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Issue: March 2011
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee’s Buzz

The Electrical Contractor Magazine has an amazing track record of editorial excellence and powerful content. In addition to being the leading industry publication for the electrical sector, ECMAG is also the number one publication for the communications infrastructure (cabling and wireless) sector. This publication is part of an incredible internet configuration of websites that cover virtually every inch of our business world.


WWW = What’s New, What’s Now, What’s Next

2011 - When it comes to bringing the solutions and needs together, this outfit is on target. Check out their new MEDIA KIT and latest Market Research information.

TIME WELL SPENT  “There is so much great information on their site. News you can use and solutions to pave the road into a brighter future.”

The NECA family of websites is filled with information for the Electrical, Lighting, and Communications Industry and a great deal more.

There are many sources for the information that we gather each month. This publication has consistently demonstrated the highest level of quality content both in print and on the websites. We applaud the team at ECMAG that works so hard to filter through the tons of information in the marketplace in order to bring us the best of the best. It may not all appear in each issue but their game plan is set up for the flexibility to cover all the information we need to compete in the changing world of POWER – CONTROL – COMMUNICATIONS – SECURITY – LIFE SAFETY SYSTEMS. Looking for ways to solve your problems or stimulate your business?

GOOD ADVICE: “Honk if you love Jesus.  Text while driving if you want to meet Him”

But that’s just my opinion,

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

DON”T MISS NECA 2011 SHOW – San Diego - OCT. 22 – 25

Tel: 301-215-4506 | Fax: 301-215-4553 | Email:


Fiber Optic Connectors With HLC Technology Put You In the Winners Circle

Megladon's  HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) technology is what sets this products apart from others on the market today. Their patented technology produces the only durable, high performance patch cord in the industry. Today's high speed networks demand the highest quality connections to ensure reliable performance. Contamination, scratches, and poor geometry degrade network performance and cause failures during peak traffic. The industry needs a reference quality connection with durable mating surfaces to improve network performance and reduce system failures. Their customers demand it. Megladon's HLC SCRATCHGUARD Patch Cords prevent maintenance issues and traffic failures, improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs in several areas.


  • Low Maintenance matings
  •  Reference cable quality
  •  Dust and scratch resistant
  •  Extended lifespan
  •  Withstands multiple matings
  •  Minimal & Easy Cleaning
  •  Compatible with all existing  connectors
  •  Lowest signal loss in the marketplace
  •  High quality components
  • Repeatable network performance

Fiber optic cables can be easily damaged when they're misaligned while being inserted into test equipment or a hardware port. A side by side comparison of Megladon's HLC patch cords and a standard UPC cable. Each was given an identical amount of error when inserted into a port. The standard UPC cable showed significant scratching. The HLC cable is undamaged.

HLC SCRATCHGUARD Patch Cords Specifications






Storage Temerature                           







% Relative

Bend Radius




Optical Wavelength Range




Radius of Curvature




Apex Offset




Fiber Height












Don’t put your network or your job at risk. Get ScratchGuard®.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column


Preparing for the Age of Exabytes by Scott Thompson, President Oberon, Inc.
November 16th 2010

Early this year, Cisco Systems, Inc. released a forecast which should really catch the attention of any individual in the data communications industry. The forecast predicts that global mobile data traffic will more than double every year, from now until 2014, reaching a stunning 3.6 Exabytes (EB) of data per month. Even the name "Exabyte" sounds formidable, but what is it? An Exabyte is 1015 bytes of data, or a billion Megabytes. This prodigious number will have grown from a "miniscule" 0.09 EB of global mobile data in 2009.

What is driving this growth? According to the forecast, it is predominately mobile video data (66%), followed by Mobile web (17%), Mobile P2P (8%), mobile gaming (5%), and Mobile VoIP (4%). What will this content be delivered to? The forecast provides the chart below, wherein most of the mobile traffic will be delivered to laptops (70%), and much of the balance delivered to smart-phones (21%).

Of course, if you are in the Information Transportation Systems (ITS) industry, you are wondering how this remarkable growth will impact your business. The large share of data which will be consumed by laptops suggests great demand will be placed on the enterprise wireless local area network (Wireless LAN or Wi-Fi network), although laptops can be equipped with a cellular aircard, thereby placing some of this demand on the cellular network. Conversely, the data traffic consumed by smartphones suggests the demand will be placed on the cellular network, although virtually all smartphones are dual mode, meaning they can connect to the Internet both through the cellular network and through the wireless LAN.

In any case, the demands that will be placed on the mobile operators' cellular networks, the enterprise wireless LAN, and perhaps even your home network, are going to increase by a factor of about 40 in the next 4 to 5 years. Even now, a smartphone creates as much traffic as 10 basic feature phones on the cellular network, and iPhones, in particular, can generate as much traffic as 30 basic feature phones. Laptops routinely generate greater than 1,000 times the traffic of a basic feature phone. As more video content is generated over the next few years, these devices will demand significantly more bandwidth.

New cellular networks operating with 4G technology such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) will have dramatically increased capabilities over current cellular networks, but due to limited spectrum and the expense of infrastructure build-out, evidently more and more of the traffic will be off-loaded onto the prevailing wireless LAN (Wi-Fi Network). Off-loading is a term people in the industry will hear more of in the coming years. The mobile operators simply do not have enough spectrum and cellular base-stations to support these mobile applications which will, in most cases, be used indoors where a wireless LAN should exist anyway.

Further compounding this effect is the transition of more traffic from the fixed to the mobile network. Just as households have completely abandoned their wireline phone for the mobile phone, more users are abandoning their wired data connection for the mobile connection. New workers fully expect a mobile work environment with a mission capable wireless LAN.

If you are in the cabling business you already know that more Wi-Fi means more cabling to more access points. And better cellular performance will be achieved through the use of in-building Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and femtocells, which are cabled to the Internet.

It will be interesting to see in the next few years how industry responds to these demands. Bandwidth needs to be pushed closer to the user, yet the user does not want to be tethered. Creative solutions comprised of innovative cabled infrastructure and wireless design will be required.

The referenced article can be found here.

What’s next? A Googolplex (the figure 1 followed by a googol of zeroes equal to 10googol) of Exabytes ???


CI&M article  “A long-term perspective on intelligent buildings”

Feb 1, 2011

Cabling-industry veteran interviews a noted author and speaker on building automation and intelligence.


I had the opportunity to interview James Carlini, president of Carlini and associates (, who has been involved in intelligent buildings since the inception of the term. He was one of the first authorities on the subject, recognized for his articles written in the mid-1980s for publications including Real Estate Review, Government Data Systems and Telecommunications Products and Technology.

He was chairman of the Definitions Committee of the Intelligent Buildings Institute in Washington, D.C. from 1986 to 1988, and pioneered the concept of measuring a building's IQ in 1985. He wrote about the building IQ concept in several published articles, as well as a chapter in Johnson Controls' Intelligent Buildings Sourcebook, published by Prentice-Hall in 1988.

Bisbee: How was the industry back in the 1980s and how did you get into it?

Carlini: At the time, the big buzzword was "shared tenant services" and there were companies pursuing real estate developers to add these new types of services to their buildings to attract tenants. I was a director of telecommunications and computer hardware consulting at Arthur Young at the time, and was asked to review whether or not clients like Santa Fe Southern Pacific Development Company were getting their money's worth from adding amenities like network services and phone services.

Bisbee: What was the first project you worked on?

Carlini: It was to review what technologies were being put into a six-building campus in Silicon Valley that Santa Fe Southern Pacific was building on some land they owned. We were asked to review the network infrastructure of the campus and determine if Santa Fe was putting in the right mix of what I called "intelligent amenities," and seeing if they were getting their money's worth.

Bisbee: How was Silicon Valley back then? I mean, that was before most of these tech companies were even born.

Carlini: It was interesting to go out to Silicon Valley, which at that time had a lot of vacant buildings around. It was easy for a startup company to outgrow their space and the owner would just drive around to find the next bigger building to move into. It was not a sophisticated approach, but it didn't have to be because of the very high vacancy rates at that time.

Bisbee: How did you get into the measuring of building IQs and comparing buildings?

Carlini: Another large real estate and property-management company at the time was doing a large, $20-million retrofit of a Class a building in Seattle. JMB Realty was a premier firm at the time, and the senior group vice president of property management wanted me to devise something that would tell them if they were getting their money's worth out of the project.

Bisbee: It seems like everyone back then worried about getting their money's worth.

Carlini: They did. and they still do. Property-management firms and owners are still concerned about getting their money's worth when they add on intelligent amenities.

Bisbee: So how did you look at the building in Seattle? What did you measure?

Carlini: There were many categories within the areas of information and communication technologies, as well as building automation, within the test I designed. The issue was to gather a list of all the services, traditional and intelligent amenities within each building, compare them, and analyze the competition in downtown Seattle to see how the retrofitted building measured up.

Bisbee: How did you get all the publicity on it?

Carlini: At first, the test was going to be an internal measure. When the results came out that their older building actually outscored the newer buildings because of all the technologies they added to it, they wanted to publicize that new type of measurement. Building IQ actually helped market the building. From that point on, traditional approaches to marketing a building became obsolete.

Bisbee: There seems to be a resurgence in the interest in rating buildings and figuring out a building's IQ. Where do you see intelligent buildings today?

Carlini: Today some have talked about measuring the "green" aspects of a building but there are more important things for the owner to focus on. The main issue is whether or not the building is profitable and whether or not adding these green technologies provides cost savings. The problem is that some of these cost-saving systems have too long a payback period and therefore, are not viable.

Bisbee: How long are you talking about to make it a viable option?

Carlini: If these green capabilities like dimming systems and energy-saving systems have a payback period of 20 to 30 years they are not going to be put into a building. The payback is way too long.

Bisbee: Are there systems like that out there today?

Carlini: Yes, and they are being hyped. But they will not survive under close scrutiny. Other systems are cost-effective and should be applied.

Bisbee: How has the industry evolved?

Carlini: If you look at what is happening globally, we are going from standalone intelligent buildings to intelligent business campuses (IBCs) where the whole campus provides intelligent amenities. What we are doing, in effect, is clustering these buildings and trying to get more economies out of the facilities by having them all together.

Bisbee: Didn't you write a white paper on this?

Carlini: Actually, I wrote several. One I wrote in 2008 was Intelligent Business Campuses: Future Keys to Economic Development. It discussed the movement into campuses or next-generation business parks and was based on planning work I had done for an 800-acre tech park. I also wrote one for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2010: Intelligent Infrastructure: Insuring Security for Regional Sustainability. and in 2009 I wrote Intelligent Infrastructure: Securing Regional Sustainability for George Mason University. The two more recent white papers focused more on infrastructure as a platform for commerce and its impact on regional economic development.

Bisbee: It sounds like you are an expert on this evolution.

Carlini: Like I used to tell students at Northwestern University, there are no experts in this business. The best you can be is a good student-always learning. You have to continually watch what is going on in this industry.

Bisbee: What's in your future?

Carlini: I am writing a book on this paradigm shift and calling it Location, Location, Connectivity because those are the three most important words in real estate today.

James Carlini recently addressed a crowd of approximately 3,000 on intelligent infrastructure and its impact on regional economic development at BICSI's Fall 2010 Conference. His presentation got positive feedback. I am sure his book will provide pragmatic perspective on intelligent buildings and their evolution to intelligent business campuses.

FRANK BISBEE is president of Communication Planning Corporation ( He also authors Heard on The Street, which can be seen at The subject of this interview, James Carlini, has more than 25 years' experience developing broad strategic insights into applying complex critical networks and information technologies to organizations. His consulting has focused on computer networks, security, e-commerce, intelligent buildings, marketing strategies, wireless technologies, measuring intelligent buildings, regulatory issues, international marketing, international services and Six Sigma. Carlini uses this experience to help user organizations as well as vendors get the most out of strategically applying communications-based information systems, products and services.


CABA examines intelligent buildings' future

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA;, through its Intelligent Integrated Building Council and new research program, recently announced it has completed its 2011 North American Intelligent Building Roadmap.

The research project was designed to outline long-term opportunities in the intelligent building industry. The roadmap provides an understanding of the collective influence of emerging trends within the intelligent building industry, such as energy efficiency, renewable technology, information technology convergence and the integration of buildings with the smart grid.

The roadmap project also investigated the current and future direction of the intelligent building market in North America and the opportunities it represents for participants within the value chain. It also sought to understand the influence of current and emerging intelligent building technology solutions, with an analysis that considers commercialization, market preferences and product acceptance.

"The underlying purpose of the roadmap project was to strengthen the existing industry knowledge base and perspectives on intelligent buildings," said Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA's president and chief executive officer. "This initiative consequently established a vision for the market today and its near-term evolution by providing a framework to support players in the intelligent building arena. It is our clear expectation that this roadmap will ultimately be used by CABA members to identify unique opportunities in the intelligent building marketplace."

The roadmap provides a snapshot of current market dynamics within the intelligent building industry in North America and outlines evolving trends as well as the long-term industry outlook. Business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan undertook the project. The research has been released to partners who funded the project, and CABA said after an embargo period it plans to make the research available for purchase to the rest of the industry.

The following organizations funded the research: Belimo air Controls, Consolidation Edison Company of New York, Distech Controls Inc., Echelon Corporation, Honeywell International, Ingersoll Rand/Trane/Schlage, Johnson Controls, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Natural Resources Canada, Ortronics/Watt Stopper/Legrand, Optimum Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/U.S. Department of Energy, Philips Electronics, Schneider Electric, Siemens Industry Inc., Sloan Monitored Systems. -Ed.

Reprinted with permission from Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine ( A PennWell Publication) February 2011 issue


BICSI Recognizes Industry Leaders During Annual Awards Banquet

Orlando, Fla., January 21, 2011—BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, is pleased to announce BICSI award winners for 2010 recognized during the annual BICSI Awards Banquet on Wednesday, January 19th. The  conference was terrific. Great value in all areas.

Another slate of winners. Awarded by the University of South Florida, College of Engineering, the Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry recognizes the lifetime achievement or major accomplishment of an individual in the telecommunications industry.

The Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry was awarded to two individuals Herb Congdon ll, PE, and Julie Roy, RCDD, ESS, NTS.  Congdon has made great contributions to the ITS world, having worked in the optical fiber cable and components industry since 1992. As a gifted presenter and industry speaker, Congdon presents at many BICSI conferences—sometimes more than once per conference. Congdon earned an electrical engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, served as a commissioned officer in the US Nuclear Navy Submarine program and is a licensed Professional Engineer with two patents.  

Since January 2008, Roy has been involved with BICSI as an active member of many committees and spearheaded the development of telecommunications cabling standards for commercial and residential installations in Canada.  She was the first female in Canada to earn the RCDD credential. She also holds the NTS credential and was among the first group of individuals to receive the ESS designation. Additionally, Roy owns her own company, called C Squared Consulting. 

The David K. Blythe/University of Kentucky Award for Outstanding Member of the Year recognizes the volunteer spirit of BICSI members, and spotlights one individual as the BICSI member of the year for outstanding efforts in promoting BICSI’s educational programs and commitment to professional development within the industry.

The 2010 Outstanding Member of the Year is Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS. Oliver became a BICSI member in 2003. As a frequent speaker and contributor to BICSI events, Oliver has written technical and case study articles, enticing the audience to want more. Oliver’s volunteer efforts with BICSI have spanned many years—years in which she has owned a business and has worked in integral marketing positions.

BICSI developed the Larry G. Romig Committee Member of the Year award in recognition of the volunteer work performed by its members and to honor one individual for exemplary efforts and dedication within a BICSI committee. It is named in honor of BICSI’s first Executive Director, Larry Romig.

This year’s Committee Member of the Year award is Igor G. Smirnov, RCDD.  Smirnov has been a BICSI member since 1998 and an RCDD since 1999, volunteering countless hours as a Subject Matter Expert and as a contributor to numerous BICSI publications, including the Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual, the Information Transport Systems Installation Methods Manual, and many others.  Smirov is an accomplished industry professional with a Master’s Degree in Materials for Electronics.

The Presidential Eagle Award, selected by BICSI’s President, is presented to individuals who have exhibited leadership, faith, and dedication to BICSI over a period of time.  This year, Kazuo Kato, Manager for BICSI Japan, was recognized for his volunteer hours and commitment to BICSI.  He started working for BICSI when this District was established in 2001 and has dedicated his life to his work and to BICSI.

The Ray Gendron/BICSI Cares Scholarship offers funds to BICSI members or their immediate families for ITS education. This year BICSI is proud to award scholarships to three very deserving students: Thomas Tang, Mohamed Luqman Suhaib and Thomas Elliot.

Thomas Tang is an Electrical Engineering major at the University of British Columbia. His father is BICSI member Tony Tang, RCDD.  Mohamed is the son of BICSI member Yehiya Suhaib, RCDD and is majoring in Electronics with a focus in Telecommunications at Multimedia University in Malaysia. Thomas Elliot is the son of BICSI member Maureen Elliot, RCDD.  He attends the University of Arizona and will be seeking a Business degree.

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

BICSI provides information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies in the ITS industry. We serve more than 23,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians. These individuals provide the fundamental infrastructure for telecommunications, audio/video, life safety and automation systems. Through courses, conferences, publications and professional registration programs, BICSI staff and volunteers assist ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services, and offer opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 90 countries.


Do You Wish To Add New Business? TRAINING.

Here is an opportunity to learn all about getting into retail communications systems, better known as Point of Sales (POS).  There could be as many as nine separate systems in a large retail store that need to be integrated into one working solution.  Each system will be discussed for cabling, hardware location and physical installation procedures. 

Where is the work? POS systems are located in Supermarkets, Hardware Stores, Pharmacy Chains, Superstore/Warehouse Clubs, Clothing/Apparel Marts, Discount Centers, Restaurant/Bars, Fast Food Chains, Convenience Stores, Hotels, Airports, Stadiums, Casinos just to name a few. 

Whether you are an individual who wants to learn this work or a contractor looking for a new business, this is a one of a kind of course.

We have scheduled this program in April 2011 and the price if only $295.00. This price will include a training manual and a certificate of attendance.

To find out more about this, you have one of many methods to reach us:

See our website: www.CSTInstitute

Email:  Phone: (214) 319-6632


General Cable's 4Q profit quadruples

Business Courier

Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 9:35am EST

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Rising costs cut General Cable 3Q profit

General Cable Corp.’s net income quadrupled in the fourth quarter as volume increased 13 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

Excluding unusual items in both periods, adjusted earnings per share rose 44 percent to 75 cents, compared to 52 cents in the year-ago quarter. That easily exceeded Wall Street analysts’ average prediction of 47 cents.

Greg Kenny, president and CEO, said strong demand for power transmission cables in the United States and Brazil helped to offset normal seasonal declines in other areas. In Europe, the Highland Heights-based cable and wire manufacturer saw better-than-expected demand across most businesses and achieved significant milestones in its submarine energy cable business, he said.

“Our end markets and overall demand have only started to improve in many locations. As a result, we continue to believe that capacity utilization rates and value-added pricing, while improving, have a long way to go,” Kenny said. “In addition, volatile metal pricing has made demand forecasting extremely complex.”

The outlook for the first quarter is for adjusted earnings per share of between 45 and 55 cents, which is consistent with analysts’ current projections. Revenue is projected to be between $1.40 billion and $1.45 billion, higher than expectations.

General Cable Corp. (NYSE: BGC)

Fourth-quarter results

Net sales: $1.36 billion, +20%

Operating income: $63 million, +12%

Net earnings: $35 million, +412%

Earnings per share: 66 cents, +413%

Full-year 2010 results

Net sales: $4.86 billion, +11%

Operating income: $222 million, +24%

Net earnings: $69 million, +23%

Earnings per share: $1.31, +22%

Click here for the full company report.

Read more: General Cable's 4Q profit quadruples | Business Courier


ShoreTel and Polycom Expand Technology Partnership to Deliver Integrated Business Communications Systems

Standards-based Solutions Integrate Voice, Video and Unified Communications, Offering Customers Choice, Flexibility and Investment Protection

 Enterprise Connect – ShoreTel® (NASDAQ:SHOR - News), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), and Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCM - News), a global leader in unified communications, today announced an expansion of their technology partnership to further their shared mission of delivering advanced business communications systems based on open standards. By leveraging common distribution capabilities, ShoreTel and Polycom help enable UC Everywhere and empower businesses to protect their existing investments in standards-based technologies as well as choose best-of-breed enterprise solutions that are a better alternative to vendor lock-in and proprietary technologies.

Meeting the Needs of Business of Any Size

Both ShoreTel and Polycom have UC offerings that are affordable and scalable for businesses of any size. From enterprise customers to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), the Polycom and ShoreTel solutions are flexible and cost-effective. Analyst firm Gartner rated ShoreTel “Strong Positive,” the highest possible rating in its “MarketScope for Unified Communications for the SMB Market, North America.1

Enhancing ShoreTel and Polycom UC Offerings

This offering will provide customers the flexibility of an open and interoperable ShoreTel and Polycom solution that unifies and simplifies communication across voice and video and telepresence solutions including the Polycom UC Intelligent Core, as well as messaging applications. ShoreTel’s IP telephony and UC solutions will combine with Polycom’s telepresence systems to deliver customers a seamlessly integrated system with proven reliability and quality, simplicity and lower total cost of ownership, by using technologies like H.264 High Profile, which reduces bandwidth requirements for high definition video by up to 50 percent.

“ShoreTel’s long-standing commitment to standards-based technologies and open-architected systems gives our customers maximum flexibility to deploy custom solutions that suit their specific business needs,” said Mark Arman, vice president of business development at ShoreTel. “We are pleased to partner with Polycom and ensure our customers achieve truly interoperable, scalable and brilliantly simple visual communication solutions.”

The expanded relationship is part of the ShoreTel Technology Partner Program (TPP), which provides market leaders the opportunity to increase their reach by connecting directly with ShoreTel’s growing community of channel reseller partners. ShoreTel is also a Polycom ARENA partner.

Benefits of Best-of-Breed UC

The ability for businesses to communicate in the most effective and efficient manner despite the infrastructure in place is a significant business advantage that helps customers maximize the investment in their communication systems. Polycom and ShoreTel are committed to a standards-based, open architecture that liberates organizations from managing complex legacy and proprietary systems that cost millions of dollars to maintain.

“ShoreTel is an important long-term partner to Polycom, and this strategic offering is a natural evolution of our successful partnership – one that reflects the evolving and dynamic UC market,” said Ron Myers, senior vice president of Global Channels. “Both companies have a commitment to offering best-in-class, standards-based communications, allowing our customers to choose the best UC solutions to meet their needs. By extending support of Polycom telepresence and Polycom UC Intelligent Core offerings to the ShoreTel platform, ShoreTel is helping Polycom to deliver on our UC Everywhere vision.”

“At ScanSource Communications, we are committed to delivering UC and telephony solutions that will help our reseller partners grow their business and remain ahead of the competition - and as a strategic partner to both Polycom and ShoreTel, we are thrilled about this combined solution,” said Buck Baker, president, ScanSource Communications. Not only does it enable resellers to deliver industry-leading solutions to their end-user customers, but it also affords them the opportunity to source their products from one location and wrap them with the value-added services our customers have come to expect.”


The ShoreTel and Polycom solutions will be distributed through joint value-added distributors, ScanSource and Westcon. Partners and resellers will be able to offer a broad range of UC and video solutions combining the ShoreTel and Polycom products that best fit their customers’ business needs.

About the MarketScope

The MarketScope is copyrighted 2010 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The MarketScope is an evaluation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the MarketScope, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest rating. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About Polycom

Polycom, Inc. is a global leader in unified communications solutions with industry-leading telepresence, video, voice and infrastructure solutions built on open standards. Polycom powers smarter conversations, transforming lives and businesses worldwide. Please visit for more information or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About ShoreTel

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

1Gartner, Inc., “MarketScope for Unified Communications for the SMB, North America,” April 9, 2010, ID Number G00174964

© 2011 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom “Triangles” logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom’s products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.



Important Educational Opportunities
Learn the skill set you need to advance yourself and your career. Attend one or more of the BICSI training courses and exams listed below. Click on the links below for details and to register.

Courses and Exam in Atlanta, Georgia
PM125: Telecommunications Project Management Program March 14-18

This intensive 5-day course covers the entire cycle of a project, from bid to completion. The class will provide you with a basic understanding of project management concepts and tools and will focus on construction projects as they relate to ITS design and installation projects.

DD200: Telecommunications Distribution Design Review March 14-17
Are you preparing for the RCDD exam? DD200 features a fast-paced review of the BICSI TDMM
, 12th edition, highlighting the critical areas you should know for the exam. Practice tests and general test-taking tips and strategies are included.

RCDD, RITP, ESS, NTS, OSP and WD examinations will be held on March 19.

FO110: Fiber Optic Network Design May 2-5
In this 4-day course, you will gain a focused understanding of the optical fiber network design process with knowledge of four key aspects: the components of a fiber network, the design process, the cost process and the design package.

IN250: BICSI ITS Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training May 2-6
IN250 is a 5-day course setting the groundwork for optical fiber-based structured cabling system installation. ITS Installer 2, Optical Fiber examinations will be held on May 6-7.

Save Now!
Register for three or more courses at the same time and save 10 percent! Offer also valid if three or more students from the same company preregister for the same class at the same time.

Don't forget! Preregister for a course at least 45 days in advance and save five percent. (BICSI CONNECT courses and training provided by companies outside of BICSI are not eligible for this discount.)

Register today! For more information or to reserve your seat, follow the above links, or contact BICSI toll-free at 800.242.7405.


Optical Transport Market Exceeded $12 Billion in 2010

DWDM Equipment Revenues Grew 15 Percent

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – February 22, 2011 – According to a newly published report by Dell’Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, worldwide optical market revenues grew to over $12 billion in 2010, due to a robust market demand for DWDM systems in both metro and core applications.

“Demand for DWDM systems exceeded our expectations for the year,” said Jimmy Yu, Sr. Director of Optical Transport research at Dell’Oro Group.  “In particular, the growth of 40 and 100 Gbps DWDM wavelength or line card shipments was far greater than what we expected.  In 2010, 40/100 Gbps wavelength shipments grew more than 160 percent. By the fourth quarter, these high speed wavelengths contributed over 25 percent of total DWDM market revenues, and over 40 percent of long haul market revenues.  We forecast this trend to continue in 2011,” added Mr. Yu.

The report shows that the market leaders in DWDM and 40/100 Gbps wavelengths during 2010 and the fourth quarter were Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, and Huawei.  The majority of 40 Gbps wavelengths shipped in 2010 were DQPSK line cards, followed by DPSK, and then coherent DP-QPSK.


NEW : Accessories for Times-Protect Smart-Panel™ from Times Microwave Systems

Times Microwave Systems has introduced several accessories to complement its new

Times-Protect Smart-Panel™, the most revolutionary concept in shelter and base station entrance panels to ever come along. Intelligently designed to eliminate traditional entrance panel shortcomings and vastly improve the protection of expensive base station equipment, the Smart-Panel™ is truly a product for 21st century needs.

The new Smart-Panel™ accessories include port plugs in type N and 716 DIN configurations for unused panel ports that do not have feeder cable connections and feed through fittings also in type N and 716 DIN for applications where lightning protection devices are not used.  Both the port plugs and feed through fittings are bolted from the inside of the shelter so they are theft-proof and are also fitted with water-tight sealing gaskets.

Times-Protect Smart-Panel™ Entrance Panel Accessories:

Item                Configuration                                               List Price

LP-NP                        Type N plug                                        $7.50

LP-DP                        Type 716 DIN plug                             $9.00
LP-FT-NFNF Type N female feed through                      $18.00

LP-FT-DFDF Type 716 DIN female feed through          $25.00

The Smart-Panel™ entrance panel provides for highly desirable single point grounding while eliminating the expense and potential incorrect installation of external grounding kits. The Smart-Panel™ design provides for bulkhead mounting of the surge protectors directly on the panel for superior surge performance.  Also eliminated is the traditional internal lightning protector “trapeze” as well as the external copper master ground bar so there’s nothing to steal outside the shelter!

The Smart-Panel™ is completely weatherized, accommodates any shelter wall thickness and is supplied with all the necessary installation hardware including an inside copper master ground bar and low inductance ground plate.

Constructed of powder-coated heavy duty aluminum, the Smart-Panel™ is available in the following configurations:

Times-Protect Smart-Panel™ Series:

Item                Configuration                                   List Price

LP-SP-12N    12 port N hole                                   $1,490.00
LP-SP-12D    12 port 716 DIN hole                       $1,490.00
LP-SP-24N    24 port N hole                                   S1,980.00
LP-SP-24D    24 port 716 DIN hole                       $1,980.00

Custom designs are also available and all designs can also accommodate EWG, Cat 5 data, DC or Fiber entry ports.

About Times Microwave Systems

Times Microwave Systems has over 60 years experience in designing innovative, high-reliability, coaxial cables and assemblies for demanding interconnection problems. An engineering oriented organization, the company specializes in the design and manufacture of high performance flexible and semi-rigid coaxial cable, connectors, and cable assemblies for RF transmission from HF through microwave frequencies as well as surge arrestors for the protection of RF equipment.

