The world's leading network cabling and component manufacturers recently teamed up with Anixter, Skokie, Ill., to announce Anixter Levels XP, a new industry specification that redefines network performance.

As faster networking access methods, such as Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, become a reality, the effect a cabling system can have on network performance is becoming more apparent. Lower performing cabling systems can hinder transmission of data, contributing to lost productivity, referred to by Anixter as "slowtime."

In cooperation with Belden Wire and Cable, Panduit, The Siemon Co., CommScope, Berk-Tek, Ortronics, KRONE, and Lucent Technologies, Anixter is testing network cabling systems with active data signals to determine how the cabling system interacts with network electronics. Depending on their performance, cabling systems receive either the new Level XP 6 or Level XP 7 rating.

Until now, all cabling systems were tested with passive electrical signals, which could not give a true indication of how the cabling system would work when active data signals were transmitted.

Prior to the development of Levels XP, the source of network problems often went undetected due to the perception that existing cabling performance standards adequately addressed network performance issues.

To receive more information, visit or call (800)-ANIXTER.