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Issue: May 2016
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces





Embrace the Energy Superhighway (before Google Fiber and Verizon do)
Navigant Research suggests that electric utilities must take a bold and long-term view of the communications networks they operate across their service territories. Ubiquitous, high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity will be essential as power utilities transition from the one-way, generation-transmission-distribution power supply model of the past to a bi-directional, Energy Cloud and energy services-based operational paradigm. Navigant calls this network the Energy Superhighway. And, much as with the Interstate Highway System, the economic growth potential for utilities that embrace the Energy Superhighway is expected to be great. Energy Superhighway

Embrace the Energy Superhighway (before Google Fiber and Verizon do)

May 3, 2016

By Richelle Elberg, Principal Research Analyst, Navigant Research

In the 1950s, the Eisenhower Administration unveiled an ambitious plan to build an Interstate Highway System across America. The subsequent construction of 50,000 miles of interstate highways cost more than $400 billion over the next 30 years, and now supports more than one-quarter of all vehicle miles travelled each year. Importantly, the Interstate Highway System has become one of the most critical underpinnings to the healthy economic growth that the United States has enjoyed in the decades since.

In its new white paper, Communications in the Energy Cloud: The Energy Superhighway and the Future of Grid Connectivity, Navigant Research suggests that electric utilities must take a similarly bold and long-term view of the communications networks they operate across their service territories. Ubiquitous, high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity will be essential as power utilities transition from the one-way, generation-transmission-distribution power supply model of the past to a bi-directional, Energy Cloud and energy services-based operational paradigm. We call this network the Energy Superhighway. And, much as with the Interstate Highway System, the economic growth potential for utilities which embrace the Energy Superhighway is expected to be great.

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Smart Grid Communications v1.0

Today, utilities tend to develop their grid communications networks with an application- and silo-based approach. Transmission and distribution grid teams (separately) plan, budget, and procure networking solutions for their critical operational needs, while the retail/meter group creates and manages the smart meter network for meter-reads and billing purposes. Vast portions of the distribution grid may not have any communications (and thus automation or control) at all.

Electric utilities must take a bold and long-term view of the communications networks they operate across their service territories.

The advent of smart grid technology has led to accelerated efforts to connect greater portions of the grid, allowing operations center personnel greater visibility and control of grid functionality. These efforts are leading to improved reliability and resiliency -- but broadly speaking, efforts to date remain the tip of the iceberg. In an industry where capital and infrastructure planning is done in decades-long cycles, we believe utilities need to take a far more holistic, long-term view of their communications network planning.

Utilities and IoT

The broader Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon will happen -- although, today, the hype outweighs the reality -- and utilities need to secure their position in that new operational environment, before third-party competitors grab much of the opportunity.

The broader Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon will happen and utilities need to secure their position in that new operational environment, before third-party competitors grab much of the opportunity.

Indeed, we believe the opportunity goes well beyond the smart grid applications referenced above.  Forward-thinking utilities which have built fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks today can not only leverage that infrastructure for all manner of smart grid applications, but they can also offer Triple Play voice, video, and broadband services to residential and business customers. In the case of Chattanooga's Electric Power Board (EPB), revenue growth since the FTTP network rollout in 2010 can largely be attributed to these Triple Play services, as demand for power has been flat over that same period.

Beyond such Triple Play offerings, utilities with robust communications infrastructure will be positioned to collaborate on smart cities projects -- where smart lighting, smart transportation, and smart buildings efforts may all leverage the Energy Superhighway. They'll be equipped to create and manage territory-wide electric vehicle (EV) charging networks and to streamline integration of distributed generation (DG) resources like microgrids, solar and wind installations into the grid. They can participate in transactive energy markets, offer wide-ranging energy services and create virtual power plants. Simply put, most utility networks of today are not capable of supporting this wide range of needs.

What Is the Energy Superhighway?

As defined by Navigant Research, the Energy Superhighway is a high-capacity, high-speed, ubiquitous network. There are multiple technologies which a utility may consider in order to meet this definition. In our white paper we focus on private spectrum options, 4G LTE technology, FTTP and, eventually, 5G.

Many other communications protocols meet the smart grid application needs of utilities today -- but many of these leverage unlicensed spectrum. As the vaunted IoT becomes reality, particularly in densely populated markets, those unlicensed bands risk overcrowding. Interference could dramatically impact the ability of these networks to deliver on basic teleprotection or reliability applications -- much less support broader, energy services-based offerings.

The Energy Superhighway

Challenges Remain

Utilities considering the Energy Superhighway's upside potential face considerable challenges. There are sunk network investments with measurable remaining useful lives. There are rate case considerations for regulated utilities, and regulators may not take the very long view when considering new proposed investments. The business model of utilities itself is not always conducive or supportive of all of the energy services described above and which will ultimately help justify the economic investment in an Energy Superhighway. In many places, litigation from the cable TV industry has blocked power utilities from offering Triple Play services.  Private spectrum with the appropriate characteristics needed for an Energy Superhighway can be difficult to obtain and very costly when it is available.  And so on.

Nonetheless, these challenges need to be faced. The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) has made numerous attempts over the years to encourage the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set aside dedicated spectrum for utility applications. These efforts have not yet been successful but greater support from a large number of utilities might help.

Utilities have, in some cases, collaborated with local telcos which may own spectrum; network sharing can make large new investments more palatable to regulators and investors.

The Google Fiber's and Verizon's of the world are moving full-speed ahead toward the IoT future. Power industry leaders need to embrace the vision and drive industry evolution, before others do it for them.

Public carrier options may also be considered. Where in the past large public telecoms operators did not always provide attractive pricing or quality of service (QoS) guarantees, these things are changing. 4G and (eventually) 5G options may be most cost-effective when procured via a public provider.

Fiber assets may be leased, or shared across a group of utilities. Or, infrastructure sharing arrangements such as the recently announced deal between Google Fiber and Huntsville (Alabama) Utilities may jump-start Energy Superhighway efforts. These and other examples are explored more fully in Navigant Research's white paper.

Embrace the (Bleeding) Edge

We do not make these recommendations lightly, nor do we underestimate the challenges to utilities which hope to embrace the Energy Superhighway vision. No small amount of evangelizing will be needed on the part of industry stakeholders in order to bring about the regulatory and business model changes necessary to support these large investments. But as the industry navel-gazes, the Google Fiber's and Verizon's of the world are moving full-speed ahead toward the IoT future. Power industry leaders need to embrace the vision and drive industry evolution, before others do it for them.

About the Author
Richelle Elberg is a principal research analyst contributing to Navigant Research's Utility Transformations program and heading up the Grid IT and Communications research service. Her primary focus is on utility IT solutions, analytics, and communications networks for AMI and distribution automation applications. Elberg has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including an extensive background analyzing and writing on the wired and wireless communications industries from operational, financial, strategic, technical, and regulatory perspectives.

Prior to joining Navigant Research, Elberg served as director and senior analyst with JSI Capital Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on the communications, digital media, and information technology industries.  She has also held senior positions in analysis and management with Kagan World Media and KPMG. Elberg speaks French, Spanish, and Russian, and she is the author of two novels. She holds a BA in international business and marketing from the University of Colorado.

WISE WORDS from Ms. Elberg.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank Bisbee, Editor

HOTS – Heard On The Street monthly column


“The Cabling Infrastructure Should Last As Long As The Building” TiniFiber’s Micro Armor Fiber cable is the toughest longest-lasting facility asset that you can use

By now you are getting tired of the product migration strategy offered by the copper communications crowd (CAT 1xxx, etc.) The information highway should be an asset, not a burdensome costly recurring EXPENSE. 

STOP THE INSANITYDesign for the Network that will fail about the same time the roof and walls collapse.

As you develop plans for your next adventure in Integrated Systems technology, remember that the cabling infrastructure is like the nervous system of the human body.

The cabling design specifications should be able to integrate POWER – CONTROLS – COMMUNICATIONS – SECURITY –LIFE & PROPERTY SAFETY Systems. Research has proven that the TiniFiber Micro Armor patented cable product delivers on all areas.

Micro Armor Fiber™ Provides Increased Flexibility While Significantly Decreasing Time and Costs for Cabling Projects

Proven results and impressive savings are the outcome you can expect. TiniFiber Products have been super successful in hospitals, universities, business, and specialized facilities such as airports and stadiums.

Smart Choice Communications Works with TiniFiber® to Provide Superior Voice and Data Services to Clients

Smart Choice Communications is an end-to-end telecommunications consulting and management company that provides a full range of innovative infrastructure design, voice and data solutions, and cabling and wiring services to its growing client roster. The company is currently undergoing rapid expansion into the healthcare and retail industries, and Chief Technology Officer Basil Stepanov is always on the lookout for new products and services to better serve the demanding technology needs of this customer segment.

Stepanov first encountered TiniFiber® while working on an extensive wiring job for a large television producer. “For this project, speed was of the essence,” remarked Stepanov. “When the client is constantly pushing large files under tight deadlines, it’s our job to make sure everything runs smoothly and with no hiccups. TiniFiber® helps us do just that.”

Micro Armor Fiber™ is tougher than other fiber without a doubt. Basil Stepanov

Since that first installation over a year ago, Smart Choice has continually scoped out TiniFiber® for a wide variety of projects and is working towards making Micro Armor Fiber™ the new standard for all cabling jobs going forward.

“Micro Armor Fiber™ is tougher than other fiber without a doubt,” says Stepanov. “It provides maximum flexibility and gives us much more versatility, allowing us to work in large buildings and get around bends without worrying about cracking or breaking.”

During some fiber-optic installations there is a need to provide extra protection for the cable due to the installation environment. That environment may be underground or in buildings with congested pathways. Installing an armored fiber-optic cable in these scenarios provides extra protection for the optical fiber and added reliability for the network, lessening the risk of downtime and cable damage due to rodents, construction work, weight of other cables and other factors.

“We’ve done a lot of installs in large stadiums and schools, and inevitably the client always requests changes a year or more later,” says Stepanov. “When you’re using standard fiber and moving it at an angle, it could potentially break and cost the client tens of thousands of dollars. Bottom line: when fiber breaks in a 100-story building, it’s a huge expensive disaster.”

Working with TiniFiber® has helped Smart Choice save their clients significant time and financial resources. Measuring 65% lighter in weight and 75% smaller in size than popular Aluminum Interlocking Armor (AIA) fiber optic cables, Micro Armor Fiber™ translates into more versatility, lower shipping and installation costs, and decreased manpower hours to complete projects.

“When scoping out new technology, the most important thing we look for is how it can help our clients,” Stepanov added. “With TiniFiber®, it was a no-brainer.”

TiniFiber is the tuff one. The product exceeds anything else they have ever used.” said Frank Bisbee, Editor of the Heard On The Street column (

TiniFiber is The Micro Armor Fiber® Specialist – Check them out. AMAZING!!

