Knowledge Base

Category 1 Cable

Category 1 cable, also known as Cat 1, Level 1, or voice-grade copper, is a grade of unshielded twisted pair cabling designed for telephone communications. At one time it was the most common on-premises wiring. The maximum frequency suitable for transmission over Cat 1 cable is 1 MHz, but Cat 1 is not considered adequate for data transmission.

The electrical characteristics of category 1 cabling make it unsuitable for networking purposes, and it is never installed as premise wiring. Instead, all premise wiring must use either category 3 cabling, category 4 cabling, or category 5 cabling, with category 5 or enhanced category 5 cabling preferred for all new installations.

Though not an official category standard established by TIA/EIA, category 1 cable has become the defacto name given to Level 1 cables originally defined by Anixter International, the distributor. Cat 1 cable was typically used for networks that carry only voice traffic, for example, telephones. Official TIA/EIA-568 standards have only been established for cables of Category 3 ratings or above.

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