Washington, DC. It does not include workers employed by Verizon Wireless.

The alleged sabotage has caused to networks in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Ten of these incidents include fiber cuts, which occurred in the Bronx, Pomona, Farmingdale, and Gilderland in New York; in two places in Tewksbury, MA; and in Bel Air, MD, and East Dover, Oakland and Plainfield, NJ.

Cisco's Troubles

Service providers and Internet companies were snapping up Cisco's hardware, and there was chatter that the market cap would reach a mind-boggling 1 trillion dollars, although the subsequent dot-com bust brought Cisco -- and everyone else -- back to earth with a bump.

By 2001, the company's market cap shrank to around $151 billion and Cisco, like a dazed prizefighter, set out to learn some new moves.

Cisco is on the ropes again. From poor execution to consumer spending weakness to intense competition, the body blows have been coming thick and fast. After delivering 3 consecutive weak quarters, investors have pushed the company's stock down more than 31% this year.

Cisco's market cap is currently at $76.56 billion.  There are, however, some big differences between 2001 and 2011. "Cisco's issues now are structural in nature and not dependent upon market forces."

Whereas all of Silicon Valley felt the impact of the dot-com bust, Cisco largely has itself to blame for its current woes, according to the analyst. One analyst said "Cisco is a victim of its own doing -- for example, focusing on non-core businesses like consumer, and migrating off the path which made the company a tech bellwether such as innovative switching and routing products."

Real Estate values continue to decline.

For three years, the real estate market has been going in one direction — primarily down. Some areas, however, have begun to recover. Recent S&P/Case-Shiller data show that among the top 20 housing markets in the U.S., 18 had very modest improvements in sales prices during May. Others, like Washington and Boston, have begun to at least stabilize from a year ago.

Few markets, however, can match Washington and Boston. Robert Shiller has been stating that home prices could fall another 10% in the next year. Inventories in some major metropolitan areas would take years of sales to get back to 2005 levels. Then, the normal inventory of homes for sale was replaced on average every six months and it was unusual for a house to be on the market for a year. Foreclosure rates remain high and only the robo-signing scandal has slowed the process. Once this is resolved, economists fear the market will be flooded with even more vacant, unsold homes.

Looking for new business is not easy. Finding new business means new alliances…

Moving into a new building? Many businesses are on the move to less costly leases, and that often means moving. Relocation firms are a valuable tool to make the move less costly and time-consuming. Getting a professional relocation service involved is a good partnership.

That's great! Now all you have to do is decide on the furniture and the fixtures and the thousand other details involved. Oh, and the phones and data networks.

  1. Is there service at the new building?
  2. Are there jacks installed?
  3. Who does all that wiring?
  4. When should you order things?
  5. Who will coordinate the installations?

Remember, the telephone system is the heart of any company. Whether you are moving an existing system or need (want) a new one. Making this go well is one of the most important parts of the move in any business.

Finding new business means new alliances…

Counterfeit Products in Electrical & Communications Products

We have a couple of very good rules of thumb to suppress the spread of Counterfeit and substandard non-compliant products:

·         Only buy from reliable distributors (i.e. Members of NAED). They invest in protecting quality and delivering value.

·         You can’t buy a genuine Rolex for $65. Super price bargains often disguise bad deals

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee – Editor (frank@wireville.com)
"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
www.wireville.com

 

Good times are coming, and they will be ushered in on networks made of 100% fiber.  Sept. 2011 - A "must attend" event - FTTH

Only a few weeks until the entire North American FTTH industry gathers in Orlando for its biggest event of the year – more than 2,000 people from FTTH manufacturers/vendors, engineering companies that build all-fiber networks and companies that are now providing next-generation broadband to paying subscribers. With an Expo Hall featuring 130 exhibits and learning program built on dozens of track sessions, panel discussions and other presentations, the 2011 FTTH Conference & Expo is shaping up to be our best show ever!

2011 FTTH Conference & Expo

Event Date: Sep 26 2011 - 8:00am - Sep 30 2011 - 5:00pm

As North America struggles to emerge from recession – and consumers, businesses and their communities look ahead to building their economic future – it is clear that only all-fiber networks are capable of supporting the growth and development that is needed to stay competitive for the rest of the decade and beyond.  With emerging services and applications driving an ever-increasing “need for speed,” fiber will be the essential ingredient in propelling a new era of economic growth, business success and consumer lifestyle enhancements. 

Find out what it’s all about this September at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, when the 2011 FTTH Conference & Expo will set its sights on “Lighting the Economy.” 

Come celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the FTTH Council at North America’s biggest and best event dedicated to all-fiber networks.   Hear from FTTH industry leaders, see and experience the latest fiber access technologies and learn from the companies and service providers that are building the ultra-fast networks of tomorrow.

Fiber Optic Networks are reaching into every home and business. Several technologies have made remarkable advancements to give the fiber optic network the edge. At today’s speeds and tomorrow’s bandwidth demands, FTTH is the winner.

One of the most remarkable advancements is the new HLC fiber optic connector. Megladon's  HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) technology is what sets their products apart from others on the market today. Their patented technology produces the only durable, high performance patch cord in the industry.  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 (www.wireville.com). “Jim Hayes, President of the Fiber Optic Association (www.thefoa.org) 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.

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 www.megladonmfg.com.

What is Business Critical?

HLC cables are well suited for use in the harshest environments and the most demanding situations. In testing and manufacturing, HCL patch cords can withstand constant plugging and unplugging for years without substantial damage or performance loss. The HLC surface provides minimal optical signal loss making it the ideal choice for video and cable TV applications. For the military and other remote location uses, when replacements are not readily available HCL cables are far more reliable. In Municipal communications systems involving 911 and emergency communications HLC cables have dramatically reduced troubleshooting calls. In any business where the highest performance levels are required Megladon’s HLC, Hardened Lens Contact fiber optic patch cords are the clear choice.

  View their Scratch Test demonstration video

Good times are coming, and they will be ushered in on networks made of 100% fiber. 2011 FTTH Conference & Expo is a must attend event for the industry professionals who are building barriers to obsolescence. See you in Orlando.

 

Time Warner Cable sees more video losses but profit grows

Time Warner Cable reported second quarter earnings today, and was the first among the major cable companies to provide clues on to what extent pay TV subscriber losses will continue.

The company lost 130,000 video subscribers during the quarter, essentially doubling its pay TV customer cancellations from the previous quarter. Though it managed to grow its average revenue per user and report a $420 million profit, analysts are suggesting the results are a bit underwhelming.

If the pattern of more TV subscribers losses continues with other cable TV companies' quarterly earnings, Wall Street may end up quieting some of its recent excitement over the sector, but it should not go unnoticed that cable TV companies like TWC are continuing to show strong bottom lines at a time when they are losing subscribers in their traditional businesses and seeing content economics fluctuate greatly.

www.twtelecom.com

 

Belden profit surges 76% to $34.7 million

BELDEN Inc second-quarter profit soared 76 percent to $34.7 million, compared with a profit of $19.7 million a year earlier.

Revenue for the three months ended July 3 rose 31 percent to $536.3 million, up from $410.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

Belden also announced Thursday that its board of directors approved a new share repurchase program that enables the company to purchase up to $150 million of its stock through open market purchases and negotiated transactions.

President and CEO John Stroup said the company's free cash flow and additional liquidity from a $400 million revolving credit facility allows Belden to execute the share repurchase in addition to its "ongoing strategic acquisition initiatives."

In April, Belden acquired Poliron Cabos Elétricos Especiais Ltda., a Brazilian cable company, for $30 million

Earlier this month, John Norman returned from overseas to become vice president, controller and chief accounting officer again.

Clayton-based Belden (NYSE: BDC) designs, manufactures and markets signal transmission products for data networking and specialty electronics applications. It has 7,500 employees and reported $1.6 billion in revenue in 2010. www.belden.com

 

CSC has built a nice BLOG site to keep you informed. It gets better all the time

In case you haven’t seen it…CSC has built a nice BLOG site to keep you informed. It gets better all the time.

http://blog.gocsc.com/

GO CSC. It just makes good “cents”.     

Communications Supply Corporation - About the CSC Bloggers:

Stefanie Rembiszewski

CSC Senior Marketing Manager

Stefanie began her career in the communications industry when systems were run on Coax (RG58A/U), Twinax or IBM Cables (Type 1, 2, 6 or 9). She was in inside sales when Category 3 cable was introduced – then came Cat 4 (very short lived) then 5. Outside sales saw 5e, and then she slid into a marketing position for 6, 6e, 6A…and here comes 7. Her current marketing position allows her to produce CSC catalogs, administer the gocsc.com website and produce “The Trusted Advisor” eNewsletter, keeping the industry up-to-date with relevant white papers from leading manufacturers. She is excited to have a place to “bounce” her thoughts and ideas on hot topics in our growing industry.

Here are a few of the CSC Team working on this valuable service:

Steve Bailey

CSC Supplier Marketing Manager  

Steve has been supporting CSC’s marketing campaigns since 2006, beginning with the inaugural CSC Security Catalog. Steve’s current role is in supporting our supplier’s strategic initiatives, bringing some of the latest and greatest solutions to our customers.

Teri Kinney

Senior Supplier Relations Manager 

 A 20+ year veteran of the industry with experience in both distribution and manufacturing, Teri has recently joined CSC. In her current role as Senior Supplier Relations Manager, she is responsible for communication, promotion, strategic planning and problem resolution for CSC’s partner suppliers.

Dave Spencer

Senior Supplier Relations Manager   

With 15 years of sales management and 10 years of marketing expertise, Dave brings a broad range of business/partner management skills to CSC. He successfully led strategic alliances in network infrastructure for both wireless and wire line solutions while at Intel and Motorola.

Keep following their news for you. www.gocsc.com

 

FOA Adds Three New Lectures on Fiber Optics on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/thefoainc 

The FOA has added three new videos to its series of lectures about fiber optics on its YouTube channel. The new video lectures cover fiber optic splicing and termination in 3 parts: the different uses of splicing and termination, then lectures on the processes of splicing and termination.

Seven FOA lectures are already online and many more will be added in the future. The lectures are intended to help anyone learn about fiber optics and to cover special topics relevant to FOA curriculum for training organizations. They are complemented by over 25 more “hands-on” videos covering practically every topic of fiber optic installation.

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

The FOA Lecture Series can be found on the FOA YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/thefoainc.

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is a nonprofit professional society chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Over 230 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified more than 34,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA provides technical information free to the industry to promote the proper application of fiber optics and premises cabling. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic programs for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved schools. For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website http://www.thefoa.org/, email info@thefoa.org  or call 760-451-3655.

 

 

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN COMPANIES CARE -Suddath grants two full scholarships to high school seniors (2011)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 16, 2011 -- The Suddath Companies, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., is pleased to announce that they have selected two high school students, Keith Malberti and Teré Smith, to each receive a four-year scholarship to a university with books included.

Suddath grants two scholarships every year, The Richard H. Suddath Scholarship and the A. Quinn Bell Scholarship. Since 1990, Suddath has provided 27 full scholarships to graduating seniors of full-time employees. Malberti and Smith were selected by the Suddath committee members and were chosen based upon their GPA, high school involvement, achievements and a written essay.

Malberti is the recipient of the Richard H. Suddath Scholarship, and he is the son of Suddath employee Lynne Malberti who works in Suddath's Orlando, FL location. Malberti graduated from Lake Howell High School with a 4.0 GPA. He played lacrosse for four years and served as captain for two of those years. Malberti was also president of both his junior and senior classes. He will be attending the University of Central Florida and will be majoring in mechanical engineering.

Smith is the recipient of the A. Quinn Bell Scholarship, and she is the daughter of Kima Smith, who works at Suddath's headquarters in Jacksonville, FL. Smith graduated from St. Johns Country Day School with a 3.86 GPA. She played both volleyball and softball, serving as captain for both teams. Smith was also a member of the Interact Club and the National Honor Society. Smith will be attending Florida State University, where she will be studying either psychology or education.

About The Richard H. Suddath Scholarship

Established in 1990, The Richard H. Scholarship was created following Richard Suddath's 1989 retirement as Chairman of the Board of The Suddath Companies to honor his many achievements of leadership, training and dedication to the employees of The Suddath Companies.

About The A. Quinn Bell Scholarship

Established in 2005, The A. Quinn Bell Scholarship was created following Quinn Bell's 2005 retirement as president and CEO of The Suddath Companies to honor his many years of leadership, training and dedication to the employees of The Suddath Companies.

About The Suddath Companies

Established in 1919 and headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., The Suddath Companies is a diversified group of domestic and international service companies. Its affiliates specialize in worldwide household goods relocations, global mobility, commercial moving, warehousing and logistics management, trade shows and exhibit displays, and special services.  The Suddath Companies has more than 1,500 employees nationwide and operates in 18 locations throughout the United States and in more than 150 countries around the world.  Suddath is also the largest agent of UniGroup, Inc (United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit). 

Corporate Relocation Systems - Mobility services custom designed to optimize your organization's relocation investment and help ensure the satisfaction of your relocating employees.  www.suddath.com

| Atlanta | Charlotte | Chicago | Dallas/Ft. Worth | Ft. Lauderdale | Houston | Jacksonville | Los Angeles | Melbourne |  Miami | Milwaukee | Minneapolis/St. Paul | New York/New Jersey | Orlando | San Francisco/San Jose | Tampa/St. Petersburg | The Villages | Washington, D.C./Baltimore |

 

Tellabs Q2 decline forces layoffs of 10% of workforce

Tellabs reports second-quarter revenue of $334 million & Plans to reduce expenses and costs by $50 million Naperville, Ill. Tellabs’ second-quarter 2011 revenue totaled $334 million, down 21% from $423 million in the year-ago quarter. North America revenue fell 46%, while international revenue rose 70%, compared with the year-ago quarter.

On a GAAP basis, Tellabs recorded a net loss of $20 million or 6 cents per share (basic and diluted) in the second quarter of 2011, compared with net earnings of $64 million or 17 cents per basic share and 16 cents per diluted share in the second quarter of 2010.

On a non-GAAP basis, Tellabs had a net loss of 2 cents per share (basic and diluted) in the second quarter of 2011, compared with net earnings of 17 cents per share (basic and diluted) in the year-ago quarter. Non-GAAP net loss was $7 million in the second quarter of 2011, compared with net earnings of $67 million in the second quarter of 2010. Non-GAAP results for the second quarter of 2011 exclude pretax charges of $13 million, which include $8 million or 1.5 cents per share in equity-based compensation expense.

Tellabs’ GAAP gross profit margin was 37.4% in the second quarter of 2011, compared with 53.5% in the year-ago quarter. The company generated $28 million in cash from operations during the second quarter.

