2005 was the meanest "mean season" on record with more storms and more powerful hurricanes than ever recorded. The devastation left in their wake boggles the imagination.
The forecasters predict a strong potential for another terrible season of storms in 2006. We must not be unprepared to meet the challenge of handling these storms of the future. There are some things that we should do to get ready.
Planning is crucial.
Inventory and Evaluation
Start with an inventory of your current situation and an evaluation of your existing disaster/emergency plan. While you are taking stock of your situation, you may find numerous "must do" items to add to your list.
- Firestops not installed
- Worn or improperly installed datacom jacks
- Bad or poor performance patch cords
- Patch panels in disarray
- Cable management unmanaged
- Abandoned cable unmarked or unusable for future service
- Support hardware poorly located or insufficient to handle the needs
- Grounding and bonding nonfunctional
- Battery backup and ups out of date or not working
- In line surge protection non-existent
- Labeling and documentation inadequate
- Testing records and performance data incomplete
- Inventory of facilities and functional capabilities for growth not available
- Future requirements not defined
- Data backup systems and records not current and not off site
When it comes to the communications infrastructure, many IT & Telecom managers don't have a really good grip on this critical area of their operations. Maybe it is because the most attention getting and most expensive problems are associated with software application and hardware failures. Maybe it is because the lifecycle of the infrastructure is two to three times that of hardware and software. Maybe it is because no one ever tracks the infrastructure cost for growth and maintenance and few managers have anything to compare it to. No matter why, unfortunately the problem areas listed above are common and degrade the efficiency and increase costs for an organization far more than one would think.
It is important to put values into perspective. In 2000, we purchased a personal computer with a 1 GHz CPU, 500 MB RAM, 40 Gb HDD and a CD ROM/DVD, keyboard, mouse, monitor, and printer for $2200. The Office Depot advertisement on the "Day After Thanksgiving Sale" (2005) offered the same PC package (with 2.8 GHz CPU) for $99.
While the personal computer workstations have become a commodity and prices have crashed, the same does not hold true for the cabling infrastructure. The cabling prices are up and the network speed demands are still increasing. Change outs and upgrades are on the horizon. We should readjust our thinking to the changing values.
The BIG bucks are in the DATA. However, if you take the hardware by itself, the datacom distribution system (cabling, connectors, racks, trays, support gear, etc…) may tip the scales on costs. When it comes to replacement costs (not including the actual DATA) the distribution system is the big ticket. The distributors and manufacturers have been trying to get this message out for the past several years, but it is a hard pill to swallow when we still think of the computer as the KING in the IT world.
If we twist the hands of time back 20 years and add up the dollars that we have poured into the cabling systems and computers (plus software) we should be smiling as we discover it was a good investment. The technology has made a wonderful impact on every facet of the public and private sector of our society.
Connections are all about the way we can communicate and use the information as an everyday commodity for any aspect of our lives. Universal Cabling systems grew up and now we are connected to a host of dazzling new UNIVERSAL INFORMATION systems (everything from private databases to the Internet).
The umbilical cord (cabling) to this dazzling technology and universal information is more important than we may have ever imagined.
You can maximize the upcoming opportunities in the world of cabling, if you have the right training. Recently, we found a new set of great training values from an old reliable source. Check out the array of top notch training packages available from Steve Paulov's Cabling America (www.cablingamerica.com) Cabling America - Team 2000 has put together a comprehensive program that provided the information you need, and also offers you a chance to learn from your home or office. The possibilities are impressive and the prices are very affordable. If you don't check out this training package you could be missing the best bet for 2006.
But that's just my opinion.
"Heard On The Street" column
Note our NEW Address
Communication Planning Corporation
4949 Sunbeam Road, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Graybar VIP Design Online Is A Success
The First Web-based Multi-Vendor Structured Cabling Design and Budgeting Tool has met with a big approval for consultants, contractors and designers that signed up for this program.
The Tool was anticipated to provide a 25 percent or greater increase in productivity with fewer errors. Actually, we are getting feedback that the program has delivered MORE than was expected. The savings of manpower and increased accuracy in the project designs have been stunning. We'll bring you more information on this in the next issue.
In September 2005, Graybar, a leading North American distributor of electrical and telecommunications service solutions and products and related supply chain management and logistics services, announced a 60-day free trial of the first multi-vendor Web-based design and budgeting tool for complex structured cabling projects - Graybar VIP Design Online.
The free trial was valued at more than $150 dollars. A one-year subscription to Design Online is $1,000, which is rebated with the specification or purchase of two Graybar Verified Independently for Performance (VIP) structured cabling projects during the 12-month subscription. For more information, visit http://www.graybar.com/DesignOnline/default.htm.
"We wanted to give structured cabling designers the opportunity to test-drive Design Online and experience its power firsthand," said Bob Weiland, national market manager - commercial market, Graybar. "Once they start using this tool, we believe they'll see the advantages of working this way instead of using their traditional design and budgeting methodology, which probably includes copying and pasting data into spreadsheets. Design Online eliminates this tedious process, saving valuable time while significantly reducing the potential for mistakes."
Design Online's simple point-and-click interface provides users with the ability to save an estimated 25 percent, if not more, on the time it takes to design, configure and budget structured cabling projects while reducing errors. For the first time within a Web-based design and budgeting tool, users have access to a centralized repository of more than 8,000 data communications products and their prices. Included in the database are 15 interoperable cabling and connectivity product lines proven to exceed industry standards by the Graybar VIP testing program. Users have the ability to manage multiple projects through the interface.
Users estimate saving 25 percent or more on design time by:
1) Reducing the time-to-assemble material lists for a complex project by using ready-made templates and by eliminating the tedious clerical work of copying and pasting data into spreadsheets;
2) Decreasing configuration errors with built-in configuration rules;
3) Eliminating tedious phone, e-mail and fax communication by automatically generating budgets; and
4) Generating a robust, fully configured product graphic "on the fly" to give customers early visibility of a design.
Hats off to Graybar for bringing in another winner for their customers. http://www.graybar.com/vip/default.html
OptiView(tm) Series II Integrated Network Analyzer Now Offers a VoIP Option To Help Network Engineers Maintain High-Quality Phone Service
New Layer 3 switch support, throughput option, increased device discovery, and additional VLAN support also provide increased vision into today's network performance
Fluke Networks announced t that its OptiView(tm) Series II Integrated Network Analyzer now offers a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) option that allows network managers to analyze VoIP activity on their network, determine call quality and view individual call channel details. This delivers fast identification, isolation and repair of call quality issues.
VoIP is a rapidly growing communications alternative, with more than 70% of organizations already using the technology in some capacity. To ensure the cost savings and productivity enhancements VoIP can provide, organizations must be able to monitor availability and Quality of Service (QoS) on an ongoing basis and quickly resolve any problems that arise. The new VoIP option available with OptiView Series II Integrated Network Analyzer does this by capturing voice packets and applying advanced algorithms to grade voice quality. This enables organizations to monitor QoS without the need to perform detailed decoding.
"Deploying VoIP presents organizations with new and difficult challenges that, if not managed properly, can lead to user complaints and frustration," says Dave Skingley, Fluke Networks Marketing Manager for the OptiView Series of Integrated Network Analyzers. "The Integrated Network Analyzer, a member of Fluke Networks' award-winning family of Network SuperVision(tm) solutions, helps organizations meet these challenges. It enables users to quickly capture VoIP traffic, and gives them the information they need to rapidly identify the cause of problems and resolve them. Often this can be done before customers notice a problem on their phone."
The OptiView Integrated Network Analyzer combines a wide range of network monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities in a single, powerful portable package. The unit offers seven layer protocol analysis, active discovery, SNMP device analysis, RMON2 traffic analysis and physical layer testing. The Integrated Network Analyzer provides quick network visibility needed to resolve today's complicated problems faster and with less frustration.
The new release also includes other features that address emerging market needs. Support for Layer 3 switched networks simplifies identification of hosts connected to L3 switch ports. This saves time and reduces frustration during critical network slow downs by knowing where devices are connected.
The new Internet Throughput Option checks the capacity of WAN links, allowing customers to verify that they are receiving the WAN capacity they paid for. Additional VLAN support and increased device discovery capabilities give users the network visibility needed to resolve complex network problems faster and smarter
Price and Delivery
The OptiView Integrated Network Analyzer is available for immediate delivery through Fluke Networks sales channels worldwide, with suggested U.S. list pricing starting at $13,000 and varying by configuration. The VoIP analysis option, Internet Throughput Option, VLAN Vision and other options are also available with U.S. list prices of $3500, $595 and $2995 respectively. www.flukenetworks.com
Training is Mike Holt's Middle Name
Mike Holt's training programs are a premium value. We have talked to many of his clients that confirm this offering is one of the best dollars they ever spent. If you want to gain that special skill set to gain the edge in today's competitive market, you have to checkout this package.
