Category 8 Cabling

Most contractors are still debating the pro and cons of installing Cat 6A over Cat 6.

Well the TIA and ISO (Worldwide Cabling Standards Committees) are well ahead of us.

In Europe Cat 7 is fairly standard for a lot of new installations and offers 10Gig performance up to 600MHz. 

All of the major brand manufacturers have a warranted solution in the market, but the demands for bigger, faster and better are driving new standards to push the limits of copper cables.

                                                 

A recent feasibilty/ demonstration by world leading cable technology company CommScope has provided evidence that a Category 8 copper permanent link is viable. It will operate within acceptable limits of IL, RL, NEXT.

   

So whats driving this and is it the end of Cat 6/6A ? See below for some interesting facts.                                  

  • The proposed solution will offer bandwidths up to 2GHz (Cat 7 is 600MHz)
  • It will operate with RJ45 connectors and backward compatible with earlier standards
  • Overall foil screen (4 pairs)
  • 22 AWG solid copper conductors
  • Will be referred to as "Class G" (Cat 7 is F)
  • Maximum test runs up to 50mtrs


The main benefits of this proposed standard will be the ability to offer a true 40Gig copper cabling solution which is the demand of the Data Centre operators. 


Another important use of increased bandwidth will be multimedia for home use and this could be a big incentive/opportunity for Australian contractors with the continuing deployment of the NBN high speed network. While traditional cabling solutions of Cat 5e and Cat 6 only offer bandwidths up to 250MHz, the proposed bandwidths of Cat 8 are well in excess of 1Gig and will comfortably run satelitte and television signals on the same cable as telephone and data.


Obvious disadvantages  

  • Cost...God only knows!
  • increased cable weight
  • Proper installation practise
  • Testing procedures


Although ratification could be sometime away its good practise to be forewarned of the way the standards committees are thinking and moving towards so as to give best advise to potential clients.