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Testing by CCCA Finds High Failure Rate in Electrical Performance of Imported Category 6 Copper Patch Cords

Dec 06, 2010

Washington, DC  December 6, 2010

The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA) announced that it
recently completed large-scale, electrical performance testing of Category 6 copper patch
cords. Test results show an 85% failure rate in patch cords produced offshore by
companies who are largely unknown in North America. A second, large sample set of
Category 6 copper patch cords produced by multiple, well-recognized manufacturers was
also tested and showed 0% failure rate. Copper patch cords are typically used to connect
network devices for signal routing (i.e. wall outlets, patch panels, switches, routers).

CCCA’s patch cord testing program follows the communications cable testing program conducted in 2008 and 2009, which uncovered a serious fire safety hazard with non-compliant copper data communications cable imported into North America.

To assure statistically meaningful results, CCCA tested a total of 499 samples from 16 brand
names of Category 6 patch cords at a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) audited test lab. 322 of
379 patch cords made by offshore manufacturers, not generally known in North America,
failed to meet minimum industry electrical performance requirements as specified in TIA 568-
C.2. 78% of the failing samples failed by a margin of 3dB or more and 45% of the failing
samples failed by margin of 6dB or more. Because noise is measured on a logarithmic scale, a
3dB failure indicates a noise level that is twice as high as the allowable standards and failures
of this magnitude could contribute to significant network problems.

Included in the testing pool were 120 Category 6 copper patch cords from well-known
manufacturers in North America. All had a 100% pass rate.
None of the failing products was identified as using independent, third party testing
laboratories to verify quality. Patch cord testing and verification programs are available
from leading independent testing agencies and generally provide a level of quality
assurance to buyers.

Frank Peri, CCCA’s Executive Director said, “Once again, we see disturbing test results
that seem to fit the pattern uncovered with our testing of offshore bulk data
communications cable. The overwhelming failure rate of these offshore patch cords is
very unsettling, suggesting that the manufacturers exporting these products are likely
aware they are selling faulty products. The lack of third party verification with lesser
known brands should put all users on alert to be sure they are getting the performance
they expect and are paying for.”

CCCA emphasizes that many of its members are well recognized global companies with
offshore manufacturing facilities and business operations. The quality issues and failure to
comply with industry standards are not necessarily regional in nature, but rather the
result of the use of low quality components, poor assembly methods, and poor quality
controls, which can improve profit margin for the manufacturer.

About CCCA
CCCA, a non-profit corporation formed in 2007, has a mission to serve as the major resource
for well researched, fact-based information on the technologies and products of structured
cabling media to support current and future needs of the networking, IT and communications
industries. CCCA also is proactive at codes and standards bodies and other trade, industry and
governmental organizations in communicating and influencing policy and decisions affecting
the quality, performance and societal needs of the structured cabling infrastructure.

CCCA member companies: ADC; Accu-Tech; AlphaGary; Anixter; Belden; Berk-Tek, a Nexans
Company; Cable Components Group; CommScope; Daikin America; DuPont; 3M Dyneon;
General Cable; Optical Cable Corporation (OCC); OFS, a Furukawa Company; PolyOne; Sentinel
Connector Systems; Solvay Solexis; Superior Essex; Tyco Electronics.
Headquarters: 1001 Pennsylvania NW, Washington, DC, 20004. For further information, contact
Frank Peri, Executive Director at fperi@cccassoc.org or via phone at (904) 223-4100.