Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of regulations which stipulate how a data centre, office or apartment building is wired for data or voice communications using Category 5(CAT 5E), Category 6 cable(CAT 6E) and modular sockets. These regulations specify how the structured cabling should be laid in a star formation, so that each outlet terminates at a central patch panel (which is normally 19 inches and rack-mounted) in order to determined exactly how these connections are used. Each outlet can be 'patched' into a data network switch (normally also rack mounted alongside), or patched into a 'telecoms patch panel' which forms a bridge into a private branch exchange (PBX) telephone system, thus making the connection a voice port.
A structured cabling system is a complete system of structured cabling and associated hardware, which provides a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure. This infrastructure offers an extensive range of services, such as providing telephone solutions or transmitting data through a computer network; it should not be device dependent.
We further define a structured cabling system in terms of ownership. The structured cabling system begins at the point where the service provider (SP) terminates. This point is the point of demarcation (demarc) or Network Interface Device (NID).
For example, in a telephone system installation, the SP furnishes one or more service lines (per customer requirements). The SP connects the service lines at the point of demarcation.
Every structured cabling system is unique; this is due to variations in:
- The architectural structure of the building, which houses the cabling installation;
- The cable and connection products;
- The function of the cabling installation;
- The types of equipment the cabling installation will support, both present and future;
- The configuration of an already installed system (upgrades and retrofits);
- Customer requirements;
- Manufacturer warranties.
What are 'the standards'?
There are three main structured cabling standards:
- ISO/IEC 11801 - The International standard for structured cabling systems.
- CENELEC EN 50173 - The European structured cabling standard
- BS EN 50173 - the British version of the European structured cabling standard
The reason for having a 'Standard' or being bound by a regulation is to establish a standardized method of connecting all types of vendor's voice and data equipment, through a structured cabling system which uses acommon media, common connectors and a common topology. The benchmarking of these standards enables buildings to be cabled for all their communication needs without the planner or architect having to divert from their focus in order to take on the onus of learning which type of equipment is required in order to wire the building.
Should you have any queries or wish to find out more about Structured Cabling please contact us on: 0207 199 4610 and one of our customer service representatives will be happy to assist you.
Categories 1 through 6 are based on the EIA/TIA-568-B standards. Most new wiring for LANs consists of CAT5e cabling which is an improved version of CAT5 cabling. See twisted pair.
|CAT2||UTP||Digital voice up to 1 Mbps|
|CAT3||UTP, ScTP, STP||16 MHz, 4 Mbps|
|CAT4||UTP, ScTP, STP||20 MHz, 16 Mbps|
|CAT5||UTP, ScTP, STP||100 MHz, 1 Gbps|
|CAT5e||UTP, ScTP, STP||100 MHz, 1 Gbps|
|CAT6||UTP, ScTP, STP||250 MHz, 10 Gbps/55 meters|
|CAT6a||UTP, ScTP, STP||500 MHz, 10 Gbps/100 meters|
|CAT7||ScTP, STP||600 MHz, 10 Gbps/100 meters text|