Grounding and bonding problems are at epidemic levels. Surveys repeatedly show a high percentage of power quality problems are due to poor grounding and bonding. Electrical theory has been applied to this difficult to understand Article, making it easier for students to grasp the concepts of grounding and bonding. Additionally, Mike has color coded the graphics so you can easily differentiate between grounding and bonding. For a limited time, you can order the Entire Grounding versus Bonding Library including the textbook, 2 videos, MP3 Audio CD and the Online Program for this great price. You save over $200! www.mikeholt.com
Knowledge and the practical application of the National Electrical Code® is an essential part of all electrical installations. If it's important for you to understand the National Electrical Code®, then look no further. The many NEC® resources available Free on this site include a Code Forum where you get your questions answered an E-Newsletter that keeps you informed on important industry issues lots of Free Stuff such as spreadsheets, as well as a great NEC® Quiz. In addition, the site contains lots of information about important Technical subjects, and Exam Preparation information including Free Online Testing for both the 1999 and 2002 NEC®.
Remember: Safety is too important to ignore.
US LEC INTRODUCES MPLS VPN WIDE-AREA NETWORKING
US LEC Corp. (Nasdaq: CLEC), a telecommunications carrier serving businesses and enterprise organizations throughout the Eastern United States, today announced the launch of MPLS VPN WAN (Multi Protocol Label Switching Virtual Private Network Wide Area Network). This new service expands the carrier's ability to connect multiple customer locations throughout its 16-state footprint with IP-based voice and data services, all on a single network.
"Business customers are already using this new US LEC solution to connect multiple locations over a broad geographic area through a reliable, cost-efficient network that meets a diverse range of requirements," said Jeff Blackey, senior vice president of marketing and business development for US LEC.
US LEC launched MPLS VPN service in April 2005 with Metro-Area Networking (MAN) capability, allowing business customers to connect locations within a local metro area. The addition of Wide-Area Networking allows companies to connect locations within US LEC's entire 16-state footprint. The new service is currently available in Atlanta, Fort Myers, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Miami, Orlando, Fla., Philadelphia, Richmond, Va., Tampa, Fla., West Palm Beach, Fla., and Washington, D.C. The entire US LEC region will be MPLS VPN WAN-enabled in the first quarter of 2006.
Some legacy network applications require that separate lines be devoted to individual voice or data applications. By utilizing US LEC's MPLS VPN WAN service, business customers can streamline their telecommunications program by placing all applications on a single network. The US LEC solution is IP-based and delivers all applications, including legacy voice and data services, while offering Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees that ensure critical traffic such as voice, video and CRM applications will receive priority queuing and delivery; as prioritized traffic decreases, other traffic travels over available bandwidth, ensuring the full use of the bandwidth investment.
Additionally, through the network convergence MPLS VPN WAN provides, businesses are able to operate more securely by utilizing the fully-meshed US LEC network, offering greater connectivity without the need for a central hub location. This allows customer locations to exchange traffic seamlessly should one or more locations experience any downtime.
"US LEC offers this scalable MPLS VPN WAN solution so customers only buy the bandwidth they need, reducing unnecessary costs," said Blackey. "This allows business customers to intelligently deploy flexible technology that's suitable for all facets of their present and future network needs, from fractional T1 speeds to DS3 and onto Ethernet Local Loops."
MPLS technology is an IP-based virtual private network that supports emerging IP applications such as inter-office Voice over IP (VoIP) as well as legacy private data networking applications. The VPN voice and data service is transported over US LEC's IP/MPLS backbone, providing security levels consistent with traditional ATM and frame relay services. MPLS VPN WAN supports both legacy applications and next-generation IP-based services by providing multiple Classes of Service that can accommodate a variety of different technology needs. www.uslec.com
Data Loss... Not IF, But WHEN...
We have a couple of questions for the I.T. Directors of the world...
If your company's data records were destroyed (customer account records, billing, payroll information), what would you do?
If your data was lost and your company was unable to re-create the records, would it cripple your business and for how long? How much would this loss cost your company?
For the CEO's of the world...
Would your company be out of business or seriously effected if you were unable to send a bill to your customers, or if you were unable to determine your customer base, or unable to provide payroll records to the IRS?
Would you sleep easier at night if you knew that your company's critical data was redundantly backed up, offsite, each and every day, and seven days a week?
How would you view a data backup solution that was completely outsourced, freeing up your self/staff to focus on other more strategic activities?
What is your plan for dealing with a complete physical failure of your key company server(s)?
Would a disaster/hacker solution (that allows you to be up and running on new hardware in a single day) be a plan you would appreciate?
The recent hurricane disasters have shown us that many of the traditional data backup systems were compromised when Mother Nature took control.
However, there are many other data disaster dangers lurking out there. Hackers or rogue employee behavior are just a few of the other dangers.
External Data Backup Service is an Alternative
There are numerous methodologies to employ an external backup service.
For example, here is one of the choices that we examined; US LEC's data backup solution is a professionally Managed Data Backup service with professional tools and options that support single or multiple servers with multiple operating systems. US LEC stores two backup copies of critical server data in two geographically diverse, carrier class data centers.
Customer server data is backed up each day compressed and encrypted over the US LEC data network and transmitted over the US LEC IP backbone with point-and-click data restoration for any file or database. If you have a complete failure or natural disaster, mobile data vaults are available for complete restoration of large volumes, or to alternate locations.
US LEC has on-site support for a wide variety of data bases & file level applications, including:
Fully managed install and monitoring
Off-site redundant storage without a courier
Magnetic disk storage, not magnetic tape
Support for multiple Database and OS systems
Ability to restore data on-demand 24 x 7
Ability to restore data to an alternate location by Internet connection or via Mobile Data Vault
What causes data loss?
There are a variety of reasons data can be lost ranging from the ever-prevalent natural disasters such as hurricanes or flooding to the very simple issues of a water main break or cup of coffee getting spilled on the equipment. Research shows the following percentages:
Human error - 30%
Hardware failure - 42%
Hardware destruction - 3%
Theft - 5%
PC Viruses - 7% *
Software corruption - 13%
*Recent studies indicate that there are an increasing percentage of viruses that are destroying sensitive data. With the increasing number of on-line software programs that companies are moving towards this number will continue to become detrimental to those who are not prepared. The term "data loss" is perhaps too polite. "Data destruction" is more accurate.
Why Outsource Data backup?
The simple answer to that question is to make sure it happens. Your daily data backups should be automated and off site, which means no need for couriers or tape rotations. With this service you are not dependant upon employees, and there are redundant copies of data in multiple data centers. Your data is also available to you on demand any time you want it and is not stored on tapes, but on magnetic disks which have proven themselves much more reliable.
Data Back up has to be there, outsourcing lowers the risk. Here are some of the other key features:
All customer data is compressed and encrypted
Redundant magnetic disk storage in two data centers
All data stored on Magnetic Disks - NOT TAPE
Data on magnetic disk is always available
Tapes need to be loaded and read to find a particular file or data set where magnetic disks allow you to see exactly what files you need
All data copied to a 2nd vault in a 2nd data center 24 hours after initial backup
After the initial back up, only changes are backed up each night which lowers the bandwidth needs and reduces the volume of stored data
Back up interruptions are detected and the software Agent will retry until back up window is over
Any data not back up in a window is "deferred" to the next window
Customer can start an immediate on line restoration 24 x 7 x 365
Provides a history of back ups, including success and failure, volume of data, and timing of back up by server
Allows customer to point-and-click to start a data restoration
Provides a single view of all back ups of all a customer's servers
Restoration can be to any server that has US LEC agent software installed on it
Customer can call US LEC NOC 24 x 7 to have a Mobile Data Vault sent the same day by Fed Ex
On line or Mobile Data Vault restoration can be provided to the same or a new customer location
We're back to our original premise, "Data Loss… Not IF, But WHEN..."
No one can predict the future and nobody knows what type of data disasters are ahead.
NoLA SERVER DATA RESTORED & CUSTOMER IS OPERATIONAL
Hurricane Katrina Smashes U S Gulf Coast
Customer Namasco, an Atlanta Customer
Service US LEC Data Back up & Restoration, 20 GB
Namasco purchased Data Back up for their three servers in Atlanta GA, New Orleans LA and Austin TX.
On Tuesday 8-30-2005 the US LEC Data Fulfillment team contacted the customer to report a failed back up; US LEC did not get a reply from Namasco (for obvious reasons)
On Thursday Namasco contacted the US LEC Data Fulfillment to thank them for the follow up and to let them know that they had rebuilt a new server at another location, restored all the data to the server and were operational, without US LEC having to be directly involved, though they were obviously ready if needed!
A few extra points:
* It did not have to be a storm, data loss could have been spilled coffee on a server
* If the customer had used tapes, those tapes would still be in NoLA, and unreachable
* Even "off site" tapes would have been in NoLA across town, but still unreachable
* On-line data restoration is a significant selling point, make sure to talk about it
Readers = Plain & simple, this is real Business protection.
Superior Modular Products Announces Copper Product Line Up To Be Highlighted at BICSI Orlando 2006
As most people in the data/communications industry know, the BICSI Winter show in Orlando is the place to be. It is the place to meet old friends and network with new ones.
