Posted by & filed under Blog, Data Cabling.

How much is the cost of Cat6a cable

How much is the cost of Cat6a cable, what is the difference in cost between Cat6 and Cat6a cabling? What are the differences between Cat6a v Cat7? Regularly we are asked these questions as we conduct surveys as a data cabling contractor

Cat6a Price per data point

Large numbers of our clients enquire as to how much an information cabling project is per point. Consequently, the clarification explained in the following section is a decent method to know for pricing purposes. What's more, you can scale the numbers to suit your specific project and you have a good starting point for overall costs.

The data beneath will show cost per cabling outlet changes because of numerous elements. These numerous elements, therefore, change the overall price. 

A decent gauge for Cat6a cabling cost per information point is £50.00 – £65.00 per point. However, the overall cost can change dependent upon numerous factors. For instance, elements concerning the structure, timings, and number of links inside the building project

Each project is specific to that building and client. Therefore, depending on those specifics, the method and timings of installation will change. Furthermore, as these change, so does the quotation.

The main consideration with any project is to ensure that all your requirements are taken into consideration. In too many cases do we see like for like quotations with items not included which then unsurprisingly increase your cost after you have committed to the work

Below are situations where the overall cost of your Cat6 cabling project can change

  1. The overall total of Cat6a cabling ports you require to have installed
  2. Whether the cable is Euroclass rated, LSOH, or basic PVC (i.e does it adhere to the correct safety codes)
  3. The distance from cabinet to outlets for the Cat6a cabling runs
  4. The construction of the building and the routes within that building
  5. The density of the cabling. Are they grouped or spread far and wide?
  6. The building type such as a listed building, warehouse, school, modern office, or residential home
  7. The presence of existing containment for the cabling to be installed into
  8. The requirement for new containment and the difficulties of installing that containment
  9. Are there false floors or false ceilings present
  10. Any external work for Cat6a cabling required?
  11. The timings of the project. Will the work be standard hours or out of hours?
  12. The location of the project
  13. Limitations on working hours, access, and specific practices such as security clearances
  14. London Congestions, Parking, Travel

Cat6 Cable price – Structured cabling estimate

As a starting point, the average of most Cat6a cable price projects is within the range of £50.00 per point, up to £65.00 per point. The average is therefore slightly higher than Cat5e or cat6 cabling installations

For calculation purposes, we have assumed a minimum of 20-24 data cabling outlets

Of course, there will be projects where the cat6a price will be lower than the average range above and also projects where it is higher

The above list gives a good idea of what changes the overall cost of Cat6a cabling. Therefore, the more positive elements that are present, the lower the overall average cost will be. Conversely, the more negative elements there are will result in a higher average cost

What would move the Cat6 data cabling price to the lower pricing range?

The bullet points below are situations where you could expect the average Cat6a price to be in the lower range of £50.00-£65.00 per cat6a point

A larger number of cat6a cabling points

Labour costs remain steady in some instances when installing five, ten, twenty, or more cat6a cabling outlets. This is especially true if there is a high density of cables in one area. For example, pulling 20 cat6a cables to one desk cluster is a similar labour time to pulling in only 4. Of course, the termination time increases but labour as an average reduces the more cabling outlets there are

Therefore, one hundred Cat6a cables will cost less on average per point than installing fifty cat6a outlets

The difficulty of the cabling routes

Some buildings are better suited to easier structured cabling installation. For example, an office with false floors and false ceilings will have a quicker installation time than a school with solid ceilings and not existing cabling routes. Therefore, the easier the routes, the quicker the cabling installation. This results in fewer labour costs and therefore a lower cost overall. This especially applies to the more outlets there are. 

The density of the Cat6a cables

As we discussed above, pulling in a larger number of data cables to the same area uses a similar amount of labour. Therefore, the more densely concentrated the cables are, the lower the installation time. A comparison would be 100 Cat6a outlets in an office to 25 desks compared to 100 Cat6a outlets in an office to 50 desks. The 50 desks require 50 individual routes compared to only 25 in the other scenario. In this example not only is the installation time higher but other factors such as containment and route making might also increase. 

What would move the Cat6 data cabling price to the higher pricing range?

Difficult cabling routes or requirements for some new containment

As previously discussed, false ceilings and floors make for an easier installation. Cat6a cables can freely be installed throughout the length of the building and installed in larger looms of cable. However, in some buildings routes are blocked or difficult which increases the installation time. 

