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Issue: February 2012
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee's Buzz

The evolution of the changes in the communications market are coming at us so fast that it might be better labeled as a revolution. The "smart building" concept is now being implemented on a wide spread basis. Low-voltage networks are being installed almost everywhere and they are creating Integrated Systems. Nobody wants a dumb building.

According to BOMA (Building Owners & Managers Association ) insiders, Building automation is finding acceptance because of real cost savings and increased services for the building occupants. In the world of commercial real estate, automation and systems integration have become a competitive imperative. BOMA members and other commercial real estate leaders have commented that they are finding the services they need to update their buildings from the new breed of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

Today’s ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR can do it all = Electrify, Illuminate, Communicate and a whole lot more.

The big news is a big change in the top-rated industry publication of the electrical/building sector. The ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine is now UPDATED to better serve the readership - Integrated Systems Contractor. Look for this magazine to continue to deliver extraordinary value to an industry at the heart of Integrated Systems.

The Name Has Changed to Educate the Integrators

What’s this? Who is the Integrated Systems Contractor? The second answer is easy: It’s you! The first question will take a bit longer to answer. Let us explain. 

Since 2003, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR has published the SECURITY+LIFE SAFETY SYSTEMS special report. As the opportunities have grown for electrical contractors in building design, specification, and installation and maintenance of optimized and integrated low-voltage building control systems, the supplement has shifted to encompass a broader range of topics, including commissioning and service of electronic security, fire/life safety, communications and other low-voltage systems.

 Therefore, starting with this issue, SECURITY+LIFE SAFETY SYSTEMS has become INTEGRATED SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR. Through this evolution, we continue to keep pace with the market. We will serve you new information and help you transition from the traditional electrical contractor model into one we call an “integrated systems contractor.”

Why did we decide to do this? Well, you kind of told us to. According to BPA audits and market research studies that queried you:

• More than 85 percent of you are actively involved in low-voltage systems.

• In fact, almost all (96 percent) of the electrical contractors queried performed some type of low-voltage work in 2009.

What are the basics of this shift? Two main causes are: (1) the building owner seeks single-source responsibility to handle every building system, and (2) technology has evolved, enabling building systems and controls to be totally integrated and intercommunicative, setting up a scenario where the overall building becomes a system (rather than the scenario that existed in the past where each system operated in a silo format).

When we say “integrated systems,” exactly what are we talking about? And to what extent are you and your competitors involved? Well, again, that’s easy. Take a look at these key findings from the 2010 Profile of the Electrical Contractor research study and a June 2011 BPA Audit: • Traditional Power (54 percent) • Voice-Data/Fiber Optics/Premises Wiring (56 percent) • Power Quality Systems (55.8 percent) • Building Automation Systems (55.1 percent, according to BPA) • Low-Voltage Lighting (controls and/or ballasts) (90 percent) • Communications Systems/Connectivity (62 percent)
• Building Automation (74 percent) • Systems Integration or Data or Telecom Centers (41 percent) • Fire and Life Safety and Security Systems (69.6 percent, according to BPA).

All of this translates into a growing market for an electrical contractor who can do it all, and you are the only ones who can. 

Altogether, you are involved in much more than just security and life safety systems work these days. Translation: The former name, SECURITY+LIFE SAFETY SYSTEMS, didn’t adequately represent the current state of the market.


John Maisel- Publisher   Andrea Klee- Editor

We applaud this new publication (INTEGRATED SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR) within The ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. It is a big step in the right direction. The staff at the magazine will be working even harder to bring you the information to improve your life at home and at work.

But that's just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

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Megladon Mfg adds new talent to their team to serve a growing fiber optic market

Megladon Manufacturing Group Ltd is pleased to welcome Anthony Griser (Allen Griser) in the role of Executive Sales reporting directly to the President & Partner, John Culbert.

For the past twenty five years Allen has been engaged successfully as a key leader in both commercial and operational functions in the telecommunications industry.   Mr. Griser was employed at Draka Communications as Vice President of Operations where he coordinated production efforts in fiber optic cable manufacturing. During his career Mr. Griser has served in numerous commercial and operations roles, including Vice President of Marketing, Director of Sales Operation, Director of Channel Sales, Customer Service Manager, Production Manager and Engineering Manager.  Mr. Griser has experience in sales, customer service, field service, manufacturing, engineering, and logistics.  Allen has a degree in engineering from University North Carolina - Charlotte.

About 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 .

Or for additional information regarding Megladon's variety of fiber optic products please contact John Culbert at 512.615.4687 or by email at

In 2010 Megladon Manufacturing Group released assemblies that had been Bit Error Rate Tested and certified 10GIG HLC fiber patch cables. Today, this product line ships with an eye diagram and Bit Error Rate test data which enables the installer to deploy with confidence.

Bit Error Rate Certified 10GIG HLC® Fiber Assemblies
As the migration to 10GIG continues in fiber optic networks, many installers and maintenance personnel are challenged when they realize a percentage of the Laser Optimized fiber optic patch cables ordered either have a high bit error rate when mated or develop intermittent issues in a short period of time. What is not known is those products sold as "10GIG patch cables" are not bit error rate tested using an actual 10GIG signal. Instead, the standard insertion loss performance is considered the pass/fail criteria. This does not guarantee an acceptable bit error rate.

Megladon's HLC SCRATCHGUARD® connection technology has been known for more than a decade for its durability and repeatable performance. It is a One Of A Kind patented product that enables business critical applications to operate with minimal connectivity issues. The repeatability of the Hardened Lens and its properties also allows Megladon to bit error rate test and certify the terminated product with an extremely high first pass yield.

"The market has been taught that any multimode fiber patch cable with an aqua jacket will perform in a 10GIG system. The truth is the glass is designed for such a system but the finished patch cable has not been tested with a bit error rate tester. We have not found one manufacturer that will provide bit error rate data with the product. That changed today" said Mike Shannahan, Vice President of Communication Planning Corporation.

In 1997 Megladon Manufacturing created the HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) termination fiber optic products that far exceed industry standards. The HLC® connector has changed the market and taken it to the next level. Megladon's HLC process was developed to meet the growing need for a scratch resistant, highly durable fiber optic mating surface. The ScratchGuard connector technology is a critical step forward in quality and durability. With the fiber optic connector being a critical component, damage to the connector due to handling and repeated use has been a concern and point of failure for network operators. Megladon's HLC ScratchGuard technology has virtually eliminated this problem.

"This is truly a win for the customer. Combining a fiber cable that can tolerate 7.5 mm of bend radius with a nearly scratch resistant connector, the reliability and durability of connectorized cables has just taken a giant step forward.” Stated John Culbert, Pres of Megladon Mfg.

The technology wave of fiber optic cabling is unstoppable. Learn to surf.


We are under assault on every front… swine-origin influenza strain H3N2 has potential to achieve pandemic status, or an outbreak with global reach

CDC reports on swine-origin influenza strain H3N2

The swine-origin influenza strain H3N2 has the potential to be directly transmitted between humans, the CDC reported Tuesday. The report said the strain, which has been relatively mild although some patients were hospitalized, has potential to achieve pandemic status, or an outbreak with global reach. The current seasonal vaccine is not protective, but a new vaccine that could guard against this strain is in development, and those born before the mid-1990s may also have some natural immunity. Researchers said there have been no new cases documented since December. U.S. News & World Report


Virtualization – its impact on the Physical DATA CENTER by Tim Kraft, a visionary in the infrastructure industry

What is virtualization? It’s the creation of virtual servers within a single physical computer. Virtualization is done by the masking of computing resources, such as memory, CPU, Storage, etc. into unique computing instances. This allows multiple operating systems and applications residing within a single physical structure. The initial benefit of virtualization is the optimization of computing resources and storage. The result of such virtualization is less physical hardware and its support services, electric, cooling, space, administration.  From this humble start virtualization has grown to be dynamic and empowers computing as a utility, wherein, customers can pay for computing as needed (cloud computing). Virtualization is the new computing paradigm. 

This technology, is disruptive, imaginative, complicated and the way of the future. Virtualization, changing the physical into multiple unique software representation of itself continues to explode in both popularity and complexity. This is true for data center servers, switches, routers, desktops, and the list continues to grow. The impact of virtualization in our lives continues to be explored, appreciated and understood. What is certain, virtualization has changed the Information Technology landscape and our lives forever.

The virtualization conversation has to start with the physical. The concept of one computing server, one operating System, one or more applications is readily understood. These devices operate today in our environments. The initial iteration of virtualization, we have one physical computer or host, containing multiple operating systems (guests) and each guest can have one or multiple applications running. The first observation is, what we perceive as a single host computer, may actually be multiple computers and the criticality of this device has increased proportionally to the number and type of guests contained.

Logically when a host computer, has multiple guest operating systems on it, the host will have higher Input Output (I/O) requirements. The I/O increases are at both the network and data storage (hard disk). It is typical that a host computer will have multiple gig or ten gigabit Ethernet network interfaces. These connections can support production, backup and out of band management services. The host can have multiple interfaces for data storage. These can be fiber channel or infini band connections. Thus, a single host will have numerous network and storage interfaces in order to support significantly higher I/O requirements. 

The increased interface and their associated cabling has brought about several data center modifications. Large quantities of host computers, require a large number of cables. Installing copper cables to a core copper data switch is waning (centralized traditional design). A newer distributed support data switches being installed in a “Top of Rack” or End of Row switch design. In this type of solution, a fiber optic backbone connects the “Top of Cabinets or End of Row” switches to a centralized fiber optic switching environment. Within a cabinet or a row of cabinets, the host computers connect to the network and data storage switches with short copper and fiber patch cords. The net result is an extensive fiber distribution system, short copper and fiber patch cords, and reduced complexity.

Cabling in a virtualized server data center environment is critical. Cabling a host system does not impact a single device, but the multitude of guests systems and applications contained therein. Copper and fiber distribution systems within a cabinet or row are significant. Cable management and craftsmanship within a cabinet structure is critical. Fiber consolidation locations will be extensive, cable management and serviceability of this environment a must. The multi tiered distribution and fiber consolidation demands better craftsmanship and documentation for efficient operation, troubleshooting, and reducing Time to Repair. Things have changed. 

As mentioned above, there are network and data storage switches. The consolidation of switch types and technology continue to evolve within the data center environment. There are two solutions within the industry at this time;

1.       the consolidation of Fiber Channel and Ethernet within the same physical switch

a.       A consolidated Fiber Channel and Ethernet switch maintains native fiber channel through a common switch fabric. The benefits are less complexity, less electricity, less physical space. However, the solution maintains unique Fiber Channel interfaces at the host level. 

2.       Fiber Channel over Enhanced Ethernet (FCoE) or the encapsulation of Fiber Channel data over Ethernet.

a.       Fiber Channel over Enhanced Ethernet encapsulates Fiber Channel within an Ethernet frame. The host contains a Converged Network Adapter (CAN), that has both fiber channel and an ethernet network interface functionality.  The benefit is a common host interface, less cabling, a common switch fabric, less electric, less physical space and less complexity.

There are other competing storage switching systems within the data center environment. Companies will continue to support embedded technologies and migrate toward converged solutions. FCoE is not your traditional Ethernet. Enhancements have been made to the protocol that are data center specific and should not be confused with traditional Ethernet.  Reference

The new virtual data center reality is one of dynamic change. Dynamic change is supported with a well documented flexible cabling infrastructure. This new infrastructure must support ever changing requirements. Change is in the use of high speed data for network, storage and their convergence. Change in the physical, manufactures, Dell, HP, IBM, ship complete computing and storage environments in cabinets for immediate installation and function. The commercial value of these dynamic computing environments mandate change management, connectivity management and quality craftsmanship. The data center is alive, dynamic with change and ever evolving. The multi-year infrastructure designs of the past are just that, of the past. Things are changing, quickly.

by Tim Kraft, a visionary in the infrastructure industry


Verizon CTO Tony Melone to Keynote TIA 2012: Inside the Network Conference & Exhibition in Dallas, June 5-7

Telecommunications Industry Association Hosts Annual Industry Event to Address the Future of the Network, in Dallas, June 5-7

Arlington, Va.Tony Melone, the Chief Technology Officer for Verizon Communications, will deliver a keynote presentation at the TIA 2012: Inside the Network Conference and Exhibition, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) announced today. Verizon, New York-based communications, information and entertainment services provider, owns the most advanced fiber-optic network; operates America's most reliable wireless 4G/LTE and 3G networks; and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries.

TIA 2012: Inside the Network, scheduled for June 5-7 at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, is a unique industry event uniting a wide range of technology manufacturers and suppliers that form the foundation of the global communications network experience. The goal of the conference is to promote the growth of the telecommunications network by cultivating innovation and thought leadership. The event focuses on emerging opportunities and challenges in the business and technology of the Network.

"Verizon's approach to technology and innovation is a leading model for integrated communications worldwide," said Grant Seiffert, President of TIA. "From fiber optic networks to digital media delivery to mobile broadband quality, Verizon's technology scope and vision is a subject our entire industry can learn from. We are honored that Tony Melone will once again contribute his knowledge and insight to the membership of TIA and the larger audience of attendees at TIA 2012: Inside the Network this June."

TIA 2012: Inside the Network features multiple educational tracks, including Converged Network Applications and Services, Optical Networking, Cloud Optimization, Green ICT, M2M & Connected Devices, Mobile Backhaul, Multiscreen TV, Security Authentication and Privacy, and more. It also features specialty conferences on topics such as Small Cell Infrastructure, Datacenter Infrastructure Optimization and a Telecom Crash Course; technology demonstrations; and a Connected Home Pavilion (hosted by Parks Associates), positioning this industry event as the leading business and technology exhibition for the converged network community.

Sponsors of TIA 2012: Inside the Network include Alcatel-Lucent (Host Sponsor), AT&T, Cisco, GENBAND, Ericsson, ILS Technology, Infinera, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Panasonic, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, Verizon and Walker and Associates. The event is also supported by key industry groups, including Connected Nation, Connected Texas, DAS Forum, Femto Forum, FTTH, GreenTouch, Metroplex Technology Business Council, Parks Associates, QuEST Forum, Telecom Crash Course and WiFi Alliance.

Join TIA at its annual Member Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, TIA 2012: Inside the Network, June 5-7, 2012 in Dallas. For detailed information about the event visit To register for press credentials, contact Beth Dozier at +1.202.429.1833 or, or Mike Snyder at +1.703.907.7723 or

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the manufacturers and suppliers of global information and communications technology (ICT) networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. Since 1924, TIA has been enhancing the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit

View video news programming on TIA Now at

TIA's 2012 Market Review & Forecast, is available for purchase online at the TIA store. Review copies are available for qualified media.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Read ANSI's report, "Standards Boost Business" at

TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS Solutions, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Dow Chemical Company, Ericsson, Inc., FAL Associates, GENBAND, Inc., Henkels & McCoy, Juniper Networks, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, LGE, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks, Numerex Corp., OneChip Photonics, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Qualcomm, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tarana Wireless, Inc., Tellabs, TE Connectivity, Walker and Associates and WirefreeCom, Inc.


Topics Announced for 2nd Annual NECA Safety Conference - May 21-23, 2012 Sheraton Westport Chalet – St. Louis, MO


Conference topics have been determined for the Second Annual NECA Safety Professionals Conference. Meet decision-makers from across the country as they learn about:

-NFPA 70E Changes 2012

-NFPA 70E Contractor Responsibilities
-Developing NFPA 70E
-Systems Approach to NFPA 70E Compliance
-Fleet Management
-Workers Compensation
-Drug Free Workplace
-Return to Work Program
-Hazard Analysis Techniques
-Accountability and Motivation
-ANSI Z10: A Moral or Legal Obligation
-Anatomy of an Arc Flash
-Electrical Safety and OSHA
-OCIP (Owner Controlled Insurance Program) and CCIP (Contractor Controlled Insurance Program)
-Collective Bargaining and Safety
NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) Report
-Voltage Testing: Safety Considerations

Line contractors education will address the top safety issues:

-T&D (Transmission and Distribution) Worksite Shock Protection Strategies
-ET&D (Electrical Transmission and Distribution) Best Practices
-NESC (National Electrical Safety Code) Changes 2012
-Line Construction and Safety Risk Management
-ET&D (Electrical Transmission and Distribution) Partnership
-Storm Work Safety
-NJATC: Line Resources
-PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Outside Contractors
Safety Cultural Requirements, A Client's Perspective


Connect With:
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Human Resource Professionals
Project Managers
Risk Managers
Training Directors

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REMEMBER: Safety Is Too Important To Ignore


Third Public Comment Period for Update to USGBC's LEED Green Building Program to Open Next Month

LEED 2012 draft focuses on providing a simple-to-use, technically advanced and more robust system

Washington, DC - (Feb. 13, 2012) - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today announced that the third public comment period for the proposed 2012 update to its LEED green building program will open Mar. 1, 2012. The comment period, which will close on Mar. 20, marks the start of the LEED 2012 program delivery process.

"LEED sits at the core of the green building movement, and is critical in realizing our collective mission," said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President of LEED, USGBC. "LEED's strength comes from its continuous evolution. This continuous improvement is the outcome of thousands of technical volunteers working to develop the program and the adaptability of the program to technological and market changes."

This third draft of LEED has been refined to address technical stringency and rigor, measurement and performance tools, and an enhanced user experience. The technical changes have been informed by market data, stakeholder-generated ideas, expert engagement and advances in technology. Additional performance-based management features will help projects measure and manage energy and water usage, site and building material selection, and indoor environmental quality.

"LEED 2012 is the next step towards a global, performance-based application," continued Horst. "In LEED 2012, a project's engagement with LEED will represent an ongoing commitment that is supported by a suite of performance management tools."

LEED 2012 extends itself as a long-term engagement tool for organizations and projects, enabling a focus on continuous improvement. Programs aimed at helping organizations use LEED to benchmark building performance in preparation for certification and for tracking performance of their buildings post-certification provide opportunities for ongoing engagement between project teams and USGBC both before certification and after the plaque is awarded.

For LEED projects outside of the U.S., LEED 2012 will offer a new global perspective. Through modified language, new requirements and options that increase flexibility, LEED 2012 makes it easier for the international community to engage.

In an effort to redefine and enhance the user experience, LEED credit requirements have been rewritten to better align with documentation already required by the architecture and construction fields. Improvements to submittals, documentation paths and LEED Online improve LEED usability.

As the LEED program evolves to address the dynamic needs of the building industry, the development process is based on principles of transparency, openness, and inclusiveness, and includes multiple comment periods where input received is incorporated into LEED. The third public comment documents, including technical refinements, scorecards, and responses to comments from the previous public comment period, will be available on beginning Mar. 1. Members of the public can comment on any substantive changes made since the second public comment period, which ran from Aug. 1 through Sept. 14, 2011.

Once the comment period process concludes, LEED 2012 will be balloted in June and launch in November. To vote in the ballot, USGBC members must opt-in to the Consensus Body beginning Apr. 2. The Consensus Body is made up of employees of USGBC national member organizations in good standing, and ensures ballot participation from the full diversity of members who are using LEED in the marketplace. To be eligible to join the Consensus Body and vote in the LEED 2012 ballot, members must be in good standing by Mar. 1, and be maintained throughout the balloting period.

Members of the media are invited to a press-only webcast on Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012 at 2 p.m. ET. To register, visit

To learn more about LEED 2012, visit

About the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit, on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn.

About LEED
The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED green building certification program is the foremost tool for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings. More than 44,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising almost 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, nearly 16,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 67,000 more homes registered. Learn more at


Teknor Apex To Introduce Full Range Of Vinyl Compounds Made With Dow Ecolibrium™ Bio-Based Plasticizers

BioVinyl™ Compounds Will Span the Range of Applications for Standard Flexible Vinyl, with Comparable Physical Properties and Petrochemical Content of 35% or Less 

PAWTUCKET, RI, U.S.A., February 13, 2012: Innovative vinyl compounds made flexible with plasticizers from renewable resources will provide the performance advantages of conventional vinyl, have a smaller carbon footprint than alternative plastics like polyolefins or polyurethanes, and may be more cost-efficient than“green” biopolymers, it was announced today by Teknor Apex Company, which will introduce the products at NPE2012 (Booth 58038).

New BioVinyl™ flexible vinyl compounds incorporate phthalate-free DOW ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-Based Plasticizers, which are manufactured using plant byproducts by Dow Electrical and Telecommunications (Dow E&T), a unit of The Dow Chemical Company.  Under a recently announced Joint Collaboration Agreement, Teknor Apex has been granted the exclusive right to market in North America flexible vinyl compounds containing DOW ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-Based Plasticizers in certain applications. The applications targeted by Teknor Apex for BioVinyl compounds include consumer and industrial products, automotive components, certain medical devices*, and certain wire and cable uses.

BioVinyl compounds are even less dependent on fossil fuel-based feedstocks than conventional flexible vinyl, according to Louis R. Cappucci, vice president in charge of the Vinyl Division of Teknor Apex. “Vinyl compounds incorporating DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers will actually be 60% based on renewable resources, since half of the PVC polymer is derived from seawater and typical plasticizer loadings are 33%,” he said.

Traditional plasticizers are based on petrochemical feedstocks. “In replacing petrochemical-based products, ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%,**” said Thorne Bartlett, new business development director, Dow E&T. Dow E&T has estimated a net reduction of 0.7 lb. of carbon dioxide emissions for every 1.0 lb. of compound made with  diisononyl phthalate (DINP) as compared with compounds made with bio-based plasticizer. “In the case of a 1-million pound [450 metric ton] application for flexible vinyl compound, the reduction in emissions would be equivalent to removing 63 automobiles from the road on an annual basis, or 35,600 gallons of gasoline consumed,” Bartlett continued.

More information about DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers is available at


About Dow Electrical & Telecommunications

Dow Electrical & Telecommunications, a business unit in the Performance Plastics Division of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”), is a leading global provider of products, technology, solutions and knowledge that sets standards for reliability, longevity, efficiency, ease of installation and protection that the power and telecommunications industries can count on in the transmission, distribution and consumption of power, voice and data. Understanding that collaboration is essential to success, Dow Electrical & Telecommunications works together with cable makers, other industry suppliers, utilities, municipalities, testing institutes and other organizations around the world to help develop solutions and create mutual value that will sustain these industries for years to come. For more information, visit

About Teknor Apex

A privately held firm founded in 1924, Teknor Apex Company is an international polymer technology company and one of the world’s leading custom compounders of plastics. For U.S. markets, the company also manufactures chemicals such as plasticizers and the nationally branded consumer product, Apex® garden hose. Teknor Apex is headquartered in Pawtucket, RI, USA, operates manufacturing facilities around the world, and sells in 90 countries. Six of the eight Teknor Apex business units focus on plastics compounding, including bioplastics; color concentrates; nylons; thermoplastic elastomers; toll and specialty compounds; and flexible and rigid vinyl. The company’s operations in the US serve customers throughout the Americas. Subsidiaries in China, Singapore, and the United Kingdom serve customers in Asia, Africa, the Mideast, and Europe. Visit


Siemon Launches Newly Redesigned Category 6 Patch Cords with Reduced Diameter Cable and Ultra-Slim Boot

February 15, 2012 – Watertown, CT, USA.  Siemon, a leading global manufacturer of IT network cabling and infrastructure systems, today announced the next generation of their popular category 6 UTP MC6 patch cord.  Featuring new reduced-diameter cable and low-profile, ultra-slim strain relief boot, the new MC6 cords meet or exceed all category 6 standards.

The redesigned MC6 cords are constructed with a new 250MHz-rated 26 AWG stranded cable that reduces cable diameter, improving cord flexibility while still exceeding the  standards set forth by ANSI/TIA-568-C.2 and ISO/IEC 11801:2002. To support a broader range of global codes and requirements, this high-performance cable features a dual CM/LS0H (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) rated jacket.

Also featuring an enhanced low-profile boot, the new MC6 cords are side-stackable, supporting ultra high-density patching environments such as network switches and blade servers. The clear boot also provides an integrated "cantilevered" latch protection feature that not only limits snagging when removing cords, but also allows the latch to be operated from further back on the plug. This allows easier installation and removal of the cords in high-density environments.

Additionally, this ultra-slim boot delivers extremely robust cable strain relief, maintaining performance critical bend radius while maximizing flexibility and ensuring excellent cable retention. This robust feature, coupled with Siemon's patented internal cross-pair metallic isolator and 360-degree crimp, maintains cable pair geometry and eliminates deformation, resulting in higher transmission performance.

The new RJ45 cords have also been enhanced with unique color-coding clip feature. Available in a variety of colors, these snap on clips can be added or removed while the plug is inserted or disengaged, allowing greater flexibility in patch field identification and management.

All Siemon MC 6 patch cords are compatible with standards-based RJ45 outlets and meet FCC68.500 and IEC 60603-7 specifications, ensuring reliability and long-term resistance to humidity-based corrosion, extreme temperatures and airborne contaminants. This UL-listed and 100% transmission-tested patch cord is also compatible with both T568A and T568B wiring schemes, which allows it to accommodate all applicable Ethernet applications.  Featuring clear boots, the dual CM/LS0H rated cords are available in multiple colors and in standard lengths up to 7.5 meters.

For more information on Siemon’s enhanced MC6 patch cords, as well as other Siemon network cabling and connectivity innovations, visit

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About Siemon

Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specializing in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global offices, manufacturing and service partners throughout the world, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper (unshielded and shielded twisted-pair) category 5e, category 6 (Class E), category 6A (Class EA) and category 7/7A (Class F/FA), and multimode and singlemode optical fiber cabling systems available. With over 400 patents specific to structured cabling, from patch cords to patch panels, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.


RAD Introduces Five-Year Hardware Warranty for its Networking Equipment in U.S. & Canada

MAHWAH, New Jersey, January 31, 2012 – RAD Data Communications today unveiled one of the best product warranties in the industry, offering a five-year repair-or-replace hardware guarantee on virtually every networking product the company sells in the U.S. and Canada.

Solidly standing behind the broad range of access and backhaul equipment that it offers to service providers and enterprises, RAD significantly upped the ante from its previous one-year hardware warranty to the five full years of coverage that went into effect on January 1, 2012.

“Having just celebrated 30 years of industry leadership, we want to clearly communicate our confidence in how reliably RAD equipment operates in our customers’ networks. What better way to convey it than by offering significantly extended hardware assurance?” said Uri Zilberman, President of RAD Data Communications, Inc. “There are not many companies out there with warranties anywhere near this generous.”

Under the five-year warranty, equipment that experiences any hardware-related failure within five years of the original date of shipment will be repaired free of charge. If it can’t be repaired, RAD will replace it.

RAD will also continue to offer, free of charge, one full year of basic support, including business-hours telephone support and free software updates – under its RADcare Maintenance Services program. This complimentary package is included with every piece of equipment that RAD sells directly or through its network of channel partners in the U.S. and Canada.

RAD offers longer-term and premium levels of support that are extremely cost effective. For example, in a move to deliver even more value, RAD is currently promoting a five-year contract upgrade to one of three extended support packages for as little as 10 percent of equipment list price.

“Considering the frequency with which most communications equipment is replaced by the owner due to technology advances, this new warranty amounts to nearly a lifetime hardware guarantee on most of our products,” Zilberman added. “That reflects our utmost confidence in the equipment we sell, and really drives home our commitment to value.”

About RAD

RAD Data Communications, Inc. is the North American subsidiary of RAD Data Communications, Ltd., which has achieved international recognition as a major manufacturer of high quality access and backhaul equipment for data communications and telecommunications applications. Serving carriers and service providers, utility and transportation systems, and a wide range of enterprises, RAD is a leading source of innovative access solutions in segments such as Carrier Ethernet, mobile backhaul, multiservice access and migration from traditional to emerging technologies. RAD ( is a member of The RAD Group, a world leader in networking and internetworking product solutions.


Updated Global Ranking of FTTH Market Penetration Now Includes Canada, Malaysia

Munich, 16 February 2012 - With their FTTH deployments ramping up, Canada and Malaysia have joined the list of economies where at least one percent of households are connected to all-fiber networks, according to the global fiber to the home councils.

The annual ranking, which tracks global deployment of fiber networks, was released today at the conclusion FTTH Council Europe's annual conference in Munich, Germany.

It now includes 30 economies worldwide that have at least one percent of their households connected to FTTH/B[1].  South Korea continues to lead in market penetration with FTTH/B reaching 58 percent of households in the country, followed by the United Arab Emirates at 56 percent, Hong Kong at 45 percent, Japan at 42 percent and Taiwan at 29 percent.


Following a recent surge in FTTH deployment, Canada had nearly 170,000 fiber-connected households by end of 2011, representing 1.24 percent of the total number of households in the country.  Meanwhile, recent deployments in Malaysia now have the country at 3.42 percent market penetration.


The top economies in terms of the number of FTTH/B connections are Japan (22.2 million), China (16.9 million), South Korea (10.4 million), the United States (9.6 million) and Russia (4.5 million).


"It is clear that Canada is now firmly on the path to expanded FTTH deployment, with several network operators in the country now upgrading to all-fiber, and we now expect that fiber to the home market growth in Canada may exceed that of the U.S. over the next several years," said Heather Burnett Gold, President of the FTTH Council North America.  "Meanwhile, FTTH is beginning to take off in Latin America and the Caribbean, with nearly a dozen network operators in those countries beginning their deployments.  Across the Americas, FTTH is fast becoming the preferred technology for wireline access networks that are looking to stay competitive."


"We are happy to see new economies joining the Global FTTH Ranking", says Chris Holden, President of the FTTH Council Europe, "but we are concerned that there is no new entrant from Europe. On the positive side we see a steady growth in our region. Still there is a long way to go to reach the Digital Agenda targets of the European Union to ensure that more than 50% of the European households will use broadband connections of 100 Mbit/s or more in 2020."


"It has been an exciting journey witnessing the evolution of fiber deployment in the Asia Pacific region. In the past 10 years, like a parent, we have witnessed the birth, the growth and also the maturity of FTTH throughout this vast region filled with a rich diversity of cultures and nationalities. In the next five years, we shall witness the fruits of this advancement enriching the lives of everyone in the region, and that I promise will be an experience of a lifetime. It will truly be a cultural evolution." said Frank Jaffer, President of FTTH Council APAC.


"We are proud to have the UAE as the second country in the global ranking for 2011 in terms of FTTH connected homes," says Faris Awartani, Chairman of FTTH Council MENA. "We have witnessed a rapid growth in the Gulf countries during the past two years and the Levant is promising to join during 2012 and the next five years".

Juanita Clark, the CEO of the newly founded FTTH Council Africa comments: "Even though Africa is seeing significant amounts of fibre networks being deployed, literally thousands of km with weekly news of new entrants planning extensive routes, the main challenge still remains the access networks. As a natural progression we believe it is not long until we see significant growth in FTTH on the continent."


[1]The FTTH Global Ranking is based on the FTTH Councils' definition of FTTH/B: it includes both Fiber to the Home (FTTH), where the fiber connection reaches direct to the household, and Fiber to the Building (FTTB), where fiber terminates inside the boundary of a multi-tenant building. The ranking covers all countries with at least 200,000 households where the penetration of FTTH/B has reached one percent of the total number of homes.


