Recently, one of our customers attempted to turn up service on their network only to find that it simply would not work.  They spent days trying to diagnose the problem.  Frustrated, they called us to ask for help.  Upon inspection, we discovered the customer had substituted “inexpensive” patch cords from another source throughout their network.  Once we replaced the patch cords with our own, the network performed as intended – flawlessly.   The customer was shocked that their substitution had caused the network failure.

All too often customers think that a patch cord is a patch cord.

Does it really matter which one they use?

The simple answer is yes.

At CommScope we build complete end-to-end solutions and solution components to far exceed industry standards.  Industry standards are kind of like the Recommended Minimum Daily Allowance for vitamins.  Taking a multivitamin every day will keep you from getting a disease like “scurvy” but will not make you an Olympic athlete.   Industry standards are good in that they provide the minimum recommended performance levels for cabling infrastructure but they do not guarantee high performance for your network.

So what happens when a component claims to meet industry standards but actually falls short?  Networks experience problems and often fail to perform as intended.  But how likely are you to find a noncompliant component in the market?  More likely than you may think.

The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA) announced on December 6 that it recently completed large-scale, electrical performance testing of Category 6 copper patch cords.  Of patch cords produced offshore by companies who are largely unknown in North America, 85% failed the tests.  All--or100%--of Category 6 copper patch cords produced by multiple, well-recognized manufacturers passed the tests – 0% failed.    Read the announcement .

The old saying “You get what you pay for” rings true here.   So make sure that you buy on value and not just on price.   Buying technology with integrity should be your goal.

Do you buy technology based on value or on price?

About the Author

Jim Hulsey

Jim Hulsey is the Manager of Education Services at CommScope. Jim has held positions in Product Management, Solutions Management, Global Marketing, Regional Marketing, and Strategic Marketing with AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Avaya and CommScope.

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Comments

2 comments for "You Get What You Pay For"
Todd Stratton

Jim - Really like this article. The 85% and 100% stats are very compelling. - Todd

Jim Hulsey

Hi Todd. Thanks for the comment. These stats should remind all of us to do a bit of research before making important purchase decisions. A low price with a side of convenience does not always equal real value. Take care. Jim

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