1

We have the following connections.

  • User desks to patch panel to non-PoE switch
  • CCTV to patch panel to PoE switch
  • WiFi access point to Patch panel to PoE switch
  • Floodlight to Patch panel to PoE switch
  • WAN to patch panel to router

We try to follow existing standards wherever possible, so are trying to discover and follow ethernet jacket colour coding standards. So far, I have been able to find this.

Wire Jacket Colours

This seems to be the most applicable, however, I do not understand these colour descriptions, as it would appear that none of them are quite fit. I appreciate that this is not specifically for Ethernet.

Questions!

  • What is the accepted standard/recommendation for Ethernet jacket colours?
  • Can you explain which colours should be used and why according to said standard?

Just to be clear, I am not seeking opinions, I am seeking clarification on the accepted standard. We are not interested in making something up so evidence based answers only please. If there is no standard, then please say and do not make something up.

1
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ron Maupin
    Sep 23 at 11:53
2

While it does not specifically mention Ethernet, ANSI/TIA-606-B-2012 is the "Administration Standard for Telecommunications Infrastructure". It includes the following definition1,

3.2 Definition of terms

cable: An assembly of one or more insulated conductors or optical fibers, within an enveloping sheath.

This, therefore, includes Ethernet.

The question relates to the termination field of the cable; here this is the front of the patch panel. According to paragraph 10.2.2 of the standard1,

If termination fields are color-coded, the coding shown in table 4 should be used. If a different color-coding scheme is used, it shall be consistent throughout the enterprise. Cross-connections generally connect termination fields of different colors. A summary [...] of these recommendations are shown below in table 4 [...].

Table 4 - Example of termination field color-coding

  • Termination Type; Color; Pantone #; Typical Application
  • demarcation point; orange; 150C; central office connection
  • network connection; green; 353C; user side of central office connection
  • common equipment; purple; 264C; connection to PBX, mainframe computer
  • Cabling Subsystem 3; white; terminations of building Cabling
  • Subsystem 3; cable connecting MC to ICs
  • Cabling Subsystem 2; gray; 422C; termination of building Cabling
  • Subsystem 2; cable connecting IC to HCs
  • campus cabling; brown; 465C; termination of campus cable between buildings
  • Cabling Subsystem 1; blue; 291C; terminations of Cabling Subsystem 1 cable in TSs
  • miscellaneous; yellow; 101C; alarms, security, or energy management

The wording in this document is quite dense, so to clarify2, the following colours should be used.

  • User desks to patch panel to non-PoE switch:
    Blue
    This is horizontal cabling - any cabling that is used to connect a floor’s wiring closet to wall plates.
  • PoE WiFi access points to Patch panel to PoE switch:
    Purple
    WiFi access points are common equipment as much as servers and PBXs are.
  • PoE floodlights and PoE CCTV cameras to Patch panel to PoE switch:
    Yellow
    Security is specifically indicated to fall into the miscellaneous category. Best not to confuse CCTV and WiFi.
  • WAN to patch panel to router:
    Green
    This is the user side of the Internet Service Provider (Central Office3) demarcation point1:3.2, 4.

If you choose to use a different colour scheme, you must document this and remain consistent throughout the organisation.

Sources:

  1. TIA-606-B (Revision of TIA-606-A) Administration Standard for Telecommunications Infrastructure. (2012). [online] Available at: http://az776130.vo.msecnd.net/media/docs/default-source/contractors-and-bidders-library/standards-guidelines/it-standards/tia-606-b.pdf?sfvrsn=2 [Accessed 22 Sep. 2021].
  2. NavePoint. (n.d.). ​Cable Color Codes: ANSI/TIA/EIA-606. [online] Available at: https://navepoint.com/blog/cable-color-codes-ansitiaeia606/.
  3. Techopedia.com. (n.d.). What is a Central Office (CO)? - Definition from Techopedia. [online] Available at: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/10245/central-office-co [Accessed 22 Sep. 2021].
  4. Techopedia.com. (n.d.). What is a Demarcation Point? - Definition from Techopedia. [online] Available at: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/6805/demarcation-point-pod [Accessed 22 Sep. 2021]. ‌
1
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ron Maupin
    Sep 23 at 11:53

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