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This Will Not Be Easy

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Last year a few of us discussed my observation that we are not as strong in the design elements of the physical layer area as we once were. Among the reasons could be design by routine from similar projects and copy and paste projects. The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model developed by ISO (International Standards Organization) gives us a representation of how data flows. The foundation of the OSI is the physical layer. If you are involved in infrastructure which includes cable and pathway design and installation, you are in the physical layer.

One of the ways to gain strength in infrastructure design is to have a BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designer® on staff. When you get down to it, it is about being aware of the latest technologies and best practices and interoperability.

I received my BICSI RCDD designation back in 1998 when we were doing a lot of design work for architects, professional engineers, and end users. Our payment for design services was when we were issued a purchase order to install the design. I have kept the certification all these years with 15 hours per year of continuing education units even though I no longer design. It helps keep me current with upcoming trends.

Familiarity with standards such as EIA [Electronic Industries Alliance – formerly Association], TIA [Telecommunications Industry Association], NEC [National Electric code published by NFPA ] and IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers] standards help us navigate new and existing buildings with our clients.

We now have a person in the Houston office whose application has been accepted by BICSI and the next step is to schedule a sitting for the RCDD examination at the end of 2020. Hector Reyes stepped up to self-study, striving to make himself more informed and keep us continually improving. BISCI says that the study hours of the TDMM (Telecommunication Maintenance Methods Manual) is 125-150 hours. On the exam, Hector will have 100 questions from a 1,200 question database with 2.5 hours to finish the exam.

If you get a chance, ask Hector about the Applied Best Practices for Telecommunications Distribution Design class that he attended. Also ask him what he has been learning in his self-study sessions. BICSI has a great RCDD program which features meaningful continuing education units (CEU’s). Why do I say this will not be easy? Well, roughly 7,500 people in the world have successfully passed the exam. I don’t know if BICSI publishes the actual numbers, but there are quite a few industry professionals that do not pass it on the first try. The second test is a different draw from the database, so it will not be the same test. That means you need to study all of the material. Knowing Hector, he will do just fine.

-Ronald F. Kruse, Chief Operating Officer, Houston



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