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The principal of Structured Cabling was introduced into the UK in the late eighties, early nineties with the launch of what was known at that time as Level 3 cable. The idea - with its origins in America - was that you could replace existing, traditional cable types such as expensive, bulky, protocol specific coaxial with a low cost, lightweight, easy to install 4 pair unshielded twisted pair cable. As well as the change in cable type the design of cable systems altered. The term flood wiring became common place, as customers installed dedicated cable runs for each device and installed more outlets than initially required to allow for future needs and growth.

A major benefit of this new cabling technology was the fact that it was protocol independent. Any equipment which operated below the cable's maximum working frequency could be connected and function as normal, this could include computers, telephones, printers, faxes etc. The freedom and flexibility which this concept introduced allowed users to effect moves, changes and system upgrades in a time and at a cost, they could only previously dream of. The standards which dictate performance levels of structured cabling systems, are published by the International Standards Organisation - ISO and the American based Electronic Industries Association/Telecommunications Industry Association - the EIA/TIA. As the performance needs of the users have developed and increased so have the cabling standards designed to support them.

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