Last January at BICSI 2005, Superior Modular Products and Hitachi exhibited new products and provided the attendees with valuable information. This year is no exception; visit their booth #718 to see the latest products. Be sure and check out the new environmentally friendly cables from HCM Hitachi. It is all RoHS.
Superior Modular Products, an ISO certified manufacturer of high-speed cross-connect products, has an impressive family of connectors from their Copper product line.
From SMP's A5E and Axcess 6 product lines, a collection of improved and redesigned products will be shown. The improved items set include a Wall Mount Cat 5e and Cat 6 Patch Panel redesigned to incorporate new A/B module and an easily removable cover, as well as the DCC24B/GBASET21 Gigabit Telco panel, which now offers a steel plate cover over the back of the panel for increased security on installed patch panels. Two new products will also be released from the A5E and Axcess 6 product lines, including a new Shielded Jack Pack, ZDIM8625BS, a 6-jack/Gigabit Telco module shielded to prevent EMI/RFI interference, and a new Hinged Bezel, BE08SXX designed to maintain clean secure connections for any UMJ style jack. This eight-position bezel features a hinged cover, which protects a RJ-11 or RJ-45 jack from dust and contaminants as well as provides easy consumer access. SMP will also be highlighting its shielded and unshielded cable assemblies available for several applications.
Check out the latest and greatest at the BICSI Winter Tradeshow in Orlando, Florida - Superior Modular Products Booth, #718.
TRIA Extension Takes Huge Step Forward
Legislation to extend and modify the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA) was approved yesterday afternoon by the Senate Banking and the House Financial Services Committees. Now it's on to the floor for a vote by the full House and Senate. We expect to see action in the Senate this week, with the House planning to take up the bill after Thanksgiving.
While there are differences in the two bills (S. 467, H.R. 4314), we do not believe that they are insurmountable. Treasury Secretary John Snow has already expressed support for the Senate version, which is believed to promote greater reliance on the private sector as opposed to taxpayers, which is proposed in the House counterpart.
Key features of S. 467 and H.R. 4314:
Both bills would increase the trigger level (size of qualifying event) for government involvement from $5 million to $50 million in 2006 and $100 million in 2007. The Administration was hoping for a trigger level of $500 million. Both bills would increase insurer deductibles. The House bill sets separate deductibles on each type of risk insured. Both bills include coverage for workers compensation, property and casualty, and general liability insurance. The House bill also includes coverage for group life insurance, but the Senate bill does not.
Without all the hard work from BOMA International members - letters, e-mails, phone calls and personal visits to members of Congress and the Administration - this would not have happened. We'll keep you posted on the progress of this key legislation.
Dave Hewett, RPA, CPM, CCIM, FMA, CFM
BOMA International Chairman
Eric T. Jenison Installed As 2006 NEBB President
Eric Jenison of Total Dynamic Balance, Inc. located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, was elected President of the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) at the NEBB Annual Meeting held at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio hotel in San Antonio, Texas, November 3-5, 2005.
The National Environmental Balancing Bureau is a nonprofit organization founded in 1971 by contractors in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. NEBB establishes and maintains industry standards, procedures, and specifications for work in its various disciplines, which includes Testing-Adjusting-Balancing of Air and Hydronic Systems, Sound and Vibration Measurement, Cleanroom Performance Testing, and Building Systems Commissioning.
Eric Jenison obtained NEBB-qualified status in 1987 and has over 25 years of experience in Testing-Adjusting-Balancing (TAB) and TAB related fields. He is the President and CEO of Total Dynamic Balance, Inc., a firm with which specializes in TAB and commissioning services.
He has been a member of the NEBB Board of Directors since 2000 and has served on several NEBB national committees. During his tenure as Chairman of the NEBB Marketing Committee, Mr. Jenison was instrumental in initiating the NEBB Distinguished Service Award, Past Presidents Pin, and the 25-Year Qualified Supervisor Service Recognition Program. While a member of the NEBB Testing and Balancing Committee, Mr. Jenison was an active participant and contributor to the development of the 7th Edition (2005) NEBB Procedural Standards for Testing Adjusting Balancing of Environmental Systems.
He is a member of the Florida Environmental Balancing Bureau (FEBB) Board of Directors, and served as local chapter President from 1994 to 1996.
Mr. Jenison is a member of ASHRAE and served as an ASHRAE local chapter President. During his term as local President, the chapter received numerous regional and national awards. In addition, Mr. Jenison received the ASHRAE William J. Collins Research Promotion Award for his personal contributions to ASHRAE outside of his local chapter duties. He also serves on several local government committees.
Other NEBB Officers for 2006 are President-Elect John G. (Jack) Cappell (Comfort Control, Inc., Beltsville, Maryland) Vice President Clyde H. Porter, Jr. (Porter Testing Services, Gadsden, Alabama) and Treasurer Gerald T. Bauers (Sebesta Blomberg, Roseville, MN). http://www.nebb.org
GRIDWISE ARCHITECTURE COUNCIL ANNOUNCES KEYNOTE SPEAKERS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
The GridWise™ Architecture Council (GWAC), a collaborative effort among an extensive scope of industry stakeholders with an interest in the technological advancement of the electric power grid, announced today the keynote speaker roster for the Constitutional Convention to be held December 6-7, 2005, in Philadelphia, PA.
The keynote speaker list includes:
· Samuel Bodman, Secretary of Energy (Invited)
· Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Energy and Natural Resources Committee o Nora Mead Brownell, Commissioner of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) o Joe Desmond, Chairman of the California Energy Commission
"The significance of the GridWise Constitutional Convention keynote speakers communicates the magnitude of the technological advancement of our nation's electric supply system and the industry-wide support behind it," Rik Drummond, GWAC chair, said.
In addition, the GridWise Constitutional Convention will feature presentations from several key industry stakeholders, including:
· Phillip Harris, President and CEO, PJM Interconnection o Glen Allmendinger, President and CEO, Harbor Research, Inc. o John Petze, CEM, President and CEO, Tridium, Inc. o Jesse Berst, President, Center for Smart Energy
The purpose of the Constitutional Convention is to establish consensus surrounding fundamental principles and amass buy-in from a broad base of stakeholders in the application of information exchange to the effective operation of the future electric power system. The constitution will guide critical future information technology advancement over the next 10-30 years to realize a healthy, self-sustaining, highly interoperable electric supply system. www.gridwise.com
Teflon Cabling Should Be Subject of Concern By Standards Committees
Teflon article by James Carlini Nov 23 2005
Carlini's Comments, ePrairie's oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man's view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and visions of "pseudo" experts.
New concerns about Teflon and some of its components as revealed by a former insider really make you want to look closer into cabling within office buildings. Standards committees should be taking this issue seriously, writes adjunct Northwestern profession James Carlini.
In a January 2005 column, I mentioned the hazards of Teflon cabling in buildings and quoted an industry expert:
In the U.S., there is approximately 8.5 million miles of abandoned cable in the workplace. Most of that cable contains Teflon FEP or Neoflon FEP (approximately 11 pounds per thousand feet of plenum cable). This material is potentially highly toxic and extremely corrosive. About 500 million pounds of FEP equals a potential super weapon or threat to the U.S. workplace.
I also mentioned that the proposed measure of the sprinkler requirement for Chicago buildings sounds like an ineffective measure to save lives. What they should be looking at is how to suppress toxic gases from smothering the inside airways of a building during a fire. This can be done using the dampers in a building's airflow system just as you do with smoke.
From a news article in October 2004, I quoted the following about the substance PFOA:
The EPA has filed a complaint against DuPont for withholding evidence of negative health and environmental effects from a chemical used to make Teflon. The chemical, known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has caused cancer in laboratory animals.
The EPA is investigating the possibility that DuPont knew of potential problems 20 years ago. Stores in China began pulling Teflon pans from their shelves after the EPA's announcement and other foreign governments are launching investigations into PFOA.
PFOA was talked about on ABC and CNBC last Friday by a former DuPont engineer. While I'm no environmentalist, the substance PFOA is critical to understand because:
It never breaks down in the environment, it is found in the blood of [more than] 92 percent of Americans and it is very toxic to rats and monkeys. PFOA causes four types of tumors in rats: liver, pancreas, mammary gland (breast) and testes. PFOA also decreases thyroid hormone levels (a known risk factor for impaired brain development) and delays sexual maturation in laboratory animals.
One source has focused on this poisonous material as being more entrenched in our everyday lives than even the cabling within downtown office buildings. He said you can find the substances on food wrappers, within packaging for French fries and in other everyday packaging all the way down to candy wrappers.
The Specific Kill Zone
In researching this further, one article asserts that PFCs, which PFOA is a part of, last forever.
In two to five minutes on a conventional stovetop, this article says that cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases that are linked to hundreds and perhaps thousands of pet bird deaths as well as an unknown number of human illnesses each year.
These were from tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). See the figure below from here.
These PFC products have made their way into just about every household in the U.S. in the form of 3M's Scotchgard and Scotchban products, DuPont's Stainmaster and Zonyl products and DuPont's Teflon. Here is what they say about getting rid of it:
Even if PFOA were banned today, the global mass of PFOA would continue to rise and concentrations of PFOA in human blood could continue to build. Long after PFOA is banned, other PFC chemicals from 50 years of consumer products will continue to break down into their terminal PFOA end product in the environment and in the human body.