“While we’re never satisfied with a loss, we’re making progress in improving Tellabs’ performance. In the second quarter, international revenue grew 70% year-over-year, growth products generated a record 61% of revenue, and the Tellabs 7100 system had its best quarter ever. Compared with the first quarter, we reduced operating expenses and improved cash flow from operations,” said Rob Pullen, Tellabs president and chief executive officer. “Going forward, we will cut $50 million from expenses and costs over the next year, better aligning our expenses with revenue expectations. The restructuring unfortunately will affect about 330 or 10% of our employees. We are investing aggressively in research and development, devoting one-fourth of our revenue to growth products, as we focus on next-generation platforms to help customers succeed in the mobile Internet.”

For the second quarter of 2011, Broadband segment revenue was $163 million, down 29% from the year ago quarter. Transport segment revenue was $114 million, down 14%. Services segment revenue was $57 million, down 6%.

About Tellabs — Tellabs innovations enable the mobile Internet and help our customers succeed. That’s why 43 of the top 50 global communications service providers choose our mobile, optical, business and services solutions. We help them get ahead by adding revenue, reducing expenses and optimizing networks. www.tellabs.com

 

WESCO Q2 Sales Up 12.7%

Q2 sales at WESCO saw a 21.1% increase, taking net sales to $1.52 billion. The increase was made up of 12.7% organic sales growth, 7.4% increase from acquisitions and 1.0% gain from favorable foreign exchange rates. That ended a first half that took the company just shy of $3 billion in sales (at $2.955.8B), up 22.8% (of which 14.6% was organic growth).

A transcript of WESCO’s Q2 earnings conference call with analysts was posted to SeekingAlpha.com. This was the first such transcript posted for WESCO since 2009’s Q3.

In a news release, John J. Engel, WESCO's Chief Executive Officer, said the company’s "excellent" second quarter results showed sales growth and margin expansion initiatives were successful.

"We have now posted four consecutive quarters of double digit organic sales growth and have built a strong backlog, which is up over 20% versus last year," Engel said. "Operating margins improved 150 basis points to 5.6% in the second quarter, driven by an effective combination of gross margin expansion and operating cost leverage."

Engel also commented on three acquisitions the company made over the last year saying they are, "exceeding expectations and have strengthened our business." 

"Overall, our growth strategy is on track and we are very pleased with the good momentum and the improving profitability of our business," Engel said.

www.wescodist.com  also checkout their powerhouse in low-voltage and datacom: Founded in 1972, Communications Supply Corporation (CSC), a subsidiary of WESCO International, Inc. www.gocsc.com

 

Gain industry recognition and valuable public speaking experience by becoming a presenter at an upcoming BICSI Region Meeting

In addition, you can apply to present at the BICSI Technical Education Summit being held October 28-29 in San Antonio, Texas.

What Should I Present?
Presentations address current trends in the information technology systems (ITS) industry. Region meetings are planned to allow all BICSI credential holders to receive continuing education credits (CECs), as well as appeal to a larger audience.

Available Speaking Dates:

 

U.S. Western Region Meeting
October 21, 2011
Boise, ID

Technical Education Summit
October 28-29, 2011
San Antonio, TX

 

Canadian Region Meeting
November 4, 2011
Ottawa, ON

 

 

Presentations should be no more than 1 hour long. If you are interested in presenting or have a speaker to suggest, please download an application and submit it to BICSI. If you have any further questions, please contact BICSI at 800.242.7405 or email regionmeetings@bicsi.org.

Thank you in advance. Your participation ensures that these meetings are a success. www.bicsi.org

 

Toxic Fiends - Gas detection and security (Article from ECMAG.com)

Security BY Darlene Bremer

To state the obvious, detecting toxic or combustible gases—or the lack of appropriate oxygenation in an area—before an event occurs is an important part of maintaining security in commercial, institutional and industrial applications, including wastewater plants, refineries and nuclear facilities. It also is an opportunity for electrical contractors to engage in a growing market as asset protection and personnel security become increasingly mandated.

According to Frank Yesh, marketing at Rel-Tek Corp., Monroeville, Pa., the three main types of gas hazards are toxic, flammable and asphyxiate. Examples of toxic risk is poisoning by carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen or chlorine. Flammable gases that present the risk of fire and/or explosion include propane, methane, compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas, and asphyxiates result in suffocation when oxygen is displaced or consumed by reaction with another gas.

Different sensors detect different gases. Electrochemical cell sensors detect toxic gases in the parts-per-million range and are used in applications like boiler and mechanical rooms, according to Kevin McKeigue, senior marketing manager, fixed gas detection for Honeywell Analytics, Lincolnshire, Ill.

“The sensors’ cells have specific electrolyte solutions inside of them to sense a specific gas. When present, the gas charges the sensor, which takes a reading and signals the control center or building automation system, which then sounds the alarm, or takes other appropriate, preprogrammed actions,” he said.

Catalytic sensor technologies are used to detect combustible gases and are most commonly used in places like commercial kitchens, loading docks or other industrial applications.

“Catalytic beads are wrapped around a wire, and as the combustible gas makes contact with a bead, its temperature rises, changing the resistance of the wire and displaying an output level defined as the lower explosive limit or upper explosive limit. The control center can then take appropriate action based on that information,” McKeigue said.

Asphyxiant gases are hazardous only in special circumstances, such as enclosed spaces (e.g., mines), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists guide exposure limits.

In the oil and gas industry, thermal camera systems, which can weigh up to 100 pounds and are made up of network or digital recording devices, are deployed in Class I, Division I hazardous areas to maintain surveillance and help prevent major catastrophes. Smaller cameras are used to detect oil or gas leaks in other applications, such as pipelines, and can also provide the perimeter protection of a facility.

The market for gas detection systems is growing at a rate of 5 or 6 percent per year in North America.

According to Will Moore, business development manager, oil and gas, at Pelco by Schneider Electric, Clovis, Calif., there is a $500 million worldwide potential sales market for the high-definition, pan, tilt and zoom thermal cameras that customers are demanding.

Gas detection systems used to be mostly stand-alone, but as the demand for the technology grows, they are being more frequently integrated with the building’s fire alarm system.

“In commercial facilities in particular, the security and life safety staff would not necessarily know what safe levels are or what appropriate action to take,” McKeigue said.

But when gas detection is tied into the security and life safety system, the fire department is notified, and those officials have the required expertise.

Where do contractors come in?

Yesh said the integration of gas detection system into the BAS is a growing application market that provides multiple opportunities for electrical contractors.

“These include basic relay outputs control fans and doors to provide desired ventilation to avert gas build-up and warn of increasing danger levels prior to an explosion, poisoning or suffocation by asphyxiates,” Yesh said.

Even those systems that must operate separately because of their platforms can share results with centralized integration displays.

To make the most of their opportunities in the market, contractors need to understand the building’s infrastructure, what the gas threats are and where they exist inside the building. The EC should also know how to best integrate gas detection into the fire and life safety system to provide the building owner with the requisite high level of safety.

“Contractors have an opportunity during the design phase to note where gas detection may be of benefit and can use their knowledge of codes to demonstrate what the mandated requirements are and what opportunities exist for the owner to generally improve the safety levels of the building,” McKeigue said.

In addition, gas detection systems will become a requirement as the nation’s transportation industry evaluates, and adapts to, alternative fuels, such as natural gas or methane.

“Electrical contractors could develop close relationships with gas system designers now to profit from this growing arena of low-voltage installation projects,” Yesh said.

BREMER, a freelance writer based in Solomons, Md., contributes frequently to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. She can be reached at 410.394.6966 and darbremer@comcast.net.

Reprinted with permission from Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com

The Electrical Contractor magazine is the top rated industry publication for the electrical contractors in 2010 and the first half of 2011. ECMAG addresses all of the traditional electrical industry issues PLUS Automation-Control-Communication-Environmental-Security-Safety OPPORTUNITIES. This is not your daddy’s world. The EC is now involved in a vastly expanding role in the industry. Technology is changing our world and the Electrical Contractor magazine is introducing the readers to a dazzling new world of business expansion in spite of a dreary economy.

 

AFL Launches New Demarcation Enclosures

New ONT-760XL fits existing ONTs in the field

August 2, 2011 – Spartanburg, SC - AFL is releasing a new optical demarcation enclosure designed to house several existing ONTs. The new ONT-760XL consists of a UL®-listed, weather-resistant thermoplastic enclosure with self-sealing individual entrance ports that prevent water and insects from entering. The ONT's self-latching and lockable hinged cover design allows for secure, but easy access. When access to fiber or additional services need to be added and the ONT is opened, the ground wire circuit remains intact to ensure safe working conditions.

The ONT is designed for use in either indoor or outdoor environments and can be either wall- or pole-mounted. The FTTx splice tray holds up to two splices. Subscriber override is designed in so that technicians can override customer locks.

For additional information about AFL and NOYES® test equipment, visit www.AFLglobal.com.

 

AFL Simplifies Dark Fiber Turn-up with New Network Activation Kits

August 2, 2011 – Spartanburg, SC and Lowell, MA - AFL is launching new Network Activation kits designed to support installation and commissioning of optical equipment in telecom, broadband and other single-mode optical fiber networks. These products are part of an expanding portfolio of AFL fiber optic kits that now include over 60 application-specific sets.

All Network Activation kits include the recently introduced AFL VOA6 Single-mode Variable Optical Attenuator, the innovative AFL One-Click Mini cleaner and AFL's field-proven OPM4-4D Optical Power Meter. Each Broadband Activation kit also includes an AFL OLS7-FTTH Optical Light Source and all equipment is calibrated for industry-standard upstream and downstream FTTx signals. Each Telecom Activation kit also includes an AFL OLS2-DUAL Optical Light Source and all equipment is calibrated for standard telecom wavelengths. Network Activation kits can be ordered with hard-sided or soft, padded carry cases.

"Most network operators allow their fiber inventory to remain dark until a customer for the additional capacity is identified," explains Bill Thompson, Senior Product Manager of AFL's Test and Inspection Division. "After that, it's all about time-to-revenue. These kits enable network activation crews to measure and match power levels, validate optical budgets and perform the basic certification tasks required to quickly activate revenue-producing services."

For additional information about AFL and NOYES® test equipment, visit www.AFLglobal.com.

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 both the central office and outside plant 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 and Asia. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit www.AFLglobal.com.

 

AFL Supplies Solution to First Open Access Fiber Backbone in Nigeria
Stage one complete for Niger Delta Network

SWINDON, UK – 7 July 2011 - AFL a leading global manufacturer of fiber optic cable to the electric utility market, is supplying fiber optic cable and equipment to Nigeria's first open access fiber optic backbone network. Nigeria's National Broadband Carrier Network Project includes 14,000km of fiber optic network linked through regional network owners to enable advanced communications to all regions of the country.

Network owner, Dangote Industries Limited, is installing over 3,000km of fiber optic cable supplied by AFL to link to this open access backbone which is operated by Dancom Technologies and will interconnect directly with Phase 3 Telecom. The Dancom network construction incorporates AFL's SkyWrap® solution, a fiber optic cable that is helically applied on existing ground or phase conductors using specially designed installation equipment.

"AFL is honored to participate in such an important project that will directly impact the lives of the people of Nigeria. Given the difficult terrains, wetlands and environments of the Niger Delta region where part of this installation is located, SkyWrap was the perfect solution for this project," said Paul Thompson, managing director of AFL in Europe.

Boye Olusanya, managing director of Dancom Technologies commented, "The lower eastern half of the project was completed last month and is now ready to carry commercial traffic. The SkyWrap solution has enabled this first stage of installation to be deployed quickly at an average rate of between 5 and 9 km per day with minimal disruption to existing power services. This solution was especially outstanding when we crossed a large 1.3km span over the River Niger."

"AFL SkyWrap technology is allowing us to bring secure and reliable high bandwidth data services to many regions of Nigeria where capacity and quality of network services were very limited. When completed the Dancom and Phase 3 network will be part of the only neutral open access national fiber backbone in Nigeria," added Aliko Dangote, president and CEO of Dangote Industries.

For additional information on AFL and its cable products, visit www.AFLglobal.com.

 

BICSI News Items August 2011

A New BICSI Credential is Coming
BICSI will be holding examinations for its newest credential, the Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC), beginning September 19, during the Fall Conference. For all the current details, click here.

Take Part in a First-Time BICSI Event and Earn CECs
BICSI is holding its first-ever webinar on August 22. The topic is "Outside Plant Standard," presented by John Adams, RCDD, OSP. This low-cost webinar is a great way to learn and earn CECs toward credential renewal without ever having to leave your home or office! For details and to register, click here.

ITS Fundamentals in Now Available in Spanish
As part of BICSI's continual commitment to expanding its international reach, the BICSI ITS Design Fundamentals Program, available through BICSI CONNECT, has been translated into Spanish. Future plans include translating BICSI News Magazine, as well as technical publications. To access information and registration for the ITS Fundamentals Program courses and exam in Spanish, click here.

Fall Conference Early Bird Deadline this Friday!
Have you registered for the 2011 BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition yet? The conference take place September 18-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can save a bundle by registering at the Early Bird Rate, which is only available through this Friday, July 29. Click here to register now! For a full list of technical sessions, networking opportunities, the Exhibit Hall schedule and more, visit the conference website.

Global BICSI Events
BICSI is holding educational events all around the world, and here is how you can get involved! Conferences, Breakfast Clubs, Pub Clubs and more are scheduled in the United Kingdom, Greece, South Africa, Italy, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Japan. Follow the links for more information, including how to become a presenter and exhibit or sponsor at the event. We look forward to seeing you there!

Volunteer to Make a Difference
The BICSI Cares Committee is looking for volunteers. Become a volunteer today and help in the continued effort to raise money and awareness for charities in need. Visit our online volunteer application for more information by clicking here. Help us help children in need!

BICSI Emerging Professionals Group
Are you new to the ITS industry? Are you looking to get actively involved, but you just don’t know where to begin? Then join the BICSI Emerging Professionals Group! This group will work to connect and mentor young and emerging ITS professionals through local and regional networking events. Email mdade@bicsi.org for details and to get involved.

Technical Education Summit in San Antonio and Seattle
The final two BICSI Technical Education Summits of the year will be held in San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington, in the coming months. These two-day events promise all the excitement of a BICSI conference in a condensed format, so you can spend less time away from the office while gaining cutting-edge education and earning valuable CECs. Follow the links to each Summit for more information and to register.

