Inside the Mind of a Cabling Installer
We take a look inside the mind of a cabling installer. What exactly is it they contemplate when planning a data cabling network? If you’re planning on overhauling your business data cabling infrastructure, these insights can help to ensure you know what you’re looking for in a good cabling installer.
The first consideration a cabling installer takes when planning a cabling project is: what exactly will the cabling in your premises be used for? When considering this, don’t only think about today’s needs.
Although none of us can see in to the future with complete accuracy, it’s wise to make sure that your cabling network offers room for expansion and technology progression. Bear in mind that the cheapest option may not be as cost-effective as you think if you have to install higher capacity wiring within a few short years. It’s best to think long-term. Ideally, for a such a large investment, you will want your cabling infrastructure to last up to twenty years and a lot can change in this time a good cabling installer will advise you.
For example, the arrival of cloud technology has seen the heat density levels in cabling rise so additional cooling may be required, depending on the type of cable you opt for. Many businesses are seeing cost savings and performance benefits with computer technology internet-based telephone systems and, as this technology develops, it will need scope for bandwidth capacity growth.
You want a space saving, cost-effective, efficient, bandwidth and application flexible system and remember that cabling has the longest life span of any element within a network. It can last for around twenty years so although today’s requirements are obviously important, they should be thought of as being below the minimum standard you will require.
Data cabling options
CAT5 – This twisted-pair copper data cabling was invented in the 1990’s for LAN transmissions up to 155mb/s including Ethernet. It is now obsolete, but still in use in many premises.
CAT5e – This is an advancement on CAT5, with additional technology installed for greater efficiency. It works to 100MHz.
CAT6 – This cabling works to 250MHz and it facilitates high video transmission and better LAN performance. It is twice the speed offered by CAT5e. The broader width allows greater network traffic handling.
CAT6A – This product is the minimum requirement level for data centres and computer rooms. The bandwidth is up to 500MHz.
CAT7 – This is used for Gigabit Ethernet communication and it runs at up to 600MHz. It is shielded over each pair and again overall, allowing it to deflect interference. There is no comparison with the earlier CAT5 and CAT5e, in this regard.
CAT8 – Innovation continues and this cabling standard, currently under development, is set to enhance the CAT6 and 6A cabling performance with the benefit of additional shielding.
The above cables transmit using electrical signals, but fibre optic cabling uses light signals for maximised efficiency in computer networks, broadband, telephone and CCTV security.
Fibre optic – Unlike the copper based cables, fibre optic is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference and, therefore, reduces the risk of signal and quality related issues.
It is a thinner and lighter material to work with and can save money in smaller locations on the cost of the data cabling installation. It carries large amounts of digital data quickly, but it uses less power than traditional methods.
Fibre optic and copper based – For an excellent performance, the two different types of cabling can be combined. Instead of having an entirely copper based or fibre optic communications system, consider using a fibre core and copper horizontal cabling. In commercial and industrial environments, this approach is difficult to beat.
When thinking about the ideal cables for your required network performance, it’s important to factor in the specifics of the environment in which the cables will be installed. Factors such as the distance the cables will need to travel and whether they are to be installed inside or outside will make a big difference to the suitability and cost efficacy of different cables. For example, cables that need to be installed outside should always be shielded for added protection, whereas unshielded cables can often suffice indoors. A good cabling installer will always carry out a thorough site survey to determine key infrastructure and safety considerations.
Whichever kind of data cabling you opt for, it will impact on your business efficiency so think like a cabling installer and work out the finest details, features, benefits and suitability before you sign on the dotted line.
If you’re looking for a reliable data cabling installer in Birmingham or across the surrounding areas, look no further than Midland Networks. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.