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CCCA proposes new certification program

The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association, Inc. (CCCA) today cautioned that many offshore-manufactured ...


October 29, 2008  


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The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association, Inc. (CCCA) today cautioned that many offshore-manufactured communications cable products could present significant fire risk.

In response to concerns from the industry, the CCCA commissioned an independent laboratory to analyze whether nine randomly selected offshore samples of these products met Canadian and U.S. minimum requirements for performance and safety.

Test results showed that none of the samples fully met all of the minimum requirements and eight of the nine samples failed to meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) minimum code requirements for low flame spread and/or smoke safety requirements for installation in commercial buildings, schools and multi-tenant residences. Many of the samples failed the flame spread and smoke tests catastrophically.

Because of the seriousness of these safety concerns, the CCCA plans to work in cooperation with the major leading independent telecommunications industry testing agencies to establish a new product certification program.

Although details of the proposed program have not yet been established, a key component will be independent laboratory testing of structured cabling products that have been procured from pointof-sale locations,” the CCCA said in a statement.

The cables selected for the tests were all procured from North American distributors and were comprised of Category 5e and Category 6 cables, which are the predominant cable types used for establishing wired local area networks (LAN).

The CCCA sponsored the independent tests in response to concern from the membership that many of the new cable brands entering the North American market appeared to be constructed of inferior materials that would not pass the flame and smoke tests required by the National Electrical Code in the U.S.