TYPES OF STRUCTURED CABLING
The phrase “Structured cabling” may mislead you to believe that it is only made up of cables in your network, but that is not the case. A structured cabling system can run throughout a building, between locations or across an entire campus. Thereby, connecting telecommunications cabinets, hardware and more.
Now that you have determined that a Structured cabling system is the best solution for your IT plan, what is next?
Based on your Infrastructure Site Survey, you will now need to determine the best type of structured cabling for your project.
Backbone cabling, sometimes called vertical cabling, is the between floors and/or intra-building cable connections. This includes cabling between entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications closets. These cables develop a “skeleton” for the network. The size of your project will determine the need for backbone cabling.
Backbone cabling can be done with many different kinds of cables. Fiber optic cabling is the most appropriate choice because of the higher bandwidth when compared to Cat5, Cat6, or Cat8 cables.
Fiber optic cabling is able to carry more data than copper cable (Cat5, Cat6 or Cat7), making it well suited to link telecommunication rooms. A fiber-optic backbone has greater flexibility as fiber cabling can support up to 1,000 meters of gigabit Ethernet, and 5,000 meters of single-mode. For example, larger enterprises often use fiber optic cabling since Cat6 cable is limited to a maximum installation length of 295 ft.
Horizontal cabling is usually installed in a star network that connects each work area to the telecommunications cabinet. The cables are typically run in the ceiling or beneath the floor. Generally, Cat6 or Cat7 cables are recommended for new installations because it best supports both voice and high-speed data transmissions.
In special circumstances, fiber optic cable may be required. For example, due to their electrical nature, copper cables can be affected by temperature fluctuations, humidity and electromagnetic interference. All of which can disrupt signals, slow down connection speeds and reduce network reliability. On the other hand, fiber optic cables do not conduct electricity and thus transmit clearer, more reliable signals without the risk of EMI.
As two important parts of structured cabling, both backbone and horizontal cabling play an important role and may have different specifications due to cabling environment. A netRelevance low voltage cabling professional can help you determine the best solution for your network needs.
“Structured cabling” may mislead you to believe that it is only made up of cables in your network, but that is not the case.