The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers has launched a new initiative that will result in a standard guidance document for installation compliance of broadband networks with the National Electric Code (NEC).

The NEC is a base document for grounding and installation practices related to premises wiring.

Led by SCTE Chairman and Comcast Vice President-Engineering Wayne Hall, the work will be completed by SCTE Working Group Seven and under the auspices of the Society's Interface Practices Subcommittee. The group's first meeting is slated for January 12, 2004, in conjunction with the SCTE's Conference on Emerging Technologies in Dallas.

Hall noted that the SCTE does not intend to develop a competitive document. "However, there are areas in the NEC where some interpretation is possible and it's important that how to do compliant broadband installations is understood by both the operators and local authorities," Hall added, in a release.

For the NEC project, the Society is waiving a typical policy that requires those who are participating in the standards effort to also be a member in the SCTE Standards Program.

"Everyone felt that it was import ant to get participation from all potential stakeholders in this area, including local authorities, which might not happen if they first had to join the broader standards program," said Steve Oksala, SCTE's vice president, standards.

Recommendations of the group, he noted, will head to SCTE's formal consensus body, IPS, followed by final approval as an SCTE standard, and possibly as an ANSI standard.