New Years resolutions

About this time every year I sit down and take stock. I guess it has been that way with people for centuries. (January is named for the Roman god Janus, who had two faces--one on the back of his head looking backward and one on the front of his head looking forward. New Year`s was a time of stock-taking for the Romans, as well.)

Jan 1st, 1996

Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.

Senior Associate Editor

arlynp@pennwell.com

About this time every year I sit down and take stock. I guess it has been that way with people for centuries. (January is named for the Roman god Janus, who had two faces--one on the back of his head looking backward and one on the front of his head looking forward. New Year`s was a time of stock-taking for the Romans, as well.)

Although I don`t always live up to my New Year`s resolutions, I think it`s a good thing to look back at what has happened over the old year and make some course corrections for the new. This year I thought I`d go through the exercise for the cabling industry, as well as myself. I came up with four things I`d like to see happen in 1996.

Associations unite! A little over a year ago (see "The need for association," September 1994, page 3), we pointed out the need for an association to represent cabling installers. Since that time, a lot has happened. The Building Industry Consulting Service International Inc. (Tampa, FL) has announced its Installation Program, and the Fiber Optic Association has been born. In addition, several state installer associations have sprung up. My New Year`s wish is that the national organizations make sure they coordinate with the state associations--and with each other. No association is a bad thing; too many, especially if they don`t talk to each other, is not a good thing.

Who are we? Probably the most frequently asked question we get here at the magazine has to do with the definition of the cabling industry. Who are cabling installers? Do they come from a voice, data or electrical background? It would be nice to know just how big this industry is and who the players are. How about it? Is there a market research firm out there that can tell us who we are? (With one proviso: The answer has to include both copper and fiber.)

Who buys? The second most frequently asked question we get is: Who, in the complicated chain that runs from end user through consultant and installer to distributor and manufacturer, makes the buying decision? I`d like to know who`s deciding how the money is spent, so I can answer that question with some authority next time I get a call.

We`re one world! So why don`t we have one set of cabling standards? This would be a good year to harmonize our standards with those of the International Organization for Standardization (Geneva, Switzerland), and it`s time other countries did the same.

Do you have any New Year`s resolutions for the cabling industry? If we get some good ones--humorous or otherwise--we`ll write them up and publish them in the magazine.

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