In 2010, Christian A. Peterson III, Barry Skolnick and Roman Krawczyk founded CertiCable, Inc. to support the marketplace with finished cable solutions. Projects for “special” fiber optic cable applications and solutions were expanding and becoming a point of differentiation between CertiCable, Inc. and other cable companies. As armored fiber optics applications grew, it became apparent that a solution that featured a smaller Outer Diameter was long overdue. The team went to work on developing an alternative product to the existing Aluminum Interlocking Armor (AIA).

In 2012, plans went underway to bring to market Micro Armor Fiber®, a fiber optic cable with the world’s smallest armored casing. By developing and designing a stainless steel coiled solution, the company achieved their goals and created a revolutionary fiber optic cable design that included ruggedness, strength and a tighter bend radius than previous armored cables – helping organizations protect the investment of their cabling installations from end to end.

In 2013, TiniFiber™ was established as the “Martini” of fiber optic cables and offered the best results for cabling based on space savings, lighter weights, reduced manpower and lower installation costs. Additionally, Micro Armor Fiber® became an excellent source for patch cords and indoor/outdoor usage.

Micro Armor Fiber® by TiniFiber™ was launched in 2015 as a patent-pending solution that promises to be “The Only Fiber Optic Cable You Will Ever Need.” The solution is designed for ALL project usages, including data IT, premises, aerial, indoor/outdoor, tight spaces, burial, DAS, Security, Pro A/V and much more.

102 Marine Street | Farmingdale, NY 11735 | (631) WE-CABLE



2016 Hurricane Season Forecast Calls For Near-Average Activity in the Atlantic


The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season forecast released Thursday from Colorado State University calls for the number of named storms and hurricanes to be near historical averages.


A total of 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricane are expected this season, according to the forecast prepared by CSU, which is headed by Dr. Phil Klotzbach in consultation with long-time hurricane expert Dr. William Gray.


This is close to the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.


PROPER PREPARATION PREVENT POOR RESPONSE… Ensure your Integrated Systems Contractor is on board with your emergency plans. You will be thankful for the support when you need it most. IBEW and NECA strongly support Emergency Plans for your infrastructure. Post – Hurricane Sandy & Katrina reviews confirm the value of these important steps.

Numbers of Atlantic Basin named storms, those that attain at least tropical storm strength, hurricanes, and hurricanes of Category 3 intensity forecast by The Weather Company (right column), Colorado State University (middle column) compared to the 30-year average (left column).

Those seasonal forecast numbers do not include Hurricane Alex, a rare January hurricane that struck the Azores a few months back. Though the official hurricane season spans the months from June through November, occasionally we can see storms form outside those months.


Microsoft to trim 1,850 jobs as their withdrawal from smartphone business continues – However, Their Cloud Services are really growing


Microsoft announced it will cut up to 1,350 jobs in Finland and up to 500 jobs globally as part of its further withdrawal from the smartphone business. The company said it would record an impairment and restructuring charge of around $950 million related to the move, of which it said $200 million would relate to severance payments.


"We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation -- with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same," Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, said in a short release from the company announcing the news. "We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms."


Recode reported that Microsoft's Windows and Devices chief, Terry Myerson, wrote in a memo to employees that "we're scaling back, but we're not out!"


"When I look back on our journey in mobility, we've done hard work and had great ideas, but have not always had the alignment needed across the company to make an impact," Myerson wrote, adding that Microsoft will continue to focus on making universal apps that run across a variety of devices, and that it will continue to support its existing Lumia phones.


"We remain steadfast in our pursuit of innovation across our Windows devices and our services to create new and delightful experiences. Our best work for customers comes from our device, platform, and service combination," Myerson wrote.


Microsoft's announcement comes days after the company said it will sell its feature-phone business to a Foxconn subsidiary in a $350 million deal that will also see Nokia return to the mobile-devices business it once dominated. Microsoft is selling "substantially all of its feature phone assets" to FIH Mobile Ltd., which is owned by the Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn, and to a HMD Global Oy, a newly founded Finnish corporation. Roughly 4,500 Microsoft employees will have the opportunity to transfer to FIH, and the agreement includes Microsoft's manufacturing plant in Vietnam.


Microsoft's announcement today appears to put the final nail in the coffin on the company's failed acquisition of Nokia's smartphone business -- and it also appears to signal Microsoft's retreat from a space that it initially entered in 2002 with the Orange SPV Windows-powered smartphone in Europe built by HTC. Microsoft's adventures in the smartphone business over the years have spanned hundreds of devices from a wide range of companies including HTC, Samsung and Microsoft itself (Lumia, Kin and others), as well as a handful of distinct operating systems including Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and, most recently, Windows 10.


Microsoft's announcement today also isn't much of a surprise: Microsoft's mobile business suffered through a brutal first quarter as the company sold only 2.3 million Lumia handsets, down from 8.6 million during the prior year. That marks a 73 percent plunge in Lumia sales year-over-year and follows the 57 percent drop Microsoft endured during the final quarter of 2015.


ARTICLE BY JOHN CHAPIN -- Why you should consider laying off 20% of your salespeople every year

Before you bite my finger off based upon the title, just look to where it’s pointing. The biggest issue I see in the workplace by far is a lack of accountability. Similarly, the biggest issue I see in sales forces is letting salespeople stay on the payroll while doing close to zero, or in some cases, while even losing the company business. I’m not talking about non-production over a period of days, weeks, or even months, I’m talking years in many cases. This absolutely needs to be addressed if you are going to be a highly successful sales organization. In one case an insurance agent was on the payroll for seven years with almost no production the entire time because he was a friend of the agency owner. In another case I saw a salesperson do virtually no business for over three years yet stay employed because the owner needed to “save this person and his family.” Non-productive salespeople are killing your business, not only in salaries and related items, but also by dragging down everyone around them. You are also hurting, not helping them, by keeping them around. So if you are one of those who keeps people around much longer than you should, or you’re wondering why motivation and morale are lacking in your office, read on.

1) The bottom 20% are causing 80% of your headaches and problems.

They are also the biggest drain on your time, money, and resources while bringing in only about 2% of your business. In insurance agencies I see the bottom 20% continually go back and argue and fight with office staff over taking a second look at less-than-desirable business and bad risks because they have no other business prospects. I see this same 20% call underwriters at insurance companies and waste hours of their time trying to push through miniscule, risky business opportunities, so they can get a measly little sale. These people sap energy, dampen enthusiasm, and kill morale within the office, not to mention your bottom line. These people are your business dragnet and they are hurting all involved including customers, prospects, other employees, vendors, you, and even themselves and their families.

2) By keeping the 20% you are actually hurting, not helping them.

It baffles me when someone keeps a person in a job that they obviously are not cut out for, that they perform horribly at, and one in which they do not like, but I see it all the time for a myriad of reasons. I once had a business owner tell me, “I can’t get rid of this person, he is married and has three kids.” The employee he was referring to had recently missed two mandatory sales meetings because he was traveling with his family two States away to check out, and subsequently purchase, a $600 puppy. The next time the owner uses that excuse, he’ll have to add the “new puppy” in after the three kids. Here is a struggling salesperson, who has no qualms about taking on another mouth to feed, and yet the owner feels more responsible for the salesperson’s family than he does.

While the owner is under the delusion that he is somehow “saving” this person, in reality he is squashing his future possibilities for success along with his confidence and self-esteem. It’s impossible to be in a job that you don’t do well, and that you aren’t cut out for, and feel good about yourself. The owner is also robbing him of the opportunity to take full responsibility for himself and his family while finding something he is good at and does enjoy.

Let’s go back to the example in which a company kept an underperformer around for seven years. This man, who came in confident and assured, was a shell of a man after seven years. He had no self-esteem, no self-worth, and was also experiencing significant marital and other family issues. People in a bad job situation similar to this look for distractions and these distractions are rarely good. Also, how you feel about yourself affects every part of your life, not just work. Keeping this person in this job was far more damaging than a brief blow to the ego by letting him know early on that this wasn’t the right job for him. They finally let him go but even years later, the significant negative effects are still evident.

When you keep people around that you shouldn’t, you do everyone a disservice. You hurt the employee by not allowing them to see and deal with reality, you kill morale and attitude within the organization, and you set a bad example. Also, what you put up with you condone, promote, and create more of. This approach also builds resentment and disdain. You look weak as a leader. People start talking behind your, and one another’s backs, and rumors start flying. It creates the worst possible scenario.

3) Getting rid of 20% of your salespeople will give you a bump in motivation and production.

A real estate manager had been putting up with very bad behavior out of her top producer for 5 and a half years. When I first suggested letting her go, the office manager told me I was “loony toons” because she comprised 41% of total office sales. When she finally had no other choice but to let her go, she said the next day it was like a weight had been lifted. That day, two of the bottom producers quit, and the other people started working because they realized she meant business. The result was a 53% increase in sales the following year and in the cases where they competed head-to-head with the former agent, they won the business 11 out of 13 times.

The point of this story is: first, your 20% aren’t always your lowest performers, and second, in addition to low performers, you also have to deal with your attitude issues. Underperformers and negative people infect everyone. It is literally like letting someone with a contagious, deadly disease openly walk the floor of your business.

No one likes to fire people and yet, that isn’t a sufficient reason for not doing it. The goal of laying off your non-producers and attitude problems is to eventually end up with a sales team that is hitting on all eight cylinders and in which you don’t have to fire anyone. You want a professional, accountable sales force that shows up every day, does what needs to be done, and brings in lots of good, clean business. Once you have these people in place, you no longer need to lay people off. You will however continue to improve the work environment and invest in personal and professional development. How do you attract better employees? Become a better company, one in which people are held accountable and negative attitudes are jettisoned.

Note: Your number may be something other than 20%. It may be 40%, or only 10%. This is really a question of who is hurting your organization and who is helping?

Getting rid of your chronic underperformers and attitude issues will make you a more credible leader. It will motivate all others to either leave or get to work. Resentment will disappear. You’ll stop wasting the time of all your support people. Morale will increase. And you will see a positive impact, and most likely a substantial one, to the bottom line.

John Chapin is a sales and motivational speaker and trainer. For his free newsletter, or if you would like him to speak at your next event, go to: John has over 28 years of sales experience as a number one sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia. For permission to reprint, e-mail:

John Chapin Consulting, Inc.


Attend a FREE BICSI Webinar on June 29

On Wednesday, June 29, at 2 p.m. Eastern, BICSI will be hosting a free webinar titled “2016 BICSI Board Strategic Plan.” The webinar will be presented by BICSI President Brian Ensign, RCDD, NTS, OSP, RTPM, CSI.

This webinar will provide an in-depth look at BICSI's roadmap as outlined in the new BICSI Board Strategic Plan, which focuses on three main goals.

When: Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific; find your local time)

BICSI members and stakeholders will not want to miss this important webinar. There is no cost to attend. Register today!


BOMA Attends White House Conference on Resiliency

BOMA International attended a conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the White House National Security Council and the National Economic Council to discuss the critical role that modern building codes play in helping communities become more resilient to natural and manmade disasters. The conference focused on how the changing climate will impact future planning and how the U.S. federal government can better support resiliency. You can watch video of the conference online on the White House website.

