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The first Category 6A cabling systems were introduced in 2004 and are now standard used for high-end 10GBASE-T applications. That’s for Gigabit Plus Speeds, which all WIFI 6 Access Points can support.

6A Cabling

Although PoE and 5GBASE-T technologies can work on standard Category 5e and 6 cabling, their performance may be affected by the density of applications and the arrangement of cable bundles.
Performance of PoE and 5GBASE-T technologies will vary depending on the type of devices (example Cameras and some Access Points can draw more 60 Watts they support and the density of the networks they are deployed in. While it is possible to extend the longevity of your network by installing multi-gigabits over existing cabling, it is also important to consider the category 6A cabling for optimal performance and heat containment.

Here is a quick table that can be useful:

  • IEEE 802.3bt PoE Type 1 (15.4 Watts) formerly 802.3af
  • IEEE 802.3bt PoE Type 2 (30 Watts) formerly 802.3at
  • IEEE 802.3bt PoE Type 3 (60 Watts)
  • IEEE 802.3bt PoE Type 4 (90 Watts)
  • Cisco UPoE (60 Watts)
  • Cisco UPoE+ (90 Watts)
  • Power over HDBaseT™ PoH (95 Watts)

While the 802.3at standard provided sufficient current and power levels for four-pair PoE, the evolution to 802.3bt would allow more power to be delivered without sacrificing performance.

For the new standard, the target ranges were set at Type 3 and 4. The former allows for up to 60 watts and 0.3amperes per conductor, while the latter allows for up to 90 watts and 0.58 amperes per conductor.

In November 2002, engineers from CommScope and Solarflare Communications introduced the first steps toward what would become the IEEE 802.3an-200610GBASE-T standard. The concept of 10GBASE-T was based on the idea of mitigating the various impairments that would occur when carrying out various tasks such as insertion loss and echo cancellation.

Due to these main factors, the evolution of Category 6A was not much different from that of its predecessor. One reason is that it offers better performance in bundled situations, while the other is that it has lower cable losses.
IEEE 802.3at was also being developed to address the issue of heat loss when multiple cables are carrying power. Like 10GBASE-T, PoE Plus was also concerned with the effects of bundled cabling.
Due to the properties of the crosstalk coupling and the heating bundles in PoE, Category 6A has superior, repeatable performance. This is also due to its larger conductor sizes.
It has been known that double the current-carrying conductors in a cable increases the heating factor by a factor of 1.4. This issue was studied thoroughly in the preparation of the 2017 edition of the US National Electric Code.
While amperes per conductor are commonly used in Type 3 and Type 2 cables, they were not found to be within the heating assumptions for cables with 24 AWG conductors. To achieve higher power levels, larger conductor sizes are required.
To summarize, a new cable installation should support both the applications that are initially running and the ones that may require support for the next decade or so. For example, if you are looking for a cable that can support up to 1 Gbps of crosstalk performance, then consider Category 6A.
We are seeing increase standards in Wifi including the up and coming use of 6gz for WIFI 6e. Building with eTribeca a sound design and utilizing cable as detailed here will give you at least one to three more product refreshes over time.
Important Reminder: Always leave a service loop on your Access Point installation at least 15-20 feet or more. This gives the options to move around the WIFI Access Points without the need for a fresh full run of cable.

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