10 Percent Discount on Cisco CCENT Examination for BICSI Customers
As the first exam in the CCNA credential track, the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification validates the skills required for entry-level network support positions, the starting point for many successful careers in networking. CCENT-certified professionals have the knowledge and skill to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including basic network security. Click here to find out how to receive a 10 percent discount on this examination. www.bicsi.org

 

WHAT ARE PROPERTY PROFESSIONALS BUZZING ABOUT GREEN BUILDINGS?

(New York and Washington - August 2, 2011)

Unique CREOpoint analysis conducted for the Building Owners and Managers Association and Commercial Property Executive magazine indicates that, despite an increase in retrofit projects, new green buildings are creating more online buzz.

The analysis revealed that these online conversations are focused

on offices, power generation, energy efficiency, government

policy and investment. Individuals, companies and government demand “green” more and more and ultimately not being “green” may mean being obsolete.

The market sentiment about sustainable development continues as very positive, with words like “create,” “great,” “improve” and “growing” ahead of words like “problems” or “risk.”

In addition to North America (most notably California and New York) and France, Germany and the U.K., China and India are the markets most talked about in the context of sustainable development.

CREOpoint, the leader in trusted online networking in commercial real estate, recently mined its own CREOpoint.com as well as 10,000 sources corresponding to over 1.5 Million online article posts, blogs, videos and social media mentions each month. CREOpoint’s proprietary CREObuzz™ algorithm monitored what was being said online about green buildings and sustainable development in the last 1,000 articles through July 11, 2011. This word cloud highlights corresponding “trending” topics further to BOMA’s annual international conference recently held in Washington, DC.

Source: CREOpoint, the global leader in using online networking to foster trusted communication in commercial real estate. Word size corresponds to frequency of occurrences. Expected words like green, building, projects, and business were removed to reveal more insights. Visit www.CREObuzz.com for more about cost effective branding and online influencer marketing. Reproduced with the permission of CREOpoint partner Commercial Property Executive Magazine who will publish this in their August 2011 issue.

What was surprising? The absence of corporate branding.

There were no programs such as Cisco’s Connected Real Estate,

GE’s Ecomagination and IBM’s Smarter Planet. The only brand names mentioned were LEED, the U.S. Green Building Council and the United Nations. Surprisingly absent were showcase buildings like the Empire State Building or 11 Times Square, or “green” industry leaders such as Allianz, Axa, Autodesk, Bank of America, CB Richard Ellis, Citigroup, Hines, HOK, Johnson Controls, Jones Lang Lasalle. KPF, ProLogis, RREEF, Siemens, Skanska, TIAA-CREF or Vornado Realty Trust.

Henry Chamberlain, President of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, commented: "In my annual State of the Industry speech, I emphasized the increasing role of social media in reshaping how we do business. Social media is now clearly a legitimate business tool in commercial real estate. A few leaders and some best practices are emerging and this is one area where having a sound, well-thought strategy can pay off healthy dividends in the future. A starting point is to properly listen to what’s being said in the cloud. Interest among our members has grown since we first heard about CREOpoint vision 3 years ago.  We are pleased that the CREObuzz™ data-mining tool has cut through the chatter to pick up tidbits of value of importance to building owners and managers. We look forward to working with CREOpoint on future insights.” www.boma.org

JC Goldenstein, CREOpoint CEO and CREObuzz™ Founder,

added: “We are pleased to be a Gold Sponsor of BOMA’s annual conference and to partner with them with this study.  Increasingly, online discussions are occurring before, during and after these great events, especially for passionate and viral topics like green buildings where BOMA has so many groundbreaking programs. Nevertheless the entire space remains an open frontier as no one organization has clearly claimed the territory as a thought leader. As owners and service providers now have priorities beyond survival, there is an opportunity for a brand to distinguish itself. Stay tuned for upcoming CREObuzz™ insights about these newcomers and the brand equity they create through the smart use of conventional and social media. We’ll track who makes our online CREObuzz™ awards list throughout BOMA’s 2012 convention. The next 12 months is when the players in our industry recognize the need to define themselves rather than leaving others to do it.”

JC Goldenstein also highlighted that “a number of CREObuzz™

clients are recognizing that having only a limited blog or social media

presence means they are not being found in prospect’s Google

searches. Expect leading owners and developers to be sharing social

insights to begin to influence strategic communication decisions, as

well as informing the organization’s objectives, marketing plans and

product roadmaps.”

About CREOpoint:

In three years, www.CREOpoint.com has become the global leader in using online networking to foster effective and useful communication in commercial real estate. We now have over hundred thousand members and visitors from over 50 countries. In addition, CREOpoint’s CREObuzz™ consulting solutions help clients such as Cassidy Turley, BNP Paribas Real Estate, CB Richard Ellis, Cushman & Wakefield, Ernst & Young, GE Capital Real Estate, KPMG, Les Nouveaux Constructeurs, NAI Global, OSCRE and Real Capital Analytics protect their online reputation, get unique market insights or cost effectively reach those who matter most. The above insights can be refined for differentiating insights by company, market, building, development project or other leading indicators. Let us know if you could also benefit from some of our insights or an alliance with CREOpoint like these leaders have decided to engage in: BOMA, Commercial Property Executive, CoreNet, Euromoney, ERM, IFMA, IREM, MIPIM, NAIOP, NAR, OSCRE, Property Week, Realcomm, REIDIN, RICS, SIOR, the Appraisal Institute, the Real Estate Roundtable, the Urban Land Institute and The Wall Street Journal.

 

Ericsson forum probes shift in ICT thinking = CNS Article

The good news for connectivity providers, be it the structured cabling vendor, the switch manufacturer or the telco, is that “connectivity becomes a priority.

By Paul Barker, CNS Editor

Palo Alto, Calif.The third annual Business Innovation Forum organized by Ericsson and held at the Stanford University Faculty Club focused on the seismic technology shift that is being driven by an ever-changing ICT platform.

As Douglas Gilstrap, chief strategist with the Swedish multinational and Hakan Eriksson, its chief technology officer, noted in an introductory message, telecom has changed and the industry is no longer a single homogenous business: “Today we are working with many other industries including IT as well as verticals and content producers. Eventually, all industries will be working with telecom as content will be delivered in ways we can’t imagine today.

“We are on the brink of the Networked Society, where everything that benefits from a connection will be connected.”

“Grab your seatbelts because it is going to be quite a ride,” said keynote speaker Paul Saffo, a noted technology forecaster and consulting professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford. “We are in a new economy and the new central actor is neither the producer nor the consumer. It’s a creator economy.”

The theme of the two-day session revolved around the deployment of new technologies geared towards mobility, broadband and cloud computing.

“Here we are with all of our smart phones and tablets and everything we want to reach is there in the cloud,” said Eriksson, who stressed the importance of the so-called smart pipe. “What else do we need? We need the connectivity in between. In 10 years, there will have to be 1,000 times more capacity for data.”

According to an Ericsson white paper, “in the new broadband-enabled, cloud-based world, the speed and quality of the user connection will be at least as important a differentiator as the desirability of devices, the ‘coolness’ of the apps and the cost of subscription. Users who are becoming accustomed to similar levels of performance from mobile and fixed broadband are sure to notice if mobile broadband coverage is unavailable or if data rates are sub-par.”

The business model for broadband, the company added, is shifting from flat-rate to more differentiated offerings to meet the needs of greater numbers of different users, devices and market segments.

The good news for connectivity providers, be it the structured cabling vendor, the switch manufacturer or the telco, is that “connectivity becomes a priority. “Some industry commentators have virtually written off the ability of operators to create and deliver value in the new cloud ecosystem – seeing their role mainly as providers of dumb bit-pipes for other high-value players,” the white paper concluded. “The reality is that the ‘pipe’ that delivers services to people and client devices is more important than ever before.

“As tempting as it might be to characterize cloud-based ecosystems as smart devices connected to smart servers over dumb bit-pipes, differentiated mobile broadband services require pipes that are smart, however fat they might be. Only with smart pipes can operators create and deliver the value their customers need and build the profitability they need to replace flattening voice revenues.”

Lior Netzer, vice president of mobile network strategy at Akamai Technologies Inc., a cloud optimization services vendor and content distribution network (CDN) provider, said that the number of people connecting to the broadband Internet over mobile is soon going to exceed people connected via fixed connection.

“There is something very interesting about this because it doesn’t matter if you connect via a $1,000 device or $10 device. If you are connected to the cloud, you can harness that power. You suddenly become device agnostic.”

Earlier this year at Mobile World Congress 2011, Ericsson and Akamai formed a strategic alliance designed to improve the overall user experience.

“The market is becoming increasingly mobile,” Ericsson president and CEO Hans Vestberg, said at the time. “As an example, advanced smart phone devices will grow 4-5 times to 2016 and the generated traffic will grow about 30 times, so end-to-end quality of experience becomes key.”

Much of that traffic is expected to revolve around machine-to-machine or M2M connectivity.

Among the early adopters is Sprint Nextel, which defines M2M as a means of connecting a “rapidly proliferating variety of electronic devices to enable increased operational efficiencies for business, as well as innovative new consumer and commercial services.

“For example, health care professionals use M2M to share medical images and monitor vital signs remotely, which gives their patients faster, more effective care. Trucking companies use (it) to track their fleets more efficiently, which helps ensure on-time deliveries for end customers. Utilities use M2M to manage utility grids, which can help residents consume energy more wisely and cost-effectively.”

Wayne Ward, vice president of emerging solutions at Sprint Nextel, said in a presentation that the “M2M world” is expanding fast. As an example, Juniper Research is estimating there will be 412 million embedded devices in operation by 2014, while ABI Research predicts by the following year, there will be 120 million in North America alone.

“These numbers are not pipedreams, they are very real,” he said. “This is not a well-known space. It is going to be, but right now the industry is very fragmented. You have different models, you have different chip sets, and there are all sorts of wireless and wired technologies.

“Broadband comes in three flavors: fixed wireline, portable wireless and mobility wireless. All three of those play in the machine-to-machine space, but what you get from wireless that you don’t get from wired services is simplicity, portability and mobility.”

Finally, on the first day of the Forum, Ericsson released the results of an initiative called the Networked Society City Index, which revealed that cites with a high level of ICT maturity are better able to manage issues such as environmental management, infrastructure, public security.

Erik Kruse of Ericsson’s Networked Society lab, who outlined results of the survey at Stanford, said the index can be used to “inspire dialog with decision makers to use ICV to enable organizational and societal success.”

The top 10-ranking cities in the index are Singapore, Stockholm, Seoul, London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Beijing.

"The three best-performing cities presented in the index - Singapore, Stockholm and Seoul - have successfully met many social, economic and environmental targets by making extensive investments in ICT,” Ericsson said in a release.

Singapore, for example, is aggressively driving innovation in e-health, and is a pioneer in traffic-congestion management. Stockholm sees ICT as a major enabler for research collaboration and knowledge transfer, while Seoul is using ICT to realize green high-tech initiatives.”

Reprinted with permission from CNS - Cabling Networking Systems Canada’s  Leading Magazine for Cabling, Networking and Telecom Professionals. CNS magazine covers the latest trends and issues for structured cabling, networking and telecom professionals across Canada.  Stay abreast of all the hot new developments as the cabling infrastructure is used to integrate, automate, and improve our buildings and lives. www.cnsmagazine.com

 

Video Age Arrives = Article from CNS – Cabling Networking Systems magazine

From health care to security surveillance and beyond, it is reshaping how organizations operate and how cabling and ultimately networks are designed, implemented and managed.

By Denise Deveau

In recent months, video has hit mainstream in a big way. From the ubiquitous use of Skype and YouTube on the consumer front, to the meteoric rise in telepresence and IP-based surveillance applications, video has put a whole new perspective on how to design, implement and manage networks.

Video may have been on the backburner for years, but it has definitely experienced a surge in the last year or two, says Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of the Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN) in Toronto. “It is interesting because back in the 1960s with the introduction of the first video telephone, they thought it would take over. The world was not ready. But now it is, and everybody gets it.”

Brown believes a number of factors had accelerated video adoption, including the release of the iPad and the smart phone revolution. “The development of manageable PC-based videoconferencing and mobile solutions has also been an important breakthrough over the last year or two in terms of manageability, security and reliability. And everything offers encryption now.”

Video has reached an important transition point, agrees Jeff Seifert, Chief Technology Officer for Cisco Systems Canada Co. in Toronto. “We now use the term pervasive video because it is driving huge changes in terms of where, when and how much is being used. It’s showing tremendous potential on the public internet as well as in corporate and public sector environments.”

He reports that telepresence is showing phenomenal growth as a means to improve collaboration and reduce costs. Cisco itself has invested $850 million on its own telepresence deployment activities.

Sam Farraj, assistant vice president of digital media solutions with AT&T, says businesses and organizations look to ‘content delivery network’ (CDN) services to deliver content to their end-users efficiently and cost-effectively.

“This includes everything from live video presentations to shopping cart data,” he says.  “Depending on the nature of the content, a CDN will use either caching or acceleration services to ensure business can deliver a high quality viewing experience to their customers.”

Security on line: A major breakthrough has been the transition of video-based technologies to IP, especially in the security and surveillance world, Seiffert says. “Video is transitioning to IP at a very rapid pace and moving away from coax cabling, which has interesting implications on networks. Clearly you need a cable plant that can drive a lot more speed.”
Added to that are huge back end storage requirements that come with the need to store more and more video content in data centers. “That is why we’re seeing a lot more fiber channels, and a lot more 10-Gig to support those storage needs.”

Brian Donovan, national market manager, technology & security solutions for Graybar Canada in Sydney, N.S., says he is getting a lot of calls about high definition, IP-based surveillance solutions these days. “It is a big change from analogue running on coax. Now you are running video on the same Cat 5e or 6 Ethernet cabling you use for your computer system.”

An interesting challenge that comes with this transition is the fact that coax cabling professionals may not be up to speed on Ethernet and vice versa, he adds.

This is reminiscent of the early days of VoIP, which drove a need for technicians to transition traditional telecom skill sets to the internet. “I’m not sure how it will play out in terms of who will look after the surveillance network,” Donovan says.

He also confirms that 10-Gig is becoming the backbone standard in many enterprises to accommodate the many applications traversing the networks these days. “Carriers have to be beyond that for the amount of traffic they handle. I am seeing them moving to 40-Gig if they’re not there already. Some are now looking at 100-Gig for the backbone. We are also seeing more software-as-a-service applications for centrally hosting video feeds or access control systems.”

The packet sizes and bandwidth needed for recording and transmitting video definitely demand a bigger pipe, he adds. “There are things you can do to reduce frame rates while maintaining image quality. For the most part in-building applications are not a problem anymore. There are still challenges though when it comes to WANs.”

