Most industries are governed by standards that 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 that all 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.
We are proud to have more than 30 employees representing us in more than
60 standards groups around the world; 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.
addition to their contributions, our standards group publishes the StandardsAdvisor - a quarterly update on the pertinent standards activities to ensure
our customers can keep up with the latest developments. The second edition,
covering activities in the first quarter of 2014, 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.