"Heard On The Street" Column
Issue: May 2009
By: Frank Bisbee
www.wireville.com


BISBEE’S BUZZ

Industry News

The information superhighway is a scary place without signage

WESCO International, Inc. Announces Renewal of Accounts Receivable Securitization Financing

Belden Announces Departure of EMEA President

Belden Launches New Generation(R) Series of Value-Priced IP Category Cables for Video, Sound and Security Applications

BuildingGreen at the AIA National Convention in Frisco

Corning 1Q profit skids

Draka Announces family of MDU Cables with BendBright-XS

DuPont gets hefty fine from EPA for pollution violations in West Va. and profits fall 59%

EPA Decision greenhouse gases are a health risk.

High-Output Fluorescent Lamps Deliver Energy Efficiency to High-Bay Lighting – Now on ElectricTV

Hitachi Cable Manchester Begins Feasibility Study for Solar Energy

New Automated Projector Lift Now Shipping and UL Listed!

New Belden Brilliance(R) Low Loss Plenum RG-11 Precision Digital Video Coax Significantly Improves Long-Distance Performance

New, Free Resource from Fluke Networks Provides IT Organizations with Step-by-Step Process for Improving Application Delivery

New Fundamentals of Fiber Optics Training Course

New Intellectual Property Covers NonStop Wireless Networking, Energy Conservation

New Learning Program Brings Online Dimension to Electrical Worker Training – Now on ElectricTV.net

New NetAlly VoIP Assessment Software Eliminates Risk During Deployment or Expansion of VoIP Phone Systems

New VoIP Enterprise Service Kit from Fluke Networks Reduces Installation and Problem-Solving Time for VoIP Phone Systems

Nobody is Recession- Proof. Microsoft Posts Landmark Loss

Ortronics/Legrand Introduces New Full Line of Mighty Mo® Network and Server Cabinets to Address Airflow Issues in Data Centers

Para Systems Offers its Minuteman Power Protection Solutions as New Member of Exclusive Mitel Solutions Alliance

Rise of Smarter, Greener Buildings Boosts Efficiency, Reduces Cost – Now on ElectricTV

Siemon™ Launches New Line of MTP™ Plug and Play Fiber Optic Network Cabling Solutions

The People have Spoken and NETcomm Prairies a Success

Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago has deployed InterReach Fusion(R) in-building cellular systems

Wesco's 1st-quarter profit falls along with everybody else

Corning Cable Systems Introduces Low-loss, Bend-Tolerant Jumpers for Enterprise Applications

AFL Telecommunications Acquires Draka's OPGW Business

NETcomm Presents Atlantic 2009 Conference, Issues Call for Papers

FSU Converges Support to Follow Technology

Megladon HLC®SCRATCHGUARD™  Fiber Optic Patch Cords Withstand 1000 Matings

Megladon Manufacturing and Draka Communications will present at SCTE Meeting

Association News

ACUTA

ACUTA Honors Innovative Technology Projects at Three Universities with Institutional Excellence Awards

Four ACUTA Conference Exhibitors Win ‘Favorite Booth’ Honors from Attendees

Optimism Ahead for National Policy Changes

ACUTA Salutes Two Longtime Members and Former Presidents with Top Leadership Awards

BICSI

BICSI RELEASES NEW ELECTRONIC SAFETY AND SECURITY DESIGN REFERENCE MANUAL (ESSDRM)

BICSI REALIGNS CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: GREATER EMPHASIS ON GLOBAL AND LOCAL EVENTS

We just got our copy of the May/June Issue of BICSI NEWS = WOW!

FOA

FOA Sees Growth In Fiber Optic Usage Even In Today’s Economy

NAED

NAED Announces Upgrades to EPEC Silver Module

Deadline for June 13 Certified Electrical Professional™ (CEP) Registration is May 15

May 21 Profit Talk 101 Provides Information on Captive Insurance Programs at New Price: $29

May is National Electrical Safety Month

NECA

Recent Press Releases

NECA CONVENTION & EXPO (Sept ’09) keeps getting better

NEMA

Economic Stimulus - technology & IT infrastructure information

SCTE

SCTE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER ’09 GRANT ACTIVITY

TIA

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Issues Standard for Remote APDU Structure for CCAT Applications

USGBC

LEED 2009 to Include LEED Credits for Regional Environmental Priorities

BISBEE’S BUZZ

Unemployment Rate in the US has reached 8.9 %. The highest level since 1983 as U.S. employers shed 539,000 jobs in April 2009

Recently, an associate asked me “What advice do I give my kids on career paths?” The economy is in a state of confusion, somewhere between recession and depression. Many business sectors are making rapid and radical changes.

My reply was “Electricians - a career opportunity that's hard to beat.”

The high voltage world and the low voltage world have converged into Integrated Building Systems. Old guard electrical contractors have embraced communication and control cabling and the associated revenue streams. Recent numbers from CABA (Continental Automated Building Association) prove that “smart buildings” are more energy efficient and have a higher level of Security and Life Safety Systems than any previous technology. These designs do more for less. www.caba.org

Virtually every structure has five basic systems:

  • Power
  • Control
  • Communications
  • Security
  • Life Safety

These systems are converging and improving as quickly as the new technology is introduced. Many improvements will take place in this exciting field as new technology delivers more value to the building.

Career stability is the Electricians middle name. But it doesn’t come without a solid discipline of training. We believe that the profession with a bright and durable future is the electrician.  To follow the latest information on the scene, read each monthly issue of the Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com.

Wisdom isn’t just power. It’s also wealth.

We asked Michael Callanan, Executive Director of NJATC - The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry for comments on the process to become a career professional as an Electrician:

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Stimulating Apprenticeship

Remember the old Smith Barney ads featuring actor John Houseman: "We make money the old-fashioned way. We earn it." In a very similar way, the Building & Construction Trades take a similar approach to training America’s workforce: We train workers the old-fashioned way. True Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship is a method of training skilled craft and technical workers that dates back to the Middle Ages. New entrants to the workforce (apprentices) were “indentured” to master craftsmen who directly oversaw the training and development of the apprentice. Apprentices literally learned at-the-feet of the Master Craftsman. Our modern apprenticeship systems emerged from, and (in a large part) reflect this same fundamental concept of workforce development. Apprentices today still learn their craft under the direct supervision of a Master Craftsman (Journey-level worker) by completing a minimum number of hours of On-The-Job learning in their chosen craft. Additionally, each apprentice is required to complete a minimum number of hours of classroom or related instruction.

As we find ourselves in an ever-increasing economically challenging time, I respectfully submit that this “old-fashioned,” system of workforce development (true apprenticeship) can and should be one of the components that we turn to, to help put Americans back to work and to help revive our faltering economy and the middle-class. I am calling for re-invigorating and re-inventing apprenticeship into a modern system and structure that builds upon the historic framework that has survived for hundreds of years. In doing so, our payback will be a National Apprenticeship System that contributes to the re-building and re-emergence of the American workforce and economy.

Many people are surprised to learn that registered apprenticeship is a voluntary, industry-driven training program. Frequently, registered apprenticeship programs are created jointly by labor/management partnerships, or other employers or employer associations. The responsibility for oversight of apprenticeship programs in the United States belongs to the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) which operates under the purview of the U.S. Department of Labor. The primary responsibilities of the OA are to provide technical consultation services on the development of apprenticeship standards, oversight and compliance reviews of registered apprenticeship programs. OA provides apprenticeship services in all States, and registers programs and apprentices in the 25 States where there is no State Apprenticeship Council (SAC) or Agency.

Another surprising element of our apprenticeship system is that employers, or groups of employers and unions, design, organize, manage, and finance registered apprenticeship programs themselves. Yes, you read that correctly, apprenticeship programs are financed, for the most part, with private industry investment. In this day and age, where we seemingly throw around “billions” of dollars, it’s hard to imagine that the total federal investment in apprenticeship is a mere Twenty-three (23) million dollars. That amounts to an investment of less than $75 for each indentured apprentice. At the same time, look at the returns generated from this meager investment; 1) Over $2 billion leveraged from private investment in education and training from program sponsors, 2)Returns $50 in federal and state tax revenues for every single public dollar invested, 3) Has an employer return on investment (ROI) estimated at 3 to 10 times the investment, 4)Currently prepares apprentices in approximately 1,000 career areas with graduates earning an average of $45,000 to $60,000 per year, 5)Meets the skilled workforce needs of 250,000 employers in a wide range of industries. These findings were submitted to the Obama Transition team last year in a report by the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship; Registered Apprenticeship: A Workforce Strategy for Main Street America. What other government program can boast a return on investment that is even remotely close to these proven statistics?

Presently, in the United States, there are approximately 468,000 registered apprentices in training. The vast majority of these are registered in apprenticeship programs directly related to the building and construction trades. We are talking about electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, iron workers, sheet metal workers, roofers, laborers, elevator constructors and many more. While new industries, like health care, transportation, and IT are beginning to expand and develop apprenticeship programs, the “mainstay” remains the building and construction trades. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), for example, invest approximately $125 million in training electrical workers for the industrial, commercial, residential and the power generation industries. Similarly, the other building and construction crafts fund their programs in the same fashion. The simple fact of the matter is our Nation’s skilled workforce in construction is being developed right before our very eyes by private industry, with very little support from our Federal government!

Hardly a day passes without increased speculation as to the potential impact of the Stimulus Package that is poised to emerge from Congress. No matter the final form, there can be no doubt that a key component of the final Stimulus Package will be construction and infrastructure spending as well as new investments related to green jobs. Why shouldn’t the Federal Government invest directly in apprenticeship and leverage the private industry investment to stimulate the economy, implement the programs included in the Stimulus Package, and prepare the next generation of high skilled Americans to competently meet workforce demands?

Investment in our National Apprenticeship Systems can occur immediately on two fronts. First, we must provide financial incentives to the apprentices themselves. While most apprenticeship programs have no tuition costs associated with their training programs, many apprentices struggle to make ends meet during the early years of their apprenticeship. The government can assist by providing funding, in the form of scholarships and grants, to help apprentices cover their book and tool costs and to supplement their salaries when they are completing their related instruction. Think, for a moment, about an unemployed or dislocated worker today that was earning a good average salary before they lost their job. Apprentices typically start their apprenticeship, which can be anywhere from one to five years in length, at about 35% or 40% of the Journey-level worker wage rate (current national average for starting wages is approximately $15/hour). A government subsidy (or grant) during the initial period of their apprenticeship may make the apprenticeship opportunity more feasible to dislocated or unemployed workers considering transition to a new career.

Secondly, the government needs to provide incentives to program sponsors and employers who provide the apprenticeship opportunity.  We need a system that rewards employers who hire apprentices and program sponsors who increase the number of apprentices in their program. Incentives can be in the form of direct grants, tax credits or federal tax incentives for each registered apprentice an employer hires.

Why should the government provide these incentives? Because our apprenticeship programs are well-positioned to provide the necessary training and skilled workers to re-build America’s infrastructure and our apprenticeship programs prepare workers for the mid-level jobs that make up the backbone of the stimulus job creation program.  Today, the need for a true earn while you learn option for the millions of unemployed workers is more critical than ever.

 In his recent book, Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality, Charles Murray, argues that “There has never been a time in history when people with skills not taught in college have been in so much demand at such high pay as today, nor a time when the range of such jobs has been so wide.”  Murray is speaking, of course, of mid-level jobs which still make up about half of all total jobs. These are jobs that require training beyond a high school diploma, but less than what is required for a traditional four year college degree. Apprenticeship programs prepare American workers exactly for these types of jobs.

In October of last year, the Department of Labor issued new Federal Regulations that updated the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. These new regulations are progressive and have been designed specifically to permit a greater degree of flexibility and creativity in designing apprenticeship programs for the 21st century.  These new regulations, while maintaining the essential components of registered apprenticeship, have been designed with an “open-architecture” framework that can become a transformative tool for those interested in re-inventing, re-designing and re-invigorating an old-fashioned apprenticeship system. Yes, apprenticeship is an “old but tested system,” however, with these new modifications to the Federal Regulations governing apprenticeship programs, we can adapt and modify our apprenticeship programs to meet the needs of our industry and better reflect the needs of our customers.

Finally, let me anticipate one often-heard myth and criticism, specifically of union apprenticeship programs.  While acknowledging the benefits of our union apprenticeship programs, some are quick to reprimand union programs for their “country-club” status and limited accessibility to minorities and non-traditional populations. A recent study by Anneta Argyres and Susan Moir of the Labor Resource Center, University of Massachusetts Boston; Building Trades Apprentice Training in Massachusetts: An Analysis of Union and Non-Union Programs, 1997-2007, had several compelling revelations. “The findings of this study show that union apprenticeship programs in Massachusetts are more successful at enrolling apprentices and producing Journey-level workers than are non-union programs. Specifically, we find that: 1) union programs enroll the majority of building trade apprentices, 2) the apprentice completion rates from union programs is higher than from non-union programs, 3) union programs enroll non-traditional populations in higher numbers and at higher rates than do non-union programs, and 4) the apprentice completion rates of non-traditional populations from union programs is higher than from non-union programs.” Apprenticeship programs provide an outstanding opportunity to enroll under-represented and minority populations in the building and construction industry.  In addition, many efforts are underway to establish pre-apprenticeship programs to expand apprenticeship opportunities to a broader range of populations, including disadvantaged youth and others.

As our great Nation struggles to see some light at the end of the tunnel and find a clear path that leads us out of this economic abyss; apprenticeship, that time-proven method for building quality craft workers, is poised to enter a new era. An era equipped with a new framework and committed to re-building our Nation’s infrastructure while concurrently building our next generation of skilled workers. We train America’s workforce the old-fashioned way. True Apprenticeship. www.njatc.org

Mr. Callanan is the Executive Director of the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry. Mr. Callanan is Co-Chair (Labor) of the Federal Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA).


We agree and feel that guiding the next generation of professionals is vital for the economy, industry, and country.

Remember: Safety is also 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
(904) 237-0365 cell
frank@wireville.com

Industry News

The information superhighway is a scary place without signage

“FASTRAC” - Facility Asset System – Tracking Records of As-built Cabling

Remember Rod Serling’s famous introduction “The signpost up ahead says you are entering the twilight zone”

Unfortunately, many network service technicians are finding no signage or labels to guide their path. It is worse than driving though a large city with no street signs, traffic markers, or address numbers. Industry-wide, we spend millions of dollars each year in the hunt for cabling facilities in order to fix network problems. These costs are avoidable.

The cabling or information transport systems are the last mile of the dazzling new information superhighway.

Today, more than 20 million miles of cabling connects the workplace of America to the Information Superhighway. Most of the cabling is not labeled, tested or documented. Once disconnected, it is deemed “abandoned cabling” that must be removed according to the NEC 2002-2008 National Electrical Codes.

There is virtually no road map, no atlas, and no signage on the cabling of the dazzling new information superhighway.

This isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity.

Each year we account for our wealth and assets with Annual Income Statements addressing Profit and Loss and the Balance Statement of Assets and Liabilities. It is the language of business. The cabling or information transport systems are usually omitted and/or ignored, in spite of the huge impact they have on both.

Introduction of newer more effective systems or maintenance of existing technology systems has a major impact on the bottom-line. The signage and the facility management systems are crucial to maximize the functionality of the supporting cabling or information transport systems. How do you sign your work? No labels means big problems ahead.

How much can I save with a FASTRAC strategy?  Industry experts estimate billions. Even the basic concept of labeling is noted by a motto. “Cabling without labeling isn’t just stupid. It’s insane.”

Combine labeling, with cabling performance test records, drawings, and an effective naming convention, and you have a well documented asset that serves many functions. Plus it is transferable and reusable, not trash.

Several communication contractors that we met at a recent BICSI event told us that their new secret weapon for labeling is the DYMO® RHINO 6000. “It gives us a real competitive edge because it gives us BIG VALUE at a small cost.www.rhinolabeling.com

Combine the effective RHINO™ 6000 Professional Labeling Tools system with the complete certified cable test records exported from the Fluke Networks® DTX -1800 Cable Analyzer™ and you have the best system to convert the cable infrastructure from “stranded capital” to “working asset”. www.flukenetworks.com

Both DYMO and Fluke Networks will be exhibiting at the NECA annual Conference and Exposition in Seattle (Sept. 2009) www.necanet.org or visit www.necaconvention.org for complete information. Make plans to visit with their folks and make your systems worth more.

Knowledge isn’t just power. It’s also wealth.

Frank Bisbee
"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
www.wireville.com

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WESCO International, Inc. Announces Renewal of Accounts Receivable Securitization Financing

WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC - News), a leading provider of electrical MRO products, construction materials and advanced integrated supply procurement outsourcing services, today announced that it and certain wholly-owned subsidiaries have entered into an amendment and restatement of its existing Accounts Receivable Securitization program that effectively renewed the program for an additional three years. A consortium of six banks provided the $400 million of funding under the arrangement that will mature in April 2012 and is priced with a credit spread of 3.00% over commercial paper or LIBOR.

Stephen A. Van Oss, WESCO's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer stated, "We are very pleased to have this attractively priced, multi-year financing in place. There was strong support for this facility as we received commitments in excess of our targeted level of $400 million. Our liquidity is strong and our capital structure is well positioned for the future."

WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC - News) is a publicly traded Fortune 500 holding company, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whose primary operating entity is WESCO Distribution, Inc. WESCO Distribution is a leading distributor of electrical construction products and electrical and industrial maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies, and is the nation's largest provider of integrated supply services. 2008 annual sales were approximately $6.1 billion. The Company employs approximately 7,200 people, maintains relationships with over 24,000 suppliers, and serves more than 110,000 customers worldwide. Major markets include commercial and industrial firms, contractors, government agencies, educational institutions, telecommunications businesses and utilities. WESCO operates seven fully automated distribution centers and approximately 400 full-service branches in North America and select international markets, providing a local presence for area customers and a global network to serve multi-location businesses and multi-national corporations.

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Belden Announces Departure of EMEA President

Belden (NYSE: BDC - News), a leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of signal transmission solutions for industrial automation, data networking, and a wide range of specialty electronics markets, today announced that Wolfgang Babel, President of Belden Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), will be leaving the Company. The Company has already commenced its search for a replacement candidate. However, until a permanent replacement is found, John Stroup, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belden will lead the EMEA business segment.

"The economic situation in Europe has continued to prove challenging. This action is part of a broader series of necessary steps we will be taking to accelerate our progress in this segment during these difficult times," said John Stroup, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belden. "We are committed to ensuring the long-term success of our EMEA segment, as it is a vital component to our long-term strategy. We will discuss our plans for this segment in greater detail on our upcoming earnings call which is scheduled for April 29th."

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Belden Launches New Generation(R) Series of Value-Priced IP Category Cables for Video, Sound and Security Applications

 (NYSE: BDC - News), a world leader in the development of signal transmission solutions for the enterprise, industrial, building management, broadcast, and security markets, announces the expansion of its New Generation cable line with a series of four new IP Category 5e and Category 6 unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables.

The new cables offer integrated Power over Ethernet in a single cable, eliminating the need for an external power source. They are designed exclusively for use with digital sound, video and security systems to link low-voltage security devices such as security cameras, CCTV, keypads, and intercoms.

The robust value-priced cables enable system designers, integrators and installers to provide their customers with high-quality, reliable sound, video and security systems at a very competitive price point. All four new cables fully meet the ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-2001 Standard. They are available in both riser- and plenum-rated versions. Belden's new IP Category Cable products include:

·                     Belden Part No. 5663U5 - Cat 5e (Riser-rated)

·                     Belden Part No. 6663U5 - Cat 5e (Plenum-rated)

·                     Belden Part No. 5663U6 - Cat 6 (Riser-rated)

·                     Belden Part No. 6663U6 - Cat 6 (Plenum-rated)

The Category 5e cables feature 24 AWG solid bare copper conductors. The riser version has polyolefin insulation and PVC jacket with rip cord. The plenum version has FEP Teflon insulation and Flamarrest® jacket with rip cord. Both cables are sweep tested to 100 MHz.

The Category 6 cables feature solid bare copper conductors. The riser version (24 AWG) has polyolefin insulation and PVC jacket with rip cord. The plenum version (23 AWG) has FEP Teflon insulation and Flamarrest jacket with rip cord. Both cables are sweep tested to 250 MHz.

All four cables are available with Black jackets. Footage is sequentially marked every 2 feet, with countdown from 1,000 to eliminate guesswork and waste.

With the addition of the new value-priced cables, Belden now offers the sound and security industry more cabling options than ever before.

For more information about Belden New Generation IP Category Cables, request New Product Bulletin #301. Contact Belden at P.O. Box 1980, Richmond, Indiana 47375, 1.800.BELDEN.1. FAX: 765.983.5294. Or visit our Web site: www.belden.com.

About Belden

Belden is a customer focused company. We ensure that our customers' communications infrastructure issues are resolved and that they benefit from the best signal transmission performance for their investment. We deliver leading-edge copper and fiber cabling/connectivity systems, wireless technologies, and active switch devices. We employ customer-centric go-to-market strategies and we implement and retain world class manufacturing processes. Our partners span the globe, helping our customers design, install, operate and maintain their communications applications. And our experience is vast, including expertise in Enterprise, Industrial, Infrastructure, Transportation, Professional and Enterprise Audio and Video, and Government applications. To obtain additional information contact Investor Relations at 314-854-8054, or visit our website at www.belden.com.

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BuildingGreen at the AIA National Convention in Frisco

BuildingGreen exhibited at the AIA National Convention in San Francisco from April 30 through May 2.  The team of BuildingGreen said “We always like to meet our customers in person, hear about your successes as well as anything we can help you with.”

BuildingGreen was also be involved off the exhibit floor. Nadav Malin, Jim Newman and others shared lessons learned from the first-ever summit on building and managing a green practice. Tristan Roberts will be among those who spoke at the all day pre-conference workshop Wednesday on sustaining the existing building stock.

Numerous attendees took advantage of their conference specials for savings on some of our green building information products.

    * BuildingGreen Suite

    * Environmental Building News

    * GreenSpec Directory

    * and the all new GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

Contact: Jerelyn Wilson, Outreach Director jerelyn@buildinggreen.com

Sustaining the Existing Building Stock: The Greatest Challenge of Architecture 2030

Greening our existing building stock has taken new prominence recently, both as the green building community grapples with the general economic slowdown along with the new construction slowdown, and as we get more real about what it will take for the building sector to slash our carbon emissions.

All of the speakers, who are experts on existing building rehabilitation, particularly on historic buildings, will be presenting a ton of material on practical issues as well as bigger picture things to think about. Tristan will present results of his current research on the most cost-effective green retrofits.

Speakers: Tristan Roberts, LEED AP; Jean C. Carroon, FAIA; Ralph DiNola, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; Carl Elefante, AIA, LEED AP; Donald R. Horn, AIA, LEED AP; and Christina Roach, AIA, LEED AP

Provider: AIA Historic Resources Committee, AIA Committee on the Environment

Building and Managing a Green Practice: Lessons from a First-Ever Summit of Sustainable Design Directors at Architecture Firms

What happens when 50 sustainable design directors from 40 of the leading architecture firms around the country get together to compare notes? A collection of best practices, crazy ideas, and new energy for everyone involved. Hear the highlights from this first-ever summit, and learn how you can get involved or just benefit from the group's thinking on managing sustainable design resources, overcoming inertia to transform the design process, utilizing in-house and external expertise, and much more.

Speakers: Meredith S. Elbaum, AIA, LEED AP; Nadav Malin, LEED AP; Jim Newman, LEED AP; and Nellie Reid, LEED AP

www.buildinggreen.com

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Corning 1Q profit skids

LCD glassmaker's profit tumbles 99 pct.

Specialty glassmaker Corning Inc. said Monday its first-quarter profit fell 99 percent on slumping sales and a charge for previously-disclosed job cuts.

The world's largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass earned $14 million, or a penny a share, in the January-March quarter, down from $1.03 billion, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales fell 39 percent to $989 million from $1.617 billion a year ago but that also topped analyst's forecasts of $963.4 million.

The stock is still down 43 percent from its 52-week high of $28.07 set May 19, 2008. It traded as low as $7.36 six months later.

After a slump in LCD glass sales at the end of 2008, the company took $165 million in pretax restructuring charges in the first quarter to pay for eliminating 3,500 jobs, or 13 percent of its payroll of 27,000.

In March, however, the company announced that it expected to turn a first-quarter profit, excluding special items, thanks to a resurgence in glass orders over the previous several weeks. On Monday, it doubled its forecast for growth of LCD-TV units from 9 percent to 18 percent.

Flaws reminded investors that the company is not providing specific profit or sales guidance for the second quarter.

"However, we expect to see significant sequential improvement in the company's sales, gross margin and earnings before special items," he said. "Second-quarter results will also benefit from our recently completed fixed cost reduction programs."

The 157-year-old company is based in the city of Corning in rural western New York.

Sales in its display technologies segment fell 57 percent to $357 million from $829 million a year ago.

DisplaySearch, a market research firm based in Austin, Texas, estimates that about 120 million will be shipped worldwide in this year, up from 105 million in 2008.

"It could go slightly higher -- there is some optimism in the supply chain right now that things aren't going to be quite as bad as previously expected," said DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon.

In North America, shipments were expected to edge above 30 million this year from about 29.5 million in 2008.

Sales in Corning's telecommunications unit fell 8 percent to $385 million from $421 million on weakened optical fiber sales for private networks in North America.

Environmental technologies sales fell 44 percent to $110 million from $197 million, hurt by weaker auto-pollution filter sales. http://www.corning.com

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Draka Announces family of MDU Cables with BendBright-XS

Draka’s ezInterconnectTM MDU Drop cables with BendBright-XS® fiber with Megladon ScratchGuard™ connectors deliver value innovation for challenging MDU applications and are readily available for deployment today

Draka Communications–Americas announces a new family of fiber cables designed and manufactured to provide forgiveness, speed and low connector insertion loss during installation.  ezInterconnect cables with BendBright-XS fiber inside give installers peace of mind by taking away the historical barriers encountered while routing fiber cables into and through an apartment, condo, high rise building, or multi-tenant business center. 

“Value Innovation is a way of looking at the world. How can we help our customers do more, make more, save more, achieve more?  In this case that means creating value for the installer by designing a fiber cable that has a minimum bend radius of only 7.5 mm and handles like copper in the customer premise.  While working with installers during our prototype phase, we saw first hand the frequent number of 90 degree bends and pathway obstacles, plus we heard the contractor reinforce the need for a fiber cable that can tolerate tie wraps and staples”  states Dean Yamasaki, Applications Manager at Draka Communications-Americas.

Draka’s new MDU product line offering is extensive and available today:
•    Indoor or Indoor-Outdoor flame ratings
•    With or without connectors
•    With Megladon’s new enhanced HLC (Hardened Lens Contact) ScratchGuard™ connector technology or standard connectors
•    2.9 mm OD and 4.8 mm OD versions

Bend Insensitive Fiber Leadership: Draka introduced its first G.657.A bend insensitive fiber, BendBright, in 2002.  BendBright offers a 10X bend tolerance improvement over standard single mode fiber.  In 2006 Draka released its second generation G.657.B bend insensitive fiber, BendBright-XS, which offers a 100X bend tolerance improvement and is ideal for challenging FTTH applications.  Over 1 billion feet of BendBright-XS has been sold since its introduction!  Draka subsequently stretched its leadership with the announcement of a variation of BendBright–XS, BendBright-Elite, that offers an unrivaled level of bending performance at any bend radius for specialty applications like optical components and military/aerospace markets. www.DrakaAmericas.com

Draka Communications is one of the first fiber optic producers to merge the “ bendable fiber optic cable” technology with the ultra durable connection properties of Megladon’s® ScratchGuard™ HLC (Hardened Lens Contact). Fiber continues to take large bites out of the complacent bottoms of the old copper cabling world. www.megladonmfg.com

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DuPont gets hefty fine from EPA for pollution violations in West Va. and profits fall 59%

DuPont shareholders take it on the nose for the sins of two decades of shoddy management. DuPont Net Falls 59% and they failed miserably to meet projections…

Charleston, WV – West Virginia and federal authorities (EPA) say DuPont and Lucite International have agreed to pay $2 million to settle air pollution violations at a West Virginia plant.

The violations stem from sulfur dioxide releases from a unit owned by Lucite and operated by DuPont in Belle.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Justice Department and the state said Monday that modifications were made to the unit in 1996 without obtaining pre-construction permits or installing air pollution controls.

EPA said the Belle plant burns sulfuric acid sludge, which creates sulfur dioxide.

EPA said both companies have agreed to close the unit by April 2010.

The settlement was filed with the federal court in Charleston and people have 30 days to comment.

DuPont lowers 2009 profit range, and plans more cuts.

DuPont said it's revising lower its projected range for 2009 profit. DuPont in January had pegged 2009 earnings in a range of $2 to $2.50 a share. DuPont foresees "difficult market conditions continuing with the exception of global agriculture markets," adding that it remains focused on "aggressive actions to reduce costs and capital expenditures, in addition to maintaining an appropriate level of investment for high-growth, high-margin businesses including seed products and photovoltaics." Along these lines, the company said it's increasing its 2009 fixed-cost reduction goal to $1 billion, up from $730 million previously.

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EPA Decision greenhouse gases are a health risk

Big Business, greens and lawmakers are all bracing for an announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency this week on regulating greenhouse gases.

A declaration is widely expected but not officially scheduled. Experts predict it will assert the federal government's right to restrict emissions in the name of health.

Joe Mendelson, global warming policy director for the National Wildlife Federation, said the expected announcement would be a "game changer" for climate policy.

"It is fair to say that this will be the largest step the federal government will have taken to date on climate. It will be the first step towards what we expect will be mandatory reductions in U.S. global warming pollution," Mendelson told reporters Tuesday.

Bill Kovacs, vice president for the environment at the Chamber of Commerce, said the EPA could leverage the Clean Air Act to regulate virtually the entire economy.

"If this comes out and it is a real endangerment finding ... it will have a huge bearing on the economy of the United States," he said. "We're talking about something that has impact on trillions of dollars in every industry."

There's general agreement that the EPA news could give a big push to climate change legislation on Capitol Hill, making the proposals look flexible and low-cost compared with Clear Air Act remedies.

Head Winds For Tailpipes

Green groups say they expect the EPA to stress auto emissions, placing new pressure on Detroit to produce low-emission cars.

"There is a strong anticipation that the (announcement) will focus on the contributions of motor vehicle emissions to global warming pollution," said David Doniger, climate change policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

He added that it would "trigger the responsibility to set national greenhouse gas emissions standards for new vehicles."

That would be consistent with White House hints. Carol Browner, an aide to President Obama on climate policy, in February said the U.S. needed a "unified national policy" on vehicle emissions.

Obama himself said last month that his "one goal" in bailing out GM and Chrysler was that doing so would result in the U.S. leading the world in making clean cars.

May Spur Legislation

After an EPA declaration, there will likely be time for public comment as well as other bureaucratic delays. That will give Congress a chance to set the policy first. Industry may see little choice but to cooperate.

"Do you want the EPA to make the decision," Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a co-sponsor of a cap-and-trade emissions bill, told Reuters, "or would you like your congressman or senator to be in the room and drafting the legislation?"

Many businesses are already on the bandwagon, viewing carbon regulation as inevitable. They're eager to have a say in it.

Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, says his group hopes the EPA's announcement brings "clarity" to emissions rules.

"What is most important to this industry is that we have a single national standard administered by the federal government and not 50 states or multiple agencies within the federal government," Territo said. "Ultimately, we want to be part of the discussion."

The looming EPA action stems from a 2007 Supreme Court ruling on the Clean Air Act that found the agency has the power to regulate greenhouse gases. With the new administration, the EPA officially said last month that greenhouse gases are a health risk.

The NRDC's Doniger says greens hope the rules will drive standards that "equal or exceed" California's, the toughest in the nation.

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High-Output Fluorescent Lamps Deliver Energy Efficiency to High-Bay Lighting – Now on ElectricTV

The significant savings in energy and costs being realized by the use of leading-edge high-output fluorescent lamps is among the features on the latest edition of ElectricTV.net. A joint production of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), ElectricTV.net is the only web TV program dedicated to reporting the latest developments in the electrical construction and information systems industries.

For warehouses, factories and other high-bay buildings, metal halide bulbs have traditionally been used to light interior spaces.  Yet, with the groundbreaking development of high-output linear fluorescent lamps, also known as T5HO, high-bay buildings are now shining in a whole new light – at significantly lower costs. 

Not only are T5HO lamps twice as bright as traditional metal halide bulbs, they draw less energy and last longer than anything else on the market.  T5HO uses 231 watts, compared to 450 watts for metal halide, while producing double the lumens.   What’s more, T5HO lamps provide a range of color temperatures suited to a wider variety of lighting needs.  According to Relight, a leading lamp manufacturer, building owners who install T5HO lamps can cut energy cost by 20%, averaging a savings of $30,000 per year. 

Also on this edition of ElectricTV.net are a segment on a new learning program that’s bringing an online dimension to electrical worker training; a feature on how the movement for creating a “smart grid” is working to maximize efficiency in electrical transmission; and a spotlight on how building owners and managers are boosting operations and lowering costs through computer-based automation.

To view, visit www.electrictv.net/t5ho.aspx.

ABOUT NECA AND IBEW

Through their joint marketing organization – the National Labor-Management Cooperation Committee (NLMCC) of the organized electrical construction industry – NECA and IBEW together work to:

• Reach customers with accurate information about the industry; and

• Achieve better internal communication between labor and management.

NECA has provided over a century of service to the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development.

With 725,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields – including construction, utilities, telecommunications and manufacturing – IBEW is among the largest member unions in the AFL-CIO.  IBEW was founded in 1891. www.thequalityconnection.org.

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Hitachi Cable Manchester Begins Feasibility Study for Solar Energy

Hitachi Cable Manchester (HCM) continues to be a leader in green initiatives. 

HCM has initiated a feasibility study to determine the cost and capabilities of a roof-mounted solar array for its 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Manchester, NH.

Working with its contractor, HCM will explore the size and electricity generating capacity of a roof-mounted system. With more than five football fields of rooftop space to work with, HCM is energized by the possibilities of producing a large share of the electricity it uses.  Mike Gallant, Vice President, said, “We’ve started down this path not just because HCM believes in renewable energy, but because as a leader in our industry, we believe it is important to set an example.  We hope that other companies will consider using solar as well.”

