SHOULD YOU BE ASKING YOUR CONTRACTOR FOR INDEPENDENT TESTING?
“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” This holds true in a TIA-568 compliant channel link as well. In other words, your channel may be compliant but you may have a component that is not – especially if one component is compensating for or has more margin than another. For example, if your connectors have a lot of margin to the specification, you could pass the channel requirements even if a cable is borderline failing. The same would be true if you had marginal connectivity and cable with excess margin.
To ensure you get the most from your network, you should require vendors to provide ongoing, third-party verification for all your cabling systems. This third-party verification can ensure that your components comply with, at minimum, TIA specifications. Better yet, you can require components to comply with your own “above-the-standards” specifications. You can thus be assured that you are getting what you paid for.
What about using manufacturers’ test results? While these test results can be valuable, you should not rely solely on them, as manufacturers are trying to market their products in the best possible light. In addition, simply testing channel performance at installation does not guarantee component compliance, nor does it ensure the most error-free network possible. Instead, independent verification of components – checking that they have been installed properly and that they meet your specifications — is paramount to maintaining a reliable local area network.