Another great article that defines the specific temperatures where everything is turned into poisonous gases gives a really good summary. As stated in the article:
The toxic particles and gases identified as Teflon off-gas products and the temperature at which they are first identified in the studies reviewed are [known] with toxicity information that is drawn primarily from high-dose animal studies, which is the only source of information available for most of the chemicals.
Just do a "Teflon toxic" search on Google and check out this article at Tuberose.com. This really substantiates the reasons why you shouldn't have it in cabling within a building. There are examples like this:
At 932 degrees Fahrenheit, hydrogen fluoride (HF) is a toxic and corrosive gas that can cause death to any tissue it comes into contact with including the lungs. The toxicity of HF is due to the fluoride ion and not the hydrogen ion. Breathing HF can cause severe lung damage such as fluid buildup in the lungs (edema) and inflammation of lung passages (pneumonia).
Some of the gases that can be emitted when heated include nerve agents and other substances that can kill you.
Revisiting Building Cabling
What were the toxicity levels on Sept. 11, 2001? If they posted a sign on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that read: "In case of fire, leave the building in 30 seconds as poisonous gases will permeate the building," people would have been a little more concerned about leaving the building immediately even if a fire was on the 80th floor.
So how come building standards committees or major municipalities don't require sensors that measure for toxic gas levels in buildings? We have the technology to monitor it and activate safety systems in indoor air systems to channel the bad atmosphere out to protect building occupants.
This important step toward safety may not happen until the NEC and other standards committees recognize the toxic properties of these materials that are allowed in building air systems. Right now, they only test for flammability and not toxic emissions on cabling. Are standards committee members looking the other way because of their employers?
Aside from building cabling that's pervasive in just about every office building in which people work, other PFC products have quickly made their way into just about every household in the U.S. in the various forms of 3M and DuPont products. Do some standards committees not protect consumers as much as they protect the products and profits of the companies when they set standards? www.carlinij.com www.eprairie.com
Carlinism: Best practice: Try not to be around if a fire starts.
James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at email@example.com or 773-370-1888.
Copyright 2005 Jim Carlini
Join CABA's Connected Home Expert Panel
CABA has recently commissioned Ipsos-Reid to develop a Roadmap to the Connected Home. In this effort, Ipsos-Reid is looking for experts in a variety of industries to take part in an online expert panel sponsored by CABA and managed by Ipsos-Reid, a world-wide market research firm.
We are developing an online interactive forum, where experts from across a variety of industries can come together and share their vision of the Connected Home Industry. This is your opportunity to share your perspective, and engage fellow experts in the industry. The information gathered here will be used to develop the Connected Home Roadmap (CHRM).
What are the benefits to joining the panel?
· Share your perspective on the future of this industry. CABA intends to share the results of this research project with the industry.
· Learn about other industries; discuss new and emerging technologies, applications, developments and solutions for the Connected Home.
· Opportunity to exchange ideas and strategies with peers from related industries.
To become a member of CABA's Industry Expert Panel, we ask that you complete a short profile survey. The survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete.
All information you provide will be kept STRICTLY confidential. Results will be reported in aggregate form only. This survey is for research purposes only, and is not intended to sell or market any products.
To complete the survey online, please click on the URL below, or copy it into the address/location bar of your browser. Please make sure you copy the entire link since it will sometimes wrap to the following line.
If you have any problems accessing or completing the survey online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.936.3089
Forum members will be contacted via email about once or twice a month and asked to complete short surveys on a variety of topics related to the Connected Home.
If you require more information, below is a more detailed explanation of our organization, the Connected Home Roadmap and CABA's Industry Expert Panel.
We appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey and hope that you enjoy it participating in the forum.
CABA President & CEO
Who is CABA?
CABA is a not-for-profit industry association that promotes advanced technologies for the automation of homes and buildings in North America. Their mission is to encourage the development, promotion, pursuit and understanding of integrated systems and automation in homes and buildings.
Who is Ipsos?
Ipsos is one of the world's leading survey-based marketing research firms. Ipsos excels at developing and delivering innovative, consultative solutions to marketing and research problems requiring an intelligent balance between theoretical and practical considerations. We have extensive experience in relevant industries, from both an industry, and a consumer's perspective. Above all else, our goal is to provide our clients with the necessary tools for them to succeed and grow. We have been commissioned by CABA to develop the Connected Home Roadmap (CHRM).
What is the Connected Home Roadmap (CHRM)?
An industry roadmap is a planning process driven by the projected needs of tomorrow's markets. It is a guide that helps companies to identify, select and develop opportunities for growth.
The Connected Home Roadmap is a tool to facilitate the growth and advancement of smart home technologies and applications. www.caba.org
For information on the Connected Home Roadmap, please visit http://www.caba.org/smarthome/index.html
How can you help?
Join our expert panel.
One of the key objectives of this project and the roadmap development process is to gather industry expertise and insight from experts who work in industry related to the future of the Connected Home.
Testing for 10GBASE-T Compliance
"I get more requests for twisted-pair cabling installations that in the future must support 10 Gigabit Ethernet. What should I do and how can we test for compliance with 10GBASE T?"
The standards for 10 Gb/s Ethernet over twisted-pair cabling are still in the development stage. Many items have been defined in recent months but we should not expect that the standards and the cabling specifications are complete and final. On the other hand, we have already learned a number of design and installation guidelines to increase the chance that cabling installations will meet the transmission demand for 10GBASE-T.
Two draft standard documents address the cabling performance requirements for 10GBASE-T. The first document is ANSI/TIA/EIA TSB-155; the second document is Appendix 10 to the TIA/EIA-568-B.2 document (TIA/EIA-568-B.2-10). Why do we have two documents to address this need? The first document, TSB-155, addresses the requirements for a cabling link to support the transmission requirements of 10Gbit/s Ethernet, possibly with a link length restriction. You may view this document as specifying how Cat 6 links can be certified for the10GBASE-T application.
The second document defines a new cable category, called, "Augmented Category 6" or "Category 6a," that offers more performance than Category 6, supports a 100 m 10GBASE-T channel and provides a higher margin above the minimum requirements of 10Gb/s Ethernet. A very similar scenario played out during the development of the 1000BASE-T application. TIA/EIA TSB-95 defined the test parameters and limit values to certify existing Category 5 links for use with Gigabit Ethernet. Shortly thereafter the Category 5e standard was ratified and became the recommended 100 MHz cable installation when the 'B' version of the TIA/EIA-568 standard was published. Cabling links that pass the requirements outlined in TSB-95 very successfully support 1000BASE-T.
The field certification of installed twisted-pair cabling for 10GBASE-T includes all the test parameters that are currently specified in the TIA/EIA-568-B document for Category 5e and Category 6. The test limits are identical to the limits for Category 6 up to 250 MHz, but the frequency range of these tests is extended to 500 MHz.
Because of the higher frequency range in 10GBASE-T signaling, one significant new disturbance must be considered among the cabling test parameters. This new test parameter is called, "Alien Crosstalk." Alien Crosstalk is the crosstalk generated in a wire pair by the pairs of adjacent cables in the pathway or bundle. Alien Crosstalk is a significant challenge for unshielded twisted-pair cabling (UTP). For this type of cabling Alien Crosstalk is the most significant disturbance or noise source for the 10Gb/s application. Figure 1 shows the crosstalk in a wire pair from wire pairs in adjacent cables. A properly installed and grounded screened cabling link is much less affected by Alien Crosstalk. Figure 1 also shows that a number wire pairs in surrounding cables will affect the "victim" wire pair. Therefore, the impact of alien crosstalk will be gauged by power sum measurements.
Wire pairs in adjacent cables couple into a wire pair in the "victim" cable. The coupling is stronger for the closest wire pairs and those with the same twist ratio.
Applicable Cable Types
The 10GBASE-T application, like all other Ethernet technologies, is developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), workgroup 802.3. The IEEE considered the cabling types listed in Table 1 for 10GBASE-T. It should also be pointed out that the IEEE workgroups consider the performance of the end-to-end cabling link between electronic devices; this is the link model the TIA/EIA documents call the "Channel The common phrase"Supported (IEEE Objective)," for some cable types in Table 1 means that the requirements for the electronics (transmitters and receivers) have been specified in such a way that they properly operate with the specified channel. As you can see, a 55 m Category 6 channel is one of the cabling links that "by design" should meet the requirements for 10 GBASE-T.
Table 1 - Cable types expected to support 10GBASE-T
Currently Installed Cabling
Channel Length (m)
Supported (IEEE objective)
Class E/Cat 6 UTP
Supported (IEEE objective)
Class E ScTP
Expected to meet requirements
Class E/Cat 6 with PS ANEXT testing
55 to 100
Requires additional (field) test of PS ANEXT parameter
Class E/Cat 6 Augmented
To be defined; meet requirements by design
In other words, if you are designing the cabling infrastructure for a data center, in which all links are 55 m or less, Category 6 cabling may be specified. The installation will need to be executed with meticulous attention to installation and termination quality. And, although the Category 6a component specifications have not yet been published, it would be advisable to specify and use the newest patch panels and connecting hardware that is advertised as Category 6a in order to minimize Alien Crosstalk at the patch panels. Last but not least, such a mission critical installation should be certified for cabling performance. The certification tool you use must have sufficient bandwidth to support the two draft cabling standards for 10GBASE-T.
