Communications cabling installations follow rules—some mandatory, some advisory—covered by what we call standards and codes. In my experience, these two sets of rules are often confused, so let’s see how well you understand them. Correct answers and explanations are in red.

1. Standards are ______, while codes are ______.
A. Advisory, mandatory
B. Recommendations, legal requirements
C. Guidelines for interoperability, to ensure safety
D. All of the above

All these describe standards and codes.

2. Generally, standards are written to ensure ______, while codes are written to ensure ______.
A. Communications, ease of installation
B. Ease of design, fireproofing
C. Interoperability, safety
D. Low cost, proper operation

Standards provide manufacturers with specifications that should ensure interoperability while codes (electrical and building) are written with safety as their concern.

3. Standards are written by ______ for ______.
A. Manufacturers, manufacturers
B. Manufacturers, contractors and installers
C. Technologists, manufacturers
D. Marketing, customers

Manufacturers write standards to allow them to build products compatible with other manufacturers.

4. Cabling standards cover which of the following kinds of cable?
A. UTP
B. STP/ScTP
C. Optical fiber
D. All of the above

Cabling standards cover all the cables now currently used in premises cabling systems.

5. Standards specify the ______ performance for cabling.
A. Minimum
B. Average
C. Best

Standards specify the minimum performance levels for products. See No. 6.

6. Most manufacturers make and promote cabling with higher performance than the standards require for competitive advantage.
True
False

Standards specify minimum performance, so most manufacturers’ products exceed these minimum levels.

7. Codes provide the guidelines for inspectors to inspect cabling for ______.
A. Conformance to standards
B. Proper performance
C. Safety
D. Neat installation

Codes deal with safety so inspectors are looking for that in their inspections.

8. An example of manufacturers offering cabling types not covered by current TIA standards is ______.
A. Bend-insensitive optical fiber
B. Category 7 UTP cabling
C. Coaxial cabling
D. All of the above

Not all cable types are covered in standards nor are they new technologies that may take years to work their way through the standards process.

9. If a manufacturer offers cabling that allows networks to work over longer distances than networking standards specify, the user may assume the ______ will accept responsibility for the operation of the network.
A. Cabling system manufacturer
B. Networking equipment manufacturer
C. The installation’s owner or end-user

Or maybe the courts! Instances of networks not working because the user is taking the advice of a cabling supplier and exceeding lengths established by network standards indicate that neither the cabling nor network equipment suppliers will take responsibility for the installation.

10. The removal of abandoned cabling is required by ______.
A. TIA standards
B. The National Electrical Code (NEC)
C. Both TIA standards and the NEC
D. Neither TIA standards nor the NEC

The NEC now requires the removal of cabling that is not intended for future use.


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