Category 6 UTP

As an RCDD and a member of BICSI, I feel compelled to speak about future connectivity. The following opinion, however, in no way represents that of my employer.

Dennis Szakaly, RCDD

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Allentown, PA

As an RCDD and a member of BICSI, I feel compelled to speak about future connectivity. The following opinion, however, in no way represents that of my employer.

Regarding "BICSI tackles Category 6 UTP copper cable," March 1996, page 56, I think that this talk about Category 6 cabling is foolish. Yes, twisted-pair cabling has had a major effect on the data industry. It has saved customers the cost of having to recable their facilities and allows them to use the same cable for voice or data services.

My guess is that many corporations have already cabled their systems with Category 5 unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling. But do cable manufacturers really believe that companies are going to invest funds in another recable project to increase speeds, incrementally, to the desktop--to 300 or even 500 megahertz? I don`t think so.

If a business has to face another recabling project (and many corporations will not spend capital to recable so soon after Category 5), the media choice as a long-term solution will be fiber-optic cable, which will allow for a maximum amount of headroom for the company`s future bandwidth needs.

We know how quickly technology has changed over the past few years. But I believe that, based on the small increase in bandwidth achieved, the development of technology by hardware manufacturers to accommodate Category 6 cabling will be considered a waste of engineering effort.

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