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Records broken in Orlando

Mood upbeat as industry enter a major growth phase and need for Information Transport Systems expertise rises.


March 1, 2006  


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Change was everywhere at the recent BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla. Not only was it a successful conference with over 200 exhibitors and a record 6,000 attendees, but there was a positive feeling that we are in a growth market.

The growth is coming from an increased need for ITS expertise and product need, to ever-expanding frontiers of technology, which are being layered on the foundations of the infrastructures that we build. It was great to be there and be a part of it all.

I also want to bring your attention to a few changes that directly involve and effect BICSI’s Canadian members.

The first is to congratulate John Bakowski, as he takes over the position of president of BICSI. It is a position that takes into consideration input from members, the board of directors and BICSI staff to steer the course of the organization on a global basis.

John has been a long time member of BICSI and has over 40 years of ITS experience that he brings to the position, and we wish him success

New database in the works

The next item is to get members input on the issue of federal and provincial requirements for licensing and certifications for ITS, telecommunications and low voltage work.

Dick Reed, another long-term BICSI member is compiling a database of information relating to these issues.

If you know who to contact or have information, he would appreciate an e-mail from you. He will then contact the officials you have identified and get formalized details from them. You can contact Dick at Dreed@bicsi.org.

Another is an issue that could have far reaching effects on sales, design and liability in what Canadian ITS designers have been doing up to date. At my Region lunch in Orlando, Marek Kapuscinski spoke on the new development that may change the national building and fire codes in relation to the use of fire rated cables in plenums.

The change may require the use of FT6/CMP rated cables in all plenums across Canada. Now for folks in Ontario and Vancouver, you have been dealing with this issue for a long time, but for the other provinces, this is new.

In addition to the increased cost of the fire rated cables, there are some issues the ITS designer and installers should consider:

* Am I working on bids that may specify the older fire rated cables?

* What about jobs in progress? Do I stop them?

* What are my responsibilities in informing my customer of this change?

* Is the local fire/building inspector aware of the changes and how they need to be applied?

* What are the local building codes? Do they conflict or supersede the national codes?

* What about existing cabling – will it have to be removed or can it remain in place?

Many of these and other issues should be discussed with your customer and the local building inspector for your area. In addition, Marek has graciously accepted to be our conduit for information, and I will ask him to provide an update for us in coming issues and correspondence with members.

In other news, BICSI has introduced a new project management course: the PM120 series. These intensive 21/2-day courses will help you excel in the nine areas of project management for ITS projects.

The courses also help you prepare for the Telecommunications Project management Association (TPMA) certification. More information on these courses and others is available at www.bicsi.org.

BICSI recently released the 6th edition of the Network Design Reference Manual (NDRM), continuing BICSI’s tradition of providing comprehensive, vendor-neutral descriptions of current networking technologies and design guidelines. The NDRM is the basis for BICSI’s RCDD/NTS Specialty (formerly known as the LAN Specialty).

The manual covers the fundamentals of network architecture, connectivity, communications and administration. Design examples are also provided for departmental, backbone, wide area and remote access networking.

The manual should be used as a reference tool and is required for the NTS Specialty classes. The NDRM gives a unique perspective to networking as related to the industry.

Finally, I would like to remind you that my tenure as Regional Director expires in January 2007.

If anyone is interested in running in the election to become the next regional director, please let me know.

Roman Dabrowski, RCDD, is the Canadian Director of BICSI and a Director of Product Management with Bell Canada. He can be reached via e-mail at rdabrowski@bicsi.org.