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News Briefs (November 01, 2002)

Bell's Mosey tells BICSI members: Industry's image needs makeoverDelegates attending BICSI's recent Canadian Regional Conference in Quebec City were urged to start thinking differently about the role ...


November 1, 2002  


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Bell’s Mosey tells BICSI members: Industry’s image needs makeover

Delegates attending BICSI’s recent Canadian Regional Conference in Quebec City were urged to start thinking differently about the role they and structured cabling play within an organization.

In a keynote presentation entitled Gateways to the Next Generation Enterprise, Terry Mosey, president of Bell Ontario talked about the new realities brought on by an Internet that is being transformed from a makeshift storefront to a “strong, resilient” and “profitable home” for business.

“You already know what most people do not …. that cabling and network integration solutions across multiple networks will be the future of commerce,” he said. “It’s no longer ‘just cabling.’ In today’s competitive reality – infrastructure has become the gateway to success. It is our professional challenge to share that vision and share it in a way that captures the imagination of people outside our industry.”

Before that happens, structured cable’s image needs a makeover. “Why up until now, has cabling been the best kept secret of the global information network?” asked Mosey. “Well, it’s a hassle, it’s frustrating, there’s down time, slow time and it’s buried in the walls and under the floors.

“Let’s face it, cable is not very sexy. Managers can get more public praise for picking the pretty wallpaper for an office than for installing the right infrastructure. Forget the fact that it bears the entire weight of the Internet revolution on its slim shoulders. Cable is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Web. It gets no respect.”

Mosey suggested the time has also come for senior executives to start understanding the role structured cabling plays. To that end, he said three main factors will cause that to happen – the unveiling of new technologies, the fact IT decisions are now viewed as vital business decisions, and finally, aging buildings.

“Thousands are in their twilight years when it comes to infrastructure,” he said. “Buildings that are CAT 3 or older are near the end of their days especially when you consider that the businesses they house will need to unlock these new technological synergies to survive and thrive.’

“Renewal of IT represents a tremendous opportunity to take the lag out of business, accelerate information flow and automate processes in a way that will grow earnings by driving up productivity while driving down costs.

BICSI, he said, has been laying the foundation for this transformation since the “dawn of the communications revolution,” and now is the time to take the challenge of building something “truly spectacular” on that solid footing.

Following the keynote, there was an assortment of presentations and seminars on a range of subjects that included the impact of the 2002 Canadian Electrical Code on the industry, advances in wireless technology, design recommendations for an efficient multi-gibabit optical fiber cabling system, short link issues and loss testing with an OTDR.

On the OTDR front, Fluke Networks Canada previewed its OptiFiber Certifying OTDR, which it says is the first field OTDR to integrate loss/length certification, auto OTDR analysis, and end-face inspection to meet the rigorous test demands of gigabit, 10 Gigabit and higher speed applications.

OptiFiber advances the testing of premise fiber optic cabling, providing all the individual tests and documentation required to ensure the cable plant was correctly installed in accordance with best professional practices and new proposed TIA standards.

Recently, TIA TR-42.8 approved a project to clarify testing of optical fiber cabling. The scope of the bulletin to be written includes two tiers of testing that can be chosen by a designer to be specified in a project.

Tier 1 accommodates loss and length testing with an optical loss test set (OLTS) and polarity verification by means of the OLTS or a visual fault locator (VFL).

Specifying Tier 2 testing includes the parameters of Tier 1 and also an OTDR trace of the installed cable plant.

“Fiber testing is evolving similar to copper cable testing,” said Brad Masterson, product manager at Fluke Networks Canada.

“Initially, connectivity was the primary concern. Later, insertion loss testing was required. Now with 100 Mb/s to the desk and higher speeds in the backbone, the fiber infrastructure is being stressed and pushed to the limits. Certification that the fiber is properly installed and terminated is essential to guarantee acceptable performance.”

OptiFiber certifies and documents LAN fiber networks by integrating two-fiber dual-wavelength loss/length certification, auto OTDR trace analysis, and end-face inspection.

It then automatically delivers the results in a single fiber certification report that can be archived or printed to leave at the job site. As proof that a fiber is properly installed and terminated, OptiFiber’s certification report includes length and dual wavelength insertion loss to comply with industry and customer standards, optical events and OTDR traces to identify and correct problems, and high-resolution fiber end-face images to grade termination quality.

Pricing for the OptiFiber products, which are available in three models, starts at $24,102. CS

For more on the BICSI conference see p. 26.

RESEARCHERS BREAK DATA TRANSFER RECORD

TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, in partnership with Canarie Inc. and Atlas Canada, have successfully transferred a terabyte of research data at rates equivalent to a full DVD in less than one minute over a newly established “light path” extending 12,000 kilometres from Vancouver to Geneva.

“The ability to establish dedicated “light paths” across several networks is required for high-performance research applications and is expected to be a cornerstone of future commercial applications, including high definition multimedia on demand,” said Bill St. Arnaud, senior director of network projects at Canarie Inc.

ITT SIGNS PARTNERSHIP DEAL WITH APIS

The International Institute of Telecommunications (IIT) has signed a partnership agreement with the Swedish based company APIS Training & Seminars U.S., Inc., a leader in technical training focusing on wireless telecom and mobile IP.

Montreal-based IIT is the first industrial training centre in the country to offer a program in wireless communications covering all major industry standards. They include GPRS, EDGE, 3G/UMTS, CDMA2000, 1xEV-DO, WLAN and mobile positioning.

COMPANIES NOT PREPARED FOR CYBERATTACKS

A new survey of information security specialists at organizations around the world has found that despite a high level of awareness of the risk of computer attacks even before the events of Sept. 11, almost one-third of the companies surveyed say they may still not be adequately equipped to deal with an attack on their computer networks by cyberterrorists.

The survey found that 30 per cent of respondents said their firms do not have adequate plans for dealing with information security and cyberterrorism issues, down from 39 percent last year.

PROCESSOR ENHANCES WIRELESS LANS

ViXS Systems Inc., developer of video-over-IP networking solutions, is beta testing what it calls the industry’s first video networking processor that enables products to transmit broadcast quality video reliably across wireless LANs.

The ViXS XCode integrated circuit (IC) adjusts bit-rates, resolutions and formats of multiple MPEG video streams, in real time, adapting each stream to changing network bandwidth. “The available bandwidth of wireless LANs is notoriously dynamic, a characteristic that has hampered the deployment of wireless video to date,” the company said in a statement.


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