Q: What is the Healthcare Facility Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard (TIA-1179-A)?
A: It is a standard that among other things, identifies the recommended cable types for backbone and horizontal cabling in Healthcare facilities. For backbone cabling, the standard recommends Category 6A for copper and OM4 or OM5 multimode optical fibers for fiber optic cables. It also recommends singlemode optical fibers. Additionally, for copper backbone cabling, it states that Category 8 cable can be utilized to construct a Category 6A solution. This is likely due to the enhanced shielding that Category 8 cables employ. It utilizes individual pairs in foil. It is worth noting that although never considered a formal Category by the TIA, Category 7 and 7A cables have a similar design to Category 8 and are currently available from some manufacturers (Hitachi Cable America). Category 7 is tested to 600 MHz. Category 7A is tested to 1000 MHz and Category 8 is tested to 2000 MHz. For horizontal cabling, the recognized media types include copper Category 6A cabling. Again, Category 8 media is referenced as an option. For fiber, the recognized media types are OM4 or OM5 optical fiber and singlemode optical fiber.