Category 6 Cable FAQ
   OMS Cabling System FAQ  
  FAQ- Category 6 Cable And Cabling System FAQ  

Note: The following FAQs were developed by the Category 6 Consortium. The Category 6 Consortium is an emerging working group whose mission is to create market and industry awareness - as well as demand - for cabling systems and components based on TIA's new category 6 cable standard, TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1. To learn more about the Category 6 Consortium and to participate, please contact Andy Dryden at (703) 907-7702 or email

Q1: Why do I need all the bandwidth of category 6 cable? As far as I know, there is no application today that requires 200 MHz of bandwidth.

Q2: What is the general difference between category 5e and category 6?

Q3: Will category 6 supersede category 5e?

Q4: What does category 6 do for my current network vs. category 5e?

Q5: When should I recommend or install category 6 vs. category 5e?

Q6: What is the shortest link that the standard will allow?

Q7: What is a "tuned" system between cable and hardware? Is this really needed if product meets the standard?

Q8: What is impedance matching between cable and hardware? Is this really needed if product meets the standard?

Q9: Is there any application for CAT6 bulk cable in the residential market?

Q10: Why wouldn't I skip category 6 and go straight to optical fiber?

Q11: What is meant by the term "Electrically Balanced"?

Q12: What is the difference between enhanced category 5e cable rated for 400 MHz and category 6 cable rated for 250 MHz?

Q13: Why did all CAT 6 cable used to have a spine, and now is offered without one?

Q14: Will contractors be able to make their own patch cords?

Q15: Do you have to use the manufacturer's patch cords to get category 6 performance?

Q16: Why do field tester manufacturers offer many different link adapters if everyone meets the standard?

Q17: Would you get passing test results if you used a link adapter not recommended by a manufacturer?

Q18: Is there any product categorization for Category 5e cabling and Category 6 cabling?

Q19: Are the connectors for Category 5e cable and Category 6 cable different? Why are they more expensive?

Q20: What will happen if I mix and match different manufacturers' hardware together?