A lot has happened in the telecommunications cabling world since our last edition of BRCA Bytes, and I’m sure you’ll find several informative articles on what’s going on in our cabling industry.
Firstly, you need to be aware the ACMA inspectors are actively auditing cablers on commercial and domestic sites, checking if cablers are compliant with the law by being registered. The BRCA office has already received calls from ACMA Field Officers validating details of cablers who weren’t carrying their registration cards. So make sure you are compliant by keeping your Registration current and always carrying your current BRCA Registration Card while working. You’ll find more details about the audits in the article below.
Secondly, the ACMA has revised its TCA1 form, which is now referred to as a Compliance Form, underscoring the importance of using the document for every cabling installation. Make sure you read the article below that outlines details of the changes.
You may recall from our last BRCA Bytes newsletter that we launched a new website at www.brca.com.au. As is always the case with web sites, not everything went to plan with several ‘teething’ problems encountered. A few of the first cablers who renewed online had some problems, but our office was prompt in assisting everyone renew. The problems mostly involved how we explained the online renewal process, so we changed the forms and words to make it more intuitive to our industry. Since then, it’s proven to be a much smoother process, with only a couple of calls in the last two weeks from cablers for assistance. Interestingly, a few cablers applying for registration for the first time commented on how easy it was to apply and submit documentation, so it appears we’re moving in the right direction. We do apologise to those of you who experienced problems with renewals in this phase-in period, and we can assure you that the issues have been corrected to make your next renewal process much smoother.
While on the subject on web sites, have you checked www.registeredcablers.com.au yet? You’ll find it a helpful site to get info on the NBN rollout, and see what information we’re putting out to consumers about the importance of comms cabling in homes to make sure their internet ‘experience’ is what they expect it to be.
We’ve also introduced a new, regular series of articles called ‘Technical Tips from the Experts’, where industry subject-matter-experts will provide guidelines and assistance on many issues that confront cablers today. The first article is written by myself to provide some clarity on industry regulations, which I’m sure you’ll find a worthwhile read.
Finally, on the international front, you’ll find an article below on the new IEEE 802.3bz standard for 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet. This should be of particular interest to cablers who install data networks, as it outlines the cabling required for these new Ethernet systems.
New TCA1 Compliance Form
The ACMA’s Telecommunications Cabling Advice (TCA1) Form has recently been revised, now referred to as a Compliance Form, underscoring the importance of using the document for every cabling installation.
Referring to Section 4.5 of the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2014, the ACMA reminds all cablers that it is mandatory for them to complete a TCA1 Form after each cabling job. The form is given to the customer and a copy must be retained for 12 months by the cabler or their employer. For audit purposes, the ACMA can ask cablers to submit completed TCA1 Forms for all jobs they conducted in the last 12 months.TCA1 Form usage guidelines
The following are practical guidelines developed by the ACMA for the use of TCA1 Forms:
The Forms are the responsibility of the cabler undertaking the work. However, you may make arrangements with your employer for the Forms to be stored by the employer.
You must be able to access the Form if requested by the ACMA. The form is free to download fromhttp://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Telco/Infrastructure/Cabling-rules/tca-cabling-forms-guidelines.
Cablers are permitted to incorporate the Form into existing invoices or other business documentation to avoid additional paperwork. This can be done by having the signed declaration section as an optional add-in on the electronic version of the invoice, or by using a rubber stamp after printing.
There are some very small jobs for which the ACMA does not require a TCA1 Form to be completed, although cablers can complete a TCA1 Form for these small jobs if desired. Even when a TCA1 Form is not required, the cabler needs to be registered to undertake small jobs work and the Wiring Rules and all other Cabling Provider Rules still apply.
Several years ago, the ACMA introduced the TCA2 Form as an optional complement to the TCA1 Form, to be used by registered cablers to alert customers or building managers of any non-compliant cable installations that are outside their contracted scope of work. This provides a protection for the cabler against being associated with existing cabling they determine to be sub-standard, in the event of not only an ACMA audit, but equally important – a system failure, or warranty claim. Cablers may choose to issue it with a quotation prior to undertaking work, or after completing a particular cabling job to advise the customer or building manager of other matters that may still require attention.
Note: The TCA2 Form is not a replacement for the TCA1 Form. Registered cablers will still be required to complete and sign a TCA1 Form on completion of a cabling job, and given to the customer, with a copy retained by the registered cabler or employer (if applicable) for at least 12 months, and must be made available to ACMA inspectors or auditors on request.
BRCA recommends retaining these Compliance Forms for much longer periods, so as to demonstrate compliance, in the event of challenges from clients, building owners, insurance companies, or the like, that may occur years after your installation.
