Retired-Policy on the Installation and Maintenance of Network Wiring

I. Title

A. Name: Policy on the Installation and Maintenance of Network Wiring

B. Number: 20050613-wiring

C. Author: J. Edwards, M. Wehrle (ISC N&T), JoDe Beitler (SEAS)

D. Status: [ ] proposed [ ] under review [ ] approved [ ] rejected [X ] obsolete [ X ] retired

E. Date proposed: 2003-10-22; 2009-03-18

F. Date revised: 2009-06-17

G. Date approved: 2005-06-13, 2010-06-30

H. Effective date: 2005-07-12

Information Systems and Computing's Networking & Telecommunications (ISC N&T) organization is responsible for the operation of PennNet, the telephone networks (PennNet Phones & Traditional Phones), and the Penn Video Network (PVN), and therefore has the authority and responsibility to specify requirements for the installation and/or maintenance and removal of wire or fiber optic cabling infrastructure for any building or office locations that require interconnectivity to any of these networks.

This policy specifies the requirements for the installation of new wiring or the relocation of existing wiring as it pertains to PennNet, Telephone, or PVN networks. In this policy, "network wiring" will be represented as copper or fiber optic cables or trunks installed in all networks and includes pathways or conduits that ISC N&T owns and manages for the University of Pennsylvania.

The purpose of this policy is to specify the requirements and limitations for the installation, relocation, or removal of network wiring.

  1. ISC N&T adheres to all industry wiring standards and installation practices. These practices offer the University value in a structured wiring plant that is certified and warranted by its network wiring/cabling manufacturers for 20 years. Any unauthorized alterations to the existing wiring plant can void this manufacturer's warranty. In addition, improper installation of wiring can cause networking problems for the users in their local area network or building. Since wiring costs can be expensive, there can be a significant cost to the school or department in replacement or re-certification of improperly installed network wiring.
  2. The installed wiring database is also a source of information for billing and Automatic Location Information (ALI) purposes. Unauthorized removal or relocation of wiring can lead to improper billing due to inefficient use of networking infrastructure, and may also result in sending inaccurate ALI information to the local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) when emergency response calls are placed to 511 or 911. As such, this can drive the monthly port and operational costs higher for all users, and could cause delays in response from emergency personnel.
  3. The infrastructure equipment may be damaged if wiring is altered, removed, or relocated without being coordinated with ISC N&T. This could result in loss of service and additional financial implications to a construction project, the local department, or school.
  4. Infrastructure pathway is very costly to install and manage. Unauthorized use of this limited commodity could prevent ISC N&T from using it to its fullest potential in strategic infrastructure projects for future generations of PennNet.

PennNetThe University's network infrastructure which includes on-campus wired and wireless IP connections.PennNet wallplateA demarcation point where PennNet wiring is terminated, typically located in a work space or computer room. See PennNet wallplate.PennNet wallplate IDA unique identifier that is located on all PennNet wallplates. See PennNet wallplate.Penn Video Network (PVN)The University of Pennsylvania's cable television and special video events network serving students in the University's ResNet and GreekNet-wired locations, and activated in numerous academic and administrative buildings on campus.Automatic Location Identification (ALI)Information given to PSAP regarding the location associated with an originating caller's telephone number.Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)The answering location for 911 calls originating within a specified telephone calling area.Structured Wiring PlantNew network wiring installed in buildings and computer rooms must adhere to industry standards for wire/cable placement and termination in wiring closets and in wallplates.All installed cable is tested according to the cable manufacturer's specifications and then certified and warranted by these manufacturers for 20 years. Installation contractors must be trained and certified by cable manufacturers as part of their warranty program.

This policy covers all network wiring that runs from PennNet wiring closets and gets terminated onto PennNet wall plates, fiber optic cabling, pathway and conduit infrastructure that is installed, terminated, owned and managed by ISC N&T for any building or office location on main campus within the Philadelphia University City area that require intra or interconnectivity to PennNet, Telephone or PVN networks.

