A new study from Quabbin Wire & Cable, Co., Ware, Mass., shows that most open-market patch cords do not meet the TIA’s published requirements. Almost 70% of Cat. 5e cords and 80% of Cat. 6 cords failed a series of tests designed to determine the current quality level of patch cords and observe if there was any correlation between performance, sales channel, or cost. Cords were purchased on the open market and tested using Fluke Network’s patch cord test adapter and DSP 4000 series cable analyzer. All cords were tested to the full requirements of TIA/EIA-568-B; including propagation delay, delay skew, wire map, NEXT, and return loss.