New directions: As video surveillance is a major driver behind back end capacity and performance enhancements, Seiffert says he is also seeing a lot of deployment of digital signage in schools, financial institutions and corporations. “With the lower cost and high quality of visual media players, it is easy to manage thousands of digital signs or surveillance feeds. It is all coming on to one network versus parallel network; and it is all based on Ethernet going forward. We are also starting to see 40 and 100-Gig in large campus research environments and/or data centers with huge storage requirements.”

Sieffert cites a number of innovations in video applications for specific sectors, such as expert advisors who can speak to walk-in customers over a high definition video feed at the Bank of Montreal. “Healthcare and education are also doing some interesting things. The OTN is doing a phenomenal amount of work with video that will bring the cost of healthcare down within and outside the hospital. Sheridan College is doing awesome work with video and changing the way it is being used to deliver education.”

The biggest picture: Specific applications aside, Kim Perdikou, executive vice president, for Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, Calif. says video is just one part of a much bigger trend in terms of what’s happening with today’s networks. “I think overall the world has to look at their networks in a different way. Before service providers and enterprise customers built networks for specific types of traffic, access and service. But when you actually look at what is happening in terms of the applications that are now running on devices and the information that creates, they are really mash-ups of data, video and voice.”

Rather than zeroing in on individual portions like video, you need to consider the entire picture, says Perdikou. “Video just happens to be top of mind because of the way legacy networks have been built.  What’s really going to matter is the ability to dynamically assign capacity in real time for the application being used, whatever that may be. The real question now is how to build a flexible, open and simpler network that can serve as a platform to mix and match anything running on it.”

“The market used to be measured in three ways: multi-service, broadband and mobile edge, with each having its own algorithm. But with end devices changing so dramatically, we’re no longer sure what’s coming into the network. It could be mobile, mobile video, mobile to cloud, VoIP – you need to have a platform that can dynamically recognize the device, location and what it requires and start allocating the network resources.”

Cost savings are also a top consideration. Perdikou reports there has been a lot of discussion around the need to converge optical and IP to drive down the cost per bit.  Juniper for example has launched a packet optical switching platform to reduce the cost of core network transport by reducing the number of elements in the network. She estimates this approach could deliver capital expense savings in the range of 40-60%. “Innovations like that will deliver real savings.”

Cisco for its part has developed a new category of “medianet-enabled” products that provide dynamic format conversations to enable video consumption on any device, analyze video content for tagging, and provide embedded intelligent that automatically recognizes endpoints when deployed. As Seiffert explains, “There are all kinds of video feeds coming onto the network. You have to be able to differentiate each type and prioritize them.”

As far as what the future will bring in video, Steve Lampen, multimedia technology manager for Belden says there is a lot more to come. “The relentless march for higher and higher resolution and bandwidth is not ending anytime soon. Things are moving beyond HD. Camera technology is improving dramatically. Yes, you can continue to use copper or fiber for all of this, but remember that each has advantages and potholes as well. As you go to higher speeds, copper won’t go as far as fiber, but it’s a lot easier to install and cheaper. Whatever the choice, the most important thing is consistency.”

Farraj, meanwhile, says consumers are becoming less tolerant of poorly performing Web content and this is not just restricted to video.

“We also see the continued growth in consumption of online video and richer online content, which will continue to push demand for CDN services. We expect to see this trend continue over the next several years, especially in vertical industries as online competitiveness heats up and a tremendous increase in customer expectation of site performance increases,” he says. “The growth in content consumption on mobile devices will also spur demand for expertise in cross platform delivery.”

Denise Deveau is a Toronto-based freelance writer. She can be reached via e-mail at denise@denised.com.

Reprinted with permission from CNS - Cabling Networking Systems Canada’s  Leading Magazine for Cabling, Networking and Telecom Professionals. CNS magazine covers the latest trends and issues for structured cabling, networking and telecom professionals across Canada.  Stay abreast of all the hot new developments as the cabling infrastructure is used to integrate, automate, and improve our buildings and lives. www.cnsmagazine.com

Sunnybrook Health Centre upgrades for the future

As one of the one of Canada’s largest healthcare facilities, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has had its fair share of network changes and upgrades. Managing the extensive network infrastructure for the 10-building, 305,000 square meter campus environment demands a number of enabling tools for network administrators and field technicians.

Located in Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has 10,000 staff, physicians and volunteers providing critical care for more than 1 million patients a year.

Originally a veterans’ hospital, Sunnybrook has evolved into a centre of excellence in patient care, education and research.

Sunnybrook’s networking team includes senior administrators as well as a contingent of field technicians who devote their time to ensuring their network infrastructure is able to keep pace with the capacity and bandwidth demands of a rapidly evolving health care system.

According to David Chong, Technology Administrator Specialist, in the early Ethernet stages, the hospital had four major subnets comprising 4,000 nodes and 2,000 users. However, with the advent multimedia and multicasting, it became clear that this configuration would be inadequate. “If there was a broadcast storm, 2,000 users would be affected,” he says.

At the time, the OptiView Network Analyzer from Fluke was used to perform a range of troubleshooting functions, such as identification of nodes and subnet connectivity. “The OptiView also allowed us to see what was going on – for example, the top ‘talkers’, where bandwidths was used, protocols used, cable testing, etc. Mainly we used it to give us visibility into what was going on with the network,” Chong says.

In 2004 the network team decided to segment the four groups into 40 VLANs in order to handle higher-demand video-based applications such as diagnostic imaging among other applications.

“The transition from four to 40 subnets did reduce the scope of the issues going on – we only had to track user activity for 250 rather than 2,000 when a problem occurred for example,” Chong says. “But that did not mean the troubleshooting needs changed. However, because of the number of subnets, we did invest in some smaller handheld tools so our field technicians could do some quick diagnostics on the spot.”

Going forward, he says that the network demands will continue to grow as hospitals move to more demanding video and other IP-based applications. “That is going to demand a lot more capacity. We are looking at a major backbone upgrade to 10-Gig within a year and moving to a Fiber Channel-based architecture.”

The hospital also plans to take advantage of the higher bandwidth to enable Ethernet-based SAN (storage area network) capabilities in order to reduce complexity and reduce overhead.

Video on the Sheridan curriculum

Sheridan College has put a lot of study into building a network that could support the video applications of today and the future. “We have been working on videoconferencing and broadcasting projects for years,” says chief information officer Sumon Acharjee. “Now we are looking at leveraging our network infrastructure to support our surveillance system. Over the years, it has been media technologies that have really driven the quality of our infrastructure.”

Recent initiatives include a renewed partnership with Virtual Researchers on Call (VROC), whose mandate is to connect researchers with students in schools across Canada. Sheridan leverages its connectivity with the ORION and CANARIE networks to connect to school boards and other institutions supporting video learning.  “Sheridan built a video bridging service to support VROC and our videoconferencing activities,” says John McCormick, director of information and communications technology.  “The renewed partnership will see us expand the capabilities and tools beyond videoconferencing.”

“There are a couple of things you need to do to support this,” Acharjee explains. “One is establishing a gateway with the right control capabilities and security sets, as well as making sure you have a working system from a self-service booking and testing perspective.  A lot of firewalls and prioritization of traffic comes into play.”

Sheridan is completing the construction of a new campus in Mississauga with students starting this September.  As a result, its most recent upgrade was to a 20-Gig backbone ring for its three campuses in Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton. It has connected all three locations using coarse wavelength division multiplexing [CWDM] over a dark fiber network. Cisco VSS (virtual switching technology) was implemented to provide full network redundancy and enable super high bandwidth connections across all locations. “We can connect our core devices at up to 160 Gigabit speeds,” says Chris Descheneaux, coordinator for infrastructure solutions.

“The key to making a great experience from a video perspective is to prioritize traffic to ensure QoS for critical applications,” Acharjee adds.

Part of that involves the use of “packet shaping” appliances to ensure fair and equitable access to files when needed, Descheneaux explains. “Video for learning for example would get priority over YouTube. We have even taken it down to types of providers and protocols. It’s very detailed.”

The next step on the books is tying video to the new phones at the Mississauga campus. “That is an easy extension. We can just hop on board,” Acharjee says. “That is because we’ve done our homework and built a very robust and scalable network since we started our VoIP applications in 1999. We have implemented the right levels of VLANs and segmentation for security and administration. And we continue to look at ways to leverage that for additional video applications as we learn.”

Video strengthening pulse of telehealth in Ontario

Dr. Ed Brown has been waiting years for video to hit its stride. “Video’s day has finally arrived,” says the CEO of the Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN).

Considered to be the largest telemedicine videoconferencing network in the world, OTN has 1,200 sites with 2,200 videoconferencing platforms that are being used by clinics, hospitals prison, community care access centers and medical specialists. Plans are in place to add another 500 sites which are currently in various stages of deployment.

Brown has always had a clear perspective on where video networks fall into place. “There is consumer grade, and there is what-you-want-to-be video grade,” he says. “In our case we deal with medical grade video, which brings with it different expectations in terms of reliability, consistency and security.”

OTN has been integrating its infrastructure with private networks throughout Ontario since 1998. In the early days it worked with eHealth Ontario to acquire the bandwidth it needed. Since then it has interfaced with a variety of available networks used by educational facilities and hospital groups, among others.

“We never build,” says Brown. “Rather we establish connectivity with other partners, so it is a bit of a hodgepodge. Wherever there’s connectivity we try to integrate.” Despite the fact that enabling each connection requires its own tools, OTN’s mission is to ensure it all works over one seamless unit. The bigger challenge has been interoperability with the various videoconferencing units.

“Although they all follow interoperability standards, it doesn’t mean they all work together properly,” Dr. Brown explains. “We have had to set up a lab to test hardware, software, firmware…everything we put on the network to make sure it works happily together.” Before launching a new site, OTN uses probes to perform extensive 24/7 monitoring of the circuits to measure reliability, packet loss and jitter, among other parameters.

OTN is also starting to move to Internet circuits in a lot of locations to reduce costs, and is exploring mobile options. “But we are pretty careful about all that. The reliability and performance has to be excellent with the choices we make,” he adds.

“Videoconferencing for medical purposes will not be a sideshow for much longer. It is going to become central to the healthcare system. Virtual healthcare will be as real as physical.”

Reprinted with permission from CNS - Cabling Networking Systems Canada’s  Leading Magazine for Cabling, Networking and Telecom Professionals. CNS magazine covers the latest trends and issues for structured cabling, networking and telecom professionals across Canada.  Stay abreast of all the hot new developments as the cabling infrastructure is used to integrate, automate, and improve our buildings and lives. www.cnsmagazine.com

 

Data Center World Fall 2011- This “must attend” upcoming fall conference will be held in Orlando, September 11-14

Whether it’s tackling the top 10 database security threats or providing insight into the issues surrounding expanding, building or collocation analysis, Data Center World (Orlando World Center Marriott) provides the largest hub for gathering together some of the world’s most influential data center managers to address these industry challenges. There are many compelling reasons to attend on a wide scope of technology applications and new developments. Conference dates September 11-14, 2011. Expo dates September 12-14, 2011.

Hosted by AFCOM, a vendor neutral association for data center and facility managers, and CI/TOs, the conference will cover everything from building a NOAA Data Center to better track, predict and image hurricanes, to the best practices of virtual cloud security.  There will also be a special report on disaster recovery plans for businesses and their data centers. Is this conference something you think that you would be able to attend? Sign up today.

Data Center World exhibit booth space just added! Due to overwhelming demand, we have added booths to the previously sold out Data Center World Fall 2011 Orlando Expo. The response to this announcement is sure to be swift, if you are interested in exhibiting at this event, please contact the sales department today to secure your space!

At the Data Center World Spring 2011 attendance records were broken and the agenda was rated “highly valuable”.

ORANGE, Calif.-- AFCOM, the world's leading data center association, wrapped up the largest Spring Data Center World ever. Both attendee and exhibitor numbers grew 10 percent from the Spring 2010 conference.

“It is difficult to measure the impact of all the contributions Tom has made to the data center industry”

During the conference, AFCOM awarded the 2011 Data Center Manager of the Year title to Tom Roberts, Manager, Data Center Facilities, Trinity Information Services. Roberts was recognized from a competitive pool of finalists, which included Billie Haggard, Senior Vice President, Data Centers, CoreSite and Abdulaziz Al-Shafi, Administrator of IT Computer Operations, Saudi ARAMCO.

The Data Center Manager of the Year award, developed by AFCOM, seeks to recognize information technology leaders whose qualities embody innovation, organization, versatility and ambition. The winner is an effective leader who runs a highly efficient data center, works well under pressure, possess strong communication skills and keep up-to-date on the latest technologies in order to maintain his or her company's edge.

A finalist in previous years, Roberts was acknowledged in 2011 for implementing a hot/cold aisle containment approach into his data centers, which resulted in a 10 percent decrease in utility consumption. Roberts also makes ongoing efforts to educate “server and network folks” about facilities management, and to foster understanding and innovation. Roberts received a commemorative plaque in recognition of his accomplishments.

“It is difficult to measure the impact of all the contributions Tom has made to the data center industry,” said Jill Yaoz, CEO, AFCOM. “Tom—who is also a member of the Data Center Institute—is a wonderful choice for Data Center Manager of the Year because while he not only is a leader in tackling issues many data center managers face, he is also always so willing to share his experiences and teachings to help others figure out how they might implement a similar solution to their own benefit. Tom’s award win was another important part of a truly amazing and educational Data Center World.”

The 2011 Spring Data Center World conference was held March 27-31 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Featured was a keynote address from former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, who assessed cyber-terrorism threats from around the globe and how this affects data center managers. Ambassador Bolton’s address is available for online viewing for a limited time on the Data Center World web site: http://www.datacenterworld.com/attendees_keynoteaddress_Spring2011.html

Additionally, AFCOM released results from a new survey the organization conducted with more than 350 data center managers, which provided insight on the biggest challenges and issues they are facing. The report, called the “State of the Data Center,” also included a special discussion session with AFCOM and the Data Center Institute. More information on the survey can be found here.

For more than 30 years, Data Center World has been known as the premier and largest global event of its kind. For the first time ever, AFCOM will be hosting an Asia/Pacific Data Center Symposium in Sydney, Australia to discuss issues affecting data center managers in this region of the world. Being held May 15-17, 2011, this is the only event in the region providing education covering the entire data center including the latest technology and management techniques, best practices, disaster recovery, power and cooling, asset management, cloud computing and more. To register or for additional information, please visit the Asia/Pacific section of the Data Center World website.

The next Data Center World conference will be held this fall, September 11-14 in Orlando, Florida. To view the evolving schedule of events and speakers, please visit http://www.datacenterworld.com/attendees_scheduleofevents.html.

