1998--Work in progress

Despite the fact that the year is only half over, 1998 has already been a busy one for Cabling Installation & Maintenance. In January, the magazine went through its first major redesign since it was launched, following closely on the heels of the largest single issue in the magazine`s history, published in October 1997.

Jul 1st, 1998
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Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.

Despite the fact that the year is only half over, 1998 has already been a busy one for Cabling Installation & Maintenance. In January, the magazine went through its first major redesign since it was launched, following closely on the heels of the largest single issue in the magazine`s history, published in October 1997.

Several major news stories and technical issues have taken up ink regularly in the winter and spring. The merits of abf continue to be debated, with the manufacturer and installers of this licensed technology on one side and manufacturers and installers of traditional fiber-optic cable and components on the other. Also drawing pro and con articles this year have been indoor/outdoor cable, which was first reported in the magazine in 1993, and a disputed multimode-fiber bandwidth shortage in existing premises and campus installations.

The big news story of the year so far, however, has been the saga of the small-form-factor fiber-optic connectors. fep is in short supply again, as it was two years ago, and business partnerships between cable manufacturers and makers of connectivity products continue to be announced, despite the perception by some industry observers that they are counter to the open-standards process.

Big surprises so far this year--to me, at least--include the entry of Intertek Testing Services (Cortland, NY) into the cable-plant certification business and the ascendancy in the networking market of media converters--those sophisticated cousins of baluns and adapters. At a higher, protocol level, the big news has been Gigabit Ethernet, whose high-bandwidth requirement is driving still another round of debates on the technical merits of 4-pair utp cable versus multimode optical fiber.

Click here to enlarge image

David Stenger of Transition Networks (Minneapolis, MN) inserts one of his company`s media converters into an 8-slot rack. This photo appeared on the cover of the March 1998 issue.

1998 up to now

Memorable thoughts

"Offices with installed fiber plant will have to be recabled to support emerging technologies."--Scott Stevens, CommScope

"A multimode fiber-based system purchased today will meet current needs and can be used without modification for many gigabit-speed links."--Liz Goldsmith, tia Fiber Optics lan Section

Candidates for the CI&M Hall of Fame

"Enhanced cable for gigabit networks"--Paul Kish, nordx/cdt Inc.

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