Communications Cabling Consultation Update
BICSI recently consulted its representative on the Standards Australia CT-001 comms cabling committee – Ashley Martin (Technical Manager A/NZ at Commscope) – to get an update on the Standards Australia industry consultation program regarding the local adoption of ISO/IEC 14543 series of Communications Cabling Standards (Parts 1–6), entitled ‘Communication layers – Network based control’. Six weeks ago, Standards Australia started consulting our industry to assess the relevance of the standards to our market, with the possibility of adopting it in Australia.
This week, Ashley advised that its adoption is on hold until a further business case gets put forward. It seemed to be progressing well until the 11th hour, where it stalled. In the meantime, Standards Australia is continuing its industry consultation and assessment; and we will keep you posted on its progress.From the initial consultation, stakeholders suggested that, in addition to the ISO/IEC 14543.3 series, there are a number of alternative and mutually relevant international standards for home automation, building control and lighting control.
Seeking Telecommunications Training Professionals
Integracom is a national Registered Training Organisation (RTO), and an industry leader that has been delivering training to the telecommunications and security industries for over a decade.
With qualifications in Telecommunications, CCTV, Technology Security, Physical Security, Risk Management, NBN and Carrier the businesses places itself at the forefront of industry trends and requirements.
Integracom is currently looking for industry experienced staff for:
National Sales Manager – VIC or NSW
We are now requiring the coaching and mentoring skills within an experienced and seasoned Telecommunications Sales Manager. With team members dispersed in all major cities across the nation, this leader will need to be a dynamic, self-motivated, team-orientated and enthusiastic person. You will be responsible for providing clear and concise strategic sales plans, providing direction and motivation to the sales team, developing forecasts and reports in conjunction with reaching your own sales targets. This is an ideal position for a manager who enjoys leading by example and promoting a collaborative team environment.
Excellent salary + uncapped commissions $$
Business Development / Training Advisors – VIC and NSW
We are seeking dynamic, self-motivated and enthusiastic sales people to establish professional relationships through their existing networks. You will be client-facing, meeting and greeting with employers and potential students to discuss opportunities to provide government funded training, up-skilling and cross skilling in the Electrical and Telecommunications industries. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is looking for their next challenge, is results driven and has outstanding communication skills.
Excellent salary + uncapped commissions $$
Trainers – VIC and NSW
We are searching for experts in Data & Voice Communications, Security, Copper Jointing, Fibre Optic, CCTV and Alarms.
An exciting opportunity has become available due to growth in this dynamic RTO. You will be required to deliver from the following courses based on your skills and experience:
• Certificate III in Telecommunications
• Certificate III and IV in Telecommunications Technology
• Certificate III in Data & Voice Communications
• Certificate IV in Telecommunications Network Engineering
Our trainers have a wealth of industry experience and a passion for building the skills of our students to become future industry leaders. Our collaborative approach ensures we deliver training that meet the needs of both the employer and the students.
To find out more about these opportunities please call our Melbourne office on 03 8360 0413 or Sydney on 02 8823 3900.
Know someone who might be suitable?? Ask about our referral incentives.
Forthcoming BICSI Educational Seminars
BRCA Registered Cablers are invited to attend these free BICSI educational seminars that are held quarterly in most capital cities around Australia. These seminars, sponsored by Pacific Datacom, feature two technical or business topics to help our members be more professional in servicing the market’s ICT needs. Past topics have included cabling standards, Power over Ethernet, fibre testing, penetrations in fire-rated walls, risk mitigation, project management, IP-surveillance and the NBN rollout, to name just a few.Below are the seminars scheduled for Q4, which you are invited to attend.
- Friday 21 October: BICSI Sydney seminar, 7.30 to 10.00 am at Carnarvon Golf Club, 65-95 Nottinghill Rd, Lidcombe.
- Thursday 3 November: BICSI Canberra seminar, 7.30 am to 10.00 am at East Hotel, 69 Canberra Ave, Kingston.
- Thursday 3 November: BICSI Perth seminar, 7.30 am to 10.00 am at Maylands Golf Club, Swan Bank Rd, Maylands.
- Tuesday 22 November: BICSI Melbourne seminar, 7.30 to 10.00 am at Master Builders Association BLSC training facility, 49 Brady St, South Melbourne.
- Thursday 24 November: BICSI Brisbane seminar, 7.30 to 10.00 am at Royal Womens Hospital, Brisbane.
Seminars proudly sponsored by:
New 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet standard
The IEEE 802.3bz Standard for or 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet was recently released.Enabling access layer bandwidth to evolve incrementally beyond 1 Gbps, the new standard is intended to help address emerging needs in a variety of settings and applications, including enterprise, wireless networks, and more.
“End user data needs – both wired and wireless – are continuing to grow, especially as more and more users access the network via ever-faster wireless technologies enabled by IEEE 802.11ac,” said David Chalupsky, board of directors, Ethernet Alliance. “Now, the 1000BASE-T uplink from the wireless to wired network is no longer sufficient, and users are searching for ways to tap into higher data rates without having to overhaul the 70 billion metres of Cat5e/Cat6 wiring already sold. IEEE 802.3bz not only addresses the demand for faster access to rapidly rising data volumes, but also capitalises on previous infrastructure investments, thereby extending their life and maximising value.”
