TIA restructures, publishes new standards

Aug. 22, 2001--FEATURE--The Telecommuncations Industry Association (TIA) announced it is separating into two entities, launches its second SUPERnet, and published two standards affecting fiber optics.

By Mardi Balgochian Scalise, Lightwave Web Editor

The Telecommuncations Industry Association (TIA) had a busy week in the fiber optic industry. It announced it is separating into two entities -- a trade association and a standards development association -- to serve the industry more effectively and expand its reach. TIA also announced its second SUPERnet, which follows last year�s successful show in San Jose. Then, down to business, two new standards were published, one affecting optical fiber cable assemblies and the other affecting 850 nm fiber optics.

Entities Separating

TIA announced the intent to establish a Global Standards Development Organization for telecommunications, setting out its trade association and standards development organizations as autonomous entities. This move, approved at TIA's Summer Board of Directors meeting, is intended to allow each organization to focus on its respective mission.

TIA's standards development activities produce over 100 standards each year and rely upon the contributions of about 1,400 volunteers. In planning a spin-off, TIA intends to establish an agile and comprehensive standards development organization (SDO) for telecommunications that will accommodate service providers and manufacturers, together with others, on a global basis. The plan also provides for the SDO to support the TIA trade association with strong technical assistance so that TIA can continue to provide its leadership on complex telecommunications issues for policymakers.

TIA President Matthew Flanigan said, "We are separating this function of TIA so that standards development can serve the telecommunications industry more widely by having a global membership and reach. Under our plan, all TIA members initially will have automatic rights to participate in the standards development activities without incurring additional dues, while other interested parties, world-wide, will have equal opportunities to be members of the SDO and provide for its governance."

Flanigan continued, "Many TIA standards are used around the world. We are taking this to the next level to support the introduction of standards for next-generation networks, including wireless communications. Our intent is to establish a premier organization that will support the needs of carriers and manufacturers so the telecommunications industry can forge ahead."

The association is resolving the final details of its plan, which will be reviewed for approval at the November meeting of TIA's Board of Directors. Further information of the organizational changes will be announced following that meeting.

SUPERnet 2002

In addition, event-owner TIA announced SUPERnet 2002 Opening Plenary Panel to explore the future of optical networks and the changing market. SUPERnet, a TIA conference and exhibition that exclusively focuses on broadband infrastructure and applications, will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif., January 21-24, 2002. The event will feature approximately 40,000 net square feet of exhibits.

TIA and its conference partner, the International Engineering Consortium (IEC), developed the panel in response to the rapidly evolving optical networking market and the need to keep the industry well informed of these changes. Mark Storm, team leader at Frost & Sullivan, recently stated that "more than 50 percent of all optical network spending went toward traditional optical equipment in 2000." He believes "that service providers will transition their purchasing patterns toward Next Generation equipment as they migrate toward higher capacity, multi-wavelength, intelligent optical networking solutions." This panel of leading executives in the optical networking market will address issues such as what service providers should be purchasing in 2002 and more.

SUPERnet combines both educational seminars and technology exhibitions targeted toward decision-makers responsible for building next-generation broadband networks. SUPERnet 2002 exhibitors will showcase the integration of IP technologies and services over new and existing communications networks, and attendees will include service providers, network executives, engineering managers, R&D directors and other professionals driving the major rollouts and investments in broadband networks.

Two New Standards

In addition to organizational updates, the Association published two new standards affecting the fiber optic industry.

Fiber Optic Test Procedure (FOTP) -171, "Attenuation by Substitution Measurement for Short-Length Multimode Graded-Index and Single Mode Optical Fiber Cable Assemblies," TIA/EIA-455-171A

The document is an upgrade and revision of TIA/EIA-455-171. FOTP-171 describes procedures for measuring the attenuation by substitution of short length multimode graded index and single-mode optical fiber cable assemblies. These tests are primarily used for multimode cables of 100 meters or less in length and for single-mode cables of any length. The document primarily evaluates connector loss since the fiber loss is usually a small portion of the total loss. This FOTP contains twelve methods for testing connectorized cable assemblies.

TIA/EIA-455-171A was created by TIA FO-6.3 Subcommittee on Fiber Optic Interconnecting Devices.

"100 Mb/s Physical Layer Medium Dependent Sublayer and 10 Mb/s Auto-Negotiation on 850 nm Fiber Optics," TIA/EIA-785

The purpose of this standard is to provide a clear, simple and inexpensive upgrade path from 10 Mb/s fiber optic Ethernet compatible applications to 100 Mb/s fast Ethernet compatible applications using short wavelength (850 nm). It outlines a method for translating between twisted pair media dependent signaling and fiber optic media dependent signaling for 10 Mb/s, 100 Mb/s, and auto-negotiation.

The document specifies the 100BASE-X PMD (including MDI) and fiber optic medium for a short wavelength, multimode fiber, 100BASE-SX. It also specifies the media conversion sublayer, which extends the auto-negotiation function defined in IEEE Std. 802.3-1998 to fiber optic media.

TIA/EIA-785 was created by TIA FO-2.2 Subcommittee on Digital Multimode Systems.

About the TIA:

TIA is a trade association serving the communications and information technology industry, in market development, trade shows, domestic and international advocacy, standards development and enabling e-business. Through its worldwide activities, the association facilitates business development opportunities and a competitive market environment. The association provides a market-focused forum for its more than 1,100 member companies that manufacture or supply the products and services used in global communications. TIA represents the communications sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA). For more information, visit www.tiaonline.org.

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