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

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

Issue: November 2006
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee's Buzz

Thanksgiving is the order of the day. We have so much to be thankful for.

The elections in the USA are over and there are going to be BIG changes. Be thankful that we have the democratic privilege to choose. I voted and you did too.

Sometimes, just voting isn’t enough. Get involved.

The same goes for CODES and STANDARDS in the information & communication industries. If you don’t get involved, all you can expect is what a few “fat cat” corporations and their shills put in the process. Many of these corporate programs for the Codes and Standards are valid, but some are just a commercial agenda that puts profit before the public safety and improved performance of the IT systems. Get involved.

2006 has brought us much advancement in our industry. We have seen better copper and fiber optic cabling systems. There are a host of better connectors for the challenge of 10Gig. Testing, Labeling, and documentation systems are getting better every month. At least, the customers are starting to treat the infrastructure communication systems and hardware as a vital ASSET.

COSTS are up, but the values have also improved dramatically. Now, the customers are wrestling with the myriad of different performance levels of the installed cabling systems. Unfortunately, many users are finding their records, and labeling are anorexic. They don’t have test records, cut sheets, numbering plans, drawings, or even minimal labeling.

As CONVERGENCE looms in the near future, we are asking ourselves “ What is the BUILDING’S IQ?”. Building Automation, Security, Life and Fire Safety Systems, Access Control, Energy Control, and Wireless Networks are just some of the IQ items that loom large.

Smarter Buildings and Integrated Building Systems are a huge benefit for the users, with massive paybacks available. These are the revenue generators to power our business in the years ahead. Don’t be a clueless contractor. Read, Research, and Get up to date on every aspect of our business and the related applications. Start with the leading trade publications. SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

But that’s just my opinion,

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

The Light Brigade Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The Light Brigade, Inc., proudly announced celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary as the leading provider of fiber-optic training in North America.

The Light Brigade was founded in September 1986 by Larry Johnson, who wanted to provide the growing number of fiber-optic users in the Pacific Northwest with expertise in fiber-optic technology. In 1987, the company won their first contract through the State of Washington Department of Transportation to develop a comprehensive training course that focused on the state’s desire to design, install, test, and maintain fiber-optic communications systems for voice, video, and data transmission.

The following year, The Light Brigade was selected by Microsoft to design their new campus in Redmond, Washington to have fiber-optic communications capability. Over the next three years, TLB’s staff completely rebuilt the communications infrastructure for Microsoft. At completion of the project, TLB had installed 14,000 fiber links and trained Microsoft’s facilities group to handle the day-to-day operations.

Since that time, the company’s focus has shifted away from consulting and performing installations and, armed with the valuable knowledge gained from those projects, concentrated on providing the best in fiber-optic training. Over the years, TLB has trained over 30,000 people in courses covering the entire spectrum of fiber-optic subjects, from basic theory to in-depth focuses on specialized topics. The company has also hosted a wide array of events at industry conferences, including fiber-optic video theaters, emergency restoration demonstrations, training courses, and topical resource centers.

The company has produced seven DVDs, 25 videos and CDs, and one computer-based training module. In addition, TLB has produced an equal amount of custom videos for clients including Alcatel, Agilent Technologies, Lucent Technologies and the Optical Society of America.

In 1996 TLB was awarded a Fast 50 award by Deloitte and Touche for being one of the top 50 fastest growing technical companies in the State of Washington. The company's multimedia training has also won a variety of awards, including multiple "Attendee's Choice Awards" by attendees of the annual Optical Fiber Conference.

BICSI Appoints David Cranmer as Executive Director

Today, BICSI Executive Board of Directors named David C. Cranmer, RCDD, as the new Executive Director of BICSI, effective January 1, 2007.

Since June 2006, Cranmer served as the Interim Executive Director of BICSI. After a thorough search of many qualified candidates and months of careful deliberation, the Executive Director Search Committee elected to appoint Cranmer to permanently serve as the Executive Director of BICSI. The Board’s decision directly correlates with BICSI’s new strategic direction to advance the knowledge and success of BICSI’s membership, their customers and the ITS industry.

“The Board welcomes David to his new position as BICSI looks to bring the technical aspects of the association back into focus,” said BICSI President, John Bakowski, RCDD®/NTS/OSP/WD Specialist. “BICSI’s outreach program of actively seeking cooperation with related industries and associations will benefit greatly from David’s expertise and ability to drive collaborative efforts.”

Cranmer has many years of experience in the telecommunications industry, and brings a wealth of resources and contacts to the position that will be invaluable in driving the focus of BICSI in both the national and international forums. Cranmer is a familiar face to the BICSI membership. He served as BICSI President in 1990 and 1991, chaired the Installation Committee and served on several other Committees.

BICSI is a professional association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies. BICSI serves more than 25,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians. These individuals provide the fundamental infrastructure for telecommunications, audio/video, life safety and automation systems. Through courses, conferences, publications and professional registration programs, BICSI staff and volunteers assist ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services, and offer opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature.

BuildingGreen, Inc. Participates in 2006 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

BuildingGreen to announce "Top 10 Green Building Products" and speak on various topics

Visitors to the US Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Expo and Conference will have an opportunity to see BuildingGreen's information resources and talk to the people behind the company's publications at Booth 1509.

BuildingGreen's booth will offer demonstrations of the BuildingGreen Suite. Visitors will learn more about individual, firm-wide and campus-wide access to this online resource, which includes articles, reviews, and news from Environmental Building News, product listings from the GreenSpec® products directory, and project case

studies from the High-Performance Buildings Database.

In addition, Alex Wilson, Executive Editor of Environmental Building News, will announce the 2006 Top-10 Green Building Products on Wednesday, November 15 at 1 pm in Room 610-612 at the Colorado convention center. This fifth annual

award recognizes the best products recently added to the GreenSpec directory of environmentally preferable building products.

Nadav Malin, editor of Environmental Building News and executive editor of GreenSource, a new magazine presented by McGraw-Hill, is part of a panel discussion, "The Gauging Green" at 2 p.m. on November 15, Room 503/504.

Jim Newman, Director of Online Services for BuildingGreen, will speak on "Building a Successful Integrated Team with Contractors" at 10:30 a.m., November 15, rooms 702/704/706.  Mr. Wilson will also assist in announcing the winners of the USGBC Natural Talent Design Competition, organized by the USGBC Emerging

Green Builder chapter. BuildingGreen is a competition sponsor. The competition, in its fourth year, gives entrants experience in the principles of integrated design, sustainability, innovation, and social consciousness in regional projects that embody the LEED Green Building Rating System. Projects are located in

Sacramento, CA, New York City, and Cincinnati, OH. This year's Greenbuild Expo offers extensive educational programming, workshops, an exhibition floor, and networking events. For information, go to or contact the U.S. Green Building Council at 202-742-3818.

About BuildingGreen, Inc.">

Ontario School Districts Give Hitachi Data Systems, McDATA And CONPUTE High Marks for Wireless Disaster Recovery Solution

Hitachi Data Systems, provider of Application Optimized Storage(TM) solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT - News), and McDATA Corporation (Nasdaq:MCDTA - News; Nasdaq:MCDT - News), a leading provider of data access solutions, today announced in association with Redline Communications, a leading provider of standards-based broadband wireless equipment, and CONPUTE, a Solution Services company specializing in Data Centre and broadband solutions, that two school boards in Peterborough, Ontario will be deploying a combined Hitachi Data Systems and McDATA remote data replication solution, using Redline wireless technology, for disaster recovery and maintaining business continuity between their respective data centers.

The Kawartha Pine Ridge (KPR) District School Board serves 82 elementary schools and 15 secondary schools, reaching more than 37,000 students in Peterborough County. Neighboring Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic School Board, encompasses 32 elementary and 6 secondary schools, serves more than 15,500 students. The two boards are working collaboratively to leverage economies of scale offered by the solution in the event of a disaster situation. The solution enables synchronous bi-directional replication between locations to speed-up data recovery, minimize data loss and protect data integrity in the event of an outage -- securing the information of thousands of students.

"With our curriculum becoming ever more reliant on educational software tools, students completing more of their class work on school-owned systems, and school administrators utilizing technology to interact with parents and maintain student records, our school boards need to ensure that critical IT services can be assessed and restored quickly in the event of potential outages," said Ronald Plaizier, chief information officer, KPR District Public School Board. "With CONPUTE's assistance in the deployment of the solution relative to our Business Continuity Plan, we are now able to mitigate the impact due to loss and recovery of vital board functions."

"The integrated Hitachi Data Systems and McDATA solution, designed by CONPUTE, provides us with an enterprise-scale disaster recovery solution at a SMB price point," said Anthony Brice, manager, Technology Systems, KPR District Public School Board. "This allows us to meet our recovery point and recovery time objectives and provides our students, teachers, and administrators the peace of mind to confidently and confidentially utilize sophisticated storage solutions to enhance the learning experience."

Making the Grade with a Lower Cost, High-Performance Wireless Solution

For both KPR and PVNC, data replication over the WAN to enable disaster recovery was unrealistic given the limited budgets constraints K-12 institutions operate under. It was cost prohibitive due to the dedicated infrastructure and bandwidth required to replicate data and the complexity of management.

Working with Hitachi Data Systems GOLD channel partner CONPUTE, the boards will utilize the world-class remote replication capabilities of Hitachi Data Systems TrueCopy synchronous software running on Hitachi Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) systems, FC to IP conversion and compression of the McDATA Eclipse 1620 SAN router, and the high speed connectivity of the OEMed Redline AN-50 backhaul wireless solution. The result is a simple-to-maintain, low-cost remote replication configuration that enables the school districts to replicate synchronously between their respective data centers, creating a real-time redundant copy of critical information for use in the event of an outage or scheduled downtime. For the two school boards, this joint solution offered the flexibility, high performance and economy of scale answer to their respective disaster recovery and business continuity requirements.

The boards, already familiar with secure wireless broadband solutions, will share a data link of approximately 49Mbps+ between education centers to facilitate their data replication needs. Utilizing the bi-directional capabilities of their respective Hitachi AMS systems running Hitachi TrueCopy the school boards required less investment in dedicated Fibre Channel ports compared to other solutions. In addition, McDATA's Eclipse technology will perform data compression to maximize their use of available bandwidth. Leveraging each other's IT staff (trained on like systems) in the event of a pandemic or site failover was crucial to maintaining flexibility in managing through a disaster. The ability to restore critical data using remote volumes quickly versus tape recovery will gain both boards precious time during any outage.

"By leveraging off-the-shelf compression and data replication technology, we were able to design a turn-key solution that met the customer's assessed risk and mitigates the impact of lost IT services during a disaster, dramatically improving their overall business continuity capabilities," said Terry Buchanan, vice president, Services, CONPUTE. "The wireless component enables long distance-high speed IP network connectivity between respective data centers, for a total CAPEX that averages to a few months of traditional TELCO T3 leasing costs. This eliminates OPEX traditionally associated with remote replication bandwidth and allows funding to be allocated to a disaster recovery infrastructure."

For more information on the wireless remote replication solution, visit the live demo at Storage Networking World Fall 2006, JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort Orlando, Florida,

Pavilion Booth P19 and Platinum Galleria Booth PG4.


Established in 1983, CONPUTE is a Solution Services Company helping organizations use Information Technology to cut costs, increase revenues and improve customer satisfaction. We partner with organizations that need help expanding or managing their IT resources. CONPUTE specializes in four practice areas to address customer IT infrastructure goals including data centre, security, wireless & IP and outsourcing. CONPUTE builds solutions that allow our clients to effectively secure, store and access information. We continually reinvest in our team of experienced professionals to deliver exceptional value in today's challenging business environment. We pride ourselves on offering an outstanding customer experience to our clients through personalized support and consultative advice. For more information, please visit our Web site at

About McDATA (

McDATA (Nasdaq:MCDTA - News; Nasdaq:MCDT - News) is the leading provider of storage networking solutions, helping customers build, globally connect, optimize and centrally manage data infrastructures across SAN, MAN and WAN environments. With nearly 25 years experience developing SAN products, services and solutions, McDATA is the trusted partner in the world's largest data centers, connecting more than two-thirds of all networked data.

About Redline Communications

Redline Communications is the leading provider of standards-based wireless broadband solutions. Redline's WiMAX Forum Certified(TM) systems and award-winning backhaul and transport products enable service providers and other network operators to cost-effectively deliver high-bandwidth services including voice, video and data communications. Redline is committed to maintaining its wireless industry leadership with the continued development of WiMAX and other advanced wireless broadband products. With more than 30,000 installations in 75 countries, and a global network of over 100 partners, Redline's experience and expertise helps service providers, enterprises and government organizations roll out the services and applications that drive their business forward. For more information, visit

About Hitachi Data Systems

Hitachi Data Systems leverages global R&D resources to develop storage solutions built on industry-leading technology with the performance, availability and scalability to maximize customers' ROI and minimize their risk. By focusing on the customer's perspective as we apply the best hardware, software, and services from Hitachi and our partners, we uniquely satisfy our customers' business needs.

With approximately 3,200 employees, Hitachi Data Systems conducts business through direct and indirect channels in the public, government and private sectors in over 170 countries and regions. Its customers include more than 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies. For more information, please visit our Web site at

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT - News; TOKYO:6501 - News), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 356,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 (ended March 31, 2006) consolidated sales totaled 9,464 billion yen ($80.9 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

Ottawa-Area Engineering Firm Chooses EZ-Cabling™ From ELECTEC

ELECTEC Ltd, a Canadian innovator of manufactured wiring systems is proud to be involved in the design and cabling of a new expansion of office space at Zenix Engineering Ltd.

For the expansion, Zenix chose Electec’s EZ-Cabling system for its voice/data horizontal cabling. “For a consolidation point system that offers so much flexibility, not to mention mechanical protection of our cabling, EZ-Cabling provides an efficient, reliable and cost-effective cabling solution”, says Robert Larabie, Principal – Electrical of Zenix Engineering Ltd.

The pre-terminated and verified EZ-Cabling system will provide Zenix the ability to manage moves, adds and changes in a modular, turn-key fashion resulting in less down time, more reliable performance and a long-term cost savings.

The mechanical protection provided by premium Ultralx™ armour inherently maintains proper cable bend radius and offers a higher level of flexibility and ease of installation not available with rigid conduit.

Additional features of EZ-Cabling include non-combustible cable construction resulting in a safer work environment free of hazardous chemicals found in flame retardant and limited combustible cable and a distributed, modular design concept that eliminates troublesome, costly and often dangerous abandoned cable.

The Zenix project also afforded the opportunity for Electec to test prototype designs of an innovative new reel and a light-weight cable management and installation system.

For over a decade, Electec has been developing manufactured wiring systems used across Canada in the construction of Class A office buildings, Universities, Factories and Retail Stores. Electec systems enjoy a large share of the modular wiring market in Canada and are proudly used in the construction of IKEA stores throughout North America and Japan.

Although smaller in comparison to many of Electec’s prior projects, the Zenix project represents a new era in The Next Generation of Wiring Systems™. Electec’s new product lines, beginning with EZ-Cabling, offer added value, flexibility and safety to all construction projects, large, medium or small.

Founded in 1995, Zenix Engineering Ltd. has grown to be one of Ottawa’s premier full service engineering firms. The company provides a comprehensive range of services in the following disciplines: Building Envelope and Roofing, Electrical, Fire and Life Safety, Interior Design, Mechanical, Security, Structural and Tenant Fit-Ups.

NEBB Fills New Marketing And Communications Coordinator Position

Michelle Dupray has joined the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) staff in a newly created Marketing and Communications Coordinator position. With Dupray’s hiring, NEBB is enhancing its capabilities to provide information on its expanding programs throughout the HVAC industry and also within the NEBB organization.

Dupray previously worked as a copywriter and media buyer for a Tucson advertising agency. She has also worked as a Marketing Assistant for a Tucson technical employment agency, where she managed e-newsletters, wrote sales materials, coordinated job fairs and initiated a diversity program.

Dupray previously has served on the board of the Tucson Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), holding the positions of Newsletter Editor and Awards Chair.  She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2001 with a major in Marketing and minors in English and French.

EMP Weapons: Movies, Games, JERICHO, and Reality

CHICAGO - “EMP Technology has been exploited in movies like Ocean’s Eleven and Matrix: Revolutions and now on Jericho on TV, but do you really know how much damage a real E-Bomb can deliver to your corporate door-step when you are not EMP-proof?” asks James Carlini.

Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) Bombs, sometimes also referred to as HPM (High-Power Microwave), have been discussed for over several decades (ever since they were viewed as a threat in the Cold War) and most recently appearing in popular entertainment, portrayed as a device to wipe out everything electronic that is not shielded. The E-BOMB is basically an electrical weapon of mass destruction (EWMD).

Lately, there has been even more attention given to these EWMD’s. There are references to EMP Bombs, HPM, or E-Bombs in movies as well as popular combat games and a new TV series, Jericho. Susceptible items are devices that run on very low voltage batteries like laptops, PDAs, and hand-held devices which use CMOS and NMOS as well as unshielded copper cabling.

Virtual reality movies and sci-fi-thriller series aside, what does this really mean to organizations and their network infrastructures?

