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  CommServ > Infrastructure > Standards > History > Wiring Standards Overview
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Intended Purpose

The purpose of this document is to define a common set of standards that will guide the staffs of UCSB campus departments and their contractors in the  installation, maintenance, and upgrading of communications wiring. A commonly defined set of standards is necessary considering the key role that communications networks will have in the future of the University of California, and in all universities and colleges. The standards proposed herein apply to all forms of electronic communications, including voice, data, and video.

On the UCSB campus, standards for wiring and communications have developed as a result of external agents (the telephone company), the administrative departments (Communications Services and the Computer Center), and by initiatives of individual departments with research and instructional interests in communications (Electrical Engineering, Geography, etc.). Each of these agencies developed standards appropriate to the resources and goals of their organizations. For a number of years, the organizations operated independently with minimal need for inter-connections. The development of campus-wide interests in computing, shared applications, data storage, CPU cycles, and communications caused the issue of inter-connectivity to rise in interest and necessity.

In recent years, the need for data communications in all departments has given impetus to specialists within departments who could design and build communications networks to meet their needs. Continued experience coupled with the development of lower cost national standards and equipment, and a low-cost pool of student labor, has resulted in multiple agencies on campus having the tools or resources necessary to provide communications wiring.

Over the last two years, Communications Services has worked with several of these agencies to share experience, tools, and space in order to meet campus needs for departmental network communications. College-wide implementation of networks occurs in the College of Engineering and the College of Letters and Science, and the expertise within these groups is often available to smaller departments to meet their needs.

The combination of multiple wiring configurations and many varied network providers has made necessary the development of common standards. As the campus looks towards a common communications network to meet its programmatic needs in the present and future, the agencies responsible for wiring and local networking recognize the need to build a wired and networked environment that serves all campus users in common. It is particularly important to recognize that as departments expand or shrink, and are physically re-located on the campus, assurance must be provided that the same communications utility will be available wherever they are located.

The informal and formal agreements reached by multiple campus groups in providing networks for individual departments must now be replaced by binding standards that ensure that the campus resources are used efficiently and work towards meeting the campus goals and objectives. Concurrent with departmental movement towards campus standards, national committees have completed work on such documents as the EIA/TIA-568 Commercial Building Telecommunications Wiring Standard, which can be used as the basis for a campus standard.

In June of 1997, a campus sub-committee reviewed this standards document and made recommendations for multiple changes. During the subsequent years, many of these changes were implemented in the new construction and major renovations contracts issued by the campus. Due to heavy workload of staff, and the need to specify and evaluate the hardware required under the 1997 recommendations, the formal revision of the standards document reflecting these recommendations did not take place until early 2000.

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Intended Audience

This document will be circulated on campus to people responsible for departmental networking, funding of campus communications, and those responsible for the definition and accomplishment of the campus long-range communications network goals and objectives. This document is intended to serve as a basis for discussions which will lead to the implementation of formal standards.

The Campus Standards, having been adopted by the appropriate campus committees and officers, now serves as the primary specification for new building design and construction and major renovation projects. Communications Services implements only these wiring standards and all departments and units are encouraged to implement during internal wiring replacement and expansion projects.

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Intended Time Span

The proposed standards recognize the "installed base" of existing network wiring on campus and seek to establish a migration path to the new campus standards as re-modeling and expansion projects take place in campus facilities. The standards presume the need for flexibility in implementation, and that inter-connectivity and compatibility is more important than absolute conformance.

Any standard is time-limited in that it will assuredly be modified or replaced as technology, needs, funding, and goals change. We anticipate, however, that the wiring standards contained within this document will continue to be valid for a period of at least five (5) years through 1998. Moreover, the complete infrastructure proposed herein is designed to be upgraded and replaceable incrementally as individual departments take the lead in exploring new technologies that will eventually require new standards.


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Last modified: 10/19/2007