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CPS Infrastructure Handbook

Office of Technology Service, working in conjunction with Department of Operations, has developed this manual to provide the schools with a tool to implement local area network (LAN) technology in a consistent way. The network wiring system is necessary to support many technologies the schools may wish to use including distance learning, cable television, media retrieval systems, and wide area network (WAN) connectivity. This document is the network wiring standards established for the Chicago Public Schools including a standardized cabling system and physical topology network.

The audience for the manual is anyone involved in network wiring projects: school principals, technology coordinators, consultants and contractors. The benefits of following the standardized system include:

  • Maintaining district wide consistency and standardization within the Chicago Public Schools
  • Supporting multi-vendor equipment
  • Simplifying moves, additions, and changes
  • Allowing for future applications -- “future proofing” the cabling system for any forthcoming technologies
  • Saving time and money in cable maintenance; the principle cost for maintenance is labor

In summary, network wiring which follows these standards should provide classroom wiring to support LANs and backbone wiring from the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) Room to the classrooms for the next 15-20 years.

Standards Overview

The standards include:

  • Six strands of fiber optic cabling and two Category Six Enhanced cables connected to each administrative and instructional area.
  • A backbone of multimode fiber optic cable that is star wired from the MDF Room to the classrooms.
  • Network cabling that must conform to EIA/TIA telecommunication wiring standards.
  • Electrical Standards: This is a supplemental section 16000. Electrical distribution system for the computers must conform to federal, State of Illinois, and City of Chicago Electrical Codes.
  • Testing Standards: A critical part of the installation is the testing and verification that all cabling and wiring meet testing standards prior to acceptance of the final product
  • Labeling Standards: This will provide districtwide consistency.

Network Wiring Project Components

Successful projects include the following seven components:

  • Media Selection
  • Termination Components
  • Design Criteria
  • Installation Techniques
  • Certification Testing
  • Code Compliance
  • Documentation

Please Note:

Any request for a design variance of the Infrastructure Standards must be submitted for approval, in writing, prior to construction to:

Chicago Public Schools
Office of Technology Services
501 W. 35th St., 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60616

PDF Drawings