Today, structured cabling has become more than just wires and cables. Structured cabling is a system of cables and associated components that connects telecommunication devices in a building or campus. The main purpose of structured cabling is to provide a comprehensive and consistent telecommunication infrastructure that can be easily installed and relocated as needed. It has a series of standards that are meant to support the growing digital needs of businesses. Structured Cabling provides an easy way to identify and isolate malfunctions in a network. If there is a problem with one cable, it’s easy to find out which one and fix it. This helps avoid any serious disruptions or crashes in the network caused by faulty wiring or cables. Structured Cabling ensures all the equipment in a network is working properly and that there are no interferences between different types of signals.
This article will cover the basics of structured cabling as it is implemented with today’s standards.
Types of Structured Cabling
Cabling is an important part of any business, and it’s crucial to select the right type of cable for the needs of your business.
There are three main types of structured cabling – twisted pair, coaxial, and optical fiber. They all have specific standards which you should be aware of when installing or upgrading your network.
1) Twisted pair cables are the most used type of cable for data transmission, but they have low transmission speeds.
2) Coaxial cables have a higher transmission speed, but they can cause interference.
3) Fiber optic cabling is newer but is becoming more popular because of its high bandwidth capacity. There are two main types of fiber optic cabling – optical fiber and electronic fiber. Optical fiber has a shorter distance than electronic fiber, but it is more expensive, and its performance is unparalleled by any other type of structured cable
5 Key Components
A well-designed structured cabling system contains 5 key components:
1) Horizontal cable – runs from the workstation to the telecommunications room;
2) Backbone cable – connects all of the horizontal cables in each building;
3) Patch panels and cross-connects – provide connection points for telecommunications equipment;
4) Work area outlets – wall or floor-mounted jacks that connect the horizontal cable to user equipment;
5) Telecommunications rooms – housing for active voice, data, and video equipment.
Important standards for Structured Cabling Systems
Structured Cabling standards are essential for organizations that want to ensure that their cabling systems are installed and maintained in a reliable and consistent manner. They also provide guidelines for testing and inspection of cabling systems, as well as procedures for replacing or upgrading cabling components. TIA/EIA-568 is the most common standard in the US and Canada, while ISO/EC 11801 is the international version of TIA/EIA-568.
The TIA/EIA-568 is a standard that defines the requirements for the installation, testing, and maintenance of structured cabling systems. It was created by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA). It is more commonly known as the Structured Cabling Standard or SCCS. The standard was originally written in 1988 to promote uniformity in cabling installations and provide a standardized set of criteria for approving cabling products. The TIA/EIA-568 specifies how cabling must be installed, terminated, and maintained to support operations that are required by specific applications and environments. The guidelines address both network infrastructure (e.g., patch panels, connectors, terminations) and end-user devices (e.g., switches, patch cords).
TIA/EIA 568A and TIA/EIA 568B are two cable standards that describe the same thing: twisted-pair cable. But there are differences between the two standards, which make them ideal for different situations. TIA/EIA 568A describes smaller cables that are used in applications like telephones, while TIA/EIA 568B describes larger cables that are used in equipment such as network switches. The main difference between the two cables is the number of pairs that they support. TIA/EIA 568A supports four pairs, while TIA/EIA 568B supports eight pairs. The extra pairs allow for higher bandwidths and greater distances between devices. TIA/EIA 568A stands for Telecommunications Industry Association Cable Standard, while TIA/EIA 568B stands for Telecommunications Industry Association Bi-Directional Cable Standard. The main difference between these two standards is that the TIA/EIA 568B standard only describes bi-directional cables, while the TIA/EIA 568A standard describes both bi-directional and uni-directional cables as well.
As with most standards, there are different versions of the TIA/EIA-568 depending on which organization publishes it:
Another version published in 1991 by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). The latest version is ANSI/TIA-568-D, published in December 2015, which defines requirements for generic telecommunication cabling. The later ANSI/TIA-568-C standard, published in 2009, was developed to help ensure compatibility between different types of cables and devices. It covers the installation, testing, and configuration of networks using Category 5e cable (up to 125 kilometers per pair).
A third version published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) in 1995. ISO/EC 11801 is the international version of TIA/EIA-568 and covers commercial, residential, and industrial networks. The current version, ISO/IEC 11801-2, was released in 2017 and includes new standards for 4K video, 5G wireless networks, and smart cities.
As you can see, there are a variety of structured cabling standards that are used in different parts of the world. When choosing a structured cabling system for your business, it is important to consult with a professional to ensure that you are choosing the right standard for your needs. With the right system in place, you can be sure that your business will have the reliable and efficient network it needs to thrive.