What Does Structured Cabling Mean? We Are Here To Educate You.

Shoreworx Communications designs and installs a wide range of inside structured cabling to accommodate telecommunications, data networks, paging systems, and CATV services.  The most common types of cables include Category 3, Category 5e, Category 6, Coax, and Fiber Optic Cabling in Cleveland.

We have provided a brief definition of structured cabling, along with a description of the different components of a structured cabling project to assist you in the planning process of a structured cabling needs.

Structured cabling refers to the cabling infrastructure in a building, campus, or multi-campus environment.  Structured cabling consists of the following components:

  • Main Distribution Frame (MDF) commonly refers to the location of the telephone system and the main components of the data network infrastructure.
  • Horizontal wiring typically consists of Cat 3, Cat 5e, Cat 6, or Coax cables.  Horizontal wiring connects the MDF and IDF(s) to individual outlets to serve workstations.
  • Demarcation point (sometimes referred to as a “demarc”) is the point where the telephone company network ends and connects to wiring inside the customer’s premises.
  • Intermediate Distribution Frames (IDFs) refers to equipment and wiring closets that are typically on different floors.  In small office environments of 50 workstations or less, IDFs are usually not needed.

Different Types of Data Cable Based on Data Needs

 

Category 3 (Cat 3) Cable
Category 3 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 3, is a 24 gauge twisted pair cable, and continues to be a cable standard to support traditional digital and analog telephones, traditional fax machines, and paging speakers and horns.

Category 5e (Cat 5e) Cable
Category 5e cable, commonly referred to as Cat 5e, is a 24 gauge twisted pair cable, and is a cable standard for 100 Mbps Ethernet computer networks for the connectivity of computers, network printers, VoIP telephones, and other IP devices that connect to the network.  The Cat 5e rating can be maintained for cable lengths within 330 feet.  Cat 5e cable is backwards compatible with Cat 3.  Therefore, Cat 5e can also support traditional digital and analog telephones.

Category 6 (Cat 6) Cable
Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 6 is a twisted pair cable and is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbps) computer networks for the connectivity of computers, network printers, VoIP telephones, and other IP devices that connect to the network.  The Cat 6 rating can be maintained for cable lengths within 330 feet.  Cat 6 cable is backwards compatible with Cat 5e and Cat 3.  Therefore, Cat 6 can also support 100 Mbps Ethernet computer networks as well as traditional digital and analog telephones.

Coaxial (Coax) Cable
Coaxial cable, commonly referred to as coax, is a cable with an inner conductor, surrounded by a flexible, tubular insulating layer and conducting shield.  For inside structured wiring projects for business, coax cable is most commonly used to extend cable television signals from the main wiring closet (referred to as the main distribution frame or MDF), to each TV location.

Coax cable is the means of connection between the cable company (historically the cable TV company) and offices, and can provide phone, internet, and television services.

Fiber Optic Cable
A fiber optic cable is a thin, flexible, transparent fiber that acts as a light pipe to transmit light between two ends of the fiber.  Fiber optics permits transmissions over longer distances at higher bandwidths than Cat 5e, Cat 6, or Coaxial Cable.  Fiber optic cables can be used when exceeding the 330 foot distance limitation of Cat 5e or Cat 6 for structured wiring projects in a single building, campus environment, or multi-campus environment.

Fiber optic cables can also be used as the means of connection between a customer’s premise and the voice, data or internet carrier in order to achieve reliable connectivity and higher bandwidth than is possible with traditional copper or coax connections to an office building.

Shoreworx Communications will help you to understand which cabling is right for your business needs. Call us today at 440-808-8448 to schedule your free site survey. We will go over the details of your project to make sure that you have exactly what you require to get your network running properly. 

About Author: Shannon

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