Down to the Wire

Driving a Ferrari is exhilarating – unless you happen to be on a dirt road. Whether it’s a sophisticated automobile or wired security device, both will fail miserably if not provided a suitable pathway. For the latter, it’s key to know the technologies and standards.


TIA’s Infrastructure Standards

The TIA standards most applicable to structured cabling systems are TIA/EIA-568-B.1 / B.2 / B.3 – Structured Cabling Design Standard. This is a group of three standards that address the implementation of structured cabling systems for commercial buildings.

The major parts of the standards define cable types, distances, system architecture, connectors testing and termination. The overall intent of these standards is to provide best practices for installation and design of cabling systems. B.1 is general requirements, B.2 deals with balanced twisted-pair systems and augmented cabling (see Category section in this article), and B.3 is fiber optical systems.

Let’s look at some of the other relevant standards. TIA-568-C.0 — Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises is a new standard that specifies generic telecommunications cabling requirements. These include cabling system structure, topologies and distances, installation, performance and testing (see sidebar at

The TIA-568-C.1 — Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Revision specifies requirements for telecommunications cabling within a commercial building and between commercial buildings in a campus environment. It defines terms, specifies cabling topology, lists cabling requirements, establishes cabling distances, sets telecommunications outlet/connector configurations and provides additional useful information.

It is intended to support a wide range of different commercial building sites and applications (e.g., voice, data, text, video and image). Typical sites range up to 10 million square feet and a population of 50,000 individual users.

The TIA-568-C.3 — Optical Fiber Cabling Components Standard is applicable to a premise’s optical fiber cabling components. Specified in this standard are requirements for components such as cable, connectors, connecting hardware and patch cords.

The TIA/EIA-569-B — Pathways and Spaces Design Standard defines how to build the pathways, and the rooms and areas associated with the facility used to terminate media and install telecommunications equipment. Telecom systems are becoming more complex and integrated. Services often include security, audio, video, etc.

The purpose of this standard is to design systems that will complement the services to a building and its occupants, and minimize future changes as much as possible. TIA-569-C is being worked on at this time.

The ANSI/TIA-570-B — Residential Telecommunications Cabling Standard provides design guidelines for residential structures. It also includes installation and testing guidelines for residential cabling systems. The ‘B’ version replaced the ‘A’ version in 2004.

The new version includes three addendums from the ‘A’ version. They are Security Cabling, Control Cabling and Whole-House Audio Cabling for Residences.

The ANSI/TIA-606-A &mdash
; Administration Standard for Telecommunications Infrastructure specifies administration for telecom cabling systems. It provides guidelines for owners, manufacturers and end users. This standard should be well understood by all involved in facility management as it details how contractors and other professionals should provide detailed cable management records (electronically, if not on paper) to their customers.

Addendum 1 addresses identification schemes that create new identification formats for horizontal and backbone cabling, outlets and splices. As with many standards, these are not mandatory requirements but will be referenced as a request in building contracts.

The ANSI/TIA-607
— Commercial Building Grounding and Bonding Telecommunications Requirements standard specifies a uniform telecommunications grounding and bonding infrastructure for commercial buildings. These systems require a dependable electrical ground-reference potential. It is no longer acceptable for today’s electronic system to achieve a ground by clamping on to the closest iron pipe.
Elements of this standard include: Telecommunications Main Grounding Busbar (TMGB); Telecom Bonding Backbone (TBB); Telecom Grounding Busbar (TGB); and Telecom Bonding Backbone Interconnection Bonding Conductor (TBBIBC).

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