[Q] Why is there a length limitation for CAT 5 Cable?
[A] In order to establish cabling standards that will be reliable in a variety of circumstances, it was necessary to perform rigorous testing of networks under a multitude of different conditions.
During this testing process, it was found that it was possible to successfully transmit data over a CAT 5 Cable connection well in excess of the established limit of 328 feet, given ideal conditions and properly matched networking equipment.
Other connection scenarios revealed that using poor quality CAT 5 Cable, switches, or other components resulted in a much slower network with less signal power to reach other devices.
This created a wide gap between what was thought to be "possible", and was was considered "realistic. As a result, the poor performing models were considered by many to be more of a worst case situation, and therefore the standard was set on the low side to ensure successful installation under a variety of installation conditions.
As technology of cabling products continues to improve, the data cabling standards are always being reviewed. It is always possible that changes may be introduced at a later date that will provide more flexibility.
Until then, stay on the safe side.
5 Cable Company sells CAT 6, CAT 5E, and CAT 5 Patch and Crossover cables in 9 colors, custom fit to any length up to 328 feet.
RELATED FAQ QUESTION: What is the difference between patch and crossover cable?
Keywords: CAT 5E Patch Cable, CAT 6 Patch Cable