Data Cabling, Cat5e Cat6/6a Cabling, Washington DC

New Standards for Cabling and Category 8 Update

20 May 2017

Data Cabling, Cat5e Cat6/6a Cabling, Washington DCThe selection of proper cabling has become more crucial and also more complicated, but the process can be made easier by knowing about the choices available and updates regarding the development of Category 8 (CAT 8).


There are several organizations that determine the standards for cabling, such as the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization). However, our discussion will primarily focus on ISO/IEC and TIA.


As its standard calls for 10Gb/s rates of transmission, 10GBASE-T cabling is the fastest in the market. Unable to support 10Gb/s, Category 5e does not receive 10GBASE-T standard recognition.  In addition, advisories by the TIA and ISO/IEC and TIA state that new class E/category 6 cabling should not be installed to support 10GBASE T. As a result, the cabling options for new installations that meet the 10GBASE-T standards for carrying data up to 100 meters are only found in the class EA/CAT 6A, class F/CAT 7, or class FA/CAT 7A.


Regarding data centers that are newly built, ISO, along with other standards organizations, have determined that CAT 6A should be the minimum grade. The task force overseeing IEEE 802.3 40GBASE-T have drafted the baseline objectives for the future 40 Gb/s standard, which is well beyond the capabilities of CAT 6A.


Cabling of a higher category traditionally matches and surpasses the electrical and mechanical standards of what preceded it. In addition, it is backwards compatible. Although TIA calls for cabling systems to perform at CAT 6A minimum, it will not be adopting CAT 7 or 7A as determined by ISO/IEC. TIA is naming its next class of cabling, Category 8, to differentiate it from ISO/IEC standards for CAT 7 and CAT 7A.


Interestingly, the proposed performance for CAT 8 will not be meeting or exceeding CAT 7A standards for up to 1 GHz. For example, regarding parameters for internal crosstalk, CAT 7A is superior to CAT 8 by more than 20 decibels.



Union Network Cabling


When work requires a unionized cabling group, call on Progressive Office Inc. for your commercial Cat5e/6/6a and fiber cabling projects. Specializing in cabling for data, voice, security and even the latest WiFi and LiFi solutions. Phone: (202) 462-4290

Network Cabling ,Data Cabling

What is “Alien Crosstalk”?

8 Mar 2013

 Network Cabling, Data CablingNo, it’s not ET calling home. “Alien Crosstalk” is defined as “unwanted signal coupling from one balanced twisted-pair component, channel, or permanent link to another”.


Alien crosstalk is not generally affected by common noise from motors, transformers, or florescent lighting fixtures. Alien crosstalk is specified as “a parameter for cabling to approximate the energy present when all cabling pairs are energized”.

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network cabling,Cat6a Cabling in Atlanta

All About Cat6a Cable

11 Feb 2013

Cat6a Cabling in AtlantaIt was once thought that copper cabling would never support speeds above 1 Gig, but Augmented Category 6, or Cat6a - has proven that wrong. Copper still lives and copper cabling may still be around at 40 Gig.


There has been much debate about which is the better option for supporting 10 Gig: Cat6a Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)  or Cat6a Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)?  Both solutions have their uses, and some key information can help installers make informed decisions.



Standards and Alien Crosstalk


The IEEE released the 802.3an 10GBASE-T standard in June of 2006, which specifies 10Gbs data transmission over four-pair copper cabling. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) then began work on transmission performance specifications for the cabling. They published TIA Standard 568-B.2-10: Transmission Performance Specifications for 4-Pair 100 Ohm Augmented Category 6 Cabling in February 2008.


The new Cat6a standard extends the frequency of Cat6a cables to 500 MHz with specifications for a new performance parameter called Alien Crosstalk (ANEXT). Cat6a cables are fully backward compatible with all previous categories, including Cat6 and 5e. NEXT is crosstalk that occurs between adjacent cables and connecting hardware. The higher frequency signals of Cat6a makes ANEXT the limiting noise source for Cat6 and Cat5e systems.



Cat6a UTP vs. STP


Due to its ease of installation and familiarity among installers, Cat 6A UTP is today’s cabling of choice as it can support future bandwidth needs and 10Gb/s performance. In addition, the shield n the STP cable helps prevents electromagnetic and radiofrequency interference (EMI/RFI) on twisted pairs, helping eliminate the effects of noise from sources like machinery, generators, or medical imaging equipment, making STP systems the  choice for industrial and healthcare facilities.


As most residential systems are not faced with EMI/RFI challenges, so UTP is still the recommended cabling type for home installations.