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Category 3 cable, commonly known as Cat 3 or station wire, is an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable designed to reliably carry data up to 10 Mbit/s, with a possible bandwidth of 16 MHz. It is part of a family of copper cabling standards defined jointly by the Electronic Industries Alliance and the Telecommunications Industry Association.
Unlike Cat 4 and Cat 5, Cat 3 is still recognized by TIA/EIA-568-B, its defining standard. Cat 3 is still used in telephone wiring.
Cat 3 was used in computer networking in the early 1990s for 10BASE-T Ethernet, token ring, or ATM25 networks. The seldom used 100BASE-T4 standard, which achieves speeds of 100 Mbit/s by using all 4 pairs of wires, allowed older Category 3 based infrastructures to achieve a much higher bandwidth, but fell out of popularity in favor of the very similar, but higher performing, Category 5 cable standard. Since the early 2000s most new structured cable installations are built with Category 5e or Category 6 cable.
The original Power over Ethernet specification supports category 3 cable though it is not supported in the new 802.3at Type 2 high-power variation.
See also 
- ^ IEEE 802.3at-2009, clause 33.1.1c
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