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Copper, Fiber and the Year 2000

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42 engineering committee and associated subcommittees met in Reno, Nevada last November. A number of major objectives were reached during this impo...


January 1, 2000  


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The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42 engineering committee and associated subcommittees met in Reno, Nevada last November. A number of major objectives were reached during this important meeting. The following is a brief overview:

Copper Cabling

The Addendum No. 5 to TIA 568-A, Additional Transmission Performance Requirements for 100 W 4-Pair Category 5e Cabling, was approved for publication and represents a major milestone for the industry. Category 5e cabling is recommended for new installations and will eventually supercede Category 5 cabling for data applications. It will take approximately two months before the document can be published as an ANSI standard.

The resolution of the technical issues for Category 5e lays the groundwork to move forward on the next generation cabling standard for Category 6. The TR-42.7 subcommittee has agreed to hold several teleconferences over the next two months to address specific issues related to the Category 6 standard. Various task groups have been set up to evaluate channel model assumptions, test plug qualification procedures and connector balance measurements.

At the present time, there is general agreement at the working level in ISO and TIA on Category 6 link or channel requirements, but not on component requirements. This is because the component requirements will depend on the conditions that are assumed for a worst-case channel. The current channel model does not take into account the effect of temperature, insertion loss deviation and alien crosstalk.

Ballot resolution was held on the Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard: Part 1, General Requirements (to be published as ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2). Resolution of comments resulted in the subcommittee unanimously approving to re-ballot the document as SP-4425-A.

Ballot resolution was also held on Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard: Part 2, 100 W Unshielded Twisted Pair Cabling (to be published as ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2). Resolution of comments resulted in the subcommittee unanimously agreeing to issue an industry ballot as SP-4426. Some of the ballot comments relating to multi-pair Category 5e cabling were referred to a new task group for resolution by the next meeting.

New Task Group

A new task group called PN4655, was formed to develop and maintain Building Automation System (BAS) cabling standards for commercial buildings. BAS cabling includes Fire Alarm (FA), Security and Access (including Closed Circuit TV), Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), and Energy Management (including Lighting Control).

TR-42 approved the scope of a new industrial infrastructure working group under the TR-42.1 and TR-42.3 subcommittees. This group will develop a telecommunications infrastructure standard for industrial buildings, taking into account the harsh environment and workplace conditions specific to these installations.

Four addenda to ANSI/TIA/EIA 569-A were approved for publication. These provide additional requirements for furniture pathways, surface raceways, low profile access floor and poke-thru devices. Work is continuing in the TR-42.3 subcommittee on underfloor duct and cellular floor distribution systems.

Optical Fiber Cabling

During the meeting, ballot resolution was held on SP-3894 for optical fiber cabling components (to be published as ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.3). Resolution of comments resulted in the subcommittee unanimously agreeing to issue an industry re-ballot.

Discussion was held in the subcommittee regarding the selection process for a Small Form Factor (SFF) optical fiber connector. The task group recommended that these connectors be allowed at the outlet provided that they meet draft TIA/EIA 568-B.3 requirements. This proposal met overwhelming support in the subcommittee. The recommendation for the work outlet has been amended accordingly: “The 568SC connector was previously specified by ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A and should continue to be considered for the work area outlet. Other connector styles, including those of a small form factor, may also be considered.”

The Year 2000

Having completed a busy work schedule for 1999, we are looking forward to many exciting new developments in the new millennium.

There is strong motivation to complete the work and publish a standard for Category 6 cabling as soon as possible. Also, we should see some new developments in the industry for a next generation multi-mode fiber to support 10 Gb/s data transmission rates.CS


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