Some people paint an EMP disaster scenario that would make Hurricane Katrina look like a picnic. From the article, “HOW E- BOMBS WORK” by Tom Harris:

“Anyone who's been through a prolonged power outage knows that it's an extremely trying experience. Within an hour of losing electricity, you develop a healthy appreciation of all the electrical devices you rely on in life. After a couple hours, you start pacing around your house. After a few days without lights, electric heat or TV, your stress level shoots through the roof.

But in the grand scheme of things, that's nothing. If an outage hits an entire city, and there aren't adequate emergency resources, people may die from exposure, companies may suffer huge productivity losses, and millions of dollars of food may spoil. If a power outage hit on a much larger scale, it could shut down the electronic networks that keep governments and militaries running. We are utterly dependent on power, and when it's gone, things get very bad, very fast.

An electromagnetic bomb, or e-bomb, is a weapon designed to take advantage of this dependency. But instead of simply cutting off power in an area, an e-bomb would actually destroy most machines that use electricity. Generators would be useless, cars wouldn't run, and there would be no chance of making a phone call. In a matter of seconds, a big enough e-bomb could thrust an entire city back 200 years or cripple a military unit.

The U.S. military has been pursuing the idea of an e-bomb for decades, and many believe it now has such a weapon in its arsenal. On the other end of the scale, terrorist groups could be building low-tech e-bombs to inflict massive damage on the United States.”

Without getting into a lot of technical details, that is the overview of a threat which increasingly seems more reality than fantasy. Organizations should take note and begin re-designing their data centers and other mission critical networks to develop a hardened countermeasure for this risk.

Here is an overview of what an EMP bomb can do: The major energy in an EMP is electromagnetic and radiates out from the point of detonation in a sphere. EMP is electromagnetic radiation. The intensity of these fields decreases in proportion to the circumference and distance from explosion. The actual amount of EMP energy deposited per unit-area can be entirely different depending on the size of the bomb and point of destination. Its intensity falls off at a rate of the inverse-square of distance.

Remember there are two types of nuclear attacks – a ground burst and an air burst. In an air burst you would not get the “Mushroom Cloud” that you see on every atomic bomb movie.

An E-Bomb gets exploded above the earth. Its fraction-of-a-second electronic pulse can cripple everything electronic that is not shielded from Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI), including power grids and telecommunications infrastructures.

Having a weapons platform that can deliver this type of bomb high into the atmosphere is all that is needed. A super-accurate missile system with pinpoint guidance is not needed, as long as you are not targeting a very specific area. An EMP just needs to be exploded over a region. The higher it is, the more coverage it has.

You might have seen different versions of an E-Bomb in various movies over the last decade. From MOVIE MISTAKES on the film Ocean’s Eleven:

“Factual error: The EMP wave generated from "The Pinch" would do more than just black out the city. It would also permanently disable any electronic equipment including cars, mobile phones, TV cameras (like the ones recording the fight), mobile phones, slot machines, computers, in fact any electrical equipment used in the world today, More importantly the entire security system would have been disabled which means that Benedict could not have seen his vault getting robbed from the security room. The only way an electronic device can survive an EMP is if the device is turned off.”

Well, the “mistake” says that “the only way an electronic device can survive an EMP is if the device is turned off.” That is not necessarily true. If the device is properly shielded, it would also be able to survive an EMP blast. So much for the critics. There are other recent movies that refer to the use of EMP bombs and weaponry:

THE MATRIX: Revolutions (2003) also had references to EMP Bombs.

INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996) – had references of vehicles that were not susceptible to EMP weapons, like the M93 FOX.

Just like in some movies where they are featured as a weapon that fizzles everything electronic, the idea of using EMPs is proliferating into popular combat games. There are several games that feature EMP technology and weaponry for defeating the enemy within virtual combat:

Midway Games – Fireblade (XBOX)
ELECTRONIC AGE’s Battlefield 2142

Like so many other new technology-based weapons, movies and science fiction, as well as combat games have romanticized EMP’s. But, what would happen if they were used for real?


CBS’s JERICHO is the latest media to ignite EMP interest. Blogs have sprung up discussing the story plot as well as the accuracy of the technical details. The critics range from Gamers and Ham radio operators to real authorities voicing criticisms that range from bad plots to lack of reality on certain equipment and events.

Here is one I thought was interesting:

“Now, I thought that the internet was built around an older US military intranet, designed specifically to survive a nuclear attack. I mean there is so much redundancy built into the phone network that destruction of a number of main cities wouldn't completely disable this system.

They have electricity coming from somewhere, so power to drive their pc's/laptops… communications should have been far more resilient.”

Resilient? Not with tons of unshielded, twisted pair as the last mile. And what do you make of this comment on the same blog?:

“If you look at the targets Boulder, Wichita, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, etc., these aren't military targets and they are not major population centers. They are something in between.”

Chicago is NOT a major population area? And from another discussion forum:

“The whole EMP issue is tackled in tonight’s episode. I don't know how you get an EMP from a bomb 2 weeks later.”

The short answer to that: You don’t. It’s immediate. So much for technical accuracy on Jericho.

The latest concern surrounding EMP’s is that a rogue nation like North Korea or Iran could explode a bomb above the United States and send us back into pre-electronic times. With the recent nuclear tests that have happened in North Korea, it does not sound like a movie or TV episode that “could never happen in real life.” In one blog:

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says his main concern following North Korea’s claim that it tested a nuclear explosive is that it could provide nuclear technology to other countries, and to terrorist groups.

Secretary Rumsfeld says North Korea’s claim has raised concern around the world, and that his particular concern about the nuclear programs there and in Iran is the potential for proliferation.

“Their programs point to increasing risks of lethal weapons possibly ending up in the hands of non-state entities, folks that, unlike a nation, tend not to be deterred the way a nation-state would because they don’t have to worry about protecting real estate, population and leadership,” he said. Secretary Rumsfeld says North Korea and Iran have already shown their willingness to sell weapons both to other countries and to terrorist groups. He also expressed concern that North Korea’s test could inspire moves by other countries in Asia to develop their own nuclear weapons capabilities.

Misinformation about E-Bombs should be cleared up. After seeing 9/11 happen, the range of security scenarios that this country was prepared to deal with was definitely not complete.

All the “defense experts” went back to the drawing board to intellectualize and debate “How could this have ever happened?” Well it did and they definitely did not have it covered in their strategic play book.”

From a review of a House subcommittee report:

“Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, chairman of the House Projection Forces Subcommittee, says an EMP attack – even by an underfunded, unsophisticated terrorist group – has the potential to cripple U. S. society and kill millions.

"Today we are very much concerned ... about asymmetric weapons," Bartlett told his colleagues. "We are a big, powerful country. Nobody can contend with us shoulder-to-shoulder, face-to-face. So all of our potential adversaries are looking for what we refer to as asymmetric weapons. That is a weapon that overcomes our superior capabilities. There is no asymmetric weapon that has anywhere near the potential of EMP."

Bartlett added: "Potential adversaries are aware of the EMP's strategic attack option. Ninety-nine percent of Americans may not know very much about EMP, but I will assure you ... that 100 percent of our potential enemies know all about EMP. I think that the American people need to know about EMP because they need to demand that their government do the prudent thing so that we will be less and less susceptible, less and less at risk to an EMP attack year by year. The threat is not adequately addressed in U. S. national and homeland security programs. Not only is it not adequately addressed; it is usually ignored, not even mentioned, and it certainly needs to be considered."

EMP, he warned, can cause catastrophic damage to the nation by destroying the electric power infrastructure, causing cascading failures in the infrastructure for everything: telecommunications, energy, transportation, finance, food, and water.”

Judging by this serious warning, it seems that all businesses should have EMP’s on their risk management radar screen. Yet, the truth is that most risk managers are probably not up to speed in this area and would probably not even see it coming.

In another recent article entitled “U.S. Seen Vulnerable to Space 'Pulse' Attack,’” by Bill Gertz Frank J. Gaffney Jr, of the Center for Security Policy, former Pentagon offical, and author warns: "this is the single most serious national-security challenge and certainly the least known.” His book explains that “an electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack uses X-rays and gamma rays produced in a nuclear blast in three separate waves of pulses, each with more damaging effects, and would take months or years to repair… The damage to unshielded electronics would be irreversible.”

To some people, this is just another fear designed to generate expenditures in defense budgets or in corporate risk management areas. To others, it is a realistic issue that must be considered a threat to business continuity and network infrastructures just like the risk of a hurricane or a conventional power-grid outage.

Maybe a new generation of electronic devices should be developed which have an “EMP Proof” seal of approval or maybe there is another solution. At the least, though, the serious risk EMP’s pose to our current electronic world should be taken seriously.

CARLINI-ISM: To ignore EMP threats in your risk management plan is foolish at this point. Copyright 2006 – James Carlini

James Carlini will be the keynote speaker at the Justice: Media, Wireless & You symposium Nov. 30 in Milwaukee. Details can be found here.

Check out the blog of James Carlini at

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at or 773-370-1888.
Click here for Carlini's full biography.

Cabling Business Magazine Website Goes International!

Dallas, TX - With the launch of the Cabling Business Magazine Web site in September, 2006, responses have come in from all over the world. "We just got hits from Greenland!" says circulation director, Cindy Webb. Other countries include Egypt, India, China, Japan, France, the Netherlands and Russia. "We are so pleased to finally be able to introduce our magazine to a global audience," stated magazine publisher Steve Paulov.

For more information about the magazine and to view the Web site go to

Anixter 3rd-Quarter Profit More Than Triples On $22.8 Million Tax Refund

Anixter International Inc., a distributor of wire, cable and communication parts, said Tuesday its third-quarter profit more than tripled, thanks to a sizable tax refund.

Net income climbed to $76.2 million, or $1.76 per share, from $25.1 million, or 62 cents per share, last year. Earnings include a $22.8 million, or 53-cent per share gain related to a tax refund.

Quarterly revenue was $1.33 billion, up 32 percent from $1.01 billion last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the company to post, on average, earnings of $1.03 per share on $1.25 billion in sales.

Looking forward, the company said it expects fourth-quarter results to be negatively affected by holidays and customer facility shutdowns for the holidays. Anixter expects a "modest" fourth-quarter sales drop sequentially from the third quarter, but sees sales improving on a year-over-year basis.

For 2007, the company expects sales to grow 8 percent to 12 percent. Analysts expect the company to report $5.23 billion in 2007 sales.

Shares of Anixter were trading at $57.20 in the premarket session, up 88 cents, or 1.6 percent, from Monday's closing price of $56.32 on the New York Stock Exchange.

What’s New At CABA

We are pleased to announce that new "Research Papers" are now online and searchable. CABA continues to provide timely research and information on integrated systems and home/building automation. To that end, three (3) Research Papers have recently been placed in the CABA Research Library at:

Event Report:

ER 2006-03: North American ConnectivityWeek 2006 This event report is a comprehensive account of session presentations from

2006 North American Connectivity Week held in Palm Springs, California from May 16 to 18. The 2006 North American Connectivity Week collected the industry events: BuilConn, M2M Expo and Conference, GridWise Expo and a Wireless Forum into a single venue.

Information Series:

IS-2006-73: Trends in Consumer Technology: Defining and Sizing the Market This white paper by Parks Associates provides a snapshot of the digital lifestyle landscape.

IS-2006-72: Mobile TV in Europe

This white paper by Parks Associates examines changing mobile TV standards in Europe.

Does your organization have a research study or white paper, which should be posted in the CABA Research Library? If the answer is yes...or you know of a paper that CABA should pursue, please contact CABA at: or 888.798.CABA (2222). For each research paper, document or white paper that are placed on the CABA Research Library, you will earn $50 CABA Bucks. These CABA Bucks can be used to offset your membership, registration fees, or purchase other CABA goods/services.

Check the Research Library as 25 new research papers were recently added, when CABA and the IHA merged to create the Internet Home Alliance Research Council.

**** Notice****

Effective October 30, 2006, the offices of the Continental Automated Buildings Association will move to:

1173 Cyrville Road, Suite 210

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

K1J 7S6

The new phone number is: 613.686.1814

The new fax number is: 613.744.7833


Ron Zimmer, President & CEO

Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA)

EZ-Cabling™ UL Testing And Results

Electec's objective with The Next Generation in Wiring Systems™ is to deliver the safest, most reliable and most cost-effective manufactured wiring solutions the industry has to offer. These initial tests at Underwriters Laboratories demonstrate this commitment and Electec's continued dedication to innovate and develop leading edge solutions.

Electec's EZ-Cabling system surpasses the requirements of UL Standard 2043, 2nd Edition “Fire Test for Heat and Visible Smoke Release for Discrete Products and Their Accessories Installed in Air-Handling Spaces”.

EZ-Cabling is acceptable for use in environmental air handling spaces other than ducts or plenums in accordance with NEC 300.22(c).

Burn tests were conducted in December 2005 at Underwriters Laboratories; the test results are shown below. EZ-Cabling greatly exceeds the requirements set out in the standard.

Test Sample

Peak Heat Release Rate (kW)

Peak Normalized Optical Density

Average Normalized Optical Density









UL 2043 Requirements




EZ-Cabling is manufactured with non-combustible steel armour and UL approved, low-smoke, non-halogen, flame retardant components. Click here for more information.

TED Magazine Requests Distributor, Supplier Entries For Best Of The Best Marketing Awards Competition

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) invites electrical distributors, electrical suppliers and marketing groups to participate in TED Magazine’s 2006 Best of the Best Awards Competition. The deadline for entries is February 2, 2007.

Each year, TED Magazine’s Best of the Best Awards recognize the finest marketing practices in the electrical industry. This year’s competition will feature entries from marketing programs fielded in 2006.

Companies with winning entries will receive the following recognition:

The awards will be announced live in front of the top leaders in the industry during NAED’s Annual Meeting, May 5-9, 2007, in Washington, D.C. A special Best of the Best luncheon will be held on May 8.

Best of the Best Overall Distributor and Supplier winners will receive video coverage of their campaigns during the awards luncheon.

Best of the Best Overall Distributor and Supplier winners will have the opportunity to serve on a panel and present their campaigns to peers during the 2007 AdVenture NAED Sales & Marketing Conference, August 2007, Chicago.

All winning entries will be on display during the 2007 AdVenture NAED Sales & Marketing Conference and be used to spur discussion between industry marketing professionals.

All winning entries will be published in TED Magazine’s June 2007 issue. Winners will also be highlighted by category each month thereafter.

Categories for distributors and manufacturers include:

Print Advertising
Direct Marketing
Integrated Marketing Campaign
Selling Tools
Web Promotion
Public Relations
Product Launch

In addition, top awards will also be presented for “Best of the Best Overall” Distributor and “Best of the Best Overall” Manufacturer, based on all entries.

Additional information and entry forms for the Best of the Best are available on TED Magazine’s Web site at A $100 fee applies to each entry/board.

For more information, contact Sheila Logan, advertising/executive manager of TED Magazine, at (888) 791-2512 or  

Multisuns Promotes Voice Logging Products at GITEX

Multisuns Corp, a leading manufacturer and provider of voice logging solutions announced that it will be promoting their full product line at GITEX in Dubai , November 18-22, 2006 . The Multisuns product line focuses on voice logging, teleconferencing and call processing solutions. During the show Multisuns will also display new and upcoming technologies.

During GITEX Multisuns will focus attention on the EasyLog Web+ and the Professional Digital Communication Recording System (DCRS). The EasyLog Web+ and the DCRS are both voice loggers with diverse features and functions.

Multisuns EasyLog Web+ is a complete logging solution that is economical and easy to use. EasyLog Web+ is a top selling product for small and medium office looking for a robust plug & play system.

The DCRS is a professional voice logging solution that is built to handle hundreds of channels and is an essential part of a call centers integration. Multisuns integration to a call center is accomplished using an OAPI, Open Application Programming Interface. The OAPI facilitates the needs of customers that depend on real time sensitive information.

"During GITEX we will focus our attention on our top selling voice loggers," says Bruce Sun, CEO. "To meet the demands of the international market we will showcase the features and functions that have made our voice loggers the top brand in the Asian market."

Multisuns showcase will be at booth E8-34 in Hall 8 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Belden To Outsource Some Work In Netherlands Plant, Take Charges, Add Tax Benefit

Belden CDT Inc., a maker of cable and wire products, said Wednesday it will outsource the manufacturing of braided core for coaxial cable from its plant in Venlo, Netherlands.

The company said the move will reduce space used in the Netherlands plant to 135,000 square feet from 500,000 square feet and will result in a severance charge of $4 million in the third quarter.

Additionally, in the fourth quarter or in 2007, Belden expects to take non-cash asset impairment charges between $2 million and $4 million related to the action.

Separately, the company will take a non-cash impairment charge of about $2.5 million in the third quarter for data cable manufacturing equipment in its Budapest, Hungary plant. The charge is related to a plan to raise some prices in order to improve product margins, which has lowered product demand in some cases.

Belden expects savings of about $2 million from the restructuring actions beginning in 2007.

The company also said it expects an income tax benefit of 9 cents per share in the third quarter, related to resolving some prior period tax contingencies.

Including the charges and benefits, Belden expects third-quarter earnings at the high end or above previous guidance between 43 cents and 48 cents.

The company added it expects more restructuring costs in Europe in the future.

LEVITON Acquires Fiber Connect

The Leviton Manufacturing Company, North America’s largest producer of electrical and electronic wiring devices and manufacturer of voice and data solutions, today announced its acquisition of Fiber Connect Incorporated, a Chicago-based provider of Data Center fiber optic solutions.