Many new Category 6a cables have addressed the Alien Crosstalk challenge by increasing the outer diameter (OD) of the cable thus putting more distance between the wire pairs in adjacent cables. The bigger OD dimension affects fill rates, bundle size, bend radius and cabling stiffness. The proposed Category 6a standard intends to specify a cable type that by design meets the transmission requirements for a 100 m channel for 10GBASE-T. The phrase 'by design' does not mean that certification or field testing is no longer required. Category 5e and Category 6 meet the requirements for all network applications prior to the discussions on 10 Gb/s technology, yet it is prudent and highly advisable to certify all installations to ensure that the final cabling product meets the desired performance level.
When using Category 6 cable, we should design the cabling system to minimize Alien Crosstalk. The recommendations to mitigate Alien Crosstalk disturbance focus on bundling and wire management.
Keep the bundle size small (optimum size may be 12 links, preferably less than 24 links). The Alien Crosstalk between wire pairs in different bundles is extremely small.
Tighten the cables in a bundle only loosely; place the tie-wraps 2 or more feet apart.
Alien NEXT coupling happens in the first 20 m of a cable. Therefore, the patch cords and patch panel arrangement of links and the resulting wire management in the rack can have a significant influence on the amount of Alien Crosstalk coupling between the links. Tight proximity increase Alien Crosstalk coupling.
Some links may need to be tested for Alien Crosstalk performance. Only links that run parallel to each other in a bundle need to be examined for this test parameter. To identify links routed in the same bundle, it is recommended that the bundle name be incorporated in the cable identification. The TIA/EIA-606A standard may be consulted to get ideas to include the bundle name in the cable ID. This little bit of administration and organization up front can turn out to be a significant time saver in the initial certification process and in the future if or when you must troubleshoot a performance problem.
Answers supplied by Hugo Draye, Marketing Manager - Certification, Fluke Networks. He can be reached at email@example.com
Printed with permission of Cabling Business Magazine
New Rexel Product Managers - For Lighting & Datacom
Rexel Inc. has restructured product management positions in its Dallas corporate office.
Robert Stroescu is now Product Manager - Lighting and Erynn Mullinax Keenen is now Product Manager - Datacom.
Stroescu was Product Manager for Datacom. He replaces Karl Williams, who was promoted from the Lighting position recently to Director of Product Management. "Lighting is a major category for Rexel, accounting for roughly one-fifth of our sales dollars," said John Kudlacek, vice president of marketing and purchasing.
Stroescu joined Rexel's marketing department in 2000 as a market analyst. In his Datacom position, he launched the Gigamedia product and was instrumental in development of the company's Conectis/Strategic Datacom business.
Keenen came to Rexel in 1992, taking a position at its Kansas City branch. She transferred to Dallas in 1999, where she has worked in various Datacom positions. "We continue to regard Datacom as a core growth opportunity," Kudlacek noted.
Keenen and Stroescu are two of the company's five product managers; all report to Williams at Rexel's Dallas national headquarters. www.rexelusa.com
BeldenCDT Qtrly 11 2005
View: Annual Data | Quarterly Data
All numbers in thousands
PERIOD ENDING 30-Sep-05 30-Jun-05 31-Mar-05 31-Dec-04
Total Revenue 342,389 337,701 309,111 330,310
Cost of Revenue 266,044 262,487 243,980 249,131
Gross Profit 76,345 75,214 65,131 81,179
Research Development - - - -
Selling General and Administrative 48,722 56,480 48,930 51,453
Non Recurring 12,849 - - -
Others - - - -
Total Operating Expenses - - - -
Operating Income or Loss 14,774 18,734 16,201 29,726
Income from Continuing Operations
Total Other Income/Expenses Net 1,411 2,188 - -
Earnings Before Interest And Taxes 15,970 20,753 16,034 29,580
Interest Expense 3,609 4,752 2,920 3,011
Income Before Tax 12,361 16,001 13,114 26,569
Income Tax Expense 6,283 5,455 4,590 16,420
Minority Interest (215) (169) (167) (146)
Net Income From Continuing Ops 6,078 10,546 8,524 10,149
Discontinued Operations (13) 8,219 4,519 8,473
Extraordinary Items - - - -
Effect Of Accounting Changes - - - -
Other Items - - - -
Net Income 6,065 18,765 13,043 18,622
Preferred Stock And Other Adjustments - - - -
Net Income Applicable To Common Shares $6,065 $18,765 $13,043 $18,622
Mississauga Training Consultants
The week of November 21 saw seven individuals undertake training as fiber optic installers and receive their (CFOT) Certified Fiber Optic Installer designation after successful completion of the Fiber Optic Association Examination.
This program was arranged by Computer and Controls http://www.computersandcontrols.com of Edward Street in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, who contracted with Mississauga Training Consultants of Mississauga, Ontario http://www.fiberoptictraining.com in Canada to come to Trinidad and conduct the training.
The demand for this valuable training started with the liberalization (de-regulation) of the telecommunications sector and opened this sector to full competition in 2005.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago took the bold initiative of setting the following Fast Forward Initiatives:
2006 All appropriate Government information available online
·Libraries and school with up-to-date computers and high-speed internet access
·Community connection program complete
·All appropriate government services online
·Over 50% of homes with computers and internet access
·Over 50% of the population being regular internet users
·Over 50% of businesses online and seeing business benefits
Fiber Optic Installer Certification Class November 21 - 25, 2005
Picture - Rear Left to Right
Frank Morrison (Trinidad & Tobago Electric Co.), Christopher D.H. DeRoche (cable & Wireless- West Indies), Kevin B. Atwaroo (Digicell Trinidad), Dominic Gay (Trinidad & Tobago Electric Co.), Charles R. Harry (cable & Wireless- West Indies),
Navindra Bidaisee (Digicell Trinidad), Trevor Kipps (Trinidad & Tobago Electric Co.)
We Know We Need It, But How Far Do You Take Security Today?
Carlini's Comments, ePrairie's oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man's view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and visions of "pseudo" experts.
CHICAGO - People are finally starting to understand that security is something you must have these days rather than something you should just hope for. Still, asks adjunct Northwestern professor James Carlini on the subject of new spy ware on Sony CDs, how far do you take it?
Why do people think that security measures and other protections are for someone else? It disturbs me to see so many people question security measures. In actuality, we need more structure and stricter guidelines instead of flimsy excuses on networks, software and embedded content on storage media.
There are different opinions regarding the use and extent of security measures on Wi-Fi to CDs. At Sony, it's to a point where some people are questioning in court if it's an invasion of consumer privacy.
Wi-Fi Should Be Secure
There was a post on the Get Illinois Online discussion board that I must publicly point out and correct:
In a bold but somewhat misguided attempt to eliminate the dangers posed by open Wi-Fi networks, New York's Westchester County has proposed a requirement that all "commercial businesses" with an open wireless access point (such as most Wi-Fi hot spots) must have a "network gateway server" outfitted with a software or hardware firewall.
Ostensibly, this is to protect data that sits on the same network such as store credit records or other sensitive data, which certainly sounds like a good idea. The reality is that the routers used by most Wi-Fi hot spots are not connected to computers used for the business end of things, which renders the law unnecessary.
On a practical basis, who is going to enforce such requirements? There are already laws on the books that protect the privacy of consumer data. How a business implements compliance with those laws should not be legislated on a technical level when new technologies and new ways to hack into them pop up every day.
Hitting closer to home, the law would also require computers attached to Wi-Fi networks in people's private houses to be secured with a firewall. Subject to fines of $250 or $500, this would apply whether or not the Wi-Fi net was encrypted.
While we strongly urge all home Wi-Fi users to secure their networks, this seems like an overly invasive and unenforceable law. Finally, public hot spots would be required to post a sign indicating that personal data is at risk when connecting at a hot spot. This last proposal is the one with which we can agree.
This post discussed the merits of whether or not a safeguard should be put in place on Wi-Fi networks. It's evident that the author hasn't had to deal with designing a network or he would have known that the basic requirements of security shouldn't be taken lightly and shouldn't be cast off as "overly invasive and unenforceable".
There was a time when the FCC had a regulation that if you connected into the network without using a Bell telephone, they could disconnect your service and fine you for messing with their network. Doesn't anyone remember that "network" (read: monopoly) safeguard?
After reading Westchester County's proposed requirement, I find it worthwhile to set the expectations higher rather than lower when it comes to setting standards for Wi-Fi networks. Doing it right the first time is a lot cheaper standard to adhere to than "slap it up, leave it open and hope that no one abuses the access point we just established".
Post a Sign? Get Real
Abuse, theft and fraud are going to happen when you create a sieve for a network access point. Posting a sign indicating that "your personal data is at risk" is a joke.
