New cabling and wiring rules released


Friday, 21 August, 2020


New cabling and wiring rules released

New and updated editions of the rules for telecommunications customer premises cabling products and wiring have been published.

Significant revisions to the Standards include safeguards for the distribution of hazardous voltages over communications cabling — an important step, given the growing trend towards communications cables also being used to carry electrical power.

The revised Standards are AS/CS S008 Requirements for Customer Cabling Products and AS/CA S009 Installation Requirements for Customer Cabling (Wiring Rules).

John Stanton, CEO of Communications Alliance, said the review of the Standards was extensive and benefited from expert input from more than 20 stakeholder organisations and individuals across the communications and broader industry.

“The cabling sector touches the lives of every Australian and it is important that Standards remain ‘fit for purpose’, particularly as new technologies and connected solutions change the face of cabling and networks,” Stanton said.

The Working Committee responsible for the revision was chaired by Murray Teale from VTI Services and has drawn on the most currently available cabling industry information to review and update the two Standards.

One of the fundamental aims of the Standards is to prevent the exposure of telecommunications service provider employees, cabling providers, customers or other persons to hazardous voltages.

“New uses of cabling, such as for the Internet of Things, saw the Working Committee address a range of topics,” Teale said. “One was a fundamental change to the way the Standards reference new classifications of electrical power.”

The updated Standards include new and revised requirements in a number of key areas, including:

  • a new three-stage classification system or ‘hazards-based standard engineering’ approach against potentially increasing risks from rising energy levels in cables, and safeguards between hazardous energy sources and body parts;
  • new voltage and amperage limits on electrical circuits that can be carried over generic customer cabling;
  • new requirements for communications cables that are also intended to be used to carry electrical power — for example, to remotely powered devices such as wireless access points, surveillance cameras, smart lighting, digital signage, building management controllers and sensors;
  • new requirements to assist cablers to select cabling products that are fit for purpose for a particular installation;
  • additional rules for optical fibre systems to guard against laser hazards that can be associated with optical fibre systems;
  • incorporation of elements of the National Construction Code relating to cable flammability and ‘fire-stopping’ to help inhibit the propagation of fire; and
  • new rules for pit and access hole products, with the aim of improving public safety through a reduction in the number of trip hazards.
     

The Australian Standards are available free of charge from https://www.commsalliance.com.au/Documents/all/Standards.

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