How to Professionally
Install Communications Cabling
article will guide you through the steps of how to properly install
network and telecommunications infrastructure cabling in commercial
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.
- Horizontal cabling should be installed in a star configuration with
each work-area outlet connected to a telecommunications closet.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
- Four pair 100-ohm UTP cable
- Two pair 150-ohm shielded twisted pair (STP)
- 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