More than a year ago, I wrote about a project done in a network security class where one of my students drove up and down Chicago's Lake Shore Drive and exposed 255 hot spots in a wardriving project. He found that 175 were not secure and 65 had default passwords on them that could have been changed from the street.
This could have locked out the legitimate owner because he or she failed to put in proper security. Another student found that you could pull up to a Chicago high school and log right into the Internet from the car. Their wireless routers were completely vulnerable.
The bottom line is that security has to be part of the basic fabric of every network.
There is too much fraud, abuse and thievery on networks that weren't designed correctly by people who thought they knew what they were doing. Engineering a network to exacting standards seems to be viewed as an "overly invasive" and unneeded frill instead of a mandatory methodology.
Trafficking Tunes on the Net
On the ePrairie discussion boards, there was also some protest about an Australian court restricting the use of Kazaa as a distribution system to illegally distribute music on the Internet. If you were the artist and you were getting ripped off every time someone downloaded your song for free, you would be in favor of this safeguard?
Music is a product. It's not free. The same goes for movies, which really are the next bastion of entertainment that will be targeted. Should the people who put in all the work on these products roll over and let others pirate their materials? Some companies are taking a very proactive approach to countering piracy.
Until someone declares a product or transmission medium as free, you have to pay for it. If something isn't complimentary, there is a price tag on it. You know better at the store and on the street. Why do you think the cyber market is different?
"Oh I can get it on the Net. It must be free."
Do you carjack because there are a lot of cars around you? You can't afford a used Ford Tempo but figure you might as well rip off that new Mercedes convertible sitting in the parking lot. There are hundreds of cars sitting there so you have the right to take whichever one you feel like.
Do you rip off a pack of cigarettes because it's on the shelf and you don't feel like they are worth $5 a pack? The store won't miss one or two packs. You need a smoke so just pick some up.
Why do people think they should be able to download software or entertainment (music or videos) for free? Unless they specify you can get something for free, trafficking tunes on the Internet is illegal. I'm tired of the whiners crying about not being able to download the latest tunes to their iPod.
No Phony Sony CDs
It's too bad that illegally downloaded songs can't have a special frequency embedded in them to cancel out your equilibrium. You could then easily tell who the illegal downloader's were by their glazed-over eyes and their lack of equilibrium as they stumbled around and tried to walk without balance in their ears.
That measure brings up another case: Sony and the Texas attorney general. In an effort to thwart some of this software and music piracy, Sony did put in some spyware on its CDs. This is potentially a huge suit with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is working with the Texas attorney general's office on a lawsuit questioning the use of spyware by Sony on its CDs.
While Sony's spyware isn't as destructive as what I suggested, it was questioned as an invasion of privacy. This spyware actually embeds software on your computer, tracks where you go and reports it back to Sony. Is this going too far to protect copyrights? Let's see what the court decides.
Carlinism: Security is not a frill. Stop treating it that way.
Capitol Infrastructure chooses Corning's innovative FTTH solution for its new home developments
Corning Cable Systems, part of Corning Incorporated's Telecommunications segment, announced that Capitol Infrastructure, LLC, a Capitol Broadband company, has chosen Corning's tip-to-tip passive optical solution for the company's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments throughout the United States.
Capitol Infrastructure, which provides the fiber infrastructure and secures contracts from service providers for provisioning cable television, telephone, home security and wireless and wired Internet services, plans to deploy FTTH to more than 200,000 homes. That deployment would be one of the largest FTTH deployments in the U.S.
Capitol Infrastructure signed a multi-year contract for Corning Cable Systems' unparalleled FTTH solution to be used throughout the deployments. Corning Cable Systems will be supplying 100 percent of Capitol Infrastructure's fiber optic feeder and distribution cables, as well as fiber optic hardware including OptiTect™ Cabinets, the OptiSheath™ Premier FlexNAP™ Terminal Distribution System, OptiSheath Advantage Terminals and OptiFit® Advantage Drop Cable Assemblies. In addition to the innovative products, Corning Cable Systems is also providing Capitol Infrastructure with its FTTH services, including design assistance, training, equipment rentals, engineering support and customer service. Capitol Infrastructure Selects Corning Cable Systems for its FTTH Deployments.
"Corning Cable Systems was able to provide us with a solution that no other company could offer," said Glen D. Lang, chief executive officer of Capitol Infrastructure. "Not only do they supply the widest and most innovative range of products, which are crucial to a successful network, but they also offer world-class services."
"Capitol Infrastructure has taken a leading position in the FTTH industry, and we are very impressed with their deployments to date," said Dr. Bernhard Deutsch, director of marketing and market development for Corning Cable Systems. "With their management and expertise, we look forward to working with Capitol Infrastructure on successful FTTH deployments across the country for many years."
Through its Evolant® Solutions for Access Networks, Corning Cable Systems offers specialized portfolios of innovative products and services that enable customers to cost-effectively deploy fiber in the last mile. Evolant Solutions for Access Networks encompasses state-of-the-art products that reduce the cost of deployment and increase the networks efficiency and reliability.
For additional information on Corning Cable Systems products or services, contact a customer service representative at 1-800-743-2675, toll free in the United States, or (+1) 828-901-5000, international, or visit the Web site at www.corning.com/cablesystems.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning Incorporated (www.corning.com) is a diversified technology company that concentrates its efforts on high-impact growth opportunities. Corning combines its expertise in specialty glass, ceramic materials, polymers and the manipulation of the properties of light, with strong process and manufacturing capabilities to develop, engineer and commercialize significant innovative products for the telecommunications, flat panel display, environmental, semiconductor, and life sciences industries.
MRV NAMES DR. HAROLD FURCHTGOTT-ROTH TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MRV COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Nasdaq: MRVC), a leading provider of products and services for out-of-band networking, WDM and optical transport, metro Ethernet, fiber optic components, 10GE and other service aware networking products, today announced that Dr. Harold Furchtgott-Roth has been named to the Board of Directors.
"We are pleased to have Harold join our Board" commented Shlomo Margalit, Chairman of MRV. "Dr. Furchtgott-Roth's experience in the telecommunications industry as well as his government service as a FCC commissioner will provide valuable insight to the Board and help guide our continued expansion in North America."
Dr. Furchtgott-Roth serves as President of Furchtgott-Roth Economic Enterprises, an economic consulting firm, which he founded in 2003. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Furchtgott-Roth was a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Furchtgott-Roth served as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Before his appointment to the FCC, he was chief economist for the House Committee on Commerce and a principal staff member on the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Dr. Furchtgott-Roth is the author of dozens of publications and has coauthored three books. He is also a columnist for the New York Sun. Dr. Furchtgott-Roth received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and an S.B. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. www.mrv.com
NEWELL RUBBERMAID COMPLETES DYMO ACQUISITION
Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL) announced it has completed its acquisition of DYMO, a global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing on-demand labeling solutions, for approximately $730 million. This transaction strengthens the company's global leadership position in the office products market. Newell Rubbermaid continues to expect the acquisition to be neutral to earnings in 2005 and approximately $0.06 per share accretive in 2006.
Mark Ketchum, chief executive officer of Newell Rubbermaid, said, "DYMO is a strategic extension of our Office Products portfolio and adds depth to our product offering. We welcome the DYMO associates and look forward to leveraging the great DYMO brand and innovation capability with Newell Rubbermaid's resources to further grow our leadership position."
DYMO holds a strong position in consumer, office and industrial channels in Europe, North America and Australia. Supported by innovative, patented new products marketed under well-known brand names including LabelWriter®, LabelManager®, LetraTAG® and RhinoPro, DYMO will be integrated into Newell Rubbermaid's Office Products Group which accounted for $1.7 billion of the company's $6.4 billion in sales in 2004. DYMO will operate as a strategic business unit within the Office Products Group.
The Office Products Group manufactures and markets writing instruments, art products and office organization supplies, led by a powerful brand family including: Sharpie®, Paper Mate®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, rotting®, Reynolds®, Berol® and Rolodex®, among others.
Steve Marton, Newell Rubbermaid Office Products group president, stated, "DYMO's history of strong revenue growth and profitability is built upon their results-driven culture and the ability to bring innovative products to market. The combination of our scale and breadth of leadership brands, marketing resources and global distribution capabilities with DYMO's category-leading products provides compelling growth opportunities for this strategic business unit."
Phil Damiano, DYMO president, said, "We're excited about joining the Office Products Group and through this combination we are well-positioned to meet evolving customer needs for innovative, value-added products."
