After five years of development, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) recently published its standard for Cat. 6 cabling systems, TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1, addressing the need for a cabling system with improved transmission performance to support future applications.

The new category 6 standard, which is an addendum to the TIA/EIA-568-B series of commercial building cabling standards, specifies requirements for 100-ohm balanced twisted-pair cables, connecting hardware, patch cords, channels and permanent links, and provides test procedures for laboratory and field performance verification over the frequency range of 1 MHz to 250 MHz. Because Cat. 6 supports positive power sum attenuation to crosstalk (PSACR) margins up to 200 MHz, this new cabling system offers double the bandwidth of Cat. 5e cabling and vastly improved signal-to-noise margins. The Cat. 6 standard also includes cable and connecting hardware balance recommendations for improved electromagnetic compatibility performance.