For further information contact:

Carolyn Turner: Marketing Coordinator, Times Microwave Systems

Tel.: +1 203 949 8429, Email:

Bogdan Klobassa: Director-Protection Technologies, Times Microwave Systems

Tel.: +1 775 772 4667, Email:



Tampa, Fla., February 8, 2011— BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, is pleased to announce that the BICSI India area has recently achieved District status.

BICSI Districts are formed when more than 100 members are active within a designated area. BICSI began activities in India in 2003 and formed a 10 member steering committee, made up of consultants and employees of manufacturing and system integration companies. Since BICSI India’s inception, the membership has steadily increased, and now there are members all over India. Of noteworthy mention, the District has seen an increase of those in the area holding the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD®) credential, from two in 2008 to eleven today.

For the past seven years, the India District has held annual conferences in locations such as Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi. The next BICSI India conference will be held August 25-26 in Bangalore. BICSI training and examinations are also being held in the District.

The India District was the third area to receive BICSI District status in 2010. The title was also given to the Caribbean and Andean areas earlier in the year. The Caribbean District is made up of 26 different countries and islands, including Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Andean District is composed of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru and Venezuela.

The India, Caribbean and Andean Districts join the ranks of other BICSI Districts, including Middle East/Africa, South Pacific and Japan. Other international areas working toward district status include Central America, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Cono Sur, Brazil and Mexico. BICSI Regions, which are comprised of more than 500 members, include Europe, Canada, U.S. North-Central, U.S. Northeast, U.S. South-Central, U.S. Southeast and U.S. Western.


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

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

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 90 countries. For more information, visit

BICSI—Melanie Hughes Younger is now director of conferences & events for BICSI.

BICSI—Melanie Hughes Younger is now director of conferences & events for BICSI. She’s worked in the association conference/event management field for 20 years, including time at the International Reading Association.

We wish her much success.


IDEAL Industries Assigned Patent

Feb. 18 -- IDEAL Industries Inc., Sycamore, Ill., has been assigned a patent (7,887,353) developed by Gary Bethurum, Murrieta, Calif., Benjamin Swedberg, Sycamore, Ill., and Robert Sutter, DeKalb, Ill., for an "electrical disconnect with push-in connectors."

The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office states: "An electrical disconnect has first and second female contacts mounted in a power connector housing and first and second male contacts in a load connector housing. The male contacts each have a male blade contact finger. The female contacts each have a socket for removably receiving a male blade contact finger. At the rear ends of both the male and female contacts there are integrally formed push-in connector elements for receiving a conductor or wire. The disconnect is particularly suited for use in connecting power wires to a load device in a circuit, such as a fluorescent light ballast."

The patent application was filed on March 26, 2009 (12/411,920). The full-text of the patent can be found at


TIA, Georgia Institute of Technology Sign MOU to Develop Standardization Collaboration

Arlington, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation (GTARC) announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore collaborative standards development opportunities of mutual interest involving research, testing, and outreach in the area of global information and communications infrastructure. This collaboration will take place through the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), a department of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). A pivotal dimension of the MOU is the intent to define an industry-supported center at Georgia Tech focused on the science, engineering and testing necessary to advance telecommunications standards.

"This MOU marks an important step for TIA as the scope of our standardization activities is expanding and the related demand for standards is rapidly increasing. The collaboration with Georgia Tech will give TIA access to state-of-the-art research capabilities on top of the strong and broad experience already offered by the TIA members. Combining leading hands-on industry expertise with support from a premier institution of higher learning and research will strengthen TIA's voluntary standards process throughout our engineering committees," commented Grant Seiffert, President of TIA.

TIA committees produce voluntary industry standards (TIA Standards and TIA Interim Standards) and American National Standards (TIA American National Standards) and TIA Telecommunications Systems Bulletins (TSB), and other documents in the fields of Communications Products (Wireless, M-2-M, Satellite and User Premises), Distribution Systems, and Fiber Optics. It is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and recognized by the International Telecommunication Union under ITU-T Recommendations A.5 and A.6. Recently, TIA has responded to the changing telecommunications environment with the creation of new standards committees, such as those on Smart Device Communications and Smart Utility Networks.

"Georgia Tech's involvement will be critical in the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications area. In particular, it will contribute to efficiently address pressing concerns in smart device standardization such as security. Led by GTRI's Information and Communications Lab (ICL), GTRI will bring unique resources in this regard, including those of GTRI's newly-created Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory (CTISL) and the world-renowned Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC)," said Dr. Jeffrey O. Smith, Chair of the TIA TR-50 Engineering Committee on Smart Device Communications and Chief Technology Officer of Numerex (Nasdaq: NMRX).

The MOU aims at establishing mutually acceptable cooperative programmatic arrangements that will facilitate the achievement of both organizations' strategic goals.

"The cooperation with TIA will bridge our research competence with industry experience. We are looking forward to collaborating with a preeminent standards development organization that can provide advice and guidance as we advance Georgia Tech's research mission in global communications and information technologies," stated Dr. Robert T. McGrath, director of GTRI and Georgia Tech vice president.

Georgia Tech and the TR-50 Engineering Committee on Smart Device Communications are planning a number of educational, business and networking activities at TIA 2011: Inside the Network, TIA's annual industry event being held in Dallas, Texas May 17-20, 2011.

About Georgia Tech and GTRI
The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech's more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences.

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is Georgia Tech's nonprofit applied research arm. It employs around 1,500 people, and is involved in approximately $200 million in research annually for more than 200 clients in industry and government. GTRI has been a trusted government and industry partner since 1934. Each day, GTRI's science and engineering expertise is used to solve some of the toughest problems facing government and industry across the nation and around the globe. GTRI conducts its research programs through eight technically-focused laboratories that span the breadth of information, communications, sensors, security, and related technologies. For more information on GTRI please visit

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.

Join TIA at its new annual industry event - TIA 2011: Inside the Network - at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, May 17-20, 2011. Registration is now open.

View video news programming on TIA Now at

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

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


BOMA 2011 International Conference and “The Every Building” Show - June 26-28 Wash DC

Conference Connect
Set Your Course for the Future

BOMA 2011 features over 40 education sessions focused on helping you to tackle today's challenges and identify marketplace opportunities to help you excel in the future. The sessions are organized in five education tracks and led by sought-after industry practitioners and subject-matter experts who will share best practices and solutions to help you achieve operational excellence, retain tenants and hone your leadership skills.

Earn Education Credits
All programs qualify for RPA, FMA, SMA, SMT, CPM, ARM and SIOR renewal and CPD credits. Some programs qualify for continuing education credits required by many U.S. states and Canada for the renewal of real estate licenses. Here are the BOMA 2011 education tracks:


Boosting Asset Values
Maintaining and growing NOI requires a complex understanding of your asset, particularly as tenant-driven markets allow a flight to quality. Whatever your owner's strategy, these sessions offer a range of options for attracting and retaining tenants, negotiating leases, evaluating asset performance and maximizing NOI.


Raising the Bar: Creating High-Performing Assets
High-performance assets require a complex synthesis of building technologies, systems, and data management. From emerging technologies, to evolving best practices, these sessions offer the latest intelligence to help you create and sustain your own "gold standard" high-performing building.


Forging Current and Future Leaders
Good leaders aren't born; they're made—especially in challenging times. These leadership sessions showcase the strategies that helped launch businesses and real-world (and real estate) leaders! Discover what qualities, talents and team members that leaders of today and tomorrow will need to guide the industry forward, into the future.


Getting (to) Smart: Leveraging Technologies and Systems for Better Operational Performance
Looking for ways to make your building "smarter?" Find out how to leverage building systems, operational best practices, and technologies to enhance your asset's operational performance. These sessions offer insights for building your building's "I.Q."—through case studies of tested technologies and practices.


Meeting the Demands of Emerging Regulations and Standards
The landscape in Washington can change almost as quickly as the landscape of your building. How does a well-heeled property manager keep up with all the latest requirements without losing his or her head every two years? These sessions will iron out the details on new regulations, standards and requirements so that the only political climate you have to weather is at the dinner table.

BOMA International, 1101 15th St. NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 408-2662


ANIXTER - Dennis Letham, CFO and executive vice president, will retire at the end of June

ANIXTER: DOSCH IN FOR LETHAMDennis Letham, CFO and executive vice president, will retire at the end of June; Theodore “Ted” Dosch becomes CFO and executive vice president on July 1. Letham spent 18 years in the CFO spot. Dosch joined Anixter in January 2009 as senior vice president for global finance; he had been with Whirlpool for a number of years, most recently as CFO.

            Additionally, Dosch is a member of the board of directors and vice chair of the board at Habitat for Humanity International.


FACTOID: Family business is a more important part of our economy than most people realize.

Some stats from Businessweek that you might find interesting.  
Family owned businesses are central to the U.S. economy. Family owned businesses contribute 64% of the U.S. GDP (that’s $5.9 trillion), employ 62% of the workforce, and are responsible for 78% of all new job creation. (Astrachan & Shanker, 2003) 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled. (, 2006)


Customs and Border Protection’s IPR Enforcement Priority

By Darlene Bremer

To fight the flow of counterfeit and pirated goods and protect the country’s innovation economy, the competitiveness of U.S. businesses and the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and the health and safety of consumers, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has designated intellectual property rights (IPR) as a Priority Trade Issue (PTI). “CBP identifies PTIs through a strategic, layered risk management approach based on the potential impact of noncompliance with our trade laws,” said Therese Randazzo, director, IPR policy and programs division.

CBP’s enforcement is accomplished through the cooperative efforts of its trained officers and other government agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Departments of Justice and Commerce, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and with members of the trade community, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) and the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), and individual companies. CBP also conducts industry outreach by partnering with rights owners and industry organizations to collaborate in IPR education and to share information on trends.

“The effects of counterfeiting and piracy on consumers, industry, and the economy may include lost sales, lost brand value, and reduced incentives to innovate,” Randazzo said.

Distributors and contractors can provide CBP with the names and addresses of resellers, intermediaries, transporters, importers, or foreign sellers of suspected counterfeit products, as well as information about the means and routes of transport and the characteristics of suspect products. Samples are also welcome and help CBP trace back the supply chain. “To keep fakes out of the supply chain distributors and contractors should buy from authorized dealers, manufacturers, and reputable sources. Know the chain and beware great deals,” Randazzo said.

To report suspected imports of counterfeit products to CBP, go through the eAllegations page at


Reprinted with permission from TED magazine



The NECA family of websites are filled with information for the Electrical, Lighting, and Communications Industry.

WWW = What’s New, What’s Now, What’s Next

DON”T MISS NECA 2011 SHOW – San Diego - OCT. 22 – 25

Tel: 301-215-4506 | Fax: 301-215-4553 | Email:

NECA-MEI Announces 2010 Chapter Awards


NECA's Management Education Institute Chapter Awards recognize those chapters that present the most MEI seminars in their region during a calendar year. This article lists the winners based on 2010 results.


Quad Cities Chapter, NECA Introduces EV Infrastructure to Community


The Quad Cities Chapter, NECA, got great reviews for their recent electric vehicle infrastructure information session


House Fails to Suspend Federal Prevailing-Wage Law through Budget Bill


A proposal to suspend the Davis-Bacon Act for the rest of fiscal year 2011 was defeated by a vote of 233-to-189 in the U.S. House of Representative as lawmakers considered a massive budget reconciliation bill. So, the federal prevailing-wage law is safe for now ... but this is no time for complacency as further talks on budget cuts are looming in both the House and Senate.


FREE Webcast, February 28: Significant Code Changes Online Course


A webcast on the NJATC's 2011 Significant Code Change online course will be presented Monday February 28, 2011. It's FREE! But registration is required.


NECA Opposes Repealing Davis-Bacon, Anti-PLA Amendments on Federal Budget


NECA quickly responds to amendments weakening Davis-Bacon and opposing project labor agreements that were added to the continuing resolution necessary to fund the federal government. Read the full text of NECA's letter to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives.


NECA Speaks Out on Electric Vehicle Opportunities


NECA calls for the creation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure nationwide.


NECA CEO John Grau Elected to Small Business Legislative Council Board of Directors


NECA CEO John M. Grau has joined the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) Board of Directors.


Keeping the Lights on at Fargo Theater


The Dakotas Chapter, NECA, and IBEW Local 1426 joined forces to the Fargo Theater's beautiful outdoor marquee from going dark.


Costa Rica Post-Tour Extends Cross Border Adventure


Immediately following ELECTRI International’s 2011 Cross Border Meeting in Costa Rica, a post-tour (March 29-April 2) will enable participants to see more of the country in style. Registrations must reach the ATA office by February 28.


Brief Survey On Electrical Equipment With Sharp Edges


Your response to a very short survey will help a task force of contractors, workers, manufacturers, testing labs and others determine how to address the issue of metal electrical products with sharp issues that can cut installers.


February 27 Deadline to Register for 2011 Cross Border Meeting


From the Welcome Reception on March 26 to the closing dinner on March 28, the focus of ELECTRI International's Cross Border Meeting in Costa Rica is on networking and learning. Registration must be completed online no later than February 27, and participants must make reservations directly with the Paradisus Playa Conchal.


NECA Members Urged to Participate in Prefabrication & Modularization Survey



White House Announces Better Buildings Initiative to Rebuild America



Small Business Administration Launches Contracting Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses


The SBA’s new Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program will provide greater access to federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs. Get on NECA's list of WOSBs today!



NFPA and Ford collaborate to provide Electric Vehicle Safety Training

March 1, 2011 — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced it is working with Ford Motor Company to provide electric vehicle safety training to first responders. The announcement comes as Ford prepares to launch the 2012 Focus Electric—its new all-electric vehicle—in 19 markets at the end of this year. Ford joins Chevrolet and Nissan in working with NFPA as part of its Electric Vehicle Safety Training program for first responders.

NFPA’s training program, which was announced last year as part of a $4.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, will provide firefighters and first responders with information about how to safely handle emergency situations involving new technologies found in electric vehicles. The collaboration with Ford and other manufacturers is part of NFPA’s program.

“We welcome this opportunity to further expand our electric vehicle safety training by working with the Ford Motor Company,” said Andrew Klock, NFPA’s senior project manager for the program. “Their knowledge and expertise regarding the Focus Electric’s engineering and our history as a leader in fire safety will complement each other as we develop the safety training curriculum to educate and prepare first responders.”

By working with NFPA, first responders will have access to safety specifications of the Focus Electric. NFPA and Ford are also working together to create an instructional video that will be used during the trainings.

Ford has been working with first responders for decades to provide them with opportunities to train on modern vehicles, materials and technologies, including providing fire departments with over 2,000 training vehicles since 1990. Following the introduction of their first hybrid model, the 2006 Escape Hybrid SUV, Ford began publishing emergency responder hybrid vehicle guides with instructions on how to quickly and safely disable the vehicle's electrical and battery systems before attempting to rescue occupants. Their partnership with the NFPA is another important step in reaching out to firefighters and first responders with information about the Ford Focus Electric. First responders will have practical experience with the vehicle and multimedia materials during NFPA’s training program.

NFPA will continue to work with other auto manufacturers in an effort to include vehicle-specific information as more electric vehicles enter the marketplace.

NFPA is currently finalizing the training materials and course curriculum for the full safety training program. Trainings will become available in April 2011.

For more information and resources about NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training, visit

About Ford
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.

About NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training Project
NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training project is a nationwide program to help firefighters and other first responders prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road in the United States. The NFPA project, funded by a $4.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, provides first responders with information they need to most effectively deal with potential emergency situations involving electric vehicles.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.



The Premier Event in Fire and Life Safety Comes Back to Boston in June at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

NFPA Conference & Expo – June 12-15, 2011

Mark your calendar to attend the year’s largest and most important event for the fire protection, life safety, and electrical industries. Join NFPA experts and industry professionals as we gather on June 12–15 for the 2011 NFPA Conference & Expo, widely regarded as the most comprehensive event in the industry. Convening at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the event combines an unrivaled educational conference with an expo of more than 300 solution providers. There is no better opportunity to speak with experts, evaluate products, find solutions to your technical challenges and stay current with technological advances in your field.

In this Section:

Register for this conference now!

Fire, security & life safety products and technology

















Travel and hotels
Discount air/ground travel, and hotel info

Read our blog to get updates about the Boston conference.

















Education Sessions
Choose from 130 sessions.

Event sponsors and industry partners
Thank you to our conference sponsors and industry partners.

















Pre/Post-Conference Seminars
More than two dozen sessions offered at substantial discounts

Connecting International buyers with U.S. suppliers.

















Special events
General Session, Spotlight Sessions and Featured Presentation.

2010 Conference highlights
Our 2010 event in Las Vegas, NV.

















2011 Association Technical Meeting
Information on NFPA documents to be presented at the Boston meeting.


REXEL Holdings USA renamed from International Electric Supply

REXEL USA—the company on Feb. 22 created a new name for itself: Rexel Holdings USA (replacing the holding company named International Electrical Supply). Rexel’s U.S. operations, Gexpro, Gexpro Services, Capital Light & Supply (of CT), and Parts Super Center will all be included in RHC.


Scientists develop new kind of optical fiber

A team of scientists led by John Badding, a professor of chemistry at Penn State Univ., has developed the very first optical fiber made with a core of zinc selenide—a light-yellow compound that can be used as a semiconductor. The new class of optical fiber, which allows for a more effective and liberal manipulation of light, promises to open the door to more versatile laser-radar technology. Such technology could be applied to the development of improved surgical and medical lasers, better countermeasure lasers used by the military, and superior environment-sensing lasers such as those used to measure pollutants and to detect the dissemination of bioterrorist chemical agents. The team's research will be published in Advanced Materials.

"It has become almost a cliché to say that optical fibers are the cornerstone of the modern information age," said Badding. "These long, thin fibers, which are three times as thick as a human hair, can transmit over a terabyte—the equivalent of 250 DVDs—of information per second. Still, there always are ways to improve on existing technology." Badding explained that optical-fiber technology always has been limited by the use of a glass core. "Glass has a haphazard arrangement of atoms," Badding said. "In contrast, a crystalline substance like zinc selenide is highly ordered. That order allows light to be transported over longer wavelengths, specifically those in the mid-infrared."

Unlike silica glass, which traditionally is used in optical fibers, zinc selenide is a compound semiconductor. "We've known for a long time that zinc selenide is a useful compound, capable of manipulating light in ways that silica can't," Badding said. "The trick was to get this compound into a fiber structure, something that had never been done before." Using an innovative high-pressure chemical-deposition technique developed by Justin Sparks, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, Badding and his team deposited zinc selenide waveguiding cores inside of silica glass capillaries to form the new class of optical fibers. "The high-pressure deposition is unique in allowing formation of such long, thin, zinc selenide fiber cores in a very confined space," Badding said.

The scientists found that the optical fibers made of zinc selenide could be useful in two ways. First, they observed that the new fibers were more efficient at converting light from one color to another. "When traditional optical fibers are used for signs, displays, and art, it's not always possible to get the colors you want," Badding explained. "Zinc selenide, using a process called nonlinear frequency conversion, is more capable of changing colors."

Second, as Badding and his team expected, they found that the new class of fiber provided more versatility not just in the visible spectrum, but also in the infrared—electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than those of visible light. Existing optical-fiber technology is inefficient at transmitting infrared light. However, the zinc selenide optical fibers that Badding's team developed are able to transmit the longer wavelengths of infrared light. "Exploiting these wavelengths is exciting because it represents a step toward making fibers that can serve as infrared lasers," Badding explained. "For example, the military currently uses laser-radar technology that can handle the near-infrared, or 2 to 2.5-micron range. A device capable of handling the mid-infrared, or over 5-micron range would be more accurate. The fibers we created can transmit wavelengths of up to 15 microns."

Badding also explained that the detection of pollutants and environmental toxins could be yet another application of better laser-radar technology capable of interacting with light of longer wavelengths. "Different molecules absorb light of different wavelengths; for example, water absorbs, or stops, light at the wavelengths of 2.6 microns," Badding said. "But the molecules of certain pollutants or other toxic substances may absorb light of much longer wavelengths. If we can transport light over longer wavelengths through the atmosphere, we can see what substances are out there much more clearly." In addition, Badding mentioned that zinc selenide optical fibers also may open new avenues of research that could improve laser-assisted surgical techniques, such as corrective eye surgery.


The NEXT NECA Convention & Show – BE THERE


October 22-25, 2011

San Diego Convention Center

National Electrical Contractors Association

NECA 2010 Boston Hits a Home Run!

60+% of the Boston NECA Exhibitors have already renewed their commitment to our industry by signing up for NECA 2011 San Diego.

Why? Here are just a few on the NECA 2010 Boston On-site Survey Results:
-99% of Attendees were either “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” with NECA 2010 Boston

-69% of Attendees either “Make the Final Purchasing Decision” or are “Part of the Purchasing Decision” for their firm

-53% of Attendees are planning the purchase of new equipment or services (as seen on the show floor) within the next 12 months

-another 26% of Attendees are unsure, but could possibly purchase new equipment or services (as seen on the show floor) within the next 12 months

-69% of Exhibitors ranked their experience at NECA 2010 Boston as either “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”

The thousands of Electrical Contractors who came to Boston were very pleased with the entire event. Here are just a few of their comments:

“As you know, I have been going to NECA National Conventions for a few decades and I want you to understand that this was the best so far.” 
Don Campbell, NorCal NECA

"The Trade Show was amazing!  I always heard the NECA Trade Show was great, but this was unbelievable."

Steve Willinghurst, JATC Training Director

“That opening reception was the best I've ever been to and a great start to the Convention.  Being a huge Beatles fan I was in heaven at the closing reception and couldn't help but dance the entire evening.   You and your staff did a great job.  My members that attended enjoyed everything about the Convention and will be talking it up, which will hopefully encourage those that did not attend to consider San Diego next year.”

Steven B. Chesley, Executive Manager, Quad Cities Chapter, NECA

“All I can say is CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!  Once again my members and I had such a great time at Convention - and you and your staff are truly remarkable.  From the hotels, to the shuttle service, to the courses and the trade show- this Convention will go down in the record books for being one of my favorites.” 

Brian Sullivan, Executive Director of the Nebraska Chapter of NECA

Sign up today for NECA 2011 San Diego while prime locations are still available. Full details are available on our website

Download the 2011 Exhibitor Prospectus

View the 2011 Floor Plan

Download the 2011 Space Contract

Don't Miss Out!

Benefit by participating in the electrical construction industry’s largest event. Feel free to contact me with any questions at 770-632-0044 or


NECA 2011 San Diego
October 22-25, 2011

San Diego Convention Center

National Electrical Contractors Association

NECA is the voice of the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the U.S. NECA’s national office and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development. For more information, visit


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

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, February 23, 2011 – As state as well as private colleges and universities struggle to meet budgets, higher education is experiencing a funding crisis that affects every aspect of campus life. New technologies can provide efficiencies, but purchasing and implementing them is often not an option. Individuals responsible for voice, data and video services on campus are challenged as never before.

This year’s Annual Conference of ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, will provide an opportunity for these individuals to learn from their peers as well as industry professionals as they search for realistic solutions to very difficult questions.

The 2011 conference, April 3-6 in Orlando, Florida, is the 40th for ACUTA, the only international association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education information communications technology professionals. To address the needs of nearly 2,000 individuals at some 700 institutions, ACUTA’s theme for this year’s conference is “Succeeding in the New Reality.” Session topics range from emergency preparedness to unified communications to information communications technology infrastructure and IT financial management.

In addition, author and speaker Simon T. Bailey will deliver a message intended to inspire the audience to take charge of change and transform their lives from the inside out as they become the “Chief Breakthrough Officer” on their campus.

“Conference sessions will focus directly on 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, our members value highly the opportunity 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 15th 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 “Rebalancing IT for the Future.”

The Annual Conference will also feature an exhibit hall with companies showcasing the latest technology products and services. During the event at the beautiful Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, 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 2,000 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.


Thoughts on Promotional Products after attending the BICSI conference

Why not consider using Promotional Products to get recognized

In this tough economy, what's the best thing you can do to get the message out to people that you are still ready to make your products available? Well, there is plenty of merchandise and printed products available that will get your company recognized that don't cost a lot of money.

In the morning, what better thing than to have a cup of coffee, get ready for work with your mouse and pad, write up a business proposal with a shiny pen, figure out your budget on a nice jeweled calculator or think about your real "business interests" on the back nine with those nifty golf tees? Well, there are a hundred possible ways to remind those important customers of yours that you are the right choice for that big contract or that merger because you were thoughtful enough to give out those promotional items, corporate gifts or business promotional merchandise.

You could spend millions on marketing slogans that could be hit or miss, but why when for less than $20 per item, you can give out meaningful promotional products and personalized items that show everyone that you're thinking ahead? Notebooks that people use to write messages can be a great way to remind the sales people of who was thinking about them. Miniature clocks that tell the temperature, time and date can easily remind your customers that you are the best thing to happen to them, and how sharp will it look when you can hand them a new calendar and your customers will be thinking of how much you stood out -- those other guys just came in suits and ties and shook hands, but you -- you thought ahead! Keychain flashlights will stand out because you never know when that person you're trying to impress had to work past sundown and was trying to get his key in right to go home. Won't that be convenient?

All of these promotional products, trade show giveaways and items can be written off as marketing expenses and make great gifts for any business environment, whether it be formal, informal -- whether your clients are down the street, across the country or even around the world, everyone loves to get free gifts and as long as business is being conducted, there will always be a need for items like coffee mugs, promotional pens and pencils. If you want to beat a bad economy, what better way than to let your clients and customers know they come first with the right promotional merchandise?

Dan Hagaman, RCDD – changing lanes

Dan Hagaman came to Florida in 1977 a product of a Midwestern upbringing which

took him to live in five cities before the age of 16. He believes that this helped him develop his gift for gab and his joke telling ability. He worked for more than 3 years in the Mental Health profession both in Illinois and in Florida before making the change to the electrical industry in 1979. “The work in these institutions prepared me for the electrical world” Dan often jokes.

He started at Graybar Electric as a material handler. While his electrical career

took off he continued his education at the University of South Florida at night and weekends pursuing a degree in marketing. In the next 31 years Dan worked for  Anixter, Consolidated Datacom, Anicom, Magnum Cable, Siemens Building Technologies, Rexel, and Knight Enterprises as an inside and outside salesman, branch manager, and RVP...

In these positions he developed a knack for outside sales giving promo items away with just about every visit. “Dan, Dan the giveaway man” they called him. He got involved with the marketing aspect of developing products with matching advertising co-op funds from electrical manufacturers some twenty five years ago. It was then that he first had the idea for his new company:

Hagaman Promotions and Awards

Dan started this business May of 2010 and has already made an impression on manufacturers, distributors, reps, contractors and many other business types with his unique products that fit the industry. He asserts that promotional products have the least cost per impression of any form of advertising (with the exception of internet marketing).

He believes that building a strong brand requires keeping your name in front of your prospects and clients. “In the sales process the telephone, internet marketing, and direct mail is used to make an impression. With promotional products you add face to face sales. They act as a catalyst for you to ID your best prospects and customers and to go see them to distribute these items.

When you are competing for someone's business you need to replace their current vendor. That process involves getting the prospect to start thinking about you more than their current supplier. Keeping your logo or name in front of your clientele builds “mind share” and that's what you need in order to get the business.

In this most competitive business climate you need an edge, a way to out-innovate the other guy. Hagaman contends all you need is to work hard selling in the conventional ways previously mentioned and add specialty advertising items that sell for you when you're not there. “When you purchase promotional items it means you are signing up for more interactions with your most important targets.”

Dan will help you develop inexpensive and effective products to help you with your sales process, to get you on your feet and out the door to go see some of the most important people in your future.

Hagaman Promotions and Awards

30700 US Hwy 19 N #115

Palm Harbor, FL 34684

Tel. 727.785.9424

 …More Thoughts on Promotional Items. It really works!

For Effective Promotions: Know Your Audience!
To send the most powerful message with your promotional giveaways, be sure to tailor your gift to your target audience. Giving pencils to people who use pens is pointless...and pointless pencils don't write! Knowing your audience is the single most crucial element in all business communications. And when you're giving away promotional items, communicating with your target audience can be fun and rewarding.

Gearing Up Your Computer with Lots of Goodies

I never imagined that I’d ever spend so many hours per day on a computer, let alone even own one. During my college years, only the rich kids had their own computers – and my father, but he was a corporate executive. Most of my term papers were typed on a friend’s word processor or at the university computer lab, after I waited in line to get an available terminal. Now, my life is more technical and four laptops are part of our home life. And it’s not just the computers themselves. There are all sorts of devices that go with them: a Blu-Screen Clean computer brush, USB 2.0 flash drives, wireless mice, wireless Internet detector, and rubber backed mouse pads.

I never thought that I’d have so many uses for a computer nor did I think that my desk would be cluttered with all of the things that I need to be technologically advanced. Fortunately, I can shop without ever leaving my house and find information without ever stepping foot into a library. And I can work while I’m in my pajamas parked on my couch. Ah, computers. What would I do without my trusty laptop?

