CablingInstall’s weekly Top 5: Tragedy at T&B, hacking the electrical grid, cinema-quality cable management

Sept. 30, 2016
Three employees perished in a workplace-violence tragedy at a Thomas and Betts plant in Tennessee.

Tragedy struck the industry on September 22 when an employee at a Thomas and Betts facility in Athens, TN opened fire, killing two other employees before taking his own life. That sobering news was atop our most-read articles over the past week. Here’s a recap of the top five.

1) Shooting at Thomas and Betts leaves three dead

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that long-time Thomas and Betts employee Ricky Swafford shot and killed supervisors James Zotter and Sandra Cooley before turning his gun on himself.

2) AT&T Labs’ Project AirGig close to millimeter wave field trials

The company said they’re “deep in the experimentation phase,” adding that millimeter wave technology “will be easier to deploy than fiber, can run over license-free spectrum and can deliver ultra-fast wireless connectivity to any home or handheld wireless device.” It says it designed Project AirGig “literally from the ground up to be both practical and transformational … We expect to kick off our first trials in 2017.”

3) Tech Data acquires Avnet’s data center solutions business for $2.6B

Avnet says exiting the data center business will allow it to “focus on the design chain and supply chain services and expand into new markets, such as the Internet of Things and digital platforms,” according to Avnet CEO William Amelio. Tech Data says the acquisition will, among other benefits, give it a foothold in Asia.

4) MIT Technology Review’s take on AirGig

Tom Simonite of MIT Technology Review provided this perspective on AT&T’s AirGig initiative: “Getting electricity to every home and business was one of the last century’s great infrastructure challenges in many parts of the world. In the U.S., people in rural areas and with lower incomes are much less likely to have access to broadband. Infrastructure costs are a major reason more than half the world’s population is without broadband access … Because it doesn’t send data signals through the electricity cables themselves, AT&T says, its system can avoid the cost and reliability problems that plagued earlier schemes to transmit broadband over power lines.”

5) Cinema-quality 10/40/100GbE fiber-optic cable management

Reichle & De-Massari created a video to promote the company’s Netscale platform, which it says is “the industry’s highest-density fiber-optic cable management solution.” If the system is impressive, so too is the video. The Twittersphere reacted.

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