Editor's Picks

March 1, 2016

Luna repeats as BICSI’s Installer of the Year

For the ninth consecutive year BICSI’s Winter Conference hosted the Cabling Skills Challenge, in which cabling installers and technicians compete for the title Installer of the Year. And for the second consecutive year, Alberto Luna, a BICSI-certified Technician and project manager with Total Network Consulting (www.totalnetworkconsultingllc.com), took home the Installer of the Year title and its accompanying $5,000 prize. He was one of 14 competitors in the 2016 event.

Luna’s receipt of a trophy and cash award for his repeat performance as Installer of the Year was one of several awards bestowed upon BICSI members during the association’s annual awards banquet, which was held Wednesday, February 3.

The other awards given to individuals during the ceremony were as follows.

The Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry, awarded by the University of South Florida College of Engineering, was given to Andre Jimenez, vice president of technology at Anixter (www.anixter.com). Jimenez received the award for his work throughout his 20-plus-year career in the fields of telecommunications testing and product certification.

The Presidential Eagle Award, selected by BICSI’s president, is given to an individual who has exhibited leadership, sacrifice and faith in BICSI and the industry as a whole, having shown dedication to a greater cause over a period of time. The 2016 award was presented to Bob Erickson for his work on numerous BICSI committees and task forces, as well as for his contributions during his tenure on BICSI’s board of directors.

The David K. Blythe University of Kentucky Award for Outstanding Member of the Year recognizes the volunteer spirit of BICSI members and spotlights an individual for outstanding efforts promoting BICSI’s education programs as well as a commitment to professional development within the industry. Bob Hertling received the 2016 award “for his amazing dedication and pride in BICSI, including taking on multiple volunteer tasks,” the association said.

The Global Outstanding Member of the Year Award is given in honor of work done to grow BICSI globally and recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond to promote the association and encourage membership around the world. This year’s recipient, Rick Ciordia, was recognized for his work throughout the Central and Latin America district.

The Larry G. Romig Committee Member of the Year award honors an individual for exemplary efforts and dedication within a BICSI committee. It was presented to Peter Levoy, chair of the BICSI Cares Committee, “for his tireless efforts and commitment to the charity arm of BICSI.”

The Ray Gendron BICSI Cares Scholarship was awarded to Nick Plueger, who attends Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE. He majors in computer information systems and networking and holds BICSI’s Installer 2, Copper designation.

“All of the award winners are truly deserving,” said BICSI president Brian Ensign. “I have had the pleasure of working with many of them, and they display a deep love and passion for BICSI, the ICT industry and the work they do. Congratulations to the winners, and I look forward to seeing more of their amazing contributions in the years to come.”

Awarded at CES 2016, Netgear says new AC WiFi line is optimized for smart homes

At the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016) in Las Vegas, Netgear was lauded with 4 CES Innovation Awards for products that make it easier “for mobile and smart home devices to connect anywhere in the home at the fastest AC WiFi speeds,” the company says. At the show, the company also unveiled its Nighthawk WiFi routers and extenders, as well as its Arlo Smart Home security products, new PowerLINE WiFi adapters, cable modem products, and the company’s ReadyNAS storage platform.

Four Netgear products were on display in the CES 2016 Innovation Awards Showcase at the Sands Expo center. “These honorees have been evaluated by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for their exceptional engineering, aesthetic design, and innovative qualities,” said CES of the awarded products. The winners included Netgear’s Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart WiFi Router (R8500), Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Smart WiFi Router (R7800), Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi Cable Modem Router (C7000), and CM600 High Speed Cable Modem.

Larry Romig, first BICSI executive director, passes away

BICSI announced that Larry Romig, the association’s first executive director/CEO, passed away on November 15. In a statement posted on the bicsi.org homepage, then-BICSI President Michael Collins said Larry “was a warm individual and a professional in every way. Larry was a mentor to many, and in no small way, a major contributor to their successes and to the initial success of our fine association. Larry Romig will be sorely missed.”

Each year at BICSI’s annual awards banquet, held in conjunction with its winter conference, the association bestows the Larry W. Romig Committee Member of the Year Award upon a deserving individual.

David Cranmer, a BICSI Past President who also served as the association’s executive director/CEO, wrote a memorial to Romig on the website of Cranmer’s training company Ventoux Learning Network. Cranmer reflected, “For those of you who never met Larry, BICSI owes much of its success to his forward thinking. Larry was a very conservative money manager and over the years, built BICSI’s reserves substantially … Thanks to his money management, BICSI was able to purchase land and build the first phase of its headquarters debt-free.

“There are too many stories to post here,” Cranmer added. “But I remember that every year for many years, Larry would give the invocation during the banquet at the winter conference in Orlando. They were always thought-provoking and given with much passion.”

Solar PV power plant requires 40 miles of cable tray

Fluor Corporation announced that its Centinela Solar Energy project has been named “2015 Best Project Safety Award of Merit” winner by Engineering News-Record (ENR) for the California region. Fluor performed engineering, procurement and construction services and is now providing operations and maintenance services for the new, 170-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) facility located on approximately 1,600 acres in Imperial County, CA. The award’s judging noted Fluor completed the project safely by working more than 700,000 construction hours with no lost-time accidents and no recordable incidents.