About Data Center World Conference

Data Center World, operated by AFCOM, the world's leading 4,500-member data center association, is the industry's premier networking and educational conference, and occurs bi-annually. Thousands of data center professionals, from many of the largest corporations across all industries, government organizations, and academic institutions in the world attend Data Center World to share, discuss and learn about the latest data center trends, technologies and best practices, as well as products and services by some of the world's leading data center technology and service providers. Tradeshow Week recognizes Data Center World as one of the 50 fastest growing shows in the U.S. (2006, 2007 and 2008). For more information, visit www.datacenterworld.com.

About AFCOM

AFCOM (www.afcom.com) is a leading association supporting the educational and professional development needs of data center professionals around the globe. Established in 1980, AFCOM currently boasts more than 4,000 members and 40 chapters worldwide, and provides data center professionals with unique networking opportunities and educational forums and resources through its annual Data Center World Conferences, published magazines, regional chapters, research and hotline services, and industry alliances.

 

$11 Billion Market for Optical Transport DWDM by 2015

40/100 Gbps DWDM Shipments Expected to Grow 50 Percent Annually

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – July 27, 2011 – In a newly released Optical Transport forecast report by Dell’Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, total worldwide Optical DWDM equipment revenue is forecast to grow at a 12% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 5 years, reaching $11 billion.  Dell’Oro Group expects that demand for high capacity wavelengths will drive up 40/100 Gbps DWDM shipments to an average annual growth rate of 50%.

“We’re projecting a very strong market for both 40 and 100 gigabit DWDM,” said Jimmy Yu, Sr. Director of Optical Transport research at Dell’Oro Group.  “In fact, we have raised our forecast of both 40 and 100 gigabit because the demand for high-speed interconnects continues to exceed our expectations.  The adoption of 100 gigabit is occurring faster than that of 40 gigabit, driving revenues to nearly $1 billion by 2013 and $2 billion by 2015.  We believe 40 gigabit will also maintain its momentum through the forecast period since it’s likely to sustain a competitive price advantage in ultra long haul spans,” added Mr. Yu.

 

Mobile Broadband to Drive Backhaul Market to $9 Billion by 2015

Routers and Switches Expected to Constitute 30% of Mobile Backhaul Market

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 3, 2011 – In a newly released market forecast report by Dell'Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, Mobile Backhaul market revenues are expected to approach $9 billion by 2015.  This updated report tracks two key market segments: Transport, which includes microwave and optical equipment, and Routers and Switches, which includes cell site devices, carrier Ethernet switches, and service provider edge routers.

“We’re at the initial stage of the mobile broadband wave with only a few LTE deployments underway. As radio access networks across the globe get upgraded to newer mobile radio technologies like 4G LTE, availability of sufficient backhaul capacity will be a key enabler to customer experience. Our latest report indicates high-capacity optical and microwave deployments will have to maintain a growth curve to deliver the requisite backhaul capacity through 2015,” said Jimmy Yu, Sr. Director of Optical and Microwave research at Dell’Oro Group.

Furthermore, “Our research has found that operators around the world are concerned with the rate of mobile traffic growth and are transitioning to Internet Protocol (IP) technologies to build a more efficient and scalable backhaul network. Our latest report forecasts the demand for IP-based routers and switches will continue to grow through 2015, almost doubling the market size of the Router and Switches segment in the five-year forecast period,” said Shin Umeda, Vice President of Routers research at Dell’Oro Group.

 

Service Provider Core Router Market Entering the 100 Gigabit Era

Latest Technologies Offer Significant Speed Boost for Internet Backbones

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 3, 2011 – According to a recent report by Dell’Oro Group, the trusted source for information about the networking and telecommunications industries, the Service Provider Core Router market is expected grow at double-digit rates over the next four years as service providers around the world upgrade the capacity of their Internet backbone networks with 100 Gigabit Ethernet technologies.  Dell’Oro Group forecasts the Service Provider Core Router market to grow by almost 60 percent to over $4 billion in 2015.

“We expect 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface shipments to ramp this year and to become a mainstream technology by next year.  Service providers will be able to boost the data rates on their networks significantly, in many cases by a factor of ten,” said Shin Umeda, Vice President of Routers research at Dell’Oro Group.  “In the past, transitions to higher data rates have been a key factor in the growth of the Service Provider Core Router market, and we believe that 100 Gigabit Ethernet will support a similar market expansion,” added Umeda.

 

Hitachi Cable Manchester Hires Edward Rattie

Manchester, NH, January 21, 2011

Hitachi Cable Manchester (HCM) with its manufacturing facility located in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, is pleased to announce the hiring of Edward Rattie as Manager of Government Sales effective July 1, 2011. Ed will report to John Joyce, Director of Sales for Premise and Fiber. Ed will direct the corporation’s efforts as they continue to grow their federal and state business. “Ed’s substantial knowledge of government purchasing, as well as his own military experience, will factor significantly into our endeavors in the public sector,” said John. Ed will coordinate sales initiatives from his Maryland office.

About Hitachi Cable Manchester

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

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2010 (ended March 31, 2011) consolidated revenues totaled $112.2 billion. Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

 

WASHINGTON OUTLOOK

Remember: Things are always darkest, just before it goes completely black.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

www.wireville.com

 

NFPA News July 2011

 

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http://www.nfpa.org/images/spc.gifFire Protection Research Foundation receives major grant for research in support of fire service

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08/02/2011

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NFPA awards scholarships to four fire safety students

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07/27/2011

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NFPA announces redesign of Firewise Communities website

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07/27/2011

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Massachusetts Firefighting Academy and NFPA to host electric vehicle safety training for firefighters

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07/22/2011

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Confederation of Fire Protection Associations-International passes resolution on residential fire sprinklers

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07/14/2011

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NFPA Catalog launches new web user interface

 

National Fire Protection Association NFPA www.nfpa.org

 

Greenbuild 2011 Confirms Thomas Friedman, Cokie Roberts, and Mayor Bloomberg to Speak - GREENBUILD International Conference & Expo. At Toronto – Ocober 4-7, 2011

Thomas Friedman and Cokie Roberts Confirmed for Greenbuild

We are excited to announce that Thomas Friendman and Cokie Roberts will speak at this year's Opening Keynote & Celebration on October 5. Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning and internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist, will lend his expertise to USGBC's Resiliency Agenda panel. The panel, moderated by Roberts, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, bestselling author, and New Orleans native, will discuss resiliency and demonstrate how all industries can play a role in community rebuilding efforts in Haiti and around the world. They will also be joined by medical anthropologist and physician, Dr. Paul Farmer. As Chair of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Founder of Partners in Health, Dr. Farmer has written extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto for this incredible event.

Mayor Bloomberg to Close Greenbuild 2011

This year's Greenbuild closing plenary will feature keynote Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg. The Mayor is known for catapulting New York City into the international vanguard for fighting climate change and advancing sustainable development. As chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Mayor brings unparalleled knowledge and understanding to what cities around the world can do to generate real change. Through Mayor Bloomberg's global leadership, not only is New York City a beacon for the green building movement, but the largest cities around the world are now poised to adopt and implement similar, innovative sustainability policies and scale up green building best practices at an unprecedented scale.

International Summit
Tuesday, October 4, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Beginning with an opening plenary anchored by researcher Dr. Nils Kok, the 2011 International Summit is not to be missed if your green building work has a global footprint. Hear the latest breakthroughs in climate action plans, listen to a compelling story of the participatory design process for a green school in South Africa and learn how companies are integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of their work - from raw material sourcing to facilities with zero embodied carbon in construction. The summit will leave you with inspiring stories of global green building innovations occurring in the home countries of LEED International Roundtable members around the world.

All breakout sessions are approved for GBCI CE hours.

Learn more »

LEED Workshops

At Greenbuild, USGBC offers a wide selection of LEED workshops taught by highly qualified LEED faculty. Workshops are held before the conference education sessions beginning on Monday, Oct. 3. 

USGBC LEED workshops and education programs meet GBCI exam eligibility or credential maintenance requirements for the LEED Green Associate and the LEED AP credentials. The LEED faculty are experienced LEED practitioners who are also trained facilitators.

Buy one Monday LEED Workshop, get a Tuesday workshop 20% off!

Learn more »

Grand Opening of the Expo Hall
Tuesday, October 4, 5:30-8 p.m.

The Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Packed with nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies showcasing the latest green building products and technologies, the Exhibit Hall is one of Greenbuild's biggest attractions year after year. Stop by to celebrate in the opening festivities!

Learn more »

New: Thought and Leadership Track

Designed to challenge even the most knowledgeable attendee, Thought Leadership and Research education sessions at Greenbuild will dig deeper into complex green building concepts. These sessions have gone through an extensive review process, and each has submitted an accompanying research paper representing new, original, journal-quality research.

Visit greenbuildexpo.org/Research for more information »

Exhibit Space Still Available. The Expo Hall is 96% sold out so contact your space sales person now and be part of what's NEXT in green building!
Tracy Miller (Companies A-L) 312-541-0567 ext. 638
tracy_miller@corcexpo.com

Dan Corcoran (Companies M-Z) 312-541-0567 ext. 635
dan@corcexpo.com

Her is a taste of the program:

Imagine a skyscraper that can breathe and grow and think. Or a beautiful chair that moves with your body weight. Welcome to the world of Neri Oxman, an award winning architect and designer who looks to nature for practical design solutions.

In jaw-dropping discussions of her work, Oxman opens a vista onto a lush, wondrous, and sustainable future within reach -- one where technology and nature live in harmony. Oxman transcends the boundaries between art, science and environmentalism. Her talks are about what is possible when you mix art and science; but really, they're about possibility itself

Neri Oxman

Director, Mediated Matter, MIT Media Lab

Thursday Oct. 6, 4-5:30pm

Architect and designer Neri Oxman is Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her group explores how digital design and fabrication technologies mediate between matter and environment to radically transform the design and construction of objects, buildings, and systems. Oxman’s goal is to enhance the relationship between the built and the natural environments by employing design principles inspired by nature and implementing them in the invention of digital design technologies. Areas of application include product and architectural design, as well as digital fabrication and construction.

Oxman was named to ICON's list of the top 20 most influential architects to shape our future, and was selected as one of the 100 most creative people by FASTCOMPANY in 2009. In 2008, she was named Revolutionary Mind by SEED Magazine. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and is part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Neri Oxman received her Ph.D. in design computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT, where she developed the theory and practice of material-based design computation.

Apply for or renew your passport »
Book your hotel for Greenbuild »
Create your schedule »
Take a sneak peek at the exhibit hall »

 

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

http://www.necaconvention.org/  

October 22 – 25, 2011

111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA

NEW!

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

THIS IS A MUST DO EVENT FOR 2011

General Sessions

Opening General Session

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

General Stanley McChrystal

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

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

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

Labor Relations Special General Session

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

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

Closing General Session

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

Steven Farber

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

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

NECA Showstoppers

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

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

Schedule

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

Feature your latest product, service or solution

 

New Minuteman PRO-RT Series UPS Serves as ‘Electrical Firewall’

Complete, affordable power protection for telephone, security and network systems

Dallas, TX – Last year, Para Systems, Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive power protection solutions, introduced the Minuteman™ PRO-RT series, a new line of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) designed to provide fail-safe protection from all power anomalies for small to medium-sized telephone, security and server systems.

The PRO-RT UPSs are the newest addition to the PRO-E Series, Minuteman’s most successful and widely used product line with more than 400,000 units sold to date. Aimed at the small to medium-sized business market, the PRO-RT product line currently includes the PRO1000RT (1000VA) and PRO1500RT (1500VA).

Power problems can wreak havoc for both business owners and consumers. Even minor power glitches that may go unnoticed can cause data corruption and severe damage to valuable electronic equipment. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) serves as an “electrical firewall”, preventing catastrophic damage from blackouts, brownouts, surges and spikes. When damage to expensive equipment does occur from these types of anomalies, it is generally not covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. A UPS is an essential component for protecting any type of mission critical electronic equipment.

“When business owners and managers purchase expensive security, telephone or networking systems and do not protect them from potential damage or power outages, these devices are obviously at high risk,” stated Bill Allen, Director of Marketing. “When you compare the price tag associated with downtime, along with the expense of

replacing equipment, the PRO-RT’s are an extremely cost-effective way to preserve and protect these investments.”

In addition to protecting attached equipment from catastrophic surges and spikes, the PRO-RT’s feature automatic voltage regulation to protect during brownouts. They are also equipped with more battery power during blackouts, providing longer run-times than competitive units.

This flexible product can be rack-mounted or floor-mounted, and an optional wall-mount bracket is available. An LCD display that shows power status, battery run-time (based on attached load), and operational mode is also a standard feature. As an additional bonus, Minuteman’s SentryPlus™ power monitoring and management software

is included free with all models. Communication between the UPS and attached equipment is accomplished through the unit’s USB or RS-232 port. These new products also have an optional SNMP card slot. The PRO-RT’s efficiency rating of 90% is also the highest in this class of product.

Users can also benefit from the PRO-RT’s green features. The voltage regulation circuitry is automatically bypassed until needed, reducing vampire power consumption. Other power-saving features can be tapped into by using Minuteman’s SentryPlus software to schedule automatic shut down and re-start of equipment during nights

and weekends when many devices sit idle yet continue to consume energy resources. The units are also RoHS compliant and Para Systems offers a free battery recycling service for all Minuteman UPSs.

“The Minuteman PRO-RT’s raise the bar by offering a feature-rich rack-mount product at an affordable price. When you combine the extensive features, longer battery run-time, 3-year warranty, and flexible mounting options, the PRO-RT’s do represent an excellent value,” added Mr. Allen. Both models are currently available for purchase through Minuteman’s extensive distribution network, systems integrators and on-line resellers. For more information, visit www.minutemanups.com/prort.

About Para Systems, Inc.

Para Systems, Inc., based in Carrollton, TX, is a leading provider of power technologies. The company’s Minuteman brand of comprehensive power protection solutions range from small to large-scale uninterruptible power supply (UPS) products to a full line of unique surge suppressors, power distribution units, and remote power management systems. Minuteman products protect telephone/VOIP systems, personal computers, network servers and infrastructure peripherals, security systems, and industrial applications. The Minuteman brand of products is sold through a large network of distributors and resellers. Para Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of Components Corporation of America, headquartered in Dallas, TX, whose roots date back to 1916. For more information, visit www.minutemanups.com.

