Find out why BICSI is today's fastest growing Cabling Association. Our industry expertise, technological resources and Certification programs keep you on the competitive edge. Let us serve you to our mutual success!

Home | HOTS | Environmental Info | News & Issues | The Router Calendar of Events | About Us | E-mail Us

Issue: March 2010
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee’s Buzz

Bisbee’s Buzz  - March 2010

Over the past 25 years, but mostly during the past two decades, we have seen the Information Age become a reality. The Computer & Communications’ touch are being felt everywhere. The improbable we do right away, but the impossible will take two more weeks.

The most advanced information societies are somewhere between Star Trek and Twilight Zone. All this is even more shocking when you recognize that the speed of change is still accelerating. We are moving more types of information at ever faster rates to do more tasks than we even considered just 10 years ago.

There are many more winners than losers in the Information Technology Industry.

Each component has seen advancements. Each system has seen upgrades. New systems with new features are being introduced every month. Technologies are merging in ways we never expected.

The IT and Telephone businesses are converging with Power and Control. Security and Life Safety Systems are jumping on the wagon too. Pretty soon the top technicians will have an entire alphabet soup after their names (RCDD, PE, TPM, NTS, ESS, OSP, CFOI, WD, NCE, LVT, etc.) and those don’t even recognize manufacturer skill certifications.

Some manufactures may find their leading products getting crushed by the relentless tsunami of newer competing systems. Do you remember the copper communications cables (CAT 2,3,4,5,5e,6,6a,7)? Do you remember when FTTD - fiber to the desk was a myth and FTTH was way out there?

Webinars, trade publications and industry associations are working diligently to keep up. Websites have become a critical component of the each business. Education is vital to getting the word out. REMEMBER: You can’t sell solutions to some one who doesn’t know they have a problem. The entire challenge is about EDUCATION.

What are you doing about it?

BTW: DWT - driving while texting is deadly. Don’t do it or tolerate it in your organization.

Safety is too important to ignore.

But that’s just my opinion,

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


The SAFE PLAY for The Contractor

an inexpensive and effective business safeguard

There are many pitfalls for the contractor. They need self-defense. Costs can sneak up and wipe out the profit from a project. Some of the surprises cannot be prevented, but most of the nasty developments can be avoided. Planning is crucial, and the agreement for the project should be well defined, with some clauses to address the unforeseen and unexpected costs. 

The attacks upon the contractor can come from many directions. Even Mother Nature can pose a serious threat to the best-laid plans.

Recently, I overheard a contractor filling his truck at the gas station. The clerk inquired if he was going to fill up the tank and the contractor replied, "Nope. I've only got a hundred bucks on me." Gas prices soared so quickly that many contractors ended up paying the extra costs to do the jobs out of their own pockets. There are many other horrific examples of unexpected cost increases spiraling upward after the job has been negotiated and the deal signed. Medical and liability insurance can rocket up with very little advance notice. Contracts that must be performed over lengthy periods are very likely targets for these "bear traps".

In the electrical and communications industry, there are some counterfeit products.  Some are even labeled and packaged to look identical to the 'real deal'.  While the products in the electrical side are less prone to this problem, the communications cabling industry has had so many new products come on the scene that almost no one can keep up.


For my money, "Going it alone is not an option." says Michael Shannahan, Vice President of Communication Planning Corp. (Jacksonville, Fla.). "The pace of technology in the communications network industry is moving so quickly that we would need a purchasing agent dedicated just for new products and enhancements.  Now, add the need for product testing and quality control and bingo – now, you need another dozen or so full time employees.  Also, don’t forget the billion-dollar-testing organization." Shannahan added,  "The problems are more than just evaluating the product on a stand-alone basis, now you have to put it to work in a real network to calculate actual performance with other components.  To do that type of testing, you will require some real "high-dollar" techs.  Throw that in your budget." 

Fortunately, there are powerful self-defense resources available that provide real solutions to the quality control challenge. We have researched the communications industry and found a set of solutions. Choose a leading distributor of communications and electrical products and related supply-chain management & logistics services. Make sure they also have expertise in security, communications cabling, and infrastructure.   There are numerous first-rate sources out there. However, our research found that there are only a few programs meets the challenges of assuring integrity to the purchasing process with a level of quality control.

By now, you should have gotten part of the message about why self-defense and a strong distributor is a "no-brainer" for the contractor.  Let's add a few other self-defense bonus points to the distributor value.  Face it; the distributor is the communications cabling and connector market’s largest buyer.  For the manufacturers, maintaining the best working relationship possible with a distributor is an absolute must.  The distributor is where products converge and network systems are created.  We don’t buy parts anymore.  We buy systems.  The systems must be integrated and maximized. 

Arthur Padgett, an independent communications consultant ( CATZ -Cabling A To Z) and 37 year veteran of the industry said, "Today the process of developing a design and evaluating alternatives for the cabling network infrastructure is more challenging than ever before.  Functionality, performance, life-cycle term, and budget are thrown into the mix along with the entire technical specification.  In the world of communications infrastructure, using a self-defense mind set and a distributor is a priority for the contractor.  Incredibly, we still see many contractors failing to use or capture the values available from the distributor." 

The time to find out about glitches or mismatches is not "after the fact".  The communications infrastructure was once a formula of 78% labor and 22% materials.  Today that formula has evolved to approximately 52% labor and 48% materials.  Once the installation has been performed, a change-out to correct performance problems could cost the contractor the entire labor investment.  That scenario is a death sentence for the contractors' profitability.  If you think lawyers are the solution for that type of problem, you are about to visit “the Hurt Locker”. 


Everybody knows that the customer will wait until tomorrow to order the network that they want yesterday.  Timetables and availability on the labor side is somewhat controllable by the contractor. Cables, connectors, and other required materials, are a challenge of inventory and usually outside of the control of the contractor.  Maintaining large inventories to service their customers is not a good business practice for the cabling contractor.  We have all seen inventory building up in the contractor's warehouse and that sometimes adds up to a small fortune.  Much of the contractor’s inventory that is not installed immediately usually ends up as junk.  Inventory may include out of date, obsolete, or incomplete materials and wasted dollars.  As an option, the contractor should utilize the distributor to control inventory for their customers.  Nothing goes to the bottom line faster than reduced expenses.

Having all of the materials for the communications network is only part of the solution.  We must have the peripherals.  We need labeling and record systems.  We need testers and analyzers.  We need to stay abreast of technology, codes, and standards.  We also need to be able to predict the future.  Building barriers to obsolescence requires a vision for the future.  Planning for the future challenges while delivering today's solutions is imperative.  Anything less is usually unacceptable.  If you are a contractor, you do not want to go it alone. 


Another terrible pitfall for the contractor is the terrible tester screen that proclaims, “FAIL” on the installed cabling. Face it. Some products have been made so close to the minimum limits of The Standard that if they go a little “minus”, then the connected system will come up failing. When this happens on a small or large job, the results are the same. Profit walks right out the door.

Good self-defense advice:  Make sure your mindset is "Be Prepared" for the unexpected. There are more than hurricanes out there. Use the right distributor.  Capture their values and add them to your total solutions package.  This approach is an inexpensive and effective business safeguard.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee – “HOTS -Heard On The Street” monthly column

Published on


Cabling Support Hardware is a good investment

For more than three decades, the communications industry has focused most of its attention on the cable.  We have seen a churn of technological advances in both fiber optic and copper based communications cabling.  The barrage of the "newest & greatest" types of cable has almost exhausted the bank accounts of the customers.  From the earliest releases of the Levels & Categories Program (adopted by TIA/EIA, we have seen a stream of more than 35 different variations & generations new cable designs.  The net result is today's fiber optic cables and copper cables deliver more performance than we even dreamed possible only a few years ago.  However, one of the resultant damages from this technological race is a huge volume of abandoned cable. 

The National Electrical Code (NEC 2002 - 2008) has been adopted by most local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ's). In a move to reduce fire hazards and fuel load, NEC 2002 requires the removal of abandoned cable that is not identified for future reuse.  This volume of abandoned cable could exceed 9.5 million miles of cabling waste materials.  Some industry experts have concluded, "Most of the expense for this corrective safety action to reduce fuel load in the structure will be placed on the shoulders of the building owners.  Many former tenants left their cable in place when they moved out."

There are some valuable assets that may remain after the abandoned cable is identified and removed.  Those hidden treasures are the wire and cable management and support systems.  Cable support hardware includes cable runways, cable trays, wire baskets, flexible steel cable trays, bridle rings and a myriad of J-Hooks and J-Hook trees. The focus on a substantial investment in support hardware has been absent from the building owners priorities.  Today's structured cabling systems must allow for both the installation and the removal of datacom cabling in the workplace (particularly the multi-tenant environment).  Several key Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA committees are still studying these issues and reviewing the language in leases to maximize the values for both the tenant and the building owner. 

A well-designed and installed cable support hardware system will reduce installation and removal expense substantially.  This asset is highly reusable and will generate repetitive savings throughout many generations of tenant or occupant turnover.  This is the permanent highway for the information systems in buildings. 

A serious look at the people, policies and technologies that will dominate the agenda in 2004 will include a focus on cabling infrastructure hardware.  When the tenant moves out, this valuable asset will be transferred to the building owner as an " As Built Improvement". 

A consultation session with your support team at the distributor will help to illustrate some of the technical underside to this misunderstood and under-valued hidden asset.  We found numerous offerings from the shelves of your distributor ( that were a perfect fit for current requirements, adaptable to cable removal and reuse for future installations.  When it comes to SELECTING WIRE AND CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, your distributor has all of the answers.  In most projects, proper support hardware is mandatory to maintain performance and the capability to handle MACs (Moves, Adds, & Changes) without affecting working networks.

The cable support system (overhead, perimeter, infloor, or underfloor) is a critical component of a properly designed voice-data-video communications system. To find out more about this arcane technology check out EIA/TIA-569 “Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces.  When designing the cable tray support system, be sure to consider the (current and future) load capacity and grounding requirements.

In summary, many of the key BICSI ( ) insiders continue to forecast an increased demand for substantially more robust structured connectivity components and support hardware for structured cabling systems.  Several large commercial real estate firms have already begun the process of evaluating the cabling facilities in their buildings in order to covert the trash to treasure.  One building owner told us, "We bought the Fluke Networks® DTX -1800 Cable Analyzer™ and starting down the road to recovery." Additionally, there is already an increased demand for software systems to document and record the asset (i.e. Fluke Networks LinkWare ™ Cable Test Management software and facility documentation)

It turns out that there are literally millions of dollars of fully functional installed cabling systems that has been abandoned in some buildings.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that there are big savings to be captured. 

The proper installation, labeling and documentation of the entire cabling system make the installed asset potentially transferable from tenant to tenant through the building owner.  There will be language in the leases that cover the responsibility for removal if the incoming tenant does not find the asset acceptable.  If a successful transfer of this asset is accomplished, then both the outgoing and incoming tenants will realize substantial savings.  In any event, the building owner gets ownership of the cabling support hardware asset.    This approach is definitely a win/win scenario. 

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee – “HOTS -Heard On The Street” monthly column

Published on


TIA - Telecommunications Industry Association

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop voluntary industry standards for a wide variety of telecommunications products. TIA's Standards and Technology Department is composed of five divisions which sponsor more than 70 standards-setting formulating groups. We will review the standard from User Premises Equipment, Network Equipment group, including:

TIA/EIA-568-B Series, Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard
TIA/EIA-569-A, Commercial Building Standards for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces
TIA/EIA-569-A-6, Commercial Building Standards for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces for Multi-Tenant Buildings
TIA/EIA-606, Administration Standard for the Telecommunications Infrastructure of Commercial Buildings
TIA/EIA-570, Residential Telecommunications Cabling Standard

TR-42 Scopes:

TR-42 - User Premises Telecommunications Infrastructure

The TR-42 Engineering Committee is responsible for commercial, industrial and residential cabling standards including telecommunications infrastructure administration, pathways and spaces, and copper and optical fiber systems requirements. These standards include information and requirements necessary for implementing telecommunications infrastructure.

TR-42.1 - Commercial Building Cabling

The TR-42.1 Commercial Building Cabling Subcommittee develops and maintains telecommunications cabling standards for commercial buildings. This Subcommittee specifies cabling system topology, architecture, design, installation, testing and performance requirements for commercial buildings, and campuses. The telecommunications cabling specified is intended as an open system designed to support a wide variety of voice, data, video, building control and other low voltage, power limited applications.
Where applicable, TR-42.1 integrates systems requirements and recommendations generated by other TIA Sub-committees into its standards, and provides joint approval with TR-42.4, TR-42.7 or TR-42.8 on any TIA publication that is intended to add to or modify cabling system requirements specified in standards developed by TR-42.1.

TR-42.2 - Residential Telecommunications Infrastructure

TR-42.3 - Commercial Building Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces

TR-42.4 - Customer-owned Outside Plant Telecommunications Infrastructure

TR-42.5 - Telecommunications Infrastructure Terms and Symbols

TR-42.6 - Telecommunications Infrastructure and Equipment Administration

The TR-42.6 Subcommittee develops and maintains standards for telecommunications administration. These standards include requirements for alphanumeric identification, labeling, color-coding and record-keeping for the telecommunications infrastructure consisting of cabling, pathways and spaces, firestopping, and grounding and bonding. In addition, these standards provide guidance for the administration of equipment assets.

TR-42.7 - Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems

TR-42.7.1 - Copper Connecting Hardware

TR-42.7.2 - Copper Cable

TR-42.8 - Telecommunications Optical Fiber Cabling Systems

TR-42.9 - Industrial Telecommunications Infrastructure

The TR-42.9 Industrial Telecommunications Infrastructure Subcommittee develops and maintains standards for telecommunications infrastructure in industrial buildings, structures and campuses that are beyond the scope of the commercial building standards. Industrial buildings, structures and campuses can be large, dusty, corrosive, and can contain explosive and severe environmental conditions such as extreme temperature, EMI/RFI, and hazardous gasses. The standards developed by this Subcommittee address both occupied work areas and remotely controlled equipment.
The telecommunications cabling specified is intended as an open system designed to support a wide variety of voice, data, video, building controls, industrial controls and other low voltage, power limited applications. The standard addresses special needs for design, materials, processes and installation practices.
Where practicable, the standards developed by this Subcommittee will harmonize and incorporate requirements of standards developed and approved by TR-42 Subcommittees and Working Groups through normative reference.


Fiber Optic cable connections used to be the weakest link, but not anymore

With a breakthrough in the technology, this new patented process has catapulted the network to a new level of dependable connectivity. Richard Brammer, Special Projects Director – Communication Planning Corp. added, “We switched to the ScratchGuard™ because it was tougher and delivered better performance than ANY other F.O. connector available at any price. It’s UNIQUE.”

Megladon Announces New Product Release of TFOCAII Fiber Optic Assemblies with HLC® ScratchGuard™ Technology

Austin, Texas, February 8, 2010 – Megladon Manufacturing Group has announced that HLC and SCRATCHGAURD fiber optic technology is now available for the TFOCA family of fiber optic assemblies.  Designed for harsh environments and field deployments, the TFOCA type connector has the need to withstand the constant handling and matings required in tactical applications, and these aspects are further complimented by HLC technology.

Unlike normal fiber optic connectors, these are made for high strength, as they're meant to be used in harsh environments. TFOCA is used in aerospace, oil-drilling, military, and water purification applications. The connectors are generally hermaphroditic, so any two can be connected, regardless of gender. Several US Department Of Defense specifications and military specifications apply to TFOCA, including DOD-1678, MIL-C-83526/12-01, and MIL-STD-810C. Normal (civilian) fiber optic connectors are much less expensive, but require a variety of specialized tools to assemble.

The Tactical Fiber Optic Cable Assembly (TFOCA) provides the physical connection between Fiber Optic Modems (FOMs), repeaters or other equipment

This ruggedized TFOCA connector will withstand the repeated connection/disconnections and the handling typically required for rapid fiber optic cable deployment and retrieval in a tactical or commercial harsh environment applications.

Jim Hayes, President of the FOA (the Fiber Optic Association) reminds the communication designers that the ultimate goal of the fiber optic connector is transparency. The Megladon Mfg. ScratchGuard™ HLC® TFOCA is unique in durability and superior performance.

TFOCA connectors are engineered and tested to satisfy the mechanical and environmental requirements of DOD-1678 and MIL-STD-810C. The TFOCA connectors meet the requirements of MIL-C-83526/12-01. Connector and housing assemblies are hermaphroditic which facilitates genderless coupling with similar TFOCA connectors. This ruggedized TFOCA connector will withstand the repeated connection/disconnections and the handling typically required for rapid fiber optic cable deployment and retrieval in a tactical or commercial harsh environment applications.

The TFOCA connector's unique design and environmentally protected design provides protection from high compressive tensile loads, dust and dirt. In addition, a waterproof seal at every interface insures outstanding resistance to moisture and water penetration. Each TFOCA connector is protected with its own captive hermaphroditic dust cover. The cable termination is designed to firmly anchor the cable to the connector body without special tooling. These connectors are field mountable.

HLC® with ScratchGuard™ technology has been shown to maintain consistent high level performance over the course of 1000 connector matings and ensures a scratch resistant mating surface that can withstand harsh environments and prevent performance degrading scratches.  HLC technology also brings industry leading loss and performance characteristics to the tactical connector market.

“HLC and TFOCA products are a match made in heaven,” says Daniel Hogberg, Megladon Product Manager, “we are able to strengthen the TFOCA application and bring performance and reliability once thought impossible.  When you take a tough product and make it tougher, you open up new possibilities in the realm of field deployable networks.” 

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

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


Siemon Launches Online Educational Resource on Shielded Network Cabling was developed to help IT network and data center professionals understand the benefits of shielded twisted-pair copper cabling

March 16, 2010, Watertown, CT, USA — Siemon, a globally recognized leader in network cabling solutions, is proud to announce the launch of a new online resource dedicated to helping IT network and data center professionals get clear facts on shielded network cabling systems such as category 6A F/UTP and category 7A S/FTP solutions.

Focusing on key network infrastructure issues such as 10Gb/s performance requirements, noise resistance, installation considerations, cost savings and future-proofing, provides an easily navigated portal to Siemon’s library of in-depth resources.  From a simple, 1-page list of key shielded cabling benefits, advantages and myths, users can access instructional videos, whitepapers, customer case studies and more.

Key topics covered:

Shielded cabling market drivers

Performance headroom

Termination speed

Installation practices

Grounding and bonding

Electromagnetic interference considerations

Alien Crosstalk resistance

PoE and PoE Plus heat generation issues

Security considerations

Cable sharing as high density work area solution

To explore these and other Siemon resources, visit


The information superhighway is a scary place without signage

Remember Rod Serling’s famous introduction “The signpost up ahead says you are entering the twilight zone”

Unfortunately, many network service technicians are finding no signage or labels to guide their path. It is worse than driving though a large city with no street signs, traffic markers, or address numbers. Industry-wide, we spend millions of dollars each year in the hunt for cabling facilities in order to fix network problems. These costs are avoidable.

The cabling or information transport systems are the last mile of the dazzling new information superhighway.

Today, more than 20 million miles of cabling connects the workplace of America to the Information Superhighway. Most of the cabling is not labeled, tested or documented. Once disconnected, it is deemed “abandoned cabling” that must be removed according to the NEC 2002-2008 National Electrical Codes.

There is virtually no road map, no atlas, and no signage on the cabling of the dazzling new information superhighway.

This isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity.

Each year we account for our wealth and assets with Annual Income Statements addressing Profit and Loss and the Balance Statement of Assets and Liabilities. It is the language of business. The cabling or information transport systems are usually omitted and/or ignored, in spite of the huge impact they have on both.