For PDF of the chart below, click here

For PDF of chart showing FTTH rankings of G20 countries, click here




About the FTTH Council North America:

Now in its 11th year, the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council is a non-profit association consisting of companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections - as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks.  Its mission is to accelerate deployment of all-fiber access networks by demonstrating how fiber-enabled applications and solutions create value for service providers and their customers, promote economic development and enhance quality of life.  More information about the Council can be found at


About The FTTH Council Europe:

The FTTH Council Europe is an industry organisation with a mission to accelerate the availability of fibre-based, ultra-high-speed access networks to consumers and businesses. The Council promotes this technology because it will deliver a flow of new services that enhances the quality of life, contributes to a better environment and increased competitiveness. The FTTH Council Europe consists of more than 150 member companies. Its members include leading telecommunications companies and many world leaders in the telecommunications industry.


About the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific:

The FTTH Council Asia Pacific is a non-profit organization established in 2005 to educate the industry and the general public on the opportunities and benefits of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) solutions in the Asia-Pacific regions.  FTTH Council Asia Pacific currently has about 70 members representing all areas of broadband industries, including telecommunications, computing, networking, system integration, engineering and content-providers, as well as traditional telecommunications service providers, utilities and municipalities.

For more information, visit FTTH Council Asia Pacific on the Internet:


About the FTTH Council Middle East & North Africa:

In order to expand the FTTH deployment to the Middle East and North Africa region, the Fibre to the Home Council MENA started as the Middle East group within FTTH Council Europe in 2009 and was launched as MENA Council in January 2011.  Their members consist of companies including manufacturers and many world leaders in the telecommunication industry who are involved in Committees dedicated to developing and promoting messages in the fields of market intelligence, policy & regulation and technology.  The FTTH council MENA is a non-profit organization with a mission to accelerate the FTTH adoption by all broadband stakeholders through information and promotion, in order to deploy the fiber-based, ultra-high-speed access networks to consumers and businesses.


About the FTTH Council Africa:

The FTTH Council Africa believes that the development and deployment of fibre based broadband access networks will enhance the quality of life for South African citizens and Africa as a whole, and provide African countries with an infrastructure that will allow its companies to increase their effectiveness and competitiveness within the global marketplace. The council's charter is to educate Africa governments, policymakers and political leaders on why and how high speed fibre connectivity can be delivered to citizens within the next years. Through consulting with all major stakeholders, understanding their strategies and concerns - we endeavour to be the voice for the industry and creating a better future for all involved. 


For more information contact:


FTTH Council Asia-Pacific
Ellen Chu

Tel: +852 9303 3108


FTTH Council North America
David St.
 +1 315 849 3800


FTTH Council Europe

Nadia Babaali

+33-6 20 88 72 38


FTTH Council Middle East & North Africa:

Christine Beylouni
M: +96170061601


FTTH Council Africa:
Juanita Clark
+27 (0) 12 661 1592 (office)


Optical Cable Corporation Introduces Procyon™, A High-Density, Easy Access Family Of Structured Cabling Products With Industry-Leading Features

ROANOKE, VA, February 13, 2012—Optical Cable Corporation (Nasdaq GM: OCC) (“OCC®” or the “Company”) today introduced Procyon™, a new family of structured cabling products featuring industry-leading performance, density, accessibility and cable management features designed for use in various applications, including data centers.  OCC’s Procyon family of products includes copper and fiber panels with integrated cable management systems, high-density fiber cassettes, cabinets, and more.

“OCC has a long history of pioneering innovation and offering industry-leading technologies.  The Procyon family of products is an important part of our product line expansion strategy, under which we are building on OCC’s legacy to better serve our customers and end-users and to continue creating shareholder value,” said Neil Wilkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Optical Cable Corporation. 

“OCC appreciates the challenges faced by IT, structured cabling and data center professionals,” said Wilkin. “We have listened closely to installers and users to better understand what they want, what works and what doesn’t work—and we have applied that feedback to develop Procyon, OCC’s next generation of structured cabling products.”

“The Procyon family of products offers a complete system approach,” said Dr. Ian Timmins, Research & Development Engineer at Optical Cable Corporation. “We didn’t just create a single component—we developed a system that allows a single component to work better when combined with corresponding components, as well as on its own. When used with OCC’s comprehensive suite of cabling and connectivity products and solutions, the performance, functionality and versatility of our Procyon offering surpasses all expectations.”

“Procyon offers unprecedented integration of essential features and the highest density per rack unit on the market, clearly differentiating it from products offered by other manufacturers” added Timmins. “Others may have high-density, but lack effective cable management; or they may have cable management covered, but don’t have the density or port count available with OCC products. With OCC, you get it all.”

Ted Leonard, Vice President of Technology and Engineering at Optical Cable Corporation, added, “In addition to technical excellence, Procyon was designed to be easy to use and cost effective.  Procyon systems are designed for pre-configuration so that IT professionals can kit together the components needed for simpler installations. Plug-and-play just got easier.”

For additional information on the Procyon family of data center solutions, please contact an Inside Sales Representative at 800-622-7711, or visit

Company Information

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

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

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

Optical Cable Corporation, OCC, Procyon™, 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


NFPA Board of Directors appoints new members to Standards Council

February 6, 2012 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Board of Directors has appointed three new members to serve three-year terms with effective dates in January 2012:  Donald P. Bliss of Hampton, New Hampshire, Randall K. Bradley of Manteca, California, and John A. Rickard of Austin, Texas to the Association’s Standards Council.

Bliss is president and chief operating officer of the National Infrastructure Institute in Portsmouth, N.H. and is a senior public safety consultant with Municipal Resources, Inc. He began his career with the Durham-UNH Fire Department and has been a part of the fire service in some way for over 40 years, holding such titles as director of the University of Connecticut Fire Department, and both the fire chief and town emergency management director for Salem, New Hampshire. Bliss was both the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal and state homeland security director, and has served in leadership roles in numerous professional organizations, including National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and the National Fire Protection Association. He served as a member of NFPA’s board of directors 2003-2009; was the chair of the NFPA 1 Fire Code Committee, and currently serves as chair of NEC Code Making Panel 13. Bliss holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Hampshire and has taught as an adjunct professor in the UNH graduate public administration program for the past five years.

Bradley has been a member of the fire service for over 30 years and is fire chief of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District in California. He has served for more than 20 years as a member of NFPA’s Forest and Rural Fire Protection Technical Committee, serving as chair for the past nine. He is a director of NFPA’s Wildland Fire Section, a charter member of NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Advisory Committee, and instructor for NFPA Home Ignition Zone seminars.  Bradley completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy, is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from University of Southern California.

Rickard is chief executive officer of Katus, LLC, an architectural design and consulting firm, specializing in senior living and health care. He has more than 30 years experience in design and construction and has been chair of the NFPA Technical Committee on Building Systems since 2002, and a member of NFPA’s Technical Committees on Health Care Occupancies, and Board and Care Facilities. He is a registered architect, engineer, and accessibility specialist in the state of Texas. Rickard holds a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and has taught as an adjunct professor in the architectural engineering program there for more than 10 years.

Standards Council member, John C. Harrington of FM Global has been reappointed to serve a second three-year term.

The NFPA Standards Council, a 13 member body appointed by the board of directors of NFPA, is charged with overseeing the NFPA codes and standards making process. Generally, the duties of the Council include supervising activities related to NFPA codes and standards development, acting as administer of rules and regulations, and serving as an appeals body.

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at for more information.


New Oberon Concealed Spline Wireless Access Point Enclosure Blends Physical Security and Aesthetics

By Providing Physical Security and Wireless Signal Transparency, Enclosures Simplify Network Deployments

State College, PA – February 9, 2012

Oberon, Inc., a leading manufacturer of wireless and telecom enclosures, has announced an addition to its extensive line of secure, convenient, aesthetic wireless enclosures.

Oberon's new Model 1041-00 wireless LAN access point mount is a 12 inch by 12 inch (305 mm by 305 mm) concealed spline (or concealed tee) ceiling tile designed specifically to conveniently and aesthetically secure the Cisco 1140, 1260, 3500, and 3600 series wireless access points. The Cisco access point is mounted into this white powder-coated steel ceiling tile, and it installs into the ceiling runners like a standard concealed spline tile. The access point is securely flush to the ceiling, making for an aesthetic installation and providing ideal, unobstructed wireless coverage.

The Model 1041-00 provides the physical security network designers require.  In addition to thorough compatibility testing enclosures for a wide array of wireless equipment, Oberon has designed enclosures to simplify the rigorous infection control procedures of the healthcare sector and provide the physical security vital to government, education, retail, and banking environments. 

Oberon manufactures enclosures and mounting solutions for wireless LAN access points.  A wide variety of models are available for mounting equipment in both suspended and hard-lid ceilings, on walls, and in outdoor/NEMA environments.  Telecommunications enclosures for networking components are also offered for both office and home environments.  Enclosures provide security through locking doors, convenience of access to simplify maintenance, and a sleek, aesthetic appearance.

For more information on designing networks to meet upcoming challenges, and for secure, convenient, and aesthetic telecommunications and wireless access point enclosures for suspended ceiling and wall-mounted systems, please call 1-877-867-2312 or visit

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

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


NEMA Announces Gail Rodriguez, PhD, as Executive Director / Vice President of its Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA)

ROSSLYN, Va., February 13, 2011—NEMA, the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, today named Gail Rodriguez, Ph.D., as executive director / vice president of its Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA).

Rodriguez, who assumes her new role immediately, brings 20 years of experience in diagnostic medical imaging. She joined NEMA and MITA last year.

“It is vital that MITA has the proper expertise to educate the public, legislators, and regulators about how imaging improves health outcomes, saves lives, and reduces costs,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan Gaddis. “Gail Rodriguez is the right fit.”

Previously, Rodriguez was Director of Policy at MITA where she oversaw the association’s X-ray Imaging Products Section and directed the MITA Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Group, including leading its regulatory, educational, health economics, and coverage initiatives. Rodriguez, who holds a doctorate in political science with an emphasis in health policy from the University of Kansas, has significant experience in radiopharmaceuticals and PET. Prior to coming to MITA, Rodriguez directed policy and business development for the Institute for Molecular Technologies.

“From detecting cancer and heart disease when it’s most treatable to giving physicians the tools to stage the proper therapies to reducing hospital stays and medical errors, the evidence continues to demonstrate how imaging technologies help physicians improve patient care,” said Rodriguez. “I look forward to working with MITA members to enhance policymakers’ understanding of the value our technologies play improving healthcare and creating jobs,” said Rodriguez. 

NEMA Announces Charles S. Konigsberg, JD, as Chief, Strategy and Policy

ROSSLYN, Va., February 13, 2011—NEMA, the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, today announced that Charles S. Konigsberg, JD, will join the NEMA/MITA team as Chief, Strategy and Policy.

Mr. Konigsberg is a 30-year budget and policy veteran whose bipartisan experience will bolster the NEMA leadership team with a public policy focus. He has served in senior level positions in the U.S. Senate and White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He was general counsel and chief health counsel at the Senate Finance Committee under Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), a staff attorney at the Senate Budget Committee for Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), the Assistant Director of OMB in the Clinton White House, and Director of Congressional and inter-government Affairs at the Corporation for National and Community Service in President George W. Bush’s administration.

Konigsberg will enhance NEMA’s efforts with Congress, agencies, and regulators to promote partnerships that further energy efficiency, Smart Grid, high performance buildings, and medical imaging.

"If we can get the right information to decision makers, they will make the right decisions to promote these important projects,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis. “Chuck is coming onboard to further NEMA’s effort in getting accurate information into their hands. Because the benefits of these projects speak for themselves, I strongly believe that decision makers will support these efforts for their advantages in the areas of economics, jobs, efficiency, health, and safety.”

NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion.


Leviton Upgrades Shielded CAT 6A Connector

New design features smaller body, improved margins

Bothell, WA, February 9, 2012 – Leviton Network Solutions, a division of Leviton Manufacturing, today announced enhancements to its popular QuickPort® eXtreme® CAT 6A Shielded Connector. Improvements include a narrower design – making it compatible with higher density applications – and increased margin for alien crosstalk (AXT) suppression.

"Leviton is the industry leader in copper connectivity products, and we continue to innovate with our latest enhancements to the QuickPort eXtreme CAT 6A connector, which helps solidify that position,” said Keith Kosanovich, RCDD, senior product manager for Leviton. "This new high-density, high-performance connector increases CAT 6A performance margins and supports short links commonly found in data center applications, while allowing for up to six connectors to fit in a single-gang faceplate.”

The shielded connector provides superior alien crosstalk suppression and protects critical data from potential EMI/RFI (electromagnetic interference / radio frequency interference) – meeting the needs of government, healthcare, manufacturing and other environments where EMI/RFI may be a concern. The connector is part of a complete CAT 6A shielded system, including patch cords and patch panels. It meets TIA-568-C.2 and ISO/IEC 11801 (Class Ea) performance for all internal and alien crosstalk parameters up to 500 MHz.

The new shielded CAT 6A Connector and other shielded solutions can be purchased through Leviton’s reseller network. For more information, visit

Leviton Network Solutions Offers New FLX Series PDU Selections

Durable, reliable data center quality with easy-to-select configurations and quick shipment

Bothell, Washington, February 14, 2012 − Leviton Network Solutions, a division of Leviton Manufacturing, today announced the release of its new selection of FLX Series Rack Power Distribution Units (PDUs). The 127 PDUs offer simplified configurations with discreet part numbers for easier selection, ordering, and faster delivery.

The FLX Series offers a variety of options to meet many different applications and power requirements. The series has 12 input plug options, meeting both NEMA and IEC 60309 standards, and output power ranging from 2.0 kW to 12.5 kW. Additionally, each PDU features an option for branch level metering, which displays amps, volts, and watts and includes a gravity sensor that auto-inverts the display depending on PDU orientation.

“Leviton Network Solutions is excited to offer the new FLX series PDUs, confirming our focus and commitment to dependable data center power distribution products,” said Bill Lauby, Senior Product Manager. “Our wide range of configurations, ease of selection and ordering, and our quick delivery help to ensure we can meet the specific needs and schedules of each customer.”

Each U.S.-made PDU includes UL-rated breakers for branch circuit protection and grounding studs to provide reliable grounding. The FLX Series has a durable 18-gauge cold-rolled steel construction and has been rigorously tested for temperature, humidity, vibration and shock conditions. More information can be found at Leviton's complete selection of power solutions, including the FLX Series, can be purchased through Leviton’s distribution network.

Leviton Launches Premium and Economy Series Patch Cords and Pigtails

New Cable Assembly Solutions Offer Wide Selection, Faster Delivery

Bothell, WA, February 15, 2012− Leviton Network Solutions, a division of Leviton Manufacturing, today announced significant enhancements to its selection of fiber optic patch cord and pigtail assemblies. The two new lines – Premium Series and Economy Series –  offer customers a wider selection of cable assemblies, including options for higher performance, better pricing and faster delivery times.

“By improving our operations and processes, we are able to deliver higher performance assemblies and industry-leading turnaround times,” said David Mullen, senior product manager, fiber, for Leviton Network Solutions. “We’re excited to announce the Premium and Economy Series, which give customers more options to meet their specific networking, pricing and scheduling demands.”

New Premium Series Patch Cords and Pigtails feature advanced polishing and assembly techniques, with insertion loss and return loss tested to industry-leading standards. Available in OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4 and OS2 fiber types with SC, ST, FC, LC, MU or hybrid connector options, they are customizable using Leviton’s online product configurator. Premium Series assemblies can ship next day from Leviton’s Chicago manufacturing facility if orders are received before 12:00 p.m. (noon) PST (quantity limitations apply).

In addition, Leviton is introducing Economy Series Patch Cords and Pigtails, available in OM1, OM2, OM3 and OS1 fiber types with SC, ST and LC connectors. With optical performance meeting or exceeding industry standards, this economy line of assemblies is among the most price-competitive in the market, offering a compelling value proposition. Economy Series assemblies can ship the same day from either Leviton’s Tennessee or Nevada warehouses if orders are received before 12:00 p.m. (noon) PST (quantity limitations apply).

To assist with order selection, an easy online product selector is available on When ordered in limited quantities, the Premium and Economy Series assemblies can ship the same day if orders are received before noon PST.

All Leviton cable assemblies are 100 percent optically tested and meet or exceed the requirements of TIA-568-C.3. They can be purchased through Leviton’s extensive distribution network. For more information, visit

About Leviton Network Solutions

Leviton Network Solutions manufactures high-performance data connectivity for customers around the globe, including complete network infrastructure systems for the enterprise, data center, government, education, health care, and residential markets. The division’s solutions include cutting-edge fiber optic and copper systems, PDUs, and customized make-to-order products. All Leviton products are engineered to exacting standards, offer industry-leading performance, and are backed by the industry’s best customer service and technical support. Make the smart choice for a better network. Visit or

About Leviton

Leviton Manufacturing Company is one of the largest privately held global providers of electrical wiring devices, network connectivity solutions and lighting energy management systems. Founded at the turn of the 20th century in America, Leviton has grown to become one of the preeminent leaders in the electrical industry. Today Leviton's product portfolio consists of more than 25,000 devices and systems used in homes, businesses and industry. Proven to be a smart choice, nine out of 10 homes throughout North America have Leviton products installed in them. Builders, electrical contractors and other industry professionals rank Leviton products No. 1 in brand preference. For more information contact Leviton Manufacturing or visit,, or  


IDEAL Rebrands Data Communications Business Unit

IDEAL Industries datacomm business unit rebranded under the name IDEAL Industries Networks

SAN DIEGO, CA, FEBRUARY 2, 2012 -- IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of quality tools, connectors and testing products for the Electrical and Data Communications markets, announced today that its DataComm business unit is being rebranded as IDEAL Industries Networks to reflect a realigned sales channel and product mix focusing on data and security networking technology markets. The name change comes as IDEAL cements gains it has made in the LAN Installation marketplace, and as it aims to expand its footprint in LAN Management markets that complement its core competency in network installation and testing solutions.


"Since its inception in 1999, the data communications business unit has focused on a systems solution approach we call 'Cut, Strip, Terminate and Test' in response to an evolving technological market place," explained Jason Butchko, vice president and general manager of IDEAL Industries Networks. "The name change will provide opportunities by differentiating the sophisticated and technologically advanced Networks product lines from the traditional IDEAL Electrical product portfolio in the competitive arena. It also more accurately communicates our goal to provide the IT Industry with standards compliant testing technology coupled with a superior customer experience."


Over the past decade, IDEAL has made a number of strategic acquisitions to booster its competitive position beginning in 2001 with the acquisition of the LAN division of handheld test manufacturer Wavetek. The subsequent acquisition of Trend Communications in 2004 further diversified and strengthened its product mix, plus deepened the company's R&D capabilities to deliver internally-developed, proprietary technologies. IDEAL Industries Networks offers an extensive line of handheld cable certifiers, network test tools, and cable testers for twisted pair, coax and fiber, along with the hand tools and supplies required to install, maintain, and repair virtually any networking environment.


According to Richard Jones, Sales and Marketing Director for IDEAL Industries Networks US, central to the rebranding efforts will be the targeting of priority niche markets, such as LAN Installation, LAN Management and WAN Access. "We've evolved our product portfolio to satisfy the changing needs of IT professionals tasked with installing, troubleshooting, maintaining and repairing all types of networks. IDEAL now has the technological prowess for applications ranging from coaxial residential wiring to campus networks running on structured single- and multi-mode fiber and Ethernet cabling, as well as those deploying equipment using PoE, and up to 10GBASE-T technologies."


Jones points to the LanXPLORER™ as an example of recent IDEAL innovation. This handheld tester is able to troubleshoot passive cabling or active networks, and tests fiber and copper links with full inline and endpoint test capabilities. It also liberates the user from cables by allowing most tests to be conducted through a wireless connection offering unparalleled flexibility.


IDEAL Industries Networks will continue to operate under IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. to allow room for business unit growth while still maintaining a cohesive IDEAL brand and internal support structure. It is headquartered in San Diego, CA.

For more information about IDEAL Industries Networks products, visit


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. Visit for more information.


Graybar to Open Branch in Joplin, Mo.

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 26, 2012 – Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and provider of related supply chain management and logistics services, will open a branch in Joplin, Mo., on Jan. 30.

The facility, which will staff three full-time employees, is located at 1705 S. Main St., and will stock local inventory with daily deliveries from Graybar’s Springfield, Mo., location. Area Manager Stephen Wallace will lead the branch operations. The new facility will serve the cities of Joplin, Webb City, Carthage, Neosho, Carl Junction and the counties of Newton and Jasper.

“We’ve been serving the Joplin area out of our Springfield location for some time and are excited to bring a higher level of service to our customers with this new branch,” said Graybar’s St. Louis District Vice President Mike Dumas.

The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with after-hours emergency service offered. The branch employees can be reached at 417-627-9648.

Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical, communications and data networking products, and specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services. Through its network of nearly 240 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers, helping its customers power, network and secure their facilities with speed, intelligence and efficiency. For more information, visit or call 1-800-GRAYBAR.


General Cable Names C.C. Pierce Company, Inc. 2011 Electrical Distribution Channel Agent Of The Year And Presents Several Other Awards at 2012 NEMRA Annual Conference

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KENTUCKY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012 – General Cable (NYSE: BGC) is pleased to announce that it has named C.C. Pierce Company, Inc., based in Duxbury, Massachusetts, as its 2011 Electrical Distribution Channel Agent of the Year.

“C.C. Pierce has been a great business partner to General Cable,” said Tom Bisson, Vice President, Electrical Distribution Sales, General Cable. “Our Agent of the Year selection process is based on three specific sales improvement metrics and C.C. Pierce exceeded in all three categories for 2011.”

Serving the New England Electrical Industry for over 90 years, C.C. Pierce represents General Cable’s Carol® Brand portable cord, cordsets, electronics, data, low-voltage and 5kV to 35kV medium-voltage industrial, tray and instrumentation, and CCW® Continuously Corrugated Welded cables.

The award was presented to C.C. Pierce in February 2012 at the National Electrical Manufacturers Representative Association (NEMRA) Annual Conference, which was held in San Diego, California.

At the conference, General Cable also presented the Agent Inside Sales Associate of the Year Award and Director’s Club Agent Awards.

The Inside Sales Person Award is based on overall knowledge of General Cable products, processes, computer systems, clients and markets, and to deliver outstanding customer service.  Candidates must exhibit the knowledge and skills to successfully grow sales and manage daily business flow.  The winner was selected by his peer group of General Cable’s Electrical Distribution Inside Sales Representatives.  The 2011 winner was Dusty Mathis of Gaynor Sales.

Director’s Club Agents are selected based on objective results that General Cable’s Electrical Distribution Sales team agrees to each year.  The 2011 criteria included all Agents who achieved and/
or exceeded sales plan, as well as year-over-year growth in metal adjusted sales dollars.  The 2011 winners were:

·   Cardel-Criste

·   Gobeille-Robinson, Inc.

·  SYNTECH, Inc.

·   C. C. Pierce Company, Inc.

·   Gorin-Hopper & McCoy

·  Vertex Innovative Solutions

·   Davenport & Associates, Inc.

·   Lester Sales Company

·  Vincent-Angel, Inc.

·   EMMCO & Associates, Inc.

·   Rains Electrical Sales, Inc.

·  Young & Champagne

·   ET Cable Sales

·   Stone Sales Agency, Inc.


About General Cable

General Cable (NYSE:BGC), a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Highland Heights, Kentucky, is a global leader in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, specialty and communications markets.  With annual revenues approaching $5 billion, General Cable is one of the largest wire and cable manufacturing companies in the world.  It operates 47 manufacturing facilities in 25 countries and employs approximately 12,000 associates.  Visit our Web site at


Free NECA/FOA-301 Installation Standard For FOA Members

            FOA and NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) have agreed to make the NECA/FOA-301 Fiber Optic Installation Standard available to FOA members free as a service to the industry. The NECA/FOA-301 standard is unique in the standards world as it was written by contractors and installers for contractors and installers to provide guidelines on how fiber optics should be installed properly.

            This standard was written to clarify the meaning of the National Electrical Code (NEC) that calls for the installation of equipment in a "neat and workmanlike" manner. The standard covers the installation and testing of the fiber optic cable plant and is intended to be complementary to other appropriate component and testing standards such as those written by TIA and ISO/IEC.

            In announcing this, FOA President Jim Hayes said, "The contractor, designer, installer or owner of a fiber optic network needs guidance from standards as much as anyone, but most industry standards are not written with them in mind. Plus most standards are much too expensive for them to buy. The FOA and NECA are focusing on making standards more readily available to this group to ensure they can benefit from the guidelines of standards more easily. Look for more free standards to be made available in the near future."

            For more information on the NECA/FOA-3-1 fiber optic installation standard and instructions on how to get a free copy, go to

            NECA/FOA-301 is part of the NECA NEIS (National Electrical Installation Standards) series that includes not only standards appropriate to electrical installations but also the installation of pathways and spaces and low-voltage cabling, in many cases the installation of components not covered by the usual cabling standards. More information on the NECA-NEIS standards can be found at

            The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is the nonprofit professional society of fiber optics chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. The FOA has hundreds of schools offering FOA certifications around the world and provides technical information free to the industry to promote the proper application of fiber optics and premises cabling. For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website

            The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) is the voice of the $130 billion industry responsible for bringing electrical power, lighting, and communications to buildings and communities across the United States.



How States Evaluate Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

A new study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) questions whether a national standard is needed for evaluating the effectiveness of utility ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs.


Passion for Business Wins Contractor $100,000 Technology Makeover


NECA contractor Jennifer Bias, president of Ficek Electric & Communication Systems, wowed competition judges with her passion for business and need for new tech equipment and thereby won $100,000 in free technology products and business services through the Women's Business Development Center in Chicago.


Stuart Diamond is Keynote Speaker at Labor Relations Conference


Negotiator-extraordinaire and Wharton Business School professor Stuart Diamond will be the keynote speaker for NECA's 2012 Labor Relations Conference, March 7-8 in New Orleans. Register now!


Henderson Services Makes Its Mark with Zero Accident Process


What did it take for Henderson Services, LLC of Louisville, KY, to cross the 2.5 million manhours mark without a single lost-time injury? Learn more about Henderson's Zero Accident Process.


NECA MEI Announces 2011 Chapter Awards



LED Retrofit Lights Up National Mall in Washington, DC


ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine editor Andrea Klee was among the guests as Osram Sylvania helped flip the switch last week at the National Mall's new outdoor LED lighting solutions.


Best-Ever Officer and Overhead Personnel Compensation Report Available


The 2011 edition of NECA's Officer and Overhead Personnel Compensation Study is the most accurate and indepth tool we've ever produced for benchmarking compensation and benefit levels in the electrical contractor industry. Order yours today!


NECA Releases New and Updated Safety Tools


NECA has released several new safety resources for electrical contractors to keep pace with NFPA-70E updates, lock-out/tag-out procedures, PPE and an all-new Supervisors Guide to Jobsite Safety.


Students Take Green Energy Challenge Very Seriously


The 2012 Green Energy Challenge is underway. Eighteen NECA Student Chapters across the country are already at work, getting ready to respond to the 2012 challenge. This year, teams will select a facility on their campus, conduct an energy audit of the building's power and lighting systems, and design and propose a retrofit for both systems.


Linemen Climbing to the Top of their Trade in Forest Park


Links to an article on how first-rate union linemen are produced at a training center in Forest Park, Illinois, and why union electricians see more work ahead with the development of the Smart Grid.


NAPA Valley Resort Gets Free Charge from NECA-IBEW Team


The Meritage Resort and Spa has a new amenity to offer its pampered guests — free electrical vehicle recharging onsite — thanks to the generosity of the Northern California Chapter, NECA, IBEW Local 180, and Graybar, a NECA Premier Partner.


Feb. 1 Deadline for NECA Student Chapters Registration for 2012 Green Energy Challenge


NECA student chapters must submit their team registrations for the 2012 Green Energy Challenge to ELECTRI International by Wednesday, Feb. 1.


ELECTRI International Selects Four Research Projects for 2012 Funding


The ELECTRI Council recently approved four research projects for funding in 2012, with topics ranging from working in the new energy economy to look-ahead scheduling.


GREAT NEWS! Labor Relations Conference Early Discount Extended; Topics Expanded



FREE DOE Webinars: High-Performance SSL for Parking Lots/Structures at Federal Facilities


The U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program will present two different webinars on high-performance solid state lighting for parking lots and parking structures for federal facilities on January 24 and 25, 2012. They’re free but registering in advance is required.


Better Buildings Initiative Invests $4 Billion for Energy Upgrades


President Obama recently announced that the Better Building Initiative will invest nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private-sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next two years.


New Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans This Year


2012 could be a great year to hire a military veteran, or a few. It’s the right thing to do — and it could earn you some substantial but short-lived tax credits!


Explore Panama, and New Opportunities, at the 2012 Cross Border Meeting


DON'T FORGET TO REGISTER: More than just networking, the 2012 Cross Border Meeting, March 7-9 in Panama City, is about building relationships and strengthening your industry at home and beyond borders. Register ASAP!



Early Bird Registration Now Open for 2012 NAED National Meeting

Forum Brings Industry Leaders Together for Strategy Sessions, Networking and Education

ST. LOUIS... The National Association of Electrical Distributors today announced the opening of registration for the 2012 NAED National Meeting, taking place April 25-28, 2012 at Washington D.C.'s Marriott Wardman Park.

More than 600 executives from over 200 companies nationwide are expected to converge at the event for an exciting line up of timely economic and election-year forecasts, panel discussions, educational sessions, and networking opportunities. Attendees who register for the National Meeting before the March 21 early-bird deadline will save $200 on registration costs.

A venue for the vigorous exchange of ideas from across the industry, the event will feature:

  • Keynote presentations from political analyst Charlie Cook and economist Eli S. Lustgarten, offering trends and insights for navigating business in today's competitive environment;
  • A deep-dive workshop led by legal expert Bernie Heinze, who will present his best-practice findings on mitigating risks and exposure to harmful contract provisions;
  • Information-packed panels and educational sessions on topics ranging from technology and the future of the electrical-distribution industry to managing ESCO relationships and participating in government advocacy;
  • Special networking opportunities within strategic-planning booth sessions, the Women in Industry Networking Luncheon and the Closing Awards Banquet, featuring musical entertainment from Bruce in the USA - The World's Number One Tribute to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Visit the NAED National Meeting page to register online. For more information, contact the NAED Conference Department at (888) 791-2512.

Sponsors of this year's National Meeting include: Legrand at the diamond level; Eaton Corp., Hubbell, Rockwell Automation and Thomas & Betts at the platinum level; and EGS Electrical Group, GE Energy Industrial Solutions, Infor Distribution, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Philips, QSSI and Siemens Industry Inc. Additional companies are sponsoring at the silver level or onsite events.

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


Optical Transport Market to Approach $19 Billion by 2016


DWDM Transport Forecast to Grow at 10% CAGR

Redwood City, Calif. – February 6, 2012 – 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 Transport equipment revenues are forecast to grow to nearly $19 billion by 2016. Furthermore, the DWDM Transport market is expected to grow at a 10% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 5 years, reaching $12 billion.