FAQs

What is a UPS?
How can a UPS help me?
What are the different types of UPSs and how do they differ?
Does Minuteman offer have a trade-in policy?
How long can equipment keep running on a UPS?
How does a MINUTEMAN UPS differ from the others?
Why is Power Protection Necessary?
Why is a UPS Now a Must on All Power Sensitive Equipment?
What is an On-Line UPS?
What is a Line Interactive UPS?
What is a Stand-by UPS? 
What is Extended Runtime?
What are primary Uses of Power Protection?
Sinewave vs Simulated Sinewave - Which is Best?
What is Power Monitoring Software?
How can power management software help me?
When should I replace the batteries?
Can certain types of loads harm my UPS?

 

Kenneth Dahlberg to Join Motorola Solutions’ Board of Directors

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – July 27, 2011Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) today announced that Kenneth C. Dahlberg, former chairman and CEO of Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), has been elected to its board of directors.

“We are delighted to have Ken join our board of directors,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions. “His diverse background and leadership working with government customers on information systems and advanced technology uniquely complement Motorola Solutions’ focus on both government and enterprise markets. We look forward to his insights and leveraging his business expertise on our board.”

Before retiring from SAIC as CEO in late 2009 and as chairman in June 2010, Dahlberg served as executive vice president of General Dynamics Corp., where he was responsible for its Information Systems and Technology group. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of Raytheon Systems.

Dahlberg is a director of Teledyne Technologies, Inc. and Parsons Corp. Additionally, he is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Surface Navy Association, the Association of the U.S. Army, and a lifetime member of the U.S. Navy League.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California.

About Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions is a leading provider of mission-critical communication products and services for enterprise and government customers. Through leading-edge innovation and communications technology, it is a global leader that enables its customers to be their best in the moments that matter. Motorola Solutions trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “MSI.” To learn more, visit www.motorolasolutions.com. For ongoing news, please visit our media center or subscribe to our news feed.

 

Light Brigade offers exceptional Advanced Hands-on Fiber Optic training in Atlanta, GA and Miami, FL

Light Brigade offers exceptional Advanced Hands-on Fiber Optic Training Modules

Atlanta, GA, September 12-16, 2011

Miami, FL, October 17-21, 2011

Course Description - This course features five 8-hour days of instruction on hands-on skills labs, each focused on a specific fiber optic discipline.  Developed as the “next level” of training, these classes teach more advanced knowledge and skills to students that have already had formal introductory classes.  Course material is predominantly based on technician fiber installation skills technology and includes content applicable for FTTx and DWDM Systems.  This class offers an optional four year certification as a Fiber Optic Technician – Outside Plant. 

Course Level – Intermediate to expert.  This series of classes requires basic knowledge of fiber optic theory and terminology, as well as field experience or equivalent formal training, such as the Fiber Optics 123 course.

Course Options – Each module is one day in duration and can be taken individually, or as a combination of various modules.  You choose which modules best address your training needs.  Individual Modules - $500.00 each.  All 5 modules - $1650.00 *Prior attendees of our FO123 class receive a 25% discount.

Course Certification – ETA Fiber Optics Technician-Outside Plant (FOT-OSP)    $150.00

The Light Brigade provides a wide variety of fiber optic training solutions for every experience level. We teach the latest procedures and techniques to help minimize your installation and restoration expenses. More than 40,000 people have successfully completed our training courses.

The Light Brigade, the world's leading fiber optic training company, was founded in September 1986 to provide a growing population of fiber-optic end users in the Pacific Northwest expertise with the technology. The name "The Light Brigade" evolved from the concept of a group of specialists that could be called upon to assist clients with their fiber-optic needs and to serve as an engineering and installation consulting company. By the 1990s demand for training had grown, so the company minimized its contractor services, although high-level design and installation projects continued in order to acquire expertise for classroom applications. Over the last two decades, the company has trained more than 40,000 people from a wide variety of industries. The company is internationally recognized and is often invited to conduct short courses and to coordinate fiber-related special events at conferences around the world, including the annual Optical Fiber Conference, Outside Plant Expo, European Conference for Optical Communication, and many others.

The Light Brigade's instructors are technically skilled and have a wide variety of practical experience with fiber optic systems from small local telephone networks to sophisticated military facilities. Many have taught college-level courses in electronics and telecommunications. Others have built and operated fiber-optic networks or served as consultants for international companies. They are constantly evaluating new products and learning new techniques in order to maintain a leading-edge awareness of the industry.

We would like to email a copy of our training brochure for your review.  

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (800) 451-7128.  Light Brigade is looking forward to working with you.  

Sincerely,

THE LIGHT BRIGADE, INC.

Kimberly Blatter FOI - Kimberly@lightbrigade.com

Training Sales

206-575-0404 / 800-451-7128

www.lightbrigade.com

 

Low Voltage Starter Tool Kit from IDEAL is Affordable Solution for New Hires and Apprentices

SYCAMORE, IL, August 3, 2011 --  Despite a slowdown in construction spending, low voltage installations, such as home theater and network wiring, have remained a profitable area for electricians.   

To help new hires, basic technicians and apprentices succeed in the low voltage field, IDEAL today introduced its new Low Voltage Starter Kit. Housed in a rugged mechanic's bag, the kit is an essential selection of professional tools for both coaxial cable and twisted pair wiring. Anyone who does work in a telco closet, network infrastructure or basic video/coax maintenance in residential and commercial buildings will appreciate this kit.  

The Low Voltage Starter Kit (#33-920)  includes: Telemaster crimper for RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors; an economy F-connector compression tool; a cable/satellite/CCTV coax stripper; a non-impact Turn-Lock™ style punch down tool with replacement blades; a Data T-Cutter;  a Crimpmaster crimp tool for CATV; and a UTP/STP ringer stripper with blade.  For more information, phone 1-800-947-3614. www.idealindustries.com.

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

 

Smart Grid Strategies Webinar Now Available on the NAED Learning Center

With today’s high energy prices, owners, commercial and industrial building managers – as well as homeowners — are more receptive than ever to cost-reduction strategies that will lower their electric bills. This presents compelling opportunities for electrical distributors who are looking for ways to benefit from the fast-growing building automation, energy efficiency and demand response space.

An archive of NAED’s webinar, “Smart Grid Strategies II: Connecting to the Building Energy Management Market,” is now available on the NAED Learning Center. Sponsored by the Channel Advantage Partnership, this webinar provides a comprehensive look at these areas and how they can be part of your overall smart grid sales strategy.

Additional smart grid webinars, “Beyond the Buzz: Smart Grid and the Electrical Distribution Industry” and “Smart Grid Strategies: The Product Portfolio That Best Fits Your Company,” are also available on the NAED Learning Center. For more information on the smart grid project, please contact Erika TenEyck, NAED project manager, at eteneyck@naed.org

 

In Memoriam: Clyde G. Rutland

NAED is deeply saddened to communicate the passing of Founder and Chairman of the Board of Houston based Wholesale Electric Supply Co., Clyde G. Rutland. Clyde was a philanthropist and a remarkable man who lived an amazing life. He grew up in a modest railroad family in east Houston and went on to become a successful businessman.

Clyde and his wife Marge founded Wholesale Electric Supply Co. in 1949. There are now 12 branches and over 475 employees.

Clyde was an active member of NAED. He served as NAED vice president from 1978 to 1982, was area chairman for eight years, and served on the executive committee. He supported the University of Houston Industrial Distribution scholarship program and many other charities. Clyde and Marge were honored with NAED’s Distributor Distinguished Service Award in 2007.

He is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Marge, daughters and son in laws Barbara and Joe Jones, Pam and Rick McKellop. He is also survived by grandchildren Joe Jones Jr., Jeff Jones, Jimmy Jones, Rickey McKellop and Jennifer Muriel. www.naed.org

 

NEMA Hails DOE Award of First L Prize for LED Lighting Technology and Manufacturing

ROSSLYN, Va., August 3, 2011—Today U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the first award of the L Prize for development and manufacturing of energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting to Philips Lighting Electronics North America. In addition to a $10 million award, the winning entry is expected to benefit from promotions by many utility companies and the federal government as a replacement for the 60-watt incandescent bulb.  

“I applaud Senators Jeff Bingaman and Lisa Murkowski for their leadership in driving development of energy efficient lighting technology through their creation of this competition,” said President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). “NEMA welcomes today’s announcement and looks forward to further accelerated development and deployment of efficient lighting in the U.S. driven by the L Prize.”

Sen. Bingaman (D-NM) serves as Chairman and Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) serves as Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. NEMA worked with both senators on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) and specifically on the portion of the bill (Section 655) that granted authority to the Department of Energy (DOE) to create the prize and administer the competition. The Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance, DOE’s industry partner for its solid-state lighting research and development program, has also supported the L Prize competition.  

To earn recognition in the L Prize competition for the 60-watt replacement bulb, an entry is required to meet rigorous technical requirements, including for efficiency (lumens per watt), light output (lumens), wattage, light quality, and control (ability to be dimmed).  In addition, a substantial portion of the manufacturing process for each bulb must take place in the U.S. Finally, the manufacturer must provide evidence that it is fully prepared to produce at least 250,000 units of the winning entry in the first year and increase annual output in later years.

Thirty-one L Prize partners, primarily electric utilities and energy efficiency programs from around the U.S., are signed on to support L Prize winners with promotions, incentives, and other market development activities. In addition, under the terms of EISA 2007, the Secretary of Energy and the head of the General Services Administration are to develop federal government purchasing guidelines for 60-watt replacement lamps.

The L Prize is comprised of three competitions: a 60-watt incandescent replacement bulb, for which Philips was awarded first prize today, a PAR 38 halogen replacement lamp, and a 21st Century Lamp. More information about the L Prize is available at www.lightingprize.org.

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

 

NEMA-Backed Technology Export Principles Launched on Capitol Hill

ROSSLYN, Va., July 27, 2011—Today on Capitol Hill, a coalition of U.S. trade associations, including the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), released a set of principles for adoption by the U.S. government to drive its support for increasing exports of clean energy technologies. “Encouraging U.S. Clean Energy Exports: A Set of Private-Sector Principles” is the result of several months of consultations among a multi-industry coalition, which was coordinated by the National Foreign Trade Council, and U.S. government representatives.

“We are proud to be a part of this effort and to endorse these principles,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan Gaddis. “They concentrate much of our advice to U.S. agencies about necessary steps to better support our exporters of many energy-efficiency technologies, including elements of the Smart Grid, high performance buildings, and energy storage.”

“The U.S. has set the goal of doubling exports by 2014,” said Tim Richards, managing director for energy policy for GE Energy and NEMA Trade Policy Committee Chairman. "We applaud this effort and believe that clean energy products and services should form an important part of that program."

The principles guide the U.S. government to aggressively promote exports of goods and services in a technology-neutral manner through strategically deployed Department of Commerce resources and with enhanced support from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. In addition, actions to protect U.S. intellectual property rights and reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers for green exports are essential. Finally, the government should also measure and report on its performance in these areas.

The principles are available at www.nema.org/CleanEnergyExportsPrinciples.

The principles were welcomed by, among others, Rep. David Dreier (R-CA), chairman of the Rules Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives; Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), chairman of the Subcommittee on International Trade of the Finance Committee in the U.S. Senate; Mark Linscott, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources; Jennifer Haverkamp, director of the International Climate Program at the Environmental Defense Fund; and Dr. Ty Mitchell, Vice President and General Manager of NEMA member Cree.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers.

 

New OCC Data Center Cabinet Offers Durable, Flexible Options for Every Data Center

Front and rear cable friendly cabinets feature more room, a sturdy load-bearing frame with perforated doors and hinged side doors for easy cabinet access

Optical Cable Corporation (Nasdaq GM: OCC) listened to its customers when designing their new data center cabinet, one of the most flexible, configurable, and durable cabinets on the market. The result: a cable friendly rack with plenty of room, perforated doors and rear PDU section for better airflow, and hinged side doors that can either be locked or removed, depending on the application. As an added bonus, the cabinet’s sleek design and custom color options can give your server room the style it deserves.

 “OCC needed a cabinet solution that exceeded typical reliability and robustness expectations, in the same manner as our fiber optic and copper cabling and connectivity products.” States Dr. Ian Timmins, R&D Engineer “Now, data center operators can be prepared for the weight requirements and thermal demands of next generation server, switch and storage hardware using a complete production solution designed to be used together, all with the durability, reliability and performance OCC is known for.”

“No two data centers are alike except for the need to support a reliable, never-fail network,” says Brad Everette, Manager, Business Development Enterprise Solutions. “Keeping that in mind, the line was designed with maximum flexibility and configuration options, while staying true to our reputation for durable, robust network solutions.”

The cabinet features a rear PDU/cable section 6.5 inches deep, with plenty of room to attach power distribution hardware and secure multiple cable connections. Angled cable entries and exits allow easy access minimizing cable strain on power cords, and at the same time PDUs face outward, providing easy visibility to the operating power distribution system. The swing on the front can be reversed for easy access no matter what the siting demands. And with 63% perforation on the front and the rear doors, servers and switching hardware breathe easier and run cooler.

“The exterior of the cabinets reflects attention to detail and a unique sense of style,” says Everette. “The custom inset panels allow the customer to choose colors that fit their corporate décor for added style. These are cabinets that look as good as they perform.”

The cabinet is part of OCC’s full-service Data Center Solutions product line, featuring versatile enclosures and fiber optic and copper cable assemblies designed to meet every data center need. Maintaining OCC’s reputation for optimum performance and reliability, these solutions are the answer for durable, easy-to install bend tolerant fiber optic cable as well as pre-term copper and connectivity solutions.

More information on the Data Center Solutions can be found at www.occfiber.com/datacenter.

Company Information

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

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

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

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

Further information about OCC is available on the Internet at www.occfiber.com.

 

Oberon Inc Announces Addition of R. Douglas Schultz as CTO

State College, PA – August 3, 2011 –


Scott D. Thompson, President and Chief Engineer of Oberon, Inc., announced that R. Douglas Schultz will be joining the company in the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). This Expansion Signals Growing Commitment to New Product Development.

Oberon, Inc., a major manufacturer of secure, convenient, aesthetic enclosures for wireless access points and telecommunications equipment, has experienced steady growth since its opening in 1999.  The company has in recent years expanded its offerings to include wireless antennas, aesthetic and customizable access point skins, adapter doors for the ability to upgrade enclosures for newly developed access points, and most recently the Oberon Home & Office Network Cabinet for organizing a variety of networking and computer equipment.  A Registered Cisco Developer, Aruba Networks Certified, and an Extreme Networks Go Purple Solutions Partner, Oberon is committed to meeting the specific needs of its networking customers. 

Oberon’s new CTO will focus on new product design, implementation and standards compliance, allowing Mr. Thompson to remain focused on customer relations and satisfaction, product and delivery quality, and order fulfillment.