Panelists at the conference highlighted Preparing to Thrive: The Building Industry Statement on Resiliency — Helping Communities Construct a More Certain Future, a report that demonstrates the work being done by the Resilience Building Coalition, which includes BOMA International, the American Institute of Architects and the National Institute of Building Sciences and other leaders in the industry.

During the conference, the White House announced a number of new federal actions, including further exploration of incentivizing the adoption and enforcement of resilient building codes. A wide range of organizations also made commitments to support the effort. BOMA International pledged to create education on existing building codes to provide guidance and best practices on how to increase the resiliency of commercial buildings.


BOMA International Education Approved for Certified Construction Manager Certification Credits

 (WASHINGTON, D.C. — May 18, 2016) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is pleased to announce that its educational programs, including webinars and conference education sessions, are now approved for renewal points for the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) credential. This new credential further broadens the benefits of BOMA International’s extensive educational offerings and will apply to education sessions at the upcoming 2016 BOMA International Conference & Expo, being held June 25-38 in Washington, D.C.

BOMA International’s cutting-edge industry education already qualifies for a wide variety of certification programs, including CPM, RPA, FMA, SMA, SMT and ARM renewal and continuing professional development credits. Several programs are approved for LEED credential maintenance and renewal of the Building Operator Certification (BOC). The addition of the CCM certification reflects the growing number of construction professionals participating in BOMA’s webinars and conferences.

The CCM was created to improve delivery in the built environment, and it is the only certification for the construction management profession accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO-17024 standard. A CCM demonstrates that an individual is committed to excellence in construction project management, career advancement and the pursuit of knowledge.

“BOMA International is pleased to further enhance the value of its education by offering credits for the CCM credential,” said BOMA International Chair Kent C. Gibson, BOMA Fellow, president of Capstone Property Management, L.C. “Ensuring that our programs help our participants and attendees qualify for the certifications they need is just another way that BOMA helps those in the industry stay up-to-date.”

Read more information about BOMA International’s webinars and annual conference education sessions.


About BOMA International

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 91 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence and knowledge. Learn more at


Datagroup builds 100-Gbps fiber-optic network from Ukraine to Frankfurt

Ukrainian service provider Datagroup has opened a new fiber-optic network that connects its home company to Frankfurt, Germany, via Poland. The new route leverages DWDM equipment from Ekinops, according to the systems house.

The new fiber cable network offers an alternative route between the two end points versus Datagroup's existing infrastructure. At 1,783 km (1,100 miles) the new route, which begins in Lviv in the Ukraine, is shorter than the first one. It also offers redundancy.
"This forms part of a larger network between China and Western Europe," said Alexandr Vereschak, technical director of Datagroup. "For us, this new network means we can now offer the shortest connection between China and Germany."

Datagroup has used the Ekinops 360 platform on the route to support 100-Gbps wavelengths. Datagroup also has used Ekinops gear elsewhere in its network …



FiberLight expands fiber-optic network near Mexican border

Fiber-optic network services provider FiberLight, LLC says it has extended its footprint in southern Texas. The company says its new fiber cable infrastructure connects areas in the Texas valley near the Mexican border to such cities as Houston, San Antonio and Dallas with a dedicated fiber-optic ring.

FiberLight says this is the first such fiber network deployment in the area in decades. Overall, the company now operates a fiber network of more than 10,000 miles in the state, bringing 100-Gbps capabilities to the region in 2013 (see "FiberLight turns up first 100G link in Texas").

The expansion adds a footprint that includes a 12,000-mile, 100-Gbps long-haul network that connects more than 120 data centers. FiberLight's service areas run from Washington, DC, down to the south coast of Florida, across to Texas, and back to Washington, DC, via Atlanta. In total, FiberLight owns and manages more than 1.6 million fiber miles in more than 44 metro areas across the United States.

"This new route offers enhanced national and international connectivity options while providing another avenue of survivability and continuity for service providers and content providers throughout Texas and beyond," comments Ron Kormos, FiberLight's chief strategy officer. "In addition to serving North American providers, international carriers are now able to access FiberLight's array of services offered across its network to gain access to other regional hubs throughout the country."

Think you don't know FiberLight? Well, think again!

 We are a 20-year telecommunications veteran and are led by some of the industry's most well-respected experts. Although you may not be familiar with our name, you certainly know our work.

Our story begins in the 1990s. We were one of the first fiber-optic network construction companies to build within state and local rights-of-way. Over the next couple of decades we continued to invest over $1 billion to expand our high-density networks. That's "billion" with a "b". Fast forward to today, and we now own over 1,500,000 fiber miles of network in 30 metropolitan markets. As a matter of fact, we've been doing this so long and have such an expansive and reliable network that many carriers active in our metro markets rely heavily on FiberLight's infrastructure to serve their customers. In a nutshell, FiberLight is one of the best kept secrets in the industry. We are the service provider most everyone relies on, even if they don't know it!

That being said, with nearly 20 years of experience under our belt, FiberLight has become an industry-leading expert in anticipating the various complexities associated with planning, engineering and installing fiber optic networks - often in record time! As ACSI, we built multi-duct, high-fiber count systems in 30 metropolitan areas, and did so in just over 30 months.   More recently, we placed 400 miles of network to connect 300 Dallas locations in 73 days as part of one of the largest fiber construction projects in the US. Pretty impressive, right? At FiberLight, we aren't scared of a challenge - not even one that everyone else thinks is impossible.

By expanding our product offerings to include Ethernet, Internet Protocol, Managed Wavelengths and SONET services in the 2000s, FiberLight established itself as a well-rounded provider of custom network solutions for carrier and enterprise customers alike.  Some of the country's most demanding government agencies and industries rely on FiberLight for best in class customer service, reliability and security. And with over 17,000 backbone access points, 1,000 on-net locations, presence in nearly 100 data centers and active expansion activities, we have more connectivity options than you can fathom.



In an effort to ameliorate delays, Peter V. Neffenger, the T.S.A. administrator, told members of the House Homeland Security Committee that the agency was promoting screeners from part time to full time, reassigning hundreds of behavioral detection officers to help on security lines and shifting bomb-detection dog teams to larger airports. Mr. Neffenger’s testimony comes just days before millions of Americans are expected to travel over the Memorial Day weekend. The agency has come under fire recently, with some passengers reporting hours long waits to get through checkpoints.

More Bad News Passengers would probably continue to experience longer than normal wait times because of an expected increase in summer travel.

Federal Government Efficiency sinks to incredible new lows…


FSR Rolls Out New Infrastructure Mounting Solutions at InfoComm 2016

Company’s Drywall Mounting Frames to Make Show Debut,
Along with Round Covers and Square Mud Rings

Woodland Park, NJ (May 20, 2016) — Adding to an unprecedented number of new product introductions at this year’s InfoComm 2016 show, FSR will be expanding its Infrastructure Mounting Solutions line of products by rolling out a number of new installation accessories for AV and ICT professionals working within the education, hospitality, government, corporate and religious markets. The company’s new CB-SR12/SR22 Drywall Mounting Frames (the “FRAME”), a mount for FSR’s popular ceiling boxes in a drywall ceiling, are making their tradeshow debut, along with FSR’s MUD-2G square-corner mud ring and FL-500P-SF8-C Series round cover bracket kits, all of which will be on display at the company’s Booth C7730.

“FSR looks forward each year to the InfoComm show and the opportunity to introduce our newest solutions to the pro A/V market,” said company president Jan Sandri. “This year, we are excited to roll out an extraordinary amount of new products, including our Infrastructure Mounting Solutions featuring several new FRAMES. For instance, we are showing our CB-SR12/SR22 Drywall Mounting Frames for the first time at any trade show at this year’s InfoComm and offering attendees a look at some of its real-world applications. Plus, we’re continuously extending our mounting solutions lines, this year with our new MUD-2G and FL-500P-SF8-C Series bracket kits. All products will be demonstrated at our booth during the show.”

NEW: CB-SR12/SR22 Drywall Mounting Frames.

On display offering attendees real-life applications is FSR’s new CB-SR12/SR22 Drywall Mounting Frames, intended for industry professionals looking to mount the company’s popular ceiling boxes in a drywall ceiling. The CB-SR12 and CB-SR22 drywall mounting frames are expressly designed to easily mount FSR's 2'x2' (CB-22) and 1'x2' (CB-12) Ceiling Enclosures. FSR’s Ceiling Enclosures are plenum and safety rated for use in many applications.

The FRAME can be installed in the ceiling opening using  threaded rod, stranded wire cable or screws through specific holes in the sides of the unit. The ceiling box can then be hung vertically, via the included cables, while the equipment is mounted and wired allowing convenient access to the components and cables. The ceiling box is lifted into the frame and locked into place, and its interior can be accessed in the same way for future re-cabling and service. Ceiling boxes and frames are ordered separately to accommodate individual needs.


A formed extra wide 4” mud ring with square corners for mounting large active electronic devices, the MUD-2G was designed to make the installation of the FSR Flex touch screen control panel and HDBaseT wall plate transmitters easier. The mud ring will fit both formed and stamped 4” square electrical boxes manufactured by the leading electrical part suppliers. Available in 1/2" and 5/8" models, both feature a unique open frame design that increases the usable area over the standard stamped 2-gang cover. This ring gives a true rectangular opening of 3.88” wide by 2.88” high. In addition, there are no round corners to interfere with the device that would result in last minute delays. The MUD-2G Mud Rings are the perfect installation accessories when using all AV interfaces, control devices and input plates.

NEW: FL-500P-SF8-C Series.

The FL-500P-SF8-C Series are bracket kits that are designed so that a SmartFit SF-8 cover can be affixed to FSR’s standard FL-500P, FL-540P, FL-600P, FL-640P floor boxes.  SmartFit SF-8 covers are available in Aluminum, Black and Brass finishes providing  a solution where clients may want round covers to match their décor but also still want the bracket mounting solutions available in FSR’s floor boxes for pour in place and raised access floor applications.

About FSR
FSR, established in 1981, manufactures a wide variety of signal management and infrastructure solutions for the AV/IT,  Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), corporate, education, hospitality, government, and religious markets, including floor, wall, table, and ceiling connectivity boxes and wireways, as well as a full line of interfaces, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, seamless scaling switchers and HDBaseT signal delivery solutions.

FSR is an HDBaseT Alliance Adopter Member as well as an Energy Star Partner and complies with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to demonstrate its deep commitment to preserving the planet. FSR offers live 24/7 technical and sales support throughout the country from expertly trained technicians and sales representatives. For more information:



May 24, 2016

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — General Cable Corporation announced it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its North American automotive ignition wire business to Standard Motor Products, Inc. for cash consideration of approximately $71 million, subject to customary post-closing adjustments. The Company expects to close the sale in the near future. Proceeds will be used to reduce outstanding borrowings.

"We are executing our new strategic roadmap, and a key component of the roadmap is focusing and optimizing our portfolio of businesses," said Mike McDonnell, President and Chief Executive Officer. "While the automotive ignition wire business has been a strong performing business for us over the years, we determined through our strategic review that it is not aligned with our strategic and financial criteria going forward. As previously communicated, we are focused on growing our businesses in the electric utility, communications and industrial markets where we have leading positions, scale and sustainable profitability."