Think Ahead for More Business in the New Year

With all the talk of turkey and stuffing this week, it’s hard to wrap your brain around or even pause to think about the fact that the old year is coming to a close and 2011 will be starting up in just a matter of six weeks. The craziness of the holiday season ensures that the new year sneaks up on us and before we can even top that slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, it seems that the decorations are down and January has returned. Don’t let this happen to your business! Make the effort now so that you are promoting yourself for all of 2011. You give a gift that is practical, usable, and cost-effective – the calendar – coupled with a simple marketing tool – your business card – that gets you noticed throughout the new year. Spend a little cash to make a whole lot of new business. It’s a win-win situation for both you and the recipient. A little planning on your part right now will make all the difference come June or July, and for that, you’ll be thankful.


Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column


An Industry Undergoing Transformation - Global Lighting Industry Moving from Iconic Edison Incandescent Bulb to Energy-Efficient Light Sources

Michael B. Petras Jr., President and CEO, GE Lighting

On December 31, 1879, Thomas A. Edison flipped a switch and gave the public a glimpse of the world’s first practical incandescent light bulb. It marked the first commercially viable light bulb that would ultimately replace gaslight systems. The age of practical electric lighting had begun.

December 31, 2011—exactly 132 years later—will mark another dramatic turning point in the history of lighting. That will be the last day manufacturers can legally make a 100-watt incandescent bulb for sale in the U.S. The long reign of the incandescent bulb will begin to end on January 1, 2012 (one year earlier in California), as federal regulations take effect.


Although 100-watt incandescent light bulbs—among the most commonly used household bulbs, with more than 200 million sold annually in the U.S. alone—can no longer be manufactured for sale in the U.S., retailers and manufactures may sell them until exhausting their inventory.


Other wattages will follow. By January 1, 2013, 75-watt bulbs will no longer be manufactured for sale in the U.S., followed by the end of 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs on January 1, 2014. This trend has already started in other countries, with similar legislation being implemented around the globe. Australia and the European Union began the conversion in 2009. Argentina and the Philippines started in 2010. The 100-watt timeline in British Columbia, Canada, was January 1, 2011, while the rest of the country will implement legislation January 1, 2012.


In addition to changes in the consumer market related to household bulbs, the Department of Energy (DOE) will implement new efficiency standards for halogen PAR lamps (spotlights/floodlights) in the summer of 2012 that will eliminate nearly all standard halogen PAR38, PAR30, and PAR20 lamps from the market.


Consumers who want to continue to use halogen technology have great energy-saving options, such as the HIR™ Plus Halogen lamps, which are among the industry's most efficient lamps in PAR38s and PAR30 long necks. These halogen lighting products are up to 54 percent more efficient than standard PAR38s and up to 41 percent more efficient than standard PAR30 long necks—great for retail, property management, household applications, and anywhere PAR lamps are used today.


The Goal: Dramatic Energy Savings

The global lighting industry is undergoing a profound transformation as global demand declines for the household incandescent bulb and as new efficiency standards and technology advancements take hold. Customers want more efficient bulbs that save energy and money, while governments are requiring higher efficiency products for lighting, which consumes approximately 22 percent of all electricity in the U.S.


With an estimated 4 billion Edison screw-base light sockets in American homes, the savings related to this transition will be huge. For example, after the 100-watt incandescent lamp is gone, consumers will be able to achieve approximately the same light output by using a halogen bulb of about 72 watts or a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) of about 25 watts.


If half of the 200 million 100-watt incandescent bulbs sold annually in the U.S. were converted to halogen bulbs and the other half to CFLs, the savings would be even greater—elimination of 7.8 million tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the removal of nearly 1.4 million cars from the roads. This is just the impact of 100-watt light bulbs removed from service.


Consumer education, options critical

Education is key. Consumer research by GE Lighting found that three out of four U.S. adults are not yet aware of the new lighting efficiency regulations. When told of the change, focus-group studies revealed that consumers are understandably anxious. Consumers worry about the higher costs of the alternative light bulbs and that these more expensive bulbs won’t perform as advertised.


While these may be legitimate concerns, retailers offer many options to consumers for reliable, affordable energy-efficient lighting that meet consumers’ diverse lighting needs and preferences while conserving energy.

LED lighting

Growing in popularity is solid state lighting (SSL), commonly called LED lighting. Instead of materials that turn "incandescent" when heated, solid state products rely on "electroluminescence" from light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. When electricity is applied to an LED, light is emitted from the interface between two different semiconducting materials. The LED is typically put into an epoxy package that can be easily connected to an electrical circuit.

LED products already on the market use one-quarter of the wattage of a comparable incandescent bulb and last 25 times longer.

From emerging technology to widespread adoption

For most consumers, the solid stage age will not come overnight. While the benefits are a very persuasive draw for consumers, the initial out-of-pocket cost for household LED lighting products will be significantly higher than traditional light bulbs.

As with any new technology, the first generations of high-quality LED light bulbs comparable to traditional incandescents are expected to cost between $40 and $50 a bulb, which will be too expensive for the vast majority of households. Broader adoption is anticipated in the commercial or professional markets, where more value is placed on maintenance and energy savings.

Commercial users are already being won over. In 2007, industry sales of LEDs for general lighting purposes amounted to just $340 million, according to market research firm Strategies Unlimited. By 2014, that is projected to be $7.3 billion, representing a compounded average annual growth rate of 44 percent.

While initial LED lighting products will be more expensive, they will last longer and save energy—the bulb more than pays for itself over 22 years of energy savings. As technology improves and costs come down, demand for LED lighting will grow.

By 2030, DOE estimates SSL could save approximately 190 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, resulting in $15 billion in savings per year at today's prices. That roughly equals the annual output of 24 large power plants (1000 MW), or enough electricity to light 95 million homes.

Between now and 2030, DOE estimates the nation would reduce consumption by 1,488 terawatt-hours, representing a savings of $120 billion in today’s prices. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 246 million metric tons of carbon, assuming the same mix of power generation as today.

Buyer beware: Is it too good to be true?

As is the case with many emerging technologies, manufacturers around the world are trying to gain a portion of the LED market segment by releasing a spate of lighting products to the public—perhaps even without appropriate testing. Most LED products carry claims of lasting 25,000 to 50,000 hours and emitting as much light as incandescent bulbs.

A stroll through the exhibition hall at the LightFair International trade show in 2010 revealed booth after booth of obscure manufacturers displaying LED light bulbs claiming to burn as brightly as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. There is reason to be skeptical and cautious.

Independent laboratory tests under the DOE Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting program, better known as CALiPER, has revealed a large percentage of LED lighting products on the market fall short of manufacturers’ claims. New standards for screw-in LED bulbs carrying the ENERGY STAR® label administered by the Environmental Protection Agency went into effect on August 31, 2010. But many products have not yet gone through the rigorous, independent testing required to earn the ENERGY STAR label.

The government has demonstrated that it will take action to protect consumers, but consumers should also do their part by buying responsibly from reputable companies that stand behind their products, not only on the day of purchase but throughout the product’s lifespan.

Buying from a reputable company is important, because given the long life of these new products, consumers not only need to be concerned with how brightly a bulb burns now, but also how brightly it will burn five, ten, or even fifteen years from now.

The transition of the global lighting industry means big changes. This revolution is fraught with technological, management, and marketing challenges as well as boundless opportunities.

Michael B. Petras also serves as treasurer on the NEMA Board of Governors.

REPRINTED with permission from the ElectroIndustry Magazine. February 2011 issue (page 14) An Industry Undergoing Transformation by Michael Petras, Pres. GE Lighting



1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator. 
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier. 
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have. 
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.. 
5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway. 
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy. 
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put 
motion detectors up there too. 
8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather. 
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.) 
10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. 
11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms. 
12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me. 
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at
1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook. 
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors. 
3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again... If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature. 
4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it? 
5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets. 
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your 
Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address. 
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation. 
8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in. 
Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book 
Burglars on the Job 
A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office 
on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead. 
The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection... Thought this was interesting and might be of use. 
On the heels of a break in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, 
self-defense experts have a tip that could save your life. 
Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at 
Sylvania Southview High School. For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed. 
Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them." 
Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray. 
"That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out." 
Maybe even save a life. 
Put your car keys beside your bed at night 
Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night. 
If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a 
security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime. 
P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the 
car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem. 

Thanks to Ralph Jensen, Editor of Security ProductsOnLine magazine.


The Law of Supply and Demand - Copper

The other day I overheard a contractor filling up 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 cost to do jobs out of their own pockets.  There are many other shocking examples of unexpected cost increases spiraling upward after the job has been negotiated and the deal signed.  The price of COPPER is going up.

There are many pitfalls for contractors.  They need to practice self-defense.  Unexpected 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.  The agreement for a project should be well defined, with clauses to address unforeseen and unexpected expenses.

The Drivers on the Climbing Copper Prices

In 2011, market demand for copper is still rising strongly on the back of phenomenal growth in China, India and other emerging market economies.  In China the growth has been a staggering 15% per year.  Stockpiles of copper have been in sharp decline the last few years.  It is this scarcity that has driven prices higher while commodities traders out-bid each other as they scramble for available supplies and hedge on futures.  Supply has fallen behind the growth of demand and prices can move in only one direction when this happens.

Economics is based upon the law of supply and demand (a.k.a. the study of the allocation of scarce resources).  According to a study from geologists at Yale University, new discoveries of copper have raised global reserves by just 0.63% per year since 1925 but usage (final demand) has risen at 3.3% per year.  No changes in this disparity are expected in the next few years.

Most copper ore is mined or extracted as copper sulfides from large open pit mines in copper porphyry deposits that contain 0.4% to 1.0% copper.  Over 40% of the world’s copper supply comes from North and South America; 31% from Asia, and 21% from Europe.  Chile is the world’s largest supplier of copper (it provided 35% of the total with Indonesia and the USA each contributing 8%).

Copper prices are at an all-time high.  This base metal is experiencing a world-wide and unprecedented growth in demand that is driving the prices ever higher.  The supply volume (mining and recycling) is stable at this time.  With the long-term forecasts of increasing demand (particularly in China), we may see copper-based wire and cable products increasing in price over at least the next five years.

Copper Uses Growing Rapidly

Nearly 50% of the demand for copper comes from the construction industry and 17% from the electrical sector.  Copper is also used extensively in heavy and light engineering and in transport industries.  From copper wire and communication cabling to copper plumbing; from the use of copper in integrated circuits to its value as a corrosive resistant material in shipbuilding and as a component of coins and cutlery, copper has a huge array of possible industrial uses.

An excellent example of the growing demand for copper comes from the automobile industry.  The average new car contains 60.72 lbs of copper.  Hybrid cars (which incorporate electric motors in conjunction with combustion engines) could lead to further rises in copper demand by this segment.   A typical electric hybrid car might use around 2 times the current usage of copper in extra cabling and windings for electric motors.  The improved technology of batteries and the soaring cost of gasoline have combined to give totally electric vehicles huge momentum in the marketplace.  The numerous growing demands for copper have grown much faster than the supply.

The low flexibility of prices (based on demand) for copper usually stems from a lack of close substitutes in the market.  For some products and processes, aluminum or plastic may act as a substitute to copper, but there are costs and delays involved in switching between materials.

The flexibility in the supply of copper is low.  Supply is usually unresponsive to price movements in the short term because of the high fixed costs of developing new extraction processes and plants which typically involve lengthy lead-times.  Due to that pressure, investors seem resistant to investing in new copper mining facilities at this time.  If existing copper mining businesses are working close to their current capacity, then a rise in world demand will simply lead to a reduction in available stocks.  Current copper supply and demand issues may not bring the market back into equilibrium for many years.  These price predictions do not even take into account the volatile effect of speculative buying.


The demand for copper will continue to remain strong provided that the global industrial sectors continue to expand production. But if prices remain high then we can expect to see some shifts occurring.

For a start, copper can be recycled although the costs of doing so are often high. Recycling of wire and cable adds to the supply and is a major source of revenue for the astute contractor. However, the resultant byproducts of the recycling process include the release of toxic gasses in atmospheric emissions from the recycling plants and waste products (including heavy metals and other hazardous substances) dumped into rivers or ground water supplies.    Most copper recycling materials, like wire and cable,  are associated with plastics (like jacketing and insulation materials – many containing HAZMAT)  Regardless, the price theory would predict an increase in demand for scrapped copper and perhaps a substitution moving away from copper towards aluminum. And in the interim, high prices and emerging new technologies may cause an even bigger shift in demand away from copper based products

VDV – Voice Data Video Market

In the growing Information Technology market currently dominated by the copper cabling industry, the take off in wireless technology and fiber optics will also have an impact. The need for speed in transmission properties has placed a much higher demand for fiber optic cabling to replace copper communications cable. The cost comparisons are showing the two design choices are close to price parity, however the fiber optic technology offers a significantly greater barrier to obsolescence. Recent interviews with various major U.S. cabling manufacturers and distributors (i.e. CSC, Accu-Tech, and Graybar) confirmed cabling costs have risen in the last few months because of increased copper and plastics (FEP) costs. The argument in favor of investing in fiber optic cabling is compelling.


Higher prices may be the trigger to an expansion of copper ore production as supply responds to the incentives of increased potential revenues and profits.  In recent years, copper mining production has fallen short of expectations.  The rule remains: if the price stays high enough suppliers will eventually respond and expand to the demand…. Or purchasers will find other products and solutions.  Many experts feel that this is not a temporary condition.


Competition demands that Contractors must insure the prices in their bids reflect the CURRENT COSTS of the products from distribution. Increasingly, we are hearing leading distributors warning the market about price increases that are coming because of soaring raw material costs. The copper and petro-chemical materials have had three sets of price increases in the last three months, and there seems to be more coming down the road. Currently, copper and FEP (Teflon) cable costs are soaring. Under the current conditions, the supplier or distributor should provide a written statement accompanying their bid to the contractor that will state that the price is good until a specified date. The contractor may also build an escalation clause into their bids. Bids should have some protection against the cost increases

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee

Commentary by Frank Bisbee, editor of the “Heard On The Street” monthly column and e-zine. 

Reprinted from web exclusive articles from The Electrical Contractor Magazine


Electrify – Illuminate – Communicate

The NEW Electrical Contractor is called upon to do it all.

The Rewiring of America is the newest challenge to face the Electrical Contractor (EC). Over the past decade new developments on the technological scene have made “rewiring” an imperative for power, lighting, and communications.


The cost of energy has reached levels never anticipated, and something must be done to monitor, manage, and maximize “power.”  The smart management of energy consumption is one of the fastest growth areas of the electrical industry. Many electrical contractors have added energy management services to their offerings. The payback on these applications is much higher than any other area of customer services. More data is emerging every year to confirm the findings that automated building systems can substantially reduce the cost of “power.” The pages of Electrical Contractor Magazine are filled with examples of the smart building applications and how they are bringing the EC and the customer closer together. Expanding energy services is an important growth area for the EC.


The rules for lighting are changing rapidly as the more efficient lighting systems are understood.  Older technologies, like the incandescent bulbs, are getting the heave-ho in favor of the less-costly and more environmentally-friendly LED (Light Emitting Diode). Once again the EC is in the forefront of the changes in the new rules for lighting the workplace and homes across the nation. The EC has become the heir to the opportunity of updating the way we illuminate our world.


During the past twenty five years, the world has been overwhelmed by the complete revolution of being able to communicate with every corner of the world. The internet has made the flow of information absolutely mandatory in virtually every business and social area of our lives. The demand for speed and the volume of transmitted data has made most of the installed cabling systems obsolete overnight. No sooner had the world been wired for high speed data, when we discovered that the primary media (copper UTP) was challenged to keep up with the growing demand for more speed and a greater volume of information (data). Basically, copper cabling is limited by the rule of “the faster you transmit – the shorter distance it can go.”

Fiber Optical cabling is the best barrier to obsolescence. The FO cables are capable of reaching from the backbone to the work zone and beyond (FTTD) efficiently and with more bandwidth available. We envision that virtually all communications cabling will require upgrades within the next 15 years. In the USA alone, this means almost 40 - 50 million miles of cabling will need to be installed or replaced. Once again the EC is the best choice for this challenge. The competitive edge offered by communications to the world of commerce makes addressing this “rewiring” mandatory.


Low voltage cabling (copper or fiber optic) is the nerve system for your operations. The EC can bring these technologies together in converged systems (HCVA, Lighting, Security, Life Safety, Telecommunications, etc.) to automate operations and your building. Continental Automated Buildings Association’s President, Ron Zimmer said  “CABA has many studies confirm that the cost savings, particularly in electricity, can be significant.”

Electrical Contractors Increase Work in the Low Voltage Market Sector
The results of the 2010 Electrical Contractor Magazine Reader Profile Study show that electrical contractor’s work in the low voltage market has increased since the 2008 survey results.

▪ 66% of electrical contractors did work in Communications/Systems Connectivity, almost 6 in 10 worked in CII Automation & Controls in 2009.

▪ Significantly more electrical contractors in 2010 said that their firm was actively involved in the Design or Specification of Data Centers and/or the Installation of Data Centers than in 2008.




CII Industrial Controls



CII Fire/Life Safety



CII Security/Access



CII Auto. Bldg Sys



Structured Wiring/Cabling



Lighting Controls



Network / VOIP/ Wireless/Broadband






Fiber Optics



Energy Efficient Projects





While many experts debate over the economy and the recession, it is clear that our world has changed drastically over the past few years and it may be years before a complete recovery will occur. We have analyzed marketplace and found the strongest sectors are the GEMs (Government –Education – Medical). These sectors have projected growth of 5%-15% over the next two years. The EC is ideally positioned to provide the POWER – LIGHTING – COMMUNICATIONS infrastructure to meet these needs.

In the recent State of The Union speech by President Obama, he directed our focus to some very important facts and issues. His remarks included, “Our world has changed.  And for many, the change has been painful.  I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts on once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear -– proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

The rules have changed.  In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business.  Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100.  Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection.”

The competition for work is intense.  But this shouldn’t discourage us.  It should challenge us. Remember -– for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world.  No workers are more productive than Americans.  No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs.  We’re the home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any place on Earth.

The future is ours to win.  But to get there, we can’t just stand still.  As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift.  It is an achievement.”  Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat.  It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

Today, we know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries. America needs to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.  In order to succeed, we have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. The Electrical Contractor has evolved to become one of the most powerful resources in our country because the EC is leading the way into a brighter day. Some experts say that the EC will play a pivotal role in how we handle challenges Economically, Environmentally, and Competitively in the global arena.

The most recent opportunity to challenge the EC is building the infrastructure to handle the needs of electrically powered autos. With more research and incentives, Americans can break their dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.  In setting America’s new goal:  by 2035, eighty percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.  Some groups want wind and solar.  Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas.  To meet this goal, America will need them all. Electrical Contractors will play a major role in the training and implementation of the infrastructure of electric vehicles’ energy supply system.

Winning the future is rebuilding and rewiring America.  To attract new businesses to the USA, we need the most efficient power system and the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information -- from high-speed rail to high-speed Internet. 

Within the next five years, It will be possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans.  The EC is an important player in connecting America to the digital age.  It’s about rural communities in America where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products worldwide.  It’s about firefighters who can download the design of burning buildings onto handheld devices; students who can take classes with digital textbooks; or patients who can have face-to-face video chats with their doctors.

The electrical contractor certainly has a bright future as the USA and the world addresses the needs of power, lighting, and communications for the future. All these investments -- innovation, education, and infrastructure -- will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. 

Please send us your ideas, comments to improve our column and get the word out. Your input is important.

Commentary by Frank Bisbee, editor of the “Heard On The Street” monthly column and e-zine. 

Reprinted from web exclusive articles from The Electrical Contractor Magazine


Accu-Tech’s LEED Seminar Series is a nationwide tour

Accu-Tech’s LEED Seminar Series is a nationwide tour designed to bring new opportunities to our customers and business partners. These seminars focus on key aspects of our industry-- LEED, Data Centers, and In-Building Wireless.

We would like to invite industry professionals which hold various credentials such as the RCDD, LEED AP, LEED Green Associate, FMA, SMA, RPA, P.E. and AIA designations as well as any others that would find value in these topics. 

Continuing Education Credits

In addition to the unique educational opportunity the seminar provides, the course is also worth (4) Continuing Education Credits for a number of professional industry designations including the LEED AP, LEED Green Associate, BICSI RCDD, FMA, SMA and RPA.

Distributed Antenna System (DAS) course worth 3 BICSI CEC's.

As 11/4/2010, Accu-Tech was approved by the American Institute of Architects as an AIA CES Provider. Each one hour segment of this seminar will receive (1) SD (Sustainable Design) Learning Unit towards the AIA professional designation.

The seminar leader will be Mike Long, LEED Green Associate (Accu-Tech LEED Program Manager), who coordinates the LEED Seminar Series for Accu-Tech.

Brian P. Brown
Lead Web Developer & Internet Marketing

Cell: 678-997-9768 | Office: 770-663-2387

Anixter launches new assurance program at recent AFCOM Data Center World conference

ANIXTER—“Anixter ipAssured” is the name of a new infrastructure assurance program for data centers launched at the AFCOM Data Center World conference, which was held recently in Las Vegas.

“Your most direct and affordable way to post for and recruit top security talent!”

Whether you're recruiting security professionals or looking for a new security position, start your search on the Security Products website, the security site visited by thousands* in the industry each week. Job seekers in these categories and more scan our site daily searching for careers in:

• Alarms
• Critical Control
• Electrician
• Engineering
• Loss Prevention
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Post open positions now!
Click here for product and pricing options.

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Postings updated daily. Click here for more information.


Aquantia, Cisco, Intel and Siemon Team Up to Discuss 10GBASE-T Adoption in the Data Center

Industry Experts Discuss 10GBASE-T Advancements to Reduce Energy Consumption in Data Centers

February 16, 2011, WATERTOWN, CT – At a recent Emerging Technology Forum in Portland, OR, experts from leading network infrastructure companies Aquantia, Cisco, Intel and Siemon addressed key advances and considerations in the trend towards increasing market adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GBASE-T) technologies in the data center.   Topics covered at this event were key 10GBASE-T market drivers and projections, the evolution of server connectivity, decreasing power needs and cabling design options with 10GBASE-T, and others. This event offered actionable advice for networking professionals on critical 10GbE decision points across the data center infrastructure. An online video of this expert panel discussion is available at

Panel contributors included Dave Chalupsky, Intel Network Architect, Carl Hansen, Senior Product Manager with Intel’s Data Center Standards group, Carrie Higbie, Siemon’s Global Director of Data Center Solutions & Services, Sudeep Goswami, Product Line Manager of Cisco’s Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit and group chair for the Ethernet Alliance 10GBASE-T committee and Sean Lundy, Director of Technical Marketing at Aquantia.

Among the event highlights were Aquantia’s Sean Lundy and Intel’s Carl Hansen and Dave Chalupsky providing insight on how chip innovations from their respective companies were expected to significantly drive down 10GBASE-T power requirements for more energy-efficient 10GbE networks.  According to Lundy, “The current 40nm generation can already achieve power of a couple of Watts for connectivity within the rack in data centers and will trend to 1 Watt or less with Energy Efficient Ethernet and migration to finer geometries. We have now achieved a power, area, density envelope that has enabled dual-port LAN on Motherboard (LOM). Between LOM and 48-port high density switching, in 2011, we will see the beginning of the hockey stick growth curve for 10GBASE-T”.

Regarding widespread commercial availability of 10GBASE-T equipment, Cisco’s Sudeep Goswami stated that Cisco is serious about 10GBASE-T and projected that the company’s flagship Nexus product family would join its Catalyst line in supporting 10GBASE-T in 2011.

According to Siemon’s Carrie Higbie, category 6A and higher connectivity is being planned in new data centers, “85% of the new data center designs I see are cabling for 10GBASE-T.”  Higbie also noted a continuing upswing in the global use of shielded cabling for 10GBASE-T, including the traditional UTP dominant markets such as the US.

Siemon has been marketing and selling 10GBASE-T ready cabling since 2004 and now that 10GBASE-T equipment and power consumption is becoming more economical, the time has come for customers to take full advantage of their category 6A and higher cabling investment.

For more information and insight from the Aquantia, Cisco, Intel and Siemon expert panel, please view the event video at

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About Siemon

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


The Three Rs of Intelligent Infrastructure

Sunday, 20 February 2011  at  08:35, By James Carlini

Redundancy, Reliability, and Resiliency are the three Rs of basic design concepts for intelligent infrastructure needed to provide a solid platform for mission critical applications and real-time communications-based information technology applications.

In commercial real estate, any owner or managing firm of an intelligent business campus (IBC) or intelligent industrial park (IIP) wanting to attract and maintain new corporate tenants has to be focused on following these basic concepts for building next-generation business parks. Intelligent amenities of redundant power from separate power grids and reliable access to multiple network carriers for broadband connectivity are capabilities that more and more are looking for.

These are two key infrastructure factors today in developing high-tech real estate that can support mission critical data centers as well as today’s complex corporate tenant needs which include cloud computing.

Today, intelligent amenities need to be addressed upfront in the Master Planning of a business campus prior to prospective tenant inquiries. In the past, they were left to be determined after the tenant had moved in. Now, if they are not present upfront, a prospective tenant’s site selection and evaluation team will keep looking to the next region for potential sites.

Many commercial properties are land-locked when it comes to having any network carrier available with high-speed connectivity that can provide multiple gigabit services. Having one network carrier available or one source of power is not enough, especially when you are looking to maintain mission critical applications that require high reliability and survivability.

Most industrial parks and business campuses do not offer the same level of capabilities which are needed to compete in today’s and tomorrow’s global economy. The differentiation of amenities is what will determine new values for properties as well as how fast properties will sell or lease up.

New approaches needed for master planning

Changing the approach used for Master Planning for commercial and industrial campuses should be accomplished by those who are involved in the planning and design facets of commercial real estate. They need to understand the new requirements from the tenants’ perspective.

For instance, the reliability of one network carrier is not enough. Having a second carrier with second diversified route is a solid amenity to have and to market. The same goes for redundant power supplies. Those properties that can offer better amenities will attract better tenants.

Having these capabilities upfront embedded in the initial infrastructure will attract a higher caliber of tenant who is looking for sophisticated amenities to support their business that is competing in a global economy.

CARLINI-ISM : You must build upon a solid foundation both in design as well as final implementation. Reciting buzzwords is not enough. People must get a sense of forward progress and removal of dated concepts.

Mr. Carlini will be the featured Keynote Speaker at the upcoming annual LECET (Laborers Employers Cooperation & Education Trust) conference in Chicago, IL on May 4, 2011.  The topic will be Intelligent Infrastructure: Securing Regional Sustainability.

Does YOUR organization need a keynote speaker for an upcoming conference? 

Tel. 773-370-1888   …Copyright 2011 - James Carlini

From business column in Dubai:


BICSI Listens and Improves. Letter from the President

At BICSI, we take the time to listen to our members in order to improve our products and services provided to you. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss some changes we are making to the ITS Fundamentals program to help our prospective Registered Communication Distribution Designers® (RCDDs) and Registered Information Technology Professionals™ (RITPs) in their process of attaining BICSI’s most prestigious credentials.

Beginning April 1, the ITS Fundamentals examination will no longer be a prerequisite for the RCDD and RITP exams. Because these designations require five years of industry experience, we have eliminated this requirement and the Fundamentals principles will be integrated into the RCDD and RITP exams. Prior to April 1, the program will still be a requirement to all individuals looking to take the RCDD or RITP exam.

Though the ITS Fundamentals program is no longer required, BICSI encourages individuals to use it as a starting point to study for any BICSI design designation. The ITS Fundamentals exam will remain a prerequisite to attain all other BICSI design credentials.

As a global association, one of our major goals is to make our products and services competitively priced for our members and the marketplace, so we have lowered the price of the ITS Fundamentals program. We place great emphasis on making sure that our members’ needs are met and exceeded, so please feel free to contact us directly with any questions you have regarding the new ITS Fundamentals program guidelines. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to BICSI.


