When you see CATx cable priced significantly lower than Black Box cable (or other name brands), raise a red flag. The cable is probably counterfeit or very cheaply made, even if it sports a brand name, UL® number or ETL logo.
Agencies and associations, including UL®, the Communications Cable & Connectivity Association (CCCA), and the legitimate cable manufacturing community, are not idly standing by while dangerous cable floods the market. It’s estimated that as much as 20% of the cable for sale now is unsafe, unapproved or counterfeit. Agency representatives and code officials are aware of the risks and are taking action to stop it before it stops you. If you’re planning to purchase cable, you need to know how to protect your team, organisation, and building – literally. When it comes to cable, you really do get what you pay for.
Don’t pass go
You can’t count on counterfeit and low-grade cable for top network performance. Because the conductors are often not made of copper and the twists aren’t done to spec, you may get very poor or bizarre performance, even over short distances. Can you really afford to put your network at risk?
Don’t play with fire
Cable counterfeiters are known for passing off riser cable as LSZH cable. This very dangerous because it has little or no heat protection.
Remember the famous MGM fire in Las Vegas in the early 1980s? Combustible materials, including cables, burned with such speed and intensity that 84 people lost their lives. What if counterfeit cable causes a fire or accident where people are hurt or killed? Is that a price you’re willing to pay?
Black Box cable – genuine, guaranteed, independently tested
When you buy Black Box cable, you buy peace of mind. All Black Box copper cable and our indoor bulk fibre cable is guaranteed for life.
To further ensure you get the real deal, Black Box puts its cable through idependent testing. Once a quarter, an Intertek inspector visits Black Box and randomly selects cable and cabling products. Our GigaBase CAT5e and GigaTrue CAT6 Solid Bulk Cable is ETL Verified at the component level. Our CAT5e and CAT6 Channel Solutions (bulk cable, patch cables, jacks, patch panels, wiring blocks) are also ETL verified in a LAN environment. In addition, we put all of our CAT5e and CAT6 bulk cable through independent burn/smoke tests.
Black Box cable is the real deal.
Signs of counterfeit and cheap cable...
UL® Number. Fake or illegitimate. If there is no UL® number, that’s an instant tip-off. Even if there is a number, you can look it up to see if it’s legit. And even if it is a real UL® number, it’s possible that it was copied from a set of “good” cable and printed on counterfeit cable. UL® also posts alerts on unauthorised numbers and lists verified cabling products on-line.
ETL logos. Counterfeiters use them whether they are earned or not. Ask the seller for the ETL test results and check the ETL website.
Jacket/construction. Does the cable look like previously purchased cable? Are the conductors straight or oddly “twisty”? Does the jacket feel like a riser or LSZH cable?
Colour. Does the colour match previously bought cable?
Printing/Legend. Is the printing poorly done on the box and the cable? Are there any typographical or grammatical errors? Check the UL® logo. It should have the letters UL arranged diagonally (descending left to right) within a circle with a small ® symbol directly below the U. Does the cable legend have the proper markings?
Weight. If the cable box/spool feels light, compare it's weight to cable you know performs up to standard. Counterfeit and cheaply made cables often have undersized copper conductors that don’t perform well and weigh half as much as genuine cable.