For: www.wireville.com
"Heard On The Street" Column
Issue: February 2008
By: Frank Bisbee


BISBEE’S BUZZ

Cabling Systems For 2008 And Beyond

The NEC 2008 (National Electrical Code) is in effect and the next cycle of code development has already begun. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) www.nfpa.org is looking at the many ways that the NEC 2011 can be improved over prior issues.  If you want your voice included in this valuable consensus process, we strongly recommend that you join the NFPA and participate in the code development process.  Don’t leave this critical task to a bunch of shills hired by commercially driven companies that may put their profits over public safety.

Increasing, the safety-focused industry watchers are asking questions about the resultant toxic gasses in the building’s air system generated in a fire scenario. We are discovering that the “fire-safe” fluoropolymers materials used in plenum-approved CMP rated cables actually generate toxic gasses that can incapacitate or even kill the building occupants when the cables are exposed to various levels of heat. Since the original approval of the use of CMP rated cables in the return-air building plenum spaces, there have been no official testing of the cables for incapacitation factor or toxicity of the off gasses under heat.

A search of the Internet found several sources that provided information on the outgassing of the FEP (commonly known as Teflon) under heat. The health and safety issues raised by this data would seem to indicate the need for the NFPA to review the safety issue and require some toxicity testing.

FEP can outgas some seriously dangerous toxic gasses. Up to 49% of FEP may be out gassed as Hydrogen Fluoride. When Hydrogen Fluoride gas is exposed to water (even humidity) it converts to Hydrofluoric Acid. HF seems to be one of the most reactive materials known to man. Hydrofluoric Acid can even eat glass. Imagine the effects to the building occupants and first responders on their eyes, nose, throat and lungs when exposed to HF.

Here one set of data on the temperature to gas generation for Teflon that we found on the Internet:

What was FEP?   Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) is a fluoropolymer discovered by Roy J. Plunkett (1910–1994) of DuPont in 1938. FEP is generally known to the public by DuPont's brand name Teflon or Daikin’s brand name Neoflon.

The FEP used in cabling out gases when heated, however toxicity testing is not part of the required test parameters for NFPA 262 for CMP Plenum Cable in the USA.

The toxic particles and gases identified as Teflon offgas products, and the temperature at which they are first identified in the studies reviewed, are shown below, with toxicity information that is drawn primarily from high dose animal studies, the only source of information available for most of the chemicals:

464°F - Ultrafine particulate matter: Teflon produces very small (ultrafine) particles which are very toxic, causing extreme lung damage to rats within 10 minutes of exposure. Longer exposures cause death. At higher temperatures, Teflon also produces toxic gases. Some scientists have found that the particles and gases together are responsible for Teflon's toxicity, perhaps because the gases adsorb to the particles, which because of their small size can lodge deep in the lower respiratory tract.

680°F - Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE): The National Toxicology Program considers tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) to be a "reasonably anticipated" human carcinogen because it is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals, but has not been adequately studied in people. In rats, inhaled TFE causes tumors of the kidney tubules, liver, blood vessels in the liver and one form of leukemia (mononuclear). Mice that breathe TFE develop tumors of the liver and tumors that develop in blood vessels in the liver or white blood cells.

680°F - Hexafluoropropene (HFP): In people, air exposure to fluorocarbons like HFP can lead to eye, nose and throat irritation; heart palpitations, irregular heart rate, headaches, light-headedness, fluid accumulation in the lung (edema) and possibly death. Long-term exposure in workers is associated with decreased motor speed, memory and learning. In mice and rats, inhalation of hexafluoropropene (HFP) causes kidney lesions, decreased numbers of a type of immune cell (lymphocyte) and increased urination. HFP also causes increased numbers of chromosomal abnormalities in hamster ovaries. HFP can also be added to pesticides as an "inert" ingredient, which does not mean that it is non-toxic, but only that is not the pesticide active ingredient. Another example of a pesticide inert ingredient is butyl benzyl phthalate, a chemical well known to cause serious birth defects of the male reproductive system in laboratory animals.

680°F - Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA): Very few studies have looked at the toxicity of trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), but those that have found decreased growth of fetal rat bone-forming cells (osteoblast) and cartilage cells (chondrocytes), and neural tube defects in rat embryos at high concentrations. Other studies show that HCFC-123, a hydrofluorocarbon that breaks down into TFA, causes enlarged liver and decreased levels of glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol in adult animals. But, it is unclear whether these effects are due to HCFC-123 or a metabolite. A monkey study found the TFA concentration in the fetus was two to six times higher than in the mother's blood following dosing with HCFC-123. The long-term environmental impacts of TFA are unknown, but it is extremely persistent and toxic to plants. TFA is also a breakdown product of many hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used as replacement for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are potent ozone depleters used in refrigeration systems, aerosols and other products. Recently, scientists have suggested that high levels of TFA in the environment could be partly due to heated Teflon and other fluoropolymers because measured environmental levels are higher than predicted, based on breakdown of HCFCs and HFCs alone.

680°F - Difluoroacetic acid (DFA): Very little is known about the toxicity of difluoroacetic acid (DFA), although kidney toxicity has been reported in rats.

680°F - Monofluoroacetic acid (MFA, fluoroacetic acid or compound 1080): Monofluoroacetic acid is extremely toxic, doses as low as 0.7 to 2.1 mg/kg can kill people. Initially, people report nausea, vomiting, numbness, tingling, anxiety, muscle twitching, low blood pressure and blurred vision. If exposure is high enough, people can have irregular heart rate (ventricular fibrillation), heart attacks, and severe convulsions leading to respiratory failure. MFA quickly breaks down into a chemical called fluoroacetate. Sodium fluoroacetate was previously used as a powerful rodent killer (rodenticide). In the body, it breaks down into sodium and fluoroacetate, which is responsible for the toxicity. Sodium fluoroacetate kills rodents, and other animals, by inhibiting the tricarboxylic acid cycle which transforms energy found in food to energy the body uses. Sodium fluoroacetate also causes heart and respiratory failure, central nervous system depression and damage to the testes, including decreased sperm production.

887°F - Perfluoroisobutene (PFIB): Perfluoroisobutene (PFIB) is extremely toxic and inhalation can lead to fluid build up in the lung (edema), a condition that can lead to death. PFIB is listed in the Chemical Weapons Convention as a Schedule 2 compound. PFIB is about ten times more toxic than phosgene nerve gas, a highly toxic corrosive gas also listed as a chemical weapon. In water, PFIB breaks down into hydrogen fluoride which is also very toxic (see below). Short-term symptoms of PFIB exposure in people include bad taste in mouth, nausea and weakness. Lung edema occurs about one to four hours after exposure, which is life-threatening in some cases, but in most people clears up in about 3 days.

932°F - Carbonyl fluoride (COF2): Breakdown of Teflon (PTFE) in air is the major source of carbonyl fluoride exposure. Carbonyl fluoride is the fluorine version of phosgene, a chlorinated chemical warfare agent. Carbonyl fluoride fumes can irritate eyes, ears and nose. More serious symptoms of exposure include chest pains, breathing difficulty, fluid accumulation in the lungs, weakness, liver damage and increased glucose levels. Because carbonyl fluoride breaks down into hydrogen fluoride and carbon dioxide, it causes many of the same toxic effects as hydrogen fluoride (see below).