"With this acquisition, our second fiber optic-related acquisition in less than 24 months, our Voice and Data division broadens its suite of Data Center products," stated Daryoush Larizadeh, Leviton’s Senior Vice President. "This suite now includes quick-turn, custom, high-performance fiber solutions, a full range of Category-rated connectivity including 10G, as well as cable management and power solutions," Larizadeh added.

"As Fiber Connect reaches its tenth year in business, we are proud to join Leviton," stated Ron Berrettini, President and founder of Fiber Connect. "We can now better serve our clients with Leviton’s global manufacturing and logistics capabilities, as well as reach a new set of customers in cooperation with Leviton’s sales force. As technology infrastructure evolves, and increases in importance, we will become a global integration organization."

"Data Center infrastructure spending is growing rapidly and increasing in complexity," added Don Hendler, President of Leviton. "We have worked with Fiber Connect over the past few years and we look forward to bringing the benefits of a broad, high-performance solution to Leviton’s customers worldwide."

With this acquisition, Leviton extends its leading-edge fiber solutions to a wider audience of distributors, contractors and end-users, with faster delivery, superior design and increased technical support for Plug-n-Play Fiber and Data Center applications. The complete Leviton fiber product line includes extensive pre-terminated and field-terminated fiber solutions, a broad selection of standard and made to order fiber optic cable assemblies (trunks), enclosures, cable management and overhead raceways.

Fiber Connect is a wholly owned subsidiary and reports into Leviton’s Voice and Data Division, which is led by Ross Goldman, Vice President and General Manager.

About Fiber Connect
A data center infrastructure firm, Fiber Connect provides solutions for the most advanced data centers in Fortune 1000 companies. Fiber Connect develops and manufactures fiber optic infrastructure solutions, and provides design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of data centers. Fiber Connect's headquarters is located in St. Charles IL, just outside of Chicago.

About Leviton
Established in 1906, Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. is one of the world’s most diversified electrical manufacturing companies. Leviton has more than thirty facilities dedicated to engineering, manufacturing and distribution of over 25,000 products for nearly every connectivity need. Leviton’s Voice & Data division is dedicated to producing complete copper, fiber and wireless network infrastructure solutions for enterprise, data center, and service provider applications. 

Preformed Line Products Announces Financial Results For The Third Quarter And First Nine Months of 2006

Preformed Line Products Company (Nasdaq: PLPC - News) today reported financial results for the third quarter and the first nine months of 2006.

Net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 was $3,999,000, or $.70 per diluted share, compared to $4,179,000, or $.72 per diluted share, for the comparable period in 2005. Net sales in the third quarter 2006 were $56,439,000, a 1% increase from last year's $55,614,000.

Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2006 was $10,028,000, or $1.75 per diluted share, compared to the prior year's $11,103,000, or $1.92 per diluted share. Net sales increased 4% over 2005, to $165,172,000 for the first nine months of 2006 compared to $159,078,000 in 2005.

Rob Ruhlman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our sales increase continues to be driven by our strong international operations. Foreign currency had a favorable impact on sales of $.6 million for the quarter and $1.9 million for the first nine months. Domestic sales were lower in the third quarter than the previous year, primarily because last year included $3 million of hurricane related sales. Our year to date domestic sales have also been negatively affected by decreased spending on the construction and maintenance of copper communications networks by the telcos. Our margins are being negatively impacted by the higher cost of raw material and rising energy costs. However we are beginning to see the positive effect of price increases implemented at the beginning of the quarter. The increase in our costs and expenses reflect our continuing investment in our people, particularly in the research and technology side of the business."

Founded in 1947, Preformed Line Products is an international designer and manufacturer of products and systems employed in the construction and maintenance of overhead and underground networks for energy, communications and broadband network companies.

Preformed's world headquarters are in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Company operates three domestic manufacturing centers located in Rogers, Arkansas, Albemarle, North Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina. The Company serves its worldwide market through international operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and Thailand.

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 regarding the Company, including those statements regarding the Company's and management's beliefs and expectations concerning the Company's future performance or anticipated financial results, among others. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in those statements. Among other things, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements include the strength of the economy and demand for the Company's products, increases in raw material prices, the Company's ability to identify, complete and integrate acquisitions for profitable growth, and other factors described under the heading "Forward-Looking Statements" in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 15, 2006. The Form 10-K and the Company's other filings with the SEC can be found on the SEC's website at The Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.

Self-Defense for the Contractor

By Frank Bisbee

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

Attacks upon the contractor can come from many directions. Even the weather can pose a serious threat to even the best-laid plans. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we have seen resources choked and costs skyrocketed.

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

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

Practice Self-Defense

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

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

Arthur Padgett, an independent communications consultant and 30-year veteran of the industry said, "Today the process of developing a design and evaluating alternatives for the cabling network infrastructure is more challenging than ever before.  Functionality, performance, life-cycle term, and budget are thrown into the mix along with the entire technical specification.  In the world of communications infrastructure, using a self-defense mind set and a distributor is a priority for the contractor.  However, we still see many contractors failing to use or capture the values available from the distributor." 

The time to find out about glitches or mismatches is not "after the fact.”  The communications infrastructure was once a formula of 80 percent labor and 20 percent materials.  Today that formula has evolved to approximately 52 percent labor and 48 percent materials.  Once the installation has been performed, a change-out to correct performance problems could cost the contractor the entire labor investment.  That scenario is a death sentence for the contractors' profitability.  If you think lawyers are the solution for that type of problem, you have a lot to learn. 

Inventory Blues

Everybody knows that the customer will wait until tomorrow to order the network that they want yesterday.  Timetables and availability on the labor side is somewhat controllable by the contractor. Cables, connectors, and other required materials, are a challenge of inventory and usually outside of the control of the contractor.  Maintaining large inventories to service their customers is not a good business practice for the cabling contractor.  We have all seen inventory building up in the contractor's warehouse and that sometimes adds up to a small fortune.  Much of the contractor’s inventory that is not installed immediately usually ends up as junk.  Out of date, obsolete, or incomplete materials mean wasted dollars.  As an option, the contractor should utilize the distributor to control inventory for their customers. 

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

Don’t Wipe Out Profits

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

Good self-defense advice:  Make sure your mindset is prepared for the unexpected. There are more than hurricanes out there.


Frank Bisbee is the Editor for "Heard On The Street," his monthly column found at For more information, contact Frank at 904-645-9077 or via E-mail at 

IBEW Promotes Alternative Energy

At the 37th International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Convention in Cleveland, the Washington, D.C.-based organization stated that alternative energy may be the union's best chance for job growth. This statement comes after years of focusing its membership on the manufacturing and construction industries. According to the union, construction and upkeep of wind turbines, solar panels, and hydrogen fuel cells will drive new jobs, although currently the alternative-energy industry provides only a small portion of work for unionized electricians.

Message From The Chairman Of NAED

I need your help to improve our industry. Even though the general business climate has been good, some companies in the electrical distribution and the manufacturing

businesses continue to do things that make me wonder if they’re playing with full decks.

In this free enterprise economy, every company has the right—the obligation—to run their businesses however they think is best for them. At first blush, one might think that when other companies run their businesses poorly, it’s simply their problem. Looking at the big picture, however, shows that this is a problem for everyone.

To succeed against the intense competition facing the electrical distribution channel, all distributors must provide the type of products and services that their customers want and need, because we all benefit when companies in our industry produce good products and provide good service. We need companies to deliver on promises, help customers, hire qualified people, support employees with education, encourage efficiencies, and support the industry.

I’ll bet most distributors can point to one or two companies in their market that would be better with the experience and education that NAED can provide.

That said, I need your help identifying potential NAED members so we can contact them about joining. The information, education, products, and networking that these companies will be exposed to if they become members of NAED will improve their business abilities. And not only will NAED membership greatly help these companies, but it will also benefit the rest of us by making our channel that much stronger

Some of these potential members are small, some are large, and some are niche players. But there is no size or niche that cannot benefit from NAED affiliation. Some belong to one of our many buying/marketing groups—but not to NAED. I am a firm believer in our industry buying groups. These groups have helped smaller independents increase their bottom line and compete more effectively with the ever-growing list of mega distributors.

And buying groups do what they do well. But what NAED does is not and cannot be done by buying groups. NAED is concerned about and dedicated to the health of every electrical distributor—individually as well as the entire industry as a whole. By their nature, buying groups are concerned only about the distributors and manufacturers who belong to their organization.

Check out this list of recent initiatives to help our individual companies prosper:

• Supply Chain Scorecards to help each of us evaluate our respective trading partners

• POS/POT information to give manufacturers accurate sales information that they can use in compensating their reps and getting their sales assistance

• SPA process efficiencies to reduce costs in improved cash flow

• NAED Learning Center to make tracking available for proprietary industry education, standard skills training, and manufacturer product training over the

Web 24/7.

• Industry Data Warehouse for inexpensive EDI and to secure a central repository for manufacturers to communicate with their distributors, including net prices

• Meetings improved for better communication, networking, and education

In the bigger picture NAED raises the level for all industry interests by:

• Keeping in constant contact with NEMRA, NEMA, and NAW to coordinate industry initiatives and eliminate waste and duplication

• Working with marketing groups for everyone’s benefit

• Producing research providing industry-

specific information about current events and the future of the industry

No company is too big or too small to take advantage of the numerous benefits and services NAED has to offer. And because we represent the total electrical distributor channel, our members can work to develop strategies, training, and programs to help them succeed at all levels in today’s challenging, ever-changing business climate.

Please take a moment to help our industry by providing the names of companies and individuals that may be contacted for NAED membership. Send your suggestions to Anita Bauer, NAED senior director of membership services, at, or to Bill Elliott, this year’s membership chairman, at In the end, it’s in your best interest!

Duda is chairman of NAED and CEO/chairman of Butler Supply in Fenton, Mo. Reach him at 636-349-9000 or

Reprinted with full permission from TED magazine October Issue 2006

NEMA Calls For Commitment To Restrict Hazardous Substances In Electrical Products

Consistent with its history of responsible environmental stewardship, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today announced an industry-wide commitment to limit the use of hazardous materials in electrical products.

NEMA’s “call to action” on restricted substances will proceed in two phases. Phase one reflects the regulatory thresholds contained in the Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS Directive), which restricts the amount of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two flame retardants in designated categories of electrical and electronic products sold in the European Union. NEMA companies that sell product in Europe are currently meeting the RoHS standards and some have voluntarily met or gone beyond those standards in non-European markets as well. Under phase one of the “call to action,” all NEMA companies that manufacture products within the scope of the RoHS Directive will achieve the RoHS standards in all markets worldwide in which those products are sold by July 1, 2010, unless an exemption is necessary to maintain safety and performance standards.

Phase two calls for NEMA product sections to establish and attain substance restrictions for virtually all other NEMA products, within the limits of technical achievability, and the need to ensure safety and performance by July 1, 2014. By focusing the industry’s expertise on these targets, NEMA removes the need for policymakers to impose product design restrictions on the electrical products industry.

“NEMA product sections are uniquely qualified to determine technically feasible substance thresholds for their products based on sound science,” says Evan Gaddis, NEMA’s president and chief executive officer. “This voluntary commitment places us on the right side of an important global issue and helps keep our destiny in our own hands,” he said.

NEMA’s Board of Governors formally adopted the “call to action” at a recent meeting by approving both phases’ target measures, as well as a set of guiding principles. These principles provide the context for the initiative and embody its priorities, such as the need to maintain safety standards and avoid inconsistent regulations at the state level.

NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 430 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, São Paulo, and Mexico City.

NEMA. Setting Standards for Excellence

Visit our website at

HAI Makes Product Announcements at ISC

AI Makes Product Announcements at ISC; All Omni Family Controllers Now CP-01 Compliant, Wireless Glass Break Detector and Spanish OmniPro II Controller Now Shipping

Home Automation, Inc. (HAI), a leading manufacturer of home control products since 1985, continued its commitment to the security industry by making several major product announcements at the ISC show opening today in New York.  Among the announcements; HAI's security and home control Omni family of controllers are all now CP-01 compliant, HAI is shipping a new glass break detector as part of its Wireless Security line, and the announcement that its flagship OmniPro II controller is now available in a Spanish version.

"The security industry has been, and continues to be, an important market for our products," explains HAI President and CEO, Jay McLellan.  "We now have an entire controller line which we introduced last year, called Lumina, to integrate lighting and automation to existing security panels, we've added the CP-01 compliance to all of our UL-Listed Omni controllers for the reduction of false alarms, and we continue to expand our wireless security line, as well as our international offerings."

CP-01 is a standard initiated by the Security Industry Association for security system control panels and their associated arming and disarming devices to reduce the incidence of false alarms.   All HAI Omni controllers; the OmniLT, Omni IIe and OmniPro II are now shipping as CP-01 compliant.

HAI's new Wireless Glass break Detector is an omni-directional acoustic sensor and wireless transmitter. It is used for detecting the sound of breaking glass, providing 360º of coverage.

The Spanish OmniPro II controller has the same functionality as the original but is intended to make the Spanish speaking end user more comfortable with the interface.  Voice, menu, touchscreen, and the PC Access software are all in Spanish.  t

CommScope Launches Cable Product

CommScope Inc. of Hickory has launched a cabling product for automotive, industrial and government customers.

Called Uniprise Foiled Twisted Pair, the product is designed for use in high-noise environments where electromagnetic devices could impair network applications.

It is now available to customers in North America.

CommScope (NYSE:CTV - News) touts itself as the No. 1 coaxial cable supplier to cable companies and business operations.

Published October 13, 2006 by the Charlotte Business Journal


CommScope Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Solution

CommScope's Uniprise® Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) offering is a total solution product set that includes Category 6 and 5e cabling along with the FTP-J6 and FTP-J5E Information Outlets, the FTP-PC6- GYx and FTP-PC5E-GYx Patch Cords, and the FTP-PNL-24P Patch Panel. The panel accepts up to 24 FTP information outlets. Each component meets the specifications set forth in TIA/EIA, IEC 60603, and ISO/IEC 11801 Standards.

The Uniprise FTP solution performs well in high-noise environments such as industrial and manufacturing where electromagnetic devices could impair the network. The Uniprise FTP Solution provides a plug-and-play design to facilitate easy interconnection of the foiled twisted pair system without the use of special tools.

Product Spec Sheets:

 Uniprise® Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Cables

 Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Modular Patch Panel

 Category 6 Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Modular Patch Cord

 Category 5e Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Modular Patch Cord

 Category 6 Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Information Outlet

 Category 5e Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Information Outlet

General Cable To Restate Earnings

General Cable Corp. <BGC.N> on Monday said it will restate financial results from 2003 through 2005 and first half of 2005 and 2006, to reflect changes in the company's reporting segments.

The restatement relates to the disclosure of the company's expanded segment information and it will not affect its previously reported earnings, the maker of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products said in a statement.

General Cable said it will also restate results for the first and second quarters of 2005 and 2006.

The company's said its former industrial and specialty segment will be divided into four new reporting segments. These are North American portable power and control, North American electrical infrastructure, international electrical infrastructure, and transportation and industrial harnesses.

The former communications segment will be split into telecommunications and networking, and the energy segment will be divided into North American electric utility and international electric utility. (Reporting by Manish Gupta in Bangalore)

Interactive Intelligence Reports Record Third Quarter Operating Results

Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ), a global developer of business communications software, today reported record financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The company is reporting third quarter revenues of $22.2 million, a 46 percent increase from $15.2 million in the third quarter of 2005. Operating income for the third quarter of 2006 was $1.7 million. Excluding stock option expense of $451,000, third quarter 2006 operating income was $2.1 million, which compares to $80,000 in the third quarter of 2005. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP operating results is included in an attached schedule. Net income was $6.7 million -- including stock option expense and a tax benefit of $5.0 million to reduce the valuation allowance for the deferred tax asset -- or earnings per diluted share (EPS) of $0.36 compared to third quarter 2005 net income of $28,000 and EPS of $0.00.

“We had a great quarter,” said Interactive Intelligence CEO, Dr. Donald E. Brown. “Our IP contact center solution is clearly gaining share in this fast-growing market. We are also gaining traction in the IP PBX market with significant orders from large and mid-size companies. The dollar amount and number of new orders were both up significantly in this quarter from the second quarter of this year. We had three customers that each placed more than $1 million in orders in the third quarter of 2006, and we are continuing to press the advantage we believe we have with our superior software-based VoIP architecture. This success reflects improved execution in all areas of our business, as well as the increased market recognition earned by our superior technology.”

Revenues for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006 were $59.4 million, up 31 percent from $45.4 million in the same period in 2005. Operating income for the first nine months of 2006 was $3.7 million. Excluding stock option expense of $1.6 million, operating income for the first nine months of 2006 was $5.3 million, compared to $548,000 in the first nine months of 2005. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP operating results is included in an attached schedule. Net income for the nine months, including stock option expense and the tax benefit of $5.0 million, was $8.7 million with EPS of $0.48, compared to $343,000 with diluted EPS of $0.02 in the first nine months of 2005.

Cash and short-term investments as of Sept. 30, 2006 totaled $22.3 million, up from $15.1 million on Dec. 31, 2005, and cash flow from operating activities in the first nine months of 2006 was $6.6 million, compared to $120,000 in the same period last year.

