FFTP CAT6A cables are capable of supporting data transfer rates up to 10Gbps with a maximum bandwidth of 500MHz. CAT6A has extra and tighter twists and extra insulation to reduce crosstalk. CAT6A is also backwards compatible with CAT6 and CAT5E, however, the speed is always limited and can be used with the lowest category cable or connector installed in the link. CAT6A is quickly becoming the most cost-effective solution as it is seen as a future-proof cable system. CAT6A components are used in Class EA networks as defined in ISO/IEC 11801 and TIA/EIA 568.
An obvious disadvantage of CAT6A is the physical size and weight of the cable. CAT6A was 50 percent larger when it first appeared in 2008. Since then, the cable size has been reduced by 10%. The extra weight gain also reduces the number of cables that can fit in the cable tray and where they can be placed. This results in larger cable trays and conduits and smaller harness sizes. Additional space is also required for cable bend radii in cable trays, patch panels, and rear wall outlets.
Termination methods and times are also considered disadvantageous for CAT6A installations, however, new modular jacks and receptacles that can be terminated in about 2-3 minutes reduce installation time and cost.
One of the main arguments in favor of installing CAT6A infrastructure today is to future-proof the network. Therefore, CAT6A should be considered if the planned life of the new cabling system is five years or more. If the planned lifetime of the network is ten years or more, CAT6A is clearly the preferred solution.