Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.
Group Editorial Director
November is the month when the Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated in the United States. It is a time, according to commentators, when we should stop and think about our blessings.
Perhaps it was just my holiday mood, but as I reviewed the articles submitted for this issue--and especially those articles on various technical aspects of wire, optical fiber, and cable--it struck me that the cabling industry has come a long way in the last few years, and this is something for which we can be thankful.
It`s easy to forget sometimes that the premises and campus cabling industry is a very young one--essentially a decade old. As an industry, we`ve gone through our share of growing pains during this period, and like most youngsters, we`ve made some mistakes along the way.
When we felt it was important and appropriate, we at Cabling Installation & Maintenance have pointed out some of these controversial issues and in the process, we`ve ended up admonishing both the copper-wire and optical-fiber sectors of the industry. What struck me as I read through the November issue, though, is that, although the glass sometimes seems half-empty, it is always at least half-full--and is usually full to the brim.
By that I mean that the cabling industry is filled with dedicated and knowledgeable people who do their best and try their hardest--day in and day out. These efforts show in the quality of the products and level of service we consistently offer.
The long-term issues remain. Copper-based cabling systems are much more difficult to understand today than they were three years ago, and the category system has proliferated to Categories 6 and 7. And optical-fiber cabling systems, which seemed such a simple choice just a few years ago, are now experiencing--with questions about the bandwidth of 62.5-micron multimode fiber and the introduction of singlemode and 50-micron multimode alternatives--the kind of confusion that has been endemic in the copper camp for some time.
However, it seems clear to me, given the high level of dedication and competence exhibited by the people working in the cabling industry, that we will work these problems out eventually. And in the meantime, it is an exciting and fulfilling industry in which to work.
And so, let each of us at Cabling Installation & Maintenance offer each of you best wishes for a happy and fulfilling holiday season. Relax, take some time off, and recharge your batteries, because you can rest assured that 1999 will be as busy and productive a year as 1998 has been.