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
The statements in this press release that are not historical in nature constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to information or assumptions about the effects of sales, income/ (loss), earnings per share, operating income or gross margin improvements, capital and other expenditures, cash flow, dividends, restructuring, impairment and other charges, potential losses on divestiture, costs and cost savings and the value thereof, debt ratings, and management's plans, projections and objectives for future operations and performance. These statements are accompanied by words such as "expect," "project," "will," "enable," "estimate," and similar expressions. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our dependence on the strength of retail economies in various parts of the world; competition with numerous other manufacturers and distributors of consumer products; major retailers' strong bargaining power; changes in the prices of raw materials used by the company; our ability to develop innovative new products and to develop, maintain and strengthen our end-user brands; our ability to expeditiously close facilities and move operations in the face of foreign regulations and other impediments; our ability to implement successfully information technology solutions throughout our organization; our ability to improve productivity and streamline operations; our ability to complete strategic acquisitions (including DYMO); our ability to integrate previously acquired businesses; the risks inherent in our foreign operations and those factors listed in the company's most recent Form 10-Q or 10-K, including Exhibit 99.1 thereto, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. www.dymo.com
About Newell Rubbermaid
Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with 2004 sales of $6.4 billion and a powerful brand family including Sharpie®, Paper Mate®, Waterman®, EXPO®, DYMO®, IRWIN®, LENOX®, BernzOmatic®, Rubbermaid®, Graco®, Calphalon® and Goody®. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and has approximately 30,000 employees worldwide.
This press release and additional financial information about the company is available on the company's web site at www.newellrubbermaid.com.
DuPont's Day of Reckoning on Teflon Chemical: Friday the 13th
As DuPont continues to make and use a cancer-causing Teflon chemical that pollutes nearly every American's blood, the public will now wait until Friday, January 13 to learn whether the EPA will hold the company accountable for covering up health and safety data for over 20 years. In the meantime, other agencies are investigating data from a DuPont whistleblower who says the company knew Teflon chemicals were leaching into food from packaging at unacceptable rates. www.ewg.org
WashPost story | USA TODAY story | EWG to FDA EWG to McDonalds Teflon Chemical Dictionary Video: Good Morning America (QuickTime format) Teflon Background Info
ERITECH® Universal Air-Terminal Bases Mean Fewer Parts Are Needed
The LP302 universal air-terminal bases provide the lightning-protection installer with one product for either adhesive or screw-down applications. These new stamped bases - part of the ERITECH® System 2000 line from ERICO® - can mount either horizontally or vertically. The bases are stamped from either high-quality copper alloy or aluminum, resulting in high-strength products with improved corrosion resistance. The stampings' spring-like property keeps the cable under pressure and ensures reliable connections over an extended period of time. Well-defined protrusions on the bases prevent loosening and ensure high cable-pullout strength.
The unique cutout design of the LP302 bases allows the air terminal to be adjusted vertically, making the part applicable for any roof type. This also eliminates the need for swivel adaptors.
The ERITECH stamped bases meet the requirements of UL®96 for both Class I and II applications. Products exceed the strength and pull-out requirements of this standard. The bases are suitable for use with Class I up to 4/0 cable sizes.
The ERITECH System 2000 from ERICO includes air terminals, down conductors and fittings that meet National and International Standards such as Australian AS1768, British BS6651, Singaporean CP33, European IEC and USA NFPA® 780. ERITECH System 2000 components are based on the conventional design principles of rolling sphere, cone of protection and mesh method. www.erico.com
Fluke Networks purchases Visual Networks
Fluke Corp. announced December 2, 2005 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Visual Networks, Inc. for US$1.83 per share, reflecting a total purchase price of approximately US$75 million in cash.
The closing of the transaction is subject to Visual Networks shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. The company will become a part of Fluke Networks business.
Headquartered in Rockville, Md., the company provides network test and application performance management equipment that enable enterprises to reliably and securely manage the delivery and performance of key applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP) across their infrastructures.
Revenues last year totaled US$52 million. www.flukenetworks.com
DUPONT COVER UP CONFIRMED
Former DuPont Top Expert: Company Knew, Covered Up Pollution of Americans' Blood for 18 Years
Documents: Company Couldn't Find Safe Level of Exposure in 1973 to Chemical that Never Breaks Down, Clings to Human Blood
Study Results Show Company Found Safer Ways to Coat Food Packaging But Shelved Them to Save Money
Glenn Evers was a DuPont employee of 22 years, one of the company's top technical experts and the chairman of an invitation-only committee of its 40 best scientists and technical experts. He holds six patents, and his work has, to date, made the company an estimated $250 million in after-tax profits. Evers was, by his description, a dedicated "company man."
He was also the company's top chemical engineer involved with designing and developing new uses of grease-resistant, or perfluorinated, chemical-based coating for paper food packaging.
Breakdown chemicals from these coatings and related sources are now in the blood of 95 percent of Americans, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent the last several years trying to determine how they get there.
DuPont has claimed that it does not know how the chemicals got there - and that are not aware that their product is responsible.
"If we had any reason to believe that [there] was a safety issue for fluorinated telomers-based product, we wouldn't have commercialized them," DuPont Director of Planning and Technology Robert Ritchie told the Wilmington News Journal (11/23/03).
Today, however, Glenn Evers told in detail how his former employer hid for decades that it was polluting Americans' blood with a hyper-persistent chemical associated with the grease-resistant coatings on paper food packaging.
Environmental Working Group (EWG) has obtained and today made public a set of internal company documents that support Evers' story.
Combined, the Evers story and EWG's documents present a startling chronology of DuPont's actions:
Evers describes how, in the mid-1960s, the company negotiated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a weak standard for how much of the paper chemical coating, which is applied to give packaging grease or liquid resistance, could contaminate food. The FDA at the time normally required a two-year study for chemicals it wasn't familiar with, but agreed to base DuPont's approval on a 90-day test with a 1,000-fold safety factor added.
Evers explains how that standard, which remains in effect today, was based on the premise that the chemical would leave the body quickly. He explained that as a company expert, he saw that the company knew, at least by 1981, that another class of perfluorinated chemicals, such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), accumulates in people. It is unclear whether or not the company ever provided the FDA this information, but Evers explained how the company continued to worry about this information throughout the 1990s.
A company document shows that DuPont conducted a toxicological study in 1973 in which it was unable to find a safe level of exposure in lab animals, and that the chemicals were toxic to the kidneys, liver and blood.
A 1984 internal company memorandum raises the question of which of these crucial findings, if any, from the 1973 study were provided to the FDA.
A key document shows that in 1987, DuPont's Dr. Richard Goldbaum found that the company's marquee paper packaging coating chemical, Zonyl RP, could contaminate food at over three times the federal safety standard, while two effective alternatives contaminated food at half the federal maximum level.
Evers describes how he and others copied on the results of that study knew they were "devastating." Evers approached Goldbaum, and then Goldbaum's superior, Gerald Culling, telling each of them that the results were an enormous problem and that it would be unethical to continue selling the product. Both men told Evers not to worry, and that they were "taking care of it."
Evers realized with time that the company had not ordered a standard, internal process hazards review to find out why the chemical was above FDA approved levels. The company did not provide the information to customers, federal health officials and the public. DuPont did not recall the faulty product, did not stop its production, shelved the safer alternatives, and continued to make Zonyl RP - effectively producing for another 18 years the chemicals that would lead to the contamination of consumers' blood.
Evers says that one of the reasons the company stuck with the problematic Zonyl RP was that it had adopted the practice of blending substandard batches in with better batches - and selling the blended versions to its industrial customers.
Evers describes how DuPont's "Document Retention Program" required researchers to label all hard copy files to time their destruction. Company managers could audit employees to ensure compliance, and other staff went through employees' hard copy files to ensure documents were destroyed. A master computer program at the company deleted files from company hard drives after a certain period of time.
Evers tells of how 3M, DuPont's competitor, rapidly abandoned the $150 million per year business using perfluorinated chemicals on paper food packaging when it realized in 2000 that the chemicals were producing byproducts accumulating in human blood and that those chemicals were harmful to developing lab animals. Despite what it knew from the 1987 results by Dr. Goldbaum and the persistence and toxicity of its own chemicals, DuPont moved quickly to sell its similar chemistry to 3M's former customers.
EWG today sent the documents to the FDA's acting commissioner, as well as the inspector general of its parent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), requesting the officials act on the new information. The group is also referring documents to relevant EPA officials.
"These documents indicate a failure to disclose critical public health information about a toxic chemical that never breaks down, that gets into our bodies and stays there," said EWG Senior Scientist Tim Kropp. "If we ever needed a reason to reform the nation's toxic chemical laws, every American now has one, courtesy of DuPont."
Evers' appearance and EWG's document release comes just a week before a potentially significant date in the civil suit the Bush administration's EPA has pursued against the company for suppressing health studies on PFOA, which is used in the production of Teflon pan coatings. Bush EPA political appointees could seek the maximum possible fine of $314 million, but they have shown little appetite for pursuing such a penalty. The next court date for the civil suit was negotiated to fall on Wednesday, November 23, the day before the Thanksgiving holiday and the busiest travel day of the year.
