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News Briefs (May 01, 2000)

CABLE MARKET RIDING "DOT.COM GRAVY TRAIN"While the rapid growth of the Internet is having a profound effect on "dot com companies", it is also proving lucrative for traditional infrastructure manufact...

May 1, 2000  

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While the rapid growth of the Internet is having a profound effect on “dot com companies”, it is also proving lucrative for traditional infrastructure manufacturers paving this so-called highway. As a result, the communications wire and cable market is currently “riding the dot com gravy train,” a report from Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) of Oyster Bay, NY, has shown.

The US-based report — Communications Wire & Cable 2000 — found that the increase in data and video traffic is having a significant impact on the premises cabling market, as new applications demand greater bandwidth. The consumption of premises cable and wire is projected to grow from US$1.9 billion in 1999 to US$3.9 billion by the end of 2004.

According to the report, the big winner (in terms of market growth) over the next ten years will be fiber optic cable. Fiber will account for 30 per cent of the premises cabling market by 2004 — up from 23 per cent in 1999. However, copper is expected to continue at a healthy pace, despite the more stringent installation requirements for higher levels of UTP.


Recent tests conducted by Anixter Inc. of Skokie, IL, have shown that networks and the slow transmission of data are hindering productivity within companies. In many cases, the cabling system is to blame.

“Companies that rely on their networks know the cost of downtime, but no one is effectively measuring slowtime,” says Robert Grubbs, president and CEO of Anixter. He says the “sluggish movement of data” is usually blamed on hardware or software, but says an estimated 50 per cent of network problems are related to cabling systems.

According to Pete Lockhart, VP of technology and head of the Anixter Levels Lab, cabling systems contribute to slow transmissions for various reasons, including improper installation and temperature, and humidity swings. However, he says the most common problem is in the quality of the copper cabling.

“Some cable is inferior to others,” he says. “They might all meet industry standards, but the standards are almost always outdated and only establish minimum requirements for performance. And no standard exists that even takes the transfer of data into consideration.”


Nortel Networks President and CEO John Roth has received a 2000 National IWAY award, an honour that recognizes achievements and contributions to the progress of Canada’s information society.

Mr. Roth accepted the Public Leadership prize, which honours one who has made a key, public contribution to the understanding of the changes taking place in this information society and to developing effective social and technical responses.

The other 2000 winners are: Murray Goldberg of WebCT (Application of Technology award); Drew Ann Wake and Colin Savage of Livewires Design Ltd. (Community Service award); Charles Laszlo of Assistive Listening Device Systems Inc. (Adaptive Technologies award); and Anton Paquin of Philsar Semiconductor (New Technology Development award).

The IWAY awards are an initiative of Ottawa’s CANARIE Inc. (Canada’s Advanced Internet Development Organization).


The development and evolution of fiber optics and its industry is the theme of a new offering from The Light Brigade, a Kent, Washington-based fiber optic training organization.

Available on video or CD-ROM, the recently released History of Fiber Optics provides a view of the development of fiber optics from optical theory in the 19th century to the Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) systems of the present.

The video or CD-ROM are available for US$125. They can be ordered directly from the company at (800) 451-7128 or (425) 251-1240. For more information, visit


Network bosses would rather move their entire organization to a new location than have to document an existing infrastructure from scratch, according to Cablesoft of Tempe, AZ.

The company, which recently held a series of focus groups, found that the major challenge facing managers is documenting and managing their IT backbones — especially when wiring closets resemble “spaghetti”. Most managers would prefer to start fresh in a new building, where the process would be less labour and cost intensive. Yet, even then, it is usually a matter of time before wiring closets become tangled again.

Participants agreed that the ability to retrofit an infrastructure management solution to an existing network (providing real-time discovery and monitoring of connectivity) would ease the situation and ensure new networks would be more accurately documented and managed.

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