932°F - Hydrogen fluoride (HF): Hydrogen fluoride (HF) is a toxic corrosive gas, and can cause death to any tissue it comes into contact with, including the lungs. The toxicity of HF is due to the fluoride ion and not the hydrogen ion. Breathing HF can cause severe lung damage, such as fluid buildup in the lungs (edema) and inflammation of lung passages (pneumonia). The fluoride ion (charged particle) is extremely toxic. It is a small ion and weak acid that diffuses quickly and can pass through tissues with relative ease. Fluoride ions inhibit cell respiration, decreasing production of ATP, the major form of chemical energy used by the body. Fluoride attacts cell membranes causing cells to die. The fluoride ion is negatively charged and naturally likes to react with positively charged ions in the body like calcium and magnesium. When fluoride and calcium bind, creating a "precipitate," a life-threatening condition of decreased calcium (hypocalcemia) can occur. Left untreated, decreases in calcium (and magnesium) can cause abnormal heart rhythm leading to heart attack, muscle spasms and death. Calcium administration is the main treatment for HF poisoning.

1112°F - Trifluoroacetic acid fluoride (CF3COF): Trifluoroacetic acid fluoride is toxic, mostly because it breaks down into hydrogen fluoride, which is very toxic, and trifluoroacetic acid. The few studies that have looked at the toxicity of TFA found decreased growth of fetal rat bone-forming cells (osteoblast) and cartilage cells (chondrocytes), and neural tube defects in rat embryos at high concentrations. Other studies show that HCFC-123, a hydrofluorocarbon that breaks down into TFA, causes enlarged liver and decreased levels of glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol in adult animals, but it is unclear whether these effects are due to HCFC-123 or a metabolite. A monkey study found TFA in the fetus was two to six times higher than in the mother's blood following dosing with HCFC-123, a hydrofluorocarbon that breaks down into TFA. Fluoride ion (charged particle) is extremely toxic. It is a small ion and weak acid that diffuses quickly and can pass through tissues with relative ease. Fluoride ions inhibit cell respiration, decreasing production of ATP, the major form of chemical energy used by the body. Fluoride attracts cell membranes causing cells to die. The fluoride ion is negatively charged and naturally likes to react with positively charged ions in the body like calcium and magnesium. When fluoride and calcium bind, creating a "precipitate," a life-threatening condition of decreased calcium (hypocalcemia) can occur. Left untreated, decreases in calcium (and magnesium) can cause abnormal heart rhythm leading to heart attack, muscle spasms and death. Calcium administration is the main treatment for HF toxicity.

1112°F - Octafluorocyclobutane (OFCB): Octaflurocyclobutane is a fluorine-containing gas that is used in the semiconductor industry, sold as Zyron 8020 by DuPont. According to DuPont, inhaling high levels of octafluorocyclobutane can cause heart beat irregularities, unconsciousness and death. People with pre-existing heart conditions may be extra vulnerable. Only a few toxicity studies in animals are available for octafluorocyclobutane. In one study, rats exposed to a one-time-only inhaled exposure of octafluorocyclobutane lost weight and had abnormal breathing. Dogs that inhaled high concentrations (10-25% air), and were dosed with the stimulant epinephrine, had heart problems. According to DuPont, tests for genetic damage in insects are "inconclusive."

1112°F - Perfluorobutane (PFB, Trade Name CEA-410): As a global warming chemical, perfluorobutane has a long half-life in the upper atmosphere and has over 8,000 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Perfluorobutane is not as acutely toxic as other PTFE off-gases, but has not been tested for long-term effects.

1202°F - Carbon tetrafluoride (CF4, perfluoromethane): In addition to being a long-lived fluorinated Teflon "off-gas," perfloromethane is used in the semiconductor industry, is a refrigerant and propellant and a byproduct of aluminum production. The U.S. government is encouraging these industries to decrease emissions of perfluoromethane because it is a potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential almost 6000 times higher than carbon dioxide, and can last in the environment for 50,000 years. In the past, perfluoromethane has been used in pesticides as an "inert" ingredient; a label that has nothing to do with toxicity but only means the ingredient is not the main active pesticide. Inhaling fluorinated hydrocarbons like carbon tetrafluoride can cause eye, ear and nose irritation; heart palpitations; irregular heart rate; headaches; confusion; lung irritation, tremors and occasionally coma.  http://tuberose.com/Teflon.html

The jury is still out on the solution to these serious industry issues.

remember - safety is too important to ignore

But that’s just my opinion,

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

Industry News

Discoveries At BICSI

Beast Cabling System’s latest innovation is a new lightweight speed labeling tool that is small enough to fold and put behind the seat in your truck!  This little gem makes rough-in cable identification so fast and easy that writing numbers on the cable jacket are now a thing of the past. And, priced at under $2,000, this is one new tool that will soon be on every technician’s wish list.  We will bring you more information on this value in next months HOTS.  www.beastcablingsystems.com .

Training - Texas style.  Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes training for the installation of voice/data/fiber optic cabling.  While many job sectors are experiencing a downturn in today’s stressed economy, the communications cabling business is still growing and the need for trained technicians is critical.  We uncovered the news that Craig Consulting Services (Dallas, Texas) has already begun the process of building out a new training center for cabling technicians.  We expect to get a formal press announcement from Ray Craig, RCDD/NTS (LAN) specialist and CEO of Craig Consulting Services for our next issue of HOTS.

www.craigconsultingservices.com   

The media representation at BICSI was stronger than new rope.  CNS, Cabling Networking Systems (Canada’s Leading Cabling Publication) released its ten-year anniversary Issue.  Time flies when you are having fun.  Also the ACUTA Journal www.acuta.org was an unexpected and valuable offering to the BICSI members.  This association publication represents a significant market sector for communications.  Electrical Contractor Magazine, Security and Life Safety Systems Magazine, TED (The Electrical Distributor Magazine), BICSI News, and Cabling Installation and Maintenance were all big hits with the record number of BICSI attendees. 

On a sad note, we received news that Beth Levin, RCDD had recently passed away from cancer.  Beth was our good friend and associate for many years.  She is also one of the first women to qualify for the BICSI RCDD program.  She will be missed but not forgotten.

The exhibits at this latest BICSI were new, fresh and offered visual displays of technological advancements than we have not seen in many moons.  “Hats off” to the exhibitors.  Everything about the exposition side of BICSI was FOUR STARS.  www.bicsi.org

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TXP Enables Successful IPTV Rollout At Star Telephone By Eliminating Overheating In Existing Outside Plant Cabinet Network

Outside plant cabinet equipment from TXP Corporation (OTCBB:TXPO) has helped Star Telephone of North Carolina solve one equipment overheating problem and prevent many more.

TXP, an Original Design Manufacturer of engineered OSP cabinet retrofit solutions for the telecommunications industry, has provided Star Telephone with the equipment needed to refurbish more than 50 cabinets and keep them operating efficiently as the service provider installs additional equipment to provide advanced services to customers.

