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For Immediate Release
13 August 2007

Recent tests have shown poor quality of non-system patch cords in the market: 83 per cent of Category 6 and 70 per cent of Category 5e patch cords sub-standard

August 2007 - Four years after widespread publicity about the poor quality of non-system patch cords in the market, recent tests have shown that an astounding 83 per cent of Category 6 and 70 per cent of Category 5e patch cords do not meet the TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1 standard.

"Use of sub-standard patch cords in any network, either within the comms room, the data centre or at the user's PC, will inevitably lead to network degradation and slow-down," said Jonathan Lewis, Product Specialist at Siemon.

The tests were independently performed on 149 new patch cords by network test equipment manufacturer Fluke, following a 'mystery shopper' operation at 34 distributors, assembly houses, retail outlets and mail-order catalogues. They were tested using the Fluke patch cord certification tool.

"The fact that this situation is still as bad as it was four years ago - and the fact that packet loss and network slow-down are the inevitable result of using sub-standard patch cords - should be a real wake-up call to network managers and IT managers everywhere," said Lewis.

Lewis went on to warn that sometimes corners are cut by installing a leading brand for the permanent link (horizontal cables, patch panels and outlets) together with standards-compliant test certificates, but then the overall (channel) performance of the network is ruined with cheap, untested patch cords from local assembly houses or low-quality offshore manufacturers.

"We've seen instances in which leading-brand Category 6 permanent links are so degraded by low-quality, non-system 'Category 6' cords that the entire system fails to meet even Category 5e performance" said Lewis.

Another common situation is where a complete leading-brand system is installed at day one and then over time the owner adds in sub-standard brands of patch cords - which slow the network down over time as more and more are added. "Quite honestly," said Lewis "it is total madness to jeopardise the performance of a mission-critical network to save a few £s on the patch cords. After all, these days, the LAN is the lifeline of the entire enterprise.

"Leading brand patch cords, albeit slightly more expensive, offer a much higher degree of performance assurance. Siemon cords, for example, are are constructed from the highest quality connectors and cable under stringent ISO quality conditions in highly-automated Siemon facilities. Each cord is individually tested beyond the applicable performance standard and guaranteed to perform."

"Why invest in a network, which is at the very heart of the enterprises IT infrastructure, only to risk its failure or slowdown, with an 83 per cent chance of a sub-standard cord? It is important that end users see the importance of quality cords in their network and whilst they are of course a component, any system is only as good as the sum of its parts."


About Siemon
Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specialising in the design and manufacture of high quality, high performance low voltage infrastructure solutions and services for data centres, LANs and intelligent buildings. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global sales, technical and logistics expertise spanning 100 countries, Siemon offers a comprehensive suite of copper and optical fibre cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, data centre power and cooling systems and intelligent infrastructure management solutions.

With more than 400 patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and the development of industry standards, underlining the company’s long-standing commitment to its customers and the industry. Siemon Interconnect Solutions (SIS) is a Siemon business unit comprised of a team of dedicated technical sales professionals supported by Siemon Labs, mechanical, electrical and signal integrity engineers committed to solving industry and customer driven interconnect challenges. Siemon provides custom network infrastructure solutions to OEMs, leading manufacturers, value-added resellers and system integrators.
For further information or supporting picture please contact:
CLEAR Communications
Susann Bladwell, PR Consultant
M: +49 (0)176 7863 4709

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