The BICSI Spring Conference, held May 8-11 in Fort Worth, Texas, drew nearly 1800 telecommunications specialists wanting to learn more about fiber optic and copper cabling technologies, including high-speed LANs, bandwidth performance, and standards.

Top concerns of attendees included understanding Cat. 5 copper cabling performance better and how to decide whether copper or fiber is the best choice for running Gigabit Ethernet or any upgrade to their network.

At the members-only technical seminar on Monday, Michael Lamm, director of sales and engineering, Elkay Industries, St. Louis, spoke on sound system distribution, which is becoming increasingly important since telephone systems within a building are often tied into a public address system.

Thomas Rauscher, ArchiTechnology, Rochester, N.Y., explained how putting communications system design into a new Division 17 of the CSI Master Format would work. The Master Format is a project creation and management tool used by an architect in setting up a building project. Rausher and other industry specialists believe this new tool benefits the design, construction, and owner/client teams. You can view this proposal at www.division17.net.

John Siemon, The Siemon Company, Watertown, Conn., introduced the prototype of the 9th edition of the BICSI Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual, available in June.

Carolyn Case, Corning Inc., Corning, N.Y., covered the impending 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard and emerging applications for this technology.

Wavetek Wandel Goltermann, Everett, Wash., showed its LT 8600 high-performance cable tester that exceeds the requirements for emerging CAT/Class E testing standards on copper conductors.

Holocom Networks, Carlsbad, Calif., debuted its TopRunner Communications Gateway, a system that provides zone distribution for clustered workstation in an open plan office. Attached to furniture panels, the system consists of a communications module, top-cap raceway, and a vertical wire manager.