I remember when BICSI used to hold its annual meeting in Tampa, Florida. BICSI annual meetings were much smaller then—I’d call them intimate compared to the size and scope of modern events.  In those days, discussions on any new product or technology used to be very different.  It was common to have open dialog with plenty of heat and passion from those in the cabling industry

You’re guessing I must be very old-fashioned, but I miss those days in some ways.  I am not saying that passion is missing today but perhaps now we lack the kind of public debate and peer review that I believe demonstrated a sense of pride and integrity in the structured cabling industry.  Smaller venues engendered this spirit perhaps.

Today, time, money and travel are all limited, which pressures us to give up on some traditions.  However, it seems that old stylecommunication iscoming backin the form of social media.  Visit Linkedin for example, and you will find “Structured Cabling” and “BICSI” groups – these groups are new to some, but to me, the conversation they inspire is a “blast from the past.”

40G on copper for example has sparked some interesting debate.  Discussions on 40 base T remind me of the discussions around 1G base T back in the day.  In those days I was on the pro side.  These days I find myself on the opposite side of the argument – I don’t believe that there is significant interest or market demand to justify the investment required to develop 40G base T on category 7A cable.  Plainly a large number of companies will need to invest in a group of technologies and achieve breakthrough designs to make it so.  

The insiders, such as IEEE and chipset manufacturers, don’t seem to believe it either because today, they are not “in.”  Let’s suppose for a moment that we were considering the investment. What would be the size of the market you ask? Frankly, there just isn’t a lot of that cable in the world.  Additionally the development time line for copper might be several years, a very late entry to a market that will be in high volume by that time.  The business case seems less than compelling.  Surely there must be some other benefit to this cable because this isn’t it.

I think while it is great to tell a story of what might be, it might be wrong to tell half the story.  If someone tells you that Category 7A will support 40G and 100G Ethernet, chances are they hope you don’t know the half of it.

I hope you will join in the fine tradition that BICSI began many years ago.  Voice your views, share your insight and help define the future – social networking rocks!

About the Author

James Young

James currently serves as the Director of CommScope’s Enterprise Data Center division, overseeing strategy and providing leadership to product and field teams globally. Formerly James has been involved in a variety of roles including sales, marketing and operations for communication solutions working with Tyco Electronics/AMP, Anixter, Canadian Pacific and TTS in Canada. 

James has gained extensive experience in the sale of OEM products, network solutions and value-added services through direct and indirect channel sales environments. His sales experience includes electronic transmission components, telephony systems, network systems, LAN infrastructure products and fibre transmission system products. James has garnered substantial experience in OEM and channel marketing, as well as network operations as assistant director of CP’s computers and communications group. 

James graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario.  He is a registered Communication Distribution Designer (RCDD) and certified Data Center Design Professional (CDCP).

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1 comment for "Social Networking Groups Spark Healthy Cabling Standards Debate"
Gautier Humbert

I couldn't agree more. There's just no business case for the active equipment manufacturers right now to develop an application for a cabling system worth less than 1% of the global market.. This remind me of the days TIA invented 1000base-Tx...

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