TIA Launches Task Group to Develop Industry Standards for Edge Data Centers

Leadership on industry standards for new emerging edge data centers will accelerate deployment of 5G technology

Arlington, VA (February 7, 2019) – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, today announced the launch of a new standards task group to develop industry best practices for Edge Data Centers. The task group, under TR-42.1 Premises Telecommunications Infrastructure, will be co-chaired by Cindy Montstream, Director of Technical Support & Training at Legrand and Johnathan Jew, President of J&M Consultants.

“In the race to 5G, we are proud to take a big step for next generation technology and the telecom industry,” said Wes Johnston, CEO of TIA. “TIA is a trusted ICT industry standard developing organization, and we, with our members and partners, are leading the important evolution of thinking about where data is processed, and how to ensure its consistency, reliability, safety and integrity.”

Edge Data Centers put information in areas of demand and closer to the user to provide the increasingly fast and reliable information that current and future technology requires. Compared to traditional data centers, often large physical centers located away from busy areas, Edge Data Centers, which can be small installations located on a streetlight box, come with a different set of issues including cybersecurity, physical security, location, connectivity, and resilience.  The new task group will work with industry leaders to develop standards and programs that meet these unique challenges.

“5G will not reach its full potential without Edge Data Centers,” said Harry Smeenk, TIA’s Senior Vice President of Technology Programs. “The task group launched today will deliver reference architecture, guidelines, best practices and industry standards for this critical addition to telecommunications infrastructure.”

“The way we provide data is changing,” said Cindy Montstream, Legrand’s Director of Technical Support & Training and Chair of TIA’s TR 42.3 subcommittee on Telecommunications Administration, Pathways, Spaces, Bonding and Grounding, as well as Chair of Standards for TIA’s Fiber Optics Technology Consortium. “I am looking forward to co-chairing this important TIA task group and ensuring broad and comprehensive thinking and participation in developing standards for Edge Data Centers. The current TIA-942 standard is focused on the traditional, in-building data center. Our goal is to update TIA-942 so that it provides requirements and guidelines for the design and installation of data centers that include requirements for the many forms of Edge Data Centers.”

“Looking at the complexity of today’s data centers and the sheer number of applications they must support it’s striking to realize how quickly they have evolved,” said Jonathan Jew, President of J&M Consultants and Secretary of TIA’s TR-42 Cabling Systems Engineering Committee, and who co-authored the original TIA-942 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers and has been heavily involved in each of the standard’s two revisions. “Unlike classic data centers that are inside buildings, edge data centers will be closer to edge of the network to reduce latency and improve user experience. This new task group will provide simplicity for fast paced technology and increase network uptime.”

Last year, TIA’s Edge Data Centers Working Group, chaired by Rebecca Hunter of Crown Castle, released a position paper outlining considerations for the development, implementation, and operational features of Edge Data Centers; view the paper here.

TIA actively seeks participation in this new Edge Data Centers Task Group from the user and general interest communities. Those interested in participating should contact Marta Soncodi at msoncodi@tiaonline.org. For more information about TIA’s TR-42 engineering committee and Edge Data Center work, or how to participate in standards development with TIA, visit tiaonline.org.

A major function of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is the writing and maintenance of voluntary industry standards and specifications. These activities are carried out by the volunteer members of TIA engineering committees. Recent meeting reports, agendas and notices for upcoming meetings, as well as links to some of the most popular standards from each committee are available on TIA’s public engineering committee pages.


Ashley Simmons, 703-907-7704, asimmons@tiaonline.org

About TIA

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents more than 300 companies that enable high-speed communications networks and accelerate next-generation ICT innovation. Through leadership in U.S. and international advocacy, technology programs and standards development and business performance solutions, TIA and its members are accelerating global connectivity across every industry and market.