The company recorded a tax benefit in the third quarter of 2006 of $5.0 million to reduce the valuation allowance for the deferred tax asset. The company had more than $40 million of tax net operating loss and other tax credit carry-forwards at the beginning of 2006, all of which were fully reserved for financial reporting purposes.

“Our improving performance over the past two years and current outlook for future periods support a reversal of a portion of the valuation allowance for the deferred tax asset,” said Interactive Intelligence CFO, Stephen R. Head. “After recording this benefit, we continue to have a significant remaining allowance against the deferred tax asset. We will continue to evaluate the recoverability of our deferred tax asset on a quarterly basis. Unless circumstances indicate a change in the amount considered more likely than not to be recoverable, we will report income taxes just as we have in prior quarters, with the income tax expense principally related to foreign taxes.”

Customers with new and add-on orders in the third quarter included Computershare Investor Services LTD., Oracle Corp., The Stanley Works, Turien & Co., Vodacom and many others.

The company made two significant product announcements during the quarter. In July it released Communité® 2.4, the latest version of its enterprise messaging and voicemail replacement software. Also in July the company released version 2.4 of its predictive dialing software, Interaction Dialer®, along with a new SIP gateway that enables it to operate in an all-software, all-VoIP environment to help reduce costs and simplify management.

Interactive Intelligence also expanded its geographic presence with the opening of a Western regional headquarters in Irvine, California and an Eastern regional headquarters in Washington, D.C., both of which include state-of-the-art training centers. These regional headquarters are part of the company’s ongoing strategy to add locations around the globe to better support its growing base of national and multi-national customers.

The company closed out the quarter with another award, this one from Network World magazine honoring Interactive Intelligence as one of the top 200 North American public network companies based on revenue. This is the third consecutive year the company has been included in the Network World 200.

The company will host an earnings conference call Oct. 23, 2006 at 4:30 p.m. EDT, featuring Dr. Brown and Mr. Head. To access the teleconference, please dial 1 800.633.8682 at least five minutes prior to the start of the call. Ask for the teleconference by the following name: "Interactive Intelligence third quarter earnings call."

The teleconference will also be broadcast live on the company's investor relations' page at An archive of the teleconference will be posted following the call.

About Interactive Intelligence

Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of business communications software and services for contact center automation and enterprise IP telephony. The company was founded in 1994 and has more than 2,000 customers worldwide. Recent awards include the 2006 Network World 200, CRM Magazine’s 2006 Rising Star Excellence Award, Network Computing Magazine’s 2006 Well-Connected Award, and Software Magazine’s 2006 Top 500 Global Software and Services Companies. Interactive Intelligence employs more than 400 people and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company has offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Interactive Intelligence can be reached at +1 317.872.3000 or; on the Net:

Berk-Tek And Ortronics/Legrand Introduce New Brochure Highlighting NetClear Structured Cabling Solutions For Data Centers/SANs

Ortronics/Legrand and Berk-Tek, a Nexans company, are pleased to introduce a new brochure highlighting the NetClear structured cabling solutions for Data Centers and Storage Area Networks (SANs). The NetClear solutions for data centers and SANs are a complete set of end-to-end cabling systems comprised of high-performance fiber and copper cabling, connectivity and physical support products for speeds up to 10 Gb/s and beyond, per IEEE 802.3an specifications.

Berk-Tek and Ortronics/Legrand have proven their expertise in enterprise structured cabling and are applying that knowledge to data center applications through the NetClear solution set. The new six-page brochure folds out to a poster-size illustration that shows how the NetClear solutions fit into a typical, standards-based data center configuration.

The brochure serves as an excellent tool for data center designers and managers who recognize that designing their data center according to the

TIA-942 guidelines will maximize cabling system lifespan, ensure compatibility with current and future technologies, and improve return on investment. The brochure provides a brief tutorial on the TIA-942 standard and illustrates how the NetClear solution set provides guaranteed reliability, guaranteed performance, guaranteed flexibility, and guaranteed scalability–four key values that must be considered when designing mission-critical data centers.

For your free copy of the brochure, call 1-888-879-0724 or visit our web site at

About the NetClear Alliance

NetClear is a Technology Alliance between Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, and Ortronics/Legrand to provide advanced, end-to-end co-engineered solutions for enhanced Category 5e, Category 6, Augmented Category 6 – 10 Gigabit and optical fiber channels - all backed by a 25-year warranty.

About Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company

For more than 45 years, Berk-Tek has been a leading manufacturer of more than 100 different network copper and fiber optic cable products designed to transport high-speed voice, data and video transmissions. For more information, visit

About Ortronics/Legrand

Ortronics/Legrand is a global leader in commercial Category 5e, Category 6 and 10 Gig copper, fiber optic, wireless and residential/MDU high performance, high capacity structured cabling systems. For more information, visit

AFL Telecommunications Signs Certified Reseller Agreement With Procera Networks

AFL Telecommunications, a division of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan, an industry leader in fiber optic products and services, and Procera® Networks, Inc. (PRNW.OB), a pioneering developer of intelligent network traffic and service management infrastructure equipment, announced a certified reseller agreement whereby AFL will resell and support Procera’s products to Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) network developers. AFL will now be able to provide their end-users with Procera’s solutions for a variety of market segments, including fiber-powered triple play applications for Internet broadband connectivity, voice over IP and streaming media.

By becoming a certified Procera reseller, AFL provides its customers with an enhanced product portfolio of intelligent network traffic and service management solutions that are used to improve and manage the utilization of bandwidth, the performance of applications, and the roll-out of differentiated broadband services. Procera’s PacketLogic™ products deliver unparalleled value to AFL affiliates through a holistic approach to managing network traffic.

“Procera’s products provide our customers with a compelling value proposition,” said Kent Brown, Director of Access Solutions at AFL. “Expanding on our networking and FTTx initiatives, we expect to build sales momentum, acquire new customers and increase our market share in the fiber networking space by leveraging the unique features and superior price-performance attributes of Procera’s product portfolio.”

Procera’s PacketLogic products provide the most accurate application identification and granular deep flow inspection (DFI) in the industry today. The data is presented in real-time to deliver the highest level of network visibility, which is used to increase performance and quality of service (QoS) for premium applications and end-users. The control achieved through PacketLogic, also extends the network security as threats like virus outbreaks and cracker attacks, e.g. DoS/DDoS attacks, are quickly identified and mitigated.

“We have already deployed a number of PacketLogic solutions through FTTx channel partners in Europe and have now engaged with U.S. industry leader AFL to establish our presence in the emerging U.S. market and highlight Procera’s brand awareness and visibility,” said Gary J. Johnson, Senior Vice President of sales and marketing for Procera Networks. “Procera products offer several key value propositions – including better capacity, minimum latency, maximum security and easy distribution, deployment and support – which fit in perfectly with AFL’s own initiatives.”

PacketLogic is currently deployed and achieving success at a large number of sites with hundreds of thousands of users passing data through Procera appliances. Procera customers include Telcos, fixed and wireless broadband ISPs, universities, and banks, which have very demanding requirements when it comes to securing, controlling and managing network traffic.

Procera’s intelligent traffic and service management solutions are available now and will be promoted through AFL’s Procera sales campaign throughout this quarter. Please call 1-864-433-8072 for more information.

About AFL Telecommunications

AFL Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan, is an industry leader in providing fiber optic products, engineering expertise and integrated services to the telecommunications industry. Our customers include regional and long distance telephone carriers, electric utilities, cable television operators, wireless service providers, data communication providers, private network operators and equipment manufacturers. AFL has sales, manufacturing and administrative offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China and Mexico and sells its products and services throughout the world.

AFL manufactures, engineers, and installs the fiber optic products and equipment that communications providers need to provide high-speed voice, video and data services to their customers. Our extensive experience in both design and application crosses all markets, from Telco, Broadband and Wireless, to Electric Utility, OEM, Enterprise and Private Networks. .

News From Communications Supply Corporation

Industry News

RoSH- How Does It Affect Us?

RoHS or Restriction of Hazardous Substances is a European Union (EU) directive (2002/95/EC) that bans new electrical and electronic equipment entering the European market place from containing more than specified levels of certain hazardous substances. The directive went into effect on July 1, 2006 and includes proposed levels for lead, cadmium (CD), mercury (Hg), hexavalent chromium (Cr VI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) substances.

Communications Supply Corporation Joins Forces With WESCO International, Inc.

Chicago, Illinois

October 3, 2006

Communications Supply Corporation (CSC) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC) (WESCO) whereby WESCO will acquire Communications Supply Holdings, Inc., the parent company of CSC, from Harvest Partners LLC, a New York based private equity firm. The transaction is expected to close by early November 2006. WESCO is a leading North American distributor of electrical construction products and electrical and industrial maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies. In addition, WESCO is one of the largest providers of integrated supply services in the U.S. Combined calendar year 2006 revenues for CSC and WESCO are expected to approach $6.0 billion.


CommScope Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Solution

CommScope's Uniprise® Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) offering is a total solution product set that includes Category 6 and 5e cabling along with the FTP-J6 and FTP-J5E Information Outlets, the FTP-PC6- GYx and FTP-PC5E-GYx Patch Cords, and the FTP-PNL-24P Patch Panel. The panel accepts up to 24 FTP information outlets. Each component meets the specifications set forth in TIA/EIA, IEC 60603, and ISO/IEC 11801 Standards.

The Uniprise FTP solution performs well in high-noise environments such as industrial and manufacturing where electromagnetic devices could impair the network. The Uniprise FTP Solution provides a plug-and-play design to facilitate easy interconnection of the foiled twisted pair system without the use of special tools.

Product Spec Sheets:

 Uniprise® Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Cables

 Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Modular Patch Panel

 Category 6 Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Modular Patch Cord

 Category 5e Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Modular Patch Cord

 Category 6 Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Information Outlet

 Category 5e Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) Information Outlet

Fiber Optic Technology

PANDUIT® opticamTM Pre-Polished Fiber Optic Connectors provide field

terminations in less than half the time of field polish connectors...

which delivers yield rates approaching 100%.

Factory pre-polished fiber stub endface eliminates inconsistent, time-consuming field polishing to reduce installation costs, labor, scrap and the number of tools required

Patent-pending dual cam design secures both the fiber and the buffer in one action and allows up to two re-terminations to ensure consistent termination results

Universal termination tool with integrated visual fault locator offers visual indication of proper termination for OPTICAM TM Connectors to virtually eliminate operator error; also provides flexibility to terminate in close proximity to the application

Test Equipment

Are you ready to test 10 Gb/s Ethernet over Twisted-Pair Cabling?

The answer is yes if you have Agilent's new WireScopeTM Pro tester. Not only does it let you complete a Cat 6A autotest in just 9 seconds, it will also ensure you can speed through any future Alien Cross Talk requirements by using simultaneous 'exciter' techniques and displaying results on the spot in your tester. Not ready for Cat 6A testing just yet? Agilent's new tester also speeds through a Cat 5e or Cat 6 autotest in just 9 seconds.

Wireless Networking

WirelessGRID Public Safety 4.9GHz Outdoor Bridge Kit

This complete wireless bridge kit delivers a comprehensive set of product features ensuring fast, secure and reliable networking services in Public Safety and UNII bands. The AI108-4958-O-150-PS operates as a 4.94-4.94, 5.25-5.35, 5.47-5.72(ETSI), or 5.725-5.85 GHz Point-to-point Wireless Ethernet Bridge with 150 foot indoor-to-outdoor cables and integrated 21 dBi antennas for links up to 4 miles (~6.5km) under FCC/IC rules.

Video Surveillance IP

Arecont Vision SurroundVideo® AV8180 Network Camera

The AV8180 camera is based on SurroundVideo® technology and offers panoramic views and cinema compatible high frame rates to allow real time high definition digital video surveillance with 24 times the resolution. AV8180 network camera delivers full motion progressive scan 1600 x 1200video at 22 fps per channel featuring massively-parallel Mega- Video® image processing architecture capable of sustaining over 6 billion operations per second. High resolution and crystal clear imagery allows the AV8180 to substitute up to 24 analog cameras; thereby reducing the total cost of installation. Onboard real-time motion detection with size and sensitivity controls for up to 64 separate motion detection zones per channel.

Network Reliability, Redundancy Coming With Competitor Resistance

Published on 10/18/2006

CHICAGO – Building a better network infrastructure should be everyone’s concern. Why do we still have obstructionists?

Making network infrastructure more reliable since Sept. 11, 2001 should be everyone’s goal whether you’re part of the government, a network carrier or a business with mission-critical network needs. This endeavor should transcend any petty competitive issue. Having the best network infrastructure globally is a matter of national defense as well as strategic national economic development.

A Chicago start-up called Neutral Tandem has been assembling a tandem network that can route calls differently than the original Bell infrastructure that has been the backbone of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). A best practice for today is that you don’t want to route all your traffic over one carrier.

You want route and carrier diversity to maintain the highest standards of reliability and redundancy. These are standard concepts for network design that you would think everyone would embrace. Unfortunately, there are still some carriers that would rather keep turfs closed over general connectivity and the national interest.

Package Traffic vs. Packet Traffic

A good analogy would be to look at what happened when UPS went on strike several years ago.  If your organization had everything going out through UPS, you were out of luck.  If UPS split some of that traffic up and sent it through FedEx, you would not have been totally out of commission.  Network traffic is no different from package traffic.  Having routing diversity and carrier diversity makes for a more robust solution.

Some people figure this out from a strategic planning standpoint and develop guidelines for business continuity in the face of any disasters.

The vast majority let the disaster happen and then try to figure out disaster recovery after the fact.  With the swiftness of today’s business climate, you can’t rely on disaster recovery efforts any more.  Planning ahead, which would include having routing and carrier diversity, is the new rule of thumb.

In an earlier column about network infrastructure and connectivity, I put forth some questions about the development of new network infrastructures and funding of those initiatives:

Who is putting their money where their mouth is? There are many organizations looking at various solutions for upgrading network infrastructures and most are in the planning stages. Where is the real investment and implementation presently going on?

This is from a recent Chicago Tribune article about neutral networks:

Alone among big cell-phone operators, Verizon Wireless objects to linking to Neutral Tandem’s network.  Neutral Tandem has taken the matter to the [FCC and argues] that Verizon Wireless not only is being anti-competitive, but its stance threatens the nation’s homeland security.

Neutral Tandem executive vice president and co-founder Ron Gavillet conceived of the alternative switching network a few years ago when he realized that tandem switches, which are used by telecom companies to exchange network traffic with each other, were becoming a new bottleneck to the industry.

“Tandem switches were all owned and operated by Bell companies,” Gavillet said, “and they had no incentives to upgrade the switches with new technology because that would primarily benefit their competitors.”

Most telecom traffic has shifted from the traditional wired networks operated by Bell companies [and has first moved] to wireless carriers and more recently also to Internet telephony and voice services operated by cable television providers. All these newcomers have been dependent on incumbent Bell firms through their tandem switches.

Major Municipalities

This is a subject that is spilling over into municipal concerns. They are in front asking for the FCC to take a close look at this. New York City and Chicago have filed comments with the FCC and both cities are concerned with what happens if some disaster occurs. As I have stated in the past, one-in-a lifetime disasters tend to happen every year.

You only have to take a close look at the debacle in New Orleans and Louisiana to understand what happens when communications are cut off for whatever reason and the agencies and remaining infrastructure is unprepared to handle the results.

Network architectures have to be updated. This is no small task.

Pumping millions if not billions of dollars to upgrade the network infrastructure of a city, a county or even a state has to be considered as a given rather than something that’s just hoped for in competing global economy. If there is a company willing to step up to do some of this upgrade, why are other incumbents resisting those efforts?

Wireless is not the universal solution. The total cost of a real network is substantially more than some wireless routers. Basic design concepts that go back to developing the PSTN state that you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket.

There will be more people questioning the stubbornness of some carriers that resist improvements on the whole network infrastructure. It is encouraging to see there are concerns emanating out of cities. Some are starting to understand that the network infrastructure is becoming a critical concern as the platform for continuing and expanding commerce.

Carlinism: Rules of thumb can become obsolete.

James Carlini will be the keynote speaker at the Justice: Media, Wireless & You symposium from Oct. 21 to 23 in Milwaukee. Details can be found here.

Check out the blog of James Carlini at

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at or 773-370-1888.
Click here for Carlini’s full biography.


IEC National Industry Achievement Award Goes To President Of McCormick Systems

The Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. (IEC) is pleased to announce that Todd McCormick, President of McCormick Systems received the IEC National Industry Achievement Award during the 49th Annual IEC National Convention and IEC Electric Expo 2006.

“Todd McCormick has been actively involved in the electrical industry all his life and we are pleased to present him with the IEC National Industry Achievement Award,” said Larry Mullins, IEC National Executive Vice President. “He has helped electrical contractors and their employees become more successful in their business and by doing so he has helped make the industry more effective, stable and profitable.”

McCormick started stocking trucks in his early teens for McCormick Electric. He then progressed to delivering material to job sites, to electrician, to estimator and project manager. As president, he has taken the company to another level of professionalism and profitability by seeing what is needed in the industry, addressing these issues and providing the solutions.