About HCM

HCM, located in Manchester, NH manufacturers a complete line of copper and fiber optic cables for the communication industry.  Over 3,300 different cable products are manufactured at this facility.  In addition to Category 6A cables, products include Category 6 and 5e cables, outdoor Category 5e and 6 cables, indoor and outdoor fiber optic cables, armored fiber optic cables as well as plenum-rated indoor/outdoor fiber optic cables.

To learn more about HCM products and where you can purchase them, please contact HCM toll free at 800-772-0116 or visit the HCM website at www.hcm.hitachi.com

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New Automated Projector Lift Now Shipping and UL Listed!

The newly designed SL151™ Automated Projector Mount provides smooth and quiet movement at the press of a button.

www.chiefmfg.com - Chief Manufacturing, the industry leader in projector, monitor and flat panel TV mounting solutions, is excited to announce the release of the SL151 Automated Smart-Lift Projector Mount, now UL Listed and resized to drop directly into 2'x2' tiles.

The SL151 is a great, automated projector lift for finished ceilings in homes and corporate offices. The mount automatically lowers the projector from the ceiling so you can reveal or conceal at the press of a button.

The Smart-Lift offers precise positioning including vertical projector cradle adjustments and fore/aft projector positioning. Quick disconnect provides convenient lamp and filter access on most projectors, and the SL151 maintains registration even when disconnected. The low-profile design requires minimal clearance above the ceiling.

About Chief
Chief Manufacturing, is a division of Milestone AV Technologies, a Duchossois Group Company, and has more than 30 years of proven product and service excellence. Committed to responding to industry needs in the Pro AV, Residential and Office markets, Chief offers a complete line of mounts, lifts and accessories for flat panel displays and projectors.

Chief continues to design innovative mounting solutions and helpful tools like Chief's exclusive MountBuilder that complement the technology they support. With multiple product awards and patented designs, Chief provides unique mount features, and is recognized for delivering not only quality products, but knowledgeable, helpful customer service.

U.S. and Europe sales offices support a global network spanning the Americas, Europe, the Pacific Rim and beyond. Chief distribution centers are located in Minnesota, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.

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New Belden Brilliance(R) Low Loss Plenum RG-11 Precision Digital Video Coax Significantly Improves Long-Distance Performance

Belden announces the launch of its new and improved Plenum-rated RG-11 Precision Digital Video Coaxial Cable Product No 7732LL. Market applications for the new plenum cable include television broadcast studios, TV and video production, post-production facilities and field applications, HD-for-film production, video editing, distribution and duplication.

The new 7732LL cable offers significant performance enhancements over Belden's previous plenum-rated version (Product No 7732A), especially when deployed in long cable runs for high definition video (HD-SDI) or 1080p/60 applications. In fact, Brilliance 7732LL now offers the longest transmission distance in the industry, matching the performance of Belden's non-plenum SDI/HDTV Digital Video cables (7731A). In addition, Belden's 7732LL cables carry Belden's industry-leading Return Loss guarantee of: -23 dB 5 MHz to 1.6 MHz, and -21 dB from 1.6 GHz to 4.5 GHz - making it the only plenum RG-11 cable in the industry with this level of guaranteed Return Loss performance.

Steve Lampen, Belden's Multimedia Technology Manager, notes: "The new Brilliance 7732LL cable represents a breakthrough development in extending the signal transmission distance of plenum-rated copper video cables, without having to install fiber optic cabling. As digital video progressed from SDI to HD-SDI and now to 1080p/60 and 1080p/50 (3G), these applications have placed greater length constraints on copper cables, especially plenum-rated. With this new product, the distance differential between plenum and non-plenum cables has been eliminated."

The new Belden Brilliance Plenum-Rated RG-11/U Type Precision Digital Video Coaxial Cables feature a 14 AWG solid bare copper conductor, Duofoil® + 95% Tinned Copper Braid Shield, PTFE insulation and fluorocopolymer jacket. They are available in ten colors, including Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Gray and Natural. www.belden.com.

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New, Free Resource from Fluke Networks Provides IT Organizations with Step-by-Step Process for Improving Application Delivery

“2009 Handbook of Application Delivery” by Dr. Jim Metzler now available for immediate download from Fluke Networks’ website

Fluke Networks announced today that the new, updated “2009 Handbook of Application Delivery” is available for immediate download from Fluke Networks’ website.  The “Handbook,” written by industry analyst and widely recognized network technology authority Dr. Jim Metzler of Ashton, Metzler & Associates, provides a detailed framework for successfully implementing application delivery solutions.  According Dr. Metzler, this is critical due to the continued investments being made in enterprise applications that support key business processes.

“Over the last few years’ application delivery has become a priority for virtually all IT organizations,” said Dr. Metzler.  “However, the majority of IT organizations still struggle with the task. The Handbook takes information gathered from over 150 IT organizations and turns that into a framework for making the best decisions about application delivery.” 

The Handbook will help IT organizations minimize the occurrence of application performance issues and to identify and quickly resolve issues when they do occur. 

While discussing the many factors that currently complicate application delivery, the Handbook presents the need for IT organizations to develop a systematic approach to application delivery.  The Handbook provides multiple recommendations that IT departments can use when formulating their approaches to ensure acceptable application delivery.  Fluke Networks’ Visual Performance Manager is offered as one solution for ensuring and optimizing the delivery of business services with network-based application performance management.

Related to the topics discussed in the 2009 Application Delivery handbook, Fluke Networks and Dr. Metzler recently hosted a webcast discussing the challenges that arise as a result of working in silos, as well as the value of taking a performance-based approach to delivering critical business services.  The on-demand version of this webcast can be viewed at by clicking here.

About Fluke Networks

Fluke Networks provides innovative solutions for the installation and certification, testing, monitoring and analysis of copper, fiber and wireless networks used by enterprises and telecommunications carriers. The company's comprehensive line of Network SuperVision™ Solutions provide network installers, owners, and maintainers with superior vision, combining speed, accuracy and ease of use to optimize network performance. Headquartered in Everett, Washington, the company distributes its products in more than 50 countries. More information can be found by visiting Fluke Networks’ Web site at www.flukenetworks.com or by calling (800) 283-5853.

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New Fundamentals of Fiber Optics Training Course

The Light Brigade announces a new upcoming two-day technical training course, Fundamentals of Fiber Optics. This entry-level course covers both multimode and singlemode fiber networks and is intended for installation contractors and end users involved in building and maintaining local area networks (LANs), municipal networks, and private networks.

Specific topics covered include:

           An overview of the history of fiber optics

           Fiber optic transmission theory

           Optical fiber manufacturing

           System design parameters

           Installation guidelines

           Fiber optic fusion splicing

           Fiber optic connector termination

           Field testing and troubleshooting

           Technical standards and codes

This course includes extensive hands-on exposure to optical fiber termination, system testing and troubleshooting, and fusion splicing through six hours of hands-on training using the latest in fiber optic equipment.

Fundamentals of Fiber Optics is eligible for Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT) and Advanced Fiber Optic Technician (AFOT) certifications through the Fiber Optic Association, and is approved for Continuing Education Credits from BICSI.

www.lightbrigade.com  www.AFLtele.com

www.thefoa.org   www.bicsi.org

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New Intellectual Property Covers NonStop Wireless Networking, Energy Conservation

The United States Patent Office has awarded Trapeze Networks (NYSE: BDC - News) two breakthrough wireless networking patents. The patents advance the company's position in NonStop Wireless networking and cover technologies that allow organizations to deploy and manage access points more easily and at lower costs.

"The award of these two new patents builds and reinforces Trapeze Networks' position as an innovator and leader in wireless networking," said Ahmet Tuncay, chief technology officer of Trapeze Networks. "We are delivering inventions that are solving real customer problems and driving the adoption of wireless networking around the world."

Foundational Patent Builds on NonStop Wireless Networking

The "System and Method for Distributing Keys in a Wireless Network" (U.S. Patent 7,529,925) is a foundational patent that relates to improvements in roaming performance. This invention covers the fundamental operations of pairwise master key (PMK) caching, the way to maintain security when clients roam from one access point to another. The invention allows the distribution of key information about client devices between access points such that clients can avoid re-negotiation of new keys with new access points as they physically move in a wireless network. This results in uninterrupted wireless service and superior quality of connection. Most of today's enterprise class wireless LANs that support high-quality voice over IP services require PMK caching features in order to provide rapid roaming between access points and eliminating dropped calls.

"Power-Aware Multi-Circuit System and Method" (U.S. Patent 7,525,215) is an invention that allows access points to use one or more types of power sources (IEEE 802.1at, IEEE 802.3af, or proprietary PoE) and adjust the functionality of the access point based on the level of power available to it. This invention simplifies installation and operation of access points on existing networks and allows businesses to entirely avoid installing expensive additional power mains, new PoE sourcing devices, and upgrading their wiring closets to support the wireless network.

NonStop Wireless Networking: Wired Reliability + Total Mobility

NonStop Wireless brings painless, fully automated dynamic redundancy and scaling to wireless LANs. NonStop Wireless technology allows for non-stop operation, in-service upgrades, and hitless failover while dramatically simplifying redundancy configuration. Trapeze's NonStop Wireless dramatically reduces capital equipment and ongoing IT operational costs associated with building, maintaining, and growing high-availability resilient wireless LANs.

NonStop Wireless is delivered through Trapeze Mobility System Software (MSS). MSS is the distributed wireless operating system that runs on Trapeze's wireless LAN equipment and delivers the benefits of Trapeze's Smart Mobile architecture. MSS runs on all Trapeze equipment, from access points to controllers and is backwards compatible across the company's entire product line.

About Trapeze Networks

Trapeze Networks, a Belden Brand, is a leader in enterprise wireless LAN equipment and management software. Trapeze was the first company to introduce NonStop Wireless - delivering unmatched reliability to the enterprise wireless LAN and its solutions are optimized for companies requiring mobility and high bandwidth such as healthcare, education, and hospitality. Trapeze delivers Smart Mobile(TM) providing scalable wireless LANs for applications such as Voice over Wi-Fi, location services, and indoor/outdoor connectivity.

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New Learning Program Brings Online Dimension to Electrical Worker Training – Now on ElectricTV.net

A unique approach to electrical worker training that seamlessly blends online, classroom and hands-on experience is among the features of the latest edition of ElectricTV.net.  A joint production of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), ElectricTV.net is the only web TV program dedicated to reporting the latest developments in the electrical construction and information systems industries.        

The pioneering training program, the first of its kind in the United States, was developed by NECA-IBEW’s National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) in partnership with Cengage Learning.  Designed for outside line apprentices, the program offers a rich array of learning paths, from online studies – with web-based interaction between students and instructors – to classroom and application experiences conducted at NJATC’s training centers.  Distant students benefit by being able to complete coursework outside the classroom, allowing more time in the facility to be spent with hands-on lab work and direct instructor-led training.

Says Michael Callanan, Executive Director of the NJATC, “For more than 60 years, we’ve provided the highest quality training and apprenticeship programs for NECA and IBEW members.  Today, we’re meeting our students’ diverse needs through the latest available technology.  This new solution, combining web-based learning with traditional education materials, expands our ability to ensure our students are the best trained electrical workers.”

Also on this edition of ElectricTV.net are a segment on how the movement toward creating a “smart grid” is maximizing efficiency in electrical transmission; a feature detailing how building owners and managers are boosting operations and lowering costs through computer-based automation; and a spotlight on how T5HO fluorescent lamps are significantly lowering energy use and costs in lighting high-bay buildings.

To view, visit www.electrictv.net/blendedlearning.aspx.

ABOUT NECA AND IBEW

Through their joint marketing organization – the National Labor-Management Cooperation Committee (NLMCC) of the organized electrical construction industry – NECA and IBEW together work to:

• Reach customers with accurate information about the industry; and

• Achieve better internal communication between labor and management.

NECA has provided over a century of service to the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development.

With 725,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields – including construction, utilities, telecommunications and manufacturing – IBEW is among the largest member unions in the AFL-CIO.  IBEW was founded in 1891.

www.thequalityconnection.org.

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New NetAlly VoIP Assessment Software Eliminates Risk During Deployment or Expansion of VoIP Phone Systems

Fluke Networks’ new software quickly determines maximum call volume and call quality while saving money by reducing post-deployment troubleshooting

Fluke Networks today announced the availability of NetAlly VoIP Assessment and Troubleshooting Software, version 7.0.  This new software package helps eliminate risk associated with deploying or expanding VoIP services by assessing the current state of the network and previewing the service before it is deployed on that network.  Assessing the network, a requirement of many leading IP PBX manufacturers, makes VoIP deployments faster, more successful and less costly by reducing post-deployment troubleshooting.

As stated in the Gartner Research Report Ignore IP Telephony Network Assessments at Your Own Risk, “The introduction of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony impacts the enterprise data network; however, despite numerous discussions of this, some enterprises and integrators still do not perform proper predeployment assessments of the enterprise network.  This often leads to unplanned additional costs or deployment delays.  Properly performed network assessments are mandatory to reduce this risk.”[1]

NetAlly software can shorten installation time periods by performing proper network assessments, detecting deficiencies in the network and pinpointing where corrective actions and fine-tuning need to take place.  NetAlly offers users an accurate preview of the VoIP service as it will be delivered over a production IP network.  Unlike network simulation software, NetAlly generates traffic over the actual network and provides responses based on real-world measurements.

IT professionals can use NetAlly to determine if there is sufficient network capacity to support a proposed VoIP project.  NetAlly will discover the network devices and verify that QoS is enabled.  The software will also calculate how many simultaneous VoIP calls can be supported and determine expected MOS quality at various levels of usage.  Service levels by location and by time of day can be collected and documented.  The user can then adjust device settings and/or QoS configurations to reach the expected level of service.

The NetAlly Test Center user interface runs on Fluke Networks’ OptiView Integrated Network Analyzer.  This gives the user the ability to define tests, change test parameters and view results from anywhere on the network, combined with OptiView’s enterprise-wide vision and VoIP-specific diagnostics.  The new version of NetAlly will also run independently on a stand-alone server.  NetAlly version 7.0 is the result of Fluke Networks’ acquisition of key technology from Viola Networks, announced in August 2008. 

Product Availability

NetAlly VoIP Assessment and Troubleshooting Software version 7.0 is available for immediate delivery through Fluke Networks’ sales channels worldwide.

About Fluke Networks

Fluke Networks provides innovative solutions for the installation and certification, testing, monitoring and analysis of copper, fiber and wireless networks used by enterprises and telecommunications carriers. The company's comprehensive line of Network SuperVision™ Solutions provide network installers, owners, and maintainers with superior vision, combining speed, accuracy and ease of use to optimize network performance. Headquartered in Everett, Washington, the company distributes its products in more than 50 countries. More information can be found by visiting Fluke Networks’ Web site at www.flukenetworks.com

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New VoIP Enterprise Service Kit from Fluke Networks Reduces Installation and Problem-Solving Time for VoIP Phone Systems

Combination of three crucial test tools meets growing demand for comprehensive, affordable VoIP installation solution

Fluke Networks, provider of innovative Network SuperVision Solutions™ for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks, announces the availability of the VoIP Enterprise Service Kit, designed to ensure successful deployment of VoIP phonesover existing network infrastructure.  By using the three vital test tools included in this kit – a cable qualification tester, an inline performance tester and a digital probe – technicians can quickly eliminate the most common problems plaguing VoIP installations.

The VoIP Enterprise Service Kit  fills a void created by existing test tools that only check cable integrity – without looking at VoIP performance – and tools that only look at the VoIP phone, without testing the cabling’s ability to transmit voice traffic.  The new kit reduces the risk of rework and call-backs by testing both infrastructure and phone  performance while the technician is on site.

The VoIP Enterprise Service Kit is built around the CableIQ™ Qualification Tester.  The CableIQ tester checks cable bandwidth to ensure it will support Voice Over IP requirements.  This can prevent hours of downtime and troubleshooting when VoIP equipment is installed on cabling with insufficient bandwidth.

Also in the kit is the NetTool™ Series II inline testerwith VoIP Testing Option.  NetTool allows users to see into VoIP calls by placing NetTool between the IP phone and network.  Users can now quickly diagnose phone boot-up and call control problems as well as measure key call quality metrics without the need of a costly, hard-to-use protocol analyzer.

The third fundamental tool in the VoIP Enterprise Service Kit is the IntelliTone™ probe.  IntelliTone simplifies cable identification by responding to unique digital tones which are unaffected by sources of interference that hinder traditional tone-probe sets.  Both the CableIQ Qualification Tester and NetTool Inline Tester generate digital tone that can be located by the IntelliTone probe, saving time during cable identification tasks.

The VoIP Enterprise Service Kit is one of several VoIP solutions offered by Fluke Networks.  Earlier this week the company announced NetAlly VoIP Assessment and Troubleshooting Software, version 7.0.  This new software package helps eliminate risk associated with deploying or expanding VoIP services by assessing the current state of the network and previewing the service before it is deployed on that network.  Assessing the network, a requirement of many leading IP PBX manufacturers, makes VoIP deployments faster, more successful and less costly by reducing post-deployment troubleshooting.

Product availability
In addition to the CableIQ Qualification Tester, NetTool™ Series II inline tester and the IntelliTone probe, the VoIP Enterprise Service Kit includes six remote office IDs, used for identifying cable outlets at the far end of a link.  The VoIP Enterprise Service Kit is available for immediate delivery through Fluke Networks sales partners worldwide.

