Giving Rise to the Modular Plug Terminated Link

IoT, or the Internet of Things, is a concept that has received a lot of attention in recent years. The premise of a world of IP-connected devices and sensors that will revolutionize how facilities, assets, vehicles and people are managed in a fully interconnected world via the IoT is, in many respects, still evolving. While it’s difficult to assess the true benefits of IoT platforms that can currently be deployed across a wide range of environments, what we do know is that the number of devices that are connecting to private and public networks continues to grow. By many estimates, the number of devices that will be connected to the network between now and 2020 is in the tens of billions, with trillions of dollars of revenue potential associated with them.

Video: What Is a Modular Plug Terminated Link?

As more and more traditionally siloed building subsystems, such as physical security and building management platforms, have abandoned analog- and serial-based communications methods in favor of Ethernet-based communications, the number and diversity of devices connecting to the network has increased unabated. As the domain of network appliances including PCs, video surveillance cameras, access control systems, wireless access points and commercial lighting expands, different approaches to deployment and installation best practices are needed.

Industry organizations—Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), International Standards Organizations (ISO), and Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI)—have traditionally required that the horizontal cable in a twisted-pair link segment be terminated with an equipment outlet or patch panel. This installation practice has 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 the use of an equipment outlet or patch panel as the horizontal cable termination point has been the norm.  However, as more and more network appliances are installed above ceiling, the need for an equipment outlet has proven to be impractical in many instances. 

Recently, the TIA approved a cabling topology known as the modular plug terminated link (MPTL), where the horizontal cable can now be 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 and MPTL solutions are currently offered by many of Anixter’s Technology Alliance Partners.

TIA-568-2.D Standard: Modular Plug Terminated Link

Click here to learn the basics of the modular plug terminated link, or watch the video above.

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