The Many Choices of Industry Standards

Dave Tanis_headshot Dave Tanis April 17, 2014

The Many Choices of Industry StandardsMost industries are governed by standards that outline such things as materials, designs and protocols. Standards are put in place to make things “easier” for the industry. When asked about the proliferation of standards in the computer industry, Andrew S. Tanenbaum is credited with saying, “The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.”

A similar level of complexity and frustration may be felt by some in the cabling industry given the numerous applications standards, regional cabling standards and unofficial guidelines such as multi-source agreements that all influence how cabling systems are designed and used.

After all, the intent of standards is to make life simpler for all involved; from manufacturers to systems designers, installers and ultimately to the end users themselves, right?

Fortunately, there is logic behind how the standards relevant to the structured cabling industry fit together. For example, the most common applications standards in the IEEE Ethernet and ANSI T.11 (Fibre Channel) drive requirements in the regional cabling standards bodies of ISO/IEC (global), TIA (North America) and CENELEC (Europe). Fortunately, there are strong liaisons between these groups to ensure that standards are as consistent as possible across different regions.

CommScope is fortunate to have several experts participating in all of the key cabling standards groups. We are proud to have more than 30 employees representing us in more than 60 standards groups around the world; all of which do so in addition to their “day jobs.” Their work, along with others in the standards bodies, has helped shape the physical infrastructure that Gartner predicts will support 26 billion connected devices by 2020.

In addition to their contributions, our standards group publishes the StandardsAdvisor - a quarterly update on the pertinent standards activities to ensure our customers can keep up with the latest developments. The second edition, covering activities in the first quarter of 2014, was recently completed and is available on the CommScope Standards webpage. Even with all of the standards to choose from, there is a clear path forward for even higher bandwidth. As Tanenbaum noted, there may be many standards to choose from, but hopefully this update will help give a better understanding as to all the choices out there.

About the Author

Dave Tanis_headshot

Dave Tanis

David Tanis is the Director of Strategic Enterprise Marketing at CommScope. Dave joined the team in April, 2005 and has overall responsibility for driving solutions and product marketing for enterprise customers throughout North America. Dave has over 20 years experience in the telecommunications industry. He joined AT&T Network Systems in 1984 as Product Engineer and held a number of positions in their manufacturing facility in North Andover, MA, USA. He joined Lucent Technologies in 1996 and assumed the role of EMEA Technical Manager for Optical Fiber and Cable in 1998. With the acquisition of the Lucent Optical Fiber and Cable business by Furukawa and CommScope in 2001, Dave assumed the role of EMEA Technical Director, OFS. Dave continued in this role for OFS until April 2005, when he joined SYSTIMAX Solutions as EMEA Technical Director. Dave has published several papers in various industry trade journals and is a regular presenter at industry conferences. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont and a Masters in Business Administration from Boston University in the USA.