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Feature

Volume 10, Number 1

When this magazine first launched in 1998 as Cabling Systems, the world was a much different place. The Twin Towers in New York City still stood and investors salivated about the riches that would sur...


January 1, 2008  


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When this magazine first launched in 1998 as Cabling Systems, the world was a much different place. The Twin Towers in New York City still stood and investors salivated about the riches that would surely come their way from online ventures that hawked every product imaginable over the Internet.

In an examination of this utterly bizarre economic period, Forrester Research noted that dot com entrepreneurs “tapped eager investors for millions, planted flags in new categories from pets to perfume, and blew their budgets on marketing chatter … (But) big marketing budgets don’t result in big companies. Just ask cozone.com, which spent $17 million on advertising in the fourth quarter of 1999 and shut its doors three months later.”

The late 1990s was also a lucrative time for the structured cabling sector.

As an example, in the May/June 1999 issue, research and consulting firm New Paradigm Resources Group Inc. (NPRG) predicted that Internet, DSL and other high-speed service data services will fuel more than half of the CLEC industry’s anticipated revenue rise from nearly US$10 billion to more than $US83 billion by 2001.

That summer, Teleglobe Communications Corp. of Reston, Va. announced plans to expand its $5 billion “next generation” fiber optic video network to Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C.

The network from a company, which still exists, but is a shadow of its former self, used digital compression technology and Asynchronous Transfer Mode high-speed protocol. ATM switches were already in place in Montreal, London, Los Angeles and New York.

At the same time, the North American fiber optic components market reached its highest level in history and it was projected to be worth US$6.1 billion by 2003 with an annual growth rate of 18.5%

Finally, in the February 2000 issue, Peter Robinson, a Toronto IT professional and freelance writer, concluded that the immediate future for conventional installations is a leap in bandwidth of an order of magnitude: “Whatever, the standard of choice of physical cabling, both the desktop move from 10BaseT to 100 Mb/s and beyond, and the backbone transitions to Gigabit are in full swing.”

As we now know, those projections and others had to be scaled back after Sept. 11, 2001 when the world became a far different place as a result of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. in which thousands were killed and an already-shaky North American economy was sent reeling.

The fact there have been so many twists and turns over the last decade is why members of the magazine’s editorial advisory board and myself decided to organize a no-holds barred panel for this 10th Anniversary Issue, one that would examine not just the past, but also the present and the future of the cabling and networking sectors.

It was much like throwing a party and not being sure how it would all work until the guests had arrived. Would it be a dud? Would everyone be candid? Would it be lively? Would it be informative?

The answers to those four questions? No, Yes, Yes and Yes.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Cabling Systems/CNS (the named was changed in January 2004 to reflect the addition of a new coverage area – the active network), we have tweaked the design slightly and also changed the typeface in order to make the magazine more readable.

As always, your feedback is appreciated.