Structured cabling
Overview
 
Structured cabling is building or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure that consists of a number of standardized smaller elements (hence structured) called subsystems.

Structured cabling falls into six subsystems:
  • Demarcation Point is the point at which the telephone company network ends and connects with the wiring at the customer premises.
  • Equipment or Telecommunications Rooms house equipment and wiring consolidation points that serve the users inside the building or campus.
  • Vertical or Riser Cabling connects between the equipment/telecommunications rooms, so named because the rooms are typically on different floors.
  • Horizontal wiring can be IW (inside wiring) or Plenum Cabling
    Plenum cable
    Plenum cable is cable that is laid in the plenum spaces of buildings. The plenum is the space that can facilitate air circulation for heating and air conditioning systems, by providing pathways for either heated/conditioned or return airflows...

    connects telecommunications rooms to individual outlets or work areas on the floor, usually through the wireways, conduits or ceiling spaces of each floor.
  • Work-Area Components connect end-user equipment to outlets of the horizontal cabling system.


Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that specify wiring data center
Data center
A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems...

s, office
Office
An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the...

s, and apartment buildings for data or voice communications using various kinds of cable, most commonly category 5e
Category 5 cable
Category 5 cable is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet. It is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video. The cable is commonly connected using punch down blocks and modular connectors...

 (CAT-5e), category 6
Category 6 cable
Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards. Compared with Cat 5 and Cat 5e, Cat 6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk...

 (CAT-6), and fibre optic cabling and modular connector
Modular connector
Modular connector is the name given to a family of electrical connectors originally used in telephone wiring and now used for many other purposes. Many applications that originally used a bulkier, more expensive connector have now migrated to modular connectors...

s.
Encyclopedia
Structured cabling is building or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure that consists of a number of standardized smaller elements (hence structured) called subsystems.

Structured cabling falls into six subsystems:
  • Demarcation Point is the point at which the telephone company network ends and connects with the wiring at the customer premises.
  • Equipment or Telecommunications Rooms house equipment and wiring consolidation points that serve the users inside the building or campus.
  • Vertical or Riser Cabling connects between the equipment/telecommunications rooms, so named because the rooms are typically on different floors.
  • Horizontal wiring can be IW (inside wiring) or Plenum Cabling
    Plenum cable
    Plenum cable is cable that is laid in the plenum spaces of buildings. The plenum is the space that can facilitate air circulation for heating and air conditioning systems, by providing pathways for either heated/conditioned or return airflows...

    connects telecommunications rooms to individual outlets or work areas on the floor, usually through the wireways, conduits or ceiling spaces of each floor.
  • Work-Area Components connect end-user equipment to outlets of the horizontal cabling system.


Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that specify wiring data center
Data center
A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems...

s, office
Office
An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the...

s, and apartment buildings for data or voice communications using various kinds of cable, most commonly category 5e
Category 5 cable
Category 5 cable is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet. It is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video. The cable is commonly connected using punch down blocks and modular connectors...

 (CAT-5e), category 6
Category 6 cable
Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards. Compared with Cat 5 and Cat 5e, Cat 6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk...

 (CAT-6), and fibre optic cabling and modular connector
Modular connector
Modular connector is the name given to a family of electrical connectors originally used in telephone wiring and now used for many other purposes. Many applications that originally used a bulkier, more expensive connector have now migrated to modular connectors...

s. These standards define how to lay the cabling in various topologies
Network topology
Network topology is the layout pattern of interconnections of the various elements of a computer or biological network....

 in order to meet the needs of the customer, typically using a central patch panel
Patch panel
A patch panel or patch bay is a panel, typically rackmounted, that houses cable connections. One typically shorter patch cable will plug into the front side, whereas the back holds the connection of a much longer and more permanent cable...

 (which is normally 19 inch
19-inch rack
A 19-inch rack is a standardized frame or enclosure for mounting multiple equipment modules. Each module has a front panel that is wide, including edges or ears that protrude on each side which allow the module to be fastened to the rack frame with screws.-Overview and history:Equipment designed...

 rack-mounted), from where each modular connection can be used as needed. Each outlet is then patched into a networkswitch
Network switch
A network switch or switching hub is a computer networking device that connects network segments.The term commonly refers to a multi-port network bridge that processes and routes data at the data link layer of the OSI model...

 (normally also rack-mounted) for network use or into an IP or PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system patch panel.

Lines patched as data ports into a network switch require simple straight-through patch cables at the each end to connect a computer. Voice patches to PBXs in most countries require an adapter at the remote end to translate the configuration on 8P8C modular connector
Modular connector
Modular connector is the name given to a family of electrical connectors originally used in telephone wiring and now used for many other purposes. Many applications that originally used a bulkier, more expensive connector have now migrated to modular connectors...

s into the local standard telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 wall socket. No adapter is needed in the U.S. as the 6P2C and 6P4C plugs most commomly used with RJ11 and RJ14 telephone connections are physically and electrically compatible with the larger 8P8C socket. RJ25 and RJ61 connections are physically but not electrically compatible, and cannot be used. In the UK, an adapter must be present at the remote end as the 6-pin BT socket is physically incompatible with 8P8C.

