Category 3 cable
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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. However, it is being replaced by Cat5E in most commercial environments. Reputable manufactures recommend Cat5E for all new installations and state that they only provide Cat3 product for existing installations. Some large institutions even require any repairs or additions to existing buildings that currently use Cat3 to be upgraded to Cat5E.
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 Cat 3 based infrastructures to achieve a much higher bandwidth, but fell out of popularity in favor of the very similar, but higher performing, 100BASE-TX standard using Cat 5 cable.
- "University of Wisconsin - Standards for the Installation of New Data/Voice Jacks". Retrieved 2103-09-17.
- IEEE 802.3at-2009, clause 33.1.1c