Educational program highlights variety of uses for UTP

May 2, 2005 - Graybar's "Enable the Cable" program initially focuses on unshielded twisted-pair as a medium for CCTV transmission.

Graybar (www.graybar.com) recently announced an educational program designed to help network architects, designers, contractors, and technicians understand and leverage the value unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable brings to the construction of building subsystems. Dubbed "Enable the Cable," the program premiered at the BICSI Spring Conference, at which the company's experts and engineers answered questions and assisted with technology implementation.

"Traditionally we wire buildings using two four-pair cables terminated 18 inches above the floor as outlined in the cabling standards," says Karl Griffith, director, reseller markets with Graybar. "We can no longer think of UTP cables solely for voice and data transmission. UTP can also be used for application-dependent building services dedicated to a specific purpose."

Graybar explained in introducing the program that building systems, including security, physical access, lighting control, and building automation are a mixture of analog and digital technologies communicating via multiple protocols over individual, isolated networks. These subsystems are migrating into an integrated Internet Protocol (IP) network carrying specialized building protocols encapsulated into IP packets. The monitoring and management of these new networks will soon become the function of the building information technology center.

Initially, Graybar says, Enable the Cable will demonstrate the use of UTP cables in the closed-circuit television (CCTV) environment. Analog CCTV cameras can be wired easily with UTP cable at twice the recommended distance outlined in TIA/EIA-568B, while maintaining signal integrity. UTP cables can terminate on CCTV cameras in ceilings and high on walls to meet the building owner's needs.

Graybar has partnered with Berk-Tek, NVT, and Pelco to develop the Enable the Cable architecture for CCTV camera installations.

"It is our plan to expand the Enable the Cable program to address the construction of other building networks," says Griffith. "Regardless of the technology, networks constructed of high-quality Category 5e or Category 6 UTP cables can serve the building owner well into the future with a solid migration path to a complete IP building-system network."

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