Current Cabling Standards

There are 4 main standards bodies:

TIA Logo

American National Standards Institute/Telecommunications Industry Association (ANSI/TIA)

The TIA are responsible for the ANSI/TIA-568-C series of standards:

                ANSI/TIA-568.0-D             Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises
                ANSI/TIA-568.1-D             Commercial building Telecommunications Cabling Standard
                ANSI/TIA-568-C.2             Balanced Twisted Pair Telecommunications Cabling and Components
                ANSI/TIA-568-C.3             Optical Fibre Cable Components Standards
                ANSI/TIA-568-C.4             Coaxial and Broadband Components
(Note the change in format with revision D where the sub-section designation number now comes before the revision designation letter. This revised format will be rolled out across all sub-sections as new revisions are produced.)


ISO Logo


International Standards Organisation/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC)

ISO/IEC produce the ISO/IEC 11801 series of standards, which are similar to the TIA-568-C series but not the same. In general, the requirements of ISO/IEC 11801 are more stringent than those of TIA-568-C. The current ISO/IEC document is:

ISO/IEC 11801:2010         Information technology — Generic cabling for customer premises
ISO/IEC 11801 Edition 3 is currently in production and will be broken down into different sections:
                ISO/IEC 11801-1                Generic Cabling Requirements
                ISO/IEC 11801-2                Commercial Premises
                ISO/IEC 11801-3                Industrial Premises
                ISO/IEC 11801-4                Homes
                ISO/IEC 11801-5                Data Centres
                ISO/IEC 11801-6                Distributed Buildings


CENELEC Logo       


European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC)

CENELEC produce the EN50173 series of standards that are, to all intents and purposes, a direct equivalent to the ISO/IEC 11801 series.

EN50173               Information Technology – Generic Cabling Systems
                EN 50173-1:2011                            General Requirements
                EN 50173-2:2007 + A1:2010          Office Premises
                EN 50173-3:2007 + A1:2010          Industrial Premises
                EN 50173-4:2007 + A1:2010          Homes
                EN 50173-5:2007 + A1:2010          Data Centres
                EN 50173-6 (in production)              Distributed Building Services

CENELEC also produce the EN50174 series of standards that are concerned with the way in which cabling systems are designed and installed:

                EN 50174-1:2009 + A2:2014          Specification & Quality Assurance
                EN 50174-2:2009 + A2:2014          Installation planning & practices inside buildings
                EN 50174-3:2013                            Installation planning & practices outside buildings
Another relevant CENELEC standard is:
                EN 50310:2010                               Application of equipotential bonding and earthing in buildings
                                                                       with information technology equipment


BSI Logo    

British Standards Institute (BSI)

BSI adopts all CENELEC standards and prefix them with their authority code, i.e. EN 50174-1:2009 + A1:2011 becomes BS EN 50174-1:2009 + A1:2011

BSI also produces its own national standards
                BS 6701:2010                      Telecommunications equipment and telecommunications cabling.
                                                            Specification for installation, operation and maintenance
                BS 7671:2008 + A3:2015    Requirements for Electrical Installations. IET Wiring Regulations
                                                             (17th Edition)

BS 6701:2010 states: All telecommunications cabling and telecommunications equipment shall meet all the requirements of the BS EN 50174 series of standards. This relates to both owners of premises (Clause 4) and installers of telecommunications cabling and telecommunications equipment (Clause 5). The important word here is ‘shall’ as this is prescriptive and, as such, a legal requirement.


As can be seen from above, there are many different standards relating to the design, installation and testing of structured cabling solutions. When writing a specification document it is not acceptable to simply list all of the standards and state that the completed installation shall comply with them all. It would only be possible to guarantee compliance with all of the standards by testing to them all, something that is not practical or cost effective.


Maxxam recommends adherence to the BS EN 50173 and BS EN 50174 series of standards, together with the relevant parts of BS 6701 and BS 7671 to ensure a fully compliant installation that conforms to UK legal requirements. It is the responsibility of the installer to ensure that their practices are in accordance with the latest published editions of the relevant standards.

(All standards are correct as of July 2016)