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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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SMG 3235.1





Transmittal Number 98-19 -- Date: 04/14/1998
Effective Date: 01/30/1998

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose
 2. Policy
 3. Responsibilities
 4. Standards and Requirements
 5. Waivers
 6. Effective Date


This guide establishes cable specifications and requirements for the design, installation, labeling, testing and documentation of all new cable plant installations for offices, wiring closets, and campus areas within Food and Drug Administration (FDA) facilities. This policy does not recommend changes to existing installations that are performing adequately.


It is the policy of the FDA to establish and implement cabling standards that will ensure the bandwidth, functionality, reliability, and longevity required to support the Agency's ongoing strategic information systems initiatives. These standards will help FDA avoid unnecessary recabling and improve the reliability and longevity of new cable installations.


The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is responsible for reviewing agency cabling requirements, helping FDA components in designing or modifying new and existing cable plants, and approving cable plant designs. FDA Center/Office officials delegated the authority for managing their organization's information resources are responsible for the implementation of this policy in accordance with all applicable IT regulations and policies.


A. General Criteria for Standard Cable Plant The standard cable plant shall provide:

1. A standard connection at the desktop. The use of standard connection will ensure that we can move systems between locations General Administration and Managment Guide 2760.6 within the Agency without having to change hardware configurations. This will reduce not only the cost of equipment to support moves, but will also reduce time spent by support personnel in reconfiguring equipment.

2. The ability to isolate traffic to single connections. The ability to isolate traffic from the desktop to a single station or connection greatly reduces vulnerability to a "sniffer" or "eavesdropping" type of attack. Traffic isolation also provides the capability to guarantee bandwidth to a station.

3. The ability to flexibly group connections. Many FDA facilities house more than one Center. Each Center provides support for its local network. The ability to group connections by organization will enable support staff to manage connections and isolate problems within their user communities without negatively impacting other organizations.

4. The ability to support bandwidth requirements up to 100MB to individual connections. It is likely that high speed, large volume data transmissions will be occurring during the lifetime of new cable installations. We can expect that the need for transfer speeds up to 100MB to individual desktop units will exist.

5. The ability to support bandwidth in excess of 100MB between groups of connections, servers, and other resources. The need for bandwidth between groups of connections, servers, and other resources will exceed 100MB. The cable plant must be able to handle speeds in excess of 100MB at the backbone level.

6. Cost-effective solutions. The cable plant must meet future network load requirements while being cost-effective. The cost associated with the installation of a new standard cable system should not exceed the current market value for cabling a facility.

7. A maintainable solution. The cable plant must be maintainable and modifiable by the personnel and equipment available to FDA Centers. Maintenance of a cable plant includes isolation and correction of faults, modifications, and installation of new locations.

B. Requirements for Designing, Installing, and Maintaining New Cabling Systems.

1. Office

a. Run UTP Cat 5 cable from each office to a wiring closet.

b. A minimum of two cable runs will be made for each person expected to be located in an office.

c. Terminate cables in RJ-45 wall outlets.

d. Label each outlet with the cable number.

e. Put additional outlets in common areas for shared printers and other devices.

f. Maximum cable length from the office to the wiring closet will not exceed 90 meters (maximum for ATM over unshielded pair cable).

2. Wiring Closet

a. Cables that run to offices will terminate in wiring closets.

b. There will be at least one wiring closet per floor. In large buildings, multiple wiring closets may be needed on each floor.

c. The UTP cables will terminate in RJ-45 patch panels.

d. Use multimode fiber to connect wiring closets.

e. One wiring closet will function as the WAN or Campus access point for the building.

f. Run at least 12 fibers from the access point wiring closet to each of the other closets.

g. Terminate fiber in a patch panel using ST connectors.

h. Large buildings may have two access point closets in which case fiber will be run from each closet to each access point.

i. Each wiring closet will have:

i. Two phone lines - one for voice telephone and one for a computer modem.

ii. Sufficient Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) capability for the anticipated equipment. In order to determine the UPS load requirements, first determine the VA (Volts-Amperes) rating and the required UPS runtime, based on your system and building requirements.

NOTE: To determine the VA rating, find the Voltage and Amperage requirements for each piece of equipment. The VA rating may be found on the back or bottom of the equipment. Multiply these numbers together:

VA = Volts x Amperes

If the components are measured in Watts, then multiply the number of Watts by 1.4:

VA = Watts x 1.4

iii. (Adequate ventilation/air-conditioning.

C. Campus

1. Building access points will be connected by at least 12 multimode fibers.

2. The connections between buildings must provide for alternate pathways so that the loss of a single cable or cable route will not result in loss of service to the building. Alternate pathway cables cannot be located in the same internal or external duct/conduit as primary pathways.

D. Specifications

1. Use cable that meets the standards specified in the 1993 National Electronic Code, Article 725 for Class 2 Cable and Article 800 for Communications Cable.

2. Use UTP Cat 5 cable that is in accordance with Underwriters Laboratory Publication 200-120 (30/3/92), Characteristics of CAT 3-5 UTP.

3. Use RJ-45 (ISO 8877) connectors for unshielded twisted pair connections.

4. Multimode fiber cable will be 62.5/125.

E. Installation

1. Install cabling in accordance with ANSI/EIA/TIA-568-1991 Standard Commercial Building Telecommunications Wiring Standard and ANSI/EIA/TIA-569.

2. All cabling will be in accordance with local building codes.

3. Bend radius will be as specified by EIA SP-2840A.

4. UTP 4X cable outside diameter.

5. UTP multipair cable 10X cable outside diameter.

6. Fiber (not under tension) 10X cable outside diameter.

7. Fiber (under tension) 20X cable outside diameter.

8. Properly fire stop all installations passing through fire walls or floors.

F. Labeling

1. Label all cables on each end with the cable run number.

2. Label all terminals by connector with the cable run number and the identification on the far end terminator. (For example, given a fiber optic number 87 installed from Room 15-60 Bulkhead A to wiring closet 15B-T6; Bulkhead G would have a label 87-15B-T6 Bulkhead G at the connector in Room 15-60 and the cable run numbers would be in numerically sequence. If an initial cable installation resulted in 150 cables installed, the run numbers would be 1-150. If a future install added an additional 25 cables, numbering would begin at 151 and end at 175.)

3. Install fiber optic termination panels in the following pattern.

10 2010 20
30 4030 40
50 6050 60
10 2010 20
30 4030 40
50 6050 60

G. Testing

1. Perform UTP Cat 5 testing on all cables in accordance with TIA TSB-67. These will include wiremap, impulse noise, near-end crosstalk, and attenuation tests.

2. Perform fiber optic testing on all cables in accordance with EIA-455-171 and EIA-526-14.

H. Documentation

Document all cable plant installations. At a minimum prepare the following documents:

1. Wire list - Prepare a wire list giving each cable number and corresponding end point reference. Include these references: wiring closet and office room numbers, and terminating patch panel numbers.

2. As-built drawings - Prepare drawings using facility floor plans showing the routing of all installed cables, termination panel designs, and wiring closet equipment layouts.

I. Reference Library

The Division of Operations and Technology Services will maintain a reference library. This library will, at minimum, contain all of the documents referenced in this paper.


There will be no exceptions to this policy and waivers will not be accepted.


January 30, 1998.