"DuPont thinks it has the right to pollute your blood with chemicals, but it doesn't," said Evers. "Someone could get a fine for dumping trash if he threw a used tire into the creek behind my house. This company continues to pollute the blood of the American public with a toxic chemical - what is it going to end up paying?" www.ewg.org
Corning (NYSE: GLW) is a $30 billion firm with 150 years of history, including supplying the glass for Thomas Edison's light bulb. Originally known as Corning Glass Works (that's where the ticker symbol comes from), today it operates in four segments: display technologies, environmental technologies, telecommunications, and life sciences. As you'll read below, the fastest-growing area is display technologies, the division that manufactures the glass substrates used in LCD televisions. www.corningcablesystems.com
ROBERT B. GAWNE Receives NEBB Distinguished Service Award
The National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) announced that Robert B. Gawne of Stromberg Sheet Metal Corporation in Beltsville, Maryland is the recipient of the NEBB George B. Hightower Distinguished Service Award. The announcement came at NEBB's 2005 Annual Meeting and Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
The George B. Hightower Distinguished Service Award was established to honor outstanding individuals who have served NEBB with distinction, given of their time and talents, and proven their dedication to NEBB and the future of the HVAC industry through exemplary service.
Gawne graduated from Nortre Dame University with a degree in Engineering in 1950. He served three years as an officer in the US Marines and entered the construction business in 1954.
Gawne was involved in organizational meetings during the late 1960's and early 1970's that resulted in NEBB's formation in 1971. He attended the first NEBB Board meeting in 1971 as a member of the first NEBB Board of Directors. He served on the Board from 1971 to 1974 and again from 1982 to 1987. He attained NEBB-qualified Supervisor status in 1973 and has continuously maintained NEBB-qualified status. His company, Stromberg Sheet Metal Corporation, became NEBB-certified in 1973 as well. Gawne served as NEBB President in 1987.
NEBB President-Elect Jack Cappell in his comments honoring Robert B. Gawne said "During NEBB's infancy, he worked tirelessly at the local chapter level, helping establish NEBB…his strong commitment to promoting NEBB -- emphasizing quality and integrity -- was the hallmark of his presidency…[and] since his presidential year, over the past two decades, he has remained very active with NEBB…" He added "His dedication to NEBB is well known, and his efforts have made NEBB highly respected throughout the HVAC industry."
This award is named for Mr. George B. Hightower, a truly extraordinary man. He was instrumental in all aspects of NEBB's inception and subsequent success. He served on the first NEBB Board of Directors in 1971 and as NEBB President in 1974. From NEBB's very beginning, Mr. Hightower promoted NEBB and his participation and contributions were vital to establishing NEBB as the highly regarded organization that it is today. www.nebb.org
Performed Line Products Corporation Qtrly results thru Sept 2005
Quarterly Data All numbers in thousands
PERIOD ENDING 30-Sep-05 30-Jun-05 31-Mar-05 31-Dec-04
Total Revenue 55,614 52,692 50,772 47,030
Cost of Revenue 36,355 35,275 34,145 32,705
Gross Profit 19,259 17,417 16,627 14,325
Research Development 1,565 1,527 1,543 1,343
Selling General and Administrative 11,635 11,071 9,982 11,350
Non Recurring - - - (1,889)
Others (506) (607) - (234)
Total Operating Expenses - - - 10,570
Operating Income or Loss 6,565 5,426 5,102 3,755
Income from Continuing Operations
Total Other Income/Expenses Net 236 137 263 (2,161)
Earnings Before Interest And Taxes 6,801 5,563 5,365 1,594
Interest Expense 93 86 94 152
Income Before Tax 6,708 5,477 5,271 1,442
Income Tax Expense 2,529 1,781 2,043 (8)
Minority Interest - - - -
Net Income From Continuing Ops 4,179 3,696 3,228 3,806
Discontinued Operations - - - -
Extraordinary Items - - - -
Effect Of Accounting Changes - - - -
Other Items - - - -
Net Income 4,179 3,696 3,228 3,806
Preferred Stock And Other Adjustments - - - -
Net Income Applicable To Common Shares $4,179 $3,696 $3,228 $3,806
Anixter's 2006 Communications Products Catalog Now Available
Anixter Inc., the world's leading distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire & cable and a leading distributor of fasteners and other small parts ("C" Class inventory components) to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), today announced the release of its 2006 Communications Products catalog.
Known as the "roadmap of communication products," this 1,200-page up-to- date reference guide includes over 14,000 part numbers of the latest products and solutions for all of your communication needs.
Anixter's 2006 Communications Products catalog is a reference tool for customers to count on for day-to-day product needs and information on the latest products and technology. Anixter constantly keeps pace with changes in the enterprise cabling and security market and stays in the forefront of emerging technologies. Our 2006 catalog highlights the latest products being deployed in the marketplace including 10 Gigabit Ethernet data cabling systems, IP Surveillance, Wireless, Power over Ethernet, and Access Control systems.
The 2006 edition features Anixter's high performance solutions section, the most complete selection of high performance communication cabling products currently available from industry-leading suppliers. In addition to product sections, Anixter's 2006 catalog includes advanced descriptions of their Industry Standards Reference Guide, a user-friendly Technical Appendix, and an overview of Anixter's state-of-the-art Enterprise Cabling and Security Labs.
Anixter offers several additional catalogs including the Security Solutions catalog, Wire & Cable catalog, and an on-line eCatalog. Anixter's print and electronic 2006 Communications Products catalogs and other Anixter catalogs can be ordered by visiting their Web site at anixter.com or by contacting an Anixter representative at 1-800-ANIXTER. www.anixter.com
Superior Modular Products Honored with Manufacturing Leadership Awards
Superior Modular Products, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-speed cross-connect products for communication networks, was recently honored at the Asheville, NC, Chamber of Commerce's Annual Industry Appreciation Event for Manufacturing Leadership in Western North Carolina. The event, hosted by the Manufacturers Executive Association(MEA), a local advocacy group striving to keep manufacturing in the US, and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, awards manufacturers for initiating and replicating best practices in Lean manufacturing. "SMP is proud to receive this honor. "We have worked hard to keep SMP as a global leader in the data communications industry. The 'Lean' manufacturing methods implemented will continue to help us stay a leader. It is a good thing for a product to be 'made in America,' it is better and much harder to be globally competitive and 'made in America.' That accomplishment is what we are most proud of," stated Bill Reynolds, Vice President and General Manager.
As one of eight Western North Carolina manufacturers honored, SMP was recognized for leadership in best practices for its Cat 6 Module Assembly Team, Fiber Assembly Team and Patch Panel Assembly Team, all as a direct result of adopting the "Lean" manufacturing methodology. "The Lean manufacturing concepts have given us a more competitive edge and have offered us a more efficient method of producing our products", stated Linda Fouts, Operations Director.
A grant from NC State University to incorporate Lean manufacturing and a commitment from management to find more efficient manufacturing practices has propelled SMP to spectacular production gains. The production line at SMP is changing into production cells. Each employee within the cell is responsible for quality inspection, safety and waste management, as well as being cross-trained to work in other cells on other products. Every product made at SMP is 100% tested and proven to work or sent back for remanufacture or scrapped.
Superior Modular Products, headquartered in Swannanoa, North Carolina, is internationally recognized for its role in establishing the world's data communications standards, through its innovative-patented technologies. It is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-speed cross-connect products for communication networks worldwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Preformed Line Products (PLPC) of Cleveland, Ohio. www.smpdata.com
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Want to know more about how you can capture the business opportunities associated with integrated building systems? Mark your calendars for several key conferences and exhibitions.
AFCOM: April 17-21 Las Vegas www.afcom.com
BICSI SPRING: May 2-5 Las Vegas www.bicsi.org
BOMA: June 23-28 Anaheim http://s12.a2zinc.net/clients/Boma2004/Boma2005/
REALCOMM: June 27-28 Anaheim, CA www.realcomm.com/anaheim.htm
CONNECT 2005: June 28 Anaheim www.caba.org , www.ibfconferences.com
ACUTA: July 17 - 21 Gaylord Palms - Kissimmee, FL www.acuta.org/events/annual_conference/sce05.cfm
NECA: September 18-20, 2005 New Orleans www.necashow.org/
SFBF: Ft.Lauderdale, FL
BOMA Southern region conference. Memphis, Tenn
Data Center World (DCW): Las Vegas, NV
Broadband Wireless World: Las Vegas NV
Interop: Las Vegas, NV
2005 BICSI Spring Conference: Las Vegas NV
Green Design Solutions: Hospitals & Schools: Chicago, IL
13th National Conference on Building Commissioning: New York City, NY
Affordable Comfort 2005: Indianapolis, IN
VOIP: Beijing China
Sustainable Practices in Design and Construction: Maho Bay, St John U.S. V.I.
ACUTA Midwest Regional Workshop - "Strategic Tradeoffs in Campus Wireless Mobility": Chicago, IL - Hyatt Regency O'Hare
AIA National Convention & Design Expo: Las Vegas, NV
UTC Telecom: Long Beach CA
MAY 30-June 2
Broadband World Forum: Yokahama Japan
Greening the Heartland 2005:Cost, Practice & Policy: Chicago, IL
IEC: Chicago, IL
NFPA: Las Vegas, NV
Supercomm: Chicago, IL
Ecobuild America 2005: The Environmental Systems Techology Conference
The North American Commercial Real Estate Congress & The Office Building Show
BOMA: Anaheim, CA
Vicki Cummins 888-777-6956
REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE