Valerie Maguire


The extensive number and range of networkable devices available for deployment in today’s smart buildings create environments that are safer, healthier, more energy efficient, and more responsive to occupant needs and preferences than ever before. BICSI D033, “Information Communication Technology Design and Implementation Practices for Intelligent Buildings and Premises” is targeted for publication later this year and will identify best practices for integrating diverse applications and devices on the IT network. Key chapters will address media recommendations, cabling topologies, design considerations for applications supporting both data and power, device density and coverage area sizing, and pathway considerations. Supplemental information related to deploying lighting, digital signage, acoustic and intercom systems, metering and monitoring systems, and other special building applications will also be provided.

The topologies and media referenced in the draft BICSI D033 Standard are based on the horizontal and backbone cabling specifications appearing in TIA-568.0-D and ISO/IEC 11801‑1. Structured cabling supporting intelligent building applications in new installations shall be deployed in a hierarchical star topology and consist of a minimum of category 6/class E (category 6A/class EA recommended) balanced twisted-pair, laser-optimized multimode (i.e., OM3, OM4, and OM5) optical fibre, and all forms of singlemode optical fibre cabling.

The draft Standard emphasizes that a zone cabling design, which consists of horizontal cables run from the telecommunications room to a horizontal connection point or HCP (an intermediate connection point that is typically housed in an enclosure located in the ceiling space, on the wall, or below an access floor) provides a flexible infrastructure to accommodate current and future data, voice, building device, and wireless access point connections. Since spare ports are available at the HCP and individual cables only extend from the outlets at the HCP to building devices or outlets, zone cabling systems support rapid reorganization of work areas and equipment and simplify deployment of new devices and applications.

Detailed requirements for sizing and provisioning assist in the design and layout of entrance rooms, equipment rooms, telecommunications rooms, and telecommunications enclosures where cabling and equipment connections are made. Considerations for a wide range of cabling pathways (e.g., cable trays, J‑hooks and other non-contiguous pathways, conduit, raceways, ducts, poke-throughs and other in-floor systems, and access floors) aid in identifying the optimum pathway infrastructure system for various building system applications.

The key to a successful smart building deployment is the proper planning, design, and deployment of the cabling infrastructure. When published, BICSI D033 will be a valuable resource for intelligent building cabling best practices and the zone-based structured cabling architectures.

Click here to learn more about zone cabling for smart buildings. Click here to learn more about zone cabling for 60W PoE lighting systems.


“Specification for OSFP Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable Module” is currently under development by the OSFP MSA Group. OSFP is a “double-density” module and connector system similar to the QSFP+ system, but slightly wider and deeper to accommodate eight-lanes. The new module will be capable of 400 Gb/s transmission over 16 pairs of twinaxial conductors or optical fibers (8 x 50 Gb/s). The connector system enables modules consuming 12-15W of power to reside in a switch chassis with conventional airflow, which makes the system attractive for long range (i.e. 100 km) optical transceivers. The form factor allows 32 400 Gb/s ports per 1U  to enable 12.8 Tb/s per switch slot. OSFP to QSFP+ adapters will support backward compatibility between form factors.

An effort is being made to adopt a common management interface to be referenced in MSAs developed by among the OSFP MSA Group, QSFP-DD MSA Group, and the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO).

The project objectives are as follows:

  • High port density
  • High thermal capability
  • Accommodate full range of 400G optics
  • Future roadmap to 800G (2x400G-PAM4)
  • Enable 12.8 Tb/s in a 1U slot

Revision 1.0 of the OSFP MSA Specification, released on March 17, 2017, can be found here:


“QSFP-DD Specification for QSFP Double Density 8X Pluggable Transceiver” is currently under development by the QSFP-DD MSA Group. QSFP-DD is a “double-density” module and cage/connector system similar to the current QSFP system, but with an additional row of contacts providing for an eight-lane electrical interface. The new module will be capable of operating 25 Gb/s NRZ modulation or 50 Gb/s PAM4 modulation over 16 pairs of twinaxial conductors or optical fibers to support 200 Gb/s or 400 Gb/s aggregate bandwidth. Systems designed with QSFP‑DD connectors will be backwards compatible to support interoperability with existing QSFP modules, however, the QSFP‑DD connector will only support 200 Gb/s or 400 Gb/s aggregate speeds when mated with QSFP‑DD modules.

QSFP-DD MSA Group participants have developed an improved management interface and the MSA project may split into separate management interface and form-factor documents. It’s also possible that the OSFP MSA Group, the uQSFP MSA Group, and the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO) will adopt the improved QSFP-DD management interface.

