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Wireville.com

Issue: November 2011
By: Frank Bisbee


Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


Bisbee's Buzz

Communications and Driving Do Not Mix

Electrical contractors are a mobile army with thousands of vehicles, but now a threat to the safety of their workers is growing. In an age defined by the convenience of cell phones and other technology, we’re beginning to see some communications and driving do not mix.

You've seen those drivers on the road, phone to the ear and driving brain almost in neutral. You've done it yourself, fumbling with phone dialing, reading or sending a text message. Then there is checking e-mail.

Operating cell phones or the growing realm of electronic devices makes the road riskier for everybody. Many advocates for improved road safety are screaming. Some states, and even Washington D.C., have even started to ban cell phone use while driving.

One of my friends in Washington D.C. suggested that identifiable photos of the vehicle, driver (on the phone) and location could be sent in for a $10 bounty. The offender would receive a citation for $75 and points on their license. That might make the enforcement effective.

http://www.ecmag.com/images/ads/ECMag_become_a_dealer_468x60_11_1_11.jpg

"You are just an accident waiting for a place to happen when you text message and drive," said Michelle Shannahan, vice president of operations at Communication Planning Corp., Jacksonville, Fla. “Any competent driving instructor will tell you the same thing. Unfortunately, the highway casualty count continues to rise, while we fail to ban texting while driving. Just watching other drivers talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to the traffic makes me angry."

A Zigby Interactive poll this summer found 83 percent thought texting while driving should be illegal. But among respondents 18 to 24, the support for a ban dropped to 48 percent. That age group also was most likely to text while driving. Sixty-six percent of them had done so, compared to 16 percent of cell phone owners overall. The nationwide poll of 2,246 adults had a margin of error of 2.1 percent.

To many in Generation Y—currently aged 18 to 24—doing those things while driving is a way of life. These drivers routinely say they welcome technological advances such as voice-activated devices but not more government regulation.

Some typical reactions to laws and enforcement to improve safety on the highway are uninformed. For example: A ban on texting while driving is a "horrible idea." it takes only a few seconds to read a text message and then shoot back a five-word response. If you don’t text in heavy traffic or bad weather you will be okay. In contrast, cell phone calls can go on for several minutes, and people also spend more time eating in cars than it takes for a text message.

The potential crackdown also has stimulated research aimed at making technology more driver-friendly. In the car of the future, a driver could keep both hands on the wheel while giving verbal commands to operate communications devices, even dictating e-mails and text messages.

"Within the next decade, your vehicle is going to be as connected to such electronic services as your home or office." said James Carlini, a well known communications consultant and technology visionary “The big question is when will the technology-makers make it safe for the road."

Automakers also are rolling out voice-recognition devices and not just for hands-free phone calls. Mercedes-Benz offers voice-activated features in its C-Class cars to select a radio station or CD track. The system also "reads out loud" text messages and translates common text-message expressions, like "LOL," which translates to laughing out loud. Ford and Lincoln Mercury will sell a similar system on select 2008 models, including the ability to pick songs from iPod or MP3 players by speaking the choice. Those features appeal to car buyers who shop for the latest in technology.

All that technology tends to give drivers a false sense of security, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Dialing a cell phone is more dangerous than talking on one, but because people spend more time talking than dialing, those conversations cause just as many crashes, the administration found in a 2006 study.

No states have banned cell phone use by all drivers, but a handful have enacted laws that state drivers can use only hands-free cell phones, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Sixteen states have laws restricting cell phones for teenage drivers. Florida has no regulations on cell phones. Georgia bans their use by school bus drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following are some common activities of drivers and how much they increase the risk of a crash or near-crash:

• Reaching for a moving object—9 times greater

• Looking for an object—3.7 times greater

• Reading—3 times greater

• Dialing a cell phone—almost 3 times greater

• Applying makeup—3 times greater

• Talking on a phone—1.3 times greater

• Driving while drowsy—4 times greater


The AAA recommends the following tips for using your cell phone in your car or truck:

• AAA's first tip: Don't use a cellular phone while driving. But if you must, continue with this list.

• Familiarize yourself with the features of your cell phone before you get behind the wheel.

• Use the cell phone only when absolutely necessary. Limit casual conversations to times when you're not trying to safely operate a motor vehicle.

• Plan your conversation in advance, and keep it short - especially in hazardous conditions such as bad weather or heavy traffic.

• Let the person you're speaking with know you are in a vehicle.

• Do not engage in emotional conversations while trying to drive. Pull off the road to a safe spot before continuing this type of conversation.

• Do not combine distracting activities such as talking on your cell phone while driving, eating and tending to a child.

• Use message-taking functions and return calls when you are stopped at a safe location.

• Ask a passenger in the car to place the call for you and, if possible, speak in your place.

• Secure your phone in the car so that it doesn't become a projectile in a crash.

NEVER TEXT WHILE DRIVING… NOT EVER.

BISBEE is with Communication Planning Corp., a telecom and datacom design/build firm. He provides a free monthly summary of industry news on www.wireville.com.

Reprinted with permission from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine www.ecmag.com

Frank Bisbee - Editor

"HOTS - Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

www.wireville.com

4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16

Jacksonville, FL  32257

(904) 645-9077 office

(904) 237-0365 cell

(904) 645-9058 fax

frank@wireville.com

 

NECA 2011 San Diego A Smashing Success

Nearly 5,000 Participate in Convention, Trade Show

BETHESDA, MD – The National Electrical Contractors Association wrapped up its 2011 Convention and Trade Show several exciting days of education and exploration at the San Diego Convention Center. Over 5,000 attendees enjoyed inspiring presentations from retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChyrstal and “extreme leadership” guru Steve Farber, plus 275 exhibitors from across the electrical construction industry.

“We had a great convention in San Diego, and I think there’s a good chance we’ll go back sooner the next time,” said Beth Ellis, NECA Executive Director, Convention/Expo. The association last convened in San Diego 17 years ago. “We did a lot of things this year to reflect how electrical contractors’ businesses have changed and what’s new in the electrical construction market.”

One new feature that Ellis hopes will return at NECA 2012 Las Vegas (Sept. 29-Oct. 2) will be the NECA Energy Forum. “The Energy Forum was a great peer-learning environment, with electrical contractors from all over the country sharing their experiences about entering the energy efficiency and renewable energy market,” Ellis said.

“Green is the color of the future," said Stan Lazarian, chair of NECA’s Energy Solutions Task Force, who helped develop the program. “Our goal with the Energy Forum was to show NECA contractors exactly how they can add energy solutions to their existing companies – because this work is here to stay.” 

Another popular activity at this year’s program was the Lifestyle Session featuring conservationist extraordinaire Joan Embery. Embery brought nearly 30 animals out on stage with her to showcase the remarkable creatures she’s worked with at the San Diego Zoo and gave five “lucky” audience members a taste of zookeeper duty when they helped hold up a 13-foot Burmese python.

NECA 2011 San Diego kicked off with a gala reception aboard the USS Midway, and former Beach Boy Al Jardine and his Endless Summer Band closed the event with an outdoor concert. The good weather held for convention-goers to enjoy one last night of catching up with old friends and making new ones.

NECA’s 2012 Convention and Trade Show will be held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center, Sept. 29-Oct. 2. Preliminary meeting information can be found on www.necaconvention.org and highlights, pictures and daily video broadcasts from NECA 2011 San Diego can be found on blog.necaconvention.org.

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

 

Megladon Mfg Fiber Technology Scores Big With US Military At The AVFOP 2011 Conference

Megladon Product Presentation on HLC Fiber Optic Technology Deemed a BIG STEP AHEAD for the US Military Needs at Avionics, Fiber-Optics and Photonics Technology Conference 2011

Megladon Manufacturing Group’s product presentation deemed a BIG STEP AHEAD For The US Military Needs at the AVFOP 2011 conference in San Diego October 4-6. As one of the invited speakers, Megladon presented the HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) technology to the Military and Commercial Aviation industries. The presentation took place at 1:30PM on October 6th.

“This was an exciting opportunity to present the HLC technology. We have known for years the capabilities of the tempered fiber optic mating surface and its ability to perform in severe environments” stated John M Culbert, President and Partner of Megladon. Used correctly, the technology can make the combat scenario safer for our troops. The products we use in the military have to perform in the worst environments.

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

Avionics, Fiber-Optics and Photonics Technology Conference 2011 was held at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, San Diego, California October 4th – 6th. The aerospace industry has made great strides in recent years deploying fiber optics and photonics technology on commercial and military platforms. This trend will continue to grow as avionics fiber optic system architectures, networking schemes, and components evolve and mature. 
This application-oriented conference will provide a common international forum for leaders, researchers, engineers, technicians, logisticians, manufacturers, and instructors to convene and discuss all aspects of severe environment fiber optic component, systems, reliability, maintainability, producibility and supportability technology, and its future direction.
 

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

 

FOA - Timely Notes For HOTS

We're off to do seminars in Auckland, Sydney and Malaysia.

Jim Hayes – President of The Fiber Optic Association

www.thefoa.org

New Loss Calculator App For iPhone and iPad - Free! Download FOA LossCalc from the Apple App Store

For all you iPhone/iPad users, the FOA has released a free app that calculates the loss of a fiber optic link. It uses either default, standard or your custom specs for component loss and you input the length of the link, number of connections and/or splices and it gives you the loss. It's a great time saver for designers of links wanting to know if the link will support the networks intended or for installers to have a benchmark loss for testing each fiber. 
It's free - just download it from the app store with your iPhone or iPad, or it's a great excuse to finally get one!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foa-losscalc/id476262894?mt=8&ls=1

FOA Releases 25th Lecture on Fiber Optics Covering Fiber To The Home (FTTH)

FOA has uploaded the 25 lecture on fiber optics, this one on FTTH. 
These FOA lectures are about 10 minutes each and cover specific topics on fiber optics like fiber, connectors, testing, etc. They are part of the 50+ videos on the FOA channel on YouTube that includes almost 30 "hands-on" videos.
We need your feedback on what we do next? Premises cabling? Fiber for wireless? You tell us - just comment on this posting.
The FOA channel on YouTube is at http://www.youtube.com/user/thefoainc

Fiber Vs Copper For Premises Networks? Think Again!
"A survey by WLAN vendor Meraki in June found that for the first time smartphones and tablets like the Apple iPhone and iPad have overtaken computers on Wi-Fi networks. The finding highlights the argument over how much wired LAN infrastructure companies need, or should have when users' connection expectations are for reliable wireless.

Colleges and universities that spent over a decade and a ton of money running Ethernet cables to dorm room (“a port for every pillow”) now discover that 50% to over 90% of those wired ports are never used. One university IT staffer said most students wouldn’t even know what to do with a patch cable.

John Cox, Network World, Nov. 2, 2011  

We've been saying this for years - while copper and fiber were battling for desktop supremacy, wireless has become the connection of choice. Now that the majority of devices sold, smartphones and tablets, don't have wired connections as an option, the future of structured cabling in the horizontal is in doubt. Since we sit on some of the committees that write TIA-568, we were curious about what all the documents say about wireless. It's practically nothing. Fiber continues to be used in backbones and to connect wireless APs (access points) especially in large buildings and metropolitan areas, but all that "Cat 5" to the desktop may be best used by recycling for the value of the copper.

About the FOA
The Fiber Optic Association, Inc., the international professional society of fiber optics is an nonprofit educational organization chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Over 250 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified more than 35,000 fiber optic technicians. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic programs for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved schools.
For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website http://www.thefoa.org/, email info@thefoa.org.

 

BICSI Bits & Pieces

Register Now for the 2012 BICSI Winter
Conference & Exhibition
BICSI is excited to announce that registration for the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition is open. Experience the world-class information technology systems (ITS) education that the Winter Conference has to offer at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, February 12-16. With exhibits, networking opportunities and more than 30 educational sessions, this conference is a great way to further your ITS career at the start of 2012. Click here to register now!

It's Back: The BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge
Do you have what it takes to be the next BICSI Installer of the Year? Prove it at the fifth annual BICSI Cabling Skills Challenge, taking place at the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition. Fight for the right to add your name to the list of champions! Apply today—the deadline is January 12, 2012. All current BICSI Installers and Technicians are eligible to enter. Click here to download an application form. Prizes will be awarded and the grand champion will walk away with $5,000.

BICSI Bylaws Amendments Election Under Way
The BICSI Board of Directors has made amendments to the BICSI Bylaws. These proposed amendments will be adopted into the Bylaws pending a vote by the BICSI membership. This vote is going on now through November 30. All members in good standing as of September 1, 2011, are eligible to vote and should have received either an electronic ballot via email or a paper ballot in the mail.

Two More BICSI Webinars Scheduled
Register for a BICSI webinar! Two are coming up: "Copper Test Methods and Troubleshooting" on November 30 and "Fiber Test Methods and Troubleshooting" on January 18. These low-cost webinars are great ways to learn and earn CECs toward credential renewal without having to leave your home or office! Register at the same time for both of these webinars and save 20 percent! For details, click here.

Take Part in a Free BICSI/Cisco Webinar
Find out how you can get the greatest benefit out of BICSI's partnership with Cisco by attending a webinar entitled "Develop Your Career with Cisco and BICSI" on Wednesday, December 7. This webinar is presented at no cost, and you may sign up to attend by clicking here and following the "Register" link on the left side of the screen.

Online Introductory Data Center Course Now Available
What is a data center? How is data center different from any other commercial building? What is involved in a data center design? What are the future trends in data center design? BICSI answers all of these questions in a new course, titled "An Introduction to Data Center Design," offered online via BICSI CONNECT. For details and to register for this course, click here.

10 Percent Discount on Cisco CCENT Examination for BICSI Customers
As the first exam in the CCNA credential track, the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification validates the skills required for entry-level network support positions, the starting point for many successful careers in networking. CCENT-certified professionals have the knowledge and skill to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including basic network security. Click here to find out how to receive a 10 percent discount on this examination.

Nominate an Individual: Harry Pfister Award
University
of South Florida (USF) is pleased to continue presenting the Harry J. Pfister Award to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of telecommunications/information technology systems (ITS) over a period of time. For details, as well as information on submitting your nomination,
click here.

Become an RTPM(i) Today
BICSI's Registered Telecommunications Project Manager (RTPM) program is set for release in the coming months. Until the credential is fully launched, you can become an interim RTPM—an RTPM(i). Click here for more information, including an FAQ and an opt-in form for existing Telecommunications Project Managers (TPMs).

 

IEEE Experts Say Existing Intelligent Transportation Technologies Could Eliminate 90 Percent of Traffic Accidents

Within 20 Years Intelligent Transportation Technologies Will Significantly Change How Societies Travel and Use Energy, Predict IEEE Experts

PISCATAWAY, N.J., Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly every traffic accident caused by driver error - up to 90 percent of all crashes - could be eliminated if existing intelligent transportation technologies were implemented in our vehicles and roads, say experts at IEEE, the world's largest technical professional association. These include electronics and computing technologies such as in-vehicle machine vision and sensors to detect drowsy drivers, lane departure warning systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications for safety applications. However, costs of such technologies need to continue to fall so the average consumer can afford these vehicle safety features.

"Today's advanced embedded systems, sensors, microprocessors and control technologies have made our vehicles and roads significantly safer, but integrating them into our vehicles and roads has been a slow process," said Dr. Azim Eskandarian, IEEE member and director of the Center for Intelligent Systems Research at The George Washington University. "However, within 10 years, as technology costs continue to fall and implementation of these technologies increases, we could see significant improvements in vehicle safety, efficiency, and energy conservation - especially in developing parts of the world where high-end cars are not yet affordable by the general public."

Dr. Eskandarian says other challenges include market acceptance and potential liability concerns surrounding technologies that take total or partial control of the vehicle, such as collision avoidance and driver assistance programs like automatic braking. However, these technologies may follow the path of driver- and passenger-side airbags and anti-lock braking systems (ABS) or electronic stability control (ESC), initially offered as optional features but today considered proven and often standard safety measures in nearly all vehicles.

Advanced research on safety technologies is going far beyond individual vehicles. For example, Teruo Higashino, IEEE Senior Member and professor of information networking at Osaka University in Japan, has focused recently on applying wireless networking technology for vehicle-to-vehicle communication to help detect dangerous vehicles on the road - such as a car approaching a blind intersection - and warn nearby drivers, helping dramatically reduce accidents. Many of these ground-breaking innovations, including vehicle-to-vehicle communication, were discussed at the recently held IEEE ITS Conference in Washington D.C.

Dr. Alberto Broggi, President of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society and professor at the Universita di Parma in Italy, says intelligent transportation technologies on the horizon, including autonomously-driven vehicles, will forever change our concept of car use. Broggi recently coordinated the successful 13,000 kilometer journey of a driverless van from Italy to China. "These types of self-driven vehicles will be ready for use in non-urban environments within five to eight years," said Broggi. "The same technology will also apply to agricultural equipment, including self-driven tractors and combines that will maximize land use, increase crop output and decrease injuries."

Another expected benefit of intelligent transportation technologies is reduced fuel consumption and emissions. IEEE Senior Member Matt Barth, at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology at University of California-Riverside, predicts that fuel use and vehicle emissions can be reduced by 20 to 30 percent worldwide over the next five years using environmentally-friendly ITS technology such as "eco-routing." This vehicle GPS system capability will allow drivers to select destination routes according to fuel efficiency.

"Many governments are establishing new emissions and fuel efficiency standards for vehicle manufacturers to meet in the next ten years," Barth said. "The integration of ECO-ITS technologies - such as eco-routing into our vehicles - will be an important evolution in further reducing carbon emissions, achieving greater fuel efficiency, and strengthening energy independence."

Kyongsu Yi, IEEE member and director of the Vehicle Dynamics and Control Laboratory at Seoul National University in South Korea, said the application of intelligent transportation technologies varies by setting. "There's much more of a focus on traffic management systems for pedestrian protection in countries in Europe and Asia where cities were traditionally designed around a relatively small and defined city center," Yi said. "In contrast, in the United States where there are more sprawling open spaces, the emphasis is on vehicle safety systems to prevent roll-overs or collisions with other fast-moving vehicles."

Additional IEEE resources and multimedia content on intelligent transportation systems include:

-- IEEE Spectrum article on a recent affordable innovation in long-distance car radar - http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/advanced-cars/longdistance-car-radar / -- IEEE Spectrum article on Ford's Curve Control Technology - http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/advanced-cars/ford-takes-control-of- tight-curves -- Video from U.S. Department of Transportation on vehicle-to-vehicle communication safety systems - http://www.its.dot.gov/library/media/v2v_video.htm -- ITS World Congress, focusing on "Keeping the Economy Moving" - http://www.itsworldcongress.org/

For more information on IEEE, or to speak with a member about intelligent transportation systems, please contact: ieeeteam@webershandwick.com.

About IEEE

IEEE, the world's largest technical professional association, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more: http://www.ieee.org.

IEEE

CONTACT: Aaron Masterson, Weber Shandwick for IEEE, +1-952-346-6258,amasterson@webershandwick.com, or Gailanne Barth, IEEE, +1-732-562-5315,g.barth@ieee.org

Web site: http://www.ieee.org/

 

Megladon Sweeping the Network and Military Markets With New Angle Polished HLC® ScratchGuard® Fiber Optic Patch Cords

Austin, Texas, September 13, 2011 – Megladon Manufacturing Group took a monumental step for the CATV market by adapting the HLC process to angle polished connectors. Angle polished connectors have been used for years in high speed video transport applications due to inherent low reflection characteristics. The fragile nature of fiber mating surfaces, however, has continued to plague an industry that is more competitive than ever.

With the growing video on demand and streaming video content on the web, a need arises for high quality fiber optic products capable of withstanding this trend. Industry leaders and providers are having to transition into a more competent network infrastructure to conform to the now industry standard of high performance fiber optic networks.

The SCRATCHGUARD Fiber Optic Patch Cords (by Megladon Manufacturing Group) is a critical step forward in quality. The fiber optic connector is a crucial component and the “gateway to the fiber optic cabling network”. Damage to the connector due to repeated use has been the biggest problem for network managers, until now. The patented SCRATCHGUARD Fiber Optic Patch Cords have virtually eliminated the problem. “We have studied the Megladon Manufacturing products and spoken with several major network operations that are using these breakthrough products. The product exceeds anything else they have ever used.” said Frank Bisbee, Editor of the Heard On The Street column (www.wireville.com), “Jim Hayes, President of the Fiber Optic Association  www.thefoa.org confirmed the need for education in the fiber optic communications industry as new solutions are coming to the marketplace like a tsunami.” Bisbee added.

Megladon’s SM APC HLC SCRATCHGUARD fiber optic patch cords are ideally equipped for network installers that are utilizing high speed video networks. The HLC technology provides mating surface durability and low loss; paired with an Angle Polish Connector we now have a product that significantly reduces reflection, cutting down on interruptions in any given network.

“Up until now CATV and high speed video applications have not been able to take advantage of our HLC patented processes due to standardization on angle polish connectors. Now they can not only experience the HLC SCRATCHGUARD durability, but we added a reduction in insertion loss and reflection over traditional angle polish products,” said John Culbert, President of Megladon.

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

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

 

Optical Cable Corporation Declares Quarterly Dividend

ROANOKE, Va., Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Optical Cable Corporation (Nasdaq GM: OCC) ("OCC®" or the "Company") today announced the declaration of a regular quarterly cash dividend to OCC's shareholders.

OCC's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.01 per share on the Company's common stock effective October 14, 2011.  The dividend will be paid on or about November 15, 2011 to shareholders of record on October 28, 2011.  

The payment date for this quarterly dividend is scheduled to be approximately one month earlier (when compared to the declaration date) than past dividend payment dates since the Company first began declaring quarterly dividends in October 2010.  

The dividend announced today implies an annual cash dividend rate of $0.04 per common share.

Company Information

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

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

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

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

Further information about OCC is available on the Internet at www.occfiber.com.

AT THE COMPANY:

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Wilkin

    Tracy Smith

 

Chairman, President & CEO

    Senior Vice President & CFO

 

(540) 265-0690

     (540) 265-0690

 

investorrelations@occfiber.com

    investorrelations@occfiber.com

 

 

Third-Party Tests Confirm Leviton Opt-X® Unity System Exceeds 40/100G Standards

Intertek testing shows new 24-fiber MTP® system complies with IEEE performance requirements

Leviton Network Solutions, a division of Leviton Manufacturing Inc., announced that its Opt-X Unity 40/100G Fiber System has been tested and verified by third-party group, Intertek Testing Services (ETL), to exceed performance requirements under 40GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-SR10 standards. Opt-X Unity 40/100G Fiber System provides a single, simple connectivity solution that gives data centers a clear migration path to new high-speed applications.

Intertek tested eight different fiber channel configurations to assure compliance to the maximum insertion loss and link distance requirements specified in the IEEE 802.3ba standard. The channels used all of Leviton’s OM3 and OM4 system components, including pre-terminated multifiber termination push-on (MTP®) trunks, MTP modules, MTP array harnesses and MTP array patch cords. The channels were configured with two, three, four and five mated connector pairs in lengths of 100, 150 and 300 meters to reflect typical data center applications as well as maximum flexibility for 40G or 100G applications. The five mated pair configuration, for example, used two MTP array patch cords, two MTP-MTP modules and 150 meters of OM4 cable. All 24-fiber channels were set up and tested as specified in TIA-568-C.0, and tested to the maximum channel insertion loss of 1.9 dB for OM3 and 1.5 dB for OM4 as specified in IEEE802.3ba standard.

The Opt-X Unity 40/100G Fiber System is available through Leviton’s distribution channels. To learn more, visit www.leviton.com/opt-xunity.

 

WESCO net income up 60 percent in quarter

WESCO International (NYSE: WCC) said Thursday its net income rose 60 percent in the third quarter on stronger sales and two acquisitions.

Net income jumped to $53.9 million, $1.11 per share, compared to $33.7 million, or 74 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2010. Sales were $1.58 billion, up 19 percent from the $1.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

WESCO said that 10 cents a share during the quarter had come from the acquisitions of TVC Communications and RECO.

DAMN THE ECONOMY. FULL SPEED AHEAD. 

www.wesco.com 

 

Woman floored by an off-the-hook $200,000 phone bill

A higher than usual phone bill can leave anyone stunned. And when Celina Aarons got a jaw-dropper for more than $200,000, it was no mistake.

The Florida woman has a plan that usually costs her $175 a month. She includes two of her brothers on it, who are deaf and mute, and use smart phones extensively for texting and communicating more easily.

"He's a sweetheart, and he goes to college and I would do anything for him," she told WSVN television of her brother Shamir.

The problem was that Shamir went to Canada on vacation, and did not turn off his data roaming.

The bad news for big sister: a bill for $201,005.44.

"I was freaking out. I was shaking, crying, I couldn't even talk that much on the phone. I was like my life is over!" she told WSVN.

She said she thought "it's never going to get paid... I can't pay that. That's like paying a nice house right now based on what houses are going for."

Though T-Mobile did not have to reduce her bill, it wrote down her charges to $2,500.

"The case of Ms Aarons was extraordinary, even if the amount was correct. T-Mobile cut her bill to $2,500 and gave her six months to pay," a T-Mobile spokeswoman said.


WARNING – WARNING – WARNING


Each month, hundreds of businesses get the same kind of nasty surprise in their monthly phone bill. The carriers report toll fraud hacking cases are widespread. The carriers expend little or no effort to track down the criminals and quickly remind the subscriber that they are responsible to pay the bill, not the carrier. It’s the tariff. Regulators appear to be uninformed about this growing problem of criminal activity robbing the customers of their hard earned dollars.  You can bet the carriers would use their powerful network technology to catch the crooks if the carrier had to pay all or a portion of the fraud charges.

