TIA’s cabling-standards development committee keeping busy

Sept. 10, 2019
The association also is launching a new committee to develop specifications for ICT lifecycle management.

By Patrick McLaughlin

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling Systems Engineering Committee is in the midst of a busy year, with multiple standard-development projects completed and several others underway. Meanwhile, the TIA also is at work launching a different standards-development committee that also will concern itself with information communications technology (ICT) systems, not limited to cabling infrastructure. This article will recap some of the goings-on within TR-42 and provide information on the formation of TR-60.

TR-60 emerges

In May, the TIA announced the formation of the TR-60 ICT Lifecycle Management Committee, which will develop standards for ICT systems, infrastructure, and services.

The association says TR-60 will be responsible for the development and maintenance of voluntary standards that address the management of technology for qualifying vertical markets, focusing on planning, documentation, design, remediation and operation of ICT systems, infrastructure and services.

TIA’s standards vice president David Bain stated, “The rapid development, release and adoption of new ICT equipment and infrastructure has resulted in inconsistent technology management. By addressing the root-cause issues with a suite of technology management standards, the TR-60 Committee will drive global change management and improve technology’s role in achieving organizational business objectives.”

TIA chief executive officer Wes Johnston added, “TIA is proud to lead the way in developing industry standards that will drive global change management and improve technology’s role in achieving business objectives. This new committee is part of TIA’s larger commitment to invest in, and stay ahead of, changing industry needs as the ICT landscape evolves.”

Jerry Bowman, president and chief executive officer of Square Mile Systems, chairs the TR-60 committee. In a document describing the rationale behind forming TR-60 as well as its objectives, Bowman summarizes by saying, “ICT organizations, specifically enterprise IT, broadcast, healthcare, service providers/carriers, industrial and other organizations are at a tipping point. Whether the driver is cost containment, risk mitigation, network performance or remote management, a baseline technology standard that can be adopted and utilized to manage their technology is now mission critical.”

TR-42 activity

Within TR-42, work continues on several fronts. In August the TR-42.9 subcommittee, which covers industrial telecommunications infrastructure, issued a call for interest related to the TIA-1005-A standard, which is titled Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Industrial Premises. TIA carries out its standard-development procedures in accordance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Accordingly, standards are reviewed every five years and are either affirmed, rescinded, or (most often within TR-42) revised. TIA-1005-A is due for such review.

In its call for interest, TR-42.9 stated, “This standard specifies telecommunications cabling to support industrial premises applications such as voice, data, text, video, industrial and building controls, security, fire alarm and imaging while allowing for exposure to the wide range of environmental conditions expected in industrial premises such as temperature, humidity, electrical noise, shock, vibration, corrosive gases, dust and liquids.”

The following synopses are this author’s interpretation of activities within TR-42 subcommittees; they are not official reports from TR-42 or any of its subcommittees or task groups.

TIA-569-E Pathways and Spaces Standard: In May 2019 the TIA published the latest revision to its Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces standard. ANSI/TIA-569-E has several updates from the standard’s “D” revision, including information that can help planners of twisted-pair cabling systems that will support remote powering.

The Bonding and Grounding (Earthing) Standard for Customer Premises: The “D” revision of the TIA’s 607 standard is among the newest documents produced by TIA TR-42. ANSI/TIA-607-D informs system designers, installers and owners of appropriate components and techniques needed to build a generic telecommunications bonding and grounding (earthing) infrastructure that interconnects to electrical and telecommunications systems. The standard also can be used when renovating or retrofitting an existing bonding/grounding system.

Standardizing infrastructure for edge data centers: A task group within the TR-42.1 Subcommittee has initiated work to develop specifications for telecommunications infrastructure that serves edge data center facilities. While the TIA’s 942 standard series establishes wide-ranging recommendations and requirements for infrastructure within data centers, edge facilities have unique circumstances and requirements. Currently, standards-development effort is underway within TR-42.1 to create a document specific to edge data centers. We will continue to follow these efforts within TR-42.1.

Single-pair cabling’s early development: The document that ultimately will become ANSI/TIA-568.5, specifying single-pair cabling systems, has not yet developed into Draft 1.0. Much work lies ahead of the TR-42.7 Subcommittee to define the specifications for single-pair cabling. Nonetheless, the technical and business drivers that have given rise to the development of TIA-568.5 are significant, and offer promise to professionals who specify, design, install or use cabling systems. The progress of TIA-568.5 is another effort within TR-42 that we’ll track and report to you.

Maintaining polarity in fiber-optic channels: Maintaining polarity in optical fiber channels can be a challenge for technicians and network owners. The task can be further complicated when multi-row, multi-fiber connectivity is employed. The TIA’s TR-42.11 Subcommittee has taken up the effort to provide guidance in the form of a telecommunications systems bulletin (TSB). When completed, this TSB can be a guide to help alleviate some of the complications associated with maintaining fiber polarity.

In August the TIA unveiled a program that is separate from, but related to, TR-42’s standard-development activities. Through this program, the TIA will certify data center facilities that conform with the specifications of the TIA-942 standard series. TIA described the program as “a new industry scheme to provide official auditing and certification to data centers” that conform with the standard.

The certification scheme will establish conformity assessment bodies (CABs) that, according to TIA, are “deemed competent to verify data center conformity with the standard.” The association further explained, “Recognizing the benefits of implementing a sound quality management system for audits and certification in addition to the technical requirements, TIA has selected Certac to provide verification of conformance to standards by independent third-party CABs and accreditation of participant CABs.”

CABs will be accredited through the independent evaluation of an organization against recognized standards to ensure their impartiality, competence, and consistency, TIA added. The accreditation process relies on a uniform approach accepted and implemented worldwide to determine the competence of an organization.

“Including accreditation for certification as part of the TIA scheme provides assurance of the impartiality and competence of the conformity assessment bodies,” the TIA said.

Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.

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