This Standard provides specifications for the planning and installation of a structured cabling system for educational buildings and facilities.  Included are requirements for cabling, cabling topologies, and cabling distances, pathways and spaces (e.g., sizing and location), and other ancillary requirements.  Guidance on selection of media and network design is provided and of particular importance to support the multitude of services and systems that can be found in educational buildings and spaces.

ANSI/TIA-4966 “Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Educational Facilities” was developed by the TIA TR-42.1 Commercial Building Cabling Subcommittee  and published in May, 2014.  This Standard specifies recognized cabling and cabling category recommendations for educational facilities.  In addition to traditional LAN deployments, the structured cabling specified by this Standard is also intended to support a wide range of classroom layouts.

ANSI/TIA-4966  Content

  • Topology
  • Backbone Cabling (Cabling Subsystem 2 and Cabling Subsystem 3)
  • Horizontal Cabling (Cabling Subsystem 1)
  • Work Area
  • BAS Cabling
  • Telecommunications Spaces
  • Building Pathways
  • Wireless Access Points
  • Firestopping
  • Installation Requirements
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Administration
  • Cabling Requirements
  • Annex addressing Typical Classroom Layouts

Significant differences from TIA-568-C.0

  • It is recommend to use the LC connector (ANSI/TIA-604-10-B) in new installations when one or two fibers are used to make a connection at the equipment outlet
  • It is recommended that all areas of an educational building have wireless coverage unless prohibited

TIA-4966 Recognized Horizontal Cabling Media

100-ohm balanced twisted-pair cabling

  • Categories 5e, 6, and 6A
  • Category 6A is recommended for new installations

Multimode optical fiber cabling

  • OM1, OM2, OM3, or OM4
  • 850 nm laser-optimized 50/125 μm (OM3 or OM4) is recommended for new installations

Singlemode optical fiber cabling

  • OS1 or OS2

Broadband coaxial cabling

  • Series 6 or Series 11

TIA-4966 Recognized Backbone Cabling Media

100-ohm balanced twisted-pair cabling

  • Categories 3, 5e, 6, and 6A
  • Category 6A is recommended for new installations
  • Category 3 should be limited to analog voice applications

Multimode optical fiber cabling

  • OM1, OM2, OM3, or OM4
  • 850 nm laser-optimized 50/125 μm (OM4) is recommended for new installations

Singlemode optical fiber cabling

  • OS1 or OS2

Broadband coaxial cabling

  • Series 6 or Series 11

Pathway Design Guidance

Since the lifespan of educational buildings make the building core and shell susceptible to multiple changes not typically associated with commercial buildings, additional pathways should be placed in areas where the core and shell components of the facility are likely to re-main for extended periods of time.

Recommended Wireless Access Point Density

  • Residence halls: one WAP per 150 m2 (1600 ft2)
  • Other typical buildings: one WAP per 230 m2 (2500 ft2)
  • Places of assembly (e.g., large classrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums): estimate the number of access points based upon expected occupancy as shown the following table:

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