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

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

Issue: September 2006
By: Frank Bisbee

Datacom/Telecom Glossary
In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee's Buzz

Labels save big bucks

Communications and Datacom infrastructure is very expensive and highly labor intensive to install and service. It is shocking to consistently find cabling facilities in the workplace with virtually no documentation (records, drawings, or labeling). With millions of dollars invested in the physical information network, the first and most important step to preserve the investment is “LABEL IT.” Today, RHINO’s portable Industrial Labeling System is the most effective way to add finished value to the network and associated hardware.

The strongest incentive to have better documented cable is the need to control our costs.  When wiring decisions are uncontrolled, we suffer from “MAC Attacks” (Moves, Adds and Changes).  With the constantly changing world of IT and telecommunications, undocumented, and unmanaged MAC expenses can demolish budgets and eat into our profits.  In reality, few records are kept, and of those even fewer are kept up to date.  MAC can reach 90% in labor costs that cannot be reclaimed unlike the cable itself.

Properly documenting your network installation will:

Save time

Save money

Add value

With proper documentation in place, a decrease in labor costs, due to the ease of cable identification, can be achieved.  The complexity of your network should determine the level of detail needed for labeling.  Using the TIA/EIA-606-A (Administration Standard for Commercial Telecommunications Infrastructure) is a good starting point for formulating a strategy that fits your business.

With the addition of a properly documented network infrastructure, a building owner/facilities manager, can change a possible liability into an asset.  Like the deteriorating effect of rust on steel, cabling systems without labels will result in major expenses as the technicians try to navigate the myriad of facilities in order to service or repair the systems. Numerous studies have shown these “hidden expenses” add up to a shocking 10% or greater of the service costs. Now, add the price of down-time and the price is staggering.

Plan the project, purchase wisely, install properly, label, test and document.

It’s a great business practice.

But that’s just my opinion……

By: Frank Bisbee

"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column

Honoring the Battlefield

By Claire Swedberg

It has been more than 60 years since five marines and one Navy corpsman were photographed raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan. The moment is immortalized in photographs and architecture and is a strong legacy for the U.S. Marine Corps.

In November 2006, the National Museum of the Marine Corps will open in the Marine Corps Heritage Center Campus, Quantico, Va., marking the Leathernecks’ 231st birthday and honoring the Corps’ lengthy heritage. Contractors such as Walker Seal Co. Inc., Fairfax, Va.—who have been a part of creating the one-of-a-kind museum—say this is a project they will never forget.

Designed by Fentress Bradburn Architects, Washington, D.C., the $57-million project is unique because of the 210-foot, 50-ton steel mast—representing the scene at Iwo Jima—that angles up through the building and beyond.

Although small Marine command museums exist around the country, until this new construction, the Corps did not have a facility to house its thousands of artifacts.

“We didn’t have much capability of displaying our artifacts in a professional manner,” said Brig. Gen. Jerry McKay.

The museum project was divided into two parts. Centex Construction, Fairfax, Va., was the base building general contractor, and Design and Production Inc., Lorton, Va., worked on the tenant fit-out, complete with exhibit galleries, audio/visual interactives and a theater.

Securing the mast

One of the biggest challenges was the atrium and mast, which is known as the Leatherneck Gallery. The atrium includes an observation deck, for looking down into the gallery floor, and land artifacts, such as a track vehicle. Four airplanes hang from the ceiling. The 150-foot diameter circle gallery has walls clad with travertine marble from Italy.

Installation required 24-inch-thick concrete foundation walls that tower 45 feet tall and support massive steel plate girder beams, which provide the necessary structural framing for the monumental atrium skylight. The windowless structure is built to include earthen berms up against perimeter walls—the wall thickness was necessary to make them substantial enough to support that design.

The mast serves as the center point of the building, and is on a mammoth scale. Putting the mast in place was a significant hurdle. The steel structure arrived in three pieces to be assembled in the field, then was raised with cranes, which lifted the mast over the wall of the central gallery before it was anchored into place by the rib beams. The mast was raised and closed in with heavy-gauge stainless steel panels.

“I’ll never forget seeing them lift that mast with two monstrous cranes,” said Tom Barnett, Walker Seal project manager.

Because of the angle and because it needed to be  installed before the building structure was completed, a temporary shoring tower was built to hold the mast. The steel erector set in place specific beams that created tripod-like support system for the mast.

“There were lots of tolerance challenges in making sure the skylight framing and aluminum cladding fit in and around the structural support framing and the central mast that protruded through the apex of the skylight,” said Matt Dye, project executive at Centex Construction.

The mast slants out of building in a northwest direction and has a lighted ship’s ladder up its interior with intermediate rest platforms. Wiring was needed for a safety light on the mast top to make it visible to aircraft as well as to power a smoke evacuation fan on the roof.

Fighting the wiring challenges

Installing the branch electric into the 45-foot-tall structural walls was one of the major electrical challenges.

“They had to do some pretty meticulous planning to make sure they had their routing in the right place,” Dye said.

Barnett said the Walker Seal men did much of their work with a 135-foot-high lift, big enough to hold two men and not much more. They installed 150 fixtures in the ceiling, but spent considerable time bringing equipment up where they could use it, then dropping down for more, since the lift had a limited weight capacity.

The airplanes, already in place in the gallery, were another one of the project’s challenges.

“We worked over and under and around the airplanes hanging there,” Barnett said.

They installed wiring in the steel framework around the gallery but making that work, Barnett said, was piecemeal at best. Walker Seal did prewire the wireway in 60, 8-foot-long pieces, then joined them together on the site.

“We put in the wiring, the outlet boxes, ran the conduit, and then protected it as they poured the concrete [for the walls],” Barnett said. “We were able to pull wires through it so that was the proof that it worked.”

With Centex Construction, Walker Seal helped wire what Barnett called “50,000 square feet of cavernous space.” After that was complete, workers moved onto the second phase.

Immersion exhibits

After getting the substructure wired, Walker Seal had more to do under a different contract. Working with general contractor Design and Production, Walker Seal would be responsible for wiring the exhibits and theatrical lighting. The same electricians who connected the substructure also put together the exhibit work.

When the exhibit area is completed, visitors who enter the museum will feel what it was like landing on Iwo Jima, as well as the siege of Khe Sanh, Vietnam, in 1968.

Visitors start by passing through a surround sound theater where they are treated as new recruits. They may be barked at by drill instructors, then will go through simulations of battles of World War II, including Iwo Jima. Visitors walk onto a Higgins Boat and into the raging battle. They continue on into Vietnam.

To make all this happen, Design and Production built—and Walker Seal installed power for—various audio/visual displays, as well as five central audio/visual control rooms serving various galleries, said Dale Panning, Design and Production senior systems engineer. The company also installed equipment racks with MPEG servers, audio servers, interactive computers, amplifiers, digital processing, and show control equipment.

The control rooms are designed to sequentially turn on for a diagnostic self-check each day, then synchronize with the other control rooms and displays such as video projectors and plasma screens.

The Ethernet-based system is automated, allowing an audio/visual staff member to walk through the galleries each morning and confirm that all exhibits have started up and are functioning properly before the doors open. The system also can be controlled remotely from an Internet connection.

Design and Production built and tested the racks for the gallery effects in its facility before workers brought them to the job site for Walker Seal to install.

“The immersion exhibits are intended to offer sound, the flashing strobe lights of enemy fire and even a shaking ground,” Barnett said.

To further the sense of immersion, the exhibits include a flat black ceiling with a series of theatrical lights installed to create war-like lighting. Walker Seal electricians installed motion detectors, which allow the launching of each exhibit as someone enters the area. These are connected to the audio/visual rooms where the programmed controls originate.

“There are a lot of players, a lot of people involved,” said Panning. “What’s unique about this museum is the immersion experience as opposed to looking though glass. Here you see, hear and feel the whole event. That’s what makes it special.”

Walker Seal also installed conduits and lighting for a meditation pathway that leads to a chapel on the museum grounds.

McKay said he expected commitment from the contractors involved in construction but is pleased with just how much commitment experienced, not just from the contractors and subcontractors as companies, but from the individuals working on the site.

“It’s fantastic. We’ve had a great group of people working on this. Walker Seal has done a great job. Even the individuals seem to take pride in what they are doing. We’re very excited about it,” McKay said.

This is just phase one of the project. The Heritage Foundation hopes it will continue onto phase two with an additional 79,000 square feet and exhibits that will extend coverage of Marine history back to 1775.

For Barnett, who is 69, this may be the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It means a lot to me to be doing this now,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to work on a job of a really special nature.”    EC

SWEDBERG is a freelance writer based in western Washington. She can be reached at

Reprinted with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July 2006 –

Pack Your Bags — Las Vegas Awaits

Just a month from now, the BICSI 2006 Fall Conference will commence in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 18-21. Make sure that you register to attend this extraordinary opportunity to hone your ITS skills. This year’s Fall Conference opens with a motivational presentation by Scott McKain, the co-founder and Vice Chairman of Obsidian Enterprises—a company generating $100 million in annual revenue. The Conference will continue with informative seminars and plentiful networking opportunities in the entertainment capital of the world—Fabulous Las Vegas!

Details and Registration...

BICSI Golf Tournament in Las Vegas

When you attend the 2006 Fall Conference, you have the opportunity to experience the Golf Tournament—a Monday tradition at every BICSI conference. Network with your peers and clients at Stallion Mountain Country Club on Monday, September 18, with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Attendees, exhibitors, guests and business colleagues are welcome to participate.


Session Topics Survey

Have an influence on the next BICSI Conference. If you have recommendations for topics to be featured, share them by e-mail with Kim Osterman at The responses will be compiled and presented to the BICSI Education Advisory Council for planning track sessions at future BICSI conferences.

Hitachi Appoints Daniel Lee To Vice President Of Marketing

The Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division of Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT - News),, today announced the appointment of 15-year consumer electronics veteran Daniel Lee to the position of vice president of marketing. Lee will direct Hitachi's U.S.-based marketing, communications and advertising strategies across the company's complete line of consumer electronics, including high-definition plasma, LCD and projection televisions, and DVD camcorders. Additionally, Lee will be responsible for Hitachi's expanding brand awareness efforts, including its new, "Power Unleashed" integrated national advertising campaign, announced separately today. Mr. Lee will be based out of Hitachi's San Diego, California office.

"Daniel Lee brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the U.S. consumer electronics marketplace to our company and his appointment will allow Hitachi to further expand its flat panel brand awareness, prestige and market share," said Kenji Nakamura, vice president and general manager, Hitachi America, Ltd., Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division. "We are fortunate to have Daniel on board to help us build on the strength of the Hitachi brand and our original technologies."

Mr. Lee comes to Hitachi America from Maxell Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Hitachi Maxell, Tokyo, Japan, where he served as vice president of marketing for the consumer data and professional product groups. Prior to Maxell, Mr. Lee was the director of marketing communications at LG Electronics, playing a leading role in the company's successful entrance into the U.S. electronics and major appliance markets. Lee earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from Northeastern University and his MBA from Cornell University.

About Hitachi
Hitachi America, Ltd., Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division, produces and markets a wide variety of digital products for business and consumers. The division's Consumer Group markets high-definition plasma televisions and monitors, LCD projection and flat panel HDTVs, LCD projectors, and DVD camcorders and DVD players. The division's Business Group markets LCD projectors, professional plasma monitors, interactive panels and whiteboards and security and observation system products through value added resellers, system integrators, distributors and OEM.

Hitachi has a unique position in the marketplace by manufacturing and developing its own core technologies to provide consumers and businesses with optimal product performance in each of Hitachi's product categories. For consumer products, please visit For business products, please visit For more information about electronic whiteboards and Starboard software, please visit Hitachi Software at Hitachi brand business products are connected through Hitachi's OneVision program, which makes it possible for any Hitachi business unit dealer to sell Hitachi products from other Hitachi business units.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, and consumer electronics, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For more information, visit

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

TED Magazine Wins Three ASBPE Awards of Excellence

Business Publication Editors Awards Recognize Editorial, Design Distinction
TED Magazine, the official publication of NAED, won three Regional Excellence Awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors' 28th Annual Awards of Excellence Competition. The national contest receives more than 2000 entries each year. The magazine was recognized as part of the Midwest-South Region of the ASBPE.

TED's recognitions include:

Regional Award for Editorial Excellence for the regular column, Profit Report (July, November 2005). The column is written by TED contributor Dr. Albert Bates, founder and president of Profit Planning Group. It addresses profit-related issues, challenges, and opportunities for electrical distributors.

Regional Award for Editorial Excellence in the Individual or Company Profile category for Deep in the Heart of Profit (May 2005), a feature article about Elliott Electrical Supply written by TED Editor Michael Martin.

Regional Award for Design Excellence in the category Contents Page or Pages for Departments and Features (March 2005). The monthly section is designed by TED Magazine staff, Misty Byers, managing editor and Randi Vincent, art director.

Check out the award-winning article on Elliott Electric Supply.    More…
Read the winning Profit Report Columns.    More…

Corning Cable Systems Updates Downloadable Offering Of Hardware Product Drawings

Corning Cable Systems, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications segment, has updated its hardware product drawings, a useful tool for customers to use as part of network designs and bid specifications.

These two-dimensional and isometric drawings of LANscape® and LANscape Pretium Solutions hardware family products are available in PDF, as well as AutoCAD-compatible DFX and Visio formats.  The drawings are offered free of charge for downloading from the Corning Cable Systems Web site at  Unlike some other competitive tools that require registration or membership in selective programs, you do not need to register for this valuable tool.

This is the third edition of the downloadable drawings, which Corning Cable Systems has made available to customers for many years.  Highlights from the third edition include several LANscape Solutions innovations, such as high-performance Pretium Connector Housings, the Fiber Zone Box for structured cabling solutions, and several of Corning Cable Systems’ environmentally rugged hardware closures for outdoor and industrial environments.

Corning Cable Systems LANscape Solutions is a complete offering of products, services and support designed to simplify fiber optic cabling requirements. For additional information on the hardware product drawings or any other Corning Cable Systems product or service, please contact a customer service representative at 1-800-743-2675, toll free in the United States, or (+1) 828-901-5000, international, or visit the Web site at

About Corning Incorporated
Corning Incorporated ( is a diversified technology company that concentrates its efforts on high-impact growth opportunities. Corning combines its expertise in specialty glass, ceramic materials, polymers and the manipulation of the properties of light, with strong process and manufacturing capabilities to develop, engineer and commercialize significant innovative products for the telecommunications, flat panel display, environmental, semiconductor, and life sciences industries.

300-meter fiber horizontal: The good, the bad, and the political

There are basically two large camps on the issue of a possible 300-meter fiber horizontal, divided mostly along party lines—copper cabling manufacturers and fiber cabling manufacturers. And then there are the rest of us that try to discern the “why” so we can explain it to the architects, space planners and building owners who are our customers.

The precedent for use of a 300-meter fiber horizontal has already been set. TIA-942 Data Centers currently allows a 300-meter fiber horizontal, but TIA-568-B.1 Commercial and TIA-570-B Residential do not. We already know that it works, the question is within which of the “unique premises environments” should it be considered as the “minimum standard allowed” and why?

I decided to ask members of each of these camps for some of the pros and cons regarding a ubiquitous 300-meter horizontal for fiber cabling.

The copper camp is quick to quote studies, which are well over 30 years old, on typical lengths of horizontal cabling that show most “existing cables” are about 150 feet long. Oddly enough that is about the same as the length as a typical electrical branch circuit. You see, during the era “under study” most of the “telephone” cabling was terminated on the “other wall” in the electrical rooms. Given the choice, would we design systems that way today? Probably not. It is interesting to note that there have not been any “new” studies presented to the committee for consideration, so the original 30-year-old study still stands as “typical.”

The fiber camp wants to reduce the number of telecommunications rooms within the building as a “cost saving measure,” which realistically is sort of the “all your eggs” (or in this case network ports) “in one basket” approach.

This idea was first introduced as a Centralized Optical Fiber Cabling System. But once TSB-72-1997 finally made its way through the committee process, the result (maximum horizontal length of 90 meters) was quite different than what was originally intended (maximum horizontal length of 300 meters) because it also included copper cabling. Yes, I know what the TSB’s title says, but both media types were covered in the original TSB-72 and later when the material was incorporated into TIA-568-B.1.

Fewer telecommunications rooms would mean less building space to power, cool, ground, etc., and few network maintenance points. But too many cables concentrated into one space—for example all the ports in a commercial office building—and you have built yourself a data center.

It is true that dense concentrations of network ports within fewer telecommunications rooms will much improve the port utilization rate. However, the optical network equipment has historically been more expensive than its copper counterpart. This is where the fiber camp argues that an increase in use of optical network equipment will encourage reductions in pricing due to higher volume purchases. I don’t know that I would “buy” into that argument, but I do believe that over time, because network speeds continue to increase, the cost of network equipment for optical fiber and copper cabling will begin to approach parity, while the cabling distances supported will become even further divided.

But is this a “commercial building”?

When TIA began writing premises cabling standards in the mid-1980s there were only two types of buildings on their radar: residential and commercial. The method of determining which was which, was fairly simple. If it is not someone’s home, then it is a commercial building.

Using this classification method, hospitals, schools, factories, power plants, data centers, office buildings, etc. are all commercial buildings.

Today, we are seeing more granularity within the standards, and many of these will someday have their own “unique premises environment” standard.

However, the title of TIA-568-C.1 is still “Commercial Building” and I believe that this is going to cause a lot of confusion as to which standard will take precedence. If TIA-568-C.1 is actually meant to address commercial office buildings, then a simple change in the title should correct the problem, and if not I am certain that the discussions will be long and interesting.

It is my personal opinion that the 300-meter fiber horizontal should be included in TIA-568-C.0, which would allow use in all “unique premises environment” standards where it was not specifically prohibited by an exception. For example, there would not be an exception within data center or industrial standards but there would likely be one within the commercial (office) building standard where the copper cabling camp has a strong presence.

So what would happen in the case of an airport or hospital for which there are no “unique premises environment” standards? In my opinion, TIA-568-C.0 would apply and it would then be the responsibility of the designer to determine if the 300-meter fiber horizontal should be allowed.

Fiber’s limitation

What is seen as the limiting factor in using fiber in the horizontal today? How do you power the Power over Ethernet (PoE) and PoE Plus devices with optical fiber?

What we need is “just a little DC.” Power over fiber?

The fiber-optic powering system consists of a high-power laser diode, an optical fiber for transmission, and a photovoltaic cell. Photovoltaic cells have been used for years in solar panels to convert sunlight into heat or electrical energy.

The high-power laser diode is the device that converts electrical energy (DC) into light energy, transmitted through a medium. At the far end of the fiber-optic cable the photovoltaic cell converts the light energy back into electrical energy (DC) where it is used to power an electronic device like a WiFi antenna or a VoIP telephone. And the same optical fiber that is used to power the device can also be used to communicate with it. Now it is not only possible, but actually in production.

On 5 May 2006 JDS Uniphase Corporation announced that its Photonic Power Business Unit has achieved optical-to-electrical conversion efficiency greater than 50 percent on their 3-volt and 5-volt gallium arsenide (GaAs) Photovoltaic Power Converter (PPC). The company reports that more than 10,000 units have been deployed serving more than 50 customers, including Siemens, Raytheon, ETS Lindgren, and NEC. Yes, things are about to get interesting.

Next month I plan to discuss why, if 150 feet was typical, 100 meters was chosen as the maximum channel length.

BY: Donna Ballast RCDD

Reprinted with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance a Pennwell publication – July 2006 issue

Southeast Builders, Designers Receive Prestigious Aurora Awards

The Grammy’s of the Home Building Industry

Builders and designers throughout the Southeast received prestigious Aurora Awards during an industry gala last Saturday. The awards extravaganza coincided with the 2006 Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) tradeshow and educational conference.

“For this special night of the year, the spotlight is on the Southeast’s finest builders and designers,” says Valerie Cope, 2006 AURORA Award Chair. “The prestigious event creates lifetime recognition for all winners.”

The nationally recognized AURORA Awards honor builders, designers, architects and other home building industry professionals in a 12-state southeast region stretching from Texas to Virginia.

The Golden AURORA Award and Best in State AURORA Awards are considered the premier AURORAs. All winning photos are posted on


Foley Design Associates, Architects Inc., Wild Heron, Panama City Beach, FL
Wild Heron is comprised of numerous residential opportunities including home sites, bungalows, custom-designed homes, and condominium residences. Wild Heron threads Coastal Craftsman architecture through each residence and community structure. The Coastal Craftsman style is a genuine complement to the natural landscape surrounding it, using time tested finishes like slate, river rock, split stone, glass, wood and historic metals. At the heart of Wild Heron is the Greg Norman-designed Shark’s Tooth Golf Course, an Audubon International “Signature Sanctuary.” World-class community amenities include a lakeside fire-ring, pool, fitness center, boardwalk and an oak-grove park. Stocked with kayaks and canoes, residents also have access to the Boathouse. A series of walkways for both pedestrians and golf carts link all amenities. Members can enjoy a private beach club with a pool, cabana, and grill located minutes away on the sugar sand coast of the Gulf of Mexico.


STATE                                                WINNER

Florida                                               Foley Design Associates, Architects Inc.
                                                           Wild Heron
                                                           Panama City Beach, FL

This Coastal Craftsman style home is designed by Foley Design Associates, Architects Inc. and is both the 2006 Golden AURORA Award winner and the 2006 Best in State AURORA winner for Florida. Please see description of this property above.

