ICG's Blog

What is structured cabling AKA low voltage cabling and network cabling?

Structured cabling is a total network solution for your telecommunications infrastructure. This cabling facilitates voice, data, video, image, and text transfer.

Essentially, you have a main telecom room (MDF) and may have additional ‘intermediate’ telecom rooms known as IDFs. These rooms are typically connected by fiber and each room typically has racks or cabinets with patch panels that connect to jacks/telecom outlets for user workstations or devices.

Network Infrastructure according to ANSI/TIA-568-C.1:

The Access Provider connects to the Entrance Facility. This is where your network begins. The Entrance Facility extends the network to the Main Cross-Connect (Distributor C) in the Equipment Room. This is the highest physical level in the network, and it connects to the next layer, of which the hierarchy is:

  • At the highest level, an Intermediate Cross-Connect (Distributor B) in the Equipment Room which is usually a connection between multiple buildings.
  • Or a Horizontal Cross-Connect (Distributor A) in the Telecommunications Room or Telecommunications Enclosure
  • Or a Telecommunications Outlet/Connector (Equipment Outlet) in a Work Area

The Main Cross-Connect can connect to (a), (b), or (c) directly but a lower rung of the hierarchy can never jump before a higher layer.

Kathi BleaseWhat is structured cabling AKA low voltage cabling and network cabling?
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What is a BICSI Certification?

BICSI is a professional association for the telecommunications industry. According to their website, they serve nearly 23,000 professionals and spans more than 100 countries.

They have multiple levels and types of certifications/credentials they offer for the industry. These include:

-Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD)

-Registered Telecommunications Project Manager (RTPM)

-Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC)

-Outside Plant Designer (OSP)

Of these the RCDD is crucial for many projects. For example, both the Department of Defense and the Army require and RCDD on staff for any telecommunications project. The RCDD designs and executes a project from beginning to end, trying to minimize cost and maximize efficiency. They oversee the project to be sure the design is being followed correctly and sign off upon completion.

Additionally, they have a cabling installation program with four credentials:

-Installer 1

-Installer 2, Copper

-Installer 2, Optical Fiber

-Technician

Technicians have the knowledge to be leads technicians for their company and to manage that team throughout a full project.

These credentials are important for both the customers and telecommunication companies to be sure that all technicians on the job have the proper training, knowledge, and skills for a project.

Kathi BleaseWhat is a BICSI Certification?
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South Florida – Palm Beach County – Business Hub

Palm Beach County may not be on the same level as Wall Street, but that hasn’t stopped financial firms from relocating to the South Florida Area. West Palm Beach in particular has become a hub not just for financial firms, however, but for all businesses to move to. This is creating a small network effect where more businesses moving creates value for other businesses that move close by. According to the Palm Beach County Business Development Board (BDB), the total economic impact from companies that the BDB has helped move exceeds $6 Billion, with over $750 million in capital investment in the past five years.

There are a multitude of reasons for the moves to Southeast Florida but primary among them is the tax environment. There is no state income tax in Florida. With a sales tax rate of 6% statewide and an additional 1% for the county, Palm Beach County is a very tax friendly place to live- especially compared to the personal taxes currently being paid by many who work on Wall Street or in other highly taxed states.

Additionally, there is a lifestyle benefit associated with the move to the South Florida area. It is becoming a coveted location to both work and live. Some of that is due to the weather and the beaches, which make outside activities possible year-round. Some is due to the quality of public schools which is a benefit to families with children. It also speaks to the quality of the labor talent pool.

Whether you own a business or are looking to make a move, consider Palm Beach County as your destination. (We are partial to Boca Raton!)

https://www.bdb.org/index.php?src=pages&ref=about

Kathi BleaseSouth Florida – Palm Beach County – Business Hub
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Intranet Communications Group Inc. is now a Partner of WilsonPro

Many existing buildings have trouble maintaining cellular reception throughout and some building owners are not aware that there is a solution for this problem! WilsonPro has a passive Distributed Antenna System (DAS) that detects signal(s) then uses, amplifies, and broadcasts the detected signal(s) throughout an area. The result of a successful WilsonPro passive DAS installation is the ability to make calls, send and receive text messages, browse the internet, and download/upload via your cellular signal.

Additionally, WilsonPro is unique in that it provides a carrier agnostic solution. One antenna can serve multiple cellular providers.

Their product also uses a passive DAS and thus requires a minimally invasive installation as compared with active DAS. This is why WilsonPro’s passive DAS cellular amplifiers are an affordable solution for owners looking to boost their guests/tenants cell phone reception.

