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What Is Structured Cabling?

Last Updated: March 7, 2018

Structured cabling provides the foundation for all other network equipment. It includes all cables and associated hardware, creating a complete telecommunications infrastructure. Business owners can use structured cabling to provide telephone service or transmit data over a computer network.

With increasing dependence on connectivity, businesses rely more and more on structured cabling for communications, operations, and processes. This is why you need a reliable cabling contractor like State Systems to install your structured cabling system. Read on to learn more about this technology, or contact us today to schedule services.

Every Structured Cabling System is Unique

For your cabling system to operate efficiently, it must take into account the specific needs of your business, architectural setup of your building, and types of cable and connection products you choose. If you already have an existing system installed, the contractor that performs upgrades and retrofits must take this into consideration.

Due to these variations, every structured cabling installation is unique. It’s no surprise, then, that you need an experienced professional to work out a practical system design.

Structured Cabling Systems are Standardized

Despite the uniqueness of individual structured cabling setups, the US cabling industry follows standards and practices established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in conjunction with the Telecommunications Industry Association/Electronic Industries Alliance (TIA/EIA) as well as standards put forth by the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI). These organizations have published standards for designing, installing, and maintaining structured cabling systems for the purposes of:

  • Ensuring proper implementation across all industries
  • Conforming to physical and transmission line requirements
  • Simplifying system expansions and upgrades
  • Providing uniform documentation

State Systems installs structured cabling systems that meet all standards and certifications created by ANSI, TIA/EIA, BICSI, and others.

Structured Cabling Infrastructures

As previously mentioned, structured cabling systems can utilize different cable and connection products. The main infrastructures available today include:

  • Copper cabling: Copper wires allow electrical signals to transfer from one connector to another. Both shielded and unshielded low voltage copper cables are available. Modern setups include Category (Cat) 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a, Cat 6e, or Cat 7 with the intent of future-proofing the installation as much as possible. Note: Copper cabling routes and support structures should avoid areas with potential sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI).
  • Fiber optic cabling: Rather than carrying electrical signals, fiber optic cabling uses light impulses to transfer information. Single-mode, multi-mode, and laser-optimized varieties provide a future-proof infrastructure for your business. Fiber optic cable is the most appropriate choice for high-bandwidth Gigabit Ethernet connections. Fibers can also run a much longer distance than copper cable without experiencing performance degradation.
  • Coaxial cabling: This low voltage connectivity solution is designed to work in advanced copper cabling applications. Coaxial cables support various audiovisual formats, including music and sound, paging and intercom systems, nurse call systems, CCTV and access control systems, and fire alarms.

Structured Cabling System Components

All structured cabling installations include these basic elements:

  • Entrance facilities: An underground, tunnel, buried, or aerial entrance facility is where cabling components transition from outside plant cabling to wiring approved for use inside a building. Fire-rated cables and electrical protection devices are typically required once wiring transitions to an indoor environment.
  • Vertical and horizontal backbone pathways and cables: Structured cabling branches out from the entrance facility to each floor in the building on a backbone cabling system. Interbuilding backbone cabling is also available to handle traffic between buildings.
  • Horizontal pathways and cables: These branch off of backbone cabling to deliver connectivity to individual work area outlets within the building.
  • Equipment room: This is where equipment is stored that serves users within the building.
  • Telecommunications room: The equipment in this room or closet acts as the branching off point for horizontal cabling subsystems, which link individual work area outlets to the structured cabling system.

Install Structured Cabling in the Mid-South

Installing a functional, well-designed structured cabling system requires in-depth knowledge of device location and connection requirements. At State Systems, our certified technicians are well-acquainted with ANSI standards and can design and install the solutions you need to keep your business competitive in this age of connectivity.

To schedule structured cabling installation or upgrades in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, or Alabama, please contact State Systems online or call us at 901-531-6550 today.

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