In the planning stages of a new school construction project. What is the current recommended wiring standard for this type of communication A/V heavy structure? Assuming it is Cat 6A, and all structures are wired with shielded FTP cabling, and terminated with cat6A patch panels and wall ports.

Current switches and network cards in the computers are cat5e 10/100/1000 mbps ports. Will the existing cat5e patch cords work? If not, will cat6A patch cords plug into cat5e machine ports on one end and cat 6A wall outlets and patch panels on the other end?

I have seen a few articles talking about cat 7 and cat 8 wiring? Should we be looking at those to future proof the network? IF so the above question would still apply.


The signal will be fine running over cat6A or cat5e. The order of pairs and interface (RJ45 or 110 punch) are identical for both cables. The only real differences are in how the twisted pairs are arranged inside the cable for the purpose of carrying the signal. Cat5e is capable of 1Gb, but is less resistant to interference, length of run and sharp bends/damage. The signal that runs over the cable is also identical. There is no real discernible difference between cat5e and cat6A jacks and patch panels except that they MAY be made with slightly different grade materials (depends greatly on the manufacturer). Mostly it is just marketing when it comes to the structural interfaces.

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