Brian Hansen, RCDD, NTS, CSI
BICSI President


CABA NewsBrief

 Home Systems

§                     Global Cache and Touch IR+ sign partnership
Global Caché, a leading independent manufacturer of IP and WiFi connectivity products for the control and automation market, and Touch IR+, makers of software applications that turn an iPad/iPhone/iPod into a universal remote control, announced they have signed a strategic alliance agreement. The partnership provides a platform for the two companies to co-market and ensures seamless product compatibility. (2/22)

§                     Global smart homes market worth $13.4 billion by 2014
The global smart homes market is estimated to be $13.4 billion by 2014, growing at a CAGR of 16.5% from 2009 to 2014, driven by the increasing ageing population worldwide. The markets for smart home products and services are expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.3% and 17% respectively. Rise in the ageing population is the major driving force for the growth of the market. Government initiatives and rising smart home adoption rates due to increasing personal income in Asia are also boosting the market. Market Publishers (2/23)

§                     Samsung devices to get live streaming via upcoming TV models
Future owners of Samsung's recently announced Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy S II will be able to stream content via the company's upcoming Smart TV models. Apparently, the mobile devices -- as well as other compatible gadgets -- will be able to wirelessly connect with the TVs' second tuner, turning them into satellite sets. (2/21)

§                     Handset makers are ready to complete data transfer standard
Major mobile phone makers this week are expected to put the wraps on the Long-Term Evolution Advanced standard, a technology that will support data transfer speeds of up to 1 Gbps. The 3GPP group will meet in Taiwan, where it likely will finalize the LTE-Advanced standard. Network World/IDG News Service (2/21)

§                     Microsoft to release tool kit for Kinect developers
Microsoft says it will make available a tool kit that will enable developers to create software that uses the company's Kinect motion-controlled gaming peripheral. According to a Microsoft statement, the kit will make it easier "for academic research and enthusiast communities to create even richer experiences using Kinect technology." The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (2/21)

§                     Reports: Apple is developing a connection with Intel
Apple, according to published reports, may soon be using a super-speedy Intel connection for computer peripherals. The connector is called Light Peak, and it's believed that the system will be able to replace all other cables running to a computer and carry data as fast as 10 Gbps in both directions simultaneously. Network World (2/21)

§                     Energy costs could raise tech prices, hamper development
The rising price of oil -- which is nearing $100 a barrel -- could force manufacturers of technology products to reduce spending on research and development, which in turn could create a bottleneck in the evolutionary path of the IT industry, economists warn. Transportation accounts for about one-fifth of all costs to manufacturers in Asia, and petrochemicals are a vital component in consumer-electronics products. "There is already some moderation kicking in. With the oil prices up, we could see more moderation. It really depends on how long it drags on," analyst Joanna Tan said. News Service (2/22)

§                     Trade group predicts 15 billion mobile devices by 2020
By 2020, the world will have about 15 billion devices with mobile capabilities, according to GSMA, a trade group for the mobile industry. Ton Brand, the group's senior project director, said the bulk of the upcoming innovation will come along four tracks: consumer electronics and products and services for the health care, automotive and smart-grid industries. The Wall Street Journal (2/21)

§                     More merchants test in-store iPads to boost sales
A growing number of retailers are using iPads and tablets to encourage gadget-savvy shoppers to spend more time in their stores, using the devices as everything from mobile catalogs that give shoppers choices beyond what's in stock to portable cash registers that speed payment and keep more staffers on the sales floor. "Everybody has something in development," said Ken Nisch, chairman of retail design firm JGA. "This is not going to be a novelty. It's going to be a sea change in how retailers transact and interact with customers." Chicago Tribune (2/20)

§                     What is needed to push Internet TV forward?
Internet TV is picking up steam, but it could still be years before it truly takes off, according to a research paper from Turner Investments. It's unclear what that means for content providers, the researchers say, but it's clear that infrastructure improvements will be needed to cope with the surging demand for streamed media. "Content may be king, but routers, switches and networking chipsets are the crown jewels of the new kingdom," writes Steve Smith. MediaPost Communications/VidBlog (2/17)

§                     CEA's Shapiro says innovation will fuel U.S. renaissance
CEA top executive Gary Shapiro has released a book titled "The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream." In it, Shapiro contends that innovation will enable the U.S. to re-establish itself as an economic powerhouse on the world stage and describes the attribute as "the fortunate result of our nation's rich and unique stew of individual liberty, constitutional democracy, limited government, free enterprise, social mobility, ethnic diversity, immigrant assimilation, intellectual freedom, property rights and the rule of law." The Wall Street Journal (2/17)

§                     Opinion: Dual-projector 3-D solutions have shortcomings
CE installers who attempt to use two projectors to generate 3-D images may face problems, including those related to technical issues and higher costs, according to this report authored by George Walter, vice president of home cinema at Digital Projection, which manufactures single-projector 3-D solutions. (2/15)

§                     Cogeco offers DOCSIS 3.0 service in Quebec
Cogeco Cable is now offering its DOCSIS 3.0-based Ultimate 30 and Ultimate 50 data tiers in Shawinigan, Quebec. Cogeco, which recently launched the tiers , said the new offerings were the fastest download speeds in the area. (2/16)

§                     Renesas' SoC achieves DivX certification
Digital video codec firm DivX has recognized Renesas Mobile Corp.'s SH-Mobile MT1 as the first DivX Plus HD-certified mobile system-on-chip. According to this report, Renesas' SoC will enable consumers to directly transfer content from DivX-certified devices to their smartphones and laptops. Gizmodo Australia (2/16)

§                     iPad propels Apple to first place in mobile-computer sector
Apple sold 7.3 million iPads from October through December, accounting for 17.2% of all mobile computers sold worldwide, which pushed the company into the lead position in the sector ahead of Hewlett-Packard and Acer, according to DisplaySearch. National Public Radio/The Associated Press (2/16)

§                     Crestron shows off two new keypads for Prodigy control systems
Crestron just announced the P-CBDEX and the P-KPLEX, two new wireless keypads that connect directly to the Prodigy home control system. That means there is absolutely no need for any type of gateway. That’s because all Prodigy control systems, such as the new PMC3 and PMC3-XP, feature a built-in wireless gateway. No separate network is needed, making for a cleaner, easier installation process. Electronic House (2/16)

§                     Homes waiting to get smart
As systems integrator Michael Staindl of Melbourne's Smart Systems maintains, home automation has "been a long time coming, and it's still arriving". Staindl, principal of a company that has been consulting on home automation systems for 15 years, admits Australian homes are lagging way behind the level of embedded technology we take for granted in cars. The Australian (2/19)

§                     Home energy upgrades could get huge boost from new New York state program
Starting this year, New York state has made it easier for homeowners to have a more comfortable, energy-efficient house through a new program called Green Jobs/Green NY. It provides free home-performance energy audits through approved contractors, a value of around $400, and up to $13,000 in low-interest loans (3.49 percent) to finance improvements. Ithaca Journal (2/22)

§                     Are zero carbon homes a lot of hot air?
CNN spoke to green house-builders and environmentalists to answer some burning questions about zero carbon homes in the UK, including: Why do we need zero carbon homes? What exactly does zero carbon mean? And how does the UK's target compare with others worldwide? CNN International (2/13)

§                     South Korean broadband plan boasts tenfold increase in access speeds
The government of South Korea is moving forward with a plan to realize full broadband penetration in the country, offering every home in the nation access to the Internet at speeds of 1 gigabit per second by the end of 2012. A pilot project is providing the target speeds to 5,000 South Korean homes at a cost to the user of less than $27 a month. The New York Times (2/21)

§                     Improve your home's efficiency with technology
More and more, home buyers are looking for ways to incorporate home technologies that increase the long-term value of their house but also provide convenience, safety and comfort. These days, energy management tops the list of desired features in new homes, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In the home technology features category, the No. 1 choice among respondents was energy management at 61 percent, up from 45 percent in 2004. Also ranked highly in this category were multi-zone heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), lighting controls and home theaters. Sioux City Journal (2/23)

§                     Video: Gorilla-glass maker dreams of a day made of glass
Corning Inc. maker of the Gorilla Glass, which is found on the screens of a number of popular smart phones and tablets, has released an interesting promo video laying out its vision for the future of displays. The five minute clip, titled “A day made of glass” shows a wide range of applications in which it envisages video displays being adopted in the future. From fridge doors to shop windows it illustrates interactive displays based on its speciality glass technologies. InAVate (2/21)

§                     IEEE publishes final 1901TM Broadband over Power Line standard
IEEE recently announced that the final IEEE 1901TM Broadband over Power Line (BPL) standard was finalized in December 2010 and is now published. Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, this globally recognized BPL standard is designed for use in a wide range of applications including smart energy, transportation and Local Area Networks (LANs) in both the home and the enterprise. Hiddenwires (2/18)

§                     Best Buy app lets shoppers compare rivals' prices
Best Buy has released a comparison shopping app on the iPhone and Android platforms that allows customers to research products by photographing them. According to IQ Engines, which developed the image-recognition technology, the Best Buy App lets consumers compare product features as well as prices against other brands and stores. TWICE (2/16)

§                     Survey: U.S. broadband speeds increased in 2010
Providers of broadband service have remained ahead of the curve in terms of meeting consumer demand for download speeds, according to a report from the In-Stat research firm, which says most people are satisfied with their speeds. In-Stat says speeds improved an average of 34% last year, with the average-per-customer increasing from 7.12 megabits per second in 2009 to 9.54 Mbps in 2010. (2/17)

§                     Study: TV sales hit 77.6 million worldwide in fourth quarter
Fueled by strong growth in North America, global TV sales during the fourth quarter of last year rose 15%, to 77.6 million units, according to DisplaySearch. The research company went on to say that LCD screens accounted for nearly 82% of all TVs sold during the period and that Samsung was the top-selling brand, with a little more than a 21% share of revenues. Digital Home Canada (2/22)

§                     Mystery grows over Apple's iPad 2 release date
New published reports contradict earlier accounts that predicted Apple would delay the introduction of its new iPad until June. Apple has scheduled an event for March 2, but the company has not confirmed what it will be introducing. Reuters (2/22)

§                     Verizon sets $600 price for Xoom debut
Verizon Wireless will begin selling Motorola's Android-powered Xoom tablet on Thursday -- the first equipped with the version known as Honeycomb -- with prices starting at $600 under a two-year contract and $800 without a commitment, Verizon said. The carrier will charge $20 a month for 1 gigabyte of data for wireless 3G service. Computerworld (2/22)

§                     Cell phones influence brain activity, study shows
A study from the National Institutes of Health shows that the low levels of radiation produced by cell phones cause users' brain activity to speed up. The researchers urged caution but added that they are unsure whether cell phones pose overall health risks. blog (2/22)

§                     Netflix signs a deal to stream select CBS shows
Netflix has signed a two-year deal with CBS allowing it to stream some of the network's older and recently canceled television shows, including "Medium" and the original version of "Hawaii Five-0." The companies are negotiating a second agreement that would allow Netflix, which already airs back episodes of current ABC, NBC and Fox shows, to stream shows from CBS' current lineup. MediaPost Communications/Media Daily News (2/22)

§                     Researchers report low-voltage breakthrough in data storage
Researchers from University of Massachusetts Amherst and Texas A&M University have succeeded in writing information to flash memory under low-voltage conditions, paving the way for a new generation of low-power gadgets that can store data. They presented the paper Feb. 16 at the USENIX File and Storage Technologies Conference in San Jose, Calif. eWeek (2/17)

§                     How to recycle old home theater electronics
If your old audio video electronics are still in good working condition, why not consider setting them up as your secondary home theater system? You can move your old equipment to another room in the house; such as the guest room or the home office. Without any extra cost, you can add some fun into some rooms in your home. Manila Bulletin (2/14)

§                     EnOcean Alliance members present new solutions at this year's CeBIT
At CeBIT 2011, three members of the EnOcean Alliance will present smart solutions for energy-efficient buildings enabled by EnOcean's energy harvesting technology. A focus will be integration of the energy-autonomous wireless solutions in smart homes over TCP/IP, using an internet connection for cost-effective networking. openPR (2/21)

§                     Amazon takes on Netflix with the launch of its own video streaming has begun promoting its video-streaming service on its website. The Netflix competitor offers 5,000 films and TV programs for the cost of a $79 annual subscription to its Amazon Prime shipping service. In comparison, Netflix subscribers can access more than 20,000 -- mostly older -- movies and TV shows online. The Hollywood Reporter (2/22)

§                     Video: CABA Digital Home Forum
CABA's Digital Home Forum, held in February 2011 and hosted by 3M, brought together leading companies dealing with integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home. CABA YouTube Channel (2/22)

Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

  Large Building Automation

§                     A long-term perspective on intelligent buildings
Cabling-industry veteran Frank Bisbee interviews James Carlini, President of Carlini and Associates, a noted author and speaker on building automation and intelligence. Cabling Installation & Maintenance (2/1)

§                     Integrators must embrace building information modeling
Commercial integrators appear to be gaining steam when it comes to their interest in and understanding of Building Information Modeling (BIM), a collaborative virtual design process that brings all parties together from the beginning of a project with the goal of making it come together more smoothly and generate more profit for everyone involved. Commercial Integrator (2/22)

§                     LEED certification is costly for green buildings in Minnesota
Some cities in Minnesota incorporate sustainable design in municipal buildings but don't get LEED certification because the application costs $50,000 to $80,000. Leased buildings that need to attract tenants benefit from LEED certification, but not public facilities, said Dave Wisnewski, division manager for design and construction in Hennepin County, Minn. Star Tribune (2/21)

§                     Modeling software directs buildings toward energy efficiency
Modeling and benchmarking software that assess a building's energy consumption can help owners and contractors plan energy upgrades, writes Lauren McFeeley. The Performance System Development's TREAT can help calculate the energy improvements needed for residential buildings using utility bills and gauging the behavior of occupants. Benchmarking tools help determine green retrofits for commercial buildings. (2/21)

§                     Computer security: Role-based control may have saved billions
What NIST-led innovation is estimated to have saved U.S. industry $6.1 billion over the past 20 years? Well, probably several, but, perhaps surprisingly, a new economics study points to the development of "role-based access control," a computer-security technology fostered and championed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the 1990s. Science Daily (2/17)

§                     'Reskinning' gives world's old urban buildings energy saving facelifts
The term "reskinning" may sound like a word straight out of a science fiction novel, but in actuality, it means retrofitting the exteriors of aging buildings with energy saving facelifts, and the practice is taking off—especially in Canada and Europe. SolveClimate News (2/16)

§                     Architects aim to define "green building"
Architects recently met to discuss green building at the Intelligent Infrastructure conference in New York. The upshot seemed to be that energy efficiency is not enough to make a building green. One also must consider engineering, water, human and green infrastructure, as the conference's chairman, Llewelyn Davies Yeang, explained. SmartPlanet (2/17)

§                     Where "green" and "smart" buildings converge
Delivering smarter buildings depends on how engaged the tenants, developers and contractors are -- they can either be the weakest link or the greatest opportunity, say the attendees of the State of Green Business Forum in Washington, D.C. More training in facilities management also is needed to help keep smart buildings green because their automation is becoming more complex, writes Rob Watson, executive editor of and the chairman, CEO and chief scientist of the EcoTech International Group. (2/17)

§                     Ericsson, Polycom partner on a telepresence solution
Ericsson is teaming up with Polycom to help telecoms market telepresence technologies to the consumer and business markets. Under the plan, Polycom's telepresence solution will be integrated with Ericsson's network, which the companies said is based on an open IMS framework. iTWire (2/16)

§                     EPRI study examines radio-frequency smart meter safety
Radio-frequency (RF) exposure levels from one type of smart meter, even at close range, fall substantially below the protective limits set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the general public, according to a new report from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The report presents findings that serve as a valuable first step in characterizing RF exposures associated with smart meter technology. (2/22)

§                     LG 'Multi V' HVAC systems to be installed at the Arab Islamic Bank
Multi V Systems, the latest commercial air conditioning innovation from LG Electronics, is to be installed at the Arab Islamic Bank in Irbid, according to an agreement recently signed by Shami & Hyari Engineering & Contracting Co., the complex construction company, and Al-Asalah Electromechanics Co, LG commercial air conditioning agent in Jordan. AME Info (2/10)

§                     Maximizing energy savings through building occupant engagement
In the world of commercial building energy efficiency, there are two general categories of energy efficiency measures used to reduce energy and operating costs of buildings. The first involves upgrades or substitutions of equipment (lighting, HVAC systems, etc). The second involves operational changes such as modifying HVAC set points, or checking scheduling and economizer cycles. The first category is retrofits, and the second category is low- or no-cost operational improvements; both are in the purview of the facility manager. A third category is emerging, however, which is often overlooked and which does not revolve around the facility manager: behavior change on the part of building occupants. Green Building Pro (2/17)

§                     ADT to assist in securing passengers safety at Dublin Airport Terminal 2
ADT, Europe's leading provider of electronic fire and security solutions, announces that SITA, a premier provider of global information and telecommunications solutions to the air transport industries, chose it to deliver a fully-integrated security and access control solution within Dublin Airport's new Terminal 2. (2/16)

§                     In pilots, AT&T expands access to health care data
AT&T on Tuesday disclosed new features -- along with a pair of pilot programs -- for its cloud-based Healthcare Community Online suite that provide medical facilities and health care systems with confidential access to patients' records. One of the pilots is a test with St. Joseph Health System using Cisco Systems' telepresence equipment, which will link doctors to patients in remote areas. (2/22)

§                     Vidyo offers cloud-based videoconferencing system
Vidyo has introduced an Internet-based videoconferencing architecture that can scale to tens of thousands of users on a variety of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops. The company unveiled Tuesday the Cloud Edition of its VidyoConference architecture, making it possible to network as many VidyoRouters as are needed to meet user demand. The VidyoRouter is software that can run on any commodity hardware, such as an Intel-based, x86 server. InformationWeek (2/22)

§                     Siemens adds BACnet Web-based remote features to automation systems
Siemens Industry, Inc. enhanced its line of Apogee and Talon Building Automation Systems to include BACnet web-based remote system monitoring, commanding, alarm management, scheduling and trending functions. The new BACnet enhancements also improve operator efficiency and convenience with browser-based internet system access and control functionality, according to Siemens. Consulting-Specifying Engineer (2/22)

§                     Dashboard for buildings
Jim Sinopoli, PE, RCDD, LEED AP, provides some tips and guidelines on creating dashboards for facility and energy management covering what information is needed, how that information should be presented to a user, and a couple of industry examples. CABA iHomes & Buildings magazine (2/24)

§                     Video: Belimo @ AHR Expo 2011
Belimo America is a world leader in the design and manufacture of damper actuators and control valves used in commercial HVAC systems. Known for its direct-coupled actuator and innovations in pressure independent control valve technology, Belimo has solutions to maintain an efficient building environment. CABA YouTube Channel (2/3)

Member Press Releases

§                     Schneider Electric Expands Forta Globe Valve Actuator Family to Include the New Spring Return M900
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, today announced the addition of the M900 series of electro-mechanical spring return actuators to its well-known family of FORTA two and three way globe valve actuators. The FORTA series, a powerful solution set designed to reduce operating costs while minimizing installation and maintenance, provides HVAC professionals, contractors, architects and systems engineers around the world with a fast, highly accurate method of control for heating and cooling applications. The addition of the M900 series, designed specifically for hot water, chilled water, and steam valve applications, complements the FORTA portfolio.

§                     Other Items

Schneider Electric Unveils Enhancements to Popular VB-7000 Bronze Globe Valve Portfolio
MatrikonOPC unveils Wonderware ArchestrA Universal Building Automation Server

Honeywell Introduces New JADE Economizer

New Offerings Create Largest, Most Diverse LFI Conference in History

CNL partners with MatrikonOPC for secure OPC connectivity solutions

EMerge Alliance Introduces First Registered Products for DC Power Distribution
EMerge Alliance advances DC power distribution platform to focus on energy efficient data centers

InduSoft partners with MatrikonOPC for OPC connectivity
Cortexa Releases New In-wall iPad Dock

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

  CABA Research Spotlight

§                     Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy
McKinsey & Company has analyzed why the potential of $130-billion annual savings from energy efficiency is not exploited. They estimate that 23% in energy expenditures can be saved by 2020. The barriers to reaping these savings are lack of information and education, incentives and financing, codes and standards, and third-party involvement. A strategy is presented that includes recognizing energy efficiency as an important resource, developing national and regional programs, finding sources of funds, aligning suppliers, users, and governments, and fostering innovation. Read the full report as published in CABA's Research Library. Paid CABA membership provides you access to the full CABA Member Research Library.

  Education & Training 

§                     Webinar: The economics of the cloud
Dr. Timothy Chou, author of 'Cloud: Seven Clear Business Models', will review the economics of cloud and how your large or midsized business can best realize its promise of better matching capacity to demand and costs to revenue during a webinar hosted by Bell Canada on March 16, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Hear examples that highlight how these business models are effecting change, accelerating growth and achieving new cost savings for future-minded organizations and industries everywhere.

§                     Webinar: Build a Winning Energy Services Team
AirAdvice will hold a one-hour webinar on Thursday, March 3 at 2 pm ET with its Senior Business Consultant Zack Buquet and CEO Jim Crowder, who will cover best practices for using the team you have to deliver revenue-driving energy services. For more information and to register, visit

§                     Webcast: Lessons in Integrating BIM
Successfully integrating new technologies and workflows takes tenacity, patience, and a sense of humor. Register now to listen to an experienced panel, hosted by SMARTBIM and Reed Construction Data,
discuss how they are tackling the challenges of integrating BIM into their practices. This interactive webcast, to be held February 24 at 2 pm ET, will allow the audience to ask questions of the panel.

§                     InfoComm Launches New Spanish and Portuguese Webinar Series
Join InfoComm, Wednesday, March 2, for Matematica Audiovisual from 1-2 p.m. EST. This is the first in a series of webinars presented in Spanish and Portuguese. Attendance is free. Register today.

§                     CABA President & CEO Ron Zimmer to address PALME Middle East
PALME's inaugural Middle East Building Automation Conference will present breakthrough discussion topics and latest technological solutions that are influencing the developed world in creating an efficient living and working environment. Key international AV specialists, integrators and automation experts will deliver papers and share their knowledge at this first ever conference of its kind in the region. CABA President & CEO Ron Zimmer will address the conference on the topic of high performance and intelligent buildings. The conference is scheduled for April 28, 2011 in Dubai, UAE. Register today!

§                     CABA Webinar: State of the Connected Home Market 2011
CABA is extending an invitation to your organization to participate in a webinar conference call to discuss the "State of the Connected Home Market 2011" landmark research study that is scheduled for Friday, February 25, 2011 at 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET.

 CABA News

§                     CABA releases Connected Home Roadmap executive summary to members
The Continental Automated Buildings Association has completed a consumer market study that examined all aspects of the connected home marketplace. CABA’s “Connected Home Roadmap 2010” project was a large-scale study created to provide insights into consumer attitudes concerning technologies, value propositions and future market adoption. The Roadmap project examined the following market segments: safety, security, health, energy management, monitoring, entertainment, home control and automation. The Roadmap is now available for sale through CABA's eStore. Please contact George Grimes, CABA Business Development Manager, at 613.686.1814 x226 or for more details about purchasing the Roadmap for your organization. CABA has also released the Roadmap executive summary for its members through CABA's Member Research Library.

§                     CABA's LinkedIn group reaches 750 members
CABA's LinkedIn group has over 750 members ( Join CABA's LinkedIn group to stay informed on the latest news and developments in both the home and building automation marketplaces and to check job listings.

§                     Smart Energy Canada presentation now available
Ron Zimmer, CABA President & CEO, addressed the Smart Energy Canada conference in Toronto last week. He spoke on home area networks and the smart grid. Mr. Zimmer's presentation is now available on the CABA Web site in the presentation section.

§                     CABA completes “Energy as a Managed Service” research project
The Continental Automated Buildings Association has completed a research study that measured consumers’ opinions and attitudes about energy as a managed service in the home. CABA’s study assessed and quantified the key demand drivers and enablers that determine consumer appeal, interest, applicability and potential adoption of home energy management products and services. Please contact George Grimes, CABA Business Development Manager, at 613.686.1814 x226 or for more details about purchasing this report.

§                     CABA and Australia’s Commercial & Home Automation Association enter into agreement
The Continental Automated Buildings Association is pleased to announce that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Australia’s Commercial & Home Automation Association. The Commercial & Home Automation Association was recently formed to offer assistance in the areas of training, certification and licensing for its membership in consultation with national and state governments in Australia.

§                     CABA undertaking "Aging in the Connected Home" study
The CABA Research Program is undertaking a new research project entitled "Aging in the Connected Home". The purpose of this study is to identify a potential new market space by helping seniors remain longer in their home. Areas of consideration involve understanding the various inputs and outcomes of specific jobs/activities within the home that affect the aging adult as they move about the home and take care of basic necessities. This research project will help organizations understand the opportunities for value creation amongst different groups within this population. Ingersoll Rand and TELUS Corporation have committed to participating in this study. To learn how your organization can become involved in this study, please contact John Hall, CABA Research Director at 613.686.1814 x227, There will also be a special webinar held for members of the Continua Health Alliance on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 12 noon ET. If you wish to attend, contact Tony Disipio at to receive information about the webinar.



Wake up Wisconsin.  The Tsunami of job cuts and benefit reductions that have hit across all other industries across America is now coming home to the government worker.

First, let’s give credit to the Governor for bringing this issue to light.  It’s a pay issue and there is a question of whether or not the State can continue to pick up all the costs or if the employee can start to pick up some of the costs associated with benefits.  Like it or not, he is taking action which has been criticized just like Governor Christie of New Jersey, who has gone through the same confrontations when it comes to asking state workers to tighten their belts.  Is it better for a Governor to look the other way and pretend the problem doesn’t exist?  That’s the problem in many other states.  Leaders do not want to face and deal with the hard issues.

Immediately, some will say Governor Walker’s a dictator and all the other nasty words that spin into childish foot-stamping when people don’t get what they think they are entitled to.  The bottom line is that Wisconsin has to address this issue and is not the only state with serious financial issues.

There are many perspectives about the pros and cons of what has become the number one story on some of the national network news programs.  One issue that should be questioned is the lack of leadership by some elected officials.


Having the Democratic state senators hide and not show up to discuss the issue or vote speaks volumes on the lack of leadership in Wisconsin in tough times.  This childish behavior shows the fabric, or I should say the lack of fabric, in character and integrity.

As a former elected official, let me say that this is not the way to approach discussing a critical budget issue, let alone work towards some type of reform and solution which are the actions needed to address this problem.

Some Wisconsin politicians need to go back to their history books and read about real statesmen and how they faced serious issues.  People who faced larger conflicts like the Civil War (Lincoln), World War II (Churchill), and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Kennedy).  None of them ran off to hide in a hotel.

Maybe they should also read a couple of books on General George S. Patton about leadership.  If you cannot do the job, you’re replaced.

Another question to answer is how many people were bused to the Capitol from outside the state to amplify the "union" perspective?  The crowds in Madison were not all local and not all government workers. 

 It’s too bad we couldn’t bus tens of thousands of taxpayers to Madison to support the issue of cutting spending by workers picking up some of the costs for benefits but then, they are too busy working because they have had to tighten their belts in the last several years due to the economy and still deal with rising taxes.


As for teachers, their protests for more money when it comes to voting for a school referendum are always tagged with the "do it for the children" plea.  I see so many walked off the job in order to go to Madison, there does not seem to be much dedication to students, only to their own pocketbooks.  And to use children as shills to get people sympathetic to their almost annual “pay me more” cause is a pretty pathetic strategy.

I could relate story upon story of  people I know who have lost jobs and/or taken serious pay cuts in the last decade to keep their jobs to paint the picture that the average taxpayer cannot “pick up the tab” anymore when it comes to funding lucrative pension plans or healthcare programs.

What the government workers in many states need to realize is that the tax base has eroded and the people that you depend on to pay their taxes to pay your salaries have taken serious hits.  If someone was making $90,000 to $120,000 they would be paying a good amount into the tax base.  When those people lose those jobs and take on a job that pays substantially less, they are not putting that much into the state tax coffers anymore and that is what has happened.

A friend of mine went from a $90,000-a-year corporate job in 2001 to a series of jobs that did not pay over $36,000.  He had a Fortune 250 benefits package in 2001 but over the last decade, his healthcare has diminished and he is funding a lot more of its cost.  He is making about $41,000 right now.

Another was making $250,000 with benefits in 2001 but lost ground in the last decade where he is making about $34,000 with no healthcare.  Both men have degrees beyond a bachelor’s degree so the argument that they don’t have education or skills to command a decent salary is moot.

These examples are not to show the unions that they need to take a drastic cut, these are a wake-up call to show that the people picking up the tab have fallen into a much different salary base and can barely pick up their own expenses, let alone some platinum benefits package for government employees.  The well has run dry. 

If I was faced with taking a wage freeze for two years and/or picking up part of my benefits package, I might not like it but I certainly would do that compared to what others have been through in the last decade.

CARLINI-ISM :  Underfunded pension plans are becoming many states’  killer epidemic.  The cure?  Reforming the whole process.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at

Copyright 2011 – James Carlini



“Make critical considerations before purchasing cabling” By Bob Eskew, ASD

Feb 1, 2011 Best practices for ensuring you get the right cable for your specific needs.

By Bob Eskew, ASD

What criteria do you use to purchase Category 6 cabling? Is brand name most important to you? Does it matter to you what brand you are using as long as the cable meets industry standards? Do you trust your installer's recommendations exclusively, or do you base your decision on what features and benefits best meet your needs?

We recently conducted a poll on the social media network LinkedIn. While not scientific, the poll did reveal some preferences for purchasing criteria for Category 6 cabling among the 181 users who responded. For example, approximately 26 percent base their decision largely or solely on the brand name of the cable. The majority of respondents-the other 74 percent-base their decision on whether or not the cable meets industry standards, the cable's benefits and features, or they rely exclusively on their installer's recommendations.

Regardless of what criteria you use as the basis for your decision-making process, you'd be well served to employ some best practices and ask critical questions to make sure you are purchasing the cabling that best suits your needs.

If brand name is everything. Twenty percent of respondents said brand name is everything, while six percent would purchase cable as long as they have heard of the brand. If you fall into either of these categories, consider the following best practices when making your next purchase.

