What are the standards in cabling?
Data Cabling Standards and Compliance
Data Cabling is an absolute necessity in the modern business landscape. After all, with more and more business being conducted digitally, you need to invest in both the right cabling and the best cabling. However, the world of cabling can be a complex one. Therefore, it’s crucial that you develop an understanding of not only how it works, but also how it can help your business.
The Evolution of Cabling Standards
Cabling has changed significantly over the last 30 years, and it’s important that you understand how this evolution has taken place. The main developments in cabling have been as follows:
Cat 5 (1995):
an unshielded form for cabling, Cat 5 uses twisted pair copper cables to transmit data. Capable of delivering bandwidths up to 100Mhz, Cat 5 cables can carry data signals of up to 100Mbps over a distance of 100m. An enhanced version of Cat 5, titled Cat 5e, was released in 2001 and allows speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Cat 6 (2002):
the first big development in data cabling in several years, Cat 6 again uses twisted pair copper cables but delivers bandwidths of around 250MHz. Cat 6 cables also, over a distance of 55m, have the potential to carry data at speeds of around 10Gbps. It has the added benefit of suffering less crosstalk/interference than Cat 5 cables.
Fiber Optic (2008):
the current gold standard of data cabling, fiber optic, has now been available for around 15 years. Rather than using copper cabling, fiber optic cables use glass fibers to transmit data. And these cables can stretch up to 10km in distance, carrying data at a maximum speed of 100Gbps.
Complying with Data Cabling Regulations
As data cabling will be installed throughout buildings where it’s used, it needs to comply with the relevant regulations. In particular, the BS 7671 wiring regulations need to be adhered to closely to ensure that installations are safe. Accordingly, you need to abide by the following:
- Band I networking cables should be securely supported to prevent, in the case of a fire, their collapse e.g. using metallic fastenings to hold cabling in place.
- Band I and Band II circuits should be kept in separate wiring systems, this will minimize the interference. Ideally, the minimum separation put in place should be 100mm.
- Any peripheral equipment – such as switches, routers and patch panels – should be segregated within once location. Keeping mixed voltages separate is vital for safety.
By meeting these requirements, you can guarantee that your networking installation will meet industry standards and be safe. However, the added bonus for your bonus is that your network will be more reliable and efficient, allowing you to enhance your organization’s productivity.
Data Cabling Standards Summary
Future proofing your network is an important element to consider in this fast-paced digital world. The need for scalability should be paramount, and you can achieve this with a reliable cable infrastructure. The best way to get started is by teaming up with professionals with a wealth of experience. Data cabling experts are the perfect people to bring on board to provide you with peace of mind that your data cables can do everything you need and more.
Considering Upgrading Your Data Cabling Network? Give us a call for expert guidance and aa free survey