In addition, McCormick has attended every IEC Convention and Trade Show for the past twenty-six years. He is a founding member of IEC’s Platinum Partner Council and the IEC Foundation. McCormick has also been a proud sponsor of the IEC Gold Card Lunch for a number of years and continues to provide education seminars for IEC Members at both the National level as well as the local level.

The IEC National Industry Achievement Award is given each year to recognize significant and outstanding contributions to IEC and the electrical industry.

About McCormick Systems

            Privately owned McCormick Systems, of Chandler, AZ, is the nation’s leader in software used for electrical estimating and project management. The company’s products enable contractors to produce consistent, profitable estimates for electrical and voice-data-video work.

ELECTEC Building Wiring Systems introduces EZ-Cabling

ELECTEC Ltd., a Canadian innovator of manufactured wiring systems, introduces EZ-Cabling, a turn-key horizontal cabling solution. EZ-Cabling is the first offering in a family of products Electec has termed The Next Generation in Wiring Systems™.

After 18 months of development and testing, EZ-Cabling, has been installed in several beta sites including a leading edge 30,000 sq ft facility in Ottawa for L-D Tool & Die. “Not only was our cabling installed quickly and efficiently, it has already afforded us the ability to add new workstation drops on demand” says Laurie Dickson, CEO of L-D Tool & Die, “the system has already saved us money.”

An innovative alternative to traditional data and communications cabling, EZ-Cabling is a modular, pre-terminated and verified system that sets a new standard in ease of install and maintenance. EZ-Cabling’s “plug and play” ability allows for quick and easy moves, adds and changes resulting in less down time, more reliable performance and measurable cost savings.

The distributed, modular design offered by EZ-Cabling allows customers the unparalleled flexibility of accommodating changing needs more efficiently than traditional cabling methods. David Tait, P.Eng., President of L-D Tool & Die says “The system is designed to handle churn in today’s fast paced environments cheaper, faster and safer than traditional point to point cabling”.

EZ-Cabling components are tested to ANSI/EIA/TIA-568 standards and subject to rigourous quality control measures before being packaged and shipped. The product also features eco-friendly components and a non-combustible cable construction free of hazardous chemicals found in flame retardant cable.

For over a decade, Electec has been developing manufactured wiring systems used across Canada in the construction of Class A office buildings, Universities, Factories and Retail Stores. Electec systems enjoy a large share of the modular wiring market in Canada and are found in such prominent buildings as Commerce Court in Toronto, Millennium Tower in Calgary and the United States of America Embassy in Ottawa.

Incorporated in 1990, L-D Tool & Die, is a Canadian owned company providing custom mould-making and injection molding services to a wide variety of clients. Since inception they have steadily grown and now operate out of a 30,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Ottawa, Ontario. Services include; Part design, Mould Design, Mould Making, Injection Moulding (up to 850ton), and Clean Room Assembly.

FITEL Unveils New Low-Profile MASS Fusion Splicer S122M12

Furukawa Electric introduces the S122M12, its newly developed low-profile, fully portable mass fusion splicer.  The ultra compact unit allows for easy usage in even the most restricted locations where ribbon splicing has previously not been possible.

The S122M12 is in the same series as the popular S122A and S122M4, which was released in March of 2006. Like the S122A/M4, the machine uses a dual axis monitor system, a large 3.5 inch LCD display, and user friendly GUI interface. In addition, the S122M12 incorporates several new technologies including automatic fiber-count identification; patent pending real time arc control; and automatic fiber position correction mechanism through the patent pending clamp vibration system. These new technologies as well as the compact design of the S122M12, bring greater mobility, higher accuracy, and easy operation to all installation environments no matter the installer’s experience level. The machine can handle single fibers and fiber ribbons from 2 to 12. Compared to previous models the S122M12 size has been reduced by 50% and weight by 70%. 

The design philosophy surrounding the S122 series is to deliver high-quality splices easily and precisely, no matter the user’s skill level, and no matter the environment. The competitive nature of the telecom industry and continual advances in fiber optic technology demand more speed and precision out of every installer, from the rookie to the veteran. The S122M12 is designed to fulfill this goal and provide additional functionality from the mass fiber fusion splicing point of view.  


Light and compact

Based on S122A/M4 design concept, the S122M12 size has been reduced by 50% and weight by 70% compared to current ribbon splicers. The S122M12 can handle a single fiber up to 12 fiber ribbons.

Automatic program selection

The machine automatically identifies fiber ribbon count and selects the proper program for splicing. There is no need to manually change the program when operators want to splice different count of fiber ribbons.  

Automatic fiber position correction in the V-groove

A frequent problem encountered in mass fusion splicing is fiber axis offset. FITEL introduces a new vibration mechanism in the S122M12 series to eliminate this problem. The machine automatically inspects the fiber offset for each fiber and vibrates the fiber clamps when necessary to allow the fibers to fall in the correct v-groove position. This function can be automatically trigged or operated manually by pressing a panel key. 

Automatic arc compensation

Based on the image during arc discharge, the machine automatically adjusts the arc power to compensate for changes in  environment, electrode condition, etc. As a result, consistent low splice loss can be achieved and the need for a traditional arc check is virtually eliminated.

High speed

For 12 fiber ribbons, the splicing time is less then 15 second, while the heating time for protection sleeves is only 45 second. 

Convenient GUI

The machine incorporates a GUI with a large LCD display. The magnification for each fiber is an industry best of 56X. Spliced fiber ribbon images can be stored to the machine.  The software includes a counter to track splice, cleave, and strip occurrences and alarms when the cleaver blade needs to be rotated, etc.  A step-by-step guide including pictures is included in the GUI software providing common maintenance procedures. 


Applicable fibersMM, SM, DSF, NZDS fibers

Average insertion lossMM0.03dB, SM0.05dB, DSF/NZDS0.08dB

Internal battery capacity40 (splicingreinforcement heating)

Dimension5.5Wx7.4Dx3.4D (inch)   [140W×189D×86H (mm)]

Weight2.5 (lbs)         [1.13(kg)] including battery

Hitachi Data Systems, McDATA, Redline Communications and CONPUTE Deliver Remote Synchronous Data Replication Over a Wide-Area Network; Provides SMEs Cost-Effective Solution for Disaster Recovery

Hitachi Data Systems, provider of Application Optimized Storage(TM) solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT - News), and McDATA Corporation (Nasdaq:MCDTA - News; Nasdaq:MCDT - News), a leading provider of data access solutions, today announced in association with Redline Communications, a leading provider of standards-based broadband wireless equipment, and CONPUTE, a Solution Services company specializing in Data Centre and broadband solutions, a solution for remote synchronous data replication over a wireless wide-area network.

VENUE:        Storage Networking World

WHAT:         Live demonstration of the combined Hitachi Data Systems,

              Redline Communications, McDATA and CONPUTE wireless

              remote data replication solution

WHEN:         October 31 - November 3, 2006

WHERE:        Pavilion Booth P19 and Platinum Galleria Booth PG4

              JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort, Orlando, Florida

About Hitachi Data Systems

Hitachi Data Systems leverages global R&D resources to develop storage solutions built on industry-leading technology with the performance, availability and scalability to maximize customers' ROI and minimize their risk. By focusing on the customer's perspective as we apply the best hardware, software, and services from Hitachi and our partners, we uniquely satisfy our customers' business needs.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT - News; TOKYO:6501 - News), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 356,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 (ended March 31, 2006) consolidated sales totaled 9,464 billion yen ($80.9 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services.

AT&T Unveils Home Monitoring Service

AT&T Inc (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said on Thursday it would start to offer a monitoring service that would let U.S. customers use cell phones or computers to receive alerts or view a real-time video feed from their home.

The telephone company said it would offer the service for $9.95 a month to broadband Internet customers around the country or to wireless web cell phone customers of Cingular Wireless, its joint venture with BellSouth Corp (BLS.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

The service is an effort by AT&T, which is seeking regulatory approval for its plan to buy BellSouth and bring Cingular under one roof, to try and improve customer loyalty by offering integrated wireless and wired services.

Customers would also need to pay a one-time fee of $199 for a starter package that includes a camera, a wireless door or window sensor, as well as software and hardware that connects them to the home network

The service could support up to four cameras and wireless sensors that could alert customers on everything from high or low temperatures, to the presence of water or an intruder.

Customers could receive alerts either via an e-mail on their desktop or in a text message on their cell phone.

Competitors in this area include the world's second biggest cell phone maker Motorola Inc (MOT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which also offers a home monitoring system.

AT&T said the service would work on 95 percent of cell phones presently sold by Cingular, but that the service would provide better quality video downloads on a high-speed wireless network Cingular is building.

AT&T said it plans to start selling the service via its Web site and to begin offering it at Cingular stores next year.

Customers would have a user password to access the service on their computer or cell phone, according to AT&T.

The telephone company said it would not have the capability to view customers' home video feeds and promises customers it would not monitor or measure any of the data transmitted via the service.

New NetProve Diagnostics For Vision Into Device And Application Connectivity

The network is slow.  Who's to blame?  Where to start?  NetTool Series II redefines how to track down and isolate the source of connectivity problems while providing the vision you need to troubleshoot network devices.  The new NetTool Series II Inline Network Tester features NetProve diagnostics - an easy, one-button method to prove if the network is to blame for a connectivity problem.  In seconds, you can test connectivity to key devices and service ports enterprise-wide.

NetTool Series II's inline vision provides a unique view into 10, 100 and Gigabit links to troubleshoot device problems fast.  Verify compatible configurations of switches and PCs.  Monitor the conversations between VoIP phones and the network, and measure call quality.  Discover key devices, problems, VLANs and switch ports.  Measure PoE line voltage and current and verify PoE pairs.  And if the problem is cable related, NetTool verifies wiremap and displays the distance to cabling faults.  IntelliTone digital toning helps locate cables others can't, even when the cable is terminated at a switch.

All this in a handheld, portable tool built to take what you can dish out.

NetTool Series II incorporates a host of new features to help you quickly troubleshoot device problems and verify device and application connectivity.

  • Inline Gigabit vision to identify and resolve device problems on 10, 100 and Gigabit links.
  • NetProve diagnostics to isolate the source of device and application connectivity problems - in seconds.
  • PoE measurement to qualify 802.3af links and troubleshoot PoE device problems.
  • IntelliTone digital toning to safely and effectively isolate and locate cables.
  • VoIP enhancements to enable testing of H.323, SIP and SCCP systems and saving of VoIP test results.

The right NetTool for the job.  Since no two networks are identical, testing needs vary.  From our top-of-the-line NetTool Series II Pro VoIP to the entry-level NetTool 10/100, you will find a NetTool that fits your needs and your budget.

To see how NetTool Series II can troubleshoot connectivity problems four times faster than traditional methods, visit and take NetTool for a virtual test drive.

Cable Maker's New Boss Aspires To Conquer Distant Markets

Marilyn Much

Shortly after becoming chief executive of Belden CDT last October, John Stroup mapped out a strategy for the company.

Belden (NYSE:BDC - News) designs, manufactures and markets high-speed electronic cables, connectivity products and related gear for the specialty electronics and data networking markets.

Stroup came to Belden from industrial and consumer products maker Danaher (NYSE:DHR - News), where he had been group executive of its Danaher Motion unit.

He replaced Baker Cunningham, who retired from Belden after being at its helm for 13 years.

When Stroup arrived, Belden was in pretty good shape. It had recovered from the severe industry downturn of 2001 to 2003 and weathered the major escalation in raw material prices in 2004 and 2005.

Big Merger

Also, in July 2004 Belden merged with another wire and cable company, Cable Design Technologies. The deal created a stronger force in the electronic and data networking cable markets, with combined sales of $1.3 billion last year.

Despite Belden's solid position, Stroup viewed it as a company "eager" for a change.

"I'm a believer that sometimes the greatest obstacle to great can be good," Stroup said. "Belden is an example of a good company that to be great had to be led differently."

The way to achieve outstanding results, he adds, is to set financial expectations and strategic imperatives.

So within weeks of his arrival, Stroup and his team identified numerous changes the company needed to make and crafted a game plan to address them.

Among other things, he aims to put in more efficient processes. He wants to reduce the number of factories in high-cost locales and move production to places where the firm can minimize its total costs, including freight.

He also aims to lift profit in weak performing products and expand Belden's presence in faster-growing geographic markets.

"They needed someone to come in from outside the industry to bring in new manufacturing processes and jump-start the company," said analyst Jeffrey Beach of Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Stroup has made several moves to meet his goals.

One area where Belden has made good strides is in shifting its manufacturing capacity to lower-cost regions, Stroup says.

For instance, in September, Belden said it will outsource to China the manufacturing of its braided core for coaxial cable now done at its plant in Venlo, Netherlands. The move will reduce space in the Netherlands plant to 135,000 square feet from 500,000 square feet and result in severance charges of about $4 million in the third quarter.

"They'll be able to divide up this building in the Netherlands and either lease it or sell it," Beach said. "In doing this it will cut significant costs out of the European operation."

Belden expects the restructuring to result in savings of about $2 million a year starting in 2007.

The company has also made good progress in terms of better managing its product portfolio.

Belden had some underperforming product lines, Stroup says.

That was particularly the case in Europe, Beach says.

How did he improve profitability in underperformers?

More often Stroup and his team examined the pricing strategy in certain products. In some cases, they adjusted prices so that unit volume decreased and profitability improved.

Take the company's Mohawk unit, which makes data networking cable. Three quarters ago, the unit posted about $120 million in annual revenue and was roughly a break-even business, Stroup says.

Belden recently increased prices of Mohawk's product line so that today the unit's annual revenue has stayed the same, but its operating income profit margin is 10% to 15%, Stroup says.

In terms of market presence, Stroup says Belden is strong in the U.S. and Western Europe, but underexposed in faster-growing regions such as India and China.

"Their analysis showed that Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market for the primary cable they make, industrial cable and data networking cable in particular," Beach said. "They felt they needed to have a physical presence in these markets."

China Move

Since it costs a lot to transport heavy, bulky cable, it makes sense for Belden to have a presence in Asia Pacific, so it ships its goods to the region at a reasonable cost.

Belden has added sales and marketing people in India and China and is evaluating whether it makes sense to make acquisitions in those regions.

Stroup plans on establishing a manufacturing capability in Asia, says spokeswoman Dee Johnson.

Meantime, Belden is faring well financially with its current mix.

In the second quarter, earnings rose 96% to 51 cents a share. Sales increased 32% to $409.6 million. Analysts polled by First Call see full-year earnings rising 62% to $1.89 a share, then 20% in 2007.

Belden's data networking and industrial cable operations are the biggest sales contributors.

For data networking, Belden provides fiber optic and copper cables, connectivity and supporting products.

Its industrial cables connect computers, programmable controllers, robots and the like into systems for the control of manufacturing processes.

Of the company's second-quarter sales, 33% came from higher volume, especially in its industrial markets, Stroup said in a statement.

"The demand is very strong for almost all their markets," said analyst Beach. "On the electronic (cable) side, the driver is industrial production and the economy continues to grow at a very good rate."

Belden is also reaping the benefits the merger with CDT. At the time of the deal, the firms were the two largest producers of electronic cable in North America, says Beach, and they were strong contenders in the global data networking market.

"It was an excellent fit," he said. "It gave them a more diversified product portfolio and an extremely strong position in their primary end market segments -- industrial and data networking.

New Series Of NAED’S Profit Talk 101 TELESEMINARS Scheduled Monthly, November - March

Helping electrical distributors achieve optimal productivity, profitability, and partnerships is the main goal behind the next six-month series of the Profit Talk 101 Teleseminars, developed by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED).

Held at 2:00 p.m. ET, the teleseminars feature a call-in talk show format with industry leaders, moderated by Joe Sullivan, CFA, and John Heiman of Joseph Sullivan & Associates, Inc. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and will receive a complimentary CD recording of each teleconference.

The upcoming Profit Talk 101 schedule is:

Theft Control & Fraud Prevention: Avoid Learning the Hard Way, Nov. 16, with Tim Furbay and Don Rossbach, The Furbay Electric Supply Co., Canton, Ohio;

Is My IT Obsolete?, Dec. 14, with Brent Spear, Electrical Distributors, Inc., Charlotte, N.C., and Rock Kuchenmeister, K/E Electric Supply Corp., Mt. Clemens, Mich.;

Benefit Plans to Attract & Retain Great People, Jan. 18, with Melinda Carroll, Mayer Electric Supply Co., Inc., Birmingham, Ala., and Amy Lehn, Van Meter Industrial, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa;

A Supplier’s View of Partnering with Distributors, Feb. 15, with Zia Eftekhar and Bill Schoettler, Lightolier, Inc., a Genlyte Group Co., Fall River, Mass.

Beyond the Donut Delivery Man: Alternate Models of Sales Force Construction, March 15, with Terry MacDonald, Werner Electric Supply, Neenah, Wis.;

Preparing Your Company for Sale, April 19, with Marc Lessans, formerly with Commerce Electric Supply, New Market, M.D. 

NAED is now offering a special on subscriptions for the entire new series (now available for $499 for all six teleconferences). As an added benefit, when a company subscribes, they receive 50% off the price of up to three additional Profit Talk 101 CD recordings from the first two series. Each Profit Talk Teleconference is also available individually for $99 to NAED members.

The registration fee covers the participant’s site; an unlimited number of people can listen in. Participants will also receive a CD recording of the teleconference. The attendance deadline is the Tuesday before each program. For more information or to sign up, go to or contact NAED Customer Service at or (888) 791-2512. 

