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The battle to defeat the supply of substandard and defective cable in the UK has reached a new level after the discovery and removal of substandard cable from an educational establishment on the Isle of Man.
Concerns about the cable had been raised earlier this year. The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) have removed almost 100 boxes of cable from the establishment as part of a data cable refit.
The cable was supposedly CCA cat5 cable. The ACI is warning contractors and sub contractors to be aware of sub standard cable and to check carefully the information given on the cable itself particularly to the level of flame retardance, identification and warning signs.
Cable has been found with no warning signs found at all and the ACI is fearing that contractors are only considering price alone when purchasing new cable despite cable being a product that demands exacting standards.
The ACI recommends that all installers should question the quality of the cable if it does not contain adequate identification and advising contractors that they should examine cable and its packaging carefully and look for identification marks and warning signs such as the print legend carrying no reference to the standards typically associated with data cables of this type. Whilst it references Cat 5e this represents only a type within a range of standards and the cable should identify with ISO/IEC 11801 and ANSI/TIA 568 as a minimum.
The product print legend stating LSZH but again does not define a level of flame retardance. People assume that LSZH means the product is flame retardant however experience has shown this often to not be the case. The cable should identify a level of flame retardance e.g. IEC 60332-1.
The cable does not include a temperature rating.
The ACI is warning contractors against the supply of underperforming cables saying that although the price seems favourable, longer term it will damage their company reputation.