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Gradual Phase Out of CAT5e Cabling in Office Buildings

After their Milan working group meeting in 2015 regarding cabling standards, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), together known as the ISO/IEC, made the announcement that Category 5e (CAT5e) cabling will be considered obsolete for new installations in commercial and industrial buildings.

Setting the first international standard for cabling more than 20 years ago, ISO/IEC continually works on the development, maintenance, and promotion of technology and communications technical standards. A major change for the cabling of office buildings is now being implemented worldwide, raising the minimum horizontal cabling requirement from Class D (CAT5e) to Class E (CAT6), along with recommendations for installing Class EA (CAT6a) or faster cabling. Essentially, this will result in making CAT6 the minimum requirement for installations in new office building installations.

Providing a maximum performance of 100 MHz over computer networks, CAT5e has been utilized in structured cabling for both Ethernet and IP communications.  Considered adequate for fast Ethernet and gigabit Ethernet, CAT5e has the additional capability of carry video and telephony signals. The original ISO/IEC 11801 standard now has cabling classes that were added for enabling the support of up to 10 gigabits a second, such as CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7 and CAT7A.

CAT5 is not capable of matching the speed of data that CAT6 or CAT7 cabling can deliver. CAT6 has a maximum performance of 250 MHz, while CAT7 has a maximum performance of 600 MHz, enabling ultra-fast Ethernet. In addition, CAT7 features better durability and a longer service life than either CAT5 or CAT6 cabling.

More than 20 years have passed since ISO/IEC 11801 made its debut as an international standard, and it has led the way for the reliable implementation of data and voice cabling globally. However, CAT5e is now in the process of being phased out. Superior classes of cabling are being installed at new office buildings. Wireless LAN infrastructure is upgrading at a rapid pace, along with its speed, to keep up with the growing number of smartphones, laptops, and tablets. These demands have forced the gradual replacement of CAT5e with newer cabling that will meet current and future user expectations for fast and efficient data capability.

Union Network Cabling

When union work requires a unionized cabling group, contact Union Network Cabling for your commercial Cat5e/6/6a and fiber cabling projects. They specialize and excel in cabling for data, voice, security, and even the latest WiFi and LiFi solutions. Phone: (202) 462-4290

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