Telecommunications Rooms, also known as MDF, IDF, or BDFs (Main, Intermediate, or Building Distribution Facilities), shall be on each floor in an accessible area, and are common access points for backbone and building pathways. Telecommunications Rooms shall contain telecommunications and network equipment, cable terminations, and associated cross-connect cabling. The primary TR (on the lowest floor of the building) shall also contain the cable entrance facilities for data. Telecommunication rooms shall be dedicated to the telecommunication function and related support facilities. They shall not be shared with electrical installations other than those required for provisioning telecommunication services.  Equipment not related to the support of the telecommunications rooms (e.g., piping, ductwork, pneumatic tubing) shall not be installed in, pass through, or enter the telecommunications room. HVAC equipment will not be installed in telecommunications rooms.  Telecommunications rooms shall be located as close as practicable to the center of the area served and preferably in the core area.


The maximum horizontal distribution cable distance in new construction or a complete building remodel shall be 76-meters (250ft) or less.  If the length of any cable run to a workstation outlet exceeds the 76-meter limitation or if the floor has more than 10,000 square feet, additional telecommunication rooms must be installed.


Telecommunications rooms shall be 11' by 12’ in size if the serving area is 10,000 square feet; 10’ by 10’if the serving area is 8,000 square feet; 10’ by 8’ if the serving area is 5,000 square feet.  In locations where space or outlet quantities are limited other options such as a single rack, wall mounted racks or enclosed lockable cabinet(s) may be considered in a discussion with MSU-UIT. Adequate clearance and access (minimum 36 inches, from the equipment mounted within the rack) shall be provided to all racks and cabinets and include any swing radius of cabinet doors or rack frame. Racks and cable management will have 6” of clearance from walls. There will be one telecommunication room on each floor, stacked under each other, for ease in vertical distribution of riser cables.


Multiple telecommunications rooms in a building will be connected by 24 strand single-mode OS2 fiber optics cable.  The type of cable will be determined at the planning stage, taking into consideration the amount of network traffic between telecommunication rooms, the distance between the telecommunications rooms and the difficulty of running other cables at a future date. Multiple telecommunications rooms will be linked with two trade size 4 conduits or the equivalent tray size.


A minimum of one dedicated 30-amp circuit 220 duplex receptacle shall be installed to power the active electronics located in each telecommunication room. In rooms where there are two active electronics racks, it is preferred there are two dedicated 30-amp circuits. The receptacle(s) shall be located on top of the active electronics racks facing vertically or down rather than up to prevent debris buildup on the plugs, as determined by the UIT representative for the project.  A Line-Interactive Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) shall be provisioned in every IDF location, to provide reasonable back-up power to the active electronics if electrical service fails until the generator takes over. All racks and cable trays shall be grounded. Grounding systems are integral to the provisioning and protection of telecommunications systems and cabling. In addition to helping protect personnel and equipment from hazardous voltages, a proper grounding system may reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) to and from the telecommunications cabling system. Grounding and bonding shall meet the requirements and practices of application authorities or codes; and shall conform to ANSI/TIA/EIA-607D requirements.


Below are environmental and other factors that shall be addressed in the design of the telecommunications room.


    • 1.6.1 Electromagnetic Interference – telecommunications rooms shall be located away from sources of electromagnetic interference such as electrical power supply transformers, motors and generators, x-ray equipment, radio or radar transmitter, and induction sealing devices.
    • 1.6.2 Plywood Backboard – a telecommunications room requires a 4’ x 8’, ¾” plywood board securely mounted on at least one wall. The plywood will be fire-rated (fire-retardant) and painted. This item requires discussion and coordination with UIT prior to installation.
    • 1.6.3 Ceiling – Ceiling height will be a minimum clear height of 8 feet without obstructions; however most installations shall be 10 feet to accommodate overhead pathways. For purposes of access and flexibility, it is preferred that dropped ceilings are not provisioned in the telecommunications rooms.
    • 1.6.4 Treatment – Floors shall be sealed, and drywall surfaces painted, to eliminate dust. Painted surfaces shall be light in color to enhance room lighting. Floors shall have anti-static properties where feasible.
    • 1.6.5 Lighting – Lighting shall be a minimum of 500 lx (50 foot-candles) measured 3 feet above the finished floor, illuminating both front and rear of all cabinets and racks. The lighting shall be controlled by one or more switches located near the entrance doors to the room. Lighting fixtures shall not be powered from the same electrical circuit as the telecommunications and network equipment in the telecommunications room. No automatic/motion sensor switches are to be installed.
    • 1.6.6 Door – The door shall be a minimum of 36 inches wide and 80 inches high, without doorsill, hinged to open outward (codes permitting). The door latch shall be a permanent locking type, to maintain limited access.
    • 1.6.7 Floor loading – Telecommunications rooms shall be located on floor areas designed with a minimum floor loading of 50 lbs/ft2.
    • 1.6.8 Seismic considerations – All racks shall be bolted to the floor, and braced horizontally to 2 perpendicular walls, by strut members or cable trays.
    • 1.6.9 HVAC shall be included in the design of the telecommunications room to maintain a consistent maximum room temperature of approximately 72 degrees F. It shall be operational 24 hours per day and 365 days per year with a heat load estimate at 40 watts/square foot.
    • 1.6.10 Contaminants – The telecommunications room shall be protected from contaminants and pollutants that could affect operation and material integrity of the installed cable and equipment. Positive interior air pressure should be maintained by the air-handling system, to prevent the influx of exterior dust, debris, or other contaminants.
    • 1.6.11 Vibration – Potential vibration sources, which can lead to service failures over time, should be avoided, or considered and mitigated, in the design of the telecommunications room.
    • 1.6.12 Security – The telecommunications room will have only 1 access door into the space and a lock shall be installed, keyed to MSU’s Mechanical Room designation. No pass-through access to other spaces is permissible.
    • 1.6.13 Fire Protection – Fire protection of the telecommunications room shall be provided per applicable code. If sprinklers are required, the heads shall be provided with wire cages to prevent accidental operation. Drainage troughs shall be placed under the sprinkler pipes to prevent leakage onto the equipment within the room.


  • See TIA/EIA Standard 569-E Commercial Building Telecommunications Pathways & Spaces for more details in planning and installing telecommunications rooms.
  • Contractors needing access in MSU established Telecommunications Rooms must contact UIT 24 standard work hours in advance.