About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks provides innovative solutions for the installation and certification, testing, monitoring and analysis of copper, fiber and wireless networks used by enterprises and telecommunications carriers. The company's comprehensive line of Network SuperVision™ Solutions provide network installers, owners, and maintainers with superior vision, combining speed, accuracy and ease of use to optimize network performance. Headquartered in Everett, Washington, the company distributes its products in more than 50 countries. More information can be found by visiting Fluke Networks’ Web site at www.flukenetworks.com or by calling (800) 283-5853.

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Nobody is Recession- Proof. Microsoft Posts Landmark Loss

The link between Microsoft Corp.'s fortune and the health of the personal computer market has rarely been clearer than in the software maker's fiscal third quarter. Consumers, Businesses Cut Back Sharply On Tech Spending.

For the first time in Microsoft's 23-year history as a public company, revenue fell year-over-year as PC shipments tumbled.

The shortfall again illustrated the toll the recession has taken on the world's largest software maker, even though Microsoft remains one of the richest and most profitable companies. In January, Microsoft said it needed to resort to its first mass layoffs, cutting 5,000 jobs. Microsoft also announced it would do away with merit pay increases for employees in the next fiscal year. Microsoft did not issue earnings guidance for the rest of the year, and it offered no hope for a rebound in the current quarter.

"I didn't see any improvement at the end of the quarter that gives me encouragement that we're at the bottom and coming out of it," said Chris Liddell, Microsoft's chief financial officer.

On Friday at a technology forum in Cologne, Germany, Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, said the company expects to have to deal with a weak economy for at least the next several years. "We are planning essentially for the economy to contract," Ballmer said. "That may take two, three, four years, partly depending on government policy to ease some of the pain. Then we will see growth again."

Microsoft makes most of its profit selling the Windows operating system and business software such as Office, and those divisions have been hammered over the last six months as consumers and businesses sharply cut their technology spending. The holiday quarter, which ended in December, was the PC industry's worst in six years, according to research groups IDC and Gartner Inc. In the following quarter, computer shipments sank about 7 percent.

Last week, Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini raised some hopes when he said the PC market had bottomed out in the first quarter. On Thursday, EMC Corp. CEO Joe Tucci predicted that spending on information technology "has reached or is very near the bottom" and should rebound in the second half of this year. He made those comments even as EMC reported that first-quarter profit dropped 23 percent and the company planned more cost cuts.

Other executives have been more cautious. "I don't know how someone could say we've hit bottom in the current economic climate," said Dirk Meyer, the CEO of Intel's main rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

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Ortronics/Legrand Introduces New Full Line of Mighty Mo® Network and Server Cabinets to Address Airflow Issues in Data Centers

Ortronics/Legrand, a global leader in high performance copper, fiber and wireless structured cabling solutions, introduces a new complete range of Mighty Mo® network and server cabinets for advanced cable management in high performance networks. Ortronics Mighty Mo cabinets are designed to protect network integrity by addressing the critical needs in today's data centers and large premise networks – airflow, density, protection, and performance.

Designed specifically to improve airflow, the Mighty Mo cabinets enable more efficient cooling through the use of patent pending airflow baffles that provide separation of hot and cold aisles and redirect airflow from side vented equipment so it matches the front to back airflow of servers. This passive cooling approach reduces power consumption, thereby reducing costs and impact to the environment, while also mitigating the risk of equipment failure.

Mighty Mo cabinets are fully equipped to handle the density of today’s high performance networks while allowing for easy moves, adds, and changes. The system provides ample capacity for a minimum of 48 Category 6a patch cords per rack unit on a single side of the equipment, which is often necessary to avoid a fan tray, power supply or other removable part of the equipment.

To ensure maximum network performance, Mighty Mo cabinets protect patch cords, cable, and equipment ports from damage by maintaining proper bend radius requirements, reducing tension on plugs and jacks, protecting network equipment ports, and supporting large cable bundles within the cabinet. The cabinets also purposefully reposition the caster rails out of the cable pathway and effectively manage entry and exit points from within the cabinet frame.

Mighty Mo cabinets feature a rugged fully-welded construction and are available in widths of 24” and 32” and depths of 32”, 42” and 48”. Heights of 80” and 89” provide 42 and 47 rack units of equipment room. A wide selection of cable, power, and thermal management accessories are available to support the needs of any installation.

"A solid foundation is critical for superior network performance in high density applications, and the physical support system, including cabinets and racks, provides that foundation," states Lars Larsen, physical support product manager for Ortronics/Legrand. "A poorly designed physical support system can have a devastating effect on the performance of the network. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative to select a physical support system that is designed with these considerations in mind."

###

For more information contact:

Ortronics/Legrand, 125 Eugene O'Neill Drive, New London, CT 06320

Sales: 860-445-3900 or 800-934-5432, Fax: 888-282-0043 or 860-405-2992

E-mail: connect@ortronics.com, Internet: www.ortronics.com

Editorial Contact and Photos:

Laura Fradette, Communications Specialist

Ortronics/Legrand, 125 Eugene O'Neill Drive, New London, CT 06320

Direct Tel: 860-405-2861, Fax: 860-405-2972

E-mail: laura.fradette@ortronics.com

Background for Editors:

Ortronics/Legrand (www.ortronics.com), headquartered in New London, Connecticut USA, is a global leader in high performance structured cabling solutions, offering a complete range of Category 5e, 6 and 10 Gig copper, fiber optic, wireless and residential/MDU connectivity solutions. In addition, Ortronics offers Cablofil® wire mesh cable tray and Wiremold® pathways. Other programs and services include: engineering and technical support, systems planning, training programs and a 25-year warranty program.

Ortronics/Legrand is a subsidiary of Legrand (www.legrandelectric.com), the world specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Operating in over 60 countries with sales of $4.9 billion, Legrand employs approximately 33,000 people, and its catalogs include more than 130,000 products. At Legrand, innovation drives growth: with nearly 5% of sales invested in R&D every year, the group brings out a steady stream of new, high added-value products.

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Para Systems Offers its Minuteman Power Protection Solutions as New Member of Exclusive Mitel Solutions Alliance

Para Systems, manufacturer of the comprehensive line of Minuteman® branded power protection solutions (www.minutemanups.com), today announced it has joined the Mitel® Solutions Alliance (MSA), a comprehensive program that enables a wide range of third-party partners to create products and services that integrate with Mitel’s core business communications portfolio.

As a new member, and the only power protection solution provider in MSA, Para Systems is offering a customized version of its online tool www.sizeups.com/mitel, to assist distributors, resellers and end users in selecting the right Minuteman power protection solution that best fits Mitel’s product offerings.

“We have had a strong relationship with Mitel over the years, and we are excited about joining MSA,” said Rod Pullen, president of Para Systems. “Our Minuteman brand has become synonymous with power protection products designed for business communications, especially in the long battery back-up times required for keeping the business lifeline – which is the telecommunications system - up and running.”

Power protection is a vital voice and video communication system component that provides a return on investment in various ways, ranging from protecting equipment from damaging power events such as spikes and surges, to maintaining productivity by providing a bridge across other common power occurrences such as brownouts and blackouts. In addition, the battery back-up function maintains up-time through extended power outages so that businesses do not lose their line of communication to their customers.

“MSA enables us to build alliances with those companies who share and complement our market vision and can help us implement it rapidly and successfully,” said David

Lowenstein, MSA Director of Business Development. “We welcome Para Systems and its

Minuteman brand of power protection solutions into the program, and look forward to

incorporating their products into Mitel's global ecosystem of interoperable solutions.”

For more information on Minuteman power protection solutions, visit

www.minutemanups.com. Information on Mitel’s business communications solutions can be seen at www.mitel.com.

About Para Systems, Inc.

Para Systems, Inc., based in Carrollton, TX, is a leading provider of power technologies for more than 25 years. The Minuteman brand of comprehensive power protection solutions range from small to large-scale uninterruptible power supply (UPS) products, along with a full line of unique surge suppressors, power distribution units, and remote power management systems. Minuteman products are used in the protection of telephone/VOIP systems, personal computers, network servers and infrastructure peripherals, security systems, and industrial applications. Para Systems was also an early pioneer in offering extended runtime UPS solutions that provide battery back-up power through lengthy outages.

Para Systems has an on-going commitment to manufacture high quality products that

provide the mission critical reliability customers expect. The Minuteman brand of products is sold through a large network of distributors and resellers. Para Systems in a wholly owned subsidiary of Components Corporation of America, headquartered in Dallas, TX, whose roots date back to 1916.

www.minutemanups.com

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Rise of Smarter, Greener Buildings Boosts Efficiency, Reduces Cost – Now on ElectricTV

A close look at how building owners are applying the latest technologies to create smarter, greener buildings is among the features on the latest edition of ElectricTV.net.  A joint production of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), ElectricTV.net is the only web TV program dedicated to reporting the latest developments in the electrical construction and information systems industries.        

The vast majority of the more than four million commercial buildings in the United States are equipped with outdated mechanical system technology, relying heavily on manual processes, from adjusting thermostats to turning on lights.  Yet, with the advent of a new generation of computer-based, networked systems, building owners at every level can now realize considerable savings in time and money through automation.

Lighting, heating and cooling, fire alarm, power systems and more can now be managed from a single computer interface.  Plus, says Dave Ulrich, control manager for the Electric Company of Omaha, “With internet connectivity, you can control your systems from any location, both on- and off-site.”  Such global oversight allows problems to be quickly pinpointed and resolved.  And the ability to automatically turn systems on and off, running only as needed, results in decreased operating costs and increased energy savings, benefiting both the owner and the environment.

Also on this edition of ElectricTV.net are a segment on a new learning program that’s bringing an online dimension to electrical worker training; a feature on how the movement for creating a “smart grid” is working to maximize efficiency in electrical transmission; and a spotlight on how T5HO fluorescent lights are delivering significant savings in energy and costs to the lighting of high-bay buildings.

To view, visit www.electrictv.net/buildingautomation.aspx.

ABOUT NECA AND IBEW

Through their joint marketing organization – the National Labor-Management Cooperation Committee (NLMCC) of the organized electrical construction industry – NECA and IBEW together work to:

• Reach customers with accurate information about the industry; and

• Achieve better internal communication between labor and management.

NECA has provided over a century of service to the $130 billion electrical

construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development.

With 725,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields – including construction, utilities, telecommunications and manufacturing – IBEW is among the largest member unions in the AFL-CIO.  IBEW was founded in 1891. www.thequalityconnection.org.

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Siemon™ Launches New Line of MTP™ Plug and Play Fiber Optic Network Cabling Solutions

Combining cutting edge performance with high speed deployment, Siemon’s plug and play fiber optic cabling system was designed from the ground up to satisfy the needs of high-performance data centers

April 23, 2009, WATERTOWN, CT, Siemon is proud to introduce a completely new and expanded line of high-performance MTP plug and play fiber optic cabling solutions.  Constructed of high-quality fiber optic cable and components for future-proof support of critical data center links including 10 Gb/s as well as future 40 and 100 Gb/s applications, the Siemon plug and play system's factory terminated and tested connections guarantee maximum channel throughput without the performance variability of field terminations.  This turnkey solution can be ordered to fit the application then simply pulled and connected - a simple approach allowing high performance data center links to be deployed 75% faster than traditional field terminations.  Beyond installation speed, Siemon plug and play products provide a “greener” approach, eliminating the waste associated with additional connectors, termination kits and other consumables.

The Siemon plug and play system includes new low-profile MTP to LC or SC modules, MTP pass-through adapter plates and an extensive offering of pre-terminated MTP to MTP, and MTP to LC cable assemblies.

Newly designed to be lightweight, low profile and easier to install, Siemon plug and play modules feature 12 fiber MTP connections at the rear of each module, providing up to 24 LC or 12 SC connections in the patching field via simple snap-in mounting within standard Siemon RIC® and FCP™ fiber enclosures and VersaPOD™ vertical patch panels. The modules provide optimized adapter spacing for easy finger access to fiber jumper latches in high-density patching environments as well as reduced mounting depth to maximize cable management space in fiber enclosures.  In addition to plug and play modules, Siemon also offers “pass-through” MTP adapter plates, designed to support up to 6 MTP-to-MTP connections in a single adapter plate.

 Siemon plug and play modules and adapters are supported by a wide array of factory-terminated cable assemblies that combine Siemon’s reduced-diameter RazorCore™ cable with 12-fiber MTP connectors. MTP-to-MTP reels are designed to be quickly pulled and connected to plug and play Modules and MTP adapter plates. Available in 12 to 144 fiber counts in increments of 12 fibers and in custom lengths, these reels are user-configurable to precise application requirements and efficiently put high-performance, high-density fiber connections exactly where they are needed.  

Siemon's plug and play cable assembly line also includes new MTP to LC trunking assemblies that offer a connectivity transition from 12-fiber MTP connectorized RazorCore cable to duplex LC connector breakouts. These trunks may be implemented with Siemon’s MTP adapter plates to provide flexible direct MTP to LC patching options over a wide range of distances and infrastructure configurations.  Additionally, Siemon offers a cost effective hydra option for creating direct MTP to LC equipment connections, typically in connections within a rack or cabinet. MTP to LC Hydras plug directly into an MTP reel via an MTP Adaptor and provide up to 12 jacketed LC (6 duplex) “legs”, eliminating the need for fiber jumpers.

 All Siemon plug and play products are available in Multimode (62.5/125, Standard 50/125 and Laser Optimized 50/125) and Singlemode fiber types. Assembly jacket ratings include riser, plenum and LSOH.

###

About Siemon:

Established in 1903, Siemon (www.siemon.com) is an industry leader specializing in the manufacture and innovation of high quality, high-performance network cabling solutions. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global offices, manufacturing and service partners throughout the world, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper (unshielded and shielded twisted-pair) category 5e, category 6 (Class E), category 6A (Class EA) and category 7/7A (Class F/FA), and multimode and singlemode optical fiber cabling systems available. With over 400 active patents specific to structured cabling, from patch cords to patch panels, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and development of industry standards, underlining the company's long-term commitment to its customers and the industry.

Siemon™, RazorCore™, VersaPOD™ and RIC® are trademarks of The Siemon Company.  MTP® is a trademark of USConnec, Ltd.   All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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The People have Spoken and NETcomm Prairies a Success

The dust has settled, and it can be said the NETcomm Prairies 2009 Show in Saskatoon, Sask., last week (April 21-22) built upon the solid foundation laid by the inaugural event in Halifax to be a resounding success for both delegates and exhibitors.

“It was worth the two-and-a-half hours [to get here],” said Wayne Reesor of Linktel Communications, which installs and maintains telephone systems, network cabling and fiber optics for both commercial and residential clients. He came from Lloydminster, Alta., to attend the event in Canada’s Breadbasket. “Will I attend next year? 100%. I will, yes!”

The event comprised two days of educational sessions, along with an exhibitor showcase and hands-on workshops. The hands-on “Fusion Splicing” workshop from Day 1 proved so popular that it was repeated on Day 2 to accommodate interested delegates. Among the most popular Education Track seminars were “High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)”, FTTP and FTTx, and Security.

The show proved great for exhibitors, too. Garry Burrows, Telonix’s sales contact for The Prairies, Territories and British Columbia, said it normally takes him several days to make his calls when in the Saskatoon area but, with NETcomm, he was able to see everyone during the show, “plus some that I might have missed!”. He explained he also got to know some companies he didn’t know before.

“This is a show that, in the future, I want to participate in,” added Burrows.

A special thanks goes out to NETcomm’s sponsors, without whom the Show could not have been possible: Please visit them at www.netcommshow.ca.

Be sure to visit www.netcommshow.ca to learn more about, and see photos from, the Prairies event. While you’re there, check out the show video, and sign up for NETcomm’s free newsletter, which provides timely industry information, as well as Show updates.

The NETcomm team is currently finalizing all the details for the next Show in Montréal, Qué., June 10-11. Again, visit www.netcommshow.ca to learn more about both the upcoming Québec conference, as well as the Atlantic Show scheduled for September.

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Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago has deployed InterReach Fusion(R) in-building cellular systems

ADC (NASDAQ: ADCT) (www.adc.com) announced that the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago has deployed its InterReach Fusion(R) in-building cellular systems to provide clear and consistent cellular coverage for staff, visitors, and guests at the Chicago landmark.

Completed in 2008, the Trump International Hotel and Tower boasts 28 floors of guest rooms plus an additional 61 floors of condominium residences, making it a towering landmark of luxury at the north end of Chicago's Loop. During its three-year construction phase, hotel management recognized the need to provide in-building cellular coverage throughout the hotel's interior space, and chose ADC's InterReach Fusion system as the solution. Currently, Sprint and Verizon provide service through the Fusion system at the hotel, although discussions with AT&T and T-Mobile are underway.

"We wanted an in-building wireless system that could support all of the carriers in the area, and ADC came highly recommended by carriers and consultants," said Jerry Chang, IT director at the Trump International Hotel and Tower. "The Fusion system has eliminated service complaints from subscribers to the carriers who are on it so far, and we hope to have agreements with all other carriers soon."

The InterReach Fusion in-building distributed antenna system (DAS) feeds 174 remote antenna units (RAUs). Thanks to the Fusion system's active architecture, deployment teams were able to leverage existing fiber cabling in utility risers to extend signals from Main Hubs to Expansion hubs located on various floors, while the RAUs are linked to Expansion Hubs via standard CATV cable. This DAS architecture allows the RAU to be placed close to the user in strategic areas of the property where coverage improvement is needed most. The system delivers wireless service to all guest rooms as well as the reception area, a 23,000 square-foot spa, meeting rooms, the restaurant, and the bar.