The Star Telephone-TXP relationship began in the summer of 2007 when newly installed equipment for providing IPTV services began malfunctioning. Not realizing the extent of the overheating in one particular cabinet, Star Telephone replaced the equipment, only to have it continue to malfunction. Once technicians realized that the problem wasn’t the equipment – it worked fine when the cabinet’s doors were open and the heat was dissipated – they recognized the real problem.

“We were seeing temperatures in that cabinet of 170 to 190 degrees,” said Tim Butler, Broadband Engineer for Star Telephone. Clark Honeycutt, Star Telephone’s Distribution Engineer, added that “we had never seen that kind of a heat issue before. It was a combination of the type of cabinet, an AFC 360, and the equipment we were putting into it.”

Star Telephone contacted TXP, which had already designed a Retrofit Heat Exchanger to fit a variety of cabinets, and provided it to Star to fix the problem. “That immediately dropped the temperature in the cabinet 40 to 60 degrees,” Butler said. The normal working temperature for the cabinet is up to 165 degrees.

Star Telephone then outfitted all of its AFC cabinets, including models 360, 240, and 672 with TXP RHX retrofit kits, to assure that the cabinets would accommodate the IPTV equipment that Star was rolling out for a major introduction of IPTV service late in 2007. The 51 cabinets represent about half of all the cabinets in Star Telephone’s network.

“The RHX kit is particularly well suited to cabinet retrofitting,” explained Paul Forzisi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TXP. “For its capacity, at 1000 watts, it is very compact, making it a perfect fit for cabinets with small doors.”

Star Telephone Membership Corporation provides a broad range of telecommunications services to customers in 1,458 square miles of southeastern North Carolina.

TXP’s retrofit solutions cover cabinets of all makes and sizes, providing power, cooling, mounting, and cabling solutions. Its retrofit kits are fully engineered to telco standards, with complete documentation, from feasibility through installation. TXP addresses the increasing need among service providers to migrate the equipment in their outside plant cabinets from traditional voice service to today’s high-speed data communications gear. Retrofitting the cabinets represents a huge savings over cabinet replacement.

With more than 500 cabinets upgraded, TXP counts among its retrofit customers two of the top seven U.S. telecom carriers and three of the industry’s top access system providers. www.txpcorp.com

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ADC Showcased Solutions For Space And Energy Efficient Data Centers At BICSI Winter Conference

ADC (NASDAQ:ADCT) (www.adc.com) featured products and solutions to support data center implementation and help with green initiatives at the 2008 BICSI Winter Conference at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., January 13-17. The BICSI Winter Conference is also the first stop for the 2008 "ADC Road Show" - a national tour featuring ADC's mobile semi-trailer exhibit. ADC Solutions for Modern Data Centers

Data center infrastructure requires specialized design, greater reliability and manageability, and higher density than in other applications. ADC offers innovative products and solutions that support modern data center implementation while also helping resolve environmental and power issues that affect the modern enterprise.

"A well-planned infrastructure can make a tremendous difference in creating data centers that are environmentally efficient while still ensuring optimal network uptime," said Jaxon Lang, vice president global connectivity solutions Americas for ADC. "ADC supports green data centers and environmental efficiency by designing and manufacturing space-saving solutions that can improve airflow and reduce costs associated with power and cooling."

ADC's new Modular Switch Panel will be previewed at the BICSI Winter Conference. This new high-density, well-managed, modular fiber solution has 96 terminations in each RU compared to ADC's traditional TFP solution, which has half the terminations in the same amount of space. This new solution is most suitable in the storage area network or with switch and fiber racks of active gear.

Other products and solutions for data centers featured outside the ADC Road Show Trailer include:

-- Size-reduced Augmented Category 6 Cable: The industry's smallest Augmented Category 6 cable, it uses a patented AirES(R) design and is 22 percent smaller than typical Category 6A cable. It helps improve airflow while permitting more cable to be installed in pathways and spaces.

-- Angled CopperTen(TM) (10Gig) Patch Panel: Installation-friendly design allows for wire termination in a flat orientation. A quick and simple adjustment to angle left/right promotes superior cable management and increases density while eliminating horizontal cable managers.

-- FiberGuide(R) Raceway System: A simple and effective means of improving cooling is removing air dams or blockages under the raised floor. The FiberGuide Raceway System establishes clearly defined cable routing paths and keeps cables organized, using less space and avoiding congested pathways that can restrict airflow.

ADC Road Show

The BICSI Winter Conference will be the first stop for the "ADC Road Show" - a national, mobile exhibit, semi-trailer tour beginning in the Southeastern U.S., with stops planned in more than 100 cities. The exhibit will complete its tour in October 2008.

The 48-foot-long semi-trailer features ADC's latest equipment solutions and services, including:

-- TrueNet Structured Cabling Solutions

-- OmniReach(R) Fiber-to-the-X Equipment

-- Carrier-Class Fiber and Copper Core Solutions

-- Inbuilding and Outdoor Wireless Solutions

About ADC

ADC provides the connections for wireline, wireless, cable, broadcast, and enterprise networks around the world. ADC's innovative network infrastructure equipment and professional services enable high-speed Internet, data, video, and voice services to residential, business and mobile subscribers. ADC (NASDAQ:ADCT) has sales into more than 130 countries. Learn more about ADC at www.adc.com.


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Larrie Rose, President Of Belden Europe, Will Retire

Belden (NYSE: BDC - News) today announced that D. Larrie Rose, Vice President, Operations and President, Belden Europe, will retire at the end of February 2008, after a 35-year career with the Company. The Company has appointed Henk Derksen as interim managing director. Mr. Derksen is Vice President, Finance, for Belden Europe.

John Stroup, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "During the two years that Larrie and I have worked together, I have found him to be totally dedicated to the success of his business unit and the entire corporation. He has provided leadership to improve sales, margin contribution and manufacturing effectiveness."

Mr. Rose joined Belden as a sales associate in 1972 after graduating from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He rose through marketing and sales to general management. In 1981, he moved to Europe to lead the establishment of Belden's European presence with a distribution center and sales office. He returned to the U.S. in 1990 as a marketing executive, and in 2002 was promoted to his current position as head of Belden's European business. http://www.belden.com.

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Broadband Networks Need to Plan For Gigabits, Not Megabits

Carlini’s Comments, MidwestBusiness.com’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.

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Depending on your current definition of broadband network connectivity, you might want to update your frame of reference.

Did you know at the beginning of 2008 that Japan announced its objective for broadband connectivity is 10 gigabits by 2010? In some recent discussions I have had, some industry pundits think 1 gigabit is too high to achieve.

A couple megabits or even 30 Mbps to 40 Mbps to the premise as a design goal is an obsolete objective unless you are aiming us into a third-rate infrastructure for the future.  

I have been saying within my columns for years and at national conferences and regional seminars (like the recent one with SimpleTel in Madison, Wis. featuring Dantel, Connect802 and Matisse Networks) that broadband connectivity today means providing gigabit speeds. Period.  

The only people who don’t want to hear this are those tied to products and network services that have sub-gigabit maximums. These people don’t want to hear that what they’re supporting is obsolete and not globally competitive. Why is this such a hard thing for some industry executives and supposed network infrastructure vendors and designers to accept?  