Be careful. It’s a tough world out there.

 

International CES Named Largest Tradeshow with Highest Economic Impact by Trade Show Executive Magazine

2010 International CES Earned Top Spot in TSE Gold 100 Rankings

Arlington, Va., October 21, 2011 The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today announced that the 2010 International CES® was named both the largest tradeshow and the tradeshow with the highest economic impact by Trade Show Executive (TSE) Magazine.

CEA was awarded the highly coveted number one spot in TSE’s Gold 100 Rankings of 2010. CES has earned top honors as the largest annual tradeshow in each of the four years of the Gold 100 Award's existence.  

"For the fourth year in a row, no show was able to unseat the International CES as the largest annual trade show in the U.S.," said Darlene Gudea, president of Trade Show Executive Media Group. "CES held a commanding lead, spanning 586,000 more net square feet of exhibit space than the next annual show on the list." Gudea noted that CES, with its significant exhibitor and attendee participation, enriched the Las Vegas economy with more than $119 million of new dollars, easily earning the distinction of the show with the highest economic impact of 2010.

The 2012 International CES will run January 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada and is expected to span more than 1.6 million net square feet of exhibit space, with more than 2,700 exhibitors from 140 countries. The 2012 show looks to bring in more than 140,000 attendees, with some 30,000 from outside of the U.S., to experience more than 20,000 product launches across cutting edge technology categories such as; 3D, mobile DTV, tablets, apps, connected TVs embedded internet, green technology and more.

"We are thrilled to again top TSE’s Gold 100 Rankings as the leader in the tradeshow industry," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. "The International CES prides itself on being the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow and generating business for the global CE industry."

Tradeshows underscore the importance of face to face interactions. CES attendees collectively save 700 million miles of business travel – by taking one trip to meet all their current and future customers. Each CES attendee conducts an average of 12 onsite meetings with key contacts such as buyers, investors, analysts and media, highlighting the effectiveness of attending the International CES.

More than 200 conference sessions and 500 speakers are planned for the 2012 CES, spanning industry topics from entertainment content and distracted driving to social media and the connected home. For more information on the 2012 International CES, please visit www.CESweb.org.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $190 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online: www.CE.org and www.Innovation-Movement.com. Follow CES at www.CESweb.org

 UPCOMING EVENTS

  • CEA Industry Forum
    October 23-28, 2011, San Diego, CA
  • CES New York Press Preview featuring CES Unveiled @ NY
    November 8, 2011, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled @ London
    November 17, 2011, London, UK
  • Future of Television East
    November 18, 2011, New York, NY

2012 International CES
January 10-13, 2012, Las Vegas, NV

 

Siklu’s EtherHaul E-Band Wireless Radio Successfully Participates in EANTC Interoperability Event

EtherHaul Effectively Demonstrated Standard G.8032 Ethernet Ring

Protection, Synchronous Ethernet Compatibility, QoS over microwave

Tel-Aviv, Israel, October 11, 2011 – Siklu Communication Ltd., provider of innovative millimeter wave wireless backhaul solutions, successfully participated in the Carrier Ethernet World Congress Public Multi-Vendor Interoperability Test 2011.

The Carrier Ethernet interoperability event at the Carrier Ethernet World Congress 2011 is organized by the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC), with the participation of 18 leading telecom vendors. The EtherHaul E-band wireless system effectively demonstrated, amongst others, standard G.8032 Ethernet ring protection, Synchronous Ethernet (Sync-E) compatibility and QoS over microwave during the EANTC’s Interoperability two-week hot staging in Berlin.

The advanced Carrier Ethernet features that Siklu demonstrated at the hot staging are supported in an unprecedented low-cost all-outdoor radio, featuring a low form factor and low power consumption.

“Including these advanced features in an all-outdoor radio has a significant cost advantage, "says Gaby Junowicz, VP marketing and business development at Siklu. “By doing so, mobile operators and service providers can eliminate the need for an additional indoor demarcation device, and can provide advanced Ethernet services using all-outdoor systems.”

With mobile operators facing exponentially increasing capacity demand, the backhaul network is evolving rapidly to advanced topologies with increased resilience such as ring and mesh, and stringent quality of service mechanisms are required. Standards-based support for advanced topologies, as well as advanced synchronization and QoS, are required of backhaul network components.

“Siklu has successfully demonstrated that the all-outdoor EtherHaul E-band radio supports the advanced features carriers require and seamlessly integrates with other network elements manufactured by various equipment vendors,” adds Shahar Peleg, Director of Product Management at Siklu.

Through an innovative implementation of all-silicon technology, Siklu is able to price its EtherHaul Gigabit capacity millimeter wave systems at 80 percent less than comparable systems.

"Siklu is committed to providing innovative backhaul solutions for mobile operators and business service providers," summarizes Junowicz. "We will continue to develop standards-based full-featured backhaul solutions, priced significantly lower than industry norms that integrate seamlessly into carrier networks."

The EANTC Interoperability hot staging results are being showcased at Carrier Ethernet World Congress this week in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Siklu will be presenting its EtherHaul solution at the conference, stand 15. The multi-vendor interoperability test report may be downloaded from Siklu’s website.

About Siklu

Siklu has been committed to reducing the cost of high capacity wireless backhaul solutions since 2008. The company's success centers on an innovative silicon-based design of the millimetric wave radio system and components that has resulted in systems priced as low as 20 percent of competition. The EtherHaul radios deliver Gigabit speeds over the uncongested millimetric wave spectrum and are ideal for a urban wireless backhaul of macro, micro and picocells. Serving providers around the world, Siklu Communication is based near Tel Aviv, Israel. Learn more at www.siklu.com.

About EANTC

The European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) offers vendor-neutral consultancy and test facilities for network equipment manufacturers, service providers and enterprise customers. Primary business areas include interoperability, conformance, and performance testing for Carrier Ethernet, IP/MPLS, and Triple Play technologies and applications. For more information contact Carsten Rossenhoevel, Managing Director, at +49.30.3180595-0 or via e-mail at cross@eantc.com.

http://www.eantc.com

 

Registration is Now Open for the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition!

BICSI is excited to announce that registration for the 2012 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition is open. Click here to register now!

Visit now to browse the conference schedule, register for the conference and begin planning your trip to join us at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, this February.

Experience the world-class information technology systems (ITS) education that the Winter Conference has to offer. You will have numerous opportunities to:

  • Enhance your knowledge and career with more than 30 educational sessions.
  • Visit the Exhibit Hall to learn about the latest products, services and advancements.
  • Earn extra CECs and hands-on experience with E3—Enhanced Education & Exhibits.
  • Network with your peers and interact with other ITS professionals.

Hotel information is posted on the conference site—book by December 24 to receive the group rate. Conference updates are posted to the website regularly, so continue checking back for the latest news.

If you have any questions while filling out the online registration form, please contact the BICSI Customer Care Department at +1 813.979.1991 or 800.242.7405 (USA & Canada toll-free).

Join us in Orlando, Florida to be a part of the education, exhibits and networking! Register today!

 

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Organizes U.S.-China Green ICT Seminar in Beijing

Seminar Will Provide Official Forum for High-Level Conversations Between Key U.S. Government Officials, Chinese Policy Officials and Industry Leaders on Green Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Washington, D.C. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), which provides leadership for the manufacturers and suppliers of global information and communications networks, is organizing the U.S.-China Green ICT Seminar in Beijing, China on October 19, 2011. The seminar is being held under the auspices of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), which is led by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The U.S.-China Green ICT Seminar will allow high-level government thought leaders from both the United States and China to discuss the policy challenges and opportunities that both countries face as they innovate and deploy 21st century smart technologies.

"With explosive growth in the global green technology market over the next five to 10 years, this forum will also provide a unique opportunity to hear directly from some of the world's most innovative companies about their solutions to harness the power of ICTs for reducing energy consumption across economic sectors and meet the challenge of implementing smart grid technologies," explained TIA President Grant Seiffert.

The global green technology market represents a significant opportunity for ICT companies. It is estimated that $200 billion will be invested globally in the smart grid network between 2008 and 2015, with $53 billion expected to be invested in the United States alone. China is anticipated to account for 18.2 percent of the global household smart appliance market by 2015, with its State Grid Corporation setting a goal to fully deploy smart grid technologies by 2020.

The event is being hosted by China's MIIT and the U.S. Department of Commerce with supporting organization help from the China Association of Communications Enterprises (CACE) and the China Electronics Standards Institute (CESI). Industry sponsors of the seminar include the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Ericsson, Genband, ILS Technology, Intel, and Qualcomm.

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

View video news programming on TIA Now at http://www.tianow.org.

TIA's 2011 Market Review & Forecast, is available for purchase online at the TIA store. TIA members receive a discount of more than 60 percent off of the cover price. Review copies are available for qualified media.

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

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

 

BOMA Real Estate and Academic Leaders to Examine the Commercial Real Estate Workplace and Workforce in 2025

The BOMA Foundation and Georgetown University Present “2025: A Vision for Commercial Real Estate”

(WASHINGTON—Oct. 31, 2011) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Foundation will present its second annual Thought Leaders Symposium, 2025: A Vision for Commercial Real Estate, on November 10 in conjunction with the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies and its Masters of Professional Studies in Real Estate Program. The symposium brings together the best and brightest minds in commercial real estate in a forum with the academic and business communities to explore the future of commercial real estate in 2025. The program will explore workspace and design needs, and workforce dynamics in 2025.

“We are very excited to build on the success of last year’s symposium by bringing together thought leaders in academia and real estate to examine how global trends such as sustainability, shifting demographics and technology will shape our industry over the next fifteen years,” commented BOMA Foundation Chair Marilyn Wilbarger, director of property management, City of Key West, Fla.

“The partnership between Georgetown and BOMA enables us to offer rich, though-provoking programming for students considering careers in commercial real estate and for real estate professionals to envision the opportunities and challenges facing the industry in the next 15 years,” remarked Chuck Schilke, associate dean of Georgetown University’s Master’s Program in Real Estate. “The program will offer valuable takeaways for students and property professionals alike.”

The program includes:

Industry Overview

·         Katya Naman, CCIM, senior vice president, Lowe Enterprises, Inc.

·         Boyd Zoccola, executive vice president, Hokanson Companies Inc. and chair, BOMA International

The Workspace: Commercial Real Estate in 2025

·         James B. King, AIA, LEED, AP, principal, AREA Advisor LLC

·         Martha A. O’Mara, PhD, CRE, managing director, Corporate Portfolio Analytics

·         Joan Blumenfeld, principal, Perkins & Will

·         Moderated by Katya Naman

The Workforce: Commercial Real Estate in 2025

·         Freddie Lewis Archer, principal, Lewis Real Estate Services

·         Mike Bush, president, The Minority Resource

·         Kristen Reese, director of Talent Acquisition, Bozzuto Group

·         Moderated by Henry Chamberlain, CAE, APR, president and COO, BOMA International

The program, held Thursday, November 10 in Washington, D.C., will commence with a reception from 6-7 p.m. at the Faculty Club Restaurant Terrace of the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center followed by the Symposium, from 7-9 p.m. in the Hariri Building’s Lohrfink Auditorium. The program is free but registration is required.

For more details about the program and to register, visit www.boma.org/Events/2025symposium.

About the BOMA International Foundation
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Foundation is an independent, tax-exempt organization (501(c) 3) whose mission is to serve the commercial real estate industry by fostering a future vision, forward thinking research, innovative thought, and global best practices.  The Foundation is dedicated to sponsoring and encouraging innovative research and educational activities that advance the commercial real estate industry and profession.  In addition, the Foundation initiates programs that seek to enhance the public appreciation of real estate and its significance in society.  The Foundation is affiliated with the Building Owners and Managers Association International, the nation's oldest and largest commercial real estate organization.

About BOMA International
Founded in 1907, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. The 16,500-plus members of BOMA International own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties in North America and abroad. BOMA’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at www.boma.org.

About the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
The Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies offers master’s programs, professional certificates, and a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree in Liberal Studies. These programs offer an applied learning experience enabling professional and personal advancement. Improve yourself and positively impact the world, all while creating a network of valuable relationships. For more information, please visit scs.georgetown.edu,Twitter, and Facebook.

About the Georgetown University Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
The Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate degree program at Georgetown is a fully-accredited comprehensive graduate real estate program in Washington, D.C., which teaches practical real estate skills at the highest academic level in a supportive social environment. All courses are taught by top real estate professionals from major real estate organizations who know their fields in depth, are strong communicators, and genuinely care about students. In classes averaging 20 students, students take five foundational real estate courses in ethics, law, finance, markets, and accounting, four upper level track courses in a choice of tracks in Real Estate Development, Real Estate Finance, Construction Management, and International Real Estate, followed by one capstone senior thesis course. The program emphasizes private sector real estate while also taking full advantage of the Washington location to emphasize public sector real estate, environmental and energy aspects, and corporate real estate.

 

It is time to plan for the 2012 NECA Show, powered by the National Electrical Contractors Association. Be a part of the largest electrical construction show in North America!

NECA 2012 Las Vegas will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention & Resort Hotel.
September 30 - October 2, 2012! 

This is the FIRST TIME the entire NECA Convention & Show will be held under one roof!  With everyone staying in one hotel, there will be even more opportunities to network with the largest buyers and specifiers in the industry.

The 2012 Exhibitor Prospectus, Space Contract and Floor Plan are below.  Our 2011 San Diego exhibitors had the first opportunity to register for the Las Vegas show.  Beginning Wednesday, October 26th, booth reservations are open to all interested companies. Just click on the links below to reserve your space now.

2012 NECA Show Exhibitor Prospectus

2012 Las Vegas Floorplan

2012 NECA Show Space Contract
 

Questions? Contact Julie at 770-632-0044 or julduda@necanet.org

 

Tech Industry Veteran Greg Papadopoulos to Keynote OFC/NFOEC 2012 Plenary Session

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27—New Enterprise Associates venture partner and former Sun Microsystems CTO Greg Papadopoulos is set to give a keynote presentation at the plenary session of the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC), taking place in Los Angeles March 4 – 8, 2012. Papadopoulos will speak on the topic “How to Design and Build Your Very Own Exascale Computer.”

In his talk, Papadopoulos will give his insight into the “computer as a network.” Additionally, in light of advances in datacom systems—where Exaflop machines will incorporate tens of millions of optical links—he will discuss the pivotal role of optics in computers not only at the network level, but into the backplane and onto motherboards and modules.

“We are thrilled to have Greg joining us as keynote speaker at OFC/NFOEC next year,” said conference co-chair Bob Jopson of Alcatel-Lucent. “His experience in the datacom and supercomputing community, especially given his tenure at Sun Microsystems, is highly regarded and his insights into this field will provide OFC/NFOEC attendees with an invaluable perspective into new areas in which optical communications is headed. I look forward to hearing Greg’s thoughts on optical technologies and network protocols, as well as his vision for the future of this growing field.”

Papadopoulos is a 20-year veteran of the computer industry and is currently serving as a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital and growth equity firm. Previously, Papadopoulos was the chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems, where he directed the company’s $2 billion R&D portfolio. He was also an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, where he conducted research into scalable systems and was on the founding team of three technology companies:  PictureTel (videoconferencing), Ergo Computing (PCs), and Exa Corporation (fluid dynamics). He was also senior architect at Thinking Machines Corporation, where he led the design of the successor of the CM-5 MPP supercomputer. Earlier in his career, he was a development engineer at Hewlett Packard and Honeywell. Papadopoulos serves on the University of California’s President’s Board on Science and Innovation, is a trustee for the SETI Institute and the Computer History Museum, holds a B.A. in systems science from the University of California San Diego, and earned an M.S. and a Ph.D.  in engineering from MIT.

Joining Papadopoulos as a plenary session keynote speaker is Milo Medin, Google’s vice president of access networks, announced last month. Medin will speak on “Bandwidth, Optics and the Age of Abundance.” For more information on the conference and exhibition, visit www.ofcnfoec.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE: High-resolution images of Papadopoulos and Medin are available to members of the media upon request. Contact Angela Stark, astark@osa.org.

About OFC/NFOEC
For more than 35 years, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/ National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) has been the premier destination for converging breakthrough research and innovation in telecommunications, optical networking and, recently, datacom and computing. Uniting service providers, systems companies, enterprise customers, IT businesses and component manufacturers, along with researchers, engineers and development teams, OFC/NFOEC combines dynamic business programming, an exposition of more than 500 companies and cutting-edge peer-reviewed research into one event that showcases the trends and pulse of the entire optical communications industry.

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

 

The Interconnected Home - Part 1 = A (Very) Brief History of Communications to the Home

By Edward Brown

We are experiencing a revolution in communication and control systems that is changing the way we live.

For a long time there were two major systems of distributed electrical wiring coming into homes: power and telephone, and oh yes, one minor system — cable TV. The revolution developed slowly at first, and on two different fronts. There was the development of communication and control technology and the changes in the Federal regulations governing these systems.

Power and telephone companies were granted monopolies by the government in order to maintain uniformity in the delivery of these services. This system of monopolies began to weaken in 1984 when a Federal judge issued a decree ordering the breakup of the telephone monopoly held by AT&T and its local Bell telephone subsidiaries. The next big step came when congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  This law removed many of the rules that prohibited players from one part of the telecommunications industry, like telephone, from providing services in other sectors, like cable TV. Once all of these companies were free to compete, the technology, which had been quietly developing, started mushrooming. Telecommunications became a means of transmitting video and data in addition to voice.

Another key development was the spread of personal computers (PCs) in the business world. The key to having a computer on every desk was developing a standard way they could talk to each other—to send information back and forth. In the 1980s at about the time PCs first hit the market, work was begun on developing a communication standard for computers. There were several competing systems but the one that won out and is pretty universally accepted today, is Ethernet. The first Ethernet connections between computers were run on coaxial cable. As the numbers of computers linked on a single network (Local Area Network) grew, coax became cumbersome and expensive. At the same time many buildings had plenty of excess installed unshielded twisted pair telephone cable. This was the beginning of what we now know as the 10BASE-T UTP Ethernet standard. This was the start of the category rating system, the first being Category 3.

Another important development that was going on at the same time was the birth of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for controlling and getting information about manufacturing processes. They were developed in response to a specification issued by General Motors in 1968. These days most factories that manufacture large numbers of products use automatic systems based on PLCs. By the way you can see a little bit of history in that PLCs were originally called PCs (programmable controllers), but the personal computer revolution far outstripped them so they had to change their name.

Convergence

The next key step, and one that is still continuing, is convergence. It probably started on the factory floor. There were often separate PLCs controlling each process station, so to really automate the system, PLCs had to communicate with each other. They also had to communicate with programmable devices such as temperature and motor speed controllers. At first, most manufacturers used proprietary systems, but that was a limiting factor. In order to be able to use devices made by different manufacturers, it made sense to develop open systems of communication based on a shared publicly available standard. Since Ethernet was already available it was often chosen. Using Ethernet also meant that the operations on the shop floor could send data to management in real time.

The Coming Residential Revolution

The kinds of integration that have become commonplace in commercial settings, factories, educational and health care facilities, have so far not made a big impact on residential systems—but they will. The only question is when. What will drive home networking is the coming of Smart Television. Already starting to appear on the market, smart TVs allow direct connection to a home computer network so that anything available on your PC can be accessed via your TV set. Online content such as movies, video, music as well as standard TV shows will be able to be delivered directly “on demand” and in high definition. Once TV is tied into home networks, it would make sense in order to save energy and improve life safety, to tie temperature control, lighting, fire alarms, intrusion detection and access control to the same network. And all of these systems could be monitored and controlled by any computer in your home, as long as it is connected to the network.

The Wired Home

This will rely on a wired system that can reliably carry all of the data required for this networking and carry it at speeds high enough so that all of the connected devices operate smoothly. The key to moving these signals about the home is Category rated unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cabling. The Category rating system is a means of guaranteeing that wiring and connection devices that adhere to it will meet guaranteed minimum standards for transmitting data.

Data Transmission Terminology—a Brief Technical Review

The terminology surrounding network cabling and devices can get a bit confusing. Some of the most talked about terms are data rates (in gigabits per second), frequency and bandwidth (in megahertz).

  • Frequency is one of the basic parameters used to describe cable. Frequency is simply the number of times per second the voltage and current signals reverse themselves from positive to negative and back again. If the frequency becomes too high for the pair of wires that’s carrying the signal, the cable will act like a short circuit and nothing will get through. The frequency rating of a cable is the maximum rate at which it can carry a signal without distorting it. Bandwidth is this maximum rated frequency.
  • Digital signals are made up of 1s and 0s arranged in a pattern, which encodes the information being transmitted. These 1s and 0s are called bits. Designers are constantly looking for ways of sending more bits per second by coming up with clever coding schemes that don’t raise the frequency.
  • The electrical signals can be transmitted on a cable at a frequency that is no higher than the rated bandwidth. But within these limits, there can be significant differences in the rate at which information can be transmitted since information is encoded in bits. The number of bits per second can vary according to the scheme that is used to encode them. Bit information can be sent using different techniques such as modulating amplitude, frequency or phase.

To sum it up, frequency (or bandwidth) rating is given in Hertz (cycles per second), for example 100 MHz (megahertz) is a hundred million cycles per second. This is a uniform way to rate a cable and can be used to compare one cable with another.

Bit rate is given in bps (bits per second), for example, 100 Mbps (megabits) is a 100 million bits per second. The bit rate is dependent on the particular system you’re using to encode the bit information onto the carrier signal.

Standards

The development of standards for LANs (Local Area Networks) and for the cables used to build them has made it possible for the explosive growth of computer-based communication and control. Ethernet was developed in the 1980s and has remained the major standard for transmitting data. The Ethernet standard was published by a committee of the IEEE as 802.3. It is based on a series of rules that allow all interconnected devices to talk with each other. Its beauty, and the reason for its long survival, is that it can continue to be used, even as equipment gets much more sophisticated and transmission speeds go up by factors of 10 times.

IEEE 802.3 is based on the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model, which reduces every design and communication problem into a number of layers. For Ethernet, it specifies two different layers, the physical layer and the data link layer. The physical layer specifies the type of cable—four unshielded twisted pairs, the type of connector (RJ45) and pin layout, voltages used for the bits and some other physical details. The data link layer specifies a system for conveying information with digital bits (1s and 0s). Each device on the network has a unique identifying address—a MAC (Media Access Control) address. The data link protocol specifies that messages are made up of individual digital bit packets, called frames. The frame is a sequence of bits in a specified order, signaling the start, destination, source and actual message content plus a few other signals. Therefore a whole series of bits has to be transmitted in order to send one piece of useable information.

The Category System

In the 1990s, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), an offshoot of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), developed a set of standards for Ethernet cables—TIA/EIA-568. One of the many important outcomes of this work was the decision to use a standard cable arrangement, which would consist of four twisted pairs, each pair being twisted separately. This was the start of the Category standards for UTP high-speed cable. They also described a standard connector for these eight wires — RJ45.

The purpose of twisting is that the magnetic fields around each wire of the pair cancel each other so that electrical interference from and to outside sources is minimized. Each pair also has a different twist length to limit crosstalk between the pairs.

UTP is an inexpensive, easy to install method of providing high-speed data connections between digital devices. The development of UTP parallels the development of the Ethernet as the primary means for running LANs. The initial Category rated UTP cable was CAT 3, which was designed to transmit Ethernet data at 10 Mps (megabits per second). Its specified bandwidth is 20 MHz. This Ethernet protocol was called 10BASE-T. The 10BASE-T Ethernet standard was approved by the IEEE in 1990 and the CAT-3 standard for wiring 10BASE-T LANs was approved by the TR-42 committee in 1991.

Category 3 cable uses two of the four cable pairs and is no longer used in new installations because Category 5 was approved in 1995 to transmit data at 10 times the rate of what CAT 3 could handle. 100 Mps (100BASE-T) Ethernet was approved in the same year.

The general trend has been towards developing faster and faster Ethernet systems and cables to match.

Ethernet Standard

10BASE-T

100BASE-TX

1000BASE-T

10GBASE-T

Cable Category

CAT 3

CAT 5e

CAT 5e/ CAT 6

CAT 6A

Data Rate

10Mbps

100Mbps

1Gbps

10Gbps

Bandwidth

20MHz

31.25MHz

62.5MHz

413MHz

Pairs Used

2

2

4

4

Year approved

1990

1995

1999

2006

The Importance of Standards

It is important to understand that if two UTP cables from two different manufacturers both meet the CAT 5e standard, this does not mean that the two cables will have identical performance. It is possible that one may be able to run a particular application but the other may not. However the Category rating means that if, say you want to run 1000BASE-T Ethernet, you are guaranteed that CAT 6 cable will do the job—assuming all of the other components in your system, such as plugs and jacks are also rated for Category 6 and that the installation is done properly. This means that the wires are untwisted at the connector by no more than the specified length. Also, for example, care has to be taken that the pin assignments at each end of the cable match properly. For example the TIA/EIA spec for UTP specifies T568A and T568B connections for different functions. But it’s possible that some cables rated CAT 5e might also work. It’s important to understand that the cabling standards assure a minimum level of performance. There are many performance specs on cables so it is wise when selecting one for a particular application, to check with the application provider to be sure that your cabling system is adequate.