"InterReach Fusion's high-performance architecture and ADC's proven ability to deliver effective coverage in high-rise hotels and residences has led to deployments in hospitality venues across the globe as quality wireless service is increasingly viewed as an essential amenity," said John Spindler, vice president of product management for ADC. "Our deployment at the Trump International Hotel and Tower leverages expertise gained through other high-profile deployments such as the City of Dreams in Macau, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, and many of the premiere properties on the Las Vegas strip."

About ADC Network Solutions

ADC's Network Solutions Business Unit offers products that deliver high-performance wireless coverage and capacity to business and consumer subscribers in any indoor or outdoor location. ADC is the global leader in advanced in-building wireless solutions and compact network systems, and is a leader in solutions that enhance coverage in macro networks.

About Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Trump International Hotel & TowerChicago, located in the heart of the city at 401 N. Wabash Avenue, welcomed its first hotel guests in January 2008. The hotel, comprising floors 14-27 of a 92-story residential tower in development by the Trump Organization, features 339 luxuriously appointed guestrooms including one-, two- and three-bedroom suites; Sixteen, a fine dining restaurant featuring the modern American cuisine of Executive Chef Frank Brunacci; The Spa at Trump; the Trump Health Club; Rebar, a chic cocktail lounge and more. Fifty-three spa guestrooms were also unveiled September 2008. Designed by the noted architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with interiors by McGinley Design, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago promises to be a stunning addition to Chicago's distinguished skyline. For room and event reservations at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, call (312) 588-8000, (877) 458-TRUMP (7867) or visit www.trumpchicagohotel.com. To find the property on Facebook, please visit http://tinyurl.com/c3hmm5.

For information on owning a Residential Condominium or Hotel Condominium in Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, please call (312) 644-0900 or visit www.trumpchicago.com. Prices start from the upper $500,000s.

About Trump Hotel Collection

Launched in October 2007, Trump Hotel Collection is the next generation of luxury hospitality - one that is raising the bar in the top-tier travel experience with a level of customized service unrivaled on the market today. Within its prestigious portfolio are the highly acclaimed Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, and the newly opened Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and Trump International Hotel Las Vegas. Joining Trump Hotel Collection in 2009 are Trump International Hotel & Tower Fort Lauderdale, Trump SoHo New York and Trump International Hotel & Tower Waikiki. Additional hotel projects are under development around the globe, including: Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, Trump Ocean Club Panama, Trump International Hotel & Tower Dubai, Trump at Cap Cana, Trump Scotland and Trump International Hotel & Tower New Orleans. Trump Hotel Collection, a division of The Trump Organization, is headquartered at Trump Tower, 725 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022.

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:

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Wesco's 1st-quarter profit falls along with everybody else

Along with the rest of the industry, Electrical and industrial supplier Wesco International Inc.'s profit fell 45 percent in the latest quarter as construction and all of the company's other end markets -- except government sales -- sagged. The company plans further cost-cutting, and said it has identified areas that will help it save an additional $22 million a year, though didn't offer specifics on where those cuts will come from.  We interviewed several big contractors and got some very positive feedback on WESCO. Many new initiatives by Wesco and subsidiary CSC – Communications Supply Corp. are starting to produce new sales and build their customer base. Visit their websites for up-to-date information on new programs. Knowledge isn’t just power, it’s also wealth. www.wescodist.com  www.gocsc.com

Wesco said that it was able to improve its gross profit margin from the fourth quarter. The company's gross margin -- which measures profitability once the cost of making goods are stripped out -- was 20.2 percent of sales, up from 19.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Wesco remains a top industry leader in distribution.

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Corning Cable Systems Introduces Low-loss, Bend-Tolerant Jumpers for Enterprise Applications

Ideal for linking electronics to network components in fiber optic applications where bend-induced mistakes can be costly

Corning Cable Systems LLC, part of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Telecommunications segment, introduces its Pretium® Low-loss OM3 Jumpers with ultra-bend performance. Local area network (LAN) and data center applications can benefit from the improved bend tolerance of these new OM3 (high-bandwidth, laser-optimized) cable assemblies with Corning® ClearCurve® multimode fiber.

Corning Cable Systems Pretium Low-loss OM3 Jumpers with ultra-bend performance can greatly reduce outages and degradation in systems caused by severe bending problems. Even when best practices are employed, mistakes may occur that result in kinked cables and cables bent beyond the recommended minimum bend radius found in today’s typical jumpers.

As network transmission speeds increase, available margins tighten and become more sensitive to loss associated with a number of factors including bends. Attenuation loss impacts associated with inadvertent macro-bending events may be reduced by more than 50 percent when using Pretium Low-loss OM3 Jumpers with ultra-bend performance in place of traditional 50 µm jumpers. Some severe bending problems that could typically result in a system outage become a non-event when the Pretium Low-loss OM3 Jumpers with ultra-bend performance are deployed in the network.

Enabled by Corning ClearCurve multimode fiber, Pretium Low-loss OM3 Jumpers with ultra-bend performance are able to accommodate a minimum bend radius of 8 mm (1.6 mm cable) to 10 mm (2.0 mm cable) with minimal bend-induced attenuation loss.

Multimode fibers have many modes of light traveling through the core of the fiber. These modes have a tendency to leak from the core under tight bending conditions. The resulting additional signal loss can cause system downtime or reduced network efficiency. Corning ClearCurve multimode fiber is designed to confine these modes within the fiber’s core; the result is a virtually undiminished optical signal and a reduced risk of network downtime.

Visit the Corning Cable Systems exhibit (booth #115) at the 2009 BICSI Spring Conference & Exhibition May 10-13, in Baltimore for a demonstration of the optimized bend performance of the Pretium Low-loss OM3 Jumpers with ultra-bend performance.

For additional information on Corning Cable Systems products and services, 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 www.corning.com/cablesystems.

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AFL Telecommunications Acquires Draka's OPGW Business


AFL Telecommunications has signed an agreement to purchase Draka's Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) business based in Monchengladbach, Germany. This acquisition positions AFL Telecommunications as the leading OPGW manufacturer worldwide, increasing its reach in additional countries of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"The combined business synergies will enhance our technologies, increase manufacturing efficiencies and leverage the value of what we offer our customers," said Jody Gallagher, AFL Telecommunications' President and CEO. "Not only will our capacity increase, but it will enable us to enhance our capability and flexibility along with our ability to meet the increasing demands of our customers." AFL Telecommunications currently manufactures OPGW cables in the United States and United Kingdom.

Optical Ground Wire is a dual functioning cable that serves as ground wire for power lines, while providing a path for the transmission of voice, video or data signals by incorporating optical fibers into the design of the cable. OPGW is placed at the highest point on power utility structures, allowing for fast, cost-effective installations with exceptional reliability.

With over 20 years of experience in the aerial cable market, AFL supplies a full range of OPGW products, hardware accessories, engineering and installation services. 

Terms of the acquisition are undisclosed, and are subject to customary closing conditions and standard procedures due to local legislation. For additional information on AFL Telecommunications, visit www.AFLtele.com.

About AFL Telecommunications
AFL Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan, is an industry leader in providing fiber optic products, engineering expertise and integrated services to the Electric Utility, Broadband, Telco, OEM, Private Network and Wireless markets. AFL Telecommunications is headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina and has additional operations in the U.S., Mexico and the U.K. 

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NETcomm Presents Atlantic 2009 Conference, Issues Call for Papers

Following the success of the Maritimes Conference held in Halifax last September—and Prairies and Québec conferences this year in April and June that promise to be even better—NETcomm is returning to Halifax for its Atlantic 2009 Conference this September 14-15 at The Lord Nelson (Official Conference Hotel).

The Atlantic 2009 Conference is the third in a series of regional conferences NETcomm is conducting across Canada this year. The conference format combines a trade show-like forum with a series of educational seminars and technical workshops related to all aspects of communications networks and connectivity solutions.

Attendees consist of contractors, installers, integrators, designers, engineers, communications specialists, etc., who work in public administration, transportation, telecommunications, security, electrical and cabling installation, network design and installation, and purchasing and operations management.

NETcomm has issued a Call for Papers for the Atlantic 2009 Conference, seeking presentations on subjects touching upon one or more of the following:

• Voice/Data/Video

• Security

• Industrial Automation

• Environmental Systems

• Backbone and Cable/Rack Management

• Test & Measurement

• Regulations & Standards

            (Other subjects will be considered)

To enquire about facilitating an educational seminar, please contact:

Anthony Capkun

(905) 713-4391 direct

acapkun@clbmedia.ca

For more information, and to learn about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.netcommshow.ca.

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FSU Converges Support to Follow Technology

By Suzanne Kane and Donna Taylor

Convergence implies the carriage of different types of traffic such as voice, video, data, and images over a single, integrated network based on the Internet protocol (IP). Throughout most of the 20th century, communications media were separate and services were distinct. Voice telephony, online computer services, and broadcasting were separate, and each had its own platform. Each was also regulated differently and by different entities. These concise business models had support that was easily defined.

    The trend toward convergence combines all of these different media into one operating platform. This merger of telecom, data processing, and imaging technologies is creating a new era of multimedia that customers not only want, but demand. One of the challenges presented by this demand that receives less attention but is critical to success is support. Customer service groups must be formed that can cross all technological boundaries to support the breadth of products, services, and features required to satisfy our customers’ expectations.

    In response to this development, The Florida State University (FSU) made the decision to converge its computer help desk and telecom call center/directory assistance section with reporting lines to the telecommunications customer service area. This coincided with a restructure that reassigned reporting of the telecommunications department to the Office of Technology Integration (OTI). All support for computer and telephony would remain intact; however, this unit had a more comprehensive, university-wide role to fulfill. The merger was announced in December 2005, and although the process was not without obstacles, it was managed expediently and seamlessly. Here is how FSU made this work.

Early Decisions

Early in the process, it was decided to scale back, define the areas of need, and distinguish between short term and long term. Rather than looking at the big picture, the focus was on the short-term, critical need so the process could be manageable. As for any other project, parameters were defined, plans were developed, a timeline was established, and tasks/leaders were assigned.  It was time to set the start date and roll up shirtsleeves.

    The following six project parameters, initial areas of critical need, were identified:

1.  Location. The goal was to bring the staff from both sections together. Regardless of the location selected, one of the two groups (if not both) would need to be physically relocated. Because space was limited in our main building, the computer help-desk location was selected, and the staff from the main telecommunications building relocated. While this was not ideal from the standpoint of building a cohesive department, it ultimately helped build relationships and bridge trust with the newly formed alliance with other technology departments. Because this location was more closely connected to other IT departments, it confirmed that the help desk was still there to support the entire division.

    Another advantage to this location was the ability to act quickly. Fall was rapidly approaching, and neither section was adequately staffed. The options were to either fill the vacancies in both sections and operate in two locations until peak time settled down or to bite the bullet, move and train existing staff, and hold on until fall rush was over!  Choosing the latter was one of the toughest decisions made, leaving most staff members very apprehensive; but in the end, it proved to be the right decision because it worked.

2.  Positions/staffing. The strength of any successful business resides with its employees. FSU had two great units that functioned well separately. The goal was to capitalize on the technology strengths of the help desk and the customer-centric attitude of telecom’s call center to establish a broader help-desk identity. With that in mind, the blended Florida State University Technology Services Help Desk was born. 

3.  Telephone system configuration. Both help desks used automatic call distribution (ACD) systems, with long-term, established numbers. Functionality and telephone numbers had to be merged and/or forwarded into one system, with 644-HELP as lead number. Telecom’s call center evolved from campus operators, which introduced a third long-term number and system to support FSU’s directory assistance. Historically, this directory assistance number was globally published as the university’s main number, which also had to be factored into the configuration. Once the technical configuration was complete, all of the newly united employees had to be trained to collectively support computer help desk, telephony help desk, and FSU directory assistance prior to fall rush, August 2006.

    In October of that same year (2006), 60 percent of the directory assistance calls were diverted when FSU launched its interactive voice response (IVR) system for directory assistance, routing only overflow or attendant-assisted calls to the help line. This automation was crucial as it allowed staff to turn attention to support issues and other more critical tasks.

4.  Customer contact points. Success required consolidating points of contact, highlighting the word HELP. To inform the FSU community, a campaign was launched via all campus media, such as mass email and website news flashes. It took over two years to cancel old numbers, eliminate outdated literature, and forget “the way it was before,” but for the most part the campus now knows how to reach someone for assistance: phone (850) 644-HELP (4357); email help@otc.fsu.edu; or visit the website at www.helpdesk.fsu.edu.

5.  Website Consolidation. Both help desks had dynamic websites, each serving unique purposes to distinctly different customers. Significant time was spent reviewing the sites to determine the best course of action. The goal was, and remains, to develop one useful, customer-friendly website, while preserving the various roles.

    An important component in the combining design, which remains a challenge today, was multiple ticketing systems. One system was used for university-wide tickets such as FSU email, human resources, computer account access, and password resets. The other system was specifically integrated into telecom’s trouble ticket and billing system.

6.  Contact management. To establish and strengthen communication with clients as well as customers, meetings were held with key personnel, specifically within the technology departments. In these meetings, plans were reviewed and working terminology defined:

   Customers: people (students, faculty, staff, prospective students, parents) who contact the help desk with a question. We define a customer as anyone you come in contact with (i.e., students, parents, coworkers, vendors, departmental peers, etc.), or “the one who gets it next!”

   Clients: the group we are representing to the customer with the question.

   Tier 1 support (help desk): basic questions with routine answers.

   Tier 2 support: support that cannot be provided by the help desk and must be sent to our clients for more in-depth assistance (typically provided by our clients).

   Knowledge base/scripts: a collection of preformatted solutions, developed with our clients, that address known or common customer problems.

   Turnaround times: standard time for the resolution of a problem or ticket.

   Tracking: the process of reporting on status.

   Escalation procedure: established process used to assist with difficult problems.

Common Sense Approach

Once the foundation was established, the plans were executed and observed following the principle of leadership that is structured yet flexible.  Following a one-year review, these observations led to structural changes and responsibility shifts to strengthen support. For instance, it was evident that the duties associated with customer contact had to be separated from the duties of content management (i.e., support for client interaction, ticketing systems/administration, knowledge base, and website maintenance). To accomplish this goal, a customer resource management area was created, not separating what had just been converged, but creating a whole new section to help support the help desk.  To more accurately match skill sets, several employees were repositioned and a supervisor was reassigned to lead this new area. Now help-desk staff could get back to the basics and clearly focus on customer and client support.

Customer Service 101 

Technology changes are inevitable and necessary. Customers who are kept informed and receive high-quality support will not only accept such changes, they will embrace them. The secret to success is to make customer satisfaction top priority.

    It did not take long to discover that technical staff much preferred email contact with customers to actual conversation. Conversely, our most outgoing, customer-oriented staff was similarly frustrated with technical tasks. Applying basic telephone etiquette, such as to clearly identify area and state names to callers, presented a burden to longtime IT help-desk staff. 

    At this point, customer contact job listings were rewritten as level 1 help desk services. Interpersonal skills were emphasized, and technical ability deemphasized. It appeared to be easier for effective communicators with the inherent ability to serve customers to learn repetitive technical skills than for technical staff to learn the level of “people skills” required for good customer relations.  Gradually, attrition brought with it renewed energy, and clearer goals were communicated focusing on the customer’s experience.

Measuring Success

The next ongoing challenge became how to determine that these changes in philosophy were successful. Reports to ensure uniformity in services and quality metrics were developed. Processes and procedures were written or rewritten to provide internal training, as well as to update our Web-published knowledge base. Involving employees heavily in the development of these tools accelerated learning curves and helped promote teamwork from the outset.

    The character of any team is reflected in the standards it sets for itself. Here are some examples of what is working for FSU:

1. Defined standards and rules of thumb, such as the following:

           Customer service employees are provided these customer contact expectations as part of training:

(1) Guaranteed response time on email, voicemail, or verbal inquires

(2) Phone and email etiquette

(3) Coverage: maintain work schedules and leave requests on a shared calendar

(4) Out-of-office procedures: Change voicemail greeting, activate “out-of-office assistant” on email

           Defined turnarounds for all services

           Customer contact instructions to confirm satisfaction

2. Examples of defined monthly benchmarks:

           Number of repairs  (opened/closed)

           Calls to help-desk line (offered, answered, and abandoned)

           Calls to directory assistance IVR

(offered, answered, and abandoned)

           Number of website visits

           Number of online chats

           Number of password resets

3.  Examples of weekly management tools and reports used to keep us on track:

           Repairs open > 24 hours

           Email notice to tier 2 clients and vendors seeking updates for past-due tickets and accounts that had not been accessed for a prespecified time frame

           Client/customer call tracking (defines trends in who is calling and what their needs are)

           Monitoring IVR calls to identify success rates

What Lies Ahead?

As we look to the future, FSU continues to seek areas of improvement.  Some projects that have been identified include the following:

   Consolidate and improve reporting capabilities for university-wide ticketing system, rather than multiple systems. 

   Increase the presence and communication with clients who provide tier 2 support.

   Separate tier 2 support into a tier 2 and tier 3 structure (defining tier 3 and redefining tier 2).

   Implement improved call center software and hardware to increase efficiency and improve automation.

   Solidify and clearly communicate computer software and hardware standards and configurations to students, parents, and professors.

