Recent FCC Ruling Makes 'Quad' Phone Wiring Obsolete

February 9, 2001


ATLANTA, GA— As of July 2000, the use of old-style, four-conductor "quad" telephone and communications wiring is no longer permitted for residential or commercial installations, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC ruling, which specifies Category 3 or better inside wiring for all new and retrofit installations, was developed to ensure that homes and businesses are adequately prepared for the demands of voice, video and data transmissions, now and into the future.

"This new standard will benefit consumers as carriers deploy broadband services that are more demanding than traditional voice telecommunications," says William T. Black, Copper Development Association (CDA) vice president for wire and cable. However, he adds that the process leading to publication of the new standard began more than five years ago, and improvements in Category-type wiring are already available.

"Installers, builders, home remodelers and consumers should note that the new FCC rule specifies Category 3 or better," says Black. "The emphasis should be on better. Today, Category 5 and 5E copper communications wiring are the recognized standard for broadband services."

According to Black, "The more advanced cables have six times the information-carrying capacity of Category 3, providing a comfortable cushion for the future at little additional cost. They provide considerably greater capacity and speed than presently needed for such high-speed Internet services as DSL and cable modems."

For more information on telecommunications infrastructure wiring, log on to the Copper Development Association's Telecom Section, or call CDA in New York City at (212) 251-7200.