Structured Cabling

The Basics of Networking Cabling

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Learn About The Basics Of Structured Network Cabling

Structured Network Cabling is the backbone of every comprehensive telecommunication infrastructure by serving a wide range of use in providing connectivity for a network. Structured network cabling allows for a multitude of network devices to connect and communicate within a business in order to improve productivity and efficiency in day-to-day operations.

Commonly Used Data & Network Cables

  • Unshielded Twisted Pair
  • Shielded Twisted Pair
  • Coaxial Cable
  • Fiber Optic Cable

Unshielded Twisted Pair Copper Cabling

Structured Network Cabling - Unshielded Twisted Pair CAT5 CAT5e CAT6 Cabling

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cabling is a type of copper cabling used for data and telephony network cabling used in Local Area Networks (LAN) and Telephony Phone Systems. UTP Cables are available in five different types and identified based on its category (defined by the prefix CAT), with each category supporting a different amount of bandwidth.

UTP Cables have up to four twisted pairs of copper wires that come enclosed in a protective plastic cover which determines the amount of bandwidth that cable can carry.

  • CAT3 - CAT3 cable is typically used in analog phone cabling and supports up to 10Mbps over 100 meters
  • CAT4 - CAT4 cable provides up to 16Mbps up to 100 meters and typically used in token-ring networks
  • CAT5 - CAT5 cable contains two twisted pairs and is used for Ethernet-based Network providing up to 100Mbps up to 100 meters
  • CAT5e - CAT5e cable contains four twisted pairs and provides up to 1Gbps up to 100 meters in Ethernet-based Networks.
  • CAT6 - CAT6 cable contains four tightly twisted pairs which supports 1Gbps up to 100 meters and 10Gbps up to 50 meters, and is typically found in Ethernet-based Networks and Data Center Networks.

Shielded Twisted Pair Copper Cabling

Structured Network Cabling - Shielded Twisted Pair CAT5 CAT5e CAT6 Cabling

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cabling is also a type of copper cabling used for data and telephony network cabling used in Local Area Networks (LAN) and Telephony Phone Systems. STP Cables are available in three different types and is also identified based on it's category (defined by the prefix CAT), with each category supporting a different amount of bandwidth.

STP Cables protects data from electromagnetic and radio interference which results in higher transmissions speeds and less data errors within that transmission. STP Cable requires a shielded coupler or jack connected to a ground in order to provide EMI/RFI draining to prevent EMI/RMI from building up and degrading the signal inside the cable

  • CAT6 - CAT6 cable contains four tightly twisted pairs which supports 1Gbps up to 100 meters and 10Gbps up to 50 meters, and is typically found in Ethernet-based Networks and Data Center Networks.
  • CAT6a - CAT6a cable supports up 10Gbps up to 100 meters and 500Mhz which decreases the chance of crosstalk interference.
  • CAT7 - Cat7 cable supports up 10Gbps up to 100 meters and carries 600Mhz, providing even less crosstalk interference than Cat6a Cable.

Fiber Optic Cabling

Structured Network Cabling - Fiber Optic Cabling

Fiber Optic Cabling contains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing, designed for long distance, high-performance data networking and telecommunications. Fiber optics consist of three basic elements: the core, the cladding and the coating. The core is the light transmission pathway of the fiber made of either glass or plastic. The cladding covers the core to provide a lower refractive index at the core interface in order to cause reflection within the core to avoid loss of signal and allow the light to pass through bends in the cable. The coating is made up of multilayered plastics applied to preserve fiber strength, while absorbing shock and provide extra protection to the fiber cable.

The basic two types of fiber optic cabling: single-mode and multimode. Single-mode fiber consist of extremely thin glass strands and a laser to generate light transmission across the fiber cabling. Single-mode optical fiber networks use Wave Division Multiplexing techniques to increase the amount of data traffic that the strand can carry. This allows light at multiple wavelengths to become combined (multiplexed) and later separate appropriately (de-multiplexed) which effectively transmits multiple communication streams throughout a single pulse of light.

Advantages of Fiber Optic Cabling

  • Fiber Optic Cable support a higher capacity of transmission in networking bandwidth, with rates of 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps
  • Fiber Optic Cable allows transmissions to not loss strength over much longer distances, lowering the needs for signal boosters.
  • EMI/RMI Interference is much susceptible with Optical Fiber Cables with the physical properties that Fiber Optic Cable consists of versus Shielded Copper Network Cabling.

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