Introduction of newer more effective systems or maintenance of existing technology systems has a major impact on the bottom-line. The signage and the facility management systems are crucial to maximize the functionality of the supporting cabling or information transport systems. How do you sign your work? No labels means big problems ahead.

How much can I save with a cabling documentation strategy?  Industry experts estimate billions. Even the basic concept of labeling is noted by a motto. “Cabling without labeling isn’t just stupid. It’s insane.”

Combine labeling, with cabling performance test records, drawings, and an effective naming convention, and you have a well documented asset that serves many functions. Plus it is transferable and reusable, not trash.

Combine the effective Professional Labeling Tools system with the complete certified cable test records exported from the Fluke Networks® DTX -1800 Cable Analyzer™ and you have the best system to convert the cable infrastructure from “stranded capital” to “working asset”.

Fluke Networks will be exhibiting at the NECA annual Conference and Exposition in Boston 2010 or visit for complete information. Make plans to visit with their folks and make your systems worth more.

Knowledge isn’t just power. It’s also wealth.

Frank Bisbee

"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column


Cable job permits are taking force almost everywhere



214 N. Hogan Street, Room 273   |   Jacksonville, FL 32202   |   Phone: 904.630.1100   |   Fax: 904.255.8552   |

March 2, 2010



To:                   All Permit Applicants                

From:              Thomas H. Goldsbury, P.E., C.B.O., LEED AP

                        Chief, Building Inspection Division

Subject:           Low Voltage Permit Requirements


The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has issued the above referenced Declaratory Statement which confirms the requirement to permit low voltage work.  Therefore, effective April 5, 2010, an electrical permit will be required for low voltage work.  For residential low voltage work the inspection has been exempted similar to other minor electrical work, and thus upon payment of the permit fee the permit will auto expire.  For residential and/or commercial projects, when the low voltage work is being performed as part of an electrician’s main contract, it can be included in the Nature of Work for that permit and will not require a separate permit.

In general, the type of low voltage work that will require a permit will include, but not be limited to, security alarm systems, central vacuum systems, stereo/surround sound systems, irrigation systems, and low voltage lighting.  Thermostat wiring can be done by a mechanical contractor and does not need a separate permit if installed as part of another permit.  Similarly, low voltage irrigation wiring only, can be installed by a licensed irrigation contractor.

As low voltage irrigation wiring is a topic covered under the irrigation contractor trade exam, no additional examination would be required.   Please call 904-630-2091 for more information.

To aid in licensure, the Jacksonville City Council recently passed bill 2010-0067 (copy attached) which created a new category, Low Voltage Contractor.  Please read the attached bill thoroughly, it allows for a temporary license provided evidence is shown of three years of experience and a completed application.  The temporary license is only good until December 31, 2010.

Listed below are two exemptions from licensure as stated in FS 489.503.  Section (14)(a) exempts the said work from licensure, but not permitting.  Section (14)(b) exempts the work in its section from licensure and permitting.

(14)(a)  The installation of, repair of, alteration of, addition to, or design of electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, thermostats, apparatus, raceways, and conduit, or any part thereof, when those items are for the purpose of transmitting data, voice communications, or commands as part of a cable television, community antenna television, or radio distribution system. The scope of this exemption is limited to electrical circuits and equipment governed by the applicable provisions of Articles 725 (Classes 2 and 3 circuits only), 770, 800, 810, and 820 of the National Electrical Code, current edition, or 47 C.F.R. part 68.

(14)(b)  The installation of, repair of, alteration of, addition to, or design of electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, thermostats, apparatus, raceways, and conduit, or any part thereof, when those items are for the purpose of transmitting data, voice communications, or commands as part of a system of telecommunications, including computers, telephone customer premises equipment, or premises wiring. The scope of this exemption is limited to electrical circuits and equipment governed by the applicable provisions of Articles 725 (Classes 2 and 3 circuits only), 770, 800, 810, and 820 of the National Electrical Code, current edition, or 47 C.F.R. part 68. A company certified under chapter 364 is not subject to any local ordinance that requires a permit for work performed by its employees related to low voltage electrical work, including related technical codes and regulations. The exemption in this paragraph shall apply only if such work is requested by the company's customer, is required in order to complete phone service, is incidental to provision of telecommunication service as required by chapter 364, and is not the subject of a competitive bid. The definition of "employee" established in subsection (1) applies to this exemption and does not include subcontractors.

Introduced by the Council President at the request of the Mayor and amended by the Transportation, Energy & Utilities Committee:



WHEREAS, on November 4, 2009, the Construction Trades Qualifying Board (the “Board”) voted to recommend to City Council the amendment of Section 342.110, Ordinance Code, so as to create a new contractor category of Low Voltage Contractor; and

WHEREAS, on November 20, 2009, the Florida Building Commission issued Declaratory Statement DCA09-DEC-257 holding that the Florida Building Code requires that a permit be obtained for work related to low-voltage electrical systems for telephones, data transmission, fire and security systems, closed-circuit and cable television, paging systems and speakers; and

WHEREAS, the Board and the Building Inspection Division have both determined that the creation of a new local low voltage contractor category would be an appropriate action to facilitate the Florida Building Commission’s decision in Declaratory Statement DCA09-DEC-257,; now therefore,  

BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Jacksonville:

Section 1.                 Amending Section 342.110, Ordinance Code.  Section 342.110 (Trades, crafts, contractors and subcontractors) of Chapter 342 (Construction Trades Regulations), Ordinance Code, is hereby amended to create a new subsection (t), Low Voltage Contractor, and, as amended, shall read as follows:


*  *  *

Section 342.110.                 Trades, crafts, contractors and subcontractors. 

*  *  *

(t)         Low Voltage Contractor.

(1)      For the purposes of this chapter, Low Voltage Contractor means a contractor whose practice and scope of work are limited to the installation, repair, fabrication, erection, alteration, addition to or design of electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, thermostats, apparatus, raceways, conduit and fiber optics (transmission of light over stranded glass) or any part thereof not to exceed 98 volts, when those items are for the purpose of transmitting data, proprietary video (satellite systems which are not part of a community antenna television or radio distribution system) central vacuum, electric locks, data distribution, networks, home theater systems, surround sound systems, public address systems or telephone systems.

(2)  After December 31, 2010, it shall be unlawful for a person to engage in the business of a Low Voltage Contractor who does not hold a valid contractor certificate issued by the Board in that category, or in the category of a certified or registered electrical contractor or a certified or registered specialty electrical contractor.

(3)      Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the Board may:

(i)         Establish a certificate of competency classification of specialty contractor known as a Low Voltage Contractor and certify persons in that classification as qualified to have the knowledge and skill to perform the work within that classification.

(ii)        Adopt rules to regulate the issuance, supervision and revocation of a Low Voltage Contractor certificate of competency, including the requirement for the appropriate examination as defined by (iii) below, proof of at least three (3) years of practical experience, the payment of reasonable fees not to exceed those of masters qualifying for other trades within the scope of this chapter, the issuance of temporary certificates, and other regulations found necessary by the Board to administer this paragraph.

(iii)       Issue temporary certificates for a Low Voltage Contractor upon completion of both an approved Application for Examination and Application for Contractor Administration Examination, and proof of at least three (3) years of practical experience.  Temporary certificates of competency shall be valid until the applicant successfully passes the appropriate certification examination with a grade of 75 or above, or no later than December 31, 2010.

Section 2.     Effective.         This ordinance shall become effective upon signature by the Mayor or upon becoming effective without the Mayor’s signature.

Form Approved:

____/s/ Margaret M. Sidman__________

Office of General Counsel

Legislation prepared by: James R. McCain, Jr.




NEWS UPDATE ▪ March 2010

March 2009 ▪ National Electrical Contractors Association ▪ Convention - Exposition Dept


We received many positive comments from the 2009 NECA Convention education series that was geared especially to the needs of the Outside Line Constructors.

We recently surveyed line contractors about new education they would like to see at NECA 2010 Boston and received many great responses.

NECA is expanding our outside line work series in Boston, and here are just a few of the hands-on workshops that will be presented by industry experts:

-EEI Contractor Safety Initiative: 2 hours

-OSHA 10: 10 hours

-ET&D Best Practice: 2 hours

-Using Web based, Outside Safety, Simulator Training: 4 hours

-Significant 2010 Code Changes: 4 hours

In addition, we have invited more heavy equipment manufacturers to showcase their newest products in the NECA Show this year.

Some of the largest and most important contractors in North America will be at the NECA Show in Boston. Will you be there too?

Sign Up Before the All the Prime Space is Gone!

Learn More About the Buying Power of NECA Show Attendees

View the Current Exhibitor List

View the Trade Show Floor Plan Here


President Obama chose the joint training facility of the Washington, D.C. Chapter, NECA and IBEW Local 26 in Lanham, Md., to announce that his administration is guaranteeing $8 billion to build two new nuclear reactors.

The president also discussed federal investment in green energy job training.

The nuclear reactors will be built at an existing plant in Burke, Ga. It will be the first nuclear power plant to break ground in nearly three decades, according to the White House. Officials said the project will include approximately 3,500 construction jobs and 800 permanent operations jobs and will provide power to about 550,000 residential homes. More...


Follow us for all the latest NECA Convention & Show news on our Blog, Facebook,

Twitter, or LinkedIn

For More Information Contact:

Julie Duda, Exhibit Sales Manager

770-632-0044 T

770-632-7922 F


Where’s the beef? Most of the business is found in the GEMs

So where is the money? You don’t have to look far to find the sparkling “GEMS.” The GEMS – Government, Educational, and Medical Sectors are all still experiencing growth. Funding programs in all three of these sectors are strained but still functional.

As we shift into a new economy, most of our focus has been on the depressing news of the worst financial conditions since the Great Depression. That is a reality that we must deal with diligent cost-savings strategies. There are many business sectors that will continue to shrink and adapt to changes that must be made to continue.

The almost unbelievable meteoric rise of DATACOM during the past two decades has only opened more doors of opportunity. DATACOM becomes the vehicle to integrate, improve, and reduce costs in areas that were previously “stand alone”. The IBS – Integrated Building System has a huge impact on ENERGY (POWER) – CONTROL – COMMUNICATIONS – SECURITY – LIFE & PROPERTY SAFETY SYSTEMS.

Smart Building evolves to Smart Campus and then Smart Community, and so on.

Municipalities are made more efficient and safer through DATACOM networks for many areas including: security, safety, and traffic control. DATACOM coordinates the flow of information between agencies. Inter-agency coordination has proven to be one of the best ways to eliminate duplication of costs and improve services. With shrinking budgets, several sectors are focused on the growing demand for their services and the task of doing more with less.

Today, industry and trade organizations such as: NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), NJATC (National Joint Apprentice Training Committee), 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.

GEMS = Government – Education – Medical Sectors requirements are still increasing despite reduced financial resources. The funding streams for these sectors are strained but not disappearing like so many other private sectors.

The new administration in Washington DC has announced programs to create jobs and rebuild the infrastructure of the USA. The infrastructure focus goes far beyond roads, sewers, and bridges. The new focus is on replacing old technology with information transport systems with a barrier to obsolescence.

We have spent countless hours looking into these industry sectors. Vendors that already enjoy the fruits of these sectors aren’t talking. 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. Search the Internet. Check out the industry organizations that describe members of the GEM sector – including these GEMS:

NASTD – National Association of State Telecommunications Directors: 

ACUTA - Assn of College, and University Telecommunication Administrators: 

Government – Federal, State, and Local

Federal, State, and Local is not shrinking. As the population grows, so does the government and the demand. The government is the single largest employer in the USA. We forecast the government employment roles to grow over the next several years. One of the potentially most valuable services of the electrical and/or communications contractor is the DESIGN/BUILD programs to implement a newer infrastructure using converged technologies. Converged technologies have a provable track record of major reductions in energy consumption. The resultant impact of these improved services allows the budget to shift resources to new critical needs, like: Police, Fire, Rescue, and Medical infrastructure.

Additionally, IBS networks may reduce the cost of regulation, enforcement, and administration. Many cities are literally drowning in the administration requirements that have developed with new laws. Somebody passed a law but never anticipated what it would cost to implement the code.

Education – K-12 and Higher Education

The needs of the school system have jumped to a new level that was never imagined when most of the structures were built. Education is natural fit for improved information networks. Unfortunately, the Information Super Highway turns into a rutted dirt road when it reaches the majority of schools. This critical area of need must be addressed. We cannot afford to employ a super sized army of educators. We can replicate the value of our teachers with technology. We can make our schools safer with technology, and we can stretch our education dollars with technology.

Medical – Public & Private Health Care, Hospitals and satellite Medical Facilities

The growing population is also growing older. The baby boomers have dumped a huge load on the medical infrastructure that is greater than the resources. Spiraling medical costs and the implementation of new technologies demand an immediate upgrade to the information systems. Numerous hospitals are already proving the added value of a paperless patient care record system. We can have added safety for the patient and staff with technology, like Access – Control and Security Cameras. The teaching role of physicians can now be replicated through technology with a huge payback in decreased costs.

            With the sparkling “GEMs”, you can still make money the old fashioned way, with quality, safety, and reliability at a fair and reasonable price.

Reprinted with permission from the leading publication in our industry -

The Electrical Contractor Magazine Check out this site.

also visit


In many bid jobs there are usually two losers: the buyer and the seller.

Design – Build is a far more successful purchasing strategy


MACs: A 'Contractor Paradise

by Joe Salimando

When it comes to moves, adds and changes, most customers can’t or won’t do what it takes to cut costs. As a result, many VDV contractors are surviving tough times thanks primarily to MACs work. Here’s a quote from Business Communications Review, by Frank Bisbee, a voice-data-video (VDV) industry expert:

“The strongest incentive to better cable management is the need to control costs. When wiring decisions are uncontrolled, companies can suffer from ‘Mac attacks’—moves, adds, and changes that can insidiously devour budgets and devour profits. MAC attacks began when the ‘put an outlet here, put an outlet there’ philosophy prevails.”

The article ran in 1989 and it’s still true today. It shows some things in the data communications/telecom market do not change, despite technology’s rapid advance. Bisbee wrote his piece before the Internet hit the public’s consciousness, at a time when building-wide data networks were primarily a conversation topic for propeller heads.

The key thing to note: Bisbee was talking about communications and datacom cabling.

Electrical MACs, too?

“MACs are the thing that is keeping contractors going, how they are holding their business together,” said D.A. “Bo” Conrad, a VDV trainer with Crossbow Communications. “Unless the contractor has got some type of strategic alliance with a customer, he’s not going to make any money on bids for VDV installs. Recently, there was a walk-through on a bid for a school district here in San Mateo. There were 38 contractors on that walk-through. Basically, because you get more margin on the MACs work, it’s the only way some contractors can supplement the low bids they have to put in to win new installs.”

For the electrical contractor into VDV, there is a combination of “electrical MACs” and the VDV type. That’s what David Firestone, of Commonwealth Electric of the Midwest, is seeing. Commonwealth tells its customers that it will take care of “tenant finishes,” including the electrical, VDV and security needs.

“It goes hand in hand with us doing the power wiring,” said Firestone, who is the chairman of NECA’s VDV Task Force. “What we’re trying to sell is a one-stop shop. ‘Call us, and not only can we handle your power wiring, but the same person—or someone else in our organization—will take care of all your low-voltage needs.’

“We’ve been doing this for banks here locally, for years, and the same in our Iowa operation,” Firestone added. “For one customer—a facility where we’ve worked for many years—it seems like we’re moving someone virtually every day.”

While VDV and electrical MACs fit together, so does getting the initial VDV installation and landing the MACs work. Some contractors pursue low-price installations, just for the follow-on MACs.

“For some people, this amounts to a business philosophy,” Firestone said. “It amounts to, ‘If you’ve got your foot in the door, it’s a lot easier to get your entire body in.’ The focus seems to be on getting the initial project, at whatever price, and then staying with that customer for ever and ever.”

Some ideas on MACs

Bill Albert, data communications vice president for national distributor Rexel Inc. in Dallas, says MACs work might present contractors with a less-taxing route into the commercial VDV business.

“A contractor who gets into the datacom business probably should not start with a $250,000 job.

That’s a great way to lose money,” said Albert. “Typically, a MACs job is not very complicated. It’s punching jacks, running cable. It allows a contractor that does not have experienced people to get them some experience on a small project. There are contractors who handle moves from the electrical side—receptacles, perhaps some lights—who are now asking to handle the MACs as well. . . . It boils down to the old crawl-before-you-walk, walk-before-you-run approach.”

The best thing about MACs work is that it’s available. Customers may be postponing significant capital expenditures, but they can’t avoid MACs, according to Rob Bezjak, a Graybar vice president. “Half of all business locations move people in a typical year. People still must handle day-to-day moves, and they are also trying to maximize their use of floor space,” said Bezjak. “This is work that needs to be addressed by a well-trained installer.”

Bezjak suggested capitalizing on the newly ratified Category 6 standard. Though Cat 6 is more expensive, contractors should stress to customers its longer life and productivity potential.

“A higher percentage of MACs are used right away—immediately—than in any new installation,” Bezjak said. “Many times, a customer will specify cabling for future expansion in a new install. In MACs, the customer hires a contractor to do specific work. A user will probably work at that location in a very short period of time.”

But perhaps the work won’t go well. Customers often have a laissez faire attitude, said Pete Lockhart, vice president of new technologies at Anixter in Skokie, Ill. “It’s a weird business. There is more MACs work in the tough times. When a company lays off 10,000 people, the tendency is to pack together the people you still have. So you move them,” he said. “But the results are not so good. End-users are having their contractors pull existing cables out of partitions and reuse them. That’s happening in 30 percent of MACs, we think.

“The customer cares that the green light comes on after a MACs job,” Lockhart added. “But it really doesn’t mean much—just that they put enough voltage through the cable to get the green light on. It doesn’t mean they’re passing any data.”

Contractors, however, aren’t taking shortcuts. “They are doing what the customers asked—paid them to do,” he said. “If the customer had installed a true structured cabling system in the first place, all they’d be doing for these MACs would be moving jumper cables.

“But the customers have been unwilling to make that additional investment. It’s totally dictated by the guy in charge of the facility. If it’s someone that doesn’t understand the infrastructure (structured-cabling) requirements, then he will get what he gets. Often, he’s not willing to pay any more money than he perceives he needs. At some level, the concept for this kind of customer is that he’s wiring the equivalent of a telephone. If the green light is on, that’s good. Of course, he might be losing 30 percent of his throughput.”

No accounting for MACs

Bisbee said little about MACs has changed since his 1989 article. He is president of Communication Planning Corp. and proprietor of, and has spent 40 years in the VDV world.

“Let’s say a business spends $1 million on a datacom network installation. Many businesses experience $1 to $3 million in additional network expense in MACs work, over three to five years. Some institutions have run to six to 10 times initial cost. We have documented this. Why?” Bisbee asked. “How does the customer see the network? Is operating it an expense? Or is it an asset? If it’s an asset, you manage it like an asset, and, by the way, you spend some more money upfront and put in better-quality material. But if you see the network as nothing but an after-installation expense, then you’re doomed to do it (MACs work) over and over again.”

Will customers wise up and end this contractor paradise?

“A contractor paradise is exactly what it is,” said Bisbee. “People like me have been advising the customer for years to manage the telephone systems and data networks as assets. We’ve been ignored—still are.”

Bisbee said if a data network can be cabled for $1 million, it might cost $50,000 up front to set up a records system. If managed over time, three to five years later, it will still be working, and only adds will be needed. This approach, instead of spending another $1 to $3 million in MACs, should appeal to the company’s CEO.

“But the CEO never finds out,” Bisbee said. “No one ever shows him the numbers on it.”