Most organizations that have settled on one brand do so because they want to standardize across their enterprise. To standardize is to simplify, but that does not mean you have to stick to one brand in order to do so. Standardization comes from design, not product brand. A good cabling system designer can design the same system across multiple offices using multiple brands of cabling products if necessary. Fortunately, all structured cabling manufacturers are required to comply with industry standards, which means you are at liberty to choose any brand of cable and components you want as long as they meet the standards of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek Group (ETL), the National Electrical Code (NEC) and EIA/TIA commercial building wiring standards.

So what accounts for the vast price differences of various brands of cable that meet the same industry standards? One factor that affects price is the distribution channel. In a multi-tiered distribution channel, a manufacturer often hires a manufacturer's rep firm to sell the manufacturer's products in a defined territory for a designated commission. The next stop is a distributor, which then sells the product to a contractor, who in turn marks up the product when selling it to an end user. In contrast, a direct-buy manufacturer sells its products directly to end users, which can significantly reduce the final cost you pay for a product.

Another factor that can affect your purchase price is a brand-specific internal company standard. The standard may be in place as required by a 15-year guarantee for "system sales," which are systems developed using only components made by a specific manufacturer. However, these guarantees may not be as critical or as rare as marketing efforts may suggest. And they may end up costing users more money in the long run. Consider this: Out of the 40-plus cabling-system manufacturers, nearly every company provides a warranty of 15 or more years as a standard feature. It pays to compare warranties from multiple vendors and evaluate whether they are an added benefit or just a way to lock you into a 15-year exclusive contract. By accepting the terms of the 15-year guarantee, you may be limiting your future technology options to those developed by your "system sale" manufacturer, instead of taking advantage of new developments from multiple vendors. You also may end up paying a high price for your cabling. Once a manufacturer is "spec'd in," you lose much of your buying power because all forms of competitive bidding are eliminated.

If standard compliance is most important. For many poll respondents (47 percent), compliance with industry standards is the most important purchase criteria. You may be aware that cables must meet the standards of the UL, ETL, NEC and EIA/TIA. But what does it mean if a cable manufacturer claims to exceed the standards? Some manufacturers have developed tests that exhibit a higher Megahertz rating than field tests. While these manufacturers can test cable at a higher Megahertz with a unique internal test, there is no proven way to test or replicate these levels in the field. This means that any possible added benefit from this feature would likely go unused during normal operation.

In addition to marketing cables that exceed industry standards, much effort has also been put into marketing end-to-end solutions, which are systems developed using only components made by a specific manufacturer. These solutions are often paired with the aforementioned 15-year guarantees, which are usually voided if you move to an open system. With an end-to-end solution, you may pay a reasonable price for cable, but beware of additional required components that may have a high markup.

Despite the hard push for end-to-end solutions, manufacturers develop cabling technologies to be used in interoperable, open systems in accordance with the TIA's 568 series of commercial building cabling standards. Those standards were established to encourage interoperability by allowing diverse manufacturers the opportunity to build equipment and components that will interoperate for the benefit of the end user. By building an open system, you can request bids from multiple vendors competing for your business, as well as choose the exact products to suit your needs.

The reality is companies function largely on open systems a majority of the time. Take a look around your own office. Is your network made up of a single brand? Do you have desktops from one manufacturer, servers from another and applications from still another? Why is a cabling system any different? In fact, business intelligence sources today show that several brands of cable are made in a single factory.

If the installer's recommendation matters most. Thirteen percent of respondents trust their installer's recommendations exclusively. Your installer can be a valuable resource of information to help you make decisions regarding your cable purchases. Their expertise and experience can help guide you through the purchase process; however, it is important to identify any possible conflicts of interest before accepting a recommendation.

The most important question to ask is whether or not your installer supports all the standards from Underwriters Laboratories as well as the design and engineering standards of the TIA/EIA cabling standards. It is also a good idea to ask if your installer is recommending a direct-buy cable or a cable from a reseller. Most importantly, ask if your installer receives a price-protection advantage or incentives for selling a particular brand. Some installers have sales quotas they must meet in order to maintain certification with particular brands. Installers may also be awarded rebates or cash incentives to sell a particular brand, which could steer their recommendations toward that brand.

Without level competition among brands, you may end up paying more than you have to for cabling products. The easiest way to level the playing field when requesting quotes from multiple installers is to base your request on specifications, not price or brand. Allow the installers to present you with the best product that meets your specifications at their best price, allowing you to base your final decision on features and benefits that meet your needs.

If it's even beyond features and benefits. Purchasing products that offer only the benefits you want, without any unnecessary features, will help you keep your project on target without sacrificing your technology needs.

Because all manufacturers must adhere to the same cabling-system standards, determine which features will offer you the most valuable benefits. Some features you might want to consider that vary by manufacturer include: labeling systems, color coding, port density, wire management and ease-of-use.

While the poll conducted via LinkedIn was not scientific, the purchasing preferences expressed are in line with what cabling professionals experience in the real world on a daily basis. Choosing a structured cabling system is a task that should not be, and is not, taken lightly. A facility's cabling system is expected to last up to 15 years or even longer, which can be multiple lifespans of the networking equipment the cabling supports. Asking the right questions of cabling manufacturers and cabling-system installers can help ensure you get the performance you need at an appropriate price.

BOB ESKEW is founder and chief executive officer of ASD (Automated Systems Design; He participates in several LinkedIn professional groups.

Reprinted with permission from Cabling Installation and Maintenance Magazine (a PennWell Publication)  February 2011


comCables Introduces New ID Faceplates, Unloaded Patch Panels & Surface Mount Boxes

New products offer high-end features at a competitive price

Denver, CO (February 14, 2011) – comCables, a Denver-based manufacturer of structured cabling solutions, recently released its new ID Faceplates, Unloaded Patch Panels and Surface Mount Boxes. These products offer top-quality features at extremely competitive prices.

Beyond the obvious benefits of the ID label, the new ID Faceplates feature a shatterproof, modern design and satin finish that prevents fingers prints from showing. The new faceplates come in 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 port in white and ivory.

“We are excited about the flexibility and shatterproof design of our ID Faceplates.” said Andy Work, Director of Product Management at comCables. “These faceplates are going to make our contractors jobs easier, which is what we strive to do.”

comCables also introduced its new flush mount, high-density, 24-port Unloaded Patch Panel that uses 1u space. The new patch panels work with comCables Crescendo HD jacks and Rapid Punch Tool and includes a wire manager that attaches to the back. The major advantage of the Unloaded Patch Panel is the amount of training time it saves installers when used with the RPT crimp tool.

“The comCables Unloaded Patch Panels and RPT tool give contractors a significant labor savings.” Work said. “Contractors can be trained on installing jacks and patch panels at the same time, while learning to do so with more accuracy and in less time.

The final product comCables released are modern Surface Mount Boxes in 1, 2 and 4 port in white and ivory. The surface mount boxes fit all four styles of keystone jacks that comCables offers and have the ID label on the back.

The ID Faceplates, Unloaded Patch Panels & Surface Mount Boxes are “Buy American Act’ compliant, as is comCables complete product line. These products developed after comCables gathered customer feedback and researched products to make its customers more effective in the field. The three new products are the first of many product improvements comCables plans to make in 2011.

Michael Shannahan, VP of Communication Planning Corp. (Jacksonville, FL) reported “We had the opportunity to review these products at the recent BICSI conference. Our experts found the comCables products were very durable and high quality.”

About comCables
comCables is a premier manufacturer of end-to-end structured cabling solutions and the industry’s first and only manufacturer to sell directly to our contractors. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Denver, CO, comCables brings more than 30 years of expertise in both copper and fiber cabling solutions. With an unparalleled commitment to providing the highest level of service to our vastly expanding clientele, comCables operates six facilities in the U.S. and Mexico, with plans for further expansion in 2011. For more information, contact comCables at (866) 302-3301 or visit


Concert Technologies White Paper for Large Multi-Site Technology Deployments Provides Guidance to the CTO’s Team

DULLES, VA, FEBRUARY 16, 2011 –  Concert Technologies, the leader in nationwide technology rollouts and international technology deployments, today announced the release of its white paper titled Rollout Delivery Team Comparison for Large Multi-Site Technology Deployments. This white paper provides an overview of the various scenarios impacting the resources for a rollout delivery team utilized for large technology infrastructure rollouts at multiple locations, as it is found in the Information Technology Systems (ITS) industry, today.

This paper focuses on:

Large multi-site technology infrastructure rollouts

Shifting processes, methodologies and resources to streamline the technology rollout at each site

Alterations to the rollout delivery team configuration determined by project variables that can impact site delivery

“Maintaining a consistent and well-defined rollout delivery team throughout your project is critical to success, especially when numerous locations are being deployed,” said Dennis Mazaris, President of Concert Technologies. “For all technology rollouts, it is important to discuss the different processes, methodologies and delivery team configurations with the technology rollout company prior to beginning the project so you are not hit with unexpected resource allocations during the deployment rollout phase, which can impact the delivery and/or quality of your project.”

This white paper is the sixth published by Concert Technologies and is designed to aid in the understanding and selection of the most efficient technology rollout system utilized to accelerate multi-site, multi-service, multi-technology rollouts both nationwide and internationally.

About Concert Technologies

Concert Technologies, founded in 1995, is a privately-held technology service company based in Dulles, VA. It is the leader in the accelerated delivery of nationwide rollouts and global technology deployments for government, commercial and international organizations. Utilizing the Maestro Technology Rollout System of methodologies, it quickly implements, installs and manages multi-site, multi-service, multi-technology infrastructure projects. Visit Concert Technologies online:


Copper costs soar to $10,000 per ton.

Copper will continue to rise as the market gains an appreciation for the scope of the long term supply and demand situation. CSC is taking a bold leadership role in getting the word out on this looming cost scenario.

Adam Greenblatt View The CSC Market Brief Video and learn how the increasing cost of raw materials in the structured cabling industry is directly affecting the overall price of network cabling and connectivity products. Comment

The CSC Market Brief - Q1, 2011
Learn from industry leader Communications Supply Corporation (CSC) how the increasing cost of raw materials in the structured cabling industry is directly af...


Did You Know...

-Design Build / Design Assist work was performed by 86% of firms with 10+ employees in 2009

More than 8 in 10 electrical contractors report having a “medium” or “high” ability to influence the overall electrical design or specifications with building owners or design team member

83% of electrical contractors report receiving any plans and specs that are incomplete (that is, where their firm is responsible for completing the design documentation). Electrical contractors say that, on average, plans and specs are incomplete 45% of the time

Almost 7 in 10 electrical contractors estimate that some portion of their 2010 sales will include projects with Sustainable / Green elements

-On average, a “single” brand is specified
less than 25% of the time. In all other cases, other factors -- multiple brands, “or equal to” or performance specified – come into play. Note that a “single” brand specification is far more common among electrical contracting firms with 1- 9 employees than among larger firms.

-Overall, contractors are able to select the brand/make brand substitutions about
70% of the time.
2010 Electrical Contractor Profile Study, presented by Electrical Contractor Magazine, conducted by Renaissance Research)

National Electrical Contractors Association.
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100 Bethesda, MD 20814

The NECA family of websites are filled with information for the Electrical, Lighting, and Communications Industry.

WWW = What’s New, What’s Now, What’s Next

DON”T MISS NECA 2011 SHOW – San Diego - OCT. 22 – 25

Tel: 301-215-4506 | Fax: 301-215-4553 | Email:


FCC Chairman Genachowski and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison on Keynote Lineup at TIA's Spring Policy Summit at 'TIA 2011: Inside the Network'

Speeches to Be Delivered During TIA's Annual Member Meeting in May at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Dallas

Arlington, Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) announced today that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) will deliver keynote addresses during TIA's Spring Policy Summit at TIA's annual member event, TIA 2011: Inside the Network, at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Chairman Genachowski will speak at the VIP Dinner on Thursday, May 19. Sen. Hutchison, Ranking Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, will deliver a morning keynote on Friday, May 20, during TIA's Spring Policy Summit.

TIA 2011: Inside the Network is designed to facilitate business and technical conversations about how broadband communications suppliers, providers and operators will meet the needs of customers of all kinds with One Network - secure, reliable, scalable, and sustainable.

For the past 12 years, TIA has held a Spring Policy Summit to educate its members about key regulatory and legislative issues impacting the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Washington, D.C. This year, the Spring Policy Summit is being collocated May 19-20 with TIA 2011: Inside the Network, which is being held May 17-20.

"We are delighted to welcome Chairman Genachowski and Senator Hutchison to our terrific lineup of speakers for TIA 2011," said TIA President Grant Seiffert. "Both have shown excellent leadership with regard to 21st century communications that our society and economy so greatly rely upon. We fully support recent FCC initiatives on issues such as spectrum availability, transitioning the Universal Service Fund to broadband communications, and encouraging manufacturers to innovate, further improve our nation's economy, and add jobs in America. We also thank Senator Hutchison for her strong support in Congress on these issues and others of concern to the broadband industry. We are grateful that the Chairman and the Senator will be able to share with TIA's members their insight and knowledge on regulatory and legislative issues we face today."

Other confirmed speakers at the Spring Policy Summit include:

» George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability, NIST
» FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker
» Guy Copeland, Vice President, Information Infrastructure Advisory Programs, CSC; Co-Chair, Co-Chair, Cross Sector Cyber Security Working Group (CSCSWG)
» Tim Harden, President, AT&T Supply Chain and Fleet Operations
» Michelle O'Neil, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade, Department of Commerce
» Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Co-Chair of Broadband for America

TIA's Spring Policy Summit will focus on "TIA's Innovation Package: The Roadmap to Growing Jobs & the Economy." TIA's Innovation Package addresses the current and future concerns of the ICT industry, including:

Recapturing global competitiveness through market access and trade, research and development, educating and retaining needed talent through H-1B visa reform, and tax reform.

Driving investment by advocating for tax incentives to increase investment in our nation's broadband infrastructure, and market-based regulations with a continued light regulatory touch to ensure continued investment in a technology-neutral manner.

Enabling forward looking technologies by advocating for spectrum availability, cyber security, Smart Grid and sustainable ICT technology, and accessible technology for those with disabilities.

Learn more about TIA 2011: Inside the Network. Registration is now open for exhibitors, attendees and media.

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.

View video news programming on TIA Now at

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

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


New 40 and 100 Gb/s Standard Finalized


The release of the IEEE 802.3ba 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Ethernet standard in the summer of 2010 will accelerate wider deployment of 10G and the expansion of the 40 and 100G Ethernet family of technologies. This will speed the adoption of OM4 multimode fiber, such as OFS' LaserWave® 550 Fiber, for shorter reach applications like data centers, high performance computing environments, and high speed enterprise networks. OFS is proud to have played a significant role in the development of the new standard. Our thanks go to George Oulundsen, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the R&D Group at OFS Sturbridge, who served as secretary for the IEEE 802.3ba Task Force, and Robert Lingle, Technical Manager of R&D at OFS Norcross.



Fire Protection Research Foundation’s 2011 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Conference slated for March in Orlando

Workshop on fire protection challenges in data centers to be featured

February 9, 2011The Fire Protection Research Foundation’s 15th annual Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications conference (SUPDET) will be held at the DoubleTree Resort, 10100 International Drive in Orlando, Florida from Tuesday, March 22 through Friday, March 25. Fire detection, suppression, and signaling professionals from around the world will meet to exchange ideas, innovations, and the most up-to-date information on current research.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation) is an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

This year’s program (PDF, 36 KB) will feature 35 presentations in six sessions: Notification and Human Behavior; Detection; Sprinkler Protection; Water Mist; Clean Agents; and Featured Research at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Featured presentations will include the following topics:

  • Residential sprinkler research on antifreeze and sloped ceiling effects;
  • The latest human behavior research and case study implementation of emergency communication messaging in the fire context;
  • Detection technology research updates from UL, Oakridge National Labs and others;
  • Commodity classification and sprinkler protection of storage, including HVLS fans;
  • Naval Research Laboratory research updates on HiEx foam.

In addition, an interactive workshop (PDF, 149 KB) on Fire Protection Challenges in Telecommunications and Information Centers will be available to all who register for SUPDET 2011. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be credited for symposium and seminar attendance.

For more information and to register online, contact Eric Peterson at +1 617 984-7271.

About the Fire Protection Research Foundation
The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates consortium-funded research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.


What the future holds – Jim Hayes, the President of FOA speaks out.

Last year, the FOA certified over 4,000 new fiber optic technicians in 40 countries around the world. Over 270,000 people visited our website and downloaded over 1.6 million pages of technical information. We sold about 5,000 copies of our 3 textbooks on paper or as eBooks. In its first two months online, 16,000 people viewed our YouTube technical videos. What does all that mean? What does it mean for the future?

This means that fiber continues to grow in importance in the communications world and techs depend on the FOA for learning about fiber optic technology, either directly from our educational materials or from one of our over 200 FOA Approved trainers.

In the coming year, the FOA will continue to develop educational materials that keep fiber optic techs up to date on the latest technologies, component developments and installation processes to ensure they are able to cope with the fast development of fiber optic applications.

Where do we see fiber's strongest growth? Municipal systems for security and communications, fiber to wireless towers and all the way up to the antennas, cabling for 10G and above in data centers and providing the infrastructure for broadband to the home.  

The FOA will add some new tricks in 2011 to help techs in their jobs. We're starting a new online lecture series on YouTube. We'll be expanding our self-study programs, including adding a fiber optic design online program leading to FOA specialist certification. We will provide free Apps for the iPad and iPhone to help techs by automating the calculation of loss budgets for their systems, converting fiber optic power measurements and other installation aids. We'll even offer an App that will be a self-study program based on our textbooks.

We'll continue to focus our efforts on supporting our schools, our members and the entire fiber optic industry to ensure its continued success.

Jim Hayes, President

The Fiber Optic Association Inc. - The Professional Society of Fiber Optics

1119 S Mission Road #355, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Phone: 1-760-451-3655    Fax 1-781-207-2421  Cell: 760-703-9565


IDEAL Expands Thermal Imaging Line with New Higher Resolution HeatSeeker® 160 Camera

SYCAMORE, IL, February 23, 2011 -- IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. today announced the release of the HeatSeeker® 160 thermal imaging camera for electricians and maintenance engineers that need a highly accurate, easy to use troubleshooting solution at a price they can afford.  

The IDEAL HeatSeeker 160 features a Class II laser and delivers a higher resolution thermal image (160 x 120, 19,200 pixels) and a two-megapixel visual image for ultra-sharp images in a wide temperature range of 14° F to 482° F with an industry standard accuracy of ±2° C.  Designed for non-contact preventive maintenance, it identifies potential problems before they occur by detecting hot spots on motors, switch gear, processing pipes, compressors and fuse panels. Its broad range of applications also includes energy audits, for example, finding air escaping from HVAC ducts or identification of inefficient heating and cooling transfer. In the data center, the HeatSeeker will pinpoint overheating servers, UPS, cooling systems and PDU before their imminent failure, giving the IT technician needed time to react.  


Key to the success of the HeatSeeker 160 is that it is fully radiometric, meaning it will capture temperature measurements over the entire image. Four cursors, moveable anywhere on the live 3.5" LCD screen, can be selected to identify the hottest and coldest temperatures in real time.  


To precisely locate problem areas and give the user a better frame of reference, images may be graphically displayed in adjustable blends of the actual photographic image and the thermal image from 100% thermal to 100% visual.  Sequence image recording up o every hour or by alarm settings.  Also featured is Picture-In-Picture (PIP) technology to display a small area of the image in IR surrounded by the larger image in photographic mode. In addition, images can be marked by voice and text annotations, eliminating the need to carry pen and paper.  


Up to 2,000 images can be stored on the HeatSeeker 160's removable 2GB micro SD memory card. The supplied IDEAL ThermalVision™ 160 software provides the optimal platform for robust analysis, automatic report generation, e-mail sharing and printing. Data points collected in ThermalVision 160 can be used for detailed analysis of potential problems or for monitoring temperature trends over time of the same area, a process made easier by the unit's ability to sequentially record images up to one per hour or by high or low temperature alarms.  


Unlike more delicate thermal imagers, the new HeatSeeker 160 is built tough for demanding work environments. It is IP54 rated to resist water and dust, and will withstand drops up to 6.5-feet (2 meters). An LED light is built-in for image capture in poorly-lit environments. It comes with a field replaceable, rechargeable Li-ion battery capable of up to 5 hours of continuous operation.


Users can obtain the most out of the IDEAL HeatSeeker investment by attending one of many Level I training courses offered across the country.  An IDEAL certification is written proof of expertise in operating a thermal imager and interpreting thermal information. Training can be obtained at a discounted price with the purchase of an IDEAL thermal imager.  For updated schedules and more information, visit

The IDEAL HeatSeeker 160 is immediately available with an MSRP of $5,950.00 (U.S). It is backed by a 2-year warranty.  

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,


LEED Seminar Series in Atlanta-- Accu-Tech News

From Atlanta Branch Manager, Todd Delavie:

On February 1st Accu-Tech Atlanta hosted our LEED Seminar Series at the Embassy Suites in Alpharetta, GA. We had a great turnout of over 50 attendees from various professions within our industry! The comments and feedback we received were very positive, and the seminar content was geared towards educating and informing Engineers, Architects, General Contractors,  End Users and Data communication contractors, of which all were in attendance.

The seminar included environmental concerns and designs of efficiency in both the Data Center space and DAS ( distributed antenna systems) space. The presentations were delivered by some of our leading industry manufacturers including Corning, CPI, General Cable, STI, and Commscope. 

Comments during and after the seminar included:

"Very informative, Please do more of these!"

 "I am in this profession and I learned an extreme amount today!" 

"I did not realize all of this pertained to my business, thanks for doing the seminar!" 

Accu-Tech will march this seminar series throughout the US and will have more educational seminars coming to the Atlanta Market as well.  Stay Tuned as Accu-Tech continues to innovate and display our market leadership! 

See complete Seminar Series schedule here.


Leviton Network Solutions Joins the Cisco Developer Network as Solutions Developer and Announces Compatibility with Cisco Products

Bothell, Washington – March 2, 2011:  Leviton Network Solutions announced that it has joined the Cisco Developer Network as a Solution Developer within the Cisco Unified Communications technology category. In addition, Leviton’s GigaMax® CAT 5e System is compatible with Cisco IP phone model #6901, version Unified Communications Manager 8.0. 

The Cisco Developer Network unites Cisco with third-party developers of hardware and software to deliver tested interoperable solutions to joint customers.  As a Solution Developer, Leviton Network Solutions shares Cisco’s strong commitment to customer service and satisfaction, has completed a compatibility review based on criteria set forth by Cisco, and can provide their customers 24 hour, 7 days a week customer support. With offerings such as GigaMax CAT 5e, customers can more quickly deploy a broad range of Cisco Compatible business applications, devices, or services that can enhance the capabilities, performance, and management of their Cisco network.  For more information on GigaMax CAT 5e interoperability with Cisco IP phone model #6901, version Unified Communications Manager 8.0 go to:

About Leviton Network Solutions

Leviton Network Solutions was created 25+ years ago to meet the growing need for telecommunications and high-speed data technologies. Today, the division is dedicated to producing complete network infrastructure systems for the enterprise, data center, government, education, health care, and residential markets. Copper, fiber, and power solutions include structured cabling systems, enclosures, PDUs, and much more. All Leviton products are engineered to exacting standards and offer guaranteed performance. For more information, visit


Leviton Launches Opt-X® Unity Fiber System for 40GbE, 100GbE

Industry-first 24-fiber MTP® system meets growing demand for higher-speed Ethernet

February 8, 2011 – Bothell, WA: Leviton today announced the launch of the Opt-X® Unity 40/100G Fiber System, a pre-terminated MTP system featuring new cable, connector, and termination technologies. For the first time, customers will be able to use a 24-fiber pre-terminated MTP system to transmit 100GbE speeds. The Opt-X Unity system was unveiled at the 2011 BICSI Winter Conference in January, and is available through Leviton’s distribution network.

The Opt-X Unity system was designed specifically to meet IEEE 802.3ba requirements and new 100GBASE-SR10 and 40GBASE-SR4 equipment. It allows for a straightforward migration path to 40G or 100G performance, and is backwards compatible with existing Gigabit or 10G networks. The system meets the tight optical cabling channel insertion loss (IL) requirements specified in the IEEE standard, from 2.6 dB for 10GbE to 1.9 dB for OM3 40/100GbE and 1.5 dB for OM4 40/100GbE. The 24-fiber MTP system offers at least double the density in fiber enclosures than legacy 12-fiber cabling, and it allows for fewer cable pathways and improved air flow in data centers. Also, customers are less likely to require the assistance of contractors with 24-fiber cabling due to streamlined, simplified installation.

"This is a very exciting development in pre-terminated MTP structured cabling," states Gary Bernstein, director of fiber and data center product management for Leviton Network Solutions.
"Our customers desire an easy migration path solution to 40G and 100G Ethernet, and we are thrilled that Leviton is able to provide it."

The Opt-X Unity System includes pre-terminated, factory-tested trunks, harnesses, and array cords. Test results are included with each assembly. Trunks are available in 12- and 24-fiber count connections, and harnesses and array cords are available in 8-,12-, and 24-fiber connection configurations. The system also includes the Opt-X Unity 40/100G Multimode MTP Module.
Modules come with 12- or 24-fiber MTP connectors on the back that break out to duplex LC connectors or 8-fiber MTP connectors on the front in OM3 and OM4 fiber types. The module and assemblies can be custom-built to customer specifications through Leviton’s make-to-order (MTO) program.

For more information, go to

About Leviton Network Solutions

Leviton Network Solutions was created 25+ years ago to meet the growing need for telecommunications and high-speed data technologies. Today, the division is dedicated to producing complete network infrastructure systems for the enterprise, data center, government, education, health care, and residential markets. Copper, fiber, and power solutions include structured cabling systems, enclosures, PDUs, and much more. All Leviton products are engineered to exacting standards and offer guaranteed performance. For more information, visit

MTP® is a registered trademark of US Conec, Ltd.



Motorola and Cox Break World Record in Data Transmission Rates


Multiple records set; demonstrates potential for greater bandwidth efficiency and additional revenue opportunities for broadband operators



ATLANTA-CableLabs Winter Conference – March 1, 2011– Motorola Mobility Inc. (NYSE: MMI) announced the achievement of a new world record for return path data transmission by using breakthrough technology from Motorola on Cox Communications’ Las Vegas network infrastructure.

Using the ultra low noise, high performance Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 RX48 return path receiver module operating within a Motorola BSR 64000 CMTS Edge Router, the record of 356 Mbps for a 5-85 MHz return path was set by transmitting across twelve return path channels of which six channels employed 256QAM modulation. Typical HFC networks today have two or three upstream channels delivering an aggregate of 40-70 Mbps.

“The RX48 and these tests demonstrate that Cox’s HFC networks are much more future proof than many have believed,” Jay Rolls, senior vice president of technology, Cox Communications. “We also increasingly need to be able to segment our business and residential customers, visibility into which is provided by the 5-85 MHz return spectrum utilizing 256QAM. Our networks have the capability to support much higher data speeds than today without the need to replace any of the amplifiers, taps or cables.”

The test demonstrates how broadband operators can support more customers and more broadband rich services over existing networks, removing the need for inconvenient and costly new network construction. The new record also shows how the Motorola BSR 64000 CMTS Edge Router, with the RX48 can help lower the overall cost of DOCSIS for cable operators, while simultaneously opening new opportunities for business revenues.

In addition to establishing the world record at 5-85 MHz, a maximum transmission rate of 141 Mbps was also achieved over a 5-42 MHz return path using six return path channels. Three of these channels were able to operate using 256 QAM modulation, as opposed to 64 QAM maximum in use today, which is also believed to be a record. For the first time, cable operators can use the 5-42 return path to provide 100 Mbps dedicated to business customers and simultaneously provide residential customers with the return path bandwidth necessary to meet their growing needs.

All tests were conducted across Cox’s Las Vegas hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) network employing multiple DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 2.0 modems. It feeds a three amplifier cascade followed by an HFC optical link consisting of a standard Motorola DFB return path laser transmitting over 7 dB of fiber to the optical receiver. The output of this receiver was linked to the RX48 card in the BSR 64000. Measurements were made in accordance with standard cable industry practices. At the CableLabs conference, Motorola and Cox demonstrated the new record of 400 Mbps on a 5-85 MHz return path, which broke the previous record of 356Mbps

“We are very pleased to show the results of Motorola Mobility’s investment in DOCSIS 3.0 innovation,” said Joe Cozzolino, senior vice president and general manager, network infrastructure, Motorola Mobility. “The RX48 has clearly demonstrated that we are moving once again to a position of CMTS leadership. We are grateful to Cox for jointly working with us to demonstrate the continued great future of HFC networks and proving our belief in this breakthrough technology.”

About the RX48:
The RX48 provides between 33% and 50% higher data rates possible in the return path than previously possible based on its low noise receiver and hardware based DOCSIS 3.0 channel bonding capabilities. For example, with a 5-42 MHz return path connected to the RX48, it will be possible for the first time for cable operators to support 100 Mbps dedicated for business services in only three bonded return path channels instead of four, leaving three return path channels available for residential data services, all supported using only a single RX48 port in the CMTS.

