BICSI course designed to teach installers about complexities of telecom pathways and spaces

BICSI ( is offering an online course to help installers get a better understanding of how cables must be installed in the pathways and rooms of a commercial building.

BICSI ( is offering an online course to help installers get a better understanding of how cables must be installed in the pathways and rooms of a commercial building.

The online course covers the complex ANSI/TIA/EIA-569, Commercial Build ing Standard for Telecommunica tions Pathways and Spaces. BICSI, a professional telecommunications association, is now offering the Web-based training course designed to help clarify the standard. The course, which takes approximately one hour to complete, offers a mix of conceptual and procedural learning experiences through reading and user interactivity.

"A lot of architects out there don't consider telecom spaces at all until the last minute," says Richard Dunfee, training program manager . "But there is a lot of importance being placed on it."

ANSI/TIA/EIA-569 seeks to standardize design and construction practices within and between buildings that are in support of telecommunications equipment and media. It is outlined for rooms or areas and pathways into and through which telecommunications media and equipment are installed.

The standard covers the telecommunications aspect of commercial building construction and design. It defines pathways, from horizontal to backbone to workstation and more. It also describes the types of labeling and coding that must be followed, and explains how cables must be marked according to the cable category.

The BICSI course is oriented toward a cabling network designer or installer who would be involved in designing pathways and spaces for a building.

"It would include anything where a cable might run," says Dunfee. "This includes spaces like a telecom closet, or dealing with spaces in terms of rooms, equipment rooms, pathways, runs of cable or backbone to the building."

"We try to make it (the course) interactive where someone who is not knowledgeable on pathways and spaces could sit down and learn about these spaces, trying to allow for a better functionality of these spaces in the future," says Dunfee.

"If you don't understand them or have no idea how large they need to be, how much space in the ceiling is dedicated to these services, these courses will help you understand it. It makes it easier on the installer in the end," says Dunfee.

The course, which takes about an hour to complete, is similar to a residential course. It will teach installers about the different systems in the telecommunications room, and how to build cabling infrastructure to where the racks are placed.

To preview a sample of the course, go to and click the "Demo" button.

The course costs $100 for BICSI members, and $175 for non-members.

What ANSI/TIA/EIA-569 Says About Color Coding

  1. Termination labels at the two ends of the cable shall be of the same color.
  2. Crossconnections made between termination fields are generally of two different colors.
  3. Orange is used for the demarcation point.
  4. Green is for the network connections on the customer side of the demarcation point.
  5. Purple is for the termination of cables originating from common equipment.
  6. White is for the first level backbone media.
    White may also be used to identify second level backbone terminations in remote "non-hub" buildings.
  7. Gray is for the second level backbone.
  8. Blue is for the termination of station tele-communicators media.
  9. Brown is for inter-building backbone cable terminations.
  10. Yellow is for termination of auxiliary circuits, alarms, security and other miscellaneous circuits.
  11. Red is for termination of key telephone systems.


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