The BICSI Fall Conference, held at the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, drew more than 2000 attendees who were anxious to find out how to build telecommunications systems that can meet the demands of the Internet era.

Concern over the transition from Cat. 5 cabling through Cat. 5e to Cat. 6, and perhaps even Cat. 7, sparked lively debates, considering the emergence of a Gigabit Ethernet standard. On the other side of the aisle, fiber optic specifications are becoming more complex with the introduction of 50-nm multimode fiber and other specification concerns.

The first remarkable area of growth is the residential cabling market, and the Monday morning technical seminar, entitled "Residential Cabling Infrastructure - Are you Ready?", focused on Grade 1 and Grade 2 wiring schemes under the revised ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-A Residential Telecommunications Standard. Voice, data, and video each have their own cabling requirements.

Additions to the standard will include alarm and security, home theater, and home automation wiring. To answer the growing demand for technical knowledge, BICSI has a Training and Registration Program under development. For information on future BICSI conference schedules, visit www.bicsi.org.