Summarizing

To summarize—the importance of these standards is that you can be sure that when you buy a cable with a Category label it will meet the requirements of the Ethernet standard as specified in the table. Not only that, but each cable is backwards compatible so that CAT-6A, for example, can be used for any application that runs on Categories 6, 5e, 5 or 3. Running Category rated cable throughout a home will enable all of the digital devices in a home to easily interact with each other and be coordinated by any connected computer. As far as best performance now and in the future, it would make sense when rewiring an older home or building a new one, to use Category 6A cable since it will be compatible with the high-speed systems that are coming down the road and will still be capable of running older, slower devices. Some experts think that CAT 6 will good enough for home systems in the near future and that people might find it hard to justify the price difference between 6A and 6. However it might be less expensive in the long run to install 6A now rather than discovering 5 to 10 years from now that CAT 6 won’t support the latest high tech equipment.

http://www.copper.org/applications/telecomm/connected_home01.html 

Written by:Ed Brown - Director
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NECA 2011 San Diego A Smashing Success, Nearly 5,000 Participate in Convention, Trade Show  NEXT YEAR = VEGAS

NECA’s 2012 Convention and Trade Show will be held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center, Sept. 29-Oct. 2. Preliminary meeting information can be found on www.necaconvention.org and highlights, pictures and daily video broadcasts from NECA 2011 San Diego can be found on blog.necaconvention.org.

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

 

Attend Courses at BICSI World Headquarters in Tampa

World Headquarters Course Update
Don’t miss out on these opportunities to advance yourself and your career. Kick off the new year by improving your skills and achieving your credential in January 2012 at BICSI World Headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Follow the links below for additional information and to register for a course or exam. Reserve your seat today!

Courses and Exams in Tampa, Florida

Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD)

DD102: Designing Telecommunications Distribution Systems, January 8-13
DD102 is an intensive 6-day course that focuses on designing a structured cabling system.

ITS Installer/Technician

IN101: BICSI ITS Installer 1 Training, January 16-20
IN101 is an intensive 5-day, 40-hour course designed to provide entry level ITS cabling installers with the background, knowledge and basic skills needed to function effectively on the job. ITS Installer 1 examinations will be held January 20-21.

IN225: BICSI ITS Installer 2, Copper Training, January 23-27
Whether new installation or existing premise, BICSI’s ITS Installer 2, Copper Training Course gives you a competitive distinction by allowing you to showcase your skills as a copper system specialist. IN225 is a 5-day course that provides the foundations of a copper-based structured cabling system installation. ITS Installer 2, Copper examinations will be held January 27-28.

IN250: BICSI ITS Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training, January 30-February 3
IN250 is a 5-day course setting the groundwork for optical fiber-based structured cabling system installation. ITS Installer 2 Optical Fiber examinations will be held February 3-4.

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

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

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

 

BOMA - New Research Highlights American and British Outlooks on Economic Recovery, Tenant Drivers

(WASHINGTON – October 18, 2011) A survey of American and British property professionals published recently reveals that more American property professionals feel that the economic recovery is underway than their British counterparts (60 percent versus 47 percent respectively); however, professionals on both sides of the Atlantic agree that there are reasons to be optimistic, with more than three quarters of respondents in both countries agreeing that the economy is either already out of the recession or will be within 12 months.

The survey was jointly produced by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and the British Council for Offices, and includes responses from more than 381 property professionals in the U.S. and the U.K.

Despite remaining optimistic about the economic outlook, U.S. property professionals conversely voiced less confidence in the market than their British colleagues. Only 39 percent of American property professionals reported a rise in demand for office space, with another 26 percent expecting demand to improve in the next 12 months. Conversely, British professionals described a buoyant market with a total of 78 percent reporting rising demand for office space or expecting it to come in the next 12 months. Americans were also more pessimistic about ongoing trends in the commercial real estate industry, with 68 percent expressing a belief that the current downturn in demand for office space reflects a permanent reset in terms of occupiers using less space per worker; just less than half of British industry professionals agreed with this view.

Property professionals on both sides of the Atlantic believe that rental affordability will be the biggest driver for tenants when deciding where to sign leases over the next five years, reflecting the current pressures on company budgets. Sustainability was ranked more important by British than by Americans, though respondents from both countries expressed that climate change adaptation is more important than climate change mitigation.

“This survey highlights numerous similarities in the tenant drivers in both the British and U.S. commercial real estate markets,” commented Henry H. Chamberlain, APR, CAE, president, BOMA International. “While our nations face different government policies, financial regulations and cultural factors, both BOMA and BCO memberships agree on several major issues, including when recovery will gain footing, the drivers of demand for office space, the impact of the credit crunch and the impo rtance of sustainability and transit-oriented development in the future.”

“This latest research from the BCO and our counterparts in the US, BOMA, shows that there is cautious optimism on both sides of the Atlantic, with the British seeing some positive indicators of economic recovery in the property market, despite expressing concerns that the recession is not yet over,” remarked Richard Kauntze, chief executive, the British Council for Offices.

See the complete findings from the survey.

About BOMA International The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at www.boma.org.

 

CABA NEWSBRIEF Continental Automated Building Association

Home Systems

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§                     Freescale collaborates with Qualcomm to advance home energy management
Freescale Semiconductor announced that it is collaborating with Qualcomm Atheros to demonstrate home energy management using the Smart Energy Profile 2.0 over Wi-Fi, Ethernet and HomePlug Green PHY (HomePlug GP) standard. The technology was demonstrated at the Metering, Billing/CRM Europe event last month. MarketWatch (10/6)

§                     Data will become next utility to be delivered to the home
Current basic utilities include power, water and sewage. In the future, a data utility will provide high speed, high volume, and open source electronic data capability to most American homes and entire communities. Smart+Connected Communities Institute (10/19)

§                     Trilliant launches home energy management platform
Trilliant has launched a home energy platform and established relationships with 16 home energy device partners, claiming that every single one of them will be able to run their devices on Trilliant's network right out of the box. Greentechgrid (11/7)

§                     Electric vehicles can act as backup battery for homes
Electric vehicles (EV) are the most fuel efficient green vehicles. Electric vehicle batteries are heavier to support high-speed long-range commuting, HVAC, vehicle safety electronics, infotainment appliances, and portal gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, audio/video players etc. Some of new electric vehicle battery charging systems allow EV battery to serve as backup battery for your house in case of a power cut. Electronics Bus (11/1)

§                     Best Buy making a bet on home energy gear
Retailer giant Best Buy is launching a modest push into home energy products, planning to sell gadgets that can help home owners cut their energy consumption, and have lower energy bills. Best Buy will sell the gear via dedicated sections of three of its brick and mortar stores and also through a new home energy portal on its website. GigaOm (11/4)

§                     Study: 44% of U.S. TV homes have a DVR; many have multiple DVRs
Leichtman Research Group reports that 44% of U.S. households with television sets have a digital video recorder, up from 8% of American TV households in 2005. The market research firm also found that one-third of DVR households have multiple DVRs. CEDMagazine.com (11/4)

§                     Harris: Wii is favored game console among American youth
The Nintendo Wii is the most popular video game console with young Americans, Harris Interactive found in a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in the 8-to-24 age bracket. The poll also identified Apple as the top brand among the 13-to-24 demographic for computers, mobile phones and tablets. IndustryGamers.com (11/4)

§                     Details emerge on Motorola's Corvair Android-based TV controller
Motorola Mobility reportedly will launch a 6-inch Android 2.3 tablet codenamed "Corvair" that's designed for use in the living room. Currently, the product is in testing with cable companies right now. The product is described as a "dedicated controller," but reportedly the tablet can wirelessly display its entire UI on the TV, so it is believed the device can be used to watch and stream content in addition to serving as a remote control for one of Motorola's cable boxes. The Verge (11/5)

§                     Tobii Technology develops game controlled by eyes
Tobii Technology has introduced EyeAsteroids, an arcadelike video game that recognizes eye movement as its controlling mechanism. The company says the technology is faster than gesture recognition. Pocket-Lint.com (11/4)

§                     More than half of HDTV shoppers aren't interested in 3-D TVs
Retrevo's Pulse Study has found that about one-third of shoppers plan to buy a high-definition television set within 12 months. Of those prospective buyers, 55% told the market research firm they wouldn't purchase a 3-D TV; 30% of that group cited their unwillingness to use 3-D glasses to watch TV at home. ElectronicHouse.com (11/3)

§                     Smith Monitoring to add home automation to service roster
Smith Monitoring is proud to announce its plans to bring automated home monitoring to the growing smartphone environment. Smith Monitoring's new smart home system will offer a 21st-century approach to home security by enabling users with a compatible smartphone to control their security system from anywhere in the world. Gadgets and Technology News (11/8)

§                     Report: Web-connected TVs will reach 20% of globe by 2016
Digital TV Research forecasts that 551 million television sets will be connected to the Internet by 2016, representing one-fifth of the global installed base. Rapid TV News (11/2)

§                     EH Publishing invests in AE Ventures, appoints Galante to head events division
EH Publishing announced today an investment with option to acquire event and e-media company, AE Ventures, from its sole shareholder, AE Ventures president, John Galante. The investment will help AE Ventures grow its portfolio of event and e-media properties including the Electronic Security Expo (ESX), Electronic Security Integrator (ESI) Forum, the CE Pro 100 Summit and CEA TechHome Mediterraneo Summit, and online media. AE Ventures (11/8)

§                     AT&T sees huge market for "connected clothing" sensors
AT&T is pushing to expand the market for technology it helped introduce earlier this year that embeds wireless sensors in clothing to monitor a patient's vital signs, says Glenn Lurie, leader of the carrier's emerging-devices division, who pointed to senior citizens as a prime market for the sensors. He said "the stars have aligned" for "connected clothing" products because of the huge explosion in Wi-Fi and wireless networks. "When you look at the percentage of Americans who are aging and the number who fall into that category every day, it's going to be a very big marketplace to deliver products and services to make their lives better," Lurie said. InformationWeek (11/4)

§                     Best Buy will pay $167 million for mindSHIFT Technologies
Best Buy agreed to take over cloud-services company mindSHIFT Technologies for $167 million, as part of a push to increase information technology offerings for business. MindSHIFT sells cloud-computing, data-center and other services to companies. Total Telecom Magazine/Dow Jones Newswires (11/7)


Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

Large Building Automation

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§                     Green A/V taking "STEP" in right direction
InfoComm is set to launch a new program that may fill the green A/V gap LEED never could. In a partnership with CompTIA, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI), InfoComm is set to roll out the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP), with the goal of increasing the awareness of sustainable design, installation and operation of low-voltage systems. Commercial Integrator (10/30)

§                     Constellation Energy signs energy performance contract with Newark
Guaranteeing that it will provide more than $78 million in savings over a 15-year period, Constellation Energy has received an energy performance contract from the Newark Housing Authority (NHA) in New Jersey to implement $50 million in energy and water conservation measures at 39 Newark housing developments. Constellation Energy said that the contract is the third-largest energy performance award ever by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) public housing authority. Climate Change Business Journal (11/4)

§                     How cable providers can reap the benefits of Wi-Fi
Adding Wi-Fi service helps cable operators retain subscribers and can improve revenue from small and medium-size businesses as well as offer a potential source for future ad sales, according to Stephen Rayment, chief technology officer for BelAir Networks. Shaw Communications and Time Warner Cable are among the operators developing Wi-Fi networks. CEDMagazine.com (11/4)

§                     Honeywell expertise, technology provides "smarts" for UBC research facility
Honeywell recently celebrated the grand opening of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS), a living laboratory for researchers to teach, test and study the long-term impact of sustainable practices and technologies. Featuring advanced building controls, sensing technology and management software from Honeywell, CIRS will serve as a leading academic hub to test and advance sustainable technologies before broader implementation, and operate as a center for green building policymakers to establish future standards. Honeywell (11/3)

§                     Security Industry Association names new CEO
The Security Industry Association (SIA) is pleased to announce the appointment of its next chief executive officer. SIA Government Relations Director Don Erickson was named CEO at the annual board of directors meeting. Erickson has served as director of government relations for SIA since February 2006. During this time, he worked closely with SIA's leadership to build a robust government relations program for SIA members and serve as SIA's chief advocate before Congress and other government agencies. SourceSecurity.com (11/8)

§                     JLL launches global smart building cloud-based portfolio management solution
Jones Lang LaSalle recently announced that it has launched IntelliCommand™, the industry’s first integrated building management solution that combines cloud-based, smart-building technology with a world-class team of engineering and operations professionals to enable 24/7, real-time remote monitoring and control of facilities and portfolios worldwide. M2MWorldNews.com (11/7)

§                     Robotics may make videoconferencing more personal
A virtual worker engaged in a videoconference may soon have his own type of avatar, called a Nethead, at the meeting table as Bell Labs is working on a camera and screen technology that would provide remote workers a physical presence and ability to engage in group discussions beyond verbal communication. "Even with high-definition video, you can’t see who in room one is looking at who in room two. That's a research challenge we’re trying to tackle," said Jan Bouwen, residential applications research director at Bell Labs. ITNews.com.au (11/7)

§                     Hotels go high-tech with Crestron integrated technology solutions
Modern hotels offer a variety of high-tech services, giving hotels facility-wide monitoring and management capabilities, while providing guests with amenities such as room control. These features are accomplished with Crestron integrated hospitality solutions. Leading hotel chains, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Four Seasons, and Starwood Properties are on board, installing Crestron audio/video and lighting solutions in their facilities across the globe. Crestron (11/3)

§                     Sensor made out of polymer nanofibers to monitor structural safety
Researchers in China have made a new strain sensor out of polymer nanofibers to monitor the safety of buildings and other structures. Strain sensors are used to monitor structural damage, so can detect problems in the integrity of buildings during earthquakes, or in the structure of vehicles and aircraft. Royal Society of Chemistry (11/4)

§                     Serious Energy takes step toward integrating smart grid with smart buildings
Why aren't smart buildings talking to the smart grid? The obstacles are not technical. Instead, they are about convincing hearts, minds and wallets. A California company has just made two announcements that may overcome two of the most significant blockers - finding the right person to talk to and finding a way to pay for it. Click to read why this could be a watershed. SmartGridNews.com (11/3)

§                     Memoori releases new report on physical security business
Memoori has releases a new definitive resource on physical security products, uniquely combining clearly defined market sizing statistics with financial analysis of M&A and funding. The report is Memoori's third annual assessment of the world’s physical security equipment industry. It is an holistic analysis of the factors that influence this industries future; including technology, finance and the capability to deliver products that meet the customers need to drive more ROI out of investment. Memoori (11/9)

§                     Video: 3-D projected images take up real space
Projected 3-D floating objects that take up real space can now be created according to a professor at the Buenos Aires institute of technology. Marc Ressl has posted a video on his blog that demonstrates what he calls a volumetric projector. Ressl uses ten projectors for his prototype to fire onto a bank of smoke, creating a 3-D form that he can step into and walk around in. InAVate (11/8)

§                     Survey: Efficiency to lower electric consumption by 15 percent by 2020
A new survey of energy industry experts reveals a surprising consensus on the size of the energy efficiency resource. Overall, energy efficiency is expected to lower electricity consumption by 5 to 15 percent, and natural gas consumption by 5 to 10 percent. These results debunk the notion that conservation is a fad. On the contrary, they herald a new beginning for energy efficiency. Fortnightly's Spark (9/15)

§                     The Internet of Things: Like Facebook, but bigger
Consider this: while Facebook is attempting to digitize and “platformize” every Internet user in the world (currently more than two billion people), the machine-to-machine market is doing exactly the same with all of the world’s machines, devices, and real-time information sources – over seven trillion potential targets and counting. Forbes (10/24)

§                     Video: 200” glasses-free 3-D display offers 57 viewing angles
NICT recently joined forces with JVC Kenwood to show off a 200” glasses-free 3-D display. It displays 3-D video from 57 different angles providing viewers with the illusion that they can walk around a 3-D object and see it from different angles. Viewers even report being able to look behind objects to view hidden images. The display uses an array of 57 projectors and is tipped for use in design, visualisation and digital signage. InAVate (11/2)

§                     Video: LUMEN Coalition lighting makeover
Traditional light bulbs were changed to energy-efficient options in interior designer Rose DiNapoli's home. The LUMEN Coalition presented this lighting makeover at a press conference on Oct. 19, 2011. Alliance to Save Energy (10/19)

Member Press Releases

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§                     Global Caché and Cortexa Build Partnership
Global Caché, the leading independent manufacturer of IP and WiFi connectivity products for the control and automation market, and Cortexa Automation, creators of Cortexa Home Automation Controllers and Cotexa Energy Saving Edition, for residential and light commercial markets, announced today they have strengthened their Strategic Alliance partnership to Value Added Reseller (VAR) status, allowing Cortexa to include Global Caché hardware as part of their solution.

§                     Other Items

AMX Ships Digital Signage Software that Streamlines Management of Enterprise-Scale Deployments Ahead of Schedule
EMerge Alliance Presented New DC Power Applications at Greenbuild 2011

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

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

Bedrock Learning Launches New Business Support CDs for Professional Integrators

CMMS and EAM Software Provider Unveils New Brand and Marketing Launch
Encelium Technologies Expands Product Offering with New Line of Occupancy Sensors
The Future of "Green" Addressable Lighting Systems Looks Bright for Encelium Technologies

Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software Developer Opens European Office

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

  CABA Research Spotlight

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§                     The connected consumer challenge
Consumers are making electronics choices today based on the “experiences” a particular device can offer, forcing electronics companies to expand their traditional product attribute-based view to include service. This document describes an IBM study that suggests these companies need to capitalize on this trend by offering not only advanced technology via products, but also services designed to enhance the consumer experience. Read the full report as published in CABA's Public Research Library. Paid CABA membership provides you access to the world's largest collection of connected home and intelligent building research: CABA Member Research Library.

  Education & Training 

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§                     Webinar: How to Handle Digital Signal Routing
Join InfoComm's discussion, to be held on Thursday, November 10 at 2 pm ET, on the effects of the "Digital Sunrise". In a digital world AV installations can be troublesome if a thorough understanding of digital signal routing is not addressed early in the process. In this session, Malissa Dillman, Director of Education and Training, at Kramer Electronics and Chris Kopin, VP of Technology at Kramer Electronics, will discuss HDCP and EDID Management as well as how to understand and calculate HDMI Bandwidth. You will have an opportunity to watch a brief presentation discussing digital signals as well as design considerations and how to trouble shoot digital signals. At the end of this presentation, you will have the opportunity to get immediate answers to your questions from our panelists.

§                     Smart Energy Technical Study Tour
The Smart Energy Technical Study Tour, which will allow organisations to gain better understanding of the technical requirements while getting strategic insight from market leaders, takes place on 13-18 November and includes visits to Mumbai, Delhi, Agra and Bangalore. This is a unique opportunity for any organization to not only evaluate the potential of the emerging smart energy market but also to gain fast-track entry, giving first-hand information and contacts to forge long-term partnerships with major stakeholders involved in the India smart metering and smart grid industry.

§                     Event: Canada-Brazil Smart Grid Match Making Mission
SmartGrid Canada, Ryerson University and International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada) are pleased to invite you to the two-day Canada-Brazil Smart Grid Match-Making Mission on December 5 and 6, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario. The event aims to create a foundation on which to build long-term bilateral R&D, and accelerate the application of smart grid technologies to create competitive advantage for all stakeholders.

 CABA News

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§                     CABA and PEMAC Sign Memorandum of Understanding
The Continental Automated Buildings Association and the Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada announced they signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at furthering the provision and sharing of high-quality information concerning intelligent building technologies and asset management practices.

§                     Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd. joins CABA Board of Directors
The Continental Automated Buildings Association is pleased to announce the addition of Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd. to its Board of Directors. Dr. Yong Chang, Director of Standards and Technology Enabling, will represent the company on the CABA Board. Dr. Chang will be joining the other CABA Board members when Dr. Satyen Mukherjee, CABA Chairman, hosts the November 17 Board meeting at Philips Color Kinetics in Burlington, MA. A full listing of CABA Board members is available here.

§                     CABA seeks sponsors for CES, AHR and IBS events in January
CABA hopes to see you at the 2012 International CES, in Las Vegas, January 10 – 13, 2012 NV and the 2012 AHR EXPO, in Chicago IL January 23 -25, 2012. In February we look forward to seeing you at the International Builders Show in Orlando FL. February 8 – 11, 2012. CABA traditionally hold’s a reception at each of these events. CABA members and attendees find them a great networking opportunity, providing a chance to explore future CABA initiatives and research opportunities. If you would like to learn how your organization can become involved as a sponsor for the upcoming CABA Connected Home Council Reception at CES, Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council Reception at AHR or the CABA reception at the IBS 2012, please contact George Grimes, CABA's Business Development Manager, at 613.686.1814 x226 or grimes@caba.org.

 

Cut Costs & Streamline Compliance Reporting Across Your Physical Security Infrastructure WEBINAR

Please join: Quantum Secure and Security Products

Topic: Cut Costs and Streamline Compliance Reporting Across Your Physical Security Infrastructure

Date: Thursday December 8, 2011

Time: 2:00 PM (EST), 11:00 AM (PST)

Register Today at:

http://click.1105info.com/?qs=c78fd1129896e32edd13a6604a1fa3f87f503b64aec2f32624c45f1e8f7f59cdad47684cb5134c96

Overview:

Regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), ISO 27000, NERC, CFATS, GLBA, SAS 70, Basel II, government-mandated FIPS-201/HSPD-12 and numerous international and EU privacy laws have driven the need to regularly enforce strict governance in financial reporting and security controls, across both physical and IT infrastructures.  Is your physical security infrastructure up to the task?

Attend this FREE one-hour online seminar to learn how SAFE Compliance & Risk Management solutions can automate and enforce your global physical security policies helping to ensure both governance and compliance utilizing your existing physical security and IT infrastructure.  You will learn how to simplify the process of managing compliance initiatives, including FDA, HIPAA, NERC, SOX, FIPS-201, HSPD-12 and more to:

- Define, audit and enforce internal controls specific to compliance initiatives across your global and disparate physical security infrastructure 

- Centrally manage all regulations and associated controls and automate assessment, remediation and reporting as per defined review cycles

- Automatically trigger compliance-based actions, such as rule-based generation of actions/penalties, based on physical access events

- Integrate real-time monitoring and detailed risk analysis tools to instantly enforce, maintain and report on your compliance initiatives

Log on to this FREE event to learn how companies around the globe are using the SAFE suite and creating a centralized, automated approach to managing identities, compliance and events to streamline their security operations and realize an extraordinary ROI.

SPEAKER:

Scott Sieracki, Vice President of Global Sales, Quantum Secure Scott is a seasoned executive with over 17 years of experience driving revenues and building distribution channels for Fortune 100 and 500 companies as well as several start-up companies in past. Most recently Scott was Director of Sales at Tyco / Software House (NYSE:TYC) and was responsible for their access control and American Dynamics video product sales. Under Scott's leadership, Tyco/ Software House's revenues grew dramatically year over year.  Scott has previously held a senior executive position at Open Options, Inc. and senior sales management positions at Vertical Net A Q&A session will be held during the last 15 minutes of the Webinar.

Date: Thursday December 8, 2011

Time: 2:00 PM (EST), 11:00 AM (PST)

Register Today at:

http://click.1105info.com/?qs=c78fd1129896e32edd13a6604a1fa3f87f503b64aec2f32624c45f1e8f7f59cdad47684cb5134c96

 

General Cable Announces New Agent - Blomquist, Densley & Young

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KENTUCKY, November 3, 2011 – General Cable is pleased to announce the appointment of Blomquist, Densley & Young as General Cable’s authorized agent to represent its extensive line of cord, cordset, electronic, datacom, industrial and specialty wire & cable product lines to the electrical wholesale distribution market in the Utah, Southwest Wyoming, Northeast Nevada and Southern Idaho territories.

“The addition of Blomquist, Densley & Young in this western territory will ensure that our clients receive first-rate service and support,” said Brad Taylor, Director, Electric Distribution Sales, Western Region.

For over 30 years, Blomquist, Densley and Young, or BDY as they are known to the market, has been serving the electrical wholesale distribution market.  BDY was originally formed by the marriage of Blomquist & Associates and Melville Sales. The original partnership of Dale Blomquist, Paul Densley and Kent Young is now the partnership of Kent Young and Dan Royall.  Mr. Blomquist passed away a number of years ago, and Mr. Densley has been retired for the past 15 years. 

“We are pleased to be partnering with an industry-leading wire and cable manufacturer like General Cable, adding to our already extensive product offering,” said Kent Young, Principle, BDY.  “Our team has been thoroughly trained on General Cable’s full line of products and we are ready to assist our electrical distribution clients with all their wire and cable needs.”

General Cable (NYSE:BGC), a Fortune 500 Company, is a global leader in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, specialty and communications markets.  For more information about General Cable products, please contact your local sales representative or visit our Web site at www.generalcable.com.

 

Graybar Reports Third Quarter Results

Company Achieves Record Net Income of $32.5 Million for the Quarter

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 7, 2011 – Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and provider of related supply chain management and logistics services, reported record-setting net income of $32.5 million for the third quarter of this year, along with net sales of $1.45 billion, an increase of $208.7 million, or 16.7 percent, over the third quarter of 2010.

Net sales for the first nine months of the year reached $4.01 billion, an increase of $634.8 million, or 18.8 percent, compared to the same period last year. Net income for first three quarters of the year grew to $68 million, a 106.8 percent increase compared to the same period in 2010.

“We continue to achieve strong organic growth and have set two monthly sales records this year,” said Robert A. Reynolds, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Graybar. “Our positive earnings performance reflects the decisions we made before, during and after the economic downturn to focus on our long-term strategy and work to our customers’ advantage.” 

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

 

CRAIG CONSULTING SERVICES - Schedule BICSI Training Classes Oct-Dec 2011

Dates                                                    Class

OCTOBER

10/17 – 10/21                            ITS Copper                    (IN 225)                        

NOVEMBER

11/07 – 11/11                            ITS Copper                    (IN 225)

11/14 – 11/18                            ITS Fiber                       (IN 250)

11/28 – 12/02                            ITS Copper                    (IN 225)                                    

DECEMBER

12/12 – 12/16                            ITS Copper                    (IN 225)

12/19 – 12/23                            ITS Fiber                       (IN 250)

Schedule subject to change based upon Customer requests.

