Just when you get used to CAT6 cable along comes CAT6a (well it actually came along in 2008).

We recently had a client request CAT6a cabling so this is the perfect time to blog about the differences in CAT6 and CAT6a cable.

Both CAT6 and CAT6a are designed for Gigabit Ethernet and they both can handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-TX, and 10GBASE-T.  The difference between the two comes into play when you look a speed and distance.  CAT6 is rated for 250MHz, and CAT6a is rated double that at 500MHz.  

So at 10GBASE-T CAT6 has a maximum length of 55 meters while CAT6a has a maximum length of 100 meters.

CAT6a also has higher Alien Cross Talk (AXT) resiliency when compared to CAT6.

Its important to remember that CAT6a weighs more and is larger than CAT6 so that is something that needs to be considered when using cable trays and going through conduit.

Both CAT6 and CAT6a are backward compatible with with CAT3, CAT5 and CAT5e but remember that putting a CAT5e patch cable onto a CAT6a or CAT6 cable run will now limit the entire run to the CAT5e patch cord limitations.

Commscope_2091B_BL_CAT6a_Cable

 

Commscope CAT6a 2091B BL cable

 

Contact Us for all your data cabling needs and the “a” in CAT6a stands for Augmented.