Once a communications cable is installed, proof of proper installation is needed to get the customer to accept it (and pay your bill). What are ­the options on testing, certifying and/or verifying the cabling? Correct answers and explanations are in red.

1. The exact meaning of “certification” and “verification” are carefully defined in all industry standards for structured cabling. True or false?

False: These terms are used by test equipment manufacturers to describe how their devices conduct tests, but the terms themselves are not used in the standards.

2. Testing any cable plant, copper or fiber, involves checking cable plant parameters against _______.
A. Industry standard specifications
B. Manufacturer specifications
C. User specifications
D. Any or all of the above

Depending on the requirements set by the customer, any of these may be required.

3. _______ of a cable plant requires testing it to industry standards for structured cabling.
A. Standardization
B. Certification
C. Verification
D. Troubleshooting

Certification is the term manufacturers of test equipment use for testing to the cabling standards

4. _______ of a cable plant means testing it as it will actually be used with computer networks, e.g., to see if it will transmit data of the network type at the speed required.
A. Certification
B. Verification
C. Validation
D. Investigation

Verification testing is the term manufacturers of test eqipment use for testing the cable plant for operation with specific network transmission, e.g. Gigabit Ethernet.

5. Which method tests the cable plant for performance regardless of the actual application of the cable plant by the end user?
A. Testing
B. Certification
C. Verification

Certification tests to the cabling standard, independent of the use of the cable plant.

6. For Category 5e, Cat 6 and Cat 6a unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable, meeting TIA-568 and ISO-11801 standards requires _______.
A. Testing
B. Certification
C. Verification

Meeting the standard requires testing for all the cable plant specifications using a certification tester.

7. A UTP cable plant that is 105 meters long, including patchcords, will probably work with an Ethernet computer network but will fail certification. True or false?

True: Certification testers will fail any test of a cable over the maximum allowed by the standard, 100 meters in structured cabling.

8. Certification of a fiber optic cable plant requires testing with _______.
A. Optical loss test set (OLTS)
B. Optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR)
C. Either OLTS or OTDR
D. Both OLTS and OTDR

All standards require testing with an OLTS. Some standards also allow OTDR testing, but not as a replacement for the OLTS.

9. Which of the following parameters are required for UTP testing but not for optical fiber?
A. Crosstalk
B. Return loss
C. Frequency response
D. All of the above

All of these parameters are required for copper testing but not for fiber.

10. Testing to industry standards for any cable means _______.
A. It meets minimum performance specifications of that standard
B. It exceeds performance specifications of that standard
C. It will work with any network or transmission device
D. It will qualify for any manufacturer’s warranty program

Industry standards only specify minimum performance, so testing to the standards means only being equal to or better than those minimum standards.

HAYES is a VDV writer and trainer and the president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.jimhayes.com.