Craig Consulting Training Center

13370 Branch View Lane, Suite # 140

Dallas, Texas 75234

(972) 393-1669 Office

(972) 393-5735 Fax

www.craigconsultingservices.com

 

A Hot Date with Cool Tools! (LANSHACK & QuickTrex Pro)

By Tony Casazza

Did you know that in ancient times a hammer was used to inflict pain on one's enemies? Modern hammers are used to inflict pain on oneself. I’ve had many a throbbing sore thumb to prove it. Ask any emergency room doctor, tools can be dangerous. For some reason men love Multi-Pliers. Multi-Pliers contain a handy assortment of sharp and dangerous tools which are best left in their leather sheath and worn on a man's belt to increase testosterone levels.

I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to be Edward Scissorhands. In my version of this fantasy, I have a linesman’s plier for a right hand and a power drill for the left. Imagine that! And what man has never pointed a stud finder at himself in hopes it will actually go off?

All kidding aside, I just wanted to share some of the more interesting and noteworthy responses we received recently when we conducted an extensive tool survey with over 500 respondents. Here are some of the things we found out

·         An overwhelming majority of technicians put a high importance on quality tools. They don’t mind spending extra money for higher quality tools. (My Comment) It seems that the “home-centers” stores can’t get enough of cheap tools and must think that only price is important to consumers

·         Here is my favorite… An overwhelming majority of technicians subscribe to the notion that their tools and their toolkit are more than just enabling appliances. They believe that tools, especially when “showcased” as in a fine toolkit are an advertisement of their qualifications and professionalism like a doctor’s diplomas on the wall. (My Comment) I always knew this to be true for myself. It was gratifying to me to confirm it with other techs in the survey

Interesting Fact: The alternate definition of the Screwdriver is the drink ordered at the local bar after you call in a professional repairman to undo the $500 in damage you did while trying to change out a light socket with your handy screwdriver. Now with that in mind, the Phillips Screwdriver is the bar drink that you order when the damage estimate is over $1,000 (contains twice the vodka).

I hope that everyone reading this loves tools as much as I do. My passion for tools has propelled us to do extensive R&D in designing and manufacturing electro-tech tools and toolkits. The result is that our tools and toolkits are not only work good, they also look good, real good! And talk about value, I think you’ll agree that they are the best value in the industry. Here are a few noteworthy tool and toolkit links from our website www.LANshack.com

Tools: http://www.lanshack.com/Tools-C322.aspx

Tool Kits: http://www.lanshack.com/Quick-Cat-PRO-System---Tool-Kits-C325.aspx

Tool Cases: http://www.lanshack.com/QuickTreX-PRO-System---Tool-Cases-C540.aspx

The Flashlight PAL:  http://www.lanshack.com/FlashLight-PAL-Sets-C542.aspx
Note: This new and Patent Pending product is revolutionary in what it does for the user. It clips to your hat or shirt collar to give you light hands-free!

-          Tony Casazza is President and owner of LANshack.com and QuickTreX Manufacturing

 

4G WORLD: GETTING US UP TO SPEED by James Carlini

With all the talk about wireless traffic going up over 5000% in three years and 15,000,000,000 networked devices predicted by 2015, the National Broadband Plan that was supposedly assembled by experts falls short with the target of 100Mbps to the end-user.

Sitting in on last week’s major 4G World Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago and listening to many industry leaders, it seems some are still planning and designing for driveway speeds instead of highway speeds when it comes to the wireless connectivity that 4G provides.

One speaker from the Yankee Group focused on the network specs that are recommended and touted 100Mbps as the new speed to attain for end-users.  Was she giving the speech she prepared in 2000?  We are way beyond that as a baseline speed when you look at all the video-based applications that people expect to have on their smartphones.  Why are they still talking about megabits when they should be talking about gigabits to the end-user?

Many other speakers throughout the conference talked about the gigantic demand that was already surging due to more people buying smartphones and downloading apps that were pushing the networks to their limits.

“Everyone is going to smartphones and everyone is going to be demanding more bandwidth because of the video-based apps.”  That was the basic conclusion of many speakers.

The problem with this is that you cannot give everyone a Ferrari and then say, “Well, you can’t really open it up here or there”.

“The best you can do is drive it up and down your driveway and maybe drive through the alley.”  Everyone is already out on the network highway and even they are limited to 60 miles per hour.

That is what’s going to happen when more users get smartphones and the overall network infrastructure including the backbone (backhaul) of the network is engineered to megabits, instead of gigabits and terabit speeds.

The bottom line, if you are not planning networks that have 1Gbps speeds to the end-user today, you will be building an obsolete network tomorrow.

BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY – AIM HIGH

It was very interesting to hear some of the speakers present their ideas.  On one hand, there were several talking about all the applications and the geometric increase in traffic that they were predicting for the next couple of years.  They were excited about all the possibilities but yet, when it came to talking about upgrading the network, their target speeds were far from being realistic to handle that type of traffic.

At this point, anyone looking at the planning stages for networks has to set 1Gbps as the baseline speed to the end-user.  Some would say that is overkill but those are the same people always complaining about a lack of bandwidth that negates implementation of new network services and wireless video applications.

The recently approved National Broadband Plan misses the mark as being any type of blueprint for future networks.  With its goal of 100Mbps for Downloading and 50Mbps for Uploading by 2020, it is not going to get the US to leapfrog over its global competitors.

California set a state broadband strategy of “2010: One Gigabit or Bust” for connectivity to the end-user.  To me, it was a much more realistic objective, given the global competitive market.  (Even though they did not attain it, they set a very high objective to build to.)

As Rose Schooler, General Manager of Intel put it in her keynote speech, “We need to speed up the innovations of the infrastructure.”  The areas for improvement from her perspective were:

-          Power Management

-          Virtualization

-          Standards

-          Software

-          Security

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN?

There needs to be a unified focus on these areas in order for the network to become the 21st century platform for electronic commerce that we need as a country.

This is not a bits and bytes discussion, this should be at a very high policy level in discussing the United States position within the global economy.  Based on what I heard about the National Broadband Plan, the easy answer for following that as a blueprint into the future is: “Scratch that version and try again.”

Just because you designed a track layout in your basement for your Lionel Train, that doesn’t make you qualified to be the infrastructure architect for the Burlington Northern.  The same goes for the network infrastructure.  Those who may have designed a couple of Wi-Fi sites for coffee houses or small buildings should not be trying to architect a national broadband plan.

This time get people that really understand both the engineering aspects of improving the network as well as those who understand what it means to apply it correctly to enhance communications which in turn enhances commerce which then provides job creation and regional sustainability.

CARLINI-ISM :  At this time, no National Broadband Plan should be discussing anything less than a gigabit connectivity to the end-user.  Get us up to speed.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.TWITTER.com/JAMESCARLINI

With over 1.8 million readers from our syndicated distribution, that is double the amount of both the Chicago SunTimes and Tribune combined.  People want news politically accurate, not politically correct

James Carlini will be speaking at the upcoming Roads & Bridges LIVE Conference in Las Vegas in November at the RIO.  His topic – The REAL Road to Regional Sustainability.

http://www.roadsbridgeslive.com/schedule

Copyright 2011 – James Carlini

Check out www.carliniscomments.com JAMES CARLINI’s BLOG

 

Leading Commercial Real Estate Companies to Submit Entire Portfolios to BOMA 360

Momentum Continues to Grow for Program Recognizing Best Practices in Building Operations and Management

(WASHINGTON – Oct. 17, 2011) A growing number of commercial real estate firms have committed to earning the BOMA 360 Performance Program® designation for large portions or the entire bulk of their portfolios, including market leaders USAA Real Estate Company, CB Richard Ellis and Brookfield Properties. The BOMA 360 Performance Program, managed by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, is a groundbreaking program recognizing commercial properties that demonstrate best practices in building operations and management. Since the program’s launch in 2009, nearly 325 buildings have earned the BOMA 360 designation across 50 markets.

“We created this program to help property managers earn third-party affirmation that they are excelling in all aspects of property management—everything from tenant relations to security to sustainability,” commented BOMA International Chair Boyd R. Zoccola, executive vice president, Hokanson Companies Inc. “The fact that companies are putting their entire portfolios through the program is a testament to the value the program provides to tenants, building managers, owners and investors.”

USAA Real Estate Company and Brookfield Properties have both announced they will put their entire office portfolios through the BOMA 360 Performance Program. CB Richard Ellis leads all companies with BOMA 360 buildings with 42 buildings designated to date. The companies released commitment statements in support of the program:

·         “By putting our entire portfolio through the BOMA 360 program, our goal is to reaffirm what we believe we are already doing – driving world class service delivery and execution. We see value in that BOMA 360 helps communicate to our tenants and to our co-investors that we are committed to providing best-in-class service. Further, we believe having this designation will be part of what it means to be a quality property owner and operator.”

Brenna Walraven

Managing Director

USAA Real Estate Company

·         “Brookfield Office Properties is pleased to announce that 30 of our office buildings, 56 percent of our U.S. portfolio, have received the BOMA 360 Performance Program designation. BOMA 360 gives Brookfield market advantage because it helps us measure and improve performance against industry best practices. The unique, comprehensive nature of the program means our tenants, prospective tenants and other stakeholders know that a Brookfield BOMA 360 building is operated to the highest standards of excellence across a broad range of criteria. We plan to submit the balance of the Brookfield U.S. portfolio through the BOMA 360 Performance Program over the next year as we continue to reinforce the importance of outstanding achievement in all areas of building operations and management.”

Daniel M. Kindbergh

Senior Vice President, Operations

Brookfield Office Properties

·         “CBRE recognizes the value of the BOMA 360 Performance Program by measuring all facets of property operations against industry standards.  CBRE believes that this comprehensive approach to performance benchmarking is valuable to our clients’ properties and will continue to encourage our clients to participate in the program.”

Steve Bassett

Executive Managing Director

CB Richard Ellis Strategic Accounts

Learn more about the BOMA 360 Performance Program.

About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at www.boma.org.

 

NEMA Announces 2012 Board of Governors Officers

ROSSLYN, Va., November 3, 2011—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has announced the officers of its 2012 Board of Governors. 

They are Dominic J. Pileggi, Chairman and CEO, Thomas & Betts Corporation, Chairman; John Selldorff, Chairman and CEO, Legrand North America, First Vice Chairman; Christopher Curtis, President and CEO, Schneider Clectric, Second Vice Chairman; Thomas Gross, Vice Chairman and COO, Eaton Corporation, Treasurer; and David J. FitzGibbon, Vice Chairman and CEO, ILSCO Corporation, Immediate Past Chairman.

Other members of NEMA  Board of Governors are:

·         Craig Ashmore, Executive Vice President, Planning and Development, Emerson Electric Company

·         William Boehm, Chairman of the Board, Connector Manufacturing Company

·         Theodore Crandall, Senior Vice President and CFO, Rockwell Automation

·         Daryl Dulaney, President and CEO, Siemens Industry

·         Zia Eftekhar, CEO of Lighting, North America for Philips Lighting, Philips Lighting North America

·         John Estey President and CEO, S&C Electric Company

·         Gabriel Garza, Vice President, Distribution Transformers, Prolec

·         Mark Gliebe, President and CEO, Regal Beloit

·         Susan Graham, President and CEO, Elantas, PDG, Inc.

·         Kirk Hachigian, Chairman, President and CEO, Cooper Industries, Inc.

·         Don Hendler, President and CEO, Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.

·         Gregory Kenny President and CEO, General Cable

·         Rick Leaman, President and CEO, Osram Sylvania

·         Peter McIlroy II, Chairman and CEO, Robroy Industries, Inc.

·         Vernon Nagel, Chairman, President and CEO, Acuity Lighting Group

·         Michael W. Pessina, President, Office of Product Development

·         Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.

·         Timothy H. Powers, Chairman, President and CEO, Hubbell Incorporated

·         Luis Ramirez, CEO, Industrial Solutions, GE Energy

·         Kenan Sahin, CEO and Founder, Tiax, LLC

·         Enrique O. Santacana, President and CEO, ABB Inc.

·         Gregory Sebasky, Chairman, Philips Electronics North America and EVP/CEO Customer Service, Philips Healthcare

·         John Stropki, Chairman, President and CEO, Lincoln Electric

·         Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO, GE Lighting

·         Stuart W. Thorn, President and CEO, Southwire Company

For more information, visit www.nema.org/about/org/board.

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

NEMA. Setting Standards for Excellence

Visit our website at www.nema.org

 

NEMA Publishes Annual Electrical Standards and Products Guide

ROSSLYN, Va., November 8, 2011—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published the 2012 edition of its Electrical Standards and Products Guide, a comprehensive listing of NEMA electrical standards as well as an extensive directory of manufacturers and their products.

It is used by military, government, and private buyers who work in lighting, motors and industrial controls, transmission and distribution, transportation, medical imaging, architecture and construction, and other industries that specify and use electrical equipment.

A complimentary copy may be downloaded at no charge at www.nema.org/espg.

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

 

NEMA Welcomes President Obama’s Signature of Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama

ROSSLYN, Va., October 21, 2011—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) welcomed signature today by President Barack Obama of implementing legislation for free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. NEMA member companies are looking forward to full implementation of each agreement as soon as possible since each augurs greater market access and associated commercial benefits.

 “These agreements need to be brought online as soon as possible in 2012,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis. “Many of our member companies are eager to export more equipment and services abroad. They will soon have preferential access to our newest free trade agreement partners in Asia and Latin America, thanks to the FTAs.”

In 2010, U.S. electrical equipment and medical imaging equipment manufacturers exported more than $1.4 billion worth of goods to South Korea, Colombia, and Panama combined. Most customs tariffs on these goods will be dropped to zero immediately upon entry into force of the agreements; the rest will be eliminated progressively in the coming years. The agreements also provide greater protection for intellectual property rights and open the countries’ markets for government procurement as well as energy, environmental, engineering, and maintenance/repair services.

 

Concert Technologies Awarded GSA Connections II Contract

DULLES, Va.

Concert Technologies, the leader in nationwide and international technology rollouts and deployments, today announced it has been awarded the Connections II contract by the General Services Administration (GSA) with a value of up to $5 billion over nine (9) years and three (3) months. Under the Connections II (CNX II) contract, Concert Technologies will supply telecommunications, network and communications solutions to meet U.S. government agencies’ equipment, building and campus infrastructure needs.

“This is a big win for Concert Technologies. We are proud to play a key role in GSA’s effort to bring the best technology to the federal sector and to implement that technology in a way that reduces costs, transforms business processes and improves environmental sustainability,” said Dennis Mazaris, President and founder of Concert Technologies. “Connections II leverages the Concert team’s nationwide and international deployment and support networks to address customer’s challenges and to implement solutions with high quality, a secure supply chain and real efficiency.” Concert Technologies’ team includes, CDW-G, Dell, Telcordia, Johnson Controls, BCCP Consulting, Panduit, SuprTEK, Ventraq and Aquilent.

“The award of a GSA Connections II contract puts Concert Technologies in a new league as a competitor for government technology rollouts,” said Warren Suss, President of Suss Consulting.

The Connections II (CNX II) Program is a multiple award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a three year and three month base period with six one-year options. Connections II complements and enhances GSA’s Networx and regional telecommunications contracts. Connections II can be used by all federal agencies, authorized federal contractors, agency-sponsored universities and laboratories, and authorized state, local and tribal governments. In addition to providing new solutions and support for an agency’s legacy platforms, Connections II designates four solution sets:

·                     Communications and networking – planning and construction of communications networks including sensors, servers and storage solutions. Building/campus facility preparation – all site preparation to support telecommunications distribution systems such as cabling and wiring, power systems, and associated support structures and services.

·                     Operations, administration and management (OA&M) – management of complex communications network and maintaining secure network operations. Customer service and technical support – including help desk, Website and electronic bulletin board construction and maintenance and back office support.

About Concert Technologies

Concert Technologies, founded in 1995, is a privately-held small business, technology service company based in Dulles, VA. It is the leader in the accelerated delivery of nationwide rollouts and global technology deployments for government, commercial and international organizations. Utilizing its unique system of methodologies, Concert Technologies quickly implements, installs and manages multi-site, multi-service, multi-technology infrastructure projects. Visit Concert Technologies online: www.concerttech.com

 

BICSI HELPS SPEARHEAD GREEN RATING SYSTEM FOR TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS

Tampa, Fla., October 17, 2011—BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, is pleased to announce its new affiliation as a founding member of The Sustainable Technology Environments ProgramSM (STEP) Foundation, a coalition of technology associations seeking to define sustainability for the broadband and electronics industry.

“Going green” has been a topic of growing importance in recent years. Certification systems have been created for those who follow the green methodology. For example, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) focuses on the shell and core of a building, encouraging “green building” from the start of a project through to and beyond completion. The STEP Foundation is working to complement LEED by adding a rating system for the technology systems that work within the physical building.

Founded by InfoComm International® and CompTIA, STEP has been created by manufacturers, designers, integrators, programmers and the users of technology to guide project and building owners to implement practices that will produce economic benefits to their organization while preserving the planet. It fills the void not addressed by other “green building” rating systems and establishes a position alongside rating systems such as LEED and Energy Star. All associations participating in STEP will be able to promote sustainable practices to their members and their customers.

BICSI is a Sustaining Member of the STEP Foundation—a 501(c)(3) organization—and will have two seats on and be a voting member of its Board. In this capacity, BICSI will be active in the development of the program and will have subject matter experts working on the rating system, accreditation and other facets of STEP.

“BICSI is proud to be a member of The STEP Foundation,” said BICSI President Brian Hansen, RCDD, NTS, CSI.  “‘Green and sustainable’ is the way we should all be thinking—now and in the years to come,  We are eager to help lay the foundation of this program, knowing that it is setting an important precedent for the  ITS industry and our members.”

“The STEP Foundation commends BICSI for taking a leadership role in promoting sustainability in the information technology systems industry,” said Allen Weidman, Executive Director of the STEP Foundation. “BICSI’s involvement advances our goal of buildings being green, not just when the structure is constructed, but when it is occupied and operational.”

The STEP rating system will be a tool for owners and technology providers to plan for and implement sustainable practices in their technology projects. Successful projects will contribute to an organization’s sustainability goals and will be recognized by STEP. In addition, educational programs will be available based on the STEP rating system and documentation provided by The STEP Foundation.

###

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

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

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 100 countries. For more information, visit www.bicsi.org.

 

New RAD All-in-One Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device Cuts Inventory and IT/OSS Costs, Speeds Deployment

MAHWAH, New Jersey, November 3, 2011 - RAD Data Communications announced today it will unveil the industry’s first All-in-One Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device at Light Reading’s Ethernet Expo Americas 2011 November 8-9 at the Hilton New York.

The compact ETX-203AX Network Interface Device (NID) is completely modular, enabling operators to deliver Carrier Ethernet services over different media from a single part number. Connectivity includes dual 100/1000 Mbps fiber/copper links, bonded NG-PDH circuits or SHDSL EFM, with future modules supporting GPON, bonded VDSL, and other media.

 “The IT and OSS resources required to introduce a new managed network element in a service provider network can run up to $1 million and take up to one year before commissioning,” explains Uri Zilberman, President of U.S.-based RAD Data Communications Inc. “Instead of seven or eight rounds of OSS development, a single part number for different service infrastructures requires only one round and reaps enormous operational and certification savings as well as faster time-to-market.”

“Throw in lower inventory levels, fewer truck rolls due to installation miscues, simplified training, and integrated management and the value proposition justifies the modest extra CapEx investment in comparison with standard NIDs.”

The ETX-203AX all-in-one Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device builds on several generations of RAD’s Ethernet product development and technology, featuring powerful hierarchical traffic management capabilities with per-Ethernet Virtual Circuit class of service (EVC.CoS) shaping for service level agreement (SLA) assurance and advanced hardware-based operations, administration, and management (OAM) for highly accurate service validation, connectivity verification, fault management, and performance monitoring for end-to-end SLA measurement.

 “Operators not only have the ability to deploy a single best-of-breed device with uniform service definition regardless of the infrastructure, but they also have a built-in migration platform should they replace a copper connection with a fiber one,” adds Zilberman. 

“Operators that have deployed Carrier Ethernet on a wide-scale are keenly interested in OAM capabilities, that help reduce OpEx,” said Ron Kline, Principal Analyst Network Infrastructure, Ovum. “While lowering TCO is the goal, intelligent demarcation also provides service differentiation capabilities that can lead to higher revenues for the operator.

"In the Carrier Ethernet market, the SLA is becoming one of the most important service differentiators and without it you lose business. Ensuring that SLA criteria is met is also something you can’t do without intelligent demarcation.”

About RAD

Founded in 1981, RAD Data Communications has achieved international recognition as a major manufacturer of high quality access and backhaul equipment for data communications and telecommunications applications. These solutions serve the data and voice access requirements of service providers, carriers, and enterprise networks, as well as utilities and transportation systems. The company's installed base exceeds 11,000,000 units and includes more than 150 carriers and operators around the world, including AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom/Orange, Hutchison, KDDI, Telekom Austria, TeliaSonera, Telstra, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Vodafone. RAD is an active participant in industry organizations such as the IETF, Broadband Forum, ITU, and MEF. Its customers are supported by 33 offices and more than 300 channel partners in 165 countries. RAD’s environmental management system is ISO 14001 certified. Its operations facilities and processes comply with the industry’s most stringent standards and are completely non-polluting.RAD is a member of the RAD Group of companies, a world leader in networking and internetworking product solutions. RAD Data Communications site: http://www.rad.com

 

Oberon Secure Ceiling Mounting Solution Designed for Aruba Networks AP-135 Series Access Points

New Model 1066 Suspended Ceiling Enclosure Offers Physical Security, Aesthetic Appearance

State College, PA – October 19, 2011

Among the new products announced by Oberon, Inc. this fall is a new ceiling mounting solution for securing Aruba Networks AP-135 Series Wireless Access Points.  The AP-135 Series is designed for extremely high-density Wi-Fi environments.  The AP-135 access point features two internal 3x3 MIMO dual-band 2.4-GHz/5-GHz radios, and the official Aruba Networks, states that the AP-135 offers "50% more throughput and supports 50% more mobile devices in high-density environments compared to previous-generation APs."

The new Oberon Model 1066, available for pre-order today, is designed to provide a secure, convenient, and aesthetic mounting solution for the Aruba Networks AP-135 series 802.11n access points.  Designed to meet NEC300-22 and 300-23 for plenum installations, the 2' x 2' x 2.25" deep mount is OSHPD-approved (OPA #1638).  The 6 lb. enclosure is shipped with hanger wires, 1.75" trade size conduit connector for data/power cable, a security hasp to secure mount to the ceiling system or other permanent fixture, and mounting instructions. 

The enclosure attaches directly to the building's ceiling structural system and features a patent-pending locking mechanism, simplifying compliance with government and PCI requirements concerning physical security of networking equipment. 

The access point can be accessed from below for easy moves, adds, and changes.  In healthcare environments, where infection control precautions are needed when working above the ceiling, the ability to maintain and secure the AP below the plenum space  can provide significant time savings.

Aesthetically, the enclosure follows Oberon's trademark sleek, sophisticated look.  The white powder-coated steel enclosure fits standard 2' x 2' ceiling tile arrangements with no need to cut ceiling tiles.  For "tegular" ceiling tiles (or recessed grid ceilings) commonly used in new construction and renovations, the Model 1066-T shows attention to detail with a matching 3/8" bevel in the flange around the perimeter.

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

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

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

 

Network Administrator Kit by QuickTreX® Designed for Anyone Maintaining a LAN

Beachwood, NJ – November 10, 2011   QuickTreX®, a manufacturer of high quality datacom products, introduces the Network Administrator II kit, which is the ultimate toolkit for anyone who is responsible for maintaining a LAN (local area network). For network port and cable tracing, the kit of professional grade tools includes the Psiber™ CableTracker Network ID Kit, which can identify both live and dormant cable connections. The 42-piece kit includes tools for cable testing, tone & probe, crimping, cutting, terminating, as well as general hand tools.

“Network administrators are constantly analyzing what they need to meet user requirements ,” says QuickTreX founder Tony Casazza, “and they need reliable accurate tools to accomplish all the phases of installation, verification, troubleshooting, maintenance, and optimization.”

The Network Administrator II comes in a Featherweight “Pro2Go” Series case with 4 pallets for organized tool storage and a top compartment for a laptop computer, documents, and manuals. The comfort handles, shoulder strap, and its light weight make it especially suited for those who frequently travel with their tools. The size is 18"W x 12.5"H x 9.5"D.

The test and trace tools include a professional cable tester (model with 8 remotes optional) and the Psiber™ CableTracker Network ID KIT for port and cable tracing.

The datacom hand tools include professional grade crimpers, termination tools, cable strippers, wire strippers, wire and Kevlar scissors.

The general hand tools include a set of 27 different screwdrivers, precision diagonal cut pliers, and the super duty "Quick Knife II".

For Utility, the kit has a telescoping mirror, Carson Tri-View magnifier, jeweler's loupe, parts bags, a high end LED flashlight and the unique Flashlight PAL flashlight holder.

For a detailed complete list and description of all the tools and components of the kit go to http://www.quicktrex.com/QuickTreX-LANPRO-Series-Network-Administrator-II-Kit.aspx

To obtain additional information, call QuickTreX at 800-642-8320 or visit the website at www.quicktrex.com.