  1. ISC N&T is the department that manages the installation and certification of all network wiring on campus. Individual departments must not manage or install their own network wiring.
  2. All wiring contractors must be certified by ISC N&T before they can perform any installation or repair work on campus.
  3. Non-ISC installed wiring that may exist in remote campus locations must be certified and approved by ISC N&T before it shall be connected to the network.
  4. ISC N&T must be contacted and give its approval before any network wiring may be altered, removed or relocated as part of University construction projects. In this instance, the wiring should be identified by its PennNet wallplate ID, and the appropriate services must be disconnected before removal or temporary relocation work can begin. All wiring must be recertified before any network services can be restored. Note that network wiring that must be removed as part of construction or demolition, should be completely removed starting from the demarcation point of the network, and along the entire pathway back to the wiring closet, as per the NFPA NEC Code.
  5. ISC N&T will only install network wiring and components that meet cabling and wallplate manufacturer's specifications, as each of these components are certified and comply with their structured wiring plant warranty.
  6. ISC N&T must approve the use of any of its wiring pathway or conduit systems by any department or outside the organization.

The following related practices are strongly recommended by ISC N&T towards the installation of a cost effective, scalable, and stable network.

  1. It's best to contact ISC N&T as early as possible in the construction project so that their project managers can assist departments in providing the best advice on a wiring design and network scope of work. Orders can be placed via web, or contact ISC N&T by sending email to
  2. The use of networking components in place of wiring:
    1. Wiring projects are an opportunity to consider installation of wireless access points, however wireless should be used to augment network coverage but not be used as a full replacement for wiring.
    2. Use of small office or home office (SOHO) Ethernet switches or other networking electronics should not be specified or substituted into a building (re)wiring design, such as in an attempt to reduce the number of PennNet wallplates to a location or office.
  3. Reconstruction projects are the best opportunities to install new pathway, and to maximize wiring to the entire area being renovated, including the addition of wireless access points to enhance coverage areas.
  4. In order to avoid unnecessary costs, the LSP or Business Administrator should place disconnect orders for service before wiring gets removed. Orders can be placed via web, or contact ISC N&T by sending email to
  5. Wiring that is run from PennNet wallplates to end user networking devices should be kept out of walking paths to reduce risk of accident.

A. Verification: ISC Networking does not plan to actively police the network in an effort to discover non- compliant network wiring, but will act on those areas discovered during the normal course of events in operating and/or troubleshooting the network.
B. Notification: Notification of likely financial implications shall be made to the Local Support Provider (LSP), Facilities & Real Estate Services (FRES) Construction Project Manager, School or Center Building Administrator, and/or the Business Administrator for the departmental area, where possible.
C. Remedy: Remedy could be the immediate disconnection of networking service.

  1. In cases where a user or department has installed private wiring that scales beyond the local room, all wiring may need to be removed and confined to areas noted in Best Practice 5 and the restoration be handled according to Statement of Policy 1.
  2. In cases where network wiring has been demolished during a University construction project, and without ISC N&T involvement, network technicians and wiring contractors will be required to visit the site and account for all affected cabling and network services. ISC N&T will work with the responsible party to resolve any wiring problems, and try to help avoid service disconnection or unnecessary charges in the future.

D. Financial Implications: The Building Administrator, the FRES Construction Project or Contractor(s), the local department, or network user may be responsible for the associated costs, if any, for labor and materials and any interim solutions where applicable. Service orders to activate networking services will be charged normal rates as posted on the ISC Rates page.
E. Responsibility: Responsibility for remedy (and associated costs) lies with the LSP, FRES Construction Project Manager, or the Departmental or School Business Administrator.
F. Time Frame: Wiring restoration and Payment in full should be made within the next normal billing cycle, or should be added to the current construction project.
G. Enforcement: In cases where a contractor or ISC labor charges are applicable, ISC will submit an itemized bill for services to be journaled within the next normal billing cycle, or as an additional cost to the construction project.
H. Appeals: Please see the Appeals section of the Policy on Computer Disconnection from PennNet.

Policy Status
Status Date Approval
Retired 01/01/2022 ISC CIO - Tom Murphy