Bisbee doesn’t see more of the same. He thinks MACs will get much worse because customers are undisciplined. There’s no required testing and MACs are made without records. If an installer has to revisit, he or she often has to start from scratch. The federal government estimates 45 billion feet of cable is abandoned in the nation’s plenum spaces. MACs are a big reason.

“Take a typical MACs job. The customer needs it done in a hurry. If the installer tries to use what’s in place, but it doesn’t work on the first attempt, the next move is to pull in a new cable. It’s a lot cheaper for the customer than having the installer spend the time to figure out where everything is.

“So what are you doing, in the end?” Bisbee asked. “You’re piling more and more cable on top of existing cable. That’s how you get 45 billion feet of this stuff, none of it being used, in the plenums.” EC

SALIMANDO is a Vienna, Va.-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR and TED magazines. He can be reached at 

Reprinted with permission from the leading publication in our industry -

The Electrical Contractor Magazine Check out this site.

also visit


"Fiber University" Is Back

Free Online Training Website Started By FOA

The famous "Fiber U" (Fiber University) online fiber optic training courses have returned, now part of the free educational programs offered by The Fiber Optic Association. Fiber U is being updated and expanded with modern online-learning technology. Lennie Lightwave, mascot of the original Fiber U, has joined the FOA too! Fiber U is online at
Now available is a self-study program "The Basics of Fiber Optics" at Fiber U that is free to everybody. It's aimed at novices who want to learn about fiber optics or "old hands" who want to update and refresh their knowledge. The program takes advantage of all the technical materials on the The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide and the new textbook the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics. We have created a lesson plan that leads you through 10 lessons from the basics of fiber optics to installation practices. Each lesson gives you reading assignments and then tests your comprehension. You can take the course online or using the textbook - both are referenced in the lesson plans. Go to Fiber U ( and try it yourself.
At Fiber U, there are also eleven "Virtual Hands-On" Tutorials that show you how common processes in fiber optics (cable preparation, splicing and termination) are done properly.
Fiber U was the famous fiber optic training conference and online training pioneer where many fiber optic techs got their start in the 1990s. Fiber U offered comprehensive vendor-independent training at annual events and as part of many conferences and trade shows. Fiber U Online offered some of the first online training courses anywhere.
The FOA will develop Fiber U to provide free online learning opportunities to help everyone learn more about fiber optics and cabling. Courses will be offered at the all levels to allow learning the basics, refresh and/or expand your knowledge.
The Fiber U website will provide self-study programs for those wanting to learn about fiber optics and to prepare for taking courses that will provide the hands-on skills required to become a fiber optic tech certified by the FOA. Available now are links to online self-study programs for those wanting to learn more about fiber optics. In the future, we'll be adding more self-study programs, video and online webinar lectures and other education resources the FOA will provide free to help everyone learn more about fiber optics.

About the FOA
The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is an nonprofit educational organization chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Over 250 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified more than 29,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic programs for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved schools.

For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website, email   or call 1-760-451-3655.


Accu-Tech, one of the top distributors in the USA for Voice-Data-Security & Life Safety systems rolls out their new friendly and exciting website including features and news

In a challenging economy, many companies are struggling to get their value message out to the market place. Initially, some distributors used their websites as an online products catalog that was more current than the printed catalogs.
They found a good value in this approach for their customers.
The winning streak continues.

About Accu-Tech - 27 Years of Voice-Data-Security & Life Safety systems product distribution success.
In November of 1983, two men, Barry Heidt and Dan Delavie (President 1993-1999) met for lunch in Atlanta, GA. Both were facing mandatory location moves that neither viewed favorably. Barry was President of the Atlanta branch of a Michigan cable distributor. Dan was Eastern Regional Manager of a national manufacturer/private labeler of electronic wire and cable. When that lunch was over, the decision to create a new distributor in Atlanta had been cast. Through loans, second mortgages, and stock issues they were able to raise $150,000.00 in seed money.
In March of 1984, Accu-Tech Wire & Cable officially opened in a third generation, back row, 5,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the northeast side of Atlanta. Barry Heidt brought great skills in administration, systems, and general organization. Dan Delavie brought outside sales and strong industry contacts. There was an obvious lack of inside sales skills. Enter Randy Guhl (now VP of Security) whose enthusiasm and customer relation skills were unparalleled. The core was in place and Accu-Tech was off and running.
It was important that Accu-Tech differentiate itself from other wire and cable distributors. This was accomplished in two separate, but equally important ways.

First, the management absolutely believed it was critical to instill a feeling of trust and total credibility in and to ourselves, our employees, our vendors and our customers. the management was asking a lot of each group and "keeping the faith" was required and had to be earned. The philosophy of "when in doubt, do what is right!" was injected into all employees.
Secondly, they saw that computers were becoming ubiquitous and required special knowledge. It was decided that voice and data held the future for Accu-Tech and Accu-Tech could flourish if they could be known as experts in voice and data connectivity. Accu-Tech had a potential market niche and it was an achievable goal. Vendors loved the concept.

As Accu-Tech grew, it became apparent that the team needed experts in three more areas. In 1989 Charles Goldgeier, CPA became our first CFO. In 1990, Bill Lorey joined us as our VP of Asset Management (now VP of marketing) and Ed Ellis became VP of Network Products (now President – scheduled to retire in 2010). All were now in place and Accu-Tech began to grow exponentially as the computer networking market exploded.
The personal approach of consultive sales and support has been a keystone to the continue growth and success of this company. Now, through their updated website Accu-Tech is extending their consultive sales and support to the World Wide Web. From experience many contractors already have discovered that Accu-Tech is a very valuable resource to the contactor.
We talked with Brian Brown, Web Development & Internet Marketing Manager
for Accu-Tech Corporation. He told us that the website update program has been a real labor of love. He said, "The main goal with this site was to create a community environment where contractors come for training, product announcements, industry news, or really anything they may need to stay up-to-date with the changes of our industry. We wanted to bring the personal touch and service of Accu-Tech to the online space. While this isn't an easy task, we are taking steps towards our goal by creating a more interactive and dynamic site. Expect great things to come in 2010 and beyond." The website will continue evolve and add more valuable information.
BTW: the earthquakes in Chile may scare the price of cooper up.
Want to know more? Visit
Follow Accu-Tech on Twitter
Join our Facebook Fan Page!
Subscribe to Accu-Tech's YouTube Channel
Find our Group on Linkedin


ACUTA’s Annual Conference Addresses Challenges of Emerging Technologies on Today’s Campuses

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, February 23, 2010 – With speakers representing 28 different colleges and universities, this year’s Annual Conference of ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, will once again be an extravaganza of expertise sharing.

The 2010 conference, April 18-21 in San Antonio, Texas, is the 39th for ACUTA, the only international association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education information communications technology professionals. Representing nearly 2,000 individuals at some 700 institutions, ACUTA’s core mission is the sharing of technology and management information, and its Annual Conference is its largest event of the year.

In addition to the dozens of campus professionals sharing their knowledge, successes, and challenges in educational sessions, the conference will feature a strong lineup of industry expert speakers. Topics range from emergency preparedness to unified communications to information communications technology infrastructure and leadership effectiveness.

For the keynote presentation on Monday morning, authors Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon will apply the principles of their book I Hate People! Ten People You Don’t Want to Be to the field of higher education information communications technology.  In this highly interactive session, they will describe the ten behaviors that hold back workers everywhere. The audience will come away with a set of tangible insights and strategies for personal and organization-wide improvements.

 “This year’s Annual Conference sessions are tailored to the needs of our members in addressing the emerging technologies on campus and the effects these technologies have on students, faculty, and the administration,” said Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA. “But beyond the sessions, there is no better opportunity for our members to network with their peers. By sharing the best strategies and techniques, they benefit themselves and their schools.”

ACUTA’s Annual Conference is in conjunction with its 14th annual Forum for Strategic Leadership in Information Communications Technology, a two-day assembly of senior administrators, with intensive sessions taught by higher education leaders and expert consultants. The forum’s focus this year is “Seize the Moment: Transforming IT to Create New Value for a New Era.”

The Annual Conference will also feature an exhibit hall with companies showcasing the latest technology products and services. During the event, at the new JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country, winners of leadership and institutional excellence awards will be announced. More information about the Annual Conference and the Strategic Leadership Forum can be found at

ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education information communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 700 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the very largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s corporate affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information, visit  or call 859-278-3338.


Our Tip of the Week, regarding laptop security, is courtesy of

"Treat your laptop like cash. If you had a wad of money sitting out in a public place, would you turn your back on it -- even for just a minute? Would you put it in checked luggage? Leave it on the backseat of your car? Of course not. Keep a careful eye on your laptop just as you would a pile of cash."

For more tips, visit Security Products online.


Here is your digital invitation to the BICSI Canadian Conference. May 2-5 Montreal, Quebec

Click here to view the digital version of the 2010 Canadian Conference & Exhibition Final Announcement. This announcement contains the information you need to plan your trip to the conference.
May 2-5 Montreal Quebec
Online registration is open! Conference highlights include a wide variety technical education, as well as networking opportunities and a packed Exhibit Hall. Don't forget: the Early Bird Rate ends on April 2. Register today!


Delivering Health Information Technology Over ITS Considerations, initiatives and standards – BICSI News

By Herbert V. Congdon II and Kevin Ressler, Ph.D.

As medical technologies develop and populations expand, health care initiatives and facilities around the world see continued investment. Governments worldwide, especially in the United States, are looking for smart ways to invest in health care service solutions that improve efficiency, reduce costs and expand coverage.

The key to any health care solution is the capability to efficiently, quickly and securely create, store, retrieve and share information of all kinds, including diagnostic images, lab results and patient data. This calls for traditional stand-alone analog systems to migrate to digital IP-based systems—a trend that is well under way and underscores the need for a robust, high-capacity network infrastructure in health care facilities.

As the storage, access and distribution of health care information evolve and expand, it becomes increasingly important to provide standardization and guidelines for the cabling infrastructure that supports this information flow. Considering the broad range of health care facilities (e.g., hospitals, clinics, nursing homes), and varying requirements for levels of service in those facilities, these guidelines will include some unique considerations that vary from typical office-oriented networks.

Advanced Network Performance

With the access, reliability and secure storage of health care data mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, health care managers realize that a quality network is in their best interest. In addition, there is a growing realization that anything done in a health care facility requires or will require a data connection. The sheer number and types of services that the data network is expected to support have increased the overall value of the network.

In addition, health care buildings are expected to have an exceptionally long life span—often many decades of service of continuous operation with very limited opportunity for refurbishment. These factors make a sound argument for the initial installation of a high-quality, robust and high data-rate network. No one wants to design or install a cabling network that becomes the limiting factor when migrating to IP-based health care service delivery.

Larger Telecommunications Spaces

The network infrastructure of a health care facility is expected to accommodate many systems beyond typical telephone and data, including nurse call, security, CATV, biomedical and building automation systems. As a result, larger telecommunications spaces and pathways are needed to support all of these systems. It is critically important to ensure that the floor plan of any health care telecommunications space includes enough space at the beginning of the design process, especially since it is difficult to find additional space after the walls go up and people move in.

To accommodate the needs of today and tomorrow, the requirements for a typical telecommunications room (TR) in a health care facility should be about twice the size of a TR in office-oriented networks. A growth factor of 100 percent should also be considered when determining room size. In the case of the equipment room (ER), this growth factor can be part of the initial design or be accommodated by dedicating adjacent space (e.g., storage room) that can be claimed in the future if necessary.

Higher Work Area Density

Within a health care facility, there are many types of work areas and each has different needs for telecommunications services. Depending on the type of space and applications, each specific work area can be assigned either a high (>14), medium (6 to 14), or low (2 to 6) recommendation for cabling density, which basically represents the number of cable runs and outlets (ports) for each work area. Due to the growth in IP-based and IP-connected devices, selecting a number in the high end of the density range is recommended.

While a cabling density of more than 14 outlets may seem extreme compared with the traditional office cabling perspective, it may accurately reflect the number of ports needed when entertainment, video monitoring, portable device connections, telephone (VoIP), nurse call and the multitude of other services are needed in a patient room.

The flexibility for scheduling and implementing moves, adds or changes is normally complex but even more so in the health care environment—not just from a timing perspective (disruption of the patient care mission and revenue stream) but also from an infection control and security perspective. Most every health care facility will have restrictions and regulations on tearing into walls and lifting ceiling panels. Therefore, placing additional outlets as part of the initial design may prove to be more cost-effective than adding outlets later.

Outlet Location Considerations

When locating outlets in health care spaces, some thought is needed to determine where they would be most useful and would minimize the number and length of patch cords in any one room. For example, one outlet might need to go on the facing wall to support video entertainment for the patient, one outlet might best be located in the ceiling to support portable equipment and another might need to be placed at the patient head end to support services like phone and nurse call.

Critical Care Areas

The matter of life and death takes on new meanings in a health care environment. There are unique requirements for the cabling infrastructure to support critical care areas, which are defined as areas where the loss of telecommunications services could have a serious impact. For these areas, the use of multiple entrance points and cabling route diversity are recommended as two mechanisms for ensuring that telecommunications services are not disrupted. Looking at this from a redundancy perspective might make this easier to understand.

Government Initiatives

In 2009, the U.S. government launched a major initiative with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The HITECH Act created the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This legislation and related activities are having a transformative effect on health information technology across the nation.

The first $1.2 billion of HITECH grants were announced in August 2009, with $598 million allocated to create 70 health information technology extension centers nationwide and another $564 million to help states support the development of health information exchanges and facilitate coordination and alignment among states. ARRA also funded the ONC with $2 billion to drive standards and policy for health information technology, including provider loan programs that facilitate the adoption of certified electronic health records (EHRs). ARRA also allocated an additional $17 billion to Medicare and Medicaid for the adoption and "meaningful use" of EHRs (see sidebar).

While the intent of EHRs is standardizing the content of digital health records, health care files can contain huge amounts of data—any one file in any one record could be hundreds of gigabits (e.g., an MRI). Diagnostic images, lab results and other health care records need to be accessed quickly and accurately from almost anywhere in the country. As paper records migrate to electronic health records, the bandwidth needs of a health care facility will increase and place stronger demands on the network cabling.

Evolution of a Standard

The industry recognized that the office-oriented commercial building cabling standard, ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.1, was too restrictive to support the many needs of a health care facility cabling infrastructure. As a result, the need for a cabling standard for health care premises was formally presented to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42.1 Commercial Building Cabling Subcommittee in 2003. At that time, a survey of BICSI members demonstrated the support for such a project, and there was significant interest in the project from health care facilities, consultants, manufacturers and organizations. The project was officially launched and a task group was formed to create a draft addendum to the 568-B.1 standard, but these early efforts indicated that the draft was becoming too unwieldy in size and scope to be suitable for an addendum.

When the TR-42.1 subcommittee started the project of developing the ANSI/TIA-568-C.0 standard, Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises, the task group decided to table the health care effort until that standard was published. They believed that the 568-C.0 standard would provide a sound foundation for a new premises standard for health care facility cabling. In 2008, the health care cabling task group was reformed with even more interested parties and began work on a draft of the health care standard using 568-C.0 as a baseline. For example, the standard will recognize the same media as in 568-C.1, which includes category 6A, category 5e and category 6 balanced twisted-pair cabling and multimode and singlemode optical fiber cabling.

The scope of the draft document focuses on the requirements for telecommunications infrastructure, cabling, cabling topologies, cabling distances, pathways and spaces rather than trying to carve out any specific type of category of health care facilities. The standard will support a wide range of health care facilities and systems (e.g., nurse call, security, access control, pharmaceutical inventory), particularly those that utilize or can utilize IP-based infrastructure constructed of balanced twisted-pair and optical fiber cabling. It will also recognize the impact that converging these many systems onto the IT network will have on the size and requirements of the cabling spaces (e.g., TRs, pathways).

The current draft is proceeding through the ballot process in the TIA TR-42.1 subcommittee, and the release for publication should be approved sometime in mid-2010, barring any unforeseen, complex technical issues. Once finalized and approved for publication, the document will become ANSI/TIA-1179, Healthcare Facility Telecommunications Cabling Standard.

While TR-42.1 has been actively engaged in developing a health care facility cabling standard, another engineering committee has a slightly different focus. Engineering Committee TR-49, Healthcare ICT, is one of TIA’s newest engineering committees. TR-49 is responsible for the development and maintenance of standards for the health care information, communication and technology (ICT) applications that involve medical devices, network infrastructure, applications and operations support. Ideally, the TR-49 Engineering Committee will reference the TIA-1179 standard for structured cabling to support the ICT applications.

Closing Thoughts

New legislative provisions and regulations will affect health care facilities, their funding and their cabling. New technologies and older technologies migrating onto IP-based platforms will affect the data load on the network, as well as the size of spaces, work area density, outlet location, redundancy and other cabling considerations. New standards will help enable a consistent, robust infrastructure to support today’s applications and any IP migration. This means that the network designers and managers will be well positioned to justify appropriate expansions and capabilities of their networks and enable the network owners to reap the rewards of a smart investment.

ARRA and "Meaningful Use"

Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 defines the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, also known as the HITECH Act. ARRA authorizes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide reimbursement payments from both Medicare and Medicaid programs for physician and other health care providers who implement "meaningful use" of certified electronic health records (EHRs).

CMS released the definition of "meaningful use" on December 31, 2009. This definition provides new guidance for providers and hospitals to qualify for billions of dollars in federal incentives. ARRA provides federal incentives of up to $44,000 per physician over five years, and hospitals can qualify for a minimum of $2 million a year. The first incentives will be paid in 2011 based on 2010 performance against Stage 1 guidance provided by CMS.

Key Resources

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009——This informative health care IT site is sponsored by the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS) and contains news, opinions, discussion, podcasts and other resources about "meaningful use" and how the stimulus money will impact the U.S. health care industry.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services information related to ARRA—

Information about ARRA-related grants—

Herbert V. Congdon II, PE, is the manager of standards and technology for Tyco Electronics. He can be reached at

Kevin Ressler, Ph.D., is the director of business development for Tyco Electronics. He can be reached at

Reprinted with permission from BICSI NEWS magazine


BOMA Approved as USGBC Education Provider

(WASHINGTON—February 22, 2010) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International today announced that it has been approved as a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Provider. USGBC has approved the technical and instructional quality of two of BOMA’s education series, the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) and the Sustainable Operations Series (SOS). BEEP’s six on-demand Webinars have been approved for a total of 12 GBCI CE Hours and the four Webinars in the SOS series have been approved for a total of six GBCI CE Hours, all counting toward the LEED Credential Maintenance Program.

The BEEP series gives building owners and property managers information, strategies, technologies, how-to guides and resources to reduce energy and costs in their buildings. It was developed by the BOMA Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s ENERGY STAR® program and is supported in part by a grant from EPA. SOS builds on the BEEP program by clearly demonstrating how green operations can effectively enhance the bottom line, improve tenant satisfaction and benefit the environment. Each course features practical strategies and case studies on buildings that have employed green operating practices.

"BOMA has long been a leader in green education and we are proud to be a USGBC-approved Education Provider,” commented BOMA International Chair James A. Peck, RPA, FMA, senior director of asset services, CB Richard Ellis. “Both BEEP and the SOS series teach industry professionals practical strategies for optimizing energy efficiency and implementing sustainable operating procedures while focusing on ROI and improving the bottom line.”

BOMA is committed to enhancing the ongoing professional development of the building industry and LEED Professionals through high-quality continuing education programs. As a USGBC Education Provider, BOMA has agreed to abide by USGBC-established operational and educational criteria, and is subject to annual reviews and audits for quality assurance.