About QuickTrex

QuickTreX® is a manufacturer of high quality datacom products - such as copper cabling hardware, fiber optic cable assemblies, tools and testers - catering to the low voltage cabling industry for use in premise networks, security, and electrical applications. QuickTreX was founded to fill a need for products that are in tune with the technicians who use them. The QuickTrex R&D team is continually researching, staying ahead of developing trends in the market place, in order to offer quality innovative products. To obtain additional information, call 800-642-8320, or visit the website at www.quicktrex.com.

 

McCormick Systems - New Estimating System Offers Numerous Standard Features/span>

An exciting enhancement and upgrade of its estimating systems has led McCormick Systems to roll out the new WIN 4000 for electrical contractors – a product developed for the mid-sized to larger contracting firm that has broad horizons.

Included (standard):

           Multiple levels of pricing, labor, and literally hundreds of ways to

break out a job.

           Estimators can have four windows open on screen during take-off –

cutting estimating time.

           Database (regularly expanded & enhanced) with numerous individual

items and ready-to-use assemblies.  

           Integrated scheduling program – allows the contractor using the WIN

4000 to be the leader in a project’s scheduling and management.

           Attach documents & photos to the file for reference.

           Configured – to the customer’s specification – as single-user,

LAN-networkable (Local Area Network), or ready for users in multiple locations (via a WAN – Wide Area Network).

“We now offer four complete systems – including the WIN 1000, 3000, and 6000,” explained President Todd McCormick. “The WIN 4000 is designed for the company that will estimate many projects.”

Created especially for use by experienced electrical contractors, plumbing & mechanical companies, those doing automated building systems work, or firms pursuing transmission and distribution projects, the WIN 4000 speeds the estimating/project management process and offers accuracy, flexibility, and adaptability as well.

“We’ve worked for diligently on this new product. We conceived it after listening – closely – to the contractors and their estimators,” McCormick added.

“We created it only after learning more about how they estimate and working with them to determine their needs.

“While this system is not as sophisticated as our top-of-the-line WIN 6000 product, it certainly provides – as standard – all of the functionality, the ability to customize the estimate, and even project-management choices.”

About McCormick Systems

Privately owned McCormick Systems (Chandler, AZ) is the nation’s leader in software used by specialty contractors for construction estimating and project management. The company’s products enable customers to quickly produce consistent, profitable estimates for electrical, plumbing & mechanical, building systems, and high-voltage construction, service work – and more. www.mccormicksys.com  or 800-444-4890.

 

Surveillance at the Edge: Concepts for Critical Asset Protection WEBINAR

Please join: MOOG/Quickset, Inc. and Security Products

Topic: Surveillance at the Edge:  Concepts for Critical Asset Protection

Date: Wednesday November 30, 2011

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

Register Today at:

http://click.1105info.com/?qs=b8bc1d3957e716aff6a43868159c567fff34e15f1556c7911d15762561080f5e0e37ab16a0752dce

Overview:

Surveillance of critical assets is a 24/7 operation that can't afford downtime -- no matter what.  Security threats are continually evolving and we need detection, surveillance and control systems that are reliably robust and high performing, even in harsh and remote environments.

Advances in sensor technology, image processing and network accessibility allows security professionals to protect critical infrastructure, prevent asset loss as well as protect and drive business growth. These areas provide new capabilities for protection and electronic surveillance of critical assets.

Speakers:

Ms. Sheryl DiVita, Director of Business Development for Moog QuickSet

Sheryl DiVita is a 25+ year professional in the security and surveillance industry with extensive experience in business development initiatives, general management and financial control of aerospace and aviation operations. Throughout her career Ms. DiVita has successfully managed financial and engineering performance to mitigate risk for several large advanced technology programs. Ms. DiVita has worked on major military programs including the B-52 Sensor Integration, YF-23 Tactical Fighter and the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Steve Wyatt, Vice President of Programs and Engineering for Moog QuickSet

Mr. Wyatt began his career with the USAF at Edwards AFB as a flight test engineer and later joined McDonnell Douglas to develop advanced aircraft systems, including the F-15 and classified programs. He then moved to Recon/Optical where he lead a 40+ person team in advanced product development, as well as program managed multi-million dollar business development initiatives throughout his tenure. Steve has over 30 years of professional experience in technical, management, manufacturing and sales within the security market. He also is the holder of 4 patents for advanced long range reconnaissance camera systems.

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

Date: Wednesday November 30, 2011

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

Register Today at:

http://click.1105info.com/?qs=b8bc1d3957e716aff6a43868159c567fff34e15f1556c7911d15762561080f5e0e37ab16a0752dce

 

Telecommunications Industry Association, Florida Atlantic University to Collaborate on Technology Standards Development

TIA Members to Advise FAU on Defining Its New Center Focused on Science, Engineering and Testing to Advance Telecommunications Standards

Arlington Va. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Florida Atlantic University recently agreed to explore collaborative standards development opportunities in the area of global information and communications infrastructure.

The purpose of the friendship agreement, involving research, testing, and outreach, is to enhance the capability of the two institutions in technology areas of mutual interest, such as wireless, M2M, satellite, and user premises communications products, distribution systems, and fiber optics.

TIA is keenly focused on the technological advancements achieved through the coupling/alliance industry and academe, bridging state-of-the-art research and innovation with new and emerging technology areas.

FAU intends to define an industry-supported center focused on the science, engineering and testing necessary to advance telecommunications standards. TIA, as a well-established Standards Development Organization, has been invited to serve as an advisor and to provide guidance and consultation on the development of FAU's center. TIA will also promote FAU's center to its members.

"Members of TIA engineering committees have decades of experience in developing industry-accepted technology standards working for large and small tech companies around the globe," said TIA President Grant Seiffert. "We're proud to share that expertise with the top-notch research institution that is Florida Atlantic University and to expose the next generation of engineers to the importance of the standards. These scholar-innovators, who are pushing technological creativity to new horizons, are the new lifeblood of our industry."

"This is a great opportunity for FAU researchers to collaborate with experts from leading telecommunications companies in conducting joint research and testing in advanced telecommunications standards," said Mohammad Ilyas, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

To inquire about participating in TIA standards developing efforts, please contact Germaine Palangdao at +1.703.907.7497 or at gpalangdao@tiaonline.org.

Learn more about TIA standards development and view TIA's engineering committee meetings calendar at tiaonline.org/standards/. Sign up for news feeds on new TIA standards projects and publications.

TIA's Engineering Committees will be meeting at the association's annual meeting, TIA 2012: Inside the Network Conference & Exhibition, June 5-7 in Dallas.

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

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

View video news programming on TIA Now at www.tianow.org.

TIA's 2011 Market Review & Forecast, is available for purchase online at the TIA store. TIA members receive a discount of more than 60 percent off of the cover price. Review copies are available for qualified media.

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

About Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU's world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

 

TIA's U.S.-China Green ICT Seminar Focuses on Innovations for Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid Technology Solutions

In Beijing, High Turnout of U.S. and Chinese Government Officials and Industry Thought Leaders Discuss the Future of Green Information Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Washington, D.C. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), which represents the manufacturers and supplies of global information and communications technology (ICT) networks, today concluded its U.S.-China Green ICT Seminar in Beijing, China.

Thought leaders from both the United States and China discussed policy challenges and opportunities that both countries face as they innovate and deploy 21st century smart technologies. TIA President Grant Seiffert said: "It is very timely for the United States and China to hold an event to learn of different technology solutions offered by companies so that they may discover new ways to collaborate in this important emerging field. It is equally important for governments to adopt appropriate policies that create an enabling environment for businesses to innovate and market their technologies in this important space."

Panelists spoke on "Innovations for Energy Efficiency" and "Smart Grid Technology Solutions." Many presenters focused on the benefits that ICTs can bring to every day, real-world situations. These include the environmental benefits of tele-working, time savings derived from automated and remote factory access, cost savings from reduced energy consumption, and the ability to monitor energy use through connecting devices to the smart grid. Today's seminar proves that the global ICT industry continues to lead by developing innovative solutions to improve energy efficiency.

The event was held under the auspices of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), and was hosted by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the U.S. Department of Commerce, with supporting organization help from the China Association of Communications Enterprises (CACE) and the China Electronics Standards Institute (CESI). Industry sponsors of the seminar included the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Ericsson, Genband, ILS Technology, Intel, and Qualcomm.

High-level government speakers included: Deputy Director General Chen Jiachun, Department of Telecommunications at MIIT; Craig Allen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia, U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration; Director Wang Jianchao, Department of International Cooperation, MIIT; Alan Meier, Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under the U.S. Department of Energy; Dean Prochaska, National Coordinator for Smart Grid Conformance, U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology; Liu Wenqiang, China's Department of Energy Saving and Resources Utilization under MIIT; and Wang Jiye, Deputy Director of Information Office of State Grid Corporation of China.

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

View video news programming on TIA Now at http://www.tianow.org.

TIA's 2011 Market Review & Forecast, is available for purchase online at the TIA store. TIA members receive a discount of more than 60 percent off of the cover price. Review copies are available for qualified media.

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

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

 

Uncomtech Signs Dow Inside Partnership Agreement

Becomes second Dow Inside Licensee in Russian Federation

Moscow, Russia – 25 October 2011 – Dow Electrical & Telecommunications, a global leader in technology and material science solutions for the power and telecommunications industries, announced today at the 2011 Khimia exhibition in Moscow an agreement with Uncomtech Group to become a Dow Inside licensee. Uncomtech, the largest cable holding company in Russia based on copper conversion, joins Sevkabel Holding to become the second Dow Inside licensee in the Russian Federation.

Dow Inside, a recent initiative benefiting cable manufacturers, utilities and telecommunications firms alike, further reinforces Dow’s commitment to these industries. This is achieved by helping provide better cable reliability and long service life based on exceptional materials, dedicated R&D, deep industry knowledge and close working relationships with cable manufacturers, utilities and other power industry influencers.

“This partnership gives us important advantages in terms of materials, technologies, supply and support. We will be able to differentiate our cables and provide our customers with high quality, long-life cables that meet strict international quality standards,” added Andrey Pisanny, Financial Director, Uncomtech.

Under the terms of the agreement, Uncomtech will use DOW ENDURANCE™ insulation, semiconductive and jacketing materials to manufacture medium, high and extra high voltage power cables. In exchange, Dow Electrical & Telecommunications will provide advanced technology, proven products and enhanced service that will help give both companies a competitive edge in this demanding and growing market.

About Dow Electrical & Telecommunications

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

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.

About Uncomtech

Uncomtech is the largest cable holding company in Russia based on copper conversion, and represents two manufacturers, Irkutskkabel and Kirskabel. Their high quality products are widely recognized in Russia and abroad. They produce 60 percent of high voltage overhead lines in the Russian Federation, and are the second largest manufacturer of low voltage self-supporting wires. As a licensee of Furukawa, Uncomtech utilizes UNICLEAN™ in their high voltage lines.

 

USGBC President Rick Fedrizzi Elected Chair of World Green Building Council

Fedrizzi steps up in organization's tenth year, with plans to strengthen and grow local councils, raise voice and visibility of global coalition

Washington, DC - (Oct. 24, 2011) - Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been elected chair of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). The WorldGBC is a coalition of green building councils from 89 countries around the world.

"I've watched in awe as the green building movement has grown on a global scale-as people from widely different backgrounds, countries and industries have united under a common commitment to building a healthier, more sustainable world," said Fedrizzi. "I'm humbled to be a part of this massive movement, and honored to serve the WorldGBC and its global members."

Part of Fedrizzi's plan as WorldGBC chair is to raise the global awareness of the WorldGBC while at same time advancing the voice of each country and region.

"We will invite diverse multinational stakeholders to support WorldGBC and to have a voice in its development," continued Fedrizzi, who noted that he wants to be able to grow, mentor and nurture the individual green building councils across the globe.

"Now with 89 countries, the WorldGBC has reached a critical mass, demonstrating that industry leadership in collaboration with government provides a very positive and progressive method of change," said Jane Henley, CEO, WorldGBC. "Rick has been empowering leaders to start GBCs in their own countries since the beginning and it is fitting that Rick takes the helm in our tenth year of existence."

As the largest international organization working to transform the building market, the WorldGBC is globalizing environmentally and socially responsible building practices. Founded in 1999, WorldGBC fosters and supports new and emerging green building councils by providing them with the tools and strategies to establish strong organizations and leadership positions in their countries.

Fedrizzi, who was USGBC's founding chair, was appointed President and CEO in 2004 following a 25-year career as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his leadership, USGBC has tripled its membership, broadened its influence and cemented its role as a leadership voice in the global sustainability movement through efforts such as its LEED green building program, the International Greenbuild Annual Conference & Expo and the LEED Professional Credential program.

USGBC's LEED green building rating system is the foremost program for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of green buildings, with more than 110,000 building projects currently participating in the LEED rating systems. LEED comprises more than 8.6 billion square feet of construction space in 120 countries around the world and is certifying 1.4 million sf per day. Fedrizzi is also a founding officer of the WorldGBC.

"During my chairmanship, I hope to build on the strong work of my predecessor Tony Arnel by establishing a mentorship program, helping newly founded councils get off the ground, and expanding and strengthening the current committee structure," added Fedrizzi who will take the reins from Mr. Arnel in January 2012. Arnel has served as WGBC chair for the past three years and is also chair of the Green Building Council of Australia.

 

USGBC President Rick Fedrizzi Honored by Landscape Architecture Community

Fedrizzi recognized with Olmsted Medal for environmental leadership, vision and stewardship at ASLA annual meeting

Washington, DC - (Nov. 7, 2011) - Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was recognized yesterday by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for his commitment to environmental leadership and stewardship. The Olmsted Medal honors those with a commitment to safeguarding our natural heritage, embodying ASLA's commitment to stewardship of the land and quality of life.

"ASLA and USGBC stand shoulder to shoulder in making sure the sustainable buildings and communities that we are advancing add quality to our lives, connect us to nature and to each other," said Fedrizzi. "It is an honor to be recognized by such a prestigious organization, and amongst so many visionary leaders in the sustainability movement."

"Rick Fedrizzi's leadership and innovation has almost single-handedly transformed the design and construction industry," said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. "Through the founding of USGBC, development of the LEED Rating System and support of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, he truly lives up to the landscape architects' mission of achieving a balance between the built and natural environments."

Fedrizzi has been a vocal supporter of the Sustainable Sites Initiative™, a partnership of ASLA, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Botanic Garden to create the first national rating system for sustainable landscapes.

Fedrizzi, who was USGBC's founding chair, was appointed President and CEO in 2004 following a 25-year career as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his leadership, USGBC has tripled its membership, broadened its influence and cemented its role as a leadership voice in the global sustainability movement through efforts such as its LEED green building program, the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo and the LEED Professional Credential program. He was recently named chair of the World Green Building Council.

The Olmsted Medal honors Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the founder of the American landscape architecture profession and steward of the environment. Honorees are selected by ASLA's Board of Trustees, and were recognized at an awards ceremony at the ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo in San Diego, Calif.

About the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org

 

ISC Solutions 2011 – Conference/Exhibits Field Report by Ed Brown – The Writing Engineer

The International Security Conference & Exposition – also known as ISC Solutions – is the premier security event in the Northeast for the physical security industry, covering Access Control, Alarms & Monitoring, Biometrics, IP Security, Video Surveillance / CCTV and more. At ISC Solutions, you'll discover security products & security technology, network with colleagues & security professionals, and gain valuable security industry training & knowledge to keep you ahead.

I visited ISC Solutions, which was held on November 3rd and 4th at the Javits Center in New York City. The event replaces the former ISC East. My aim was to pick up some useful information for my Integrated Building Systems column in Electrical Contractor magazine (www.writingengineer.com) and also to get a sense of the overall trends in the security systems industry.

For the past few years my sense of the show has been that there was an emphasis on IP high-resolution surveillance cameras. That hasn’t changed, but two things stood out. The first was an emphasis on not just IP cameras, but on high definition (HD). Dr. Edward Wassall, of Samsung Techwin America ( www.samsung-security.com), explained that with the widespread availability of HDTV, people are expecting to see clearly defined images. More and more of us seeing the blurry surveillance photos of thieves on the TV news want to know why the faces in these pictures can’t be as sharp as normal TV images. HD surveillance cameras are an attempt to achieve the answer.

The other highlight of the show was an emphasis on the importance of interoperability and open systems.

For example, a new specification for local area networks, HDBaseT (www.hdbaset.org),  has been published by an alliance among, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor, which is specifically designed to carry uncompressed HD video signals, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, and various control signals through a single standard CAT 5e/6 UTP cable. At the same time it can deliver up to 90 watts of power to operate a variety of network devices. It is intended that this will enhance the convergence of HD video with the entire Ethernet LAN.

William Ryan of Bosch Security Systems (www.boschsecurity.us) told me that users are looking at full integration of IP surveillance into building management systems (BMS), for example, using video in the control of light and heat.

In terms of integration across the boundary between indoors and outdoors, Micropower Technologies (www.micropowerapp.com) was exhibiting outdoor surveillance cameras that could transmit wirelessly into the indoor LAN and Cooper Notification (www.coopernotification.com) provides outdoor speaker systems and other alarms that can be triggered by various LAN signals.

Several manufacturers, recognizing that there are many existing security networks that use analog cameras, are offering encoders that can assign IP addresses to the analog cameras, which will allow them to be integrated into a modern digital system.

A final observation is that I asked a number of vendors about where they are seeing most of their business these days. The answer: More upgrades than new installations and in the vertical markets of banking and finance, retail, commercial and industrial, healthcare and education.

ISC Solutions 2011 – conference/exhibits field report by Ed Brown – The Writing Engineer www.writingengineer.com

Ed Brown – Director ebeditor@writingengineer.com
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Daikin America Announces Plans to Increase ZEFFLE™ Fluoropolymer Coating Supply

Daikin Industries, Ltd, the parent company of Daikin America, Inc., will triple the supply of ZEFFLE™ fluoropolymer coating in June of 2013. The brand new production facility at the Changshu Factory (China) will supply ZEFFLE for the rapidly increasing North America photovoltaic (PV) market. PV backsheets coated with ZEFFLE fluoro-coatings are unsurpassed in their ability to protect modules from long term weathering and harsh environments. ZEFFLE fluoro-coating technology allows backsheet designs to incorporate the optimum film thickness and composition to achieve industry leading cost/performance. In the construction market, where weather-resistant coatings are needed to maintain building structures in grueling environments such as bridges and chemical plants, ZEFFLE preserves painted exteriors for 15 to 20 years, and longer. ZEFFLE coating technology can also be formulated to reflect infrared radiation, providing passive cooling to new and refurbished buildings. ZEFFLE infrared coating can be an important part of total energy conservation. Daikin America, Inc. is one of the largest fluoropolymer suppliers in North America. Daikin provides molding resins, fine powders, aqueous dispersions, melt processable fluoropolymers, and fluoroelastomers for many critical applications. Daikin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd of Osaka, Japan. Daikin is Japan’s leading manufacturer of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, and fluorochemicals products. www.daikin-america.com

 

NECA NEWS - The National Electrical Contractors Association

 www.necanet.org

Senate Passes Repeal of 3% Withholding Tax

11/10/2011

The U.S. Senate today unanimously passed H.R. 674, legislation that would repeal the 3% withholding tax. The bill now returns to the House for review and final voting. President Obama is expected to sign the repeal into law.

more

2012 Cross Border Meeting Announced - Panama City

11/08/2011

more

Take Action: Help NECA Support Passage of H.R. 674 Today!

11/07/2011

 NECA has learned that sometime this evening, the U.S. Senate will consider H.R. 674, legislation that would repeal the 3% withholding tax. NECA anticipates that the vote could happen sometime around 5:30 PM (Eastern) this evening.  For those interested in watching the debate, it will be featured on C-SPAN2, or the Senate C-SPAN channel.

more

BASS Electric Installing 688 Solar Panels for San Francisco PUC

11/06/2011

BASS Electric has started a big job — installing 688 solar panels on the roof of the LEED Platinum-certified San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) headquarters located at 525 Golden Gate.

more

NECAWORKS™ Energy Economic Modeling Screening Tool Launched

11/04/2011

NECAWORKS™, an web-based economic evaluation screening tool to give an early indicator of energy solution project viability, is now available for NECA members. Save $300 on the one-year subscription rate until Nov. 15!

IMGXYZ747IMGZYX

more

Philly's NECA-IBEW Team Brings EV Charging to Renowned Mall

11/03/2011

The King of Prussia Mall just added a new amenity for its upscale customers — state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging stations— thanks to the Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter, NECA and IBEW Local Union 380.

more

Milwaukee School of Engineering Takes Top Prize in Green Energy Challenge for Second Year

11/01/2011

Students from the Milwaukee School of Engineering took top prize for the second year in a row at the third annual Green Energy Challenge, a student design competition sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association and ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction.

more

NECA 2011 San Diego A Smashing Success

10/31/2011

NECA's 2011 convention and trade show in San Diego, Oct. 22-25, drew nearly 5,000 participants from the electrical construction industry for education, exhibits and networking events.

more

NECA Energy Forum Featured in San Diego Daily Transcript

10/28/2011

Mir Mustafa, NECA Director, Business Development, and other speakers and participants from NECA’s first Energy Forum held Oct. 21 in San Diego, immediately prior to NECA’s convention and trade show, were quoted extensively in an article about the event by James Palen in the San Diego Daily Transcript.

more

Repeal of 3% Withholding Tax Passes U.S. House

10/27/2011

This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives successfully passed H.R. 674, legislation that would repeal requiring governmental entities to withhold 3 percent of contractor payments as a prepayment of taxes. This victory represents nearly seven years of constant advocacy on behalf of NECA and other construction groups.

more

Industry Women Speak Out at NWPG Roundtable

10/26/2011

 The NECA Women’s Peer Group (NWPG) held it's second-annual roundtable discussion at NECA 2011 San Diego — The NWPG offers an open forum for women working in all aspects of the electrical construction industry. NWPG members come together to discuss the issues they face in a traditionally male-led industry and to facilitate mentoring relationships between emerging and established industry leaders.

The roundtable, on October 24, was led by Kristen McDonough, Director, Legislative Affairs, NECA; Rebecca Clark, Government Contracts Specialist, U.S. Dept. of Labor; and Alexandra Harrison, Executive Vice President – Marketing and Strategic Accounts, Ontility.

more

Obtaining CEU's from NECA 2011 San Diego

10/26/2011

 The majority of management seminars, pre-convention and technical workshops at NECA 2011 San Diego offered Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for participants that had their badges scanned as they entered and exited sessions. Retrieval of CEUs records, earned at NECA 2011 San Diego, can be done two ways

more

NECA Recognizes 2012-2014 Commitments of Premier Partners

10/25/2011

NECA announced today that Graybar Electric Co., Milwaukee Electric Tool Co., Westex Inc., Federated Insurance and Schneider Electric/Square D have made multi-year commitments through 2014 to the trade association’s Premier Partner of NECA national sponsorship marketing program.

more

2011 Fellows Inducted into Academy of Electrical Contracting

10/25/2011

more

First-Ever NECA Energy Forum Makes Green Energy Market Accessible for Electrical Contractors

10/24/2011

Over 250 electrical contractors and their employees participated in the event, which focused on numerous opportunities available for electrical contractors and their customers in renewable power technology and integrated, energy-efficient building systems. Lazarian, who chairs NECA’s Energy Solutions Task Force, has been a tireless cheerleader for both the Forum and these opportunities.

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Board of Governors Convenes at NECA 2011 San Diego

10/24/2011

 Members of NECA's Executive Committee and Board of Governors convened Oct. 21 to review one proposed bylaw amendment, two ordinary proposals and reports from the organization’s staff officers, committees, and task forcesNECA President Rex Ferry chaired the meeting, the final one of his term as NECA president.

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Employee Misclassification Prevention Act Reintroduced

10/22/2011

NECA is pleased that the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Among other things, this bill (HR 3178) would penalize intentional worker misclassification as a federal offense.

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IRS Offers Employers Incentive To ID Misclassified Workers

10/22/2011

A new IRS program gives employers that have incorrectly treated employees as independent contractors an attractive opportunity to come clean and go straight. It’s not the legislative solution that is so clearly needed, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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Repeal of 3% Withholding Gets Complicated

10/22/2011

Although HR 674, a bill to repeal the 3% percent withholding tax, appears headed to a win in the U.S. House of Representatives, there remains the issue of whether veto-attracting offsets or amendments will be added to the legislation, either in the House or later in the Senate.

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2011 ACEEE Scorecard Rates States on Energy Efficiency

10/20/2011

For the past five years, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has been publishing an annual state-by-state scorecard showing where efforts to increase energy efficiency are working and where improvements are needed. You can access the 2011 ACEEE?Scorecard through this article.

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House Vote on Repealing 3% Withholding Coming Soon

10/15/2011

With an unanimous vote on Thursday, October 13, 2011, the House Ways and Means Committee cleared the way for the full House to consider HR 674, a bill to repeal 3% withholding on government payments to suppliers and contractors. The odds for repeal have never looked better!

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19 New Management Education Programs Ready For Delivery

10/14/2011

We are pleased to announce that 19 new programs have been added to NECA’s management education curriculum and are ready to be scheduled for delivery at the local level. A brochure listing the new programs is accessible through this article.

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ELECTRI and NECA Engage With UNCE

10/13/2011

Senior leaders from ELECTRI International and NECA traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico last week to participate in the annual convention and exposition of UNCE – Mexico’s association of electrical contractors.   ELECTRI International was instrumental in the original formation of UNCE. Russ Alessi, ELECTRI President, spoke to attendees about this history and the development of the solid relationship among UNCE, ELECTRI, and NECA.   In another presentation, Rex Ferry, NECA President and ELECTRI Chair, told the audience about ways that NECA is working to address new industry trends and innovations including BIM and pre-fabrication.