I understand how Christopher Columbus must have felt in front of a science academy while trying to tell all the learned experts and academics that the Earth is round instead of flat. Am I that far on the leading edge? I really don’t think so, but after talking with some, I feel like Captain Kirk talking with Fred Flintstone.  

Are You Beating a Dead Horse?

Last week I spoke at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando at the annual Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI) winter conference. My presentation on intelligent business campuses discussed new high-tech parks that must be supported with multiple network carriers as well as multiple gigabit-speed network infrastructure. The talk was well received.  

There were still a couple attendees who bristled when I said we must get into gigabit network infrastructures immediately and anything in the planning stages today should reflect an infrastructure that can handle multiple gigabit speeds on day one.  

The real experts came up and agreed that we need to have gigabit speeds within city network infrastructures and the issue of broadband connectivity being defined as gigabit speeds today is right on target. It was refreshing to hear that at least some of today’s experts bought into the concept.  

How many times must I point out that just putting DSL over copper is like putting a vinyl top on a stagecoach and trying to sell it as a “fast alternative” in an era of the space shuttle? Less and less people are buying into copper-based capabilities when they see other countries talking about multiple gigabit speeds while we are debating whether or not 20 Mbps to 30 Mbps on copper is adequate for the next five to seven years.  

In my seminar, we also debunked some of the pseudo-expert euphoria about installing a T-1 into a business and claiming that it made their network connectivity “really up to date”. Some basic connectivity questions were asked as part of the presentation including this one: Did you know when the first T-1 was installed? The answer is 1963.  

That question stumped just about everyone in the room. Many thought it was much later in the 1980s. Anyone who thinks they’re state of the art because they just installed a T-1 really just installed technology that has been around for 45 years.  

Critical Infrastructure Throughout the Ages

Infrastructure has always played an important part in developing and sustaining global commerce. In all stages of economic development and trade throughout the ages, various layers of infrastructure helped build new commerce. My presentation pointed out the historical layers of critical infrastructure for commerce and trade.  

All of these examples created new routes for commerce, transportation and trade.

We have built trade routes to develop and sustain regional viability. Now with the Internet and other network services, trade routes have become electronic. Today, broadband connectivity is the latest layer of critical infrastructure that’s needed to provide new electronic trade routes to support economic development and regional sustainability.  

A slide from Matisse Networks shows where connectivity is going. It is a switching configuration that maximizes fiber connectivity into multiple gigabit segments. The switching gear can dynamically allocate bandwidth as network traffic is routed around the metropolitan area.

Nodes that provide up to 160 Gbps on a metropolitan-area network are the latest iteration of urban connectivity using fiber.  

It is a big step beyond SONET. It won’t be took long until 10 Gbps will be the norm and fractional gigabit services will be available. This will hopefully put an end to the discussions by those contemplating slower networks that don’t have the raw bandwidth to sustain major metropolitan networks.

If you are truly building for the future, no one should be talking about megabit speeds to subscribers. If you are truly building for the future, you are building multiple gigabit speeds with a minimum of 1 gigabit to a subscriber.

New Mantra

“Do not quote a megabit rate when discussing network infrastructure after 2008.” This should be adopted by anyone who professes to know what the typical metropolitan network infrastructure should evolve into and states and metropolitan areas should be looking at this for economic growth and regional sustainability.

Anyone with less than a gigabit as a goal for network infrastructures must be uninformed or trying to protect an obsolete product or service. In either case, they are not up to speed (pun intended).  

Carlinism: Aim high or be shot down by the competition.

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Check out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com.

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

Click here for Carlini’s full biography. Copyright 2008 Jim Carlini

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Predictions For 2008 On Economy Following Chicago Luncheon

Published on 1/16/2008 at www.MidwestBusiness.com where you always read REAL perspectives

Carlini’s Comments, MidwestBusiness.com’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.

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CHICAGO – After listening to the experts at the recent Executives’ Club of Chicago luncheon, here is my take on predicting 2008’s economy. This is part three of a three-part column.

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At this year’s Executives’ Club of Chicago luncheon, which focused on the future of the economy for the year, the emphasis was on looking to global initiatives for growth. More than 1,200 people attended this luncheon. Many looked for answers to:

·  the mortgage foreclosure debacle,

·  the outlook for jobs, and

·  the general sense of where the U.S. economy is headed and how individual careers may be affected.   

Some of the speakers – including Harris Bank CIO Jack Ablin and Bob Froehlich (the chairman of Deutsche Asset Management’s investment strategy committee) – had some concrete explanations of missing the impact of the sub-prime financial crisis and seeing foreign investments for the future. Froehlich said the area to make money in is “going global”.  

Even though this is an election year, he predicted the U.S. economy would be pretty flat again in 2008 with 1 percent to 2 percent growth while the big growth would be found in other countries like China, Korea and others. As for the presidential election’s potential for divisiveness, Froehlich said it could create an outflow of foreign investments from the U.S.  

Are We Giving Away Our Leading Position?

More than two decades ago, I made a very powerful statement that still resonates today: “Leading-edge organizations do not maintain their position using trailing-edge technology.  

Substitute “municipalities” or even “countries” for the word “organizations”. Without leading-edge skills and technology, there’s no way we can sustain the lead in the global economy. People are losing good jobs in America. That’s a fact. Good jobs that require degrees and technical background are being lost to other countries’ cheaper labor.  

These are not jobs that “no one wants”. These jobs were good-paying careers. So where are these jobs going? Why are we – the United States – giving away knowledge and technology that would keep many people gainfully employed?   

There is also evidence that some universities are shifting their focus on preparing foreign students instead of American students. What does this do for our global leadership position as well as our national security? Just watch this video.  

Foreign investments are good. While I am not an isolationist, I think some institutions are doing irreparable damage to the U.S. economy in the name of foreign investment expansion. There are a lot of concerns about China and their real long-term strategies. We don’t understand their whole culture as much as you may think we do.  

In a government security meeting back in 2001, Michael Pillsbury of the National Defense University addressed the U.S. China Security Review Commission and pointed out:

We have very few people who can read Chinese who work on Chinese security matters and close to none who can actually read a newspaper or an article published by the Chinese military or a Chinese government think tank.

·  We have almost no one in our government and almost no one in the university sector who can do that.

In another part of his speech (see pages 55 to 56 of 115), Dr Pillsbury comments:

China has many nightmares about the United States policy in the future. Overthrow of the government through peaceful evolution is one. Beefing up the Japanese is another. Pushing Taiwan toward independence is a third.

If you use Chinese communist doctrine to analyze the biggest nightmare of them all, in some sense it would be that Steve Bryen would do to China what he did to the Soviet Union. Let me explain in one sentence why that is and it’s in the first chapter of the book.

Deng Xiaoping claimed that he made a creative contribution – something new – to Marxist-Leninist theory.

Now, this is almost unthinkable. It’s like someone today saying: “I’m adding something new to the message of Jesus Christ, and by the way, here it is.” It’s quite a claim. Very few people appreciate what that claim is and it’s the heart of Deng Xiaoping theory.