Difficult routes can exist in the following

  1. Solid walls that require drilling
  2. Solid floors that require chasing
  3. Ceilings with solid finishes that require access hatches or significant route planning
  4. The requirement to install cables externally due to no internal routes

In the examples above, not only are the routes more difficult, but they can also create the requirement for new containment. Therefore, the installation time increases, and also the cost and time for the new containment results in an increase to the project total. Additional containment can sometimes result in a project increasing by 50-100%

The location of the building and its access

The location of the project can make a difference. For example, the Central London project incurs additional time and costs. The obvious ones are the congestion charge and higher parking charges. However, lack of access to easy parking results in additional time to access the materials and tools from the van. In open areas, they are located directly outside the project. 

The flexibility of working times and access

Out-of-hours installation or difficult time scales can result in a higher price. However, out of hours working can sometimes be the best choice. In some instances working while the building is empty can increase the installation time. However, when comparing like for like, out of working hours installations move the pricing to the upper average price.

Containment that is not suitable for additional cables

Cat6 and Cat5e cables have a similar installation requirement when it comes to containment. Whether this is in dado trunking, false ceilings, or floors. However, cat6a is a larger cable and due to its construction, it has a larger bend radius requirement. Therefore, when specifically installing Cat6a into dado trunking the containment that was once suitable for cat5e or cat6 will no longer be larger enough or suitable. Furthermore, there will be a requirement for new or additional containment which results in additional costs

What factors increase cabling cost out of the range?

  • Non-Standrad Buildings

These would be the type of buildings where the installation process is never straightforward. This can be due to the building construction, its size, or the access 

Examples such as 

  1. Buildings with a requirement for lots of single Cat6a cables to a wide area of its building.
    1. Examples such as CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi outlets or Access Control
  2. Hospitality and Hotels. 
    1. A hotel can have a large requirement for data cabling, but it consists of many small cabling requirements. For example, a bedroom could have five Cat6a outlets but all 5 on different walls.
  3. Large Warehouses
    1. The main difference with warehouses is the height inside. Therefore, cabling is usually installed off of powered access lifts. Therefore, installation is more complex and time-consuming
  4. Schools
    1. Most schools are constructed with solid ceilings and very rarely have any false floor. Therefore, internal cable routes are non-existent. Complex routes are therefore common and time-consuming.
  5. Care Homes
    1. In a similar fashion to schools, care homes are generally solid ceilings and solid walls within. Therefore, complex routing is required. Besides, care must be taken to work around the residents and this results in additional installation time
  6. Smaller projects with only a few cables
    1. If a project only requires a few Cat6a cables, the overall average cost is going to be higher. The installation labour remains the same, so the average cost of that labour over the smaller number of outlets is therefore higher. This would be in an installation such as 5-10 outlets. For the comparisons above, the starting point is 20- 24 outlets

How much is Cat6a cabling - Cat6a vs Cat5e

What is the difference between Cat5e and Cat6a? When comparing to Cat5e, Cat6a has five times the bandwidth. Cat6a cables support bandwidths frequencies up to 500mhz. Cat5e cabling only supports up to 100Mhz

Furthermore, over the industry-specified 90m maximum link, Cat6a can support 10 Gigabit. Cat5e is only suitable for 1 Gigabit.

A general guideline for Cat5e in the UK is £35.00 – £50.00 per point.

How much is Cat6a cabling- Cat6 vs Cat6a 

Cat6 vs Cat6a Bandwidth and Speed

When comparing to Cat6, Cat6a has double the bandwidth. Cat6a cables support bandwidths frequencies up to 500mhz. Cat6 cabling only supports up to 250Mhz

Besides, as highlighted above, Cat6a can transit 10Gig up to 90m. By comparison, Cat6 can only transmit the same up to 55m. Cat6 is most suitable for a 1Gigabit link. 

A good estimate for Cat6 cabling price per data point is £40.00 – £55.00 per point. 

Cat6 vs Cat6a Installation comparisons

The Outlets for the cables are generally different. For example, Cat6 installations are usually terminated with an all-in-one euro module. The patch panels are generally pre-made into 24 outlets across a single panel. 

However, Cat6a terminations are made onto keystone jacks. These jacks then snap into a shutter such as a euro shutter which then fits in a faceplate. The Cat6a faceplate is empty with 24 keystone slots. Therefore, only the cables installed are snapped into the panel. 

How much is Cat6a cabling- Final considerations

Many elements affect how much is Cat6a cabling. Your current technology and any future requirements should consider which cabling is most suitable. Therefore, avoiding the requirements to replace the cabling once your technology supersedes the current installation. Therefore, making an allowance for one hundred data points now to flood a whole floor instead of partially cabling fifty will only increase the overall cost less than doubling it

However, if you install a further fifty Cat5e outlets at a later date, the two projects combined will be more than double. This is due to having to remove the old and also work in a populated office. Therefore, resulting in additional time and cost

For more articles and information similar to  How much is Cat6a cabling please visit the Knowledge Centre

Please click here to share this article