Interoperability has been the first thing on end-users’ minds since TIA published ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1, its standard for Cat. 6 cabling, and six months after the passage of that standard the industry has taken one of the first steps toward that goal. Quabbin Wire & Cable, Ware, Mass., recently began a program to evaluate Cat. 6 channel component interoperability.

Using nominally compliant Cat. 6 horizontal cable not specific to any vendor’s proprietary system, the company is conducting link and channel testing to determine interoperability of components. Measurements are being made with four separate handheld field testers, and if a component, tester, link, or channel performs questionably, the test is duplicated using a network analyzer.

Fourteen premise hardware systems are to be included in the evaluation.

Manufacturers that submit their hardware for testing will receive performance data compared to the benchmark of all other channels. Findings of the testing will also be published on the company’s Web site (