It is that science and technology from the outside is the prime force of production, the prime way out for China of its poverty and its weakness.

Now, the National Science Foundation and other parts of the U.S. government have 13 agreements where we essentially provide science and technology almost for free to the Chinese scientific community.

Do you think back then (2001 to 2002) Lucent had any effect on the amount of people it laid off in the U.S. in the last five years or why its stock tanked? It went from about $90 a share to 99 cents a share before they got bought out by Alcatel.

Underemployment: The Lost variable in Economics

In this election year, people are concerned about the economy. The predictions by the economists don’t reflect what’s going on in many families. Economists have to examine the whole concept of underemployment rather than just unemployment in the U.S.  

Unemployment numbers are meaningless and not reflective of buying power and household sustainability. The true measure of what’s taking place is the amount of people who have slipped in salaries from between $80,000 and $120,000 to between $30,000 and $45,000 due to downsizing, outsourcing and layoffs.  

One IT person who is contracting today says he is making 20 percent less than on his previous contract in 2007. Another commented: “At least you have a contract.” Plus, oil has doubled in a year and the devaluation of the dollar is around 40 percent.  

Mesirow Financial economist Diane Swonk has pointed out that there is a shortage of highly skilled people in the U.S. The whole concept that there’s a shortage of IT professionals is completely wrong. From an economic standpoint, if there was a real shortage wouldn’t wages for IT people be skyrocketing up and not spinning down?  

That, of course, is the law of supply and demand. If there was a real shortage, software developers, database administrators and others would be well into a six-figure range of salaries comparable to doctors and getting a lot of perks instead of bargaining for cheap hourly rates with no benefits.  

The reality is that we have had labor dumping in the U.S.   

Many high-tech jobs with decent salaries have been diluted because thousands of people have been imported into the U.S. They have not gone home after the NASDAQ crash. Instead, companies increased the cheap labor and replaced more highly paid American workers with them. Other professions are starting to see job erosion as more H-1B and L-1 visas are being allotted.  

Though this might be good for short-term profits, it adds a lot of fuel on the skyrocketing foreclosure rates. These can’t be blamed on just sub-prime mortgages, the 20-year low in new car sales and the huge increase in personal bankruptcies.  

All of this is happening while CEOs like Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial cashed in $400 million in salary and options in the last couple years. Mozilo awaits a severance package of another $115 million when Bank of America buys out Countrywide. Rewarding poor performance and failure with this magnitude of compensation should be more than just frowned upon.  

The person should be summarily dismissed without any severance package. There needs to be more board of director reforms to outlaw this type of boardroom lunacy. His pay should be divided and given to all the people he put on the street. What are their severance packages from Countrywide?  

The Demise of Michigan

Look to Michigan as a state that has become an example of poor leadership and a totally wrong coalition of government, business, academia and organized labor. Should we feel sorry for Michigan and the poor state they are in with jobs and its housing market?  

I say they drove themselves into a declining vortex of joblessness, aimlessness and no vision to move forward. That is a strong statement, I know, but look at the two videos that spotlight the lack of focusing on solving local problems. Both talk about U.S. taxpayer money subsidizing college tuition and job loss to China. The first is here.  

As the video states: “Patriotism is for chumps.” Policies have been set in companies to maximize short-term gains by transferring manufacturing jobs out to China. Higher educational institutions are enticing foreign students with tuition breaks that are being subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

This next video is about the state of Michigan and the University of Michigan. See here. It talks about shifting endowment money to develop offshore hedge funds and not spending money on supporting local students or start-up businesses. Instead, it talks about developing VC projects in China. By the way, much of this is taxpayer money.  

Here is a link to a full speech by the minister of the American Center for Cultural Exchange at the American embassy in Beijing. Any reactions? I sent these two videos to some readers because I was unsure about their credibility. Validation came back from various people including some university professors who said that even more was going on than what you see here.  

It’s pretty clear to see there are catalysts at academic institutions who on one hand want your support, alumni donations and taxpayer money while they turn over technology, fund foreign start-ups and even finance cheaper competition instead of helping the communities they profess they support.  

Drive through Michigan. That state is devastated and its housing market is a joke. They will be asking other states to bail them out. They should be looking at their own business leaders and institutions who sold them out.  

Sending money to your alma mater or buying an American car to “support American jobs” (which then actually fund foreign initiatives to undermine your job here by creating cheaper competition) is at best counterproductive. At worst, it’s treasonable if it affects national security.  

Carlinism: Millions of dollars should be spent locally to strengthen our future education and economy first. Any change left over should then be seeded into international initiatives (not vice versa).

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Check out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com.

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

Click here for Carlini’s full biography.

Copyright 2008 Jim Carlini

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Coleman Cable TwistBrite LED Work Lights Deliver

‘Light Where You Need It’

Coleman Cable, Inc. (Nasdaq: CCIX) announces TwistBrite™, the new LED work light with a flexible neck that allows its ultra bright bulb to be positioned in multiple ways to give you ‘light where you need it.’ The new work light comes with a PVC-coated magnet on the base of the unit for quick attachment to metal surfaces and is ideal for workshop, construction, HVAC, plumbing and automotive applications or anywhere a portable light is needed. Because TwistBrite’s ultra bright LED bulb has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, there is no need to worry about replacement. The unit operates on 3 AA batteries, included in the TwistBrite pack.

“In introducing the new TwistBrite, we not only bring more convenience to the work site but also provide a light source with professional-grade reliability and superior performance results,” said Blaine Ballard, Coleman Cable product manager. www.colemancable.com

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CommScope Enterprise Solutions Launches Newly Enhanced BusinessPartner Program

CommScope Enterprise Solutions, a division of CommScope, Inc. (NYSE:CTV), has launched its 2008 BusinessPartner program with enhancements that deliver global consistency and meet changing customer requirements around the world.

CommScope – the global leader in network infrastructure solutions – believes that selecting the right infrastructure solution is only one part of a customer's decision-making process; choosing a qualified company to implement the solution is equally important. The program accomplishes this by recognizing BusinessPartners that demonstrate industry leading levels of skill, capability, knowledge and technical expertise.

"Our newly enhanced BusinessPartner program will give CommScope customers increased confidence in the partner they choose to implement CommScope solutions,” said Angela Haneklau, vice president of sales, North American region, CommScope Enterprise Solutions. "Choosing a BusinessPartner that has the right combination of experience, expertise and market coverage to meet customer needs is invaluable.”

CommScope has structured its BusinessPartner program to offer three levels of partners – Authorized, Prestige and Elite – based on the different service offerings, skills and expertise across the CommScope portfolio of solutions. While CommScope and its BusinessPartners, regardless of level, have an unrelenting commitment to the highest standards of quality, performance and reliability, the new structure provides customers a clear view of different levels of expertise and options targeted to meet their specific needs and requirements.

In addition to the creation of the Elite tier, CommScope is launching new training, marketing programs and services to expand the support services for its BusinessPartner program members. These new features will help BusinessPartners build customer relationships and differentiate themselves in the market.

