You are the standard bearers

Nov. 1, 2011
In the few weeks before I sat down to write this column, I was reminded multiple times of the importance that standards play in the daily operations of professionals in our industry.

In the few weeks before I sat down to write this column, I was reminded multiple times of the importance that standards play in the daily operations of professionals in our industry. Some of those reminders ended up in the pages of this month’s issue.

Let’s start with the good. Actually, I think it’s all good so let’s start with the very good. The “Editor’s Picks” section of this month’s issue opens on page 33 with the news that the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has honored two individuals from the cabling industry with the IEC 1906 Award for their efforts to put forth cabling specifications for the benefit of the industry as a whole. I’m pleased to offer personal congratulations to honorees Dave Hess and Paul Kolesar.

If you recognize either one of those names, it likely is in some way related to standards. Maybe you have heard or read some of Paul’s wisdom on Om4 optical fiber (and Om3 before it). Perhaps you have heard the excitement in Dave’s voice when he talks about the untapped capabilities of cabling media that can lead not just our industry, but the networking world as a whole, into the future.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with both of these individuals to a slight extent. Even in those brief interactions, it became apparent to me what the IEC has formally recognized. They both combine the vision of a luminary with the patient persistence required in the standards-creation process.

For both honorees, I bet the recognition was a nice pit stop in the grueling endurance race that is standards development.

And that beat goes on. In late September and early October we hosted two Web-delivered seminars on the topic of Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) cabling standards. In those seminars no fewer than eight recently published or under-development cabling specifications were covered. The amount of activity taking place in TIA’s TR-42 Committee may never have been greater than it is right now.

The article beginning on page 19 looks at a couple areas in which TIA standards are complemented by other best-practice specifications. There you go: More standards for you to follow.

While I acknowledge that TIA TR-42 is busy and I commend the professionals fittingly honored by the IEC, I realize it’s one thing to create a set of specifications and quite another to build systems based on them. For that, my hat is off to the hard work that you do each and every day.

PATRICK McLAUGHLIN
Chief Editor
[email protected]

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