“The demand for optical equipment and DWDM systems is due to what appears to be an endless need for more backhaul capacity in both fixed and mobile broadband networks,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Optical Transport Market Research at Dell’Oro Group. “There are a number of trends we expect to occur in the Optical market during the next five years, with the top three being: 1) the shift to packet-based equipment, where we expect optical packet equipment sales to grow three-fold in the next five years. 2) the growing use of OTN, MPLS, and MPLS-TP for both transport and switching, which is related to the rise in optical packet equipment, and 3) the increasing demand for 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps DWDM, which will steadily rise over the next few years to contribute about 60% of the DWDM sales by 2016,” stated Mr. Yu.

About the Report

The Dell’Oro Group Optical Transport 5-Year Forecast Report offers a complete overview of the Optical Transport industry with tables covering manufacturers’ revenue, average selling prices, unit shipments Tributary/Line or Wavelength shipments (by speed up to 100 Gbps). The report tracks DWDM long haul terrestrial, WDM metro, multiservice SONET/SDH, and optical switch equipment. To purchase this report, please contact Jessica Hsueh, call +1.650.622.9400 x222 or email

About Dell'Oro Group

As the trusted source for market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, Dell'Oro Group provides in-depth, objective research and analysis that enables component manufacturers, equipment vendors, and investment firms to make fact-based, strategic decisions. For more information, contact Dell'Oro Group at +1.650.622.9400 or visit


CommScope’s OM4 Fiber Enables 100 Gigabit Ethernet To Reach 430 Meters in World’s First Public Demonstration

--Exceeds Last Year’s Mark of 340 Meters--

LONDON, January 31, 2012 — CommScope, Inc., a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, has once again exceeded industry standards by successfully enabling a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) data transmission over off-the-shelf multi-mode fiber optic cabling at a length of 430 meters.

In collaboration with Ixia and Reflex Photonics Inc., the demonstration took place at Cisco Live! in London using SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH® 360 fiber cable assemblies using LazrSPEED® 550 OM4 fiber.

“This demonstration shows a future proof path from 10G through 40G and onto 100G with error-free operation,” said Peter Marsh, UK technical manager, CommScope. “It also demonstrates that our customers will not have to re-engineer their networks or deploy new cable when they eventually evolve to 100G. CommScope’s solutions are engineered to exceed industry standards, but this demonstration, exceeding last year’s mark by almost 100 meters, proves the value high-performance cabling infrastructure can bring.”

CommScope first publicly demonstrated this technological advancement during last year’s event, and both last year’s and today’s demonstration were the first to take place publicly, rather than in closed-door laboratory environments.

The 100 GE standard was ratified in 2010 by the IEEE 802.3ba committee for transmissions up to 150 meters of OM4 fiber cable. CommScope’s 430-meter link proves that the range could be effectively doubled through the combined use of high-performance connectivity solutions and advanced optoelectronics.

“Using CommScope’s innovative OM4 fiber cable with Ixia’s K2 100GE test solution has once again validated this technology and proven that it is ready for deployment in today’s data centers,” said Dave Schneider, senior manager of market development, Ixia.

Robert Coenen, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Reflex Photonics added, “Demonstrating the technology outside the laboratory proves that today’s 100GE network infrastructure and Reflex’s 100G CFP are ready for everyday use.” 

CommScope offers a complete portfolio of network infrastructure solutions that enable enterprise customers, regardless of size, industry or IT budget, to take advantage of business and technology opportunities. CommScope’s SYSTIMAX® and Uniprise® brands offer voice, data, video and converged connectivity solutions that support mission-critical, high-bandwidth and emerging applications to those that demand unrelenting reliability and quality for everyday needs. CommScope’s Wired For Wireless® solution provides new buildings and campuses with the wireless infrastructure necessary to eliminate weak or blocked signal areas from the outset and prepare them for better wireless coverage. 


SYSTIMAX, Uniprise, LazrSPEED and Wired for Wireless are registered trademarks of CommScope, Inc.

About CommScope
CommScope ( has played a role in virtually all the world’s best communication networks. We create the infrastructure that connects people and technologies through every evolution. Our portfolio of end-to-end solutions includes critical infrastructure our customers need to build high-performing wired and wireless networks. As much as technology changes, our goal remains the same: to help our customers create, innovate, design, and build faster and better. We’ll never stop connecting and evolving networks for the business of life at home, at work, and on the go.

About Ixia
Ixia provides the industry’s most comprehensive converged IP services testing solution – from the wireless edge to the Internet core. Network equipment manufacturers, service providers, enterprises, and government agencies use Ixia’s industry-leading test and simulation platforms to design and validate a broad range of wired, Wi-Fi, and 3G/4G networking equipment and networks. Ixia’s solutions create real-world conditions by emulating a full range of high-scaling networking protocols and generating media-rich application traffic to validate performance, conformance and security of cloud, core, data center, wireless and multiplay networks. For more information, visit

About Reflex Photonics Inc.
Founded in 2002, Reflex Photonics is an advanced developer of extreme high-speed, parallel channel optical connectivity solutions for semiconductor packaging and data transfer applications. The company addresses the growing demand for high-speed interconnects in enterprise-class storage/server environments and telecom-class switches/routers, enabling equipment developers to design smaller, lower cost and lower powered systems that result in higher fidelity and faster connectivity.


Successful BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition Closes With Education & Inspiration

Orlando, Fla., February 16, 2012—BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, closed the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition with more than 4,500 attendees during the event.

Thursday’s Closing General Session began with two technical presentations. Timothy Kuhlman, RCDD, of CH2M Hill in Portland, Oregon spoke about interpreting the National Electric Code (NEC®), followed by Syl Santo, RCDD, of Stantec Consulting in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who delivered the presentation, “Communications Design Challenges for the Edmonton North LRT Extension.”

Conference attendees were very pleased with their networking and educational experiences. “I’ve met up with several manufacturers I have previously not known who have presence where I’m doing projects,” said Don Phares, RCDD, NTS, OSP, RTPM(i), ITS Technician of Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group in Lincoln, Nebraska. “I’m going to use their BICSI-certified and -manufactured personnel in these international regions where I’m working—specifically, in Latin America, Europe and Asia.”

The Closing General Session continued with the BICSI Cares presentation, where donations collected throughout the conference from attendees were donated to Canines for Disabled Kids, a charity that provides assistance dogs to kids with special needs.

Finally, Closing Keynote Speaker Vince Papale delivered an inspiring address to those in attendance. Papale is the inspiration for the hit Disney film, “Invincible.”

The fifth annual BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge came to a close during the conference, as well. After competing in several events, including structured cabling; copper cable termination and firestopping; fiber termination; cable assembly; cable troubleshooting/technical support; professionalism; and a written competency exam; winners were named during Wednesday evening’s Annual Awards Banquet. Of the 16 individuals involved in the Challenge, the following were named winners in each level:

ITS Installer 1

1st place—James Aldridge, A-Tech Communications, Rochelle, Ga.

ITS Installer 2

1st place—Oscar Quintanilla, Vision Technologies, Glen Burnie, Md.

2nd place—Ryan Harrison, Staley Technologies, Knoxville, Tenn.

3rd place—Matt Collins, Vision Technologies, Glen Burnie, Md.

ITS Technician

1st place—Thomas "Lee" Renfroe, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Fitzgerald, Ga.

2nd place—Jeremy Powers, Vision Technologies, Glen Burnie, Md.

3rd place—John David, Staley Technologies, Little Rock, Ark.

The overall winner with the highest score of the competition was rightfully named the 2012 BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge Installer of the Year. Thomas “Lee” Renfroe, RCDD, ITS Technician, Certified Trainer, of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, walked away with the honor, a large trophy and a check for $5,000. Other awards were donated by challenge sponsors, including 3M; Chatsworth Products Inc.; Corning Cabling Systems; JDSU; ERICO; HellermannTyton; KITCO Fiber Optics; Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company; Fluke Networks; Sumitomo Electric Lightwave–FutureFLEX Air-blown Fiber Division; KLEIN TOOLS; AFL; FIS; Harger Lightning and Grounding; DYMO Rhino; Specified Technologies Inc.; Middle Atlantic Products; and TIA.


Thought leaders of the ITS industry are recognized for passion and dedication.

Orlando, Fla., February 16, 2012—Last night, 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition attendees came together to celebrate and honor some truly remarkable individuals who have contributed to BICSI and to the information technology systems (ITS) industry in very special ways.

The Ray Gendron/BICSI Cares Scholarship is awarded every year for BICSI members or their immediate families. This year, BICSI is proud to award the Ray Gendron BICSI Cares Scholarship to two students: David Picariello and Joseph Lentine. Picariello is the son of BICSI member Mike Picariello, RCDD, and is majoring in Electronics Engineering Technology at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Lentine is majoring in Computer Information Systems at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. His mother is BICSI member Denice Lentine.

During the conference, 16 ITS Installers and Technicians raced against the clock and each other, competing in several technical tasks during the fifth annual BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge. As a result, an overall winner emerged as the BICSI Installer of the Year. This year’s winner was Thomas “Lee” Renfroe, RCDD, ITS Technician, Certified Trainer.

BICSI established the Larry G. Romig Committee Member of the Year award in recognition of volunteer work performed by members. The Committee Member of the Year honors individuals for exemplary efforts and dedication within a BICSI committee and are typically nominated by the Committee Chair. For the first time in twelve years, two individuals received this award. David Bowling, RCDD, and his wife, Myra Bowling, were recognized for their many years of hard work and dedication to the BICSI Cares Committee.

The David K. Blythe/University of Kentucky Award for Outstanding Member of the Year recognizes the volunteer spirit of BICSI members, and spotlights one individual as the BICSI Member of the Year for outstanding efforts in promoting BICSI’s educational programs and commitment to professional development within the industry. Patricia A. Fisher, RCDD, DCDC, OSP, WD, a BICSI member since 1998 and an individual who is active on many BICSI Committees and has been instrumental in organizing several BICSI Breakfast Club events over the years, was named the winner of this award.

The Presidential Eagle Award, selected by BICSI’s President, is presented to individuals who have exhibited leadership, sacrifice, faith in BICSI and dedication over a period of time. This year, David M. Richards, RCDD, NTS, OSP, ITS Technician, was given the award based on his never-ending commitment to spreading ITS education across the globe, as well as for his work on the BICSI Installation Committee, which includes helping to create and implement the BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge.

Awarded by the University of South Florida, College of Engineering, the Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry recognizes the lifetime achievement or major accomplishment of an individual in the telecommunications industry. This year’s winner of the Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry is Mark S. Harger. Harger is active on several BICSI committees and is highly knowledgeable in the field of bonding and grounding. His expertise and leadership has been used to help form and publish numerous standards, as well as several BICSI manuals. In addition, he’s written articles for BICSI News Magazine and has presented at several BICSI conferences.

The evening concluded with a performance by comedian John Pinette. 

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

BICSI provides information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies in the ITS industry. We serve more than 23,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians. These individuals provide the fundamental infrastructure for telecommunications, audio/video, life safety and automation systems. Through courses, conferences, publications and professional registration programs, BICSI staff and volunteers assist ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services, and offer opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 100 countries. For more information, visit


WOW… What a great conference. I heard only POSITIVE remarks from the attendees and exhibitors. The presentations were very well done. The entire conference flowed smoothly and the efforts by the BICSI staff were extraordinary. The site was a good choice too!!

Now, the bar has been set extremely high. Fortunately, that is not a problem for the BICSI staff and volunteers. BICSI has come a long way in 40 years. I have been there to personally witness the praiseworthy growth for 37 years. INCREDIBLE.  Frank Bisbee - Editor HOTS on


BICSI's ITSIMM Wins Award of Excellence

BICSI’s Information Technology Systems Installation Methods Manual (ITSIMM), 6th edition, has won the prestigious Award of Excellence in the recently held 2011-12 Florida Society for Technical Communication competition, making it one of the finest technical publications in Florida. This award has qualified the manual to be entered in the International Society for Technical Communication’s International Summit Competition in May 2012. The Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM), 7th edition, won the Award of Excellence at the 2010-11 international competition.


Jenne Adds LifeSize Video Collaboration Solutions to its Solution Design Portal, Helping Resellers Capture Unified Communication Opportunities in Video Conferencing

Resellers Can Preview Pricing and Specifications on Leading Video Conferencing Solutions,
While Augmenting Their Core Competencies and Increasing Revenues

Avon, OH – January 25, 2012: Jenne® Inc., a leading value-added distributor of IP telephony, audio and video conferencing, data networking and security products, announced that it has added LifeSize as a new vendor in its Jenne Solution Design (JSD) online solution configuration tool.  Lifesize, a division of Logitech, is a developer of award-winning video conferencing products and a major Jenne partner. LifeSize offers scalable, enterprise-quality client-server solutions that support high-end HD video collaboration — a category that is a foundational component of unified communications and quickly growing in both enterprise and SMB environments. 

The addition of LifeSize video conferencing products to the Jenne Solution Design portal lets Jenne customers view specifications, price quotes and product information, while opening new potential incremental revenue opportunities for resellers in unified communications as they expand their core competencies to include LifeSize’s collaborative technologies. 

According to an October, 2011 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., “the world video conferencing market is expected to reach $14 billion by 2017 and will be driven by factors such as an increase in enterprise mobility and subsequent rise in number of mobile workforce, growing prominence of telepresence and increasing adoption among small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).”*

The launch of LifeSize on this portal makes it easier for VoIP customers to add videoconferencing to their linecards; and conversely, will allow existing video conferencing resellers to explore VoIP solutions as a new opportunity. “This is an exciting time to introduce our customers to LifeSize’s video collaboration solutions through the Jenne Solution Design portal,” commented Vince Piccolomini, vice president of logistics and business development, Jenne. “Videoconferencing has been gaining momentum in the corporate marketplace for some time, and our portal can now serve as a natural and lucrative transition point for our customers who want to do business in the videoconferencing arena.”

The Power Behind the Platform

The Jenne Solution Design tool is a multi-vendor online portal where users can mix-and-match different VoIP products and assemble a tentative, turn key solution. As customers view specs, pricing and other critical details associated with a set of products, they can review changes or substitutions before making a commitment to purchase. This expedient model allows VARs to streamline their purchasing decisions, without the need to for in-depth spreadsheets or long customer service calls. JSD is accessible 24x7, and includes products from Avaya, Panasonic, ADTRAN and various other complementary VoIP vendors. 

Powered by eXalt Solutions, the Jenne Solution Design portal offers a more accessible and versatile alternative to stand-alone vendor configuration tools — which typically do not provide the ability to provide quotes for solutions involving multiple manufacturers.  

“Our collaboration with Jenne on the Jenne Solutions Design portal has been very successful and goes a long way towards simplifying customer transactions,” noted Leslie Swanson, CEO of eXalt. “Essentially, the Jenne Solutions Design portal creates a one stop capability for VARs to to assess customer requirements, spot complementary products and quote complete solutions to their customers.”

To learn more about the Jenne Solution Design portal, please visit Jenne's website at, or contact Bill Miller at, 1-(440) 471-3107.

* Source: Global Industry Analysts, Inc., press release: November 9, 2011: World Video Conferencing Market to Reach US$14 Billion by 2017, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

About Jenne®

Jenne Inc., headquartered in Avon, Ohio, is a leading value-added distributor of business telephony, data, audio and video conferencing, and security technology products, including equipment and software for the Enterprise and SMB markets. Since the company’s founding in 1986, Jenne is committed to providing value added resellers with a broad product selection, competitive pricing, on-time accurate delivery, outstanding technical support plus ongoing sales and technical training at our own Jenne University. Jenne’s strategic alliances insure its continuing ability to meet the resellers’ growing needs. More than 150 major manufacturers partner with Jenne including Avaya, Aastra, ADTRAN, Bogen, ClearOne, Extreme Networks, GN Netcom, ICC, Lifesize, Panasonic, Plantronics, Valcom, and Verint. Jenne is dedicated to tracking emerging technologies, offering fresh solutions, new equipment and related applications, accredited training and certification to better serve dealers and resellers.

About eXalt Solutions

eXalt Solutions is the only scalable and measurable cloud powered channel sales enablement (CSE) service. Our patented eXalt Solutions Sales Portals™ power the world’s largest channel sales sites (CDW, PC Connection, PC Mall, Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Westcon and Jenne) where vendors can share actionable content, then dynamically mix it with playbooks of what Distributors want to sell, so more VARs than ever before are empowered with the knowledge to sell solutions like the best experts.  The world’s largest vendors (HP, Cisco, Adtran, Avaya) are able to grow sales by influencing sales behavior of over 20,000 registered channel partners and measuring what impacts sales most.  More information about the company and its services is available at


tED Magazine Re-launches New Online Design

Dynamic Site Expands on Print Edition with Daily Updates, Videos and More  

ST. LOUIS... Seizing the latest digital platforms, the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) is expanding its award-winning tED magazine with the re-launch of a newly designed web site.

The dynamic format of allows the voice of the electrical distribution industry to keep its readers updated daily on breaking news, best practices, leadership profiles and other critical information for doing business in the channel.

"Our readers want timely information in a format they can use," said tED publisher Craig Riley. "We've designed the web site to offer interactive multimedia content in a way that's streamlined, visually appealing and accessible for them."

Readers can expect to see an expansion of the print edition, with bonus content in the form of video interviews, blog posts and online features. The site will also be synched to tED's Twitter and Facebook channels, allowing readers to keep up with the chatter happening on social media.

The re-launch comes just weeks after the publication received the gold award from Association TRENDS' 2011 All-Media Contents in the monthly trade association magazine category.

Circulated to more than 25,000 readers throughout the electrical distribution industry, tED magazine serves as the official publication of the NAED. It continues to grow with fresh editorial, increased advertising revenue and an online presence that includes e-newsletters, and multiple social media channels.

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


Siklu Successfully Leverages Millimeter-Wave All-Silicon Technology for Small Cell Backhaul

PETACH TIKVA, Israel, February 20, 2012 – Siklu, provider of the EtherHaul millimeter wave wireless backhaul solution, has successfully adapted its advanced all-silicon millimeter wave technology for LTE small cell backhaul operating in the unlicensed 57-66 GHz spectrum.

This technology, which catapulted Siklu to a leading position in the millimeter wave market in 2011, will be leveraged to provide an ultra-low-cost, invisible-footprint backhaul for the expected massive deployment of small cells.

As carriers increasingly deploy 4G/LTE, the cellular network is evolving to meet bandwidth demand by using a heterogeneous macrocell/small-cell architecture. Thousands of small-cells will be needed to provide a capacity boost in a typical highly populated metropolitan area. With such dense deployment, service providers will need two things. First, they will require both the small cells and the associated backhaul network to be as inexpensive and cost-effective as possible. Second, they will look for a very small form factor that blends into the street level environment.

Leveraging its disruptive all-silicon radio technology, Siklu designed and developed the EtherHaul-600, an ultra-small all-outdoor small cell backhaul product that enables rapid deployment anywhere, from street lamps to rooftops. The Siklu solution offers extremely low power consumption and plug-and-play installation into an operator's Self Organizing Network (SON). The integrated all-silicon Siklu approach brings down costs to a fraction of other millimeter wave solutions and will represent a key stepping stone to the mass deployment of small cells.

Insight Research follows the wireless backhaul market closely.  Rich Power, Vice President, notes that "Wireless service providers are scrambling for capacity to meet growing traffic demand.  Millimeter wave backhaul solutions offer carriers one more option to meet that demand.  Insight forecasts strong growth in this space and expects Siklu's EtherHaul to be a leader in millimeter wave wireless backhaul solutions."

“Siklu is extremely focused on reducing carrier costs and meeting the market’s needs,” says Gaby Junowicz, VP marketing and business development at Siklu. “Using Siklu’s unique all-silicon technology in the unlicensed, uncongested 57-66 GHz spectrum allows us to design an 'invisible' system at a very low price point.”

Siklu is now initiating trials of the EtherHaul-600 with leading mobile operators who are formulating their strategies for cost-effective small cells and backhaul deployments. The first commercial offering of the EtherHaul-600 is expected to be available in 2013.

"Siklu is committed to providing innovative backhaul solutions for mobile operators and business service providers," says Junowicz. "We will continue to develop the lowest cost backhaul solutions that integrate seamlessly with carrier networks."

Siklu will be exhibiting at Mobile World Congress February 27-March 1 in Barcelona, showcasing its EtherHaul millimeter wave systems in Hall 2, 2C72, and Hall 6, C50.

About Siklu

Siklu has been committed to reducing the cost of high capacity wireless backhaul solutions since 2008. The company's success centers on an innovative silicon-based design of the millimetric wave radio system and components that has resulted in the lowest cost millimeter wave systems available. The EtherHaul radios deliver gigabit speeds over the millimetric wave spectrum and are ideal for urban wireless backhaul of macro, micro and picocells. Serving providers around the world, Siklu Communication is based near Tel Aviv, Israel.


Leviton Network Solutions Announces New Enhanced Multimedia Outlet System Modules

Quality audio/video connectivity offers fast and easy cable termination

Bothell, Washington, February 2, 2012 - Leviton Network Solutions, a division of Leviton Manufacturing, today announced the release of its Enhanced Multimedia Outlet System (MOS) modules. The audio/video connectivity system supports video applications over distances up to 100 feet and features three quick-to-install module types – VGA, RCA Composite Video & Stereo Audio, and RCA Component Video.


The Enhanced Multimedia Outlet System modules provide point-to-point connections over twisted pair cable, for the connection of everything from a PC monitor to a DVD player. Easy industry-standard 110-punchdown termination and the ability to cut cable lengths in the field make the Enhanced Multimedia Outlet System a fast and economical solution. The new modules complement Leviton’s extensive line of QuickPort® and Multimedia Outlet System connectors and wallplates, which have front-load capability for simple changes and upgrades.


“This system has the lowest overall cost to install on the market today – including labor, cable, and connectors,” said Grant Sullivan, marketing manager for Leviton Network Solutions.  “Unlike factory terminated alternatives, the Leviton solution was designed to be installed using contractor labor and affordable CAT 5e UTP cabling.  This cable is likely already on the job site as excess cable in remnant lengths, and is ideal for audio-video applications.”


Leviton's audio/video products, including the Enhanced Multimedia Outlet System, can be purchased through Leviton’s distribution network. More information about the MOS System is available at

About Leviton Network Solutions

Leviton Network Solutions manufactures high-performance data connectivity for customers around the globe, including complete network infrastructure systems for the enterprise, data center, government, education, health care, and residential markets. The division’s solutions include cutting-edge fiber optic and copper systems, PDUs, and customized make-to-order products. All Leviton products are engineered to exacting standards, offer industry-leading performance, and are backed by the industry’s best customer service and technical support. Choose the smart choice for a better network. Visit or

About Leviton

Leviton Manufacturing Company is one of the largest privately held global providers of electrical wiring devices, network connectivity solutions and lighting energy management systems. Founded at the turn of the 20th century in America, Leviton has grown to become one of the preeminent leaders in the electrical industry. Today Leviton's product portfolio consists of more than 25,000 devices and systems used in homes, businesses and industry. Proven to be a smart choice, nine out of 10 homes throughout North America have Leviton products installed in them. Builders, electrical contractors and other industry professionals rank Leviton products No. 1 in brand preference. For more information contact Leviton Manufacturing or visit,, or  


IDEAL Redefines Frontline Network Testing With New Navitek II Technician Tool

LAN Cable Tester Puts Power into IT Technician's Hands to Troubleshoot Complex Network Challenges Faster and More Accurately

SAN DIEGO, CA, FEBRUARY 13, 2012 -- IDEAL Industries Networks, the networking technology division of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. (, today launched the NaviTEK® II, the fastest, most cost-effective Ethernet Service and Cable Tester available to frontline technicians. Miles ahead of any other tester in its class, the NaviTEK II is the first such device at this price point. Today's complex networks require a modern LAN and Cable Tester to enable frontline technicians to validate, troubleshoot and resolve challenges that cause slow network performance and downtime. NaviTEK II includes IPv6, PoE+, VLANs, Trace Route and advanced color LCD screen to view pin by pin wiremap capabilities that are standard in modern network deployments.


"The NaviTEK II is exactly what frontline technicians need today: an affordable, handheld tester that lets them literally see into copper or fiber networks to identify complex connectivity problems and quickly resolve them," explained Tim Holloway, senior product manager of IDEAL Industries Networks. "It makes troubleshooting LAN physical and network layers more efficiently than ever before."


Superior User Experience 

Engineered for rapid deployment with a minimal learning curve, the NaviTEK II features a simplified user-interface that allows even inexperienced technicians to get their networks back up and running fast. One reason is its large LCD: While other manufacturers' testers force techs to read small letters on 2-inch monochrome screens, the NaviTEK II has a 3.5-inch color LCD with large fonts and an on-screen keyboard to speed data entry of IP addresses and customer information. Steering through the tester's full capabilities poses no challenge thanks to its 5-way navigation buttons used for data input, along with an intuitive set of icons. Another key to its time-saving design is the ability to test both cabling and network performance using the same RJ45 interface, eliminating the need to disconnect the cable from the unit to switch between cable and network tests.


Support for IPv6, VLAN, PoE+ 

Over the past two years, IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) has gained momentum, especially in government and military networks. The NaviTEK II is the lowest priced tester to offer support for IPv6. Both IPv6 and IPv4 can be tested using an IP Ping to measure response of DHCP and to assure end-to-end connectivity.  In addition, NaviTEK II has Trace Route to map network connections and a Netscan mode that auto-discovers IPv6 and IPv4 network nodes.


NaviTEK II also supports VLANs (4096 with priority) commonly deployed to address scalability, security, and network management.  The tester can be used to verify the correct transmission and prioritization of Ethernet traffic with a specific VLAN ID and priority setting, saving the technician the expense of buying a separate VLAN tester. 


In addition to validating that circuits can accurately pass data or IP traffic, the NaviTEK II will check the availability and capability of PoE and higher power PoE+ sources in real time, including telling the technician the source voltage, current and supported PoE/PoE+ standards. Devices such as 802.11n wireless access points, IP phones with color screens and many newer network powered devices utilize PoE+.


Comprehensive Cable Testing and Fault Finding

Errors in cable and fiber connections account for 80-90% of network problems. The NaviTEK II has a full suite of capabilities, from advanced pin-by-pin wiremap and distance to fault measuring to built-in toning and a Smart Remote for more accurate results, all to assure confident identification, troubleshooting and resolution of virtually any cable-related problem.


Storage and Statistics

Unlike other testers on the market that offer only link/MAC level statistics, the NaviTEK II delves deeper into the network to expedite troubleshooting. In addition to link/MAC and VLAN, it gives the technician detailed error counts for collisions, FCS, under- and over-size, jabbers and bad lengths, providing greater insight into problems. It also is helpful in validating the performance of specific network applications.


The NaviTEK II will store a maximum of 250 tests plus allows the technician to organize tests into five unique job folders. This large storage memory and job folder system helps organize results for multiple jobs without having to offload the information onto a hard drive, therefore assisting the technician in being more efficient and better prepared for reporting.


