CommScope Definitions: What are Industry Standards?

CommScope Staff November 20, 2015

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 whom do so in addition to their “day jobs.” Their work, along with others in the standards bodies, has helped shape the physical infrastructure that supports tens of billions of connected devices.

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. 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.

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

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About the Author

CommScope Staff

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) is pushing the boundaries of technology to create the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. Our global team of employees, innovators and technologists empower customers to anticipate what’s next and invent what’s possible. Discover more at