Convergence of a different kind

Feb. 1, 2017
The contents of this month's issue are representative of just how much is going on in the structured cabling industry in early 2017.

The contents of this month's issue are representative of just how much is going on in the structured cabling industry in early 2017. In one article (here) we report on the bullish outlook one analyst has for the passive optical LAN market around the globe. Another article (here) explains that Category 6A cabling is going mainstream in many enterprises today. Still another (here) reports on what's new, and what's to come, with Category 8.

Meanwhile, wireless connectivity in places like stadiums, arenas and convention halls is enabled only when a robust-enough fiber and/or copper infrastructure is supporting it, as we also detail (here). And speaking of wireless, it looks like deployment rates of 802.11ac Wave 2 access points are growing steadily. Our Infrastructure Insights column (here) reports on how big a chunk of the global wireless LAN market Wave 2 occupies. Like other on-premises wireless technologies, 802.11ac Wave 2 relies on a capable wired backhaul. Over the past couple years we have reported on the technological and standards efforts that resulted in the publication of the IEEE's 2.5G and 5GBASE-T specifications, which are intrinsically tied to Wave 2's throughput capacity.

For good measure, throw in a discussion about low-smoke halogen-free (LSHF) cables (here) and we have ourselves a veritable stew of topics that face the professionals who specify, purchase, install, or own structured cabling systems for any number of applications.

This collection of different-yet-related topics strikes me as convergence of a different kind. We talk regularly about technologies converging and the need for a rock-solid layer-one physical infrastructure to support a number of IP-based converged building systems. But even among that layer-one infrastructure, technical, market and even political forces are converging to make product and system choices as important as they ever have been.

We recently polled your peers in the cabling trade and found that among the most troublesome aspects of getting projects completed are: A) obtaining all the products needed for a project from a single source, and B) having sufficient time to plan and execute the job. That tells me many projects could be described as both a balancing act and a race against time. Now there's some convergence that will test the mettle of any project manager. We're grateful you've turned to us as a source of information while navigating such tricky waters. Please let us know how we're doing and what else we can do to make your job a little eaiser.

Patrick McLaughlin
Chief Editor
[email protected]

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