The Internet has made it much easier to gather information on standards activities and obtain copies of published standards. Whether in electronic, paper, or microfilm form, standards documents must still be purchased. Despite this, standards organizations provide user-friendly Web sites that offer a plethora of free information covering meeting calendars, agendas, minutes, the mission and scope of their committees, and catalogs of published standards. Electronic purchases, with immediate downloading of published standards, are usually possible from these sites.
Committee T1's Web site at www.t1.org gives visitors full information on upcoming meetings. Letter Ballots can be viewed, but only member companies may vote on them. For Committee T1 standards documents, go to the Web site of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Web site at www.iec.ch offers information on IEC meetings (click on "News") and sales outlets in the U.S. for their standards (click on "Customer Service Centre"). One of these sales outlets is ANSI, whose site is www.ansi.org. Clicking on "Catalogs/Standards Information" at that site and then "ANSI-ISO-IEC Online Catalog" provides a comprehensive catalog of over 12,000 ANSI standards (including Committee T1) and 4000 IEC standards, which can be purchased by clicking on "Electronic Standards Store."
On the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) home page, www.tiaonline.org, at under "Standards and Technology," click on "Search/Order Stds." Then on that page's "Standards and Technology" drop-down menu, click on "Committee Meetings" to get information on all upcoming TIA meetings. Clicking on "FO-6" on the same drop-down menu gives agendas, minutes, and scopes of the various subcommittees and working groups within the FO-6 Fiber Optics Committee. A link is provided that explains attendance policy for nonmembers and how to join TIA.
Global Engineering Documents has been appointed primary distributor for TIA standards. On its home page, glob al.ihs.com, click on "New Docs," then after selecting the appropriate region of the world, click on the appropriate letter (I for ISO or IEEE, T for TIA, etc.). Titles of new standards with prices are listed. If the document number or title is known, click on "Doc Search" at the top of the page.
On the home page of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), www.itu.int, click on "ITU Publications". Then clicking on "List of ITU-T Recommendations" leads to lists of the approximately 2600 ITU-T Recommendations currently in force.
The National Standards System Network (NSSN) is a Web-based database of standards-related information. Its www.nssn.org site enables the visitor to make online purchases of ANSI, TIA, IEC, and Committee T1 standards.
Other useful sites include www.bellcore.com (now known as Telcordia Technologies)-click on "Visit the Information SuperStore" for its standards documents. The Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, an open forum that supports the work of the IEEE 802.3 task forces, maintains a site at www.gigabit-ethernet.org. Standards documents are found at the standards.ieee. org/catalog/IEEE802.3.html Web site.
Useful sites for building wiring standards include www.bicsi.org and the National Electrical Code at www.nfpa.org.
William B. Gardner represents Lucent Technologies, Norcross, GA, on several fiber standards committees. He can be contacted at tel: (770) 798-2674; fax: (770) 798-4654; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.