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NFPA NEWS - the National Fire Protection Association

www.nfpa.org

11/10/2011

NFPA and USFA join forces again to Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

11/10/2011

Direct property loss from large-loss fires down $298 million from 2009

11/09/2011

Thanksgiving is peak day for home cooking fires

11/09/2011

NFPA and The Center for Campus Fire Safety announce winners of College Fire Safety Video Contest

11/08/2011

Number of firefighter injuries down 8 percent from 2009

11/08/2011

NFPA sets the record straight on MHI press release

11/08/2011

The Fire Protection Research Foundation releases ambulance crash data report

11/04/2011

Report cites risks to public safety posed by budget cuts

11/03/2011

MA fire officials and NFPA take aim at Board of Building Regulations and Standards

11/01/2011

NFPA and Chevrolet provide 10,000 firefighters and first responders with virtual electric safety vehicle training

10/28/2011

NFPA releases state-level fire service needs assessment for every U.S. state

10/27/2011

NFPA hosts Urban Fire Forum

10/25/2011

Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms

10/20/2011

NFPA Journal releases special issue on wildland fire safety

10/18/2011

NFPA’s Firewise Program participates in Congressional briefing

10/17/2011

NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program hosts free wildfire safety webinar

10/12/2011

Stay safe on the spookiest day of the year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editorial - The Zettaflood Is Coming CNS Magazine

By Paul Barker - Editor CABLING NETWORKING SYSTEMS Magazine

Reprinted with permission from CABLING NETWORKING SYSTEMS Magazine

www.cnsmagazine.com

The ICT industry moves so quickly it forces everyone from installers and networking professionals to IS managers to be in a constant state of catch-up.

Take our cover story on smart buildings as an example. Bernard Oegema, facilities services specialist at IBM Global Technology Services, talks about buildings being connected directly to data from weather networks. If the temperature drops, a sensor can prevent the air conditioning from going on, thus saving money, and equally as important, energy.

Meanwhile, Jay Borer, marketing manager for 3M Corp.’s communications marketing division says “networks are being looked at as every bit as important as plumbing and gas in the building. Those wireless and in some cases wired networks are going to be utilized for every aspect from door alarms, security monitors, controlling window blinds and lights, every potential system you can control.”

That is impressive, but really quite tame compared to a set of technology advances that Dave Evans outlined recently at Cisco Live in Las Vegas. The company’s chief futurist, the subject of this issue’s q&a, presented his 10 technology trends that will change the world in 10 years and I came away impressed and a little awestruck.

Here they are:


The Internet of Things or IoT came into being in 2008 and represents the point in time when more things were connected to the Internet than people. With the ability of IoT to sense, collect, transmit, analyze and distribute data on a massive scale, humanity will have the information it needs, not only to survive, but also to thrive in a rapidly changing world.


The Zettaflood Is Coming: This year, the amount of unique information created was 1.2 zettabytes, which is the same as every person on Earth tweeting for 100 years, or 125 million years of your favourite one-hour television show. The zettaflood will place huge demands on the network and demand optimized architectures.


More and more data is moving to the cloud. By 2020, one-third of all data will live in or pass through the cloud.


The Next Net: In Evans’ home, the speed of the network has increased by 170,000 times since 1990, when he had a single Telnet connection.


The capture, dissemination and consumption of live events will move from “near time” to “real time” and in the near future, everyone will become a reporter.


The Power of Power: Answers exist to solve the energy dilemma and it all revolves around solar. A recent advance that makes solar an even more viable option is the “printing” of solar cells.


The Next Dimension: 3D printing or “additive manufacturing” is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer. Already, things ranging from toys, to cars, to living structures are being “printed” and in the not-too-distant future, we will be able to print human organs.


Another Family Tree: By 2020, robots will be physically superior to humans. By 2025, the robot population will surpass the number of humans in the developed world and by 2032, they will be mentally superior to humans. And by 2035, robots will completely replace humans in the workforce.


You … Only Better: We have crossed the threshold of discovery, and have become masters of our own destiny. We are ultimately the sum of our atoms, and we are rapidly gaining control over them.

“We are entering a brand new era in so many ways,” he told me during our interview. “And the journey has only just begun.”

www.cnsmagazine.com

 

Cover story: Smarter and Smarter Buildings - CNS Magazine

A new type of contractor is developing who needs to understand the mechanical, electrical and the IT side of a building’s needs. Much of it has to do with the fact more systems including energy, HVAC, automation, security and, of course,  corporate networks now run over Ethernet and IP.

Cover story: www.cnsmagazine.com

By Lawrence Cummer

Reprinted with permission from CABLING NETWORKING SYSTEMS Magazine

www.cnsmagazine.com

Smart buildings, in which automation is used to make the management and operation more efficient, are becoming more popular because of the potential to reduce energy consumption and ultimately cost.

According to Natural Resources Canada, most buildings including those that are already highly efficient can generate energy savings between five and 15% when actions are taken to ensure operation at peak efficiency.

“Energy is a huge issue today,” says Savitri Ballai, business development manager at Graybar Canada’s Mississauga, Ont. location. “Because we are spending so much on power and energy, any kind of smart building has to be related to reducing it. It is so much on the forefront and everyone is looking closely at how much they’re spending.”

As energy prices continue to climb, Ballai says she has been seeing more facilities managers being tasked with reducing spend on power, and recently has seen three very large customers looking towards smart building-related technology.

More systems including energy, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) automation, security and, of course, corporate networks now running over Ethernet and IP are creating new opportunities for improvement, unavailable when all these systems had proprietary protocols.

In particular, it allows management software to more readily capture data that is key for efficient facility management, says Bernard Oegema facilities services specialist at IBM Global Technology Services in Markham, Ont.

“With IT-based analytics there is a very low cost to monitor just about anything in a building, so sensors are becoming ubiquitous. And, we are seeing Moore’s Law start to apply to sensor technology, so we can affordably pick up temperature, humidity, air-flow, noise, video, motion, equipment, UPS, power — lots and lots of information.

“And all this information, if used intelligently, allows us to be proactive in order to allocate cost and be predictive.”

And some very sophisticated automation can take place with that level of intelligence and analytics. Oegema gives the example of facilities connected directly to data from weather networks. If temperature is going to drop, facilities managers can prevent engaging air conditioning either through automation or decision-based alerts.

“IT and facilities are converging more every day,” he says. “Having a converged network allows facilities managers to get a bigger picture of what’s going on.”

Greater facilities information being shared over existing networks can, with analytics, result in three benefits, says Oegema: cost-savings from operational efficiency, more intelligent resource allocation and better capital decisions. He notes also that the addition of highly predictive modeling tools, facilities managers can instantly determine the benefits of, for example, upgrading a particular building’s insulation or reducing power to a particular underused facility, removing guesswork.

One network to rule them all:  Once managed over disparate networks, a movement exists to move more facilities systems over one IP-based network, and even to incorporate some cloud-based services, says Rick Huijbregts, vice-president of smart and connected communities at Cisco Systems Canada Co. in Toronto.

“The network has already become the platform for all kinds of communications from people to people, to people to machines, to machines to machines,” he says. IP, already the network of choice for IT, has emerged as an easy method for more integrated physical security, and is making inroads into building control systems, adds Huijbregts.

Not only are building management systems starting to incorporate IP-ports, but those very management systems are starting to act more like IT devices. “The building controller that is deciding whether I have warm air or cool air in my space is starting to act just like an IP phone or a printer,” says Huijbregts. “It becomes just another edge device on an IP infrastructure.”

He says pulling together these systems over one network makes sense, because through standardizing on IP lower-cost systems can be built, and communications problems between disparate networks can be eliminated.

While that makes sense, according to Robert Horne, executive vice-president at the Ottawa-based consultancy The Attain Group Inc., a single network infrastructure for IT and various facilities functions is great in theory, but is harder to do in practice in many office-based businesses.

He notes that since many typical businesses lease rather than own their facilities, they are not going to be comfortable running their corporate networks over the infrastructure set up by their building management. “Ideally, if a large company owned the building, and therefore had a vested interest in the energy management they could have a single infrastructure and then partition a VLAN for security cameras and card access, and another for HVAC management and things like that.”

Still, he adds that even when the company owns the building, for practical and liability reasons many choose not to move to a single shared infrastructure for facilities, security and IT.

Horne says security policies generally dictate that these systems are kept separate. VLANs in theory act as separate networks for these services to run on the same infrastructure, but Horne says it remains an area of dispute.

“That’s where the big debate remains, and people always err on the side of caution. Imagine if someone could gain access to everything (on the network) through something as simple as temperature monitor.”

Meanwhile others, especially in IT, side with Huijbregts. “For enterprises, the network is becoming kind of the nerve centre of the building,” says Jay Borer, marketing manager for the Communications Markets Division at 3M Corp., based out of Austin, Tex.

“Communications networks are being looked at as every bit as important as plumbing and gas in the building. Those wireless and in some cases wired networks are going to be utilized for every aspect from door alarms, security monitors, controlling window blinds and lights, every potential system you can control.”

Borer says this is driving an increase in extending fiber further into the enterprise, even as far as the desktop or devices being used for facility monitoring and control, and for finding more cost-effective ways to drop fiber, extending its use within facilities.

Borer says due to what he calls “the green effect,” organizations  are looking for ways to reduce the use of high-cost copper enterprise cabling solutions, and turning to fiber optic networks or passive optical LANs to extend fiber from the entry of the building all the way to the desktop.

“The energy consumption is reduced,” Borer suggests, “If you look at it from an Ethernet-type switched network, where you’d traditionally have wiring closets on each floor,  you can now have all of your electronics on a ground floor and can split out that signal on up to 64 separate lines. On a single strand of fiber you are serving up to 256 desktops.”

Ballai says from the perspective of facilities automation she is not yet seeing a dramatic shift to fiber; however, she notes that economic caution could be holding back application of some technologies.

Today, she adds most building automation networks are still running and being built using UTP copper cabling. She is seeing fiber for building automation systems more frequently in some instances, like factories, where reduced interference is important.

“As they improve on trying to make buildings more sustainable and have better management capabilities we may see more movement, but the economy is doing this up-and-down, up-and-down thing. When things are more stable we may see more migration to IP-based building automation systems.”

Despite the debate over whether to share services over a single network, Horne is seeing the communication networks being more frequently incorporated into the building design process at the same time as HVAC and other systems.

Since it is an area in which building designers often have little expertise, this trend has their engineering firms calling on cabling professionals and installation firms to boost their expertise during the building design and set-up stage.

Wi-Fi adoption and pathway concerns: In addition, Horne says he is seeing property managers use a building-wide communication network for the purpose of property management, and increasingly build in networks that incorporate Wi-Fi and cell extension.

Such networks are being used to provide tenants with a Web portal for service requests, for property management staff to use network-connected tablet devices for efficient work, for public Wi-Fi access and to extend mobile phone access to parts of the building cell towers higher floors where service will not reach. (Since, cell towers signals are directed downwards, once a building reaches about 10 stories they begin to lose service, Horne notes.)

In addition to these benefits, property managers are finding that having extensive cellular coverage or free public Wi-Fi in common areas is being seen as a marketing advantage when attracting tenants. The same network built for cell extension through the building also act as a LAN, carries Wi-Fi, and fire, police and emergency service signals.

Of course, extending cellular coverage or building a network of Wi-Fi end points still requires plenty of physical wiring on the back-end to support it, and that means pathways through the building.

Facilities systems and communications systems being developed simultaneously provide a better opportunity to build pathways into the building design, reducing interference. While communications used to be lumped in with electrical work, if considered at all, changes in the Construction Specifications Institute’s MasterFormat division to include communications networks as its own specification makes these networks less of an afterthought.

While communications systems are being seen as more important during the building process, the lion’s share of space and consideration in buildings design typically goes to HVAC systems, says Horne.  Still, it’s an important step that the groups are sitting down together at the design table often before ground is even being broken.

Collaboration and new skills: All agree integrations between facilities and communication, whether on a single, shared infrastructure or not, calls for greater collaboration and, in some cases, new skill sets.

It can be generational, Huijbregts says. He gives the example of a customer visit he recently conducted in which he met the operator of the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, who was sitting monitoring four or five dusty CRT screens, each handling a different building function.

“He sits there and he plays Angry Birds on his iPad. He was probably 23 years old. As we started to talk with him, he actually said, ‘I wish I could control these systems from my iPad upstairs in the daylight rather than stare at four screens in the basement where nothing happens.’”

Huijbregts says the world of facilities management is in a transition stage right now, where a large segment of managers are used to traditional methods, which they know like the backs of their hands, but an emerging wave of facilities managers are seeking new ways to work and that will drive greater integration between facilities management and IT.

It will also lead to greater use of cloud-based facilities management services, he says, but he confesses that a lot of investment has gone into existing legacy systems and he calls the move to more integrated systems “a work in progress.”

He says a new type of contractor is developing who understands mechanical, electrical and the IT side of a building’s needs. “They are becoming the orchestrators of bringing together what has traditionally (existed in silos).” While a common term for these advisors has not emerged, Cisco is calling them “master technology contractors”, and points to companies like Johnson Controls Inc. as leading the way in their development.

Oegema says facilities management and IT often don’t work well together in traditional scenarios, but that the smart building systems with analytics can provide benefit to them both and can bring them together. For example, break-glass detection being monitored by software could be shared with security, but IT and network managers would also want to know if a controlled space is being accessed.

Ballai says the role of facilities managers is becoming far more dynamic and, at times, strategic. They are being tasked to work with IT teams to find better ways to measure operations and look at the long-term sustainability of their buildings.

That is demanding of them a greater business and technology acumen than ever before, and collaboration with IT departments.

It’s not just buildings getting smarter, Ballai suggests that facilities managers are learning new tricks to follow suit.

“What you are seeing is businesses looking for facilities managers who also have the technical knowledge for every aspect of the building systems (including communications). It will not just be the engineer and staff anymore, but everyone and the question is being asked how will that contribute to us having more efficient buildings?”

CNS

Lawrence Cummer is a Toronto-based
freelance writer. He can be reached via e-mail at lawrence.cummer@hotmail.com.

www.cnsmagazine.com

 

Q&A with Dave evans, chief futurist with cisco systems Inc. - CNS Magazine

Reprinted with permission from CABLING NETWORKING SYSTEMS Magazine

www.cnsmagazine.com

www.cnsmagazine.com

CNS: What is the role of a chief futurist and what exactly do you do?

EVANS: First of all, it’s generally a lot of fun. I will preface it with that — it’s a pretty cool job.

From a pragmatic perspective, I am part of a group called Internet Business Solutions Group or IBSG. It has 10 industry verticals including health care, retails, financial, transportation and so on.

What I tend to do is look across all technology domains, which includes networking, but also computing, information growth, robotics, virtual people and all kinds of other interesting technologies.

A big part of my job is to help our customers understand where the world is going.

A lot of people think a futurist is about predicting the future, it’s not.

Being a futurist is understanding where the world is going so you know how to act now.

To use the hockey metaphor, it’s about knowing where the puck is going to end up before you start skating to it.

That’s how I spend my day. Another aspect of my job is working with customers to bring these things to life through prototyping and piloting and things like that.

As an example, if we say to an automotive company that cars of the future are going to do dot, dot, dot, we will work with them to build a car that will demonstrate that capability.

Or if we say retail stores are going to transform in the following way, we will work with the retailer and transform that store.

It connects me to the customer more closely, but it also keeps me grounded. You see the fruits of your labour, it’s not just theoretical whatever. There is a pragmatic element to it.

CNS: In terms of the future, what is the window that you generally look at? Obviously, you have to be cognizant of profit and loss here?

EVANS:  How far you look out is inversely proportional to how effective you can be. The time horizon tends to be in the three to 10-year range, roughly.

That way it is actionable. That said, I do look beyond to say 2030 or 2050. That’s probably more theoretical than practical, but I would say a 10-year horizon is about 80% of what I do.

CNS: John Chambers in his keynote today here at Cisco Live talked about a massive shift taking place on the video front. In terms of speeds and feeds, is Moore’s Law going to become almost antiquated in terms of how fast systems are going to advance?

EVANS: We are on an exponential growth curve. People intuitively get Moore’s Law, but for some reason, they still think of it in linear terms. Not only are individual elements growing exponentially — computing and storage for example — but the way the inter-connectedness and sharing are growing exponentially.

As an example, depending on the discipline that you’re in, it’s generally accepted that human knowledge is now doubling every two to three years.

If that is a true statement, in 50 years, 95% of everything we know will be discovered in those 50 years across all domains.

Another way to look at it is that it means we only know 5% today of what we will know in the next 50.

You look at research papers and patent applications and you can see a skyrocketing explosion of human knowledge.

Up until the 1900s, human knowledge doubled every 100 years or so. Today, it is every five years. That is the type of trajectory that we are on.

CNS: Where are we going to see 10 Gig, 40 Gig and 100 Gig used and is it going to come quicker than people think?

EVANS: Everything is going to come quicker than people imagined. I will give you a personal anecdote. I have been at Cisco 21 years and I have been tracking my home network connection in my house.

In 1990, I had a 300 bit-per-second connection. Today, I have 38 devices in my home that require an always-on network connection and that is within a 21-year span. I have a 50 megabit connection today, I can get a 100 megabit if I want, it’s just a cost issue. That’s an increase of 170,000 and by the time I get to 1 Gig within the next decade, it will represent a 3 million times increase in my network broadband speed in my home.

Things are going to happen far faster than people think.

Researchers are already working on multi terabit per second Ethernet. There have been a lot of advances this year alone. Researchers recently demonstrated 100 terabit connections and in another case, 26 terabits per second using a single laser over a distance of 165 kilometres.

We are not there yet and it will be years before they’re commercialized, but the point is advances will occur much faster.

CNS: This question is probably half-tech and half sociological. With so many Baby Boomers on the verge of retirement, is that going to be a blessing or a curse when it comes to the acceptance of new ideas?

EVANS: It is an interesting question. There is a completely different expectation from people coming into the work force now. There is an expectation of being always connected, an expectation that they are always mobile. Even how they look at things such as privacy is different.

Our generation tends to look at things and say, ‘everything that we have is private and we choose what we want to make public.’ The generation that is coming into the work force now has the opposite mentality which, is ‘everything is public and we choose what to make private.’

Expectations about technology are different, expectations about the work environment are different. It’s much more collaborative, much more team oriented.

There is a huge capacity for the generation coming in now to absorb technology in such different ways. You watch a teen doing his or her homework and they have the television on, listen to their MP3 player and tweet all at the same time.

When Baby Boomers want to do something, we tend to focus on one task. The brain is being rewired because of the society that we’re in.

CNS: Is the network as we know it about to change?

EVANS: It is changing in a lot of ways. It’s changing in terms of the number of devices that are connected. For example, let’s say today we have 10 billion devices connected plus or minus, by 2020, we should see 50 billion devices and it could be significantly more.

We know that the number of devices on a network doubles every 5.32 years and we are able to calculate conservatively that in 2020 there will be about six to seven devices per person.

The types of devices that are being connected are really interesting. For example, there is a Dutch company putting sensors on cows in order to track their pedigree and diet. There is a tree in Brussels that has been covered in sensors and cameras and it has 3,000 Twitter followers. Imagine, a tree with 3,000 Twitter followers.

Then of course, there is the data itself. Take health care as an example. A few years ago a single MRI medical scan would have been 20 MB in size. Today, its 20 Gig. Tomorrow, 1 Terabyte.

We no longer think in terms of pixels, we think in terms of voxels. The voxel being the equivalent of a pixel, but in a 3D space. Video is getting richer.

We believe that by 2015, almost a Zettabyte (one billion terabytes) is going to flow across the network.

It’s all changing.

CNS: What about the so-called pipe?

EVANS: We will continue to see a mix of fiber optics and copper. We will continue to see advances in wireless with 4G and then 5G. We may even see some intriguing advances in quantum networking, which would allows us to see networks that are many orders of magnitude faster. The sky is the limit, literally?

CNS: On the Cisco Web site, you write about something called “Smart dust,” which you predict will connect everything to the Internet, making it possible to sense and manage our world in unprecedented ways. What exactly is it?

EVANS: We are not at the dust level yet, more like chunks. They are tiny microprocessors with sensors that communicate with each other through mesh networks. Over the coming years because of advances in Moore’s Law and nanotech application technology we will start to produce them in the billions and possibly more.

They will literally become very, very tiny, like dust. They will have video capabilities and sensing capabilities and be everywhere.

As an example, you will be able to ingest them and they will be able to keep an eye on your health for you. They will also be in the environment and used to check air quality.

CNS: It sounds like there is going be a whole new generation of technology companies. Indeed some of the giants of today may not be around in 10-15 years. Is that a fair assumption?

EVANS: Anything is possible, but I do not want to speculate on who it might be. But let me give you one example that is very intriguing, which is Additive Manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing.

Traditionally with manufacturing or machining if you will, you start with an object and you remove the parts you don’t want. With Additive Manufacturing, you print them layer by layer and layer.

What happens when the price of a 3D printer becomes so cheap it is in every home?

The CTO of Autodesk recently said that the price of them drops tenfold every five years. That means a 3D printer that was worth a million dollars a decade ago will be less than a thousand dollars 10 years from now.

You may end up buying one just like you buy a fridge or a dishwasher. If that’s the case, if I can fabricate or design new things in the home., what does that do for innovation?

I could have a multi-billion dollar manufacturing plant in my home. I can fabricate anything, I can design anything and I can distribute it. I could be the next big company.

It’s not about where the big companies will come and go, it’s where will the next big innovation come from.

It could be some guy somewhere in a basement that you don’t expect, that fabricates the next amazing device.

That is where it gets really intriguing.

CNS: Clearly moving forward, standards will be incredibly important and will need to play a huge role?

EVANS: I couldn’t agree more. Cisco has a long history of embracing standards. As an example, we drove the move from multi-protocol routing to standardizing on IP. We’re very involved in all the standards bodies.

Without standards, it simply doesn’t inter-operate and we end up with islands of functionality.

At the end of the day, we need to make sure our products inter-operate with others so we are very big in the standards fields.

CNS: In closing, is it fair to say that we have a New Wild West coming?

EVANS: We are entering a brand new era in so many ways and the journey has only just begun. The network is the only thing that touches everything. Hardware does not, the operating system does not, the network touches it all. This is the business you want to be in right now. With the move to the cloud, intelligence in the cloud, device proliferation, the way we can communicate, it is going to be an amazing era and we have only just scratched the surface of where it is going.

It is going to dwarf the Wild West.           CNS

www.cnsmagazine.com

 

Standards column: The Cabling Highway - CNS Magazine

Reprinted with permission from CABLING NETWORKING SYSTEMS Magazine

www.cnsmagazine.com

Designers and the cabling experts have started a dialogue to look at the parameters for the next generation cabling system to support 40 Gigabit data rates.

Whether we are talking optical fiber or copper there are some fundamental limitations on the maximum capacity of these cabling systems to support higher data transmission rates. Today, the highest data rate over balanced twisted pair copper is 10 Gigabit/sec for distances up to 100 metres.

The cabling system can be considered as a highway. To be able to accommodate a 10 Gigabit data rate requires four lanes of traffic, each pair carries “bi-directional” traffic at 2.5 Gigabits/sec.

For 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GBASE-T), Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) is used to encode 3.2 bits of information into a Symbol, so that the effective speed on the highway is about 800 MegaSymbols/sec for each lane of traffic.

The minimum bandwidth that is required to support a 10 Gigabit data rate is one half the Symbol rate or 400 MHz per lane. From communications theory, the maximum capacity is limited by the bandwidth and the Signal-to-Noise ratio. This means that the vehicle carrying the information and the cabling highway are designed to support the maximum speed limit for the corresponding worst case environment.

For bi-directional transmission on each pair, the forward going and the reverse going signals do not interfere with each other as long as the road surface is smooth and uniform.

In the language of transmission lines, that means that the impedance of a cable pair or of a connector needs as close to 100 Ohms as is practical.

Irregularities in the road surface due to variations in the impedance can cause echoes, which is a form of interference that limits the signal reception at the receiver.

An impedance mismatched connector can act as a speed bump.

In designing a 10GBASE-T Transceiver (Transmitter and Receiver), Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is used to cancel some of these echoes.

As the transmission speed is increased, the DSP becomes more complex and the processing power that is required for noise cancellation is higher because of the greater number of reflected signals that need to be cancelled out at the receiver.

Also in the case of 4-pair transmission, some of the signal can spill over from one lane of traffic into another lane of traffic on an adjacent pair.

This form of interference is called Near End Crosstalk (NEXT) for a signal arriving at the near end receiver and Far End Crosstalk (FEXT) for a signal arriving at the far end receiver. 10GBASE-T also uses DSP to cancel out NEXT and FEXT interference at both ends of a channel.

Furthermore, there are lots of other sophisticated techniques that are used to ensure signal integrity and to minimize the likelihood of bit errors.

The first generation of the 10GBASE-T transceiver consumed as much as 12 watts of power for processing and conditioning the signal.

Today’s third generation transceivers have improved the power consumption to about 2.5 to 4 watts, depending on the length of channel.

Having tackled the challenges of designing a 10 Gigabit cabling highway, equipment designers and the cabling experts have started a dialogue to look at the parameters for the next generation cabling system to support 40 Gigabit data rates.

There are four task groups in TIA TR 42.7 considering different aspects of the next- generation cabling to support increased capacity for future applications. There is a lot of interest in this activity with over 25 experts worldwide participating in the work of the task groups

The “applications” task group is looking at target applications beyond 10 Gb/s, including the topology, the reach and the timeline for technology to be available.

