New Cabling Standard Recognizes 28 AWG, Modular Plug Terminated Links
June 18, 2018
The TIA Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee has approved a revision to the cabling standards that now recognizes 28 AWG patch cords as being standard compliant. Panduit, a leading global provider of network infrastructure solutions, was the first structured cabling manufacturer to introduce 28 AWG patch cords to the market and was instrumental in driving the adoption of 28 AWG solutions in the market and in drafting the new cabling standard.
ANSI/TIA-568.2-D, the Balanced Twisted-Pair Telecommunications Cabling and Components Standard, was developed by the TIA TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee. Panduit Product Line Manager Frank Straka is a member of that committee. “This represents the culmination of two years of work by a broad spectrum of companies and individuals,” Straka said. “The industry has adopted 28 AWG and sees the value. It’s nice that we have a new standard that reflects that.”
Upon publication, the new standard will replace ANSI/TIA-568-C.2. Publication is expected within the next month. One of the major changes with ANSI/TIA-568.2-D is that it recognizes 28 AWG patch cords as being standard compliant. This means:
- Patch cords can be made from 28 AWG cable
- Maximum channel lengths must be de-rated from their maximum 100-meter length when using 28 AWG patch cords (for example, 10 meters of 28 AWG patch cord can be used with 82.5 meters of horizontal cable for a 92.5-meter channel)
Horizontal cable in 28 AWG is not included in the updated standard. Cable gauges of 22-24 AWG will still be required for standard-compliant horizontal cable.
Panduit launched the first 28 AWG patch cords to the market in 2011. Since that time, the market has quickly adopted the reduced-diameter patch cords, which have met all performance standards, but were considered non-compliant because of the wire gauge.
“We are excited to see the industry formally recognize 28 AWG patch cords,” said Panduit’s Tom Kelly, Vice President of Enterprise Business. “Our customers have long understood that the true value of 28 AWG isn’t the small size, but what that size means in the TR: higher cable densities, improved cable management, better air flow, and easier installation and management. Standardizing 28 AWG ensures that our customers will continue to be able to deploy these cables knowing they meet industry recognized performance requirements.”
In addition, the standard also recognized modular plug terminated links (MPTL) as being standard compliant. Modular plug terminated links refer to permanent links where a plug is directly terminated to horizontal cable and plugged into a device. These modular plugs, including Panduit’s Field Term Plug, simplify the connection of devices such as security cameras and wireless access points.