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Introduction to Structured Cabling: What You Should Know

Intro to Structured Cabling

Structured cabling is an essential system that offices and businesses rely on every single day. But even with this reliance, so many people have no idea what it is or what it can do to improve day-to-day business operations.

To help you understand structured cabling (or structured wiring), we’ve put together this handy introduction guide.

Here is what you should know about structured cabling and how it can benefit your business.

Introduction to Structured Cabling: What You Should Know

Depending on your needs and the structured cabling design, the system may be incredibly complex or relatively simple. The following information should help you understand exactly what we are talking about and why you should consider structured cabling for your business.

What is Structured Cabling?

Structured cabling is an infrastructure made up of several smaller, standardized elements. While the name may lead you to believe that it is composed only of cables, the infrastructure includes features like racks, network cabinets, hardware ports, and more.

When properly designed and installed, a structured cabling system will run throughout your office, building, or campus and provide reliable and efficient communications systems, bringing a level of clarity and professionalism to all business tasks.

Example of Structured Cabling

Structured Cabling Basics

Structured cabling infrastructure can be broken down into six basic subsystems:

  • Entrance facilities: This is where your wiring begins. It is where the telephone wiring or an internet service provider connects to your business or office network.
  • Equipment Rooms: Areas that house and consolidate the equipment being run like data centers or computer systems rooms.
  • Backbone Cabling: The primary cable connections. They facilitate communication between the entrance facilities and the equipment rooms.
  • Horizontal Cabling: The cabling that runs throughout various rooms, connecting to outlets or other equipment.
  • Telecommunications Rooms: The hub that connects the backbone cabling to the horizontal cabling.
  • Work Area Components: Connects horizontal cabling to the end-user.

Structured cabling is an effective system because the overall structure is broken down into these smaller components. Setting it up in this manner makes it easier to expand should your demand grow, and it keeps things organized and manageable, reducing flaws and inefficiencies.

How these subsystems look and how they are pieced together for your business will be unique to you. Each install site will present its own set of challenges, and so the way that the above subsystems are structured and connected will depend on the building. Some of the factors that can impact a structured cable set up include:

  • The architectural structure of the building
  • The function of the cabling installation
  • The types of equipment the cabling installation will support (both presently and in the future)
  • The configuration of any currently installed systems, including necessary upgrades or retrofits
  • Specific customer requirements

At All-Tech Communications, we work with small to medium-sized businesses in Southeastern Ontario to help with planning layouts and design systems that will support your communications needs. After assessing the building, we can install a new structured cable system or upgrade an outdated one to include your phone cabling, network cables, voice data wiring, fiber cable, and paging systems.

Benefits of Structured Cabling

A structured cabling system can provide your business with several benefits and advantages, including:

  • Reduced safety hazards: By organizing cabling in a structured manner, single wire and cable trip hazards are reduced.
  • System longevity: When cables are unorganized, there is a risk that they will crimp and experience damage, leading to reduced speeds and poor connectivity. With structured wiring, this risk is eliminated, and the systems will run more efficiently longer.
  • Better maintenance and troubleshooting: Structured cabling is arranged in necessary subsystems allowing for easier isolation, investigation, and exploration when problems crop up. Similarly, structured cables can be colour coded improving the speed and accuracy of service calls.
  • A clean and professional-looking workspace: A structured cabling system will gather all wires and cables into bunches and fasten them to the wall or the floor, so they stay organized and out of sight, creating a clutter-free work environment.

Example of wires not structured

Example of Unorganized Wires

  • Easily Scalable: Because of the way structured cabling infrastructure is built, it is easy to add on to it as business demands grow in the future. It is designed to scale with your business needs.
  • Cost-Effective: Because structured cabling systems are durable and long-lasting, they reduce the need for frequent, costly upgrades, and because they can scale with your business, you can avoid having to rebuild your system down the road. And with ease of access during maintenance calls, you will not be paying insane hourly rates when you need support.
  • Documentation: Once the system is installed, you will be provided with a detailed visual guide that explains exactly how your wiring and cabling are set up, meaning your in-house IT teams can have a clear picture of how the system is set up, allowing them to support your business network better.

Reach Out to All-Tech for Structured Cabling in Southeastern Ontario

Now that we’ve provided you with an introduction to structured cabling and explained some structured cabling basics, it is easy to see how this type of setup can help your business operate smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to stay a step ahead and focus on the important parts of your operations.

If you are ready to move forward with a structured cabling system or want to learn more about All-Tech’s Structured Wiring options and how we can help to design the wiring structure that will work best for you and your company, you can contact us today to get started!