Q: What is the difference between a crossconnect and an interconnect? I understand that with an interconnect, no patch cords are allowed, so how are connections made?
Corpus Christi, TX
A: The answer to your question is a matter of semantics. First, some definitions. According to tia/eia-568a, a crossconnect is a facility enabling the termination of cable elements and their interconnection, and/or crossconnection, primarily by means of a patch cord or jumper. A crossconnection is a connection scheme between cabling runs, subsystems, and equipment using patch cords or jumpers that attach to connecting hardware on each end; an interconnection is a connection scheme that employs connecting hardware for the direct connection of a cable to another cable or to an equipment cable without a patch cord or jumper. Note that a crossconnect is a piece of hardware and that crossconnection and interconnection are ways of using that hardware either with or without a patch cord or jumper.
And now, more definitions: A patch cord is a length of cable with connectors on one or both ends that is used to join telecommunications circuits and links at the crossconnect; an equipment cord is a cable or cable assembly used to connect telecommunications equipment to horizontal or backbone cabling.
Did you notice that each of these cords could be exactly the same assembly? The piece of cable with connectors could be either a patch cord or an equipment cord. The distinction is not physical construction but rather where it`s used in the channel (see related article on page 37).