Data Center Cabling Solutions
TIA-42 Telecommunication Cabling Systems Engineering Committee 1st Quarter 2021 Recap

TIA-42 Telecommunication Cabling Systems Engineering Committee 1st Quarter 2021 Recap

  • Feb 22, 2021
  • TIA standards, TIA 942, TIA
  • Rick Dallmann

Wow, what a great week of meetings! The TIA-42 Engineering Committee has concluded, and it’s hard to believe this is the third installment of these remote quarterly meetings since the pandemic began in 2020. Time really does fly.

The circumstances of having to meet remotely, however, were of little importance compared with the work to be done. And get work done we did.

Here are some of the highlights from the various Engineering sub-committees of the TR-42.


Starting off with the TR-42.1 (Premises Telecommunications Infrastructure), the committee elected Diane Forbes and Cindy Montstream as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively. Next items of business proceeded to resolving committee ballot comments of the TIA-568.0-E-1 (single balanced twisted-pair) and TIA-862-C (Intelligent Buildings).

From there, considerable amount of time was spent discussing the 1st committee ballot comments of the TIA-942-B-1, the addendum for Edge Data Centers. The result was an approval for the committee‘s second ballot.

(Note: There is a discussion still on the table to separate this from the TIA 942 Data Center Standard as an addendum and create a stand-alone document). The TR-42.1 subcommittee meeting concluded with the TIA-4966 (telecommunications standard for educational facilities), its comment resolution and approval of this for a 2nd industry ballot.


Like the TR-42.1, the TR-42.11 (Optical Fiber Systems), started off with the committee elections; Phil Irwin and Dan Morris were elected to Chair and Vice-Chair.

Shortly thereafter, the meeting was focused on resolving committee ballot comments to ANSI/TIA-568.3-E, Optical Fiber Cabling and Components, and approval for a 2nd industry ballot. The discussion was dominated around the holistic approach for the three approved fiber path methods to have some sort of Universal compatibility. More work needs to be done, and the discussion will continue.

TR-42.11 concluded reviewing and approving the first industry ballot for TIA-526-14-D (Optical Power Loss Measurement of Installed Multimode Fiber Cable Plant) and the adoption of IEC 61280-4-1. With the majority of the industry following one or the other test procedure standard of the installed cabling plant, it was essential to adapt these two separate standards as one.


Optical Fibers and Cables, was next up. Adoption or merger between the TIA and IEC standards was the main theme of the work done here by the 42.12.

The TIA-492 series is the all-inclusive specifications for multimode and singlemode optical fibers. As part of these adoptions, an industry ballot approval was given to adopt the Multimode IEC 60793-2-10:2019 as ANSI/TIA492AAAF and the Singlemode: IEC 60793-2-50:2018 as the ANSI/TIA492CAAC standard.

The subcommittee meeting concluded with the various approvals for the adoption of the following TIA and IEC standards listed below, all critical standards in testing, measurement, and specifications of our optical fiber telecommunications infrastructure.

  • TIA-455-133 adoption of IEC-60793-1-22:2001 Optical Fiber - Part 1-22 (Measurement methods and test procedures - Length measurement)
  • TIA-455-203 of adoption of IEC-61280-1-4 Fibre Optic Communication Subsystem Test Procedures - Part 1-4: General Communication Subsystems (Light Source Encircled Flux Measurement Method)
  • TIA-455-204 adoption of IEC-60793-1 Optical Fiber - Part 1-41 (Measurement Methods and Test Procedures – Bandwidth)


My week of subcommittee meetings concluded with the TR-42.13 (Passive Optical Devices and Fiber Optic Metrology). Greg Sandels was re-elected as Chair and Sunny Xu was elected as Vice-Chair.

From here, the focus of the subcommittee was resolving ballot comments on FOCIS 10C (LC Connector) and then approving it as a default ballot. The meeting resolved ballot comments on FOCIS 19 (CS connector) and approved the standard as an industry ballot.

To elaborate just a bit, FOCIS is the acronym for Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standard. These FOCIS documents are component standards written for manufacturers to follow to ensure that their connector will be intermateable or compatible with other manufacturers' connectors of the same type, i.e. MPO and MTP.

It's important to note here that these intermateability standards define the minimum physical attributes of mating connector components, assuring mechanical compatibility, but they do not define the full dimensional characteristics of the connector.


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the TR-42.7 (Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems) sessions, but I will highlight some of the discussions that took place for you. Wayne Larson was re-elected as Chair and Brian Celella was also elected to a Chair position.

After elections, the 42.7 resolved ballot comments for ANSI/TIA-568.5 (single-pair cabling) and ANSI/TIA-5071 (field testing for single-pair cabling), thus authorizing both for an industry ballot.

The TR-42.7 concluded by agreeing to uphold the TIA-TSB-5021, Guidelines for the Use of Installed Category 5e and Category 6 Cabling to Support 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T.

A Productive Week

What a week! I look forward to sharing with you all again soon, as the 2nd quarter meetings are tentatively planned for June 14-18 pending confirmation by TIA.

The OFC conference is also scheduled for around the same time period (this coming June) and approximately half of all the attendees of the optical fiber subcommittees may have a conflict if this is the case. No worries, we will figure out the schedule that will best work for all the committee members. Look for the dates to be set in the coming weeks.

For more updates on the TIA-942 standard and all things data center cabling, be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn - just click here.