Cat5e vs Cat6

There are a lot of mistruths concerning the benefits of Cat6 over Cat5.

data racks

My horizontal/vertical run is over 100mtrs so I’ll use Cat6 instead of Cat5e?

The simple answer is No. The same rules apply to both media ANSI/TIA-568-C states that the longest permanent link should be no greater than 90mtrs.

Are the colour codes and pairs different?

No. The cores are slightly larger in Cat6 but the pair and colours remain exactly the same.

  • Pair 1 Blue/Blue-White
  • Pair 2 Orange/Orange-white
  • Pair 3 Green/Green-white
  • Pair 4 Brown/Brown-white

What’s the difference in the connecting jacks, panels, and faceplates?

Visually they are the same. The jacks will fit the same plates and the Panels are 19” mounting.

So what’s the big deal with Cat6?

Cat5 was superseded by Cat5e and is officially recognised by the ANSI/TIA-568-C series of documents to run data up to 100MHz. This was fine for the average school or networked office but it soon became apparent equipment manufacturers had other ideas and with the advent of Video Streaming and Multi-Media Technologies higher bandwidths would be required. In 2002 ANSI/TIA-568-C and ISO/IEC 11801 ratified the new Cat6 standard (Class E) with the main inclusion of operating bandwidths up to 250MHz. Therefore Category 6 cabling should be the minimum standard for new installations going forward to lengthen the life of your cabling infrastructure.

Category 3 16MHz
Category 5E 100MHz
Category 6 
Category 6A 


ANSI/TIA-568-C.3Fibre Specifications
62.5/125OM1 Multimode
50/125OM2 Multimode
Laser Optimized 50/125OM3 Multimode
9/125OS1 Singlemode  ITU-T G.652
OS2 Singlemode