Home Builders Should Use Best Communications Wiring Available

February 8, 2002


Homeowners Now Demanding "Most Advanced" Wiring Technology

NEW YORK, NY— Today's homebuyers expect their new homes to accommodate multiple phone lines, Internet service, home networking, video distribution and entertainment services, data and security services, home offices and a variety of other high technology digital applications.

Ordinary telephone wiring can't handle today's rapidly expanding communications needs. Low-cost, high-tech copper communications wiring (Category 5 or better) is faster and more reliable than ordinary phone wiring. Properly installed Cat 5 wiring can readily handle data transmission rates ample for the home, in the range of 100-Mbps (100 megabits per second). According to the Copper Development Association, Cat 5 or better wiring should serve every room in the modern home. It's needed to carry voice, data and other services from where they enter the house to every room, and from any one room to any other.

Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) copper communications wiring-often called structured wiring-is used today for offices, schools and factories to create local area networks (LANs), which allow computers to talk to one another and to receive and send Internet and high-speed computer data. Homeowners are increasingly demanding similar data transmission capabilities in new homes and retrofitted homes.

According to the CDA, standards are important in the telecommunications and electronics industries. However, because of the fast moving nature of these industries the marketplace usually runs well ahead of the standards-setting process. In all cases, CDA recommends using the best cable available, at least Category 5 or 5e (enhanced) wiring for homes and home offices.

Ordinary, old-style phone wiring, often referred to as "quad" wiring because it has four copper wires, is now obsolete. In fact, the FCC ruling that became effective in July 2000 requires the installation of Category 3 or better communications wiring in all new or retrofit home and commercial installations.

Many CDA publications on communications wiring, as well as electrical wiring, plumbing tube and other copper-related subjects, are available online and can be downloaded at no cost from our Publications section.

For more information or to order copies of the brochure, call: 800-CDA-DATA (800-232-3282).