Category 5e (CAT5e) Cabling is on the way out for offices

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) cabling standards body has announced that Category 5e (CAT5e) cabling, installed in many office buildings throughout Melbourne will now be considered as obsolete for new installations.


The ISO/IEC 11801 standard was the first international standard set for cabling in commercial and industrial buildings. The ISO/IEC continues to develop, maintain and promote standards within the information technology and communications sectors. A significant change regarding how office buildings are cabled has been implemented, that is set to raise the minimum horizontal cabling requirement from Class D (CAT5e) to Class E (CAT6), with recommendations for Class EA (CAT6a), or better cabling. What this means for new office building installations is that CAT6 will now become the minimum requirement.


CAT5e cabling has been used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet and IP communications and has provided and continues to provide performance of up to 100 MHz. This was considered suitable for fast Ethernet and gigabit Ethernet, with the added ability to carry other signals such as video and telephony. Now, the 11801 standard includes additional cabling classes that have been introduced to enable support of up to 10 gigabits per second, with the addition of CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7 and CAT7A cabling.


CAT5 can not carry the speed of data that CAT6 or CAT7 cabling can. CAT6 can perform at up to 250 MHz and CAT7 up to 600 MHz, for ultra fast Ethernet. CAT7 also provides more durability and a longer life span than that of CAT5 and CAT6 cabling.


A full 20 years after its introduction as an international standard, ISO/IEC 11801 has lead the way for consistent implementation of voice and data cabling, worldwide. CAT5e is being phased out for it’s premium counterpart in all new electrical office fit-out installations. With wireless LAN infrastructure getting upgraded at a fast pace and LAN speed rapidly increasing to cope with user expectations and growth of smartphones, laptops and alike, it’s no wonder that demand has called for this change to provide users with faster, more efficient data capabilities.


Prolux Electrical Contractors have the knowledge and expertise to provide your building with the right solutions in data and communication, electrical building maintenance and office power upgrades across Melbourne. Call the Melbourne electrician with a difference today.