Georgia                                             Studio for Civil Architecture, PLLC
                                                           The Ford Plantation Club House
                                                           Richmond Hill, GA

The design reflects the Southern architectural tradition of joining building and nature in a harmonious, organic, and dignified union. Echoing traditional plantation architecture, the complex comprises three separate structures. The main building contains members’ functions, dining and locker facilities as well as back-of-house uses. The two flanking dependencies house a pro shop and administrative offices. On the entry porch the four large and strongly proportioned Doric columns relate to the scale and position of the live oaks leading up to them. This alignment affects a visual connection and evokes the theory of classical columns as having evolved from tree trunks. Embracing the surrounding panoramic views, the building elevates the principal rooms and porches that ring the perimeter. Deep porches connect outside to inside, provide shade, and serve as outdoor rooms for social interaction.

North Carolina                                 The Evans Group
                                                           Camp at Mount Lynn Lowry
                                                           Balsam, NC

Each of the homes have been designed with numerous outdoor decks and seating areas most of which overhang the waterfall creating a symbiotic relationship between the homes and nature. The owner’s goal with the landscaping was to return the mountain to its original state by only planting native and indigenous plant material that could survive the harsh winters and add to the surroundings. All the rock utilized in the walls and stairways came from the property during the construction and anchoring of the homes. Rather than sidewalks, there are concrete stairways complete with custom railings and light fixtures making the hike between homes a little easier and strategically placed stone benches on which to rest. The Camp was developed on the principals of Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities with green philosophical values, appropriateness, variety, and flexibility.

South Carolina                                 Schmitt Walker Architects, Inc.
                                                           Colt Residence
                                                           Spring Island, SC

The clients wanted an architecturally unique home; strongly integrated with the site and allowing them to experience the surrounding natural environment from inside. The site is a heavily wooded area on the edge of a fresh water pond, with a very strong sense of enclosure and privacy. The architectural program called for four buildings; a two-bedroom guesthouse, a three-car garage, a shop for woodworking and a three-bedroom house (3,600 sq ft.) A detailed site analysis by the architect and landscape architect determined the most desirable location for each of the building components, and preserved every tree on site throughout construction. The extensive use of glass creates a strong visual connection between living spaces and the wooded site while the open floor plan, soaring roof forms, expressed structural system and expansive window (both operable and fixed), all contribute to strongly situate this house in its natural environment.

Virginia                                              Lessard Group, Inc.
                                                           Chatham Square
                                                           Alexandria, VA

Chatham Square, an innovative mixed-income community replaces high concentrations of public housing with mixed-income development. The community has been redeveloped, replacing low-density, two-story housing units arranged in a “barracks” pattern, with higher-density, three and four-story town homes and apartments designed to look like town homes, some with underground parking, in a formal, pedestrian-friendly site plan with large, central courtyards. The plan creates high quality housing, an improved streetscape, and better usable open space. The “back to back” buildings were created and include four market rate town homes with underground parking on one side and six “two-over-one” public housing units on the other side (also over underground parking), with the rental units designed to appear as though they are four market rate town homes-resulting in the seamless integration of the public housing not only within the existing community, but within the surrounding neighborhood as well.

Tennessee                                        Scott H. Wilson Architect LLC
                                                            Private Residence
                                                            Nashville, TN

This home renovation project was designed to allow a growing family to stay in their home in an established neighborhood located close to downtown, work, and school. The major spaces added were a new, enlarged kitchen with eating area, a new family room, master suite, and deck on the main level. The upper level turned one bedroom into two bedrooms with sitting area and bath. The solution adds new space at the rear of the existing structure which minimizes the impact on the streetscape and provides a better connection to the rear yard while adding much needed space for the family. The stone and siding used compliment the original brick and siding of the house and the steeply pitched gable roofs provide a feeling of spaciousness to the compact design while adding a touch of whimsy to the rear elevation. The new interior also opens up spaces previously isolated to provide better flow for entertaining as well as enhancing family interaction in the home. The new home demonstrates that a modest size home can feel comfortable, flow well and provide ample space without requiring an extravagant budget.

Texas                                                 Hnedak Bobo Group
                                                           Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center
                                                           Grape Vine, TX

Entry to the grand hotel immerses guests in the rustic details and architectural forms representing historic Texas design vernacular of three distinct regions: Hill Country, the Lone Star and the Riverwalk, using Texas limestone, wood trusses and lintels, iron, stucco and metal roofing. These materials unite diverse areas of the large-scale property-hotel exterior, hotel interior, ballrooms, restaurants, retail, entertainment venues, spas, and indoor and outdoor pools-to attain design consistency. Materials play off of lush gardens and waterscapes that are used to soften rough features of the native architecture of the hotel exterior and within hotel atriums, while keeping the resort’s signature brand elements. Over five stories of guestroom balconies surround and overlook these atrium gardens for soothing and dramatic guest experiences. The centerpiece of the hotel, a 3.5-acre glass atrium, bears an impressive colored glass ‘Lone’ star as an ode to the locale and as a striking accent to break up the large atrium span. 

The AURORA Award competition is open to builders, architects, interior designers, landscape architects and other home building professionals in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Ward categories include attached for-sale homes, detached single-family homes, custom homes, kitchens, baths, interior merchandising, residential developments, rental apartments, recreational facilities, landscape design, retirement communities, remodeling, rehabilitation, or historical restoration, commercial projects, energy-efficiency, water conservancy, solar energy, and technology. The 2006 AURORA Award program drew 362 entries.

AURORA Award winners are announced each year in conjunction with the Southeast Building Conference. SEBC is a 12-state regional conference attended by more than 18,000 home building professionals. In addition to AURORA Award winners, the 28th annual SEBC featured 1036+ product and service exhibits, the New Southern Home, Hurricane Alley, 80+ Education Programs, Keynote Speaker Dick Vitale, E-zone, and the Excel Awards. For more SEBC information, visit

Connected@Home Speakers Announced

October 15-17, 2006 / Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

Our initial slate of industry experts has been announced. Learn from these speakers as they outline the challenges and opportunities in the connected home space:

AMX Corporation, Scott Norder; VP, Residential Market Development
AT&T, Jonathan Cowper; Associate Director - Customer Marketing & Experience
Bell Canada, Martin Cullum; GM Technology Development - Video Networks
CABA, Ron Zimmer; President & CEO
Campbell-Ewald, Ed Dilworth; Chief Contact Officer
Cisco Systems, Jeff Dean; Practice Lead - Rich Media Services
Cookson Consulting, David Skelly; Vice President & Managing Partner
Cookson Consulting, Tim Woods; President
Digitas, Katherine Dyer; Executive Vice President, Relationship Leader
Fleishmann & Walsh, Lawrence Freedman; Partner
Hewlett-Packard, TBD
Horizon Technologies, Ludo Bertsch; President
Ipsos-Reid, Mary Beth Barbour; Vice President
Ken Wacks Associates, Ken Wacks; President
Microsoft, Jonathan Cluts; Director - Consumer Prototyping and Strategy
SmartLabs, Inc., Ken Fairbanks; Vice President of Sales and Business Development
StayTuned, Frank White; Partner
SupportSoft, Inc., Bruce Mowery; Vice President
Whirlpool Corporation, Carol Priefert; Product Development Manager
Zanthus, Carole Wiedmeyer; Senior Research Consultant
Zanthus, Tracey Dobesh; Senior Research Consultant

Also, take advantage of the Internet Home Alliance Research Council Collaborative Research Track. This track will explore specific areas of interest, from a collaborative research perspective.

--IPTV: Interactive
--SMB IT Needs Assessment Project
--Subsidized Media and Location Based Advertising
--Senior Living Project
--Digital Kitchen Project

Just Added!

CABA's Standards Summit and Connected Home Council meeting.

Full agenda is available online. CLICK HERE

Early Bird Deadline (Save $250.00)

EARLY BIRD registration ends August 31.

All delegates will receive the following complimentary reports:

1) State of the Connected Home 2005 ($2,100 value)

2) Connected Home Roadmap Executive Summary

Take advantage of these free reports and EARLY BIRD pricing, by registering today! CLICK HERE.

Our Sponsors:
Pulse~LINK, Inc.
AMX Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation

Building Industry Sponsor:
Hanley Wood

Endorsing Associations/Supporting Publications:

Big Builder, Digital Home, ECHONET Consortium, Home Gateway Initiative, KNX Association, MPEG Industry Forum, HiddenWires, Wi-Fi Alliance,  

Lithium Ion Technology- Now Available From Hitachi Power Tools

Hitachi Power Tools (NYSE: HIT - News) today announced the launch of its new line of Lithium Ion cordless products. Powered by HXP batteries from Hitachi, the Lithium Ion technology generates 3x the battery life of standard NiCad batteries.  They are significantly lighter to reduce the overall weight of the tools they power.  In addition, HXP batteries are uniquely backwards compatible, meaning they will also work in Hitachi's 18V DMR and DVF3 cordless tools for even more flexibility and value across the cordless line.

Hitachi HXP batteries have a life of approximately 1300-1500 cycles (# of times a user can recharge) as opposed to about 500 times for recharging NiMH or NiCad batteries. Lasting 3x longer, they do not have to be replaced as often saving the user money. They maintain a steady charge from the moment the trigger is pulled until they need to be recharged- ensuring the user will tap the full power during use. HXP battery technology reduces the weight by approximately a pound per tool, which improves manageability and lessens fatigue.

Now Available:

DV18DL 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Hammer Drill

Offers a class leading 570 in/lbs of torque to hammer through the toughest jobs. A unique two-step speed switch gives the user the ability to select from 4 different speed settings (0-200/400/900/1800 RPM) for ultimate control. Lightweight at 4.9 lbs, the DV18DL feels like a 12V tool, while offering the power and performance of an 18V.

DS18DL 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Driver Drill

Offers 560 in/lbs of torque to drill and drive through tough materials. It is equipped with the same two-step speed switch as the hammer drill above and weighs just 4.6 lbs.

KC18DAL 18V Lithium-Ion 3-Piece Combo Kit

This new pro-grade combo kit includes the DV18DL 18V Lithium Ion hammer drill, the CR18DL 18V lithium ion reciprocating saw and a powerful 14.4/18 Volt lantern equipped with a 5-position adjustable handle.

DB3DL 3.6V Cordless Lithium Ion Screwdriver

This tool is ideal for tightening and loosening fasteners in odd or tight spaces. Weighing less than a pound and producing a powerful 44 in/lbs of turning torque, the DB3DL will be a staple in any tool bag or belt.

Market Outlook: Inflation, anyone?

Interest rates are up, fuel prices are on the rise, and the fear of inflation is causing the stock exchange to jump around—so what gives?

by Joseph Sullivan

What gives may not be inflation. Inflation happens when broad prices across a range of goods and services, including labor, escalate in dollar price without escalating in real value. Specific price increases due to product demand or the chocking down of sources of supply are not inflationary.

So let’s look at the biggie—the huge increases in the price of petroleum and natural gas. The intrinsic value of a barrel of oil or an mcf of gas hasn’t changed a bit—and the costs of many other things have sure gone up as a result. Isn’t that inflation?

In a word, no, although it is inflationary—in other words, the oil and gas increases do cause inflationary pressure that can eventually contribute to inflation. Yet, inflation itself is still very moderate.

So what’s the point of this explanation? Who cares about economic definitions? Aren’t they just mere academic word games? After all, if things cost more, it hurts—whether it’s inflation or “just” rising prices.

Indeed so. But the strategies for dealing with specific price increases can be very different from those used to cope with inflation.

Before looking at strategies, though, here’s what the second biggest shot in the mon-

etary policy world, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, Roger Ferguson, has to say. Late in the first quarter, he said the following in a speech given at Howard University:

“[Rising energy costs have boosted] prices for gasoline and other energy goods by raising the price of non-energy goods and services as firms pass on increased energy costs and by putting upward pressure on expectations of future inflation. Despite those pressures, core inflation has, as I mentioned, remained contained….

“All told, increases in energy prices over the past couple of years probably added about one-half of a percentage point to core inflation in 2005, and…appears likely to add roughly the same amount this year, provided that energy prices do not rise significantly further.”

To those who lived through the Jimmy Carter era of double-digit inflation and interest rates to match, a percentage of inflation may be undesirable, but it is not something to lose sleep over.

Of course, there are reasons why energy prices are not more inflationary. For one,  the economy has become less energy intensive. Oh, it uses more oil than it did 20 years ago, but the amount of oil relative to GDP is down. Way down. In fact, Ferguson stated that the ratio of energy use to real GDP is “down by more than half since the mid-1970s.”

The other big reason inflation has not gotten out of hand is that, unlike the 1970s, the Federal Reserve itself is determined to fight it. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this.

The Fed’s biggest anti-inflation tactic is to cool things down by raising interest rates. Raise them they have, and there may be more to come.

What about copper? Current prices are unheard of, regardless of how they bob up and down—and they are bobbing at extraordinary levels. Doesn’t that shoot the theory that inflation is under control?

Not really. The price of copper has run up because of vastly increased demand—including demand from the developing economies of China and India, and because speculators are climbing on for the ride. And, despite its remarkable usefulness in electrical and electronic products, and despite the fact that old copper mines are playing out much faster than new ones are being found, there is evidence that substitutions are taking place that can cause demand and prices to eventually subside somewhat. For example, copper prices are accelerating the move to plastic pipes, and will probably also speed the telco’s shift to optical networks.

Taking all of that into account, what can be done? That depends, of course, on the person asking the question, and his or her opinion about inflation. Those who think the Federal Reserve will indeed manage to keep it under control can focus on how to deal with specific cost increases such as fuel, freight, and higher interest rates. On the other hand, those who believe that the dollar is entering a phase of declining value will have quite a different strategy.

In a scenario of controlled inflation—but higher interest rates and fuel prices—the wise strategy is to lower use of borrowed funds and control and pass through fuel costs. Here are some practical ideas about how to get it done:

• Put more of a premium on inventory management and collections. Anything that can be done to shorten the cash cycle (the period between the day cash is paid for the inventory to the day funds are actually collected for the sale) will reduce the need for borrowed funds.

• Analyze accounts payable practices. Can better terms be negotiated? If not,  squeeze as many days out as possible before losing discounts. If rates get very high,  compare the annual interest savings on borrowed funds that can be gained by paying later to the benefit of discounts from paying sooner—the result might be surprising.

• Defer “optional” capital expenditures, acquisitions, and other outlays that cannot be shown to be extremely likely to generate a return substantially higher than the interest savings that could be gained by paying down debt. Remember in the analysis that interest savings are a pretty sure thing, while most business expenditures are more risky and should draw commensurately higher returns.

Fuel surcharges and such are pretty iffy, and when explicit, give competitors something to shoot at. Those feeling the fuel pinch would be advised to:

• Ask for bids from local delivery services (with specific service benchmarks as to times of delivery and the like). These companies often have significant operating economies over a distributor and can take a distributor partially out of the fleet and fuel business.

span style='font-size:10.0pt'>• Those who prefer to keep their fleet should bring in a good logistician—possibly just on a consulting basis—and see what can be done to run the fleet more economically. It is a sad fact that many distributors’ trucks start off the day every day with much less than a full load.

• Consider moving to night-time deliveries, as have some distributors in areas with bad daytime traffic. Night runs encounter almost no traffic delays and can be much more efficient. It is also easier to load the trucks up because the precise time of delivery is not especially important at night.

• Finally, those who feel that they must pass the costs through should consider doing so with a small general price increase. Calculate what the fuel difference really is, and see if a .5% to 1% price increase will cover it. The experience of many distributors has been that except in tightly bid project business, customers simply do not notice minor increases.

Be prepared

What if inflation really is coming back? What is different? Lots of things. For example, because the value of the dollar declines in inflationary periods, long-term debt with fixed rates gets repaid with cheaper money. Those who think the dollar will inflate over an appreciable period of time should consider shifting their debt structure accordingly.

Hard goods increase in nominal value as the dollar’s buying power shrinks. Therefore, somewhat slower turns on better-moving items can actually help. Of course, genuinely slow-moving, low-demand items never help under any economic scenario, so inventory must be closely managed in any event. (By the way, LIFO tax accounting is an essential inflation tool that can save huge sums of money.)

Will inflation pick up, or will it not? Nobody knows. It boils down to the abilities of the Federal Reserve Board—and while it has been very good at its job for a long time now, every year beings new challenges. We can only stay watchful and keep a toolkit of strategies close by in case it is needed.

Sullivan is president of JSA. He has a national practice helping electrical distributors improve profits, buy and sell busi-nesses and business units, and plan for the future. He can be reached at 972-463-1125 or

Reprinted with full permission of TED magazine – July 2006 issue

RHINO Non-adhesive Tag Fills Labeling Market Void

RHINO, the industrial division of DYMO Corporation, a NewellRubbermaid company, is pleased to announce the addition of Non-adhesive Tag to its line of label printer cartridges. This new product was developed to fill a void that currently exists in non-adhesive labeling applications.

Non-adhesive labels are required in applications that use plastic holders, such as on distribution panels, electrical wiring, or modular outlets. To date, non-adhesive labeling products have posed a variety of problems. These labels are often manufacturer-exclusive and non-interchangeable among components, or they require a supply of books and cards of individual letters and numbers to be kept on hand. In some cases, they are on perforated sheets that must be printed using an office printer or plotter and can result in waste if only a few labels are needed.

“The problem with most non-adhesive labeling products,” explained Lea Ann Schmidt, Sr. Product Manager for RHINO,  “is that they either require printing at the office – which is just not feasible for efficient field installations, or they require many different products be carried into the field such as various size labels and books of letters and numbers. RHINO developed its new Non-adhesive Tag cartridges to eliminate both problems.”

New RHINO Non-adhesive Tag cartridges drop into hand-held, electronic RHINO label printers (RHINO 5000 or 3000) in the same way that other adhesive-style label cartridges do. Installers simply enter the label text and size they need and press “print”. The label information is output on the non-adhesive tag in the exact size the installer needs, right at the job site. The need for individual or various size tag inserts is eliminated, saving the installer space in his toolbox and money in his pocket. As a bonus, RHINO labels make installations look polished and professional.

Doug Waldal, Global Director of Rhino, added, “The benefit of the new RHINO Non-adhesive Tag cartridges is that they offer installers more flexibility on the spot, saving time and reducing labeling inventory levels and costs. Installers can cut the inserts exactly to the size they need – all from the same cartridge. And, an installer can print just one or many labels at any given time. It’s an incredibly flexible solution to a long-standing problem with non-adhesive labeling applications.”

The new RHINO Non-adhesive Tag cartridges are available in 1/4” (6mm), 3/8” (9mm), 1/2” (12mm) and 3/4” (19mm) widths, in lengths of 18’ (5.5 m).  Available in both white and yellow colors, the label material is constructed of non-adhesive polypropylene, providing excellent durability, rigidity and printability. RHINO Non-adhesive Tag cartridges work in both the RHINO 5000 and the RHINO 3000 label printers.

RHINO Non-adhesive Tag cartridges retail from $15.99 - $17.99. The RHINO 5000 and RHINO 3000 retail for $149.99 and $99.99 respectively. All are available now through your local distributor.  For more information please visit

RHINO is the industrial division of the DYMO Corporation, a NewellRubbermaid company. RHINO engineers and manufactures professional-grade label printers for residential, industrial and commercial use. The best-selling RHINO 5000 and RHINO 3000 label printers were designed with easy-to-use features that greatly reduce labeling time including one-touch “hot keys,” automatic sizing, fast print output, and split-back labels. Learn more at

Light Brigade To Coordinate FTTX Centre At ECOC 2006

Nexus Media Communications Ltd, organisers of the 2006 European Conference for Optical Communications (ECOC) exhibition, are delighted to announce that The Light Brigade, Inc. will be the FTTX coordinator for the Fibre to the User (FTTX) Resource Centre at this year's event in Cannes, France.

FTTX is leading the implementation of fibre optic technology, reaching to homes and businesses throughout the world.  The multi-stand FTTX Centre will be located within the exhibition hall from 25th - 27th September and will be a focal point for those manufacturing, integrating, installing and implementing FTTX. The Light Brigade will coordinate exhibits, literature, lead retrieval, displays, signage, applications notes, standards and the ECOC FTTX exhibits directory.  The Light Brigade will be actively involved in interfacing with the ECOC exhibitors and organizations for this new addition to the ECOC conference.  Those wanting information about the Centre should contact William H. Fulton, the FTTX Resource Centre Coordinator, via email at

The Light Brigade, Inc., based in Seattle, Washington, is a fibre optic training company specializing in the development of training courses and educational DVDs for the fibre industry. In the past year, The Light Brigade has hosted many FTTX educational projects and courses at industry events such as the Optical Fiber Conference, the Fiber to the Home Conference (USA) and the Outside Plant/Globalcomm Conference.

View From the Board :IP ready for prime time

Despite what some heel-dragging IT industry veterans in Canada think, this is no longer a technology on the horizon.

By Brantz Myers

Internet Protocol (IP) communication products and services have proven their ability to help organizations streamline business processes and diminish costs.

For years, Canadian companies have been realizing the benefits that carrying all forms of communications -- voice, video and data -- across a common, IP infrastructure can bring.

Yet despite solid and progressive implementations in Canada, some IT industry veterans still seem to be dragging their heels when it comes to this technology due to questions and uncertainty.

Perhaps it is time to stop wondering about IP and start benefiting from it.

No need to run

It is no longer a question of if customers will deploy IP; it's a matter of when. Consider that telecommunications vendors have divested from PBX development and now have all their R&D in IP going forward.

Also, consider that IP is being applied to every application -- in enterprise, industry, public sector and the home. Despite perceptions, current implementations are demonstrating the technology is ready for prime time, and that one network in fact makes processes easier and more effective.