IDEAL Networks Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.

SYCAMORE, IL, MAY 17, 2016 - IDEAL Networks ( celebrates the 100th birthday of its parent company IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC., an industry leader that has been designing tools that make a true difference for millions of professional tradesmen since 1916.

"Innovation and quality have been central to everything IDEAL INDUSTRIES has done over the past century. At this important milestone, IDEAL Networks celebrates our shared commitment to offer a range of unique, effective products backed by outstanding customer service," said Tim Widdershoven, Global Marketing Manager for IDEAL Networks.

One hundred years ago, founder J. Walter Becker launched the IDEAL Commutator Dresser Company from his mother's kitchen with the belief that every product should be worth more than its price. Service, he said, is part of every IDEAL product. Since then, IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has grown into one of the world's leading authorities on electrical installation and testing.

Over the past three decades of business IDEAL INDUSTRIES has acquired several network companies starting in 1993 with Shattuck Industries, creating its internal Datacomm division known as IDEAL Networks. In June 2001 IDEAL acquired the LAN tester division of Wavetek, and in March 2004, IDEAL acquired Trend Communications, a supplier of telephone test and measurement tools for the global communications market, positioning IDEAL INDUSTRIES as a worldwide presence in the network testing marketplace. Today IDEAL Networks supplies state-of-the-art data cable testers, network testers and telecom/enterprise testers that are recognized for their innovation, value and quality.

Over the years IDEAL Networks has achieved many industry firsts, such as the launch the first hand-held Cat 5 cable certifier (LANTech 100) in 1993. Since then IDEAL has released the first tester for Class F/FA, the first dedicated tester for Cat 6A cabling, the first tester to include a tone generator and colour screen, and the first tester to have an autotest button on the remote to save time.

For more information, please visit

The History of IDEAL Industries – an American Icon

How do you start a company that will one day be known as a global leader in networking tools and electrical testers? Launch a commutator dresser from your mother's kitchen in Chicago, Illinois, and then develop and manufacture a product that remains an Electrical Industry must-have for close to a century. At least, that’s how IDEAL Industries founder J. Walter Becker did it back in 1916.

Eight years after he began what was then known as the IDEAL Commutator Dresser Company of Chicago, Becker moved his business operations to a new headquarters and manufacturing facility in nearby Sycamore, Illinois. Just two years after that, IDEAL Industries forever changed the electrical industry with the introduction screw-on Wire-Nut® Wire Connectors, which to this day have saved electricians countless work hours by eliminating the time-consuming solder and tape splicing method.

Over 100 years after the development of the Wire-Nut®, innovation is still a hallmark of IDEAL Industries. Though the company was originally founded to serve the electrical industry, as technology has rapidly advanced, so has IDEAL, to the point that they're now a leading developer and manufacturer of network cable testers, installation tools and project consumables, including fish tape, wire pulling lubricant, heat guns, super tough wire strippers, and some of the best installer tool kits available, anywhere at any price.

Did you know?

ü  IDEAL Industries got its name from the type of products and business relationships that J. Walter Becker wanted to build: ideal.

ü  After nearly a century in business, IDEAL Industries is still a privately-held company, and among its shareholders are fifth-generation descendants of J. Walter Becker.

ü  Even though they started in the American Midwest, IDEAL Industries now does business in 88 different countries around the globe.

Ideal Industries is an outstanding example of quality products – MADE IN AMERICA quality products. Over the years, Ideal tools have become the benchmark for durability and pinnacle for precision.

Infrastructure Convergence

The Internet of everything: The idea here is that we are building on pervasive computing where cameras, sensors, microphones, image recognition -- everything -- is now part of the environment. Remote sensing of everything from electricity to air conditioning use is now part of the network. In addition, increasingly intelligent devices create issues such as privacy concerns. Eventually IT will need some central unified network and management of all these devices.

Interestingly, many experts are now predicting that the heir apparent to build the new infrastructure physical "highway systems" is the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. The EC has the opportunity and the capability to grasp the future convergence of many new technologies as well as the established energy distribution networks. Integration of power, control, communications, security, and life safety systems are the biggest revenue opportunity for contractors in the next 2-3 decades. Ideal Industries continues to provide the contractors with the best tools and components to tackle the toughest challenges.

In 2011, as the economy recovers, Ideal Industries is getting a head start on the competition. Many of the best examples of companies that have already grasped the challenges of the future are family-owned small to medium sized corporations. For example, Ideal Industries has done an excellent job of maximizing the productivity of their employees and building a reciprocal respect between the company and the employees. Add training, the results will make everyone happy including the staff, owners, and customers. We live in challenging times. Attitudes are as important as the technologies that we integrate into our lives and work.

Ideal IndustriesMADE IN AMERICA Check them out.

REPEATABILITY: “You get tough top quality tools from Ideal” said Kevin Moy, Lead Tech – Cabling Installation Team, Communication Planning Corp. “When it positively has to be done right the first time, I recommend the tools made by Ideal without any reservations.”


U.S. LABOR Secretary Thomas Perez Announces Agreement In Principle On A New Contract For Verizon Workers 5-27-2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez issued the following statement today regarding the ongoing labor dispute at Verizon:

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the parties have reached an agreement in principle on a four-year contract, resolving the open issues in the ongoing labor dispute between Verizon’s workers, unions, and management. The parties are now working to reduce the agreement to writing, after which the proposal will be submitted to CWA and IBEW union members for ratification.

Throughout the past 13 days of negotiations at the Department of Labor, I have observed firsthand the parties’ good faith commitment to narrowing differences and forging an agreement that helps workers and the company. The parties have a shared interest in the success of Verizon and its dedicated workforce. Indeed, these two interests are inextricably intertwined.

This tentative resolution is a testament to the power of collective bargaining. I commend the leadership of Verizon, CWA, and IBEW for their commitment to resolving these difficult issues in the spirit of constructive engagement.

I expect that workers will be back on the job next week.”

Verizon and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have come to a tentative agreement on a four-year labor contract, putting an end to a month long strike of the telco's nearly 40,000 wireline workers.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced the agreement in a statement issued on the agency's website this morning.

"Today, I am pleased to announce that the parties have reached an agreement in principle on a four-year contract, resolving the open issues in the ongoing labor dispute between Verizon's workers, unions, and management," Perez said in a statement. "The parties are now working to reduce the agreement to writing, after which the proposal will be submitted to CWA and IBEW union members for ratification."


NAED Opposes New Overtime Regulations - New rules will hurt employees and businesses

Today’s revision to overtime regulations for white collar workers by the Department of Labor was a disappointment to the National Association of Electrical Distributors.

“NAED represents companies in wide spectrum of sizes—from local players to regional, national, and international firms,” stated Ed Orlet, NAED vice president, Government Affairs. “We strongly oppose the new Department of Labor rules. The Department’s proposal ignores the rapidly changing workplace and will not serve to improve workplace conditions for employees or employers. While an increase to the salary threshold should be debated, the magnitude proposed by DOL merits further and detailed examination.”


The new rule changes the Fair Labor Standards Act by:

  • Raising the threshold under which most salaried employees are guaranteed overtime $47,476 ($913 per week)
  • Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, the increase will be based on the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the region in which the salary level is lowest
  • The rule will go into effect December 1, 2016

The salary increase would more than double the current overtime salary requirement and require businesses to reclassify workers as “non-exempt” resulting in less autonomy and reducing opportunities for advancement. Employees below the new salary requirement would be required to track hours, increasing compliance time, and reducing employees self-imposed time management.

NAED supports the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act introduced by Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Tim Walberg; the bill would require the Secretary of Labor to nullify the rule and do an in-depth economic analysis before a similar rule can be promulgated. The legislation requires DOL to conduct an economic analysis on the:

  • Economic impact on small businesses, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and other affected parties
  • Management and human resources costs, such as costs associated with reclassifying employees and extra hours spent scheduling employees
  • Impact on employment, workplace flexibility, employee benefits structures for exempt and nonexempt employees, career advancement opportunities, new business formation, and business termination

In addition to the economic analysis, the Secretary must also seek stakeholder input through a 120-day comment period, increase the effective date of any rule to one year after the rule’s publication, and make any increase in the salary requirement fit within economic realities of employees and employers.


Klein® Tools 12:1 Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer provides better visualization and more accurate performance

May 24, 2016 (Lincolnshire, IL) – Klein Tools (, for professionals since 1857, introduces a multi-function 12:1 Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer (Cat. No. IR5) at an opening price point for professional-grade IR thermometers.

The IR5 features dual-lasers that use a tight 12:1 distance-to-spot ratio for accurate measuring of temperatures between -22°F and 752°F. It also offers several calculation modes for a wide range of temperature measurement applications.

“Dual-laser targeting technology makes it easier to visualize the area being measured by an IR thermometer, resulting in more accurate measurement performance versus a single laser,” said Sean O’Flaherty, director of product management, “As an added value, Klein Tools is able to offer this dual-laser functionality at a price point that is in line with an IR thermometer that uses a single laser.”

The IR5 is compact with a soft-touch, overmolded housing for comfort, and can withstand drops of more than six feet onto concrete or steel.

For more information, watch the video, visit our website at or contact your local distributor.


National Electrical Safety Month - May 2016

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) commemorates National Electrical Safety Month by spearheading an annual campaign to educate key audiences about the steps that can be taken in order to reduce the number of electrically-related fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss.

Here at Mike Holt Enterprises, we're equally dedicated to electrical safety, and it's our pleasure to provide free resources wherever possible. Our recent newsletter introduced you to Mike's library of free videos. This week Mike wants to make sure that you spend the time to watch the videos that are essential to knowing how to work safely.

Following is the first series of videos that you need to watch - and you need to watch them MULTIPLE TIMES! You can access them from this newsletter by clicking on the links below, or you can go directly to the web page and watch them there by clicking here.

Electrical Safety Fundamentals [1hr:13min]

Related Safety links:

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi). A non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace

National Safety Council

Spring-Electrical Safety (ESFi PDF)

Assuming Responsibility – by Mike Holt

Note from Mike Holt: The recent death of a good friend (our newsletter on March 17) shook me to the core and I will miss him very much. What I did not expect was in how many ways his passing would affect me. It made me so aware of my own mortality and also of my legacy. Apart from the work I need to do on myself and with my family, I want my business to continue and flourish beyond my lifetime. It’s my responsibility to make sure that those around me, and those that work with and for me, understand my vision, my goals, and my philosophy so that they can learn, grow, and make good decisions themselves. Each month we discuss an important aspect of business and leadership, and I want to share those thoughts with you. Here’s the first, and it’s about assuming responsibility. We welcome your feedback.

Assuming Responsibility

(Extracted from Mike Holt's new Leadership Skills book).

If you want to be successful you have to have the ability to assume responsibility and be open to taking ownership of new projects that come your way.

If a person gives you a task, it clearly means they’re confident in your ability to see it through to completion. They’re trusting in you to figure it out and do it the best way you can. When a new task comes your way, you might not be that willing to take it on; it might even feel like an intrusion—you’re already busy. However, part of growth and being good at your job is embracing new tasks and responsibilities and you need to realize that doing so shows a willingness to grow. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable and stressful, but if you work out how to get it done you’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment afterwards.

