In spite of the FCC requirement that homes be built with structured cabling, I still see it negleted in $300,000 - $500,000 homes. I asked a contractor about it on one house and he said that everyone uses wireless. The house was wired with 3-pair untwisted cable, one more pair than the old 2-pair JK ("Jake") telephone wires from the '50s. In another house the wall jacks were marked as CAT5, but the CAT5 cable in the attic had wire nut splices.
These are the home owners that often post here about how they can't get a wireless signal in their new house.
It's worse than you think. I got a call from a local electrician asking what type of wire to install in a remodel. I think I repeated CAT5e several dozen times. I supplied a printed list of connectors, jacks, and wall plates. I supplied a diagram showing how to run the wiring (home run where everything comes to one place). We discussed the location of the "electronics cabinet", how not use a staple gun, and code requirements. I was fairly sure he understood what I was saying.
However, he sends some kid over to the local electrical supplier, who decides that it's all being done wrong. He gets 6 pair telco wired (forgot what it's called), SOIC RJ-45 alarm jacks, incompatible wall and plates that don't fit the jacks. He then runs the cable in "daisy chain" fashion, suitable for telephone wiring, and leaving perhaps a
2" service loop. Of course one can't waste wire by extra CAT5e cables. All the junk wire is stapled to the studs in the wall. That's being generous because they were stapled to the studs with flat staples, which broke or shorted at least one wire in each section. Of course nobody called me in to double check until after the drywall was up. Naturally, the home owner considers it my responsibility to "make it all work". Right.
I wouldn't complain too much except that variations on this disaster have happened about 4 times in about 15 years to me, each with a different electrician. Lack of networking knowledge may have been a good excuse perhaps 10 years ago, but in these days of commodity home electronics, it just doesn't cut it. Of course, none of the electricians were BISCI certified or they might have known better.
These days, I'm sneaky. I specify corrugated electrical flexible conduit (PEX, XLPE, or HDPE), with no wires installed. It's more expensive, but far more versatile when the owner wants to change everything and cram in CATV, fiber, telco, etc.
No. The FCC has very little to do with codes and construction. The local building codes and ordinances specify the type of wiring and how something is to be safely installed (to prevent fires and shock hazards), but nowhere is signaling and communications wiring mandatory. The FCC does regulate active network devices for Part 15 (incidental radiation) requirements.
You might wanna ask in comp.dcom.cabling which deals in structured wiring.
 The FCC is somewhat involved by demanding that local regulatory agencies and CC&R contracts not ban satellite dishes. It also provides a recommended structure, but not a ruling, that regulatory groups not obstruct ham radio antennas (PRB1). There is also a rule that prevents regulators from totally banning commercial radio towers, and cell sites.
Sure, but we're getting way off the topic of FCC *requiring* structured wiring. I'll resist the temptation to rant endlessly on FCC over-regulation, hair-splitting, bureaucracy, and creative enforcement. Given the opportunity, I'm sure the FCC wouldn't mind expanding their authority to include home wiring, but since there's no licenses to be sold, errr... auctioned, it's unlikely to happen.
However, there are government standards for federal building construction and equipment purchases. FTR are Federal Telecom Recommendations and FIPS are Federal Information Processing Standards Publications. Both include considerable detail on how to wired and equip telco and datacomm facilities, but only for federal contractors, not homes. Like structured cabling, these standards do not create anything new, but simply specify existing industry standards for connectors, wiring, and installation.
As I should have mentioned in the last sentence I should have included so you would not have to read what little mind I have, that their domain over the wires leading to the house and to a certain extent (modems for instance) inside could have lead to the confusion. (g). I also think they have a standard as to what constitutes broadband.
In January 2000, the FCC mandated that all new homes being built be wired with Cat. 3 cable. In adopting Rule 99-405, the Commission, "recognized the need to establish minimum quality standards for telephone inside wiring to ensure consumer access to advanced broadband services."
[[ Inserting a sarcastic note that the FCC considers anything over 200 Kbps to be "broadband ]]
Section 68.213(c) requires that inside wiring conductors shall be solid, 24 gauge or larger, twisted copper pairs [marked to indicate compliance with] the electrical specifications for Category 3 or higher as defined in the ANSI/EIA/TIA Building Wiring Standards.
That's for telco service, not ethernet. The FCC's idea of broadband service means delivery of DSL to the house, not distribution inside the house, which is not within its jurisdiction.
CAT3 is also not my idea of proper ethernet wiring. It can allegedly be used for 10baseT but will not work with anything faster. In my experience, it barely works with 10baseT. It's suitable for POTS phone wiring and distributing ISDN or DSL to a suitable modem. There's no mention in Part 68 of using CAT3 to wire the house for ethernet or any form of networking.
a) Scope of this rule. Provisions of this rule apply only to unprotected premises wiring used with simple installations of wiring for up to four line residential and business telephone service.
Note the words "telephone service". Section 68.215 goes on to detail how it is to be installed, tested, inspected, and documented for POTS service. (check for dial tone, etc). A keyword search for ethernet turned up nothing.
Sure it does. The law doesn't say ethernet, but it does indeed refer to CAT3 or better. And of course you can run an ethernet local area network with CAT3, but it would only be good for 10 Mbps.
Jeff Liebermann wrote:
[snip] "Section 68.213(c) requires that inside wiring conductors shall be..." which means inside the house.
(c) Material requirements. (1) For new installations and modifications to existing installations, copper conductors shall be, at a minimum, solid, 24 gauge or larger, twisted pairs that comply with the electrical specifications for Category 3, as defined in the ANSI EIA/TIA Building Wiring Standards.
Which is the section that does refer to inside wiring, where part (a) refers to outside plant wiring.
Bottom line, too many houses to not meet the FCC rules for inside communications wiring.