BS6701 FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by gary wiltshire posted 11 May 2006
I work in the IT department of a old but rather large hotel which has mixture of tradtional (1970s)voice cabling and Cat5 cabling. Although we have a relatively new Nortel telephone system, it does not appear that the old cabling was upgraded to BS6701 standards when this was installed. We now have to do some alterations to the building which will mean that some of the old cable runs and DPs will have to be renewed or replaced. AS BS6701 is now mandotory, will we have to upgrade all of the old wiring to this standard or can we just upgrade the parts that we are replacing/renewing?
 Answer by Joseph Golan posted 11 May 2006
Dear Gary,

I gather from your post that you are in the UK as that is where the BS6701 standard is published.

Being in the USA, I am not fully familiar with this standard or it's enforcement. Standards are typically recommendations unless they are adopted into law and mandated, in that case I would now considered them codes.

I tried to locate some information on-line but could only find references to it and for purchasing of a copy. I am not aware if there is or is not a provision within BS6701 for grandfathering of past (older) installations but typically this is the case unless there is some life-safety issues. I would highly suggest that you contact the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) to get a correct answer to your question. Here in the US the AHJ is typically the electrical inspector as our electrical code deals with life/safety issues. Our TIA/EIA 568-B document, which is the standards for the installation of communications cabling and equipment is not enforced (code) as apparently the BS6701:2004 is.

In short, without further investigation, my opinion is that your older cables can remain in place but any new cabling must conform. I just cannot imagine that all old cabling must be replaced for just a standards issue, only if it was a life/safety problem.

Joseph Golan, RCDD

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