Raising The Bar
Fluke Networks' integral role in TIA 570B
By Mike Llewellyn
For Bob Jensen of Fluke Networks, the custom installation business is all about making sure customers get exactly what they've paid for. To that end, he says Fluke Networks, a member of the Telecommunications Industry Association (where Jensen is chair of the Residential Cabling Standard), has been hard at work with its fellow TIA affiliates hammering out a network testing standard. The product of their labors, to be known as TIA 570B, will be available in the coming months. TIA 570B will define technical standards for residential cabling and networks that all points of the custom install business can feel confident in, including designers, integrators, installers, builders and, last but not least, consumers.
"This is not just a certification, this introduces various methods of testing a full system," says Jensen. "What we need to do is make sure that the customer is getting what they've asked for and that the whole system is really going to perform for them. There's a lot of information within this standard on designing out a system, what kind of cabling you need to put in the various areas of a home or a multi-dwelling units, whether that is copper twisted or fiber, etc."
Although the standard is, of course, designed as an aid to the customer, Jensen says 570B serves especially well as a guide for installers. "It talks about installation requirements, keeping the twists of the pairs up to a certain point," reports Jensen. "That's where we find [that] a lot of problems happen, where people either missed on a connection when they punch it down or they've used the wrong tool. Also, that they may not be keeping the twists all the way up to the connection point."
Testing One, Two, Three