Price and Availablity

The IDEAL NaviTEK II will be available in April in three models. For more information about IDEAL Industries Networks NaviTEK II, visit



Home Systems

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§                     ABI: Smart home appliance shipments will pass 24 million units by 2017
ABI Research forecasts that shipments of smart home appliances will surpass 24 million units by 2017. The market research firm points to recent product introductions by LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics in the Internet-connected appliance market, while noting that BSH, Electrolux, Miele and Whirlpool have also brought out smart appliances. (2/13)

§                     Teasing detailed home habits from aggregate energy consumption data
Machine learning techniques can be applied to sensor data collected from smart homes to reveal activity patterns of the residents, which can then be correlated with measured energy consumption. By associating activities with energy use and costs, intelligent systems can be devised to automatically control home environments so as to improve energy efficiency and cut expenses. IEEE Smart Grid (2/14)

§                     Green homes accounted for $17B of housing market in 2011
Eco-friendly housing accounted for $17 billion, or 17%, of the total residential construction sector in 2011, up from 8% of the market in 2008, according to findings by McGraw-Hill Construction. McGraw-Hill surveyed green builders and remodelers and found that rising energy costs and the perceived higher quality of green homes led to the increase. The company expects the green housing market to grow to between $87 billion and $114 billion by 2014. Jetson Green (2/13)

§                     U.S., EU regulators approve Google's buy of Motorola Mobility
Regulators in the U.S. and Europe have cleared the way for Google to complete its purchase of Motorola Mobility, but the agencies warned Google that they would continue to monitor the company to make sure it licensed patents in a fair and reasonable manner after the $12.5 billion deal closes. The U.S. Justice Department also approved the purchase of a patent portfolio from bankrupt Nortel Networks by a consortium that includes Apple, Microsoft and Research In Motion. Reuters (2/13)

§                     Hybrid FTTx leads the growth in broadband access
As IPTV approaches 55 million subscribers globally, it is Europe that still holds the strongest position for IPTV (23.5 million customers) as European markets continue to build their customer base. The latest deployment information from Broadband Forum shows that operators are increasingly turning to fiber access solutions to meet the needs of the well-connected home. Broadband Forum (2/15)

§                     FCC mulls whether to allow encryption of basic cable
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is disputing claims by Internet video company Boxee that a Federal Communications Commission's proposal allowing the encryption of basic cable channels by cable providers would be bad for consumers and would reduce the number of TV choices. Boxee is "simply wrong" about the impact of the change, according to the NCTA. The group points to benefits, such as consumers being able to connect or disconnect service without a service call, better security for broadband service and free equipment for the small number of subscribers in all-digital systems who use devices tapping unencrypted signals. Multichannel News (2/8)

§                     Will Google make a home wireless music system under its own brand?
Google reportedly plans to jump into the hardware business with the release this year of a self-branded entertainment system that will stream music wirelessly throughout the home and be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, according to a published report, which notes that the product will up the ante in Google's rivalry with Apple. It was not determined whether Google's Android software will power the hardware, which would become the first consumer entertainment product released under the Google brand. Google did not provide comment on the report. Wall Street Journal (2/10)

§                     Report: Apple will deliver new iPad in mid-March
The iPad 3 reportedly will ship in the second week of March -- the week following Apple's introduction of the device, according to All Things D and analyst reports, which note the latest iteration of the device is expected to land just one year after the company trotted out the iPad 2. The tablet is expected to feature a speedier processor, an improved graphics processing unit and better screen resolution. Computerworld (2/9)

§                     Women's interest in consumer electronics grows, CEA says
A study by the Consumer Electronics Association finds that 80% of women are interested in consumer electronics and about half of those say they're "very interested," which represents a 10% increase from 2007. Women are closing the gap in yearly spending on consumer electronics, purchasing an average of $667 worth of products in the past year, compared with $728 by men. In 2007, the CEA noted, the spending gap between the genders was nearly $200 a year. Home Media Magazine (2/9)

§                     ELAN builder partner receives award of excellence
The Builders Association of South Florida recently presented its coveted Builders Challenge Award to Josh Wynne Construction for their work in designing and building eco-friendly homes that feature maximized performance. ELAN Home Systems recently announced a strategic partnership with Josh Wynne of Josh Wynne Construction and Mark van den Broek of SmartHouse Integration whereby every new home designed and built by the dynamic duo will feature an ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System. ELAN (1/27)

§                     Home monitoring a bright spot for multichannel video programming distributors
As recent home security product launches indicate, home security has become an emerging business for MVPDs. CableFAX spoke with Bill Horrocks, VP of Product Management and Security for New Businesses at Comcast, about the strategy behind entering the home security services market, the process of getting it up and running and where it’s headed next. CableFax (1/27)

§                     Connected TVs will drive OTT video services market to $4.49B by 2015
Idate, a French research firm, estimates the market for OTT video services on the TV will be $4.49 billion by 2015, with the U.S. market making up about 40 percent ($1.8 billion) of that total, Europe claiming 24 percent ($1.08 billion) and the rest of the world comprising 36 percent ($1.62 billion). FierceTelecom (2/14)

§                     Telus launches LTE network in 14 Canadian cities
Telus has announced the launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless service in 14 metropolitan areas across Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Kitchener, Waterloo, Hamilton, Guelph, Belleville, Ottawa, Montreal, Québec City, Halifax and Yellowknife. Telus plans to continue rolling out its 4G LTE coverage to more regions to reach more than 25 million Canadians by the end of 2012. The network supports manufacturers’ rated peak download speeds of up to 75 Mbps, with an expected average of 12 to 25 Mbps. Telus (2/13)

§                     Fewer distinctions are being made between Internet, television
How people experience and use the Internet and television programming is becoming increasingly blurred, according to this news analysis, as Internet-connected TVs become more common and more professionally produced video content is available online. The Super Bowl was streamed live online this year for the first time. Standing in the way of closer Internet/TV integration are the cable companies and consumer reluctance to part with channel surfing, the analysis notes. News & Observer (2/8)

§                     IEEE, Wi-Fi Alliance develop specs to simplify Wi-Fi capture
Work from the IEEE technical-standards body and the Wi-Fi Alliance is designed to make capturing a wireless device's Wi-Fi signal easier. Under IEEE's 802.11u specs and the Alliance's Hotspot 2.0 technology, users will be able to home in on Wi-Fi signals simply by turning on their devices. "This will make using Wi-Fi as easy as when you arrive in another country and turn on your phone, and your phone automatically discovers a new network for you to use," said Niels Jonker, chief technology officer of Wi-Fi reseller Boingo. CNET (2/2)

§                     Psychiatrists taking couch to videoconference
Telemedicine has started to reach into the world of psychiatry where therapists "see" patients via videoconference links, a development that seems to sit well with doctor and patient. "We've had just over 60,000 patient encounters. To my knowledge, only six have refused to be seen via teleconferencing. ... A lot of patients feel it's less threatening and easier to be open and communicate via telemedicine," said Dr. Avrim Fishkind, a Houston psychiatrist. Computerworld (2/9)

§                     The good, bad and ugly of 802.11ac
Imagine a world where family members can stream their favorite HD content to different rooms, all while your teenage son uploads his latest HD video "project" to YouTube. Well, with new wireless LAN technology based on 802.11ac quickly approaching -- possibly in one or two years -- this digital home network paradise could become a reality. Network World (2/13)

§                     Video: iPods, iPhones increasing controlling automated homes
Fueled by the growth of high-speed broadband connections, home networking, and 3G in Asia/Pacific, home automation applications that tie into a PC-based home network are growing quickly. The total Asia/Pacific home automation market soared to over half a billion US dollars in 2011, according to high-tech market research firm In-Stat. Channel NewsAsia (1/25)

Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

Large Building Automation

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§                     QA Graphics Joins Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA)
QA Graphics is pleased to announce that it has joined the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), an international not-for-profit industry association focused on the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies. QA Graphics (2/14)

§                     LED protection: a necessity to make them worth their money
LEDs rightly claim their favorable position within the lighting industry with life expectancies of up to 20 years. Yet, induced surges can significantly shorten the LED life, degrade their performance or outright destroy them. To take full advantage of LEDs vast benefits over traditional incandescent or fluorescent lights, a proper protection design needs to ensure that the electrically sensitive circuits are protected from electrostatic discharge and other damaging power anomalies. If protected with a robust surge protection system, LEDs do offer an attractive return on your investment. Protection Technology Group (1/23)

§                     Research points toward 'intelligent' buildings
Yale's Intelligent Buildings Project found that the power costs of LEED-silver certified Rosenkranz Hall could be reduced by roughly 30 percent with a novel air-handling system, which it hopes will eventually feature in buildings across the country. Yale Daily News (1/30)

§                     Video: Corning invites us to spend another day with glass
Interactive learning, tele medicine, light sensitive glass and digital signage. All familiar to readers of InAVate digITal but not necessarily to the rest of the world. Corning, manufacturer of the now famous Gorilla Glass which graces personal mobile devices around the world has released a follow up to its “A day made of glass” video, imaginatively titled “A day made of glass 2”. It contains all of the above with a futuristic twist. InAVate (2/1)

§                     Con Edison, Siemens and TIBCO to provide a smart grid integration solution
Siemens Smart Grid division and TIBCO Software Inc. will provide proven smart grid enterprise integration services to Consolidated Edison for a smart grid demonstration project. The project is a result of Con Edison Company of New York receiving funding for the smart grid demonstration project from the Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus program. Siemens (2/1)

§                     NYC to get one of country's first net-zero-energy schools
An "extremely high-tech" school being built on New York's Staten Island is an energy-creating building that features roof-mounted solar panels and water heaters, high-performance windows and a wind turbine. Sensors will help control lighting, and natural light will be used to maximum advantage. The school is expected to cost between $55 million and $58 million. Staten Island Advance (2/6)

§                     Inside the killer app for buildings and energy management
While there are several software tools and applications that have proven beneficial for building operations and energy management, the software application with the best verified results and cost effectiveness is fault detection and diagnostics. It's the killer app of the building automation and building energy management industry. (2/9)

§                     Woolworths using March Networks video access solution
Woolworths is using a March Networks video access solution to manage its surveillance video for security and loss prevention in over 1,300 remote locations. (2/1)

§                     Scientists create solar cells that are 25 percent more efficient
Researchers at the Cavendish Laboratory, the University of Cambridge’s department of physics, have developed a novel type of solar cell which could increase the efficiency of solar panels by over 25%, meaning they could harness more energy from the sun than traditional designs used today. 2degrees (2/10)

§                     Cisco unveils tablet computer exclusively for businesses
Launched a year ago by Cisco, the Cius was reintroduced this week with pricing and an availability date: $750, and July 31. Cisco is pitching it as a business, rather than all-purpose, tablet computer for inter- and intra-enterprise collaboration, combining data, phone and TelePresence video capabilities in a single desktop or mobile device.. Network World (2/13)

§                     U.S. Department of Energy phasing out T12
As of July 2010, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) mandate eliminated magnetic ballasts that were commonly used for T12 lamps used in commercial and industrial applications. On July 14, 2012, another DOE regulation will take effect that will phase out the production of the T12 lamps these magnetic ballasts operated. This directive is expected to drive sales to more energy efficient T8, T5, and T5HO fluorescent technologies. Leviton (2/9)

§                     Danfoss gives HVAC 2012 industry outlook
During Danfoss’ 17th annual press conference held Jan. 24, 2012, at the AHR Expo in Chicago, senior leaders remarked on the 2012 market outlook and policy trends for the HVAC industry. Danfoss North America President John Galyen commented on three specific climate and energy challenges facing the industry, energy efficiency, the Smart Grid, and refrigerants, and provided steps Danfoss is taking to prepare for the changes that lie ahead. Consulting-Specifying Engineer (2/13)

§                     PSIA standards drive for security device interoperability
Device interoperability standards will continue to be one of the security industry’s biggest storylines in 2012, and as they did in 2011, PSIA and ONVIF will undoubtedly lead the conversations. Honeywell is in a unique position to have input into and support both standards. Why both? Quite simply, the firm's customers’ needs must come first. Some will choose one, and some will chose the other. As manufacturers, Honeywell builds products that support both. Honeywell (2/8)

§                     Third draft of 2012 update to LEED will be open for feedback
Public comment on the third draft proposal of the U.S. Green Building Council 2012 LEED standards will open on March 1. "This continuous improvement is the outcome of thousands of technical volunteers working to develop the program and the adaptability of the program to technological and market changes,” said Scot Horst, the organization's senior vice president of LEED. (2/14)

§                     Biometric scans will protect Olympic athletes
The more than 10,000 athletes and coaches competing in the Summer Olympic Games must have their fingerprints and face scans recorded. United Kingdom officials are concerned that would-be terrorists or illegal immigrants could use the influx of people at Heathrow in the days before the Games start on 27 July to get into Britain, according to the London-based Independent. Independent (2/12)

§                     British businesses wasting up to half of their electricity use, smart meters reveal
British businesses may be spending up to £1 in every £2 of their electricity bills on powering their business when staff have left for the day, according to data from over 6,000 smart meters studied by British Gas. (2/10)

§                     540-foot-tall solar tower rises in Nevada
Developer SolarReserve has completed construction of a 540-foot-tall tower for its 110-megawatt solar Crescent Dunes plant in Nevada. Mirrors will direct sunlight to the tower, heating molten salt to generate steam. "This project is on track to bring American innovation to fruition and is already creating jobs," said Kevin Smith of SolarReserve. (2/10)

§                     London to build world's first rotating skyscraper
The world's first rotating high-rise building, which was originally planned for Dubai, is slated to be built in London this year. "As the city prepares to host for the third time the Summer Olympics in 2012, it wishes to bring this icon of future life to London, receiving its own rotating tower to serve as the landmark for the event, and an inspiration for generations to come," according to the London-based Dynamic Group. Emirates Business 24/7 (2/11)

Member Press Releases

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§                     Schneider Electric and UNLV Study: Misconceptions about Efficiency Initiatives and Impact on Customer Satisfaction Deters U.S. Hoteliers from Investing in Energy Management
Study conducted by the UNLV Harrah Hotel College uncovers hotelier misconceptions about energy management technology, opportunities for hotel owners to improve efficiency, guest experience.

§                     Other Items

Cortexa Automation Releases New Home Automation Ready (HAR™) Controller
Financing HVAC and Building Controls with Section 179D Deductions
Encelium's New Polaris 3D Lighting Control Software Application Available On December 15

AMX and ViewSonic Partnership Simplifies Projector-Controller Integration

Global Caché and Cortexa Build Partnership

AMX Ships Digital Signage Software that Streamlines Management of Enterprise-Scale Deployments Ahead of Schedule

EMerge Alliance Presented New DC Power Applications at Greenbuild 2011

AMX Begins Shipping RMS Enterprise, Software Connects AV Assets on Unprecedented Scale

Encelium Technologies to Exhibit at Greenbuild 2011 in Toronto and Conduct Rogers Centre Tour

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

  CABA Research Spotlight

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§                     The future of connected health devices
This report from IBM Institute for Business Value presents an excellent analysis of the health / medical device market, based on interviews with medical device makers and consumer electronics companies as well as inputs from more than 1,300 current device users and caregivers. It suggests solution providers to target a large, fragmented and often overlooked population who seek better information to effectively manage their health. Read the full report as published in CABA's Public Research Library. Paid CABA membership provides you access to the world's largest collection of connected home and intelligent building research: CABA Member Research Library.

  Education & Training 

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§                     Verizon Wireless to host CABA's Digital Home Forum
CABA's Digital Home Forum event, to be hosted by Verizon Wireless at its Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, NJ on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 will bring together leading companies involved in the integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home. Register now and receive 15% OFF your registration. CABA invites organizations to use the event as an opportunity to learn about current trends in the digital and connected home from a wide range of companies working in this space and explore future research opportunities. Also the next CABA Connected Home Council (CHC) meeting will be held Thursday, March 22, 2012 and all Digital Home Forum attendees will be invited to attend this complimentary meeting chaired by Michael Clay of Verizon Wireless. The face-to face meeting is scheduled from 9 am to 11 am ET at the Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, NJ for attendees, and by conference call for non-attendees. Seating is limited so please confirm your attendance for both the Forum and CHC meeting with Tony Disipio at 613.686.1814 x228 or

§                     Event: Guangzhou Electrical Building Technology - GEBT 2012
Covering over 20,000 square meters with over 300 exhibitors, the 9th Guangzhou Electrical Building Technology show, to be held June 9 to 12, 2012 in Guangzhou, China, will be supporting China's blooming "green" building technology market by focusing on building and home automation and electrical engineering. The fair is held concurrently with the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition, one of the world's most influential lighting shows. This is a CABA endorsed event.

§                     Columbia University hosts "Building Intelligence Project" Think Tank in Brooklyn
Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) will present the Columbia Building Intelligence Project (C-BIP) sixth International Think Tank on February 24, 2012, at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, New York. Leading educators, architects, engineers, fabricators, contractors, owners, and other industry experts are invited to attend in order to explore solutions that could change the building industry for the better as part of the Columbia Building Intelligence Project (C-BIP).

§                     FIATECH event to focus on innovation
FIATECH, now in its 12th year, is growing in membership, projects and attendance at its annual Technology Conference and Showcase. This CABA endorsed event will be held at the Marriott Doral, April 2-4, 2012 in Miami, Florida. FIATECH 2012 will showcase developments in advancing life cycle data management, design workflows, RFID developments, and much more. The conference will focus on design, development, demonstration and deployment of technology and processes to provide solutions that will deliver value throughout the capital asset life cycle. The technology showcase will provide a unique opportunity for peer-to-peer exchange and networking as well as time to envision emerging technologies and innovative solutions that will enhance your position in the competitive global market. By participating in this three day event you will see what FIATECH's members have been developing to advance the delivery of capital projects. Registration is currently open via the FIATECH Web site at FIATECH is accepting sponsorships and technology showcase exhibit opportunities now. Showcase space and sponsorships are being assigned on a first come basis. For detail on sponsorship opportunities, the exhibit hall floor map and pricing, contact Tara Wilson ( or Sarah Rico (

§                     Webcast: Smart Grid Educational Series on NIST Interoperability Roadmap
The third Smart Grid Educational Series monthly webcast, to be held by The Bit Bazaar LLC on Monday, March 12 at 1 pm PT will will provide an update on the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Roadmap Project including progress in the various Priority Action Plans (PAP) and Domain Expert Working Groups including the Cybersecurity Working Group (CSWG) and its sub-groups.

§                     Speaking opportunity: CEA Technology & Standards Forum
During the 2012 CEA Technology & Standards Forum (Dallas, TX from May 14-18, 2012) there are three lunchtime speaking slots available for technical presentations of interest to the CE industry - of special interest are emerging technologies that could benefit from collaborative standard setting. There will be one 20-30 minute speaking slot available at lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. These presentations may be about company specific technology, but they must be about technology and cannot be sales pitches. If you or someone you know would like to give a presentation to Forum attendees about a particular technology please submit an abstract (100 words maximum) to Shazia McGeehan at by Tuesday February 28, 2012. Proposals will be reviewed and the speakers notified by Tuesday, March 13. If you have any questions, please contact Shazia McGeehan at

§                     Event: Beijing International Building Technology Show
Making its debut, the Beijing International Building Technology Show, to be held April 4-6, 2012, will feature three zones: building and home automation, electrical engineering and light control systems and fixtures. Together with the concurrent event, ISH China, the Beijing International Building Technology Show will showcase comprehensive energy efficient solutions for the building sector in northern China. CABA is pleased to endorse this event.

 CABA News

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

§                                 Belimo Air Controls (Member since 2002)

§                                 CommScope, Inc. (Member since 1997)

§                                 Honeywell International (Member since 1991) (CABA Board Member)

§                                 IREO Management (Member since 2006)

§                                 Lightfair International (Member since 2009)

§                                 Moen Incorporated (Member since 2009)

§                                 ShowStoppers (Members since 2011)

§                                 TDIndustries (Member since 2003)

§                                 Zerofootprint (Member since 2011)

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

§                                 IMS Research

§                                 LG Electronics Inc.

§                                 QA Graphics

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

For information about CABA Research Subscription/Memberships, please contact George Grimes, CABA Business Development Manager at or 613.686.1814 x229. To view a listing of 300+ CABA members go to:


CABA Announces BiQ Award Recipients

The Continental Automated Buildings Association announced January 24, 2012 the recipients of its inaugural Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) Awards.

The annual awards recognize property owners and operators whose buildings achieve the highest rank using CABA's building technology assessment tool.

2012 Gold recipients include:

- Comcast Center, the tallest building in Philadelphia and the 15th tallest building in the United States.

- MaRS Centre, a medical innovation and technology research center located in Toronto, Canada.

- Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters, a facility from which all paramedic operations and training are consolidated in Canada’s National Capital.

The 2012 Silver recipient is:

- Three World Financial Center, a skyscraper in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

Recipients were honored today at an awards ceremony during a meeting of CABA's Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council at AHR 2012 in Chicago.

The Council, in conjunction with the Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) Consortium, guides development of the BIQ tool.

CABA’s BiQ ranking tool has three functions. It serves as: a means to evaluate and measure the "value" of intelligent building performance; a design guide for integration of building intelligence in new building projects; and a building automation retrofit action plan tool.

The tool allows property owners and managers to rate a building's intelligence and provides design guidance to ensure that all relevant issues are considered when making a choice of subsystems and their level of integration. Owners and developers with multiple properties can also use the BiQ tool to assess and compare the building intelligence systems in their portfolio.

As more and more buildings are BIQ verified, point scores are aggregated in an anonymous database, enabling users to analyze how their building intelligence design performs in relation both to the median and to buildings that are similar in terms, type and region. Because the assessment is completely online, owners and managers have the ability to change input up to a year, with an option to extend. This allows users to keep their assessment up-to-date as the building intelligence changes through the project delivery stages as buildings are retrofitted.

The modular assessment generates a report that provides benchmark rankings as well as recommendations for improvements in the following categories: communication systems; building automation; annunciation, security and control systems; facility management applications; and building structure and systems.

All building assessments are ranked and the top four receive recognition through annual Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) Awards.

“Building intelligence results in higher property values, improved comfort, security, flexibility and reliability while reducing costs and increasing productivity,” stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. “CABA is proud to showcase this year’s award recipients who are actively demonstrating the advantage of assessing building technology.”

For more information about the BiQ tool and BiQ Awards, please go to:


AT&T CEO and Chairman Randall Stephenson to Keynote at TIA 2012 Inside the Network Conference & Exhibition

Arlington, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) today announced that Randall Stephenson, the Chairman and CEO of AT&T, will participate in the TIA 2012: Inside the Network Conference and Exhibition as opening day Keynote Speaker. Additionally, Dallas-based AT&T will participate in the event as Opening Night Reception Sponsor.

The TIA 2012 Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for June 5-7 at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, is a unique industry event. Focused on innovation and thought leadership, TIA 2012 is the annual gathering of the community of technology suppliers that form the foundation of the global communications experience.

"As the largest integrated communications carrier in North America, AT&T has demonstrated a willingness to expand its core offerings beyond the traditional delivery of 'voice, video and data,'" said TIA President Grant Seiffert. "Today, AT&T is exhibiting leadership and innovation in new areas of communications and connectivity such as mobile broadband, M2M and connected devices, mobile health and more. In this way, AT&T is at the forefront of the changing business for network operators and service providers, and as a result the communications supply chain of products, services and applications."

TIA 2012 features multiple educational tracks, including Optical Networking, Green ICT, Network Convergence, M2M & Connected Devices, Mobile Backhaul and more. It also features specialty conferences, technology demonstrations, and a Connected Home Pavilion (hosted by Parks Associates), positioning this industry event as the leading business and technology exhibition for the converged network community.

Join TIA at its annual Member Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, TIA 2012: Inside the Network, June 5-7, 2012 in Dallas. For detailed information about the event go to

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the manufacturers and suppliers of global information and communications technology (ICT) networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. Since 1924, TIA has been enhancing the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit

Join TIA at its annual Member Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, TIA 2012: Inside the Network, June 5-7, 2012 in Dallas. For detailed information about the event go to

View video news programming on TIA Now at

TIA's 2012 Market Review & Forecast, is available for purchase online at the TIA store. TIA members receive a discount of more than 60 percent off of the cover price. Review copies are available for qualified media.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Read ANSI's report, "Standards Boost Business" at

TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS Solutions, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Dow Chemical Company, Ericsson, Inc., FAL Associates, GENBAND, Inc., Henkels & McCoy, Juniper Networks, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, LGE, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks, Numerex Corp., OneChip Photonics, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Qualcomm, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tarana Wireless, Inc., Tellabs, TE Connectivity, Walker and Associates and WirefreeCom, Inc.


Article - A bright idea Reprinted From URGENT COMMUNICATIONS Magazine


An electrical utility finds that installing a fiber-optic backbone for its smart grid not only improves its service to customers, but also its bottom line

By Colman Kean

Special from Urgent Communications

A smart grid is an electricity network for the 21st century and beyond. It comprises thousands of sensors that send information about consumption, quality and flow. Thanks to the quantity of information, sophisticated data-modeling techniques can provide early warnings of potential issues and pinpoint accuracy on consumption patterns. Going further, devices fitted in homes and offices allow customers to monitor and modify their usage habits and make smarter decisions about how they consume their electricity. This sophisticated flow of data only can be enabled by a high-speed, reliable and secure communications infrastructure.

EPB, the municipal electric utility serving Chattanooga, Tenn., is using a 100% fiber-optic network as the backbone for its smart grid. The smart grid is providing increased power reliability, greater operational efficiency and more power-management tools for the utility’s customers, as well as reducing customer outage minutes by 40%. In addition, the choice of fiber for the communications backbone opened up a wealth of financial, organizational and community benefits, some of which were not foreseen at the start of the project. Alcatel-Lucent is one of EPB’s key partners on this project, providing a triple-play solution (television, Internet and telephony), as well as components of the fiber network and smart grid. 

Click here to read the full article.

Urgent Communications is the technology source for the mobile communications industry. Urgent Communications magazine is a powerhouse of information. This magazine delivers real-world, practical information needed by dealers, private radio and wireless systems operators and large volume commercial, industrial and public safety communications end-users.

Urgent Communications is the nation’s authoritative source of information for the mobile communications industry. Its sister trade show, IWCE, is the largest event showcasing the latest in wireless communications technology — and both serve every key communications market segment:

law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical, military, public utility, public transportation and the enterprise.

Urgent Communications reaches its audience via its monthly print edition and weekly e-newsletters, as well as its website: Meanwhile IWCE 2012 is scheduled for Feb. 20-24 in Las Vegas—get more information at


ShoreTel Reports Financial Results for Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2012


ShoreTel® (NASDAQ:SHOR), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012, which ended Dec. 31, 2011. In a separate release, the Company announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire M5 Networks (“M5”), a recognized leader in hosted Unified Communications.

For the second quarter of fiscal year 2012, revenue was $58.0 million, up 8 percent sequentially from the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and up 22 percent from the second quarter of fiscal year 2011. The GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(2.5) million, or $(0.05) per share, compared with a GAAP net loss of $(3.7) million, or $(0.08) per share, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2011. Excluding stock-based compensation expenses of $3.3 million, amortization of intangible assets of $0.2 million, and a litigation settlement of $0.5 million and related tax adjustments, non-GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 was $1.4 million or $0.03 per diluted share, compared with a non-GAAP net loss of $(1.0) million, or $(0.02) per share, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2011.

GAAP gross margin for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 was 65.4 percent, compared with 66.5 percent during the same quarter last year. Non-GAAP gross margin, which excludes stock-based compensation expenses and amortization of intangible assets, was 66.1 percent in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012, compared with 67.2 percent in the second quarter of last year.

As of Dec. 31, 2011, the company had $115.9 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. The company generated over $6.1 million in cash from operations during the quarter.

“ShoreTel’s record second quarter revenues reflect the positive momentum in our business and success in pursuing market share growth both domestically and internationally,” said Peter Blackmore, President and CEO of ShoreTel. “We added several new important partnerships and customers during the quarter and the investments we have made in our sales force, lead generation and marketing to expand our distribution are paying dividends. We are committed to upholding our focus on brilliant simplicity and providing the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership. We remain dedicated to ensuring that ShoreTel is solidly positioned for sustainable profitable revenue growth.”

Blackmore added, “We are also pleased to announce today that ShoreTel has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire M5 Networks, a private company that is a leader in enterprise cloud UC. The addition of M5 is an excellent opportunity for ShoreTel to rapidly enter the high-growth hosted UC market. M5’s premier technology platform, focus on customer satisfaction and simplicity make it an excellent fit both strategically and culturally. This not only provides a strong cloud-based service offering for ShoreTel’s customers but also benefits us with a recurring revenue stream that will give us greater predictability in our future revenues.”

Operational Highlights for the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2012

Further Expansion of Channel

The company announced a new U.S. distribution relationship with Ingram Micro in October that includes the full portfolio of ShoreTel UC products and tools, including the latest version of ShoreTel Mobility. ShoreTel’s offering will be sold by Ingram’s Advanced Technology Division.

In November, ShoreTel announced an expanded distribution agreement with Windstream, a North American communications service provider, which included ShoreTel’s Unified Communications Solution, Contact Center and Mobility offerings. After a six month trial in several of its locations, Windstream expanded its relationship with ShoreTel to business customers across Windstream’s 29-state footprint.

During the quarter the company also expanded on its relationship with Hewlett Packard (HP). With its most recent agreement, HP will be a reseller of the ShoreTel Mobility solution with ShoreTel Mobility becoming a part of HP’s fixed mobile convergence solution portfolio.

Extending Technological Capabilities

ShoreTel recently announced that its Enterprise Contact Center achieved VMware Ready™ status, indicating that ShoreTel’s Enterprise Contact Center passed a detailed evaluation and testing process managed by VMware. The VMware Ready program is a VMware co-branding program for qualified partner products and is a benefit of the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program.

Business Outlook

The company is providing the following outlook for the quarter ending March 31, 2012, excluding any impact from the pending acquisition of M5 Networks and related transaction costs:

·                     Revenue is expected to be in the range of $53 million to $57 million.

·                     GAAP gross margin is expected to be in the range of 64.5 to 65.5 percent, including approximately $0.4 million in stock-based compensation expenses and amortization of intangibles. Non-GAAP gross margin is expected to be in the range of 65.5 to 66.5 percent.

·                     GAAP operating expenses are expected to be in the range of $41 million to $42 million, which includes approximately $3.0 million in stock-based compensation expenses and amortization of intangibles. Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to be in the range of $38 million to $39 million.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

ShoreTel reports all financial information required in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), but it believes that evaluating its ongoing operating results may be difficult to understand if limited to reviewing only GAAP financial measures. Many investors have requested that ShoreTel disclose this non-GAAP information because it is useful in understanding the company’s performance as it excludes non-cash and other special charges that many investors feel may obscure the company’s true operating performance. Likewise, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures to manage and assess the profitability of its business and does not consider stock-based compensation expenses, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles and other special charges and related tax adjustments in managing its core operations. ShoreTel has provided a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures in the tables of this press release. Investors are encouraged to review the related GAAP financial measures and the reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures with their most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.

Conference Call Details for Feb. 1, 2012

ShoreTel will host a corresponding conference call and live webcast at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Feb. 1, 2012. To access the conference call, dial +1-877-874-1565 for the U.S. and Canada or +1-719-325-4776 for international callers, and provide the operator with the conference identification number 9984280. The webcast will be available live in the Investor Relations section of the company’s corporate Web site at, and via replay beginning approximately two hours after the completion of the call and available until the company’s announcement of its financial results for the next quarter.

An audio replay of the call will also be available to investors beginning at approximately 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Feb. 1, 2012, until 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Feb. 9, 2012, by dialing +1-888-203-1112, or +1-719-457-0820 for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, and entering the conference identification number 9984280.

About ShoreTel, Inc.

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


Randal A. Lemke, Executive Director and CEO of InfoComm International, Announces Retirement

By InfoComm International, January 19, 2012

FAIRFAX, VA -- January 19, 2012 -- Randal (Randy) A. Lemke, Ph.D., the Executive Director and CEO of InfoComm International since 2000, today announced his planned retirement at the end of 2012, capping off 16 years of service to the commercial audiovisual association. “It has been an honor to serve the needs of such an exciting and innovative industry these past years,” Dr. Lemke stated, “and it’s with mixed feelings that I leave the wonderful team of professionals and close friends I have made here at InfoComm.”

Dr. Lemke holds board positions, and has been the chairman of, Integrated Systems Events, LLC, a joint venture European trade show company, and InfoComm Asia PTE, Ltd., a joint venture company in Singapore operating InfoComm’s Asian tradeshows. He is the founding and current Chairman of the STEP™ Foundation, a jointly supported foundation composed with other industry associations to bring sustainability to the process of planning, designing, integrating and operating technology systems and reduce long-term environmental impact from technology deployment. He has also served as chief executive of ICIF, InfoComm’s charitable foundation.
The InfoComm International Board of Directors has announced that an extensive search for Dr. Lemke’s successor will be undertaken, with the selection anticipated by the fourth quarter of this year.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Leadership Development Committee and Past President of the Board, Jim Ford, said, “We are proud of Randy’s extraordinary service to InfoComm International. During an economy when many associations are struggling to survive, InfoComm International has enjoyed tremendous growth under Randy’s leadership, quadrupling revenue and expanding our tradeshow presence to 10 shows worldwide. His leadership has taken us from being primarily a dealer trade association, to a global industry association for the entire AV value chain. His dedication to the industry has inspired all of us.”

Looking towards the future, current Board President Greg Jeffreys, stated, “Randy is leaving the Association healthy and well-positioned for continued success. Although we are sorry to see him go, we’re pleased he will continue to lead the organization throughout 2012, and we anticipate that even more innovations and exciting opportunities will come to fruition with his successor.”

The search committee for the new Executive Director will be headed by Tony Warner, Board President-Elect. Warner commented, “Our search will focus on a visionary leader who will maintain the strength and culture of the Association, while furthering our international presence and continuing to raise the profile of our industry. We will retain an executive search firm by the end of the first quarter of 2012 to conduct an extensive search, and we are confident we will be able to identify the best candidates to meet these requirements. At a later time an announcement will be made calling for any potential candidates to submit their materials to the search firm.”

Dr. Lemke joined InfoComm International in 1996 as Vice President of Education, at which time he supervised the development and delivery of the association’s seminars, workshops, advanced schools, international education and certification programs. In 1997, he pioneered InfoComm Academy Online, an Internet-based training system for the AV industry, which currently has 3,000 students enrolled daily. This innovation has become deeply embedded in the AV industry, and forms the core of many companies’ training programs.

In addition to initiating online education at InfoComm International, other highlights of Dr. Lemke’s legacy with InfoComm International include:

·                     An extensive international expansion, launching audiovisual exhibitions, events and education around the world, including Europe, Asia, Middle East, Oceania and Latin America. This expansion has contributed to InfoComm International’s current worldwide membership, representing over 80 countries, as well as increasing the Association’s size to nearly 120 employees in eight countries.

·                     Establishment of the CTS® certifications (CTS, CTS-D and CTS-I), accredited by ANSI under the ISO/IEC 17024 standard. These certifications are recognized worldwide as the leading audiovisual specialist credentials.

·                     Leading the development of industry best practices and InfoComm’s ANSI/ISO standards which raised the bar on the AV industry.

·                     Advancing the creation of the STEP Foundation, focused on encouraging sustainability to the process of planning, designing, integrating and operating technology systems, as well as reducing long-term environmental impact from technology deployment.

