Telecommunications infrastructure in buildings

An effective telecommunications infrastructure is an essential component of any office building. It permits a rapid exchange of information between individuals located within the building and connects them to others anywhere in the world. A typical office building has hundreds of kilometres of telecommunications cabling that must be correctly installed and properly managed in order to provide essential communications.

The telecommunications infrastructure in a building consists of two systems:

As the telecommunications spaces and pathways are usually deficient in existing buildings and are frequently an afterthought in the design of new buildings, specialist expertise should be involved at the early stages of a project. The design of the telecommunications infrastructure should follow a holistic approach looking at the building as a single entity and considering individual departments and agencies as all being part of that single entity.

Standards and guidelines

Telecommunications standards have been developed by Telecommunications Industry Association/Electronic Industries Alliance (TIA/EIA) for these two systems. While these standards are not required by code, they are to be respected. Treasury Board standard TBITS 6.9 makes these standards mandatory for new construction and major renovations. While the published version of this standard (1997) is out of date, its fundamental principles remain sound.

Technical documentation

In 2003, Real Property Branch issued three related documents. The first document, Installation and management of telecommunications infrastructure: Interim guidelines is intended to provide a consistent approach to the installation and management of telecommunications infrastructure in Crown-owned and lease-purchase buildings in the custody and control of PSPC as well as any leased facility where the leasing agreement permits.

The second document is Real Property Operations Solutions, Technical bulletin (2003-001) Installation and management of telecommunications infrastructure provides supporting technical information. It supports the need for a holistic approach when designing and implementing the telecommunications infrastructure in a building. The appendix to this document contains background information similar to some found in these Web pages. However, as this document is older, this Web site should be relied upon in case of any discrepancies.

The third related document is Real Property Operations Solutions, Technical bulletin (2003-002) Security implications of the integrated telecommunications infrastructure. It addresses some issues related to the sharing of the telecommunications infrastructure by different government departments and agencies as is required if the system is to follow a holistic approach.

The new GCworkplace Fit-Up Standards and the Federal Base Building standards (to be published soon) consider the telecommunications spaces and pathways to be base-building items, and also require the system of telecommunications spaces and pathways to comply with the above-noted TIA/EIA standards. Consequently, leasing documents must specify them, at least in buildings where the Crown has a long-term interest in all the office space.

Asset managers are expected to have undertaken an audit of the telecommunications infrastructure in buildings for which they are responsible.


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Associated documents

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