All USGBC-approved Education Provider courses:

·     Support the LEED Professional Credentialing Maintenance Program

·     Are preeminent in green building education and align with USGBC’s educational mission

·     Are delivered in a variety of formats and target multiple learning levels and audiences

·     Are peer-reviewed to meet USGBC’s high standard for instructional design and content quality

For more information on BOMA’s education offerings, visit

About BOMA International

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 18,000–plus members own or manage more than 9 billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International´s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at


Environmental Building News Provides Guidance

BRATTLEBORO, VT, March 11, 2010-New stories come out daily about toxic hazards in products. Consumers are increasingly anxious about chemicals in everything from baby bottles to buildings, while building professionals are seeking to address these concerns by selecting safer products. However, just understanding the terms can be daunting, let alone finding perspective amid the confusion.

Environmental Building News, the nation's oldest and most respected publication on green building, has stepped up to provide guidance for designers on what matters most with chemicals and toxicity and how to select safer building products. EBN's March, 2010, feature article, "Chemistry for Designers:

Understanding Hazards in Building Products," includes a no-nonsense guide to common hazards in building products and how to prioritize the search for alternatives, along with a series of strategies to guide building professionals in specifying safer products.

 "The frontrunners aren't having an easy time of it," said Jennifer Atlee, research director at BuildingGreen, who wrote the article. A few firms are trying to lead the way with these issues, paving the way for others, but the time spent getting up-to-speed on these issues and then educating manufacturer reps about the concerns can be very significant.

Despite the challenges, more designers and firms are tackling these issues, driven by initiatives like the Living Building Challenge and Healthcare Without Harm, and new tools and strategies are making it increasingly feasible to address these concerns.

"Firms are using all sorts of strategies to try and simplify the process," explained Atlee.

"There is a limit to what designers can do for any one project, but the important part is to get started," said Atlee.  "Even just asking the questions of manufacturers is starting to make a real difference. Manufacturers are responding."

Alex Wilson, Executive Editor of EBN, and the founder of its sister publication, the GreenSpec Directory of green building products, put the problem in context. "The vast majority of the 60,000 to 80,000 chemicals in use today have never been tested for environmental health and safety concerns; that isn't required today," he explained. "This means that chemicals being used to replace known hazards may turn out to be even worse. The green building community has an important role to play in helping legislators understand the business case for comprehensive chemical reform," Wilson said.

"Manufacturers are struggling with this issue too," explained Atlee. "On the one hand, they may not know the hazards in their own product. On the other hand, they've seen an overreaction by customers to chemicals found on various hazard lists; it makes manufacturers gun-shy." EBN's guidance on chemical choices should help to clarify confusion in the design community.

"Chemistry for Designers: Understanding Hazards in Building Products" was published in the March 2010 issue of EBN. Access to the full article requires a membership in, but Atlee provides additional commentary in a blog on the topic.

Editors: Jennifer Atlee is available for interviews about addressing chemical hazards in buildings. To arrange an interview, contact Jerelyn Wilson at 802-257-7300 ext. 102 or Also access to the full article is also available to editors by contacting Jerelyn Wilson.

Since 1992, Environmental Building News has been the source the building industry turns to for unbiased, practical information about building green. EBN is the flagship publication of BuildingGreen, LLC, a leading publisher of information on environmentally responsible building, whose other information outlets include the GreenSpec® Directory of green building products,, a comprehensive website on green building, and, a new website for teams going through the LEED certification process. For information, visit



Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

  Large Building Automation


§                            Wireless security success stories
When Riverside, Calif.-based ICS Service was asked to install a security system to protect a historic building on the California coast for the Palos Verde Unified School District, wireless was the logical choice. It would have been a shame to mar the building's beauty with hard wiring. SDM (2/1)

§                            KNX to showcase latest applications in Europe
More than 100 KNX member companies will be presenting their latest KNX applications at the Light+Building trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany, between April 11-16. KNX (2/17)

§                            Wi-Fi turns rowdy bus into rolling study hall
School officials in Tucson, AZ have mounted a mobile Internet router to a school bus enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, a high-tech experiment which allows them to revise and study using their laptops. Intelligent Community Forum (2/19)

§                            Podcast: Two sides of energy management
There are two sides to every story. In the world of M2M (machine-to-machine) technology, it’s the business side and the consumer side. On the debut of The Peggy Smedley Show this week—formerly the M2M Radio Show—two sides of energy management were examined in depth. M2M Radio (2/19)

§                            Commissioning HVAC systems can reveal ways to save energy and money
Organizations continue to look for ways to trim costs without incurring significant expenses. For facility managers, that means turning a sharp eye and a red pen to operating costs. Given its impact on the bottom line, the HVAC system is an especially important target. In today's business climate, the winning projects are often low-cost fixes or more costly projects that are worth the expense because of a rapid payback. Building Operating Management (2/22)

§                            Building control LEEDs to efficiency
Government regulations and environmental strategies will drive an increase in building automation systems in the coming years. In fact, according to a recent study, building automation systems will grow 3% from 2009 to 2015. Constructech (2/23)

§                            IBM, Johnson Controls join forces to make buildings smart and green
Building automation company Johnson Controls has teamed up with IBM to bake IT expertise into green building designs. VentureBeat (2/22)

§                            Advanced lighting control reduces operating costs improves productivity
Typically the largest electrical load in a commercial building, lighting accounts for 20 to 40% of the average business' electric bill. While light is a commodity essential for productivity, lighting is a business asset that should be managed as a critical component of both the building and the organization that occupies it. Real Estate Channel (2/3)

§                            Bluetooth group explores apps in smart grid
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has formed a Smart Energy Study Group to explore application in smart electric grids. The study group will explore possible applications of Bluetooth in all aspects of the smart energy market. It will form a strategy for Bluetooth Smart Energy and make recommendations based on its finding. EETimes (2/24)

§                            US gov't providing $130 million for building energy efficiency
Federal agencies in the United States will provide funding over five years to develop new technologies in building energy efficiency. Renewable Energy (2/18)

Member Press Releases


§                            Attend the GLOBE 2010 Trade Show For FREE
The upcoming GLOBE 2010 International Conference and Trade Show, taking place March 24 - 26, 2010 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, will be one of the year's largest events promoting the 'business of the environment.'

§                            Other Items

MatrikonOPC announces Supra Controls as a Gold Level Partner
Exhibiting Opportunities at GLOBE 2010, March 24 - 26, Vancouver, Canada

MatrikonOPC and OMNI Flow Computers, Inc. deliver secure data connectivity

Meridian Health partners with Cypak to develop healthcare solutions

Meridian Health Joins CABA

GLOBE 2010 Early Bird Deadline Fast Approaching!

MatrikonOPC Takes the Lead on OPC Cyber Security

FieldServer Technologies at AHR 2010

  CABA Research Spotlight

§                            Manufacturers in the residential systems market identify market opportunities and constraints
This survey from Stiernberg Consulting examines the challenges to expanding markets for consumer products. Manufacturers of audio, control, automation, AV networking, video, media storage and management, wire/cable, lighting, furniture, racks, and accessories were questioned near the end of 2008. The top challenges were pricing pressures and shrinking margins, long product development cycles, limited talent, and new competition. Competition includes the entry of big-box retailers into the installation market. On a positive note, the economy problems are keeping people home and demanding more entertainment. Read the full report as published in CABA's Research Library.

  Education & Training 

§                            M2M Conference at CeBIT 2010
Join a global team of ICT insiders to explore Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications, Embedded Connectivity, Networked Devices, Location Awareness, & Remote Management. All sessions address business requirements, device design and certification, advanced networking techniques, and service creation. Hear from wireless network operators, device manufacturers and application developers at the free M2M conference focused on energy, transport and healthcare. The event will be held March 4 at Telematics Hall 7, Stand A46 in Hannover, Germany.

§                            Webinar on monetizing M2M apps with mobile networks
In this hour-long session, accessible immediately, both Cisco and Telenor Connexion will share specific use cases demonstrating how mobile operators can address these challenges while monetizing machine-to-machine application opportunities with intelligent end-to-end IP networking; IPv6 support; and network scalability, resiliency, and performance.

§                            Webinar on CCTV and privacy
The Security Industry Association will be hosting a webinar for SIA members at 1 pm ET on Thursday, February 25 on the topic of the influence of privacy on electronic security and how companies can be better prepared to address privacy concerns raised over the use of these technologies. The featured panelists are Kathleen Carroll (HID Global) and Sam Docknevich (Siemens).

§                            Webcast on BIM adoption
Reed Construction Data is proud to present the 2010 Lessons in BIM Adoption webcast series. Presented quarterly, the webcast series delivers information on how BIM affects processes for the architect, engineer, general contractor, and other members of the construction industry. On February 25 at 2 pm ET, tune in for the first webcast in the series focused on issues surrounding BIM adoption.

§                            Webinar: The Economics of Alarm Management
Hear from Stan Martin from the Security Industry Alarm Coalition on what dealers can expect as more and more municipalities look to onerous alarm ordinances to help combat budget shortfalls. The live webinar begins at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 3, 2010. A chat session on the topic will begin at 4:45 p.m. Eastern time. Registration for this webinar is free by clicking here.

 CABA News


§                            CH-RC Digital Home Ecosystem Forum rescheduled
CABA's Connected Home Research Council's Advisory Board has decided to move the CH-RC Digital Home Ecosystem Forum to a new date. It was scheduled for March 3 and will now be held Wed, May 5, 2010. We are pleased that the event will still be hosted by Microsoft Corporation and have also been able to confirm that Orly Cocco, from Procter & Gamble, will be attending and moderating the ideation roundtable session. Learn more about the event or contact Don O'Connor, CABA's Business Development Manager at 613.686.1814 x226 or for more information.

§                            CABA Completes North American Intelligent and Integrated Building Technology Market Sizing Study
The Continental Automated Buildings Association has released a comprehensive North American market sizing study examining intelligent and integrated building technology.The study provides a detailed quantitative and qualitative assessment of the current and future markets for intelligent control systems in non-residential buildings so that industry players can undertake strategic planning as they launch new products and services. In addition, the study provides a review of the existing demand for intelligent building control integration and convergence. The study can be purchased in whole or in sections. For more details, contact Don O'Connor, CABA's Business Development Manager at 613.686.1814 x226 or

§                            CABA to hold webinar on intelligent building roadmap project
CABA, through its Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council, will hold a webinar on its Intelligent Buildings in North America Roadmap research project on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 1 pm ET. Through a collaborative process, the primary objectives of the project will be to: strengthen the existing industry knowledge base and perspectives on intelligent buildings; understand the collective influence on the roadmap for intelligent buildings of emerging trends in the industry such as, energy efficiency, renewable technology, IT convergence and the integration of buildings with the smart grid; understand the influence of current and emerging trends on smart technologies and solutions, market preference and acceptance; and investigate the current and future direction of the intelligent buildings market in North America, and the opportunities it represents for participants of the value chain. For more information about the webinar call or project, please contact Don O'Connor, CABA Business Development Manager, at 613.686.1814 x226 or


New book, Green Electrical $ells helps professionals profit from the booming markets for green building and energy efficiency

(PRLEAP.COM) February 2, 2010 Syosset, New York - Carazo Communications announces the publication of Green Electrical $ells, a new book by electrical marketing expert and energy efficiency journalist Dan Carazo.

Green Electrical $ells provides valuable insights about the fast-growing green building segment of North America’s construction industry, and discusses the expanding Commercial, Institutional, Industrial, Residential, Retrofit, and Solar Energy markets for energy-efficient products, services, and solutions.

Using interviews from over 80 industry experts, Green Electrical $ells explains how Green Electrical has become a global mega-trend impacting the businesses and careers of facility, property and plant managers, builders, real estate developers, architects, designers, engineers, construction managers, contractors, manufacturer’s sales reps, lighting and energy consultants, and electrical distributors.

Green Electrical $ells is available online as a 204-page printed black and white paperback, or as a 194-page e-book PDF download.

To order PAPERBACK version: ; paperback will soon be available at and other retail outlets.

To order E-BOOK version: can be read using the free Adobe Digital Editions application on various digital tools, including Kindle, PCs, laptops, wireless digital readers, PDAs, and smart phones.

SPECIAL ORDERS: Quantity Discounts are available for promotional or training purposes, and Custom Branded Paperback editions are also available that include an organization’s custom cover and inserted promotional content. For information and pricing, contact Carazo Communications. 

Brendan Owens, Vice President of LEED Technical Development
for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC),
said this about Green Electrical $ells:

"Education is key to transforming the built environment towards sustainability. Green Electrical $ells contributes towards that mission by covering the importance of energy efficiency in our commercial and residential building stock while illustrating the vast financial and environmental benefits of green building."

Green Electrical $ells helps professionals and students involved with the built environment:

Better understand the global trends driving the long-term growth of Green Building, and the business and career implications of reducing electrical energy consumption;

Understand the economic benefits derived from energy-efficient solutions in each market;

Recognize best-in-class energy-efficient products, solutions and applications favored by top professionals, and the benefits they deliver.

Topics include: U.S. energy policy, power distribution, lighting and lighting controls, building automation, LEED® certification, sustainability, motors and drives, and energy management for all construction and retrofit markets.

Despite the recent slowdown in construction spending, Green Building has remained the fastest growing segment of the U.S. construction market, and because the residential, commercial and industrial sectors consume a combined 67% of all U.S. energy, energy-efficient Green Electrical is enjoying robust growth.

About the Author

Dan Carazo has focused on the electrical industry for over a decade initially by directing the marketing and branding for Cooper Wiring Devices, a division of Cooper Industries, a $6.5 billion global leader in electrical, lighting, and controls

Carazo’s marketing firm, Carazo Communications, services clients in the electrical, lighting, lighting control, and energy efficiency industries, including the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED).

As a journalist Carazo has authored over two hundred articles covering the electrical industry markets and trends, including those shaping energy efficiency, power distribution, building and home automation, lighting control, sustainable buildings, and green building for The Electrical Distributor (TED), Electrical Contractor, and EC&M.

Carazo’s Green Electrical Sells blog reports on energy-efficient solutions for the green building market and appears weekly on .

For Further Information Contact:

Dan Carazo
Carazo Communications
6 Greenvale Lane, Syosset, New York 11791 USA


Draka's Fiber Optic Cables Meet Requirements for American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, RUS Broadband Incentives Program (BIP), NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities (BTOP) and Buy America

Claremont, North Carolina, March 5, 2010 (NYSE EURONEXT: DRAK) – Draka Communications – Americas reaffirms that its fiber optic cable products are in full compliance and ready for use in infrastructure projects funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. The American Recovery & Reinvestment act appropriated $7.2 billion toward multiple programs such as: RUS Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), Public Computer Centers (PCC), Sustainable Broadband Adoption, and Middle Mile Infrastructure.

Based in Claremont, NC, Draka Communications Americas is a leading manufacturer of fiber optic cable products used throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. Draka operates two manufacturing facilities located on an integrated campus in western NC and meets the requirements to supply fiber cable for projects that are funded by the Broadband Stimulus plan. With more than 25 million miles of cabled fiber installed across North America during the past 20 years, Draka is able to meet the increasing demand for fiber cable to support expanding broadband access to un-served and underserved communities across the USA.

Draka’s manufacturing processes meet the highest level of industry performance standards and are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and TL9000 certified. Draka frequently hosts training and tours at its world class 1.2 million square foot manufacturing center in Claremont, NC. Draka produces enough fiber each day to circle the globe.

Draka was awarded the "Faith in the Future Award" during 2008 by the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce in recognition of its continued growth and support of the community. "Draka is excited to see the Broadband Stimulus Plan coming to life and looks forward to supporting the national expansion of high speed broadband across the USA. The Broadband Stimulus Plan is already creating a positive impact for our North Carolina community and will surely boost economic growth, create jobs and improve education and healthcare technology nationwide" states Bill Dungan, Senior Vice President and Director, Draka Communications America.

About Draka
Draka (Euronext Amsterdam: DRAK), headquartered in Amsterdam, has 9,600 employees in countries worldwide and revenues of €2.0 billion. Draka has a presence in 31 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Draka's activities are divided into three groups: Energy & Infrastructure, Industry & Speciality and Communications.

Draka Communications, with over 100 years of experience, is one of the world;s largest fiber producers and the number one multimode fiber producer. We are a leader in innovative optical fiber and cable solutions with a portfolio of over 15,000 cables for indoor, indoor-outdoor, and outdoor applications. Draka's regional headquarters is located in Claremont, North Carolina in the only co-located fiber and cable facility in North America. Our 128 acre campus is home to a world class 1.2 million square foot manufacturing facility dedicated to the development, delivery and deployment of optical fiber and fiber cable networks. For more information, call us at 1-800-879-9862 or visit us online at


Electrical Contractors Boost Efforts to Reach U.S. Green Power Goals

          BETHESDA, Md., February 26, 2009 — Electrical contractors around the country are creating new training grounds, more services and a highly skilled workforce to make the nation’s green energy goals a reality, according to Electrical Contractor magazine at To help reach national aims—such as wind comprising 20 percent of America’s power by 2030 and solar power meeting 15 percent of the country’s energy needs by 2020—the industry’s growing activities seek to reduce emissions, lower energy bills, cut maintenance costs and enable a properly trained workforce.

          “Our increasing coverage of wind and solar news, lighting innovations and renewable training opportunities reinforces the industry’s commitment to green power, sustainable buildings and energy independence,” said John Maisel, publisher of Electrical Contractor by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Bethesda, Md.

          Recently reported new and ongoing activities include:

Building the nation’s first custom wind turbine training facilities: The newest facility in Omaha features a replica of a power-generating windmill tower to help electricians master the technology used to harness wind power, and learn to work safely within the interiors of the pinwheels. The first windmill training facility opened in Rochester, Minn. last year. Link to ElectricTV video:

The NECA-IBEW “Green Jobs” Curriculum: This nationwide program packages 75 green training lessons that include safely installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, wind power turbines and fuel cells to the same high standards as traditional electrical work.

Solar/PV Panels: Includes increasing activity and training in procuring and installing PV panels as well as the balance of the system (BOS) for stand-alone rooftop panels.

Comprehensive energy audits: With tax credits for more energy-efficient buildings now extended to 2013, electrical contractors are increasingly performing holistic energy audits to help building owners and managers control energy costs, reduce consumption and comply with energy-efficiency legislation and mandates. Audits show exactly where, when and how much energy is being used. The latest holistic approach accounts for how all of the various building systems—power, control, information processing and communications, lighting and HVAC—will interact over the building’s life cycle.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification and Projects: More electrical contractors are becoming LEED certified and/or serving as valued partners on LEED projects including installing energy-efficient electrical equipment and systems.

Measurement and verification (M&V): Includes training and services of installed lighting systems and alternative energy sources for buildings that earn LEED certification to help ensure they maintain sustainability.

Energy-Efficient Lighting: Includes installing advanced controls for new high-performance buildings; relighting existing buildings with energy-efficient luninaires and controls; recommending energy-efficient lighting and ways to reduce costs; and evaluating maintenance and environmental issues such as light pollution or inefficient energy usage from over-lighting.

Building Information Modeling: (BIM): The new buildingSMART Alliance serves developers and users of BIM and is expected to become increasingly prominent in green construction.

Smart metering/energy management: To help support two-way communication for gathering whole-building energy usage, electrical contractors can install submeters to record energy usage with easier categorizing; also includes installing devices that can track solar- and wind-energy production, help prepare reports and specify and purchase products.

          For more details, go to and NECA’s Energy Solutions blog at

Published by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Bethesda, Md., ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR delivers 85,300+ electrical contractors and 68,000+ electrical contracting locations, more than any other industry publication. Telephone: (301) 657-3110. Web site:



HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KENTUCKY, March 2, 2010 – General Cable (NYSE: BGC) is pleased to introduce its line of Isotec® Brand cables for the Irrigation and Landscape markets.  These cables cover the range of commonly used and inventoried wire and cable products for the irrigation distributor.

