The ongoing volatility of copper pricing has created a major concern for
the telecommunications industry, in which telecoms operators
traditionally use copper ground wire for network grounding and bonding.
Rising copper prices negatively impact operating costs by increasing the
price of wire and maintenance costs, as copper wire becomes an
attractive target for thieves intent on stealing it for sale to
To help the industry battle these issues, CommScope,
Inc. has developed a copper-alternative grounding wire designed to
deter copper theft and lower maintenance costs for telecoms and data
Copper Clad Steel solution has been designed for use in subsurface
grounding grids, as well as inside and outside plant bonding
applications. As a global leader in infrastructure solutions for
communication networks, CommScope has been manufacturing
copper-alternative solutions for various industries for nearly 30 years.
As copper theft continues to grow as a global problem and copper raw
material costs increase, the use of Copper Clad Steel alternatives have
gained acceptance in more and more applications.
“Companies trying to protect their copper infrastructure have been going
to extreme measures to deter theft, many of which are neither successful
nor cost effective,” said Doug Wells, vice president, Outside Plant
Solutions, Broadband, CommScope. “Companies have increased security
around their plants, going as far as laser etching their cables so they
can be traced when they are stolen. Others have coated cables with a
special liquid that leaves a stain detectable under ultraviolet light.
Despite efforts like these, thieves continue to steal copper because of
its rising value. The result is costly damage to networks and growing
Copper theft has become such an issue that the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security issued a warning stating that copper
theft is a
threat to critical homeland infrastructure. Also, in a 2009
survey published by the Electrical
Safety Foundation International, utilities in the United States
reported approximately $60 million in losses and 450,000 minutes of
outage time annually because of copper theft.
GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel is specifically designed to disperse fault
currents and lightning strikes at a lower total cost of ownership
compared to pure copper. It is an electrical conductor that has copper
metallurgically bonded to a solid steel core. This solution also makes
it less susceptible to theft by increasing the resistance to cutting and
drastically decreasing the scrap value. GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel
can be jacketed with a polyethylene
coating and printed to disguise and distinguish the wire from solid
copper alternatives. For inside plant bonding and grounding applications
CommScope produces a Copper Clad Aluminum version. The combination of
these two metals result in a product uniquely suited for electrical
applications where both cost and weight-to-conductivity issues are
important. You can also be confident that the National
Electrical Code (NEC) allows for CommScope’s Copper
Clad Aluminum and Copper Clad Steel grounding solutions as
alternatives to solid copper.
GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel and Copper Clad Aluminum benefit from a
specialized CommScope BiMetals® technology and manufacturing process.
The products are created by bonding different metals into a single
conductor, resulting in a low-cost lower risk alternative to using solid
copper. This unique solution is produced at the CommScope facility in
Statesville, NC, that is ISO 9001 and ISO 14000 registered.
GroundSmart and CommScope BiMetals are registered trademarks of
has played a role in virtually all the world’s best communication
networks. We create the infrastructure that connects people and
technologies through every evolution. Our portfolio of end-to-end
solutions includes critical infrastructure our customers need to build
high-performing wired and wireless networks. As much as technology
changes, our goal remains the same: to help our customers create,
innovate, design, and build faster and better. We’ll never stop
connecting and evolving networks for the business of life at home, at
work, and on the go.
This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on
information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as
well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events.
Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are
subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could
cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently
expected. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not
intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these
statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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