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Mixed High-Speed Ethernet Operations Over Different Categories of Bundled UTP Cable

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Executive Summary

As the market adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) continuously increases, more customers are deploying Category 6A/Class EA Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cabling on top of Category 6/Class E UTP cabling. UTP cabling is the most widely deployed media around the world, supporting both data and voice applications. Even after the 10GBASE-T standard (IEEE Std. 802.3anTM-2006) was ratified with Category 6A/Class EA UTP cabling as one of the supporting media, there are still discussions in the marketplace regarding assumptions and unanswered questions. Two frequently asked questions are those are Can Category 6A/Class EA UTP cable be mixed with Category 6/Class E UTP cable in the same bundle? And can 10GBASE-T Ethernet applications co-exist in structured cabling bundles with 1000BASE-T Ethernet applications?

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