802.3bz Provides Congestion Relief – 2.5 Gbps & 5 Gbps Over Copper

May 3, 2018 at 8:00 AM


Cat5e and Cat6 cables are two of the most widely used cables in the world. Traditionally, for conventional Cat5e and Cat6 twisted-pair copper cabling, Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) is the fastest standard. A wired connection of 1 Gbps is probably enough speed for one PC user, but with the surge of high-speed Wi-Fi devices being used over the last few years, Gigabit Ethernet has become increasingly congested. Thus, the IEEE has developed the 802.3bz standard to ease the pain of 1 Gbps traffic and allow speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps over Cat5e and Cat6 copper cables.


To escape the 1 Gbps bottleneck and increase speeds to 10 Gbps, a network cable upgrade to Cat6a or Cat7 is usually required. At an estimated $300 per cable pull, upgrading cable is a costly process and not always feasible, especially for large networks which could also encounter expensive delays and connection disruptions in the process.  Fortunately, the 802.3bz allows users to avoid expensive cable upgrades. This new 2.5G/5GBASE-T standard can provide 2.5 Gbps speeds over 100 meters of Cat5e cable and 5 Gbps speeds over 100 meters of Cat6 cable. These higher speeds are bookended by a switch on one end and either an Ethernet extender or electronic device on the opposite end.


The physical layer of 2.5G/5GBASE-T is similar to 10GBASE-T, but uses 200 MHz or 100 MHz spectral bandwidth instead of 400 MHz. This is beneficial because 2.5G/5GBASE-T consumes less than half the bandwidth of 10GBASE-T and doesn’t require a high-quality, mega-shielded cable. The 802.3bz standard also provides additional features such as Power over Ethernet (PoE), which is useful when rolling out Wi-Fi access points.


With a growing need for faster connections, 802.3bz provides a sensible way to upgrade networking capabilities without the expense of re-cabling, all while improving user experience and avoiding costly downtime.


Not All RJ45 Plugs are Created Equal

September 3, 2015 at 8:00 AM


These plugs might look the same –  but they definitely are not!


Often, customers contact our support team with poor or intermittent connectivity issues that are a result of a mismatch between their cable and plug selection.  They often wonder why we ask all kinds of questions about their connectors and cables.  This week’s blog post covers some of the important questions and considerations when choosing RJ45 plugs and bulk cable.


Conductor Diameter

  • * Conductor diameter is an often over-looked specification when choosing RJ45 plugs
  • * Even within a single Category rating, conductors can vary as much as 25% in diameter
  • * Not all Category 5e cabling has the same physical size.  The same is true for Cat 6 and Cat6a cables
  • * It’s not just wire gauge that makes the difference, insulation thickness can also vary quite a bit

Conductor Type

  • * Stranded cable is all you should be using with RJ45 (8P8C) connectors
  • * Some connectors can also handle solid conductors

Cable Size

  • * A cable’s outer diameter can influence connector choice
  • * An improper strain relief will result in long term quality issues

Contact Plating

  • * More than 80% of connectors sold in the US market have less than 15u of gold plating on the contacts
  • * The standard calls for 50u of plating

Contact Design

  • * Multiple types of contacts exist. Two versus three prongs only starts this conversation. We have seen very poorly made two prong contacts even though some of the best plugs on the market use a two prong design
  • * The contact must be designed to work with the conductor type you are using


L-com offers a comprehensive selection of RJ45 Plugs and Bulk Category Cable to address all of your Ethernet applications. If you need assistance finding the right plug and cable for your application please contact our technical support team for guidance.


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