Communications Wiring Report Card

January 11, 2006


ORLANDO, FL— Recognizing that many homebuyers are not experts in communications wiring, the Copper Development Association has developed a blank "report card" to help them get the wiring they need for today's - and tomorrow's - communications requirements when shopping for a new home.

Modeled on the traditional elementary school report card, the form is easy to use and understand. It assists the homebuyer in asking questions and comparing the level of service provided by what is generally known as structured wiring (twisted pairs of copper conductors and coaxial cable) installed in the homes they are considering.

Based on the builder's responses and the homebuyer's expectations, the homebuyer assigns grades of "excellent" (E), "satisfactory" (S), "needs improvement" (I) or "poor" (P), to various aspects of the home's communications wiring infrastructure.

Feedback to Builders

"Other tech-home rating systems are often too detailed or too technical for the average homebuyer to understand," says John Cowie, manager of Residential Communications Wiring for CDA. "This report card empowers homebuyers with a quick-and-easy grading system. The homebuyer also has the option of giving completed report cards to builders. That would provide the builders with feedback about whether or not they are meeting the demands of the marketplace when it comes to the communications wiring infrastructure.

According to Cowie, new technologies make possible "dream homes" beyond our wildest expectations, and these technologies are already within reach of the average household. But lack of a home communications wiring system could trample on many dreams of digital utopia. Unfortunately, research shows that many builders are taking shortcuts and not installing the infrastructure necessary to implement these technologies in new homes. This infrastructure essentially consists of copper Category-type structured wiring and cable installed behind the walls and routed directly from a central distribution device to communications outlets in each room.

To download files of ready-to-use blank report cards and for more information on what homebuyers as well as existing homeowners should look for in home wiring, visit the Telecomunications section.