About Motorola Mobility
Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE:MMI) fuses innovative technology with human insights to create experiences that simplify, connect and enrich people's lives. Our portfolio includes converged mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices. For more information, visit


NAED Announces Craig Riley  is the New Publisher of tED Magazine

Craig Riley brings more than 30 years of publishing and sales experience to his new role

ST. LOUIS… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announces the appointment of Craig Riley to publisher of tED magazine.

Riley has been with tED as an electronic media specialist since 2009. Riley previously served as publisher of Industrial Distribution magazine, where he worked for nearly 20 years. Before that time, he worked in sales roles for Purchasing magazine and Applied Technology’s Maintenance Technology magazine.

“I’m pleased to continue working with tED, leading an outstanding team that produces the electrical distribution market’s premier publication,” said Riley. “Through the magazine, website and e-newsletters, tED provides NAED members with must have information to help them move their businesses forward in an increasingly competitive and changing environment.”

tED magazine is circulated monthly to more than 25,000 readers in the electrical distribution industry. Over the past 10 years, the magazine has added more editorial, been redesigned twice, increased advertising revenue, and advanced its online presence with multiple sites and newsletters. During this time, the magazine has also been recognized both nationally and regionally for editorial and design excellence.

“We are excited to announce that Craig has been named the publisher of tED magazine,” said NAED president and CEO Tom Naber. “He brings a wealth of publishing experience and industry knowledge to the position, which is exactly what NAED needs to keep tED successfully moving ahead at the same pace as the electrical industry.”

Riley’s appointment comes after the previous tED publisher, Michael Martin, left to become president and CEO of the National Wood Flooring Association, based in St. Louis.

tED magazine is the primary source of information for the electrical distribution channel across North America. The publication is dedicated to best practices for the electrical supply chain. In addition to its print edition, tED magazine produces up-to-the minute news at

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 represents approximately 4,400 locations internationally.


NAED Names Paul McCool as Incoming South Central Region Vice President-Elect

McCool is an industry veteran with 26 years of experience

ST. LOUIS… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) has named Paul McCool, CEO of Revere Electric Supply Co. in Chicago, as the incoming South Central Region vice president-elect. The South Central Region Council elected McCool by majority approval.

McCool has been in the industry for 26 years and serves on the South Central Region Council, the Channel Advantage Partnership Council, and the Theft and Fraud Task Force. He is active in the Lake Michigan Club, and regularly attends the NAED National Electrical Leadership Summit and the South Central Region Conferences.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve NAED and the South Central Region as the incoming vice president-elect,” McCool said. “As old and large as the electrical industry is, it is equally small and new. Participating in NAED presents us all with the networking and educational opportunities necessary to succeed now and in the future.”

McCool received a BSBA degree in Finance from the University of Delaware. He also completed the Emerson Electric Executive Development Program and received a Financial Management Certificate from the University of Chicago.

Revere Electric Supply is an automation and electrical distributor, servicing the industrial and commercial markets, as well as government agencies. The company has been in business since 1919 and operates its headquarters from Chicago, with additional Illinois locations in Buffalo Grove, Morris, and Peru; as well as a branch in Hartland, Wis.

As an NAED regional vice president-elect, McCool will serve on the NAED Board of Directors and help lead the region’s conferences, council meetings, and other events. He will also participate in NAED’s Membership Committee.

The South Central Region is currently under the leadership of Ray Womack, vice president of Womack Electric Supply Co., in Burlington, N.C. Beginning in May, Maureen Barsema, vice president and CFO of BJ Electric Supply, Inc., in Madison, Wis., will take up regional leadership for 2011-2012.

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.


Siemon Delivers 3D Network Infrastructure Models Through the Autodesk Seek Web Service

Building and network designers and construction professionals can now easily find and include Siemon cabling product models in pre-construction BIM designs

Watertown, CT, February 23, 2011 — Leading network infrastructure company Siemon announced that it is making data-rich 3D models of its data center infrastructure, cable management and network cabling products available through the Autodesk Seek web service.   Autodesk Seek  ( allows design professionals to search for and access high-quality building product information and design files directly from AutoCAD and the Revit desktop design applications for Building Information Modeling (BIM).

“Our support of the BIM process will help network design, engineering, architectural and construction firms using Autodesk Revit to drive more efficient and cost-effective network projects,” said Bob Carlson, VP of Marketing for Siemon.  “The BIM process allows infrastructure products to be considered in the overall design from the earliest phases.  In a data center, for example, you can take full advantage of innovative products like our VersaPOD cabinet by seeing how it fits within the overall design.  Doing this can reduce rework in the field by allowing you to identify potential conflicts and adjust the design before you even begin actual deployment.”

“It is increasingly important for design professionals and builders to be able to rely on high quality data as the AEC industry moves to BIM,” said Jeff Wright, senior director of Content Solutions for Autodesk. “The addition of Siemon’s information-rich part models to the Autodesk Seek web service is one more step in delivering a ‘critical mass’ of product information to designers, while providing building product manufacturers with an unprecedented platform for online marketing to Autodesk’s customer base. “

Autodesk Seek ( allows design professionals to search specifically for the building product design files they need—in the form of 3D models, 2D drawings, visual images, and part and product specification data. The service includes access to existing content from Autodesk applications and building product manufacturers in a single, unified search experience.

View Siemon's library of BIM objects:

Follow Siemon on Twitter:

Join Siemon on Facebook:

# # #

Autodesk is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries.

About Siemon

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


News from tED Magazine

BUTLER SUPPLY—based in Fenton, Mo., this distributor of electrical, plumbing, and communications products has 26 locations—which this month are celebrating the company’s 70th anniversary.


1. Russ Trowbridge of Crescent was on hand at the career night held earlier this month at Iowa State University by the Supply Chain Management Club, according to the school’s paper. His quote in the article: “We’re looking for somebody who possesses a solid work ethic—somebody who has interest in sales-type roles. It comes down to how they will fit in our industry.” There were said to be 33 employers on hand.

2. Peter Ray of AG Electrical Supply was listed as participating in the fifth annual Students Taking Action for Real Success interview conference, held Jan. 14 at the Long Island Marriott (according to The article said that 100 11th and 12th grade students “were required to attend the conference for a very different kind of mid-term exam.”

CENTRAL WHOLESALERS—this Maryland-based company earned the Rayovac Industrial Distributor Award for “outstanding performance in sales and distribution of Rayovac batteries and lights” for Q4/2010. The company celebrates its 30th year in 2011; it reportedly “has posted a 9.4% normalized quarterly growth rate over the past three quarters.” From Ken Olson, Rayovac’s director for industrial, government, and OEM: “Distributors play a critical role within the industrial battery industry.”

COLONIAL ELECTRIC—based in King of Prussia, Pa., this distributor said in a Feb. 9 release that it would open its 20th counter location by Mar. 31—in Brooklyn, N.Y. It’s the company’s first location in New York state; it already operates in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. According to Colonial, the site in which it will open in Brooklyn was a Liberty Electric Supply branch for 75 years. The former CFO of Liberty, Steve Mayer, will be executive vice president for Colonial’s New York region. The branch manager is Curtis Pecherek, a long-time employee of Colonial.

EMI SUPPLY—this Concord, N.C. “stocking distributor of electrical, motorsports, and industrial supplies” issued a release Feb. 7 on two new First Aid Kits, “perfect for small businesses and contractor operations.”

EVERGREEN SUPPLY—this electrical distributor was included in a round up article in the Jan. 10 issue of Crain’s Chicago Business on “goals met or goal posts moved?” Apparently, the magazine checked in with the company a year ago and now was checking back.

            Colleen Kramer of the company told the weekly that she had trimmed expenses by 2% and that 2010 sales were $16 million, up from $15 million in 2009. But wait: Kramer also invested in Evergreen.

            “She also spent cash on a new computer system and an energy-savings overhaul. The company hired two employees, bringing its total to 34.” Kramer did not touch the marketing budget, Crain’s reported, instead looking for “low-cost ways to promote the business”—including the launch of an e-newsletter that reaches 2,500 people.

K/E ELECTRIC SUPPLY—on Jan. 26-27, Generac Power Systems held two seminars “on code changes dealing with backup generator power installation.” They drew a combined 100 electrical contractors, according to the 22-year-old metro Detroit electrical distributor.

STEINER ELECTRIC—this distributor, based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., “is looking to build a new location in the vacant Beverly Manufacturing Building” in Tinley Park, according to the Tinley Park Patch (Jan. 26). According to the article:

            “In return for this $6.96 million investment, Steiner wants the village, county, and state to chip in for a total $1.2 million in incentives. Otherwise, the company could build the new facility at an existing location in Hobart, Ind.

SUMMITthis Albuquerque, New Mexico-based electrical distributor, which has previously supported the state’s largest homeless shelter, recently went an extra step—with the donation of four dozen coats. “Summit associates followed Joy Junction’s Lifeline of Hope food truck,” according to a release, “to motels, parks, and street corners where the homeless and others in need gather.” All 48 coats were handed out to people who needed them…in just one day.

            According to the release, Summit originally donated the food truck in 2009; it’s needed because there are more homeless people than Joy Junction can house (which is 300). The truck “now stops at as many as six motels a day distributing food and other necessities.”

            In December 2010, Summit donated $10,000 to Joy Junction.

TRITON POWER—this subsidiary of American Generators, which says it is “the largest independent commercial generator distributor in North and South America,” said it now carries automatic transfer switch products from 125 amps to 4000 amps and three-phase applications.

TVW ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT—Kent Lawrence, owner of this distributor in Decatur, Ala., was quoted near the end of a mostly positive Jan. 30 article on on the local economy’s situation. His contribution: “Right now, our volume is still way down. Last month was one of the worst months we’ve ever had.”

VAN METER INDUSTRIAL—this electrical/automation distributor is part of a collaborative program, according to a release from Alliant Energy, which owns Interstate Power & Light. Another partner is the Iowa Energy Center. They recently worked together to help a Hy-Vee Food Store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, replace 12 metal halide parking lot lights with LED lamps.

            From Mary Meisterling, Alliant’s key account manager: “Van Meter gives us access to multiple LED manufacturers and a team of lighting design specialists.” There are, apparently, other LED demonstration projects underway.

WERNER ELECTRIC SUPPLY—was identified in the Feb. 1 issue of The Stevens Point Journal as being among the “biggest supporters” of Mike Wiza, a candidate (running against the incumbent) for the post of mayor of Stevens Point, Wis. The others listed with Werner—based on financial support—were the University of Wisconsin-Stevens and the Wisconson Interscholastic Athletic Association.

            According to the newspaper: “Employees from those companies individually each contributed $250 to Wiza’s campaign.”

Elsewhere In Distribution

“CASH KINDS OF BUILDING MATERIALS”—this headline graced a article covering Fastenal, Grainger, and MSC Industrial Direct.

GRAINGER—sales in the United States rose 6% in January, the company said.

MDM/BAIRD SURVEY—respondents from distribution companies to the Q4 survey from R.W. Baird and Modern Distribution Management are (on average) forecasting 2011 sales growth of 8.3%, the newsletter reported.

MOST READ MDM BLOGS—the 10 most-read blogs on the site in 2010 included three on Grainger, one on Fastenal, and one on HD Supply.

News from tED Magazine



Tampa, Fla., February 10, 2011—BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, is pleased to announce the appointment of Melanie Hughes Younger to the position of BICSI Director of Conferences & Events.

As BICSI’s Director of Conferences & Events, Melanie will utilize her skills in C&E contract negotiations and financials to evaluate and execute Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for upcoming BICSI conferences as well as renegotiation existing contracts with vendors.

Melanie has significant and varied experience in association and conference/event management over a 20-year span. For seven years she served as Director of Meetings & Conferences for the International Reading Association (IRA). IRA holds an annual convention with attendance as high as 23,000, up to six regional conferences in the U.S. and Canada with attendance as high as 3,000 each, and a biannual World Congress—always held outside North America—with an average attendance of 1,500.  Melanie’s C&E experience for IRA included directing events in Europe, Asia and North and Central America. Her responsibilities at IRA included site selection, budgets, negotiations, contracts (hotels, convention centers and vendors), housing, registration, exhibits, abstract and program management, security, staffing and shuttle busing.

Melanie also worked for ten years at the American Urological Association, initially serving in governance at the senior management level, and later as Director of Conventions & Meetings, wherein she directed all planning and on-site operations of the annual AUA meeting with total attendance in excess of 17,000.

Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Ashford University with a major in Organizational Management. Melanie is also a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP).


National Fire Protection Association announces 2010 Firewise Leadership Award winners, honoring local, regional, state efforts to reduce wildfire damage

Winners hail from Arkansas, California, Florida and Texas 

February 28, 2011 -- The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities program today announced the 2010 Firewise Leadership Award winners, recognizing the most significant local efforts in safeguarding people and communities from the threat of wildfire.

“Firewise congratulates and thanks the Leadership Awards winners for their commitment to wildfire safety,” said Michele Steinberg, manager of the NFPA Firewise Communities program. “Our seven honorees are excellent examples of the countless individuals and groups working to do their part to help save lives and reduce their communities’ risk of wildfire damage.”

The following 2010 recipients of NFPA’s Firewise Leadership Awards were selected based on their impact at the local, state-wide and regional levels. The winners’ achievements include the efforts of an Arkansas college student to organize six Firewise Communities, local coalitions working across county lines to share wildfire best practices, a community that has made Firewise a way of life and state agencies working to reduce wildfire risk with Firewise principles.

Regional winner:

Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, Nev. (FSCNC)
The Council is recognized for its collective effort to incorporate Firewise principles in local wildfire preparedness programs and spread the word to other at-risk communities. The Council’s board represents a cross-section of the Nevada County community including homeowners, an insurance agent, realtor, an industrial timber producer, members of The Sierra Club, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, a registered professional forester, local fire chief’s representatives, Cal Fire, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Federation of Neighborhood Associations. The Council regularly works with other area Fire Safe Councils to share program models and best practices to further reduce wildfire fuel in neighboring counties. Their assistance to Placer, Sierra and Yuba counties has increased regional efforts to reduce wildfire damage. In the last two years, FSCNC was instrumental in Lake Wildwood, Banner Mountain, Mountain Lake Estates and Lake of the Pines earning Firewise Community designation.

State level winners:

David Yegge, fire fuels program coordinator, Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District, Calif.
In his five years as Fire Fuels Program Coordinator for Big Bear Lake, Yegge has spearheaded a robust wildfire mitigation program in partnership with several local and county government agencies to implement Firewise principles. The efforts led by Yegge have removed 25,000 dead trees, assisted land owners in thinning trees and shrubs on their properties and implemented a wood shingle replacement program. Yegge also secured defensible space grants for elderly, disabled and low income communities, and has developed a media campaign to promote defensible space with a series of public service announcements, advertisements, speaking engagements and a local resource website.

Florida Division of Forestry Mitigation Specialists
Following devastating losses from a severe Florida wildfire season in 1998, the Florida Division of Forestry Mitigation Specialists has worked to coordinate mitigation activity throughout the entire state. Specialists manage fuel loads, public information, education, and training. Tasked to make Florida communities safer from wildfire damage, these specialists work to identify and quantify a community’s wildfire risk, assist the community to develop a wildfire plan and take the necessary steps to assist the community to implement the plan. The division’s efforts have been instrumental in more than 40 communities receiving and maintaining Firewise Communities recognition. Additionally, fuel management work has been completed on almost 95,000 acres that impact nearly 60,000 homes and businesses.

Texas Forest Service Prevention and Mitigation Department
The Texas Forest Service Prevention and Mitigation Department is responsible for ensuring that the entire state of Texas has the wildfire training and resources needed to prepare for and withstand wildfire. Its staff of 27 has launched educational programs, training classes and mitigation projects to root Firewise concepts across the state. Program offerings include Firewise Community trainings, Community Wildfire Protection Plan Trainings, Firewise Landscaping Training, and many others. To date, the team has recruited 35 Firewise Communities across Texas with 100 percent retention in the program, and the department continues to expand its wildfire education offerings.

Local level winners:

Melissa Yunas, Florida Division of Forestry, Fla.
As a mitigation specialist, Yunas is responsible for planning and coordinating wildfire mitigation projects in six counties covering over 4,000 square miles surrounding Lake Okeechobee in the southeastern part of Florida’s central peninsula. Her region has a diverse population that exceeds 637,500 residents, many of whom reside seasonally. Because of the sheer size of the region, Yunas leads and teaches other district personnel and non-Division of Forestry partners as a coordinated workgroup to develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans. To date, Yunas has assisted 15 communities in earning Firewise Communities recognition. She is currently working with Glades County leaders to have every community recognized as a Firewise Community.

Seth Sommers, Volunteer Firefighter, Hector Volunteer Fire Department, Ark.
Seth Sommers’ belief in Firewise principles goes far beyond his work as a volunteer firefighter at the Hector Volunteer Fire Department.  Completing more than 600 hours of risk assessments as part of a college project, Sommers partnered with the Arkansas Firewise Team to create a wildfire safety presentation which inspired area-specific literature and a series of projects ranging from controlled burns near key residential areas and parks and the removal of brush near a senior citizen center. Sommers’ initial class project has resulted in the certification of six new Firewise Communities in the Pope County area.

Diamondhead Community, Ark.
Diamondhead is recognized for integrating Firewise into the social fabric of its community. Firewise is now a focus of the faith community, private clubs, the local homeowner’s association and public services departments. Community-wide efforts include a designated burn pile to prevent residential yard burns, a beautification committee which keeps trash and debris cleared from ditches and roadways and a liaison to the fire department who monitors for downed debris. The community’s collective efforts have contributed to a 30 percent reduction in the local fire district’s “out of control” burns in the five years of program participation.

About Firewise
The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education

Oberon, Inc., a leading manufacturer of wireless and telecom enclosures, has introduced its new Model 1029-00 Wall Mount Bracket.

Wireless access point manufacturers often recommend that the access point be mounted in a horizontal orientation to achieve best wireless coverage.  While this orientation is easily achieved by mounting the access point on the ceiling, in some hard lid and other environments, ceiling mounts are not possible.  In cases where wall mounting is necessary, it can be difficult to achieve the proper horizontal alignment in a secure configuration. 

Oberon’s 1029-00 wireless LAN access point wall mount bracket is designed to mount and secure access points from most manufacturers in areas were wall mounting is required. This aesthetic, white powder-coated steel mounting bracket secures the access point in the preferred horizontal orientation. Conduit, raceways, and cable can be securely terminated inside the bracket to provide for a clean appearance. The access point can be locked in place using the manufacturer’s lock feature.

For more information on secure, convenient, and aesthetic telecommunications and wireless access point enclosures for suspended ceiling and wall-mounted systems, please call 1-877-867-2312 or see the Enclosure Selection Guide at

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

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


OFC/NFOEC Sees Exhibition Hall Growth

2011 Show Expands by 20 Percent, Offers New Program Content for Service Providers

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14—The organizers of the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) announced today that the 2011 show, taking place in Los Angeles March 8 – 10, will be 20 percent larger than last year, featuring new programming for service providers and data center operators, and more exhibitors filling a larger space, alongside its core show floor programs and activities.

“We are pleased to see a spike in the size of the exhibit this year,” said Mehran Esfandiari, general co-chair of OFC/NFOEC 2011.  “Attendance at this year’s show is expected to be strong, as we notice a resurgence of demand for optical communications technology from service providers and systems companies.  As the only show in 2011 that offers programming for all sectors of the telecom field, OFC/NFOEC will be the place to be for anyone who wants to stay up-to-date on the industry.”

The exhibition will feature more than 500 companies—from network and test equipment vendors to sub-system and component manufacturers, plus software, fiber cable and specialty fiber manufacturers.  Service providers and enterprises interested in building or upgrading networks or datacenters will find the latest products all in one place at OFC/NFOEC 2011 – the largest show of its kind in the world. New and returning show participants this year include Cisco, Juniper Networks, Nokia Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Ciena, Infinera, JDSU, Finisar, Opnext, Agilent, Corning and many others.

Show Floor programming has been expanded to include new content such as the Optical Business Forum, Ethernet Alliance Program, Optical Internetworking Forum Program, Green Touch Panel Session and more.  Flagship programs Market Watch and the Service Provider Summit will feature topics on data centers, wireless, 100G, and optical networking.

More information about the exhibit at OFC/NFOEC 2011 can be found in the Exhibit Hall and Activities section of OFC/NFOEC’s website.

Since 1975, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) has provided an annual backdrop for the optical communications field to network and share research and innovations. In 2005, OFC joined forces with the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) creating the largest and most comprehensive international event for optical communications. By combining an exposition of more than 500 companies, with a unique program of peer-reviewed technical programming and special focused educational sessions, OFC/NFOEC provides an unparalleled opportunity reaching every audience from service providers to optical equipment manufacturers and beyond.

OFC/NFOEC,, is managed by the Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc) and the IEEE Photonics Society. Acting as a non-financial technical co-sponsor is Telcordia Technologies, Inc.


Development Team Achieves One Terabit per Second Data Rate on a Single Integrated Photonic Chip

Infinera Corp. to Present Research on High-Speed Photonic Integrated Circuits at OFC/NFOEC 2011

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24—With worldwide Internet data traffic increasing by 50 percent each year, telecommunications companies that handle this digital torrent must be able to economically expand the capacities of their networks while also adapting to new, more-efficient data-handling technologies. Over the last decade, a development team at Infinera Corp. in Sunnyvale, Calif. has pioneered the design and manufacture of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) aimed at meeting that need.  This technology has enabled the team to achieve a record one trillion bits per second (1 Terabit/s) speed on a single integrated indium phosphide chip.  The findings will be presented at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) taking place March 6 – 10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“Traditional transponder-based system architectures are inflexible and costly and time-consuming to upgrade,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagarajan, research fellow at Infinera and a senior member of Infinera’s PIC development team. “Our PIC approach enables us to make optical networks more powerful, flexible and reliable than ever before using equipment that is significantly smaller, less expensive and uses much less energy.”

Infinera’s latest PIC is at the heart of a new 10-channel receiver, each channel operating at 100 Gbit/s data rates.  This is the first in the industry to achieve a capacity of 1 Terabit/s on a single photonic integrated chip.  It contains more than 150 optical components—such as frequency tunable local oscillator (LO) lasers, devices for mixing the LO and incoming signals, variable optical attenuators for LO power control, a spectral demultiplexer to separate the individual wavelength channels, and 40 balanced photodetector (receiver/transmitter) pairs—all integrated onto a chip smaller than a fingernail.

The key technical advance operating behind 100-Gbit/s-per-channel technology is the ability to detect incoming data encoded using the optical industry's most spectrally efficient modulation technique, called polarization multiplexed Quadrature Phase-Shift Keying, or PM-QPSK.  To explain the acronym, first PM: it is similar to the wireless communications technique of alternating the polarization of adjacent channels.  How does QSPK work?  In virtually all types of data transmission, the information is encoded in ways that allow it to travel the farthest while occupying the least amount of signal spectrum.  Just as radio’s AM (amplitude modulation) and FM (frequency modulation) imprints information on, respectively, the amplitude and frequency of its broadcast waves, QPSK modifies the light’s phase to represent the data.  All in all, PM-QPSK permits four times more information to be conveyed each second than was possible with the previous method, which simply switched the laser light on and off. 

The news here is not about the PM-QPSK modulation scheme per se, but rather that Infinera has, for the first time, integrated it all onto a single 10x100 Gbit/s photonic integrated circuit.

“But just as important as a transmitter’s clever and efficient encoding method is a fast and reliable way for the receiver to convert the information back to its original form,” said Dr. Nagarajan.  “For PM-QPSK, we designed and integrated narrow-linewidth lasers that detect the phase encoded data very efficiently.”

Infinera expects PICs with a capability of a terabit or more to be commercially available within a few years. The company has announced that a 500 Gbit/s PIC will be available in 2012. Infinera’s 100 Gbit/s PICs are widely deployed in long-haul and metro networks worldwide.

Transmitter and receiver PICs are typically installed at critical nodes and at each end of “long haul” optical networks.  Like non-stop flights between airline hubs, these intercity and intercontinental optical fiber links carry the bulk of Internet traffic. Worldwide, more than 20 exabytes—20 trillion trillion bytes (or 160 exabits)—have been estimated to pass through the Internet every month.

PICs enable massive amounts of cost-effective bandwidth and facilitate the networks at the heart of the Internet to become more scalable and quicker to react to sudden changes in demand.  “In many ways, PIC-based optical networks are starting to take on the intelligent features of routed (IP) networks, like the ability to reroute traffic in the event of a break in the fiber—but at a fraction of the cost and power consumption,” Dr. Nagarajan added.

Dr. Nagarajan’s presentation at OFC/NFOEC, titled “10-channel, 100Gbit/sec per channel dual polarization coherent QPSK, monolithic InP receiver photonic integrated circuit,” will take place Monday, March 7 at 3:15 p.m. in the Los Angeles Convention Center. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Journalists are invited to attend the meeting.  Registration is available on the OFC/NFOEC website or by contacting Angela Stark,, 202.416.1443.

Since 1975, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) has provided an annual backdrop for the optical communications field to network and share research and innovations. In 2005, OFC joined forces with the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) creating the largest and most comprehensive international event for optical communications. By combining an exposition of more than 500 companies, with a unique program of peer-reviewed technical programming and special focused educational sessions, OFC/NFOEC provides an unparalleled opportunity reaching every audience from service providers to optical equipment manufacturers and beyond.

OFC/NFOEC,, is managed by the Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc) and the IEEE Photonics Society. Acting as a non-financial technical co-sponsor is Telcordia Technologies, Inc.

About Infinera
Infinera provides Digital Optical Networking systems to telecommunications carriers worldwide. Infinera's systems are unique in their use of a breakthrough semiconductor technology: the photonic integrated circuit (PIC). Infinera's systems and PIC technology are designed to provide customers with simpler and more flexible engineering and operations, faster time-to-service, and the ability to rapidly deliver differentiated services without reengineering their optical infrastructure. For more information, please visit


OFC/NFOEC 2011 to Feature Advances in Wireless, Fiber, Multiplexing, Data Center Processing, Cloud Computing, Network Capacity

WASHINGTON, March 1—The world’s largest international conference on optical communications will take place March 6-10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) is the premier telecom meeting where experts from industry and academia share their results, experiences, and insights on the future of electronic and wireless communication and optical technologies.  More than 10,000 attendees and an exhibit with 500 companies are expected.


·         Plenary Session keynote speakers

·         Special symposia

·         Agenda of talks and abstracts

·         Workshops & panels

·         Tutorials


The conference features a comprehensive technical program with talks covering the latest research related to all aspects of optical communication. Some of the highlights, outlined below, include:

·         Boosting Undersea Cable Capacity without Increasing Optical Bandwidth

·         The Face Behind Facebook

·         Data Transportation on Light Trails

·         Upgrading to Fiber with RFoG

·         eScience on SURFnet

·         Inspired by Rogue Light Waves


The Internet, of course, is a global phenomenon. Its most ubiquitous application is not called the World Wide Web for nothing. Global reach means Internet traffic often must cross the ocean in fiber optic cables. As these cables serve more users, each requiring more bandwidth, traffic demands invariably rise. TE SubCom researcher Dmitri Foursa says that meeting these demands might be possible in a way that doesn't require pumping up line rates, or bandwidth, the usual approach. 

Line rates describe the amount of data that can be pushed through a fiber optic cable per second in each channel. Today the rate for many undersea cables is 10 Gb/s. Higher rates are on the way. Some cables that span continents now have 40 Gb/s rates, while industry R&D labs have demonstrated 100 Gb/s rates and higher.

Foursa studies spectral efficiency, another more subtle metric concerning capacity of fiber optic cable. Basically, the term is a measure of how many information-carrying channels can be packed into a given bandwidth. The comparison is inexact, but you’d have something like improved spectral efficiency if you could tune in 30 stations as you hit “scan” on your car radio instead of the usual 15 stations. The reason you are usually stuck with 15 or so is simple: it is increasingly difficult to faithfully receive a signal as the distance between the transmitter and receiver increases. A similar problem plagues transmission of signals along undersea cables.

Foursa's accomplishment, described in a paper co-authored with several TE SubCom colleagues and to be presented at OFC/NFOEC, is to more than double the distance over which transmission of high spectral efficiency channels is possible at the highest commercially deployed submarine line rate, 40 Gb/s.

In terms high spectral efficiencies over transoceanic distances, previous demonstrations at 40 Gb/s fell short of those achieved at 100 Gb/s. So Foursa's work, in effect, fills in a gap in the technology roadmap for undersea fiber optic cables.

“The point is 40 Gb/s systems are being built and upgraded now, hence the need to optimize the use of bandwidth,” says Seymour Shapiro, TE SubCom CTO and vice president of research and development. “Systems operating at 100 Gb/s are somewhat down the road, although new transoceanic builds will be capable of supporting 100 Gb/s when the terminal equipment becomes available.”

