A call for cooperation

I recently attended a building wiring standards seminar sponsored by the Telecommunications Industry Association (tia--Arlington, VA). It was held at the same site and during the same week as the annual winter conference of bicsi (Tampa, FL). And yet, there was no mention in the bicsi program of the tia seminar that followed , nor was there publicity for it at the bicsi annual meeting.

Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.

Chief Editor

I recently attended a building wiring standards seminar sponsored by the Telecommunications Industry Association (tia--Arlington, VA). It was held at the same site and during the same week as the annual winter conference of bicsi (Tampa, FL). And yet, there was no mention in the bicsi program of the tia seminar that followed , nor was there publicity for it at the bicsi annual meeting.

Most of the speakers at the tia seminar were bicsi members who had recently attended the annual meeting; the same was true of most of the seminar attendees. In fact, the bicsi standards representative, Donna Ballast, gave a talk to the tia crowd on the synergy between the two organizations.

The two events were contiguous not only in space and time but also in content. Speakers at the bicsi meeting focused on the practical issues around designing and installing communications distribution systems, while speakers at the tia seminar updated attendees on the standards impacting these design and installation issues. The two programs were complementary without overlapping.

There was an opportunity for synergy here--for joint planning of the two meetings, for combined publicity that would have saved both organizations money, for better coordination of the content of their two programs--but it didn`t happen. And anyone who has talked to a staff member of either group knows that both organizations struggle with scant resources and personnel spread too thin.

The tia is without a doubt the standards organization that is at the heart of the premises and campuswide telecommunications cabling industry. Bicsi is unquestionably the professional association that best represents this industry.

The two groups walk the same road, but each walks it alone. To share the road with a like-minded friend does not necessarily mean giving up one`s independence or autonomy. The tia and bicsi need to cooperate more closely if our cabling industry is to be best served by these two organizations.

arlynp@pennwell.com

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