The project objectives are as follows:

  • Expand the use of the QSFP form-factor
  • Specify a 2×1 integrated stacked cage and connector
  • Specify a SMT QSFP-DD connector
  • Enable 12W of power dissipation per module
  • Transmit speeds up to 50 Gb/s PAM4
  • Enable 14.4 Tb/s in a single switch slot

Revision 2.0 of the QSFP-DD MSA Specification, released on March 13, 2017, can be found here:

Additional information on accelerating 400GbE adoption with QSFP-DD can be found here:


IEEE Std 802.3bu ”IEEE Standard for Ethernet Amendment 8: Physical Layer and Management Parameters for Power over Data Lines (PoDL) of Single Balanced Twisted-Pair Ethernet” was developed by the IEEE P802.3bu 1-Pair Power over Data Lines (PoDL) Task Force and approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on December 7, 2016. This amendment defines methodology for the provision of power via a single twisted-pair to connected Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) with IEEE 802.3 interfaces. This application is targeted for deployment in automotive, industrial automation, transportation (aircraft and rail), and other environments that utilize 100BASE-T11000BASE-T1, or any other single pair data or non-data entity protocol.

The link segment supporting PoDL operation consists of single balanced twisted-pair cabling having a dc loop resistance of less than 6 Ω for 12 V unregulated classes or less than 6.5 Ω for 12V regulated, 24V regulated and unregulated, and 48V regulated classes. PoDL is not compatible with Ethernet applications, including  IEEE Std 802.3™ PoE (DTE Power via MDI), operating over 2- or 4‑pairs of balanced twisted-pair cable.

Class Power Requirements for PoDL Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE), Power Interface (PI), and Powered Device (PD):

PoDL Class Power Requirements Matrix for PSE, PI, and PD

Goals and Objectives for 1-Pair Power over Data Lines (PoDL) operation:

  • Specify a power distribution technique for use over a single twisted pair link segment
  • Allow for operation if data is not present
  • Support voltage and current levels for the automotive, transportation, and industrial control industries
  • Do not preclude compliance with standards used in automotive, transportation, and industrial control industries when applicable
  • Support fast-startup operation using predetermined voltage/current configurations and optional operation with run-time voltage/current configuration
  • Ensure compatibility with IEEE Std 802.3bp (e.g., EMI, channel definition, noise requirements)

The IEEE 802.3 1-Pair Power over Data Lines (PoDL) 1 Call-For-Interest Consensus Presentation can be found here:

The Project Authorization Request (PAR), approved on December 11, 2013, can be found here:

The project objectives, adopted on September 2, 2013, can be found here:


IEEE Std 802.3-2015 Cor1 “IEEE Standard for Ethernet Corrigendum 1: Multi-lane Timestamping” was developed by the IEEE P802.3-2015/Cor 1 (IEEE P802.3ce) Multi-lane Timestamping Task Force and approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on March 23, 2017.  This corrigendum clarifies timestamping reference points and defines where transmit path data delay and receive path data delay measurements are made.

Timestamping Reference Points

  • The transmit path data delay is measured from the beginning of the start-of-frame delimiter (SFD) at the generic Media Independent Interface (xMII) input to the beginning of the SFD at the Medium Dependent Interface (MDI) output
  • The receive path data delay is measured from the beginning of the start-of-frame delimiter (SFD) at the Medium Dependent Interface (MDI) input to the beginning of the SFD at the generic Media Independent Interface (xMII) output

The Project Authorization Request (PAR), approved on may 12, 2016 can be found here:


A wide range of safety extra low voltage (SELV) limited power source (LPS) applications may be supported using remote power deployed over balanced twisted-pair cabling.  Examples of these types of applications include LAN devices supported by IEEE Std 802.3™ PoE (DTE Power via MDI), wireless access points, TIA-862-B building automation systems, PoE lighting, and security devices such as remote cameras, IP telephones, and multimedia devices.

TSB-184-A “Guidelines for Supporting Power Delivery Over Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling” was developed by the TIA TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Subcommittee and published in March, 2017. This Telecommunications Systems Bulletin  provides guidelines to enable the support of a wide range of safety extra low voltage (SELV) limited power source (LPS) applications using remote power supplied over balanced twisted-pair cabling. This TSB also describes methods to help manage temperature rise within cable bundles due to dissipation of power.

Significant changes from the previous edition include:

  • Maximum applicable current has been increased to up to 1000 mA per pair
  • Temperature rise models have been refined to include additional cable properties and installation conditions
  • Temperature rise tables include temperature rise in open air and sealed conduit
  • Bundling recommendations and installation recommendations have been added
  • Measurement procedures to develop temperature rise models have been refined and included in the document
  • Additional specifications for pair-to-pair dc resistance unbalance have been added

TSB-184-A Content

  • Configuration, Structure, and Topology
  • Cabling Selection and Performance
  • Installation Guidelines
  • DC Resistance
  • Remote Powering Configurations and Related Transmission Performance
  • Annexes addressing Cabling Types and Installation Guidelines for DC Powering, Models, and Measurement Methods