If something is assigned to you, it’s yours 100 percent until completion. You already have 40 hours, and you feel like you have too much work.So what do you do? What you need to do is to review all of your current projects along with their priority and present options to the person who assigned you the task so you can both agree as to how to move forward. Share your thoughts about various ways you can manage the time for the new project, such as:

1. Working overtime.

2. Not doing your other tasks.

3. Doing this new task and shifting your calendar out.

4. Assigning this task to someone else.

5. Putting this task further out on the calendar to do at a later time.

Once you’re clear about the unfinished projects, and have discussed the options with the person who assigned you the task, then the decision can be made as to how to get it accomplished.

Once you’ve accepted responsibility for the task, and you’re excited because you know you’re valued, your focus will be on how to get it done. It’s important that people working with you on other projects or people waiting on projects from you are aware of the consequences to them of this new project of yours.

1. Notify anyone who’s waiting on you for something what the new completion date will be.

2. Find a way to streamline some of your tasks so they take less time allowing you to accomplish everything close to the original deadline.

Now what? You might feel overwhelmed and not know how to begin. You know you have to start somewhere, so just take a moment to think the project through and then start. If you hit a roadblock, go back to the person who gave you the task. Don’t go to someone else for guidance because they may have no clue as to the goal or intended purpose so they might guide you down the wrong path. When you go to the person who gave you the assignment, they might realize they didn’t make their goals clear or that you might not have understood how this project was to be used and they’ll clarify things. It might even happen that when you re-discuss the goals and the purpose the whole nature of the project will be refined or changed. You might even have to start all over again, but at least you’ll know what the vision is.

In order to do the task correctly, you need to understand the big picture. More importantly, you must understand its context. Make sure you understand the end goal and what you’re trying to accomplish. Talk it through so you can be clear on your direction—ask questions so you know your destination. You might not be in a position where you can push back or doubt the person who gave you the project, but what should surface from the discussion is that there’s agreement on its value, that it’s worth pursuing, and also that it’s part of the 20 percent you should be focusing on now.

Once that’s established, you need to take control of the task until it’s done:

• Identify the time frame for its completion.

• Find whether or not there’s someone else on the team you’re allowed to consult or work with.

• If there’s a part of the task that requires someone else’s input, be sure you include the person who assigned it to you when you email correspondence, so everyone is on the same page about where the project stands, and who the task is waiting on.

• If that other person can’t get to their part immediately, then it’s their responsibility to email back, with a copy to everyone, saying when they think they can get to it.

• Since the person who assigned you the task is copied on the correspondence, they have the option to say nothing and accept the schedule, or move priorities around to get it done sooner.

• If days or a week go by and you don’t have what you’re waiting for, send a reminder email, and copy the person who assigned the task to you. Remember it’s still your responsibility to push the task to completion as quickly as possible, so you don’t want it to fall off the radar. Everyone gets busy, and your boss might just assume it’s been taken care of, when in fact it’s waiting on someone other than you.

Take charge and proceed in a way that shows you have the vision and authorization to complete this project. If you need something from others, don’t ask for permission just go and get what you need. Asking for permission is saying you don’t believe that you’re authorized to do so. You’ve already been given the authorization, so do what it takes to get the job done. It's also important how you ask others for what you need - don’t ask them if they can do this for you because that just opens the door for a negative response. Tell them what you need to get done, and get their feedback on the best way to accomplish it. If you need to ask for something because you need help, that’s a different story—you should always ask for that. Be assertive in making sure the goal is met.

While you’re working on the task, take full ownership of it by doing the necessary research. Search the internet and learn everything you can about this topic. By seeing how others approach it you can increase your odds of doing an exceptional job on what’s been assigned to you. You might see an opportunity for a new idea that didn’t even present itself initially. What a picture of success that would be! Now you’ll become the expert in whatever it is you were tasked with.

Always be willing to accept new tasks. Encourage them. Know that you’ll be making mistakes, but embrace that fact that it’s part of your growth. Growth doesn’t come from being comfortable and inert.

Remember, there’s no such thing as inactivity unless you’re planning on being out of a job or going out of business! Accept responsibility for the tasks that are assigned to you and make adjustments in your attitude or workflow to accommodate them. Change means you’re growing and that you’ve tried something. The truly successful person who cares about their career will be open to new tasks and expanding responsibilities—this shows they care about their future and the business that hired them. Think about how great it will feel to know that you’ve significantly contributed to the company’s success by your willingness to keep growing and finding ways to add value.

Mike Holt’s Summer CEU Seminar in South Florida sells out - space still available at his Orlando event!

For over 20 years Mike Holt’s annual summer CEU seminars have become the industry’s leading technical training event. These programs are approved in over 30 states and set the standard for electrical training. The high energy program is educational, motivational, and fun. This year’s program features topics from Mike’s newly released Leadership Skills book, as well as a day of code training focused on Grounding vs. Bonding.

August 5 – 6

Orlando, FL

Grounding vs. Bonding, Safety, Florida Building Code, Workman’s Comp, and Business Skills


Or call 888.632.2633

Early Registration pricing still available.



May 13, 2016

Loving husband, father, grandfather and “pal” to so many, William Raymond Anixter, age 93, of Chicago and Scottsdale, died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, May 8. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Ansorg Anixter, his six children, Greg Anixter, Julie Anixter, Carol Anixter, Amy Anixter Scott, Mari Anixter, and Jason Max Anixter, and his grandchildren, Jason William Anixter, Ashley Anixter, Ben Forgan, Kylie Forgan, Audrey Scott, Allegra Smith, and Gigi Smith. He was the son of Julius “Loving Putty” and Zelda Anixter.

Bill Anixter was a World War II veteran who was part of the 4th Armored Division, Third Army under General Patton. He was wounded in action in a battle in which only 15 of his company survived and received a Purple Heart. After a stint at the Command Headquarters in London, he returned to Chicago and attended Northwestern University on the GI Bill. He moved to Highland Park, Illinois, to raise his family.

He was well known for founding Anixter Bros., later Anixter Inc., in 1957 with his brother, Alan B. Anixter with an initial loan of $10,000 they received from their mother Zelda. Anixter Bros. was the world’s first wire & cable distribution company with a real-time inventory system and hub-and-spoke network warehouse system that pre-dated Amazon by decades. The company went public in 1967 and grew to approximately 2,000 employees, more than 100 global locations and over $700M in sales before Bill and his brother sold it to Sam Zell in 1986. The success of the company was based on the renowned culture of service that they provided to their customers as well as a unique concept of employee relations that he and his brother initiated from the very start of the company. Bill always maintained that Anixter Bros. was a “family company” and every employee was part of the family.

Tributes to Bill Anixter from friends and former employees began pouring in to the family the moment they heard he had passed away on Mother’s Day.

Following his long ownership of Anixter Bros., Bill owned and operated Stephen’s Restaurant in Albuquerque, and served on the boards of The Armand Hammer United World College and the Boys Club of Arizona. Then he became Chairman of the Board of A-Z Wire & Cable, working with his nephew, Jim Anixter, and his good friend, Ray Geraci, in another wire and cable distribution company in Northbrook, Illinois.

Bill Anixter was known far and wide for his generosity of spirit, his humor, his common touch and for that “twinkle in his eye” that made everyone feel they were always with their very best friend and “pal”.

Services have been held. Contributions in Bill Anixter’s honor can be made to the Boys Clubs of Scottsdale, Arizona or Chicago, Illinois.


NECA Technology, Jobs, and the Presidential Election

May 19,2016

By: NECA Director of Research, Joey Shorter, Ph.D.

This week, NECA hosts the National Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., which promises to be especially intriguing in the current U.S. Presidential election. While the issues vary sometimes from primary to primary, there seems to be a theme that comes to the forefront in most conversations during this election cycle. A majority of voters are concerned about the economy, and especially jobs and workforce related issues from training, to wages and benefits, but especially bringing jobs back to traditional American epicenters of manufacturing. U.S. manufacturing was greatly impacted by outsourcing and automation. Before the politicians began mastering current sound bites, researchers and business leaders in the tech world were projecting a re-birth of manufacturing in the U.S. [Vivek Wadhwa, “The Future of Manufacturing Is In America, Not China”].

We’ve all heard stories about how robots are taking our jobs. But, you may have missed the report that Mercedes-Benz (the world’s third largest auto manufacturer) is replacing some of its assembly line robots with “real live humans”. They have found that their robots can’t keep up with the degree of customization they offer on their S-Class sedans. The company’s head of production, Mark Schaefer says robots can’t deal with the degree of individualization, and that Mercedes-Benz is saving money and safeguarding their future by employing more people [Engadget > 2016/02/25 > Mercedes-Benz…]. If you have not seen SAM – semi-automated mason – the robotic bricklayer, you should take a few minutes to watch a clip or check-out “Construction Robotics – Advancing Construction” at

In a recent MIT Technology Review, it was stated that the robot is responsible for the more rote tasks: picking up bricks, applying mortar, and placing bricks in their designated location. The author continued by saying, “the human handles the more nuanced activities, like setting up the worksite, laying bricks in tricky areas, such as corners, and handling aesthetic details, like cleaning up excess mortar.” SAM was created to assist, especially in an area of construction where the demand for masons is greater than the number of masons being recruited and trained in the industry.

Innovative political leadership will see the possibilities of millions of new jobs being created. The disruption will come from a set of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates. It’s the reason Tesla can manufacture their cars in the Silicon Valley. Manufacturing is returning to the U.S., but the same jobs we saw leave America won’t necessarily return, because many of them will not exist. Autodesk CEO Carl Bass says we will see new, higher-paying jobs created, coming out of nowhere and changing our lives. There seems to be a lot of truth in Vivek Wadhwa’s statement, “the strongest weapon to shift geopolitical balances isn’t nukes or missiles, it’s technology.”

NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not too distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter, NECA Director of Research, has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.


Ekinops Opening New North American Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Area

PARIS, May 26, 2016 Ekinops, a leading supplier of next-generation optical network equipment, will move into its new North American corporate headquarters in Maryland in June.

The new facility will be home to Ekinops Corp., the wholly-owned North American subsidiary of France-based Ekinops SA. It will serve not only as a company headquarters, but also as a complete customer support office, housing administrative and support employees. Ekinops support personnel will conduct customer training at the site, with a full product integration lab for staging prior to shipping, to streamline training and to demonstrate product capabilities for customers.

In addition, this facility will serve as a logistical center for current and new customers across the U.S. and Canada. While Ekinops sells its advanced optical networking products globally, its sales are increasing faster in North America than in other regions. Its customers here include service providers, from very large and national to regional carriers, as well as data center operators.

In the lab, Ekinops will be able to demonstrate all of its products and solutions, such as its flagship product, the 360 Dynamic Multi-Reach Transport System, along with 100G and 200G coherent technology, its recently introduced wireless fronthaul module and its Celestis Pilot Network Management System.

