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How to Professionally Install Communications Cabling

This article will guide you through the steps of how to properly install network and telecommunications infrastructure cabling in commercial buildings.

Planning the Horizontal Cabling

Horizontal cabling connects work area outlets in a building to the telecommunications closet or server room. If the site only has one building or is only a single floor building, it will be the only type of cable installed. Since horizontal cabling carries voice communications, data communications, and local area network (LAN) traffic, carefully planning the installation is important. A building should be wired so that new equipment can be added, changed, or relocated without installing new horizontal cabling or moving existing lines. The plan should anticipate future needs and requirements and extra outlets in vacant areas should be pre-wired to avoid future disruptions. Eventually when expansion occurs, the work areas will be ready. Always try to install the highest capacity cable system within budget. Using Category 5e cable for both voice and data outlets is also a great way to make the horizontal system extremely flexible for future applications.

Communications Cabling Diagram

Installation Factors:

Topology - Horizontal cabling should be installed in a star configuration with each work-area outlet connected to a telecommunications closet.

Appearance - The horizontal cabling should never be visible. Drop ceilings, raised access floor, conduit, wire raceways, ceiling pathways, cable trays, under carpet raceways, inter-stud wiring methods can all be used to hide the wire.

Maximum Distances - The total cable length should not be more than 295 feet (90m) from the work area outlet to the telecommunications closet. The work area patch cable should be no more than 10 feet (3m) and the patch cables and jumpers in the telecommunications closet should not add up to more than 23 feet (7m) for a total maximum of 328 feet (100m). It is recommended that a patch cord should not exceed 16.7 feet (6m) and that a maximum of 2 patch cords per run is used. The above guidelines are provided by the EIA/TIA 568 Commercial Structured Wiring standard.

Work Area Outlet - Each work area should have a minimum of two outlets: one for data and one for voice. If there is demand for high-throughput applications in some work areas, you may want to consider installing fiber to one of the outlets.

Electromagnetic Interference - When installing horizontal cabling try to avoid running cable close to any electrical facilities that generate high levels of EMI like photocopiers, motors, transformers, and elevators. Never install the horizontal cabling in the same outlet as electrical components. If running the horizontal cable parallel with electrical wiring, keep it at least 15 inches away. If you must cross electrical wiring, do so at a 90 degree angle.

Recognized Media:

  • Four pair 100-ohm UTP cable
  • Two pair 150-ohm shielded twisted pair (STP) cable
  • 62.5/125 micron multimode fiber optic cable
  • 50-ohm coaxial cable

100-ohm UTP is the most universal and least expensive type of cable. If you plan on installing UTP, it is strongly recommended that you use at least Category 5e and consider Category 6 wire when running new lines.  Cat 6 is similar to Cat 5 but supports higher speeds.







Computer Viruses:
A Global Threat

Written by:
Shelby Meyer 2/6/2004
as an informative college essay.



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Last modified: 07/07/20