   Continue to enhance online services based on customers’ needs.

   Seek continuous feedback from clients and customers through surveys, focus groups, and open forums.

   Explore options for moving all help-desk staff into the main department’s building.

    In a university environment, it is important to establish benchmarks in order to track trends and measure volumes. Defining the elusive measurement to ensure that clients and customers receive the level of quality customer care they deserve is a requirement. Typically help-desk staff are trained to accept the fact that complaints will be lodged no matter how well they perform. At FSU, a basic goal is to measure success not by a lack of complaints, but on the abundance of compliments.  Based on this measurement, The Florida State University Technology Services Help Desk is well on its way to transforming two help desks into one unified and highly successful service and support center.

Donna Taylor is assistant director, customer service, and Suzanne Kane is manager, Technology Services Help Desk in the Office of Telecommunications, at The Florida State University. Reach Donna at dltaylor@otc.fsu.edu and Suzanne at suzkane@otc.fsu.edu.

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Megladon HLC®SCRATCHGUARD™ Fiber Optic Patch Cords Withstand 1000 Matings

Megladon’s signature HLC SCRATCHGUARD fiber optic patch cables were utilized in durability testing simulating an in-field 1000 mating requirement. Multiple mating scenarios are experienced by network installers and maintenance personnel when certifying or troubleshooting fiber optic networks.               

The durability test was initiated using SM SCHLC processed connectors from several manufacturers to ensure the final product was not manufacturer sensitive. The mated pair was tested for insertion loss after each mating and visually inspected after each set of 100 matings. The mating surface was only cleaned when a substantial insertion loss increase was noticed (see data graph below).

Megladon’s HLC fiber optic terminations are known for their mating surface durability and coupling efficiency. This provides network installation personnel with an ease of use during network deployment and provides maintenance personnel a reliable network utilizing the highest optical performance patch cords in the industry.

“We are very excited to demonstrate our fiber optic technology in this way”, said Daniel Hogberg, Megladon Product Group Manager. “It is an extreme test that a standard product could not endure. When you look at the data, it raises the question why these products are not deployed in all networks”.


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

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Megladon Manufacturing and Draka Communications will present at SCTE Meeting

Megladon Manufacturing Group announced today a joint presentation with Draka Communications at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Southern California Chapter (www.scte.org) meeting in Los Angeles on May 20, 2009. The presentation is titled “Optical Communications – Then and Now”. Topics will include reviewing long-standing fundamentals for those desiring to better understand the foundation building blocks as well as several of the hottest product performance requirements being driven by cutting edge applications.

The presentation will begin at 9:00AM and lunch is included. The meeting location is Time Warner Cable (www.timewarnercable.com) – Los Angeles Area – West Office 6320 Arizona Circle Los Angeles, CA 90045. Presenters for this session will be Mr. Dean J. Yamasaki, Applications and Technology Manager for Draka Communications (www.drakaamericas.com) and Mr. John M Culbert, President of Megladon Manufacturing (www.megladonmfg.com).

“We are excited about supporting the SCTE Southern California Chapter”, stated John M Culbert, President and Partner at Megladon. He continued “The information presented will be valuable to the attendees and include cutting edge technologies utilized in CATV networks to minimize cost and improve video transmission”.

“Optical communications technology has been required to adapt to a growing number of new challenges as the diversity of applications continue to expand.  We appreciate the SCTE Southern California Chapter providing us this opportunity to educate the CATV industry on recent advancements that facilitate broadband deployments.” states Dean Yamasaki, Applications and Technology Manager for Draka Communications.

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

Draka, headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is a € 2.5 billion, publicly listed (Euronext) company with 9,145 employees worldwide.  Draka is divided into three groups, Energy & Infrastructure, Industry & Specialty and Communications.  Communications is responsible for the production and sale of optical fiber, cable and communication infrastructure solutions globally. Draka Communications – Americas’ roots in North America run a century deep in names like Alcatel, ITT, Ericsson, Chromatic Technologies, and Phelps Dodge. Our clients are served from Draka's unique site in Claremont, North Carolina which is home to the 125-acre corporate campus & Americas headquarters, over 1 million square feet of manufacturing space and the only integrated optical fiber and cable facility in North America.  For more information please visit http://www.drakaamericas.com.

Association News

ACUTA

ACUTA Honors Innovative Technology Projects at Three Universities with Institutional Excellence Awards

Ball State University in Indiana, Marquette University in Wisconsin, and Abilene Christian University in Texas have each been recognized for their information communications technology projects with a 2009 Institutional Excellence award from ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education.

ACUTA announced the awards during the organization’s 38th Annual Conference here. As the only international association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education information communications technology professionals, ACUTA represents nearly 2,000 individuals at some 780 institutions. Its award for Institutional Excellence in Information Communications Technology is ACUTA’s premier recognition of the work being done on college and university campuses.

Ball State University, the award winner for schools with more than 15,000 students, was recognized for its “The Aesthetic Camera” project, a course that uses the Internet-based world of Second Life to provide class participants with hands-on use of virtual film and video equipment and resources that would be impractical to duplicate in the physical world. As a self-paced distance learning tool, Aesthetic Camera allows students to shoot and record the evidence of their understanding of learned cinematography concepts.

Aesthetic Camera is a joint project of numerous colleges within the Muncie, Indiana-based university, as well as telecommunications professionals and computer scientists.

Marquette University in Milwaukee, the award winner among schools with 5,000 to 15,000 students, was recognized for its implementation of a Voice over IP unified communications system. The Marquette system combines voice mail and e-mail, with benefits such as a single mailbox for all communications and a broad range of options for accessing and managing communications, including tools such as instant messaging, voice, e-mail, and web conferencing.

Abilene Christian University, the award winner for schools with fewer than 5,000 students, was recognized for its groundbreaking project of providing each incoming freshman with an iPhone or iPod Touch as part of a revolutionary mobile learning initiative. The Abilene, Texas-based school’s project recasts the 21st Century classroom as infinitely flexible, with new forms of both in- and out-of-classroom learning. Students use their mobile devices to leverage a single-sign-on portal for access to teaching tools and information.

ACUTA also gave an honorable mention to Indiana University, whose UniCom project provides a full-featured unified communications client combining e-mail, voice mail, instant messaging, videoconferencing, enhanced presence, web collaboration, and remote call control in a single easy-to-use desktop platform. The 15-month project went live in September 2008 and continues to grow in its number of users.

“Each of these award winners provides an outstanding example of the type of innovation that ACUTA’s Institutional Excellence Award is designed to recognize,” said Dr. Walt Magnussen, immediate past president of ACUTA and chairman of the Awards Committee. “From Ball State’s Aesthetic Camera to the communications convergence at Marquette and the innovative use of mobile technology at Abilene Christian, each of these projects highlights the important ways that information communications technology helps fulfill the mission of each institution.”

The Institutional Excellence in Information Communications Technology Awards, sponsored by PAETEC, are part of each ACUTA Annual Conference. The conference is an opportunity for hundreds of representatives of higher education institutions to explore and discuss information communications strategies that support their organizations’ missions.

About ACUTA
ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education information communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 780 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s Corporate Affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information, visit www.acuta.org

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Four ACUTA Conference Exhibitors Win ‘Favorite Booth’ Honors from Attendees

Verizon, Aastra, Telecom Technology Resellers, and Aruba Networks were the winners in the “Favorite Booth” competition at this year’s annual conference of ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education.

Attendees at ACUTA’s April conference in Atlanta were asked to select their favorite island and inline booths and favorite booth giveaways. When the responses were tabulated, in island booths the Verizon Business/Verizon Wireless booth was the favorite, while attendees liked Aastra’s giveaways the best. For inline booths, Telecom Technology Resellers was the first choice in overall booth appeal, while Aruba Networks’ giveaways were the best-liked.

ACUTA is the only national association dedicated to serving the needs of higher education information communications technology professionals, representing some 2,000 individuals at 790 institutions and 170 corporations.

“The exhibition portion of our annual conference is always a focal point of the event, in addition to the many informational sessions,” said Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA. “The favorite booth contest is one more way we generate attendee interest in our valued exhibitors.”

The 2010 ACUTA annual conference will be April 18-21 in San Antonio, Texas.

About ACUTA
ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education information communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 790 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s Corporate Affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. www.acuta.org 

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Optimism Ahead for National Policy Changes

Jeri A. Semer, CAE

Executive Director, ACUTA

A number of developments are under way in Washington, D.C., that bode well for consumers of information communications technology services. There is cause for optimism for both individual consumers and organizations such as colleges and universities.

Economic Stimulus

At the time this column is being written, the U.S. Senate and House are still in negotiations on an unprecedented economic stimulus package. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill contain several billion dollars of support for our nation’s cyberinfrastructure. So, although we don’t yet know the specifics of legislation that will eventually be passed by Congress and signed by the president, it is virtually certain to contain a huge investment by the federal government in the deployment of broadband services to unserved and underserved areas of the country.

    Only a few short weeks ago, we were lacking a national government commitment to broadband deployment. While we are still without a cohesive national broadband policy, this legislation will jump-start bringing a critical service to communities that have been handicapped by a lack of access.

    As negotiations continue with the goal of bringing the entire stimulus package into a form that will garner enough votes to pass, billions of dollars are being shaved from the spending plan. Over the last weekend, funds earmarked for renovation and repair of buildings on college campuses were significantly reduced, and $2 billion was cut from the broadband provisions in the Senate bill. We will definitely keep you informed of ways in which the economic stimulus is likely to affect higher-education institutions. In the final analysis, thousands of jobs will be created or preserved, and badly needed investments will be made in our physical and cyberinfrastructure.

Other Bills in Congress

Although the majority of attention has been focused on the economic stimulus, a couple of other bills of interest have been introduced and are moving quickly through the committee process in Congress. Legislation has been reintroduced in both the House and the Senate to resolve the burdensome record-keeping rules by removing cell phones and similar PDA devices from “listed property” under the IRS Code. You can keep up-to-date on these bills via a widget on the ACUTA website at www.acuta.org.

    In addition, a bill was recently introduced and has already passed the House of Representatives (H.R. 748—The CAMPUS Safety Act of 2009) that will create a National Center for Campus Safety within the U.S. Department of Justice. This legislation is supported by the campus law enforcement community, and would have an important role in research, promoting collaboration and information dissemination, developing threat assessment models, and coordinating the activities of various government agencies concerned with campus safety.

Changes at the FCC

While Congress is debating economic stimulus legislation, major changes are also taking place at the FCC. These changes are positive as well, and they are designed to create greater openness and transparency at this important agency.

    We are observing a real initiative toward bipartisanship, collegiality, and open communication among the interim chairman and the other two remaining FCC commissioners. Efforts have begun to promote better communication among the career professionals who bring tremendous value to the FCC and the commissioners’ staffs. Simple ideas such as announcing upcoming meeting dates a year in advance, making the FCC’s website more user friendly, and ensuring that commissioners have sufficient time to review proposed decisions in advance are receiving positive reviews.

    There has also been talk of bringing more technical expertise (engineers and other technology professionals) onto the professional staff over time and retuning the agency’s strategic plan to bring it into line with the current environment. Based on the FCC’s statements about the importance of advanced broadband services and their role in promoting advanced technologies, it will be interesting to see what direction the agency moves in once it escapes the quagmire of the digital TV transition. As an outside observer who has interacted with staff and commissioners under several FCC chairs, these seem like very positive developments that will benefit both consumers and the industry.

    By law, the FCC has a 3-2 split between the majority and minority parties. There are currently two vacancies (the chairman and one commissioner), and one of the remaining members is being considered for another job in the administration. This all means that the president will need to appoint a permanent chair and, presumably, one more Democrat and one Republican to the Commission.

Dept. of Education Negotiated Rulemaking

Another potentially positive development has occurred at the Department of Education, where very early efforts are under way to develop regulations to implement the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. The three areas of most interest to ACUTA members are peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, emergency notification and response, and identity verification of distance-learning students.

    ACUTA had the opportunity to nominate rulemaking negotiators on these topics. We learned this month that one of our nominees, Matt Arthur from Washington University in St. Louis, was accepted as an alternate negotiator on P2P. This means that Matt will have a seat at the table at all three negotiation sessions on this important subject. We will keep you informed as negotiations proceed throughout the spring and final rules are put in place by a target date of November for implementation in summer 2010.

    This is a fast-paced and fascinating time for ICT issues at the federal level, and ACUTA is increasingly involved in these issues, both independently and in concert with other higher-education
associations. I am constantly reminded of our dual roles of advocacy in representing the interests of our members at the national level and keeping you informed of issues that will affect your campus. If there are issues you are particularly interested in, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jsemer@acuta.org.

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ACUTA Salutes Two Longtime Members and Former Presidents with Top Leadership Awards

Two former presidents and longtime members of ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, have been honored with special awards by the organization. They are Patricia Todus of Northwestern University and Carmine Piscopo of Providence College.

Todus was honored with the Bill D. Morris Award, named for a popular past president. ACUTA gives the Morris Award to the member who best exemplifies the dedication, vision, professionalism, and leadership that Morris brought to the organization.

Todus is deputy chief information officer and associate vice president at Northwestern, where she has led strategic IT planning and helped develop a degree program in telecommunications.  Todus has been a member of ACUTA since 1984, serving as president in 2005-2006 and currently serving as chair of both the Higher Education Advisory Panel and the prestigious ACUTA Forum for Strategic Leadership in Information Communications Technology.

Piscopo received the Ruth A. Michalecki Leadership Award, recognizing outstanding leadership by a member. He has been an ACUTA member since 1985, and was the organization’s 2006-2007 president. He has also spoken at numerous ACUTA conferences and seminars, held the office of secretary-treasurer, chaired the Program Committee, and served on the Higher Education Advisory Panel

An RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer), Piscopo is in charge of the communications network at Providence College.

“ACUTA is only as strong as its members’ willingness to share their leadership skills and their technology and management expertise,” said Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA. “The winners of the 2009 Bill D. Morris and Ruth A. Michalecki awards have been great sources of strength to ACUTA. We are honored to recognize the contributions that Patricia Todus and Carmine Piscopo have made to our association.”

About ACUTA
ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its core purpose is to support higher education information communications technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some 790 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s Corporate Affiliate members represent all categories of communications technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more information, visit www.acuta.org 

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BICSI

BICSI RELEASES NEW ELECTRONIC SAFETY AND SECURITY DESIGN REFERENCE MANUAL (ESSDRM)

New manual will become the foundation document for ESS credential applicants.

BICSI, the association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, announces the release of the second edition of the Electronic Safety and Security Design Reference Manual (ESSDRM). The convergence of security systems such as access control and surveillance onto the network places much of the responsibility for future security designs into the hands of ITS professionals.

With significant changes from the first edition, the new manual provides key elements essential to anyone in ITS design, including:

§         Principles of security

§         ESS design process

§         Access control

§         Surveillance systems

§         Intrusion detection systems

§         Fire detection and alarm systems

§         Notification, communication and display devices

§         Special systems

§         Network security

§         Systems integration

§         Project management

§         Systems operation and commissioning

§         Codes, standards and regulations

§         Legal aspects of ESS design

“In today’s business environment, the ESS professional is of particular importance to assist with providing security, protection, and life safety based systems,” said Edward J. Donelan, RCDD, NTS, TLT, BICSI President. “This new second edition of the ESSDRM captures the current state of physical security aspects that BICSI readers are likely to encounter.”

As with all BICSI technical manuals, the ESSDRM is written to global best practices, vendor-neutral, carefully researched, and precisely written and edited by key industry professionals who are referred to as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

The ESSDRM is available in an easily referenced three-ring binder or on CD-ROM, and sells to BICSI members for US$279 and to nonmembers for US$499. A combination set of both the manual and CD-ROM can be purchased for US$433 (member price) or US$789 (non-member price).

The ESSDRM, 2nd edition, will soon become the foundation document for those who seek the knowledge to become a specialist in ESS design. Under BICSI's NxtGEN Program, the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD®) credential will not be required as a prerequisite for the new ESS credential. The exam will be based on the 2nd edition of the ESSDRM. The first opportunity to sit for the exam will be at the 2009 BICSI Fall Conference in Las Vegas.

For more information regarding the BICSI ESS program, visit www.bicsi.org/ess.

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

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

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BICSI REALIGNS CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: GREATER EMPHASIS ON GLOBAL AND LOCAL EVENTS

Consistent with goals in the BICSI Board Strategic Plan, the BICSI Board of Directors has decided to hold two major U.S. Conferences per year, instead of three. We are confident that this decision will ensure the highest quality conference experience for our members and visitors alike, as well enable new programs to better serve you, our customers. The localization strategy offers better networking opportunities for those of you looking to make business connections across several states. In addition, we will focus our efforts on creating and supporting local communities across the globe provided by volunteer-organized regional meetings and breakfast or pub clubs.

In light of this, we decided not to proceed with future BICSI U.S. Spring Conferences & Exhibitions, including the 2010 BICSI Spring Conference & Exhibition previously scheduled for April 11-14, 2010, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, allowing greater emphasis on the BICSI Fall (September 20-24, 2009; Las Vegas, Nev.) and Winter  Conferences & Exhibitions (January 17-21, 2010; Orlando, Fla.).

As you are aware, in addition to the conferences in the United States, we hold many successful conferences with educational and networking opportunities all around the world. The most recent event was the 8th Annual Middle East Conference and Exhibition, held May 3-5 in Dubai.