For the project, Fluor’s construction team successfully installed a total of more than 875,000 solar PV panels, 15,000 tons of steel, 40 miles of cable tray and 425 miles of AC and DC cabling, working in conjunction with LS Power, an independent power company that develops, owns, operates and invests in power generation and electric transmission infrastructure throughout the United States. The Centinela Solar Energy project is LS Power’s largest solar project to date. It is one of the first major projects to tie into the newly constructed Sunrise Power Transmission Line. Centinela Solar Energy has 20-year power purchase agreements with San Diego Gas & Electric for the entire output from the facility, enough to power more than 60,000 homes.

Fluor was recognized at ENR’s Best Projects Awards breakfast banquet held recently in Los Angeles. Award recipients were selected by a jury of industry professionals. “It is an honor to have Fluor recognized for the safe execution of this project,” said Chris Tye, president of Fluor’s power business line. “We continue to maintain our safety culture as we perform operations and maintenance for this facility, helping to meet the regional need for renewable energy.”

IEEE 802.3 forms study groups for 25, 50 and 100/200 Gbit/sec Ethernet

The Ethernet Alliance recently commended the decision to form three study groups within IEEE 802.3. The groups are exploring the development of standards for 25-Gbit/sec Ethernet over singlemode fiber, 50-Gibt/sec Ethernet over a single lane, and next-generation 100- and 200-Gbit/sec Ethernet. The Ethernet Alliance commented that by forming these groups, IEEE 802.3 is “demonstrating Ethernet’s capacity for dynamically addressing the changing needs of its rapidly expanding marketplace.”

Scott Kipp, Ethernet Alliance president and principal technologist for Brocade, stated, “Ethernet is beginning the standardization of a new era of speeds based on 50-Gbit/sec signaling technology. The 50-Gbit/sec lanes will enable 50 Gigabit Ethernet SFP56 modules, and 200GbE QSFP56 modules and other corresponding technologies as we have shown in the 2015 Ethernet Roadmap. The launch of these new study groups will help deliver the next generation of cost-optimized, higher-speed solutions demanded by hyperscale data centers, enterprises, cloud service providers, and more. It’s proof that Ethernet will continue to be optimized for new markets.”

The Ethernet Alliance explained each study group’s objectives as follows: “The IEEE 802.3 25-Gbit/sec Ethernet PMD(s) for Single Mode Fiber Study Group is tasked with exploring the development of new 25-Gbit/sec singlemode fiber links, as well as evaluating market requirements supporting longer-reach 25-Gbit/sec interfaces up to 10 kilometers or more.

“Focusing on two related areas of study, the IEEE 802.3 50-Gbit/sec Ethernet Over a Single Lane Study Group and the IEEE 802.3 Next Generation 100-Gbit/sec Ethernet Study Group will jointly investigate the market requirements for 50-, 100- and 200-GbE, which include server-to-switch and switch-to-switch applications.”

APOLAN adds 5 cabling contractor firms as new members

The Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN), a non-profit organization devoted to furthering adoption of passive optical local area network (LAN) technologies, announced the addition of A.J. Labourdette, AWS Communications, Henkels & McCoy, Infiniti Technologies, and Netcom to its membership base.

“Through our work, enterprises are realizing that passive optical LAN can improve their network reliability, bandwidth and security in addition to delivering cost savings,” commented Thomas Ruvarac, chairman of the APOLAN. “Our growing membership base is further proof of that success, and the clear direction the industry is taking in turning to passive optical LAN for the near and long-term network solutions.”

A.J. Labourdette, Inc. is a full-service telecommunications, security and electrical contracting company who has been in business for over 31 years serving the commercial, military, and marine sectors, offering its customers a wide range of services.

Founded in Austin Texas in 2002, AWS Inc. dba AWS Communications, is a communications technology provider offering a full suite of communications infrastructure products for data, voice, video, DAS and wireless solutions, as well as network engineering and network installation services.

Henkels & McCoy (H&M) has served communications clients’ evolving infrastructure needs since 1923. As stated on the firm’s website, “H&M Networks provides key services to design and install critical infrastructure for public and private, wireless and wireline networks. Our experience and ability to scale allows us to tackle projects of all sizes, delivering solutions which incorporate safety, quality, on-time performance, and effective program management.”

Infiniti Technologies, Inc. is a Maryland-based corporation whose core management team has more than 100 years of combined experience in the design, installation and support of gigabit passive optical networking (GPON), video surveillance systems, access control systems, audio/visual networks, and structured cabling installations.

Network Communications SA (Netcom) is a corporate group with headquarters in Panama and offices in Costa Rica, dedicated to the commercialization of infrastructure solutions for voice, data, video, contact center, and carrier-class solutions.

APOLAN notes that its membership has more than doubled over the last year, reinforcing the industry group’s mission to drive education regarding the technical and economic advantages of passive optical LAN technology.

