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ICTip #3: What Do the Colors on Cables Mean?

Cable color coding is commonly used for cable organization. However, the reasons for using each color is not well known to most.

ANSI/TIA/EIA-606-B Administration Standard for the Telecommunications Infrastructure of Commercial Building documented these cable color standards. Generally, anyone who wants to follow building standards should be familiar with BICSI and vendors who are BICSI certified would be familiar with these as well.

The colors

Cable colors are specified using Pantone numbers. These colors or their equivalent are to be used.


Demarcation point

Demarcation point (central office termination)


Network connection

Termination of network connections on the customer side of the demarcation point


Common equipment

Termination of cables originating from common equipment (PBXs, computers, LANs and multiplexers). White/Silver in Canada.


First Level Backbone

First-level backbone telecommunications media termination in the building containing the main cross-connect to TR or main cross-connect to local intermediate cross-connect). Purple in Canada.


Second Level Backbone

Second-level backbone telecommunications media termination in the building containing the main cross-connect (local intermediate cross-connect to TR). Purple (in the USA) or white (in Canada) may be used to identify second-level backbone termination in building not containing the main cross-connect.


Horizontal Cabling

Termination of station telecommunication media; required only at the TR and equipment room end of the cable, not at the telecommunications outlet.


Interbuilding Backbone

Interbuilding backbone cable termination (main cross-connect to remote intermediate cross-connect)


Auxiliary & Miscellaneous Circuits

Termination of auxiliary circuits, alarms, maintenance, security, and other miscellaneous circuits


Key Telephone Systems

Termination of key telephone systems


#ICTipsByMEC #ICTMonth2017

The ICT Month is celebrated every month of June, a celebration commenced since 2008. This is in accordance with Proclamation No. 1521 (series of 2008), which declares that “THE MONTH OF JUNE 2008 AND EVERY YEAR THEREAFTER AS “NATIONAL INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT)” MONTH”. The conduct of this event is to recognize the contributions of ICT as one of the major sectors for economic growth and, as such, has resolved to fully implement a national ICT program that shall optimize the utilization of ICT.

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