Foursa notes that his work was mostly done to generate applied knowledge relevant to his industry and might never make it into cables strung across the ocean by companies like TE SubCom. But as is true of all new cable capacity, Foursa's innovation could give options either to meet future traffic needs or cut costs to serve existing traffic. Then there's the technical novelty of it. "This demonstration shows that we can pretty much go 18,000 kilometers at a pretty good spectral efficiency," he says, noting in his paper that such a distance is sufficient to cross the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest. "And that hasn't been achieved with any other system before."

Dmitri Foursa, Talk OMI4, “Coherent 40 Gb/s Transmission with High Spectral Efficiency Over Transpacific Distance,” Monday, March 7, 2:30 p.m.


The revolutionary online social network Facebook now has more than 500 million active users, which is roughly double the count from just two years ago. With each new member comes more status updates, photo albums, and Web links. More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month on the site. How all that information is stored in warehouse-sized data centers is a constantly evolving process.

To keep up with the growing “human” network on Facebook, the company is scaling up its own network of computers and other hardware. “It's like painting the Golden Gate Bridge,” says Donald Lee, a Facebook network engineer. “By the time you are done upgrading all parts of the network, you have to return to where you started and begin scaling everything again.” In the data centers, more bandwidth is needed between servers, but Lee says that traditional network switching hardware has fallen behind, and novel switching technologies need to mature before they can be used in a real-world data center.

What may be needed are new rules for how network routing and switching is done in a large data center. In his presentation, Lee plans to discuss the current requirements of a large data center, while laying out the role he thinks optical fiber innovations can play in future data center scale-ups. He will also provide some concrete visuals of cloud computing, in which an application like those offered on the Facebook website is performed remotely on a set of shared servers.

Donald C. Lee, talk OWU1, “Scaling Networks in Large Data Centers,” Wednesday, March 9, 3:30 p.m.


As optical networks begin accepting more traffic, they will need a more efficient way to move data from place to place. One option is to use a single dedicated optical bus, called a light-trail, which has some of the same advantages that a subway line has over multiple intersecting city streets. The “tracks” for a light-trail would be essentially permanent, so fewer resources would be needed for deciding how to route data. Recent simulations show that light-trail communication can outperform other network options for certain applications.  

Many city-wide optical networks are complicated webs connecting multiple nodes together. Current data transport techniques navigate data from one node to another by setting up temporary light-paths that the optical signal can follow. These strategies have worked fine for data rates of 1 Gbit/s, but the speed limit is set to increase to 10 Gbit/s. The light-trail’s approach, which was conceived in 2003 for intra-city data transport, involves setting up a one-way channel that continuously connects multiple nodes. When one of these nodes seeks to send data, it is allotted a specific time slot, as well as a small section of the available bandwidth over which to broadcast. A short burst of optical data is generated by the sending node and travels over the pre-determined light-trail to all the downstream nodes, including the destination node. One of the advantages of having a constantly open channel is that intermediate nodes can obtain a time slot and  use the same light-trail without having to reconfigure the network, explains Arun Somani of Iowa State University.

Besides city networks, the light-trail approach may be appealing for data centers and cloud computing. To examine this broader potential, Somani and Ashwin Gumaste of the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai performed network simulations comparing light-trails to other management protocols. The researchers looked at efficiency, energy consumption and response time – all of which are important parameters to network operators. The results that will be presented show that light-trails performed better at high-traffic rates than all the alternatives.

Arun Somani, talk OtUR4, “Light-trails: Distributed Optical Grooming for Emerging Data-Center, Cloud Computing, and Enterprise Applications,” Tuesday, March 8, 5:30 p.m.


Cable TV won’t be “cable” for much longer. The eventual transition to all-optical-fiber networks means there will no longer be a coaxial cable running to each customer’s house. But getting the full potential from the optics will require replacing the signal-producing devices. Some cable operators want to continue sending radio frequency over glass, or RFoG, as a way to upgrade to fiber while postponing a complete overhaul.

Currently, a lot of homes get their cable TV and Internet access over a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network, in which the signal travels over optical fiber from the cable company to a neighborhood node and then switches to a coaxial cable for the last mile to the house. The light transmitted through the fiber is modulated by a radio frequency (RF) signal that carries both video and Internet data. In order to convert this optical signal into an electrical signal for the coaxial cable, the HFC nodes require active components that have high energy and maintenance costs. Therefore, the push is toward passive optical networks (PONs) that can reduce overhead by extending fiber all the way to the user.

A true PON system will boost data rates by encoding the signal in optical rather than radio frequencies. But this will require cable companies to invest in new hardware and new management practices in order to generate the optical data stream. The intermediate solution, RFoG, is to continue transmitting the same RF signal on a fully fiber network. It wouldn't give all the advantages of PON, but RFoG would offer a modest increase in data rates over current HFC hook-ups. “RFoG provides cable operators a way to break into fiber to the home without having to disrupt their operational procedures,” says Jim Farmer from Enablence – an optical communication company based in Ottawa.

RFoG has been tested in several field trials, but wider adoption is likely now that a standard was recently adopted. Farmer will report on these developments and how RFoG could make for an easier transition to PON in the coming years.

Jim Farmer, Talk NThF2, “RFoG - Foggy, or Real,” Thursday, March 10, 4 p.m.


The Netherlands-based SURFnet is among the most advanced research and education networks in the world. The network is similar to the Internet2 protocol in the United States, which brings together select networks of universities and industrial research centers, and is a potential boon to anyone dealing with vast amounts of data and large computational problems. It’s also something of a mystery to everyday users of the Internet, something that Cees de Laat aims to remedy in his OFC/NFOEC talk on eScience applications on SURFnet.

De Laat is professor at the University of Amsterdam whose research focuses in part on SURFnet innovation. The main difference of the Dutch SURFnet network is its so-called hybrid nature, a quality shared with other national research networks like Internet2. On a hybrid network, users can access underlying network architecture and circuitry. For most people interacting with the Internet via a browser, these underlying resources are static and occasionally swamped by traffic, a fact that’s annoyingly obvious to anyone who has dealt with choppy Web videos or dropped Skype calls.      

SURFnet’s hybrid architecture is already helping astronomers and filmmakers. This is thanks to two applications de Laat says might well be prototypes for addressing the inevitable increase in data intensity and increase in demand for network services.

One application he will discuss is the Software Correlator Architecture Research and Implementation for the e-VLBI (SCARIe) project. SCARIe takes observational data from telescopes mostly around Europe pointed at a similar part of the sky. This data is transported via SURFnet to a central location, where it is stitched together, or correlated, to build a high-resolution radio map of the sky.

“In earlier days, radio astronomers would put their data on hard disks or tapes and ship it to each other; this meant correlation always took weeks or months,” de Laat says. “Now they can do it in almost real time.”

The second application is CineGrid, which aims to help those in the entertainment industry take full advantage of advances in parallel computing and photonic networking. These advances are especially important because the digital tools used to create films generate increasingly huge digital files that need to be shared around the world for tasks such as dubbing audio, adding computer generated animation, correcting color and so on.

Cees de Laat, Talk NThD5, “eScience Applications on the SURFnet RE Network,” Thursday, March 10, 2:30 p.m.


Less than four years ago, a UCLA research team, led by Daniel Solli, was trying to discern the initial conditions and mechanisms that led to rare, unusually steep and large waves in an optical system based on a nonlinear optical fiber near the threshold of soliton-fission supercontinuum generation.  A giant flash—far larger than expected—would suddenly appear, seemingly for no reason.  Solli’s team determined, using experiments and simulations, that a slight bit of random noise having just the right characteristics could set off a nonlinear chain reaction that created the super-sized solitons.

Soon thereafter Solli recalled reading about anomalously tall solitary ocean waves—up to 100 feet high—that were the stuff of sailors’ lore: battering and sometimes sinking even large ships at sea.  Could the phenomena that created these rare gargantuan waves in both light and ocean water be related?  And if so, might optical experiments yield insights that could help mariners predict or avoid oceanic “rogue” waves?

These conjectures set off a big wave of their own – a sudden surge of international, cooperative research involving experts in such diverse fields as physics, mathematics, hydrodynamics and oceanic engineering.  In his talk, one of these scientists, physicist Goery Genty of the Tampere University of Technology in Finland, details the fascinating threads of inquiry and discovery inspired by “optical rogue waves.”

 “One surprising finding,” Genty says, “is that there appears to be a developing consensus that the initial proposal of solitons as rogue waves is probably not as valid as we thought.  But we now know that the pre-soliton stage of fiber propagation corresponds very closely with the deep water environment.  We can test optically hydrodynamic predictions that are difficult to assess in the natural environment.”

Goery Genty, Talk OThS1, “Optical Rogue Waves: Physics and Impact,” Thursday, March 10, 3:30 p.m.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A high-resolution image of a supercontinuum of light produced within a nonlinear optical fiber is available upon request.  Contact Angela Stark,

Since 1975, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) has provided an annual backdrop for the optical communications field to network and share research and innovations. In 2005, OFC joined forces with the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) creating the largest and most comprehensive international event for optical communications. By combining an exposition of more than 500 companies, with a unique program of peer-reviewed technical programming and special focused educational sessions, OFC/NFOEC provides an unparalleled opportunity reaching every audience from service providers to optical equipment manufacturers and beyond.

OFC/NFOEC,, is managed by the Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc) and the IEEE Photonics Society. Acting as a non-financial technical co-sponsor is Telcordia Technologies, Inc.


Our Office Buildings Are Talking To Us; Time To Start Listening

Feb. 25 2011 - By ERIC SAVITZ

Written by Dave Bartlett

At a recent staff meeting, a CFO asked his team why some buildings the company owned were more cost effective, with lower energy bills, than others. His employees started to throw out recommendations of how to address the high-cost buildings, including consolidating their workforce or simply rebuilding. The CFO’s attention was caught, however, by the response of a younger staff member, “If we want to understand the root cause….why don’t we start by asking the buildings?”

Outfitted with embedded technologies and new levels of intelligence, buildings are capable of self-communicating status, problems and issues. Think of it as a kind of digital sign language. The unprecedented proliferation of smart sensors and control systems over the last decade are now being used in buildings to detect or sense various conditions and emit alerts or responses. Taken collectively, the data allows us to build an end-to-end picture of the health of a building as well as understand any corrective actions to make the building “healthier,” or more cost-efficient.

Are we taking advantage of this technology and really tuning in to ‘listen’ to our buildings?  Not on a comprehensive level. There are major challenges. Most building systems operate independently, through a mix of vendors, and have different protocols and transport mechanisms. These disparate technology systems have been advancing and maturing at different rates. Add to that the sheer volume of data and real-time alerts, especially when your focus is at a campus or portfolio level, you can see why the task of interconnecting this information is daunting.  Finally, understanding a building from this holistic point of view requires collaboration between facilities and IT organizations at new levels and creates the need for new transformational skills in your organization.

Addressing these challenges and opportunities makes financial sense. Buildings are a significant line item on any company’s expense sheet. In fact, for many, they are second-largest expense, after payroll.  On average, buildings consume 42% of all electricity worldwide. It is estimated that by 2025, they will collectively be the largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet.

The ability to really understand buildings at this level requires a combination of skills found in both facilities knowledge and IT management. This cross discipline focus is evolving a new and emerging role I like to call ‘the building whisperer,’ someone who not only listens to and understand their buildings, but tames them of their wild energy and water wasting ways.

The building whisperer accomplishes this job by focusing on the three ‘I’s ( Instrumentation, Interconnection, and Intelligence) of a smarter building.

·                     Instrumentation: Instrumentation starts by evaluating the installed building network and management systems.  This includes an inventory of the controllers, actuators, chillers, air handling units, pumps, and security system—essentially, anything that has a sense and respond capability.  This may require consolidation and upgrades.

·                     Interconnection: The next step is interfacing building network and management systems. A high-speed IP based network is a good choice. The ability to stream, sift, and sort and analyze lots of data quickly is key to achieving real-time energy and performance optimization.  Since most building problems can manifest themselves in numerous ways, the ability to get to the heart of the problem and not flood the system with extraneous alerts is critical. At IBM, one of our current projects involves a 3.3 million square foot manufacturing site in Minnesota. The first step was to connect about one-third of the sensors, in this case, about 80,000 data points. Out of those points, approximately 10,000 strategic points were identified that merited sampling every 15 minutes for performance and energy optimization. That’s over 29 million analytic inputs per month which, doing the math, will grow to over 87 million inputs that will need to be resolved into selected automated actions and dashboard alerts.

·                     Intelligence: The end goal of a building whisperer is to take lots of separately managed systems and create one holistic adaptive system, capable of delivering reliable results. Information gathering, determining key performance indicators, and decision making requires lots of practice. This is an exercise of discipline and passion for efficiency. Intelligent listening involves determining what is “noise” and what is important.  There are simple actions that can be driven by single receptors and there are more sophisticated actions that depend on numerous receptor types, filtering and correlation, and complex business rules may be required that can be driven with a KPI rules engine.  What works best depends on building and workforce objectives, space requirements, and external variables such as current weather predictions, alerts from emergency systems, demand management from the utilities, transportation or traffic events, or community service communications alerts or severe weather warnings.

In the end it is not just about how good your building is.  It’s about how good your building whispering is. It’s about how to achieve a dynamic adaptive building environment to meet business objectives, changing demands and external factors in a continuous fashion. Whether your goals are as ambitious as net-zero and beyond or as practical as simple cost reduction, the same principles apply.

A building whisperer knows how to use systems and software to collect, stream, warehouse, and analyze data. This enables connection to all the information, end-to-end, and intelligent interpretation and adaptive responses to what is really happening. Actions may range from better space management to replacing a motor in an air handling unit. Like a good medical general practitioner, the building whisperer is an excellent listener and considers all aspects before deciding on a course of action.

We are at a point where we have it in our power to change everything about how buildings function and in effect begin all over again, one building at a time. Are we listening?

Dave Bartlett is Vice President of Industry Solutions for IBM’s Software Group.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on building automation


Operators of Next-Generation, All-Fiber Networks to Discuss Best Practices at

FTTH Council Workshop -  Nashville TN  March 16, 2011


Day-Long Session is Open to Non-Members


WASHINGTON -- The Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council, a national organization dedicated to expanding the deployment of high speed all-fiber networks, will convene a workshop March 16 in Nashville focusing on best practices of telecommunications service providers that are operating FTTH networks. 

The latest in the FTTH Council's series of "hot topic" workshops, which are open to the public, will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.  Under the banner of Lighting the Way to FTTH Profitability: From Concept to the Customer," the workshop agenda includes a full day of presentations, panel discussions and audience participation featuring number of independent telecoms and public electric utilities - from Tennessee and bordering states - discussing their experiences in deploying all-fiber networks.


Now available to more than 20 million North American households, fiber to the home is fast becoming the technology of choice for next-generation, high-speed access to Internet, video and emerging applications.  Nearly 70 percent of respondents to a recent survey of telephone cooperatives said they have upgraded to either fiber to the home or fiber to the curb - an increase of 15 percent over the previous year.  And the FTTH Council's own surveys show that more than three-quarters of independent telecoms are looking to either build FTTH networks or expand the ones they have.

As FTTH technology takes hold in the market, telecom service providers have turned their attention to the next critical phases of deploying next-generation networks - and that is the challenge of making them profitable.

The workshop is open to anyone with an interest in next-generation broadband. An agenda and registration information can be found on the FTTH Council's website,


"The companies that will be presenting at this workshop represent the leading edge of North America's transition to all-fiber connectivity, which is becoming evermore critical as consumer bandwidth demands rise year over year," said Daniel O'Connell, President of the FTTH Council.  "This workshop will be an outstanding opportunity for anyone interested in our broadband future to learn about how FTTH service providers are using fiber to find the way to business success."


Following the workshop, on March 17 and 18, the FTTH Council will be joining with its partner The Light Brigade in conducting its second two-day exam preparatory course for the Certified Fiber to the Home Professionals Program (CFHP) at the Gaylord Opryland.  The course is structured to certify competence in overall FTTH theory, terminology, topology, equipment and system cost estimation.  More information about the program can be found on the FTTH Council's website.

About the Fiber-to-the-Home Council
Now in its tenth year, the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council is a non-profit association consisting of companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections - as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks.  The Council works to create a cohesive group to share knowledge and build industry consensus on key issues surrounding fiber to the home. Its mission is to educate the public and government officials about FTTH solutions and to promote and accelerate deployment of fiber to the home and the resulting quality of life enhancements such networks make possible.  The Council organizes North America's largest annual FTTH event, the FTTH Conference & Expo, which will be held September 26 - 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.   More information about the Council can be found at


Siemon Adds to its OM4 Fiber Optic Cabling Family, Including New 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s-Ready MTP™ Assemblies

High-speed optical fiber product family now includes OM4 MTP Plug and Play  assemblies, fiber cable, pre-terminated trunk cable assemblies and fiber jumpers.

March 2, 2011, WATERTOWN, CT – Siemon announced the addition of multiple OM4 fiber optic products to its comprehensive line of high-performance fiber optic cabling solutions.  Siemon’s new OM4 Plug and Play fiber cable assemblies, pre-terminated duplex trunking cables and traditional field-terminated cable and connectivity provide an extended distance multimode option for 10Gb/s as well future-proof migration options for 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s application speeds.

“Over the past few years, we have built our OM4 product set and experience by developing and deploying Siemon OM4 systems globally on a customer-specific basis,” noted Charlie Maynard, Siemon Fiber Optic Product Manager. “During this time we used customer feedback to refine and expand the product family.  With the strength of our current OM4 offering, along with a clearer global OM4 standards picture from ISO and TIA, we knew the time was right to offer the Siemon OM4 solution set on a widespread global basis.”

Siemon’s enhanced OM4 Plug and Play system’s modules and adapters are supported by a wide array of factory-terminated cable assemblies that combine Siemon's reduced-diameter RazorCore cable with 12-fiber MTP connectors. These 40/100Gb/s-ready MTP-to-MTP cable assemblies can be ordered in custom lengths and are designed to be quickly pulled and connected to Plug and Play modules or MTP adapter plates. Available in 12 to 144 fiber counts in increments of 12 fibers, these assemblies are user-configurable to precise application requirements.

Siemon’s factory terminated MTP-to-LC and LC-to-LC or SC-to-SC fiber trunking cable assemblies are also available in OM4 configurations.  10Gb/s MTP-to-LC assemblies allow multi-fiber MTP connectors to integrate with LC or SC interfaces in current network equipment while the LC-to-LC and SC-to-SC trunks provide high-performance 10Gb/s fiber links without the complexity and performance variability of field terminations. 

These turnkey OM4 solutions allow high performance data center links to be deployed 75% faster than traditional field terminations. Beyond installation speed, Siemon plug and play and preterminated trunking products provide a "greener" approach, eliminating the waste associated with additional connectors, termination kits and other consumables.

Siemon’s core OM4 fiber line also includes 10Gb/s indoor tight buffer distribution cable, indoor interlocking armor tight buffer cable, indoor-outdoor tight buffer and loose tube cable available with OFNR, OFNP and LS0H jacket types.

For more information on Siemon’s OM4 fiber optic line, as well as other Siemon network cabling innovations visit:

Follow Siemon on Twitter:

Join Siemon on Facebook:


The Power of Identity Management and Physical Security Integration WEBINAR

Please join: Quantum Secure, VidSys and Security Products

Topic: The Power of Identity Management and Physical Security Integration - Reduced Risk and Costs, Increased Compliance

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011

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

Register Today at:


To manage today's security challenges standalone physical security systems and traditional access control and identity management tools may not be enough. Managing security in a diverse environment where employees, maintenance workers, partners and visitors are able to come and go as needed without jeopardizing security poses interesting challenges. Combining the power of identity and visitor management with new Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) software makes it possible to pool and integrate existing information, assets and expertise across both physical and IT organizations, lowering operational costs, improving response time to situations and reducing risks to the organizations.

Attend this live webinar to hear how organizations are combining identity management and PSIM technology to recognize the value of complete security convergence:Adobe, Juniper Networks, Baxter Pharmaceuticals and more are taking advantage of this new technology to:

- Automate key processes and simplify management of employees, visitors, vendors and other third-party identities while still ensuring a secure, open facility

- Integrate and analyze information from disparate traditional physical security devices

- Proactively resolve security-related or emergency situations with real-time data aggregated from multiple security and surveillance systems

- Correlate alarms and identities to better manage situations and responses across your global security infrastructure


Scott Sieracki, Vice President, Global Sales, Quantum Secure Scott is a seasoned executive with over 17 years of experience driving revenues and building distribution channels for Fortune 100 and 500 companies as well as several start-up companies in past. Most recently Scott was Director of Sales at Tyco / Software House (NYSE:TYC) and was responsible for their access control and American Dynamics video product sales.

Dave Fowler, Vice President, VidSys

A frequent speaker and published writer at industry conferences on technology topics, Dave is a veteran of the software industry, with over 30 years of industry and senior management experience in marketing, product management and development, business development, and sales.

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

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011

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

Register Today at:


TIA Commends FCC Action to Modernize the Universal Service Fund Through Transition to Broadband

TIA Has Consistently Supported FCC Efforts to Provide Access to Broadband to All Americans and the Corresponding Benefits of Advanced Technology

Washington, D.C. – The Telecommunications Industry (TIA) Association commends the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for taking action today to transition the Universal Service Fund (USF) to broadband and reform the outdated intercarrier compensation system, as recommended by the National Broadband Plan. TIA shares the Commission's goal to spur broadband deployment and adoption and has consistently advocated that High-Cost funding should be used to support broadband.

The Commission voted unanimously on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will serve as a crucial step in enacting the National Broadband Plan's universal service and intercarrier compensation recommendations. The item outlines a multi-stage reform path with both long- and short-term goals based on four pillars outlined at the meeting. The Commission will reform the High-Cost portion of USF by transitioning support from traditional landline telephone services to support broadband exclusively through the Connect America Fund (CAF). The Commission will also update the intercarrier compensation system to reflect advances in communications, namely increased Voice over IP traffic.

"TIA is incredibly pleased that the FCC has taken this crucial step to ensure all Americans have access to broadband and the societal benefits broadband-enabled services provide," said TIA President Grant Seiffert. "The item approved by the FCC today will streamline both USF and intercarrier compensation, bringing them both into the 21st century, and facilitate the technologies that will improve innovation and competitiveness in the United States."

The item approved today rests on four pillars: modernizing the programs to support Broadband networks; ensuring fiscal responsibility; demanding accountability; and enacting market-driven and incentive-based policies. In addition to explicit support for broadband, the item aims to shift incentives more effectively, provides specific proposals to control costs and new reporting requirements, and addresses ICC arbitrage.

TIA has continually supported the Commission's efforts to update all aspects of universal service, including rural healthcare, E-Rate, and the proposed Mobility Fund, in a technology and competitively neutral manner. In conjunction with today's action, these reforms will play an imperative role in increased availability of advanced services to unserved and underserved areas.

TIA's universal service and broadband filings are available on its FCC filings page at

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.

Join TIA at its new annual industry event - TIA 2011: Inside the Network - at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, May 17-20, 2011.

View video news programming on TIA Now at

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

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


Training is Always A Good Investment

What better way to save time and money than investing in your people?

15% off of your fiber optic training if you register two or more attendees

Fiber Optics 123 – Orlando, FL, March 22-25, 2011

Fiber Optics 123Panama City, FL, April 12-15, 2011

Fiber Optics 123 - This is a four-day class has been developed with 16 hours of classroom and 16 hours of hands-on skills labs to provide practical understanding and skills required to properly design, install, test and maintain fiber optic networks.  This class is applicable for fiber optic communications systems in Telco, Broadband and Premise (LAN) applications.  Students will use the latest fiber optic technology and equipment to learn how to splice, connectorize, test, and troubleshoot optical fiber networks in order to increase efficiency, reliability and on-the-job safety as well as reduce cost and downtime. 

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

The Light Brigade would like to email a copy of their training brochure for your review.  


Kimberly Blatter FOI

Training Sales

206-575-0404 / 800-451-7128


Economy Blamed For Delaying Code Adoption in Washington

Submitted by Joe Andre:

Washington State was scheduled to begin review of the 2011 National Electrical Code in late November 2010, with adoption slated for July 2011. The one event that was unanticipated in this plan was the extent of the economic downturn around the country and in the State. In mid-November, Governor Christine Gregoire signed Executive Order 10-06 that suspended all rule development and adoption until at least January 1, 2012.  The Governor cited the economy as the reason for the Order, saying that a stable regulatory environment is an important element for an economic recovery. (

Prior to the Executive Order, the State had opened the electrical code revision process, receiving proposals from the public to be considered as amendments to the 2011 NEC or to the state’s rules. The Order came just a week prior to the scheduled meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee, which was cancelled at the last minute. There is a provision in the Executive Order to allow new rulemaking if it is of an emergency or critical nature or would help stimulate the economy or create jobs. It was determined in early January that neither the adoption of the 2011 NEC nor any of the proposed amendments could be considered under the criteria for an exception. 

While the obvious impact is a delay in adoption of the newest electrical code, with its many safety enhancements, it also means that any amendments to the 2008 NEC will remain for another year; notably that arc fault circuit interruption protection will remain for bedroom circuits only. That amendment was targeted to be removed in favor of the requirements in the 2011 National Electrical Code, and the Chief Electrical Inspector, Mr. Ron Fuller, had indicated that he and the Department were in favor of the expansion of the AFCI protection to most 120 volt residential circuits. Now it appears that the expansion will not go into effect until July 2012. Additional information about the Washington electrical rule development status may be found, and tracked, at

Each year, Mike’s Safest States analysis rates and assigns a safety grade to each of the U.S. states based on the state’s requirements for the electrical industry. This report will be updated in April based on any new requirements or adoptions of the 2011 NEC. Click here or on the image on the left to view last year’s report. If you have any updated information that you feel would change the rankings and help us with the 2011 analysis, please let us know by posting your comment. Remember that all grades are based on state-wide adoption of rules and requirements.


Floridians use Firewise tips to reduce their home’s risk from wildfire

Wildfire doesn’t have to damage your home

February 8, 2011 – More than 2,900 wildfires burned 62,554 acres in Florida in 2010. Fifty-two Firewise Communities have lowered their risk of wildfire damage. Highlands County in south-central Florida has three neighborhoods that participate in the national Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program. Placid Lakes, Sun N Lakes of Sebring, and Leisure Lakes have all undertaken wildfire safety efforts for several years. (Read Placid Lakes’ community story). Florida communities involved in the program have invested nearly $7 million dollars since 2003 in their local wildfire safety activities.

Note: NFPA staff members Dave Nuss, NFPA’s division manager of wildland fire operations and Michele Steinberg, NFPA’s Firewise Communities Manager are available for interviews. Please contact the Public Affairs office to make arrangements.

Wildfire doesn’t have to burn everything in its path. In fact, clearing your property of debris and regular landscaping are important first steps to reduce your risk for wildfire damage. Here are 8 steps you can take to reduce the risk of your home and property from becoming fuel for a wildfire.

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Remove fuel within 3-5 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • Clear vegetation surrounding your home, at least 30 to 100 feet, depending on your area’s wildfire risk.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have large trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet high.
  • Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
  • When planting, choose slow-growing, carefully placed shrubs and trees so the area can be more easily maintained.
  • Landscape with native and less-flammable plants. Your state forestry agency or county extension office can provide plant information.

Planning to update your home? Consider Firewise construction materials for decks, porches and fences. Ask your retailer for “Class-A” materials including asphalt shingles and metal, cement and concrete products. Double-paned or tempered glass windows also make a home more resistant to heat and flames.

Learn more to keep your family safe and reduce your home’s risk for wildfire damage at Find additional landscaping tips, checklists for preparing and maintaining your property and fire-safe construction choices.

About Firewise
The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

About NFPA
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education


White Paper: Diagnosing the Cause of Poor Application Performance

When it comes to troubleshooting application performance issues, there are two steps you can take to make diagnosis easier, faster and more accurate. First, understand the common causes of application performance problems; and, second, use the right tool to diagnose them.

This paper outlines some of these causes and explains why having the right diagnostic tool with application-centric analysis can enable network professionals to quickly identify and resolve problems. white paper: Diagnosing the Cause of Poor Application Performance

Call 800-283-5853 or email for more information about our solutions.


WARNING = the release of a lethal chemical used in refineries could prove devastating. It is in PLENUM CMP Cable also.

Now, Oil industry documents filed with the federal government reveal that an accidental release of a lethal chemical used in 50 aging refineries across the country could prove devastating, with 16 million Americans living within range of toxic plumes that could spread for miles.

WARNING = Fifty percent of Teflon FEP outgasses as HF - Hydrogen Fluoride.. the most reactive material known to man

Watch: Giant Acid Cloud in Nevada Desert

Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and the stretch of Texas coastline known as "Refinery Row" are among the at-risk areas cited in the documents. Citing homeland security concerns, the government keeps the industry filings under close guard in Washington, D.C. They were reviewed as part of a joint investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity that airs tonight on World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline.

CLICK HERE to read the Center for Public Integrity's story on oil refineries.