Thompson announced that in his role as CTO, Mr. Schultz will lead the development of new products, bringing new expertise to Oberon as well as an undivided focus to the evolving needs of the networking industry.  He brings over 30 years of experience in the communications and semiconductor industry and is a named inventor on more than 10 granted or pending patents. Schultz received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1981, and has been a member of the College of Engineering Industrial and Professional Advisory Council since 2006.

Schultz most recently served as President and CEO of Indian River Silicon of Melbourne, Florida. Indian River Silicon developed System on Chip solutions for the 802.11 WLAN and Bluetooth markets, using advanced CMOS implementations. 

Prior to Indian River Silicon, he was the Vice President of Engineering at Conexant Systems, Inc. Wireless Networking Group, located in Melbourne, Florida. He was responsible for RF, mixed signal, and digital IC design, hardware development, FW development, and product/test engineering of 802.11 WLAN chipsets.  He also  founded Integrated RF Solutions, Inc. in 1994, and successfully grew that business which resulted in an acquisition by Globespan Viratra in 2003. He has been involved with the 802.11 WLAN market from its inception, and led the development of the first commercially available application specific chipset for this market.

"I am extremely pleased to join Oberon in the role of Chief Technology Officer," stated Schultz.  "Oberon's record of growth is a testament to the company's commitment to providing high-quality networking products to meet evolving industry needs.  We know that demand for wireless networking services is projected to increase exponentially over the next five years, and I look forward to helping our clients thrive in the face of new challenges."

For more information on secure, convenient, and aesthetic wireless access point and telecommunications enclosures, please call 1-877-867-2312 or see the Enclosure Selection Guide at http://oberonwireless.com/selection-guide.php

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

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

 

FTTH Networks Lead the Pack in FCC Survey of Consumer Broadband Speeds

Real-world consumer experience shows that all-fiber broadband services perform better around the clock than those provided over

other access networks

(WASHINGTON) - Fiber to the home (FTTH) networks outpaced cable-based and DSL services in the Federal Communications Commission's first nationwide performance study of residential wireline broadband service in the United States using measurement technology deployed in the consumer's home. 

The report issued today by the FCC, Measuring Broadband America, examines service offerings from 13 of the largest broadband providers using automated, direct measurements of broadband performance delivered to the homes of thousands of volunteer broadband subscribers during March 2011.  The initiative was part of the National Broadband Plan issued by the Commission last year.

The study found that, with regard to peak period download speeds as compared to a 24-hour average, FTTH services delivered virtually peak speeds around the clock, while drop-off in performance during peak usage periods was 5.5 percent for DSL and 7.3 percent for cable-based services.

When comparing advertised download connection speeds of the various services, the study found that, on average, fiber-to-the-home services delivered 114 percent of advertised speeds, compared to 93 percent for cable and 82 percent for DSL.  FTTH services also delivered 112 percent of advertised upload speeds, again outpacing cable and DSL.

Latency, the time it takes for a packet of data to travel from one designated point to another in a network, was far lower in fiber to the home services across all speed tiers.

"This FCC report, which is firmly grounded in the experience of broadband consumers across the country, provides further evidence of what we have been saying for some time - that FTTH networks are superior to other access technologies with regard to delivering fast broadband consistently and reliably," said Dan O'Connell, President of the FTTH Council.  "In the years ahead, only fiber to the home will be able to deliver the level of performance that will be needed for consumers to keep pace with emerging applications and services and the bandwidth they will require."

As of April 2011, all-fiber networks were available to nearly one-fifth of North American households, with more than seven million homes connected to FTTH.

About the Fiber-to-the-Home Council
Now in its tenth 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.  The Council works to create a cohesive group to share knowledge and build industry consensus on key issues surrounding fiber to the home. Its mission is to educate the public and government officials about FTTH solutions and to promote and accelerate deployment of fiber to the home and the resulting quality of life enhancements such networks make possible.  The Council organizes North America's largest annual FTTH event, the FTTH Conference & Expo, which will be held September 26 - 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.   More information about the Council can be found at www.ftthcouncil.org.

 

Attend Fluke Networks XG Tablet World Tour: See Live demo in Orlando or Ft. Lauderdale

Troubleshooting performance problems in today’s networks and data centers is only getting more complex. The growth of 10G links, virtualization, and cloud computing all bring their own analysis challenges. And the last thing you need are hard-to-use tools that are complex in themselves or require extensive training before you can effectively use them.

You’re welcome to attend this free session where we’ll talk about these issues and present a live preview of the new  OptiView® XG Network Analysis Tablet.  XG expedites network and application problem solving by automating root cause analysis and providing guided troubleshooting to address problem areas - anywhere on the network.  New capabilities include:

> 1G/10G Analysis   

> Customizable Dashboards    

> Virtualization Support

> Application Path Analysis   

> NetFlow with 24-hour Trending   

> Performance Health Checks 

> Enhanced Wireless Capabilities

Sign-up today at www.flukenetworks.com/xgtour

Prizes will be given away and every attendee will automatically be entered to win an OptiView XG.  (reply to my email and I will reserve a seat for you and your colleagues)

Orlando, FL -  Thursday, August 11th

Register for : 9am -11am session or 2pm- 4pm session

Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs

350 S Northlake Blvd, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701 Tel: 407-830-1985

Ft. Lauderdale, FL -  Thursday, August 18

Register for : 9am -11am session or 2pm- 4pm session

Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport

400 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, Florida 33004-2124 954-342-8333

www.flukenetworks.com

 

Share your Knowledge. Present at the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference

Help Advance the Information Technology Systems Industry by Becoming a Conference Presenter

BICSI wants you to share your knowledge, ideas and best practices with other professionals in the information technology systems (ITS) industry at the upcoming 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition, being held February 12-16, 2012, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. Whether you are a seasoned public speaker or someone looking to gain more experience, BICSI encourages you to submit your presentation proposal to speak at the Winter Conference.

Approved speakers will gain valuable industry recognition while contributing to the advancement of your profession and providing attendees with information they can immediately put to use in the ITS industry. In addition, all conference presenters will have their registration fee waived for the 2012 Winter Conference!

Click here for more information on what kinds of presentations we are looking for.

To submit your presentation proposal, click here. Don’t delay—the submission deadline is September 16, 2011.

Don’t miss your opportunity to shape the conference program and share your experiences, knowledge and insight about the ITS industry with the conference attendees.

Please feel free to forward this email to a colleague or friend. www.bicsi.org

 

This is a WARNING about a new threat to your business - TOLL FRAUD

In recent years, we seem preoccupied with the battle of the budget. We can’t seem to win. The economy stinks. The smart businesses have learned how to do more with less. However, austere business practices go only so far.

Alas, there is a new threat at our doorsteps. You are at risk of being robbed. However the crook won’t have a gun, and they will probably never get caught. TOLL FRAUD is reaching epidemic levels. As our technology rapidly developed, so did a new kind of criminal.

TOLL FRAUD - HACKING & STACKING

HACKING & STACKING represents a devastatingly effective one – two punch to increase your toll fraud loss to many thousands of dollars.

First the hackers penetrate your system and passwords, then they begin stacking or placing multiple calls simultaneously on the outbound line by multiplexing or using the Three-way calling feature from the carrier. There is virtually no limit on the number of calls placed on a single line in any time period. If your carrier has set your lines up for International calling and three-way calling, your liability could easily exceed $10,000 to $25,000 in a single hour.

Numerous victimized telephone subscribers are reporting that they are being billed for Premium Rate or International telephone calls fraudulently made through their telephone systems.

Virtually all carriers have strong policies and tariff regulations holding the subscriber responsible for the charges. The carriers are forced to pay the carrier at the distant end, resultantly they want you to pay and will back their claim with legal action.

Two Of The Fastest & Better Steps To Protect Yourself From Toll Fraud:

If you don’t need international long distance direct dialing, block the service on your trunk lines. Confirm your order to your carrier in writing. If your order is not in writing, it didn’t happen.

If you don’t need Three – Way Calling on your trunk lines, cancel the feature. Confirm your order to your carrier in writing. If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.

Cut the crooks off from the revenue and they may go look for any easier target. Premium Rate and/or International Long Distance Calls may be the prime targets for the hackers.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

www.wireville.com

4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16

Jacksonville, FL  32257

 

TOLL FRAUD GOES BIG TIME

Toll Fraud Over Hacked Voicemail Systems

Over the past year months the telecom industry has received thousands of reports about increased hacking activity, where customers are reporting that they are being billed for Premium Rate or International telephone calls fraudulently made through their telephone systems.

This PBX Security breach involves hackers accessing your telephone system via system options that eventually permit the hacker to place either Premium Rate or International Calls.

These hackers most often call a business after-hours utilizing some software called a war dialer. This allows them to categorize your telephone lines and decide how best to attack your telephone system. This could be via the use its automated answering system or vulnerable voicemail boxes or unsecured telephone lines (DISA)*.

*DISA (Direct Inward System Access) allows someone calling in from outside the telephone switch (PBX) to obtain an "internal" system dial tone.

Experienced hackers sometimes recognize the equipment they are calling by its prompts and know the equipments default passwords, allowing them access to mailboxes with unchanged passwords (or they will try guessing at simple passwords such as 1234 and 1111).

It is imperative for you to protect yourself against this type of fraud by ensuring your telephone system and voicemail equipment is safeguarded and your employees are educated about password security best practices.

For customers who own their telephone and voicemail systems, you are responsible for the protection of your equipment and are responsible for any toll charges.

Industry Best Practices

* Ensuring your employees change the manufacturers default password immediately upon being assigned a voicemail box and frequently thereafter.

* Programming your voice mail system to require passwords with a minimum of 6 characters (8 is preferred the more complex the password, the more difficult it is to guess)

* Training your employees not to use easily-guessed passwords such as their phone numbers, local number, simple number combinations or patterns.

* When assigning a phone to a new employee, never make the temporary password the employee’s telephone number.

* If possible program your voice mail system to force users to change their password at least every 90 days. If not then introduce a corporate password policy which requires them to do so.

* If possible all forms of automated trunk to trunk (straight through dialing) should be disabled. Straight through dialing allows you to make telephone calls through your mailbox or telephone system when you are at an offsite location. If this feature is used, it is important that you generate and monitor reports to ensure your mailboxes are not being abused.

* Remove all unassigned mailboxes

The above security measures are of a general nature and will not protect every aspect of an individual telephone system you are encouraged to contact either your maintainer or a specialist telecom security company to discuss the unique aspects and vulnerabilities of your telephone equipment in greater detail.

Remember that you are responsible for paying for all calls originating from, and charged calls accepted at, your telephone, regardless of who made or accepted them.

The Firewall Approach

In our opinion this offers the most effective approach to telephone system security;
Deny everything - Allow Nothing - Treat every opened facility as a possible vulnerability.


PROTECT YOUR SYSTEM FROM HACKING

General Rules

PBX

* All DISA lines should be disabled
* Call forward external from end users phones should be restricted
* Redirect of incoming numbers to outside numbers should be restricted
* General Access phones should be limited to calling local numbers only
* Call Barring levels should be assigned correctly for long distance calling
* Access to known high toll fraud areas should be restricted.
* Monitor and track long distance activity using Call Detail Reports

Voice Mail

* Deny inbound calls via Auto Attendant to external numbers.
* Restrict or control Voicemail dialing to pagers and mobiles
* Restrict or control Personal IVRs (dial 2 to transfer to my mobile...etc)
* Restrict or control Voicemail Remote Notification to pagers and mobiles
* If available use remote notification to email to notify of voicemail messages
* End Users forced to change Mailbox access passwords on a regular basis
* End Users password minimum length is set at least to 6 digits or more
* Administration of mailboxes removing any unused mailboxes
* Call Barring should be used to restrict outbound access where possible


All Systems

* Passwords should not be posted or distributed
* Passwords should be changed on a regular basis
* Passwords must be changed from default passwords
* Where possible restrict trunk to trunk (inbound/outbound) call transfers
* Monitor systems using traffic and call detail reports to check calling patterns
* calls to unusual locations
* high call volume
* long call durations
* international and calls to 0990 numbers
* high traffic after business hours

 

EPA Preparing Order DuPont stop selling Imprelis herbicide

"STOP SALE" ORDER BEING PREPARED

The EPA on Wednesday wrote letters to DuPont Chief Executive Ellen Kullman in which it strongly encouraged the company to release thousands of confidential documents on Imprelis' safety and effectiveness.

It also encouraged DuPont to meet with the agency by next Tuesday to discuss a possible halt to Imprelis sales.

The EPA is preparing a "stop sale" order, a person familiar with the matter said. The source requested anonymity because of a lack of authority to speak publicly on the probe.

Wednesday's letters were written by Abraham Ferdas, director of the EPA's land and chemicals division, and posted on the agency's website.  DuPont said it plans to stop selling and recall its widely used Imprelis herbicide after customers and several lawsuits complained that the treatment has killed thousands of trees.

In a statement on Thursday, DuPont said it is in talks with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on "the most effective way to implement our recommendation of a voluntary suspension of sale of DuPont Imprelis herbicide, and a product return and refund program."

It said the talks are intended to "assure full transparency of important scientific data" regarding Imprelis. The EPA conditionally approved Imprelis for sale last October, but DuPont this year began receiving many complaints that the herbicide may be lethal to mature landscape trees. DuPont has since advised customers, including professional landscapers and golf course owners, not to use Imprelis near Norway spruce and white pines.

DuPont, based in Wilmington, Delaware, is one of the world's biggest chemical companies, with $31.51 billion of net sales in 2010.

It has not broken out sales for Imprelis, but its agriculture business, which includes herbicides, typically accounts for nearly one-third of net sales. In recent years, the embattled DuPont has faced numerous challenges to the claims and safety of a variety of their products (i.e. Teflon, Kapton, Benlate, …).

On its own website, DuPont has called Imprelis "the most scientifically advanced turf herbicide in over 40 years," targeting broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, clover, plantains, wild violet and ground ivy. DuPont claimed the product went through more than 400 trials and was approved for use in all U.S. states except California and New York.

 

USPS 4th year of decline in pieces of mail. USA changing the way it communicates... The impact of the Internet is being felt everywhere

The U.S. Postal Service posted a net loss of $3.1 billion in its third quarter and warned again it would default on payments to the federal government if Congress did not step in. Many outside observers see no USPS plans or studies to adjust their operations to adapt to the new communications habits of the market, The FAX machines and Telemarketing were just the beginning of the trend. This raises the question: “Who’s in charge?”.

