A potpourri of standards under development in TIA

Sept. 3, 2014
Specifications for distributed antenna systems, grounding in large horizontal networks, automated management and sustainability are all in the works.

From the September, 2014 Issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine

Specifications for distributed antenna systems, grounding in large horizontal networks, automated management and sustainability are all in the works.

The level of standards-development activity taking place in the Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA; www.tiaonline.org) TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling Systems Committee may be as high now as it has ever been. A bevy of standards updates, addenda to existing standards, as well as new standards and telecommunications systems bulletins (TSBs) are now in various stages of development. Some will provide greater depth to existing specifications, while others will break new ground in covering cabling-related topics that have not been addressed by the TIA to this point. This article will overview a handful of the standards activities taking place within TR-42. It will not delve into the details of Category 8 specifications; that topic will be covered in a separate, standalone article in a later issue.

Bonding and grounding

Among the standard revisions under development is the "C" version of ANSI/TIA-607, Generic Telecommunications Grounding (Earthing) and Bonding for Customer Premises. The standard is maintained by TR-42.16. TIA announced in late May that the revision process was underway. At that time it explained that the "C" update will address the fact that "today's large telecommunications facilities are built on one level." The bonding backbone system specified in the current TIA-607-B standard exhibits a vertical layout, the association further explained. "This will be updated in the TIA-607-C release, which will introduce a horizontal bonding backbone topology to address this type of building. The new revision will also specify requirements for a generic telecommunications bonding and grounding infrastructure and its interconnection to electrical systems and telecommunications systems."

Mark Harger, president of Harger Lightning and Grounding (www.harger.com) and TR-42.16's chair, commented, "For the past several years, the TR-42.16 subcommittee has done an excellent job updating TIA's bonding and grounding standard. Since the first revision of ANSI/TIA J-STD-607-A, we have developed two annexes and one revision [607-B], and are now close to updating yet again to 607-C. Once completed, this standard will be more closely harmonized with international bonding and grounding practices as well as being more current with today's construction practices."

The revision's harmonization of international and domestic standards will reduce confusion within the market, the TIA noted. When announcing a call-for-interest in the revision, the TIA commented, "Domestic and international codes and standards groups have been working on correcting terminology regarding bonding and grounding for approximately 10 years. Where there is confusion with bonding and grounding, electronic systems can fail. The improper grounding of separately derived systems can lead to equipment malfunction and other data issues. Once this new revision is completed, it may also be used as a guide for the renovation of existing systems."

Automated infrastructure management

Harmonization with international standards is also a top-of-mind goal for the TR-42.6 Committee on Telecommunications Infrastructure and Equipment Administration, as that group works to produce the first addendum to the ANSI/TIA-606-B administration standard. The addendum is tentatively titled "Automated Infrastructure Management Systems," and the TIA announced it will be produced in harmony with an existing international standard also covering automated infrastructure management (AIM) technology.

TR-42.6 issued a statement through the TIA in which it said, "The purpose of this addendum is to update the core functions, auxiliary functions, and usage recommendations for AIM systems specified in TIA-606-B to harmonize with ISO/IEC 14763-2-1 Implementation and Operation of Customer Premises Cabling Part 2: Planning and Installation-Amendment for Inclusion of AIM Systems, and ISO/IEC 18598 Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) Systems-Requirements, Data Exchange and Applications."

Taking a granular look at the creation of this addendum, it will replace the original Clause 13 of 606-B with a new clause that describes requirements and recommendations for an AIM system.

Cabling for DAS

In this magazine and on our website, we have reported several times on TSB-162-A, a revision of the telecommunications systems bulletin that describes recommendations for cabling in support of wireless access points. Published in November 2013, TSB-162-A does not prescribe methods of designing wireless LANs based on IEEE 802.3ac technology; rather, it recommends types and amounts of cabling to support such high-speed wireless LANs.

Similarly, the TIA's TR-42.1 Committee on Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling has begun work on TSB-5018, which has the working title "Structured Cabling Infrastructure Standard to Support Distributed Antenna Systems." When issuing a call for interest for the TSB, TIA explained, "This TSB specifies recommendations for DAS cabling infrastructure including cabling topology, architecture, design and installation practices, test procedures and components."

The association added, "A significant number of fire jurisdictions in North America have adopted standards for in-building public-safety radio-enhancement systems to ensure adequate in-building radio coverage for public-safety personnel during situations requiring a response by emergency personnel. Additionally, building components can act as a barrier for cellular communication. Therefore DAS is recommended to increase the signals."

Importantly, TSB-5018 will address the cabling that supports a DAS rather than the design of a DAS. Also notably, BICSI (www.bicsi.org) is in the process of developing a standard for DAS, D012 - DAS Design and Installation. The simultaneous efforts of BICSI and TIA to develop specifications related to DAS have multiple precedents. Both organizations are ANSI-accredited standards developers, and both have published standards related to healthcare facilities (ANSI/BICSI 004-2012, ANSI/TIA-1179); data centers (ANSI/BICSI 002, ANSI/TIA-942 and 942-A), and educational environments (ANSI/BICSI 001, ANSI/TIA-4966). Those sets of specifications have been largely complementary to each other. Jonathan Jew, president of J&M Consultants (www.j-and-m.com), serves on the respective committees developing D012 and TSB-5018. He commented, "The two standards will complement each other nicely."

BICSI explained it expects its DAS design and installation standard to cover "host systems such as commercial cellular, two-way analog and digital voice (both public safety and business bands) for structure types, such as commercial and government office buildings, industrial plants, hospitals, schools, hospitality, entertainment and meeting centers, retail, parking garages, and outdoor campus environments."

The TIA's TSB-5018 will reference two other standard revisions currently in development: TIA-568-0.D and TIA-569-D. As such, the TSB will not be published until those two standards are approved for publication.

Sustainable environments

The TIA's TR-42.10 Committee on Sustainable Information Communications Technology has made significant strides toward the publication of ANSI/TIA-4994, titled "Standard for Sustainable Information Technology." The standard currently is in its third round of industry balloting; industry balloting is the final step of the balloting process.

In its current late-draft form, a portion of the standard explains that it, the standard, "addresses the significant environmental impact associated with the energy required to power information technology systems deployed in today's buildings. It focuses on important environmental issues such as the energy consumption and heat loads resulting from building technologies that can represent a significant percentage of the overall energy loads and environmental impact of the facility. This standard may complement other green building design, sustainability and construction guides."

Later, it explains, "There are several phases to consider when evaluating the impact of sustainable ICT systems design, materials, and processes on the environment. It is important to consider them in order, as the impact can be cumulative in the later phases due to decisions made in the earlier phases."

The majority of the standard spells out objectives and requirements for each of these phases, which ANSI/TIA-4994 titles: 1) Planning or program phase; 2) Architectural and infrastructure design phase; 3) ICT systems design phase; 4) ICT systems integration phase; and 5) Operations assessment phase.

Additionally, the standard says the following actions are common to all phases of a project and should be incorporated into them. It spells out objectives and requirements for each.

• Reduction of paper consumption

• Material and equipment reuse

• General coordination with mechanical/HVAC requirements

• Identification of opportunities for intelligent building technology and facility management

• Reduction of project team's carbon impact

• Reduction of travel for project meeting(s)

No official timetable has been set for the publication of ANSI/TIA-4994, but TR-42.10 is in the process of resolving comments made during the industry balloting process.

Editor's Note: Standards developed by the TIA's TR-42 Committee, including draft standards, can be purchased at IHS's TIA Standards Store: http://global.ihs.com/?rid=TIA.

Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.

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