Take, for example, Canadian surgeon Dr. Mehran Anvari who in 2003 performed a routine anti-reflux operation on a patient and made medical history -- and continues to do so. In scenes straight from science fiction, the founding director of the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton carried out the procedure on a patient lying 400 kilometres away at North Bay General Hospital.

Within IT circles, the operation served as a powerful demonstration of the types of highly-advanced, robust applications that service providers are being asked to support on their networks, increasingly based on IP technology.

Even more remarkable: this surgery was done across an IP network belonging to a major carrier. With tens of thousands of other enterprise data packets on the network, CMAS was able to perform real-time surgery with a robotic assisted device on one end and a surgeon on the other. Dr. Anvari has since performed more than 22 live tele-robotic surgeries.

Too often I hear from colleagues about issues such as delineating different traffic types, despite the fact this was solved a long time ago. Canadians and people across the globe are investing in IP. It's not just talk anymore. Cisco Systems Inc. has sold 400,000 IP phones in Canada, to more than 800 companies.

Globally, Cisco is displacing 12,000 Time-division multiplexing (TDM) phones every business day with more than 8 million IP phones shipped. To date, Cisco has deployed over 5 million unified messaging seats; 985,000 contact centre seats and 144,000 MeetingPlace (IP Conferencing) licenses.

Cisco is not the only one seeing an interest in IP. In May 2006, Infonetics Research announced its most recent projections for VoIP deployments in North America. Its findings: Almost half of small and two-thirds of large organizations in North America will be using VoIP products and services by 2010, and VoIP adoption will triple by 2010 among small North American organizations.

As well, 36% of large, 23% of medium, and 14% of small North American organizations interviewed were already using VoIP products and services in 2005.

The top drivers for deploying VoIP included having an integrated phone system across multiple locations, scalability, operational cost savings, and converging voice and data networks.

How could IP not be a viable option, given these figures?

Automating the process

An IP network reduces the headaches that multiple, disparate, disconnected and in some cases proprietary networks can cause.

For example, real time, deterministic protocols for process automation and control is a requirement for the factory automation and manufacturing industry, so it has traditionally had separate networks for real-time control.

Manufacturing was a laggard when it came to IP because it was thought the technology couldn't handle its needs, and wasn't reliable enough.

Fast forward to today: We are now seeing all of the leading global manufacturers abandoning old, expensive, proprietary, non-flexible protocols and moving their automation systems to the very same IP networks their business and voice traffic flows on.

There is no doubt IP communications offer unprecedented integration of interpersonal communications technology with other critical business data. It is time to overcome the fear of the unknown, and realize that IP is not a technology on the horizon. It is in fact here and being used now by Canadians in a wide range of industries.

The sooner this is accepted, the sooner Canadian customers will be able to reap the benefits.

Brantz Myers is Director of Enterprise and Industry Marketing for Cisco Systems Canada and a member of CNS Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. He can be reached at

Reprinted with full permission of CNS Magazine (Cabling Networking Systems) – July/August Issue 2006 –

Overall Economy

Early outlook for 2007: A late 2005 outlook for 2007 from University of Michigan economists: U.S. GDP to rise by 3.4% in 2006 and 2.8% in 2007. Private housing starts to total 1.92 million this year and 1.79 million next year. Existing home sales to plummet from record-high levels of more than 6 million to 5.48 million in 2007—“USA Today” (November 2005)

OECD 2007 numbers: The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, a multinational organization, issued these fourth-quarter over fourth-quarter growth rates for U.S. GDP: 2005, + 3.7% (over 2004); 2006, + 3.4% (over 2005); 2007, + 3.1% (over 2006).

Slowdown into 2007: “Growth of both real GDP and payroll employment should begin slipping to below-trend rates beyond mid-2006. In the process, the unemployment rate should gravitate upward and get back to 5% by mid-2007. We’re viewing the upcoming slowdown…as fundamentally positive…[it] will help extend the life of the current economic expansion.”—David Seiders, chief economist, National Association of Home Builders, in his May 3 “Eye on the Economy” column

What if the bird flu hits? “Businesses need to plan on having 40% of their workforces out if a flu pandemic strikes,” according to a Feb. 28 Reuters report. The key question is: When does the bird flu, which has killed 93 people who have come into contact with birds, mutate into a virus that can pass from human to human?

“No one can say,” the Reuters report noted, “but World Health Organization and other experts say a pandemic of some disease is inevitable.” Note that they are saying “some disease”—not necessarily that the bird flu will mutate and devastate humans. —Compiled by Joe Salimando

Datacom, Home Networking, etc.

 Connected entertainment: “The market for home networking and connected entertainment devices will grow at an astonishing rate over the next few years,” according to ABI Research. The total value of home networking hardware, gateways, network storage devices, and networked entertainment devices will rise from $14 billion “in end-user revenue” last year to more than $85 billion in 2011.

 Digital home market: According to BCC Research (of the United Kingdom), the digital home entertainment market was $129 billion in 2004, $166 billion in 2005, and will hit almost $411 billion in 2010. Between 2005 and 2010, that’s a 19.8% average annual growth rate.

  Global broadband: By 2010, there will be more than 6.5 billion residents of the planet Earth. According to In-Stat researchers, by the end of that year, 413 million households around the globe will subscribe to broadband.

  Home networking revenue: Also according to In-Stat (August 2005): “Revenue derived from annual networking hardware shipments and from equipment that incorporates a home networking connection will jump from almost $9 billion in 2004 to more than $21 billion in 2009.”

  Security and cabling: The cabling alone for video security systems “is projected to grow from $548 million in 2005 to $1.4 billion by 2010,” according to Frank Murawski of FTM Consulting, as reported by Access Control & Security Systems.

  Small business internet use: Small business spending on Internet access will rise from $4.4 billion in 2005 to $8.2 billion by 2009, according to In-Stat (January).

  10-Gig ports market: Market researchers at CIR say the market for 10Gbps ports on telecommunications and datacom equipment will grow from $2.1 billion this year to $4.8 billion by 2010. In ports shipped, that’s 221,000 ports this year and 1.6 million ports in 2010.

 VoIP grows: From the Telecommunications Industry Association: There were 4.2 million VoIP customers in 2005; the figure should reach 18 million by 2009.                                    —Compiled by Joe Salimando

Reprinted with full permission of TED Magazine – July Issue 2006

CommScope Celebrates 30th Anniversary

CommScope, Inc. (NYSE: CTV - News), a world leader in communications cable and connectivity solutions, celebrates its 30th anniversary today. On August 16, 1976, Chairman and CEO Frank M. Drendel and EVP and CFO Jearld Leonhardt joined with a group of investors to purchase the coaxial cable manufacturing line of products from Superior Continental Corporation that had $10 million in sales the previous year. Thirty years later, CommScope has become a global leader in cable and connectivity solutions for communication networks with annual sales of nearly $1.5 billion into more than 120 countries.

"Today, while we are still a broadband cable leader, CommScope is much more than the coaxial cable manufacturer we were in 1976," noted CommScope Chairman and CEO Frank M. Drendel. "We are a global leader in highly engineered cable and connectivity solutions for nearly every 'last mile' communications market: wired and wireless, business and residential; both at home and abroad.

"What technology makes possible, CommScope makes a reality, matching the accelerating growth in video, data, voice and wireless services with continued innovations," Drendel continued. "Our 'last mile' products and technologies bring content-rich broadband services into the home. Now we are leading the 10 gigabit-over-copper revolution in enterprise networks, supporting higher bandwidth and more demanding applications in the workplace. We're also building upon our innovative aluminum coaxial cable technology for wireless transmission systems, and we offer a full line of fiber optic cables for communications uses.

"As they have from the very beginning, our employees remain another major cornerstone of CommScope's long-term success. Their commitment to quality, innovation and integrity has helped us take care of our customers' needs and rise to the top of our industry," Drendel concluded.

CommScope has 12 manufacturing locations located on five continents, more than 4,400 employees and more than 1,300 patents and patent applications worldwide.

About CommScope
CommScope (NYSE: CTV - News; is a world leader in the design and manufacture of "last mile" cable and connectivity solutions for communication networks. Through its SYSTIMAX® Solutions(TM) and Uniprise® Solutions brands CommScope is the global leader in structured cabling systems for business enterprise applications. It is also the world's largest manufacturer of coaxial cable for Hybrid Fiber Coaxial applications. Backed by strong research and development, CommScope combines technical expertise and proprietary technology with global manufacturing capability to provide customers with high-performance wired or wireless cabling solutions.

This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management's beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. For a more detailed description of the factors that could cause such a difference, please see CommScope's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Despite Healthy Near-Term Prospects, Slower Growth Looms On The Horizon For Industrial Controls

NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls Index dipped 0.4 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2006.  However, this quarter’s lower reading for the index does not necessarily reflect significantly weaker market conditions; instead, it likely suggests demand for industrial controls has merely cooled from the torrid pace of growth observed over nearly the past two years.  Indeed, the industrial controls index increased 6.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago and has risen 11 consecutive quarters on a year-over-year basis.

The broader market index, the Primary Industrial Controls and Adjustable Speed Drive Index, continued higher in the second quarter and reached the highest level in its five-year history.  Nonetheless, the signs of a slowdown are apparent in this index as well, as it increased just 0.5 percent between the first and second quarter of 2006.  Again, however, overall market conditions remain robust compared to a year ago as the index rose 9.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Demand for industrial controls and adjustable speed drives is expected to remain healthy over the near term, as record corporate profits provide the impetus for additional spending on capital equipment and a weak dollar and relatively healthy economic conditions abroad stimulate foreign demand for U.S. manufactured goods.  Leading indicators of manufacturing activity, such as new orders of non-defense capital goods (for example, aircraft) have increased well above consensus expectations and point to a slight pick-up in activity during the second half of 2006.  Many plants are running almost full tilt and resources are being stretched thin, as recent data show the aggregate capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing industry hit a six-year high of 81.1 percent, while 40 percent of producers are running factories in excess of 85 percent capacity.  Businesses will likely have to invest in new capacity such as facilities, machinery, and equipment as well as replace any worn-out equipment in order to maintain current levels of productivity.

Industrial controls, as well as other manufactured goods, will continue to see solid demand, but the robust pace of growth that has prevailed for the last three years is expected to dissipate, reflecting the U.S. economy’s progression to a slower pace of growth roughly in line with historical trends.  There are risks to the outlook, most of which currently appear to be biased to the downside.  First, energy prices remain close to nominal dollar record highs amid strong global demand.  Additionally, production shortfalls for several major oil exporters have left a razor-thin margin of spare capacity.  When combined with the potential that conflicts in the Middle East could spread and affect oil production, energy prices could skyrocket and seriously weigh on global economic growth.

Inflation is also a major concern.  Even as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates on a piecemeal basis non-stop for the past two years, measures of core inflation have crept higher, surpassing what many consider the Fed’s range of comfort.  Should pressure on core prices continue to build and the Fed accepts a higher rate of inflation, it could precipitate an environment of accelerating inflation. On the other hand, further reining in the money supply with higher interest rates, at a time when the economy already appears headed for a slowdown, courts the risk of recession.

The Industrial Control Business Indices are issued quarterly by NEMA. The Primary Industrial Control Index represents U.S. shipments for motor starters, contactors, terminal blocks, control circuit devices, motor control centers, sensors, programmable controllers, and other industrial control devices. Because these data have been collected for some time, the primary index illustrates the market’s trend over several years. In 2001, the NEMA data collection program was expanded to include adjustable speed drives, a key energy-saving industrial component. The Primary Industrial Control and Adjustable Speed Drive Index provides a broader measure of the industrial control marketplace. Industrial control equipment, a $2.6 billion U.S. market, is primarily used in industrial applications for the control or regulation of power utilization apparatus, including motors.

This index represents monthly sales information collected by NEMA from its members, the major industrial control manufacturers in the U.S. market. Detailed information is only available to NEMA members. The data underlying these indices represent more than 90 percent of U.S. sales of this equipment. For more information, contact Walt Kozikowski, industry director, at (703) 841-3262. To view the indices, visit the NEMA website at

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

VoIP Industry Pioneer Shawn Lewis Chosen To Speak At Digital Hollywood Conference In San Jose

Digital Hollywood is the premier entertainment and technology conference in the country, with over 15,000 top executives attending each year.

Building Blocks 2006 is expected to attract more than 2,000 top industry executives to the event.

Lewis, who wrote the patent for the first Softswitch and SS7 Media Gateway, is a recognized industry pioneer and technology innovator. He co-founded CLEC XCOM Technologies, Inc., at the time of the Telecommunications Act in 1996 and directed its acquisition by Level 3 in 1998. His next venture, set-top box vendor River Delta, sold to Motorola. His third successful venture, Caerus, Inc. and its three subsidiaries: Volo Communications, Caerus Networks, Inc., and Caerus Billing & Mediation, Inc. empowered carriers and service providers to begin selling advanced services and realizing revenues and profits immediately. The market enthusiastically responded to Caerus' approach and service offerings, and VoIP, Inc. acquired Caerus, Inc. in 2005.

"We've always pushed the envelope to develop the most advanced technology and to create applications with exciting features and functionality that revolutionize the industry," Lewis stated. "For instance, we just launched the world's first free web-click phone-to-phone calling service, and currently develop leading-edge applications for high-profile customers in this space," he added.

Interested parties are invited to test some of VoiceOne's latest applications -- free of charge -- in the company's Virtual Lab, offers an open forum for users to review, test free of charge and provide feedback on new IP communications services developed by VoIP, Inc's subsidiary, VoiceOne, and to discuss their ideas with VoiceOne product and service developers.

About VoIP, Inc.
VoIP, Inc. is a leading provider of turnkey Voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) communications solutions for service providers, resellers and consumers worldwide. The company is also a certified Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) and Inter Exchange Carrier (IXC). Through its wholly owned subsidiary, VoiceOne Communications, LLC, the Company provides a comprehensive portfolio of advanced telecommunications technologies, enhanced services, broadband products, and fulfillment services to the VoIP and related communications industries. Current and targeted customers include IXCs, CLECs, Internet Telephony and Conventional Telephony Service Providers (ISPs and ITSPs), cable operators and other VoIP Service Providers in the United States and countries around the world. The Company enables these customers to expand their product/service offerings by providing VoIP's nationwide Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) and other services such as voice termination/origination, e911 emergency call service for VoIP, CALEA, Broadband Voice, IP Centrex and other advanced communications services and technologies. For information on VoIP, Inc. please visit the company's web site:

About Digital Hollywood
Digital Hollywood debuted in 1990 and has been among the leading trade conferences in its field with top executives in the film, television, music, home video, cable, telecommunications and computer industries attending each year. For more information, go to

Light Brigade to Host FTTx Workshops at FTTH Conference

The Light Brigade will instruct two pre-conference workshops at the upcoming Fifth Annual FTTH Conference and Expo to be held October 2-5, 2006 at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. Both courses highlight the latest in fiber-optic and FTTx technology.

The first workshop, Fiber Optic (FTTH) Fundamentals (Fiber 101), is an introduction to fiber optics and the various components of an optical system. Attendees will gain an understanding of the tasks and disciplines associated with fiber-optic communication systems. The workshop covers the basics of fiber optics as well as optical fibers and cables, connectors, fusion splicing, closures, panels, testing, splitters, and system design.  The workshop concludes with an overview of FTTH/PON terminology, architectures, topologies, and systems.

The second workshop, Outside Plant Passive Optical Networking (Fiber 102), focuses on fiber to the home/passive optical networking. It will provide the attendee with an understanding of the basic theory, principles, and challenges for outside plant passive optical networking. The workshop covers optical fiber and cables, splicing, connectors, panels, closures, installation, testing, restoration, and safety. Also included are FTTH/PON-specific topics such as wavelength division multiplexing, splitters, topologies, transmitters/receivers, OLT/ONT, PON formats, standards, and specifications.

Both courses have been approved for 6 BICSI RCDD credits, 6 OSP/RCDD credits, and 6 OSP/Install credits.

More information on the conference, workshops, and registration is available at the FTTH Conference website.

Introducing New NECA Vice President John Negro

Nelson Electric Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Member: Iowa Chapter, NECA

Company Information
John Negro purchased Nelson Electric Company in 1977 at the age of 28. Since then, his company has offered customers a full line of electrical contracting services, including low-voltage, lighting maintenance and infrared technology work. Nelson Electric has the personnel and equipment necessary to work on a wide variety of projects, whether commercial, industrial, or residential.

Negro says that, throughout his entire life, he always knew he wanted to be an electrical contractor.  “My grandfather was a NECA contractor in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area,” he recalls.  “At the age of 12, I began working summers and weekends for him. After his grandfather closed his business in 1969, Negro worked for a few other contractors before finding his way to Nelson Electric.  He started out on a service truck and then worked as a foreman before becoming the sole proprietor.  When Negro first purchased the company, it was a small but steady operation that had eight employees doing residential work.  Since then, Nelson Electric has grown to be a full-service business with a peak of 120 employees.

Involvement With NECA & NECA Honors
Nelson Electric has been a NECA member since 1969.  In 1979, just three years after Negro purchased the business, he was elected to hold an office within the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Division of NECA‚s Iowa Chapter.  “Since then, I have served in every office of the division including the local committees such as the Labor/Management, Joint Apprenticeship and Training, Fringe Benefits and Membership Committees.”  Negro has been very active on the state level as well, serving as vice president, president, and governor of the Iowa Chapter.  He was also instrumental in developing a state training program for the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, as well as leading the Iowa Chapter to help establish one of the first NECA Student Chapters, which is active at Iowa State University.

Other honors Negro has earned include an appointment and re-appointment to serve as the District 7 representative on NECA‚s National Manpower Development Committee.  (NECA District 7 represents member contractors based in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.)  He was inducted into the Academy of Electrical Contracting and earned the NECA Coggeshell Award for advancing the industry‚s technical and training goals in 1999.  In 2001, he received the 7th District Industry Leadership Award.  In 2003, then-NECA President Ben Cook asked him to serve on our association‚s Governance Task Force, and in 2004, Vice President David Firestone asked him to serve as the District 7 representative on the Council on Industrial Relations (CIR), which arbitrates labor-management disputes. John Negro was elected vice president of NECA District 7 last fall and began serving in this office on January 1, 2006.

Favorite NECA Services
Negro‚s reasons for staying so active in the association are clear: “I see the importance of a strong trade association”, he explains.  “I was involved in the Future Leaders Conferences that were offered in the early 1990s . . . and it has been one of the most beneficial things I have ever done. I believe the training NECA offers for the management of our companies is the main reason so many members are very active”.

Away From Work
Despite all the professional achievements and honors Negro has enjoyed, he is proudest of his family.  “Watching them mature can just bust my buttons, he said.  He and his wife Donna are the proud parents of seven children.  When not spending time with his grandchildren, Negro enjoys playing golf and notes that “I have even persuaded my wife to join me in hitting the links.”

Reprinted with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July 2006 Issue –

Greetings BICSI U.S. Southeast Region Members

Mark your calendar for the upcoming BICSI U.S. Southeast Region Meeting at the Bonaventure Resort & Conference Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on Thursday, October 19, 2006, from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. We are searching for technical presenters and "What's New, What's It Do" session presenters for this meeting.

Technical Presenters

We will schedule three or four technical presentations for this meeting. Presentations should be no more than 45 minutes in length and address current trends in the Information Transport Systems industry. This meeting will allow all BICSI specialties to receive continuing education credits (CECs), as well as appeal to a larger audience.

If you are interested in presenting, or have a speaker to suggest, please contact us (see below for contact information) or Kim Osterman, BICSI Conferences & Meetings Administrative Assistant (; 813.769.1841) by Friday, September 15, 2006.

"What's New, What's It Do" Presenters

We are also soliciting presenters for the "What's New, What's It Do" session. This session is fun, informative and a great way for our members to learn about the industry's latest products and services. We have used the format at several region meetings and the comments from members, guests and presenters have been overwhelmingly positive.

As a "What's New, What's It Do" presenter, you will have the opportunity to talk for five minutes about your latest and greatest products. You will also have a table to display products before and during the meeting. There is a $300 fee to participate.

The guidelines for the "What's New, What's It Do" presentations are as follows:

1. Your product(s) MUST be available and currently in inventory. You may talk about multiple products during your five-minute slot.

2. There is no moderator. You must introduce yourself.

3. If you plan to use a slide presentation, your laptop must be booted up and ready to go. The previous presenter will disengage from the video projector and you will connect your laptop. Your slide presentation must automatically begin.

4. Your presentation will last no more than five minutes. A one-minute warning will be given, and then a final buzzer will sound at the five-minute mark. You must exit the stage quickly to make room for the next presenter.

Nine slots are available and presenters are accepted on a first come basis. Slots will fill up quickly, so please e-mail us with your interest in "What's New, What's It Do" as soon as possible. A waiting list will be kept in case someone is unable to participate.

BICSI Region meetings are designed to provide members both educational and networking opportunities. Thank you in advance to those who will commit their time to ensure that this is a dynamic meeting.

MPLS Cuts Costs, Drives Growth

Consulting firm energizes its growth through a new communications system.

CCA Strategies, a Chicago-based provider of retirement and health plan consulting services, found itself with a communications network that no longer met its requirements. The company had added more than 90 clients, increased the number of employees to 180 and expanded to 10 office locations nationwide–and it needed to modernize its systems in order to provide employees and customers with continued reliable service.

Until recently, CCA’s primary communications network was a point-to-point, firewall-based virtual private network (VPN). The VPN began to reach its limitations as the company grew its number of office locations and employees. Among the problems were slower transmission speeds; reduced reliability when running bandwidth-intensive IP applications, such as voice over IP (VoIP) and IP videoconferencing; and insufficient capacity to effectively integrate with an extended network of remote office locations.

