StandardsThis blog post is part of a series called “CommScope Definitions,” in which we will explain common terms in communications network infrastructure.

It is a fact that standards govern most industries and outline such things as materials, designs and protocols. Standards are put in place to make things “easier” for the industry.  When asked about the proliferation of standards in the computer industry, Andrew S. Tanenbaum  is credited with saying, “The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.”  

A similar level of complexity and frustration may be felt by some in the cabling industry given the numerous applications standards, regional cabling standards and unofficial guidelines such as multi-source agreements. All of these can influence how cabling systems are designed and used.

After all, the intent of standards is to make life simpler for all involved; from manufacturers to systems designers, installers and ultimately to the end users themselves, right?

Fortunately, there is logic behind how the standards relevant to the structured cabling industry fit together.  For example, the most common applications standards in the IEEE Ethernet and ANSI T.11 (Fibre Channel) drive requirements in the regional cabling standards bodies of ISO/IEC (global), TIA (North America) and CENELEC (Europe).  Fortunately, there are strong liaisons between these groups to ensure that standards are as consistent as possible across different regions.

CommScope is fortunate to have several experts participating in all of the key cabling standards groups; all of which do so in addition to their “day jobs.”  Their work, along with others in the standards bodies, has helped shape the physical infrastructure that Gartner predicts will support 26 billion connected devices by 2020.

In addition to their contributions, our standards group publishes the Standards Advisor - a quarterly update on the pertinent standards activities to ensure our customers can keep up with the latest developments. The eighth edition, covering activities in the third quarter of 2015, was recently completed and is available on the CommScope Standards webpage.  Even with all of the standards to choose from, there is a clear path forward for even higher bandwidth. As Tanenbaum noted, there may be many standards to choose from, but hopefully this update will help give a better understanding as to all the choices out there.

To learn more about the evolving structured cabling and its related standards activities, subscribe to our quarterly standards report here.

Editor’s Note: Content for this post came from Dave Tanis’s April 7 blog, The Many Choices of Industry Standards.

Related Sources

CommScope Standards Webpage

Enterprise Industry Standards

Wireless Industry Standards

CommScope Standards Advisor Newsletter

About the Author

Dave Tanis

David Tanis is the Director of Strategic Enterprise Marketing at CommScope. Dave joined the team in April, 2005 and has overall responsibility for driving solutions and product marketing for enterprise customers throughout North America. Dave has over 20 years experience in the telecommunications industry. He joined AT&T Network Systems in 1984 as Product Engineer and held a number of positions in their manufacturing facility in North Andover, MA, USA. He joined Lucent Technologies in 1996 and assumed the role of EMEA Technical Manager for Optical Fiber and Cable in 1998. With the acquisition of the Lucent Optical Fiber and Cable business by Furukawa and CommScope in 2001, Dave assumed the role of EMEA Technical Director, OFS. Dave continued in this role for OFS until April 2005, when he joined SYSTIMAX Solutions as EMEA Technical Director. Dave has published several papers in various industry trade journals and is a regular presenter at industry conferences. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont and a Masters in Business Administration from Boston University in the USA.

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