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  CommServ > Infrastructure > Standards > History > Installation Procedures
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Individual departments or larger administrative units intending to provide wiring and network services should prepare a training guide for students, staff or contractors working on their behalf and in their campus facilities. The guide should also contain a review of safety issues with references to applicable state and federal codes and University regulations. This procedure may be prepared in common with other campus agencies, but the individual departments shall retain full responsibility for maintenance of the standards and for training procedures for all employees who perform installations.

This guide should include, but not be limited to, the following elements

  1. Notice of all applicable federal, state, and local codes applicable to wiring installation, maintenance and repair of wiring systems within buildings.
  2. Notice of campus agencies responsible for implementation and maintenance of the applicable codes, including, but not limited to Facilities Management, Environmental Health and Safety, and Communications Services.
  3. The standards used by the campus and department for network wiring and attachment.
  4. An installation practices section defining procedures and safety issues to be considered when entering ceilings, walls, and building utility closets and rooms.
  5. Names and phone numbers of the individuals within the department responsible for communications and safety.

NOTE: Much of the above information will be common to all departments and can be generated or copied from existing documents.

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Safety Issues

All University employees and contractors are subject to compliance with the applicable codes and regulations governing installation and safety issues defined below. In addition, the campus designates particular campus agencies to be the point of application and interpretation for local, state and federal laws. All practices for wiring should be written, reviewed, and maintained by departments and are subject to review by the appropriate campus agency.

Cable installation in University facilities, without exception, requires observance of designated areas of responsibility by Facilities Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Communications Services, and the department seeking the installation. The following specific items are for reference only and are not an inclusive statement of obligations. Departments intending to provide wiring MUST consult each of the campus service departments responsible for the campus's conformance with codes and safety regulations prior to installation.

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Installation Practices

It is recommended that the standardized installation practices manuals of the Building Industry Council (BIC) and General Telephone and Electronics of California (GTE California) serve as the basis for all wiring installation practices. These manuals define set-up, placement, aesthetic, safety, and operational requirements for cable placement and have been developed and are maintained in compliance with current California and federal regulations. Copies of these manuals are available in Communications Services or may be ordered from the addresses provided in the Sources for Industry Standards appended to this document.

The National Electric Code (NEC) current version 1999 contains practices for installation of communications cabling. These practices shall be followed in lieu of specific alternatives or directions in the campus standards as interpreted by the campus fire marshall who shall retain the final authority for NEC practices on this campus.

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Based on the wiring and termination standards proposed in this document, new wiring, whether in new buildings or as replacement or augmentation within existing buildings, must conform to both voice and data needs as defined herein. The campus delegates responsibility to local departments for the maintenance and operation of intra-department communications. Campus space is a continuously re-assignable resource and, therefore, the communications wiring must be installed according to common standards which will allow departments to re-locate from one campus space to another with the expectation that their respective network and communications systems will continue to operate over existing wiring systems within their new space.

Maintenance of common design and documentation standards for departmental communications wiring will provide the following benefits:

  1. Compatibility between departmental LAN network components.
  2. Compatibility of departmental telephone systems, including single line and digital key systems.
  3. A wider pool of maintenance support, from on-campus and off-campus vendors.
  4. Ability to specify, and install, augmentations to a departmental wiring system.
  5. Reduced costs in re-locating departments within campus facilities.
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Code Requirements

All campus agencies and employees are responsible for adherence to applicable wiring and construction standards defined in the current National Electrical Code (1999 Revision). Application of the code's requirements may be subject to interpretation by designated campus agencies, including Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities Management. Entrance into ceiling areas or any electrical or communications closet or room may require the prior notification and approval of Facilities Management and/or Communications Services.

The campus has re-stated the requirements for all departments to conform to Building and Fire Code requirements, and local, state and federal agency regulations. (December 29, 1999 memo to Dean, Directors, Department Heads, and MSO’s from Jack Woolever, Campus Building Official.

Applicable NEC Codes

The National Electric Code, current edition (NEC 1992), is binding on this campus. Interpretation and application of the Code is the responsibility of the campus Fire Marshall. All procedures, practices and materials covered by NEC regulations, are subject to review and interpretation by the campus Fire Marshall.

The campus has re-stated the requirements for all departments to conform to Building and Fire Code requirements, and local, state and federal agency regulations. (December 29, 1999, memo to Dean, Directors, Department Heads, and MSOs from Jack Woolever, Campus Building Official.)


The placement of cabling into any ceiling or room which may contain asbestos, such as electrical rooms, ceilings, heating and boiler rooms, acoustic tile and floor tile, is subject to the prior review, testing and judgment of the asbestos abatement manager within Facilities Management.