In addition to the standard product offering, the Company has the capability to manufacture all of the various constructions of decoder cables, including Hunter, Maxi and Toro. General Cable is an excellent resource for a wide variety of other specialty constructions including stranded direct burial control cables and flexible
portable cordage.

“General Cable is excited to have the ability to offer customers the complete basket of solutions, enhanced by General Cable’s strong product portfolio, including our Carol® Brand Electronics and Cord products,” said Jeff Later, Vice President of Sales, Carol and Isotec Brand Products.

Founded in 1991, Isotec has been a long-time supplier to these markets, providing a product line of the utmost quality.  All Isotec wire and cable is made from the finest materials and manufactured with the latest high-tech computer equipment.  Isotec believes in making it right the first time, every time.

“Our Isotec Irrigation & Underground cables are manufactured in the U.S.A. and shipped direct from stock,”
Later said.  “We have a National sales team in place to bring you the best-quality products available.”

Contact Ken Ericksen at 847-299-9299 or  for additional information about our Isotec cables.  For more specific questions regarding smart irrigation practices and sustainable solutions, visit the Irrigation Association’s Web site at

About General Cable

General Cable (NYSE:BGC), a Fortune 500 Company, 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.  For more information about General Cable, visit our website at

Going Green with General Cable

General Cable has accelerated its environmental commitment, addressing its Green Alternative Approach by identifying greener opportunities and promoting green cabling solutions wherever feasible.  This includes promoting our existing green products; partnering with key customers in their green endeavors; identifying and providing resources for green product gaps; and participating as members in collaborative ventures such as the Green Suppliers Network (GSN).



HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KENTUCKY, March 1, 2010 – General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC), a global leader in ignition wire harness technology, reported today that it has acquired Beru SAS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BorgWarner France SAS, located in La Ferte Mace, France.  The business will operate as General Cable Automotive Europe (GCAE) going forward.  GCAE is a premier manufacturer of ignition wire harnesses sold into the European automotive OEM market as well as the aftermarket. 

Roger Roundhouse, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Specialty Wire Harnesses said, “The GCAE acquisition is an important step in the globalization of our ignition wire harness business and supports the strategy to participate in the increasingly homogenous global market for these products. Our wire harness business now has operations in the United States, Mexico and France.  From these locations, the Company is participating in a significant portion of the global automotive market for ignition wire harnesses. In its first year of operations we expect this business to report in excess of $20 million in revenues. This acquisition is important in satisfying multi-national customers who see value in having global partners support their business in the ignition wire harness category."

General Cable (NYSE:BGC), a Fortune 500 Company, 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.  For more information about General Cable, visit our website at



Special Report

Special Report: 3.15.2010

 Permanent link


Thoughts from 2 green events; part 1 of 2

By Joe Salimando

In 1978, I worked at the McGraw-Hill building in New York City (at 6th avenue + 49th). I lived on 54th street between 1st and 2nd avenues. It was easily walkable, and I lived in Manhattan on purpose. I had gone to Brooklyn Technical High School every day via subway, and I wanted no more of that -- even if it meant living in a 5-story walk-up apartment that resembled a shoebox (the one room's width, at its widest point, was 8 feet, 8 inches).

One day in early 1978, I trudged to work through deep snow, breathing in the cleanest air I'd ever inhaled in the city of my birth.

This came the day after a blizzard. I worked for McGraw-Hill's National Petroleum News, a monthly magazine that also had a weekly newsletter ("The Orange Sheet," actually printed on orange paper!). The day after the blizzard was the day the Orange thing had to go to the printer, but the veteran editors who lived in the suburbs were not going to make it in to get the thing out. So I did (as did a few other youngish types). My pluckiness (or stupidity) in coming to work on what was, clearly, a day off for everybody in the city is not relevant here.

What astounded me, and sticks in memory (still!), was the air. It was so clean! There was zero vehicular traffic. No buses to spew crap into my lungs, no taxis swarming. As I walked across Park Avenue, east to west, a guy went by me (heading uptown) . . . walking in the deep snow covering Park's asphalt . . . on cross-country skis. I believe I did see one cab moving during the walk, a sharp contrast with perhaps the 100s I would typically see on any given day just in crossing Park.

In short, the air in Manhattan was clear and sweet; it was a joy to inhale. There were few, if any, people on the streets (we all waved hello to each other, a very un-NYC thing to do!). The walk was tough because the snow was very deep; but that was the one year I was in great shape; I would later in 1978 run the New York Marathon, finishing in a scintillating 4:43.

Was this a "green" experience? Sure. But . . . it's not something we can replicate, is it?

Dinosaurs And Global Warming

That experience came back to the front of my mind recently after two weeks in which I went to the D.C. Convention Center to attend, first, the Electric Drive Transportation Assn. conference, followed shortly thereafter by Renewable Energy Technology 2010. The subject in all of this was green/sustainability, with global warming lurking just beneath the surface (and sometimes coming to the fore).

I heard many hopes and dreams voiced out loud at the first event. The car makers hope that the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) is something they can sell, and the utilities hope to generate big revenue in the evenings (something hard to do now) from PEV recharging. As compared with hopes, RETECH 2010 was a case of "optimism overspill" -- I heard some amazing stuff, including the confidently spoken notion that solar in 2010 will be double what it was in the U.S. in 2009 . . . followed by another double in 2011.

From a certain perspective, the PEV event seemed more like the final convention of the dinosaurs, just before the big asteroid lit up the sky. The wounded behemoths of the auto industry and the staid-and-afraid gigantors of the utility biz were there, in the same room, roaring at each other . . . signifying, it seemed to me, not much of anything beyond hopes and dreams.

At the renewable energy event, there was above-board yakking on whether global warming is really caused by human activity. The speakers who I heard talk about this poo-poohed the objections. No one rational, the undertone ran, could reasonably be unsure whether human activities are causing global warming.

Yes, this is yet more evidence backing up my wife, who believes that I am NOT completely rational. I remain on the fence. Global warming is happening, that much seems clear; if it's caused by human activities here on Earth, what's causing it to happen on Mars?

The We-Be-Green-Except Crowd

As a result of all this thinking -- which can really be distracting, you know -- I ended up noticing some off-beat stuff at the renewable conference and show:

A. There was a lot of paper. While the conference's official notepads were marked as made from recycled paper, much of everything else was NOT so marked. That surprised me (would you really hand out stuff at RETECH 2010 that was not made from recycled paper? Yes, it turned out). Further, I personally recycled several big handfuls of stuff -- there are lots of recycling bins in the DCCC, which is nice. I noticed other people doing the same thing. This leads to the question: Even if your propaganda IS printed on recycled paper, why spend the money to print and then ship the stuff to the DCCC, if people were, in general, going to look at it for 3 seconds and then lose it? This seems very UNgreen to me. And wasteful.

B. In the press room, I came across a press kit that consisted of -- I swear to this -- a large glossy folder (not made of recycled paper) which was there to hold one sheet of glossy paper (also not made from recycled content). That's it -- a folder with a sheet of paper inside. The sheet of paper had two paragraphs on it, and a nice picture. I figured I was missing something (this happens), so I leafed through all of that company's other stuff, and it was all the same -- one folder, one sheet of paper, two paragraphs on the paper. Jeepers! You've heard of "shoot the piano player?" For this company, it was time to take the PR person out onto the street -- and drop a piano on his/her head from a 7th-story window.

C. Another green-ish company included its annual report in its press kit. The thing was thick, but it was not a lot of pages; it seemed to be printed, maybe, on recycled paper. But I went through the AR several times, and did not find a single place where it said it was printed on recycled paper. This leads to questions:

c-1 -- if you're going to say you are into renewable technologies and are a green company, why would you do it, in part, via a thick document at an event like this . . . especially if not printed on recycled paper?

c-2 -- Let's say the thing WAS done on recycled paper. Why wouldn't you tell the world about that, in several places in that document?

c-3 -- And: Why include your annual report in a press kit? Do you think "green" media types make enough money to actually invest in your stock?

D. RETECH 2010 had a bunch of high-profile attendees -- lawyers, financial industry types, and accountants. This freaked me out. Truly, you cannot make progress in our nation without these people; they have made sure of that! And yes, the financial segment comprised 40% of the total S&P 500 profits in 2007 (although maybe those profits vaporize into thin air if/when you stare hard enough at them). OK, Jill is right -- I'm not entirely rational. But when a guy from J.P. Morgan Capital was introduced as a member of one panel, I bolted. I was afraid of what might come out of my mouth. I am not a violent person, but I was writing in my notebook some really nasty things to ask the guy in the Q-and-A.

Here's the nicest: "Please tell us why any of us should permit you to leave the room alive."

I was wearing a badge that identified me with tED magazine. I couldn't ask such questions (some of the others included profanity).

So I bolted.

Next up: Can coal be green?

Joe Salimando of EFJ Enterprises is a consultant, web content provider, and wordsmith based in Oakton, Va. To contact him, call 703-255-1428. See also The EleBlog.



The Light Brigade - New Outside Plant Emergency Restoration Training Course

The Light Brigade announces a new two-day technical training course for Outside Plant Emergency Restoration. This course, which is available only as a custom course, places heavy emphasis on fault location, troubleshooting, and test equipment. It culminates in a second day of hands-on practices that simulate actual field restorations for retrievable and non-retrievable slack scenarios.

Whether the fiber cable network is above or below ground, inside or outside a building, the words “emergency restoration” strike fear in any network or outside plant manager. Network outages can cost ten of thousands of dollars every hour your system is offline. When (not if) a problem occurs, it is critical not only to have a recovery program in place, but to have staff that is trained to deal with the emergency in timely, cost-efficient manner.

Course attendees will learn:

Why and where singlemode fiber cables fail in the outside plant and how to troubleshoot and repair them in a timely manner

Typical cable management products used in the OSP and emergency restorations including singlemode fibers and cable structures

Retrievable and nonretrievable slack scenarios for aerial, underground, and ducted restorations

Test equipment used for maintenance and emergency restoration, including the optical time domain reflectometer

Restoration planning

Network planning, design, and maintenance

About The Light Brigade
The Light Brigade, a division of AFL Telecommunications LLC, is the world’s leading fiber optic training company having trained over 38,000 students in its public and customized classes. The curriculum covers the entire spectrum of fiber optics from basic theory and design to maintenance and testing, through advanced topics such as FTTx, DWDM, SONET, PMD/CD, and fiber-optic video transmission. The Light Brigade also produces professional-quality educational DVDs and CDs, a self-paced computerized training module, and self-study courses. For more information on The Light Brigade’s educational programs, visit


CEP Certification, LLC Announces March 2010 Certified Electrical Professionals™ Certification Recognizes Education, Training, Experience and Professionalism in Electrical Distribution

ST. LOUIS… CEP Certification, LLC (CEP Certification) a limited liability corporation established by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announces the March 2010 Certified Electrical Professional – Inside Sales™ (CEP – IS™) and Certified Electrical Professional – Outside Sales™ (CEP – OS™) certificants.

CEP is a certification program for distributors, manufacturers and others in the electrical distribution channel. Certification gives the holder credibility in their industry and increases the professionalism of the industry as a whole. CEP certification identifies that the holder has demonstrated expertise in areas such as product knowledge, customer service, sales skills, and other skills giving them added credibility in the electrical industry.

The following have been awarded the Certified Electrical Professional – Inside Sales:

Bruce James Andersen

Butler Supply, Inc.

Fenton, MO

Pam Campbell

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Bloomington, IL

Samuel C. Cribb

Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, Inc.

Florence, SC

Michael P. Crowe

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Springfield, IL

Andrew DiFranco

Electric Supply, Inc.

Tampa, FL

Dwayne A. Egli

Dakota Supply Group

Bismarck, ND

Jerry M. Gass

Butler Supply

Centralia, IL

David A. Johnson

Border States Electric Supply

Albuquerque, NM

Jeff Kumpf

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Bloomington, IL

Joe Larson

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Springfield, IL

Mandy L. Maloblocki

WESCO Distribution, Inc.

Hammond, IN

Kevin D. Martin

WESCO Distribution, Inc.

Hammond, IN

Charlene Masone

Electric Supply, Inc.

Tampa, FL

Kari Mayer

WESCO Distribution, Inc.

Hammond, IN

Scott L. Penley

Schaedler YESCO Distribution Inc.

York, PA

Steven D. Roten

Schaedler YESCO Distribution Inc.

Lancaster, PA

Brian D Schmitgall

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Bloomington, IL

Jeff Sterling

The Hite Company

Pittsburgh, PA

Heath Stinebaker

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Springfield, IL

Bill I. Stonecipher Jr.


Lebanon, MO

Jeff Tiezzi

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Decatur, IL

The following have been awarded the Certified Electrical Professional – Outside Sales:

Edward Bennett

Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, Inc.

Florence, SC

Pearl Bradley


Hamilton, OH

James L. Carmack

Butler Supply

Moberly, MO

Brad Centola

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Decatur, IL

Eric Collins

Republic Companies

Davenport, IA

James G. Dick Jr.

The Hite Company

Meadville, PA

Mark Gassen

Republic Companies

Davenport, IA

Scott J. Gehle

Dickman Supply

Sidney, OH

Mark R. Haborak


Alexandria, VA

Robert Charles Hanson

J.H. Larson Company

Watertown, SD

John S. Leombruni

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Rockford, IL

James M. Manning

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Peru, IL

Thomas "TJ" Nance


Tampa, FL

Scott Ohlsen

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Moline, IL

Steven E. Parn

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Springfield, IL

Dale Pinegar

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Danville, IL

David C. Powell Jr.

The Hite Company

Pittsburgh, PA

Michael Stuart

Springfield Electric Supply Company

Decatur, IL

Darrin Vatnsdal

Dakota Supply Group

Grand Forks, ND

The next set of test dates will be July 12-23, 2010, interested candidates should begin preparing now. For suggested courses, FAQs, candidate guides, sample exam questions, self assessments, and other helpful materials, visit the CEP home page at Or contact NAED Customer Service at or toll-free at (888) 791-2512.

CEP Certification, LLC (CEP Certification) is a limited liability corporation established by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) to develop and administer certification and recertification processes for the purpose of designating those individuals who have met CEP Certification professional knowledge standards. The mission of CEP Certification is to enhance the performance of individuals working in the electrical distribution industry by setting standards for the performance of industry job roles and assessing individuals against these standards.

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.

Click here to download a pdf of this release.


The FOA news for HOTS - March 2010

Fiber Optic Safety is IMPORTANT – Free Fiber Optic Safety Poster

At the FOA we get lots of calls and emails with questions about about fiber optic safety. We refer everyone to our web pages on safety ( and we often get requests to reprint it for distribution to employees. Recently, we got a request to reprint part of it for posting on a job site, so we created a Fiber Optic Safety Poster ( that you can download, print and post on your job site, training lab, manufacturing facility, etc.

Free Self-Study Program on "Fiber U" (

As we announced last month, the FOA is bringing back "Fiber U" or Fiber University and Lennie Lightwave to offer free online training in fiber optics and cabling at We have just finished a self-study program “The Basics of Fiber Optics” at Fiber U that is free to everybody. It’s aimed at novices who want to learn about fiber optics or “old hands” who want to update and refresh their knowledge. The program takes advantage of all the technical materials on the The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide and the new textbook the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics. We have created a lesson plan that leads you through 10 lessons from the basics of fiber optics to installation practices. Each lesson gives you reading assignments and then tests your comprehension. You can take the course online or using the textbook - both are referenced in the lesson plans. Go to Fiber U ( and try it yourself.

At Fiber U, we have also added eleven "Virtual Hands-On" Tutorials that show you how common processes in fiber optics (cable preparation, splicing and termination) are done.

Where Can You Find More News on Fiber Optics?

The FOA Monthly Online Newsletter is a good place to find information about what’s going on in fiber optics. Each month contains articles summarized from the usual sources but also from our own reporting about important issues like where US stimulus money is being spent, how Google wants broadband to offer 1 Gb/s over fiber to everybody’s home, what’s happening in standards committees, what kinds of technical questions we’re being asked by our readers and contributions from our network of fiber optic and cabling experts. The FOA Monthly Online Newsletter is online at

About the FOA

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is an nonprofit educational organization chartered to promote fiber optics and premises cabling through education, certification and standards. Over 250 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified more than 29,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA has the largest online technical reference for fiber optics and offers free online introductory fiber optic programs at Fiber U (

For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website, email  or call 1-760-451-3655.


Legrand | Ortronics Announces Creation of the Ortronics® Layer Zero™ Ecosystem

New London, CT, March 3, 2010 – Legrand | Ortronics, a global leader in high performance network infrastructure solutions, proudly announces the creation of the Ortronics Layer Zero Ecosystem program.

Layer Zero, introduced by Legrand | Ortronics, is the revolutionary new foundation layer for the ISO/OSI model.  Layer Zero - the Infrastructure Layer™ - addresses the critical role that infrastructure plays in network performance. Recognizing the importance of the underlying physical infrastructure layer and emphasizing best practices in pathway and physical support design provides a new level of stability to the network.

The expertise of Legrand | Ortronics in layer one technology enables the development of superior infrastructure solutions for Layer Zero. These solutions combine knowledge of customer requirements with insightful product design to leverage gains across the entire network.  The right equipment at Layer Zero will address the key factors of airflow, density, protection and performance while also providing significant energy savings. 

Legrand | Ortronics has developed the Layer Zero Ecosystem program to provide customers with recommended resources for other facets of their Layer Zero infrastructure. "We're collaborating with innovative companies who share our vision of utilizing the infrastructure layer to optimize networks.  Our Layer Zero Ecosystem will include companies with complementary technologies that round out our Layer Zero solution, providing a complete infrastructure solution for the client," states Tony Walker, Director of Advanced Marketing for Legrand | Ortronics.  

This exclusive network will facilitate the co-engineering of products to better complement each other - products that enable a network manager to implement comprehensive solutions that are scalable, sustainable and help secure a competitive advantage. The ecosystem will include the best-in-class company from each of the following sectors: cooling, power management, raised floor, perforated tiles, active equipment, cable trays, cabling, pathways, mobile data center, environmental sensors, collocation cages, storage and thermal imaging.  In addition, Legrand | Ortronics is continuing to identify adjacent areas for additional alliance opportunities.

Legrand | Ortronics (, headquartered in New London, Connecticut, USA.  is a global leader in high performance network infrastructure solutions, offering a complete range of Category 5e, 6 and 10 Gig copper, fiber optic, and residential/MDU connectivity solutions, as well as Layer Zero physical support solutions including Cablofil® wire mesh cable tray and Wiremold® pathways.

About Legrand:

Legrand is the global specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks where people live and work. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for suppliers worldwide. Legrand has a strong presence in the North American market, with a portfolio of products that includes Cablofil, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Vantage, Watt Stopper and Wiremold. The company is actively expanding its market divisions that include Electrical Wiring Systems, Home Systems, Lighting Controls and Commercial Datacom.  Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value is a prime vector for growth. Legrand reported sales of $5.0 billion in 2009. The company is listed on Euronext and is a component stock of indexes including the SBF120. FTSE4Good, MSCI World and ASPI (ISIN code FR0010307819).


Legrand | Ortronics and Triad Raised Access Floors by NxGen, LLC announce Layer Zero™ Ecosystem alliance

New London, CT, March 9, 2010 – Legrand | Ortronics, a global leader in high performance network infrastructure solutions, and Triad Raised Access Floors by NxGen, LLC, providers of multi-patented raised access floor designs, proudly announce their alliance under the Ortronics® Layer Zero Ecosystem program.

Layer Zero, introduced by Legrand | Ortronics, is the revolutionary new foundation layer for the ISO/OSI model.  Layer Zero - the Infrastructure Layer™ - addresses the critical role that infrastructure plays in network performance.   This innovative approach to network design can have a dramatic effect on the system by lowering the overall temperature in the facility, reducing the risk of equipment failure and enhancing system performance, all while providing significant energy savings.