In addition, a VoIP server had been installed in the main Chicago office, but had been used only as a voice mail server and call center, not as a phone system. To network administrator Matt Chiaradonna, CCA clearly had outgrown its telecommunications infrastructure.

CCA needed a solution that was easy to manage across 10 locations and could maximize the company’s existing assets, such as its VoIP server. Flexibility to add bandwidth to handle growing traffic in an efficient manner was important, as was the ability to expand the variety of applications that could be offered users, including unified messaging, to drive productivity gains.

Chiaradonna turned to CDW to help evaluate, design and deploy a scalable multiprotocol label-switching (MPLS) WAN to extend the company’s managed network and support its continued growth. CCA first rolled out its MPLS solution to offices in Chicago and Atlanta, with data being carried over a packet-switched network that emulates properties of a circuit-switched network. The network has since expanded to include offices in eight additional cities.

The MPLS network enables each remote office to connect directly to every other office, without need of a central point or additional lines. While citing improved client service, control, collaboration and interconnectivity among offices, Chiaradonna also estimates initial savings of at least $100,000, with further reductions in administrative expenses and ancillary costs anticipated.

The MPLS WAN has improved network traffic flow and manageability, Chiaradonna says, enabling CCA to set up a fully meshed IP VPN that allows each remote office to connect directly to every other office. Traffic can be automatically rerouted and data can be more easily restored.

CDW presented numerous MPLS packaged solutions and helped CCA evaluate offers from leading telecom carriers. CDW also assisted CCA in selecting hardware, including IP phones, gateways, network cables and network switches.

“One of the biggest barriers we were up against was limited interoffice connectivity,” Chiaradonna explains. “Staff in our remote offices felt disconnected from the main office in Chicago, which affected cross-team collaboration. With MPLS, we are able to bring all 10 of our offices into the fold. Everyone can use the same advanced functionality with extended unified messaging, which allows employees to forward voice mails to each other and have access to the same information, on the same network. It also delivers notifications of faxes and voice mails directly into the e-mail inboxes of employees in remote offices.”

After the installation and deployment of the MPLS network, employees began to realize several immediate benefits. By running a unified-messaging application on their desktops that communicates their availability, employees can see their incoming phone calls in their e-mail inbox from anywhere on the MPLS network.

This means they no longer have to call their voice mail to retrieve messages when working from remote offices. They can quickly and easily see incoming calls from any office location around the country, increasing response time and quality of client service. Unified messaging also enables staff to see the availability status of employees in other offices, initiate instant messaging conversations, leave voice mail, forward calls and activate the “follow me” feature, which enables clients to find their consultant, even if they are on the go.

“If an employee is working from one office, she can easily receive calls that are coming in for her at another office,” says Chiaradonna. “For employees that frequently travel and work out of multiple offices, this is a huge advancement. It truly liberates our users, enabling them to extend their access and meet client needs faster than ever.”

The new MPLS network also has generated immediate savings in cost, infrastructure and staffing. Since the network leverages a Chicago-based VoIP server and exchange server for the voice mail repository, IT staff does not need to install phone and voice mail systems at each of its office locations, resulting in $10,000 saved per location.

Centralizing all phone functions in Chicago not only minimizes the footprint and infrastructure expenditures in remote offices, but also simplifies the management of this infrastructure. MPLS provides one distributed network that can be managed from the main Chicago office, eliminating the need for IT support in each remote office. Via a desktop connection, IT staff can directly access remote offices and troubleshoot issues, providing increased service and support.

 “The beauty of VoIP is that we experience the cost benefits of a meshed environment with MPLS,” says Chiaradonna. “If Los Angeles calls Atlanta, it is a low-cost, IP-based call running on an Internet line. We cut our long-distance rates as a result, which, over time, will add up to substantial long-term cost savings.”

Ultimately, the MPLS network functions as a standardized template for future infrastructure expansion, both nationally and globally, according to Chiaradonna. Since CCA is not confined to physical locations, it can grow without borders and operate on a highly interactive level, regardless of staff location. Eventually, employees will be able to work from home and remain connected to the network, further enabling CCA to provide quality customer service to its clients.

The next phase for the MPLS network is expanding data center capabilities to enable improved business continuity, videoconferencing, centralized Web surfing and security features. This also will allow CCA to benefit from multiple resources, Chiaradonna says, including data sharing, backup, Internet, device management, data center staff, and server and application management.

Reprinted with full permission of Communications News – July Issue 2006 –

Dow Corning Acquires Holographic Assets From Aprilis, Inc.

Dow Corning Corporation acquired the assets from the holographic data storage business of Aprilis, Inc., of Maynard, Mass. Aprilis is a privately-held developer of holographic data storage systems that enable enterprises to efficiently store, manage, and access large volumes of data.

Dow Corning, which previously owned shares in Aprilis, will continue the development and commercialization of holographic technology in a newly formed subsidiary, DCE Aprilis Inc., based in Maynard. DCE Aprilis will become part of Dow Corning's Business and Technology Incubator.

"Aprilis' holographic technology and media products have exciting potential in data storage and other optical component markets," said David Cornelius, executive director of Dow Corning's Business and Technology Incubator. "The talented DCE Aprilis scientists and engineers will make broad contributions to Dow Corning's Business and Technology Incubator. The business and technology resources near our Boston-area location will serve us well."

Dow Corning's Shane Ladwein has been appointed general manager of DCE Aprilis. Additionally, DCE Aprilis has hired several people formerly employed by Aprilis, Inc. including Dr. David Waldman, chief scientist.

"We will accelerate the work in data storage as well as investigate additional markets and applications for the technology," said Cornelius.

DCE Aprilis products will offer hundreds of gigabytes of removable capacity, which is ideal for many archiving applications, including enterprise data warehousing.

Dow Corning ( ) provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicon-based technology and innovation, offering more than 7,000 products and services, Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW - News) and Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW - News). More than half of Dow Corning's sales are outside the United States.

Aprilis, Inc. ( ) based in Maynard, Mass., is a developer of holographic media and data storage systems for the optical storage industry. The company was founded on the vision of creating best-in- class storage devices based upon proprietary holographic data storage technologies. Aprilis' products, including its media, are designed to provide the highest value of combined capacity, performance, and reliability. Aprilis holographic technology solutions are ideal for near-line access to vast amounts of data, including image databases, multimedia applications and data warehousing.

Rick Brenneman Appointed To Daikin’s DAI-EL Sales Team

As part of Daikin America’s on going commitment to service their rapidly expanding fluoroelastomers business, Rick Brenneman has been added to the sale force as the Sr. Technical Sales Representative for the Midwest.

Rick has been with Daikin America, headquartered in Orangeburg, NY for 14 year, specializing in developing and expanding sales opportunities for fluoropolymers, Unidyne™ products and elastomers throughout the U.S. His vast knowledge of the industry and for the technical needs of customers is a brilliant addition to the growing DAI-EL business.

Daikin America, Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, New York, is one of the largest fluoropolymer suppliers in the world.  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 fluorochemical products.

For further information, please call 1-800-365-9570 or visit

Lee Technologies Introduces TIMS – Tiered Infrastructure Maintenance Standards

New Standard Key to Disaster Avoidance

– During Fall Data Center World in Booth # 509

During Data Center World – held during September 10 through 13 in Kissimmee, Fl, Lee Technologies, Inc., ( a leading provider of physical infrastructure solutions for mission-critical facilities, will introduce TIMS – Tiered Infrastructure Maintenance Standards – that provide IT and facility managers a set of comprehensive tools to evaluate their maintenance programs, while enabling them to understand levels of risk and how to effectively allocate resources. In booth #509, Lee Technologies will highlight their comprehensive set of infrastructure solutions for mission-critical facilities. Lee’s infrastructure specialists will discuss today’s challenges of disaster avoidance and how adhering to industry standards, proper design, facility assessments, product integration, 7X24 monitoring, preventative maintenance and strategic staffing can have a substantial positive impact on mission-critical system uptime.

Throughout the four-day conference, attendees will learn how Government compliance mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley, SAS 70 and HIPPA are driving facility uptime requirements. These strict regulations combined with demanding new technologies including power-hungry blade servers and Voice over IP (VoIP), are pushing critical infrastructure systems – such as power and cooling – to the brink of failure. However, nearly 40 percent of contracted preventive maintenance service calls are not completed – putting the infrastructure at great risk.  Lee Technologies experts, together with TIMS, can mitigate costly downtime risks and help organizations implement this important new standard that is essential for maximum system reliability and uptime.

During the conference, Lee will also showcase their technical on-site staffing services. The company’s staffing and staff augmentation programs include placing hard-to-find highly trained and certified facility resource technicians at sites for 24/7 operation. These very specialized staffers supervise and perform maintenance tasks associated with the mission-critical environment, perform daily walk-thrus, and develop stringent operational procedures based on best industry practices. Lee Technologies’ staff has been placed in Fortune 100 companies and fast growing smaller organizations that require the high-level skill set that mission-critical organizations demand.

Lee Technologies has commissioned critical power equipment for over 5 million square feet of mission-critical space and currently maintains critical equipment that supports over 3 million square feet throughout the U.S. In addition, Lee provides

operations, maintenance and staffing services to over 700 clients coast-to-coast. Due to the company’s expertise and success, Lee Technologies has been awarded the Small Business Administration Award for Excellence, the Washington Building Congress’ Craftsmanship Award, and recognized by both the Inc. 500 and Fast 50.  In addition, the company’s founder and President, John C. Lee, IV, is a former Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).

About Lee Technologies:
Founded in 1983, Lee Technologies provides mission-critical infrastructure products, services and strategies to IT-reliant organizations throughout the United States. Lee Technologies’ solutions protect, power, monitor and maintain the physical infrastructure on which mission-critical facilities depend. From design and construction management, integration and commissioning to monitoring, staffing and maintenance, Lee offers its customers a single source for complete lifecycle solutions.

Lee customers include some of the world’s most demanding government agencies, Fortune 1000 companies, and IT-dependent firms of all sizes. By ensuring that their mission-critical technology resources are always available - 24/7/365 - Lee empowers its customers with infrastructure peace-of-mind, enabling them to focus on accomplishing their core business objectives.

Lee Technologies is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia and has additional offices in Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles. For more information, call 877-654-9662 or visit 

Corning Cable Systems Updates Downloadable Offering of Hardware Product Drawings

Corning Cable Systems, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications segment, has updated its hardware product drawings, a useful tool for customers to use as part of network designs and bid specifications.

These two-dimensional and isometric drawings of LANscape® and LANscape Pretium Solutions hardware family products are available in PDF, as well as AutoCAD-compatible DFX and Visio formats.  The drawings are offered free of charge for downloading from the Corning Cable Systems Web site at  Unlike some other competitive tools that require registration or membership in selective programs, you do not need to register for this valuable tool.

This is the third edition of the downloadable drawings, which Corning Cable Systems has made available to customers for many years.  Highlights from the third edition include several LANscape Solutions innovations, such as high-performance Pretium Connector Housings, the Fiber Zone Box for structured cabling solutions, and several of Corning Cable Systems’ environmentally rugged hardware closures for outdoor and industrial environments.

Corning Cable Systems LANscape Solutions is a complete offering of products,

services and support designed to simplify fiber optic cabling requirements.  For additional information on the hardware product drawings or any other Corning Cable Systems product or service, please contact a customer service representative at 1-800-743-2675, toll free in the United States, or (+1) 828-901-5000, international, or visit the Web site at

About Corning Incorporated
Corning Incorporated ( is a diversified technology company that concentrates its efforts on high-impact growth opportunities. Corning combines its expertise in specialty glass, ceramic materials, polymers and the manipulation of the properties of light, with strong process and manufacturing capabilities to develop, engineer and commercialize significant innovative products for the telecommunications, flat panel display, environmental, semiconductor, and life sciences industries.


This interview of an expert witness in mission critical networks, Internet (E-Commerce) and network infrastructures has worked on some significant cases and projects in his career. 

James Carlini started out at Bell Laboratories in 1977 when it was still part of Western Electric and AT&T.  He left the Labs to work at Motorola for about a year and a half on Police Dispatch Systems and then returned to Illinois Bell Headquarters on the technical marketing staff.  In all that time with the Bell System, he was getting extensive training at Bell System courses as well as MIT besides getting an MBA at DePaul University. 

Right around the Divestiture, he was recruited into Arthur Young & Company, one of the Big 6 Accounting firms in late1983, to become their Director of Telecommunications & Computer Hardware Consulting until 1986 when he opened up his own firm, CARLINI & ASSOCIATES, INC.

I have known him through conferences in the Cabling Industry where we both were featured as speakers as well as exhibitors at various national conferences.  His one quote of “Leading-Edge Organizations do not maintain their position with Trailing-Edge Technologies” has rung so true across all industries since he first said it in 1984.

Here is my interview with James Carlini:

BISBEE:           What types of consulting do you perform?

CARLINI:          My firm provides executive advising and expert witness services in both civil and federal court for major organizations on technology procurement, E-Commerce, computer forensics and mission critical networks.  I also provide due diligence for corporate capitalizations and venture funding.

Along a different area, I have worked on several marketing strategies that included very unorthodox competitive analyses and the development of customer yardsticks to compare products and services in both the Telecom industry for AT&T and the real estate industry.

BISBEE:           Has your consulting evolved?

CARLINI:          As you know, all of the technology industries have evolved quickly and it is important to keep up with the changes.  Some of my consulting has expanded and, surprisingly, some of it has come full cycle.  For example, cabling infrastructure and intelligent buildings were very important in the mid-1980s and now there are more issues related to that again.

BISBEE:           What else has come full circle?  

CARLINI:          Municipal broadband and connectivity to the premise is very critical for global competitiveness.  Intelligent buildings with connectivity are critical again today.  Some just do not see the significance as some of our foreign competitors do.

The constants have always been “How do you apply technology to the organization” AND “How do I know I’m getting my money’s worth?

BISBEE:           Do you think real estate people have to change their focus?  

CARLINI:          They, as well as their customers, have to evolve.  Their old real estate adage of “Location, Location, Location” has to be updated to say “Location, Location, Connectivity” because if you do not have broadband today, you are not competitive.

BISBEE:           When did you start working as an expert witness?

CARLINI:          One of the first cases I worked on was in the first year of my own company, 1986.  I reviewed the cabling infrastructure at the old Southwestern Bell Headquarters in Kansas City and wrote up my assessment for the new owner.  He was looking at suing some of the new tenants because they really wrecked some of the cabling infrastructure including drilling a hole into a roof beam to see how thick it was to determine if it would support a large satellite dish.

BISBEE:           Don’t you need a lot of credentials in order to work on these cases? 

CARLINI:          You do but it’s not just waving credentials.  You need to explain the technology in a way that everyone can understand what you are talking about.  THAT wins cases, not paper, certificates or degrees.

            This also works in dealing with executive management as well.  People want to know how to apply technology to their business, they do not want to be mesmerized by definitions and acronyms.

BISBEE:           What about big court cases?  You hold the distinction of going up against some of the RBOCs and actually winning.

CARLINI:          Only a few consultants will go up against an RBOC and their staff of experts and attorneys.  Out of that few, I doubt if anyone else can claim they have a three-for-three win record which I think is a solid credential in itself.   

BISBEE:           Were there any other significant court cases you worked on?  

CARLINI:          Court cases are always intriguing and unique.  I have been on wrongful death cases, E-Commerce cases, network failures and large monetary lawsuits involving tens of millions of dollars in either network services or cabling infrastructure disputes

I was even an expert witness on a military court-martial involving the Internet and child pornography, but I guess the one with the most significant dollar amount was a public utility commission hearing where I was an expert witness on the collection of 911 Surcharges in Illinois.

BISBEE:           What was the level of money you found or discovered?  A couple of hundred thousand dollars?  Maybe a Million or two?  You said tens of millions, that sounds like an awful lot.

CARLINI:          Actually, there was a formula used in Illinois for calculating the amount of surcharges to be charged for CENTREX customers that I reviewed and pointed out that it was not part of the state statute to give any “discounts” on 911 surcharges. There was a significant amount that was not only uncovered from past years but also calculated to be collected into future years.  The bottom line was that the City of Chicago alone got an additional $6 Million a year more since 1995 after that formula was questioned and then modified.

BISBEE:           Wow, that’s a lot of money.  Since WIREVILLE is focused on cabling was there any cabling, infrastructure-based lawsuits that you thought were significant?

CARLINI:          There were several significant ones including one at a major casino in Las Vegas that was a combination of $5 million final payment dispute as well as a $10 Million performance bond linked to the outcome of that case. 

The bottom-line was the parties settled out-of-court and the Performance Bond did not have to be paid.

            People do not realize the significance in the area of fiber optic technology or network infrastructures in general. As I have said economic development equals Broadband Connectivity and having Broadband Connectivity equals Jobs.

BISBEE:           What was the most significant and satisfying project that you worked on so far, besides the court cases?

CARLINI:          There are several significant ones depending on what area you want to focus on, but two come to mind.  One was being the Mayor’s Consultant on the planning and design of the Chicago 911 Emergency Communications Center and the other was working on developing yardsticks for customers to measure technology where none previously  existed.

BISBEE:           What do you mean by yardsticks?

These yardsticks were developed to be used to measure up to the competition.  One was for JMB Property Management.  It was sort of a yardstick to measure the amount of technology in a building.   Measuring a Building’s IQ was the concept which later turned into a chapter for Johnson Controls’ Intelligent Buildings Sourcebook in the late 1980s.

The other “yardstick” that I developed was for AT&T when they still had LUCENT under them as AT&T Network Systems.  It was a yardstick to compare central office based services and PBXs .

I am currently talking with another organization to develop a new yardstick to measure capabilities within the delivery of triple-play services.

As I tell my clients, if you don’t develop the yardstick to measure your products and services by and give those to your customers, your competition will.  In addition, you never measure up well to someone else’s yardstick.  It is a very slick way of giving the market a way to compare products and services.

BISBEE:           What was so significant about the Chicago 911 project?

CARLINI:          The significance was told to me on the first day on the job by its Project Director.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime project to be a part of.  Few people could ever claim they worked on building a state-of-the art facility for a mission critical application for a city the size of  Chicago.

We were given the marching orders to build a showcase, which we did.  It opened in 1995 and is still rated the number one 911 Center in the country by the Homeland Security Agency.

One of the significant features of that project went beyond the center itself.  The City of Chicago also built a 176-mile SONET network connecting all the police and fire buildings, which was significant at the time and still is today.

BISBEE:           Have you seen more projects putting in fiber optics today?

CARLINI:          Yes.  There have been several since the 911 Project.  Now, there are more projects looking at fiber as the primary network infrastructure interface.  The most significant one that I worked on is the DuPage National Technology Park, which is an 800-Acre project focused on providing a 10Gbps access to various carriers via StarLight, a switch/router facility that provides access to various high-speed networks like the National Lambda Rail.

BISBEE:           I know you have taught at Northwestern University for over a decade, any significant contributions there?

CARLINI:          Actually, I taught there for nineteen years at both the undergraduate and Executive Masters levels as an adjunct faculty member.  I have always taught from a practitioner’s standpoint and tried to combine the practical and the academic.  I coined the phrase “Pracademic” to signify the approach I used in both undergraduate and graduate level courses. There are several significant ones depending on what you are focusing on.

BISBEE:           What was the most significant contribution to Northwestern?

CARLINI:          Developing an undergraduate curriculum in Communication Systems, an alternative to Computer Studies, was a big contribution.  Remember, I was only a part-timer.  The new curriculum really provided a practical perspective that included courses that were never offered not only at Northwestern, but also the surrounding universities.

BISBEE:           What types of courses did you recommend that they provide?

CARLINI:          Well rather than programming courses and the typical software development courses, I focused on practical courses like Managing Mission Critical Networks, International Applications of Technology and even Advanced Network Security (Computer Hacking) which no one else was offering.

The International Class was so ahead of its time in 1993 that we had people coming from different universities and transferring that course out as graduate-level credit.

BISBEE:           What about seminars?  Didn’t you talk about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act impact on the IT area?

CARLINI:          Yes.  I spoke earlier this Summer at a Mergers & Acquisitions Conference this year as I did last year at a Compliance Conference at the Harvard Club in New York City on that subject.  That is an area that is costing many companies a lot of money to comply with and, if they don’t, they can have heavy fines levied on them.

BISBEE:           Reading your articles across various publications, I have seen you come up with pearls of wisdom that you call CARLINI-ISMS.  How did that start?

CARLINI:          Well, I always tried to give some practical perspectives in classes based on the work I did with clients as well as in various litigation situations.  People responded to those as helpful hints or rules-of-thumb, so I started writing them out on a regular basis.  Many people like them and some even use them at work and in other courses.

BISBEE:           What CARLINI-ISM can you leave us with?

CARLINI:          Everyone seemed to have Best Practices as one of their “buzz-phrases” for quality.  This is my CARLINI-ISM for that:

Best Practices are a moving target. What you did last year may already be obsolete.  And, Best Practices change with the weather.

If you want to reach James Carlini, you can call him at 773-370-1888 or Email at james.carlini@sbcglobal,net.  Read his BLOG which always has something of interest at

Conference Provides Opportunities For Future Leaders To Learn, Advise, Network, And Develop Best Practices

Stemming managerial shortfalls is the focus of many NECA initiatives in addition to the NECA Student Chapter Program discussed above.  Our association is also involved in many activities that reach beyond this worthy goal, and a sterling example is the NECA Future Leaders Program.