Building upon the success of and laying out an upgrade path for 1000BASE-T, IEEE 802.3bz defines 2.5 Gigabit (2.5G) and 5 Gigabit (5G) BASE-T Ethernet. The standard specifies Ethernet Media Access Control (MAC) parameters, physical layer specifications (PHYs), and management objects for the balanced twisted pair transmission media found in structured cabling. Facilitating up to five times the speed without requiring infrastructure changes, IEEE 802.3bz enables cost-effective scaling of network bandwidth.
Tech Tips from the Experts
This is a new series of technical updates from BICSI members who are subject matter experts in their respective fields. The aim of the articles is not to educate you ‘from scratch’, but more so to ‘fill in the gaps’ in things you already know about but could a use a bit more knowledge on, to enhance your skills as a cabling provider.
We have approached a number of BICSI members to provide technical guidance over the next few months, and I’m pleased to report we will be able to offer you guidance on standards, earthing, testing and Power over Ethernet (PoE) in coming BRCA Bytes newsletters.
But for the initial article to get things started, I’m going to talk about regulations; the idea being to help you know what the laws state about what you can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do.Regulations you should know about
Do a Google search and you’ll find there are two ‘Wiring Rules’ that are regulated in Australia. They’re very different from each other, but both affect you. One is electrical and the other is telecommunications cabling. Don’t get these documents confused!
- AS/NZS 3000:2007 Electrical installations (known as the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules) is the mandatory standard for the “design, construction and verification of electrical installations… in all types of premises and land used by electricity consumers”. In its Scope, these Wiring Rules state: “This Standard may be applied through legislative requirements, made in each State and Territory of Australia and in New Zealand, concerned with the safety of electrical installations.” Every state and territory mandates the Wiring Rules, so it’s the law to practice it. The current edition was released November 2007, and amended in 2009 and 2012. Expect to see a new edition in the near future, as AS/NZS 3000:2016 is currently in draft format. You can find a comprehensive list of proposed changes to the current edition at http://www.wiringrules.standards.org.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Oyo1cq2JiQ4%3D&tabid=380 – a worthwhile read if you install electrical wiring. But remember – it doesn’t address comms or data wiring.
- AS/CA S009:2013 Installation requirements for customer cabling (also referred to as the Wiring Rules by the national telecommunications regulator – the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)). You may have heard of the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules (CPRs), but this is not the ACMA’s Wiring Rules. The CPRs are the overarching rules mandated by Federal legislation to regulate the cabling industry – a heavy legal document you can read athttps://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2014L01684 if you’re inclined. But the more applicable document to us is AS/CA S009:2013, which all cablers should have in hard or soft copy. If you don’t have it yet, its free to download fromhttp://www.commsalliance.com.au/Documents/all/Standards/s009.
When you’re responding to a tender or RFQ that calls for compliance to the ‘Wiring Rules’, make sure you know which one it’s referring to before you commit to it. And if the specification is ambiguous, or doesn’t define the actual document (Standards Australia number and year, it’s important that you state which one you’re committing compliance with.
Non-compliance to either Wiring Rules is a serious matter – both carry very large penalties. And of course, there’s that all-important aspect of safety both Wiring Rules are fundamentally based on safety – to both the worker and to the user (customer) – so it’s even more important than just legal compliance. And just as important, if there’s ever an insurance claim on the premise and you’re found to be partially liable, your insurance company has the right to negate your professional indemnity or public liability simply on the basis that you weren’t compliant to the prescribed regulations.
If you do any security work – design, install, maintain or supply – you are required to hold a security licence. This applies just as much to the cabling as it does to the actual security devices. So don’t assume that this doesn’t apply to you if you’re only installing the cabling. If it’s intended for use with CCTV surveillance, access control, intruder detection, or something similar, you are required to be licenced to do so.
Security licensing is regulated at state/territory level by either the Police or Departments of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs, typically coming under Security Industry, Security Providers, or Private Security Acts. It is a complex area, with considerable variation in requirements between the states/territories, such as who needs to be licenced and for what, and various tiers/classifications of licencing and registration for both businesses and individuals. And if you work in multiple states/territories, you will need to carry multiple licences.
So you are well advised to contact the appropriate state/territory regulators to get the facts on what you need. The simplest way to get the information is to do a Google search for security licence in your state/territory. There’s plenty of helpful information on the regulators’ web sites.
Have you checked out www.registeredcablers.com.au yet?
If you’re doing any cabling that has the potential to be connected to the NBN, you’ll need to visit this site regularly to keep up with the latest information on premise cabling, the NBN rollout and the technologies enabled by the NBN. You can also register there as a qualified cabler for consumers to contact when they need cabling carried out in the homes and businesses.
Click on the image below to visit the web site