WilsonPro’s premier cellular amplifier is now a part of the portfolio of solutions offered by Intranet Communications Group. Please reach out to us for more information! 561-367-7276.

Kathi BleaseIntranet Communications Group Inc. is now a Partner of WilsonPro
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Trade Agreements Act (TAA) and Buy American Act (BAA)

The Trade Agreements Act (TAA) limits the countries from which products sold can originate from for Government Contracts. Essentially, products that are from, manufactured in, or substantially transformed in the United States or a designated country register as compliant. For services, the location of the company indicates the country of origin. You can find a list of approved countries in the FAR Clause – https://www.acquisition.gov/far/52.225-5

The Buy American Act (BAA) is a bit more stringent and slightly more complex. It was originally passed in 1933 and determines that there shall be preference for United States goods manufactured or produced in the United States. In certain cases, this preference can be waived. This happened with some large trade agreements but is often dependent on the type (goods, services, construction) and the size of the procurement.

According to Executive Order 10582, when “materials constitutes 50 percent or more of the cost of all the products used in such material…the executive agencies shall either (1) add 6 percent to the total bid or offered price of materials of foreign origin, or (2) add 10 percent to the total bid or offered price of materials of foreign origin,” with a few exclusions. DFARS adds to this by requiring an evaluation factor of 50 percent for DOD projects.

There have been two additional Executive Orders (13858 and 13788) that are intended to strengthen and implement Buy American Act compliance and procedures among Federal departments.

 

Buy American Act and its associated Executive Orders:

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title41/subtitle4/chapter83&edition=prelim

DFARS Clause:

https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfars/html/current/225_1.htm

The information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Contact your attorney if you require legal advice.

Kathi BleaseTrade Agreements Act (TAA) and Buy American Act (BAA)
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Section 889 – Parts A and B – John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019

Section 889 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 has two major parts. Effective August 13th, 2019, Part A stipulates that:

“The head of an executive agency may not procure or obtain or extend or renew a contract to procure or obtain any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.”

Covered Telecommunications equipment is described as:

“Telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities)” or “…video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).”

Basically, the Federal Government can no longer use Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision, or Dahua products or services.

This has led to Government agencies replacing covered telecommunications equipment and video surveillance equipment with products from countries other than China. We will cover the Trade Agreements Act and Buy American Act relating to this in another blog post.

Meanwhile, Part B of Section 889 became effective August 13th, 2020. Part B states:

“The head of an executive agency may not enter into a contract (or extend or renew a contract) with an entity that uses any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.”

This expands upon Part A in that not only can Agencies not buy equipment from the banned companies from China, but the Agencies also cannot buy equipment from companies that use the banned equipment directly or in their supply chain. This is a high bar for many small businesses. A recent GSA webinar outlined the standard as making a reasonably inquiry into your supply chain to ensure compliance including within your company. This would include popular webcams, CCTV cameras, and other telecommunications equipment.

ICG sells telecommunications equipment from compliant companies and manufacturers. This includes Axis cameras which publish a list of their TAA Compliant cameras. We are also able to procure compliant telecommunications equipment, from jacks and cabling to racks and patch panels.

If you would like more information on our product line please send us an email or give us a call!

The information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Contact your attorney if you require legal advice.

Click here to see the entire bill at Congress’ website.

Kathi BleaseSection 889 – Parts A and B – John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019
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News Release: ICG is SBA 8(a) Certified

Boca Raton, FL.  Intranet Communications Group Inc. (ICG) announces its Certification by the Small Business Administration as a Disadvantaged Business in the 8(a) Business Development Program

June 16, 2020- Boca Raton, FL.  Intranet Communications Group Inc. (ICG) announces its Certification by the Small Business Administration as a Disadvantaged Business in the 8(a) Business Development Program.

Contract Highlights Include:

* Allows ICG to compete for 8(a) Contracts in the Federal Government space
* Certification is nationally recognized by all federal agencies
* ICG is part of a select group of Contractors. According to the Small Business Administration’s program, Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database, there are approximately 5,893 current 8(a) firms

 

President, Kathi Blease stated, “ICG is pleased to announce the Small Business Administration’s approval of our 8(a) Certification. It has been a long journey to reach this point. We are proud of our company’s 22 year history and we look forward to the next chapter for ICG as a SBA 8(a) Certified Federal contractor. We anticipate growing our relationship with the many Government agencies we have supported over the years  in numerous agencies as both a prime and subcontractor.  ICG has completed Federal work across the United States for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Interior, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Health and Human Services.  Municipal work includes local city governments and universities in South Florida.