“The opening of this new office is in response to our rapid growth in North America and confirms the long-term commitment that Ekinops is making in the region,” said Kevin Antill, Vice President for North America.

“What is most important about this new facility is that it allows us to focus on support for our customers. With our team there, along with the fully functioning lab, customer training center, and warehouse depot, we can fill all our customers’ needs from one primary location.”

Antill added that the ability to provide customers the training they need on Ekinops hardware and software, and to validate network models on live equipment, will accelerate their move from the design phase to implementation so they can deploy new services to their customers more quickly.

About Ekinops

Ekinops is a leading supplier of next generation optical transport equipment for telecommunications service providers. The Ekinops 360 addresses Metro, Regional, and Long-Haul applications with a single, highly-integrated platform. Ekinops is a market-leading innovator in 100G and 200G transport with a coherent line of products that truly optimizes optical networks and comes in 1RU, 2RU or 7RU chassis. The Ekinops 360 relies on the highly-programmable Ekinops T-Chip® (Transport-on-a-Chip) architecture that enables fast, flexible and cost-effective delivery of new services for high-speed, high-capacity transport. Using the Ekinops 360 carrier-grade system, operators can simply increase capacity of their networks – CWDM, DWDM, Ethernet, ESCON, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, and uncompressed video (HD-SDI, SD-SDI, ASI). Ekinops is headquartered in Lannion, France, and Ekinops Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary, is incorporated in the USA.


U.S. Green Building Council Announces LEED Pilot Credit: Building Material Human Hazard and Exposure Assessment

New credit continues push for better understanding and decision making around building materials & products

Washington, D.C—(May 24, 2016)—Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced a new LEED pilot credit—Building Material Human Hazard & Exposure Assessment, which encourages project teams and manufacturers to assess human health related exposure scenarios for products during their installation and use phases.

“LEED v4, the latest version of the LEED green building system, has begun a shift in how we think about health and building materials,” said Scot Horst, chief product officer, USGBC. “We have a focus on transparency and optimization so specifiers can know what they are using and can reward innovation. But understanding how a material impacts human health requires a full understanding of hazard and exposure. The new pilot credit is a first step toward evaluating exposure by encouraging product inventories in order to prioritize decision making.”

The pilot credit seeks to reward manufacturers who perform hazard and exposure assessments that can serve as a basis for developing products designed to minimize human health impacts during installation and use of the products. These assessments can, in turn, be an important consideration for alternative assessment of building materials. By requiring exposure to be considered during product development, this pilot begins to make linkages between the product’s ingredient inventory and hazard assessment required by the existing Materials Ingredients credit and performance testing required by LEED’s Low Emitting Materials credits.

The Hazard & Exposure pilot credit continues USGBC’s work to advance LEED users’ knowledge and understanding of the materials used to build and operate buildings. USGBC’s ultimate aim is that project teams have a full and complete picture of building materials and products—all in one place—which will help enable transparent, informed decisions around important attributes of materials and products used in our offices, homes, schools and other structures.

This pilot credit was developed by USGBC in conjunction with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and its members, as part of the partnership announced in 2014. The partnership was established to expand collaboration between suppliers and specifiers, leverage scientific expertise and make LEED a more effective tool to deliver positive economic, environmental and social outcomes. This initiative acknowledges USGBC’s success in leading the transformation of the built environment and sets up a pathway to take advantage of the materials science expertise of ACC and its members.

“ACC welcomes the new pilot credit, which rewards products that have undergone rigorous and scientific hazard and exposure assessments,” says Debra M. Phillips, vice president, ACC. “Through Responsible Care, ACC members support scientific and systematic approaches to managing and continuously improving the safety of their products. ACC members also undertake third-party verification of their systems and approaches. This new credit brings such a scientific, systematic and third-party validated approach to the important issue of health.”

All USGBC members are eligible to submit pilot credits for consideration; pilot credits are evaluated based on applicability to the goals of LEED, relative impact compared to other LEED credits or pilot credits, technical rigor and achievability.

“Today, exposure information and the assumptions that go into it aren’t required to be shared by manufacturers,” added Horst. “This new pilot credit will facilitate information sharing that will help us guide future credit writing.”

To fulfill the credit requirements, LEED projects must submit product documentation from manufacturers, including calculations and assumptions, to GBCI, the third-party verification body for LEED. This information will be combined with data from other ongoing pilots and credits and synthesized by USGBC and GBCI to inform technical development of this pilot and other materials-related LEED credits.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system is the world’s most widely used program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. Today, there are nearly 75,000 commercial projects participating in LEED across the globe, with 1.85 million square feet of building space becoming LEED-certified every day.

Green construction is a large economic driver. According to the 2015 USGBC Green Building Economic Impact Study, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs—more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector—and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings. The industry’s direct contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015–2018. For more information about the LEED credits, visit

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


U.S. Green Building Council Joins National Leaders at the White House during Building Safety Month, Commits to Continue Focus on Resilience

Washington, DC (May 11, 2016) — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and an array of national building industry leaders gathered this week at the White House’s national conference on resilient building codes to discuss the economic and community benefits of resilient design, and to consider actions that the federal government and the private sector can take to advance resilience in the built environment.

While we can do our best to slow the increase in climate volatility, we also have to focus on the fact that our homes, buildings, campuses, and communities must ultimately withstand the forces of nature,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “A focus on resiliency is a necessary companion to sustainable thinking and strategies in real estate and urban development.”

Senior administration officials from the White House, the U.S. Army, the Department of State, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development joined mayors, scientists and industry leaders on panels highlighting opportunities for, and challenges to, institutionalizing resilience more comprehensively in buildings and infrastructure across the country.

On the heels of the White House’s 2016 Climate Action Summit, where the President invited key climate actors from across the country and around the globe to make tangible progress on the implementation of the recent Paris Agreement at COP 21, this week’s summit also called on participating organizations to pledge to continue and expand their work on resilience in the context of a changing climate.

One of the speakers, Kenneth Kunkel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research professor at North Carolina State University spoke clearly about the usefulness of historical climate data for evaluating future risk exposure of buildings in a world with a changing climate. “We can say with virtual certainty that current design values based solely on historical data are underestimates of the actual future risk.” A 2011 research paper co-published by USGBC and the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning highlighted similar conclusions, pointing to LEED as a useful framework for addressing climate mitigation and adaptation in the built environment.

The impacts of climate change - including extreme weather, flood, and drought - pose significant challenges for buildings, many of which were not built to withstand the future impacts of climate change,” read the White House announcement about the conference. “To address these challenges, architects, engineers, and developers in both the public and private sectors are taking steps to design buildings that go beyond minimum life-safety requirements and incorporate the principles of resilient design.”

Since USGBC’s early work to respond to building and community design issues posed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita that devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, USGBC has steadily increased its focus on resilience. Recently, USGBC co-hosted a Resilient Cities Summit, launched a set of resilience-focused pilot credits into USGBC’s LEED green building program, and worked with its partner organization GBCI, to further a suite of new rating systems that offer actionable assessment tools that can help a broad set of players in buildings, landscapes and infrastructure address enhanced resilience.

The resilience pilot credits in LEED are designed to ensure that a design team is aware of vulnerabilities and addresses the most significant risks in the project design, including functionality of the building in the event of long-term interruptions in power or heating fuel.

At the conference, USGBC issued the following commitment:

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) commits to actively engaging through its partnership in Resilient Communities for America (RC4A) and additional efforts to promote resilient building codes in communities across the country. Through dialogues among industry and public sector leaders, release of groundbreaking research and hosting public events, RC4A we will shed light on opportunities to advance resilience and long-term performance in codes, standards, and other policies, and publicize community leadership in these areas.

USGBC also commits to develop and promote the International Green Construction Code, powered by Standard 189.1, a continually evolving and improving code overlay for jurisdictions seeking to adopt deeper sustainability and climate resilience measures into their building codes. USGBC also commits to co-hosting a convening of leading mayors around resilience strategies, including codes, to be held in 2016 or early 2017. We also commit to highlighting best practice for codes and standards to support deployment of demand response strategies facilitating resilience at the micro-grid scale.

We will engage in an expansion of the conversation around resilience and codes to water and landscape elements, to consider how codes in drought areas can support appropriate vegetation strategies that have net ecosystem benefits. Lastly, USGBC commits to posting and promoting resources relating to climate resilient design and policy on and its various communications channels.

A report released yesterday by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), titled “Preparing to Thrive,” also highlights USGBC’s recent adoption of new pilot credits into LEED that focus on resilient building design and planning.

The National Institute of Building Sciences coordinated the event on behalf of the White House National Security Council Staff, the National Economic Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of Management and Budget.

For more information, view the White House’s fact sheet: “Obama Administration Announces Public and Private Sector Efforts to Increase Community Resilience through Building Codes and Standards.

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


Prysmian Group has entered into an agreement for to buy the Corning Optical Communications copper data cable operation located in Germany

May 13, 2016

Prysmian Group announced it has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of the copper data cable operation located in Germany from Corning Optical Communications. “The acquired business reported sales of approximately 22 million euros in 2015, and consists of a plant for the production of Cat 5, Cat 6 and Cat 7 cables,” Prysmian said in the announcement.


“The investment will allow the group to further expand its presence and speed up growth strategy in the multimedia solutions business segment,” Prysmian continued. “In particular the acquired business will enhance the group’s product offering for high-capacity and flexible cable for data transmission and data center solutions.”


tED magazine Recognizes Industry's Young Professionals

ST. LOUIS... tED magazine, the official publication of the National Association of Electrical Distributors, has released its 2016 “30 Under 35” list of rising stars from across the electrical industry.

Representing today’s top emerging leaders, this list recognizes 30 talented young professionals who have the initiative, drive, integrity and creativity to move the industry forward in the decades to come.

“Bright, up-and-coming talent is the key to our industry’s future,’” said Misty Byers, editor of tED magazine. “This is the fourth year for our ‘30 Under 35’ program, and the response just keeps growing. We had a record number of entries this year; it’s exciting to see so many valued young people in the electrical channel today. Through their accomplishments, the individuals on this list demonstrate they have the skills and knowledge to lead.”

