Q: Is there a standard by which you can determine the use of Level 3 cable as opposed to Level 5 cable? If so, can you tell me how to obtain it?
Kristina L. Koeberle
Key Bank Enterprise Network Services
A: The answer to your first question is: Not exactly. TSB-36 is about as close to the guidance you seek as is available in the current TIA documents. See Section 1. TSB-36 is to be incorporated into TIA-568A, and all application-specific information will be removed.
TSB-36 states Category 3 is the designation that applies to cables currently specified in the EIA/TIA-568-1991 standard. The characteristics of this cable are specified up to 16 megahertz. Category 3 cables are typically used for voice and data transmission rates up to and including 16 megabits per second--for example, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 802.5 4-Mbit/sec UTP standard, and IEEE`s 802.3 10Base-T.
Category 5 is the designation that applies to cables specified to 100 MHz. Category 5 cables are intended to be used for voice and data transmission rates up to and including 100 Mbits/sec--for example, the IEEE 802.3 100Base-TX and twisted pair/physical media dependent standards.
All TIA documents can be ordered from Global Publications at (800) 854-7179.
While not a published standard, the table provides you with the bandwidth requirements for the applications listed.
Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a BICSI RCDD. Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at PO Drawer 7580, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713. Phone (512) 471-0112, fax (512) 471-8883 Internet address: ballast@ utexas.edu.