"We had our BusinessPartners and customers in mind when we considered enhancing an already successful business model,” Haneklau said. "At CommScope, our BusinessPartners and the customers they serve are inextricably linked. The enhancements to our global BusinessPartner program help ensure customers receive superior and consistent levels of service and support worldwide. "

About CommScope Enterprise Solutions

CommScope Enterprise Solutions, a division of CommScope, Inc., offers a complete portfolio of network infrastructure solutions that enable enterprise customers, regardless of size, industry or IT budget, to take advantage of business and technology opportunities. The division's SYSTIMAX® and Uniprise® product lines offer voice, data, video and converged solutions ranging from mission-critical, high-bandwidth and emerging applications to applications that demand unrelenting reliability and quality for everyday needs. Backed by CommScope Labs and a 20-year extended warranty, the product lines are delivered through a global network of our BusinessPartners and distributors ensuring a consistent and high-level of service and support worldwide.

Based in Hickory, N.C., CommScope, Inc. (NYSE: CTV) is a world leader in infrastructure communication networks. Through its Andrew Wireless Solutions® brand, it is a global leader in radio frequency subsystem solutions for wireless networks. We believe that CommScope is the premier manufacturer of coaxial cable for broadband cable television networks and one of the leading North American providers of environmentally secure cabinets for DSL and FTTN applications.

CommScope combines technical expertise and proprietary technology with global manufacturing capability to provide customers with infrastructure solutions for evolving global communications networks in more than 130 countries around the world.

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. http://www.commscope.com.

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PorchLight Chooses Corning Cable Systems Evolant Solutions for FTTH Deployments

Company also becomes Corning Connected Community™ Program Member

Corning Cable Systems LLC, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications segment announced that PorchLight selected Corning Cable Systems Evolant® Solutions products for the company’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments throughout the United States.  The Evolant portfolio for FTTH includes a range of optical fiber, cable, hardware and equipment designed to make deployments faster, easier, more reliable and less costly.

PorchLight, a fiber-optic network service provider installing the latest in ultra-high-speed convergent communications and entertainment networks in single-family and multi-family residential neighborhoods, is deploying Corning Cable Systems’ tip-to-tip passive optical FTTH solution.

Corning Cable Systems also introduces PorchLight as the newest member of the Corning Connected Community™ Program, which will benefit both parties as they continue to bring the life-enhancing benefits of FTTH to the home to developers and homeowners.

Corning Cable Systems developed the Corning Connected Community Program to assist homebuilders and community developers in implementing fiber-optic infrastructures into their building plans and to help home buyers learn how FTTH networks can enhance their living experience in their new home.  Corning provides Corning Connected Community Program members with marketing materials to help educate consumers on the benefits of FTTH.

PorchLight will build on the Corning Cable Systems FTTH solutions to deliver their “Quad-play” package to PorchLight communities.  “After evaluating a variety of products for our FTTH network, we felt Corning offered a complete and reliable solution,” said Corey Smith, chief technology officer, PorchLight.  “With Corning’s leadership and expertise in FTTH network solutions, PorchLight will be better able to serve our customers.” www.corning.com/cablesystems. 

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Corning Cable Systems Highlighted Plug & Play AnyLAN System A 2008 BICSI Winter Conference

Corning Cable Systems LLC, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications segment, featured Plug and Play AnyLAN System at the 2008 BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla. The all-encompassing pre-terminated fiber optic cabling solution can be deployed in both inside and outside plant local area network (LAN) applications.

The Plug & Play AnyLAN System features a multimode or single-mode optical cable pre-installed with network access points at customer-specified intervals and a tethered, environmentally hardened MT connector. Once distance measurements for network access point locations are obtained, the preterminated system is manufactured and tested. The entire system is then packaged and shipped to the customer on a cable reel for immediate deployment in the desired indoor or outdoor application.

Plug & Play AnyLAN Systems for Inside Plant Applications are compatible with 2-in duct for riser applications and factory floor environments. Plug & Play AnyLAN Systems for Outside Plant Applications are compatible with both buried (direct-buried, 1.25-in and 2-in duct) and aerial (overlash, dedicated messenger, and self-supporting) installations. The comprehensive solution is ideal for indoor and outdoor installations with multifiber drops to multiple locations.

Corning Cable Systems’ Plug & Play AnyLAN System allows network installation to be completed much more efficiently at speeds up to 50 percent faster than traditional field installations. The system provides end-users with significant cost savings due to few cable pulls and less connectorization in the field.The Plug & Play AnyLAN System is a Corning Cable Systems LANscape® Solutions product. www.corning.com/cablesystems.

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EHX Spring 2008 To Focus On Emerging Technology Trends

Electronic House Expo Educates Custom Electronics Professionals

Electronic House Expo (EHX) Spring 2008, the must-attend integration event for custom electronics, delivers industry education and the latest trends to thousands of CE professionals. EHX, produced by EH Events and sponsored by CEA’s TechHome Division, kicks off its ninth year March 11-15, 2008 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

EHX Spring 2008 will present leading technologies and the hottest trends to provide a clear understanding of critical market drivers and business strategies. Event highlights include:

  • New Product Showcase: Products include media servers, IP-enabled devices, multi-room audio and video, home networking, home theater, automation, lighting control, electronic security and more.
  • Immersive Gaming Demo Area: A first-of-its-kind demonstration of a high performance gaming set-up. The demo room will feature some of the highest quality home theater and gaming equipment and provide an exclusive look at the optimal gaming room set-up.
  • Industry Connections Luncheon: This exclusive event will unite members of the Alarm Association of Florida, CEA's TechHome Division, Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) and PARA for networking and relationship building.
  • Demo Alley - Even More in 2008: Learn about the revenue, profit and customer satisfaction opportunities of selling a “better breed” of A/V equipment in Demo Alley. More than 20 of the top A/V manufacturers will show-off their latest products as they demonstrate their best A/V experience and vie for a BODA (Best of Demo Alley) award.
  • Updated Conference Program and Training: Choose from nearly 50 in-depth conference seminars, comprehensive one and two-day workshops and industry networking events. In addition to the paid conference program there will be manufacturer training courses open to all attendees at no charge. This all-new lineup of 100+ sessions will feature product training and demonstrations direct from exhibitors.
  • Licensing Renewal: 2008 is a license-renewal year for contractors in the state of Florida. In conjunction with the Alarm Association of Florida and IEC, EHX is offering seminars to accommodate the requirements of its attendees.
  • New Partnerships: EHX has partnered with the distinguished industry associations IEC and the Alarm Association of Florida to deliver the latest innovations to Expo attendees.

EHX 2008 features some 300 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees. This event will attract the most successful custom electronics professionals as well as custom retailers, computer VARs, systems integrators, electrical contractors and builders all seeking new products and solutions for their custom electronics businesses.

The exhibit floor features Platinum Sponsor – Life|Ware from Exceptional Innovations, Gold Sponsor – Square D/Clipsal, and Silver Sponsors – Colorado vNet, ELAN/HomeLogic, Russound, Superna, Universal Remote Control. The Expo floor will showcase thousands of new products, tools and solutions for every aspect of the CE industry, including audio/video entertainment; networking and digital convergence; comfort and control; electrical and security; marketing, operations and management.