A New CD With A Variety Of Solutions To Prevent Power Pollution In The Cabling System

There are many demons that may attack your cabling infrastructure. We found that “dirty power” can lead to some very expensive problems. The smart cabling contractors are learning how to prevent some of the most destructive corporate communications disasters.  One of the most frustrating is downtime due to preventable damage to your electronic infrastructure.  Nearby lightning strikes, ESD, power crosses, and other transients that get onto your data lines can disrupt your business and cost you real money.  Surge protection devices can, and do, eliminate this source of problems for companies large and small. 

We found a resource with a variety of solutions to prevent power pollution in the cabling system. The Cylix Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of data line and telco surge suppression devices, has unveiled a new CD that captures everything that you need to know about specifying and ordering dateline surge suppression devices.  You can order one of these CD’s by either filling out the information request form at or contacting Jeff Miller at Cylix.  His e-mail address is  Just put “CD offer” in the subject line and give your name, company, and mailing address and Cylix will mail you a CD right away.

Rhode Island Fiber Solutions Center Builds IBEW And Verizon

"Copper dial tone jobs are dying on the vine," says Craig Duffy, Local 2323 organizer.  "With the new center, IBEW members will have opportunities to migrate to where the jobs are."  The IBEW-Verizon agreement provides for the company to match each new hire with the posting of an internal bid for current members of Verizon Systems Council T-6, covering New England.  Already, some IBEW members from New York and former CWA members have been hired at the center, after the requirements covering T-6 members were satisfied.

Local 2323 Business Manager William McGowan led efforts to convince Verizon to invest in the center, lobbying for state tax credits to help finance work force training. International Representative Robert Corraro, Second District organizing coordinator, says, "McGowan's reputation for fairness and hard work with Verizon and his membership were critical to Verizon's decision to locate the center in Rhode Island."

Workers filling the new IBEW positions--fiber network technician and fiber customer support analyst-- will test and activate new internet/cable installations and help customers who are having trouble.

The R.I. center is one of several IBEW-represented facilities.  Fiber support operations in California, Texas, Virginia and New York are organized by CWA.

IBEW Local 2323 has already demonstrated the benefits of unionism to new members who have had no experience with organized labor, or held negative impressions.  IBEW has negotiated pay increases for most of the first wave of workers hired and arbitration is planned on other issues.

While the bargaining relationship between IBEW and Verizon is complex, says Duffy, Verizon needs the union's political clout in New England to increase its cable presence which depends upon securing local franchises.

While looking ahead, Local 2323 is waging an aggressive organizing campaign covering dial-tone workers at Cox Communications in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

North American Business Confidence Indices Gain Ground In October

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions rebounded in October following five consecutive monthly declines. While the index, at 44 points, again fell short of the 50-point threshold that is indicative of sectoral expansion, these latest results suggest that the rate of deterioration in business conditions slowed appreciably during October relative to the prior month.

The North American future conditions index, a gauge of executives’ expectations for conditions six months forward, also remained below 50, but extended its rebound to a second straight month. The index rose more than nine points to 35.4 in October, and sits more than 18 points above August’s low watermark.

Current conditions EBCIs for each of the other three world regions included in the survey all declined in October, but remained well above the critical 50-point mark. The Latin American and Europe indicators both slipped modestly to 60 and 70.8, respectively, while the Asia/Pacific index slid nearly eight points to a level of 60. The future conditions index for Latin America rose to 60.7 from 53.6 a month ago, but indicators for Europe and the Asia/Pacific region were off from a month ago at 50 and 66.7, respectively.

For a complete summary of the October 2006 index, including charts and a list of participating companies, go to

The EBCI ( gauges the business confidence of the electroindustry in Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America, and is based on the results of a monthly survey of senior managers at NEMA member companies. Those companies represent more than 80 percent of the electroindustry.

NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 430 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, São Paulo, and Mexico City.

 NEMA. Setting Standards for Excellence

Visit our website at

Thermostat Recycycling Corp. Releases First Half Mercury Collection Totals; 60 Thousand Thermostats Recycled

The Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) announced that it recovered more than 60,000 thermostats containing over 575 pounds of mercury between January and June of 2006; this represents an increase of 10,000 thermostats and 115 pounds of mercury over the first half of 2005.  At this rate, TRC anticipates an annual increase of 37 percent in thermostat collections, as well as a 40 percent increase in the amount of mercury collected for 2006.  Since its inception in January 1998, the program has collected over 429,000 mercury-switch thermostats and removed more than 3,900 pounds of mercury from the nation’s waste stream.

            The TRC is a private corporation established by thermostat manufacturers Honeywell, General Electric, and White Rodgers.  It is a voluntary, industry-sponsored program that provides a mechanism for the proper disposal of mercury switch thermostats, regardless of brand.  [More than 1,100 wholesale suppliers of thermostats participate in the TRC program – a full list of participating wholesalers as of September, 2006, is provided at]  Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractors are also eligible to participate, provided they have at least seven contractors or technicians in the firm or are located in a rural county.  Each wholesaler that becomes active in the TRC receives a protective storage bin for a one-time cost of $15 (additional bins are available at the same price).  This fee is waived for HVAC

tractors.  When the bins are full, participants send them to the TRC’s recovery center, where industry personnel remove the switches and forward them to a mercury recycling facility.

            TRC focuses on heating and air-conditioning contractors, as well as wholesalers because they sell and install the majority of thermostats and the industry already has the infrastructure to support an effective collection program.  Some local governments have separate programs in place to manage recycling or disposal of used thermostats directly from homeowners.  Homeowners can contact their local hazardous waste management officials for more information.

The TRC began operating in nine states (Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) and expanded its operations in January 2000 to the District of Columbia and thirteen eastern states.  By 2001, the program was active in the remaining lower 48 states.  The five states with the largest thermostat collection totals during the first half of 2006 are, in order of mercury recovery: Arizona, Missouri, Utah, New Hampshire, and Nebraska. 

            For more information about the TRC program, contact Mark Kohorst, Executive Director of the Corporation, at (703) 841-3249 or, or visit the TRC website at

Children’s Heart Foundation Receives Gift From Professional Association

Children’s Heart Foundation, a local non-profit organization based in Las Vegas, was presented with a donation of $23,500 from BICSI Cares, Inc. The gift was awarded during the closing session of the 2006 BICSI Fall Conference held this week at the MGM Grand Conference Center.

More than 3,000 Information Transport Systems (ITS) industry professionals from around the world not only came to network with peers and share their knowledge, but to share their big hearts by helping troubled little hearts.  

“BICSI Cares is excited to present this donation to Children’s Heart Foundation,” said BICSI Cares Committee Chair John Discenza. “Through the generosity and goodwill of BICSI members and conference attendees, we are able to support the efforts of charities dedicated to improving children’s welfare right here in Las Vegas and throughout the world.”

Founded in 2001, Children’s Heart Foundation serves children with heart problems in the state of Nevada. Through donations and volunteer participation, Children’s Heart Foundation is able to fulfill its mission to improve the care and quality of life for children in Nevada who are born with or develop heart problems. 

“Children’s Heart Foundation is extremely grateful to be selected for the BICSI Cares gift,” said Children’s Heart Foundation Manager Shannon Bentham. “As a small organization, this contribution will help continue our mission to enrich the lives of the children we serve.”

For more than twenty years, BICSI donations have benefited children in cities across the U.S. and in other countries. BICSI Cares Inc., the charitable division of the association, selects a local charity at every BICSI conference to receive a donation. This tradition continued at the MGM as conference attendees and supporters made contributions throughout the conference week.

Operating Profit Excluding Charges is 11.2 Percent, Adjusted EPS $0.54

Belden (NYSE: BDC - News) today announced that revenue for the third quarter ended September 24, 2006, was $385.6 million and operating income was $35.6 million. Income from continuing operations was $24.4 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. The quarterly revenue increase of 21.8 percent from the prior-year third quarter revenue included 2.3 percent favorable currency translation.

During the quarter, Belden recorded $7.7 million pretax in severance and asset impairment charges associated with previously announced restructuring activities in Europe and North America. The Company also recorded a one-time tax benefit of $4.7 million for the favorable resolution of prior-period tax contingencies. In the third quarter of 2005, the Company incurred pretax charges of $9.7 million for asset impairment and severance, executive succession, and merger integration and recorded a one-time tax benefit of $0.9 million.

Adjusted for the charges, operating income increased 56.3 percent year over year to $43.3 million in the third quarter 2006. As a percent of revenue, operating income thus adjusted was 11.2 percent in the third quarter of 2006, compared with 8.7 percent in the third quarter of 2005. Adjusted for the charges and the tax items, diluted income per share from continuing operations was $0.54 in the third quarter of 2006, a 63.6 percent increase from $0.33 in the third quarter of 2005. See the attached schedule, Adjusted Operating Results, for a reconciliation of adjusted results to GAAP results.

Year-to-Date Results

Year to date revenue of $1.12 billion increased 22.2 percent compared with $914 million in the first three quarters of 2005, including a favorable currency impact of $7.7 million, or 0.8 percent. Operating income year to date was $99.4 million, and income from continuing operations was $60.9 million, or $1.26 per diluted share.

Management Comment

"We are excited to see our strategic initiatives beginning to bear fruit," said John Stroup, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belden. "Through our product portfolio management activities, we improved our operating income while deliberately curtailing some less profitable sales. As we expected, our profitability in Europe improved, and we announced further steps in our European restructuring. During the period, we launched a new look for the Belden product brand and transitioned our corporate identity graphics from the post-merger Belden CDT to Belden. And in the enterprise market, we introduced the Belden Wireless Solution."

    Items of special note for the quarter include the following:

    -- On August 4, John Stroup and other members of the senior leadership

       team presented Belden's strategic plan and a business overview to an

       audience of analysts and institutional investors in New York.  The

       slides and audio presentation are available at

    -- Gray Benoist joined Belden as Vice President, Finance and Chief

       Financial Officer.

    -- Cash flow provided by operations exceeded $42 million in the quarter.


"We are reiterating our outlook for the remainder of the year," Mr. Stroup said. "We expect to report earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $0.43 to $0.48 for the fourth quarter of this year, which would bring our annual result to $1.69 to $1.74. These estimates include expected severance charges of approximately $0.01 per share in the fourth quarter from the continuing implementation of our previously announced restructuring actions and $0.15 during the first three quarters for the net effect of severance costs, asset impairment charges, accelerated depreciation and the one-time tax benefit."

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release, including those under "Outlook," other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements" made in reliance upon the safe harbor of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on forecasts and projections about the industries served by the Company and about general economic conditions. They reflect management's beliefs and expectations. They are not guarantees of future performance and they involve risk and uncertainty. The Company's actual results may differ materially from these expectations. Some of the factors that may cause actual results to differ from the Company's expectations include demand for the Company's products; the cost and availability of materials including copper, plastic compounds derived from fossil fuels, and other materials; energy costs; the degree to which the Company will be able to compensate for rising costs through the pricing of its products; the Company's ability to implement its announced restructuring plans; the Company's ability to rationalize production as it reduces working capital; and other factors. For a more complete discussion of risk factors, please see our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, filed with the SEC on March 16, 2006. Belden disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise, or to continue the practice of providing earnings guidance such as that found under the above heading "Outlook."

About Belden

Belden is a leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of signal transmission products for data networking and a wide range of specialty electronics markets including entertainment, industrial, security and aerospace applications. To obtain additional information contact Investor Relations at 314-854-8054, or visit our website at


Published on 10/25/2006

Even though Chicago has gone through some high visibility drills with evacuations of downtown, is it really prepared for an emergency, from a first responders’ standpoint?  The answer is yes when you talk to the leaders and spokespeople for emergency services, but has anyone talked to the people handling the phones?  What are their confidence levels?  Those are the people you would probably talk to first before seeing the rushing police officer or fireman because they’re the key people who connect the victims with the help they need.

If you have never taken a tour of the 911 Center on Madison, you have missed a fine example of a municipal building.  It was designed with a genuine passion for excellence from both the police and fire personnel assigned to plan it.  Many people that have city jobs in other agencies would give their right arm to work inside of it today—It is definitely better than riding the back of a truck all day or standing in the middle of the street in humid, 90-plus days or freezing, 20 below-zero days directing traffic or writing parking tickets.

After reading a Chicago 911 Dispatcher blog, I noticed some discussion of this workplace that I found alarming and in need of our attention:

We're back.

And just in time for the 5th anniversary of 091101.

Our hearts go out to those who lost family members on that day. And also to those who lost family members in the War For Oil perpetuated by the idiot of a "leader" this country has. We find it repugnant that George Bush is pimping the [predominantly] male youth of America in this farce he calls a "War on Terrorism."

And we're still not ready. We'll never be ready - or "prepared" - for the next (note the lack of room for possibility that there won't be another) attack. Nothing in the world can ready the country - and particularly this city - for something so life-shattering. Chicago is not much closer to having preparations in place than it was on 10Sep01. But *shhhh* don't tell the public that. We'll just say this:

The city has prepared us (its first-and-foremost emergency communications employees) so well for a potential terrorist attack that if (God forbid) downtown gets attacked, if buildings crumble, the cloud of dust you see won't be from the collapsing buildings;

It'll be from our tennis shoes. There'll be so much rubber burning in the parking lot the grey concrete is going to look like tar.

Is this the type of person answering critical 911 Dispatch calls?  Gives you a real level of comfort as you come in from the suburbs into Union Station and then ride the elevator every week-day to the 70th floor of the AON Building, the 88th Floor of the Sears Tower or the 65th floor of the John Hancock Building. All of these buildings would be within the top five downtown targets, but we cannot forget all our buddies at the Chicago Merc and other prime places for terrorist attacks.

And what about all of you city residents living at Lake Point Towers or some of the other prominent high-rises?  Being on the 47th Floor might not have been as fashionable as you first thought.


There were follow-up comments to this shocking post. In fairness, they should be read as well:

Thru respect and honor said...
It's sad and true that OEMC and this city are not completely prepared. Your post ("We're back") is a sad excuse.

911 then and now: Honor and dedication with God as keeper are for those who remain.  Honorable true hero's brought us through 911.  Police, Fire and many others along with citizens who gave their lives so that your Freedoms and your life may remain.

"After the planes through the tears came the Flag."

Dedication to this country and the flag for which it stands.  Our footprints will be the ones you see for they will be leading the way and their direction is too and not away. God Bless each and everyone of you that served and are serving. God Bess America!

What a sad posting on this very day. You claim your heart goes out and yet your comments of running away and the Sept. 10th typo shows you made light of those that actually sacrificed here and continue to do so abroad, oil and Bush?

You thought more of running away and top posting the topic of dating Po's, then of genuinely honoring all the fallen. You have lost a blogger and any faith in your ability to remotely pave the way of any changes at OEMC.

"Yes, Chicago Dispatchers blog, what a sad day it is in deed!"


Evidently, there are some concerns going in this center and they are not being dealt with properly.  As they say, where there is smoke, there is fire, and this BLOG definitely shows that there are a lot of issues going on about mismanagement that will affect the public, not only in a major disaster, but even a small one. Many people do not work in great conditions and have their little gripes, but the first quote from the blog looks a lot more ominous than a little gripe.

The hiring practices, as well as the leadership and supervisory roles for this center should be thoroughly reviewed and upgraded. With all of the underemployed people in Chicago looking for jobs, there is no room for people that don’t take a serious job seriously or who create a bad work environment. They leave their colleagues, as well as the City, wide

open for lawsuits. Even more alarming is that some would “cut and run” at a time when everyone would be counting on them to do what they are paid to do?

How would you like to have called a 911 Center and gotten a recorded message that said you were dialing an invalid number?  This is a true story outside Chicago, where the victim died on the front lawn while family members tried to figure out why 911 wasn’t working.  By the time they called the non-emergency number, and an ambulance was dispatched, the victim had died.

Someone did not do their job in insuring the database included the victim’s house’s address, which is the way the phone call translates the calling party’s number into a residence. The victim’s family received a seven-figure sum for this person’s carelessness on the job.  Hopefully, he is not collecting a pension for his “hard work” on the job.

Chicago: this is my call for the city to clean that center up.  It, and the people of the metropolitan area, deserve better.

CARLINI-ISM: If you don’t like your job.  Leave.  Someone else can probably do a lot better.

Copyright 2006 – James Carlini

James Carlini will be the keynote speaker at the Justice: Media, Wireless & You symposium November 30th in Milwaukee. Details can be found here.   This conference was postponed due to the huge response they received.  They have had to get a larger venue to hold the event.

Check out the blog of James Carlini at

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at or 773-370-1888.
Click here for Carlini’s full biography.

Contractors Improve Project Management Using Electrical/ABS Estimating Software

Electrical and automated building systems contractors need to manage their projects as well as estimate them. Those using McCormick Systems’ software are finding it useful for project management as well as estimating.

“While we don’t offer project management software, our products are very useful in managing projects,” said Todd McCormick, president of the 27-year-old company. “This enables them to make another use of the data they’ve entered, and get more out of their investment.”

            Contractors are putting estimating software to work in at least three ways:

1.       By honing in on a portion of a project inside the estimate – something easily done with McCormick’s systems – contractors analyze how far along they are, relating actual job-site progress to their plans.

