Keeping Structures Connected: Updated Standards for Telecom Cabling Including Popular New Field Terminatable Plugs

Any company operating in commercial buildings, residential buildings, homes, or industrial buildings should update and regulate their telecom infrastructure to increase connectivity, safety, and meet requirements.

Recently, the demand for field terminable plugs has rapidly increased to keep up with growth in high-bandwidth wireless access points and other online devices like surveillance cameras, LED lighting, motion sensors, display panels and building automation equipment. Field terminable plugs are also needed to enable high-performance data centers.

This has led to rapid developments in new plug design and technology.  And, as ever, an increased need for safety and reliability standards for this equipment.

TIA’s TR-42 Engineering Committee focusing on telecom cabling updated the ANSI/TIA-568.2-D standard in its Balanced Twisted-Pair Telecommunications Cabling and Components document. The revised version (currently available online) was published on April 9, 2019, and includes the latest information specific to field terminatable plugs, highlighting the modular plug terminated link which is one of the more popular use cases for field terminatable plugs.

Companies involved in testing field terminatable plugs will benefit from reviewing the summary of the methods defined in the latest ANSI/TIA-568.2-D standard. Updates to the ANSI/TIA-568.2-D standard includes:

  • Modernized connecting hardware requirements in section 6.10, which can be used in the laboratory to evaluate the performance of a field terminatable plug when mated to a jack;
  • Updated requirements for modular cord test heads in section C.7, which are a preferred jack to use to test a field terminatable plug because of its centering;
  • Restructured test methods to evaluate test plug NEXT (Near-End Crosstalk) in section C.6.5.5, which contain valuable guidance that may be used to evaluate a field terminatable plug; Field terminatable plugs will not generally meet all the requirements of section C.6.5.4.
  • Incorporates cord NEXT and return loss performance requirements in section 6.11 that may also be used to evaluate electrical transmission of field terminatable plugs using a reference cable.

The committee’s standards work covers requirements for copper and optical fiber cabling components (such as cables, connectors and cable assemblies), installation, and field testing in addition to the administration, pathways and spaces to support the cabling.

To get involved with TIA’s TR-42 Engineering Committee defining standards for copper cabling systems, contact TIA’s Marianna Kramáriková, Astd or submit an application today. Join us at the next meeting in Vancouver, Canada June 10-14, 2019.

About David Bain

Vice President, Standards