ANSI TIA 606-B Cable Labeling Standards

By Graphic Products Editorial Staff

ANSI TIA 606-B Cable Labeling standard example

ANSI/TIA-606-B is a voluntary standard that establishes the labeling and record keeping standards for telecommunications and network systems in industrial, residential, and healthcare facilities. It identifies what needs to be labeled and provides a recommended identification scheme that is harmonized with the ISO/IEC TR14763-2-1 international identification scheme.

The labeling principles that underlie 606-B include the following:

  • Labeling must be logical and consistent, across all locations, matching the project drawings.
  • The labeling scheme must identify the associated physical locations (building, room, cabinet, rack, port, etc.)
  • Labeling must be easily read, durable, and capable of surviving for the life of the component that was labeled.
  • The labeling system, and the identifiers used, must be agreed upon by all stakeholders .
  • Labeling should be pervasive; cables and connecting hardware should be labeled, but so should conduits and firestops, grounding and bonding locations, racks, cabinets, ports, and telecommunications spaces.

These principles are then translated into specific requirements.

Requirements For Labels

  • All labels must use a permanent identifier that can be easily traced — that is, a useful numbering scheme. This scheme must be logical in its organization, using alphanumeric characters for ease of reference.
  • Each cable and each pathway must be labeled on each end, and each label should identify the termination points of both ends of the cable.
  • All labels must meet requirements for legibility, defacement, and adhesion, specified in UL969.
  • Labels for station connections may appear on the face plate.
  • All jack, connector, and block hardware may be labeled on either the outlet or panel.
  • All labels must match up with the permanent record.

Wire Color Coding

While recommended, color coding is not required, and compliant coding may be accomplished using color labels or color bands. The following is the color coding scheme recommended in 606-B:

  • Orange – Demarcation point (central office termination)
  • Green – Network connections on the customer’s side of the demarcation point
  • White – First-level backbone: main cross-connect to a TR (telecommunications room) in the same building
  • Gray – Second-level backbone: cabling between two TRs, or between an intermediate cross-connect and a TR in a remote building
  • Brown – Interbuilding backbone cables (across a campus)
  • Blue – Termination of horizontal cabling at the closet end only
  • Purple – Common equipment: PVBX, LANs, and individual computers
  • Yellow – Auxiliary circuits, such as alarms and security systems
  • Red – Key telephone systems termination

Record Keeping Requirements

  • Drawings and documents must be secured and backed up by the building administration.
  • Any moves, adds, and changes (MACs) must be documented with a change order.
  • MACs must be recorded and updated in the permanent records.
  • Permanent records must cross-reference all identifier information.

ANSI/TIA-606-B Identification Example

The following is a simple example of a cable identifier. It identifies the termination point for both ends of the cable, with the near end shown first.


Each section of that marking has a specific meaning, broken down here:

3MK02 – The first element identifies the rack location at the near end of the cable. In this case, the “3” indicates the third floor, “MK” indicates the marketing department, and “02” is for the second cabinet in that third-floor marketing equipment room.

-35 – This identifies the patch panel that is located 35 rack units from the bottom of the cabinet (specified as 3MK02 just previously.)

:05 – The number after the colon identifies the specific port in the patch panel. This is port 05.

/ – The slash separates the near end identification from the far end identification.

DC.A04 – As before, the first element identifies the cabinet location, but this time for the far end of the cable. In this case, the far end of the cable is in the Data Center (DC); it will be the fourth cabinet in row “A.”

-35 – The patch panel located 35 rack units from the bottom of the cabinet in question, A04.

:05 – Finally, this marks the specific port in the patch panel.

This particular cable would have a corresponding label on the other end (the data center end, in this case) which would read:


The information is the same, but the order is reversed, reflecting the reversal of the “near” and “far” ends.

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