Data center connectivity specialist Mellanox appoints new VP of software

Mellanox Technologies, a supplier of high-performance, end-to-end interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems, announced the promotion of Freddy Gabbay to vice president of software.

Gabbay was Mellanox’s senior director of engineering from October 2013 until this promotion. He also was the company’s director of engineering from October 2012 to October 2013. Prior to that, Gabbay was a design manager at Freescale Semiconductor and took a major role in leading baseband SoC product development. Prior to Freescale, Gabbay was a senior architect at Mellanox Technologies responsible for its switch products.

Prior to Mellanox, Gabbay was also a senior architect at Intel Corporation. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and Master of Science and PhD from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.

“With his high technical networking knowledge and strong leadership skills, Freddy has been instrumental in our 100-Gbit Ethernet and InfiniBand switch software technology,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies. “I look forward to Freddy’s continued contribution and leadership under his new executive role. I wish him success in his new role.”

Fluke Networks adds 802.11ac functionality to network troubleshooting tools

Fluke Networks recently added 802.11ac functionality to two of its tools used by network engineers and technicians-the OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablet and the OneTouch AT Generation 2 Network Assistant. Both tools are now available with new 802.11ac functionality.

When announcing these new capabilities, Fluke Networks explained that the “OptiView XG is the first tablet specifically designed for the network engineer. It automates root-cause analysis of both wired and wireless network and application problems, saving the engineer significant time and effort. The new version of OptiView XG comes with the full suite of AirMagnet Mobile tools already built in.”

It added that the OneTouch AT is “an automated handheld tester that network technicians use to troubleshoot both Ethernet and WiFi network performance in real time by validating connectivity, service availability and path performance.”

Daryle DeBalski, vice president and general manager of Fluke Networks’ enterprise solutions, commented, “People increasingly judge the quality of a network by wireless access performance. If users experience a slow WiFi network, or they can’t connect to it, or they keep losing the connection, their frustration mounts and the entire network becomes suspect. A faster wireless technology standard like 802.11ac offers significant upside, but only if IT teams can keep the network running at optimal levels. Our expanded support for 802.11ac gives IT leaders peace of mind, knowing their teams can quickly find and fix any wired or wireless performance issue to maximize end-user experience.”

The company added, “The 802.11ac wireless standard promises to triple the speed of WiFi network connections, but unless the entire network infrastructure-both wired and wireless-can handle those speeds, end users aren’t likely to experience the full benefit of 802.11ac. Organizations upgrading to the faster standard need a holistic way to plan, analyze and troubleshoot the entire network infrastructure, rather than relying on multiple-point solutions to test separate components of the network. Fluke Networks enterprise solutions puts organizations back in control of the performance of their entire IT landscape and the user experience it provides-regardless of whether services are running on wired or wireless networks.”

BICSI updates RTPM exam requirements

BICSI announced that, effective October 1, all Registered Telecommunications Project Manager (RTPM) exam applicants are being tested on material from the association’s recently updated Telecommunications Project Management (TPM) reference manual, 2nd edition.

The TPM 2nd edition contains relevant telecommunications project management resource material gleaned from the pages of BICSI’s TDMM 13th edition, ITSIMM 6th edition, and OSPDRM 5th edition reference guides. This material is to be used in conjunction with BICSI’s “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide),” 5th edition, and “Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, 11th edition” publications, as previously specified in the RTPM exam’s requirements.

The new 2nd edition RTPM study reference material contains key technical information that prospective candidates for BICSI’s RTPM designation will need to successfully know to sit for the RTPM exam.

Work begins on TIA-942-B, the revision of the TIA-942-A data center standard

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42.1 Engineering Committee recently issued a call for interest for the standard titled TIA-942-B, whose initial working title is Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers. As an ANSI-accredited standard-development organization, TIA revises its standards on a five-year cycle. In that five-year time frame, standards can be reaffirmed, revised, or withdrawn. The TIA-942-A standard was published in 2012.

In its call for interest, the TIA said that the 942 set of standards “specifies the minimum requirements for telecommunications infrastructure of data centers and computer rooms, including single-tenant enterprise data centers and multi-tenant Internet hosting data centers. The topology specified in standards is intended to be scalable to any size data center.”

The association further explained that this particular revision effort-which ultimately will result in the publication of TIA-942-B-“keeps pace with technology changes, including continued improvements in energy efficiency, higher bandwidth and systems. The standard serves as a critical tool to evaluate existing data centers and communicate design requirements for new data centers. These include cabling, facility and network design elements.”

Henry Franc, chair of the TIA TR-42.1 Committee, commented, “The ever-evolving Internet of Things, technologies and topologies-combined with a wider focus on thermal management, energy efficiency, speed and power-will be accommodated in the upcoming revision of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers, which will be updated in conjunction with the changing landscape.”

TIA noted that stakeholders may include data center operators/owners and designers, project managers, certified internal and external auditors, certified design consultants, architects, engineering firms, end users and manufacturers.

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