There are safer alternatives for the chemical hydrofluoric acid, which is used to make high-grade gasoline, but the industry has resisted calls to stop using it. An industry spokesman told ABC News it would not be feasible to retrofit the refineries to use the safer approach. Federal officials tell ABC News, however, that the real impediment may be money-- estimating it would cost about $50 million for the companies to upgrade each plant.

According to the industry's worst-case scenario documents, a release of the chemical could endanger entire communities.

"Hydrofluoric acid is extremely toxic," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington. "It can be deadly immediately to workers around them, it can affect an entire community."

Murray called the plants "a ticking time bomb."

CLICK HERE for a slideshow about aging oil refineries in America.

Even though one-third of the oil refineries in the United States are using the chemical, Murray told ABC News that the industry has long avoided demands from safety advocates and from the union that represents refinery workers that it explore safer options.

CLICK HERE to learn what you can do if toxic gas escapes from your local oil refinery.

"For three hours of revenue an oil company can change the use of hydrofluoric acid to make it safer for the workers and the community," Murray said. "Certainly that kind of investment assures people are safe when they go to work and the communities, the people who live around those refineries, are protected. It's worth it."

Use of Toxic Acid Puts Millions at Risk

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby | February 24, 2011

It was a disturbingly close call, closer than it appeared at the time. On July 19, 2009, an explosion rocked an oil refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, critically injuring a worker and spawning a fire that burned for more than two days. The blast at the Citgo East refinery unleashed a chemical unknown to many Americans, though it is capable of sweeping into dozens of communities, sickening or even killing as it moves.

Hydrofluoric acid, known for its ability to race long distances in a cloud, is extremely toxic. It causes lung congestion, inflammation and severe burns of the skin and digestive tract. It attacks the eyes and bones. Experiments in 1986 detected the acid at potentially deadly levels almost two miles from the point of release.

Despite decades-old warnings that the compound, commonly called HF, could cause mass casualties — and despite the availability of a safer alternative — 50 of the nation’s 148 refineries continue to rely on it.

Our joint investigation with Brian Ross and Matt Mosk of ABC News appeared on Feb. 24, on ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline.

ABC: U.S. Senator Warns of “ticking time bomb”

CDC: How to Protect Yourself

Refinery Settles Violations from ‘Avoidable’ HF Release

Visit the Center’s site next week for more stories in this series.

At least 16 million Americans, many of them unaware of the threat, live in the potential path of HF if it were to be released in an accident or a terrorist attack, a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News has found. The government maintains closely controlled reports outlining worst-case scenarios involving highly hazardous chemicals. The Center reviewed reports for the 50 refineries that use HF. The reports describe the most extreme accidents anticipated by the plants’ owners. The information is not published and is not easily accessible by the public.

A recent spate of refinery equipment breakdowns, fires and safety violations has heightened concerns. Over the past five years, authorities have cited 32 of the 50 refineries using HF for willful, serious or repeat violations of rules designed to prevent fires, explosions and chemical releases, according to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration data analyzed by the Center. These “process safety management” standards require companies to conduct inspections, analyze hazards and plan for emergencies. 

In all, at those 32 refineries inspectors found more than 1,000 violations, including nearly 600 at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, where 15 workers were killed and 180 injured in a 2005 explosion. Although only some of the violations involved HF, they can be an indicator of operational weaknesses, particularly worrisome at refineries using the chemical, industry and government insiders say. Even a fire causing little damage can foreshadow a more serious event, the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s main trade association, notes in a 2010 guidance document for its member companies.

Read related stories from our journalism partners around the country, in the Investigative News Network:


The Lens

Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism


Some worst-case scenarios described in company filings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are particularly chilling: An HF release from the BP refinery in Texas City, for example, could total 800,000 pounds, travel 25 miles and put 550,000 people at risk of serious injury, according to BP’s own calculations, provided to the EPA.

And a release from the Marathon refinery near Minneapolis could total 110,000 pounds, travel 25 miles and threaten 2.2 million people.

Refineries with HF also are located in or near cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, as well as in rural parts of Oklahoma, Wyoming, Kentucky, and other states.

So closely guarded are details of the risks that even when HF leaves a refinery, its neighbors aren’t always aware of the peril. Nor are government officials. After the 2009 release in Corpus Christi, Citgo told state regulators that only 30 pounds of the acid escaped plant boundaries. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board later estimated, however, that at least 4,000 pounds left the refinery and concluded that failures in a Citgo water system meant to contain HF had nearly led to a bigger release.

And when the safety board sought to make public a Citgo video of the fire, the company resisted, arguing that it would “raise substantial issues of national security.” With the Department of Homeland Security’s blessing, the board eventually posted the video on its website, along with a report listing a series of failures that could have proven disastrous.

How We Did This Story

A worst-case scenario for each refinery is filed by its owner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Specifically, companies include what’s known as an “Offsite Consequences Analysis,” part of a larger plan that details how they manage myriad risks involved in manufacturing usable fuel from crude oil.

The EPA keeps close tabs on the documents and who views them because of the vulnerabilities of refineries, chemical plants and other facilities to accidents or acts of terrorism, and the potential for harm to millions of people living nearby. Particularly since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the government has spread a veil over such sensitive information – a veil that makes it difficult for members of the public to learn about risks in their midst.

A citizen can view Offsite Consequences Analyses only by visiting an EPA “reading room.” They cannot be photocopied. They cannot be obtained on the Internet or from libraries.

After identifying 50 refineries that use hydrofluoric acid, five reporters from the Center for Public Integrity visited EPA headquarters in October 2010, scrutinized the relevant reports, and recorded the information in a spreadsheet. The reporters then contacted each company, giving it an extended opportunity to dispute or urge corrections to the reports. None of those who responded challenged the data.

On several occasions while filming outside refineries, journalists with the Center and ABC News were confronted and questioned by law enforcement authorities or refinery security personnel.

Download the full spreadsheet.

When warning sirens sound at refineries, neighbors worry. “You never know, when you go to bed, if you’re going to live through the night,” said Janie Mumphord, who lives near Citgo.

The refining industry plays down the risks of HF, saying it has adequate safeguards in place and the chances of a catastrophic accident at any one location are slim. “There hasn’t been any HF release that has impacted the communities,” said Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. “We’ve controlled them.”

The industry should take the threat more seriously, said Paul Orum, a chemical safety consultant who works with public-interest groups. “These are low-probability, high-consequence events, which is why any individual company is not, by itself, motivated to make potentially expensive changes to a safer technology,” Orum said. Still, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year “showed us that worst-case releases actually do happen.”

Refiners use HF as a catalyst to make high-octane gasoline. A few companies, under pressure from advocacy groups and regulators, have switched to a modified form of the acid, which still poses significant risks to workers and communities but is less likely to travel as far. No refinery owner has embraced a product known as solid acid catalyst, which union officials and chemical safety experts say is far safer than HF.

The industry says that making a switch would prove too complicated and expensive. The cost of shifting from HF to alternatives is somewhere between $50 million and $150 million per refinery.

Drevna, of the petrochemical and refiners association, said there’s no need for a change.

“We believe that there is a very useful purpose for hydrofluoric acid, that we have used it for 70 years-plus, [and] that we built redundant systems in to try to make sure that any mishap is contained,” he said. Modifying refineries to use solid acid catalyst, he added, is “not a simple conversion.”

Kim Nibarger, a health and safety specialist with the United Steelworkers union, which represents 30,000 refinery workers, said such a conversion would be well worth it. “Fifty million dollars is pretty cheap insurance,” he said. The union has called for a phase-out of HF.

Refinery mishaps, even when they don’t involve HF, can be costly. BP has paid $137 million in federal fines and at least $2 billion to settle lawsuits arising from the 2005 accident in Texas City. The explosion was a consequence of cost-cutting by BP, according to OSHA and the Chemical Safety Board, which investigates accidents and suggests ways to prevent their recurrence. Had the blast involved an HF release, the human and economic toll could have been much higher.

The government’s authority over industry is limited. The EPA does require companies using significant amounts of dangerous chemicals to manage them, disclose possible hazards and prepare for emergencies. Beyond that, however, the agency has little say over what chemicals companies use. Regulators can’t compel a company even to consider alternatives to substances like HF.

While the Center has found no evidence that neighbors of U.S. refineries have died of HF exposure, several worker deaths have been documented in the medical literature.

Fast-Moving Cloud

The first hard evidence of the perils of an HF release from a refinery emerged in the summer of 1986. Amoco, which used the acid at its Texas City refinery (later acquired by BP), wanted to learn what would happen if large quantities got out. State regulators had expressed concerns, and Amoco approached Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California to conduct some tests.

The experiments took place at the Nevada Test Site, the epicenter of nuclear bomb testing during the Cold War. The assumption at the time was that any HF released from a vessel would stay in liquid form and could be captured on site before it did serious harm.

The Nevada tests showed otherwise.

Safely ensconced in a building about a mile away, Livermore physicist Ronald Koopman and his colleagues opened computer-controlled valves on a tanker truck loaded with 5,000 gallons of HF. The team released one-fifth of the HF at a temperature and pressure comparable to what would be found in a refinery.

What happened next stunned them. Video of that first test shows a white cloud moving quickly along the desert floor.

“None of the HF was collected as a liquid,” said Koopman, an independent safety consultant who works both for environmental groups and industry. “It all went downwind. That was a surprise.”

The conclusion: “Everything that’s released in an accident under conditions similar to those in a refinery goes downwind as an aerosol and a vapor.” Amoco’s safety director, on the scene, was “just beside himself with concern,” Koopman said. “He couldn’t believe it.”

Sensors detected potentially lethal concentrations of HF nearly two miles downwind of the tanker truck. Levels of the chemical were measured well above 30 parts per million, which the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health considers “immediately dangerous to life or health.”

The tests revealed another unpleasant surprise: It took a lot of water — much more than industry experts had imagined — to keep dangerous levels of HF from traveling beyond the plant fence. They had assumed that 20 parts of water applied in a spray to one part of HF would do the job, but this wasn’t the case. A second round of tests in Nevada in 1988 showed that twice as much water was needed to remove 95 percent of the acid from the air, assuming the system worked exactly as planned, Koopman said.

Amoco insisted that the video of the Nevada experiments include a disclaimer stating that an HF release as massive and fast-moving as the one seen in the first test was unlikely.

Koopman, however, maintained that such a release — while admittedly a worst case — is “not an impossible case. It’s not an unrealistic case. It could happen. If people were in that cloud … they would die, I think unquestionably. Unless they could hold their breath until it passed.”

The EPA reiterated the risks of HF in a 1993 report to Congress mandated by the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. The agency found that HF in “dense vapor and aerosol clouds could pose a significant threat to the public, especially in those instances where HF is handled at facilities located in densely populated areas.”

Legislation that would have forced companies to weigh alternatives to hazardous chemicals such as HF has failed repeatedly amid industry resistance. In a 2009 letter to House leaders, a group of trade organizations, including the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, said that such a mandate would be “unnecessary and potentially very disruptive.”

But Patty Murray, who chairs a U.S. Senate subcommittee on employment and workplace safety, said the refining industry should convert from HF to something safer. “The cost is so small compared to the billions of dollars in profits that these companies make,” Murray told the Center. The Washington Democrat has an HF refinery in her home state: The ConocoPhillips refinery in Ferndale, near the Canadian border and the outskirts of Canada’s most populous western city, Vancouver. Some 170,000 people within a 14-mile radius are at risk, according to the company’s worst-case scenario.

As far back as 1975, Rick Engler, then with the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health, a coalition of unions and health and safety professionals, cited insurance data showing that financial losses from accidents involving HF had increased “in both magnitude and number.” Nonetheless, Engler wrote in a report, HF had surpassed a rival, somewhat safer catalyst — sulfuric acid — in popularity because “HF units have lower installation and operating costs.”

The scales had tilted in favor of HF.

“Clearly, the industry felt it was more profitable to use the more dangerous process, and that’s what they decided to do,” said Engler, now director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, an alliance of labor, environmental and community organizations.

By the mid-1970s, the industry had made commitments to refinery design that couldn’t easily be altered. The breakdown today: Fifty refineries with alkylation units — which produce high-octane components of gasoline — use HF as a catalyst. Another 50 or so use sulfuric acid. About 50 more lack alkylation units and, therefore, use neither.

In a 2009 paper, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association noted that eliminating HF would force a refinery to “completely replace its alkylation unit at a cost of $45 million to $150 million,” maybe more.

‘It was Luck’

The most serious HF-related accident in the U.S. occurred on October 30, 1987, at Marathon Petroleum Company’s Texas City refinery. As a crane moved a piece of equipment weighing several tons, the equipment came loose and fell on a vessel containing HF.

Over the next 44 hours, tens of thousands of pounds of the acid gushed out, drifting into nearby residential areas and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 people. More than 1,000 people went to the hospital with skin, eye, nose, throat and lung irritation.

Koopman, an expert witness for plaintiffs in litigation stemming from the accident, said it could have been much worse.

“The only reason that many people weren’t killed was that the release shot a jet of HF straight up in the air” rather than sideways, he said. “We estimated the jet was about 200 feet high. Then it turned over and went to earth, about 1,200 feet downwind. There were people living right at the fence line, and they would have been exposed to lethal concentrations [had the HF cloud gone straight to the ground]. It was luck.”

Just days before the accident, industry officials had assured Koopman at a conference that “it was not feasible for HF to be released, and that they never lifted heavy objects over HF tanks,” he said. “It was quite ironic.”

There were at least three accidents involving HF releases in 2009 — at the Sunoco refinery in Philadelphia, the ExxonMobil refinery near Joliet, Illinois, and the Citgo East refinery in Corpus Christi. After investigations, OSHA alleged a total of 25 safety violations against the companies. The Sunoco accident sent 13 workers to the hospital. The ExxonMobil accident prompted an air pollution lawsuit by the Illinois attorney general.

The Citgo accident came closest to becoming a full-scale catastrophe.

The flash fire in the Citgo HF alkylation unit, captured on a security camera, severely injured worker Gabriel Alvarado and kept on burning. Within a half-day, the water supply Citgo used for firefighting was nearly tapped out, Chemical Safety Board investigators determined. The company began pumping salt water from the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to the refinery’s water storage area.

Although the makeshift system contained up to 90 percent of the HF gas that spewed from the damaged unit, there were “multiple failures” along the way and at least two tons of HF escaped, the safety board found. It also found that Citgo had never conducted a safety audit of the alkylation unit — an audit that the American Petroleum Institute, which sets voluntary standards for the industry, says should be done every three years.

OSHA cited Citgo for 18 violations, two of which were classified as willful, and proposed $236,500 in fines as a result of the accident. OSHA defines a willful violation as one that involves “either an intentional violation of the [Occupational Safety and Health] Act or plain indifference to its requirements.” In Citgo’s case, the agency alleged that the company hadn’t repaired deficient equipment or updated operating procedures in the alkylation unit.

Citgo, which is contesting the citation, declined to comment for this story.

Suzie Canales, executive director of Citizens for Environmental Justice in Corpus Christi, said the HF incident followed a familiar pattern she has noticed after chemical accidents. Citgo insisted that the toxic cloud stopped at the plant fence. “That’s what they always say,” Canales said.

Some who lived near the refinery complained of headaches, nausea and respiratory problems, Canales said. Many didn’t know what was going on as the event unfolded.

“I could see the flame and the smoke,” said Al Bradley, who lives in the Hillcrest neighborhood, just east of Citgo. “The flame blacked out the complete north sky. I didn’t know what to think. I tried to call the refinery, listened [to] the TV, radio — nothing. I wasn’t certain what happened.”

In a news release in December 2009, Citgo said that its estimate of the amount of HF that escaped was based on thousands of air monitoring samples taken by the company and the EPA. When it objected to the Chemical Safety Board’s posting of the accident video, Citgo said, it was “simply acting in good faith to maintain and preserve the security of our refinery.”

Earlier mishaps at the refinery had presaged the 2009 debacle.

In May 1996, OSHA records show, seven workers were hospitalized after being caught in an HF release estimated at 100 pounds. A year later, an explosion in the refinery’s alkylation unit led to a release of unspecified size. In that case, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups alleged that there were “significant” HF exposures in nearby neighborhoods.

Citgo paid a $4,250 OSHA fine for the 1996 incident and $11,100 for the 1997 incident — small amounts, given the value of its products and the risks to people and property nearby.

All told, there have been at least 29 fires at 23 refineries that use HF since the beginning of 2009. The most recent occurred on January 19 of this year, when a tube inside a furnace several hundred feet from the HF alkylation unit at the Tesoro refinery in Mandan, North Dakota, failed, starting a fire that burned for more than two hours.

The company, in a statement to the Center, said its reaction to the fire demonstrated “the efficacy of Tesoro’s emergency response safeguards and safety protocols.” The company said “state-of-the-art water deluge cannons were engaged and any hydrofluoric acid being used at the facility was promptly transferred via underground pipeline to offsite isolation tanks. . . [A]t no time was there a release of HF or impact on the surrounding community.”

Still, industry and government experts say that such incidents can indicate bigger vulnerabilities. “Sometimes seemingly minor events may be precursors for major accidents,” a panel investigating the BP-Texas City explosion noted in 2007.

‘I Thought I Was Going to Die’

At least three refineries that used HF were pressured by local officials and activists to alter their processes. Two years after a 1987 fire at Mobil’s Torrance, Calif., refinery led to the release of about 100 pounds of HF, the city sued Mobil, asking a judge to declare the refinery a public nuisance. Mobil (now ExxonMobil) settled in 1990, agreeing to switch to a safer alternative by the end of 1994. With the city’s blessing, the company chose a modified form of HF, which contains an additive that reduces the acid’s tendency to form a cloud when discharged.

“They knew that the community wasn’t happy with them,” said R. Scott Adams, who was head of the city’s fire department at the time. “They knew that they had to do something.”

Another Los Angeles-area refinery wasn’t ready to follow suit. Despite prodding from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which regulates air pollution in Southern California, Ultramar insisted it could safely use HF at its refinery in Wilmington, Calif., recalled Mohsen Nazemi, the agency’s executive officer for engineering and compliance.

The district disagreed and threatened to impose new rules on Ultramar, the only facility in the area still using HF, unless the company volunteered to make a change. “We sat down with them and said, ‘This is basically a one-facility rule. We can work something out through a memorandum of understanding, or we can go forward and make this rule,’” Nazemi said. Faced with this choice, Ultramar agreed in 2003 to switch to modified HF by the end of 2005.

The company — later acquired by Valero — missed the deadline, racking up more than $1 million in penalties by the time the switch was made in January 2008.

Activists in Philadelphia, after obtaining the worst-case scenario for the Sunoco refinery—on the southern edge of downtown only two miles or so from the city’s professional football and baseball stadiums — took a different approach six years ago. Bob Wendelgass, then director of the Pennsylvania office of Clean Water Action, an environmental group, headed a grassroots campaign to convince Sunoco to transition to modified HF.

There was no litigation or regulatory action; instead, representatives of Clean Water Action, unions and other organizations knocked on doors, circulated petitions and sent letters to the editor.

“The publicity was starting to get embarrassing [for Sunoco],” Wendelgass said. “It’s a scary chemical; that’s the bottom line. We would talk to people about potential health effects. We would talk to people about areas at risk. And people’s eyes would open wide as we went through it. Given that there’s an alternative that’s not that expensive for Sunoco, does it make sense for them to continue to put the community at risk?”

Sunoco completed its $125 million switch to modified HF in early 2010. But the move came too late for James Jamison, a contract ironworker who, with a dozen other workers, was caught in an HF release at the refinery on March 11, 2009.

Jamison, 36, told the Center he was welding about 30 feet off the ground in Unit 433, the HF alkylation unit. “I started to smell something out of the ordinary,” he said. He stopped welding, saw no obvious source of the acidic odor and went back to work. The odor got stronger. “As soon as I started to weld, it overpowered me,” Jamison said. “It was like a dark rain cloud. I couldn’t breathe. It was so intense and hot I thought I was going to die right then.”

Jamison staggered down to ground level. He heard no alarm, he said. He made it outside the unit, and a foreman drove him to a first-aid area. “Physically, I was out of it,” he said. “The burning was still in my chest and throat and nose. It was like a heat wave from my nose to my stomach.”

Jamison, who spent several weeks in the hospital, said he still feels the effects of the HF exposure. A former runner and weightlifter, he is unable to perform physical labor, exercise or play with his three children.

“It looks as though he has permanent damage to his heart and lungs,” said David Fine, one of Jamison’s lawyers. “I don’t think there have been a ton of people who’ve gone through what this man’s gone through and survived. He was in phenomenal shape.”

In a statement to the Center, Sunoco said that during the incident “a small amount of HF was released, but there was no offsite or community impact and no injuries. Out of an abundance of caution, we sent 13 contractors to the hospital. One worker was admitted for a pre-existing medical condition unrelated to the incident.” A Sunoco spokesman declined to identify the worker. Jamison was the only one who stayed in the hospital.

Fine said his client had no pre-existing condition prior to the accident. Jamison and three other contract workers sued Sunoco on February 18.

Jamison is receiving workers’ compensation benefits, suggesting his ailments are work-related, Fine said. A cardiologist hired by the comp insurer examined Jamison and determined that HF exposure caused his condition, according to Fine.

Although Sunoco now uses modified HF, the company’s worst-case scenario filed with the EPA in September 2010 shows that even the alternative compound carries significant risks: a potential acid release of 279,501 pounds extending eight miles from the refinery and threatening 1.3 million people.

This scenario “assumes the highly unlikely failure of all active safety measures,” the company said in its statement to the Center, adding, “We take process and personal safety very seriously.”

After conducting four inspections at the refinery from February 2009 to July 2010, OSHA cited Sunoco for 17 alleged violations, 11 of which had to do with process safety management. Sixteen of the 17 violations were classified as serious, one as a repeat infraction. OSHA found, for example, that the piece of equipment responsible for the HF release in Unit 433 had “an established history of tube leaks dating back to 1973.”

Sunoco is contesting the citation.

Safer Alternative

There are at least three producers of solid acid catalyst, and they say it is much safer than either HF or sulfuric acid and less likely to corrode refinery equipment. One producer, a consortium consisting of Albemarle, ABB Lummus Global and Neste Oil, showcased its catalyst at a small demonstration plant in Finland, beginning in 2002. Another, Exelus Inc., believes its product — commercially available for the past four years — is ready for use in a full-scale refinery.

James Nehlsen, a chemical engineer and process development manager at Exelus, said the company has received inquiries from about a dozen refiners inside and outside the U.S. American refiners are “content to run their HF units, but they want to know what else is available should the government decide to prohibit an HF alkylation unit,” he said. “Everyone wants to be first to be second in line.”

So far, Nehlsen said, no American company has framed its interest solely in terms of worker or community protection. “That’s not how refineries approach these sorts of issues,” he said. “It’s strictly a business decision.”

Solid acid catalyst was on some companies’ radar as long ago as the late 1990s. Bozorg Ettehadieh, an independent environmental consultant, said the firm he worked for at the time, the chemical manufacturer Rhodia, concluded that the product was about 90 percent of the way toward commercial viability. But Rhodia didn’t view the technology as a threat to its sulfuric acid business, he said, because it seemed unlikely that the company’s clients — many of them large refiners — would make the switch.

Nibarger, of the United Steelworkers, which represents many Chevron workers, said the company reportedly has begun testing solid acid catalyst at its Salt Lake City refinery.

Chevron, in a written statement to the Center, would say only that it “actively researches refining enhancements, including catalyst … technologies. Our work at the Salt Lake City refinery is in the early testing phase; therefore, it is premature to say that it represents a definitive path forward in fuels processing.”

The union, worried about the potential for harm to its members, has urged BP to stop using HF at its Texas City refinery as a “show of good faith,” Nibarger said.

In a statement, BP said it has no plans to change. The company said it is counting on “mitigation and leak-detection systems … to protect site personnel and the surrounding community from an accidental release” of HF. (BP recently announced ambitions to sell the refinery by 2013.)

Nibarger isn’t surprised by the industry’s intransigence. “They have something that works, something that’s cheap,” he said, referring to HF. “They’re not interested in trying an alternative, even if it’s safer. Somebody needs to jump out and be the first.”

Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross of ABC News contributed to this story. Laurel Adams, Amy Biegelsen, and Jeremy Borden of the Center for Public Integrity also contributed. A version of this story will appear on ABC’s Nightline news program Feb. 24.

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Orlando, Fla., January 25, 2011—BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, closed the 2011 BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition with more than 4,800 attendees during the four-day event.

Thursday’s Closing General Session began with two technical presentations. John Lewis, RCDD, NTS, OSP, with DataCom Design Group in Dallas, Texas, spoke about why collision detection is good for absolutely everything. He was followed by David Wells, RCDD, and Dwayne Miller, RCDD, both with JBA in Las Vegas, Nev. The pair spoke about how the power of BIM is best realized when multiple design teams are involved.

The fourth annual BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge came to a close during the conference, as well.  After competing in several events, including structured cabling; copper cable termination and Firestopping; fiber termination; cable assembly; cable troubleshooting/technical support; professionalism; and a written competency exam; winners were named during Wednesday’s Annual Awards Banquet. Of the 22 individuals involved in the Challenge, the following were named winners in each level:

ITS Installer 1

1st place—Garry Adams, Vision Technologies, Glen Burnie, MD

2nd place—Matthew Novack, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

3rd place—Edd Jones, Renfroe Communication Consulting, Fitzgerald, GA

ITS Installer 2

1st place— Jeff Johnson, Staley, Inc., Little Rock, AR

2nd place—Robert Bishop, Mon Valley Technologies, Morgantown, WV

3rd place—Vincent Santucci, Vision Technologies, Glen Burnie, MD

ITS Technician

1st place—Jeremy Powers, Vision Technologies, Glen Burnie, MD

2nd place—Jessie Spearman, Vision Technologies, Glen Burnie, MD

3rd  place—Lee Renfroe, Wiregrass Technical College, Fitzgerald, GA

The overall winner with the highest score of the competition was rightfully named the 2011 BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge Installer of the Year. Jeff Johnson of Staley, Inc. in Little Rock, Ark., walked away with the honor, a large trophy and a check for $5,000. Other awards were donated by challenge sponsors, including Corning, Erico, HellermannTyton, Kurth Electronic, OCC - Optical Cable Corporation, Panduit, as well as Specified Technologies, Inc.

Music Sweet Music Inc., a nonprofit organization based in South Pasadena, Fla., which provides music therapy sessions to children with illnesses or disabilities, received a significant donation from BICSI Cares, Inc., the charity arm of BICSI. A check was presented to the organization during the Closing General Session of the 2011 BICSI Winter Conference. The donation was comprised of the contributions from Winter Conference attendees. These industry professionals from around the world not only came to network with peers and share their knowledge, but to share their big hearts and contribute to improving the lives of Florida children in need.  

“BICSI Cares is excited to present this donation to Music Sweet Music,” said BICSI Cares Committee Chair Christine Klauck, RCDD, NTS. “Through the generosity and goodwill of BICSI members and conference attendees, we are able to support the efforts of charities dedicated to improving children’s welfare right here in Florida and throughout the world.”

 “Music Sweet Music is extremely grateful to be selected for the BICSI Cares gift,” said Music Sweet Music President Theodore J. Wagner. “As a small organization, this contribution will help significantly in our mission to enrich the lives of the children we serve through music therapy.”

The conference’s Closing Keynote presentation was given by Steve Wozniak. Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple l and Apple ll, and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer, Inc. In his Closing Keynote, Wozniak delivered a highly engaging and insightful presentation to an extremely attentive BICSI audience.

New technologies, methods and networking ruled the exhibit hall floor. F. Patrick Mahoney from Cannon Design in Grand Island, N.Y., said, “The opportunity to network and learn from my peers in the ITS industry is invaluable. You cannot find such an abundant source of information and new methods unless you’re at a BICSI conference. Everyone in this industry should take advantage of this unique opportunity to share experiences with each other.  The BICSI conference is the place to be.”      


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

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

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 90 countries. For more information, visit


New FOA Lecture Series on Fiber Optics on YouTube

       The FOA has begun offering a new series of lectures on fiber optics on its YouTube channel. Two lectures are already online and many more will be added in the future. The lectures are intended to help anyone learn about fiber optics and to cover special topics relevant to FOA curriculum for training organizations.
     The FOA lectures are short tutorials (about 10 minutes) covering basic topics relevant to fiber optics. The first lecture, Fiber Optics & Communications, provides a basic introduction to how fiber optics is used in communications systems, including telephone and the Internet, wireless, CATV, security, Smart Grid and more. The second topic, Fiber Optic Safety, covers a very important topic, how to work safely with fiber, and dispels some of the myths of fiber safety.
  Future lectures will cover specific technology issues about which we are often asked such as how fiber works, how it is manufactured, how datalinks transmit data over fiber and how fiber is tested. Topics of current interest such as changes in standards or new applications will also be covered in the lectures.
The FOA Lecture Series can be found on the FOA YouTube Channel at

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is a nonprofit professional society chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Over 230 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified more than 32,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA provides technical information free to the industry to promote the proper application of fiber optics and premises cabling. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic programs for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved schools. For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website, email  or call 760-451-3655.

You can sign up the FOA email newsletter and keep up to date on FOA activities at


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