·                     Securing grant funding of $1 million from the federal government to launch an AV education program for community colleges.

·                     Introduction of several industry reference volumes -- starting with the revision to the 1983, Basics of Audio Video Design, to the recent publication of McGraw Hill’s CTS Exam Guide, these books helped establish InfoComm International as the authority of the AV industry.

·                     Important acquisitions including the NSCA Expo and their share of Integrated System Events, as well as AV Avenue, now known as InfoComm iQ.

Please note that at this time, it is premature for candidates to submit applications for the Executive Director/CEO position. Candidate requirements will be announced in the second quarter of 2012.

About InfoComm International

InfoComm International® is the international trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. Established in 1939, InfoComm has more than 5,000 members, including manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, independent consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, end-users and multimedia professionals from more than 80 countries. InfoComm International is the leading resource for AV standards, market research and news. Its training, certification and education programs set a standard of excellence for AV professionals. InfoComm International is the founder of InfoComm, the largest annual conference and exhibition for AV buyers and sellers worldwide. InfoComm also produces trade shows in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and China. Additional information is available at


Optical Cable Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2011 Financial Results = OCC Achieves Highest Net Sales in Company's History

ROANOKE, Va., Jan. 26, 2012  Optical Cable Corporation today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 31, 2011.  

OCC's consolidated net sales for fiscal year 2011 were $73.3 million—the highest in the Company's history and exceeding the previous record for annual net sales set just last year.

The Company's consolidated net sales of $19.7 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 were also record setting.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Financial Results

Consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011 increased 6.5% to $19.7 million, compared to net sales of $18.5 million for the comparable period in fiscal year 2010.  The growth in net sales was achieved over a broad customer base and product mix, and included continued increases in the Company's specialty markets.

OCC achieved increased net sales growth both in the United States and internationally during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to the same period last year.  Net sales to customers in the United States increased 3.4% and net sales to customers outside of the United States increased 17.7%.

Gross profit increased 3.5% to $7.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to $7.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.  Gross profit margin, or gross profit as a percentage of net sales, decreased to 37.7% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 from 38.8% in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010.

OCC recorded net income attributable to the Company of $236,000 or $0.04 per basic and diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, compared to proforma(1) net income attributable to OCC of $808,000, or $0.13 per basic and diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2010 when excluding the impact of a non-cash, non-recurring, reduction of goodwill impairment.

Fiscal Year-to-Date 2011 Financial Results

Consolidated net sales increased 8.6% to $73.3 million in fiscal year 2011, compared to $67.5 million in fiscal year 2010. The increase in net sales is due primarily to the increase in net sales of the Company's fiber optic cable products and applied interconnect systems products.  Net sales to customers in the United States increased 12.2% during fiscal year 2011 compared to fiscal year 2010, while net sales to customers located outside of the United States decreased 1.2%.

Gross profit increased 10.7% to $26.3 million in fiscal year 2011 from $23.8 million in fiscal year 2010.  Gross profit margin for fiscal year 2011 increased slightly to 35.8% compared to 35.2% for fiscal year 2010.  

For fiscal year 2011, OCC recorded net income attributable to the Company of $666,000, or $0.11 per basic and diluted share, compared to a proforma(1) net loss attributable to the Company of $153,000, or $0.03 per basic and diluted share during fiscal year 2010, excluding the non-recurring, non-cash impairment charge of $5.6 million, net, recorded to write-off the carrying value of goodwill associated with the acquisition of Applied Optical Systems, Inc. ("AOS").  

During fiscal year 2011, OCC generated positive cash flow from operating activities, with net cash provided by operating activities of $2.4 million.  OCC also reduced its bank indebtedness and purchased and retired 183,025 shares of common stock, completing a previously announced plan to purchase and retire 325,848 shares.  The Company also declared regular quarterly dividends to shareholders totaling $0.04 per share during the year.  

Management's Comments

Neil Wilkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of OCC, said, "We are pleased to report record net sales for the second year in a row and improved financial results for fiscal year 2011, despite ongoing global economic weakness.  Our improved financial performance reflects the successful execution of our strategy to provide customers integrated solutions from a broad offering of fiber optic and copper data communication cabling and connectivity products. While we have taken great strides forward, the OCC team remains focused on maximizing growth opportunities and on improving operating efficiencies and controlling costs."  

Mr. Wilkin added, "During fiscal 2011, we further strengthened our balance sheet by reducing bank indebtedness, and continued to return capital to shareholders through our regular quarterly dividend, which we recently increased by 50 percent.  Looking ahead, we are confident OCC is exceptionally well positioned in our targeted markets, enabling us to compete more effectively and to deliver positive financial results and enhanced value for shareholders."

Conference Call Information

As previously announced, OCC will host a conference call later today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.  Individuals wishing to participate in the conference call should call (888) 868-9083 or (973) 935-8512.  For interested individuals unable to join the call, a replay will be available through February 2, 2012 by dialing (800) 585-8367 or (404) 537-3406, pass code 42643580.  The call will also be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed by visiting the investor relations section of the Company's website at

Company Information

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

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

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

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


Learn the 2011 Code Changes & Get Motivated With Mike Holt Continuing Education 2012

Join us for two days of learning and excitement at a Mike Holt Continuing Education seminar this summer.  Find out why so many return each year to fulfill their CEU requirements and take their business management and technical skills to the next level.

  Approved in 26 states

  Entertaining and motivational

  A great chance to see Mike live

Day 1 – Business Management, Workers’ Comp, Workplace Safety, and Advanced Building Code with Mike Holt and other dynamic guest speakers.

“I attended Mike's business management seminar and it was the best lecture I ever attended. I know I can learn a lot about life and business from him.”    Mike Keating

 Day 2 – Learn the 2011 Code Changes from the best in the business! You don’t want to miss seeing Mike in this high energy CEU seminar.

“Registering for this program is the best investment for an electrical contractor's business. You pay for CEU required and get 40 years of electrical experience and best MBA knowledge in the industry.”  Jose Miedes

Save Money - Register today! Early Registration price [$375.00] is good through May 31, 2012.

Click on the links below for more information.

Two locations to choose from:

Orlando: June 29-30, 2012

Rosen Plaza Hotel
9700 International Drive

Orlando, FL 32819

(800) 627-8258

Coral Springs: July 20-21, 2012

Coral Springs Marriott
11775 Heron Bay Blvd.
Coral Springs, FL 33076

(800) 311-8018

Or call our office at 888. 632-2633 Have questions? E-mail

*These seminars are approved in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas and more…... Click here for a full list. 

Mike Holt Enterprises. Mike Holt worked his way up through the electrical trade from apprentice electrician through electrical contractor, to become one of the most recognized experts in the world as it relates to electrical power installations. He was a Journeyman Electrician, Master Electrician, and Electrical Contractor. In 1974, Mike realized there was a need for quality electrical training and opened Mike Holt Enterprises.

Today, Mike Holt Enterprises is the leader in all aspects of electrical training. Mike and his entire staff are dedicated to making the industry safer through training and state-of-the-art products. Mike’s background as a struggling student, who dropped out of high school and later went on to get his GED and eventually attend The University of Miami, has helped him understand the needs of his students and the customers using his products. As a result, he has set a standard that all products must be easy-to-understand, focused on the essentials, and include lots of detailed illustrations to help the materials come to life.

What sets Mike Holt Enterprises apart from other publishing companies is that from its very beginning it was created to serve the needs of the electrical community exclusively. Mike has always wanted to make sure that the focus was aimed at meeting the needs of electrical professionals. His books are designed to make the electrical student not only learn the material, but enjoy the process. His DVD programs bring electrical experts from across the country into livings rooms and classrooms to discuss the various aspects of each subject.

Mike has realized his vision over the last 30 years of creating a company that takes care of its customers, provides high quality training, and continues to find ways to improve the safety of the industry.


Cabling Networking Systems Magazine Hosts Powerful Industry Panel - 2012

cns industry panel 2012

The Panel: Bill Weekes, managing partner, Fancom Communications Technology Consulting, Valerie Maguire, global sales engineer for The Siemon Company, Henry Franc, premises specialist (data centres) at Belden, Peter Newman, senior director, international business development at Leviton Network Solutions;  Rob Stevenson, communications division manager with Guild Electric, Robert Horne, executive vice president with The Attain Group, Paul Kish, director, systems and standards at Belden, Rick Boyd, general manager Marcomm (Toronto), Paul Barker, editor CNS Magazine, Brantz Myers, director of healthcare business development at Cisco Systems Canada, and Peter Sharp, senior telecommunications consultant, IBI Group.

BARKER: I would like to welcome everyone to the third industry panel CNS has organized. I’ll start with an observation from Peter Sharp. In a recent e-mail to me he mentioned that IT is seeping deeper and deeper into the fabric of business and, as a result, cable is becoming less visible and taken for granted. He also wondered if this is a threat to the industry. Is it? Peter, let’s start with you.

SHARP: It’s an interesting development. The business that we’re in involves developing fairly complex, elaborate buildings and more and more of those buildings have IT components in them.

But there’s another aspect, and that is low-voltage lighting. It is now at a level where  a POE service contains enough power to provide more than adequate lighting systems in an office or industrial space.

What this tells me is that the application for cabling goes far beyond just IT applications. It tells me that once upon a time that communications was over wired and then it moved over wireless, and as wireless became more ubiquitous then the need for cabling dropped off.

And, I think that drop off as been fairly evident, but now with the ability to deliver more power over the horizontal cabling — the structured cablings system — and more importantly the ability for some end devices to perform the function on much, much less power, it now changes the focus on the way the structured cabling is being contemplated in a building and being deployed in a building.

Why do I think that this might be a threat to the industry? I don’t think it’s going to go away, in fact I think it’s going to improve the survivability of structured cabling. But what I do see happening is that it’s going to cease to be a technology that needs to be understood in order to be installed properly. I think there’s going to be a technology that, for want of a better word, the ‘cowboys’ are going to get their hands on and it’s going to be a bit more difficult to control. I’m wondering if in fact we’re going to see a change in the way that structured cabling is implemented over the next few years.

BARKER: Alright. Who would like to respond to that? Mr. Boyd?

BOYD: Why me? Seriously, those are good observations. My take on it would be that I’m very happy that all these new systems are running over structured cabling, and low-voltage cabling in particular. I’m a cabling installer, so I really don’t care what runs on it as long as people need it. Some of your observations I would take a little issue with, one of them being the drop-off because of wireless.

I honestly haven’t seen a drop-off because of wireless, because wireless still seems to be a niche application now. When you’re building buildings you’re still cabling them. But they’re adding wireless drops in a lot of infrastructure as well. I’ve personally never seen a completely wireless building or situation, so I haven’t really seen a drop off. The biggest drop-off for us in the industry has been the Voice over IP progression because now people are doing one drop instead of the three or four to the workstation that we used to do. That’s probably hit us harder than the wireless situation.

Because of all these new technologies it has actually heightened the awareness of businesses to the importance of structured cabling and today it’s getting more attention than it used to, and I think that attention is driving people to the decision that “hey, we need to have this done properly,” more so than it ever has, instead of just saying, “what’s the bottom line number, let’s do it.”

Hopefully it’s going to bring us back to where we get in front of the end users and be able to explain why they should go with a particular contractor or a manufacturer over someone else. That’s my short answer.

FRANC: I think everybody takes it for granted. In the past, it was almost as if we had to justify cabling. Are you going to go with copper, or with fiber, or are you going to go with wireless — it was almost like competing media. I think now everybody realizes you do need that technology infrastructure and they’re putting it in, so instead of justifying our existence, I think what we’re doing is having more meaningful discussions with clients.

To Rick’s point, instead of just putting in a blanket spec —“I’m going to put 5e for everything or 6a for everything, or fiber for everything” —people are starting to look at it and say, ‘you know, 5e is great for this, 6a is great for that, and fiber is going to be the solution here.’

We’re having meaningful discussions, not about technology for the sake of technology, which too often happened in the past; we’re finally linking the technology to help meet the business goals, which is really why they’re having those discussions with us. They don’t really care about cabling, they care about enabling their business and we’re finally part of the discussion and maybe the visibility is perceived to be less because we’re not arguing about it anymore, we’re now at the table, which I think is a wonderful thing.

BARKER: Let’s move on to question two. Further to what Henry was talking about, how are converging non-data applications such as building automation systems, surveillance and broadband video changing the industry? Pete?

NEWMAN: My initial reaction when I read the question was, we have always been taken for granted. It’s like the sub-floor or the drywall, until it fails no one cares, apart from the guys who sell it. We make our living day to day designing it, selling it or writing the standards for it, of course it’s important to us. Talk to a building owner or an end-user who’s using the cabling system, as long as they plug their computer in and it works, they are not thinking about what’s behind the wall or up in the ceiling.

But cabling is not just in IT any–more, it’s in facilities management, building management, operations, and everybody’s going to get to touch the infrastructure now because it’s going to affect them.

The way policies are implemented, the way security is implemented, everything is going to change, there’s going to be more heightened awareness. I think it is good for the industry.

MYERS: I’m going to tie one and two together if that’s alright. I spend all my time thinking about the healthcare industry, in terms of how Cisco can work with it, and what we found is a move on the administrative side of healthcare to more cloud-based style services.

I think you’ll find this across the board in industry. You’ve got operational business activities more and more being commoditized and moved into Software as a Service or cloud service. In healthcare we’re seeing that trend. In addition, on the clinical side where clinical devices that used to be standalone patient attached devices that a nurse or a doctor would take a measurement from and manually put into a record system are now going on the network and becoming life-critical systems.

And initially when we started to see this, we saw people with tablets — clinicians with tablets — giving the right information, in the right format at the right time to the right patient, information in from traditional systems. Those traditional systems are now feeding those patient information systems, because things like infusion pumps and ECG machines and diagnostic radiology machines are now going on the network.

They’re also going on the network in a wireless way. We’ve seen facilities who once said, “never wireless because we can’t trust it,” start to flip over about 18 to 24 months ago to say “wireless will be our primary mode of communication for mobile patient facing applications.” We have to remind them that all of the conservative reasons that (they) said “no” to wireless in the past means they should deploy a wired infrastructure for these life-critical systems.

The convenience of wireless is there, it works great most of the time, but when you’ve got a radio-tough environment, full of, in some cases, heating applications that are microwave driven, or microwave ovens for heating, or even just the heavy steel-reinforced concrete that you have in industrial institutional complexes like hospitals, make wireless challenging. The amount of wire there in some cases has increased because of the number of new devices that are involved in patient care giving.

MAGUIRE: Surveillance was the first testing of the waters to see how a building automation system performed in an IP-based environment.

I think that the test was a brilliant success and, as a result, we’re starting to see other building automation services — access control, HVAC, in some cases fire alarm — looking to take advantage of the features that an IP-based system offers.

One of the key advantages of converged networks ties into energy conservation. If I can connect all of my building automation services, then I have a way to do metering and implement efficiencies into my system. I can do energy management. I can respond to employee’s needs in the building workspace. The trend here is for building automation systems to gradually become IP-enabled and technology like integrated building management software systems, which provide a platform for allowing IP-based and non-IP-based building automation systems to communicate, is supporting that trend.

Once we get these building systems communicating with each other, I think we’re going to start rapidly adopting control devices and BAS systems that are completely IP-addressable and use IP-based technology.

One of the potential threats that Peter mentioned was that IT becoming more integrated into the building tends to make it less visible and there’s a concern that maybe the quality of the installations may start to degrade.

My belief is that, while the IT network may be less visible, it’s actually more vital. These systems are more complex and the nature of the complexity is going to force the capabilities and the experience of the installer to have to grow to a new level to match the sophistication of these systems that are transmitting more than just voice and data.

BARKER: Rob do you want to pick up from that?

STEVENSON: Our experience with integrating some of these systems with building access and metering and everything else is that the vendors of those systems are perfectly happy to abdicate their responsibility for the structured cabling that’s going to run their systems, so by default it’s going to go to the IT group to look after that.

And the end-users that want to leverage a lot of the features that are now available in these systems are going to push for the IT to manage those systems so that they can make use of all the additional features that are available.

Going back to Peter’s comment, he referred to a fear of the ‘cowboys’ taking over, but, you know, the IT people are going to be the ones that are setting the standards and driving what actually gets installed, and I think that’s a benefit to and for us.

BARKER: Bill, maybe you can jump in. As a consultant, what would your response be to the question, and then we’ll also go over to Robert for more on the consulting perspective.

WEEKES: I don’t think there’s a simple answer. It’s as complex as the world that we live in.

Decision making for a lot of firms is pushed higher up in the organization now, so that the people who are actually doing the work have less decision making authority than they’ve had because anything involving spending money naturally has risen, yet the people higher up don’t necessarily have the background of information to make that decision.

Having said that, I would say our business has evolved massively and probably 70-80% of every project we work on right now has some form of IP-based security, and we are using that to help drive structured cabling.

I think that structured cabling will be alive and well 50 years from now, but I do think it will be hidden to the overwhelming vast majority of people who use it.

BARKER: Robert, what are your thoughts?

HORNE: It’s a complicated question, because as a firm that does a lot of low-voltage designs, primarily (it) was always voice and data infrastructure and then we moved into audio-visual and security and access control systems. Now we’re starting to get probed by architects and end-users wondering if we do building automation integration?”

In theory, many think we can just integrate everything and lump it all into a structured cabling system, but that’s not — I’m sure people know this — how it really happens, and I can’t see a wholesale jump to that in the near future.

The fact is that in some cases it just doesn’t make sense. What  makes sense is to link all main control systems together over a network, and that’s what we’re seeing.

KISH: There are a couple of points that haven’t been yet fully addressed. When Peter suggested that cabling is not visible in many of these discussions and their talking about applications at the higher level, I sort of smiled when I heard that. That’s not a threat, it’s an accomplishment.

The reality is that people only hear about cabling if there are problems. The second point I want to make is that non-data applications such as video use a lot of bandwidth, which means you have to design your network appropriately.

What type of storage do I need? Does it have adequate priority? Do I need a separate network? Having the bandwidth that you need and the cabling system to support that bandwidth is the main issue that you have to think about.

BARKER: The complexities and the broadening of the horizon, ties into next question. What expertise must the modern installer possess and are we facing an acute skills shortage in both the structured cabling and networking sectors?

STEVENSON: From a structured cabling installer perspective I may not be the right one to ask, because we’re a union shop and we don’t have a lot of staff turnover. We’ve got a lot of installers that have been with us for 10, 15, 20 years, and our challenge is to make sure that we’re constantly upgrading and training and making sure that they’re up to speed on things.

I think in other sectors there may be more challenges with finding enough trained labour. What I am seeing is that the skill set is changing with respect to how much knowledge even a cable installer has to have about the rest of the infrastructure. An example is switching.  They don't have to be able to program switches or anything like that, but they have to be able to recognize what the overall connectivity of the devices their installing for is, and they are being called upon to troubleshoot and bring together more than just the cabling skills.

MAGUIRE: While I feel that installation practices haven’t changed significantly, the consequences of poor installation practices are much greater today. And, I think this is where knowledge comes in. Today’s installers must understand very complex measurement methods and the ramifications of poor installation practices.

And, this is for optical fiber media, as well as copper twisted-pair. For example, in the optical fiber arena, we have new test methods that use encircled flux technology to improve multimode measurements. On the copper side of things, we have alien cross-talk testing, which is not just “press auto-test now”; it’s link my hand-held tester to a computer, create a database, and collect lots of measurements. These are very sophisticated diagnostic methods that our installers need to be aware of.

Rob, you made a comment about the installer actually having an understanding of the entire network, and that’s very important with respect to new optical fiber applications. For example, 40 and 100 Gig Ethernet over multimode fiber requires more than two fibers for transmission, so we have very sophisticated array polarity that we need to keep in mind.

There are actually three TIA methods for array polarity. And, we also need to be aware of interfaces, such as the MPO, that use alignment pins. Where are the pins located? When do you use them? When do you not use them? What do I do if I bend a pin?

An installer needs to understand these technical issues, because not understanding them has very severe ramifications in terms of catching a problem in time, or introducing a problem inadvertently that can delay an entire building’s deployment.

FRANC: I concur. I’m not a technician anymore, thank goodness. I don’t think I could handle the job anymore because it is becoming far more complex. You see a growing trend of toolless or easier to put together solutions, and people often make the mistake of thinking the role of technician is going away. And it’s not just about installation practices, we’re talking about how to pull a cable, how to put in a piece of conduit, that’s pretty standard.

But really it’s not about just technique anymore, it’s about testing and tools and training and knowing how to use these things. The modern technician has got to make a computer dance; has got to work with very sophisticated field test gear.

HORNE: I’d like to echo what both Valerie and Henry said with respect to technicians. From someone who writes specifications, I know that I’ve already started tightening all my specifications around testing specifically, because there’s a huge deficiency in the market with respect to field testing by technicians.

And I can’t speak for anyone else, just the jobs that I’ve seen, but I can’t believe that it’s only located in one geographic area. I think that in general it’s been — and I don’t blame the installation firms, because they have a job to do, but typically — we’ve had so much headroom to play with — we just plug and play, snap it in, test and away we go. Things have changed and the headroom on everything is so small we don’t have any room for error.

I was just relating this story to Bill and I talked to Paul Kish about this at a recent BICSI conference. I get test results back with the wrong settings, they’re not using the right jumper reference, they’re using the wrong settings in the fiber. I think there is a need, for sure, in the industry for better training of technicians.

WEEKES: Let’s say, for example, it’s a project with 10 IP cameras. Who’s going to prime that job? Is it the camera vendor? Is it the electrician? Who’s going in to install all of that conduit and look after the power? Is it the data cabling contractor, who’s supposed to specialize in data cabling? Now all of the sudden we bring in three contractors to let each specialist work on his area on the project and that turns into a $50,000 project when it shouldn’t have been more than $15,000.

The person who’s certified to actually work with, for the sake of argument, an access camera and knows how to make that work, doesn’t mean they know anything about the cable. I would argue that they know very, very little. In the old world they got away with it. That’s really the challenge that we’re seeing on a lot of our projects, and we try to take the time to educate the owner, but then all of the sudden you put your RFP out and then everybody starts coming back in a different way.

We have a contractor here in Toronto doing one of our contracts in Kingston, yet the contractor from Toronto doesn’t show up. They’ve got all of the accreditations, but they’ve subcontracted everybody and their uncle out in Kingston who wouldn’t know what a certification piece of paper looks like, let alone get a certification, and we have to deal with the problems of that. I don’t know how we address it, but in some way, shape or form, I want to toughen up my specs to make sure that when I say somebody is certified and the manufacturer says, “Bill, if you put this in, you will get a person who knows how to test fiber optic cable.” I can quote the standards to which I want it tested to, but that doesn’t mean the person going out and doing it, despite having a moniker that says I’m certified by XYZ manufacturer, knows anything about it and that’s a challenge.

SHARP: If I could throw in my, not two cents, but half a dollar in here. I think the questions — your questions for this session, Paul — are very good because they’re all rich. They’ve got multiple aspects to them. The question of what expertise must the modern installer possess is one I relate to. Is there a shortage of skills in the networking sector? That’s a whole other issue.

Speaking to the first one, I do think the points that have been raised here about the difficulty or the simplicity of installing a commodity system can be quickly overlooked. They can be the process of specifying carefully, the standards that need to be complied with can be easily undermined simply by the technique that Bill is talking about: substitution — the bait and switch process of gaining a job.

At IBI we’ve taken a fairly proactive approach to this: if you’re going to have proof of performance, get the proof of performance not only on the system, but also the people doing the job, and get that as early as possible in the process. And so, as part of my process, I ask for test results of the cables before they get installed.

Now, what am I doing? I’m doing two things here. One, I’m testing for the gray market. Is the product that’s being installed actually being manufactured by the company who’s on the label? But secondly, I’m testing the ability of the installing contractor to follow instructions, and secondly can they use a test machine. And if they do send a test machine reports through, and as someone earlier said, the set up for the test can often be completely wrong — well, it shows they don’t know how to use a test machine.

So the earlier in the process that you can find where these shortcomings are, the earlier you can fix them.

BARKER: Next question: how has the role of the consultant changed over the past decade? Val?

MAGUIRE: Thank you for indulging me on this topic, Paul. There were a couple of comments from Rob and Rick here defending the skills that a quality installer brings to a project and, at the beginning of this session, Peter Sharp mentioned that one of the challenges that consultants have is dealing with ‘cowboy’ contractors. I’d like to challenge that and say that one of the obstacles that Rob and Rick face is having to deal with ‘cowboy’ consultants.

I see many situations where BIS specifications are simply replicated and duplicated; spec to spec to spec looks identical. And it’s interesting, I have a quote here from the Continental Automated Building Associate, CABA, and they tell us that one of the biggest hurdles to the adoption and growth of integrated technologies is the inability to demonstrate and convince the clients of the ROI of these systems. I think the reason we’re not being successful here is we don’t have consultants that are doing what Bill discussed earlier; they’re not revising their specification based on what they learned on the last project.

SHARP: You’re absolutely right, it turns consulting into a commodity, which by definition it shouldn’t be. Each situation is unique and therefore requires consultative services, but, again, it’s the almighty dollar. The owner invariably goes for the cheapest price, not the service that has the greatest value.

I think the role of the consultant as we see it today is dead. I think that the consultant in Europe tends to perform quite a different role than the consultant in North America, and I think the way in North America is going to follow the way of Europe and the rest of the world.

In Europe, the consultant goes in at the early stages, flushes out what the basic requirements are, produces a design build spec, issues it to a design-build contractor, and then acts as the owner’s engineer during construction, which is radically different than design-tender-build approach that the consultant follows today, where you hope to take a lot of the experiences, the pain, the suffering, the whip marks that the consultant has gained through the years of experience. All of those benefits are lost if all that they do is to produce a design-build specification.

It’s our experience that many owners will go from one to the other and back. They’ll go from a design-tender-build to design-build and then back to design-tender-build. Why? Because the clients that we tend to deal with and, I think, around this table, tend to be more specialty driven, rather than just plain vanilla empty box-type building or installations. A hospital is far from an empty box, it’s a very sophisticated space.

There are design-build specs for hospitals and the end result is the owner will spend more time fixing the problems than would’ve been spent on the consultant’s fees, 10 times more. But nevertheless I hold to the position that in terms of what the consultant does, it’s less and less and less intelligence and more route, route, route.

BARKER: Any comments?

MYERS: Well, just because you said the word healthcare I have to comment. We’re finding that we’re finally being introduced into the planning cycle very early now, in some of the new hospital builds, where the industry has recognized the impact of IT on physical workflows.

And an example would be a clinical workflow for how you manage a patient from being admitted to a hospital, through the care they are given, to being released, can be impacted by things like location-based services to find a wheelchair for the patient during the exit process or admission process more efficiently, which means that you can maybe change the way you manage those assets.

People were over-provisioning medical equipment because they just couldn’t find what they wanted when they needed it, so they would buy extras which are much more expensive than, again, applying a location model that says: find me that unused infusion pump and get it over to this patient.

And even the things in the lavatory are going on the network. We’re finding fluid levels can be assessed in hand soap and sanitizer dispensers, which means that you can impact how many people you have pushing carts around to replenish those every day, and the cost model around how many people you have looking at all. and the storage facilities you have to store these replenishables can be impacted.

It means that these new ways of looking at workflows can impact the design of a facility so you actually have to insert thinking around network-based workflows at the architectural, at the design level before you even draw the pictures of the building.

SHARP: But it’s all money driven because the capital cost of putting in those facilities that you’ve eloquently described has to be paid for, and it has to be paid for out of the cost of borrowing the money in order to build the facility. But if the cost of borrowing the money is too high then it doesn’t get done.

And in the business world it’s a question of return on investment and shareholder value. In your world it’s a question of mean time between terms of office for the local politician, even though the ongoing operationa cost may go down,  it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if the overall cost went up in their  term of office.

And so it’s very short-sighted thinking, but nevertheless it’s pervasive. It takes a brave person, a brave CEO and a brave CFO in any organization to say, “No, we’ll spend more now because the return on investment will be better later.” It doesn’t happen in the automotive business. You won’t get them to spend a nickel more this year than they have to, because, by their argument, they might not be here next year so there are no efficiencies to gain.

BARKER: Let’s turn our attention to virtualization and the data centre. How big of a game changer is it going to be?

MAGUIRE: I would like to address this from a structured cabling perspective and I think it is a big game changer. Virtualization should help to reverse a wasteful trend in this industry where we’re dedicating servers to specific applications. A common practice is to connect dedicated servers to a dedicated switch located in the same rack with a cord. This dedicated switch deployment configuration often leads to an oversubscription of switch ports and there are additional maintenance costs because of the elevated port counts.

In a virtualized system, any server can support any application. And, with a structured cabling system, any switch can be connected to any server for the ultimate in infrastructure flexibility. I think we’re going to see an increasing trend to deploy and specify structured data centre cabling systems that must comply with cabling Standards such as soon-to-be-published TIA-942-A.

I’m really encouraged by virtualization, I think this is something that offers significant benefits for the end user and highlights the flexibility of structured cabling in general.

KISH: When we’re looking at virtualized servers we’re using them in a way to support many more users, because the traffic is now residing on it and we’re running the servers at near full — or 80% — capacity. When you take virtualized CPUs, the high-end CPUs, and then the memory requirements, if they’re running near full capability they have a lot of I/O functions, 100,000 input/output operations per second. And if you’re using them in that mode, and also using shared storage instead of a physical disk on the machine, then you’re going to have to have a network that’s able to support that. And for that example that I gave, just four virtual CPUs and serving any users getting into it takes about 9 Gbps, so your server switch connection now is at 10 Gbps. It’s more efficient, you’re using a higher density of servers in a rack. It’s going to save money in the long run, but at the same time you need a network that’s able to handle it. You’re talking about 10 Gig connections switch to server, 40 Gig uplinks, and in the backbone 100 Gig. And it’s coming relatively quickly.

MAGUIRE: Well stated.

MYERS: It’s making its way actually into the virtual hosts as well. It’s taking things off the floor and moves them into the compute fabric. We’ve actually done this, we’ve taken some of our physical switches and working with VMWare made virtual appliances that allow you to take that physical switch and make it disappear. That will probably put a little pressure on the cabling business as well. It will take some of that away.

At the same time though it’s going to step up the game on that device that sits in that rack. It’s going to be very hungry for traffic.

Virtualization and the cloud are hugely powerful applications. I mean, this is the kind of stuff we should have been doing a long time ago, and the power and the possibilities are there. And it might mean a few less cables, and less patch cords. But, I think it’s going back to what we were talking about earlier. You have to pay more attention to your infrastructure. If you have all this great power, and all this great capability, you have that great responsibility and the great infrastructure to support it.

If you have everything on the cloud, and, you’re right, you’re taking it off the floor, but you’re putting it into your cloud data centre somewhere, so that data centres are becoming much more critical. You can’t take them for granted and that means all those, sort of fly-by-night techniques, whether it’s cheap manufacturer, cheap installation, cheap consulting, won’t fly in the virtualization cloud world.

NEWMAN: It’s driving a lot more of the 10 Gig inter–connects. I think it’s going to drive a lot more pre-terminated assemblies and plug-and-play roll outs.

