I'm currently in the process of having my newly built house wired with copper ethernet cables.

This setup is supposed to be "future-proof" to some extend (10-15 years) so I do intent to use 10 GbE in a couple of years.

I've had a look around the internet, including SE, but I did not find an answer to the following:

What kind of CAT6a cables to use for 10GbE ?

| Iso Name | Cable shielding | Pair shielding |
| U/UTP    | NONE            |  NONE          |
| U/FTP    | NONE            |  Foil          |
| S/UTP    | Braiding        |  NONE          | 
| F/FTP    | Foil            |  Foil          |  
| F/FTP    | Foil            |  Foil          |
| S/FTP    | Braiding        |  Foil          |
| SF/FTP   | Braidning, foil |  Foil          |

Some additional info:

  • We are talking about ~ 40 cables, the house is tiny so there are going to be a lot of cables next to each other in the (brick) walls, next to power lines, etc.

  • POE+ is going to be used for a couple of IP cameras.

  • All of them terminate on a switch panel in the cellar. Some of them are going outside, into the garden (underground). None should exceed 50m of length, I think.

  • I'm going to use a FLUKE LAN tester to make sure they have been installed properly.


Fiber is not an option, because I don't want to invest in completely new network equipment to handle fiber AND copper Ethernet.

Especially with things like POE+, etc. I would also have to look for new contractors.

  • Bit of googling explained the prefix at least: U = unshielded F = foil shielding S = braided shielding (outer layer only) – djsmiley2k Feb 15 '18 at 14:45
  • Is cost an issue? – mtak Feb 15 '18 at 14:46
  • @djsmiley2k I know what the prefixes mean, but what do they translate to in the real world ? would S/FTP be better then F/FTP ? – Robert Riedl Feb 15 '18 at 14:46
  • @mtak cost is not an issue (within reason) – Robert Riedl Feb 15 '18 at 14:47
  • 1
    Must-watch talk on this subject: m.youtube.com/watch?v=0xSA0ljsnjc - basically 10gig to the home is hard. – davidgo Feb 15 '18 at 18:22

Robert, I will try to address your question and also your comments. There are a lot of myths floating around on the internet regarding these category of cables, and I will try to dispel some of them. Also you are severely limiting good answers with this question in your unwillingness to install any fiber.

“I've had a look at patch panels and sockets - I did not find any that support S/FTP specifically. They are either for shielded or un-shielded cables, no matter if SUTP, FUTP, FFTP, etc. 10Gb-Base-T network equipment however, all seem to support shielding (again no difference between types of shielding). “

Answer: S/FTP and F/UTP Patch panels are readily available. You are not going to find them along side any retailer that's selling consumer grade network gear. Additionally, you may not find CAT-8 anything that's in your budget range. CAT-8 is being used in data-centers currently and isn't necessarily considered for consumers at this time. You can also terminate the drain wire to a grounded bus at each end of the cable if the equipment doesn't internally shield. https://www.blackbox.com/en-us/store/Detail.aspx/CAT7-Patch-Panel---1U-24-Port/JPM10GF24

Regarding speeds I want to run - well let me preface with: I don't want to replace the cabling for a long time. So 10Gb/s is in focus, because that's now the standard for 6a and it is in a reasonable price range right now - switched, for a reduced number of ports. But there is no limit for me personally. I'd rather not replace the whole cabling, rather upgrade the network equipment over the years/decades and who is to say that maybe in 10, 15 or more years it will be possible to use 6a for higher rates, say 25 Gb/s or 40 Gb/s ? Cat 5e is even said to be able to handle 10Gb/s on short runs

Answer: if you don't want to replace you're cable for a long time then install (CAT-8 class 1) it still uses RJ-45, not a cabling standard from ten years ago.(2008 - Cat 6A standards – ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-10) the speeds to come are determined by the bandwidth of the cable, and it most likely will not be supporting higher speeds. Just like everyone had to move to CAT5e from CAT-5 to support 1Gbps. Whoever said cat-5e can handle 10Gbps has a fundamental misunderstanding of copper telecommunications practices. Even if a link was negotiated at both sides for 10g it wouldn't come close to that actual throughput. (this can be verified with a fluke networks cable analyzer.)

Cat7 to Cat 8 is actually bad advice, in my opinion. It is not readily available, and incredibly expensive at the moment. Additionally, it is not fully certified: ISO might certify it as inter-operable with SFTP Cat7A cables, so it might be a waste of money. However, in a kind of vice-versa twist, Cat7A is not certified by ANSI/TIA-568. Additionally, they are only certified for 40 Gb/s at ~30m max. Then there is the connector that is used with Cat7 onwards: GG45.