We are also planning to provide increased support to BICSI’s international conferences. We have upcoming events in Europe and Japan in 2009, and many more slated for 2010. We recognize the need to expand our educational offerings globally and this is an important strategic decision, allowing us to continue developing unique, relevant and dynamic professional communities around the world.

The Cabling Skills Challenge, the annual cabling installation competition held traditionally during the BICSI Spring Conference & Exhibition, will continue and is slated to be reassigned to other BICSI events. 

Thank you for your continued support of BICSI’s global conferences and events.

Sincerely,

Edward J. Donelan, RCDD, NTS, TLT
BICSI President

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We just got our copy of the May/June Issue of BICSI NEWS = WOW!

There is no doubt that the selection and support of Betsy Ziobron as the Editor of the BICSI NEWS magazine was a great decision. The publication is filled with value for the reader and it has just the right “punch” for support of the organization. I think this publication has grown into a real asset for BICSI to bring in new members as well as maintain value for the existing membership.

We feel the magazine also gives a good platform for the manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to get their message out. These companies have traditionally been a good source of supporting funds for the conferences and educational programs.

In summary, WELL DONE for BICSI NEWS and the new editor.

But that’s just my opinion,

Frank D. Bisbee
President (and BICSI member for 34 years)
Communication Planning Corp.
4949 Sunbeam Road, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 645-9077 office
(904) 645-9058 fax
(904) 237-0365 cell
frank@wireville.com

FOA

FOA Sees Growth In Fiber Optic Usage Even In Today’s Economy

While many aspects of the economy are troubled, applications for optical fiber worldwide are growing rapidly, as evidenced by the growth in fiber optic training and certification activity at The Fiber Optic Association, Inc., the professional society of fiber optics. In the past year, the FOA activity has seen an increase in activity of about 30%, including the addition of 58 new schools in the US and 13 other countries around the world offering FOA certifications.  The FOA sees this growth from three factors, the rising importance of fiber optics in communications, the quality of FOA-Approved training organizations and the increasing recognition that FOA-Certified technicians are the most qualified designers, installers and operators of fiber optic networks.

Why is fiber optics “recession proof” now? PC sales are down and LAN cabling is down, in part due to turmoil in the financial and manufacturing sectors. But some markets are still strong, especially those funded by governments. The benefits of security systems, especially CATV surveillance cameras, have been well proven, and these systems are being installed at an accelerated pace by municipal and federal government agencies, with most camera connections on optical fiber. Likewise, fiber optic networks connecting public safety and educational facilities are being installed at many locations.

While consumers may be cutting spending, they are not cutting back on cell phones, broadband connections and entertainment. One of the fastest growing broadband applications is cellular broadband for Internet access and entertainment. This is putting pressure on the backbone networks of cell phone companies, which, of course, is based on optical fiber. Cell phone networks are even looking at state-of-the-art fiber optic techniques like WDM PONs to enhance their bandwidth.

While telephone landlines are losing ground to cellular phones, customer demand for more broadband bandwidth is pushing fiber optics deeper into the networks of telcos that are still resisting fiber to the home (FTTH.) Part of the US stimulus package includes $8.2 billion for bringing more bandwidth to underserved areas, mostly inner city and rural areas, and that will use mostly fiber optics and some new wireless technologies which require fiber backbones.

The companies like Verizon who are committed to FTTH are being joined by entire countries committing to FTTH technology. Recent announcements by Australia and Greece, for example, include budgetary commitments to make FTTH happen. Even the US has announced that the FCC will develop a national broadband policy in the near future, which will also benefit fiber optics.

The Internet, which has always been on a fiber backbone, is also growing rapidly and fiber is even becoming more deeply ingrained in the networks. As servers strive to cut power consumption, fiber optics allows major power savings in links in data centers, since fiber optic transceivers use about 20% as much power as a UTP copper link for 10 gigabit transmission. 

What about fiber to the desktop, a major battlefield for fiber and copper in the past? While these two technologies were focused on each other, the wireless industry developed technology with adequate bandwidth for most users and those users became accustomed to “mobility.” Laptops which have wireless connectivity built-in, now outsell PCs. Most new cell phones are Internet-connected. Netbooks, smaller, less-powerful laptops connected on WiFi or cellular networks, are gaining market share. The corporate network that used to have a fiber backbone, Cat 5/6 to the desktop and the occasional wireless access point, now has a fiber backbone and extensive high bandwidth wireless coverage and a few UTP connections to desktop PCs.

What all this means is a growing need for cabling and network technicians to understand optical fiber. The FOA, which has been working to promote fiber through education, certification and standards since its founding in 1995, has become the worldwide focal point for fiber education. By setting standards for training, educating instructors and certifying students, the FOA ensures that sufficient numbers of qualified technicians are available to meet the market demand for more fiber.

By creating the FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide, an online “textbook” available free to everyone, the FOA offers a central point of reference for those wanting to learn about fiber optics, refresh their knowledge or prepare for certifications. This Online Reference Guide has also simplified the process of certifying experienced fiber technicians who come directly to the FOA, as study guides help them prepare for the FOA exams.

FOA schools and members’ feedback has also led to new certifications that are growing in popularity. For example, the FOA CPCT (Certified Premises Cabling Technician) program is the first to recognize the changes in premises cabling networks which are no longer just UTP cabling, but include fiber, copper and wireless.

The FOA is proud of its contribution to the growth of fiber optics and will continue to do its part to promote the usage of fiber optics worldwide.

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. is an nonprofit educational organization chartered to promote fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Over 200 FOA-Approved schools around the world have certified over 24,000 fiber optic technicians since 1995. The FOA offers free online introductory fiber optic tutorials for everyone and training for instructors at FOA-Approved schools.

For more information on the FOA, see the organization's website http://www.thefoa.org/, email info@thefoa.org 

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NAED

NAED Announces Upgrades to EPEC Silver Module

Premier Course in Electrical Distribution Updated with the Latest Codes, Products, and Technologies

ST. LOUIS… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announces the completion of upgrades to the Silver level of the Electrical Products Education Course (EPEC). Known throughout the electrical industry as a symbol of quality and a gauge of professional competency, EPEC integrates the full range of products a distributor sells with a unique systems approach. The course not only provides information about individual products and their applications, but shows how each is interrelated with other products in electrical systems. Although EPEC is a self-study course, it provides the added benefit of ongoing personal feedback from industry experts as students proceed through the modules.

Upgrades to the Bronze level were completed in January, and Gold level updates will follow in summer. Improvements to the program include:

·                     New products and technologies including LEDs, CFLs, and personal protective gear

·                     Content updated to NEC 2008 and addition of CE Code references

·                     Increased emphasis on add-on sales in each chapter

·                     Streamlined modules for faster completion

·                     Capstone project added for each level

Additionally, there are new resources available including updated EPEC Web pages.

A bridge module is available for current students interested in transitioning to the new EPEC program. Members with previous unused EPEC Silver modules may trade up and save 50% on new modules. Contact customer service at 888-791-2512 or customerservice@naed.org for full details. Silver trade-up offer expires June 30, 2009.

NAED invites members to find out more about the upgrades during a complimentary webinar on Wednesday, April 15, at 11 a.m. EST. Download the Webinar connection guide here. For more information on the webinar, contact John Kiso at 888-791-2512 or jkiso@naed.org.

NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED’s membership operates in approximately 4,400 locations internationally.

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Deadline for June 13 Certified Electrical Professional™ (CEP) Registration is May 15

Don’t delay in submitting your Certified Electrical Professional™ application. The deadline for registration is May 15. Applications are available at http://www.naed-cep.org/appstart.html.

Be among the first in the industry to become a Certified Electrical Professional or to have CEPs on your staff. Certifications offered in the first exam are for Inside Sales and Outside Sales positions. Hundreds of test locations are available to choose from.

For suggested courses, FAQs, candidate guides, sample exam questions, self assessments, and other helpful materials, visit the CEP home page http://www.naed-cep.org. Or contact John Kiso, educational program manager for the NAED Education and Research Foundation at jkiso@naed.org or toll-free at 888-791-2512. 

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May 21 Profit Talk 101 Provides Information on Captive Insurance Programs at New Price: $29

Skyrocketing insurance premiums, an uncertain regulatory climate, a deteriorating economy and ever-growing employee expectations have made controlling insurance costs imperative.

On May 21 at 2 p.m. EST, Joe Sullivan and John Heiman of JSA will interview Bob Polito, retired chairman of Buckles-Smith in San Jose, Calif., during a live teleconference. Specifically, they will cover these topics and more: Comparing "self insurance" vs. traditional broker property, casualty, and liability insurance; benefits and pitfalls for owners; what constitutes a "liability tail"; and what is a captive insurer and where are they found?

Profit Talks now feature new pricing for just $29 per location. Bring as many people as you want to listen in on the call. After the teleconference, participants can download an audio file of the Profit Talk 101 for free from the NAED Learning Center. Audio files of Profit Talks may be downloaded by NAED members who did not attend for $29.

NAED's Profit Talk 101 teleseminar series features the top distributors in the country in a call-in talk show format. Participants not only hear the presentation but can also ask their own questions. Guests share their own successful approaches to the topics.

Profit Talk 101 is sponsored by Vista Information Services, a division of Activant Solutions. Go to http://www.naed.org/common/articlelink.asp?currentpage=2011 for more information.

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May is National Electrical Safety Month

Counterfeit electrical products are infecting many important product categories in the electrical market. More than one million counterfeit electrical products have been recalled in recent years, including circuit breakers that did not trip when overloaded and extension cords with mislabeled, undersized wiring that overheated. Following are a few tips to help avoid counterfeit hazards:

·                     Scrutinize the product, the packaging and the labeling. Look for a certification mark from an independent testing organization and the manufacturer's label.

·                     Trust your instincts. If the price is "too good to be true," it could be because the product is an inferior and unsafe counterfeit.

·                     Be extra vigilant when buying from an unfamiliar source or an online retailer. Check with the testing labs to ensure they are legitimate. Contact the brand owner manufacturer if you have any doubts that the product is genuine.

·                     Finally, report safety-related incidents to the manufacturer or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In honor of National Electrical Safety Month, NAED has produced a video featuring Anti-Counterfeiting expert and subject of the Steven Spielberg movie “Catch Me if You Can,” Frank Abagnale. The video reminds distributors, manufacturers, contractors, and electricians about the dangers of counterfeit products. Go to http://www.naed.org/common/articlelink.asp?currentpage=6404> to watch the video.

For additional electrical safety information about counterfeit products, please visit www.CounterfeitsCanKill.com.

NECA

Recent Press Releases

http://necanet.org/about/press/

Green Energy Challenge Student Competition Kicks Off

03/31/2009

Sponsored by NECA and ELECTRI International, the new Green Energy Challenge invites teams of students studying electrical construction, engineering, design and management to conduct an energy audit of a local school. Based on their findings, students will then develop customized proposals for energy retrofits that would improve the schools' energy efficiency. Teams will also design a new solar PV and/or wind energy system for the facility.

more

Cross Border Service Project Brings Solar Power to School in Honduras

03/26/2009

Twelve students from the Pennsylvania State University Student Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) joined electrical contractors from the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Honduras in Roatán, Honduras, March 5-14, for NECA’s Cross Border meeting. While in Honduras, the students completed the design and installation of a solar electrical system that will provide power for a local school.

more

NECA Takes a Stand at OSHA Public Hearing for Cranes and Derricks

03/25/2009

Electrical contractors specializing in high-voltage line work recently spoke out on OSHA’s proposed rule for cranes and derricks. Representatives from NECA's District 10 testified at the four-day public hearing on how the proposed OSHA rule can keep job sites and workers safe without compromising efficiency and productivity.

more

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NECA CONVENTION & EXPO (Sept ’09) keeps getting better

North America’s Most Important Annual Convention & Trade Show for the Electrical Contracting Industry

NECA Pre-Convention Workshop Line-up Offers Several Renewable Energy Training Options

The National Electrical Contractors Association will gather in Seattle for their annual convention and trade shown this September. The entire industry is invited to take advantage of the expert in-depth training that will be offered. These in-depth training programs are designed to ensure that electrical contractors maintain their technological superiority in the industry. This year, we also have added business development and management courses that will help you lead a more resilient company through this tough economy. “Our highly skilled instructors are the best in the industry”, said Dan Walter, NECA COO.

NECA Pre-Convention Workshops
Friday, September 11, 2009

8:00 am – noon
Significant Changes to NFPA 70E 2009                                                                       
There is little doubt that NFPA 70E continues to grow in acceptance and popularity in the electrical industry as has quickly become the de facto electrical safety standard. This course is targeted towards electrical contractors, safety professionals, electricians and their supervisors, and will explore the most significant changes in the 2009 edition of NFPA 70E and how these significant changes impact the electrical contracting industry.
Presented by: Palmer Hickman – NJATC Director of Code and Safety Training and Curriculum Development

8:00am – noon
Sneak Peak at the 2011 Proposed NEC Code Changes                                               
This presentation provides attendees with an understanding of significant changes in the 2008 NEC that impact their business. In addition to this review of changes in the 2008 NEC, Mike will provide a glimpse of changes proposed for the 2011 NEC. Over 5000 changes were proposed to the NEC. Stay on the leading edge of changes affecting your industry by attending this popular program. Learn how the NEC is incorporating new rules to stay current with emerging technologies.
Presented by: Michael J. Johnston, NECA Executive Director, Standards and Safety

8:00am – 5:00pm

Energy Auditing, The Portal to Green Energy Projects

This Workshop will position NECA contractors to take advantage of the rapidly expanding green energy business sector. By the end of the day, contractors and staff will be prepared to conduct a Facility Energy Screening Audit – the first step of a multiphase Comprehensive Facility Energy Audit. Attendees will learn to identify electrical, mechanical and building envelope energy efficiency project opportunities in commercial, industrial and institutional facilities.

History proves that the firm that does the energy audit is usually the one that sells the green energy project and controls the work. In some cases, contractors may joint venture with other trades. In any case, Energy Audit expertise is a highly valuable addition to a NECA member’s green energy business and profit development toolkit. Session includes a 100 page handbook.
Instructor: David Wylie, PE, ASW Engineering

8:00am – 5:00pm
Lean Construction in Electrical Contracting                                                               
The purpose of this one-day workshop is to teach electrical contracting project managers and superintendents how to improve productivity through a focus on lean construction principles. Lean construction is a shift in a thought process towards collaborative project efficiency and quality to promote delivering a project to clients by maximizing value, and minimizing waste while pursuing perfection.

The goals in providing this product are improving productivity through:

·                     Constant simplification of processes

·                     Encouraging input and collaboration from all project team members

·                     Decreasing waste

·                     Increasing efficiency

·                     Creating predictable work flow:

o                                            Complete small batches of work allowing the project to flow smoothly and allow craftsmen to maintain consistent production with no idle time

o                                            Throughput is more important than point speed and productivity

o                                            Strategy - reduce workflow variability then go for speed to increase throughput

o                                            Reduce material and tool inventory

The workshop focuses on tools to achieve these goals and help the attendees start developing their thought process shift toward the concepts required to improve productivity through applying lean construction principles.

Instructor:  Mark O. Federle, PE, PhD, CPC, McShane Chair in Construction Engineering and Management, Marquette University

1:00pm – 5:00pm See What No one Else can See & Do What No one Else Does / Thermal Imaging     
Businesses across the United States and Canada are experiencing tough times just like NECA contractors are. However, times like these can be very prosperous when a contractor thinks outside of the box. Thermography and power quality analysis can open the door to opportunity for NECA contractors. This presentation will show how contractors can take advantage of opportunities in the electrical contracting market by using power quality analysis and thermography to troubleshoot electrical problems, conduct predictive/preventive maintenance services, and offer energy reduction programs.  
Presented by:
Larry Wilson, Senior Marketing Services Manager, Fluke Corporation

1:00pm – 5:00pm
"How LED Technology Can Change Your Business”                                       
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs will save Americans $280 billion in energy costs over the next 20 years. But what is an LED system? What are its benefits and limitations? And how can they be incorporated into your jobs today? Join Philips Color Kinetics, a pioneer of intelligent LED illumination technologies, to learn more about this pervasive technology and how it will change the electrical contractor community’s perception of lighting.

At this workshop, participants will learn:

- What is an LED lighting system and how to incorporate within their projects

- General misconceptions about LED lighting

- Energy savings benefits and how it relates to EnergyStar, rebate programs and others

- The questions to ask when purchasing an LED system

Attendees will also participate in a hands-on demonstration where they will have the opportunity to install LED fixtures, incorporate control solutions and calculate the total cost of ownership of LED lighting as compared to traditional lighting sources.

Presenter: Tom Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager, Philips Color Kinetics

1:00pm – 3:00pm
Grounding & Bonding Update                                                                                     
This technical session provides students with a high level review of the concepts of electrical grounding and bonding. It reviews the performance criteria for each concept and how they work together in electrical systems to ensure safety. Developing a thorough understanding on what is supposed to be accomplished by effective grounding of equipment and systems, bonding conductive enclosures and parts together for continuity and conductivity, and how overcurrent devices operate are presented.  This course also reviews significant changes that were implemented in the 2008 NEC regarding defined terms related to grounding and bonding. Definitions have been simplified and revised for improved clarity and usability. Rules in which the terms are used throughout the NEC have been verified for accuracy with the definitions.
Presented by: Michael J. Johnston, NECA Executive Director, Standards and Safety

Saturday, September 12, 2009

8:00 am – noon
Entering the Green Intelligent Building Market                                                          
Have you asked yourself any of these questions?

