Important considerations in low-voltage structured cabling
Cabling may seem like a relatively simple process in facility operations and maintenance. As long as you run the right type of cable through a building- you’re all set, right? Not quite. Cabling is complicated, especially if you want to provide the fastest and most reliable access for various applications.
Low-voltage cabling or network wiring refers to cabling infrastructure designed for handling various digital technologies. A well-structured cabling system allows transmission of data through computer networks. Every cabling system is unique and should comply with the American National Standards Institute.
Below are some important characteristics of low-voltage cabling:
Structured cabling basics
Structured cabling refers to the various types of cabling and wiring used in commercial and residential applications. This encompasses a wide range of copper cabling such as unshielded twisted pair, shielded twisted pair, coaxial, fiber optic and low-voltage cabling used for security and fire alarm systems.
Each of these cabling systems is unique and has individual applications in a facility’s overall design. In order to better manage structured cabling, organization into separate subsystems is recommended. Following a subsystem structure helps better inform and coordinate contractors and identify potential cabling issues.
These subsystems include:
- Entrance facilities
- Backbone cabling (Risers)
- Telecommunications/Equipment rooms (MDF/IDF)
- Horizontal cabling
Entrance facilities refer to the network demarcation points and Points of Entry to a building. This crucial area is the point where a service provider’s responsibilities end, and where maintenance of internal cabling becomes the property owner’s responsibility.
Sometimes, the demarcation point is co-located with the equipment room. Backbone cabling includes the interconnection between various telecommunication equipment rooms, often referred to MDF and IDF rooms. Horizontal cabling refers to the cabling system that branches out from MDF and IDF rooms to endpoints throughout the premises.
MDF and IDF cabling infrastructure includes components that connect equipment in those rooms to the horizontal cabling systems that feed the facility.
Why the ANSI standards matter
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) creates the standards and practices for network cabling. Because of the vast amount of cabling types, the risk of confusion and lack of proper knowledge and planning can create problems for customers, equipment vendors, and installers.
ANSI provides for consistency in design and installation, conformance with line requirements, and standards for design, installation and maintenance. The primary concern for businesses and organizations when designing cabling systems, therefore, is conformance with ANSI standards.
We can help your business ensure your structured cabling is installed to support your IT environment, today and in the future. At M3 Technology Consultants , we have over 10 years of experience in ensuring cabling projects meet or exceed ANSI standards.