Answer: You are confusing category of cable with class of cable, in 2016, the IEEE 802.3bq working group ratified the amendment 3 which defines 25Gbase-T and 40gbase-T on Category 8 cabling specified to 2000 MHz. (ANSI/TIA 568-C.2-1 ) While it is true that these speeds have strict limitations on distance (you didn't tell us the length of your home end to end.) if your new home is farther then the apx 90ft limitations you would install the desired cabling on the two half's of the house that do meet the requirement, and use a fiber solution to connect the two distribution ends. Forget CAT-7 (Class F Augmented) , no one jumped on the bandwagon. And as a result it will most likely go the way of the beta-max. Category 8 connectors use the 8-pin modular (RJ45) connector, and are fully backward compatible with previous categories. Category 8 cabling can support data speeds of 10Gbps and lower at a full 100m (328’) Channel configuration. All of the cabling types are readily available, they may just not fit into your project budget. There is also an ISO Category 8.2 (Class II system) under development. It’s based on the Category 7A system specified in ISO 11801 2nd edition. Various connectors may be used for a Class II system; it is not clear whether a choice will be made to select a single connector. Backward compatibility with RJ45 is not assured, and would most likely require a hybrid patch cord. I would personally lean on replacing wall outlets and connectors rather than tearing my homes dry-wall apart to re-run All of my cabling.

"TIA and ISO standards provide one additional step for the grounding of screened and shielded cabling systems. Specifically, clause 4.6 of ANSI/TIA-568-B.1 and clause 11.3 of ISO/IEC 11801:2002 state that the cable shield shall be bonded to the TGB in the telecommunications room, and that grounding at the work area may be accomplished through the equipment power connection."

Additionally, don't have electricians install this. if its not terminated and grounded properly you may as well put Cat-5 in the walls. go with someone who knows how to terminate CAT-6A and above, and has a cable analyzer to test and prove the installation afterwards. Someone BICSI certified can handle this, but needs to have adequate experience and knowledge of telecom grounding (ANSI-J-STD-607-A-2002).

With all this being said there is a very good white paper on the subject published by Valerie Rybinski titled: “Screened and Shielded Cabling: Noise Immunity, Grounding, and the Antenna Myth.”

further, it has been converted into laymen terms by numerous articles and cabling authors. Before reading it, i would recommend you take a refresher on these terms:

Common-mode vs. differential-mode, Ground loops, Signal to noise, Shannon capacity

The myths and realities of shielded, screened cabling

i hope this helps you in your future-proofing, if i missed anything that anyone notices. please let me know. i will update the answer.










  • really, SUTP or FUTP is enough ? No shielding of the pairs to limit crosstalk ? – Robert Riedl Feb 19 '18 at 15:29
  • I mentioned shielded pair in the answer. – Tim_Stewart Feb 19 '18 at 15:54
  • You must mean alien cross-talk, crosstalk is a thing of the past. That was pair to pair interference, and Was solved in the cat-5 twisted pair days. FUTP (Category 6A/class EA) The foil surrounding the cable and the shielded construction of the connecting hardware virtually eliminates alien crosstalk S/FTP (class FA) The braid and individual foils surrounding the cable and cable pairs and the shielded construction of the connecting hardware eliminates alien crosstalk. – Tim_Stewart Feb 19 '18 at 16:12
  • I've had a look at patch panels and sockets - I did not find any that support S/FTP specifiacally. They are either for shielded or unshielded cables, no matter if SUTP, FUTP, FFTP, etc. 10Gb-Base-T network equipment however, all seem to support shielding (again no difference between types of shielding). – Robert Riedl Feb 21 '18 at 9:42

First statement : Look in your local library / city hall for building codes. There's good practices built right into the rules, and you will have the added benefit of obeying the law :) .

Hard Conduit is very important. A data cable put into the garden (underground) up 50m length needs a hard conduit to provide additional protection from rain, pooling water, burrowing pests, digging dogs and children, digging workmen, digging gardeners, etc. Don't expose any of it to potential lawnmowers, shovels, water from precipitation, weight from snow, weight from vehicles passing over, etc.

Don't forget a pull string.

You have some alternatives for choice of conduit material. PVC pipe is an option. Stainless steel pipe is an option, as long as it's grounded outside your house, and you're using Shielded Twisted Pair grounded inside your house. Beware the weight of vehicles passing over.

Since your switch is in the basement, consider boring a hole in the basement wall (concrete I hope) at the depth of the trench you will bury the conduit in. Remember to measure inside and out relative to a known level, like the ground surface. When you start trenching, be consistent in the depth that you lay the conduit. Roots and rocks will mess up the process - plan for them.

If any of the cable run is above ground, consider rain and pests entering the conduit. If you're going underground from building to building, then consider going basement to basement.

There is some disagreement about whether lightning can enter your home through this cable. Electrical cabling installed professionally is grounded according to local codes, so consider looking those up to see appropriate methods.

  • Good to know regarding lightning myth, editing my answer. @Tim_Stewart , please consider adding an answer with some examples of hardened cable types. My experience is that conduit makes it harder for people with shovels to break your cable, and also if you leave a pull string, you can easily add another cable inside the conduit in the future. – Christopher Hostage Feb 21 '18 at 22:33
  • Yes, it's called "direct burial" rated cable.cmple.com/amp/learn/… – Tim_Stewart Feb 21 '18 at 23:37

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