The “capacity” task group is looking at the Shannon capacity and Channel model considerations including reach, bandwidth, Insertion Loss and Return Loss requirements, external noise analysis, signal-to-noise spectra and Physical Layer (PHY) noise cancellation assumptions.

The next generation “cable and connector” task groups are looking at the performance of cables and connectors at frequencies extending up to 2 GHz.

The scope of each is fairly broad. Among the topics, the connector task group will be looking at the issue of backwards compatibility with the 8-pin modular (RJ-45) connector.

The cable task group will be looking at the maximum speed that can be accommodated on the cabling highway and whether more lanes of traffic would be needed.

This work has only started.

The task groups have been meeting monthly by teleconference and webex for about six months. The target date for the work to be completed is June 2012.

In my next column, which will appear in the Nov./Dec. edition of CNS, I will examine in detail the results to date.

CNS

Paul Kish is Director, Systems and Standards at Belden. The information presented is the author’s view and is not official TIA correspondence.

www.cnsmagazine.com

 

The Case for 10 Gig - BICSI News Magazine

By John Awad, RCDD, NTS

Reprinted with permission from BICSI News Magazine

www.bicsi.org

Better for Wi-Fi

In September 2010, a United States university encountered a challenge when students returned to classes. During the summer, many students had acquired new smartphones with cellular data and wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) capability, and many had purchased Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and tablets. The increase in Wi-Fi access by smart- phones, tablets and laptops quickly used up available backbone bandwidth and created bottlenecks in sections of the campus network. This happened in the first week of the semester on a network that, three months earlier, did not experience any issues.

Unlike business and workplace applications where many mobile phone billing plans include unlimited data network use, the new phones included limited cellular data plans. Accordingly, the cost to use these devices for data over the cellular network was more expensive when compared to using the school’s Wi-Fi network, for which there is no extra charge; therefore, students chose the free Wi-Fi as their primary wireless Internet access option. Smartphone or laptop wireless data users who experience any data latency in the cellular data network will often quickly switch to the local Wi-Fi-enabled LAN when possible. When this happens in a dense population of users, such as on a college campus or in a convention center meeting, available LAN backbone bandwidth can be quickly used up. However, when a 10 gigabit backbone, switches and routers are in place, more bandwidth can be available, with more room to allocate as needed.

There are other aspects of this increased campus Wi-Fi use that justify a need for 10 gigabit cabling. Wireless access points (WAPs) will typically allow a finite number of connections per access point. Devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, will “ping” the nearest WAPs when looking for an available network and measuring signal strength. When the pinging occurs, it uses up a connection slot at the receiving WAP for a period of time or until the ping connection is released. This can be especially true in high-density or public areas such as campus quads, auditoriums and large lecture halls.

Larger capacity WAPs can be purchased to increase the amount of connection points that are available. Using 10 gigabit cabling for WAPs that are accommodating a higher number of connections will allow maximum potential usage and increase the number of ongoing available network connections. Also, with the increase in Wi-Fi traffic requiring higher bandwidth and quality of service with minimal latency for applications like video conferencing, the need for 10 gigabit cabling to high-capacity WAPs is justified at a reasonable cost per user.

Ideal for Virtual Servers

The ability to combine multiple servers virtually onto one piece of hardware is called server virtualization. This practice allows multiple applications and workloads to run on fewer machines using multicore processing. Server virtualization is driving a need for bottleneck-free cabling with faster speed capabilities and lower latency throughout the network. Upgrading the cabling to accommodate increased virtual servers’ bandwidth needs can reduce the need for excess servers and other hardware, providing a worthwhile return on investment. Fewer cables, connections, ports and network interface cards (NICs) to manage can lower long-term maintenance and management costs, providing overall lower cost of ownership. Using a higher bandwidth 10 gigabit Physical layer to accommodate server virtualization also increases computing and network capabilities.

Server virtualization is just one practice that can help control overall costs and allow for cabling upgrades and bandwidth increases for future availability. A 2006 International Data Corporation (IDC) survey stated, “Based on a survey of more than 400 IT organizations currently deploying server virtualization, IDC found that customers are looking to not only increase the penetration of virtual servers within their environments, but also to increase the number of virtual machines per physical server.”1 Increasing the number of virtual machines per physical server enables greener data centers. Less power is required for the reduced numbers of physical servers and subsequent cooling requirements along with a smaller quantity of cables.

Effective for Flexibility

A 10 gigabit backbone channel provides the flexibility to manage available bandwidth while accommo-dating traffic spikes, limiting latency to an absolute minimum even during periods of increased usage and multiuser requests. The upsurge character of applications used in enterprise backbone environments are well served with 10 gigabit OM3 and OM4 multimode optical fiber cables. These cables have the bandwidth available to accommodate traffic increases and help eliminate slow network and file transfer problems caused by applications like video conferencing, online video, medical imaging and centralized storage. These applications will be accommodated with maximum efficiency using 10 gigabit technology in the backbone infrastructure.

      The interoperability of 10 gigabit Ethernet also allows support to and integration with existing 10/100/1000 megabit systems. The ability to implement 10 gigabit Ethernet over extended distances up to 40 kilometers (km [25 miles (mi)]) can be useful in consolidating multiple LANS and equipment spread out over a campus or wide area network (WAN). This extended distance capability provides more flexibility when choosing data center and server locations.

From a network maintenance perspective, 10 gigabit Ethernet also enables the transfer of Ethernet frames without modification over a series of 10, 100, and 1000 megabit per second (Mb/s) and 10 gigabit per second (Gb/s) links along an extended distance path and between organizational and service provider networks. Proven technology, based on the latest Ethernet standards, can allow fast changes to an expanding infrastructure without compromising security or any additional need for new network software or network management training.

Perfect for Future Proofing

In the horizontal cabling infrastructure, a 100 meter (m [328 feet (ft)]) or less total channel distance using 10 gigabit capable category 6A unshielded twisted-pair copper cable and connectivity can be achieved at a cost of less than $500 per port. As the use of streaming video, power over Ethernet (PoE) and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) requirements continue to increase, this can be ideal for client server and other shell implementations at the desktop that require lower latency. Applications, such as 3-D modeling, engineering capabilities and medical applications, can take advantage of new multicore processor technology in high performance servers, allowing high-bandwidth computing power to be accessed from the client work area.

Copper connectors are a familiar media interface for installers and end users, and when category 6A copper connectors and cable are combined with appropriate installation practices, a high performance 10 gigabit channel up to 100 m (328 ft) can be achieved. Second and third generation active 10GBASE-T chips will consume less power and produce less heat. Combined with advanced 10GBASE-T NIC technology, this can be an ideal horizontal cabling implementation to the workstation. Higher bandwidth and lower latency demands at the desktop make a category 6A installation ideal for future proofing the work area environment. However, OM3 and OM4 multimode optical fiber and singlemode optical fiber are still favored in the backbone for higher bandwidth campus and WAN 10 gigabit needs.

OM3, OM4 and singlemode cabling installed today can use multifiber connections to accommodate array connectivity and next generation network speeds. Ongoing innovations of faster processors and computing power are driving an increasing need for more bandwidth. New and improved technologies, such as desktop video conferencing, 3-D modeling systems, telemedicine, video creation and editing, and other applications not yet invented, will advance rapidly over the next 10 years.

Today, 10 gigabit optical fiber cabling can effectively be used between switches and routers. The use of 10 gigabit copper in horizontal cabling to the work area will allow scalability and control costs. Gigabit Ethernet, which is acceptable for most applications, can currently be run, but a 10 gigabit infrastructure system will allow users to use the latest technologies both now and into the future.

Reference

1Enterprise Server Virtualization Market Booming, Reports IDC.”  www.cablinginstall.com. December 6, 2010.


Reprinted with permission from BICSI News Magazine

www.bicsi.org

 

Campus brings fiber and Cat 6A to the desk for advanced learning - CI&M Magazine

Reprinted with permission from PennWell’s Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine www.cablinginstall.com

Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics is a physical embodiment of a social network.

By Chris Cole, Northern Kentucky University

Located on 400 acres in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, KY, just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University (NKU) is a growing metropolitan university of nearly 16,000 students served by more than 2,500 faculty and staff. NKU provides a private-school-caliber education for a fraction of the cost and is one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, made obvious by a unique high-tech building on campus that captures the attention of passersby with its protruding glass Digitorium.

This fall, NKU celebrates the opening of Griffin Hall, the new state-of-the-art $52.8 million home to the College of Informatics. It is 134,000 square feet of high-tech learning space and has been described by one student as the physical embodiment of a social network. The facility is an appropriate host to one of only a handful of colleges in the country devoted entirely to informatics—the study, development and application of digital technology, information and communication in all aspects of society, from business and law to arts and science. The only building of its kind in the region, Griffin Hall was based upon the realization that traditional academic structures don’t provide the optimal environment to the digital and information revolutions impacting every aspect of human activity. Accordingly, the new technology hub of the region offers a different kind of physical environment optimized by advanced digital technology—all of which is supported by an advanced network cabling and connectivity infrastructure.

“In actuality, the field of informatics is all about connectivity and bringing together areas of study that digitally connect to the world and each other,” says Dr. Kevin Kirby, interim dean for the College of Informatics. “The digital age is all about data, and while it can flow through the air, big data still needs the cabling infrastructure. The new facility is very different from anything that was built just 10 years ago, and its massive connectivity is very important to informatics.”

Targeted to achieve silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, Griffin Hall is a true intelligent building. It includes an electronic media lab, a health informatics lab, a media informatics digital lab and a large performance studio. At the heart of the new building is the two-story Digitorium, a 120-seat digital auditorium that includes a wall of contiguous digital displays, a 2-D digital cinema projection system, a professional control room and eight “opera boxes” that also serve as break-out rooms with computational equipment where participants can actively engage with an event. Highly configurable, the Digitorium will host a wide range of high-tech events, from virtualized performances to collaborative gaming and digital film festivals.

“If one just considers the screens in this facility—from the giant wall of display tiles in the Digitorium, to the tiny screen of a student’s smart phone, we’re dealing with media at all levels,” says Kirby. “Informatics is about the flow of information, and the infrastructure allows that to happen.”

The new facility also has space allocated for a future computer-assisted virtual environment, known as the CAVE, which will be an immersive environment that allows people to literally enter a virtual world.

“The CAVE will be used for research and courses that involve visualization of complex data,” explains Kirby. “When 2-D plots are not enough for exploring complex data, 3-D scientific visualization is required. The technology in this space will be rolled out over the next couple of years and will require extremely high bandwidth.”

Even the main lobby of Griffin Hall is unlike any other. Using digital technology, the lobby conveys that the building is alive with digital projectors that display on the outside walls of the Digitorium. It also includes an IP-addressable LED ceiling lighting system and a digital gallery that can dynamically present the current work of students and faculty.

Choosing state-of-the art technology

With the sheer amount of advanced digital technology and applications, it’s no wonder that NKU needed to implement an advanced network cabling infrastructure in Griffin Hall. The university decided to install an infrastructure capable of supporting 10 Gigabits per second (Gbits/sec) today and 40 or 100 Gbits/sec in the future, including a combination of augmented Category 6 unshielded-twisted pair copper and singlemode optical fiber to the desktop.

“As everyone knows, it’s very difficult to plan for the future with the rapid and unpredictable changes in technology,” says Rob Knarr, associate director and senior project manager for NKU. “As part of such a transcending project, we definitely did not want to install our current campus cabling standard and only prepare for today’s technology. We decided that a Category 6A solution and singlemode fiber best prepared the building’s infrastructure for future bandwidth capacity.”

With the initial infrastructure design completed and cabling technology determined, NKU released a request for proposal (RFP) and established a review and evaluation committee to score all proposals based on a specific set of criteria including expertise, service and price. In the competitive bidding process, CTS Telecommunications (www.ctstelecomm.com) of Cincinnati responded to the RFP with a PanGen structured cabling solution, featuring advanced network cable from General Cable (www.generalcable.com) and connectivity from Panduit (www.panduit.com). According to NKU, CTS was the highest scoring contractor with an overall proposal that provided the most value. General Cable’s headquarters happens to be located in Highland Heights, KY, adjacent to the NKU campus.

“Between the two specified solutions in the RFP, we knew that General Cable was NKU’s preferred cable for Category 6A,” says Rick Setzer, president of CTS. “We’ve completed several projects on the NKU campus over the past eight years, but this was the first time our technicians would be installing a Category 6A cabling solution and singlemode fiber-to-the-desk for the horizontal cabling.”

The copper PanGen solution selected for Griffin Hall provides certified 10-Gbit/sec channel performance up to 100 meters and includes the GenSPEED 10 MTP (Mosaic Twisted Pair) that exceeds the TIA-568-C.2 component standards. GenSPEED 10 MTP uses a patented Mosaic Crossblock technology that encompasses individual overlapping metallic blocks separated by an insulating layer of polymer film to shield the cable from noise coming from external cable sources, which can adversely impact data transmission performance. The cable also incorporates a separator to stabilize and separate each pair for optimized internal pair geometry and crosstalk performance, while providing an overall smaller, easy-to-install round cable profile.

“Because it was our first time terminating the GenSPEED 10 MTP cable with Panduit connectors, our technicians received hands-on training and were shown how to use a tool that makes terminating the jacks very simple,” says Eric Shifferd, project manager with CTS. “It maybe took us about 5 percent more time to terminate than previous categories of cable, but it was nothing out of the ordinary—especially for a facility like Griffin Hall.”

For the optical fiber solution in the backbone cabling infrastructure and fiber-to-the-desk applications, NKU selected NextGen Brand singlemode optical fiber cabling from General Cable and a combination of SC and LC field-installable connectors from Panduit.

“We talked about deploying multimode optical fiber, but we believe that we will eventually be at 40- or 100-Gigabit speeds, and we just couldn’t guarantee that those speeds would work over multimode fiber and the distances we needed to cover,” explains Bob Weber, senior manager of infrastructure services for NKU.

An infrastructure like no other

In an infrastructure deployment that began in late August 2010, CTS installed a redundant singlemode optical fiber backbone to connect Griffin Hall to the two main campus core switches located in the NKU Student Union and Applied Science & Technology (AS&T) buildings, as well as 300-pair copper cabling for backup telephone applications. From the main distribution facility (MDF) on the first floor of Griffin Hall, CTS installed 12 strands of General Cable singlemode optical fiber through 4-inch conduit to a stacked, centrally located telecommunications room on each of the five floors. Another 12 strands of singlemode optical fiber connected separate academic-specific server rooms and audio-visual control rooms to the MDF—one of which supports technology in the Digitorium.

From each of the telecommunications rooms, CTS deployed the GenSPEED 10 MTP cable to every space, for a total of approximately 3,000 work area outlets, including 233 Power over Ethernet (PoE) wireless access points throughout the facility. In high-tech classrooms, anywhere from 24 to 36 connections were installed in the floor, and another 40 or more connections in the wall. In addition to standard data transmission, the work area outlets throughout the facility connect a variety of equipment to the network for applications such as Voice over IP telephony, digital signage, video, security, life safety, building automation systems and audio-visual control.

For example, NKU decided to implement a Category 6A connection outside of each classroom to display the room’s class schedule using digital signage technology. “We are currently scheduled to have digital schedules outside of the two main building conference rooms, and each of the 33 classrooms currently has a data drop outside the door so that we can eventually have digital signage throughout,” says Weber.

Six strands of NextGen singlemode optical fiber were also run to more than 200 fiber-to-the-desk locations. “We wanted fiber to every classroom, teaching space and conference room to futureproof for 40-Gigabit Ethernet, and to support advanced audio-visual equipment that uses fiber,” says Weber. “We also installed fiber in the dean’s office and other high-tech offices to be used for advanced technology that is set up for transmitting directly over fiber.”

In each telecommunications room, the GenSPEED 10 MTP terminates to Panduit’s PViQ patch panels with intelligent modules that support the use of physical infrastructure management software for tracking IT assets and network configurations.

“We implemented the intelligent infrastructure management capabilities on all copper patch panels, but we will set it up in just one location at first to understand how to use it effectively,” says Weber. “It will ultimately help us monitor port-to-port IP addresses to easily track devices on the network.”

Installation of the network cabling infrastructure was a smooth, well-coordinated process made possible through excellent teamwork. According to John Diss, project manager at CTS, the significant amount of both copper and optical fiber cabling made it a challenge to ensure plenty of space in pathways and telecommunications spaces, especially once it was determined that each telecommunications space required its own computer room air-conditioning (CRAC) unit. At any point during the installation, CTS had as many as 12 technicians on site ensuring that the entire infrastructure was installed properly and on schedule.

“The telecommunications rooms were tight, and we ran into a few pathway challenges due to the LEED certification of the facility and some interesting architecture,” says Shawn Tracy, lead technician for CTS who has 15 years of experience. “In some instances, we had to be creative to get the network cable from point A to B.”

Ultimately, the entire network infrastructure was implemented and tested with no failures, allowing the network to go live in May 2011. Occupants began moving into Griffin Hall in June and classes started in late August. While some audio-visual technology aspects were still ongoing at the time of this writing, Griffin Hall is expected to be fully completed in October.

“NKU has been very progressive from a technology standpoint, and our goal is to support them in their endeavors,” says Setzer of CTS. “The team on this project worked very well together, and product delivery and availability from Graybar of Cincinnati was on target. Part of that comes from a longstanding relationship and good communication between all parties.”

A new-world environment

NKU’s College of Informatics at Griffin Hall will ultimately house the most advanced technology in the Midwest. In addition to attracting new talent to NKU and supplying technically skilled and broadly prepared workforce talent to the region, the College of Informatics at Griffin Hall will be a highly public venue, providing unique and inviting spaces that the public and businesses will want to use for their own events and activities. Much of what will go on inside Griffin Hall—all supported by the PanGen network infrastructure—is more advanced than what most can imagine.

While NKU has always strived for sustainable design decisions on all projects, as the first LEED-certified

facility on campus, Griffin Hall includes advanced LED lighting controls and daylight harvesting technologies that will help reduce energy consumption. Power usage, HVAC control and elevators will also be connected to the network via GenSPEED 10 MTP for enhanced monitoring and control. Even the main control panels for the access control and fire alarm systems reside on the network. While traditional coaxial cabling was deployed for security surveillance cameras to remain consistent with the campus’s existing surveillance system, NKU futureproofed the security network by installing a network connection at every security camera for an easy migration to IP-based surveillance in the future.

“We’re going to have a mock network operations center that will be more of a display for teaching and demonstrating key information about the facility,” says Weber. “It will show power levels and other information to teach students about intelligent buildings. It will also show live data transmission and other behind-the-scenes technologies.”

Each classroom in the new facility also includes advanced audio-visual teaching technologies like smart-boards, projector systems and networked controllers that can adjust shades and lighting as necessary. IP-based class-capture cameras can digitally record classes for online and remote distance learning. The Cisco VoIP phones throughout the facility are video phones, and wireless IP phones will be provided to faculty and staff.

While the teaching, learning and day-to-day facility operations at the College of Informatics will be like nothing NKU students and faculty have ever experienced, they can rest assured that the PanGen network cabling infrastructure with GenSPEED 10 MTP and NextGen singlemode fiber will support whatever advanced digital technologies they can study, develop and apply in the field of informatics—from sophisticated data mining software and digital art and film, to cybersecurity development and 3-D visualization.

“With the College of Informatics, we are creating a magnet to attract new students, faculty and researchers.  Expectations are very high and increasing year by year,” says Kirby. “A lot of eyes are on the NKU College of Informatics, and it has to be cutting-edge with an infrastructure that maintains high performance and reliability. While academic buildings and needs change over time, at this point, we are quite confident in the technology we’ve implemented.”

Chris Cole is Northern Kentucky University’s (www.nku.edu) director of marketing and communications.

www.cablinginstall.com

 

Are you ready for 40 and 100G? - CI&M Magazine

Reprinted with permission from PennWell’s Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine www.cablinginstall.com

12- and 24-fiber MPO-style cabling connectivity options for higher-speed Ethernet.

By Gary Bernstein, RCDD, Leviton Network Solutions

East Africa is host to the extraordinary Great Migration. Every year millions of creatures—zebras, wildebeest, gazelles and many others—travel 1,800 miles and must overcome numerous threats to survive.

Data centers regularly undertake their own great migration, to ever-higher-speed networks. Applications from development software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to consumer content, medical and academic records, and a host of others are continuously driving demand for greater bandwidth, and the network must keep pace.

10G, unimaginable little more than a decade ago, is now common in larger enterprises. Several 40G core, edge, and top-of-rack (ToR) switches are on the market today, including equipment from Force10, Cisco, Brocade, Arista, Extreme Networks, Hitachi and Blade Networks. Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Brocade and Juniper Networks have introduced 100G equipment as well. By 2015, higher-speed Ethernet will have about a 25-percent share of network equipment ports, according to Infonetics Research. The need is clear: A higher-speed Ethernet migration plan is rapidly becoming a matter of survival.

Is your network cabling optimized for this inevitable growth? Create a simple, cost-effective migration path by installing a structured cabling system that can support your future 40/100G networking needs. An ideal system will include the following.

  • One simple, modular connectivity solution for legacy 1G and 10G applications that is also compliant to 40G and 100G
  • One standardized connector theme able to support future high-bandwidth applications
  • Preconnectorized components compliant to all current and anticipated industry standards

This article will provide a foundational understanding of laser-optimized multimode 40/100G structured cabling and discuss the pros and cons of 12- versus 24-fiber MPO/MTP cabling to help you prepare for high-speed Ethernet. MTP is a high-performance MPO connector manufactured and trademarked by US Conec, Ltd. Throughout this article I use the term MTP to refer to all MPO/MTP interfaces and connectors.

Understanding 40/100G

Planning for migration to higher-speed Ethernet can feel daunting. The standards for 40G and 100G are significantly different from previous generations; active equipment and transmission methods are unique. Even polarity takes on a new importance. The following sections explain these differences and will help you understand the options for 40/100G migration.

IEEE and TIA standards. Structured cabling systems design is always guided first by standards. IEEE creates the standards that define performance parameters, while TIA writes those that define how to apply the parameters to structured cabling systems. Familiarity with these standards will help you design your data center infrastructure to better support network upgrades.

IEEE 802.3ba 40-Gbit/sec and 100-Gbit/sec Ethernet is the only current standard that addresses the physical layer cabling and connector media maximums for 40G/100G fiber channel requirements (the standard does not address copper UTP/ScTP categories). IEEE 802.3ae 10-Gbit/sec Ethernet covers the fiber protocols for 10G transmission.

TIA-942 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers establishes design criteria including site space and layout, cabling infrastructure, tiered reliability and environmental considerations. The standard recommends using the highest-capacity media available to maximize infrastructure lifespan. 10G equipment is the most frequently installed today, but 40G and 100G Ethernet will soon grow to become common networking speeds.

Now let’s discuss the structured cabling requirements needed to support 40/100G applications.

Active equipment interfaces. Fiber connectivity in higher-speed active equipment is being condensed and simplified with plug-and-play, hot-swap transceiver miniaturization. 1G and 10G networks commonly use the Gigabit interface converter (GBIC). For 8G Fibre Channel SAN and OTU2, as well as some 10G, the transceiver is the SFP+ (Small-form-factor Pluggable Plus). Interfaces for 40G and 100G active equipment include QSFP (Quad Small-form-pluggable Plus), CFP and CXP (100G form-factor pluggable).

MPO/MTP is the designated interface for multimode 40/100G and it’s backward-compatible with legacy 1G/10G applications as well. Its small, high-density form factor is ideal with higher-speed Ethernet equipment.

Parallel optics. Laser-optimized multimode 40G and 100G Ethernet employ parallel optics. Data is transmitted and received simultaneously on MTP interfaces through 10G simplex transmission over each individual strand of the array cable. Current IEEE channel/lane assignments for active equipment interfaces determine the transmission methodology.

Polarity. TIA-568-C.0 Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises includes three MTP array cable polarity methods: A, B and C. In addition, TIA will soon be releasing two new addenda, TIA-568-C.0-2 and TIA-568-C.3-1, to specifically address the polarity and cabling requirements needed to support 40G and 100G applications. As the market moves toward 40G and 100G networking speeds, polarity becomes more and more important. With multiple channels within a single connector, all components must be manufactured with the same polarity; differences cannot be reconciled by flipping or switching connector position in the field. Many end users prefer Method B, as it has the same “straight-through” MTP array cord on both ends of the channel, which greatly simplifies upgrades.

With this background of the higher-speed Ethernet landscape, we’ll now discuss the pros and cons of 12- and 24-fiber cabling for 40G and 100G.

12- vs. 24-fiber cabling

All higher-speed Ethernet networks will use 12- or 24-fiber MTP trunks. However, an understanding of the differences between the two schemes will help you optimize your cabling plant with your next upgrade. The paragraphs that follow present migration, density, congestion and cost comparisons between 12- and 24-fiber solutions.

Migration. The graphics on pages 18 and 19 show 12- and 24-fiber system configurations for 1G-100G networks. With the 40G 12-fiber legacy configurations, a second trunk and another set of array harnesses will be needed to achieve 100-percent fiber utilization. For 100G, these additional components will be required for any 12-fiber legacy upgrade. On the other hand, with 24-fiber trunks, a single cable can support a 1G-100G channel and will simplify network upgrades immensely. 1G and 10G networks will link the trunks to active equipment with MTP-LC modules and LC duplex patch cords. When equipment is upgraded, modules and patch cords are exchanged for the appropriate new MTP components, with no need to install new trunks. In addition, limiting changes reduces the inherent risks to network security and integrity whenever move/add/change works is completed.

Density. Higher-density connectivity in the enclosure leaves more rack space for active equipment, reducing the total amount of floor space required. Twenty-four-fiber cabling has the obvious advantage. If the active equipment is configured for 24-fiber channel/lane assignments, enclosures can have twice as many connections with the same number of ports compared to 12-fiber (or the same number of connections using only half the ports).

