Ethernet technology was invented over 30 years ago as a robust way to interconnect computers in an office environment. The scale and performance of Ethernet has made it the go-to technology for industrial applications as well. However, the application of inappropriate media product raises considerable safety and conformance issues that have not been traditionally considered in media selection for a commercial or office environment. This paper looks at the regulations and breaks down the permissible uses of various types of Ethernet media based on the requirements of the National Electrical Code (also known as NFPA 70) and the Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery (NFPA 79.1), both as administered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
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