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Industry InSight: Top 10 reasons to consider Cat. 6A in a building

The below "top 10" list is by Matias Peluffo, Vice President, Enterprise Building Segment Product Line Management, CommScope.

10: Cat. 6A is recommended for new installations in healthcare facilities.
Published in 2010, TIA-1179 recommends Cat. 6A for all new installations in healthcare facilities and is the first standard to recommend Cat. 6A for new installations outside of the data center. To help better understand the TIA-1179 standard, CommScope published this FAQ document.

9: Cat. 6A is recommended for new installations in educational facilities.
Recently published, TIA-4966 recommends Cat. 6A for new education facilities based on the need for high-performance infrastructure required for wired and wireless connectivity. To help you better understand the TIA-4966 standard, CommScope published this FAQ document.

8: Cat. 6A supports 10GBASE-T to 100 meters.
A few years ago, many people considered 10GBASE-T to be overkill outside of the data center. Today, 10GBASE-T is finding use within buildings to support high end workstations. Cat. 6A's support of 10GBASE-T to 100 meters ensures it can support the fastest Ethernet application on the market to the full channel length specified in the standards. This comes at a time when high performance workstations are beginning to demand 10 gigabit performance.

7: 10GBASE-T continues to achieve improved price performance and lower power consumption.
Power consumption was initially cited as a barrier to mass adoption for 10GBASE-T. Dramatic improvements to 10GBASE-T over the last few years result in significantly lower overall price and power efficiency per gigabit than 1000BASE-T. It looks like the old industry saying, "Today's server is tomorrow's desktop," may be applicable to 10GBASE-T.

6: Cat. 6A provides enhanced performance for Power over Ethernet (PoE) applications.
At a time when the PoE standards are updated to double the power delivered to devices utilizing all four pairs in the cable, Cat. 6A offers enhanced thermal dissipation performance over its Cat. 5e and Cat. 6 predecessors. Recently, CommScope published a white paper on Cat. 6A advantages for PoE.

5: Cat. 6A supports new in-building wireless systems that rely on 10G technology.
Contrary to popular belief, wireless needs wires. New in-building wireless systems relying on 10GBASE-T LAN technology and remote powering over Cat. 6A that support multi-operator and multi-technology coverage and capacity solutions in buildings are already in the market.

4: Cat. 6A supports Wi-Fi technologies already exceeding 1 Gbps in the horizontal.
More wiring for wireless is required for Wi-Fi. 802.11ac systems already in the market sport dual gigabit ports for link aggregation and peak rates that may exceed a gigabit. As Wave 2 of 802.11ac enters the market, industry insiders are already planning for higher speed ports. Cat. 6A is the ideal choice to support the evolution of Wi-Fi and its expected need for increasing backhaul bandwidth. Recently, CommScope published a white paper on laying the groundwork for wireless access points.

3: Cat. 6A is globally available in unshielded and shielded versions.
The debate about the virtues of unshielded and shielded solutions will continue. Cat. 6A allows both, while customers continue to speak with their wallets in favor of the more familiar, and easier to install, unshielded solutions.

2: Cat. 6A supports the familiar and backwards compatible RJ45 user interface.
Cat. 6A supports the tried and true, familiar, and backwards compatible RJ45 interface. The RJ45 demonstrated the power of standardization, has enabled the global growth of Ethernet as we know it, and has become a universal interface for a broad range of applications. More than two billion outlets have been produced with RJ45 − enough to circle the earth twice. Be sure to check out the CommScope infographic on the RJ45.

1: Cat. 6A offers simple and cost-effective provisioning to support current and emerging applications.
Cat. 6A offers the most cost-effective and simple provisioning to prepare today's buildings for current and future applications. With 10 gigabit applications starting to emerge, the time is right to consider provisioning the building with the right copper cabling infrastructure based on Cat. 6A twisted pair connectivity.
Matias Peluffo is Vice President, Enterprise Building Segment Product Line Management, for CommScope. He has overall responsibility for CommScope's strategy to deliver breakthrough innovations and customer value in the building segment with a broad range of solutions including SYSTIMAX SCS, imVision® automated infrastructure management, and Redwood building-performance lighting. For more about the company's technology, go to

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