Setting fiber-optic cabling standards

I read with amusement the July 1997 editorial (see "Four great mysteries of the cabling industry," page 5). The answer for "Sleepless in Nashua" regarding Mystery No. 4--which questions why the National Electrical Contractors Association (neca--Bethesda, MD) had petitioned the American National Standards Institute (New York City) to be the body responsible for setting fiber-optic cabling installation standards--is that the members of neca, whether in the United States or Australia, employ worker

Peter Glynn, Secretary

NECA chapter

East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I read with amusement the July 1997 editorial (see "Four great mysteries of the cabling industry," page 5). The answer for "Sleepless in Nashua" regarding Mystery No. 4--which questions why the National Electrical Contractors Association (neca--Bethesda, MD) had petitioned the American National Standards Institute (New York City) to be the body responsible for setting fiber-optic cabling installation standards--is that the members of neca, whether in the United States or Australia, employ workers skilled in cable, electrical, and communications installation and, therefore, should take a leadership role. We welcome contributions by manufacturers, distributors, consultants, and trainers to the process; however, the skilled cable installers who perform the work should play a key role in setting cabling installation standards.

Even though optical fiber does not carry electricity, installation requirements for optical fiber and other communications cables are similar to those for electrical cable. Electrical and optical fiber are not mutually exclusive. Skilled installers employed by neca members are invariably tradesmen who have completed an apprenticeship that involves 1000 hours of off-site and 6000 hours of on-site training. Most who participate in this training program will learn general installation techniques and specific skills used for installing electrical and communications cables.

Discounting the appropriateness of the neca and its members to take responsibility for this work is a mistake. Hopefully, the mystery is solved and you can get some more rest.

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