·                     Can an Electrical Contractor be successful in this market?

·                     How do I start?

·                     What are the costs associated with becoming involved?

·                     How quickly can I expect to be “in the black”?

·                     What are the potential profit margins?

·                     What is the end goal?

·                     How do I convince my existing customers?

…if so, attend this session to hear the answers!

If you have ever considered becoming involved in the Building Controls market attending this session is a must. This four hour session will feature two NECA contractors from two very different markets and regions of the United States sharing their experiences entering into a very lucrative market. The discussion will include some of the success stories, but more importantly the stumbling blocks that they encountered while moving into a market that is not as different from traditional electrical work as you might think. Some of the topics discussed will include training, marketing, personnel, cost and return on investment, and a 5 year plan with realistic goals.

Each participant of this session, which will be moderated by the NJATC, will receive a copy of the NJATC's new textbooks "Building Automation: Control Devices and Applications" and "Building Automation: System Integration with Open Protocols".

Be prepared for a highly interactive discussion about how to get involved and succeed in this exciting sector of the electrical industry.

Presenters:  Bob Reil, Vice President Dynalectric – San Diego   Dan Smith, President Electric Company of Omaha

Marty Riesberg, Director of Electrical Curriculum Development, NJATC

8:00am – noon
NFPA 70E: The Electrical PPE Compliance Solution                                                  
This course is targeted towards electrical contractors, safety professionals, electricians and their supervisors, and will explore how NFPA 70E can be a compliance solution in an effort to protect workers exposed to electrical hazards. Few will argue that OSHA guidelines must be followed. However, it is not always clear how to comply with what OSHA requires. Many of OSHA's electrical PPE requirements are written in performance requirements, requiring worker protection without necessarily indicating how to comply. Topics include coverage of a number of OSHA's requirements related to energized electrical work and how to provide the OSHA-required protection utilizing items such as insulated tools, FR clothing, and rubber & insulating gloves and blankets in accordance with NFPA 70E. Participants will learn why while OSHA is the "shall," many look to 70E as the "how."
Presenter: Palmer Hickman, NJATC, Director of Code and Safety Training and Curriculum Development

8:00am – noon
Fundamentals of LEED®
                                                                                            
This ½ day seminar is designed to provide you with an intermediate level of LEED® knowledge in understanding the LEED® history background, understanding of the various LEED® tracks, the certification process and an overview of the LEED® exam process. This class is designed to facilitate and understanding of what LEED is about, and why Building Green is important in the Electrical Industry, how it will benefit you, your employer, and the environment. At the end of the class you will be prepared, confident, and ready to discuss what is LEED® as well as outline a path in becoming a LEED® Accredited Professional.

IN THIS CLASS YOU WILL LEARN:

What is LEED®

What is LEED® Certification and Accreditation

How do I prepare and become LEED® Accredited

An overview of the LEED® track rating systems
What LEED 2009 is
Presented by: Erica Paul, LEED AP, Rosendin Electric

1:00pm – 5:00pm
Keys to Business Success in the Solar PV Industry                                                     
This four hour seminar is a must for Presidents, CEO’s and top management staff!  It addresses what is required to build, drive and grow a successful PV business. This workshop is designed to deconstruct the PV business issues which many contractors find unclear or unfamiliar - including sales and marketing, financing, incentives, and liability.
Presenter: Bernie Kotlier, Director, Green Energy Solutions, NECA-IBEW / LMCC California

1:00pm – 5:00pm
Significant Changes to NFPA 72 – 2010, Profiting from Change                                 
The alarm and signaling industry is constantly changing. The committees that develop NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code are planning many major changes for the 2010 Code.  Some of the significant changes include new requirements for Mass Notification Systems (MNS), survivability of fire alarm circuits, and fire alarm testing requirements. This session will explore the major changes to NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, the reasons for these changes, and how your company can profit from change.
Presenter: Merton Bunker, JR., US Department of State, Fire Protection; Voting Member, NFPA 72 - Technical Correlating Committee on Signaling Systems for the Protection of Life and Property

”The training sessions on solar installation and new products are the best in the industry, If you miss those, your company is going to miss new business opportunities.”
Tim Ehmann, O’Connell Electric

CEU Credits: Yours For The Asking

Our customers are looking for the best. As it turns out, they only really care about hiring highly qualified companies and people who are CERTIFIED.  This is especially true in GREEN construction. It’s a new field. No one can be sure which contractors know something about the subject and which are involved in “greenwashing.”  That’s why the fact that NECA’s workshops and seminars will qualify YOU for CEUs is important. They are certified by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  And, of course, you can use these credits in your state, if there are requirements for CEUs as part of license renewals. 

A certificate of your contact hours or will be available for pick-up on-site, which is your proof of attendance.  You may want to contact your own state licensing board to find out the requirements.

Visit www.necaconvention.org

NEMA

Economic Stimulus - technology & IT infrastructure information

Hats Off to NEMA for this comprehensive information on STIMULUS DOLLARS AT WORK

Thursday, April 30, 2009

http://www.nema.org/gov/economic-stimulus/

Economic Stimulus

NEMA > Policy Issues > Economic Stimulus 

Congress passed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on February 13 and President Obama signed it into law on February 17, 2009. The ARRA contains significant tax, investment, and spending provisions impacting energy efficiency, Smart Grid, health information technology, and infrastructure projects, all of which were endorsed by NEMA.

Find materials related to the law, including NEMA’s summary of provisions relevant to the electroindustry, below.

·                     Recovery Act Economic Stimulus Funds – Key Contacts and Resources - (Moved to Members Only)

·                     NEMA Summary of H.R. 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PDF) (MS Word)

·                     Full Legislative Text of H.R. 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PDF)

·                     Full Conference Report of H.R. 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PDF)

·                     Congressional Research Service Summary of Energy Provisions in the ARRA (PDF)

·                     White House February 18 Guidance Memo on ARRA 2009 Implementation (PDF)

·                     White House April 3 Guidance Memo on ARRA Implementation (PDF)

·                     Senate Democratic Policy Committee Estimates on State-Level Effects of Stimulus

Buy American Provisions

·                     Interim Buy American Regulations for Public Works Projects Funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  (issued 3/31)

·                     Summary and Analysis of Buy American Rules for ARRA Funded Projects

·                     Background on ARRA Buy American Requirements

·                     Buy American: Excerpts from Legislative Text and Conference Report (PDF)

Federal Government Recovery Act Sites

·                     The Federal Government's portal website for the Recovery Act is Recovery.gov

·                     Fedbizopps.gov Recovery Project Search

·                     Grants.gov

Government Buildings

·                     U.S. General Services Administration

·                     GSA Federal Buildings Recovery Act Spending Plan

·                     U.S. Department of Defense

·                     U.S. DOD Announces Recovery Act Construction and Repair Projects (issued 3/20)

·                     U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Energy Efficiency & Smart Grid

·                     U.S. Department of Energy

·                     U.S. DOE Funding Announcement for State Energy Program Grants (issued 3/12)

·                     U.S. DOE Funding Announcement for Weatherization Formula Grants (issued 3/12)

·                     DOE Office of Industrial Technologies Program

·                     DOE to Award $3.2 Billion in Energy Efficiency Block Grants (60 KB)

Other Key Agencies

·                     U.S. Department of Homeland Security (added 3/25)

·                     U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

·                     U.S. Department of Transportation

·                     U.S. Federal Highway Administration

·                     U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Health Information Technology

·                     Health Information Technology: ARRA Rulemaking Timeline (PDF)

Energy Service Companies (ESCOs)

·                     Fact Sheet and Contact Information for ESCOs (PDF)

State and Local Government Recovery Act Sites

·                     Council of State Governments

·                     National Conference of State Legislatures

·                     National Association of Counties

·                     U.S. Conference of Mayors

·                     State-By-State Jobs Estimates by White House

·                     Recovery.gov Site with Links to State Government Recovery Pages

California

·                     California Recovery Act Site

·                     California Energy Commission

·                     CEC March 13 Presentation on Stimulus Funds

·                     California League of Cities Project Book

Other Key States

·                     Florida

·                     Illinois

·                     Missouri

·                     New York

·                     North Carolina

·                     Ohio

·                     Pennsylvania

NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity.

These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. www.nema.org

SCTE

SCTE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER ’09 GRANT ACTIVITY

The SCTE Foundation is pleased to announce today the grants it approved for members and one meeting group of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) during the first quarter of 2009.

Helping to fulfill the educational goals of SCTE members, the SCTE Foundation approved 15 grants during the quarter.

These SCTE Foundation grants were earmarked for such educational opportunities as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) CCNA1 through CCNA4 online technical courses and attendance at SCTE Chapter Leadership Conference (CLC) 2009, which began Wednesday and concludes today in Salt Lake City.

 

Approved for grants during the first quarter of this year were:

• Ron Brunt, Deployment Technologies

• Paul Clar, Comcast

• Joe Cutrona, SCTE New England Chapter

• Bill DesRochers, Bee Line Cable TV

• John Fountain, Cox

• Timothy Funk, Comcast

• James Gerhard, Time Warner Cable

• Jody Hall, Mediacom

• Suzanne Holzer, SCTE Cactus Chapter

• David Keezer, University of Maine

• Douglas Phillips, Suddenlink

• Isadore Santangelo, Comcast

• Steve Timcoe, Wyandotte Municipal Services

• Amelia Urban, Jones/NCTI®

• SCTE Zia Meeting Group

The SCTE Foundation was established by the SCTE Board of Directors in 2005 and began issuing grants in 2006. The Foundation has helped numerous SCTE members by distributing grants totaling almost $110,000.

All of the financial assistance that the SCTE Foundation provides to SCTE members is made possible through donations from generous individuals and organizations within the cable telecommunications industry.

The grant and scholarship online application, the online donation form, and complete information about the SCTE Foundation are available at http://foundation.scte.org.

The SCTE Foundation was established by the SCTE Board of Directors in 2005. The Foundation’s three-part mission is to assist in innovation and education within the industry, to further research and information, and to maintain a history and awareness of the cable and telecommunications industry, all for the benefit of future generations. The SCTE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Visit the SCTE Foundation website at http://foundation.scte.org.

italic'> 

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is a non-profit professional association that provides technical leadership for the telecommunications industry and serves its members through professional development, standards, certification and information. SCTE currently has more than 14,000 members from the U.S. and 70 countries worldwide and offers a variety of programs and services for the industry's educational benefit. SCTE has 68 chapters and meeting groups and more than 3,000 employees of the cable telecommunications industry hold SCTE technical certifications. SCTE is an ANSI-accredited standards development organization. Visit SCTE online at www.scte.org.

TIA

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Issues Standard for Remote APDU Structure for CCAT Applications

TIA-1107 Describes the Application Protocol Data Unit Structure for Smart Cards for Wireless Handheld Devices

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leader in advocacy, standards development, business development and intelligence for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, recently released TIA-1107 Remote APDU Structure for CCAT Applications.

TIA-1107 defines the remote management of files and applets on the Removable User Identity Module (R-UIM)/cdma2000 -Subscriber Identify Module (CSIM)/IP Multimedia Services Identity Module (ISIM). TIA-1107 describes the Application Protocol Data Unit (APDU) structure for remote management of Smart Cards for wireless handheld devices. The new standard contains the requirements for implementing remote management for CDMA Card Application Toolkit (CCAT). It extends the Remote APDU structure for UICC-based applications to enable operation in cdma2000 environment.

TIA-1107 specifies:

A set of commands coded according to this APDU structure and used in the remote file management on the R-UIM/CSIM/ISIM.

A set of commands coded according to this APDU structure and used in the remote applet management on the R-UIM/CSIM.

The remote APDU structure for R-UIM/CSIM/ISIM applications must comply with the one defined in ETSI TS 102 226 Release 6, "Smart Cards; Remote APDU structure for UICC based applications." TIA-1107 only contains additional requirements or explicit limitations for R-UIM/CSIM/ISIM applications.

Other specifications are required to complete the air interface and the rest of the system. Some of these specifications are listed in the TIA-1107 references section.

TIA-1107 was formulated under the cognizance of TIA Engineering Committee TR-45 Mobile & Personal Communications Systems, TR-45.5 Subcommittee on Spread Spectrum Digital Technology. To learn more about how to participate in standards development with TIA, please contact Stephanie Montgomery at smontgomery@tiaonline.org.

To obtain copies of the document, contact IHS International at +1.800.854.7179 (United States and Canada); +1.303.397.7796 (international) or visit global.ihs.com.

For technical information, please contact Peter Bogard at pbogard@tiaonline.org. For media inquiries, please contact Mike Snyder: msnyder@tiaonline.org.

Sign up for TIA RSS news feeds on standards and other TIA news.

TR-45 member companies include: Aeroflex; Agilent Technologies, Inc.; AirCell, LLC; Airvana, Inc.; Alcatel-Lucent; ALLTEL Communications, Inc.; Apple; AT&T; Bell Canada; Bridgewater Systems Inc.; Camiant; CDMA Development Group; Cingular Wireless; Cisco Systems, Inc.; CML Microcircuits (USA) Inc.; CommFlow Resources Inc.; CSI Telecommunications; Defense Information Systems Agency; DoCoMo Communications Lab USA, Inc.; Dolby Laboratories Inc.; Ericsson Inc.; ETI Connect; FBI; FTR&D LLC; Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.; Gemalto INC; Hitachi Telecom (USA) Inc.; Huawei Technologies USA; Hughes Network Systems, LLC; I'M Technologies Ltd.; Intel Corporation; Intellon; Intrado; IP Fabrics; Kyocera Sanyo Telecom, Inc.; LG InfoComm U.S.A., Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Marketing Information Technologies, Inc. (MIT); Maz-Sky Canadian International Group, Inc.; Motorola, Inc.; Movius Interactive Corporation; National Communications System; NeuStar I! nc.; Nokia Siemens Networks; Nokia, Inc.; Nortel Networks; ORCA SYSTEMS, INC.; Panasonic Computer Solutions Company; Prysmian Cables and Systems; QUALCOMM; Research In Motion Corporation; Rogers Wireless; Rohde & Schwarz, Inc.; RTKL Associates Inc.; Samsung Electronics; Samsung Telecom America; Sharp Laboratories of America; Sierra Wireless America, Inc.; Sigma Delta Communications, Inc.; Space Data Corporation; Spirent Communications; Sprint Nextel; SS8 Networks, Inc.; Starent Networks Corporation; Tatara Systems; Telcordia Technologies; TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.; Telus Mobility; Texas Instruments, Inc.; US Cellular; UTStarcom, Inc.; Verizon Wireless; VIA Telecom; ZTE USA, Inc.

About TIA

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, advocacy, tradeshows, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide environmental regulatory analysis. With roots dating back to 1924, TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment and entertainment. TIA co-owns theSUPERCOMM tradeshow  and is accredited by the American National S! tandards Institute (ANSI). www.tiaonline.org  .

TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS, ADC, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, ANDA Networks, ArrayComm, AttivaCorp, Avaya, Bechtel Communications, Inc., Cisco Systems, Corning Incorporated, Ericsson, Inc., GENBAND, Inc., Graybar, Henkels & McCoy, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, Intersect, Inc., LGE, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tellabs, Tyco Electronics, Ulticom, Inc., and Verari Systems. Advisors to the Board include FAL Associates, Orca Systems and Telcordia Technologies.

USGBC

LEED 2009 to Include LEED Credits for Regional Environmental Priorities


Credits to address regional environmental priorities for buildings in different geographic locations


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released the LEED regional credits as part of LEED 2009, the new version of the LEED Green Building Rating System.  These LEED credits encourage that specific regional environmental priorities be addressed when it comes to the design, construction and operations of buildings in different geographic locations. 

“Because environmental priorities differ among various regions of the country—the challenges in the Southeast differ from those in the Northwest, for example—regionally specific credits give LEED a way to directly respond to diverse, regionally grounded issues,” said Brendan Owens, Vice President of Technical Development, USGBC. “The inclusion of these regional LEED credits is the Council’s first step toward addressing regional environmental issues.”

With the help of USGBC’s regional councils, chapters and affiliates, credits addressing six specific environmental issues within a region were identified from among the existing LEED credits.   In LEED 2009, LEED projects will be able to earn “bonus points” for implementing green building strategies that address the important environmental issues facing their region. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points, one point each for achieving up to four of the six priority credits.

LEED 2009 is one of the three major components that make up LEED Version 3, the next version of the LEED green building certification program, launching April 27, 2009. The changes to the LEED rating system reflect the rapid advancements in building science and technology and provides incentives for strategies that have greater positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions, among other priorities.

The other components of LEED v3 include a faster, smarter and easier to use LEED Online, the tool for managing the LEED registration and certification process; and a new building certification model administered by the Green Building Certification Institute through a network of internationally recognized independent ISO-accredited certification bodies.  To learn more about LEED v3 and to download a region-by-region list of priority credits, visit www.usgbc.org/leed2009.   

###

About USGBC

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy saving green buildings. With a membership comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 100,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, the U.S. Green Building Council is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010.  The U.S. Green Building Council leads an unlikely constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption and 15% of GDP, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

About LEED

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system is the preeminent standard for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. 35,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries.

By using less energy, LEED Certified buildings save money for families, business and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.