Recommended Cabling

  • Category 6A or higher performing 4-pair balanced twisted-pair cabling is recommended for new installations delivering remote power
  • Connecting hardware having the required performance for mating and un-mating under the relevant levels of electrical power and load (e.g. compliant to the test schedule described in IEC 60512-99-002 for engaging and separating connectors under electrical load) should be chosen

Bundling Recommendations

  • Cables should be left unbundled to allow for improved heat dissipation
  • A way to limit the temperature rise due to conditions such as installation factors, possible high ambient temperature, the use of 26 AWG cords, and higher currents up to 1000 mA per pair with all four pairs energized, is to limit the number of cables per bundle to 24 in typical pathway installation conditions
  • If bundling is necessary, it is recommended to separate large bundles into smaller bundles

Maximum Cable Bundle Size for 15 °C Temperature Rise at 20 °C Ambient

Click here for archive information on TSB-184.

IEEE Std 802.3br™ “Standard for Ethernet Amendment 5: Specification and Management Parameters for Interspersing Express Traffic” was developed by the IEEE P802.3br Interspersing Express Traffic Task Force and approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on June 30, 2016. Ethernet use in industrial (e.g. factory, process, and building automation) and automotive networks is growing with more than a dozen purposeful industrial protocols currently serving these networking needs. This amendment addresses prioritization of express and non-express frames in converged traffic environments where control data is time‑sensitive and often requires minimum latency.

Goals and Objectives for Interspersing Express Traffic operation:

  • Preserve the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet frame format at the MAC
  • Preserve minimum and maximum MAC frame size of the current IEEE 802.3 standard
  • Use the Clause 4/Annex 4A MAC without alteration
  • Require no changes to PHYs
  • Support full duplex operation only
  • Preserve MAC/PLS service interface
  • Do not degrade  Mean Time to False Packet Acceptance (MTTFPA) at the MAC Service Interface
  • The latency to initiate the transmission of an express frame shall be less than two times the minimum packet size plus IPG
  • Assure that both ends of the link support Interspersing Express Traffic (IET) mode before enabling it
  • Provide a primitive at the MAC client service interface to inhibit the transmission of non-express frames
  • Provide two MAC client service interfaces at each end of the IET link, as the means to distinguish between the express and the non-express frames
  • Minimum IET frame size shall be greater than or equal to 64 bytes
  • IET frames will be constructed such that they will not be recognized as valid MAC frames by a non-IET-capable device

The IEEE 802.3 Distinguished Minimum Latency Traffic in a Converged Traffic Environment Call‑For‑Interest Consensus Presentation can be found here:

The Project Authorization Request (PAR), approved on November 13, 2013, can be found here:


TIA-1152 copper field testingField test instruments are used to test installed balanced twisted-pair cabling specified in the TIA family of structured cabling Standards.

ANSI/TIA-1152-A “Requirements for Field Test Instruments and Measurements for Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling” was developed by the TIA TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Subcommittee and published in November, 2016. This Standard provides requirements for field test instruments, as well as measurement methods to compare field instrument  measurements against laboratory equipment measurements collected in accordance with TIA-568-C.2.

Significant changes from the previous edition include:

  • Field tester requirements have been refined
  • External references to other standards have been updated
  • Specifications for Level 2G testers to test category 8 permanent links and channels up to 2000 MHz have been added

ANSI/TIA-1152-A Content

  • Test Instruments
  • Annexes addressing Typical Measurement Accuracy of Reference Laboratory Measurement Systems, Derivation of Level 2G Source Match and Reflection Tracking Terms, and Guidance for the Applicability of Resistance and Resistance Unbalance Measurements

Accuracy Levels

TIA-1152-A specifies requirements for four levels of field test devices based upon increased reporting and measurement accuracy:

  • Level IIe
  • Level III
  • Level IIIe
  • Level 2G
Click here for archive information on ANSI/TIA-1152.

This Standard specifies performance and transmission requirements for premises optical fiber cable, connectors, connecting hardware, and patch cords. Transition methods used to maintain optical fiber polarity and ensure connectivity between transmitters and receivers using simplex, duplex, and array connectivity are also described.