Total mail volume for the quarter that ended June 30 fell to 39.8 billion pieces, a 2.6 percent drop from the same period a year earlier, as consumers turn to email and pay bills online.

The mail carrier, which does not get taxpayer funds, has struggled to overhaul its business as mail volumes fall. It has said personnel costs weigh heavily and is facing a massive retiree health benefit prepayment next month.

"We are experiencing a severe cash crisis and are unable to continue to maintain the aggressive prepayment schedule," Joseph Corbett, the agency's chief financial officer, said in a statement.

"Without changes in the law, the Postal Service will be unable to make the $5.5 billion mandated prepayment due in September."

Congress, which last week ended a vitriolic debate about the U.S. government's debt levels and budget deficit, is now in recess until early September.

USPS cut work hours during the quarter by 3.1 percent compared to the previous year, when quarterly net losses were $3.5 billion.

The Postal Service said it lost $5.7 billion during the nine-month period ended June 30, compared to $5.4 billion in the same period of 2010.

In its fourth straight year of declines, the agency had a net loss of $8.5 billion for the 2010 fiscal year.

Despite the overall losses, USPS said shipping and standard mail saw growth in the third quarter, with revenues up 7.3 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. Packaging services revenue rose 3.2 percent.

Postal officials have called for Congress to change the way USPS operates, saying it needs more flexibility to close failing post offices, cut Saturday delivery and raise rates.

The agency is studying about 3,700 of its 32,000 post offices, stations and branches for possible closure. Officials plan to replace post offices by contracting with private retailers to sell stamps, offer shipping and provide other postal services. USPS appears to be studying the symptoms instead of the cause. Many organizations are making big changes. Look at YELLOW PAGES.com

 

Communication Planning Corporation (CPC) and ShoreTel Telephone Systems

According to independent research and based upon extensive interviews with thousands of actual users, for the seventh consecutive year, ShoreTel has been the leading provider of VoIP telephone systems.

ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple Unified Communications (UC) solutions platform is based on its award-winning IP business phone system. With ShoreTel’s Unified Communications solution, enterprises trade complexity for plug-and-play simplicity in integrated voice, video, data, and mobile communication.

ShoreTel delivers an award-winning UC telephone system that is purpose-built for IP, and designed to be as easy to manage and scale across sites and geographies as it is to deploy and use. End users easily master the built-in unified communications tools; at the touch of a button, the intuitive desktop application turns voice calls into multimedia collaboration sessions. The solution's open ecosystem and unique distributed architecture means it fits right in with existing infrastructure, and works seamlessly with business applications and processes.

Along with its low total cost of ownership, a ShoreTel UC system helps organizations leverage their most valuable assets: people and information.

Whether they are using ShoreTel Telephone Systems to replace old phone systems, to upgrade to unified communications, or to modernize their contact centers, organizations worldwide consistently give ShoreTel the highest ratings for customer satisfaction. 

Choose ShoreTel’s brilliant simplicity and CPC’s expertise!

  • CPC was the first ShoreTel Telephone Systems Partner in the North Florida area to be designated as a ShoreTel Certified Partner
  • CPC includes extensive ShoreTel system training for end users and administrators
  • CPC offers unparalleled outstanding ShoreTel system on-going support

More information on ShoreTel:

  • Nemertes Research recognizes ShoreTel as the Best IP Solution for the seventh consecutive year
  • Why choose ShoreTel Telephone Systems
  • ShoreTel’s lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Guarantee
  • ShoreTel’s reliability = 99.999% availability for 100% peace of mind

Would you like a copy of any of these reports or documents?
Contact Mike Shannahan mike@communicationplanning.com and we will send you a PDF or hard copy.

Nemertes 2010 PilotHouse Awards Overall Ratings

IP Telephony

Learn more about ShoreTel's brilliantly simple solution and how we are helping organizations of all sizes beat complexity, boost productivity and achieve a low total cost of ownership.  

 Why Choose ShoreTel

ShoreTel designed and built its business communication solution for the IP age. This presents a number of key advantages for forward-thinking organizations.

ShoreTel’s solution is brilliantly simple to install, manage, use and scale
Avoid complex and resource-heavy IP-enabled solutions. Built from the ground up for reliable IP communications, ShoreTel deploys, scales, and grows with ease. End users love its flexibility and ease of use.

ShoreTel offers an all-in-one solution
One seamless environment lets you upgrade to an IP telephone system, tap into the power of unified communications, or modernize your contact center — or all three — quickly and affordably.

ShoreTel is great for organizations of all sizes
The ShoreTel Telephone System solution comes in one size. Yours. Thanks to an ingenious purpose-built IP architecture, the system looks and behaves like a single, unified platform and is easily expanded across as many sites, or even countries, as needed

ShoreTel boosts productivity while reducing costs.
ShoreTel’s powerful total cost of ownership analysis tool can show you how switching to a ShoreTel UC solution not only tends to cost less than keeping an existing one, but why many customers find that their ShoreTel solution pays for itself within a year. Powerful IP technology puts modern collaboration tools in the hands of workers, whether mobile or in the office

ShoreTel is obsessively focused on customer satisfaction

You can count on ShoreTel and Communication Planning Corporation's total commitment to customer satisfaction whenever you need it. Both independent surveys and carefully monitored feedback from customers agree: our obsession for customer satisfaction continues to set the industry standard for customer care.

In the latest Nemertes study, businesses recently rated ShoreTel the #1 overall VoIP solution for the seventh year running.

To find out how a ShoreTel UC Telephone Systems can benefit your organization, Contact Mike Shannahan mike@communicationplanning.com

Communication Planning Corporation (since 1980)

4949 Sunbeam Rd. Suite 16

Jacksonville, FL 32257

Tel (904) 645-9077

 

Nuclear Power? A BIG Question

By Edward Brown - The Writing Engineer

The question

Given the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, can we say that it’s still safe enough to rely on nuclear power as a major source of our electricity supply in this country? No matter what the “experts” say, especially those who are employed by the industry, I don’t think anyone really knows. The way I look at it, any system – bar none – can fail under the “right” circumstances, so the question should be: what would be the outcome of a failure. The failure of a nuclear power plant can cause catastrophic damage. Given that thought, I think that the more important question is: what, if anything, can be done to reduce our need for nuclear power?

Each of the technologies now being used for generating most of our electrical power has significant drawbacks. Roughly 45% of U.S. electric energy resources are coal-fired plants, 24% natural gas and 20% nuclear. Six percent of our supply is from conventional hydroelectric and 4% from other renewable sources. (http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.html). 

“Coal is the single biggest air polluter in the U.S.” says the Union of Concerned Scientists (www.ucsusa.org). It is a major cause of the acid rain, which is responsible for widespread damage to animal and plant life. In addition to causing serious air pollution, if the waste sludge and coal ash, which are byproducts of the process, are not properly contained, they can contaminate drinking water supplies. In December of 2008, in Kingston Tennessee, a dam failed, causing about 300 million gallons of sludge and water waste from the coal-fired generating plant there to spill into the countryside and into the nearby Emory River. According to the New York Times article of December 25, 2008 by Shaila Dewan (www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/us/25sludge.html), the coal ash in the sludge contains heavy metals like arsenic, lead and selenium, which can cause cancer and neurological problems.

Natural gas

Natural gas is far less polluting than coal but it has the highest operating costs. An advantage to gas fired plants is that they can be taken on and off line quickly. For these two reasons, gas-fired plants are mainly used for peaking to provide for temporary increases in load, particularly in the summer, so they are idle most of the time.

A serious problem with gas is that a large part of our gas supply is submerged in underground shale deposits and is harvested by a process called hydraulic fracturing (fracking), in which a typical well requires 2 to 4 million gallons of water plus small amounts of up to 200 different chemicals, some of which are toxic. There have been serious cases around the country of pollution of drinking water due to this process. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempted hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, so any regulation that does occur varies from state to state, and in most states it is not very effective. Unless the Federal Government enacts uniform standards and effective enforcement, the advantages of using natural gas for electricity generation will be far outweighed by the dangers of its production. 

Nuclear

Which brings me back to the question of whether the answer to our electricity supply problems is nuclear energy, which has the largest danger of all – but only if a plant fails. What are the acceptable odds against an accident? I don’t think that question alone is sufficient; you have to ask what are the possible consequences of a failure. No matter how unlikely it is, a nuclear failure can cause a great deal of damage.  The way I look at it, I wouldn’t jump into an uncharted lake even if my chances of drowning were only 1%.

The answer

To my mind the answer to the question is that we should do everything possible to make the question irrelevant. This means building a national infrastructure that will support the generation and distribution of nonpolluting renewable energy sources. The Government should provide monetary incentives for manufacturers to produce wind turbines, concentrating solar plants, photovoltaics, hydro, bioenergy, geothermal and landfill gas. In order for these energy sources to make economic sense, we will have to expand and upgrade the national power grid and build it into a truly smart, grid.

The first Question to look at is whether we will have to build new nuclear reactors or coal-fired plants beyond those that are already in the works in order to meet the projected demand for electricity over the next 20 years. The Union of Concerned Scientists did a major study, summarized in a peer-reviewed report titled “Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy. (http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/big_picture_solutions/climate-2030-blueprint.html).  This report shows the way this can be achieved – and then some. It found that not only could our electricity needs be met, but power plant carbon emissions could be reduced 84% by significantly improving energy efficiency in buildings and industry and increasing our reliance on clean, renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and bioenergy. The Blueprint calculates that these strategies would be less expensive than building nuclear reactors. It also predicts that this could reduce energy bills by an average of $900 per household and result in a national cumulative savings of $1.7 billion. They assert that we do not need coal and nuclear to supply a steady baseload. By using variable renewable sources such as wind and solar plus natural gas, hydropower and energy storage; supply and demand could rapidly be matched. Actual installations in Texas and Europe have demonstrated that a reliable grid can operate with up to 25% of energy from wind and solar. “These scenarios do require new investments in the transmission system, and more efficient and flexible operation of the grid, but they do not require any technical breakthroughs.” (http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/solutions/big_picture_solutions/do-we-need-coal-and-nuclear-power.html)

All of this will require the political will to achieve these national goals. That will require more of the American people to understand the dangers of not moving in this direction and the great long-run advantages if we do.

Ed Brown - Director
The WRITING ENGINEER
A leading independent professional writing service

WRITING, RESEARCH, EDITING
TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

16 W.16th Street 5CS
New York, NY 10011

www.writingengineer.com

tel:   212-924-0023

fax:  212-924-9599
cell: 917-743-9499
ebeditor@writingengineer.com

 

ECMAG.com - The latest gathering of the definitive word on LED lighting

These articles are a valuable collection of “what’s now - what’s new - & what’s coming.”

www.ecmag.com

Featured Articles

·                     LEDs: Promise and Progress

Lighting evolves based on need. Incandescent made way for brighter fluorescent. Fluorescent made room for solid-state lighting (SSL). The next big idea may be light-emitting diodes (LEDs). While they are an SSL source, LEDs are new to general lighting applications. They are advancing rapidly, while being both commercially available and, in development, as robust research and development ramps up for this lighting source.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     LED History 101

"LED" is often used in casual converstion, and most people think they know what these initials stand for. Actally, most people don’t.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     2011: The Year of the LED?

Any given year has its predictions. If you’re reading this article, the world as we knew/know it didn’t end on May 21—one of the most publicized predictions for 2011. In Chicago, Cubs fans may yet again be asserting that next year will be the year their team goes all the way. In the lighting industry, however, another long-predicted milestone, the year LEDs finally take off, actually may have arrived.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     LEDs: Their Future is (Really) Bright!

Debate continues about whether LEDs have the output in lumens, the color consistency and the price point to replace traditional incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lamps in high brightness and general illumination applications. Is it finally time to end the discussion? Well, the numbers don’t lie. According to Attardi Marketing, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for high-brightness LED component sales for lighting from 2010 through 2015 is forecast to be 39 percent. In addition, The Bedford Report research firm states that LEDs are on the verge of overtaking both incandescent and fluorescent lamps, in terms of use, as governments, businesses and consumers seek to curb carbon emissions.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     Control Tweaks

The many advantages of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for general illumination have outweighed their limitations, except when it comes to dimming. Though they have not been without challenges in the area of controls, new solid-state lighting standards and expanded retrofit dimming capabilities are designed to position LEDs for greater compatibility as incandescent technologies phase out of existence.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     Quality Assurance

The LED revolution continues to promise many lighting benefits, such as compact size, energy efficiency, long service life with long mean time between failures, no mercury disposal, a resistance to shock and vibration, and no radiated heat or UV output. However, combine high demand for this hot, young technology with rapid product proliferation, continuing emergence of critical standards, and relative lack of industry education and experience, and many installations are failing user expectations.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     The Value Proposition

It’s not often that an electrical contractor has the opportunity to sell a product line that saves a customer time, money and energy; promotes green sustainability; and reduces the load on the nation’s power grid. But that’s what industry observers say LED lighting sources can do.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     Part of the Solution

Lighting fixtures are built around a given light source. In the case of LEDs, this task is more complex because LEDs are sensitive to heat and require special means to transfer it away. Additionally, the supporting optics and components are more sophisticated than simply wiring a socket to a ballast. As a result, high-performing LED fixtures are typically highly engineered lighting devices.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     The End of the Incandescent Era

Light-emitting diode (LED) technology enables the lighting industry to reimagine the lighting fixture in bold new ways. Another approach is to design replacement sources for existing conventional fixtures as a way to save energy and gain other potential benefits, including long service life, long mean time between failures, reliable operation in colder temperatures, and resistance to vibration. These general-service lamp replacements are typically integrated products, similar to self-ballasted compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     Virtual Power Plants

“VPP” is the latest electricity-system-of-the-future phrase in the expanding smart-grid lexicon. Virtual power plants (VPP) are the latest concept promising to improve distribution-system reliability and, possibly, to limit the need for new peak-period generating capacity, enabled by improved communications and response technologies.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     Control System Platforms Unplugged

Do your customers prefer a traditional or converged approach to their building automation infrastructure? Does your toolkit include an understanding of standards-based wireless platforms? Is interoperability a growing part of your vocabulary? In a sensor-driven, digitally connected world, answers to these and similar questions will define an electrical contractor’s (EC) assets in the commercial building controls arena.http://www.ecmag.com/images/template/orange_bullet_sm.png

·                     NYC’s Twin Power

Five years after completing the 500-megawatt (MW) Astoria Energy natural gas combined-cycle power plant in Queens, N.Y., E-J Electric Installation Co. of Long Island City, N.Y., is at work on its twin—Astoria Energy Phase II—helping usher in New York’s cleanest, most efficient power plant.


REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE

   
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