Cabling Evolution for Ethernet Networks

Structured cabling in building communications has been driven mainly by one network—ethernet—which has become the most widespread network standard. Ethernet turned 50 last year, making it an appropriate time to review how it was created and how it has driven the development of cabling.

1. The original ethernet was developed by Xerox as a network to connect many devices in an office using _______.

Correct Answer: Coaxial cable with taps

2. In 1980, a standards committee called 802.3 was created by _______ to standardize ethernet for compatibility among vendors.

Correct Answer: IEEE

3. Throughout the early 1980s, the only cabling technology other than coaxial cable able to handle the speed of ethernet was fiber optics.

Correct Answer: True

4. The big change for ethernet cabling came in the late 1980s when the technology was developed to allow 10 megabits/second (Mb/s) signals over _______.

Correct Answer: Unshielded twisted-pair cable (UTP)

5. Not all twisted-pair cable was capable of handling the speed of ethernet, so _______ set up a lab to test and grade cable, creating performance “levels.”

Correct Answer: Anixter, a distributor of cable

6. The Telecommunications Industry Association standardized UTP cabling as part of their structured cabling standard, TIA 568, changing “levels” to “categories,” starting with Category _______ cable.

Correct Answer: 3

7. Along with the UTP cable, TIA standardized a modular connector from the phone cable system, commonly called a _______, for the structured cabling standard.

Correct Answer: RJ-45

8. About the same time TIA was standardizing the first Category-rated cable, ethernet was getting bumped up to 100 Mb/s, requiring a new, faster UTP cabling system, Category _______.

Correct Answer: 5

9. Cabling was stable for most of the 1990s until ethernet was again upgraded to 1,000 Mb/s, or 1 gigabit/second (Gb/s), and Cat 5 needed an upgrade to Cat 5e. Fiber optics, however, was ready for gigabit ethernet and its next jump to 10 Gb/s.

Correct Answer: True

10. Today, 100 Gb/s ethernet is commonplace and speeds are approaching terabits per second. The only cabling capable of these speeds are _______ and _______.

Correct Answer: Single-mode fiber optics
Correct Answer: Multimode fiber optics with parallel fibers