The more-than-50 NECA Future Leaders who convened recently in Portland, Oregon, for their annual conference were unanimous in praising this meeting, which enabled them to participate in stimulating educational presentations on a host of subjects and network with peers.  In fact, the participants, representing every region of the country, were also unanimous in expressing their desire to attend forthcoming events in this program.

The educational sessions addressed such diverse topics as;

Succession Planning, „How to Get Involved in Political Action

Labor Saving Techniques & New Technologies

The Emerging Green Building Market,( the latter of which got more attention in a special luncheon address by Nathan Phillips, a long-time NECA contractor who has recently become a developer).

Another highlight of the conference was a panel discussion on the “NECA-IBEW Relationship” ,which was delivered jointly by NECA President Milner Irvin and Mark Ayres, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker‚s Director of Construction and Maintenance.

Participants broke into small groups to discuss two issues designated for exploration by NECA‚s Future Leaders Task Force: “What Services Should NECA Be Providing to Appeal to Younger Contractors” and “Strategies For Dealing With Volatile Commodities”.

A tour of local NECA-member contractors‚ offices has become a tradition at the annual conference.  This year, the Future Leaders visited McCoy Electric and West Side Electric, as well as the headquarters of NECA‚s Oregon-Columbia Chapter where Chapter Manager Tim Gauthier talked about the highly successful partnering relationship between Port- land-area members and IBEW Local Unions 48 and 970.

Karl Jensen, CEO of West Side Electric (host firm for the conference) and a member of the Future Leaders Task Force, termed the event a “huge success”, noting that “the networking within the group was tremendous”.  The other Task Force members are Jay Bruce (Bruce and Merrilees Electric, New Castle, PA), David Witz (Continental Electrical Construction, Skokie, IL) and Ed Witt, Jr. (Miller Electric, Jacksonville, FL).

What’s Next?

The Future Leaders will meet at our 2006 National Convention in Boston for an informal reception, and plans are already underway for the 2007 Future Leaders Conference, which will most likely be held in Washington, D.C. in the spring.

NECA-member contractors who would like more information are invited to call Stuart Binstock, the executive director of NECA‚s Executive Management Institute, at 301-215-4523, or e-mail him at

NECA‚s Future Leaders Program is not only about helping younger managers develop the skills they‚ll need to ascend to a higher position within their own companies. In fact, many of those who participate in the NECA Future Leaders Program are already the CEOs of major electrical contracting firms. Thus, this term also applies to contractors who might be considering assuming roles as future leaders within our association, either locally or nationally. That‚s why such events as the NECA Future Leaders Conference not only provide insightful sessions on management issues but also address the operation of our association and allow the participants plenty of opportunities to both question and advise NECA‚s current leadership.

Safety Handbook Updated

Employers bear responsibility under the Occupational Safety and Health Act for providing their workers with a safe place of employment, and workplace safety depends on employees being familiar with general safety rules and OSHA regulations pertaining to the job site. That‚s why NECA has just released an all-new version of our popular Electrical Construction Employee Safety Handbook.

As noted safety expert Mark Lamendola says, „Part of administering a good safety program involves boiling down a ton of information into simple points that people can quickly refer to and apply. This small handbook pro- vides those simple points, making compliance much easier for both worker and supervisor.‰

The Electrical Construction Employee Safety Handbook can be purchased at the online NECA Store. (Just go to and click on „Safety‰ in the list of publications, videos, and software on this site.) Dis- counts are available to NECA members.

NECA‚s New Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selector Makes It Easier To Outfit Electrical Workers For Safety

Occupational Safety and Health regulations require that workers use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever they‚re working where a potential electrical hazard exists. Unfortunately, these OSHA regulations are written without much guidance as to what employers must actually do to comply.

The guidance is provided by NFPA 70E, the standard on „Electrical Safety in the Workplace.‰ It defines the characteristics of protective clothing and also provides tables which identify the proper PPE to use depending on specific risks associated with the standard tasks electrical workers perform. But, there‚s a problem here, too: 70E is a very complex standard and its tables are not always so easy to understand and use, particularly when the task at hand is complicated.

But now, with the release of NECA‚s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selector, consider the problem solved! The PPE Selector, available in both CD and book format, is designed to make it easier to determine what personal protective clothing and equip- ment should be used. Both formats offer an overview of the standard and easy-to-follow links to information.

The software is interactive, and the manual is color-coded for quick reference.  In addition, „the software is an easy tool to use in a classroom setting,‰ according to Billie Zidek, NECA‚s director of standards. „And the manual is printed on heavy-duty, synthetic paper that allows it to be easily cleaned should it be dropped at a muddy job site. It will also withstand the temperature changes associated with being left on a truck dash.‰

It makes sense to get a PPE Selector for each jobsite supervisor. Get yours at (Shop the „Safety‰ aisle.) As usual, special savings are available for NECA-member contractors.   

Reprinted with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July Issue 2006 –

Going Greener – Sustainable Designs And Infrastructure

For many people this summer, the hottest film isn't The DaVinci Code or Superman Returns. It's Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, the latest evidence that America is getting serious about being green.

But there's another inconvenient truth surrounding the green craze: We're paying little attention to the practice of sustainable design. Unlike many other aspects of the environmental movement, sustainable design is a real, practical and long-term practice that could make a huge contribution to energy savings and environmental health around the world--if only architects and building owners would fully embrace its principles.

In the U.S., buildings account for 39% of the nation's total annual energy consumption, whereas transportation (including cars) comprises only 27%, according to the U.S Department of Energy and Department of Transportation. The average commercial structure will cost 10 times as much to operate over its typical 100-year life span as its cost to build.

Click here to see some of the world's greenest office buildings.

A few high-profile projects around the world are embracing sustainable design. In China, Steven Holl's Linked Hybrid Project is a mixed-use urban housing complex for 2,500 people, proposed for Beijing. When completed, this complex will have the largest geothermal heating/cooling and greywater recycling system of any residential building in the world. For China, sustainable design isn't merely an interesting idea. It's necessary for controlling energy usage in crowded and constantly expanding urban areas.

Even in developed nations, environmentally friendly design plays an important role. In the Netherlands, sustainable design is helping extend the life span of landfills without endangering the groundwater that lies just below the surface of land reclaimed from the sea. And there are a handful of sustainable design projects in the U.S., from the Freedom Tower in New York to Millennium Park in Chicago.

But the U.S. has been much slower to adopt the sustainable model than many other nations. While most of northern Europe, for example, has adopted a National Sustainable Development Strategy under the auspices of the United Nations, the U.S. is one of the few industrialized nations that does not have such a strategy.

Europe has long endured the kind of high energy prices we're just now seeing in the U.S. Here, we have had historically cheap energy, and we've had access to an abundance of "virgin" building materials. In many parts of the country, fresh water has traditionally been abundant, and we have neither had the market pressure nor the regulatory requirements to spur the adoption of sustainable techniques.

But that's starting to change. Until recently, the traditional tools used to design buildings, machines or consumer goods were principally concerned with how things looked, not how they behaved. Using modern software, however, designers can model behaviors from ventilation flows to natural lighting and rapidly see how each will change with any kind of alteration, including the addition of energy systems, such as solar and wind power.

With the latest software, designers can create a three-dimensional "intelligent model" of the object in question at the earliest stages of its design. This model helps designers predict how something will consume energy over the whole of its useful life and lets them quickly assess the effects of choosing different building materials.

In my field of architecture, for example, sustainable designers can use the intelligent model to predict the energy required to heat, cool and light a building. The model would show, for example, how much heat would escape from a building each day if it were built with a certain type of double-pane window. If an architect replaced that with a triple-paned window, the model would update itself to reflect the lowered energy needs. In addition, the model would know how much natural light would be available in any room or area of the building, and artificial lighting could be designed accordingly.

Modeling is just the first step. Sustainable design also entails not just how you make a building, but what you use to create it. In 1996, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report, the construction industry was generating more than 130 million tons of construction waste per year in the U.S. The same report estimated that only 20% to 30% of this debris was being recovered for processing or recycling. By shifting construction debris to reprocessing facilities, architects can reduce the costs of disposal and landfill maintenance. Recycled materials provide substantial opportunities to reduce material costs.

Facilities that process recycled construction debris and make recycled products available are increasing in number. For example, California's Integrated Waste Management Board provides online resources so architects and contractors can find sources for recycled building materials and find companies that collect construction debris for reprocessing. To get started in your community, consult the U.S. Green Building Council site or your local community Web site for techniques and sources.

Some of these innovations will be featured in Design:e2, a television series that will be broadcast in the coming weeks on many PBS stations around the country. (If you need another incentive to watch, it's narrated by Brad Pitt.)

Perhaps this series, along with An Inconvenient Truth, will help turn the tide. America leads the world in so many ways, including technology. And when we have the technology to support sustainable design, there's no excuse for not playing catch-up.

Phillip G. Bernstein is an architect who teaches at the Yale School of Architecture. He is Vice President, Industry Strategy and Relations for the Building Solutions Divisions at Autodesk, a leading provider of design and collaboration technology to the building industry.

Strong Sales Gains Posted By Electrical Distributors For Second Quarter 2006, NAED Survey Reports

Solid Growth Forecast for Third Quarter

Nearly 6 of 10 electrical distributors grew their sales by more than 10% in the second quarter of 2006, according to the National Association of Electrical Distributors' (NAED) most recent Quarterly Sales Change Expectation Survey (QSCE).

Of distributors surveyed, 59.4% estimate that their sales for the quarter ended June 30 will show increases exceeding 10%. This is the most optimistic expectation for the “10% or more” sales increase category since NAED began the QSCE survey in 2003.

The positive trend extends widely as 87.6% of distributors expect sales growth for the April-June period. It is the fourth consecutive quarter that more than 85% of those surveyed have reported a rise in sales.

Third Quarter Expected to Show Continued Growth

For the third quarter now under way, 87.6% of distributors predict sales gains. And, 36.9% of distributors expect double-digit growth to continue, predicting gains of over 10% for the July-September period. Flat or declining sales are forecast by only 11.6%.

South and Midwest Most Upbeat

Optimism for the second quarter is strongest in the South, with 92.6% estimating sales gains, and in the Midwest where 90.2% saw rising sales. The West was more moderate with 84.3% expecting positive sales, followed by the Northeast with 76.7%. In addition, 75.9% of Southern distributors reported sales increases of over 10% in the second quarter.

All four regions share similar sales growth predictions for the third quarter, with the South again the most positive with 90.7%, followed by 86.7% in the Northeast, 86.6% in the Midwest, and 86.3% in the West.

Largest Distributors Show Most Growth

Distributors with 50 or more employees hold the most positive views on the quarter just completed, with 92.3% expecting growth. They are followed by those with 5-9 employees (88.4%), 30-49 employees (86.1%), 20-29 employees (82.8%) and 10-19 employees (82.6%).

Most optimistic on the third quarter are distributors with 20-29 employees, with 96.6% forecasting gains. Others predicting growth are those with 50 or more employees (94.2%), 5-9 employees (90.7%), 10-19 employees (80.4%), and 30-49 employees (72.2%).

Participation Encouraged

The survey was distributed in early July and e-mailed or faxed to approximately 3,800 distributor locations. The questionnaire is administered quarterly and focuses on sales expectations for the previous and upcoming quarters. The report breaks down statistics by geographic region and number of employees.

NAED encourages each member to take the time to participate in this quarterly survey. It supplies detailed information to help distributors run their businesses more effectively; high response rates help to assure the reliability of the survey results. QSCE is a management tool provided by NAED to its members and affiliates at no additional cost.

To participate in the next survey, which begins in early October, watch for notification by fax or e-mail. The deadline to participate in the next survey is October 13. Past reports are available on NAED’s Web site by clicking “resources” and then “NAED research” or by following this link:

For more information, contact Branton White, NAED senior director of technology and associate editor of research for TED Magazine, at (888) 791-2512 or

NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED’s membership represents approximately 4,100 locations internationally. A searchable database of NAED members is available by clicking “resources,” followed by “directory” at

2007 ACUTA Events: Sign-Up Now for Preferred Booth Choices

2007 ACUTA Events: Sign-Up Now for Preferred Booth Choices Are you planning your tradeshow calendar for 2007?  Be sure to include the following ACUTA events:

Winter Seminar, Jan. 21-24, 2007, Austin, TX VoIP Summit, April 1-4, 2007, Baltimore, MD 36th Annual Conference, July 29-Aug. 2, 2007, Hollywood, FL Fall Seminar, Oct. 14-17, 2007, Minneapolis, MN

Exhibit booths and sponsorships are available at all 4 events.  Sign-up by September 15, 2006 and your booth and sponsorship assignments will be made according to your ACUTA Point System Ranking.  (Specific point ranking is available upon request).

Information, application, and attendee demographics can be found in the 2007 Planning Guide:

The 2007 Planning Guide also includes the current 36th Annual Conference floor plan.  Take a look at the companies who have already signed and choose the space you want.

All orders will be confirmed after the Point System deadline, September 15, 2006, so be sure to fax in your application today to secure the booth space you want!  (All applications received after September 15 will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.)

Please call 859/278-3338 x240 if you have any questions.

**Interested in exhibiting at the last 2006 event?  Exhibit booths and sponsorships are still available for the Fall Seminar, Oct. 22-25, 2006, Portland, Oregon.  Visit the following URL to sign-up: or

Construction And Real Estate

• Commercial overview: “The evolving economic environment will drive rapid expansion in non-residential construction in 2006-2007. The accumulated increases in office employment, retail spending, manufacturing production, and travel will create a physical need for more private leased building space.”

—Jim Haughey, Reed Business Information economist, as printed in “Building Design & Construction”

(December 2005)

Home sales prices: Home sales should decline in 2006, with new home sales falling by about 9%, compared with about 7% for existing home sales. Sales are expected to pull back further by about 3 in 2007. New home prices should decelerate from [a year-over-year increase of] 7.7% in 2005 to about 2.5% this year. Price gains are expected to continue to be about 3% to 4% in 2007.—Mortgage Bankers Association of America commentary (May)

Hospital construction to 2009: “Spending on new construction alone—including hospitals tearing down old facilities to rebuild or start from scratch on new sites—will exceed $30 billion by 2009, up from about $19.8 billion [in 2005].”—FMI Corporation release (April)

Housing correction? Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s, said that “Nationally, house prices and supply will go flat in 2006, 2007, and 2008.” This implies that there will be some price declines in key markets, he said, but the markets are going to “correct, not crash. ” Markets where Zandi anticipates significant corrections (defined as more than a 10% peak-to-trough decline) are in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, Florida, California, parts of Arizona, and Las Vegas.—from a National Association of Home Builders’ release on its April half-year forecasting conference.

Retail construction revised up: Jim Haughey, economist for Reed Business, updated his fall 2005 forecast for commercial construction. “A recent surge  in shopping center starts required a revised forecast, where commercial construction spending is expected to increase 10.3% [in 2006] and another 6% in 2007.”—“Building Design & Construction” (March)

—Compiled by Joe Salimando

Reprinted with full permission of TED Magazine – July Issue 2006

Molex Introduces New Specification Grade Fiber Enclosure Design

Molex, a leading structured cabling system manufacturer, is pleased to announce the availability of a redesigned 4U Specification Grade Fiber Enclosure to assist with the storing and terminating of incoming fiber cable.   The new design provides durable, lockable front and rear door as well as a re-engineered enclosure body.  The enclosures have been specifically designed to protect fiber optic cables and patch cords from damage and maintain stable optical integrity while accommodating the needs of both the installer and the end user.

Molex Specification Grade Fiber Enclosures are available in 1U, 2U and 4U options and utilize Molex ModLink Cassettes, Fiber Pak/Adapter Plates and Universal Splice Trays. 

 Specification Grade Fiber Enclosure Product Features:

Accommodates ModLink Cassetes, Fiber Pak/Adapter Plates, and Universal Splice Trays  with a capacity of up to 288 fibers

External cable strain relief mounting brackets

Dual cable spools for slack storage

Lockable front and rear doors

Copper grounding stud tie down points at each cable entrance point

Rack mounts without interfering with other mounted equipment

When you specify a Molex Premise Network solution you benefit from global resources, industry standards exceeding performance and innovative solutions

About Molex
Molex Incorporated is a 67-year-old manufacturer of electronic components, including electrical and fiber optic interconnection products and systems, switches and integrated products; with 58 plants in 19 countries in five continents.  Molex manufactures a wide portfolio of products specific to the transmission of voice, data and, video imaging signals. In supplying innovative structured cabling solutions world-wide, the Molex reputation is one of technological excellence. Molex offers a comprehensive range of both Category 5e and Category 6 products for virtually any application. These products exceed all relevant international performance standards, including TIA/EIA 568-B, ISO/IEC 11801:2002 and AS/NZS

Graham Mac Innis Joins Daikin America

As part of Daikin America’s on going commitment to service the rapidly expanding fluorochemical industry, Graham Mac Innis has been added to the sale force as the Technical Sales Representative for the West Coast, covering both fluoropolymers and fluoroelastomers.

Graham has responsibility for providing technical sales and service to a multitude of accounts, bringing with him several years of valuable experience in technical sales and an education in Chemistry.

Daikin America, Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, New York, is one of the largest fluoropolymer suppliers in the world.  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 fluorochemical products.

For further information, please call 1-800-365-9570 or visit

Orange Book Standards: Security Since Sept. 11, 2001 Not Just For Techies

Published on 8/2/2006

Carlini’s Comments,’s oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man’s view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and visions of “pseudo” experts.

CHICAGO – Security issues are not just a techie thing. Security should be viewed as a high-level area of concern that spans across systems, network infrastructures and facilities, writes adjunct Northwestern professor James Carlini.

Has your organization learned anything from the events of Sept. 11, 2001? Does your company fully understand risk management aside from computer security? Has your firm spent a lot of money on “hardening” your facility in the last five years? Do you think that money was well spent or wasted?

These are all questions that better have good answers when you review your organization’s readiness to respond to security breaches in technology and physical facilities as well as various forms of natural and man-made disasters

Go and read some of the job openings for security and risk management people in various organizations. Just by the requirements they list, you can quickly determine how they view network and enterprise system security as well as how they value the oversight in these areas. Some are looking too much for techies instead of senior-level executives.

I just spent a week in a CISSP course that covered several areas of security as part of a 10-domain curriculum. Physical security was part of the topics covered as well as network and system security including disaster recovery and business continuity. While all of these areas have technical elements, you need to get someone who grasps the big picture if you want your organization to apply the right resources.

The range of options and price tags are staggering for software, hardware and other devices. Your company likely isn’t getting its money’s worth.

When it comes to valuating risk and determining how to mitigate risk, there are guidelines to look at and use as a benchmark. These guidelines for security in computer systems are defined in a government publication called the Orange Book. Coincidently, there is also another Orange Book that was published in Great Britain that focuses on risk assessment and risk management. Both are worth reviewing.

DoD Orange Book Standard

It is said that many organizations still use the government’s Orange Book as a reference to classify computer security. In this U.S. Department of Defense standard (DoD publication 5200.28: “Department of Defense Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria”), there are four divisions of security that systems are rated into (see table below).

These divisions provide a graduated level of confidence in the overall security of classified and sensitive information. An interesting fact is that this standard is dated Dec. 1985, which superseded an earlier standard established in 1983. You would think there would be some additional criteria and/or categories added onto it by now.

Another Orange Book: The Queen’s

In doing some research, there is another Orange Book out there focused on the “Management of Risk: Principles and Concepts,” which is published by Her Majesty’s Treasury.

This book was published in 2004 and is a much better read than the DoD’s Orange Book. It provides a risk management model as well as chapters discussing identifying risks, assessing risks, risk environment and context and other chapters focusing on risk management.

Within the Orange Book published by Her Majesty’s Treasury, they define three important principles for assessing risk:

1.     Ensure that there is a clearly structured process in which both likelihood and impact are considered for each risk;

2.     Record the assessment of risk in a way that facilitates monitoring and the identification of risk priorities; and

3.     Be clear about the difference between inherent and residual risk.

I believe it’s a much better read because it was written after Sept. 11, 2001; it focuses on a more strategic view rather than a techie view; and has more pictures (models, charts and visualization aids) to help clarify the concepts. Don’t laugh about the pictures comment. You can really visualize the concepts presented in this risk book much faster than just reading the dry text in the DoD book.

Using All Resources to Resolve Risks

The lesson to be learned here is to go beyond what you normally reach for in trying to solve a problem or when getting some information. While the DoD Orange Book for computer security is of value, several references to it claimed that it was obsolete.

Should there be an update to the DoD’s Orange Book? With so many changes in technology, the additional threats that were never thought about 20 years ago and all the changes in global dynamics, there should be a newer version of the Orange Book for computer system security.

In doing research on the DoD Orange Book, I believe that coming across the Orange Book of risk management by accident was a real bonus. Getting a different perspective from someone else is of value.

With the emphasis on disaster recovery and business continuity from a compliance standpoint in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, organizations should reevaluate their programs and their views on where to put security and risk management within their organization. It is well beyond a techie issue.

Carlinism: There are no experts in this industry. The best you can do is to be a good student who is always learning.

On Sept. 18, 2006, the ninth-annual Global Technology Invitational will be held

at South Hills Golf Course in Racine County, Wis. Details can be found here.

Please call James Carlini for information and registration at 773-370-1888.

Check out the blog of James Carlini at

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at or 773-370-1888.

Click here for Carlini’s full biography.

Copyright 2006 Jim Carlini

US LEC Corp. Narrows 2nd-Quarter Loss On Increased Sales

Telecommunications service provider US LEC Corp. said on Monday its second-quarter loss narrowed on higher sales.