It allows the data centres to be turned up and turned down a lot faster. The ongoing talk about Open Flow as it relates to virtualized storage could drive an accelerated hardware change-out, and that in turn could drive new cabling. I think this affects lots of things, it also affects consultants in terms of capacity planning for data centres. It used to be common to just throw in a tonne of capacity and don’t worry about it, because everything was a dedicated machine, designers just needed to make sure there was plenty of capacity. Virtualization changes the approach to capacity planning.

SHARP: The way that virtualizat–ion is effecting our industry is because of the weight density. As an example, we have to do structural studies of the buildings in which this equipment is going to go, because we’ve had several situations where clients have gone through the floor, quite literally.

BARKER: Bill, I know you talked a great deal about the green movement at our first panel two years ago. The question being: Is the green movement growing stagnant or in decline?

WEEKES: My fear two years ago was that the RCDD or the telecommunications engineer would be kind of left out of the process.

When the architects and the engineering teams get together there are two design tracks. There are those people who are actually responsible for designing the building, and then there’s a subset of engineers who actually work on the LEED requirements for the building — whether it’s silver, platinum, whatever it happens to be. Unfortunately, I don’t get invited to those second meetings anymore.

From the owner’s perspective, from the architect’s perspective, in terms of the green building, I don’t bring any value. And so, it’s been a bitter pill to swallow, to be very honest with you, because I do think there’s things that we can do, but from the pure scorecard of getting LEED points, we don’t have anything and so why would they pay for their telecom consultant to sit in on that meeting for two hours.

FRANC: I agree with you whole-heartedly, because I look at that checklist, scorecard as marketing green, and I look at some of the things we’re talking about with virtualization as real green. I was involved with a data centre, same thing as you, there’s nothing at the table for us to get a point by whomever’s marketing organization. But they got points for a lights-out data centre for putting in bike racks, in a facility that’s 100 kilometres away from a city centre. And if they don’t want to invite me to that game-playing table, I’m perfectly happy, because the operational folks invited me to the table and said, “What can you do to help me?”

Paul hit it, it’s the power, it’s the density, it’s the cooling. “How can you help me with the power, and the density and the cooling, to get real green?” To Brantz’s point, about operational efficiencies, ‘let’s drive our hardware costs down. Let’s make our usage more efficient.

WEEKES: I don’t disagree. The benefit of going to the LEED meeting is you’re talking with the leadership on the team. So if you’re going to exert influence to help the other group, and again, I come back to where do I spend my time. I try to spend more of my time with the leadership of organizations to kind of clear the track so we can do the rest of the work that we need to do in a proper way. That’s where I want to spend my time.

The leadership of the organization doesn’t come to the operation meetings. So I can go there. I went to Germany this year and we studied how they were doing cooling in the data centres, and we’ve tried to bring that back to North America, and in order to get people to pay that extra $50,000 or $100,000 to do it this way, I need to be at this meeting. And so now my influence in these other meetings, it’s appreciated, it’s understood, and then, they have to try to fight the upstream currents, if you will, within their organizations to say, here’s a complete different way of doing it.

We’re going to be finishing, a project in Victoria and Vancouver Island very shortly. What happened at the beginning kick-off meeting, knowing that I was going to be precluded from these other meetings, I got it out on the table right away. “If you really want to go green, this is the way we want to do cooling. I don’t want to cool the room, I want to cool the equipment.” And the guy goes, “Well, shouldn’t we be doing that anyways?” I go, “Right now, you’re going to be cooling that whole room. If you want to hang beef in there beside your servers, go ahead, because you’ll be able to do that, that’s what you’re doing.” But I haven’t been to another LEED meeting. OK? But at least I got approval at a very high level early on, now I can tell the mechanical engineer, and I can tell the electrical engineer, here are some of the things we’re going to do, because we received buy in.

At the end of the day all the president wants to know is, “Am I getting my platinum building? Am I getting a gold building? And how much is going to cost me to get from gold to platinum? What do I have to do to get two more points or whatever it is to get over the line?”

BARKER: Would you say then the movement has not stalled?

WEEKES: Absolutely. All of the mechanical people are moving forward, the way ASHRAE is working. They’re doing a phenomenal job. The electrical engineering industry is doing a phenomenal job. Our industry, we haven’t built that bridge, and granted it may only be a marketing bridge, it may only be a perception thing. We have not built that bridge with the Green Building Council, or the Green Globes people, or whichever one of these organizations you want to talk about, where you need us there because we’re going to get you that point. And it’s not just us designing it in, it’s now the contractor delivering that solution in such a way to make sure that point is gained through the whole process.

MYERS: I don’t know that anyone really answered — we got right into the depth of this — but no one really answered the fundamental question: is it growing stagnant or in decline? I want to throw in a pretty direct answer. There was this real peak of interest around green about three years ago before the big recession hit.

People had all of these plans from 2005 through 2007, and then when the economy went south, the attention turned to other things. Meanwhile, I think that it has percolated though, that it hasn’t died.

That people took it seriously, and it got over that chasm, right? And we’re now seeing many coalitions that are, in many cases, verticalized; there’s a Canadian Green Healthcare Association, many of the hospitals around the country are joining it. I just received an e-mail last night with three or four new hospitals that have joined, and they are making very solid efforts around a lot of different areas, not just around power, but around how they manage their waste in hospitals, how you manage your nuclear medicine waste.

Do you really need to ship it expensively, or do you have room to do what they call delay and decay, is what they say in the nuke-med business. I throw that out as a really weird example of how you can manage green beyond the usual suspects.

And then vendors, our company and our competitors have taken an approach to weave energy management into everything we do, so that you can power down the phones that aren’t being in use after hours and use sensors that would’ve only ever been used for, say, security systems, to now know whether people are in a building or not.

It means more network integration around things that we didn’t used to think about like building automation and control and fire suppression and burglar alarm systems can now play a role in energy management.

I think it’s alive and well.

NEWMAN: The word that I struggle with is stagnant, because I’d call it steady state. Like Brantz said the movement peaked, and now it’s at a point where it’s on people’s minds when they’re designing, and they’re designing it in now not so much for the green marketing piece, but to save money, and you get the green for free.  Everyone’s trying to save energy and save money

SHARP: I don’t think we’ll really see a quantum change in this market until we start to reuse the energy that might otherwise be wasted. I think we can reduce the amount of energy we use only to a certain extent. We can tweak the building management and do the systems integration so we turn the lights of if no one is present. We can do all of that, but I think really we’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

I think the real energy benefit, or the real green savings, green initiative will be the recovery of data centre energy which would otherwise just go out the window. And until we see some serious changes in that area, data centres will continue to consume more and more power, despite the best efforts of virtualization because the demand for CPU cycles is sort of on the hockey stick going up. I think there are some serious gains to be made by strategic alliances between the business that needs a data centre and the power it’s going to consume, the business of the people that manufacture the power — and produce steam alongside, which can be used industrially — and the dirty heat that comes out of a data centre that could be reused in a facility such as a hospital that needs a continuous supply of hot water.

But until those strategic initiatives are taken, I don’t really think we’ll see any great gains in the green world.

HORNE: Buildings and their subsystems are only going to be integrated more and more to the point that buildings are a living system. The recent BICSI Fall Conference had some interesting presentations about building automation systems — the whole control of buildings and BM and things like that.

Really interesting stuff was mentioned, but as far as the rest of the infrastructure in a building, these systems are becoming more and more integrated. Why? Drive more efficiency and get more data to better control the systems, save energy and save cost for their clients.

We do a lot of work with the building and property management industry and the bottom line for them: “Is something going to cost me money. How much money can you save us? How can we lower operating costs?”

And, just like we’re seeing all of these developments of applications to help drive business efficiencies, those applications are coming right into the building. I think that you will see a lot less of the barriers we saw before where people had silos: “No you’re not touching our network, you’re not coming on our network.”

As energy costs go up and up, and they will, you’ll see more and more push from the building industry professional who will say: “I want more efficient buildings, how can you help me?”

KISH: I just want to pick up on a point that Peter made about data centres. The Greening of the Data Centre is an article I wrote that talks about the efforts in the industry, looking at standardizing better practices to improve the efficiency in data centres. It’s happening a lot. I think it’s kind of a focus priority in the standards world.

They’ve defined measures of efficiency like PUE or DCIE or they’re looking at traditional ways that data centres operated. They had, like 35% efficiency, and now they are trying to drive that up to 80% or more. In the end, it’s going to have big payoffs for the operators, because they’re going to save energy, and 9042a — the TIA standard, the new one that’s coming out — it has a new section in there on energy efficiency. It explains practices that can be taken to improve it.

In terms of improved greening of the data centres and focusing on energy improvement, it is a big effort in the industry and it is driving a lot of the innovation and some of the products that are being offered there.

BARKER: The final question of the day: How much life is left in Category 6a?

KISH: When I saw that, the first thing that came to mind was why are we talking about the life left in 6a, it’s just starting. Really, I mean the primary area where 6a is being used is for data centres, we recognize that there is a need — a growing need — for 10 Gig between the switch and server connections. One of the surveys — I can’t remember which one — I think it was an Intel survey, revealed that an estimated 35% of the connections today are 10 Gig, and in the next three years that number is going to grow to 95%. And we see, especially now where 10GBase-T was slow to get off the ground because of some of the power consumption issues, we’re now on the third generation 10GBase-T that’s drawing 2 W or less for short distances. I think it has great potential to take off. People that are designing data centres today are putting in 6a cabling.

MAGUIRE: I’d like to triple that thought and suggest that category 6a cabling is still in its infancy. I think it’s got a usable life cycle of at least 10 years. I’ve seen the survey that Paul’s referring to and the data that was submitted to the IEEE 802.3 folks during the call for interest for the 100 Gig copper project, and that info predicts over a million 10 Gig servers, not ports, but server units, to be shipping in the year 2020. So, I’m telling you I feel very comfortable with a 10 year usable life for 6a.

KISH: Maybe we can get a comment from Cisco on this. As an example, they offer two distinct systems in which one is based on 10GBase-T and the other one is Nexus which uses short-reach type patch cords and top of rack- designs. But both are being offered. Brantz, I don’t know if you want to jump into that?

MYERS: Is that a healthcare question? (laughter)

FRANC: I’ll turn it into one: Do you see healthcare data usage declining?

MYERS: Not at all.

FRANC: There are advances such as intelligent bedside TVs where you could see your telemetry of the patient. The patient can get their TV-on-demand, if they’re going through rehab, they can get video-on-demand on how to do their rehab, how do to their exercises. Data usage is going up and up, and some proponents will say, “You’re never going to need technology X, you’re never going to need technology Y, you’re never going to need technology Z.” They always assume that as the human race we’re going to stop consuming something.

When was the last time we started consuming less? When was the last time we started saying “You know what, that’s too much information? You know what? I want less music, I want less video. I want less information?” I mean, literally my children who are only teenagers can’t conceive of a day where they couldn’t just go “Hey, I’m curious about something, I’m going to look it up on the Internet and I’m going to have a video about it.” As opposed to back in the day where we’d have to stop and think about it, and make a trip to the library.

MYERS: There is a point, though, about technologies having shorter lives as technology advances, so I’ll just use an analogy which is ‘out there’, but I think everyone will get. The CD had about a 30 year life, the DVD had about a 20 year life, the Blu-ray DVD looks to have a very short life, to me, because of streaming technology. So this form factor has been the same the whole time. When Blu-ray came out — when it came out! — I wondered just how long are we actually going to be carrying physical discs around because everything is going to be streamed. I don’t see that for 6a. I see wired networking advancing still and maybe there will be something after 6a, and maybe the life of 6a will be shorter than the 5 world, maybe, but it’s not like it’s going to be supplanted by something completely different, like Blu-ray is being supplanted by cloud streaming.

WEEKES: What is the context for the question?

BARKER: There wasn’t one really. Frankly, I just threw it out there.

NEWMAN: If people think they don’t need it now it’s because they haven’t developed the need, but that need is coming as the data centres get faster and as the backbone gets faster. Right now it’s a backbone-type technology so the numbers aren’t huge, but as it moves to the desk, it’s going to grow.

SHARP: I think 6a is doomed.

NEWMAN: Good, an alternate point of view. ‘Tell us why,’ they cried.

SHARP: It’s doomed because we’re all in the business of delivering a service. And 6a delivers a service and that is 10 Gigs to the outlet. And I think in the data centre it will continue to provide that service and continue in the manner that we’ve been speaking.

But in terms of delivering service to the work area, 6a doesn’t provide all the services that are needed. When you consider that with an increase in the gauge of the copper you can up it to about 100 VA which is the maximum that you can wire a Type 2 wiring system, then I think with 100 VA being delivered as Power-over-Ethernet then you’ll have a whole reawakening of how services are delivered to the desk.

You probably won’t need power to the desk. Your laptop, all your devices will be able to run on 100 VA, and so my prediction is that the cable will be called 16a, because 16 is about the gauge of the cable that you need to deliver 100 VA.

MAGUIRE: I disagree with you, and the Siemon Company contributed data to the HDBaseT Alliance, which recently published Amendment 1 addressing power over HDBaseT or POH, that demonstrates delivery of 100 W of power over category cabling. And what happens is, with all of the categories except for Category 7a, you just have to reduce the numbers of cables in a bundle to less than 100. 

    We’ll still be able to support 100 Category 7a cables in a bundle without exceeding the 10 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise. And, heat dissipation for Category 6a is significantly better than 5e and 6. So we have a 100 W application, it’s published, and we have cabling that provides benefits. The key application for POH is Energy Star televisions supporting IPTV transmission.

KISH: One of the reasons for 6a or better cabling is to support more power right?

SHARP: That’s what I think.

KISH: It’s built in already with 6a. We’ve got a limit to 60 W, not 100 W today for a 100 cabled bundle, but I think that’s conservative, many cable designs can do better than that.

SHARP: And depending upon what your ambient conditions are, you do have to de-rate if you’ve got larger bundles and the rest of it. All of which now requires a more engineered facility, which is one of the points that we’ve been talking about. Is it, because it’s a commodity environment, you don’t have to engineer the installation.

One of the reasons why you get a de-rating in power cables is because it’s part of the Electrical Code, so therefore it has to be overseen by someone who is certified, indeed licensed, to be able to do that. We’re out of that domain in this world.

KISH: The argument that you provided, saying that 6a is doomed because it doesn’t have sufficient power and you may need 16 gauge, I think you just provided a good argument maybe why you don’t want to run fiber to the desk.   Compared to

SHARP: But it’s not the 6a 10 Gig capability of 6a, it’s the size of the copper conductor aspect of 6a that delivers the power.

KISH: But if you’re going to go that way, you might as well provide both.

SHARP: Indeed. No, I agree. I agree.

MAGUIRE: And again to come back to the IPTV application, if you want to eliminate digitizing or the delay with channel zapping, which is the little nuisance delay when you switch channels, you’re going to be talking about Gigabit Ethernet, maybe even 10 Gigabit Ethernet. So I think that for this emerging technology—and it’s video, it’s interactive, high-definition, possibly three-dimensional video, supplying very high-density images, concurrent with power—we are going to need a 6a connection in everybody’s house.

BOYD: Have you guys told the electricians that we’re not going to need them? (laughter)

HORNE: Why would you completely reinvent an electrical distribution system? That’s not going away.

MAGUIRE: Because the HDMI interface is licensed and you pay a very large royalty to use it. That is the driving factor. How much does an RJ-45 plug cost? How much does an HDMI cord cost? Twenty times more, 15 times more?

FRANC: I think we’re coming back full circle to where we were at the beginning. This is a great time to be in the industry. Fifteen years ago the decision was easy: What are you going to do for your cabling and your network, not that there was much of a network 15 years ago? It was like, OK, so it’s CAT-5e, it’s done, and you forget about it.

We’ve had this great discussion and I think what we’re finding out is that there’s no one solution — there’s no one magic bullet — so we’re back to not taking things for granted, we have to put some effort and some thinking and invest our resources, because our knowledge base our own personal IP — intellectual property as opposed to Internet Protocol — is valuable again.

I love this discussion because it’s putting value back into the hardware manufacturer, the cabling vendor, the consultant, the contractors and the end users.

BARKER: And let’s not forget the media…

FRANC: And the media. It’s everything. It’s the holistic message, where you’ve got to think of everything together. And your solution for your car plant is not the same as it is for a hospital, and it’s not the same as if you’re a government agency.

MYERS: Henry, I agree with you, and I think that the stakes are getting so high that you can’t keep going to the lowest cost bidder to get the job done.

FRANC: To Pete’s point, it’s not necessarily about the lowest price anymore, it’s about the best price.

MYERS: It’s about the best value, which is a combination of skills and quality, and getting what you paid for. Quality is defined by getting what you asked for, not more and not less, but getting exactly what you asked for.

BOYD: We can all agree on that here, but until the CEOs and CFOs of the world agree ...

HORNE: That’s our job to educate them, and show them those business cases, to show them where it does pay to have a proper spec that’s properly weighted for tenders so that the right contractors get picked that have the right qualifications and benefits.

STEVENSON: Going back to the discussion we had about P3s, that’s supposed to be the model of P3s is design-build and lets be innovative and let’s put everything together. What we’re seeing with a lot of them is, at the end of the day, the proposals come in and the one gets selected because it’s 10% cheaper. 

FRANC: But it’s being put on paper, it’s being recognized. “OK. I might be paying 10% less, but I’m giving up this, this and this.” So, it’s not perfect.

BOYD: There’s an aside to that, though. When the P3s are done and Rob’s company leaves, my guys are coming in and we’re installing thousands of new drops that they didn’t think they needed during the process. And you know how much more expensive those are after construction.

SHARP: Breaking the syndrome of the lowest bid, lowest cost though, is incredibly difficult. We have a client that we’re working closely with. They’ve asked us to evaluate tenders on a fairly large job. We did evaluate, we used the criteria, the weighting assessment of merit versus price. We put that all out together and we came up with our recommendation. The recommendation was not the lowest price, and the number of times we have to defend that recommendation. “Well, how could you be recommending something when it’s not the lowest price?”

FRANC: You don’t have to defend the recommendation, you can just say, that’s my recommendation, they can chose to follow your advice or not.

SHARP: Of course, and that’s what consultants are there for, to blame when things go wrong and to forget when things go right, but it’s incredibly difficult to break the lowest price syndrome.

BOYD: In the ‘90s you’d see tenders come out and say ‘the lowest bid will be thrown out’. And as a contractor it makes you think, OK, I can’t be too stupid. I’ve got to be second.

SHARP: But it’s an incredibly wise approach, because everybody knows…and we’re all in the same business and that is its fee-for-service, so if you want the job in the first place you’ve got to be the lowest bidder to get it… And then how do you make your profit, well you change orders.

FRANC: And that’s the difference between a good P3 model and a bad P3 model. I was consulting to a client, and I used my own experience, I told them if you’re going to use the P3 model to nickel and dime somebody then you’re using the wrong model. P3 is all about shared risk, shared reward.

And if you put out a P3 tender and structure it like a standard tender than again, this is a buyer beware and a seller beware situation. I’ve seen some other P3s that are very well written, and it encourages everybody at the table to do things right, let’s remember what our core business is. If it’s healthcare, well then it’s about delivering clinical services, so let’s deliver it to the right people timely and accurately, and as efficiently as possible, and if you do it right, you’re all going to share in the reward.

And if we do it wrong, we’re all going to share in the penalty. We’re all going to have skin in the game, and those are the projects you want to be a part of

Reprinted with permission from Cabling Networking systems magazine


Fiber Has Now Enabled 100GE To Reach 430 Meters – More Than Double The OM4 Standard

John D’Ambrosia, Chair of IEEEP802.3bj 100 Gb/s Backplane and Copper Cable Task Force, wrote that “…when it comes to bandwidth, time is not on our side – despite what the Rolling Stones sang.” He’s referring to statistics showing that bandwidth requirements of networking applications double approximately every 18 months while bandwidth capabilities of computing applications double every 24 months. Copper cable can’t do that. John Culbert, President of Megladon Mfg. said “The appetite for speed is being driven by the flood of new information applications.”  When your application is Business Critical, Megladon's HLC™ fiber optic cables are the most reliable choice. 


Ed Brown – The Writing Engineer PROFILE

Edward Brown, president of Paradiddle Writing and Editing, advocates for the development of a forward-thinking view of electrical building systems, focusing on the advantages of integrating fire protection, life safety systems, security, communications, and energy efficiency. Brown has been publicizing the visionary idea that this networked approach should be extended even beyond a single building to campuses and communities.

He was editor of NECA’s Security and Life Safety Systems magazine from 2007 to 2009 and of NFPA’s NEC Digest magazine from 2002 to 2007. He has published many articles on the integration of fire, life safety, security, communications, and energy efficiency. His associations with NECA and NFPA have enabled him to be an outstanding voice in advocating this forward-looking approach. Brown, a degreed electrical engineer, has been able to use his experience of more than 25 years as an industrial systems engineer to understand how the integrated systems concept can be transferred from industrial processing to building systems. And his graduate degree in sociology aids him in extending this vision to society at large. His sociology education taught him that people doing different kinds of work not only have different ways of working, but also different ways of thinking. This has helped him to use his natural empathy to be an educator as well as a communicator. He has an outstanding ability to communicate his ideas in writing (a talent not too common among engineers).

As editor of the NECA and NFPA magazines, he developed and publicized the themes of safety, security, and energy efficiency and publicized the way that networking in general, and IP networking in particular, can enhance all of these. His widely praised articles on these themes have focused on the use of building control systems as a means of minimizing energy consumption. He has written on lighting controls, including DALI, HVAC controls via BACNET, as well as a three-part series on achieving savings by using control systems and smart metering to limit peak demand and feature articles on practical issues involved with real-world applications of renewable energy sources. He has written on fire alarm systems, networked security and video surveillance systems, and duct smoke detectors. His articles for NEC Digest on programmable logic controllers and surge suppression have been reprinted for use in college and vocational training classes.

As editor of Security and Life Safety Systems, he brought together a team of experts in the fields of security, fire protection, life safety, information technology, and power quality. His creative approach brought to the magazine as regular contributors, people like Frank Bisbee—a leading visionary in the growth and evolution of the telecommunications cabling industry, and Michael Collins—an expert on security management with an impressive record of highly placed positions in that field.

One of Ed’s proudest accomplishments as editor of NEC Digest was the magazine’s outstanding role in the promotion of electrical safety. He used the magazine as a forum for renowned experts on the topics of arc flash, personal protective equipment (PPE), and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). For example, as a result of the platform he received at NEC Digest, the seminars given by Kenneth Mastrullo — NFPA’s expert on electrical safety — expanded from being little noticed to becoming one of the most popular at NFPA. Ken has since gone on to become Compliance Assistance Coordinator for OSHA. Mastrullo and NEC Digest were instrumental in increasing the circulation of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, to become second only to the National Electrical Code. NEC Digest brought industry experts to their readership in the electrical industry, people like James Stallcup, Mark Ode, Jim Phillips, Jim White, Richard Roux, and editors of the National Electrical Code: Mark Earley, Jeffrey Sargent, Joseph Sheehan and John Caloggero.

During his long electrical engineering career, Ed designed and programmed a succession of unique systems for conveyorized high power microwave processing of everything from granola for Gardetto’s Inc. to personal sanitary products for Proctor and Gamble. He pioneered in the use of PLCs in these applications, and his designs are still in use today. Another of his proud achievements was the design and construction of a computer controlled test station used to improve aircraft safety by testing the interference effects of high-powered radar on an airplane’s electronic systems. For more than two and a half decades he designed and tested power supply systems rated up to 100s of kilowatts and up to 500kvdc. At his last engineering job he combined his sociology knowledge with his on-the-floor experience to design and supervise a team system for his company—a system that has successfully improved both worker morale and product quality.

ED Brown has been active in his community as well, having served on a number of school and community committees. He ran a successful after-school project for enhancing grade school children’s experiences in science, drama, and art.

Ed has been called a Renaissance man, because of the wide range of his talents and interests. He has used media to spread the word about his passions for safety, security, energy conservation, renewable energy and the creative use of control systems to achieve these goals. ED BROWN - Dir. The Writing Engineer


DuPont and Cartel co-defendants lost bid to overturn fines for Price Fixing

DuPont and the other cartel co-defendants lost bids to overturn antitrust fines by the European Union for claims they colluded to fix prices in the rubber chemical industry. DuPont has an extensive history of convictions and fines for many violations.

The European Commission was right in the findings and fines it imposed for the cartel, the EU’s General Court said in three separate rulings for the companies.

The EU’s antitrust regulator has “wide discretion as regards the methods of calculating fines” and didn’t err in the amounts or the fines themselves, the Luxembourg-based tribunal said today. Five companies were fined a total of 247.6 million euros ($325 million) in 2007 by the commission, the European Union’s antitrust regulator, for colluding on prices for chloroprene rubber, used to make latex rubber, from at least 1993 to 2002, the commission said. Bayer AG, Germany’s largest drug maker and another repeat offender, escaped a 201 million euro fine, as it had told the regulator about the cartel.

“DuPont is disappointed with the decision” and is considering whether to appeal, Eduardo Menchaca, a spokesman for the company, said today.

‘Convinced of the Correctness’  DuPont received a 15 million-euro fine and Dow was fined 4.4 million euros individually. The commission fined their former joint venture 44.3 million euros, to be shared by the two companies. Dow Chemical transferred its stake in the joint venture to Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont in 2005 and it was renamed DuPont Performance Elastomers LLC.

The related cases are T-76/08 Pending Case, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and others v Commission; T-77/08 Pending Case, Dow Chemical v Commission; T-83/08 Pending Case, Denki Kagaku Kogyo and Denka Chemicals v Commission.


Belden Announces Additions to the Brilliance Audio Snake Cable Line

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Belden Inc. a global leader in signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, introduces its outdoor and direct burial analog audio, plenum jacketed and plenum Banana Peel snake cable lines. These newly designed Brilliance Audio Snake Cables feature an ultra-rugged construction and deliver superior flexibility over a broad range of indoor and outdoor conditions.


The Brilliance Audio Snake Cables are also well-suited for in-the-field and permanent installation to connect multiple channels in low-level (microphone) and high-level componentry such as console board equipment for recording, post production and sound system installations where ruggedness is essential.

Additions to this product line include three cable series – waterblocked, plenum, and Banana Peel constructions, each offering multiple benefits. Each cable series features a foil shield that is bonded to the jacket which is designed to maintain high performance while improving ease of termination.

The waterblocked product series consists of six (6) standard product codes with constructions ranging from 1 to 12 pairs. These products are suitable for direct burial and are outdoor-rated without the installation difficulties associated with gel installations.

In the plenum product series, Belden offers nine (9) product codes including the recent additions of 4, 6, 8 and 12-pair constructions with an overall jacket. Each pair is individually jacketed, eliminating the need for heat shrink. This simplifies field termination and reduces labor costs.

Belden also now offers 2, 4, and 6-pair audio snake cables in its patented Banana Peel construction. Banana Peel cables are easy-to-install composite cables. All component cables are bundled and affixed to a center spline, eliminating the need for an overall jacket. Installers can easily split the composite cable into individual cables by peeling them away from the center spline. Therefore the Banana Peel design requires less effort and less installation time than with traditional jacketed products. An additional benefit is that Banana Peel offers an overall smaller O.D., occupying less space in conduit, and a better bend radius.

For more information about the Belden Brilliance Snake Cables, visit our website at

About Belden

St. Louis-based Belden Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets cable, connectivity, and networking products in markets including industrial automation, enterprise, transportation, infrastructure, and consumer electronics. It has approximately 6,800 employees, and provides value for industrial automation, enterprise, education, healthcare, entertainment and broadcast, sound and security, transportation, infrastructure, consumer electronics and other industries. Belden has manufacturing capabilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and a market presence in nearly every region of the world. Belden was founded in 1902, and today is a leader with some of the strongest brands in the signal transmission industry. For more information, visit

Banana Peel, Brilliance, and Belden Sending All The Right Signals are trademarks or registered trademarks of Belden Inc. in the United States and other countries. Belden and other parties may also have trademark rights in other terms used herein.


Beacon Enterprise Solutions Reports 51% Increase in Net Sales and 97% Increase in Gross Profit for Fiscal First Quarter 2012

Beacon Enterprise Solutions Reports 51% Increase in Net Sales and 97% Increase in Gross Profit for Fiscal First Quarter 2012

– Income from Operations Increases by $1.5 Million Year over Year –

– Conference Call To Be Held Tomorrow at 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time –

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group, Inc. (OTCBB: BEAC) (, an emerging global leader in the design, implementation and management of high performance Information Technology Systems (“ITS”) infrastructure solutions, reports fiscal first quarter financial results for the period ended December 31, 2011, which are discussed below:

Financial Highlights for the Fiscal 2012 First Quarter:

  • Net sales for the quarter increased 51% to $6 million from $4 million in the year-ago first quarter;
  • Gross profit for the quarter increased 97% to $2.3 million from $1.2 million in the year-ago first quarter;
  • Gross profit margins improved 900 basis points to 39% from 30% in last year’s first quarter;
  • Total operating expenses for the quarter decreased by 12% to $2.2 million from $2.6 million in the year-ago first quarter;
  • Net sales per employee increased by 52% over last year’s first quarter (annualized);
  • Salaries and benefits, as a percentage of net sales, improved to 24% from 42% in the year-ago first quarter;
  • Income from operations for the quarter increased to $71,000 from a loss of ($1.4) million in the year-ago first quarter;
  • EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) improved by over $1.4 million during the most recent quarter to positive $183,000 from negative ($1.3 million) in the year-ago first quarter; and
  • The Company’s cash position at the end of the quarter increased by 142% to $2.1 million from $861,000 at end of the year-ago first quarter.

Bruce Widener, Chairman and CEO of Beacon Enterprise Solutions commented, “Fiscal 2012 is shaping up to be another year of significant growth for Beacon. We’re reporting another quarter of double-digit sales growth, improved and stable gross profit margins and positive income from operations. Although we have been impacted by the current challenges in the global economy, having seen some large infrastructure projects delayed and experienced longer than usual sales cycles, we have continued to grow our business, strengthen our customer relationships and expand our capabilities despite these challenges. We are currently on track to achieve a minimum of 50% annual sales growth in 2012, without the benefit of pending large infrastructure projects, and expect to achieve sustainable profitability. Our sales pipeline remains robust and continues to expand. We are also continuing to pursue a number of large project opportunities that could have a significant, positive impact on our growth and profitability in 2012.”

“In the fiscal first quarter we continued the upward trends that began last year and worked to further solidify our position as a leading global ITS provider,” added Jerry Bowman, President and COO of Beacon. ”Our implementation of NetSuitehas enabled our global sales force and customer base to work within one system architecture in multiple languages and currencies. We have increased our efforts to win more Fortune 100 clients and are actively engaged with over 25 different potential qualified client targets. We have demonstrated with our existing marquee clients the ability to win significant new business that results in multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts. Our recent announcement of $2 million dollars in new contract awards with Fortune 100 clients is a great example of these initiatives in action.”

“We are extremely pleased with the increase in corporate productivity that we achieved this quarter, and with the strong contributions from our employees,” said Victor Agruso, Chief Administrative Officer. ”We achieved 50%+ increases (annualized) in both net revenue and operating income per employee, which reflects our staff’s commitment to provide the highest level of professional services in a cost-efficient manner.”

