Structured cabling is the design and installation of a cabling systems that will support multiple hardware uses and be suitable for today’s needs and those of the future. With a correctly installed system, current and future requirements can be met and hardware that is added in the future will be supported.
Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that specify wiring data centers, offices, and apartment buildings for data or voice communications using various kinds of cable, most commonly category 5e (Cat 5e), category 6 (Cat 6).
Cabling standards require that all eight conductors in Cat 5e/6/6A cable be connected. IP phone systems can run the telephone and the computer on the same wires, eliminating the need for separate phone wiring.
Regardless of copper cable type (Cat 5e/6/6A), the maximum distance is 90 m for the permanent link installation, plus an allowance for a combined 10 m of patch cords at the ends. Cat 5e and Cat 6 can both effectively run PoE applications up to 90 m. However, due to greater power dissipation in Cat 5e cable, performance and power efficiency are higher when Cat 6A cabling is used to power and connect to PoE devices.
A structured cabling system is a complete system of cabling and associated hardware, which provides a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure. This infrastructure serves a wide range of uses, such as to provide telephone service or transmit 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 electrical 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- present and future
- The configuration of an already installed system (upgrades and retrofits)
- Customer requirements
- Manufacturer warranties.