Category 7, also known as Cat 7, is a cable standard for Ethernet and other networking technologies. A Cat 7 network cable usually utilizes four pairs of twisted copper wires. Compared to Category 6 components, Category 7 cabling conforms to stricter guidelines for alien crosstalk and system noise. For interference reduction, shielding is placed on each pair of a Category 7 cable’s twisted copper wires, and then an overall shield covers the entire cable. The Cat 7 standard supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Reliable Ethernet installations will run Category 7 cable to a maximum length of 100 metres. This cable category can transmit data with frequencies of up to 600 MHz. An Augmented Category 7 standard, referred to as Cat 7a, delivers performance of up to1000 MHz.
Category 7 Cable with SSTP Wiring
The double-shielded Category 7 cable incorporates Screen Shielded Twisted Pair (SSTP) or Screened Foiled Twisted Pair (SFTP) wiring. The shielded twisted pair construction is beneficial in high speed networks that are Ethernet-based, specifically 1000BASE-T or 10GBASE-T infrastructures. Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables can be more cost effective; however, higher performance Cat 7 cabling often comes with a longer estimated lifespan.
Class F Network Cabling Offers Backward Compatibility
The term “Class F” also refers to Cat 7 cabling, with Class FA as the designation for the augmented standard. Described as next-generation technology, Class F network cabling is backward compatible with previous Cat 6 and Cat 5 standards. Commercial entities that require specific noise resistance and bandwidth capabilities may consider Cat 7/Class F cables.
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