BRCA BYTES Q1 2020

Welcome to the Q1 2020 issue of BRCA Bytes for Registered Cablers

What a crazy start to the year! I don’t think Australians have ever had their lives so disrupted as this year – bushfires, floods, COVID-19. And we’re only a quarter of the way through it!

While I don’t want to take up too much of your time talking about COVID-19 (we’re all tired of hearing about it in the news), I did want to convey to you what BRCA is doing about it, so you know how to contact us if you need technical or regulatory support, or need to update any of your registration details.

The BRCA office is open. In fact, I’m writing this article to you from the BRCA office in Cheltenham, Melbourne right now. The office will continue to be open unless we’re specifically instructed by Government otherwise. That means you can call us on 1800 306 444 or 03 9583 3445 for any assistance. The only thing is, I’m in the office on my own, practicing social-distancing. None of the other BICSI or BRCA staff are in the office – they’re all working from home. So if I don’t answer your call, it just means I’m on another call or participating in a webinar (more on that later). Just leave a message on our answering service and I’ll contact you as soon as possible, usually that same day.

I don’t expect our office to be closed by COVID-19, nor should most of your activities as cablers. That’s because telecommunications, data cabling, ICT infrastructure – whatever you call it – is an essential service. I’m sure many companies and individuals have anxiously contacted some of you, desperately needing the internet capabilities fixed or improved in their houses with better cabling or Wi-Fi so they can work from home.

In this issue of BRCA Bytes, we’ll provide some information about COVID-19 that’s relevant to our industry; but we’ll also address some other important topics like fake documentation, lead-in cabling and education opportunities. We trust you’ll find some or all of the articles worthwhile reading.

During this challenging global pandemic, we hope you and your family stay safe. Please adhere to government and medical directives to minimise the spread of COVID-19 so we can get back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible.

One final thought about great Aussie heroes – the firefighters and rescue workers during the bushfires and floods, and the healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of them courageously fight immense challenges that threaten their wellbeing and very lives to protect the lives and wellbeing of all Australians. If you are one of these heroes, we sincerely thank you. And if you know, work with, or are related to any of our healthcare workers, please frequently thank them – better still applaud them – for their great acts in helping saving thousands of lives and livelihoods.

Paul Stathis
CEO, BICSI Registered Cablers Australia

BRCA Statement Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The safety and well-being of all registered cablers, BRCA/BICSI staff and the industry as a whole is of utmost importance to BRCA/BICSI. Our office is actively monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 around the world and is following the federal and state government directives about hygiene, social-distancing and activities.

Since millions of Australians are suddenly having to work from home for self-isolation, the importance of cabling and ICT infrastructure has come to the fore. It is an essential service because people need to still communicate safely – be it for productivity or just for their own mental health.

As such, we anticipate that most of you will still be working, or at least remaining active in industry activities like education, quoting, helping clients, tidying up accounts, etc.
Currently the BICSI office in Melbourne is open and staffed by one person to answer phone calls and emails, while the rest of the staff are working from home. So we are functioning business-as-usual to support the needs of BICSI Registered Cablers. Many of you have recently called the BICSI office and been pleased that someone answered the phone to immediately assist them. We welcome any cabler to contact us for assistance in regulatory or technical matters by Phone on 1800 306 444 or Email: info@brca.com.au

Unfortunately BICSI has been affected by COVID-19. We have had to cancel a number of educational events this year including our Australian 2020 conference and all of our Q1 and Q2 seminars held around the country. Many BICSI registered cablers have attended these seminars in the past and value their educational benefits.

However, to maintain the provision of technical and regulatory education, BICSI has now commenced a fortnightly web seminar program, which you are most welcome to attend. We held two pilot web seminars recently on GoToWebinar and WebEx platforms. These were enthusiastically attended by BICSI members, so we have now committed to regular fortnightly web seminars on both platforms. Some of the topics we’re covering are the latest cabling and technology standards; Wi-Fi 6; WLAN heat-mapping; Datacentre power; and SCEC/T4 cabinet security requirements. Go to www.bicsi.com.au/events-and-conferences/up-coming-events/ to review topics and to register your attendance.

Additionally, many industry organisations have recently started offering their online courses free or discounted, to assist the cabling industry increase its knowledge while perhaps at home in self-isolation. We have compiled a list of some of these courses and you can them listed in this newsletter.

We are constantly monitoring government and health official announcements and guidelines to assess the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. While our aspirations are to provide education and networking opportunities for our members, our primary concern is their health, safety and well-being, so we will only reinstate our physical events once we have the confidence that our members, our industry and our communities are no longer at risk. Above all, we are committed to facilitating educational opportunities for our members, professional development opportunities (CECs) for our credential holders and various means for our members to network with each other and the industry at large.

Lastly, we wish to remind all registered cablers that, in times like these, our knowledge and skills as ICT professionals come to the fore. As communities and businesses increase their call for self-isolation while endeavouring to operate ‘business-as-usual’ , the dependency on reliable ICT infrastructure intensifies. Please stress to all your clients the vital service our industry provides in delivering real solutions in these challenging times.

Free & Discounted Online Cabler Training from BICSI and Other Organisations

With so many people around the world being forced to work from home due to COVID-19 lock-downs – including the ICT industry – many companies are offering their online training courses for free or at discounted rates. This is a great way to not only increase your knowledge, but also retain your sanity while perhaps being stuck at home.

Below is a list of online courses from various industry organisations including non-profit associations and commercial companies that we’ve come across recently who are offering free and discounted online courses: ·

 

Topics of courses that are free include:

  • cabling design for intelligent buildings, healthcare and school facilities; IoT; data centre physical security; trends on copper connectivity; trends in optical fibre connectivity; pathways for cabling infrastructure; single pair cabling for IoT; DAS; and indoor wireless to name a few.

Topics with 30% discounted courses include:

  • remote access, virtualisation, and network services; IoT; cloud computing fundamentals; project management; and network storage and security to name a few.

Free Avixa (professional AV association) online courses till 12 June – www.avixa.org/avixa-stands-with-the-av-industry

  • Topics include: building, installing, configuring and testing AV systems to name a few.

Free online supplier courses from:

Free online industry webinars:

  • Cabling Installation and Maintenance mag (US) – www.cablinginstall.com/webcasts – including fibre cleaning and inspection standards; installing, terminating and testing high-density fibre; applications beyond 100G; and more.

If you’re able to, we encourage you to avail yourself of some of these courses. Also let your colleagues and customers know about these courses. Many of them are in need of quality ICT education and perhaps have the time to acquire it now.

Fake Documents Are Fraud – Go Directly To Jail

This article, written by Paul Stathis CEO BICSI South Pacific, was first published in ECD magazine April 2020 – Vol. 19, No. 1; www.ecdonline.com.au/ and reprinted with permission from WF Media

If seeing an article with this title in a ‘technology’ column seems weird to you, it’s even weirder for me to be writing about it. But sadly our industry has recently encountered what amounts to fraudulent activity, so I feel compelled to write about it.

In a recent meeting between all the cabling registrars – BRCA (BICSI), TITAB, ACRS (NECA), FPAA and ASIAL – and the telecommunications regulator – the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) – it was brought to our attention that some unscrupulous people were presenting fake cabling registration cards on worksites and falsifying application documentation to become registered cablers.

Fake documents, no matter how t