ANSI/TIA-568.D-3 “Optical Fiber Cabling Components” was developed by the TIA TR-42.11 Optical Systems Subcommittee and published in October, 2016. Significant changes from the previous edition include:

  • Optical fiber polarity information and optical fiber test measurement requirements now reside in TIA-568.3-D
  • Passive optical network components are specified
  • The polarity of cords and connectivity methods supporting parallel optical signals for transceiver interfaces and array connector patch cords and cables that exclusively employ two rows of fibers per plug are described
  • Array connectivity of arbitrary row width following patterns of the illustrated 12‑fiber row components are allowed
  • Specifications for wideband multimode fiber (commonly referred to as “OM5″) have been added
  • The use of OM1, OM2, and OS1 cables is no longer recommended
  • The maximum allowable OM3 and OM4 attenuation at 850 nm has been lowered to 3.0 dB/km
  • The minimum return loss of singlemode connections and splices has been raised from 26 dB to 35 dB
  • The insertion loss of reference-grade test connections is described and accommodated
  • Encircled flux launch conditions are specified for testing multimode connector performance at 850 nm
  • Multimode connector performance is no longer specified at 1300 nm
  • The minimum durability for all array connections is specified at 500 mating cycles
  • Specifications for outside plant microduct cable have been added

ANSI/TIA-568.3.D Content

  • Optical Fiber Cable
  • Connecting Hardware
  • Cords, Array Cables, and Transitions
  • Optical Fiber Transmission Performance and Test Requirements
  • Annexes addressing Optical Fiber Connector Performance Specifications, Grandfathered Fiber and Cable Types, Maintaining Optical Fiber Polarity, Optical Branching Component Performance Specifications, and Guidelines for Field‑Testing Length, Loss, and Polarity of Optical Fiber Cabling

ANSI/TIA-568.3-D Duplex Polarity

Consecutive‑fiber positioning and reverse-pair positioning are the two methods specified to maintain polarity for duplex polarity systems. Consecutive‑fiber positioning is implemented by installing the fiber adapters in opposite orientations on each end of the link (i.e., A-B, A-B… on one end and B-A, B-A… on the other) and then attaching fibers to the adapters in consecutive order (i.e., 1,2,3,4…) on both ends of the link. Reverse‑pair positioning is implemented by installing the fiber adapters in the same orientation on each end of the link (i.e., A-B, A-B… or B-A, B-A…) and then attaching fibers to the adapters in consecutive order (i.e., 1,2,3,4…) on one end of the link and in reverse‑pair order (i.e., 2,1,4,3…) on the other end of the link.

ANSI/TIA-568.3-D Array Polarity

The purpose of an array connectivity polarity method is to create an optical path from the transmit port of one multi‑fiber device to the receive port of another multi‑fiber device. Different methods may be employed to achieve this goal. It is recommended that one polarity method be selected in advance and maintained consistently throughout an installation. Three sample polarity methods, referred to as Methods A, B, and C, are described in TIA-568.3‑D. Method A requires to use of of a different patch cord at one end of the link to maintain polarity. Method B uses the same patch cord at both ends of the link, but requires that the adapter (sometimes referred to as the cassette) be reversed at one end so that the fiber that originated in position 1 is mapped to the end position (e.g. position 12 or 24). Method C is a variant of Method A, but with the polarity crossover implemented in the trunking cable instead of via the patch cord. Both Methods B and C have the advantage of using the same patch cords at both ends of the link.

Click here for archive information on ANSI/TIA-568-C.3.


The 2017 edition of the NFPA 70® National Electrical Code® (NEC) contains a new Article 840, Part VI requirement addressing premise powering of communications equipment over communications cable. This requirement only applies when the power supplied is greater than 60W (e.g., it does not apply to IEEE 802.3 Type 1 (15W), Type 2 (30W), and Type 3 (60W) PoE implementations). In this case, the maximum ampacity that may be carried by a cable conductor is determined by the conductor gage (AWG) size, number of 4-pair cables in a bundle, and the mechanical temperature rating of the cable as provided in Table 725.144 of the NEC and excerpted below. Note that this table is based on an ambient temperature of 30° C (86° F).

As an example, the maximum ampacity of one 24 AWG category 5e conductor, mechanically rated to 60° C and contained within a bundle of 62-91 cables, is 400 mA (800 mA per pair). Since the developing IEEE P802.3bt Type 4 90W application is targeting an operating current of 960mA per pair, this example product and installation configuration would not be compliant to the NEC requirements for support of this application. To overcome this restriction, the NEC provides a provision to use a limited power or LP-rated cable jacket to support increased ampacity. Another alternative allowed by the NEC is to use cables having larger diameter conductors and/or a higher temperature rating to reach the desired ampacity capability.

Siemon recommends the use of its shielded category 6A and category 7A cables (having 23 AWG and 22 AWG sized conductors, respectively) for support of 60W and higher power applications because these cables offer the same application support capability as LP-rated cables with the added benefits of greater heat dissipation, power efficiency, bandwidth, and noise immunity. Note that these cables are mechanically rated to 75° C (167° F) and, according to the NEC table (refer to the cells highlighted in yellow), are suitable for support of at least 500 mA per conductor/ 1 A per pair current levels in bundle configurations of up to 192 cables in 30° C (86° F) ambient temperature environments. Siemon has developed bundling recommendations for a much broader range of ambient temperatures. Following these bundling guidelines ensures that an -LP rated cable is not required to support greater than 60W applications within the environments for which Siemon cables are rated.


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