New Standard Published For K-12 Information Systems

BICSI, the association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry, has announced the approval and publication of its ANSI/BICSI-001-2009. Information Transport Systems Design Standard for K-12 Educational Institutions. This is the first BICSI-exclusive standard that BICSI has produced as an ANSI-accredited standards development organization.

“The release of this standard is the first significant stride in recognizing one of the major goals set forth in the BICSI Strategic Plan—to be the trusted source of global standards and best practices,” said BICSI President Edward J. Donelan, RCDD, NTS, TLT. “At the core of this achievement is a tribute to the ITS industry experts who volunteered their time and resources to advance the knowledge and success of our members, their customers and the ITS industry.”

The standard is intended to enable K-12 ITS design in the building development process by contributing to architectural considerations and providing information that cuts across multidisciplinary design efforts. Adequate planning during building construction or renovation is significantly less expensive and less disruptive than after the facility is operational. K-12 educational institutions can benefit from an ITS infrastructure design that is planned in advance to support growth and changes that will be required to enhance the educational delivery system. This standard specifies minimum requirements and guidelines for the design of ITS infrastructure for K-12 educational institutions.

“There are currently no other standards like this one,” said Robert Faber, Chair of the BICSI Standards Committee. “It deals with safety in an educational environment; most importantly—the safety of children. Therefore, the standard goes beyond normal standards to assure safety including the use of specialized types of cabling.”

Work on this standard began in 2004 when TJ Roe, BICSI Standards Committee Chair at the time, appointed Terry Hochbein, RCDD, NTS, OSP, as the Chair of the K-12 Subcommittee. The mission of this subcommittee was to gather a number of industry experts to write the industry’s first ITS design standard for K-12 educational institutions. These industry experts have backgrounds as K-12 educational technology directors, ITS designers, technology equipment manufacturers, architects, engineers, and consultants. Hochbein selected John Kacperski, RCDD, OSP, to serve as the subcommittee secretary and Todd Taylor, RCDD, NTS, OSP, to serve as the document editor.

“As the director of technology design for a national architectural/engineering firm that specializes in K-12 education it was apparent to me that the TIA 568 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard was focused on office buildings and did not address the diverse types of spaces found in K-12 educational facilities,” said Hochbein. “As a member of the BICSI Standards Committee in 2004, I proposed that we develop a telecommunications cabling design standard for K-12 education that specifically addresses their unique type of spaces.”