Channel Rated: This is the less-stringent rating. When all of the components of a Permanent Link or Channel (jack, cable, optional consolidation point, patch panel, and – for the Channel – patch cords at both ends) are installed together in a system the overall performance of the installed set of products will exceed the industry-defined (TIA-568-C) performance for an installed Channel.
Note: The Permanent Link consists of the jack, the cable, the patch panel, and (if used) the optional consolidation point. The Channel consists of everything that is in the Permanent Link plus the patch cords at either end of the circuit. Channel performance requirements are more-relaxed with respect to Permanent Link performance requirements, due to allowance in the Channel for the installed patch cords.
Component Rated: This is the more-stringent rating. The TIA standards have defined a set of performance criteria for each component of a permanent link or channel (jack, cable, optional consolidation point, patch panel, or patch cord). These criteria provide for excess performance over what is needed for a mere channel rating. A part is said to be Component Rated if it can pass these criteria, and the implication is that it is a better-performing part, that when installed in a system will help to provide Permanent Links or Channels that show much greater headroom over Link or Channel specifications than one would expect to see from channel rated parts.