In the past, the cabling used for data and voice communications was much simpler than it is now. The majority of systems utilized copper wire that was two-pair or four-pair that was encased in a binder to secure the cable. Connections typically involved stripping the wire’s end in order to reveal the copper wire. The wire was then connected to connectors, commonly referred to as connecting blocks. connector block that linked physically-based devices with a switch for example, a PBX system.

With the development of digital transmissions in all types of data and voice communication equipment in the latter part of 1970 and into the early 1980s, new kinds of connectors and wiring were developed. The intention was to make the connection of devices to their main system, thereby speeding the process of creating the wired infrastructure needed for data and voice devices.

Which structured cable system is it?

As the wiring and connections developed, more standardization was required for cabling, connectors, and different kinds of wiring, such as coaxial, fiber, and copper. In the year 2000, American National Standards Institute and Telecommunications Industry Association created the standards, called ANSI/TIA-568. These standards establish guidelines covering every aspect of commercial and residential building cable distribution networks.

These standards form the structure of the cabling system. Structured cabling is built on six components which, taken together create a simple easy to implement, a repeatable, and cost-effective framework to install telecommunications cabling. The six elements of structured cabling are as follows: following:

  1. Entrance Facilities
  2. Equipment Room
  3. Backbone Cabling
  4. Telecommunications Room
  5. Horizontal Cabling
  6. Work Space

What is the significance of structured cabling?

Structured cabling significantly eases the installation of the cable infrastructure that can support many different types of data and voice communication equipment. When it comes to you are installing coaxial outlets within an apartment or wiring a tower the cables are designed to meet particular standards for electrical transmission and resistance cable lengths as well as connectors and cable production.

Structured cabling can also aid in the diagnosis of wiring issues by using the appropriate diagnostic equipment that is made to be compatible with ANSI/TIA-568.0/1 standards. Installation is much easier when using structured cabling since the interfaces are standardized, generally with snap-in connectors.

Standardization of structured cabling

The advancement of systems for structured cabling was assisted by the publication of the standard ANSI/TIA-568 in 1991. Its sections comprised Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer premises (C.0) as well as the Commercial Building Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard (C.1). Both standards have been revised numerous times over the last 30 years. The latest versions are ANSI/TIA 568.0 (customer premises) and ANSI/TIA568.1 (commercial buildings). 568.1 (commercial buildings). The two standards were last updated in March 2020.

Benefits of structured cabling

Installation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of cable infrastructures are greatly simplified by structured cabling. This can save money due to the commonality of every hardware component as well as cable kind. It also speeds up installation because connectors and wiring are significantly simplified. The standard ANSI/TIA-568 can be adapted to almost any commercial or residential wiring requirements.

The six subsystems of structured cabling

1. Entrance Facilities (EF):

The telecom facilities that enter a structure or home from outside — either from local service providers or a private networks — go via an entry point in the wall’s exterior by way of an conduit. The cabling is then inserted into a room where additional devices are installed, such as network connections patches, patch panels racks for equipment as well as hardware connectors, power supply and grounding devices for protection and shielding as well as lightning protection.

2. The Equipment Room (ER):

The space that connects the entrance cabling to the wiring infrastructure of the building is known as the equipment room. It houses patch panels which connect cabling for backbone, horizontal as well as intermediate cabling. Since this room could contain switches for networks, PBXs, servers, and other devices It should be monitored for environmental conditions to make sure that temperature and humidity levels are kept in line to the specifications of the equipment manufacturer.

3. Backbone Cabling:

Also known as riser cabling that it is typically placed in vertical channels or risers that connect to the floor below Backbone cabling connects EF telecoms, telecommunications and other ERs, as well as space for carriers. Two different subsystems are identified to connect backbone cabling:

  1. The Cabling Subsystem 2 connects between a horizontal crossover and one intermediate crossing-connect (IC).
  2. Cabling Subsystem 3 is cabling between an IC and the main cross-connect (MC).

The cable kinds used in backbone cabling are the following:

  • 100-ohm twisted-pair cabling: Cat3, Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a;
  • Multimode optical fiber cabling: Laser-optimized 850 nanometers 50/125 micrometers (recommended); 62.5/125 mm and 50/125 millimeters (permitted) and
  • Single-mode optical fiber cable.

Note: Entry cables are generally set by the company and is not the responsibility of the user.

4. Telecommunications Room (TR) and Telecommunications Enclosure (TE):

The controlled environment could be a separate area (TE) or as a component of a larger space (TR) or the general utility room. In these areas, hardware terminates the backbone and horizontal cables. It’s also where local cable are also used. They’re referred to as jumpers or patch cords are installed in patch panels to connect various cables. The MCs or ICs can be used here too to offer additional connections.

5. Horizontal Cabling (Cabling Subsystem 1):

The process of delivering telecom resources to users in their work rooms or other areas on the floor is the task for horizontal cable. The typical cable run connects the device of the user to the closest TR located on the floor. The maximum permissible cable duration between the TR and the user’s device can be 295 feet regardless of cable kind.

Horizontal cabling comprises the cable patches, connectors patch cords, and jumpers that are part of the TR/TE. It could also include multiuser telecommunications outlet assembly and consolidating points to connect several devices or cables to one connector.

The cable kinds used for horizontal cabling comprise the following:

  • four-pair 100-ohm unprotected or shielded twisted-pair cabling for Cat5e and Cat6a.
  • Multimode fiber optic cabling two-fiber (also with more fiber count) as well as
  • Single-mode optical fiber cabling two-fiber (also with more fiber count).

6. The Work Area (WA):

The space from an outlet connector, also known as a the jack, inside the wall outlet to a device used by a user that is connected to the cable is known as the WA. It’s the ultimate destination of a planned cable system.

Structured cabling has significantly eased the process of installing devices for data and voice communications. This means that any of the latest equipment, such as IoT systems, can be readily supported.

Conclusion:

Structured Cabling is much more than just running wires from end to end, and popping an RJ-45 connector on.  There are specific cables that work for specific applications, and it’s never a one-type-fits-all situation. Whether you’re running cabling in a steel prefab structure, a pre-war walk-up in lower manhattan, or just running a wire from the living room to the bedroom, you need to call a professional company to get the work done. Call the team that’s been in business for over 25 years for all of your structured cabling needs.