Your editorial on copper wire ("Is copper wire the proverbial bad penny?," June 1996, page 3) is full of quotation and proverb but lacks any real content in support of your conclusion to install fiber-to-the-desk. The references to the Telecommunications Industry Association`s activity on enhancements to copper-cabling specifications (the parade of technical issues) are also true of fiber-optic cabling. Presently, Ieee 802.3 is addressing the modal bandwidth performance of installed fiber-optic cabling. Fiber- and copper-cabling performance specifications will evolve to keep pace with the level of knowledge and the requirements of the telecommunications industry.
End-users need help in assessing their cabling options. Your editorial fails to contribute to that need.
Chris Di Minico
Digital Equipment Corp.
The Editor responds:
Mr. Di Minico makes a good point about the continuing development of fiber-optic as well as copper-wire performance specifications. At Cabling Installation & Maintenance, it is our continuing policy to provide balanced coverage of both media, as well as others such as coaxial and shielded cable and wireless systems. We do that through our regular news and feature coverage. The editorial page, however, is for the expression of opinions on key issues facing the industry; it simply does not provide enough room for the technical content that Mr. Di Minico suggests is missing. In the editorial in question, I state my opinion on the issue and refer to two other articles in the June issue to provide technical backup. The opinion was strictly my own, and should not be construed as the editorial policy of the magazine.