2.       Additionally, using that same capability, project managers or purchasing agents working for the contractor produce a discrete, “this-part-of-the-job-only” materials list. This speeds ordering of materials for just the upcoming portion of a given job.

3.       Contracting companies using CAD Estimating, an interface between AutoCAD and McCormick’s estimating software, are able to accomplish even more. They focus in on pieces of the project’s drawings that correspond to current (or past) pieces of the project which they wish to plan for or analyze.

“We could say we planned all of this, but we didn’t,” said McCormick. “We don’t offer a ‘project management’ software package. This is something our customers – electrical, datacom, and ABS contractors – have taught us over the years.”

About McCormick Systems

            Privately owned McCormick Systems, of Chandler, AZ, is the nation’s leader in software used for electrical estimating and project management. The company’s products enable contractors to produce consistent, profitable estimates for electrical and voice-data-video work.

JMME President Officiates 1,000th Hockey Game

Exton, PA – October 15, 2006 – During the week, you will find John Moritz assisting clients of JMME, Inc. with issues related to plastics, wire and cable, fire codes and safety standards.  On the weekends however, if you are looking for him, you better find the nearest ice rink because John is an avid fan of hockey and he officiates up to eight games every weekend for youth hockey associations in three states.  On Sunday, October 15, 2006, he reached a milestone in his young officiating career with his 1,000th hockey game for USA Hockey.  To put the milestone into perspective, 1,000 games for a referee are also equal to:

60,000 Minutes of skating
36,000 Players
20,000 Puck drops
10,000 Penalties assessed
6,000 Coaches
2,000 Teams
1,950 Officiating Partners
1,500 Scorekeepers
1,300 Gatorade or Propel beverages
1,200 Advil
500 Band-Aids
250 Days committed to hockey games
35 Fights that broke out
16 Whistles
6 Spectators ejections
5 Face shields
4 Knee braces
3 Sets of skates
3 Die hard members of the Zebra Fan Club (Thanks to JC, Phil and my wife)
2 Helmets
2 Broken ribs
1 Broken finger
1 Match Penalty assessed

On this day, game 1,000 for John was a PeeWee game for players of the ages 11-12 years old.  The Kings of Exton, PA played the Old York Road Raiders from Philadelphia, PA.  It was quickly followed by game 1,001 which was a Bantam game for players 13-14 years old.  By the end of this season, game 1,300 will be posted in the books and a new season will follow shortly thereafter.  His wife awarded him special dispensation for missing their wedding anniversary in order to achieve the milestone.

Demand Drives Up General Cable's Earnings

Strong markets for its wire and cable products sparked a profitable third quarter for General Cable Corp.

The company posted net income of $37 million, or 74 cents per share, compared to adjusted net income of $13.5 million, or 26 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The adjustment includes the addition of pre-tax charges of $15.6 million associated with the closure of certain facilities. Analysts had expected 55 cents per share.

Sales jumped to $948.4 million from $600.5 million in third-quarter 2005, below analysts' average estimate of $951.6 million.

Improved pricing and better factory utilization also contributed to the earnings increase, the company said in a news release.

"The electrical utility and certain electrical infrastructure market segments continue to demonstrate strong demand for cables around the world driven by increasing demand for new energy sources and renewed interest in expanding and improving the reliability of the power distribution and transmission infrastructure," said Gregory Kenny, president and CEO.

Shares of General Cable (NYSE: BGC - News) were trading at $38.78, down $2.82, Tuesday morning.

During the third quarter, General Cable completed the acquisition of E.C.N. Cable Group SL, a manufacturer of energy cables based in Bilbao, Spain.

For the first nine months of 2006, General Cable reported net income of $99.7 million or $2 per share, versus $20.5 million, or 52 cents per share last year. Sales were $2.74 billion compared to $1.76 billion in the same 2005 period.

The company said it expects fourth-quarter revenues of $900 million to $925 million, and earnings per share of 55 cents to 60 cents.

General Cable (NYSE: BCG - News), headquartered in Highland Heights, develops and manufactures copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial and communications markets.

Published October 30, 2006 by the Cincinnati Business Courier

2006-2007 NAED Regional Conferences to Feature Nationally Renowned Keynote Speakers at Opening Session

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announces the keynote speakers for each of its three regional conferences to be held in the upcoming fall and winter months. Featured at each conference’s Opening Session, these presenters have achieved excellence and persevered through adverse circumstances in their lives; they will inspire and challenge NAED conference attendees in the areas of leadership, determination, goals-assessment and teamwork.

The NAED regional conference keynote speakers are:

Vince Papale

Eastern Region Conference, Nov. 8 - 11, 2006, San Antonio, Texas (registration currently open) Papale is the real life hero behind Disney’s 2006 hit film, Invincible. At the age of 30, he made NFL history in 1976 when he earned a spot on his home team, the Philadelphia Eagles, as a walk-on after open tryouts. Starting out as the NFL’s oldest rookie, Papale went on to play four seasons with the Eagles, becoming team captain, and winning the “Man of the Year” Award by his teammates. During his presentation, “Dreams Are Not Lived on the Sidelines,” he will share with his audience the significance of teamwork and determination while pursuing life’s goals.

Aron Ralston

Western Region Conference, Jan. 17 - 20, 2007, Las Vegas, Nev. (registration currently open)Ralston, an accomplished mountaineer, made national headlines in 2003 after a harrowing accident in Colorado’s Blue John Canyon. An 800 lb. boulder had come loose, pinning his right arm to the canyon wall inside a ravine. After six days with no hope of rescue, he had to make the difficult decision to amputate his own arm. Ralston’s tremendous courage in the face of this danger caught the attention of National Geographic, CNN and other U.S. media, and is detailed in his 2004 autobiography, “Between a Rock & a Hard Place.” He has since scaled 14 more mountains alone and has resumed all of his previous activities like rafting, mountain biking, skiing, surfing, and playing piano.

Afterburners Team

South Central Region Conference, Feb. 28 - March 3, 2007, San Diego, Calif. (registration opens in November)The Afterburners Team, made up of top U.S. military fighter pilots, will parallel today’s business world with a combat zone. They will also share key risk-assessment, leadership, and communication principles to assure victory for companies in today’s ever-changing economy. For 10 years, they have impressed Fortune 500 companies with their innovative approach to professional development. The Afterburners’ impressive clientele includes a wide range of businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies like the American Red Cross, IBM, and the National Security Agency.

Interactive Intelligence CEO Named “Top Voice For IP Communications” By Internet Telephony Magazine

Internet Telephony Magazine has named Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) CEO, Dr. Donald E. Brown, among the “Top Voices of IP Communications” based on his insights and contributions to the industry, according to the magazine’s editorial team.

“Dr. Brown is a pioneer in the industry, beginning with his company’s release of the first server-based communications software product back in 1997,” said Greg Galitzine, group editorial director for Internet Telephony Magazine. “With the company’s release of the first SIP-based unified communications software product in 2002, followed by an all-software version in 2003, and more ‘first-to-market’ products since, Dr. Brown has undeniably established himself as a thought-leader and innovator in the voice over IP market.”

Interactive Intelligence was founded in 1994 and, today, has more than 2,500 global customers using its business communications software for contact center automation and enterprise IP telephony. The company’s unified communications software suite is scalable and standards-based, offering a single-platform architecture designed to eliminate the cost and complexity introduced by individual point products.

“From our perspective, the real benefit of VoIP is that it makes possible the transition of communications from hardware to software,” Dr. Brown said. “Not too long ago, having sophisticated communications capabilities meant lots of proprietary hardware — PBXs, ACDs, IVRs, call loggers, etc. VoIP now enables the creation of 100 percent software solutions that do everything the old hardware-based systems could and much more -- and at a fraction of the cost and complexity. Unlike many of the IP vendors today that have simply taken their proprietary voice model and applied it to the data world, we’ve built our products on this software foundation, which fulfills the true promise of VoIP for open, flexible applications designed to drive new standards for productivity and customer service.”

Dr. Brown co-founded Interactive Intelligence in October 1994, and has served as CEO since April 1995, and president since inception. Dr. Brown also serves as chairman of the board. In March 1988, Dr. Brown co-founded Software Artistry, a developer of customer support and help desk software that became a public company in March 1995, and was subsequently acquired by IBM. Dr. Brown’s first software company was acquired by Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in September 1987.

Dr. Brown graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1985. He also holds a master's degree in computer science and a bachelor's degree in physics from IU.

Dr. Brown has received many industry accolades over the years, including Computer Telephony Magazine’s 1997 Star of the Industry, Call Center Magazine's first-ever 2000 Hall of Fame inductee, Ernst and Young’s Indiana Heartland 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year, and Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine’s 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The list of individuals selected for the “Top Voices of IP Communications” was based on past interviews and interactions with Internet Telephony Magazine editors. There was no application or submission process, and no vendors were solicited as part of the review process.

A complete list of the “Top Voices of IP Communications” was published in the October issue of Internet Telephony Magazine, and can be accessed at

About Interactive Intelligence

Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of business communications software and services for contact center automation and enterprise IP telephony. Interactive Intelligence was founded in 1994 and has more than 2,500 customers worldwide. Recent awards include the 2006 Network World 200, CRM Magazine’s 2006 Rising Star Excellence Award, Network Computing Magazine’s 2006 Well-Connected Award, and Software Magazine’s 2006 Top 500 Global Software and Services Companies. Interactive Intelligence employs more than 400 people and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company has five global corporate offices, with additional sales offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Interactive Intelligence can be reached at +1 317.872.3000 or; on the Net:

Prevention And Rescue Divisions Are Stretched Thin

The safety cycle begins with common sense and close compliance with the building codes that protect us from a host of “nasties”. Fire and smoke in the workplace are real issues, but there is much to do before we cross that bridge. Across the United States of America, many cities are wrestling with the problem of disaster prevention and code compliance. Inspection and enforcement are a must in the safety game. We should always support our local authorities in their quest to guarantee a SAFER Community. Don’t forget safety is too important to ignore.

Report: Fire-Rescue short on staffing

By BRIDGET MURPHY, The Times-Union : Nov 1, 2006

When it comes to saving lives, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department needs to pump up its prevention division along with its rescue division to keep up with the city's growth, it also found.

The report cost the city about $100,000 and came from TriData, an Arlington, Va., company that also did a 2001 analysis of the fire department's workload compared with Jacksonville's growth. A city ordinance mandates the outside review, city officials said Tuesday.

This time around, the study said the department's prevention division - which has about two-dozen uniformed personnel - is understaffed and disorganized.

"Because of a shortage of inspectors, the infrequency of building inspections provides for virtually no enforcement of the fire code," the report said in its summary.

The report also found that the department's rescue division is handling the majority of calls for help with a quarter of the department's staff. In 2005, 87 percent of the 121,000 calls for help were EMS calls and only 25 percent of the fire department's staff handled those calls.

Interim Fire Director Dan Kleman called the report a long-term plan administrators will use to lobby for more funding at budget time.

"There are limited resources available in the department to do what we're trying to do," he said.

He added that firefighters weren't laid off, while workers in some other city departments were when it came to crunching numbers in the last budget.

Kleman said the department will consider the report's suggestions, including hiring civilian fire code inspectors or having on-duty fire suppression companies inspect buildings for fire code violations if necessary.

The report also recommended expanding the rescue division overall and adding new rescue units at Stations 49 and 54.

The department put a rescue unit at Station 49 a few weeks ago and as of January will have a rescue unit working peak hours near where a new firehouse is planned for the San Pablo Road area, Assistant Fire Chief Randy White said Tuesday.

In its 2001 report, TriData said the city would need four new fire stations by 2005 if the city grew quickly. Fire officials said there's been significant progress in that area since then.

Two new stations, Station 57 on Beaver Street and Station 58 on Joeandy Road, opened since then and five old firehouses shut down and were replaced with new facilities, the assistant chief said.

Four more firehouses are scheduled to be replaced with new buildings, in addition to the new station coming, White said.

The recent report also recommended assigning four firefighters instead of three to man engine companies to meet national safety standards. It said a new training program should be started for newly promoted officers to combat a "brain drain" that followed mass retirements of seasoned supervisors.

It stressed the need to expand public education efforts, saying only 6 percent of the city's residents got any fire safety instruction from firefighters last year.

It also recommended expanding marine coverage and adding quints, apparatuses that can perform functions of both a pumper and a ladder truck.

Local 122 fire union President Roger Lewis said Tuesday he agreed with expanding rescue, prevention, and suppression - whether it came to adding rescue units, hiring more inspectors or upping engine company manning.

But the union first has to fight budget constraints to negotiate for the employees already on the job, working to get them higher pay and better benefits, he said.

The union president said fire suppression companies did fire code building inspections in the recent past, but it took time away from answering regular service calls in their territories.

Kleman said the department will look at ways to solve the problems with the resources available now.

"But the highest priority," he said, "has been having people respond to fires." (904) 359-4161

Conference And Show A Whirlwind Of Technology, Transactions

As is often the case, this page of the magazine is the last one filed for this month’s issue. Consequently, my typical procrastination gives me an opportunity to provide somewhat-up-to-date information on some of the industry’s goings on. In particular, the details in this column come from the BICSI Fall Conference and Exhibition, which was held in late September.

As you may remember, in the July edition of this column, I compared 10GBase-T equipment to the elusive clownfish in the movie Finding Nemo, and suggested it might be a long while before we see hardware built in compliance with 10GBase-T specifications. In fact, the wait was significantly shorter than I anticipated.

Representatives of the company SolarFlare Communications had on display a working 10GBase-T physical layer transceiver (PHY), running over a four-connector, 100-meter channel. On the first evening of the exhibits, as I approached the booth in which the setup was displayed, SolarFlare’s Chris DiMinico (who obviously read and remembered my July editorial) greeted me with two words: Here’s Nemo. And there it was. We’ll have more comprehensive info in next month’s issue, but in short, the PHY will be offered to network-switch manufacturers and someday—sooner rather than later, I guess—10GBase-T switches with this capability built in will in fact be on the market.

On another, self-promotional note, SolarFlare’s DiMinico is editor of the forthcoming TSB-155 specification for running 10GBase-T on the embedded base of Category 6 cabling. Look for a detailed article by DiMinico on the TSB-155 specifications in a future issue—most likely January 2007. Sources tell me that the specifications should be completed by then.

DiMinico and I have joked for years about a controversial editorial that ran in this publication some 10 years ago. (I did not author the controversial editorial, of course. My frequent references to Disney movies, my children, and the Boston Red Sox have not been known to raise the ire of many.) In the decade-old editorial, an analogy is drawn to twisted-pair copper cable and the proverbial “bad penny” that keeps turning up. DiMinico has ribbed me many times by reminding me that if copper cable really was a bad penny, and manufacturers of the cable suffered so much that they could not support this publication with advertising, then Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine “would not be worth a plug nickel.”

Be that as it may, I like to think I observe copper-based infrastructure, as well as fiber-optic systems, and even wireless technology, without prejudice. So it’s not just a make-good to Chris DiMinico, nor just a horribly bad pun, when I say that in light of these recent technological milestones, copper cabling systems make sense (or cents) for a great many users.

Also at BICSI, I learned that ConEst, a creator of estimating software aimed primarily at the electrical-contracting trade but also at information-transport systems contractors, has acquired the RapidBOM, a network estimating system offered by Mainstay Software Corp.

Finally, as a general observation, I’d say that the concept of quantification was a theme that shone through at the BICSI Fall Conference, and I suspect has emerged in several variations throughout the industry. At the conference, the idea of quantification was addressed through cost-model tools for computing cabling-system costs. It showed up through statistical data proving the stability of certain connector types. And it was all over the show floor, manifested in equations that yielded savings of money and/or time.

The cabling industry is as competitive an environment now as it ever has been. End users are extremely savvy, and many bolster that cognizance by hiring consultants to administer projects. Cabling contractors are significantly challenged to met the demands of these discriminating customers.

The old Chinese blessing/curse is reality; we live in interesting times.

Reprinted with full permission of CI & M : October issue

Chief Editor

Fiber Optic Association Certifies 20,000th CFOT

Certified Fiber Optic Technician. Since its founding in 1995 as the professional society of fiber optics, the FOA has grown into the world's largest fiber optic organization, a non-profit organization well-known for its technical contributions to the industry and pro-bono activities for the benefit of contractors, installers, educators and manufacturers.

"The FOA is proud to announce another milestone," noted FOA President Jim Hayes. "To reach this point, we have depended on the support of our CFOTs, our trainers and the industry. We're proud to have provided them a unique service in return - helping to provide the qualified technicians that are required to make fiber optics a mainstream technology, especially with Fiber-To-The-Home finally becoming real. The FOA is looking forward to continuing growth by supporting the growing usage of fiber optic technology in all telecommunications applications."

The FOA has approved over 160 schools and training organizations teaching fiber optics and provided free educational materials to over 5,000 high schools to introduce students to fiber optics. An online database of FOA-certified technicians allows end users to connect with contractors, installers and employees at no cost. Working with knowledgeable industry leaders, the FOA has developed certification programs for specialized technicians in splicing, termination, testing, teaching and fiber to the home (FTTx). The FOA is a regular contributor to industry standards

activities. And the FOA website has become a focal point for technical literature and links to useful website for the entire industry.

