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What is Copper Backbone cabling?

Copper backbone cabling supports the installation of data cabling when served from more than one single location. Therefore, what is copper backbone cabling? Ethernet or structured cabling refers to ways that connect computers to a local network or LAN.

The basic idea of its design is that most computers have direct access to a dedicated data cabling cabinet. An example of an Ethernet connection is a cable system that connects a computer network to a small business office. Furthermore, Telephones, WiFi, printers, CCTV, and Audiovisual all connect over structured cabling.

Backbone cabling is the connection between 2 separate areas so that they can share the same network and communications. For example, on a multi-floor building, there will be individual comms rooms or cabinets dedicated to each floor. These cabinets will need to be linked so that they can communicate. In addition, small wall-mounted cabinets are often installed to serve a small remote location such as a storage warehouse.

Backbone Cabling

Also sometimes called vertical cabling, the backbone is used to provide communication between telecommunication rooms, access facilities, machine rooms, or buildings. Backbones can be done with many types of cables including coaxial, structured cabling, and fiber optic cabling. Fibre optic cables are usually the standard for linking together two communication rooms, but the ease of installation and cost considerations sometimes lead to a copper backbone installation

The copper backbone can at times be anything from Cat5e and Cat6 through the higher grades of Cat6a, Cat7, and Cat8

Cat6a, Cat7, and Cat8 allow connection between two cabinets at 10 Gigabit whereas the other categories have a maximum of 1 Gigabit

What is the difference between the backbone and horizontal cabling?

A horizontal cable installation is from the user equipment such as a telephone or computer connected directly to a communication or IT room. This can be used to connect workplaces and various services and information stores, and then run to the telephone communications room. Depending on your needs, a standard gigabit Ethernet cable can do the job but fiber optic cables are sometimes also used. Backbone cabling and horizontal cabling share various features of telecommunications services and are in many ways very similar. Furthermore, both are important for large networks that can be seen in business settings or educational buildings. With that in mind, the type of cable used can make a difference, so be sure to consult a communications professional.

Consideration for Cabling Installation

Backbone systems are often called riser systems because in most installations a lot of systems, especially cable, are installed in a straight riser. In multi-story buildings, for example, the backbone connects equipment or a computer room to the basement, and communication cabinets available on all floors.

On the campus, however, the backbone can work horizontally, connecting various entrances or remote communication cabinets. In some applications, however, there is no real difference between the words “horizontal” and “vertical.” Physical topologies can vary, and sometimes communication is inconsistent with our ideas about what a backbone is.

The main requirement of a backbone program is to be able to support many different user programs, from simple voice transfers to high-speed data and multimedia networks. To meet this requirement, planners and installers should use foresight when planning the spinal plan. The installation today should anticipate future growth with existing applications and current needs. For this reason, most backbone implants are based on fiber optical fiber and can be loaded with bulk end fibers, if not real wires. Another recent trend is to install fiber-optic cables in parts of the backbone. Furthermore, to use multimode cable but to leave single-mode strands dark, or unused, to support future needs.

Voice Cabling Links

The majority of phone systems are now VoIP, which means that the phone signals are transmitted over Ethernet. However, in older analogue and digital systems, the transmission of the voice signals is still required to be linked via copper data cabling

With an analogue system, 1 or 2 pairs per outlet will be used for a phone. Therefore, Multi-core cables were and are used to link phone voice panels. If you need to serve 100 phones you can install a 100 pair or 200 pair cable.

With a digital system, an individual cable per phone is required to go back to the central phone system. If you have 20 phones you run 20 data cabling links between cabinets

Are Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat6a suitable cables?

As previously mentioned, the majority of designs call for fibre optic cabling for their backbone connections.

However, many situations only require a simple copper backbone connection. The following areas are where a copper data cable might be a better and most cost-effective solution

  1. When linking a small wall cabinet to the main communications room (i.e a small amount of users)
  2. If the distance between cabinets is short and under 90m
  3. When the expected traffic between data networks is expected to be low bandwidth
  4. When linking equipment with internal comms equipment direct to the network. (I.e a processing machine that internal cabling back to a central in product cabinet)

The cost savings in linking with copper cabling is that Fibre optic transceivers and receivers are not required. These are required to send and receive the data transmission. In some cases, this requires an upgraded switch which can be expensive

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