The Truth about Twisted Pair Patch Cords

October 24, 2011 / General

Non compliant cabling products have been the subject of magazine articles, discussions at conferences, publicized lawsuits, and government agency investigations during the last few years.

In an article published by Cabling Installation and Maintenance, Randy Mortensen, vice president of marketing for enterprise cabling solutions at Anixter was asked about the issue of non compliant product and said, "...It's an unfortunate fact of life that we have to guard ourselves and our customers from substandard or counterfeit offshore product, but that is the world we live in today..."

Much of the attention has focused on the products of so called “offshore” companies who produce low cost cable and patch cords in developing countries. In December of 2010, a trade association called the communications cable and connectivity association (CCCA) issued a press release to share the results of a study involving  “large-scale, electrical performance testing of Category 6 copper patch cords.” The CCCA study produced test results showing  “an 85% failure rate in patch cords produced offshore by companies who are largely unknown in North America.” This was contrasted in the report by a  second, sample set of Category 6 copper patch cords produced by multiple, “well-recognized manufacturers “ which showed 0% failure rate.  I spoke with Frank Peri, the Executive Director of the CCCA on the telephone recently. He reiterated that the issue is a lack of testing, quality, and rigor around cabling standards not the physical location of the manufacturer.

Such an unprecidented interest in testing patch cords caught my attention and I began to put some material together to answer some of the questions coming in about patch cord testing. And I did some of my own testing to confirm what I was hearing. I'll share some of my findings in another blog.