The company's loss shrank to $7.6 million, or 25 cents per share, from $8.9 million, or 30 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Quarterly revenue grew 12 percent to $106.7 million compared to $95.3 million last year.

"This trend reflects strong new customer growth, strong sales into our base of approximately 28,000 business class customers and continued customer loyalty, as evidenced by our 99 percent retention rate," President and Chief Executive Aaron D. Cowell said in a statement.

New Horizons In Cabling And Integrated Building Systems

It’s the information transport systems or cabling that makes data, voice and video come to life.

Throw it in and go is not an option. Everything must be planned and tailored to the application and that goes for the type of wire and cable deployed. In fact, with so many different wire and cable products on the market, it is even more critical to find the right one for the facility now and as it grows in the future.

Manufacturers are here to help. They provide training and support teams and information to help the electrical contractor find the right product. Many have in-house systems designers who can assist. All you have to do is ask.

For power, traditional pipe and wire or armored cabling may be used solely or in concert with each other. Structured wiring such as Category 5, 6 or higher may be the way to go for many applications. In code situations for fire alarm systems signaling and notification appliances, circuit integrity (CI) designated cabling may be the mandate. Limited combustible designated cable is another option for intensive data installations where space is at a premium and long-term fire concerns exist.

In applications with video, coaxial cable, fiber optics or unshielded twisted pair may hold the key to an interference-
free installation. Ethernet, audio, video, security and building automation functions may also be well served on UTP, the darling of the industry and a fast growing cabling segment.

Cabling and integrated building systems are technology driven. There are more devices deployed on cabling and greater system sensitivities with which to contend. Devices share cabling, and power is critical to the overall integrity. Power must be regulated, clean and adapted specifically to the device or devices that will be deployed on it.

Escalating wire and cable costs are also part of the “state of the industry” and will continue in the spotlight as copper, metals and other material prices soar to their highest levels. On the up side, manufacturers continue to focus on labor savings and cabling, which reduces installation time or the amount of wire and cable used overall.

Hot trends

Saving on the amount of materials used and in the time it takes to install is critical to any type of wiring. The fire alarm industry continues to turn out wiring innovations with labor savings in mind.

“Technology and its applicability to the cabling industry continues to advance,” said Jim Kimpel, product manager, Gamewell-FCI, a Honeywell Co., Westwood, Mass. “In the life safety industry, survivability from attack by fire is key and mandated in buildings that use partial evacuation or relocation.”

The company recently introduced an expandable emergency evacuation system deployed over two wires or fiber optic cables, offering significant savings in material and labor/installation costs. Using a building-block approach, these fire alarm control panels can be configured from a simple, stand-alone panel into a mass notification system—on two wires.

According to Gene Pecora, general manager, Honeywell Power Products, Northford, Conn., another cabling trend, especially with video, is the migration from coaxial to Category 5 structured cabling.

“There’s increased installation flexibility in running Cat 5,” Pecora said, “and you can also combine power, data and video. We’re all learning from the computer industry. Digitization of video will continue to have an effect on the use of cabling.”

Manufacturers have also shared that there is an uptick in the use of armored cable products over traditional pipe and wire, although both will continue to live in harmony, according to one source who asked not to be named. Part of that shift can be attributed to the end-user, whose eyes are on the labor-savings involved with armored cable products, the source said.

Code compliance

As always, codes drive the marketplace. Jurisdictions may now follow the latest National Electrical Code (NEC) and require the removal of abandoned cable. Removal of abandoned cable was required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70, NEC 2002. Many areas of the country have adopted the provisions of the NEC code 2002 that require its removal (see Article 800 “Communications Circuits”).

Cable management also continues to gain speed, not only because of NEC changes and regulations with regards to abandoned cable, but because of an increased awareness of the performance of information transport systems as it relates to the installation.

Recent code changes continue to make circuit integrity (CI) cable a viable part of the market. CI cable can withstand the well-known and often-quoted “two-hour” burn test, covered under Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Standard 2196 and it is also meets NFPA codes and NEC requirements.  

“We see strong demand for CI cabling from the end-user and we will continue to educate the market about its advantages,” said Juan Gudino, market manager Security & Fiber, Belden CDT, Richmond, Ind. “We’ve held dozens of road shows to educate the AHJ [authority having jurisdiction], the installer and the end-user.” Gudino said the fire marshal and electrical inspector continue to respond positively to the pluses of CI cabling.

CI history

NFPA 101 and many local building codes mandate emergency voice/alarm communications (EVAC) systems where immediate evacuation of the entire site is impractical—like high-rises and large campuses. EVAC systems must provide a live or recorded audio/voice instruction to building occupants, alerting them of a specific emergency and directing them out of the building or to another area.

This system must remain operational longer than a total evacuation scenario, or as defined by code, for two hours. Gudino said some AHJs or Code bodies are working off an earlier version of the Code, and the CI provision was ratified in 2002 and placed in the 2005 version of NFPA 101.

Cables designated by the NEC as CI are riser-rated, which means they can be installed vertically within the building and withstand direct flame contact. Cables designed as CIC may be installed in the area above the ceiling, but they must be contained within conduit.

CI cables cannot be deployed in conduit and still maintain their two-hour rating. Gudino added that limited combustible cable, although not mandated by Code, is still a great solution for data centers or other areas where there is susceptibility to equipment damage from melting cable jacket materials.

Trends and forecasts

Communications and tele-data wiring has exploded, and with it has come the emphasis on zone cabling (see “In the Zone,” Electrical contractor Oct. 2005, page 150). This type of physical wiring configuration uses star-wiring for labor and equipment changes and accommodates the appetite of the end-users for newer and more telecom technology. It also handles moves, adds and changes efficiently.  

In the wire and cabling industry, everything seems to be operating under some type of hardware and software “ripple effect.” With zone cabling comes the move to telecommunications enclosures (TE) instead of additional telecommunications rooms (TR), extending backbone cabling closer to the work areas and clusters.

Active zone cabling is on the upswing in part because of its advantages, but also due to new standards. Last year, the Telecommunications Industry Association approved publication TIA/EIA-568B.1-5 as an addendum to the Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard that recognized active zone cabling. In essence, the standard permits the installation of a TE instead of a TR in some applications, which streamlines the installation and reduces labor and equipment costs.  

Labor savings is critical to the wire and cable industry. Products that can be easily deployed, split, connected, etc., are sure to win over the contractor community.     

It’s not “easy living” by any means in the cabling industry. Manufacturers and distributors have been contending with continued consolidation among suppliers; new codes, rules and regulations; and escalating material costs. There is a bright side—they know they can provide the connectivity solutions the market needs as they, too, set their sights on convergence and integration.            EC

O’MARA is the president of DLO Communications in Park Ridge, Ill., specializing in low-voltage. She can be reached at 847.384.1916 or

Reprinted with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July Issue 2006 –

Microsoft Corp. Awards Hitachi Consulting For Advancements In Business Intelligence

For helping its clients improve their business insight with Microsoft Corp. products, Hitachi Consulting, the consulting company of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT - News), was recently named a Microsoft Partner of the Year for 2006.

The distinction recognizes Hitachi Consulting's extensive background in Business Intelligence Solutions, which provide companies with views into mission-critical data for the purposes of improved decision making. "Hitachi Consulting excels at helping its clients make better, faster and more relevant decisions with BI solutions and Microsoft is recognizing our ongoing success in this expanding area," said Drew Naukam, director, Microsoft Strategic Service Line for Hitachi Consulting.

Earlier this year, Microsoft awarded Hitachi Consulting Gold Certified status in the Microsoft Partner Program by demonstrating competencies in Advanced Infrastructure, Business Intelligence, Business Process and Integration, Custom Development and Information Worker Solutions. "Hitachi Consulting is continuing to invest in its growing relationship with Microsoft and as a result is now recognized as a leader with Microsoft Business Intelligence capabilities," Mr. Naukum said. "Our enterprise program management capabilities, deep corporate performance management experience and enterprise architecture thought leadership all contributed to the receipt of this award. The beneficiaries, our clients, are proof of our ongoing success."

Beyond providing value-added solutions to its clients, Hitachi Consulting received authorship credit for a just-released book on Microsoft products. "Microsoft® SQL Server(TM) 2005 Reporting Services: Step by Step," co-authored by Reed Jacobsen of Hitachi Consulting, is a how-to guide that takes readers from start to finish in building reporting solutions for the enterprise.

"The book and the award come at an important time, as companies are looking more and more at ways to manage performance at an enterprise level. Microsoft's direction in performance management ties in directly with our experience in the business intelligence arena," said Mr. Naukam.

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

Salimando Factoids: Electrical Niches

Forecast for LEDs: Specialists in Business Information, a unit of, projects that “The popularity of LEDs and other lighting alternatives, including fiber-optics and compact fluorescents, will help to drive sales in both the commercial and residential lighting markets in the United States well past the $5 billion mark by 2010.”

 Improved LEDs: “The U.S. Department of Energy…calls for LEDs to produce 150 lumens per watt by the year 2012. That objective is at least 10 times the lighting and energy efficiency of incandescent bulbs, while today’s fluorescents offer 50 to 100 lumens per watt. “It has been reported that 110 lumens per watt has already been produced in a lab, putting the target within reach.”—from “Home Lighting & Accessories” (May)

Lamps to 2009: From, previewing research from The Freedonia Group (publication date, January):

“U.S. demand for lamps is forecast to advance more than 2% per year through 2009 to reach $5 billion. Gains will be supported by strong nonresidential and nonbuilding construction spending, as well as a healthy outlook for the production of lamp-containing manufactured goods.

“In addition, demand for lamps will be stimulated by continued consumer and government focus on energy efficiency, which supports sales of more efficient—and more costly—fluorescent and HID lamps.

“However, growth in lamp demand will remain somewhat limited by the highly mature market, as well as by rising competition from alternative lighting technologies such as LEDs and fiber-optic lighting systems.”

  LEDs make inroads: “2007 is the turning point where [use of LEDs] in general illumination…will start…illumination market could reach about $3 billion by 2010.”—from Research and Markets (Dublin, Ireland), December 2005 release

  Transmission and distribution: “EPAct attempts to address system coordination issues and barriers to infrastructure build-out that affect reliability,” according to a Foster Electric Report issued on March 30 and authored by S&P analyst Jeffrey Wolinsky. “Overall, it is a positive step for the industry.”

Annual investment in transmission almost doubled between 1999 and 2005, and the Edison Electric Institute has forecast that more than $6 billion will be invested annually through 2008, Wolinsky explained.

- Compiled by Joe Salimando

Reprinted with full permission of TED Magazine – July 2006

Finding 10GBase-T

One of the best punchlines in the movie “Finding Nemo” comes at the very end, when the fish with whom Nemo spent quality time in an aquarium inside a dentist’s office finally make their escape. Each is inside a plastic bag partially filled with water (long story, but worth watching to find out why) floating in Sydney Harbour. They all celebrate when the last of the gang makes it over a ledge and into the water. After a brief spell of vocal rejoicing, they all go quiet for a few seconds before one of them asks, “Now what?”

Perhaps I’m the only person on the planet who thinks of that movie when contemplating data networking (or vice versa), but the recent official approval of the IEEE’s 802.3an (10GBase-T) specifications brought that scene to mind. Bob Grow, chair of IEEE 802.3, confirmed for me that “P802.3an was approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on June 8.” Let the 10-Gig networking products fly through the distribution channels as quickly as data passes through a 10GBase-T system.

Except, there are no 10GBase-T products on the shelves. For the time being at least, those who crave this ultra-fast transmission speed and have bypassed fiber-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet awaiting the more economical twisted-pair flavor, will have to wait at least a little bit longer—much like Nemo’s friends had to wait until they got out of those plastic bags before they could experience the true freedom of living in the ocean.

One of the most notable producers of 10GBase-T “guts,” SolarFlare Communications, merged this past spring with another producer of Ethernet “guts,” Level 5 Networks. Word from people who know a lot more than I do is that this merger is good news for the prospect of 10GBase-T equipment coming to market sooner rather than later. When I say that SolarFlare is one of the “most notable” vendors among its peers, that is strictly selfish speak. They’re most notable to me, and perhaps to you, because representatives of the company have shown up and made presentations at places like BICSI conferences, and have published articles in magazines like this one. More significantly, the company has representation on TIA committees that are putting the finishing touches on 10GBase-T cabling specifications. Those representatives also liaise between the TIA and the IEEE on matters like 10GBase-T and Augmented Category 6 cabling.

While we obviously will wait a little longer for 10-Gig copper networking gear to appear, as you no doubt are aware there is no shortage of cabling systems that absolutely assure us they are equipped to handle 10GBase-T traffic. Well, as the saying goes (and because I recently enjoyed the latest Disney/Pixar movie, “Cars”), the rubber will soon meet the road on that claim. By my calendar, some of the earliest-installed pre-standard Augmented Category 6 systems will have been in place for more than two years before they are attached to real 10-Gig equipment on each end. Not surprisingly, some things have changed since those first days of Auggie Cat 6. Some manufacturers have altered cable designs to maximize alien-crosstalk performance, although they stand by their original designs’ ability to support full 10-Gig transmission. Things have changed, probably more dramatically, all the way up the food chain to the chip or “guts” level I referred to earlier. The protocol will now transmit up to 500 MHz, not 625. Going hand-in-hand with that is a change in encoding schemes. It’s no wonder it will be a little while before we see 10GBase-T gear commercially available.

When we do see that equipment on the market, I’ll once again think back to “Finding Nemo,” this time to the final dialogue between the title character and his father, Marlin. After overprotecting his son for the youngster’s entire life, Marlin tells him as he heads off to school one day, “Now go have an adventure.” For all of you looking forward to deploying 10GBase-T, from Sydney Harbour to Silicon Valley, here’s hoping that after up to a couple years of carefully installing, maintaining, and probably overprotecting your cabling system, your plunge into the world of 10-Gig is anything but an adventure.


Chief Editor

Printed with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine a Pennwell publication – July 2006 Issue

Hitachi Cable Manchester Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Hitachi Cable Manchester, a leader in the manufacture of flat and round electronic cable and copper and fiber optic communication cables, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in October 2006.  Hitachi’s state-of-the-art 300,000 square foot facility located on the outskirts of Manchester, New Hampshire, produces thousands of different products for customers around the world.  Their engineering department maintains a constant flow of new and technologically advanced products and their dedication to quality ensures their products are of the highest quality.

“In a competitive market, customer loyalty and retention are very important and have been a major factor in the success of Hitachi Cable Manchester,” says HCM’s president, Hideo Kusumi.  “Customers only return if they receive quality products that meet or exceed their expectations.  For the past 20 years, HCM has dedicated itself to being a leader in the wire and cable industry.  The caliber of our customers is an indication of our commitment to quality, superior product performance and the fulfillment of the overall needs of our customers.”

HCM has also led the way in manufacturing products that are component compliant to the appropriate standard. By providing component compliant cables, HCM offers its customers the freedom to use the connectivity of their choice while ensuring worry-free performance.  And, with new products constantly being released, such as their new Supra 10GTM, a UTP 10-gigabit Ethernet cable, HCM will continue to be a leader in the communication industry.

Supra 10GTM is now available through HCM approved distributors.  For information on where to obtain the new Supra 10GTM, contact HCM at 800-772-0116 or visit their website at

Viewpoint: The switch disconnect

Updating the switch infrastructure is not a topic with the cache of such technologies as voice over IP (VoIP), network security and wireless, but it just may be the most important item on the agenda of enterprise IT managers. According to a study conducted by NetLink Research of 219 IT managers (see page 6), upgrading Ethernet switch infrastructures to support more users and to deliver new services, such as VoIP, is far and away their most pressing priority.

At a time, however, when these organizations say their IT budgets are increasing and they have an average of $760,000 in incremental budget for new Ethernet switching projects, there appears to be a disconnect between these potential customers and the vendors who sell the switches. Quite simply, these IT managers say, the vendors don’t get it.

Experimenting with new technology is not today’s priority; supporting business priorities, such as e-commerce applications, and reducing IT budgets are. Vendors, however, are still trying to sell their switches by touting new bells and whistles.

Among the study’s recommendations to vendors:

Differentiate your switching products based on what customers need, such as lower IT costs, better worker productivity and improved access to corporate resources.

While customers prefer working with their incumbent suppliers, don’t abuse this relationship. Customers will start evaluating other vendors when they think that prices are too high, or reliability or service declines.

One reason IT managers may not search out vendor alternatives is that the non-incumbent vendors are not making their case well enough to these customers. Non-incumbents need to do a better job of getting the word out about their switching solutions.

Most IT managers are wary of trying new switch vendors, but they will take a chance with small test bed projects or in access configurations. These vendors should get in the door first, in a small way, prove their products to the customer and grow their business as the customer’s network grows.

In the study, IT managers identified five major Ethernet switching priorities. First is preparing their networks for e-commerce applications, such as customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning. Next come: upgrading and enhancing their existing switch infrastructure to accommodate a 6-10% increase in end-users and new technologies such as VoIP; improving wireless and wired access; enhancing switch security; and expanding VoIP.

With about 20 switch vendors in the market, enterprises have a wide range of choices should they become dissatisfied with their incumbent provider. While no one is going to supplant Cisco any time soon, 3COM, HP and Nortel all have a significant presence, and Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks, Allied Telesyn, Dell and Force10 are all viable alternatives.

In other words, the vendors that pay the most attention to the actual needs of those customers (rather than basing sales pitches on new features), and those that do the best job of promoting their solutions, will be in the best position to secure new business.

By: Ken Anderberg

Reprinted with full permission of Communications News Magazine – July 2006 Issue –

Standards Column :Delving into TIA-942

This is the first standard that specifically addresses data centre infrastructure. More than half deals with facility requirements.

By Paul Kish

The TIA's Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centres is a comprehensive document that includes a lot of information on all the aspects involved in the design and provisioning of a data centre, including facilities design, network design, and cabling design.

Over half the document, which is entitled TIA-942, deals with the facilities design elements. For this month's article I wanted to focus on some of the more important considerations in the design process.

Physical environment: A data centre contains a huge concentration of electronic equipment that is crucial to running the applications that handle the core business and operational data of an organization.

The physical environment must be strictly controlled to assure the integrity and functionality of its hosted computer environment.

Air conditioning is used to keep the room around 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit). This is crucial since electronic equipment in a confined space tends to malfunction if not adequately cooled.

Backup power is provided via one or more uninterruptible power supplies and/or diesel generators. To prevent single points of failure, the electrical systems are typically fully duplicated, and critical servers are connected to both the "A-side" and "B-side" power feeds.

Physical security also plays a large role with data centres.  Physical access is usually restricted to selected personnel. Video surveillance and permanent security guards are almost always present if the data centre contains sensitive information.

One of the things that impressed me the most is the thought and planning that goes into the design of the data centre facility.

The steps in the design process include estimating the space, power, cooling, security, floor loading, grounding, electrical protection, and other facility requirements running at full capacity and anticipating any future telecommunications, power, and cooling trends over the lifetime of the data centre.

Cooling capacity: The cooling capacity is something that is becoming more and more important because of the high concentration of powerful servers and switching equipment.

Research conducted by Jennifer Mitchell-Jackson at the University of California at Berkeley in 2000, showed that data centres have computer rooms that use an average of 50 watts per square foot or less.

Some recent discussions I have had with consultants involved in the design of modern data centres indicated that this number could be as high as 300 watts per square foot.  This may necessitate some novel techniques for air handling and cooling.

Equipment is placed in cabinets and racks with "cold" air intake at the front of the cabinet or rack, and "hot" air exhaust out the back creating an alternate pattern of hot and cold aisles.

For high heat loads, forced airflow is required to provide adequate cooling for all the equipment in the cabinet.  A forced airflow system utilizes a combination of properly placed vents in addition to the cooling fan systems.

Pathway design and provisioning: Another important consideration is pathway design and sizing to accommodate the combination of high density of equipment and the larger diameter cables to support 10 Gb/s transmission.

For example, vertical cable management on the side of a rack that is 12 inches wide and 9.5 inches deep can accommodate about 1,400 Category 5e cables, about 1,000 Category 6 cables or 700 Category 6A cables.

These pathways need to be sized to accommodate the total number of switch ports and patch panel connections.

For underfloor distribution, it is recommended wire basket cable trays be placed under the hot aisles for telecom cabling, whereas power cabling are usually placed under the cold aisles.

This maintains a natural separation between power and telecommunications cables. Alternatively, an overhead, layer cable tray system may be used where the bottom layer holds copper cables, the middle layer holds fiber cables, and the top layer holds power cables.

These trays are attached to the signal reference grid, which provides a common ground point for all equipment, racks and cabinets.

The signal reference grid consists of a copper conductor grid on 0.6 to 3 m (2 to 10 ft) centres that covers the entire computer room space.

The TIA-942 is the first standard that specifically addresses data centre infrastructure. More than half of the content deals with facility requirements.

It provides a flexible and manageable structured cabling system that builds on existing standards, where applicable and also provides guidelines on a wide range of subjects that is invaluable to someone designing or managing a data centre.

Paul Kish is Director, Systems & Standards at Belden CDT. He is a key contributor in the development of cabling standards with TIA and has served as Chair of TR 41.8 and Vice Chair of TR 42 Engineering Committee.

Disclaimer: The information presented is the author's view and is not official TIA correspondence.

Reprinted with full permission of CNS magazine (Cabling Networking Sytems) – July/August  Issue 2006 –

COYOTE® Terminal Closure Deployed In West Virginia Fiber-to-the-Premises Municipal Network

Preformed Line Products (PLP), a major supplier to the communications industry, played an instrumental role in the construction of a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network in Philippi, West Virginia.

