White Paper

The Demarc Extension and its Critical Role in Enterprise Network Telecommunications Infrastructure

Executive Summary

Thousands of telecommunications circuits are delivered and serviced weekly in facilities across the nation, causing a major impact on how business is conducted. Extending the demarcation point from where a telecom circuit is delivered at the minimum point of entry of a facility to another space within the facility, typically where the edge Customer Premises Equipment is located, is mandated by federal regulations. The federal mandate requires all local access providers to install a demarcation point to provide for operational control or ownership to change hands between the local access provider and the subscriber, typically the end user.

The importance of a demarc extension can be understood by comparison to a typical cabling channel that connects the computer at an employee’s desk back to an Ethernet switch located in a telecom room, which provides connectivity to the company network. If that employee experiences issues with the cabling connection to the network, they cannot communicate until the cabling channel issue is resolved. This issue puts only that single employee out of business while their colleagues can still continue business unaffected.

When a demarc extension is not working, or worse—experiences intermittent problems, all of the computer users within an office are unable to communicate to the outside world. With the internet and other forms of communications, such as voice and video playing a large role in daily business life, it can be catastrophic when access is denied. However, little attention is given to the importance of this necessary element to a network until it is not working and the finger-pointing begins.

Since the deregulation efforts, this extension of the demarcation point, known as the holy grail of cabling, has contained several drawbacks. Some of the key problems are the loss of the standardization that was maintained by the local access providers prior to deregulations and the confusion over responsibility, service, and warranties for the extension of this cabling and components.

The lack of national leadership for standardization, poor installation practices and confusion over demarc extension responsibilities in the market have negatively impacted the industry. This has subsequently caused delayed service deliveries, unwarranted revisits and excessive finger-pointing for the timely connection and critical access of internet and communication services for facilities throughout the United States and the world.

This white paper will provide guidance on the single most important cabling channel in a facility and the major impact it can have on a business and its customers. You will learn that this cabling is not addressed under standards, such as the Commercial Building Telecommunications Standard ANSI/TIA-568-C.1, how to avoid the confusion over responsibility, mitigating your risk, distance limitation and much more.

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