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Panduit's 5 Reasons to Switch to Category 6A

by Paige Looney on April 1, 2015


Guest Blog Post by Frank Straka, Panduit Product Manager

Today, all indicators point to Category 6A cabling as the cable of choice for your network infrastructure. Price, quality, performance – these should all be considered in making a decision.

Five Reasons for Installing Category 6A in the Enterprise:

1. Category 6A supports all data rates up to and including 10GBASE-T

  • Category 6A ensures that your installation will be future proofed to run all data rates up to and including 10 gigabits per second.
  • Businesses today rely on data-heavy applications like video, wireless, desktop virtualization, and others, making it critical to have a network infrastructure that will support these and future applications.

2. Speeds like 10GBASE-T will soon become common

  • Expect common low-cost, mass-market switches to require Category 6A cable by 2016.
  • Industry forecasts predict that 10GBASE-T will be the norm in the very near future.

3. Wireless access point speeds are accelerating

  • The growing demands of mobile devices are consuming bandwidth and driving the need for greater bandwidth. 
  • Today’s high end wireless access points can operate around 1.2 to 2.6 Gbps; by 2017, 7 Gbps WAPs are expected, which will require 10GBASE-T, delivered via Category 6A infrastructure.

4. No bundle limits for applications like HDBaseT or higher Power over Ethernet (PoE++)

  • HDBaseT places bundle limitations on Category 5e and 6 due to alien crosstalk; but since Category 6A is designed to suppress alien crosstalk, there are no limitations on bundling with Category 6A.
  • Category 6A cables also naturally dissipate heat better, which makes them perfect to manage the upcoming 802.3bt PoE++ standards which will deliver both 49W and 96W of power to end devices.
  • Due to the higher 96W power running on multiple cables in a bundle, Category 5e and 6 bundle sizes will be limited. Category 6A cables will not. 

5. 10GBASE-T is the low-cost 10 Gigabit option

  • When comparing prices per gigabit, 10GBASE-T is much less expensive than 1000BASE-T.
  • This is driven by increasing switch volumes (which are driving down prices) and the introduction of more LAN on Motherboard (LOMservers with “free” RJ45 connectivity.

Now is the right time to invest in a Category 6A infrastructure to run 10GBASE-T. Visit Panduit's page to learn more about Category 6A Cables or contact your local Accu-Tech representative today! 


Frank Straka is a product manager in charge of copper at Panduit.  Frank is active in the TIA TR42.7 standards group, which is developing new standards to support new applications like 100W PoE++ and 25/40GBASE-T.  He holds 20 patents in copper connectivity and cable design.  Frank has spoken at multiple conferences such as BICSI, IWCS, and the Ethernet Summit on new copper developments. FrankStraka

Topics: Cat 6A Panduit cabbling category 6a

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