The competition, open to electrical professionals 34 years old or younger (at the time of nomination), drew nominations from mentors, managers and other industry leaders working in electrical distribution, manufacturing, and related technology and service organizations. The tED editorial team blindly judged each submission, placing emphasis on such traits as dedication, innovation, leadership and people skills, commitment to training, personal integrity and work-life balance.

tED magazine and NAED congratulate the 2016 “30 Under 35” professionals:

Curt Andersen, 31, Fluke, Everett, Wash.
Chad Baumgartner, 32, Dakota Supply Group, Fargo, N.D.
Abby Bertsch, 25, Crescent Electric Supply, East Dubuque, Ill.
Kevin Calzada, 27, Eaton, Ellisville, Mo.
Michael Carr, 32, CapitalTristate, York, Pa.
Stacey Cooper, 28, Werner Electric Supply, Neenah, Wis.
Charles Curtis, 33, Mars Electric, Willoughby, Ohio
Adam DeBono, 29, K/E Eelctric Supply, Mt. Clemens, Mich.
Steve Eagland, 32, United Electric Supply, New Castle, Del.
Raffi Elchemmas, 30, Greenlee Textron, Rockford, Ill.
Kevin Foht, 33, Van Meter Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Anthony Fuller, 32, Eaton, Cleveland
Jesse Gilomen, 24, Stoneway Electric Supply, Kent, Wash.
Cynthia Ginter, 26, Rexel Holdings USA, Carrollton, Texas
Bryan Gohn, 30, Dakota Supply Group, St. Paul, Minn.
Brad Gravitt, 34, Buffalo Electric Supply, Birmingham, Ala.
Amaris Johnson, 35, Eaton, Cleveland
Zachary Kelly, 25, Medler Electric, Alma, Mich.
Eric Kersey, 27, Siemens, Austin, Texas
Zach Kincaid, 32, Border States Electric, Lubbock, Texas
Brock Klein, 30, ProBuilt Professional Lighting, Dallas
Matt Miller, 34, The Hite Company, Altoona, Pa.
Aaron “Cole” Norton, 30, Rexel Holdings USA, San Diego
Max Payne, 29, Inline Electric Supply, Birmingham, Ala.
Cameron Pederson, 33, Dakota Supply Group, Fargo, N.D.
Ryan Sasscer, 28, OneSource Distributors, Oceanside, Calif.
McKinnon Shisko, 24, OneSource Distributors, Oceanside, Calif.
Sam Sparks, 25, Wiseway Supply, Florence, Ky.
Donnie Williamson, 32, McNaughton-McKay Electric, Norcross, Ga.
Erin Noonan, 29, Shat-R-Shield, Salisbury, N.C.

tED magazine will recognize these 30 honorees in its July print and online issues as well as during a special ceremony at the 2016 NAED Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) Conference, taking place July 20-22 in Chicago. Registration for this event is now open.

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 more than 5,100 locations internationally.  


Dark Fiber Lit Up During Hillsdale’s 2016 Commencement Featuring Justice Clarence Thomas

Annapolis Junction, Maryland  – June 1, 2016 – A campus full of dark fiber lines plus FiberPlex optical multiplexing added up quickly to huge cost savings for Hillsdale College in southern Michigan and proved crucial for the college’s 2016 Commencement event featuring high-profile speaker Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
In 2013, Hillsdale’s Director of Technical Media Ted Matko was searching for a way to easily move broadband video and audio from the campus’ sports complexes to the multimedia operations center. Because the sports complexes are nearly a mile away from the center, running broadband cables from each facility would have been cost prohibitive. “I was walking the InfoComm show with one of my vendors, Avtek, and they introduced me to FiberPlex,” Matko said. “It was the perfect solution for us.”  Matko explained that the campus had been outfitted several years earlier with fiber optic lines that ran from the campus control center to each of the classroom buildings, the sports complexes, the fine arts building, the music building and the conference center. The fiber lines had been ‘dark’ for some time but were still intact.
FiberPlex proposed outfitting various locations on campus with WDM-16 units. The WDM-16 is a 16-channel Active Wavelength Division multiplexer. It allows the user to combine up to 16 sources of data on a single fiber pair. The ultra-high data rate – up to 96 Gbps aggregate – enables transmission of multiple channels of broadband video, audio, and data over the fiber.

WDM-16 units were placed in the Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center, the George Roche Health Education and Sports Complex and the Sage Fine Arts Building, and a smaller 8-channel multiplexer was placed in the Grewcock Student Union building. Two WDM-16 units were installed in the Media Operations Center. “Without the WDM units, we would not have been able to afford this project,” said Matko. “Since the units were able to use the fiber that was already in place, we had no construction costs for the long hauls.”
Audio at remote locations is handled by Peavey MediaMatrix systems; an audio feed plus the multiple camera feeds are connected to the WDM-16 in the remote location. At the Operations Center, comprehensive A/V feeds are retrieved from the multiplexer, assembled into a final form, and distributed via fiber to other locations on campus as well as to the College’s LTN feed, which is picked up by broadcast networks. Said Matko, “What used to take me four hours for a three-camera setup is now done in a half hour. The student camera operators only have to worry about plugging a single cable for each camera into the wall. Without large cable runs, things go so much faster.”
Renovations to the auditorium forced the relocation of large lecture events to the Biermann Center, all the way across campus. Matko said the multiplexers were crucial for this and the college’s 2016 Commencement exercise in May. With the event’s high profile speaker – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – high quality feeds of video and audio were mandatory. “We ran three cameras and support equipment over the FiberPlex system back to the Operations Center,” said Matko, “and returned a video stream for the projection system via the WDM-16. There were 5,200 people in the sports complex and 15,000 others watching the ceremony via streaming. The system did exactly what it was supposed to do.”

Other applications utilizing the WDM-16 on campus include basketball, volleyball, football, and baseball games. “For basketball games, I’ll have my announcer, two overhead mics, two mics in the baskets (for the ‘swishing’ sounds), the floor announcer, etc. all controlled by the MediaMatrix which sends a combined audio feed to us for distribution,” said Matko. The audio is complemented by multiple camera feeds from the floor. In addition to the audio and video, Matko feeds data from the Daktronics scoreboard to the operations center, and then re-converts it to a display for a live media scoreboard. FiberPlex modules are used for conversion of the data from the scoreboard.
Other FiberPlex products are in use at Hillsdale College as well. LightViper snakes are employed to move audio through the auditorium into a Yamaha mixer, enabling Matko’s staff to control audio for campus and network feeds separately from the house audio. Integrator AVI Systems, headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, managed integration of the FiberPlex multiplexers throughout the campus. “The system has been in place for a few years now, and I’ve had no issues with the FiberPlex products,” said Matko. “It’s been excellent equipment.”
FiberPlex makes fiber optic products and systems for educational facilities, government agencies, houses of worship, corporate facilities and broadcast applications. For more information, visit

About FiberPlex Technologies, LLC (
FiberPlex Technologies, LLC is a leader in digital transport and communications technology. The FiberPlex name has been around for a quarter of a century and is known for its secure fiber solutions to the U.S. government. Recently, FiberPlex extended its secure communications and fiber optic products to the commercial and AV sectors. As a fiber optics expert and equipment manufacturer, FiberPlex educates businesses, houses of worship, hospitals, financial institutions, campuses, broadcasters and live production firms on how to leverage fiber optics technology for large bandwidth delivery as well as to lower security risk and increase profits.
About Hillsdale College (
Hillsdale College, founded in 1844, has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an educational outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 3.2 million.


ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine – what’s new

In This Issue

The best thing contractors can do to stay safe is follow safety best practices. But beyond that, there's still a job to do, and these products can help workers accomplish tasks safely.

Falls are one of the most dangerous hazards in the construction industry. Too often, a worker falls off of a ladder and suffers an injury or death. In this month's Cool Tools, Jeff Griffin focuses on the safety innovations of modern ladders.

Need to see in the dark or tie off? This month's featured products, Safety Equipment and Apparel, offer solutions for your safety needs. From protecting extremities to guarding hearts from electric shock, safety product manufacturers have you covered.

Enjoy the issue, and stay safe out there.

Timothy Johnson


IEEE Standards Association Announces IEEE 802.3™ Projects to Meet Industry Demands for Higher Ethernet Speeds

May 31, 2016 - Projects leveraging new technologies to advance 50 Gb/s, 100 Gb/s, and 200 Gb/s, and extend reach of 25 Gb/s Ethernet

PISCATAWAY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), today announced the initiation of two new IEEE 802.3TM projects, as well as a modification to the existing IEEE P802.3bsTM 400 Gb/s Ethernet project. These projects, authorized by the IEEE-SA Standards Board in early May, will address the growing industry demand for additional Ethernet rates for use across a broad range of applications.


New #IEEE802.3 projects launched to meet industry demands for higher #Ethernet speeds via @IEEESA

 "The demand for Ethernet continues to expand rapidly throughout the industry driving the need for market relevant standards to support the adoption and growth of Ethernet," said David Law, chair, IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group. "These latest IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group projects will address the increasing needs for speeds targeted at specific application areas, and help ensure best practices are implemented through the principles of standardization."


These projects are aligned to the next set of requirements from the data networking industry. The IEEE P802.3ccTM project will complete the 25 Gb/s Ethernet family of physical layer specifications (PHYs). The IEEE P802.3cdTM project will enable 50 Gb/s Ethernet for next generation server speed and next generation campus cores as well responding to the industry desire to lower costs for next generation 100 Gb/s Ethernet solutions. Both the IEEE P802.3cd and IEEE P802.3bs projects will enable 200 Gb/s Ethernet which will provide a next generation network aggregation speed.


The IEEE P802.3cc 25 Gb/s over Single-Mode Fiber Task Force will develop new 10 km and 40 km PHYs over single-mode fiber for 25 Gb/s Ethernet. The IEEE P802.3cd 50 Gb/s Ethernet, 100 Gb/s Ethernet and 200 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force will develop 50 Gb/s Ethernet as well as a set of PHYs for 50 Gb/s Ethernet, 100 Gb/s Ethernet and 200 Gb/s Ethernet that leverage common 50 Gb/s optical and electrical signaling technologies. Both copper and multimode fiber PHYs will be developed for all three Ethernet rates as well as single-mode fiber PHYs for 50 Gb/s Ethernet. The IEEE P802.3bs 400 Gb/s Ethernet project modification will expand the project to include 200 Gb/s Ethernet and 200 Gb/s single-mode fiber PHYs within its scope.


Technology specified by IEEE 802® standards is already globally pervasive, driven by the ever-growing needs of data networks around the world. New application areas are constantly being considered that might leverage IEEE 802 standards in their networks using wireless, twisted-pair cabling, and fiber-optic cabling. To better address the needs of all of these areas, IEEE 802 standards are constantly evolving and expanding. The success of IEEE 802 standards—from their inception through today—has been based on their fair, open and transparent development process.


To learn more about IEEE-SA, visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn or on the Standards Insight Blog.


About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 1,100 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit

About IEEE
IEEE is the largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at


Lloyd Green, +1 732-465-6664,
Director, Engagement Marketing & Creative Community Services
Jeff Pane, +1 732-465-6605,
Solutions Marketing Specialist


SIGFOX and Atari® Announce Partnership to Develop Atari-branded Connected Devices Using SIGFOX’s Global IoT Network

New Product Line of Connected Devices to Target Mass Market and Charity Organizations

NEW YORK and LABÈGE, France, – May 31, 2016 – Atari®, one of the world's most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment, and SIGFOX, the world’s leading provider of dedicated communications service for the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced a global partnership to develop a line of new connected devices based on Atari’s iconic brand.

The cooperation will bring together Atari’s brand and creative power with SIGFOX’s unique value proposition: connecting the physical world to the Internet through a simple, reliable, low-cost, energy-efficient solution. Currently operating in 18 countries and registering over 7 million devices in its network, SIGFOX is on its way to establishing one global, seamless network that provides ubiquitous connectivity for billions of objects.

