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New Member

cat 5 vs cat 5e vs cat 6 cabling

one of our customers is getting ready to install a cisco IP Telephony solution and wants to know if cat 5 cable is "good enough" for the install. My thinking is that as long as the cable runs test out (with certified testing) to cat 5 standards, everything should be fine & they have no need to go to a newer cabling spec. Does anyone know of any links to testing info or comparisons that I can use to help the customer? My goal is to let them know that as long as they test the cabling out & verify it -- they don't need to rip it out & install new cabling (unless of course thats what they should do)...

New Member

Re: cat 5 vs cat 5e vs cat 6 cabling

Cat 5 is ok, for new installation cat5e, cat 6 is not fully standardized. Some cat 5 installations can be upgraded to e.


Re: cat 5 vs cat 5e vs cat 6 cabling

SInce the bulk of IP telephony is running over 10/100 Ethernet, Category 5 is sufficient. Most of the current GigE switches are spec'd and designed to run on Cat5 as well.

Cat5e: the "e" stands for "Enhanced" and refers to also conditioning the (usually) unsed pairs (pair 1@ pins 4&5 and pair 4@pins 7&8) for high-speed use - Gig E uses all four pair, and communicated in both directions concurrently on all pair. Anixter's Tech Library pages have some information that the enhanced Cat5 -MAY- amplify certain conditions on the cable that could conceivably degrade performance for 10/100.

Cat6 has been ratified (months ago). If the customer was doing new construction, then certainly, the newest stuff would (probably) be the way to go. Since they're likely to stay with 10/100 for a while, Cat 5 is fine - as well as the specified media-of-choice.

Anixter (the Tech Library), Belden, Avaya (formerly Lucent), Lutron, Leviton and pretty much any other cable vendor would have information regarding specs and suitability.

Good Luck