Respect for the cabling installer

Jan. 1, 2017
As we depict on our front cover, this month BICSI will host its 10th Cabling Skills Challenge.

As we depict on our front cover, this month BICSI will host its 10th Cabling Skills Challenge. The news story on page 47 provides some detail about the event's history and the impact it has made on some of its participants. I enjoy the annual Cabling Skills Challenge for several reasons, but mostly because it shines a deserved spotlight on the cable-installation trade. So I find it both appropriate and gratifying that alongside the competition this month, BICSI is launching its Year of the Installer. I don't know any details of what the association has in store for the year, but I'll share them as I learn them, and I hope there are opportunities throughout the year for cabling installers to participate in celebratory events and be recognized for the important work you do.

This magazine's audience-you-includes just-about equal numbers of professionals who manage cabling systems in end-user organizations, and professionals who work for cabling contracting organizations, including, of course, installers. Over the years we have surveyed our audience frequently and even though there has been churn over the course of time, some of what they (you) have told us has remained consistent over the long term. One such consistency is that many end-user organizations rely on and trust their cabling contractors as technical resources as well as problem-solvers. As such, the cabling-installation professional on the jobsite has to be prepared to engage in a conversation with the customer on just about any topic. One end-user customer might want to know whether or not they can put a new Om3 fiber run in their existing Om1 backbone. Another might want the installer to make sure everything in the telecom room is properly earthed and bonded. These potentially challenging questions and requests come in addition to the physical challenges of what the installer originally was hired to do-install cable.

In these and all other scenarios, the on-site cable installer not only represents her or his employer company, whose name and logo probably appear on a shirt, hard hat and/or company vehicle. To an extent, the installer also represents the entire cable-installation trade, and is expected to do so with an appropriate level of professionalism.

I continue to be impressed by the level of professionalism exhibited by so many throughout the industry, and I salute all those who do the trade proud every day through diligent work, technical competence and customer service. I look forward to seeing some of you compete in the Skills Challenge this month.

Patrick McLaughlin
Chief Editor
[email protected]

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