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Physical Security Issues

Communications security issues are the sole responsibility of the departments and agencies using the wiring, circuits, and facilities referenced and/or defined in this document. The following items suggest physical considerations relevant to maintenance of reliable communications which should be considered during wiring design and installation activities.

Cable and Wall Plate Physical Vulnerability

Placement of cable within walls and location of termination wall plates should be made after determination of the total continuous linear wall space which could be served by the wall plate with a reasonable length of attached jumper cable. The effective service area of a wall plate does NOT, for example, include wall space on the opposite side of a doorway. As a general rule, "continuous space" for location of wall plates is defined as the wall upon which a plate is installed, and a second, immediately adjacent wall adjoining at right angles without intervening doorway or floor-level obstruction (e.g. cabinets, heaters).

The use of flexible, twisted pair modularized cables for workstation attachment minimizes the possibility of crushed connectors or crimped cables. This may also allow furniture to be moved in front of a wall plate with the cable attachment remaining in place.

Connectors within wall plates should be recessed female attachments. Male connectors which extend beyond the surface of the wall plate are vulnerable to physical damage.

Noise and Magnetic Field Vulnerability

Cables terminated on wall plates should be contained within a metal electrical box which is secured to the wooden or metal studs within the wall. Plastic insert boxes or insert rings with pressure mounts are NOT acceptable for secure attachments. In addition to damaging the wall proper, such inserts can create "pressure" or "saw" points on cables terminated on the supported wall plates. A metal housing surrounding the screw or slot attachments of wires to jacks also provides additional protection against electrical interference or noise.

Terminal Accessibility

Cable termination systems within sub-terminals must provide termination of ALL cables entering the backboard area. Such termination must be uniform for the function (workstation, trunking, etc.) of the cable. Labeling and documentation of each terminal block and patch panel is essential. The possibility of deliberate tampering or interference with a network is minor compared to the possibility of accidental interference facilitated by poor or incomplete labeling, missing documentation, unterminated cables, or inconsistent termination standards.

Responsibility for sub-terminals should be assigned to a single point of contact in each department served by the sub-terminal, if equipment or patch capability for department workstations or local area networks (LANs) is present in the closet. Communications Services will continue to have access for support of intra- and inter-building cabling.

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Acceptance Testing


Testing of communications wiring shall be done at the time of installation, or as certification of new attachments to existing wiring. Standard testing shall be made according to industry performance requirement standards for 10BaseT signaling. Signal loss (-dB) measurement shall be determined for the maximum distance workstation-to-sub-terminal cable. In those locations where Category 5 signal delivery is to be used, specific testing for Category 5 performance levels shall be done.


See Sample Testing Acceptance Procedure.


All cabling segments shall be assigned ratings as defined by tested performance to existing industry standards. All cable shall be rated according to demonstrated (experienced) performance with one or more of the following standards:

  1. Categories 1 and 2 (Telephone company or ISDN grade)
  2. Category 3 (up to 10 Mbps - 10BaseT)
  3. Category 5 (up to 100 Mbps - CDDI)
  4. Category 5e (up to 150 Mbps – ATM)

The purpose of these ratings is to provide a industry-standard definition of the voice and data network performance capabilities of existing cable.

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Standards Reference

It is proposed that all wiring be defined and subsequently cataloged according to physical description AND the standards for which, or under which, it was originally installed for attachment. For example, cable installed during the 1991-1992 Letters and Science twisted pair Ethernet project should be rated, and referenced, according to its installation and performance according to EIA/TIA 568 specifications, presumably Category 3. The presence of such a reference would indicate that the particular cable meets or exceeds the performance specifications of the standard.

Documentation Central Depository

Copies of all wiring documentation shall be provided and stored electronically in a common format and location. Documentation in this system shall be required for wiring only and NOT for system software addresses or configuration. Documentation information to be provided and stored shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Unique wire number.
  2. Sub-Terminal room number (wiring hub or patch panel location).
  3. Room number for workstation outlet of each unique wire number.
  4. Wire type (number of pairs, gauge, NEC rating, and manufacturer and part number)
  5. EIA Category rating (1 - 5)
  6. Termination (e.g., RJ plug, office and 66 terminal and block)
  7. Year of installation (if known)
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Maintainability and Documentation

Maintainability means the ability to repair, troubleshoot, attach or augment existing communications wiring and termination facilities. Several factors enhance maintainability, including:

  1. Documented guidelines for termination facilities and attachment of wiring to those facilities.
  2. Coherent, industry accepted standards for wiring and attachment.
  3. Reliable and consistent documentation and labeling of all cabling and termination equipment.
  4. External paper or computer file documentation and records of wiring and terminals.
  5. Access to documentation.
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Transfer of Responsibility

Responsibility for assignment and usage of station wiring in a given set of rooms, and for the wiring documentation related to these same rooms, shall be transferred to any new occupants of the space.


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Last modified: 10/19/2007