The collaboration will cover a wide range of new Atari products, from the very simple to the highly sophisticated, providing customers with an easy way to know at any time where the devices are and what their status is. The initial product line will include categories such as home, pets, lifestyle and safety. By connecting to SIGFOX’s global network, the products will benefit from its competitive advantages: a very long battery life and a simple solution that does not require local Internet connectivity and pairing. As soon as the battery is inserted in the object, it is immediately connected to the network.

“Atari, which has disruption rooted in their DNA, was quick to envision the transformative role that the Internet of Things can play in interactive entertainment,” said SIGFOX CEO Ludovic Le Moan. “Our network bridges the virtual and physical worlds simply, reliably and inexpensively and this collaboration will launch a new dimension to gaming, while supporting features that are limited only by the imagination.”

“SIGFOX is transforming the way people are connecting to their objects in a simple and intuitive way. By partnering together and using SIGFOX’s dedicated IoT connectivity, we are going to create amazing products with our brand,” said Fred Chesnais, Chief Executive Officer, Atari. “We look forward to our collaboration with SIGFOX and releasing new products to the mass market on a global scale.”

Development of the new product line will begin this year and more details will be shared soon.

To learn more about SIGFOX, visit For more details, “Like” us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter @SIGFOX (

To learn more about Atari, visit For more details, “Like” us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter @Atari (


SIGFOX is the world’s leading provider of dedicated connectivity for the Internet of Things. The company’s network complements existing high-bandwidth systems by providing simple, economical, energy-efficient two-way transmission of small quantities of data over long distances, thus lowering barriers to wide implementation of IoT solutions, and greatly extending the battery and service life of connected devices. Currently deployed or being rolled out in 18 countries and registering over 7 million devices in its network, SIGFOX is today the only commercially available IoT-dedicated connectivity solution that guarantees a high level of service and reliability on an international scale. Corporate headquarters are in France, and the company has offices in Boston, Dubai, Madrid, Munich, San Francisco and Singapore. For more information, see and follow us on Twitter @SIGFOX.

About Atari

Atari ( is an interactive entertainment production company. As an iconic brand that transcends generations and audiences, the company is globally recognized for its multi-platform, interactive entertainment and licensed products. Atari owns and/or manages a portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises, including world-renowned brands like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Pong®, Test Drive®, and RollerCoaster Tycoon®.

Atari has offices in New York and Paris.


RAD Introduces Small Cell Aggregation Platform

MAHWAH, New Jersey, June 1, 2016 – RAD, the award-winning vendor of Service Assured Access (SAA) solutions for service providers, has expanded its LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) backhaul portfolio by introducing a unique new platform for small cell aggregation.

“4G networks will rely heavily on small cell deployments to provide the required capacity and coverage,” said Ulik Broida, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at RAD. “Small cells are already the market’s fastest growing element in today’s networks and are expected to feature prominently in 5G deployments as well. Despite their importance, however, there has been no efficient and economical way to properly aggregate large traffic volumes over fixed lines until now.”

RAD’s new ETX-2i-10G is a small cell aggregation platform that combines high port density, including 10 Gbps uplinks, in a compact, environmentally hardened enclosure, which saves valuable rack space for carriers. It has full IP and Carrier Ethernet demarcation and performance monitoring capabilities, as well as flexible IEEE 1588 and Sync-E timing synchronization functionalities.

“This is a powerful combination,” said Broida. “As a result, the ETX-2i-10G enables mobile service providers to unleash the full power of the LTE experience for their customers while lowering their costs.”

RAD is exhibiting the ETX-2i-10G at CommunicAsia 2016 this week in Singapore. RAD is in Stand 1H2-01.

About RAD

RAD is a global telecom access solutions and products vendor. Our Service Assured Access solutions for mobile, business and wholesale service providers are designed to improve the way they compete: service agility to minimize time to revenue, complete visibility of network performance for greater operational efficiency, and better QoE to reduce churn. We are at the forefront of pioneering technologies, such as: virtual CPE (vCPE), MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0, Carrier Ethernet and IP performance monitoring, hardware miniaturization, and synchronization over packet. Founded in 1981, RAD has an installed base of more than 14 million units, and works closely with Tier 1 operators and service providers around the globe. RAD is a member of the $1.25 billion RAD Group of companies, a world leader in communications solutions.


Prevent, Detect and Resolve Network Failures with IDEAL FiberMASTER™ Fiber Optic Cable Testing Kit

Simple to use tester provides optical loss measurements meeting Tier 1 certification of multi-mode and single mode cable

SYCAMORE, IL, JUNE 1, 2016 --  The FiberMASTER MM/SM fiber optic testing kit from IDEAL Networks ( allows network technicians to measure absolute power and calculate the loss of fiber optic links on active LAN cabling infrastructure. 

By deploying the FiberMASTER, the technician will be able to prevent, detect and resolve the leading causes of optical network downtime, including poor splices, micro-bends, and contaminated connectors. In addition, it will certify cable performance to ISO 11801 and TAI 568-C standards, ensuring that the cable can support bandwidth demand and network applications.

The FiberMASTER measures power in milliwatts (mW) and decibel-milliwatts (dBm) when troubleshooting network components. It also measures fiber signal loss (dB) at 850, 1300, 1310, 1490 and 1550nm wavelengths, letting the operator set a reference level to the light source and directly read the loss of fiber optic links without needing to manually calculate the values.

Unlike bulky testers, the FiberMASTER features a unique form factor allowing the light source to be docked within the power meter, making it compact for storage while still permitting full operation of both the source and meter. The kit includes a universal adaptor for the power meter and ST, SC and FC adaptors for the light source.

For more information, please visit


News From The FOA for May 2016 - The Latest Issue Of The  FOA Newsletter Is Now Online

Stories this month:
How Much Is A Broadband Subscriber Worth?
How Much Revenue Does FTTH Generate?
How Big Are CATV Companies/ISPs?
Where Does Google Fit In?
Cutting The Cost Of Transceivers By 90%
SmartGigabitCity Comes To The Bay Area - Special Deal For FOA Readers
Lennie & Ted Guides Updated, Now At FOA
Older Fiber - How good Is It?
Product Reviews - Fiber Tools and Testers - And a deal on an OTDR
Cleaning Expanded Beam Connectors
Fiber Optic Fashion

It must be "special offer month" at FOA! We have three deals for our readers.

Special Offer For FOA Readers - SmartGigabitCity Comes To The Bay Area - this is the meeting we reported about in the March newsletter that impressed us so much! Now they are having a similar meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here is an opportunity to learn about what cities are doing to plan for the gigabit future plus contractors can meet many potential customers and learn about their projects. Read the newsletter article for details and a link to get a big discount on the registration fee.

Special Offer On An OTDR (North America Only) - Yokogawa is offering a free mainframe ($2520 value) when you buy a 7280 Series OTDR. Read the review in the newsletter and learn more about the offer.

Special introductory offer - 25% off the new FOA Design book. Order from the FOA eStore, use the discount code KKVXALV6 and get 25% off your order. Go here to order the books: FOA Guide To Fiber Optic Network DesignOffer good on the FOA eStore only during the month of June 2016 when using the discount code KKVXALV6

We post lots of "Worth Reading" articles on Pinterest.

Do you follow FOA on social Media?

FOA's free online learning site, Fiber U, has some new courses and now offers certificates of completion for online study - great preparation for FOA certification exams.

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AFL Receives Six New Patents for Products and Technologies

Spartanburg, SC – June 1, 2016 – AFL has been awarded six patents for new products and technologies that are being used to enhance Optical Connectivity and Apparatus (OCA) products, fiber optic cable and sensing products.

AFL was awarded a patent for a specialized Logging Cable designed to more accurately measure Distributed Pressure and Temperature Sensing (DPTS). This new invention provides a cable structure that allows for an optical fiber to have increased exposure to environmental factors within a well, while protecting the fiber from external mechanical forces, such as crushing and abrasion.

AFL’s OCA business unit received four patents. The first patent is for a Fiber Splice Enclosure which includes a chassis, cover and a cable port mounting plate that allows for the entry and exit of cables. Another patent was received for the method and apparatus for a universal XDSL demarcation interface with multi-functional capability and single performance enhancement. Additionally, a patent was received for an Exterior Distribution Pedestal Cabinet, a convenient modular approach allowing efficient fiber management. Lastly, AFL was the recipient of a patent for an Optical Fiber Distribution Cabinet that includes an optical splitter module and a connector holder support frame that allows for maintaining a multiplicity of output connectors.

AFL’s Research & Development Center received a patent for an innovation to Fujikura’s Optical Fiber Vibration Sensor technology. Historically used for perimeter security applications, the original technology uses a sensing loop involving multiple wavelengths of light injected into opposite ends of a fiber optic sensing cable length. That approach is difficult for applications where only one end of the sensing loop is accessible, as in downhole oil wells, because the photonic devices used to enable the sensing loop are too large to be placed at the far end of the sensing cable length. The patented innovation uses several different approaches to solve this problem.

For additional information about AFL, its products and services, visit

About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, enterprise and OEM markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, renewables and transportation. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting OEM, outside plant, enterprise and wireless areas.

Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit


FTTH Council Approves Certification for FTTx OSP Design Course

Light Brigade is pleased to announce that its FTTx OSP Design course has been approved by the FTTH Council for a new certification program. The new FTTx Outside Plant Design certification program will be launched this June at the FTTH Council’s FTTH Connect conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This certification program is the only curriculum and examination program specifically designed to certify professional competence in FTTx OSP design.
The Council will serve as the sponsor and operator of the certification and testing platforms, while Light Brigade will provide relevant instructional materials to support the program. Using Light Brigade’s 30 years of fiber optic training expertise, the course content will be structured to allow easy absorption and application of the FTTH technology options available to today’s system designers.
 “The need for qualified FTTx OSP professionals is significantly increasing due to the expansion and growth of new FTTH networks and last mile broadband deployments worldwide,” said Lee Kellett, General Manager of The Light Brigade.
“Our mission is to do everything we can to boost fiber in the Americas, and that includes preparing and training people to be part of the all-fiber revolution,” said Heather Burnett Gold, president and CEO of the FTTH Council Americas.
The three-day FTTx OSP Design course is intended to provide outside plant and network engineers with in-depth knowledge and skills to design effective fiber to the home (FTTH) and fiber to the building (FTTB) networks for urban and rural applications. The course covers everything from network design to field planning to active technologies and covers all types of urban and rural applications. On the final day of class, attendees participate in hands-on network design practice sessions to learn how critical issues such as customer take rate and density apply to outside plant design for distributed split, centralized split, home run and point-to-point systems.
“The FTTx OSP Design course and program is designed to support the development of outside plant designers and planners with a high level of proficiency,” said Larry Johnson, Director and Founder of The Light Brigade
About Light Brigade 
Founded in 1987, Light Brigade has trained over 50,000 people worldwide in its instructor-led public and custom classes on fiber optic design, maintenance, and testing. Other Light Brigade FTTx courses include Certified Fiber to the Home Professional, which is available in classroom or online formats, and FTTx for Installers and Technicians. The company also produces online and DVD training courses that provide focus on specific fiber related topics. For more information, visit
About the FTTH Council
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. More information can be found at


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