Knowledge Base

Tuesday, 01 June 2010 11:17

Residential homes are set to be given a complete overhaul with the introduction of The Telecommunications Carrier Forum (“TCF”) new “Premises Wiring Code of Practice” for Residential and SOHO Premises Wiring.

Recent developments in technologies and services now require extensive wiring and crossconnect facilities to be an essential part of the modern home. These facilities are required to support not only a wide range of current and future telecommunications services but also future in-home entertainment and building services. This Code of Practice sets out principles and practices for planning, installing and maintaining a premises wiring system so as to provide an open, flexible platform for the communication and entertainment needs of the modern “intelligent home”.

There is a clear trend towards the “intelligent home”, with increasing levels of integration occurring between the various services and applications in the home. Not just telephony and data, but broadcast TV, audio, video, gaming, security and building control services are being brought together via a general purpose or “generic” cabling system.

The development of the “2-wire” telephone wiring code of practice in 1990s led to the widespread use of 2-pair telecommunications cable in most homes and small businesses. That wiring code of practice has proved satisfactory for supporting current telecommunications services, including telephone and broadband delivery.

However “Next Generation” network services as well as in-home network (LAN) and entertainment applications require a level of functionality and performance that traditional residential and SOHO premises wiring can not provide.

Although higher performing business grade wiring systems, typically Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cat5 and above, have been used in many new homes and offices for some years, most homes have continued to install the much lower performing 2-wire system for telecommunications-based services. That choice of cabling structure will limit the ability of those occupying the home to access and enjoy future network as well as in-home entertainment and control applications.

Generic Cabling System Components


A typical installation may make use of a range of technologies and practices, including:

  • Cat 5e or higher UTP cable and RJ45 connectors, primarily for telephony and data, but also capable of supporting other services, such as audio and video, home control, etc;
  • For television requirements all RG6 cabling should be dual cable. RG6 coaxial cable and “F” connectors for TV baseband applications, including free to air services (i.e. Terrestrial broadcast & pay TV)For satellite TV, see Appendix No. 3;
  • Other types of cable for control systems for lighting, heating control and security, though these are not part of this code
  • Cabling to devices to provide Wireless services, such as WiFi and cordless telephones.

A Generic cabling system, a cabling system designed conforming to a set of rules providing support for multiple applications, is typically a system based high performance coax and 4-pair UTP cable wired in a star wiring configuration.

The performance characteristics of UTP cabling commonly used in residential and commercial communications applications is expressed by its design or UTP Category (Cat) rating, the most common being:

  1. Legacy < 2Mbps/sec telephone and control applications.
  2. Cat 3: performance to 16MHz to support 10Mbits/sec Ethernet networks.
  3. Cat 5e: performance to100MHz to support 1Gbits/sec Ethernet networks.
  4. Cat 6: performance to 250MHz to support 1Gbits/sec Ethernet.
  5. Cat 6a: performance to 500MHz to support 10Gbits/sec Ethernet.

Note: All cabling systems coax, fibre and Twisted Pair needs to be correctly installed and maintained if prescribed performance levels are to be realised over the installation’s planned life.


Fibre-to-the-Toaster (Telecommunication Outlets And Services To Every Room)


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