Registration for EHX is now open at www.ehxweb.com or by calling 800-315-1581. Expo passes are free before the early bird deadline of February 15, 2008. Conference package discounts are also available by this deadline.

About EHX
Electronic House Expo, a Tradeshow Week magazine Fastest 50 event for five years running, is the fastest growing trade event of the $13 billion custom electronics industry. Held twice annually and sponsored by CEA’s TechHome Division, EHX attracts a large and dynamic audience of custom electronics integrators, retailers and allied trades to interact with leading suppliers of audio/video entertainment, digital convergence, networking and communications, comfort and control, and security and electrical products. For more information, visit www.ehxweb.com. www.CE.org.

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ELECTEC Building Wiring Systems Introduces Shielded 10-gig turn-key Cabling System

ELECTEC Ltd., a Canadian innovator of manufactured wiring systems is pleased to present the cabling industry’s first pre-terminated and pre-verified 10-Gig horizontal cabling solution. 

EZ-Cabling® is now available in a 500Mhz Cat 6A, Alien Crosstalk-free system offering an unprecedented level of safety, reliability and re-usability through its non-combustible cable construction, verified performance guarantee and innovative modular design concept. 

Using Foiled Twisted Pair (FTP) cable from Berktek® and shielded connectivity from Panduit®, Electec’s augmented Cat 6 solution offers premium shielding in an easy to use turn-key system.

The ease of installation and maintenance makes EZ-Cabling an intelligent choice for an environmentally responsible cabling infrastructure that is re-useable and re-locateable.  Using EZ-Cabling as a horizontal cabling infrastructure prevents troublesome and potentially toxic abandoned cable from accumulating in air-handling spaces.   www.electeconline.com

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eXalt Powered Portal Increases Partner Sales Productivity While Reducing Errors

eXalt Solutions, Inc. has announced that Westcon Group, Inc.™, the leading specialty distributor in networking, security, mobility and convergence,, recently launched its VoIP Telephony Configurator powered by eXalt Solutions.  The new online configuration capability is currently available to Voda One customers through the ConvergencePoint solutions program

(www.convergencepoint.vodaone.com) and is planned to be rolled out at Westcon Group’s other business practices, Comstor and Westcon, in the near future.

The platform is able to assist with complex VoIP configurations and initially contains many products from Avaya as well as other Westcon Group affinity partners. Partners can quickly put together complete multi-vendor solutions, with accurate pricing and rich quote materials. Producing high quality quotes with fast turnaround times improves Partner win rates during the sales process.

According to recent users of the eXalt platform, customers can save as much as 25 percent on the time it takes to design, configure, price and quote solutions—the platform also reduces the risk of errors. So far, Westcon Group resellers now have access to a centralized repository of more than 3,500 VoIP products and corresponding pricing, including the recently released Avaya IP500. In addition to IP telephony infrastructure products, the database also contains a full line of Westcon Group’s Affinity products including switching, call accounting software and headset products to name just a few.

Westcon Group’s new online configuration capability will help improve the sales efficiency of thousands of the distributor’s resellers, giving them a competitive edge by enabling them to bid on more projects with greater accuracy.  “With Westcon’s new configurator, I no longer have to say to my prospect that I will get back to them for a quote--it’s instantaneous and accurate -- this gives my business an immediate advantage and makes the entire process more efficient,” says Mark Parette, Account Executive with Golden West, a Voda One VAR. The configurator has a ‘one button quote” feature and automatically generates an e-book of technical reference materials for each quote. 

 “Westcon fits perfectly in our sweet spot where products are designed into an overall system and must adhere to design guidelines,” stated eXalt Solutions President Leslie Swanson.  “We are excited to work with Westcon Group, who is a recognized industry leader and innovator.  We believe our growing EcoSystem of Suppliers will benefit Westcon Group and their channel partners many years ahead by removing the headaches, risks and hassles of building and maintaining content for sales portals.” 

 “The eXalt offering gives us an opportunity to further differentiate ourselves from competitors by streamlining the solutions selling process for our partners,” said Duncan Potter, chief marketing officer, Westcon Group.  “In the past, resellers relied on individual vendor tools which had to be used in isolation. This approach was often very time consuming and rarely considered the larger solutions picture. Now our customers can quickly benefit with a best-in-class solution to generate accurate quotes in very little time.” He added.

Westcon Group selected eXalt Solutions because of its unique ability to address the intricacies of the technical product sales/support process:

Multi-Vendor:  eXalt’s unique architecture supports the configuration, pricing and quoting of complete technical solutions incorporating multiple products from multiple vendors.

On-Demand:  eXalt allows the timely delivery of the project within a very short time while minimizing the requirements of internal IT resources. 

Meta Data Driven:   eXalt’s unique Meta Data Driven architecture allows the addition of new product lines and configuration rules without reprogramming.  This removes the delays and costs associated with customizing legacy sales configuration and quoting systems.

Ready Made Content EcoSystem:  eXalt has created a complete ecosystem of for intelligent vendor content.   Vendors can syndicate their product content, rules and reference material to other eXalt Powered sites in the ecosystem. 

With its recently announced partnership with the CMP Channel Group, eXalt has been rapidly signing on suppliers to its content ecosystem.  eXalt powered suppliers can gain enhanced visibility at distribution/DMR partners by easily being attached to other key suppliers and solutions. www.exaltsolutions.com   www.westcongroup.com  

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eXalt Solutions Notified Of Patent Award On Solutions Selling Platform

eXalt Solutions, Inc., a market and technology leader in providing on-demand, Web-based services for solutions sales, has been awarded a patent. The patent, US Patent No. 7,299,202 entitled "INTELLIGENT MULTIMEDIA E-CATALOG," is the first in a series filed by eXalt and the first to be granted to eXalt.

eXalt's patent relates to the company's innovative technology that enables suppliers and distributors of technical products and their channel partners to create on-demand repository for building multi-vendor solutions.  The technology uses Meta Data driven architecture enabling the creation and update of New product types without having to reprogram software.  The innovative technology is capable of dynamic reconfiguration of user applications and the user interface when new product types are added to the database or when meta data changes are made to reconfigure the multimedia display user interface. eXalt's Supplier and Distributor customers can implement and change the user interface, product content, rules, and reference materials in eXalt's platform without the assistance of software professionals thereby removing delays and costs associated with conventional software.  In contrast, traditional systems often require Recoding, Version and Source code control, Re-integration, Re- Testing, Re-Packaging and Re-Deployment.

The patented technology underpins eXalt's unique model for storing information about products:

  (v)   Multi-vendor: from one or many vendors according to an object model

        representing the product information,

  (v)   Multiple Object Types: the object model including parametric

        objects, graphic objects, document objects, configuration business

        rules objects and procurement rule objects, where the object model

        is capable of handling an unlimited number of objects for each

        product.