Progressive communities like Philippi are constructing FTTP networks in order to give residents the next generation of high speed access to the Internet and to provide local government, including local law enforcement, with broadband network capabilities.

For this project PLP supplied a variety of fiber optic closures including the new COYOTE Terminal Closure, which was designed to satisfy a wide variety of application requirements for splicing into distribution cable and making drop cable connections in FTTP outside plant network applications.

The Philippi network will enable the city to quickly deploy next generation advanced services into its municipal network. According to Karen Weaver, "This network will provide the flexibility necessary for our community to further connect its local government agencies, businesses, schools and neighbors to improve information access, collaboration and learning for our citizens." The city of Philippi anticipates its all fiber high-throughput network will be operational this summer.

Cable Constructors Inc. selected PLP's COYOTE Closures for installation in the network. Tony Higgins of CCI said, "We have worked with PLP for a number of years and they have always provided a reliable closure product."

The COYOTE Terminal Closure is available in two versions. The single chamber version features a single standard hinged cover incorporating up to nine hardened adapters. Once the pigtails from the adapters are spliced to the distribution cable, drop cable connections are simply made externally, without opening the hermetically sealed compartment.

The dual chamber version features dual hinged covers with separate compartments for distribution cable splicing and for drop cable installation. The drop chamber accommodates up to 16 drop cables. The dual chamber version can also be factory configured with up to 18 hardened adapters for quick and easy add/drop capability.

As part of the COYOTE family, the closures are made of resilient thermoplastic resin to ensure performance in demanding FTTP outside plant environments. The innovative, easy-to-use end plate design further simplifies the installation process. The technician simply removes the required knockouts and seals the cables with either the PLP Gel Sealant System or one of the standard grommets offered. Closures are re-enterable without additional parts or costly re-entry kits. They are tested in accordance with Telecordia GR-771-CORE and TR-TSY-000949 requirements. Pigtails and feed-thru adaptors meet GR-326-CORE requirements.

Demand For Backup Power Solutions On The Rise

Compliance with regulatory standards was among the key components driving demand for backup power solutions between 2004 and 2005 as organizations were forced to advance existing IT networks to ensure better tracking systems and improve accountability, according to Frost & Sullivan. Backup power is deployed to ensure uptime of these networks as well as to protect these against the damages caused by power surges.

Demand for backup power is not expected to slow anytime soon. The adoption of next generation blade server technology, as well as the transition to IP telephony, is expect to put a strain on the power infrastructure and the overall datacenter environment.

Frost & Sullivan finds that the World uninterruptible power supply (UPS) market saw a 7 percent growth in 2005, reaching $5.76 billion. The market is estimated to reach $8.55 billion in 2012.

“The number one reason for investing in UPS systems is to protect digital equipment and process against the damages from power abnormalities,” said Farah Saeed, program manager, backup power solutions sector for Frost & Sullivan. “In fact, an end-user survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan identifies protection against power outage to be the second biggest concern for most medium-sized organizations.”

However, Frost & Sullivan reports that there is still a lack of awareness hindering end-users from upgrading equipment.

“Frost & Sullivan end-user survey reveals that many business are underestimating their power requirements and therefore under-deploy UPS systems. Similarly, many end-users still deploy the inexpensive standby UPS systems despite their shortcomings,” said Saeed.       EC

Reprinted with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July Issue 2006 –

DAIKIN America Appoints Dr. Adamsky To Unidyne Sales Team

In keeping with the increasing demand for Daikin’s Unidyne™ products, a family of fluorochemicals designed to impart superior water, oil, and soil repellency to a wide range of textile, non-woven, carpet, and paper materials, Dr. Frank Adamsky has been appointed to the Unidyne™ sales team as the Market Development Manager, responsible for the market development and sales of Unidyne™ products in the nonwoven and paper markets.

Frank came to Daikin in 2003 with experience in the development and application of chemicals used in the pulp and paper industry.  His areas of expertise include emulsion, inverse emulsion, and dispersion polymers and their applications.  Frank's academic background is comprised of synthesis and application of fluorosurfactants and inverse emulsion polymerization in supercritical fluids.

While at Daikin Frank has worked in both Technical and Market Development focusing on the development of new products for the paper industry, expanding the Unidyne synthesis capabilities within Daikin America, facilitating the approval of products through the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and defining & developing market opportunities for Unidyne in areas such as paper, fiberglass, filtration, and nonwovens.

Daikin America, Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, NY is the second largest fluoropolymer supplier in the US.  Daikin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries of Osaka, Japan. Daikin is Japan’s leading manufacturer of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, and Japan’s largest producer of fluorochemical products.

New NECA Student Chapters Chartered At Bowling Green State & Central Washington Universities

Developing capable managers to oversee current projects and plan for future growth is imperative within our industry and the focal point of a wide variety of ongoing NECA initiatives, including the establishment of NECA Student Chapters at colleges and universities. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that two more NECA Student Chapters have been chartered since NECA President Milner Irvin (of Riverside Electric in Miami, Florida) addressed this import topic in the April 2006 edition of this magazine.

And, with plans in place to revitalize our Student Chapter program, we anticipate the formation in the near future of more of these organizations devoted to encouraging young people to consider careers in electrical contracting.

At its meeting last month, NECA‚s Executive Committee approved applications for setting up NECA Student Chapters at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. The former is aligned with NECA‚s Ohio/Michigan Chapter and the latter with our Inland Empire Chapter. One of the purposes of establishing Student Chapters is to enhance the understanding of our association among their members, and regular NECA chapters provide assistance in this regard by exposing them to industry-related educational programs and helping arrange internships with local NECA-member contractors and field trips to NECA contractor‚s offices and work sites.

There are now a dozen active NECA Student Chapters. The other ten are affiliated with these institutions: California State University at Chico, Iowa State University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Northern Illinois University, Purdue University, Southern Polytechnic State University, University of Kansas, University of Nebraska, University of Wash- ington, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As Irvin noted is his „From the President‚s Desk‰ column in April, NECA‚s Management Education Institute (MEI) has surveyed the faculty representatives of our Student Chapters to find out what is working well and where improvements are needed. Armed with this knowledge, MEI will host a Student Chapter Summit during NECA‚s 105th Anniversary Convention in Boston this fall.

This event will focus on the „best practices‰ of successful NECA Student Chapters and similar collegiate organizations sponsored by other construction industry associations. The idea is to help the students get the most out of their participation and to give our regular chapters for member contractors the information they need to help form Student Chapters at their own local institutions of higher learning.

NECA is not alone in its desire to promote interest in our industry at the collegiate level. Our independent research affiliate˜Electri International, the Foundation for Electrical Construction, Inc.˜has been involved with this issue since its inception. In fact, one of the first products of Foundation research was a study on „Developing a Curriculum for Electrical Building Construction and Contracting‰ published in 1994. This study conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Lew and Dr. Perry Achor of Purdue University presents two curricula for a university program in electrical contracting, one oriented toward electrical engineering and the other toward construction management.

Among related research projects currently being carried out under the Foundation’s sponsorship are:

Electrical Construction Academic Alliance

Encouraging the Millennium Generation to Join the Electrical Industry

Development and Implementation of an Electrical Construction Management Scholarship, Internship and Cooperative Program is in the final draft stage

Reprinted with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine – July Issue 2006 –

Structured Cabling At Home

by Jim Hayes

Cities and developers are pushing for broadband access. Will building codes be the incentive for it?

I recently attended a seminar hosted by the city of Loma Linda, Calif., a prosperous Los Angeles suburb of 20,000 people with a large high-tech and medical presence. Like many progressive cities with lots of tech-savvy inhabitants, Loma Linda considered providing broadband access to all of its homes and businesses a high priority. The city was also reviewing developer plans to practically double its size.

But unlike many communities, Loma Linda did not spend most of its time courting telcos or CATV companies or debating the proper course of action. Rather, it began creating its own broadband network based both on its assessment of the current best solution and on possibilities of future technical developments.

A rather unique thing the city did was to make sure future building and housing developments would be ready for broadband access. So during the planning and building out of its municipal fiber-optic network, the city worked with real estate developers to develop a plan for the future. Most notably, the city changed its building codes to require new developments to install conduit for fiber-optic connections to every house and structured cabling in every new house. The conduit to every house also includes twisted-pair cabling for telephone and coax for CATV.

Now every new home in Loma Linda can be connected to the municipal network via high-speed fiber-optics, connecting the city data center to a telecom room in every subdivision using Gigabit Ethernet and offering various levels of Ethernet to every home, priced according to speed. Connection to the city network is at the homeowner’s option, but most are subscribing.

Currently, the city only offers Ethernet connections, but users can subscribe to any VoIP service for telephone service if they prefer that to the local telco. Future options being considered include IPTV when it becomes available, and the expectation is that the backbone will be upgraded to 10GbE to provide digital video services.

According to the Loma Linda building code, every home built in the city now includes a wall-mounted wiring cabinet into which the external connections are terminated. From this cabinet, a star-wired structured cabling system using industry-standard UTP cabling rated Cat 5e or above and coax for video is distributed throughout the house, with the number and location of outlets specified in the code. The code also specifies that the wiring cabinet include an uninterruptible power supply for electronics to ensure availability of connections in the event of a power loss.

A grand plan

The really important points are that Loma Linda wrote these requirements into its building codes and did it in cooperation with the building developers. Developers are very positive when it comes to adding such features to houses, as it makes them more appealing to today’s young families who embrace technology with a vengeance. After all, having a house ready to deliver high-speed Internet access to practically every room is a big selling point to families where every member has his or her own computer.

Furthermore, developers know that an initial investment in structured cabling has a big return on investment: A $2,500 structured cabling system can command an additional $7,500 in the purchase price for a new house—and it’s cheaper and just as marketable as other features, such as kitchen and bath upgrades.

And the market is not limited to new construction. After Loma Linda began offering connections on its municipal network, homeowners in older areas of town began asking when the network would be available to them as well. So Loma Linda’s plan includes offering fiber-optic connections all over town, plus a municipal wireless network with complete town coverage.

Don’t be surprised if other cities adopt similar changes in their building codes. It would make sense not only where the city is developing a network, but also in any community where the telcos themselves are offering fiber to the home. Home networks have been the buzz for almost a decade, and it’s now becoming a reality—and a market opportunity for distributors and cabling contractors.

Read more about Loma Linda’s program at

Hayes, of VDV Works, has been active in the VDV cabling business for more than 25 years and is a contributing writer of TED. Find him at

Reprinted with full permission of TED Magazine – July Issue

Times Microwave Systems Introduces LMR® Bundled Cable

Times Microwave Systems now offers LMR® Bundled Cable.  A single flexible LMR® Bundled Cable containing up to 9 LMR cables under a common outer jacket is the perfect feeder cable for Smart Antennas and other applications requiring large numbers of antenna feeder cables.  Compared to an installation using individual cable runs, LMR® Bundled Cable greatly reduces installation time and cost.

LMR® Bundled Cable is supplied as a complete system, including weather seal breakout boots, ground kits, full technical support with custom tools, pictorial instructions and installation videos.

Features & Benefits:

Fewer cable runs going up the tower or on the roof

Less ground kits to install

Lower overall installed cost

High quality LMR® low loss flexible 50 Ohm coax cable and connectors, prep tools and accessories

Standard cables available include:

BC-400-9 (9 runs of LMR-400)

BC-400-7 (7 runs of LMR-400)

BC-400-4 (4 runs of LMR-400)

Need a Fully-Equipped Training Center

Then come to Dallas, Texas and take a look at our five classrooms that can accommodate from 12 to 50 students! What more could you ask for and at such a reasonable price!

Our fully-equipped classrooms are set up for Structured Cabling for Voice and Data, Installation Cabling, Designing Telecommunications Distributions Systems, Local Area Network (LAN) Cabling, Fiber Optics Installation and Outside Plant/Customer-Owned Campus Cabling.

We are set up to provide cables, hardware and tools with everything needed to make a fiber optic splice to  punching down any of the four types of connecting blocks, making a patch cord, fishing a wall and attaching a drop to the telephone pole in-class.  (We even have a manhole).

We understand that the rates are currently: per day $400, $1500 per week, or $4800 per month.  This is a great deal, plus we also have a huge parking area, conference room, fully-functioning kitchen/break room and nice restroom facilities.  Nearby hotels have special pricing and pick up and deliver students to class.  All major airlines fly into D/FW airport. You can rent or lease one or all classrooms by the day, week, weekend, by the month or longer.  This is great for manufacturers wanting to show and demo products and/or certify students on specific products and systems. We are also perfect for focus groups! Contact Christy at 512-372-3247 for more information and scheduling.

Paetec To Buy US LEC In $450 Million Deal

Privately held telecommunications services provider Paetec on Monday said it agreed to buy US LEC Corp. (NASDAQ:CLEC - News) in a deal worth about $450 million excluding debt in the latest merger aimed at fending off pressure from a consolidating industry.

Shares in US LEC jumped 8.39 percent following the announcement.

Both companies offer communications services such as voice-over-Internet to medium- and large-sized businesses. They said there would be overlap particularly in the northeastern United States.

According to the deal, the two companies will become subsidiaries of a new public holding company, New Paetec, with an enterprise value of $1.3 billion including the assumption of debt. The new company will continue trading under the Nasdaq symbol "CLEC."

Both companies compete with top telecommunications providers AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T - News) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ - News), which have been bulking up through acquisitions in the past year amid a shift to wireless and Internet communications.

AT&T is set to acquire BellSouth Corp. (NYSE:BLS - News) while Verizon took over long-distance carrier MCI in January.

Paetec and US LEC forecast cost savings of $25 million in the first year after the close of the deal, which they expect by year's end, and $40 million a year beginning in 2008.

"This is a great combination, since there is overlap in some of the territories we service, and in our network and infrastructure, in addition to the traditional, administrative and personnel synergies," Paetec Chairman and Chief Executive Arunas Chesonis told Reuters in a phone interview.

The companies also said they expect unspecified revenue synergies as they reach into each others' territories.

"New Paetec" will operate in 52 of the top 100 U.S. metropolitan service areas, particularly the eastern part of the country.

Combined revenue from continuing operations is estimated at nearly $1 billion, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $187 million.

Under the deal, US LEC shareholders will receive one share in the new company for each US LEC share they hold, in aggregate owning about one-third of the new holding company.

Investors in privately-held Paetec will receive 1.623 shares in the new company for each share they already hold, bringing their stake to two-thirds.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. Merrill Lynch & Co. and CIT Group Inc. will provide $850 million in financing for the deal, including refinancing both companies' debt.

US LEC has also entered into an agreement to buy back its Series A preferred stock held by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners for about $268 million.

US LEC shares gained 38 cents to $5.15 on the Nasdaq after trading as high as $6.07 earlier in the session.

Connected@Home 2006

October 16 - 18, 2006
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
San Diego, CA

Agenda Announced

During times of change and complexity, business leaders are called upon by their companies to provide a clear and responsible direction and competent management concerning the implementation and operation of connected home technologies.

Lead the direction of the industry by being an active participant in following sessions:

--Builders and Smart Communities

--User Interfaces: Bridging the Technology and User

--Retailer vs. Integrator OR Retailer w/Integrator

--IPTV: Landscape Survey

--Home Automation and Controls

--Home Networking and Digital Youth

--In-Home Infrastructure Options

--Standards-Making it All Work

--Non-Traditional Applications

Also, take advantage of the Internet Home Alliance Research Council Collaborative Research Track. This track will explore specific areas of interest, from a collaborative research perspective.

--IPTV Phase II project

--SMB IT Needs Assessment Project

--Subsidized Media and Location Based Advertising

--Senior Living Project

--Digital Kitchen Project

Early Bird Deadline (Save $250.00)

All delegates will receive the following complimentary reports:

1) State of the Connected Home 2005 ($2,100 value)

2) Connected Home Roadmap Executive Summary

3) Connected@Home 2006 Event Report

Take advantage of these free reports and EARLY BIRD pricing, by registering today!

EARLY BIRD registration ends August 31.

Shopping For New Trucks In 2006

Business is booming and growth isn’t cheap. Many communications, cabling, and electrical contractors are resizing their vehicles. Gas Prices are not going down and you have to consider vehicles with sustainable quality and reduced operating costs.

Michael Shannahan, VP –Communication Planning Corp., Jacksonville, FL., ( told us that he would rather go to the dentist for a root canal than go vehicle shopping. “We wanted to support American Made and get the most reasonable deal on our new trucks” Shannahan added. CPC went with the TOYOTA Tacoma pickup trucks including toppers and ladder racks. These 4-cylinder TOYOTA vehicles look great and have a track record for long life and a low maintenance profile. The Coggin Automotive Group took care of everything and CPC was very satisfied.

By the way, the trucks are more American-made than the Chevy.


Toyota Motor Corp., buoyed by demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, is moving closer to ending General Motors Corp.’s 80-year reign as the world’s biggest automaker.

Toyota’s sales grew 7.1 percent to 4.36 million in the year’s first half, according to Toyota spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto.  GM’s fell 2.3 percent, to 4.6 million, spokesman John McDonald said.  GM’s advantage, now 240,00 units, has shrunk to less than half its size of 12 months ago.

Toyota is advancing in large part on the strength of sales in GM’s home market.  Toyota City, Japan-based Toyota passed GM’s cross-town rival Ford Motor Co. globally in 2003, and so far this year had a 9.8 percent U.S. sales gain.  U.S. sales for Detroit-based GM dropped 12.3 percent through June.

Halfway through 2005, GM led Toyota by about 600,000 vehicles.  The lead dropped to 260,000 at the end of last year.

Bloomberg News

“How To” Reports by Leading Experts in the Networking Industry

Business Communication Services (BCS) is announcing a new website ( and new services--reports written by leading experts in the networking industry.  These new reports are focused on helping the user, the trainer or student, the sales or marketing staff, or your customer.   The president of BCS, Marilyn Michelson, previously published the Cabling Standards UPDATE.

Reports cover grounding and bonding for Fieldbus performance, data center cabling, and residential security systems.  The current promotional give-away is a cabling warranty review report for new customers.  Each report is clear and practical and focuses on an essential function or element of a network.  Take one to work as a guide; use it to help customers understand concepts; or use it as backup for your decisions and actions.

If you need to know about or be at the cutting edge of industrial automation, data center design, security, or networking, you need to see what these experts have to say.  The reports describe techniques and practices to help you design and install reliable cost-effective networks—in the commercial, residential, or industrial environment.  The writers, skilled experts working in the telecommunications and networking industry, are also actively involved in the development of performance and installation cabling standards for local and industrial area networks--nationally and internationally.

BCS started with the Cabling Standards UPDATE which was known for being factual, unbiased, and without advertising.  Today, BCS continues that same practice through these reports, by bringing the facts directly to those who can use them on their job(s).

For additional information on this website and its products, contact Marilyn Michelson ( at 800-492-8422 or visit  Each report is individually available and the Cabling Warranty Review is sent to a customer at no charge when a purchase is made.  Any report can be reviewed before ordering online or by mail.  Reports are delivered to buyers in PDF format. 

The Publisher, Marilyn Michelson, BCS, has been in telecommunications for over 15 years--as a Telecommunications Manager and as a Consultant.  She is an active member of the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association who develops the performance standards for the physical layer) and maintains working relationships with the NFPA (National Fire Protection Assoc.), BICSI, ICEA (Insulated Cable Engineers Assoc), SCTE (Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers), and the IEEE.

Website,, opens Up New Channels of Information

Evolving Methods For Tomorrow's Technology

In the face of advanced technology and copper cabling's unwavering position in the marketplace, taking installation methods to a new level can provide benefits for all.

BETSY ZIOBRON is a freelance writer for the cabling industry and a regular contributor to Cabling Installation & Maintenance. She wrote this article on behalf of Beast Cabling Systems (

The cabling industry is abuzz over the development of the TIA/EIA Augmented Category 6 standard for 10-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) transmissions over copper cabling. With the new standard buoying copper cabling's unwavering position in the marketplace, the good news is that installers can expect to be pulling cable for many years to come.

But while the cabling continues to undergo significant technological improvements, the method of installation has changed little over the past 40 years. With advanced network speeds, however, proper material handling (i.e., cable installation) is more critical than ever to ensure network performance, flexibility, and lifespan. End users, installers, and manufacturers alike can benefit from the use of cable installation systems (CIS), which save time and money while improving the overall installation process for network performance and manageability.

Tried and true no more

With improvements in cabling technology, awareness of the importance of proper cabling installation has increased, and industry standards have addressed critical issues, such as bend radius and tensile load ratings. Despite these significant specifications, the actual method of pulling cable from the telecommunications room (TR) to the workstation has remained virtually unchanged since the days of plain old telephone systems.

In most network cabling installations, installers set up cable spools or boxes outside the TR to prepare for pulling cables to workstation outlets and backfeeding them into the TR for termination at the patch panel. A jet line (pull string) is tied to a bundle of cables and to a second lagging jet line, and installers positioned at the workstation pull the cables at 90° turns into the ceiling and through the pathway. Unfortunately, makeshift entry points that support cables as they enter the pathway can become points of friction that stress cabling over time. Further, as cables are being pulled, most of the tension is placed on the cables at the outside of the bundle, which can further stress those cables.

As the cabling bundle is pulled through the pathway, it twists along with the lagging jet line, causing friction and difficulty for subsequent pulls. After several pulls, cable lubricant can ease friction, but more often than not, the time-consuming process of running a new jet line is required.

For many years, this tried-and-true method has proven successful for pulling cable. Today, however, advanced cables that carry enormous amounts of information at higher speeds are becoming increasingly sensitive to the method of handling and installation.