Legrand | Ortronics developed the Layer Zero Ecosystem program in order to provide customers with recommended resources for other elements of their Layer Zero infrastructure. "We're partnering with innovative companies like Triad who share our vision of utilizing the infrastructure layer to optimize networks," states Tony Walker, Director of Advanced Marketing for Legrand | Ortronics.  Thomas Weiss, Sr. Vice President at Triad Raised Access Floors by NxGen, LLC, states, “The Layer Zero alliance with Ortronics positions us to associate with best-in-class industry peers to provide creative cooling solutions for our customers.”

The collaboration between Legrand | Ortronics and Triad brings together two companies focused on providing customers with a more complete thermal management solution for their infrastructure needs.  This will facilitate co-engineering of products to better complement one another - products that enable a network manager to implement comprehensive solutions that are scalable, sustainable and help secure a competitive advantage.

Ortronics Layer Zero solutions include the Mighty Mo® 10 advanced cable management rack and Mighty Mo cabinet, which are designed to maximize network equipment airflow by maintaining cold-aisle/hot-aisle airflow.  Triad cooling solutions include the Triad 56 and Triad 65 high density airflow panels with the hi-plume stratification fin, which act as delivery mechanisms to optimize air flow for side-to-side cooling.  These products work in concert to manage and improve the whole airflow system, eliminate hotspots and more effectively manage thermal fluctuations.  This reduces the total cost of ownership by increasing cooling efficiency, maximizing network performance and ultimately reducing power consumption.


Rexel’s results in 2009 included a -31% for U.S. sales (with Q4 down 30%)

 Global full-year sales came in near $15.4 billion. Also in Distributor News: Details on federal supply contracts won by eight companies, data center best practices, an aviation certification for a Sonepar unit, an exclusive deal for Power and Telephone Supply, and four items picked up by watching what Walmart is up to.



How A Unified Approach to Security Improves ROI, Cuts Costs

Please join: Open Options, Milestone Systems, Stentofon and Security Products

Topic: Managed Integration - Open Options, Milestone, and Stentofon together proving that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Date: Wednesday - April 14, 2010

Time: 2 PM (EST) 11 AM (PST)

Register Today at:


Converging the best in IP technology to deliver a holistic, unified security solution through a common platform incorporating IP-based access control, digital video management, and IP critical communications with a lower total cost of ownership and higher return on investment.   Open Options, Milestone Systems, and Stentofon collaborate and illustrate why integrating together as a complete IP access control solution and providing one common source for three leading technologies can produce the most effective result possible in access technology.

In this event, speakers from each company will explain the importance of each specific element (access, video, data, and audio) and clarify how when used together create an optimal solution.  Operating a complete structure from one single interface as a complete security solution proves to be much more effective than separating the components and operating each alone.

Presenting during the webinar:

Steve Fisher, President and CEO of Open Options, Inc.

Steve has been in the security integration industry since 1988. In addition to his experience and leadership in the sales, installation and service of sophisticated access control & CCTV integrations, he holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

Tim Palmquist, Director of Sales for the Western US and Canada at Milestone Systems.

Tim has a well diversified background in both IT and security. Before joining Milestone Systems, Palmquist spent 15 years in the IT industry including promoting the convergence of both voice and physical security to IP.

Dan Rothrock,Senior Vice President OEM Sales of Stentofon.

Dan has 26 years experience in the electronics industry. Since 1975 he has worked at the dealer level as an independent representative and a distributor/manufacturer and began working for STENTOFON Communications, Inc. in 1990.

A Q&A session will be held during the last 15 minutes of the Webinar.

Date: Wednesday - April 14, 2010

Time: 2 PM (EST) 11 AM (PST)

Register Today at:


Siemon Launches Extended-Depth Version of the VersaPOD™ Data Center Cabinet Solution for High-Density Switch Environments

New 1200mm (48 inch) deep VersaPOD VP2 cabinet system combines VersaPOD VP1’s high density ZERO-U vertical patching capability with additional cable management space for popular higher density switch, server, SAN, and distribution area configurations.

February 26, 2010, Watertown, CT — Siemon introduces an extended-depth version of its popular VersaPOD Data Center Cabinet Solution, designed to support deeper networking, server and SAN equipment.  Like the 1000mm depth VersaPOD VP1, the new 1200mm (48 inch) deep VersaPOD VP2 integrates bayed data center cabinets with Siemon’s exclusive ZERO-U vertical patching and cable management capability. The VersaPOD VP2’s combination of additional front-to-back cabinet space and space-saving ZERO-U patching is ideal for high-density data center environments, enabling increased cabling and equipment density while providing excellent accessibility and thermal efficiency.

The extended-depth VersaPOD VP2 retains the same standard 760mm (30 inch) width as the original version, leveraging the vertical space between bayed cabinets for patching, cable management or standard 19” vertically mounted PDUs without consuming horizontal mounting space for connectivity.   VersaPOD’s ZERO-U vertical copper and fiber patch panels (VPP) provide up to 24 U of mounting space between every two cabinets while end-of-row panels offer an additional 8U of vertical space for end units.  The top and bottom of the vertical patching units may be populated independently allowing patching, wire management or 19” rack mount PDU’s to co-occupy the bayed space.  The extended depth also creates additional vertical cable management space in both the front and rear of the cabinet for efficient management of high-density cabling, eliminating the need for equipment swing arms while providing aesthetically pleasing, efficiently dressed cabling.

The VersaPOD VP2’s highly configurable design provides options tailored to a wide variety of data center equipment needs and layout and is an ideal solution for central patching, horizontal distribution and main distribution area configurations.  Its 1200mm depth supports today’s deepest  IT equipment , such as Cisco’s popular Nexus 7000 switch and enables it to be populated in both front and rear, decreasing the number of cabinets required for connectivity and freeing up valuable data center space.

Additionally, the VersaPOD VP2’s innovative design provides thermal benefits by segregating cabling channels into the designated cabling area, away from equipment air intake and discharge areas.  By utilizing the vertical space adjacent to the equipment mounting rails, the ZERO-U configuration provides ideal patching proximity to switch equipment, minimizing patch cord runs and slack congestion that can obstruct critical airflow.

In data center designs where cabinet-to-cabinet isolation is desired for side discharge electronics, optional cable trays minimize airflow between bayed cabinets while providing cable channel routing and slack management of cables terminated behind the vertical patch panels. 

The VersaPOD VP2 Data Center Solution's unique design offers full accessibility from the front and rear of each bayed unit. Dual hinged front doors open from both the left and right and are easily removed. Split rear doors offer an innovative quad hinge design, allowing each split door to be independently opened in either direction or removed. With doors and side panels removed, the VersaPOD 2 provides the same accessibility as an open rack.  An open floor design and multiple roof entry points allow flexible routing of horizontal and backbone cable.

For more information in Siemon's VersaPOD, as well as other Siemon network cabling and connectivity innovations, visit


About Siemon:

Established in 1903, Siemon ( is a global industry leader in the development and manufacture of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. Headquartered in Watertown, Connecticut, USA, Siemon operates directly in over 30 countries and through its channels services customers in over 100 countries. 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 active patents, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and is actively involved with numerous industry standards organizations around the world.

Siemon™ and VersaPOD™ are trademarks of The Siemon Company.  All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.



Cover story "A new breed of Halogen-Free cables" from CI&M Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine February 2010 issue

General Cable introduces halogen-free riser-rated cable

For several years the structured cabling industry as a whole has been on the outside looking in on the activities of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC; To wit, many in the industry have sought an answer to the question, what characteristics of a structured cabling system’s design, installation, or maintenance can affect a facility’s ability to earn points toward the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation? Industry educational association BICSI ( invited a high-ranking USGBC official to speak at its conference, and behind the scenes developed a working relationship with the USGBC, in efforts to gain the organization’s recognition of cabling systems as important elements of a facility’s sustainability.

In November 2009, the USGBC issued what it calls LEED Pilot Credit 2. Organizations that want to earn the LEED designation must accumulate enough credits to qualify. The USGBC uses pilot credits to test and refine its credits. The pilot credit issued in November is the first from the USGBC to mention a building’s wiring and cable jacketing; it specifically mentions electrical cable and wire jacketing. Its official name is Pilot Credit 2: PBT Source Reduction: Dioxins and Halogenated Organic Compounds. “PBT” stands for persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals. The credit’s stated intent is to reduce the release of PBTs associated with the life cycle of building materials.

In order to gain the credit, a facility must use materials without added halogenated organic compounds for at least 75 percent, by cost, of the materials total in a minimum of three out of four groups. In addition to building-installed electrical cable and wire jacketing, the other groups are: exterior components, interior finishes; and piping, conduit, and electrical boxes.

Materials at issue

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) are two of the halogenated organic compounds covered in the credit. Both are used in high quantities to manufacture communications cables; in the case of plenum cable FEP is used and PVC is used in cables of all ratings (e.g. plenum, riser, general). As such, the communications cables typically used in buildings today will not help a building owner gain this new pilot credit.

Shortly after this pilot credit was issued, General Cable introduced a set of halogen-free riser-rated cables. The company is calling its new Category 5e and Category 6 riser cables 17 Free, a trademarked term referring to the fact that halogens fall into Group 17 of the Periodic Table of Elements. The cables do not contain any chlorine, fluorine, bromine, or iodine.

“General Cable is committed to achieving industry-leading standards and responding proactively to environmental issues,” said Bob Kenny, vice president and general manager for communications cables with General Cable. “As part of this commitment, we continue to find innovative ways to exceed the requirements of our customers. Our 17 Free product line is a great example of turning end-user feedback into reality.”

Years of development

The close timing of this announcement with the LEED pilot credit is not coincidental because, as Kenny explained in an interview with Cabling Installation & Maintenance, General had been working on a halogen-free cable “for several years. I believed the first company to get halogens out of cable would win in terms of USGBC and LEED credit.

“Our first inclination was to apply with USGBC for an innovation credit,” he explained. USGBC describes an innovation credit as follows. “Innovation in Design credits for innovative performance are awarded for comprehensive strategies which demonstrate quantifiable environmental benefits not specifically addressed by current LEED Rating Systems.” With building cabling going unmentioned in any LEED credit system before Pilot Credit 2 was issued, Kenny saw the innovation credit as an opportunity to capitalize on the 17 Free cables’ halogen-free construction. “They came out with the pilot credit before we approached them for the innovation credit,” he stated.

In addition to specifically mentioning PVC and FEP, the LEED pilot credit states that it covers all plastics containing chlorine or fluorine; as well as all brominated or halogenated flame retardants containing bromine, chlorine, or fluorine.

“The vast majority of cables have PVC in them,” Kenny said. “A large amount have FEP in them, and a large amount have bromine,” he added, underscoring the idea that most cables installed in the United States today are covered by the pilot credit—meaning they are materials whose use the credit aims to reduce.

Kenny explained that the years in which General’s new cables were under development allowed opportunities for he and other members of the company to conduct field research that could maximize how worthwhile their efforts would be. He recalled, “For the past year I have been asking consultants what they would consider to be ‘green.’ The resounding feedback was twofold: one, there must be a LEED credit associated with it; and two, it has to be economically viable. ‘Don’t come to me with a green cable that costs three times as much,’ they said.”

Physical and electrical characteristics

In addition to economic feasibility, another key objective was to create a cable with physical and handling characteristics users will accept. “Our goal was not to make a European-style low-smoke, zero-halogen cable with a stiff jacket,” said Kenny. “Developing a cable that looks and installs like PVC was probably the most difficult thing to overcome.”

He said that General’s in-house compound-manufacturing capability helped the development process. “We were not at the mercy of suppliers to innovate new compounds. Our in-house-developed compounds were specially designed for this task. The compounds we’re using have been in use for many years. We’ve altered some of their characteristics, but the materials science has existed for years.”

He added that gaining the riser rating with a halogen-free cable construction proved to be a challenging but not unachievable task. Achieving Category 5e and 6 performance was a different story. “Because it’s polyolefin-based, the electricals are excellent,” Kenny said. “The electrical performance was the easiest part of the project.”

As riser-rated cables, the 17 Free products can be used in portions of buildings that are not air-handling (plenum) spaces, although Kenny pointed out, “In some jurisdictions, like Chicago, conduit must be used in plenum spaces. Riser cable can go in those conduits. Data centers also use riser-rated cable.”

A data center may be a particularly appropriate environment for halogen-free cables if the facility has ambitions to gain LEED certification from the USGBC. Kenny was careful not to be misleading about the benefits of using 17 Free cables. “We’re not saying that if you buy this cable you’re going to get a LEED credit,” he said. “We have a material that fits one of the LEED credit categories. We’re providing a product that fits the bill.”

Plenum considerations

Given that General Cable put substantial effort into achieving a riser rating for these halogen-free cables, the idea of a plenum-rated halogen-free cable is a challenging one. The prospect of such an undertaking “is going to be controversial,” Kenny predicted. “Can it be pulled off for plenum cable? That’s going to be the big question mark—is it practical or realistic? We took a step that I think is going to create a tremendous amount of discussion.”

While the cabling industry might just be getting started with the idea of halogen-free riser- or plenum-rated cables, General Cable states it is not finished developing new cable technologies. When announcing the 17 Free products, the company’s director of technical services Scott Brown said, “I believe this proactive initiative reflects our stewardship to produce more environmentally sustainable products without compromising our high standards of safety and performance. And we are working to develop other sustainable 17 Free cable options, including riser-rated premise fiber cables.”

Reprinted with permission from PennWell’s Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine cover story "A new breed of Halogen-Free cables" from CI&M Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine February 2010 issue

Additional impact areas:


First       - LEEDS credits in the private sector

Second – Federal GSA approved EPP (Environmentally Preferred Purchasing)

Note: communication cable in the federal budget is estimated at approximately $14 billion per annum

EPP – Environmentally Preferable Purchasing* - “Green Procurement”  

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) is a federal-wide program that encourages and assists Executive agencies in the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services.  These products have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose.  These LISTED products minimize environmental and safety risks and liabilities.  [*1998 Presidential Executive Order 13101]

The EPP program affects all purchasing resulting from direct federal funds.  EPP will have an impact on more than $440 billion of federal spending per year. GSA (General Services Administration) spends more than $200 billion annually on goods and services plus an additional $240 billion a year, indirectly, through grant disbursements.   The portion of that budget which has an impact on wire & cable infrastructure is estimated at approximately $14 billion per annum. 

The U.S. federal government is the single largest consumer of goods and services in the U.S., and probably, in the world.  The nation's 87,000 federal, state, and local government offices spend more than $385 billion per year in purchases.   This represents approximately one in every five dollars spent in the economy. 

Furthermore, the nation's 37,000 colleges and universities spend about $300 billion yearly on purchases (more than the budgets of all but 20 countries in the world). 

EPP - A Priority Task

EPP will have an impact on all GEMS [Government * Education * Medical sectors].  However, there is a major glitch in the current situation.  No one has submitted and received approval of datacom cable connectors as an EPP listing for wire & cable infrastructure products.  This must be a priority in order for the financial rewards of the EPP directive to be captured in the cabling market sector. 

CPC can assist the manufacturer in the submittal and approval process to obtain GSA "EPP Listing" and recognition of its cabling products.  This qualification process is required in order to make claims that the FEP-Free, LEAD-Free products are EPP compliant.  National guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with the cooperation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are available to help companies make sure their green claims don’t run afoul of the law. The FTC Act prohibits deceptive acts or practices, including deceptive representations in advertising, labeling, product inserts, catalogs, and sales presentations.

When you combine private sector pressures from the buyers’ side and " the NEW decision makers" in the Building Owners & Managers group (BOMA, NAIOP, etc.) with the public sector and the unfolding EPA program for a federal wide EPP mandate, the market pressure demanding a safer cabling infrastructure will increase to a level that we have not seen in several years.


TIA news

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Elects New Chair, Vice-Chair for Cabling Standards Committee

Bob Jensen of Fluke Networks Elected Chair of TIA's TR-42 Engineering Committee; Valerie Maguire of the Siemon Company Elected Vice-Chair

Arlington, Va. – At its most recent meeting earlier this month, TIA's TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling Systems engineering committee elected Bob Jensen of Fluke Networks as Chairman and Valerie Maguire of the Siemon Company as Vice-Chair. Elections were also held for leadership positions for several of the committee's subcommittees.

Engineering Committee TR-42 develops and maintains voluntary telecommunications standards for telecommunications cabling infrastructure in user-owned buildings, such as commercial buildings, residential buildings, homes, data centers, health care facilities, industrial buildings, etc. The generic cabling topologies, design, distances and outlet configurations as well as specifics for these locations are addressed. The committee's standards work covers requirements for copper and optical fiber cabling components (such as cables, connectors and cable assemblies), installation, and field testing in addition to the administration, pathways and spaces to support the cabling.

TIA congratulates Jensen and Maguire along with the following chairs and vice-chairs on their appointment to lead the TIA TR-42 standards program for the next two years.

TR-42 Committee on Telecommunications Cabling Systems
Chair: Bob Jensen, Fluke Networks
Vice- Chair: Valerie Maguire, the Siemon Company

TR-42.2 Subcomittee on Residential Telecommunications Infrastructure
Chair: Ray Emplit, the Wiremold
Vice-Chair: Bob Jensen, Fluke Networks

TR-42.4 Subcomittee on Customer-Owned Outside Plant Telecommunications Infrastructure
Chair: Julie Roy, C2 Consulting
Vice-Chair: Jamie Silva, Corning

TR-42.6 Subcomittee on Telecommunications Infrastructure and Equipment Administration
Chair: Steve Huffaker, JPMorgan Chase and Company
Vice-Chair: Jonathan Jew, J&M Consulting

TR-42.12 Subcommittee on Optical Fibers and Cables
Chair: Mike Kinard, OFS
Vice-Chair: Brett Lane, Panduit Corporation

TR-42.13 Subcommittee on Passive Optical Devices and Components
Chair: David Fisher, Tyco Electronics
Vice-Chair: Helmet Knehr, Telcordia Technologies

TR-42.16 Subcommittee on Premises Telecommunications Bonding & Grounding
Chair: Mark Harger, Harger, Inc.
Vice-Chair: Richard Jones, Richard Jones Consulting

"On behalf of TIA, I want to express our deep gratitude to TR-42's newest leaders," said TIA Vice President for Technology and Business Development Cheryl Blum. "This is an energized group and the important standards they work to develop and maintain have great impact, improving telecommunications cabling technology in ways that make it more energy efficient and effective in creating a sustainable world."

TIA also thanks all the past Chairs and Vice-Chairs who have served and supported the TR-42 standards development process.

The committee also approved the merger of subcommittee TR-42.8 Optical Fiber Cabling Systems (568 B.3) into the TR-42.11 Optical Systems subcommittee, which is chaired by Paul Kolesar.

For more about TR-42, please contact Teesha Jenkins at For media inquiries, please contact Mike Snyder:

To learn more about how to participate in TIA standards development, please contact Director for Technology and Business Development Stephanie Montgomery at

To obtain copies of TIA standards, contact IHS International at +1.800.854.7179 (United States and Canada); +1.303.397.7796 (international) or visit

Sign up for RSS feeds on standards and other TIA news.

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, advocacy, tradeshows, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide environmental regulatory analysis. 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.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Visit

TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS, ADC, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, ANDA Networks, AttivaCorp, Bechtel Communications, Inc., Cisco Systems, Corning Incorporated, Ericsson, Inc., GENBAND, Inc., Graybar, Henkels & McCoy, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, Intersect, Inc., LGE, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, Openwave, Inc., Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Powerwave Technologies, Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tellabs, Tyco Electronics, Ulticom, Inc., and Verari Systems. Advisors to the Board include FAL Associates, Orca Systems and Telcordia Technologies.

