What Is a Modular Plug Terminated Link (MPTL)?

An annex defining the modular plug terminated link (MPTL) cabling topology and field test procedure has been incorporated into the recently published TIA-568.2-D Standard. Learn more in this video with Alissa Boleky, director of marketing and business development at Anixter.

For more details and a closer look at the cabling topology, read our TECHbrief on the modular plug terminated link.

Transcript: What Is a Modular Plug Terminated Link (MPTL)?

Hi, I’m Alissa Boleky.

Your buildings’ subsystems, including physical security, wireless, audio-video, lighting and HVAC, may be transitioning to, or already utilizing Ethernet-based communications. This means you’re seeing an increasing number and variety of devices connecting to the network—from PCs, video surveillance cameras and access control systems, to wireless access points and connected lighting systems.

As the Internet of Things expands, we have to update some of our common deployment and installation best practices to keep pace with the technology.

Let’s consider the practice of terminating with equipment outlets or patch panels. Standards organizations, including the Telecommunications Industry Association, International Standards Organizations, and Building Industry Consulting Service International, have traditionally required that the horizontal cable in a twisted-pair link segment be terminated with an equipment outlet.

This installation practice served the structured wiring industry well for many years, as most of the network computing devices were located in office areas or equipment rooms, where it made sense to use an equipment outlet or patch panel as the horizontal cable termination point. However, as more and more network appliances are installed above ceiling, an equipment outlet becomes impractical in many instances.

Security integrators were early to adopt the practice of installing cabling links terminated with a modular plug at the device end. What gave some installers pause was that up until 2017, we didn’t have standards for testing links with plug rather than equipment outlet terminations.

That changed when the TIA approved a cabling topology known as the Modular Plug Terminated Link, or MPTL, which has the horizontal cable terminated using a modular plug rather than an equipment outlet. An annex defining the MPTL cabling topology and field test procedure has been incorporated into the recently published TIA-568.2-D Standard. This topology greatly simplifies above-ceiling device installation, with custom-length cables that connect directly to the end device.

MPTL solutions are currently offered by many of Anixter’s Technology Alliance Partners. I invite you to learn more about the new TIA Standard and test procedure and how it could simplify your installations. You can visit anixter.com to read more about this topic and contact an Anixter technology expert.

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