The 10GBase-T (IEEE 802.3an) and TIA/EIA Augmented Category 6 standards under development have identified alien near-end crosstalk (ANEXT) as the significant parameter limiting 10-GbE performance over a 100-meter copper channel. ANEXT, caused by signals coupling between adjacent copper cables and connecting hardware, is increased by the tendency of cables to absorb signals from neighboring cables in too close proximity. To avoid ANEXT, the standards will likely recommend loose, random installation for Augmented Category 6 cabling within pathways, as opposed to tight, twisted bundles.

“On one hand, we’re dealing with higher speed cable that requires more care in the installation process,” says Hal Kern, vice president of Powercom ( of New Rochelle, NY. “On the other, we can’t sacrifice the quality and efficiency of our work. It's become obvious that installation methods need to change to continue providing the best service to our customers and trouble-free installation of next-generation cables."

A recipe for waste and risk

In addition to possible performance degradation, today's cable installation methods can result in material waste and abandoned cable, ultimately affecting the bottom line for both installers and end users.

"While skilled crews work hard to manage cable quantities, sometimes there isn’t enough cable remaining in a box or on a spool for the next pull, and often that remaining cable is discarded," explains Greg Bramham, vice president of sales and marketing for Beast Cabling Systems (

When budgeting for a job, installers build in a buffer of about 10 to 15% for waste, but these numbers are not always realistic. Upon viewing final testing results, installers are often shocked to discover the amount of cable installed versus the amount bid for and purchased. Even the best installers end up with between 17% and 25% waste. At approximately $0.30 to $0.50 per foot of cable, that waste ends up costing between $50,000 and $125,000 for someone installing one million feet of cable per year.

How does this waste occur? Cables that fall short of performance specifications are often removed and discarded. Further, crews backfeeding cable into the TR almost always add 10 to 15 feet of length to ensure that they don’t come up short. In a TR with 600 terminations, this can equal up to 9,000 feet of waste. “With legacy installation methods, it's natural for installers to take the conservative approach,” notes Powercom's Kern. “They would rather be a mile too long than an inch too short.”

Today's installation methods can also create the potential for abandoned cabling, and expensive moves, adds, and changes (MACs), which follow virtually every network installation. And if cables are twisted in the pathway, reusing or removing them can involve a costly, time-consuming process. The hassle of removing the twisted cable, as well as end user concerns of damaging other cables in the pathway, often leads to cables simply being cut and abandoned.

The labor of labeling

Proper labeling of a cabling infrastructure results in a professional installation and minimizes confusion by confirming which cables are connected to which workstations. While the TIA/EIA 606A Administration Standard for Telecommunications Infrastructure addresses the final labeling of infrastructure, few guidelines exist for the process of “rough-in labeling,” or coding.

Some installers write rough-in codes directly onto both ends of the cable jacket with a marker, a process subject to human error and where codes can become smudged. Others use preprinted sheets of labels, which can become lost or damaged at the job site. Portable label makers are effective, but if they are not available at a job site for any reason, many installers revert back to writing rough-in labels onto the cable jacket.

The accuracy of rough-in labeling directly affects the final labeling scheme’s quality, and the time needed to complete it. Inaccurate rough-in codes can mean having to identify cables with a tone and probe for subsequent re-routing in the TR.

"If we pull 1,000 cables and two are labeled incorrectly, we don't have a two-cable problems--we have a 1,000-cable problem," contends James Barger, RCDD, manager of technical services at the Allison Smith Company ( of Atlanta, GA. "We don't know which two cables are wrong, and it ends up being a combination of hunt, peck, and hope." In worst-case scenarios, inaccurate rough-in codes can result in inaccurate final labeling, impacting end users, or in complete cable removal, yielding extensive material waste.

New answers to old problems

The combination of inadequate network performance, material waste, abandoned cable, and problematic labeling result in an increased overall investment cost. Using a comprehensive CIS, however, addresses each aspect of the cabling installation process and can provide the following benefits for lower investment costs:

Uncomplicated set-up and economical management of material;

Fast, easy, and accurate identification and labeling;

Proper and effective pulling of cables into the pathway;

Better ultimate arrangement of cables in the pathway.

Uncomplicated set-up. A CIS can save labor by facilitating the set-up of larger spools of cable, eliminating the need for makeshift assembly of jack stands and ladders. Because a CIS holds enough cable for an entire day of installation, less time is spent reloading. The use of larger spools also drastically reduces waste. Most crews waste approximately 100 feet of cable per spool, regardless of the size of the spool. Therefore, a crew using ten 1,000-foot spools will waste 1,000 feet of cable, while crews using four 2,500-foot spools will waste only 400 feet--a 60% reduction in cable waste.

A CIS provides additional waste savings by calculating length as cable is pulled off the spool, facilitating the tracking of how much has been used and how much is needed for backfeeding into the TR. “With a CIS, our installers can now meter every cable off the reel, and they send a lot less cable to the dumpster,” maintains Powercom's Kern.

Accurate identification, labeling. A CIS provides a consistent working location to maintain separation and organization of each cable pulled through the pathway and back to the TR, and offers a system for easily and properly identifying and labeling cables. Such efficiency reduces errors associated with the cumbersome task of sorting through disorganized cables and with current rough-in labeling processes, thus providing a foundation for a fully and properly labeled infrastructure.

"We typically have three crew members roughing-in the cable, and while one installer is labeling, the other two just wait," says Allison Smith’s Barger. "Speeding up the labeling process with our CIS has reduced the labor time of three installers, not just one."

Proper and effective pulling. A CIS reduces twisted and damaged cable, friction, and broken lead strings during installation by providing equal tension on every cable and by maintaining a natural separation of cables as they are pulled into the pathway. The end result is installations of better quality with reduced stress on cabling, and fewer incidents of kinks and jacket burn, which can ultimately degrade network performance. By reducing twisting and maintaining separation of cables, subsequent pulls are easier and faster, and jet line replacement reduced.

"It used to be a case of babysitting every little cable to make sure we didn't over-strain it, over-pack it, twist it, or kink it in any way," notes Frank Bisbee, president of Communication Planning Corp. ( of Jacksonville, FL. "A CIS allows us to now pull the cables in flat without twisting, which really helps us achieve the craft-intensive requirements of today's cabling."

Better cable arrangement in the pathway. Instead of tight, twisted bundles, a CIS maintains a natural separation of cables in the pathway, for easier identification and removal of specific cables, if needed. This effect reduces the cost of MACs and the tendency to abandon unnecessary cables in the pathway. In addition, the natural separation of cables is imperative for maintaining the ANEXT performance of tomorrow's Augmented Category 6 cables for 10-GbE applications.

A benefit for all

While copper cabling's unwavering position in the marketplace is good news for installers, it's important to understand the inadequacies surrounding many of today's cabling installation methods, and to recognize that tomorrow's advanced cabling must benefit from a new approach. "The margin for error has gotten smaller and smaller," cautions Bisbee. "If you're not using a CIS that supports the installation correctly, you're doomed to spend much more time and labor trying to fix problems that can occur using legacy installation methods."

Cable manufacturers who embrace the concept of the CIS for implementation into their training programs can more credibly guarantee proper installation and maximum performance--especially important considerations with 10-GbE copper cabling. "Cabling manufacturers are faced with material cost increases, and their pricing strategy includes raising the cost of Category 5e cabling to drive buyers to Category 6," adds Bisbee. "As they're trying to get customers to swallow higher prices, they should consider ancillary systems like CIS to improve installation and sweeten the value statement."

Across the cabling industry, the ultimate goal is to provide a flexible, durable, and long-lasting asset to the customer. "If we can holistically manage the installation process with a CIS that ensures performance, consistency, accuracy, and labor and material savings, that's our best chance for satisfying the customer’s needs in a cost-effective, efficient manner," asserts Beast Cabling Systems’ vice president Bramham. "The abundance of opportunities facing installers today is exciting, and installers can use CIS to set themselves apart from the competition." As the industry becomes educated regarding the benefits of a CIS--better network performance, increased labor savings, and overall reduced investment costs--end users may eventually specify the use of a CIS in their bidding processes.

"Due to diverse environments, ceiling heights, and other external factors, the process of roughing in cable is the most unpredictable aspect of any cabling installation, making it virtually impossible to determine how many man hours it will take,” says Allison Smith’s Barger. “Our CIS brings stability and standardization to that extremely variable process for more repeatable results, which is good news for everybody.”

Barger concludes, “I believe we're in a transition, and more people will start using a CIS. I don't know how long it will take--maybe 3 years, maybe 5--but I believe at some point, using a CIS will simply be the way it's done."

Reprinted with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance a Pennwell publication – July 2006 issue

What's New @ NECA?

08-09-06 -- NECA Standards Director Elected Chair Of NFPA Electrical Section

Brooke Stauffer has been elected to a two-year term as chair of the NFPA Electrical Section. He is the executive director for standards and safety at NECA where he is responsible for developing and publishing the National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) and other NECA products.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a Massachusetts-based fire safety organization, best known as publisher of the National Electrical Code (NEC). However, it also has ten other electrical standards including NFPA 70E - Electrical Safety in the Workplace, NFPA 79 - Industrial Machinery, and NFPA 780 - Lightning Protection Systems.

NFPA is comprised of professional interest groups known as sections. Recognizing the importance of the NEC and other electrical safety documents, the Electrical Section is the second-largest group, with nearly 16,000 members. The Electrical Section was formed in 1948 to allow association members to become more closely involved in the development of electrical safety standards. Its membership includes electrical engineers, contractors, building officials and inspectors, electricians, plant engineers, apprenticeship and vocational-technical school instructors, code consultants and others.

A vital Electrical Section function is advising on proposals to change the NEC. During the revision process every three years, Code-Making Panel chairs report to the Electrical Section, which reviews controversial or far-reaching proposals (often these deal with the inclusion of new products or construction methods) and makes its own recommendations. Often these recommendations from NFPA’s group of in-house electrical experts influence the final association vote to approve or reject proposed NEC revisions.

Brooke Stauffer has been active in NFPA electrical standardization for nearly twenty years. He has been a member of three different Code-Making Panels, and is the author of three technical books published by NFPA, including User’s Guide to the National Electrical Code. He has worked at NECA since 1995.

“I’m excited to be taking on this new challenge,” said Brooke Stauffer. “It’s a new way to work even more intensively with my colleagues and friends throughout the electrical industry on a critical mission — advancing the cause of electrical safety.”   


AFCOM is having their annual Conference for Data Center Professionals Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center - Orlando, Florida - September 10-13, 2006.

AFCOM was established in 1980 to offer data center managers the latest information ... AFCOM is one of the most respected names in the data center industry.

Keynote: Tackling Power Consumption in the Data Center
As data center power consumption becomes a growing concern on both a business and environmental level, IT and corporate leaders have identified energy efficiency as an important factor in IT decisions.

BICSI 2006 Fall Conference is the one event you will want to attend. With over 3,000 expected to attend, this will be a memorable event for every attendee!

This conference is themed "Advance Your Ability to Deliver and Win," packed with the highest-quality educational and networking opportunities, in addition to the many regularly popular avenues for rest and relaxation. Monday's Golf Tournament promises to be a great event to mingle with your peers and improve your skills on the sculptured greens in Las Vegas.

Don’t Miss this Breakout Session - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11- Noon Getting along with the Authorities (AHJs) and learning about certifiable training on proper fire stopping. Presented by Mike Tobias, Unique Fire Stop Products.  Mike Tobias is a highly respected veteran safety expert, who has piloted many programs to improve Safety in the Workplace. Remember: Safety is too important to ignore.



The BICSI Board of Directors is now accepting applications for the position of Executive Director to lead the organization along its continued path of growth. The primary focus of this position is on the internal operations of the organization with an emphasis on the financial health of the association by ensuring that accurate and prudent records are kept and processed. The Executive Director is responsible for conducting the day-to-day business within the policies, guidelines and direction as set by the Board of Directors. S/he establishes and maintains effective partnerships with appropriate industry related organizations and promotes the organization’s leadership in the information transport systems (ITS) industry through the enhancement of quality services and methods around the globe by advancing ITS education, encouraging skill sharing and assessing knowledge with professional registration programs.

BICSI is a professional association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies. BICSI serves more than 25,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians. These individuals provide the fundamental infrastructure for telecommunications, audio/video, life safety and automation systems. Through courses, conferences, publications and professional registration programs, BICSI staff and volunteers assist ITS professionals in delivering critical products and services, and offer opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature. The organization is Board- and volunteer-driven, and the Executive Director is expected to consult regularly with the volunteer leadership in regards to strategy, program development and issues that affect the membership.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree Preferred
Experience and Training: Five years executive management experience (includes nonprofit or for-profit organizations); Executive Director experience a plus.

The Executive Director must demonstrate:
- the ability to make decisions based on collaboration and input from many sources, including the Board, staff and volunteers.
- superior self-motivation and communication skills with a focus on stimulating and influencing others to succeed.
- strong problem-solving skills coupled with innovation and the ability to manage simultaneous, multiple priorities and projects.
- the skillfulness to quickly connect with and engage others.
- the tenacity to delegate authority with a results-focused orientation.
- a clear focus on quality along with the ability to meet deadlines.
- a willingness to thrive and succeed in a fast-paced environment.

For a complete description of the essential duties and responsibilities, please click here to Download Position Description (pdf)

The deadline for applications is September 8, 2006.

To apply for the Executive Director position, please submit your résumé to Ed Donelan, BICSI President-Elect, at

Communications Technology In Higher Education

By: Frank Bisbee

In the world of education, K through 12 is the foundation. The world of Higher Education is a special challenge for the sphere of Colleges and Universities. In the USA, the University system is at the heart of advanced education. Many experts regard the higher education programs as the cutting edge advancement of our society and our national strength. Just as elementary and high school education are essential for the development of quality university students, today’s universities are essential for developing qualified professional leaders for the public and private sector.

Technology is playing an ever more powerful role in the university system. Only a few decades ago, computers were confined in dedicated facilities and telecommunications systems were primarily focused on serving administrative needs of the university. That entire scenario has drastically changed as the computer has exploded into every area of the entire education system (students, faculty, and administration). Telecommunication systems are converging into active data systems and the Information Technology Departments of the University are tackling challenges that fell into the category of “Star Wars” stuff just a generation ago.

University of South Florida

Situated in Tampa, Florida, one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country, the University Of South Florida (USF) is among the nation’s largest academic centers for applied technology.  The Carnegie Foundation has rated USF (with an annual research budget of over $250 million) as a premier U.S. research University.  Commercial technology represents a significant growth engine for Florida’s economy.

With over 5,000 technology firms located along the western coast of the state, USF’s regional campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, and Sarasota are centrally situated in this high-tech corridor.  One doesn’t have to look far to see the tight linkage between USF and the commercial sector.  For more information, visit


Today’s students, faculty and staff have very high expectations regarding technology that touches their daily lives.  USF has met those expectations head-on by embracing innovation and viewing its communications technology as a strategic investment that helps USF attract and retain the best faculty, students and staff.

With over 42,000 student, faculty and staff end-users, the University has experienced tremendous growth since its founding.  Available real estate on the main campuses was at a premium.  As a result, the University has been expanding the boundaries of the traditional campus – departments are setting up extended classrooms or administrative locations elsewhere within the community.

In establishing these new sites, the departments made it clear that they needed the same network performance and access to applications as the on campus locations.  They also requested the same features, especially 5-digit dialing, multiple party conferencing and use of the University’s standard external phone prefixes.

USF saw a converged architecture as the best forward-looking approach to satisfy the need for rapid scalability with uniform features and functionality across a highly distributed network.  Convergence would also eliminate the need for separate data and telecom networks, which was inherently inefficient and costly.  With IP Telephony, USF could run all of its voice and data packet traffic on a common facility that largely eliminates the second transport network.

After intensive research of all available solutions, the staff of the IT Department of USF identified one best solution to serve their needs. Avaya’s ability to ‘mix and match’ technologies really sets them apart form other vendors. “We put our Avaya DEFINITY® G3r in service in 1991, and I can count on one hand the number of components that we haven’t been able to re-use.  Everything was compatible and migratable to the Avaya S8700 Media Server.  That’s not only great engineering, that’s great investment preservation,” said Kate Nidasio, Director of Telecommunications and Customer Services.

Facility Management and Datacom Infrastructure Design

The University of South Florida has deep roots in the world of communications cabling. USF is one of the original sponsors of BICSI, a nonprofit association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry with information, education, and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies. Additionally, USF is involved with ACUTA, The Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education

Through their participation in these and other associations, the staff at USF keeps their eyes on the rapidly changing technology horizon.

Another tool in the arsenal of IT management at USF is the product evaluation program. The evaluation process brings together many products in a systems approach to insure interoperability for maximum performance. In many respects, the cabling infrastructure is the “Information Highway” for the entire University.

It is almost hard to comprehend the awesome size of the USF network, number of stations, and access to Internet, and educational opportunities by remote access, on-line courses, and security technology…etc that the IT Department at the University of South Florida must manage.

Voice Network

18,000 Station and Trunk Ports, 3 Map 100 Intuity Voicemail servers, Over 50 PRIs, VoIP Stations: 200

Data Network –

1500 switches, 50,000 ports and around 18,000 active MAC's at any given moment. 100MB to the Desktop All locations

Data Network Information:

Network Statistics:

WLAN Information & Locations:

USF Security:

Internet 2 Information: 155MB OC3 XO,

Internet: 1GB with Cogent

Distance Learning:

One of the most crucial points in this entire maze of facilities is the connectors and jacks. Connectors experience more physical wear and tear than almost any other component in the network. Patch panels and the jacks have to be “darn near bullet-proof” and have the widest range of interoperability. Over time, this may be the “Achilles’ Heel” of the maintenance program.

With almost 140,000 connectors, choosing the most durable and functional jacks and patch panels is too important to treat lightly. USF conducted intensive comparisons, evaluations, and field-testing of the available cables and connectors. One of the connector technologies they have installed is made by SMP Data Communications (Superior Modular Products) [currently but soon:].  Superior Modular Products is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of connectors (copper and fiber) for data communications.


Over the years, hundreds of miles of cables have been installed (in a wide array of technical performance capabilities). Mixing and matching the tasks to the proper facility is a real challenge with major savings for USF. From our study, we feel that USF has earned the equivalent of a “Phi Beta Capa” for expertise, management, planning, and execution in Information Technology.

Printed with full permission of Cabling Business Magazine – August Issue 2006 –

North American Business Conditions Deteriorate In August

NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions declined for the fourth month in a row in August and, at 46.2, came to rest below the 50-point mark separating a reading indicative of sectoral expansion from one suggestive of contraction. Previously, the index had topped 50 points for 39 months in a row. At the same time, the future conditions index for North America posted its second straight monthly drop, and its fourth in the last five months, sliding to 17.3 from 23.2 in July.

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

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

The 9th Annual Global Technology Invitational Golf Outing

South Hills Country Club – Racine County, WI on Monday - Sept. 18, 2006

The GTI has been held every year in the Midwest since 1997.  From Randall Oaks in Dundee, Illinois to South Hills Country Club in Racine County, Wisconsin, it has been a gathering place for all facets of the industry to golf, exchange ideas and have a good time. 

It was conceived by James Carlini as a first-class golf outing that technology and telecommunication vendors could bring their customers to for a great day of networking and interaction.  It was focused on small and mid-sized vendors who could not justify coordinating a full outing but wanted something special to take their customers to.  It has grown into a sought after outing with diverse sponsors including software, telecom, financial and luxury automobile dealerships that renew their sponsorships every year.

The GTI has become a great meeting place for vendors, consultants, end users, municipal government and educators to come to and exchange their ideas about the current trends of the industry.  In its relatively short history, it has gotten international sponsors like Telstra (the Australian Telephone Company), Lacomm (Korea), Rolls-Royce, and Maserati as well as technology companies, financial companies (FirstLoan Mortgage, Siemens Building Technologies, Syntellect, TCG (now part of AT&T), Vantage Software, Vertical Networks, and Williams Communications) and publishers like Cabling Business Magazine and the 

It also has many other businesses that have sponsored the event including Texas Roadhouse Restaurants, Bandito Barney’s, Rosie O’Hare’s bar, Wells Brothers Restaurant (Racine), Tenuta’s (Kenosha), VP Automotive and others.

Unlike many of the industry association golf outings, this one has everything taken care of so all you have to do is concentrate on playing golf and networking.  The outing is focused on having a full-day of golf, meals, beer cart and prizes all included in one price.   Each foursome gets their picture taken in front of our luxury cars which have included Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and Maserati.

We also donate part of our proceeds to wildlife and animal rescue shelters.  In the last several years, the GTI has given to the Chow Chow Rescue Fund that provides shelter and adoption to abandoned Chows and the Wisconsin Timberwolf Preservation Society.

Undaunted by weather, tornados and even 9/11/01 (when we had to postpone the scheduled 9/12/01 GTI), we have always held a first-class golf outing that includes a full day of networking with decision makers in a relaxed environment.

If you are thinking about coming out, bring a foursome.  You and your guests will not be disappointed.  Details can be gotten by calling 773-370-1888

GTI 2006


COMPANY:        _________________________


FOURSOME:     ____________________________




PREPAID FEE: $480 for a foursome.    $500 day of event.

SEND CHECK FOR $480.00 for a FOURSOME  ($120 for a SINGLE PLAYER) payable to:




A portion of the proceeds goes to fund CHOW CHOW RESCUE, a non-profit organization,  This organization helps in placing abandoned Chows.  Go to their web site to adopt a Chow.

PLEASE call 773-370-1888 OR EMAIL to any questions.



Copyright ©