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is an nonprofit educational organization chartered to promote fiber optics through education and standards. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic programs for schools and training for instructors. The FOA is also an active participant in industry standards activities. For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website, email  or call 760-451-3655.

General Cable Announces $315M Offering

General Cable Corp. said that it is offering $315 million in senior convertible notes due in 2013.

The offering's underwriters have the option to purchase another $45 million in senior convertible notes, General Cable said in a news release. Merrill Lynch & Co. (NYSE: MER - News) and Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS - News) are the lead underwriters.

The company said it plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including repayment of balances under its senior secured credit facility. It also may use some proceeds for acquisitions and internal growth.

General Cable (NYSE: BGC - News), headquartered in Highland Heights, designs, manufactures and markets copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products.

Published November 9, 2006 by the Cincinnati Business Courier

Hitachi Unveils Online North America Branding Campaign To Boost Awareness, Connections

"True Stories" Mini-Documentaries Showcase How Hitachi Technologies, Products and Services Impact People and Benefit Society

Hitachi America, Ltd., and its parent company Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT - News; TOKYO:6501 - News), announced the company's largest-ever North America brand campaign, entitled "Hitachi / True Stories," designed to help grow Hitachi's awareness, understanding and connections with customers, prospects and other constituencies. The new multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign is part of the company's overall drive to boost Hitachi revenues to more than 50 percent outside its traditional Japanese base.

Set in real-life towns with real people from across North America, "Hitachi / True Stories" campaign consists of a series of documentary short films -- and related online and print components -- that showcase how Hitachi is affecting and enhancing the lives of everyday people in the Americas. The compelling, five-minute movies were developed to show Hitachi in a genre of cinema verite, a major departure from previous brand efforts. The campaign also reflects the human impact that Hitachi's brand represents, including the "harmony, sincerity and pioneering spirit" that drove Hitachi's founders nearly 100 years ago.

"In the past, Hitachi North America has primarily focused on products, innovation and technology, and we are proud of all that we have accomplished," said Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chief Executive for North America. "But what sometimes gets overlooked is the way Hitachi has become very much a part of this area of the world and the daily lives of people in the Americas. Our 'True Stories' series illustrates -- in the words of customers and end users -- how Hitachi is transforming their lives across a variety of industries, including advanced medical technology, information and telecommunications systems, power and industrial infrastructure and consumer electronics technologies."

According to Gerard F. Corbett, vice president of the Branding and Corporate Communications Group at Hitachi America and deputy of its North America Brand Committee: "Hitachi's 'True Stories' short films are part of a sustainable campaign that was conceived and developed with McCann-Erickson, our North America advertising firm. The stories themselves are primarily people and story driven, rather than focused strictly on the company's core products and services. Our goal was to begin communicating the effect of Hitachi's products and services on people. Because so much of what the company does is largely hidden from the public, this style of communications represents an out-of-the-box strategy to better connect with the company's many constituencies."

Five films designed for the web will be available to the public when the campaign launches on November 9. The online films will be supported by advertising and media placements including online, print and out-of-home venues. The films' themes and subject matter all focus on the net effect of Hitachi's technologies on people. For example, in the first film, "Small Town Oregon Logs On," we see what happens when Hitachi fiber-to-the-home technology is used to connect a remote coastal town to the country's fastest communications network. The filmmaker interviews a number of people whose lives are transformed for the better.

The second film, A New Breed of Bloodhound, explains how Hitachi storage systems are helping the South Carolina Computer Crime Center keep the Internet safe for everyone. The filmmaker interviews a number of law enforcement officials as they explain how Hitachi storage technology is used to catch predators who employ the Internet in sinister ways.

Additional films in the series include a documentary about a cancer patient who flies himself to Houston for treatment sessions involving Hitachi's new proton beam therapy system installed at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; a power plant that uses the company's supercritical coal-fired technology to produce clean energy from coal; and a story about how Hitachi's plasma screen technology migrated from college laboratories to family living rooms.

"'True Stories' represents an innovative and timely approach to advertising," said Andrew Scott, vice president and group account director at McCann-Erickson. "In a world dominated by digital recorders, social networking sites and user-generated video, Hitachi and other leading brands are boldly stepping forward to re-evaluate their approach to traditional advertising. With 'True Stories,' Hitachi is able to break through the clutter of sound-bites and 30-second spots to share the types of rich interactive stories that attract consumers looking for a more meaningful engagement -- which just so happens to reflect the true spirit of Hitachi."

For more information, please visit

Ottawa-area Engineering Firm Chooses EZ-Cabling™ From ELECTEC

ELECTEC Ltd, a Canadian innovator of manufactured wiring systems is proud to be involved in the design and cabling of a new expansion of office space at Zenix Engineering Ltd.

For the expansion, Zenix chose Electec’s EZ-Cabling system for its voice/data horizontal cabling. “For a consolidation point system that offers so much flexibility, not to mention mechanical protection of our cabling, EZ-Cabling provides an efficient, reliable and cost-effective cabling solution”, says Robert Larabie, Principal – Electrical of Zenix Engineering Ltd.

The pre-terminated and verified EZ-Cabling system will provide Zenix the ability to manage moves, adds and changes in a modular, turn-key fashion resulting in less down time, more reliable performance and a long-term cost savings.

The mechanical protection provided by premium Ultralx™ armour inherently maintains proper cable bend radius and offers a higher level of flexibility and ease of installation not available with rigid conduit.

Additional features of EZ-Cabling include non-combustible cable construction resulting in a safer work environment free of hazardous chemicals found in flame retardant and limited combustible cable and a distributed, modular design concept that eliminates troublesome, costly and often dangerous abandoned cable.

The Zenix project also afforded the opportunity for Electec to test prototype designs of an innovative new reel and a light-weight cable management and installation system.

For over a decade, Electec has been developing manufactured wiring systems used across Canada in the construction of Class A office buildings, Universities, Factories and Retail Stores. Electec systems enjoy a large share of the modular wiring market in Canada and are proudly used in the construction of IKEA stores throughout North America and Japan.

Although smaller in comparison to many of Electec’s prior projects, the Zenix project represents a new era in The Next Generation of Wiring Systems™. Electec’s new product lines, beginning with EZ-Cabling, offer added value, flexibility and safety to all construction projects, large, medium or small.

Founded in 1995, Zenix Engineering Ltd. has grown to be one of Ottawa’s premier full service engineering firms. The company provides a comprehensive range of services in the following disciplines: Building Envelope and Roofing, Electrical, Fire and Life Safety, Interior Design, Mechanical, Security, Structural and Tenant Fit-Ups.

After the Storm

New cabling infrastructure returns Louisiana Superdome to state-of-the-art status.

Hurricane Katrina will go down in U.S. history as the costliest landfalling hurricane ever recorded. When 80,000 people flocked to the Louisiana Superdome for shelter, no one thought that the world’s largest steel-constructed room designed to withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour would fail. A leaking roof, combined with flooding and vandalism, called for a complete restoration of the facility, including the entire network-cabling infrastructure.

Amidst the grave circumstances, Dave Stewart, regional manager of technology for SMG, the private management company for the facility, saw an opportunity to return the Superdome to state-of-the-art status with today’s cabling infrastructure technology. Headquartered in Philadelphia, SMG manages 22 arenas, eight stadiums, 58 convention centers, 43 performing arts centers and 14 other recreational facilities. In New Orleans, SMG manages the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Arena, in addition to eight other entertainment and convention facilities.

The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) owns the Superdome and leases it back to the state. SMG took over private management of the Superdome from the state in 1977, just two years after its opening.

“Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Superdome relied primarily on an outdated copper infrastructure that included over 40,000 pairs of Category 3 and 10,000 pairs of Category 5 cable,” explains Stewart. “Within the last five years, we had implemented a small multimode fiber backbone between the Superdome and New Orleans Arena. But with so many different types of events, we continually had to add network drops in remote locations, which required multiple patching. In some instances, a simple analog line needed to be cross connected in six separate closets, which often left us with an unorganized cabling mess.”

In the last days of August 2005, the Superdome served as a shelter for those who could not evacuate New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Katrina’s arrival. Not only was the facility inadequately equipped to house the evacuees, but about 70% of the roof failed in the high winds. The broken levees separating Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne from New Orleans flooded nearly 80% of the city, including the first level of the Superdome. Additional interior damage was caused by vandalism from the thousands of stranded people.

In the days that followed Hurricane Katrina, Doug Thorton, regional VP for SMG, organized a team to assess the damage. “Our team caravanned through half a dozen military blockades back to the Dome, where we needed complete biohazard protection, including hazard suits, double layers of protective gloves and special respirators,” recalls Stewart. “Once inside, the sights and smells were beyond belief. After the initial shock wore off, we each set out to assess our departments.”

Network equipment damaged

The original main data center was located on the first level where flooding occurred, and Stewart’s first goal was to recover any salvageable servers and network equipment. “It only took a few hours to realize that most, if not all, equipment had failed. Some failures were due to water intrusion, while others were a result of multiple power spikes and overheating,” says Stewart. “No matter what their condition, I knew I would take the domain controller, e-mail server and AS400.” Following the assessment, Stewart spent the next 60 days repairing and operating the critical equipment from his home in Belle Chasse, La.

Donning a full biohazard suit with only a small flashlight to guide him, it took weeks for Stewart to inspect nearly two million square feet and assess the damage to the existing cabling infrastructure. All of this work was done with no working elevators, 90-degree temperatures and extremely high humidity in the Superdome.

“Beyond the physical damage caused by wind, flying debris and vandalism, the building was dripping with rain and floodwater,” says Stewart. “In just days, the lack of power and air conditioning, along with high humidity, caused 66 and 110 punch-down blocks to show signs of mineral deposits and corrosion. Anyone who’s ever punched down wire could see that most of the cabling infrastructure needed replacing.”

Following Katrina, the mandate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was to repair the damaged Superdome to its previous condition by paying 90% of the renovation costs. The other 10% was covered by the state. In order to receive FEMA funding, each and every damaged item had to be thoroughly documented, including servers, PCs, switches, routers, cabling and connections.

“Accounting for every item was no small task, and I would recommend that every IT manager keep up with their documentation, because you never know when you’ll need it,” says Stewart.

Stewart worked with Nortel and Anixter to review the latest network technologies and decided on a mix of singlemode and multimode fiber for the backbone infrastructure, and Category 6 for the horizontal cabling. He was then faced with the task of convincing FEMA to pay for technology that was far better than what had previously existed at the Superdome.

“It turned out that the new infrastructure would cost less than repairing the old Category 3 and Category 5 system,” he explains. “The size of the Superdome would have called for a ton of copper, and fiber is much cheaper if you plan correctly. When it came to the horizontal solution, Anixter was able to price Category 6 cabling only pennies higher than Category 5.”

Details are important

Once the components were selected and FEMA approvals acquired, Stewart and his team worked with local engineers to draft scopes of work for an open bidding process. The network infrastructure installation was granted to two local subcontractors. “We reviewed several bids, which amazingly were within 1% of each other on cost. When it came to accuracy and attention to detail, these two had the most comprehensive proposals. Usually, more detail up front means more attention to detail during the installation.”

To select a specific Category 6 cabling solution, an in-house, real-life installation was set up to test performance of the two vendors’ solutions. “They tested the cables right out of the box, simulating the bends, twists and kinks that might happen during installation. And then they tested again to determine which solution was the most resilient,” says Stewart. The performance testing resulted in selection of the Belden IBDN System 2400-gigabit cabling solution from Belden CDT.

Based on the Belden Series 2400 UTP cables and GigaFlex PS6 connectivity products, System 2400 exceeds published Category 6 requirements, delivering 250 MHz of user bandwidth and supporting data rates up to 2.4 Gbps. The GigaFlex PS6 connectivity features a termination bar (T-bar) that acts as a tiny cable manager for individual copper pairs to provide stable, high-performance terminations for Category 6 solutions and beyond. Use of the T-bar limits the amount of unjacketed cable, controls the amount of untwisting on critical pair combinations and optimizes the spatial position of the twisted pairs. The T-bar also contributes to stabilizing the performance of the terminated ports when a connector needs to be rotated for cable servicing.

The Superdome is an elliptical-shaped building consisting of 11 levels, including ground and mezzanine levels. The main data center was relocated from the ground floor to the mezzanine level with the intent of being above future floodwaters. The new data center is fed from the Bell South demarcation point on the ground level via 48 strands of singlemode fiber, 48 strands of laser-optimized 50-micron multimode fiber and 500-pair copper.

From the data center, 12 strands of singlemode fiber, 12 strands of laser-optimized 50-micron multimode fiber and 50-pair Category 3 copper voice cable feed most intermediate distribution frames (IDFs). Another IDF for CCTV and two future pressrooms are fed with 24 strands of singlemode fiber, 24 strands of laser-optimized 50-micron multimode fiber and 300-pair Category 3 voice cable.

On the ground level, 24 custom-made floor boxes are each fed with six strands of singlemode, six strands of laser-optimized 50-micron multimode and four Category 6 cables. An additional 12 strands of singlemode and 12 strands of laser-optimized 50-micron multimode fiber were installed from the Superdome main distribution frame (MDF) to the New Orleans Arena located across the street. All fiber-optic cable was manufactured by Corning Cable Systems and supplied with a 25-year warranty.

The cabling infrastructure is divided into four quadrants, and most floors include two IDFs in each quadrant for a total of more than 70 IDFs throughout the facility. Belden 2400 Category 6 cable provides nearly 2,000 connections located in press boxes, suites, offices and the concession area. The Category 6 cable also provides connectivity for more than 300 wireless access points located throughout the Superdome.

“In the past, selling service was time consuming due to the multiple patching needed to hand off a stable link. With the new IDF locations, and the fact that they are all home run back to the MDF, the time required to provide service to clients will be cut in half,” says Stewart. The infrastructure will also enable day-to-day employee functions, such as e-mail, Internet access and accounting systems.

While some IDFs are located in existing closets, most are housed in Middle Atlantic SR Series pivoting cabinets. These freestanding, secure cabinets feature a lockable swing-out body that allows access to the back of the mounted equipment and patch panels. Due to the overall magnitude of the Superdome, each quadrant required both a large cabinet (40 RU) and a smaller cabinet (24 RU) to maintain the 100-meter distance limitation for horizontal copper cabling as specified by TIA 568-B standards.

Renovation fast-tracked

Each quadrant is approximately 720 feet of linear space, and running the horizontal cabling from one central IDF would have exceeded the distance limitations, explains Stewart.  As a result, an additional smaller cabinet in each quadrant had to be installed to pick up the balance.  For the ground level of the Superdome, Middle Atlantic provided custom enclosures by redesigning the base to include an additional 11 inches of height, putting equipment above the 18-inch flood level.

In early January, the $168-million renovation of the Superdome was fast tracked to ready the facility for reopening in September.  The goal was to accommodate a capacity crowd for the first Saints NFL game on Monday, Sept. 25, (the Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons in front of a sellout crowd).  The aggressive schedule gave crews just 90 days to implement miles of conduit, voice, and data fiber-optic backbone cabling and more than 375,000 feet of horizontal Category 6 cabling.

A time-saving cabling-installation system (CIS) was implemented that ultimately provided the Superdome with an efficiently and properly installed infrastructure.  CIS is a new concept that is bringing long overdue innovation to the cabling infrastructure installation process, and it is driven by the need for more careful handling and organization of high-speed UTP cables to ensure long-term performance, life expectancy, and future flexibility.  The Beast Cabling Installation System was selected for the Superdome because it offered several components working together to address efficiency, material savings, cable organization, and performance.

Consistency was provided by maintaining separation and organization of cables in the pathway, while reducing cable stress, kinks, and jacket burn that can happen during installation, and eventually lead to degraded network performance.  Because a natural separation of cables in the pathway was maintained, crosstalk performance is enhanced, and cables are easier to access and identify for future moves, adds and changes.

“Without a proper cable installation, we might as well throw half the money away,” says Stewart.  “Imagine renting the facility to a major technology company for their annual stockholders meeting.  Imagine they need to use a vital communication link to support their keynote speaker.  Now imagine the consequences of that infrastructure having performance issues due to an inadequate installation process.  IT managers need to remember that proper installation starts with the design and does not end until every pair of fiber and copper passes every single test.

“In today’s world, whether it’s an office building, a medical facility, or a distribution center, communications are a vital part of a successful business,” he continues.  “Stadiums, convention centers and arenas are no exception.  During the NCAA quarterfinals, our building supplied thousands of phone lines, hundreds of DSLs, and dozens of ISDNs and T-1s.  Super Bowl XXXVI doubled those NCAA numbers, and future Super Bowl events will undoubtedly triple those numbers.  Without a state-of-the-art, extensive network infrastructure, major events would move to other sites, and companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Peoplesoft and Nationwide would re-think holding major events in our city.  The New Orleans economy, like all major cities, needs to stay ahead of the technology curve in order to stay competitive.

“It’s interesting how initially we were full of despair seeing our building and network in such disarray, but we soon realized that this could be a new beginning that could establish the Superdome as a technology leader among stadiums throughout the country,” Stewart adds.  “It’s safe to say that in some small way, the rebirth of New Orleans hinges upon the Superdome coming back to life.”

by Betsy Ziobron

Bio: Betsy Ziobron is a freelance writer covering the network and telecommunications industry.

Reprinted with full permission of Communications News November issue2006


Copyright ©