This paper provides an overview of the U.S. standard (ANSI/EIA/TIA 568) addressing topology, distances, media (fiber and copper), and connectors. The impact of the wiring standard on new application standards, IEEE 10BASE-T, 4/16 Mb/s token ring, and FDDI is discussed showing how the wiring standard is evolving into a utility. The factors affecting the decision on pulling fiber to the desk are weighed against the ever-increasing data rates being delivered over copper at 100 meters (the maximum horizontal distance). The use of other media, including plastic fiber, are considered. The relationships between the emerging international wiring standard and ANSI/EIA/TIA 568 are examined showing the path toward a worldwide utility. The status of the United States, Canadian, and Australian federal government and international standards is reviewed.