“Gross profit margin improved to 39%, compared with 30% in last year’s first quarter. This amount is comparable to the amount we recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, and is also in line with management’s expectations,” said S. Scott Fitzpatrick, Vice President Corporate Controller and Treasurer. ” We expect to see consistent gross margin performance throughout 2012, with variances depending on the mix of higher margin professional services work and the relative delivery stage of our larger projects and programs.”

Earnings Conference Call, Thursday, February 9, 2012 @ 10:00 a.m. EST:

Beacon’s Management will hold a conference call on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EST to discuss its fiscal first quarter 2012 financial results for the period ending December 31, 2011. Participants on the call will include Bruce Widener, Chairman and CEO; Jerry Bowman, President and COO; Victor Agruso, Chief Administrative Officer and S. Scott Fitzpatrick, Vice President Corporate Controller and Treasurer. The teleconference can be accessed by calling 888-495-3916 and entering conference ID # 43328861. Participants outside of the U.S. and Canada can join by calling 706-634-7530 and entering the same conference ID. Please dial in 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the call. The conference call will be simultaneously webcast and available on the company’s website,, under the “Investor Relations” tab. A digital recording of the conference call will be available for replay two hours after the end of the call’s completion until 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 11, 2012 by calling 404-537-3406 and entering conference ID # 43328861.

Beacon Enterprise Solutions Announces $2 Million in New ITS Projects for 2012 with Existing Fortune 100 Clients

– Company Expands Product Scope to Include Industrial Network Services –

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group, Inc. (OTCBB: BEAC) (, an emerging global leader in the design, implementation and management of high performance Information Technology Systems (“ITS”) infrastructure solutions, today announced the award of approximately $2 million in new ITS business from existing Fortune 100 clients. The new projects awarded will expand the scope of Beacon’s product offering to include the addition of Industrial Network Services to its suite of Enterprise services.

In a move to extend Beacon’s fourth utility information technology systems services into the manufacturing operations of existing and future clients, Beacon has formalized its ITS services to address the needs of the industrial network. Over the past ten years industrial command and control systems have seen a significant increase in the use of data networks and related Internet technologies to transfer information from the plant floor to supervisory and business computer systems. This migration permits Beacon to extend its infrastructure expertise in field engineering, design, construction and management from the enterprise network onto the factory floor of both existing and future clients with global manufacturing sites.

Beacon has identified and begun initial work that will extend to more than 18 global manufacturing sites. Expanding enterprise services to include industrial networks is forecasted to add $2 million of incremental revenue for fiscal 2012. This work leverages Beacon’s existing four core business units and will utilize the same site assessment, design/build and manage approach that has been successful in the enterprise space with enterprise IT networks.

“We are excited to formally enter the industrial network arena,” said Jerry Bowman, Beacon’s President and COO. “We’ve been watching the advances in technology in this space and see positive indicators that our clients are ready to leverage the benefits that our IT clients have enjoyed in their enterprise networks for years. Some of these analog networks were built more than 20 years ago, so the need for our services in this space is significant. By offering this service we are extending our global reach to the manufacturing floor and providing the consistent, predictable services to our clients who utilize industrial automation. In line with our business strategy, this strategy significantly reduces the number of vendors our clients need to maintain their existing and planned ITS infrastructure.”

“This move is a continuation of our commitment to remain focused on our core business, and at the same time continue to expand our suite of services,” said Bruce Widener, Beacon’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our clients have recognized that we have the expertise to help them migrate legacy factory floor systems to utilize enterprise-class IP infrastructure and networks. We like the idea of being able to address real client needs without increasing cost or risk to our company. This is another win-win offering.”

About Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group, Inc.

Beacon Enterprise Solutions Group is an emerging global leader in the design, implementation and management of high performance Information Technology Systems (“ITS”) infrastructure solutions. Beacon offers fully integrated, turnkey IT infrastructure solutions capable of fully servicing the largest companies in the world as they increasingly outsource to reduce costs while optimizing critical IT design and infrastructure management. Beacon is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, with regional headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dublin, Ireland, Prague, Czech Republic and personnel located throughout the United States and Europe.

For additional information, please visit Beacon’s corporate website:


ACUTA 41st Annual Conference - Indianapolis, Indiana  April 29-May 2, 2012 - FASTER…BETTER...NOW

ACUTA is a nonprofit association whose core purpose is to support higher education communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. Originally founded in 1972 by telecommunications managers or directors, the association has grown with the evolution of technology to include not just voice professionals but data and video as well. This is reflected in the name, ACUTA, which stood for the Association of College and University Administrators, but now broadly positions the group as the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education. The group retains the acronym ACUTA to capitalize on its reputation and recognition that span almost 40 years.

Membership in ACUTA resides with the college and university, and these institutions are represented within the association by the men and women responsible for planning, implementing and maintaining voice and data networks throughout campus. Companies that provide products and services relevant to the provision of voice, data and video are also invited to become Corporate Affiliates. Current membership includes approximately 800 college and university members plus about 150 corporate affiliates.

The group specializes in educational opportunities as well as professional networking, offering three seminars and one major conference each year in addition to numerous audio and web seminars. A website provides immediate access to numerous resources, an active listserv offers useful information as members interact with peers, and the publications program provides a quarterly journal as well as white papers and other materials that address issues of relevance and importance. ACUTA also works closely with a Washington law firm to provide up-to-date information from the FCC and Congress.

ACUTA 41st Annual Conference - Indianapolis, Indiana = FASTER…BETTER...NOW

April 29 - May 2, 2012 - JW Marriott


"Impact of Smart Grid on Connected Homes 2012"

CABA, CABA's Connected Home Council, CABA's Smart Grid Working Group and Frost & Sullivan hosted a Webinar held on Thursday, December 1, 2011 featuring the Landmark Research Study "Impact of Smart Grid on Connected Homes 2012". Konkana Khaund, Senior Industry Manager - North America, for Frost & Sullivan's Environment and Building Technologies Practice, presented a detailed overview of the study including: the broad purpose of the study - to greatly improve the understanding of residential Smart Grid development and deployment in terms of: identifying market demand and growth areas for new products; comparing competing product strategies and communications of competitors; determining product preferences for end-users; developing messaging that resonates with the target audience; defining critical success factors to expand product offerings to end-user markets; and establishing a market approach and foundation for strategic decision-making efforts.

The research study will serve to create the foundation for potential next steps for: product/services research and development, framing recommendations and business decisions, outlining vertical market strategies and strategic alliances, optimizing development of training and coaching, and providing information on product demand into other parallel market segments and business areas.

There were over one hundred webinar participants in attendance, representing a broad cross-section of industries with a vested interest in growing the residential smart grid market. The project has been reviewed, approved and received consensus endorsement by CABA's Board of Directors, the CHC and the CHC Smart Grid Working Group. Several organizations have already expressed interest in study participation. There will be a Project Manager that will be able to assist the Steering Committee with respect to project logistics and working with Frost & Sullivan.

The complete webinar PowerPoint presentation and study research prospectus are available to you and interested parties in your organization. For viewing and download of both documents, please go to:

The research project funding levels for this Connected Homes Landmark Research project are as follows:

Ruby Sponsor: $15,000 per sponsor
Benefits: Featured case study, Study Steering Committee participation, study scope definition, survey design, final reports/presentation

Emerald Sponsor: $10,000 per sponsor
Benefits: Study Steering Committee participation, study scope definition, survey design, final reports/presentation

Diamond Sponsor: $5,000 per sponsor
Benefits: Study input via CABA, project updates and final reports/presentation

SAMSUNG and TELUS have already confirmed their sponsorship of the study. We ask that you take a moment to answer the following questions and that you please send a return email to discuss your interest in this project, as soon as possible. Should you have any questions or require further information, please contact George Grimes, CABA Business Development Manager at, 613.686.1814 ext. 226, or myself.

1. Our organization wants to participate and sponsor this research project. _____ YES ______ NO

If yes, we want to participate at:
Diamond Sponsor: $5,000 _____
Emerald Sponsor: $10,000 ______
Ruby Sponsor: $15,000 ______

2. We would like to discuss this research project further before making

a decision and please call me at: __________________

We thank you for your response.

We anticipate that several companies will join other CABA members in forming the Project Steering Committee. We expect that this Research Project will be over-subscribed and are anticipating that the Steering Committee will have the project kickoff meeting very soon.

This initiative is the latest research project to be unveiled under CABA's Research Program and more details on the Program and other completed projects can be found at:

We hope to be working with your organization on the "Impact of Smart Grid on Connected Homes 2012" research study. Finally, if you can think of others in your organization or this industry that may have an interest in this research project, please forward the presentation and this email to them.

Best Regards,

Ronald J. Zimmer CAE
President & CEO
Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA)

Phone: 613.686.1814 x230
Fax: 613.744.7833
Web site:


Wesco 4Q profit rises 57.5 percent

Wesco International, maker of industrial supplies, boosts 4Q profit by 57.5 percent

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Wesco International Inc. said Thursday that fourth-quarter profit rose 57.5 percent as revenue rose from both old business and recent acquisitions.

The shares rose $4.11, or 6.8 percent, to $64.32 in midday trading after hitting a 52-week high of $66.02 earlier in the day.

Wesco makes electrical and industrial supplies and construction materials.

Fourth-quarter net income was $54.8 million, or $1.12 per share, compared with $34.8 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn 97 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 19 percent to $1.59 billion, up from $1.33 billion. About two-thirds of the gain came internally and one-third from acquisitions. Analysts expected $1.53 billion.

The company completed the acquisition of RS Electronics this month, its fifth such deal in the last 18 months. The deals have boosted annual revenue by $460 million.

The company said organic sales, or those from its existing business, rose by double-digit percentages for the sixth consecutive quarter.

The company's customers include contractors, government agencies and utilities.


ShoreTel acquires M5 Networks for $160M - looking to develop cloud business


ShoreTel (Nasdaq: SHOR) has agreed to acquire M5 Networks in a deal valued as much as $160 million, giving it a major entrée to the booming cloud services business in the form of a strong hosted VoIP and UC operation.

M5 shareholders will receive approximately $84 million in cash and 9.5 million shares of ShoreTel stock, which equates to a total of $146.3 million in initial consideration based on a ShoreTel's average stock price over the prior 30 trading days. In addition, M5 shareholders may receive additional contingent consideration of up to $13.7 million. The contingent payments are payable over the two years after closing and are based upon the achievement of certain revenue performance milestones for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012. The deal is expected to close by the end of March.

Privately held M5, which was recently given a visionary position in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for UC as a service in North America, caters primarily to businesses of between 50 and 500 seats. It has more than 2,000 customers and more than 60,000 recurring revenue seats in the U.S.

M5 itself made a pair of major acquisitions recently, in April buying contact center software vendor Callfinity, and in November 2010 buying hosted VoIP provider Geckotech.

With forecasts pointing to continued growth in the hosted UC market, Gartner estimates the market to be $700 million today and expects it to grow at a 36 percent compounded annual growth rate to $2.2 billion in 2015; the deal could be very good to ShoreTel.

ShoreTel CEO Peter Blackmore, during the company's earnings call (see ShoreTel tops analysts estimates in 2Q, ups revenue 22%), said M5 brings a proven hosted UC solution to the company. And, he said, ShoreTel, after eight months of performing an extensive buy-versus-bill review "determined that the secret sauce in hosted UC is not just a well developed R&D solution, but more fundamentally experienced in running a very different business model."

Blackmore said M5 also was attractive because it brought with it a low churn rate, high average revenue per unit, competitive customer acquisition cost and expertise in running in 24/7 data centers.

"The management skills required to run a hosted business are in many ways different from those necessary for the on-premise business," he said. "For us to build this expertise would have taken time and investment and would certainly have involved distraction and therefore risk to our current business. We therefore determined the best way to enter this market quickly and establish a strong position is to find a company with a proven business model, a significant recurring revenue stream, a good management team and then bringing that organization into ShoreTel as a new business unit."

Blackmore also said ShoreTel plans no changes in its current distribution model.

On the nuts and bolts side:

  • ShoreTel is acquiring M5's entire operation including its customer base, distribution capability and proprietary network, and will be extending offers to substantially all of its 200 employees;
  • Following the close of the acquisition, M5 will be operated as a ShoreTel business unit;
  • M5 CEO Dan Hoffman will become president and general manager of the new business unit;
  • M5 engineering teams will remain separate, but they will cooperate and coordinate in order to leverage the innovation and best practices of both groups; and,
  • The current ShoreTel Champion Partner reseller program will evolve to include the ability to offer hosted services once the reseller has been qualified and certified.


Recession over??  Belden – 4th qtr profit down 53% from last year

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Communications equipment maker Belden Inc. said Thursday that its fourth quarter profit fell 53 percent from a year ago as the company restructured and customers reduced their inventory levels.

Its adjusted earnings topped Wall Street forecasts, but revenue came in below expectations as did company projections for revenue in the first quarter and full year of 2012.

CEO John Stroup said the deteriorating financial situation in Europe could pose a risk to growth.

Belden makes networking equipment used for communication, and sales can drop when companies cut back spending on their infrastructure.

Its shares fell $2.07, or 5.1 percent, to $38.82 in afternoon trading. They are still closer to the upper end of their 52-week range of $23.24 to $41.43 per share.

The company reported net income fell to $26.5 million, or 56 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31 from $56.4 million, or $1.17 per share, a year earlier.

Belden reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of 57 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $464.4 million from $425.2 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $493.2 million.

For all of 2011, the company reported net income of $114.3 million, or $2.38 per share, compared to $108.5 million, or $2.27 per share, a year earlier. Annual revenue rose to $1.98 billion from $1.62 billion in 2010.

Belden warned that its full-year and first-quarter 2012 earnings will be on the low end, or lower, than analysts expected as the global economy continues modest growth.

The company expects first quarter adjusted earnings between 48 cents per share and 53 cents per share on revenue between $445 million to $455 million. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of 52 cents per share on $474.8 million in revenue.

For all of 2012, the company expects adjusted earnings from continuing operations to be between $2.70 per share and $2.90 per share on revenue between $1.98 billion and $2.03 billion.

Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $2.82 per share on $2.08 billion in revenue.


Commodity Cables Inc. offers High Quality, Very Competitively Priced Wire and Cable Products

Coaxial Cables, Voice and Data Cables, Security Cables for the Commercial and Residential marketplace in stock!

Commodity Cables, Inc., (tel. 866-945-5051) headquartered in the Suwanee, Georgia, has grown to be a leader in global manufacturing of wire and cable products. They pride themselves on supplying their customers direct from stock, shipped same day, to ensure fast delivery and very competitive prices, backed by impeccable customer service.

The cable products are high quality and uniquely packaged for use in the Commercial, Residential, CATV, and Security Distribution and Installation Marketplace.

With over 20 years of experience in the Wire and Cable industry, the customers enjoy factory direct savings from the best Global Manufacturers in the industry. “We believe in passing these savings along to our customers while providing the best Customer service team in the Market today.” Commented Fred Rescigno Jr., president/CEO of Commodity Cables, Inc.

Commodity Cables is a family owned business, that prides itself on the good old fashioned values of putting the customers first and providing complete customer service satisfaction. Since evolving from a manufacturer representative company in 2001, Commodity Cables originally began private labeling product for domestic manufacturers, concentrating on price sensitive items that US manufacturers could not be competitive with. Commodity Cables assisted in sourcing these products globally with the intention of building their own brand in years to come. Today's economy and market conditions have shown a need for a competitively priced, high quality product. There is no doubt that the days of overspending for industry standard performance products are over. Their Mission remains a commitment to provide quality products, fast delivery with same day service, and the highest quality standards in the industry. This company has consistently grown in a tough economy and in spite of competitive attacks by other suppliers to the market. Competition is good. It drives prices down and service up.

Commodity Cables has many connectivity partnerships in the voice and data industry. In addition to these partnerships, They have channel tested their products with most other leading industry connectivity manufacturers. They can provide the 35 year end to end warranties needed to capitalize on today’s business needs. You can call them to discuss your connectivity of choice, and how they can provide you with the warranty’s needed to win business with Commodity Cables.

Category Cables

Commodity Cables takes pride in supplying the best quality Voice and Data Cables in the industry today. UTP Product standards were set by EIA/TIA 568 beginning in 1991. Why pay more for the same product elsewhere? All manufactures of Wire and cable products are measured by the same ruler, so don’t be fooled by marketing gimmicks or smoke and mirrors. The products are UL listed.

Home Automation Cables

Commodity Cables stocks a variety of home automation cables used for today’s residential market. There are many different choices out there for your home automation needs and they can provide the infrastructure needed to operate your specific system. The residential contactor enjoys quick installation with products containing multiple jacketed products under one central overall jacket. The contactor can then separate these products as needed and terminate accordingly.

Coaxial Cables

Commodity Cables strongest product line is Coaxial Cables. They offer cables manufactured to deliver “the signal” with a variety of different conductor variables and shielding requirements for your specific needs. COAX Cable is the most widely made product globally for domestic manufacturers to purchase braided core or finished goods with consistent results. From pre wiring new homes, connecting Satellite equipment, or PTZ analog security cameras, Commodity Cables has the solution for your needs.

Check out this company. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Concerning an article published by PennWell’s Cabling Installation and Maintenance magazine, The article supported Anixter (one of CI&M’s major advertisers) and negatively portrayed Commodity Cables, Inc. and its product manufacturers. An independent group researched the article’s allegations directly to determine the facts before innuendo takes the place of fact in the marketplace. The article could have been better researched. The facts should have portrayed a completely different story.

In 2010, Commodity Cables was notified by Anixter that Anixter believed that some product purchased from Commodity Cables Inc. did not meet certain industry requirements and standards. This product had been in Anixter’s inventory from 2006 to 2008 and was randomly tested by Anixter, and sent to UL in October of 2010. In November 2010, Commodity Cables received notification by UL that one of our products had failed to pass applicable standards.

Once they were notified of the suspected non-compliant material, they immediately put a hold on all product produced by this manufacturer unit and commenced an investigation in conjunction with UL. Over the next 4 months, the executives of Commodity Cables worked closely with at UL as an interface with the manufacturer’s factory to correct the issue. This was an isolated incident, with a specific factory, concerning a relatively small amount of product. UL investigated the issue with the factory and corrective action was taken by UL and Commodity Cables to ensure future product from that factory met UL requirements. UL never disqualified this supplier over this issue and the manufacturer continues to be UL listed today.

All wire and cable manufacturers, both domestic and international, are constantly submitting product samples to UL, developing new materials, compounds, processes and quality controls. For example, domestic manufacturers are now layering PE insulation with FEP material to increase product yield while still passing applicable UL flame requirements. Some domestic manufacturers are currently employing this manufacturing technique in the marketplace as FEP continues to be in “short supply” and on allocation and the price continues to climb. They are challenged with staying current on new ways to provide an economical product to our customers, while passing all UL test requirements. Today Commodity Cables products check out to be a safe and reliable bet….and at a great savings.


Cloud Computing Connectors: Beware Of Counterfeits By James Carlini

If you are a corporate executive contemplating about adding some applications in a cloud computing network, be very aware of the vendors as well as your own internal system architects and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) when they start talking about cost-effective networks, cheaper components and saving you money.

What many network pseudo-experts do not know is that you don’t build cheap networks.  There are no “Fire Sales” on quality, especially when it comes to network infrastructures.  Like anything else, you get what you pay for when it comes to buying the pieces for your network just like when you buy the parts for your car or materials for your house.


There is a growing concern of those in the cabling industry on counterfeit and non-compliant components being brought into the country

Did you know that a connector needs to have a certain amount of gold on it to insure the connectivity?  That’s right – GOLD, not copper.  Each connector that is on either end of a cable needs to have 50 microns of gold on it in order to make a solid path for communications.  Some connectors only have 3 microns of gold.  They will work – for a little while.

In addition, the copper has to be solid copper and not a mix of copper and some other metal like aluminum (there are cables that are copper-clad aluminum that just won’t work right).  When you have a mixture of metals, you will:

-           Create more resistance on the circuit (which will interfere with the signal),

-          Create more heat (again degrading the circuit), and

-          Actually can create a “battery” which is creating a charge which will also knock out a signal.

There have also been some issues with companies adding on a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label on sub-standard cable so that the buyer thinks it has been UL-approved. 

That is a trademark infringement problem for UL, but for you who “just bought a great deal on cable for your network”, the problems will arise when you can’t get more than 10 Mbps (megabit per second) speeds out of that cable that was rated to run up to 1 Gbps (gigabit per second) speeds.

Long ago, I discussed the Four Laws of Networks and got the Fifth one from a student in class.  Remember the Five Laws of Networks when you start out to build any type of network.






Networks Never Get Smaller

They are always being added on to.


Networks Never Get Slower

Who “moves up” to a slower network?


Networks Never Stay the Same

You are constantly adding and changing network nodes.


Networks Never Work All of the Time

Even the phone companies have problems with their networks (you will too).  NO network is up 100%.


Networks Are Never Cheap

Quality components cost money.  24/7 reliability costs money.

Source: James Carlini


As more bad connectors and inferior cabling become used as part of the building blocks for networks, the reliability of these networks will go down.  Noise, crosstalk and other interference will be prevalent as circuits wear down and connectivity will be degraded or completely lost.  Also remember, the higher the speed, the more susceptible you will be to these types of problems.

The only remedy?  Pulling out the whole network that you (well, your “trusted” vendor and/or your system architect/ CTO) have built with inferior products and replace it with quality components.  Quality costs money, but what are the costs of down-time to the enterprise, intermittent problems, testing and pinpointing problems, and the final cost to replace the entire cabling infrastructure because you “got a bargain” on the spools of cable and boxes of connectors you bought from Cables R’ Us.

As I have said for years to my clients as well as students at Northwestern University, “There’s no such thing as a new $5,000 Rolls-Royce.  You get what you pay for.”

And by the same token, “There’s no such thing as a Formula One Yugo.  $5,000 doesn’t buy you a Formula One car.”

CARLINI-ISM :  Counterfeit connectors will create a lot of chronic thunderstorms in corporate Clouds.


James Carlini, MBA, is a certified Infrastructure Consultant and has advised on major projects ranging from a six-building complex in Silicon Valley for the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Development Company to being the Mayor’s Consultant on the Chicago 911 Center and advisor to the DuPage National Technology Park (an 800-acre Intelligent Business Campus) as well as the Terra Business Park (120-acre).

He is also an expert witness on major network infrastructures with cases ranging from reviewing the entire market of fiber optic services for AT&T in a multi-million dollar lawsuit to a multi-million dollar lawsuit at a $1.6 Billion casino complex in Las Vegas as well as E-Commerce transactions, VOIP (Voice overIP) Networks, wrongful death cases, a false bomb threat and a US Navy court martial.

He recently wrote a white paper for the US Dept. of Homeland Security on Intelligent Infrastructure: Securing Regional Sustainability and presented it at their conference at Columbia University in New York in 2009.  He has been a keynote speaker at various national conferences including LECET, BICSI, Broadband Properties Summit, and others.

He pioneered the concept of Measuring Building Intelligence in 1985 and has written hundreds of articles and white papers on high tech real estate, broadband connectivity and economic development including “Measuring a Building’s IQ”, Aiming For Quality in Technology Investments” and Intelligent Business Campuses: Keys to Future Economic Development.”

He has also served as an award-winning adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University in both the Executive Masters level and the undergraduate program for two decades.


Phone   : 773-370-1888


Follow daily Carlini-isms at

Copyright 2012 – James Carlini



STEP is an acronym for the Sustainable Technology Environments Program™ (STEP), a rating system and guide managed by the STEP Foundation, a nonprofit organization comprised of technology trade associations representatives, their members and STEP supporters. At its core, STEP is intended to bring sustainability to the process of planning, designing, integrating and operating technology systems, as well as reduce long-term environmental impact from technology deployment.

STEP was envisioned to encompass all low-voltage building and communication technologies into a phase-by-phase, sustainable deployment process. STEP not only accounts for the ongoing energy consumption of information technology systems but also for the reduction of raw materials in the deployment of information technology solutions and indoor environmental quality of technology-rich environments. STEP also encourages the use of information technologies to make buildings smarter and reduce paper consumption, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel.

Executive Staff

Allen Weidman, Executive Director, The STEP Foundation

Allen Weidman brings more than 30 years of association experience to STEP, having worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Consumer Products Safety Commission and a number of other federal and state regulatory agencies. He has developed, integrated and managed industry coalitions on federal and international environmental issues. Weidman also concurrently serves as Sustainability Officer for InfoComm International, the trade association representing the commercial audiovisual industry.

Prior to joining STEP, Weidman served as a Senior Account Executive for Kellen Company, an association management firm. He has also served as Executive Director for six different industry sector groups during his tenure at the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), where he was responsible for developing industry positions relative to sustainability, the environmental footprint of various plastics, and was instrumental in the strategic analysis of how the emerging "green" standards would impact associations. In addition, he played an integral role in the development of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Certification Program and the ASHRAE -  American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' "Energy Standard for Buildings" and "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality" standards.

Board Members

Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., STEP Board President

Randal (Randy) A. Lemke is the Executive Director and CEO of InfoComm International, the trade association representing the commercial audiovisual and information communications industries. He has been the Executive Director of InfoComm International® since June of 2000.

Lemke joined InfoComm International in 1996 as Vice President of Education, at which time he supervised the development and delivery of the association's seminars, workshops, advanced schools, international education and certification programs. In 1997, he developed the InfoComm Academy Online, an Internet-based training system for the AV industry, which currently has 3,000 students enrolled daily.

Prior to his work at InfoComm, Lemke was a professor at the University of Virginia and Gallaudet University and served as a college administrator at Northern Virginia Community College.

He holds board positions on Integrated Systems Events, LLC, a joint venture European tradeshow company, and on InfoComm Asia PTE, Ltd., a joint venture company in Singapore operating InfoComm’s tradeshow in China. Lemke holds advanced degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska.

Todd Thibodeaux, STEP Board Secretary/Treasurer

Todd Thibodeaux is the president and chief executive officer of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the leading trade association representing the business interests of the global information technology (IT) industry. He is responsible for leading strategy, development and growth efforts for the association.

Before joining CompTIA in July 2008, Thibodeaux spent more than 17 years with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), where he served in a wide range of roles culminating as its senior vice president of industry relations.

Thibodeaux is a life-long IT and tech enthusiast dating back to his very early years. The son of an electrical and mechanical engineer, Thibodeaux's love of technology continues to this day and he has infused CompTIA with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the industry the organization represents. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Bachelor of Science, economics, 1988) and George Mason University (Master’s degree in economics, 1997).

John D. Clark Jr., CAE

John D. Clark Jr. is executive director and chief executive officer of BICSI, a professional association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry. Clark joined BICSI in September of 2008. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of BICSI's Tampa, Florida-based world headquarters as well as the implementation of all professional development and credentialing programs and member services.

Clark, who has been involved with the cabling industry since joining the Warner Amex QUBE-Columbus two-way interactive system in 1980, most recently served for 10 years as President/CEO for the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). Prior to his years with SCTE, Clark served as executive vice president for the Los Angeles-based TELE-TV. Clark also served as senior vice president of marketing and programming for both Crown Media and Cencom Cable Associates. Prior to this, Clark held senior marketing positions in both the hotel and fast food industries. Clark's background includes extensive experience in executive-level management, strategic planning, operations, marketing, programming, distribution, interactive services, business development and association best practices and governance.

Clark has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE™) Credential — the highest professional credential in the association industry-awarded by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Clark was awarded the 2003 National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Vanguard Award for Associates and Affiliates. Clark was inducted into the Cable Pioneers in 2001 and was named one of Cable's Hundred Heavy Hitters every year from 1999 through 2005. Clark is also both a Cable Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) TAMI and Case Study Award winner. Other honors include a St. Louis Local Emmy Award for Executive Producer, Best Sports Program and a Victor Award for Outstanding Marketing Achievement from the Dallas Sales and Marketing Executives.

Clark graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the same school. Clark currently serves as an At-Large Director on the Board of the Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE).

Brian Hansen, RCDD, NTS, CSI Specification Engineer

Brian Hansen is a Specification Engineer for Leviton Network Solutions covering the North Central Region of the United States and is a BICSI RCDD & NTS Specialist. Hansen has been in the telecommunications industry for more than 25 years in which he has been a consultant, contractor and a network engineer.

Hansen is currently the President for the BICSI Board of Directors. Prior to that, he served as the BICSI President-Elect for one term (two years), Treasurer for one term (two years) and the BICSI North Central Region Director for two terms (four years). He is also active as the Chair of the BICSI Nominating and Outreach Committees and is on the BICSI RSS Committee, where he has served for more than 14 years and currently sits on BICSI's Ethics and Finance Committees. Hansen also founded the Green Building Technology Alliance (GBTA), which he chaired for the first two years and is formed from many like organizations within the industry to develop Innovation Technology Credits for the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification system.

Andrew Kurtzman

Andrew Kurtzman is Vice President and Corporate Counsel of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and has served with the association for eight years. Kurtzman oversees the contracting for TIA and its tradeshows, both domestic and international. He also serves as the Counsel for the TIA standards department, reviewing meeting reports and publications and helping to ensure fair, technology-neutral processes for the fourth largest ANSI-accredited standards developing organization.

Kurtzman, an attorney with a distinguished career assisting small businesses and associations, came to TIA from Infostar Inc., an IT consulting firm where, as vice president, he ran a data network of more than 1,000 long-term care facilities, the largest of its type in the world. At Infostar, Kurtzman consulted to MCI Worldcom and to the American Health Care Association.

Prior to Infostar, Kurtzman consulted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its state revolving fund loan program. Kurtzman is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia and has a Juris Doctorate from the Washington College of Law and a BA in Art History from the University of Michigan.

Jay McBain

Jay McBain is an accomplished speaker, author and innovator in the IT industry. Named one of the Top 25 Newsmakers by CDN Magazine, Top 100 Most Respected Thought Leaders by Vertical Systems Reseller Magazine, member of global Power SMB 150, as well as Top 250 Managed Services Executives in the global MSP mentor list. He is often sought out for keynotes, industry guidance, as well as business development opportunities.

McBain currently serves as Vice Chair of the CompTIA Vendor Advisory Council as well as sitting on the board of the Channel Vanguard Council, Ziff Davis Leadership Council, CRN Channel Intelligence Council and STEP – Sustainable Technology Environments Program.

McBain has spent his career in sales leadership, marketing, strategy and business development positions within Autotask, Lenovo and IBM. He is currently Senior Vice President Strategy & Market Development for Autotask, responsible for defining and executing global growth initiatives within the corporation.

As a futurist, and long standing member of the World Future Society, McBain is an expert in Pervasive Computing which is the study of future computing models and the resulting impact on society, as well as Managed Services, Voice over IP and Cloud Computing.

McBain previously led the Enterprise (Fortune 500), Public Sector, SMB, as well as the Consumer businesses for Lenovo and IBM. With a blend of unique sales coverage, community outreach, social media and innovative marketing, the SMB division of Lenovo grew by 50% in market share under his leadership.

An avid blogger, community and social media expert, McBain has developed an innovative "dandelion marketing" approach delivering unique content and messaging across dozens of channels.

