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  • Writer's pictureDave Korte

What's an LOA, and Why do I need one to install a Cross Connect?

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

A Letter of Authority (LOA) is a document that allows someone to install a cross-connect in a data center or other facility. It is a formal authorization from the service provider, to the other party to run the cross-connect to your space. The LOA includes details about the location of your space in the facility, the cabinet or rack where the connection should land, the patch panel and port designation, the type of media, and any other pertinent instructions.

The LOA is required to ensure that the cross-connect is installed correctly and according to your specifications. It also serves as a record of the authorization given to the other party to install the cross-connect and can be used as a reference in case of any issues or disputes that may arise. Additionally, the LOA helps to protect the data center or the contractor installing the cross-connect from liability by clearly stating the instructions and requirements provided by you, the owner of the space.

An LOA is simply a piece of paper with a few parts. It usually starts on company letterhead to make it official. It states you are giving authority to the other party to land a cross-connect to your physical space. It usually reads something like this in the first paragraph.

The undersigned appoints ______________________________________________________ (“___________”) authority to act as an authorized agent to order cross connects to be delivered to YOUR_COMPANY (“YOUR_COMPANY”) colocation facilities.

Specifically, this letter authorizes ___________ to order services on the behalf of YOUR_COMPANY in order to engineer and deliver access and transport to the collocation designated below.

___________ is hereby released from any and all liabilities for making pertinent information available to necessary contractors and for following instructions provided by YOUR_COMPANY with reference to the following order:

The above establish who, what, why, and where. The meat of the LOA is usually in the next part. This is where you define where the LOA is specifically going.

Most LOAs include the following information:

  • Where your physical space is in the facility

  • What cabinet or rack the connection is to land in

  • What patch panel to go in, If you are not using patch panels you really should

  • The port designation to plug into on the patch panel

  • The type of media (single mode, Ethernet, etc.)

  • -f fiber, what ends your side should be (LC, SC, etc)

  • Any other pertinent instructions.

This letter serves as authorization for you to install a cross-connect in our space at [Facility Name] located at [Facility Address]. The cross-connect is to be installed in [Cabinet or Rack Number] and connected to [Patch Panel and Port Designation] using [Type of Media].

Please note that [Type of Fiber Connectors] connectors are to be used on our side of the connection. Any additional instructions or requirements can be found in the attached document.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


[Your Name]


[Company Name]

There are several factors that can affect the information that needs to be included in a Letter of Authority (LOA). Some data centers may only run the cable to a designated spot in your space and leave it up to you to connect it to your equipment. Others may plug the connection into the patch panel ports you specify. Still others may offer a full turnkey service, including patching the connection down to your equipment. In this case, you will need to provide additional information about the location of your switch, the switch port to use, and the type of cable needed.

The reason for including detailed information in the LOA is to ensure that the work is done correctly and according to your specifications. The person installing the cross-connect may not be familiar with your equipment or setup, so it is important to provide clear instructions. Additionally, including specific details in the LOA serves as a check and balance, helping to ensure that the documentation is accurate and that any issues or discrepancies can be easily resolved. It also protects the data center or the contractor installing the cable by clearly stating the instructions and requirements provided by you.

The LOA should be signed by someone who has been authorized by the facility to act on your behalf and may include additional wording about a time limit for the authorization or other notes. LOAs are an important part of the documentation process in data centers and having accurate and complete documentation helps to ensure smooth operation.

If you need assistance with ordering or installing a cross-connect, we can help. Our team has successfully installed and turned up over 500 cross-connects in data centers, so you can trust us to handle your project with expertise. Contact us for more information.

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