Craig Blease, V.P. of ICG and its in house Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD), stated, “ICG is a dynamic organization focused on expanding our support of Federal customers. We look to build on our Exceptional CPARS rating which we received from the Air Force in 2019, and enhance our offerings as an IT integrator.’”

Intranet Communications Group Inc. (ICG) is an 8(a) certified, Women-Owned Small Business with over 22 years of experience in full-service telecommunications infrastructure.  ICG provides the network infrastructure for Local Area Networks (LAN), Campus Area Networks (CAN), Wireless Networks and turnkey CCTV integration. Our experience working with federal, state and municipal government crosses many disciplines, including correctional facilities, industrial plants, hospitals, air/marine stations, and numerous interior build outs of commercial office space.  Accepts government credit and purchase cards.

 

DUNS: 043403430 CAGE: 4LWZ4

GSA Contract#: GS-35F-0623W

Special Item Number (SIN): 132-8, 132-51

Media Contact:

Gerard Brandin, Marketing & Financial Associate
561-367-7276
gbrandin@icgconnects.com
www.icgconnects.com

Copyright © 2020 Intranet Communications Group Inc., All rights reserved.

Kathi BleaseNews Release: ICG is SBA 8(a) Certified
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Benefits of Shielded Cabling Versus Unshielded Cabling (STP vs UTP)

Electromagnetic Interference, or EMI, can cause a noisy signal. EMI is caused by other electronic devices. In a manufacturing facility or on a government campus you might have a great deal of EMI. This means that you may have degraded data transfer or no data transfer. This problem can be fixed by using Shielded Twisted-Pair Cabling (STP). STP cabling protects your Ethernet cables from EMI by covering them in a foil ‘shield’.

STP cabling can also “virtually eliminate external signal detection and interception.” This can be key for government networks and/or networks that require additional security. This is outlined by the BerkTek Whitepaper: Cabling for Secure Government Networks. (ICG is a BerkTek certified installer)

When selecting your cable prior to installation, keep in mind the requirements related to EMI shielding that will be needed for your project. When a project does not have significant EMI, you can use Unshielded Twisted-Pair (UTP) Cabling in its place as it is a lower cost point. STP is more expensive for multiple reasons. Material costs will be higher. The shielding makes the cabling more expensive. Additionally, the connectors and the patch panel must also be compatible with shielded cabling making them more expensive. Lastly, terminating STP cabling is more time consuming than terminating UTP cabling due to the extra steps in the process. Add in the bonding and grounding requirements and your labor time will likely increase as well.

When your project is completed, you can test for data loss via a network cabling tester. Make sure to ask for certified test results from your installer that show all your cables pass the required tests to be considered functional.

Kathi BleaseBenefits of Shielded Cabling Versus Unshielded Cabling (STP vs UTP)
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ICG – ISP and OSP Network Cabling (Video)

ICG is a network cabling and IP Security company. We’ve installed over 23,000 miles of cable and supported over 80,000 users across 14 states including both government and commercial accounts. Here is a day in the life of ICG.

Music: www.bensound.com

Kathi BleaseICG – ISP and OSP Network Cabling (Video)
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What is the difference between Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling?

Cat 5e cabling is the same speed as Cat 6 cabling, 1000Mbps, at any distance over 55 meters. Under 55 meters, Cat 6 is 10x faster than Cat 5e at 10Gbps. For this reason, Cat 6 is often used for shorter runs to utilize its higher speeds.
Both are Ethernet cables, Twisted-Pair cables with four pairs of wires, but Cat 6 cabling has each wire protected from crosstalk (electromagnetic interference (EMI)) by a thicker sheath. It is also wound tighter than Cat 5e. Cat 6 is thus superior to Cat 5e as it is exposed to less crosstalk (which can weaken the signal).
The third benefit from Cat 6 over Cat 5e is increased bandwidth. Cat 6 operates at 250 Mhz while Cat 5e operates at 100 Mhz. This increased bandwidth allows more data to be transferred in a given amount of time.
Cat 5e is a useful cable but it has mostly outlived its useful life and is outdated. Cat 6 and especially Cat 6A are the new standard. Look for our next article on Cat 6 vs. Cat 6A.
Kathi BleaseWhat is the difference between Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling?
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