  (v)   Solution Intelligence and hierarchy:

  (i)   storing sub-products that a product is comprised of, including

        storing product part replacement information;

  (ii)  storing product accessories capable of being added to a product;

  (iii) storing rules for building product solutions that incorporate

        product information stored in the database; or

  (iv)  storing rules for equivalence or substitution of products for use

        when building a product solution;

This intelligence is part of the foundation of eXalt's successful commercialization of its on-demand web based platform marketed as a Software as a Service (SaaS).  The patent bolsters eXalt's ability to secure strong partnerships with leading Distributors and DMR's who require robust Multi- Vendor Solutions Selling Technology that can accommodate deployment of new vendors, new products, new attributes without delay.

Leslie H. Swanson, CEO of eXalt Solutions, said: "eXalt is laying the core foundation with a now emerging broad IP portfolio to develop next generation applications for sales professionals.  The notice of patent allowance represents an important step towards securing a dominant position in this emerging field.  eXalt will build on this to develop its portfolio of unique products from this disruptive platform technology.  This gives us the opportunity to create a completely new approach for the streamlining the sales process for technical solutions."

With its recently announced partnership with the CMP Channel Group, eXalt has been rapidly signing on suppliers to its content ecosystem.  eXalt powered suppliers can gain enhanced visibility at distribution/DMR partners by easily being attached to other key suppliers and solutions. http://www.exaltsolutions.com/.

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Fluke Networks Hugo Draye, Bob Jensen Receive 2008 Harry J. Pfister Award For Excellence In The Telecommunications Industry

Presentation to multiple winners at BICSI Conference recognizes Draye’s technical and educational contributions to certification market, Jensen’s work on standards and fire prevention

Hugo Draye, Datacom Cabling Product Manager for Fluke Networks, and Bob Jensen, Fluke Networks Standards and Technology Development Manager, have both received the 2008 Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry.  Draye and Jensen received their recognition during the awards banquet January 16, 2008, at the winter BICSI Conference in Orlando, Florida.

We are extremely proud that both Hugo and Bob have been recognized for their contributions to this industry, said Paul Caragher, President of Fluke Networks.  Their efforts are constant reminders of the commitment our people and our company bring to this market.  We are fortunate to have two such highly regarded members on our team.

Hugo Draye is an extremely well respected icon in the communications cabling industry, said Frank Bisbee, founder and President of the Communication Planning Corporation and noted industry commentator.  His educational presentations have helped literally thousands of BICSI members upgrade the quality of their cabling projects and value to their customers.  Bisbee nominated Draye for the award, largely for Drayes work with BICSI. 

Bob Jensen was selected for the Pfister award in recognition of his work in establishing critical industry standards, including the two terms he served as Chair of the TIA Cabling Standards Committee (TR-42) and the TR-42.2 Subcommittee for Residential Infrastructure.  He is also a Principle Member to National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) Panel 16 for the National Electrical Code.

Presented by the University of South Florida, College of Engineering, the Harry J. Pfister award recognizes the lifetime achievement or major accomplishment of an individual who enhances scientific, technical, or educational aspects, or promotes professionalism, within the telecommunications industry.

Draye explains the complex in understandable terms. For more than 20 years, Hugo has assisted BICSI members in navigating the arcane technical underside of the networks, Bisbee wrote in the nomination. Testing and certification have evolved during the past two decades, and Hugo has been there to help us all achieve a higher standard.

Draye has been with Fluke Corporation and Fluke Networks for over 25 years, and was an original member of the exploratory product group within Fluke Corporation that eventually spun off into the Fluke Networks company in 2000. He played a pivotal role in the development of Fluke Networks first handheld cable certifier, the DSP-100 Series, as well as its successors, the DSP-2000, DSP-4000 and the current DTX CableAnalyzer. 

Draye frequently lectures at industry seminars and conferences worldwide, including BICSI, NEPCON, GigNet and Cabling the Workplace. His papers are regularly published in the trade press. He holds a masters of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Louvain in Louvain, Belgium and an MBA degree from Seattle University.

Jensen recognized as expert on standards, safety and optical fiber cabling

Bob Jensen has been previously cited by Dan Bart, TIA Senior Vice President, Standards and Special Projects, as  a tremendous asset to the TIA standards program. He has kept TIAs cabling and distribution system standards evolving and technically relevant to the market, which is moving at the speed of the Internet.

Jensen has more than 25 years of technical and managerial experience in the telecommunications industry, including 18 years with Bellcore and Bell Atlantic. He has designed multi-million dollar telecommunications infrastructure for projects from Taipei to Milan, including university campuses and numerous commercial offices and manufacturing complexes.

Jensen has delivered numerous presentations and written articles for several industry publications, including Cabling Installation & Maintenance, Lightwave, Residential Systems and Cabling Systems.

The Harry J. Pfister Award

The award Draye and Jensen received is named for Harry J. Pfister of General Telephone Company of Florida, who planned the first Building Industry Consultant Conference, which eventually became BICSI. The University of South Florida has presented the award annually since 1982.

www.flukenetworks.com 

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General Cable Gets $30 Million Contract To Provide Power Cables For Wind Farm Offshore Germany

General Cable Corp. said Tuesday it received a contract with Bard Engineering GmbH worth more than $30 million to provide power cables for a planned wind farm offshore Germany.

Bard is constructing a 400-megawatt wind farm with 80 turbines, northwest of the Isle of Borkum in the North Sea. General Cable's German subsidiary, Norddeutsche Seekablewerke GmbH, will produce about 66 miles of power cable for the project's infrastructure to bring electricity back to shore.

A one-megawatt plant running continuously at full capacity can power 778 households each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Wind technology has lower capacity since its power generation is constrained by availability of wind.

Norddeutsche Chairman Valentin Jug said the North Sea will be "an area of high growth" for wind projects because it has high wind and shallow waters that provide efficient turbine use. Bard's wind project is the first in the North Sea and its field will be 75 miles offshore with a depth of about 130 feet.

www.generalcable.com

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General Cable Executives Relinquish Employment Contracts

General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC - News) reported that executive officers of the Company, Gregory B. Kenny, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Robert J. Siverd, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, have voluntarily relinquished their employment and change-in-control agreements with General Cable effective at the end of this year. They and Brian Robinson, Chief Financial Officer, remain with the Company and will have their compensation and benefits determined in the discretion of the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. At the same time, the Board of Directors has adopted a new severance plan which will cover US-based executive officers of the Company which will take effect on January 1, 2008. This new and more simplified severance plan will provide benefits for these and other US-based executives of General Cable.

“Mr. Siverd and I have voluntarily terminated our employment related agreements in order to be fully aligned with the terms and conditions of the North American senior management team,” said Mr. Kenny. “We look forward to continuing to build the Company domestically and internationally for the benefit of our shareholders and employees in the years ahead,” Mr. Kenny concluded.

Additional information is set forth in the Company's 8-K Report dated December 21, 2007, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

With over $5.5 billion of annualized revenues and 12,000 employees, General Cable is a global leader in the development, design, manufacturer, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, and communications markets. Visit our website at www.generalcable.com.

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HH Robertson Floor Systems introduces the Power / Data Post

HH Robertson Floor Systems introduces the Power / Data Post, an electrical service pole and office partition terminal that delivers power and data services to 1, 2, 3, or 4 workstations from any floor based system.  The new cost saving post is available in 3 standard heights to centrally terminate 48", 60", or 72