For 40G networks, choose a 24-fiber MTP wiring scheme that delivers true 100-percent fiber utilization—no dark fibers or empty pins. With this configuration, density is doubled at the adapter plate/enclosure side, compared to 12-fiber 40G wiring schemes.

The table below shows 24-fiber cabling maximum enclosure density. A user’s achievable density may be less than what is noted in the table, depending on the enclosure model chosen. The column listing the maximum number of plates/modules refers to Leviton’s Opt-X brand products. Also worth noting, the 100G MTP channels require minimum 48-fiber trunk cables.

Congestion. The flipside of density is congestion. The more connectivity you are able to run in a given footprint, the more crowded it can become at the rack or cabinet. Here again, 24-fiber MTP trunks offer a huge benefit. Anywhere there is fiber, you will have just half the number of cables versus 12-fiber. Runs carry a lighter load, fibers are easier to manage, and improved airflow reduces cooling costs.

Cost. Twelve-fiber configurations may allow you to continue to use existing trunks when upgrading your equipment (if you already have 12-fiber MTP-MTP trunks), but likely will require additional trunks, more connectivity components, and other network modifications. In the long run, it’s many times more expensive to retain these trunks than to upgrade to 24-fiber up front.

Three tables on page 20 present 12- versus 24-fiber deployment cost comparisons for a 24-channel/48-fiber 10G network (top of page), 40G upgrade (middle) and 100G upgrade (bottom). The tables consider components-only costs. As they indicate, the migration cost savings with 24-fiber trunks increase as you move to higher networking speeds. For the 10G network, cost is almost equal. But 24-fiber trunks reduce end-user costs about 10 percent for a 40G upgrade, and almost 25 percent for a 100G upgrade. Factor in labor costs of installing additional trunks and other components with 12-fiber, and the difference is even greater.

Being prepared for 40/100G is essential; within a few short years high-speed Ethernet will be common in data centers across all types of organizations. Install a high-performance 24-fiber 40/100G MTP system and realize these benefits when it is time to upgrade your network.

  • Fewer connectivity components to be replaced or added simplifies migration and reduces costs.
  • Higher-density connectivity leaves more rack space for active equipment.
  • Fewer trunks reduce cable congestion throughout the data center.

A 24-fiber higher-speed Ethernet MTP system will prepare your network for the future, lower your cost of ownership and maximize your return on investment.

Gary Bernstein, RCDD is director of product management – fiber and data center with Leviton Network Solutions (www.leviton.com/networksolutions).

www.cablinginstall.com

 

Five big reasons to upgrade your punchdown tool - CI&M Magazine

Reprinted with permission from PennWell’s Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine www.cablinginstall.com

New tools make for faster and easier termination, and reduce re-work.

By Paul Alexander, Fluke Networks

Over the past several years there has been a large amount of new cable deployed to meet the increasing demands for greater bandwidth. Fortunately for the cabling professional, the market is responding with punchdown tools that make a molehill out of the mountain of today’s cabling options, by making the job faster, easier and better ergonomically. If you still have not expanded your technician’s tool sets, here are five reasons to invest in multi-wire punchdown tools.

1) Terminate more cable

When installing cabling, the most commonly used tool is a single-wire punchdown tool. These tools terminate one wire at a time, and can be used on all categories of cable. However, the utility of a single-wire punchdown tool is mitigated by the inability to terminate more than one wire at a time—a real problem as demand increases. Given the preceding “cable boom,” technicians are terminating increasing amounts of cable, and those working on large-scale installation jobs often struggle to keep up with the workload.

Technicians using multi-wire punchdown tools are capable of installing Category 5e/Category 6 cables—the most common type—eight times faster than technicians who are not, according to Fluke Networks’ internal research. Although multi-wire punchdown tools cannot terminate all types of jacks or blocks (as can a single-wire tool), they are essential for technicians working on large-scale jobs that often use only one manufacturer’s jacks or blocks.

2) Speed it up

An obviously corollary to increased volume, of course, is greater speed. Like the manual punchdown process, with a multi-wire tool the technician must first strip the outer cable jacket and follow the correct wiring scheme while dressing all eight wires in the respective slots. However, with one trigger pull on the multi-wire punchdown tool, each is seated and cut for a solid termination. The handle is then released and the jack is removed from the tool. One pull, eight wires terminated.

3) Increase accuracy

Another notable benefit is greater accuracy. While manual termination and single-wire punchdown tools certainly provide proper termination, a technician terminating the 200th cable of the day is not likely to be as accurate as he or she was earlier in the day. Many experienced technicians struggle with consistently terminating cables properly. In fact, we conducted a study of 50 technicians over a three-month period, for jack-error rates when seating and cutting 2,000 Category 5 and Category 6 cables. The study showed those manually terminating jacks were required to re-terminate eight percent of the time. Those using a multi-pair termination tool were required to re-terminate less than one percent of the time. Proper termination of cable is the lifeblood of any network. Improper termination can result in network downtime, repeat reports and wasted technicians’ time and resources.

4) Reduce fatigue

Decreased hand fatigue is another critical factor of multi-wire punchdown tools. Hand fatigue can be a critical issue, especially for technicians assigned to large job sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “between 1999 and 2002, more than 30 percent of all employee compensation claims from the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) were related to ergonomics. This amounted to more than $10 million in claims in just four years.” (Source: OSHA, “Solutions for Electrical Contractors”) When any conductor is punched down, force is required to seat the conductor. That force is derived either from a technician (using their hand to manually seat the conductor), or through the use of a non-impact tool. The basic impact tool has a spring-loaded head that is compressed by the installer. Once the spring reaches full compression, it is automatically released and the force is transferred to the head of the impact tool, which then seats the conductor.

By comparison, advanced multi-wire tools can terminate all eight wires with one squeeze. This relieves a technician from having to manually punch down every single conductor—a daunting task on a site where there may be hundreds or thousands of cables to install.

5) Improve usability

In addition to other benefits, newer punchdown tools offer features such as ergonomic, easy-to-use handles, built-in beds that help hold jacks in place, replaceable blade heads for use with multiple jack types and a design form that allows for easier close-to-wall installation. All of these components will help improve the tool’s usability across a wide range of settings and requirements.

The right tool can make the life of a technician so much easier when installing and maintaining cable, and result in a wealth of savings. Each technician or operation should evaluate their workload and what formats of cable they frequently encounter in order to determine which tools will suit their work best, and maximize jobsite efficiency.

Paul Alexander is marketing product line manager with Fluke Networks (www.flukenetworks.com).

www.cablinginstall.com

 

NECA and BICSI publish telecom grounding and bonding standard - CI&M Magazine

Reprinted with permission from PennWell’s Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine www.cablinginstall.com

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and BICSI jointly developed and recently published through ANSI a telecommunications grounding and bonding standard, NECA-BICSI-607-2011 Standard for Telecommunications Bonding and Grounding Planning and Installation Methods for Commercial Buildings.

NECA says the new standard will help contractors and installers enhance the planning, specification and layout of an effective telecommunications bonding and grounding system. The standard also specifies installation requirements for components of the telecommunications bonding and grounding systems.

“Telecommunications and information technology changes rapidly, but grounding and bonding is always fundamental to any electrical installation,” said Mike Johnston, NECA executive director, standards and safety. “A well-designed system is essential to protect equipment and personnel from harm. Correct, Code-compliant grounding and bonding installations will help ensure the long-term performance and safety of the system.”

NECA also said the standard “provides exceptional value to designers and those writing construction specifications due to the built-in workmanship aspects covered in this performance standard. Construction owners, specifiers and contractors rely on NEIS [National Electrical Installation Standards] to clearly illustrate the workmanship standards and criteria for different types of electrical construction. NEIS are also referred to throughout the National Electrical Code.”

BICSI described the standard’s importance by stating, “An effective telecommunications bonding and grounding system can prevent injury and equipment damage. With the complexity of today’s infrastructure with little margin for outages, any system, including the grounding and bonding network, can be the weakest link.

“NECA/BICSI-607 specifies aspects of planning and installation of telecommunications bonding and grounding systems,” BICSI continued. “While this standard aligns with related standards, such as the NEC and ANSI/J-STD-607, additional requirements and information for components and connectors of these systems are also included. And as the best design can be undone by poor implementation, a majority of NECA/BICSI-607 details installation methods and practices to minimize potential system failure.”

NECA is selling the standard at a cost of $20 for NECA members and $40 for non-members. BICSI is offering the standard to its members for $20 and to non-members for $28.

www.cablinginstall.com

 

COOL TOOLS - Qualification Testing - ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

Reprinted With Permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

www.ecmag.com

By Jeff Griffin

Qualification Testing

Documenting an installation

Structured wiring in commercial buildings must be certified that the network meets industry standards. While there is no comparable requirement for voice/data/video -VDV) wiring in residences, many installers choose to "qualify" a home's local area network -LAN). Tests that document an installation meets industry standards and component manufacturer's installation requirements allow extended warranties to be offered and reduce returns for repairs. Contractors with the ability to perform qualified installations have a marketing advantage over competitors who lack that capability.

Qualification applies to security, fire, and alarm systems and VDV wiring.

"It is important to verify that each device on a LAN-whether part of a security system, HVAC control or entertainment network-can communicate with its host," said Dan Payerle, Ideal Industries business unit manager.

Today, category-rated communications cabling is a standard component in virtually all new residential construction, Payerle said. Beyond the scope of entertainment and lifestyle devices, category cabling is being installed to control security, alarm, mechanical and environmental systems.

"Many providers of security system monitoring offer services in addition to standard alarm functions, including perimeter protection, which allow residents to control their systems, view security cameras, and lock or unlock doors via the Internet," Payerle said. "These systems rely on cameras, locks and control panels inside the home that communicate with each other via Internet protocol [IP] over category cabling. With all of these media and system devices operating over category cabling, the need to test is more important than ever."

Because the use of fiber cabling within home systems is not widespread, Payerle said most residential VDV systems are on copper, and the tests and tools for home networks apply to all components, including security and safety.

"When dealing with IP-based systems, there is nothing special about the testing required for security systems," Payerle said. "An important consideration is the location of security devices relative to normal networking equipment. While network devices and PCs are located on desks or in equipment racks, a CCTV camera will be mounted on a ceiling or on a pole in a precarious position. Because of this, security professionals prefer to have lightweight, integrated handheld test devices. Juggling multiple test devices on an extension ladder is not safe for the technician or the equipment."

Home network qualification begins with verification of cabling connectivity, Payerle said. Wire map testing ensures the cabling is connected properly from one point to another, but it does not confirm that connection to the network or Internet is available.

He said the verification that the cabling is correctly terminated is performed with a wire mapping or VDV tester. These testers confirm that each of the four pairs of a category cable are terminated in accordance with the TIA-568-C wiring specifications. Within the TIA-568-C standard, there are options for two color codes known as the 568-A and 568-B wiring configurations. A VDV tester with a color screen may have an option to display the wire map in the appropriate colors, which can simplify troubleshooting, but any tester will display an error if a cable is accidentally terminated with 568-A on one side and 568-B on the other.

The next step, service testing, requires the use of a more advanced tester commonly called an Ethernet or LAN analyzer. To perform service testing, each link in the network must be connected to the LAN, and the equipment -servers, router, etc.) should be operating. The LAN analyzer is connected to the network in place of the device that is going to reside at each location, such as a security camera, thermostat or alarm panel. The LAN analyzer connects to the network and runs a series of tests to verify that a device at that location can connect to a local server or to the Internet, depending on how the analyzer is configured.

Payerle briefly described the tests usually involved:

- Link tests connect the tester to the Ethernet switch and report the service speed in megabits per second -Mbps), which usually is 100 or 1,000 with current systems.

- Dynamic host configuration protocol -DHCP) tests verify that a device can connect to a server, which issues and manages individual IP addresses on the network.

- Ping tests send packets of information-usually three-to a network device to verify that data can travel through the network to a specific target. Ping tests result in a response rate and average, minimum and maximum response times. Many installers prefer to ping Google since it is almost always up and responds very quickly. Some companies' Internet servers do not respond to ping requests.

- Trace-route tests are more advanced than ping test. Trace-route tests find delay times between all routers from the test location to the target server.

LAN analyzers also can perform other important tests that save troubleshooting time, Payerle said. One particularly useful test is power over Ethernet -PoE) presence testing, load testing and monitoring. PoE technology sends direct current -DC) power over a network cable to run small devices, such as phones, cameras, wireless access points and small control panels. PoE load testing is important because the voltage available at the end of a network drop depends on the gauge of the wire and the length of the run. A PoE load tester will apply a load to the PoE supply and tell the operator how much voltage, current and wattage is available at the outlet. So what kinds of LAN analyzers are there?

Ideal's VDV PRO LAN installation tester checks for wire map errors on telephone, data and coaxial cable. It measures the length of a drop or amount remaining on a spool and features a tone generator and port blink function for tracing. The LanXPLORER PRO LAN management tester verifies the operation of network devices, identifies each device, measures total and device bandwidth consumption, tests PoE/PoE+, identifies the source of network errors, and provides documentation to prove network functionality.

GRIFFIN, a construction and tools writer from Oklahoma City, can be reached at up-front@cox.net.  

Reprinted With Permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

www.ecmag.com

FIBEROPTICS by JIM HAYES = In Flux - ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

Reprinted With Permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

www.ecmag.com

Multimode fiber mode control

In fiber optics, there has been a lot of discussion about encircled flux -EF), much of it more confusing than clarifying. EF is simply a new way of looking at an old, well-known problem, defining mode control for multimode -MM) fiber testing. Recently, EF has been added to international standards as a means of modal control for testing, not at all what it was originally developed for and well before it has been proven in the field.

The fact that MM fiber needs modal control to get repeatable measurements has been known for the last 30 years. The measured loss of connectors, splices or even the fiber itself could vary widely according to the mode output of the test source. MM mode control has been included in virtually every test standard ever written, but the methods of specifying and controlling it has changed many times. The best-known method of mode control is to use a mandrel wrap on the test source reference cable as has been specified in most standards for the last 20 years.

EF began as a theoretical model of the light output of an 850 nm VCSEL source to allow mathematical modeling of laser-optimized fibers for greater than 10 gigabit Ethernet using those sources. After it was developed as a modeling tool, the same EF definition was promoted as a means of specifying mode control for MM test sources. That usage then required developing a way to test sources for EF compliance, using digital cameras.

There is no question that EF is a much more sophisticated method of specifying and measuring mode fill, but it is only useful if it can be tested and implemented in the field. At the current time, test methods for EF are still under development. An initial round robin of test labs was inconclusive and another is underway, but it is not expected to produce results for another year.

It's important to remember that EF is a modal power specification rather than  an actual implementation or technique. Therefore, any number of methods including special test sources or mode conditioners on patchcords can be used to implement EF. I don't know of any test sources currently available claiming EF compliance, but then how do you prove compliance until EF has an acceptable measurement technique?

Implementing EF can be done the same way mode control has been done for more than 20 years, using a mandrel wrap. In fact, a new international document -IEC 61282-11) states that the method currently specified in TIA standards is close enough to EF. So it seems the solution you have been using for years works just fine.

Unfortunately, in the rush to adopt EF, two other problems have arisen. After the development of EF, one paper claimed to prove that optical time-domain refllectometer -OTDR) testing with EF launch conditions would match insertion loss tested with a light source and power meter under similar conditions. However, the conditions of the test were limited to multimode cable plants of less than 2 dB loss. That paper led to a new international testing standard that allows either OTDR or insertion-loss tests for cable plant acceptance testing. That same standard has been adopted to replace the previous TIA standard for testing the loss of installed cable plants, OFSTP-14, which has been in use since the late 1980s.

Unfortunately, no one has yet proven the value of EF testing for the rest of MM testing, links up to 10 dB or even more, nor has the correlation between OTDR and insertion-loss testing been proven valid over 2 dB loss. It may well be that the standards community has created a standard that does not work for most situations but is not limited in scope to exclude them.

While some media has been touting EF as the way to test today, it's really way off in the future. The flawed process of its acceptance has created more problems than it has solved. Several people, myself included, have made presentations to the standards groups, pointing out the problems they have created and proposing ways to rectify them, but it may take years before that trickles through the committees.

What's a contractor to do? Well, my advice is to continue doing exactly what you have been doing. If your customers ask, tell them EF is a new standard that is still in development and that the mandrel wrap method currently in TIA is supposed to meet EF requirements. If they ask for OTDR tests instead of insertion loss, point out that is not how their system works and may provide erroneous data. In the meantime, clip this article to show any customers who ask about EF, and email me if you need backup!

HAYES is a VDV writer and educator and the president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.JimHayes.com.

Reprinted With Permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

www.ecmag.com

Focus by Debbie McClung - Learning Your Terms - ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

Reprinted With Permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

www.ecmag.com

Internet Enhances Training Programs

The evolution of the virtual chalkboard has accelerated as demand has increased for the convenient, learn-at-your-own-pace access to continuing education units, new technologies and methods, industry-specific degrees, and more. Online curricula are expanding with developments in all sectors of the electrical industry. There's always a rush for license renewal coursework and new Code content, such as significant triennial changes to the National Electrical Code -NEC). Green-oriented techniques and alternative-energy creation and distribution also are broadening the development of coursework and tools. Educational programming experts say it's not just electrical contractors and apprentices pursuing online options. Demand also is increasing for the supplier network that positions the Internet as the ultimate platform for delivering manufacturers" product training and other complex information.

Growing into its own

According to the United States Distance Learning Association, online education has significantly increased, with more than 96 percent of the nation's colleges and universities currently offering online learning opportunities. The number of students engaged in online learning is expected to exceed 2.6 million. A recent U.S. Department of Education evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning found that, on average, students using a combination of face-to-face and online learning performed better than those only receiving face-to-face instruction.

The energy industry has quickly connected with online solutions to maintain and attract a technical work force. The Energy Providers Coalition for Education -EPCE), a signature initiative of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning -CAEL),Êis a national alliance that has expanded beyond standard job training to provide online programs that are contextualized, credit-bearing courses leading to certificates, associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees for industry career paths in electric utilities and nuclear power.

"Unlike what's available through other online adult education providers, our online education is built by the industry for the industry and is geared specifically for technical careers in the energy industry," said Christine Carpenter, EPCE director at CAEL.

Representing more than two-thirds of the energy and utility industry, EPCE's joint efforts develop and sponsor online curriculum with qualified accredited high schools and colleges and universities, such as Bismarck State College, Clemson University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Like many online ventures, EPCE's success correlates directly to student engagement and highly interactive content that features educational animations, simulations, innovative web labs, discussion forums and threaded dialogue posts.

"At the undergrad level, it's a little more difficult to make online programs effective, but for practitioners who are trying to add to their skillsets or get new knowledge, I think it's very effective and can provide instructor feedback," said Tom Korman, associate professor of construction management at California Polytechnic State University where administrators recently established a master of science -M.S.) degree program in fire protection engineering -FPE) offered both on campus and online.

Additionally, online learning enables the educator to assess student progress in real-time.

"Its diagnostics and other capabilities provide a more efficient, almost programmatic, personalized learning solution that allows for more time to focus on lab and hands-on work versus sitting in a classroom," Greg Clayton, vice president of the technology professional business unit with Delmar, part of Cengage Learning.

Geographical limitations have always been a driving force behind online education for contractors, said Greg Mankevich, executive director for the National Electrical Contractors Association's -NECA) Management Education Institute -MEI).

"Our courses are sponsored by chapters, and some geographic areas can't get enough students to attend a live course," he said. "Online provides another avenue for that learning."

Using online resources, MEI has partnered with BlueVolt, a learning and management system, to create and launch several courses, including Contractor 101, which covers the fundamentals of electrical contracting and the organization of contractor business and management operations.

The methodology that Mankevich believes was born out of necessity is gaining momentum, despite an industry dynamic where training is often an afterthought in good economic times and a budget reduction in tough economies.

"ECs can get less expensive online training, and it can be done at their convenience, as opposed to a specific time where you have to be away," Mankevich said.

Blended learning bridges gaps

Don't look for online learning to replace traditional bricks and mortar for electricians anytime soon. Developmental costs are expensive, and courses can be tricky to test market.

"If a live seminar doesn't do well, upfront costs are minor. If online doesn't do well, you've already made a significant investment. The whole idea behind the online situation for us is that it supplements the live courses," Mankevich said.

Those factors have given rise to the trend of "blended learning." A hybrid that marries face-to-face instruction with online components, blended learning helps students with content through more than one learning style, said Lisa Bordeaux, BlueVolt director of sales and business development.

"With a blended approach, students are actually more prepared when they come in, and their ability to build on that baseline is significantly improved," Bordeaux said.

Bordeaux and Mankevich applied the theory with MEI's basic estimating course using online techniques to condense class instruction by four hours.

"We put together an online introduction covering the Manual of Labor Units. Now everyone starts at the same level knowing background information and definitions going into the live course," Bordeaux said.

Cengage Learning created a web portal, www.informationdestination.com, to provide blended learning applications and tools specifically for the construction industry.

"The blended learning approach breaches the fear that some educators and industry leaders have about making a big change to online. It's considered risky to change from a tried-and-true method of education to something that is very different but potentially a lot better." Clayton said.

Clayton pointed out that an increased emphasis on blended learning is possible partly because of the customer.

"Today's customers are not the same type of students we saw coming into the industry roughly 20 to 25 years ago. These students were born in the information age, and they're accustomed to working with technology. It's not as big of a jump for them as it is for the educators," he said.

The National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee -NJATC) also is recognizing that delivering learning content to electronic devices is second nature to new International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers -IBEW) and NECA students.

"We know this is a generation that is growing up with gaming, and they may not even do homework on a laptop or desktop. It might be on their phones," said Bill Ball, NJATC director of inside curriculum and electronic media for learning management systems -LMS).

Ball and NJATC officials studied available research and identified that blended learning could have significant impact for its nearly 40,000 apprentices in 285 training centers nationwide. In addition to the typical online courses, NJATC LMS will include enhanced interactive exercises, animated real- world training called academies, and various training calendars displaying student schedules, local training events and educational opportunities from training partners, such as Klein Tools, Milwaukee Tools, Thomas & Betts, Fluke Corp. and Lutron.

Traditional classes and hardcopy textbooks are accompanied by the opportunity to do homework online for the first time in five decades. Corporate training partners are helping facilitate the new instructional design that will electronically convert approximately 19,000 questions from the roughly 50 workbooks an apprentice will use in five years.

"Online is going to flatten our world. It will allow apprentices to learn from each other through other efforts like chatworlds, virtual tutoring and epublications," Ball said, adding that the method will allow students to experience blended learning features with LMSs, including trackable assessments and social learning enhancements.

A contractor's perspective

There's no argument among online learning providers that blending virtual material with class and lab work that offers live interaction and hands-on training is still needed in construction trades. Wilson Construction Co., an outside line contractor specializing in pole, transmission and switchyard work, partners with BlueVolt to develop employee orientation, wellness and corporate aircraft etiquette training along with energy distribution skills programs.

"You can complete a lot of forklift modules in the online series, but you really need to drive the forklift. We also do poletop rescue training, and you obviously can't do that completely online," Wilson said.

Safety content has been a natural fit for the Portland, Ore.-based firm. When company officials determined that half of their recordable safety occurrences were attributed to employees under one year of service, it established a consistent new-hire safety initiative.

"We can see our incident and accident occurrences going down which is a dollar-saver in terms of worker compensation and lost-time days over the last two years," Wilson said.

Delivery options mushroom

With no one-size-fits-all learning solution, it is anticipated that the use of database-oriented applications will continue to stretch online content delivery.

"The other piece that's becoming popular with practitioners is the use of online tools and tablet technology on the job site. We're seeing a new market developing, and it's starting to mushroom as the hardware makes information more accessible," Clayton said.

Wilson Construction is exploring the option of supplying foremen with smart phones.

"We're looking at possibly pushing a safety question of the day to cell phones in the morning as a way to interact and learn daily," Wilson said.

BlueVolt's Bordeaux and staff are bullish on game-based and mobile platforms.

"The modality for training is evolving. Learning from other people through some sort of social environment using today's devices and being able to share your experiences are more technologies that we see on the horizon," she said.

MCCLUNG, owner of Woodland Communications, is a construction writer from Iowa. She can be reached at mcclung@iowatelecom.net.

Other Online and

On-Site Training Modules

Contractors can also seek out online training modules from a number of manufacturers and distributors. Here are a couple of examples.

Graybar and Schneider Electric offer online e-learning courses that are available anytime, anywhere. Attendees receive expert instruction, directly from the manufacturer, ensuring accurate, up-to-date materials. Courses are available on electrical distribution equipment, arc flash, NFPA 70E, electrical safety, PLCs, drives, communications, power management and more -http://schneider-electric.syberworks.com/graybar/index.htm).

Another site is https://www.gelearningcentral.com, where users can gain knowledge in several areas. It's a one-stop shop for professional and technical skills development. Industry professionals can access continuing education courses on-site at the GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, through requested CEU programs, and online. Learning Central offers a wide variety of free e-learning courses that you can take online, including circuit breaker basics, value selling and switchboard basics.

Some Online Learning Resources

BlueVolt-www.BlueVolt.com

California Polytechnic State University-fpe.calpoly.edu

Cengage Learning-www.informationdestination.com

EPCE/Council for Adult

and Experiential Learning-www.cael.org

NECA-MEI-www.necanet.org

NJATC-www.njatc.org

Reprinted With Permission from the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine

www.ecmag.com

 

HONOR OUR VETERANS 11-11-11


REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE

   
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