Structured cabling is central and integral to the function of any business and should be designed to support the future needs of the company in addition to its current needs. Structured cabling supports all hardware required to carry out communications, and generally serves a single building or several buildings on one campus. It is designed primarily using Category 5e and Category 6 cables, with others, such as fiber optic cables, used as well.
Structured cabling in the United States is designed and installed in accordance to standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It should be carefully designed and installed, and a floor plan of the design should be provided. This will help to facilitate future moves or to incorporate additional devices and cabling, should the need arise.
A structured cabling system includes entrance facilities at the termination of the network provider, backbone pathways and cables, horizontal pathways, and work area outlets. The entrance facility physically houses the cabling that connects to that of the network provider, such as those from phone or internet service providers. Its location will be determined by physical, architectural, and visual restraints. Backbone cabling communicates from the entrance facilities to the various floors, rooms, and buildings within the cabling system. It handles most of the traffic, and it provides major communications for the entire system. The horizontal cabling provides connections to each workstation, such as a desk or a desk phone. Work area outlets physically connect to each device and provide internet or telephony services to individual devices.
Because structured cabling is such a central part to all modern businesses and is so heavily relied upon, all installations should be done carefully and by experienced technicians. After an on-site consultation, the telecommunications company should provide highly trained and licensed professionals, and should provide you with a detailed and accurate floor plan of the system in its entirety. When installed correctly, the structured cabling system should provide reliable communications connections for years to come.