For more information about this press release or other TIA or EIATRACK news, please contact TIA PR Director Mike Snyder at

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Commends FCC for Addressing Accessibility as Part of National Broadband Plan

Innovation and Industry/Government Collaboration Are Keys to Delivering Affordable, Accessible Technology to People with Disabilities

Arlington, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) commends the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its work to address the accessibility and affordability barriers faced by people with disabilities as part of the National Broadband Plan now being developed by the FCC for Congress.

A conference held today brought together government officials, including FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, consumers with disabilities, industry groups, and academics to discuss how to fulfill Congress’s vision that all Americans, including people with disabilities, share fully in the benefits of broadband.

Discussion centered on the National Broadband Plan’s working recommendations and exploration of the role of innovation; the need for legal, policy, and regulatory changes; and the importance of collaborative problem-solving and open government processes. The technologies manufactured by TIA member companies embrace the Plan’s goal of utilizing innovation to drive accessibility.

"The information and communications technology industry is driven by innovation, which is key to creating technology that is affordable and accessible to people with disabilities," said TIA President Grant Seiffert. "TIA recognizes the importance of a focused, cooperative effort by industry and government to deliver accessible broadband-enabled technologies. That’s why we support a Broadband Accessibility Working Group lead by the Executive Branch."

Over the years, TIA has worked consistently with the disability community, the FCC and the United States Congress on the issue of accessible technology. For example, as the National Broadband Plan has been developed, TIA has filed comments and met with National Broadband Plan staff, and TIA President Grant Seiffert participated in the policy roundtable at the FCC October 20, 2009 workshop on these issues. TIA looks forward to continuing this important work to bring the benefits of broadband technology to all Americans.

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Hails FCC's National Broadband Plan

TIA Endorses the Recommendations Promoting Broadband Adoption and Deployment Using All Available Technology Platforms, and Looks Forward to Working With the FCC, Congress, and the Administration to Implement the Plan

Arlington, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) commends the Federal Communications Commission for its diligence and hard work in creating a National Broadband Plan for the United States. The Commission unveiled its three-tiered broadband plan – focusing on Investment and Innovation, Inclusion, and National Purposes – today and will deliver the plan to Congress tomorrow.

TIA strongly endorses the Plan's recommendations to promote broadband adoption and deployment for every American in a manner that uses all technologies and fosters innovation and competition.

"TIA enjoyed working closely with the Commission in creating the National Broadband Plan," said TIA President Grant Seiffert. "Given the enormous scope of this undertaking, we applaud the Commission for delivering a sound and well-crafted Plan that will help to reinstate and maintain the United States as the most technologically advanced society in the world."

"The Plan's focus on Investment and Innovation, Inclusion, and National Purposes addresses both immediate needs and long-term national technology goals," Seiffert continued. "TIA is particularly pleased that the plan embraces our long-standing support for transition of the Universal Service Fund to broadband. Additionally, the Plan's proposal to free 500 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband will go a long way toward meeting the demand for new products and services. We also laud the Commission's call to swiftly deploy an interoperable public safety network for our nation's first responders. TIA looks forward to partnering with the Commission as it moves forward with its broadband adoption programs, such as its innovative Digital Literacy Corps. Finally, we strongly support the creation of a Broadband Accessibility Working Group and Accessibility and Innovation Forum to meet the needs of our nation's disabled citizens."

Over the years, TIA has consistently offered itself as a resource to the FCC and Congress to work toward national technology goals. As the National Broadband Plan was developed, TIA filed numerous comments and met on several occasions with FCC staff members and Commissioners. Additionally, Seiffert participated in the policy roundtable at the FCC October 20, 2009 workshop on accessible technology for persons with disabilities.

"We look forward to further collaborative efforts with the FCC, Congress, and the Administration to implement the Plan's recommendations and ensure that all Americans enjoy the benefits and improved quality of life that broadband-enabled technology provides," Seiffert concluded.

TIA Goes Beyond Green-Washing With ICT Green Boot Camp

Silicon Valley Event on March 18 Features Interactive Panel Discussions on Green Design and Market Access, Policy and the Low-Carbon Economy and Business Opportunities in Green ICT

Arlington, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) will educate Silicon Valley technologists on sustainability, energy and the environment at TIA's ICT Green Boot Camp on March 18. The intensive, interactive half-day program will help companies chart their course for a successful, sustainable future.

As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainable solutions for energy and the environment, TIA works to educate the information and communications technology (ICT) industry on product stewardship, tracking green policy developments and showcasing companies' success stories.

TIA experts will explain the legal issues, certification, policy and legislative implications, R&D, SmartGrid, and the business opportunities that have emerged and are waiting to be grasped by entrepreneurial companies and individuals. The educational conference also provides a networking forum during breakfast and lunch to help ICT companies foster new relationships, encouraging collaboration in developing innovative products for a sustainable future.

Confirmed panel speakers for the March event include ICT industry experts, policy consultants, and members of TIA's EIATRACK environmental intelligence analysis legal team who specialize in tracking global legislation and regulation affecting manufacturers.

TIA Places Increased Emphasis on Events, Sustainability and Market Intelligence with Organizational Shift

TIA's Taly Walsh Becomes Vice President for Sustainability, Intelligence and Networking

Arlington, Va. – As companies in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry increasingly focus on energy efficiency and environmental compliance, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has created an Environmental Pillar highlighting its response to industry need.

Taly Walsh, who formerly served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at TIA, has been tapped to head up the Environmental Pillar, with responsibility for EIATRACK, the Environmental Intelligence Analysis service (

In addition, Walsh is responsible for TIA's annual networking and industry events, including an upcoming ICT Green Boot Camp in Silicon Valley on March 18 and the TIA-hosted ICT Green Hall at Sustainability Virtual Summits, the next one being held on March 30-April 1.

Finally, Walsh is charged with growing the Market Intelligence pillar of TIA, building upon the annual ICT Market Review & Forecast produced by TIA.

"We're on a fast-track to establish a highly functional organization to respond to our members' needs," said Grant Seiffert, TIA President. "Taly's years of marketing and membership experience will serve her well in this new capacity."

In the transition, TIA has brought on board a new Vice President for Marketing and Sales, John Jacobs, to head up marketing and membership for the association.

Drill Instructors to Educate Technologists on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment at California TIA ICT Green Boot Camp

Silicon Valley Event on March 18 Features Interactive Panel Discussions on Green Design and Market Access, Policy and the Low-Carbon Economy and Business Opportunities in Green ICT

Arlington, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is gearing up to educate Silicon Valley technologists on sustainability, energy and the environment with TIA's ICT Green Boot Camp. The intensive, interactive half-day program will be held on March 18 to help companies chart their course for a successful, sustainable future.

As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainable solutions for energy and the environment, TIA works to educate the information and communications technology (ICT) industry on product stewardship, tracking green policy developments and showcasing companies' success stories in developing new growth opportunities.

The ICT Green Boot Camp program provides an educational conference and networking forum for companies in the ICT industry to help foster new relationships and encourage collaboration in developing innovative products for a sustainable future.

Confirmed panel speakers for the March event include ICT industry experts, policy consultants, and members of TIA's EIATRACK environmental intelligence analysis legal team who specialize in tracking global legislation and regulation affecting manufacturers.

Pre-registration is now open. As a benefit of TIA membership, there is no charge for members.

March 18, 2010
8 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Program

Holiday Inn-San Jose


Panel 1: Green Design and Market Access

Darren Beck, Manager of Corporate Responsibility, SPRINT

Heather Bowman*, Senior Counsel, Holland & Knight

Joe Johnson, Senior Manager, Environmental Affairs, CISCO

Laura Metz Duncan, Attorney, Beveridge and Diamond

Stan Salot, President, The Electronic Components Certification Board (ECCB)

Panel 2: Policy and the Low-Carbon Economy in the Information Age

Joseph Andersen*, Energy & Environmental Policy Expert, TIA

Stephen Harper, Global Director for Environment and Energy Policy, Intel

Bruce Nordman, Researcher for Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Michael Terrell, Energy Policy Counsel, Google

Panel 3: Business Opportunities in Green ICT

Bill Birnie, VP, General Manager, New Business Growth, Panasonic

Chuck Graff, Director, Core Technology, Verizon

Steve Pazol, President nPhase, Qualcomm

Susan Schramm*, Head of Marketing, Nokia Siemens Networks

* Panel Moderators

Non-Members: $ 39.00

Non-Member: $ 49.00

Walk-ins will be accepted on a space-available basis.

The event is open to media, at no charge.

About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, advocacy, tradeshows, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide environmental regulatory analysis. Since 1924, TIA ha 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.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Visit


Tyco Electronics and Brand-Rex Approve IDEAL LanTEK II for Certification of Structured Cable Systems

SYCAMORE, IL, February 26, 2010 --  IDEAL INDUSTRIES today announced that its new LanTEK® II cable certifier series has been approved by Tyco Electronics and Brand-Rex, two leading global suppliers of structured cabling systems for data networks.

Brand-Rex approved the LanTEK® II series for certification of the installed performance of Brand-Rex 10GPlus, Cat6Plus and GigaPlus structured cabling systems in channel, permanent link or CP link configurations against the published international standards. Tyco fully approves the LanTEK II for its Category 5e, Category 6 and Category 6A cable solutions.

Ken Hodge, R&D Manager at Brand-Rex Ltd commented: "The new LanTEK® II cable certifier is a significant advancement in test technology. In our tests, the LanTEK® II proved reliable and consistent in the measurement of both screened and unscreened cabling systems."

According to Robert A. Zahr, Systems Engineering Manager for Tyco: "The results of this qualification test greatly exceeded our expectations with respect to the accuracy levels of key electrical parameters reported by the LanTEK II series testers used in this evaluation."

The LanTEK® II cable certifier series provides certification to TIA, ISO and IEC LAN cabling standards. In addition, IDEAL's FiberTEK® FDX fibre optic modules enable the LanTEK® II to certify multi-mode and single mode fibre to TSB Tier 1 standards.

The three new LanTEK® II models (frequency ranges of 350MHz, 500MHz and 1GHz) offer faster test speeds, a 10.5cm widescreen display and improved Lithium-Ion batteries, with up to 18 hours of field use. The range makes use of IDEAL's patented measurement system, which provides reduced cost of ownership by eliminating expensive permanent link adaptors. The unique DUALmode™ test function enables the user to test a copper link against two different standards with a single Autotest, making it easy to test a link to current standards, as well as measure the performance margin against future standards with higher performance requirements; while adding only one second to the Autotest time.

For more information, contact IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., Becker Place, Sycamore, Illinois 60178. Or phone 1-800-435-0705, Fax: 1-800-533-4483. On the web, Also visit


Who reads newspapers? = HUMOR

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the
country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country
but don't really understand the New York Times. They do,
however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running
the country -- if they could find the time -- and if they
didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the
country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News  is read by people who aren't too sure who's
running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8 The New York Post is read by people who don't care who is running the
country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably
while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running (from) another
country but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure if
there is a country or that anyone is running it, but if so, they
oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the
leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist gay dwarfs who
also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy,
provided of course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the
grocery store.

12. The Seattle Times, the Eugene Register-Guard, the Portland
Oregonian and Nashville Tennessean are read by people who have
recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.


Siemon’s Headquarters Goes Zero Landfill as Part of its “Greener Cabling” Effort

October, 2009 Watertown, CT, USASiemon, a worldwide leader in IT network infrastructure, today announced that its global headquarters and United States manufacturing facility is a zero-landfill operation.  According to an extensive ISO-14001 driven internal audit, over 99% of the waste material at Siemon’s Watertown, CT campus is recycled, reused or repurposed in an environmentally sustainable manner. Siemon is the first and only network cabling manufacturer to achieve this notable green milestone and the first manufacturing company in the State of Connecticut to reach this level of recycling.

As part of extensive efficiency and environmental management programs, Siemon maintains a 95% recycling rate on all waste material, including manufacturing by-products and office scrap.  These ongoing recycling efforts ensured that over 900 tons of waste materials were reused in 2008 alone.  All remaining non-recyclable items are transported to a local waste-to-energy plant, where they are incinerated under carefully controlled conditions to produce electricity.  A small amount of ash, the by-product of the waste-to-energy process, is all that reaches a landfill.

This program combines extended recycling capabilities with strong employee support. Clearly marked recycling stations are located throughout the facility to help separate waste material into proper containers - even compost bins are provided to ensure that food scraps do not end up in the trash.

According to Paul Knickerbocker, Siemon’s Plant Engineering and Facilities Manager, achieving the zero-landfill benchmark was not a function of a single effort, but years of full-scale efficiency and waste management initiatives. “Since 2006, and perhaps even earlier, 97% to 98% of our waste was being repurposed,” explained Knickerbocker.  “To get beyond 99%, we looked hard at our garbage and found that with the right recycling programs, we could divert even more from the garbage waste stream.”

Carl Siemon, the company’s President and CEO, was quick to point out the employees’ role in the zero-landfill achievement. “This is a team effort all the way,” he explained.  “To make it work, everyone at Siemon has truly stepped up their recycling efforts.  While that has paid great dividends here, we also hope it encourages more recycling at home and beyond.”

While zero-landfill status is viewed as a progressive and far-reaching environmental achievement, Knickerbocker cautioned that it is only one element of a comprehensive green effort, joining Siemon’s implementation of a renewable solar energy program, forestland conservation efforts and more.    “When you have made environmental stewardship a matter of corporate culture for as long as we have, it is hard to look at any one benchmark and say ‘we’ve made it.’ We’re proud to be zero-landfill, but we can’t lose sight of Siemon’s other, equally-important green initiatives.” 

For more information on Siemon’s environmental initiatives, visit



Distributor News: 3.18.2010


Graybar’s 2009

Net sales of $4.38 billion for Graybar last year were down 18.9% compared to 2008. “Our performance in 2009 resulted from hard work, a disciplined approach to managing our business, and a consistent focus on our long-term strategy.”

Q4 of 2009 showed $1.074 billion in net sales, down 13.9%. See also the item below providing sales results from various distributors.

Other Graybar news:

Graybar now occupies space in the largest industrial facility in Carteret, N.J., according to Construction began at the place, which is at exit 12 on the New Jersey Turnpike, in 2006. The location is said to be a 35-minute drive from New York City and 20 minutes from the Newark airport. From the piece:

“Graybar Electric occupies 136,000 of the 200,000 square feet comprising the property’s first structure…three other [Graybar] distribution centers in Parsippany, Long Island, and Hauppauge were relocated and consolidated within the Cartetet facility.”

A carbon monoxide leak—which apparently happened at or near a Graybar branch—sent 11 people to the local hospital, according to the website of NBC4 in Columbus, Ohio. The local fire department chief “said the leak originated from a furnace.” The piece indicated that no one who became ill was expected to be kept overnight at the hospital.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2010 Best Places to Work contest includes Graybar among the competitors in the “bigger” category (companies with 51 to 100 employees).

Q4 & Calendar 2009 Sales For Public Distributors

With Graybar’s release of its results, TedMag can now complete this table.

Recent Results of Various Public Distributors


2009 Sales


Q4 2009 Sales

Change/Q4 2008


$4.98 billion

- 18.8%

$1.217 billion

- 16.5%


$6.22 billion

- 9.2%

$1.634 billion

+  2.6%


$4.38 billion


$1.074 billion

- 13.9%

Rexel (U.S.)

$3.32 billion

- 31.9%

   $747 million

- 29.9%


$4.62 billion


$1.133 billion

- 20.8%


Anixter—on March 4, the company said it would buy all of the debt it had sold in an issue (10% senior notes) due in 2014. The offer expires on April 1.

Border States—it awarded 2008-2009 Supplier of the Year honors. Winners included Encore Wire (“above and beyond”), Hubbell Power Systems (technological excellence), and ADB (sales and marketing excellence).

Consolidated Electrical Distributors

Lease—the company leased 9,450 square feet in Tucson, Ariz., according to

Nominee—CED is one of 35 South Carolina employers nominated for the Freedom Award, which honors companies that have done the right thing in terms of employing (and keeping employed) men and women serving in the National Guard and military reserves.

Essco Wholesale Electric—the company, a unit of Sonepar, is now a distributor for Trina Solar (a Chinese firm), which, the Phoenix Business Journal reported March 10, is looking “to set up U.S. channels.” Essco will obtain 25MW of solar panels. This deal, said Scott Tonn, president of Essco, means “We truly are able to be a one-stop distributor for our electrical contractors and solar integration companies.” Essco has nine Arizona locations and three in California.


On-site warehouses—according to Purchasing magazine, Gexpro (a unit of Rexel’s U.S. holding company) “has formed an alliance with PODS…[allowing it to offer] inventory and storage services for large construction projects.” Article.

Schedule with GSA—the General Services Administration has awarded Gexpro a “schedule contract.” According to the company, this “opens the door for Gexpro to sell products to every federal government agency, through a government contracting agent, and to participate in additional government quotes for items that are in the same product classification on the contract.”

Gross Electric—the Toledo, Ohio-headquartered company will hold a product expo on April 27 (with 40-plus vendors), one event in its celebration of its 100th anniversary. The customer event will be followed April 28-May 1 with a retail sale for the public at one of the company’s locations.

IN-Green—is now the distributor in Puerto Rico for PureSpectrum. According to the lighting manufacturer’s release, IN-Green concentrates “on offering energy-efficiency products and technologies to government entities, manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, commercial and residential builders,” and others.

National Electric—the Santa Fe, N.M., company broke ground March 8 (see photo) on “a new state-of-the-art facility” serving Santa Fe and northern New Mexico. “The building will feature a photovoltaic and wind turbine system,” the company said. The facility will have 8,000 square feet.

Platt Electric
—the Beaverton, Oregon-based company donated $4,200 to the Boise Police Canine Foundation. The cash “will cover half the cost of a new police dog,” needed because of the retirement of Biek, an eight-year-old German shepherd. The release with this information, on the Platt site, was undated.

Rexel SA

Olympics—“working alongside the [Vancouver Olympic Committee] and numerous engineering firms, Rexel Canada advised and supplied a great number of well-suited electrical equipment for many projects undertaken” for the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Release.

Unit sold off—the company sold HCL Asia Limited (Hong Kong), described as a distributor of “luxury products such as watches, skin care products, and other fashion-related products in Asian countries through a network of 54 sales outlets” to DKSH Management (Switzerland). Rexel said the sold-off unit was a “non-core” business.

WESCO—the city council of Farmington, N.M., awarded a $56,000 bid to WESCO (Albuquerque branch) for LED street lighting, according to the Daily Times (Feb. 24).

Grainger News

Board of Directors—the company’s shareholders will vote on 12 directors, with results to be tabulated April 28. Richard Keyser, who was chairman from 1997 to 2009, is not on the ballot; he’s been a director since 1992. More here.

February daily sales—up 6% in February (compared to February 2009), the company reported, in the United States. That’s identical to the January report for the United States.

E-commerce—blogger Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier talked about and how it is what “most customers expect.”

M.K. Morsewon a Partners in Performance award from Grainger for 2009.

The Home Depot Watch

Changing things—THD “is redesigning the way it ships merchandise to stores, answers customers’ questions, and showcases its wares on the Internet,” according to the Feb. 24 Wall Street Journal. It’s an effort “to improve productivity and expand profits by revamping a slew of business practices that never changed during the company’s mushrooming growth in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Also: A quote from Craig Menear, chief merchandising officer: “It’s fair to say we took our eye off the ball.”

Layoffs—the company plans to shed 1,000 employees, with 150 of those job cuts to come at its Atlanta headquarters, according to Home Channel News. “The restructuring involves centralizing human resources, pooling the support structure for finance, and streamlining real estimate and construction functions,” according to HCN.