Grant Seiffert

As president of TIA, Grant Seiffert oversees the policy, standards, tradeshow and marketing efforts for the leading advocate in Washington, D.C., for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. TIA's member companies represent the entire supply chain of the ICT industry; these companies manufacture products, provide services and offer applications that transmit content by video, voice and data, thereby merging communications and entertainment options. As leaders in the industry, the companies and organizations participating in TIA develop and deliver communications innovations for consumers, government users and businesses alike, while improving productivity and access to information around the world.

Seiffert joined TIA in 1996 as director of government relations. His main priority was the representation of the equipment industry's interests, particularly regarding competitive issues during implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was promoted to vice president in 1998, directing domestic and global policy to help the association's supplier members gain marketing opportunities around the world. In that role, he oversaw policy, including interaction with the U.S. Congress, the FCC and the Administration, as well as with international regulatory bodies and government leaders and fulfilling the senior management role for association membership and TIA tradeshows. He succeeded Matt Flanigan as president of TIA in January 2007. Prior to joining TIA, Seiffert served five years with Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Seiffert serves on the Executive Committee of Connected Nation, the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) CEO Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Technology Environments Program™ (STEP) and the Board of the National Science & Technology Education Partnership (NSTEP). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Radford University. He and his wife, daughter and two sons reside in Mt. Vernon, Virginia.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP has been an independent technology consultant since 1989. For the past 15 years, Scott has been president and CEO of Waveguide Consulting, a leading technology consulting firm providing AV, IR, and acoustical consulting services to leading corporations, universities, and government entities.

Scott has been an InfoComm volunteer since 1999 serving initially as ICAT chair from 1999 through 2001. From there, Scott became an officer on the InfoComm board serving as InfoComm president in 2004. After completing his tenure on the board, Scott continued to his volunteer service as chair of InfoComm's ANSI Standards steering committee from 2007 to 2009.

More recently, Scott's leadership efforts have centered on the AV industry's response to the green building movement. In 2009, Scott chaired InfoComm's Green AV task force, which evolved into InfoComm's STEP task force. Walker is the original developer of the STEP Rating System.





The concept of Intelligent Business Campuses (IBCs) has come of age as all industries seek out high performance real estate platforms to launch and maintain state-of-the-art facilities that support their core businesses.  In this case, high performance means high profitability through high occupancy, a defined theme and utilization of redundant power grids and broadband connectivity as well as high security for the total development.  It supports the observation “Economic Development equals Broadband Connectivity”.  It also updates the old real estate adage of “Location, Location, Location” with “Location, Location, Connectivity”.

Over twenty years ago, Intelligent Buildings were talked about as a new concept to add technology to a building to make it more effective and efficient in the areas of communications, information technologies and building automation.

Many in real estate have yet to understand this demand shift to intelligent amenities that include broadband connectivity, diverse power sources and other communications-based applications in single commercial properties let alone newer campuses of synergistic businesses and functional operations where intelligent buildings have now been clustered instead of built in a stand-alone environment.

Some of these concepts were ahead of there time, by the virtue of price, performance and acceptance.  Today, these concepts are being used to develop clusters of buildings in campuses and parks.  These enhancements would better support the tenants with their day-to-day operations.

More municipalities and regions are also trying to establish centers for economic development, global trade and job growth.  They are concerned about creating and maintaining regional sustainability.  This is a phenomenon occurring globally, not just in the United States.

One of the key ingredients is broadband connectivity and the ability to add this concept upfront along with power requirements as part of the overall Master Planning of a new campus environment.

Traditional real estate and property managers might ask, “Is having broadband connectivity a differentiating amenity?”  The answer is “Yes.”

Ten years ago, site selection teams did not have “Broadband Connectivity” in their Top 20 issues for choosing a location.  In the last couple of years, it has risen to being one of the top three issues.  Areas that do not have adequate access to connectivity are starting to feel the loss of interest by companies that are locating or re-locating their facilities.

To a property manager trying to lease up the building, having broadband connectivity creates a clear market differentiation that will attract a higher caliber tenant which in turn means a higher occupancy rate and more profitable building.

In one example, 60 Class A buildings have available space in a county just outside Chicago.  If you require broadband connectivity as an amenity, the available buildings offering that capability, drops to five.  To a potential tenant, that lowers the choices dramatically.

In soft markets, the availability of amenities like this will circumvent the traditional approach of dealing with competition by lowering price

The bottom line is that broadband connectivity is becoming a major differentiating amenity for sophisticated business tenants choosing one location over the other.  More and more site selection teams are looking for this as a given amenity and not a hoped for.  A higher level of network infrastructure coupled with a redundant power grid is being desired by tenants.   Property management companies cannot get away from this fact.

Besides specific amenities, the concept of “one-stop shopping” and fast-track build-out capability facilitated by a streamlined development process from the municipalities and  master developer working together are also concepts that have traction with corporate site selection in the United States.  This also includes having a Menu of Intelligent Amenities that business tenants can select from including a Common Campus Response Team which provides “one-stop supporting”.  (SEE CHART 1A and 1B)








Broadband Connectivity

High bandwidth (1Gbps or more, today 10Gbps, tomorrow 40Gbps), multiple carriers, multiple access points 

More and more want this.  For technology campuses besides speed, diversity in carriers, and connectivity into NLR via Starlight


Pre-planned layouts and capabilities, multiple providers and power grids

This is becoming part of the upfront Master Planning process instead of an afterthought.

Alternative Energy Source

Besides power from another substation or grid, a third-party provider or an on-campus alternative.  Peaker Plant or Windmills (Wind turbines generating power)

Diversity of Power source has become a critical issue from several standpoints:  Security as well as Compliance issue.  Also from a Green Building perspective for renewable energy capabilities.





Upfront Coordination

Quick development process .that includes coordination of all municipal planning issues, adherence to building codes, etc.

New concept but effective in selling to tenants wanting a rapid development process not hindered by municipal issues.


“Network Tailor” instead of a “Network Jailor”

Custom-tailored network infrastructure. Not an “off-the-rack solution” or a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

A new concept of tailoring bandwidth and broadening choices of carrier services to the demands of tenants.


Common Campus Response Team  Services

Group of diverse service providers including power and network carriers as well as companies like AT&T, CISCO and other support services

A new concept gaining ground as well as popularity.  The concept of “one-stop shopping” being morphed into “one-stop supporting” after the tenant is in place and is part of the campus.

Source: James Carlini, certified Infrastructure Consultant.   All Rights Reserved.








Broadband Connectivity

More and more want this.  For technology campuses besides speed, diversity in carriers, and connectivity into NLR via Starlight

Acceleration of network traffic provides faster access and dissemination of huge documents, drawings and video images.  


This is becoming part of the upfront Master Planning process instead of an afterthought.

Power issues are a major concern of businesses today.  Eliminating this concern creates higher productive environment.

Alternative Energy Source

Diversity of Power source has become a critical issue from several standpoints:  Security as well as Compliance issue.  Also from a Green Building perspective for renewable energy capabilities.

Savings on power provides a positive impact on environment and also creates more reliable infrastructure.





Upfront Coordination

New concept but effective in selling to tenants wanting a rapid development process not hindered by municipal issues.

Faster ramp-up speed from decision to build to move-in date.  Saves time to get productive.


“Network Tailor” instead of a “Network Jailor”

A new concept of tailoring bandwidth and broadening choices of carrier services to the demands of tenants.

More cost-effective solution and wider selection of services.


Common Campus Response Team  Services

A new concept gaining ground as well as popularity.  The concept of “one-stop shopping” being morphed into “one-stop supporting” after the tenant is in place and is part of the campus.

Faster response to complex problems that impede productivity.  Accelerated response equals no loss in global competitiveness due to business support issues.

Source: James Carlini, certified Infrastructure Consultant.   All Rights Reserved.


Real estate development and its subsequent marketing strategy have to adapt in order to fit the dynamic demands of prospective tenants dealing within the global economy.   In some parts of the United States, there is a multi-level government concern for regional sustainability and job growth.  This has created a new unity in community development between municipalities, counties and the developers of business and industrial parks.

The old real estate adage of “location, location, location” must be updated to “location, location, connectivity” because the importance of broadband connectivity has become a baseline amenity requirement and not an option for selecting the right site.

Based on activities by some local governments in the United States, it appears that smaller cities are realizing these issues and acting upon them faster than the larger ones.  In Fort Wayne, Indiana which has a population of 252,000, they have been quietly upgrading their infrastructure since 2000 with the motto “Wired and Inspired”.  They have worked closely with their incumbent carrier, Verizon, and have gotten them to invest about $100 Million that has been used to connect 128,000 homes and businesses with fiber optic.

In Fort Wayne, they already have remote office packages for those that work at home and the current offerings are 30Mbps and 50Mbps with a short-term goal of offering 1Gbps to the home.  This is where the average household should be, but this is the exception and far from the norm.

Fort Wayne has done a lot to upgrade their network infrastructure.  This opens up new doors for companies like Raytheon and ITT to expand their operations in Fort Wayne, creating new jobs instead of relocating somewhere else.

The importance of being in the right location now includes being connected at a high-speed access point to communicate with global customers, clients and suppliers.  Just like locations were important based on their proximity to good transportation, seaports and roads for centuries, they now must also be adjacent to information highways and have network infrastructures that tie buildings and communities together.

In another study , Lake County in Florida opened up its municipal broadband network in 2001 and economic growth accelerated 100% faster than any other comparable county in Florida.  This study showed that broadband connectivity was definitely a major contributing factor to economic growth.  As this study suggests, “cities and counties are beginning to recognize that broadband telecommunications infrastructure is just as important - if not more important - than other areas of public infrastructure.”

Network infrastructure that includes broadband connectivity issues, redundancy, diverse routing and other telecom issues has to be viewed as being part of the initial Master Planning for any multi-building campus or intelligent park facility. 

Today’s business tenants want to be connected to the internet and other broadband-based network services that may support their various business as well as research and development applications.  From this, the concept of “economic development equals broadband connectivity and broadband connectivity equals jobs” becomes clearly evident.  This applies to both communities as well as the traditional industrial parks.

The industrial parks of the past did not have these upfront commitments to power and connectivity.  Developers did not have to worry about this issue in the past but if they do not adapt to current market demands today, their developments will become technologically obsolete and only be able to attract second or third-tier tenants.  The same goes for cities and municipalities that do not have an aggressive plan to upgrade their network infrastructure to attract and maintain businesses within their community.

When there is a focus on new network services and higher speeds, this gets the attention of the businesses as well as the common residential subscribers.


In several countries experiencing heavy growth in global trade, the current trend is to move from constructing single intelligent buildings to clusters of buildings in a campus setting that focus on providing new amenities and infrastructures including high speed connectivity (10Gbps and above).

There is a definite trend in development of Intelligent Industrial Parks (IIPs) and Intelligent Business Campuses (IBCs) that focus on having a specific theme that provides a commonality of capabilities to the tenants as well as a creating a synergistic environment.  The branding of a facility to reflect a distinctive value proposition and amenity mix to the prospective tenant is crucial to help distinguish them from other comparable real estate choices.

From an Asian Pacific perspective, there are many well-funded campuses and intelligent industrial parks under various levels of development by various governmental agencies.  Some would argue that they are more advanced than their counterparts in the United States.

In Hong Kong, there is a multi-billion dollar campus funded by the government called CYBERPORT that has been developed to cater to the IT industry.  There are also parks going into various provinces of mainland China including one in the Hunan Province focused on the construction industry as well as several IIPs in Taiwan that are also focused around supporting a specific theme or common goal.

It has been pointed out by several that the need for a specific theme or park “signature” is important for success.  Developing successful Intelligent Business Campuses does not include a cookie-cutter approach to replicating one park into the next.  Depending on tenant mix, theme focus (i.e. Bioscience, IT, construction industry equipment, etc.), and other factors, the IBC or IIP will take on a unique configuration.


Taiwan’s intelligent industrial parks (IIPs). 1999 – The planning and construction of IIPs were discussed in this white paper for Knowledge Intensive Operations.:

In addition to meeting challenges posed by the transition from a manufacturing to a service-based economy, Taiwan must also devise new strategies to deal with changes in the international economic and political environment. The success of the Uruguay Round of negotiations of GATT and the formation of the World Trade Organization, Professor Wu points out, will spearhead the global trend toward economic liberalization. Even as tariffs are reduced globally, however, it is likely that certain regions of the world will become hubs of global trading activity. The Asia-Pacific region, he suggests, will likely become a "new center" of international trade. As more enterprises invest in the region, Taiwan's industries will face increasingly strong competition. Finally, interdependence between Taiwan and the PRC has grown in tandem with expanding economic and trade relations across the Taiwan Strait. Political and economic developments in the PRC will undoubtedly affect Taiwan's future economic development.

Taiwan has made great strides in refining the concept of Intelligent Industrial Parks (IIPs) and actually implementing the concepts.  The reasons that they wanted to establish the more sophisticated parks are very evident:

Taiwan has already become the world's third largest manufacturer of information technology hardware, surpassed only by the USA and Japan. It tops the list in the production of leading edge information products such as motherboards, keyboards, and scanners. A key area of the APROC plan is to establish between 20 and 30 intelligent industrial parks around the island - 17 of which are in the planning stage or under development. Interlinked by state of the art digital communications networks and rapid connections to the main arteries of the island's transportation infrastructure, the parks will play an important part in making Taiwan an Island of Science and Technology.

The Far Glory Park is a realization of that 1999 initiative of the Taiwanese government.  It combines several industries at a strategic location close to an airport as well as rail and highways for logistical support.  It plays on Taiwan’s recognized strength a “strong grasp of technology production and research”

The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Taiwan in its Global Competitiveness Report 2004-2005 very high.  The WEF ranked Taiwan second only to the United States in its Global Technology Competitiveness Index.

In the following year, Taiwan continued making some great strides in coordinating economic development and network infrastructures.  In a recent report issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Global Information Technology Report of 2005-2006 that surveys 115 global economies primarily on their ICT (Information and Communications Technology) development spotlights the following:

Taiwan’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI) has entered the world’s top-10 for the first time since 2001.  From the 15th place in the previous year’s report, Taiwan’s NRI leaped into the 7th place in the world and the 2nd in Asia, after only Singapore (see accompanying chart).

Taiwan has played the role of an information and communications technology (ICT) powerhouse during the past three decades, and that it was able to advance eight spaces this year because of its intelligent public policies and public-private synergies. For this reason, the WEF chose Taiwan as a specific case study included in the report this year.

The specific case study says that Taiwan’s outstanding technological achievements result largely from government’s implementation of strong and coherent planning mechanisms for the economy, science and government; close collaboration with the private sector; and heavy investment in education, research and infrastructure. In addition, the making of unique institutional arrangements has also played a key role for the progress, such as the quasi-governmental Institute for Information Industry, which serves as a think-tank and research center for both government and business; and government-constructed science parks, which support innovation and the incubation of new ideas.

2005-2006 Networked Readiness Index Rankings




United States



























United Kingdom



Source: World Economic Forum, March 2006.

Even though it was planned in a very different perspective, in some ways the Far Glory Park parallels the DuPage National Technology Park (DNTP) endeavor in the United States.

We can take two examples of this new campus approach: the Far Glory Park in Taiwan and the DuPage National Technology Park in Illinois and discuss some of the new strategic approaches.  Both have been master planned to provide value-added amenities and a fiber-optic based network infrastructure in order to support businesses that are dependent on high-speed access as well as other non-traditional amenities that distinguish these intelligent business campuses (IBCs) from other traditional industrial parks.

Creating some of the infrastructure upfront provides a much better platform to build buildings on.  This includes a sophisticated power and network connectivity infrastructure as well as adding some ideas that streamline the development process.

Not all of the new approaches focused on technology and power.  Better planning upfront with ideas like a shared detention pond and total government agency/municipality coordination lets future building developers focus on just their building and saves money on the development as well as the length of time to complete the project.

These approaches are proof that the need to re-think real estate and its supporting infrastructure design is becoming more universal and not just from a unique national or regional perspective.  The old real estate adage of “Change is great – you go first” must be re-thought by replacing the attitude of “Routine is Tradition” with “Change is Tradition”.  Developers must be flexible, adaptive, and creative as well as understand the importance of technology.

Just as real estate development and master planning of commercial and scientific campuses must adapt to a changing market, so must traditional network carriers.  They must focus on providing the fastest access as well as redundant access.  All connectivity within intelligent industrial parks and business campuses must be redesigned to the standards of providing business continuity and not disaster recovery.

The difference in models for planning, designing, and operating industrial and business campuses can be broken down into the table below:



















(The DNTP Model)




The new approach of a public/private venture will probably be replicated as more municipalities and regional areas become more aware of maintaining regional sustainability.

The need to work as a cohesive consortium is very apparent as more and more areas are hit with economic instability and the solution is to re-invent the region to attract and maintain new businesses.  This is not a quick fix approach and the whole process can easily take several years to even a decade of planning, designing and implementing


Traditional amenities have been defined as those amenities that people expect to see in modern office buildings.  Elevators, HVAC (Energy Management Systems, Parking, Security, and Maintenance) have long been regarded as traditional amenities that business tenants expect to have.  What are not traditional, but are becoming more and more regarded as must-haves are connectivity, automated security and surveillance, and other capabilities like Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and redundancy built into mission critical systems like power, communications, and other intelligent amenities.

As global restrictions are lifted on trade, new business centers must emerge to handle the transition to new businesses.  Real estate developers must morph traditional land developments that have traditional amenities into architectural platforms with high-speed connectivity (1Gbps or more) and upfront redundant power capabilities that fully support this transition.

At a building automation conference that I attended, Dr. Shalom Frank of Pareto Energy, Ltd., said that the power grid in the United States is antiquated and that 94% of the power failures can be attributed at the distribution.  In one case in California, he said that a raccoon and a possum were the cause of power being cut to oil refineries that in turn disrupted refinery production and because of that gasoline prices jumped seven cents a gallon. 

The new approach for buildings as well as business campuses should be one which incorporates a design that uses two or three power sources instead of one grid.  This might be more money upfront but would create a much more valuable property as well as differentiate it compared to the properties that have used the traditional approach which as pointed out, is obsolete.

Pareto cited several issues that necessitate the need to innovate the Power Grid:

-                      No improvement delivered efficiency in 40 years

-                      Little use of digital technology

-                      Grid has no early warning system for disruption and cannot “self-heal”

-                      Unacceptable environment and global climate impact

-                      American high-tech companies have lost faith in grid power for digital-age commerce

He went on to cite a 2006 study by SteelEye Technology Business Continuity Index that said that almost half of the American IT companies identify that power outages as likely to have a maximum impact on their businesses.  By comparison, only one percent cited terrorism as a concern for IT downtime.

So it appears as though a common local outage or power disruption is 50 times more critical to plan for, then that lone EMP bomb that some are trying to insure they are insulated from.

Power for organizations, as well as network connectivity, has become more of an upfront issue for Master-Planning instead of an afterthought once the tenants have moved in.  Any new construction should have serious upfront consideration and implementation for power requirements and network connectivity.   These attributes should be addressed as part of the pre-built infrastructure.

As for commercial and industrial real estate that is already built, the need to review and assess these attributes is essential especially in appraisal processes.  If they are overlooked, they can become huge detriments for the property owner and manager.  New rules-of-thumb have to be created as well as adopted by all real estate professionals: property managers, leasing agents, site selection teams and everyone else.

What is the value of having dual power grids as a building amenity versus the liability of having a single power grid creating a single point-of-failure within a property?  How do you adjust the leasing when amenities like this are lacking?  How do you adjust the total value of the property?


Just like an iceberg, building cabling problems are 95% underneath the surface.  You may see something wrong, but as they say “it’s only the tip of the iceberg.”   Just like with the power utility, the horse-and-buggy approach to connectivity was one connection to the phone company’s one central office.  Most developments still use this out-of-date rule-of-thumb but it should be discarded.

Do you know the TWINS coming into YOUR building? 

How many facilities managers could even answer this question, yet it is the cornerstone for understanding what is actually servicing the building.  You cannot manage what you do not know.  This is critical in managing Intelligent Business Campuses.

I wrote a rule-of-thumb years ago, which is used as a way to understand what was coming in and being used in a building. It was also used as a teaching tool to understand what cabling capacity was coming into a building. With the TWINS © tool, you can easily figure out what copper capacity is within a building  

TWINS © stands for






In a building that has a total of 4,000 cable pair coming into it from the central office, you might have something like this:


Type of PAIR

















Copyright © 1992, 2007 – James Carlini, certified Infrastructure Consultant

All Rights Reserved

If there is no record of what is available and what is in-service, how can you lease out a building if you do not know how much spare capacity of connectivity the building has?  These are questions that were not as critical in the past, but are very critical today.  Insufficient cabling within a building will degrade its marketability and lower its value.

There are several layers of network infrastructure that the property owner should be concerned with.  Those levels are depicted in the Network Infrastructure chart provided by CISCO below:



The “Solution Components”




Broadband Building Network – The Foundation for Network Infrastructure


Network Convergence – Date, Voice and Video + Building Automation Systems


Wireless Access – Campus Network Infrastructure Development Options


Security Systems – Network Information Security and Physical Security


Building Applications – Building Automation Systems (BAS) over IP


User Applications – Internet Capabilities for Property Management


Web-Based Services – Suggested services to create new revenue streams


Those property management firms that do not understand these issues will be bitten back by them when they must compete for potential tenants.  More and more tenants are looking for amenities that are based on a solid network foundation.


All the hype of building and managing various types of real estate structures using “Best Practices” can be discounted by simply understanding that best practices are a moving target, especially when it comes to network and power infrastructures.  What was state-of-the-art one year ago could be completely obsolete today.

Some are starting to say “Best Practices” is an overused management buzz phrase that has become as effective as “user-friendly” in describing concepts, policies and management practices.  Think about that the next time you hear someone mentioning their “Best Practices” approach.

What is needed is a continuous review of services, supporting technologies and operations within a business campus environment to see if they are performing not so much to a specific measurement, but up to the standard of the tenant who is the ultimate determining factor if the building and/or campus is performing well.

In teaching a course on International Applications of Technology at Northwestern University, I would focus on understanding multi-cultural teams and international project teams as well as adopting some type of quality initiative.  Throughout the years we moved from TQM to KAIZEN to Six Sigma as the methodology to understand.

Although “Best Practices” might be the management buzz phrase of the day, I believe a better approach for network infrastructures within an Intelligent Business Campus is to think of the Japanese “Kaizen” approach of Total Continuous Improvement (TCI).

For any Intelligent Business Campuses’ building strategies, the need to be flexible, adaptive and creative is critical.  Platforms and their supporting infrastructures built today must be able to be flexible and creative in order to support the applications of tomorrow.


James Carlini is a certified Infrastructure Consultant and has advised on major projects ranging from a six-building complex in Silicon Valley for the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Development Company to being the Mayor’s Consultant on the Chicago 911 Center and advisor to the DuPage National Technology Park (an 800-acre Intelligent Business Campus) as well as the Terra Business Park (120-acre).

He is also an expert witness in civil and federal courts on major network infrastructures with cases ranging from reviewing the entire market of fiber optic services for AT&T in a multi-million dollar lawsuit to a multi-million dollar lawsuit at a $1.6 Billion casino complex in Las Vegas as well as E-Commerce transactions, VOIP (Voice over IP) Networks, wrongful death cases, a false bomb threat, 911 surcharges (City of Chicago), satellite dish interference (NPR), Cloud Computing, and a US Navy court martial.

He has also served as an award-winning adjunct professor at Northwestern University for two decades.  He received the Distinguished Teaching Award as well as the NU Alumni Professor’s Award for his pragmatic teaching as well as development of cutting-edge courses in both the Executive Masters level and the undergraduate program.

He is an internationally-recognized author and has been a keynote speaker at various national conferences including LECET, BICSI, Broadband Properties Summit, the University Club of Chicago, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Harvard Club of New York, and others.  He recently wrote a white paper for the US Dept. of Homeland Security on “Intelligent Infrastructure: Securing Regional Sustainability” and then presented it at their conference at Columbia University in New York in 2009.

He pioneered the concept of Measuring Building Intelligence in 1985 and has written hundreds of articles and white papers on high tech real estate, broadband connectivity and regional economic development including “Measuring a Building’s IQ”, Aiming For Quality in Technology Investments” and Continual Technology Improvements in Enterprises: Applying Six Sigma and Information Technology”.  He has worked in high-tech real estate and has redefined real estate with his white paper on Intelligent Business Campuses: Keys to Future Economic Development”.  According to him, the three most important words in real estate are now, “Location, Location, Connectivity.”


Phone   : 773-370-1888




Article -  There is a bright spot in the healthcare market GROWTH and IT 2012

There’s a bright spot in the U.S. employment picture: the health-care industry. (GEMS –  Government, Educational, and Medical Sectors)
By Frank Bisbee

The Medical Sector Blooms

Health-care employers added 17,000 jobs in November 2011, and they’ve been adding an average 27,000 jobs a month since December 2010, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. That’s the good news.

More good news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of health IT jobs is expected to increase by 20 percent from 2008 to 2018, a much faster pace than the average for all occupations through the same time period.

The administration has launched workforce training programs, including through 82 community colleges and nine universities nationwide. As of January, 9,000 community college students have been trained for health IT careers and another 8,706 students have enrolled.

As of February, participating universities have enrolled 1,200 students and graduated nearly 600 post-graduate and masters-level health IT professionals, with over 1,700 expected to graduate by the summer of 2013.

The New Mandate Means New Revenues

There is a mandate to take all the records digital and expand telemedicine. Technology continues the unstoppable wave of change. Systems are being integrated in ways we never anticipated just a few years ago. Medical records are being digitized for speed and accuracy. Accounting systems and patient billing systems are interlocked with the patient records and protocols are set up to improve patient care while maintaining confidentiality. This entire process is designed to serve more patients at a lower per patient cost. Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid are important components of today’s healthcare system in the USA. But like all bureaucratic systems, the flow of information is critical to the processing of data and the approval of patient care treatments (and the related charges). 

We see a huge challenge for the Integrated Systems Contractor to provide the pathways and connections to allow all of the new systems to intercommunicate effectively. It’s all about a contractor that can “Electrify, Illuminate, and Communicate” plus deal with Security and Life Safety Systems. The multi-talented Electrical Contractor of this generation is paving the information superhighways into the next generation of healthcare.

Telemedicine Has Many Different Meanings

The transition of smart offices into smart buildings, then into smart networks means an exciting future for telemedicine. Technologies are increasing our capabilities to deliver quality medical care to every corner of our world. There remains a growing demand for the Integrated Systems Contractor in the Medical Sector. Todays' Medical Sector is well financed and offers a significant revenue opportunity in these challenging times. Today our research reveals that more than 96 percent of all Electrical Contractors that serve the medical sector also work in low-voltage technologies. We also learned that these contractors are expanding their offerings into a myriad of services of related and integrated systems. Energy Control, Low-voltage Lighting, Sound Masking, Access Control, and a host of Building Automation services are just part of the new services in the quiver of capabilities for the contractor.

Viva VDV!

While telecommunications seems to be bled white by the Internet and VOIP, the world of electronics suffers no such malady. Any electrical contractor can quickly tell you that the demand for wiring and communications cabling is alive and well here in the United States. In fact, electronics seems to be doing well worldwide. As the telecommunications giants of yesteryear sink into a sea of red ink, we see the emergence of the electronics industry as the heir apparent for the converged technologies of VDV (Voice-Data-Video).

VDV – or datacom– is a natural fit with the existing electrical distribution network technology. The infrastructure of electrical systems and wiring is a fully mature industry that has grown under the intense pressure of scrutiny and competition. This is most unlike telecommunications networks, which were gestated under a monopoly system that was so complex that the regulators could not manage it. Does that ring a “Bell?”

Show Me The Money

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that 2,000 hospitals and 41,000 physicians have received $3.1 billion in incentive payments for the meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHRs).

Sebelius’ report on the most up-to-the-minute stats on the EHR incentive program sets the scene for the imminent release of the meaningful use stage 2 proposed rule.

“Health IT is the foundation for a truly 21st century health system where we pay for the right care, not just more care,” she said Feb. 17 at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Health Science Institute in Kansas City, Mo., where she discussed the growth of health IT professional jobs to improve patient outcomes and the economy.

[See also: If HHS delays ICD-10 long enough, could the U.S. adopt ICD-11 instead?]

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has paid $3.12 billion in incentives to physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers who have started to meaningfully use EHRs to improve the quality of patient care. In January alone, CMS provided $519 million to eligible providers.

Sebelius also cited results from a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association and reported by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT which found that the percentage of hospitals that had adopted EHRs has more than doubled to 35 percent from 16 percent between 2009 and 2011. And 85 percent of hospitals said they intend to take advantage of the Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments by 2015.


Raising The Bar

Today, industry and trade organizations such as: NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), and IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), are engaged in a massive effort to “raise the bar” for higher standards of quality, safety, and performance in materials and workmanship.

Our information-dependent society must have reliable infrastructure systems for communications, as well as power. These networks are finding the electrical industry is a “better neighborhood” to grow and improve.  After researching the electrical contractors and their supply system, we have uncovered another key element in this industry's success. Leading electrical distribution companies – like Graybar, WESCO, CSC, and a host of other great distributors – offer much more than “parts.” Their support systems include up-to-date information on product improvements, innovative applications, safety, and quality control systems for traditional electrical contractor needs . . . as well as the special requirements for communications networks. This one-stop-shopping is a major value-add to the contractor and their customers.

Finding The Money in GEMS!

So where is the money? You don’t have to look far to find the “GEMS.” That's right, the GEMS –  Government, Educational, and Medical Sectors. These are all still experiencing very healthy growth. Funding programs in all three of these sectors are fully functional.

We have spent countless hours looking into these industry sectors. We’ve found lots of quietly smiling faces. Vendors that already enjoy the fruits of these sectors aren’t talking. Heck, they aren’t even whispering. They quietly shuffle back and forth to the bank.

If you think that uncovering these opportunities requires a major mining effort, then you haven’t even tried. Start with the Internet. Check out the industry organizations that describe members of the GEM sector – including these GEMS:

§         NASTD – National Association of State Telecommunications Directors: Surviving and thriving in the world of technology requires an excellent support system of people and information. That’s why state government IT departments across the nation rely on the resources of the National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD). NASTD offers its state members easy access to a network of IT professionals across the nation and a wide array of meaningful technology information tools and resources.

§         ACUTA - Assn of College, and University Telecommunication Administrators:  Leading the mission for technology in  higher education.

§         HIMSS - Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society  Transforming Healthcare Through IT. HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 51 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations are headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. HIMSS represents more than 44,000 individual members, of which more than two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 570 corporate members and more than 170 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, research initiatives, and media vehicles designed to promote information and management systems contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care.

The Electrical Contractor should get busy on building additional revenue streams from the healthcare market, team up with a distributor that speaks your language –and do what you do best. Make money the old fashioned way, with quality, safety, and reliability at a fair and reasonable price. It really works.

Frank Bisbee, a telecom industry veteran and consultant, is president of Communications Planning Corp. in Jacksonville, Fla. He also operates, where he writes a comprehensive monthly industry summary of datacom industry news – “Heard on the Street” – the best-read summary in the datacom industry. 



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