Also: From a report: “Since it has slowed its store openings [THD] no long needs as big of a staff for real estate and construction, the company said.”

Reducing energy use—the company set a goal of cutting GHG emissions “related to the domestic supply chain by 20% over the next five years,” according to a report posted to “More efficient routing, scheduling, and consolidation of store shipments is expected to equate [to] a reduction of 200 million miles driven a year.” Article.

© 2010 The Electrical Distributor. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from tED Magazine


NEMA Supports Carbon Monoxide Legislation; Member Testifies

ROSSLYN, Va., March 18, 2010—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has announced its support of legislation that promotes the value of carbon monoxide alarm and detection devices.

First Alert, a member of NEMA’s Signaling, Protection and Communication Section, today testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection in support of the Residential Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act, HR 1796, sponsored by Representative Jim Matheson (D-NV).

A copy of First Alert’s letter in support of the legislation is available at

NEMA, Security Industry Association (SIA), and Electronic Security Association (ESA) issued a joint letter of support. A copy of the NEMA/SIE/ESA letter is available at

HR 1796 and its Senate companion (S 1216), sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate the American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories (ANSI/UL) Standard 2034, Standard for Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms, as a mandatory consumer product rule.

According to NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, the Residential Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act calls attention to an important life safety issue and promotes the use of quality, effective carbon monoxide detection and notification devices.

“NEMA applauds Congress’ attention to this life-and-death issue and stands ready to work with Representative Matheson, Senator Klobuchar, and the committees of jurisdiction to advance this legislation,” he said.

Once the CPSC acts, CO alarms that do not meet ANSI/UL Standard 2034 will not be available for sale in the U.S. The legislation also establishes a federal grant program to provide funds to states that enact CO detection requirements for public education and training of fire code enforcement officials.

In his Congressional testimony, Mark Devine, vice president of retail marketing for First Alert, endorsed the bill. “We join Representative Matheson and NEMA in their concerns for protecting and preserving human lives, and in their confidence that carbon monoxide alarms installed in residential dwellings,” he said.

First Alert, headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, is a leader in consumer home safety products and a leading manufacturer of carbon monoxide detection and notification devices.

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


BOMA International Extends Green Challenge to Industry Suppliers

WASHINGTON—March 18, 2010) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International has announced an addendum to its 7-Point Challenge Market Transformation Plan that calls on BOMA’s associate members—providers of products and services to the commercial real estate industry—to institute sustainable practices in their business operations.

BOMA’s 7-Point Challenge, launched in July 2007, challenges BOMA members to reduce the use of natural resources, non-renewable energy sources and waste production throughout the commercial building marketplace. Since its launch, BOMA’s 7-Point Challenge has been widely embraced throughout the marketplace, with more than 120 member companies and local associations representing more than three billion square feet of office space endorsing the Challenge.

The new addition to the Challenge calls on BOMA associate members to implement energy efficient and sustainable policies within their corporate facilities and to work with their customers – commercial real estate owners and managers – to provide expertise and knowledge of the products, equipment, services or programs they offer to help customers evaluate green strategies to facilitate market transformation.

Specifically, BOMA calls on its associate members to:

Continuously develop, enhance and market new product and service offerings to the BOMA community, giving members innovative and cost-effective solutions to deploy in the reduction of energy use in existing buildings;

Demonstrate leadership by working towards a goal to decrease energy consumption by 30 percent by 2012 and implement sustainable strategies in your corporate facilities;

Actively participate in public-private partnerships (such as the DOE’s Energy Alliances) to identify voluntary energy efficiency strategies with proven results and application to existing buildings;

Share research and/or case studies on building operating and management practices, equipment replacement, or building retrofit projects, etc., that achieve the goal of reducing energy consumption and result in a positive ROI;

Work with policymakers to enact voluntary, incentive-based programs to accomplish their goals of implementing green strategies;

Work cooperatively within the consensus model building codes process to develop responsible energy codes and green buildings standards that reduce energy consumption utilizing cost-effective and proven technologies; and

Provide opportunities and support for company employees to participate in education programs about energy conservation and sustainable practices.

“Suppliers of commercial building products and services play an integral role in optimizing energy efficiency and sustainability in our industry,” commented BOMA International Chair James A. Peck, RPA, FMA, senior director of asset services, CB Richard Ellis. “By signing on to the Challenge, BOMA associate members demonstrate to their customers, peers and the industry at large that they are committed to providing green solutions that benefit the environment and the bottom line.”

The Challenge has garnered widespread industry and media attention for its ambitious but achievable goal to improve energy efficiency across real estate company portfolios by 30 percent by 2012 (based on an ENERGY STAR® average building rating of 50). Several cities and counties have stepped up to endorse the 7-Point Challenge, including Albuquerque, Denver, Orlando, Phoenix and Orange County, Florida.

For more information about the 7-Point Challenge, visit

* * *

About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 17,000-plus members own or manage more than 9 billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at


ISC Quest

By Megan Weadock

Mar 17, 2010

In just seven days, professionals from around the world will converge on Las Vegas to show off, talk about and ogle the latest in security products and services at ISC West 2010. And with the economy apparently beginning to stagger back to (relative) normalcy, it will be interesting to see how lively the conference gets.

This year, the folks at ISC West are aiming to draw in attendees in any way they can. One of the biggest changes is its substantially expanded educational series. The newly-established ISC Education Advisory Board has revamped the show’s curriculum. With the help of manufacturers, end users, integrators and education experts, the advisory board has worked to make the ISC courses more relevant, helpful and interesting than ever before.

Mike Johnson, the director of industry development for Reed Exhibitions, which hosts the ISC tradeshows, said the group’s strategic partnerships will lead to more targeted education this year.

“We’re essentially approaching this with an entirely new philosophy in that we’re working with the industry directly in developing content moving forward,” he said. “This event belongs to our attendees -- and the industry at large -- and we want to work more closely with them so they feel ownership with this, more so than they have in the past. Ultimately, we want to provide a solutions-focused program that matches the needs of all of our people.

Reed also partnered with members of the PSA Security Network and PSA Security Tech Team, the Security Executive Council and the Security Industry Association to gain even more insight into what industry professionals want.

The new educational tracks include the Signature Series, high-profile sessions that have universal appeal for industry members. I’m most intrigued by “Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History,” which takes place at 1:30 pm on Thursday. The session will reveal how a group of Italian thieves broke into the Antwerp Diamond Center, one of the world’s most secure buildings. In February 2003, the men gained access to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of diamonds by breaching a mind-boggling security system.

Incredibly, the building’s security defenses included a specially secured perimeter, locked-down entrances with metal barriers, a CCTV system, guards, light and heat sensors, vibration and motion detectors, and an explosion-proof vault door. Regardless of how they did it, clearly there are some important lessons in this story for the security industry.

The Signature Series also will include a roundtable discussion on security technology in the next decade. During the panel, moderated by Richard Chace from SIA, industry leaders will discuss the products and technology applications that we’ll see being dealt, installed, integrated and ultimately used by the year 2020 -- as long as the Mayans weren’t right. The impressive collection of panelists includes Denis Hebert, the executive vice president of ASSA ABLOY and president and CEO of HID Global; Fredrik Nilsson, the general manager of Axis Communications; and Terence Yap, the vice chairman and CFO of China Security and Surveillance Technology Inc.

“The Look Ahead” will be help at 4 pm on Thursday.

If you’re unsure of what sessions to attend -- or just a little overwhelmed by all the choices -- check out SIA’s new Curriculum Map at Arminda Valles-Hall, the group’s director of education and training, explained that the knowledge assessment tool was designed to help security professionals evaluate how their skills and knowledge rate against top-performers in their industry, focus and role.

“It also identifies a set of industry and business courses that will help take you to that next level of performance,” she said. “It’s a learning map, if you will.”

The re-imagined education series also includes the IP Institute, Crisis Management and Vendor Solutions tracks. It seems like this year’s tradeshow really will offer something for every attendee -- even when they’re not on the show floor.

About the Author

Megan Weadock is managing editor of Security Products magazine.

Reprinted with permission from  Security Products magazine.



LEXINGTON, Kentucky, March 17, 2010 – ACUTA commends FCC Chairman Genachowski and the Commission for recognizing the importance of providing community anchor institutions with high-capacity broadband connections in the National Broadband Plan released yesterday.

As a member of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, ACUTA has participated in the efforts of the Coalition to improve the broadband capabilities of schools, libraries, and health care providers so that they can enhance the quality and availability of the essential services they provide to the public and serve underserved and unserved populations more effectively.

“A Unified Community Anchor Network (UCAN) would be a major step forward in providing high-speed Internet access to the students, researchers, and faculty at our medium-sized public university,” says Wendell Barbour, Dean of the Library at Longwood University and Chairman of ACUTA’s Legislative/Regulatory Affairs Committee. “High-speed access through the UCAN would help Longwood University and other institutions like ours reach out to provide vital educational and information services to the populations we serve, supporting economic development and job growth in our region.”

A nationwide network connecting anchor institutions would help provide affordable high-speed broadband connectivity to serve communities throughout the nation. It would:

•   Provide broadband connections most efficiently by aggregating demand and sharing capacity;

•   Be open to interconnection by other providers and users;

•   Create jobs and generate economic growth by supporting the construction of additional broadband capacity;

           Enable community anchor institutions to better meet the needs of people who will benefit most from public access to broadband, including students, low-income consumers who cannot afford a high-speed connection at home, job seekers, rural health care facilities, and many others. 

•   Expand the range and services of existing local and regional non-profit networks, and enable them to interconnect with national backbone networks such as Internet2 and National LambdaRail;

•   Work with private sector providers.

Funding has always been a stumbling block for those who would provide universal affordable broadband access. The National Broadband Plan released today is an important first step, that paves the way for the FCC and Congress to invest in community anchor institutions, which are uniquely positioned to maximize the return on this vital investment.

ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in higher Education, is dedicated to serving the needs of higher education information communications technology professionals, with nearly 2,000 individual members at some 750 colleges and universities. ACUTA is proud to be a part of the SHLB Coalition, which represents 57 different public and private organizations. The Coalition was founded in June 2009 to highlight the urgent need these organizations have for high-capacity and affordable broadband connections.

“With the FCC’s support for the concept of a UCAN, we are excited as we prepare to turn the concept of universal high speed broadband access into reality in the months and years ahead,” says Jeri Semer, ACUTA Executive Director. “We expect that many colleges and universities will look forward to actively participating in this significant initiative.”

About ACUTA   

ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education information communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 750 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the very largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s corporate affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information, visit or call 859-278-3338.

Contacts: Jeri Semer, ACUTA Executive Director, 859-278-3338, ext. 225, or

Pat Scott, ACUTA, 859-278-3338, ext. 221, or


Alset Shields Electronic Equipment at Rural Sites from Lightning Damage

Alset introduces Lightning Shield, new technology that protects equipment from

harmful ground currents, assuring uptime in critical applications

SEATTLE, March 17, 2010 – Just in time for this spring’s “lightning season,” Alset Corp. today introduced its Lightning Shield product line. Lightning Shield protects telecommunications equipment installed at rural sites from the harmful ground currents caused by nearby lightning strikes.

“Essentially, what Lightning Shield does is keep the lightning in the ground and off your circuits,” said Gary Fox, president of Alset Corp. “It protects your equipment from harm and assures that your services aren’t interrupted. Your investments in broadband equipment are protected and your network is secure, even in the toughest weather conditions.”

Telecommunications companies must be able to reliably deliver high-bandwidth Internet or video services to customers without interruption. Airports, railroads, and utilities, who rely on their equipment for customer safety or status monitoring, also place a high priority on uninterrupted equipment performance.

Lightning Shield helps ensure uninterrupted service for telecommunications service providers and other companies with valuable equipment located in rural areas that are vulnerable to lightning damage. For these companies, the services they provide require constant uptime and high reliability.

Lightning Shield protects against lightning damage that conventional surge protection and grounding do not address. The danger from a nearby lightning ground strike is that its high frequency energy travels through the earth to the remote equipment site, saturates its grounding system, and forces fault current through the electronics equipment onto the bonded power circuits. Eliminating this fault path through the electronics, by temporarily isolating the equipment from the power connection, protects the equipment for the duration of the lightning threat.

Conventional surge protection is designed to protect equipment from lightning-induced current on telecom or power conductors. A grounding system is designed to dissipate low frequency energy to the earth, so long as soil conditions permit. Neither will protect the equipment at a site from lightning ground currents, especially in areas where soil conditions make it difficult to achieve a low-resistance ground.

“Alset’s Lightning Shield provides the only proven protection against these ground currents, the high-energy pulses that can cause a lot of damage in rural electronic sites,” Fox explained. “Our technology detects imminent lightning and pre-emptively eliminates the potential fault path. By improving site reliability and significantly reducing repair expenses, Lightning Shield can pay for itself in just one thunderstorm.”

Lightning Shield is available in 50-amp (LS-50) and 200-amp (LS-200) versions small and large remote sites. LS-ATS provides customized protection for larger facilities, such as remote switches or MTSOs. Remote Manager rounds out the product line, offering control and test capabilities that enhance site management.

Lightning Shield has been accepted by the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service for use on RUS-funded projects.

About Alset Corp.

Seattle-based Alset Corp. designs and manufactures equipment designed to protect against damage from lightning ground currents, also known as lightning ground potential rise. Alset sells its equipment both directly and through a network of manufacturer’s representatives. For more information about Alset and its lightning protection technology, visit


Gary Fox, Alset Corp.



NAED Launches Government Affairs Initiative


Visit www.NAED.Org/TellCongress for the Latest Updates on Issues Impacting the Industry 

ST. LOUIS… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announces the launch of its new government affairs initiative and Web site, www.NAED.Org/TellCongress. The formation of the Web site and the selection of the legislative agenda were led by the NAED Government Affairs Policy Committee. This effort will provide tools that NAED members can use to help shape the outcomes of the politics and policies that affect them most. 

“There are issues being debated in Washington, D.C., that impact our members’ companies and the industry as a whole,” said Tom Naber, NAED president and CEO. “NAED’s government affairs initiative will help ensure our members’ voices are heard when those decisions are being made. We want our grassroots capabilities to complement the great work our industry allies, NEMA and NAW, are already doing on Capitol Hill.”

One of the biggest issues being debated right now is health care reform, and the Obama administration has called for a vote on health care to happen in the near future. Congressional leaders may attempt to use the reconciliation process to pass this latest proposal. NAED members can voice their concerns about the legislation by visiting www.NAED.Org/TellCongress.

The new Web site includes tools for NAED members to locate and contact their elected officials. There is also information about government and elections, including voter registration forms for every state in the union. As candidates file for office and votes that matter are cast, the Web site will be updated with candidate guides and voting records. The Web site is careful not to tell employees how to vote; that decision is up to each person.

Created in conjunction with The Prosperity Project at BIPAC, www.NAED.Org/TellCongress is designed to promote good government by helping our member companies educate their employees about the people and policies that impact their jobs and the electrical distribution industry. 

NAED will send out issue alerts on the key topics that impact individual businesses and the industry. A few of the issues NAED is currently tracking besides health care reform include: LIFO repeal and “card check” legislation. To sign up to receive our issue alerts as they happen, click here.

Members of the NAED Government Affairs Policy Committee include: Chairman Jack Henderson, Executive Vice President, Hunzicker Brothers; Chairman-Elect Clarence Martin, CEO, State Electric Supply; Nancy Goedecke, Chairman of the Board, Mayer Electric Supply; Chris Hartmann, Executive VP & CEO, International Electric Supply Corporation; Robert Reynolds, Chairman of the Board, Graybar; James Risk, III, CEO, Kirby Risk Electrical Supply; and Sandra Rosecrans, CEO, City Electric Company, Inc.

For more information on how to get involved with NAED’s government affairs efforts or to discuss setting up a meeting with your member of Congress, contact Ed Orlet, NAED senior director of government affairs, at (314) 991-9000 or

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.


Ed Brown expanding writing and editing service

Ed Brown – writer, editor, engineer – established his writing and editing service,, in the spring of 2009. Since then he has undertaken a wide variety of assignments, including several case studies of high profile fire alarm projects for one of the leading U.S. manufacturers.

In his monthly Integrated Systems column in Electrical Contractor magazine he is publishing a series on the latest advancements in the integration of security with other building systems.

He has produced technical manuals and marketing materials for a leading manufacturer of gas conditioning equipment for environmental and medical applications.

His series of articles on practical issues facing installers of alternate energy sources, such as photovoltaics and wind turbines, published in NECplus, the online electrical magazine of NFPA, generated a great deal of interest, judging by the number of reader responses.

Ed will be expanding his reach to include more cutting-edge topics in the months ahead.


CSC expands

Communications Supply Corporation Extends its National Footprint

CSC Announces New Location in Salt Lake City, Utah

PITTSBURGH, March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC), a leading provider of  electrical MRO products, construction materials, and advanced integrated supply procurement outsourcing services, today announced the grand opening of its new Communications Supply Corporation (CSC) branch located in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of their 2010 national expansion plan.

This new CSC branch location supports WESCO's continued commitment to servicing more customers throughout the nation with local sales, support and inventory.  In addition, this new location will be co-located within a current WESCO facility, providing customers with a one-stop shop for all of their data communications, security and electrical product needs. WESCO has opened 9 new CSC branches across the country in the last year and expects to open at least 10 in 2010.

"We are extremely excited to announce the opening of our new branch in Salt Lake City.  By expanding our national footprint, more customers will be able to experience the people, passion and expertise that make CSC the distributor of choice amongst the nation's top contractors and security integrators.  In addition, current CSC customers will continue to enjoy our flexible, customized approach to business in a new geography," said David Bemoras, Vice President of WESCO International, Inc and responsible for all Communications Supply Corporation's operations.

WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC) is a publicly traded Fortune 500 holding company, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whose primary operating entity is WESCO Distribution, Inc.  WESCO Distribution is a leading distributor of electrical construction products and electrical and industrial maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies, and is the nation's largest provider of integrated supply services.  2009 annual sales were approximately $4.6 billion.  The Company employs approximately 6,100 people, maintains relationships with over 17,000 suppliers, and serves more than 113,000 customers worldwide.  Major markets include commercial and industrial firms, contractors, government agencies, educational institutions, telecommunications businesses and utilities.  WESCO operates seven fully automated distribution centers and approximately 380 full-service branches in North America and select international markets, providing a local presence for area customers and a global network to serve multi-location businesses and multi-national corporations.


You’ve heard of Tim The Tool Man. Now meet Tony the TOOL MAN

Introducing Tool study and survey.

Tony Casazza, the head of a growing manufacturing and distribution business is one of the most energized and entrepreneurial fellows we know in the communications and datacom business. Tony recently showed us a program they have developed to assist the technicians getting the real deal on tools that are needed to meet the special challenges in our world.

We use tools from many different disciplines. As most technicians know the personal tools are special and a matter of pride for the tech.

We suggest that you go on-line and take this tool survey. It may expand your knowledge and opens some doors. BTW: they are giving some prizes. Pass it on.

Division of Atcom Services, Inc.

Toll Free: 888-568-1230

Phone: 732-396-3600

Fax: 732-396-8528

Frank Bisbee

"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column


Where and when was the first commercial installation of fiber optics?

In September 1975, Lightning struck a radio tower which destroyed the communications system used by the Dorset Police in Southern England. The police chief, having heard of fiber optics, wanted a fiber optic cable installed to prevent future lighting damage. In only a few weeks, Standard Telephone and Cable had the new fiber optic cable on line, and the first fiber optic system to be put to use in the real world was up and running.

Courtesy FiberStory archiving the history of fiber optics


Copyright ©