It is common to color code patch panel cables to identify the type of connection, though structured cabling standards do not require it, except in the demarcation wall field.

Cabling standards demand that all eight conductors in Cat5/5e/6 cable are connected, resisting the temptation to 'double-up' or use one cable for both voice and data. IP phone systems, however, can run the telephone and the computer on the same single cable.

Structured Cabling Standards

Structured cabling standards are used internationally and are published by ISO/IEC, CENELEC and the Telecommunications Industry Association
Telecommunications Industry Association
The Telecommunications Industry Association is accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop voluntary, consensus-based industry standards for a wide variety of ICT products, and currently represents nearly 400 companies...

 (TIA). Building Industry Consulting Service International
BICSI
Since the official break-up of AT&T in 1984 in the United States, BICSI has assumed the role that AT&T's free service, BICS, fulfilled in helping with the development and design for information technology systems such as the ANSI/EIA/TIA 568B structured cabling system standard.Headquartered in...

 is a recognised independent trainer of structured cabling installers with manufacturer independent design and installation best practice documents, it also plays a major role along with industry leaders in developing and designing the US standards.
  • TIA-526-7 Measurement of Optical Power Loss of Installed Single-Mode Fiber Cable Plant – OFSTP-7 - (February 2002)
  • TIA-526-14-A Optical Power Loss Measurements of Installed Multimode Fiber Cable Plant – OFSTP-14 - (August 1998)
  • ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.1 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements: General Requirements, May 2001.
  • Adenda ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.1-1-2001, Addendum 1, Minimum Curve Radius for 4 pair UTP and ScTP cable, July, 2001.
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.1-2 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements Addendum 2 – Grounding and Bonding Requirements for Screened Balanced Twisted-Pair Horizontal Cabling - (February 2003)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.1-3 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements Addendum 3 – Supportable Distances and Channel Attenuation for Optical Fiber Applications by Fiber Type - (February 2003)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.1-4 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements Addendum 4 – Recognition of Category 6 and 850 nm Laser Optimized 50/125 μm Multimode Optical Fiber Cabling - (February 2003)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.1-5 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements Addendum 5 – Telecommunications Cabling for Telecommunications Enclosures – (March 2004)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.1-7 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements Addendum 7 - Guidelines for Maintaining Polarity Using Array Connectors – (January 2006)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components - (December 2003)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components – Addendum 1 – Transmission Performance Specifications for 4-Pair 100 ohm Category 6 Cabling - (June 2002)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-2 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components – Addendum 2 – Revision of Sub-clauses - (December 2001)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-3 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components – Addendum 3 – Additional Considerations for Insertion Loss & Return Loss Pass/Fail Determination - (March 2002)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-4 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components – Addendum 4 – Solderless Connection Reliability Requirements for Copper Connecting Hardware - (June 2002)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-5 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components – Addendum 5 – Corrections to TIA/EIA-568-B.2 – (January 2003)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-6 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components – Addendum 6 – Category 6 Related Component Test Procedures – (December 2003)
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-11 Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 2: Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling Components – Addendum 11 - Specification of 4-Pair UTP and SCTP Cabling – (December 2005)
  • TIA/EIA-568-3 Optical Fiber Cabling Components Standard - (April 2002)
  • TIA/EIA-568-3.1 Optical Fiber Cabling Components Standard – Addendum 1 – Additional Transmission Performance Specifications for 50/125 μm Optical Fiber Cables – (April 2002)
  • TIA-569-B Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces - (October 2004)
  • TIA-598-C Optical Fiber Cable Color Coding - (January 2005)
  • TIA/EIA-606-A Administration Standard for Commercial Telecommunications Infrastructure - (May 2002)
  • J-STD-607-A Commercial Building Grounding (Earthing) and Bonding Requirements for Telecommunications - (October 2002)
  • TIA-758-A Customer-owned Outside Plant Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard – (August 2004)


Some European countries use these although CENELEC or ISO standards are more relevant in European countries, the main CENELEC document being EN50173, which introduces contextual links to the full suite of CENELEC documents. ISO11801 heads the ISO documentation.

See also

  • ANSI
    Ansi
    Ansi is a village in Kaarma Parish, Saare County, on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia....

  • BICSI
    BICSI
    Since the official break-up of AT&T in 1984 in the United States, BICSI has assumed the role that AT&T's free service, BICS, fulfilled in helping with the development and design for information technology systems such as the ANSI/EIA/TIA 568B structured cabling system standard.Headquartered in...

  • Fibre optics
  • ISO/IEC 11801
    ISO/IEC 11801
    International standard ISO/IEC 11801 specifies general-purpose telecommunication cabling systems that are suitable for a wide range of applications . It covers both balanced copper cabling and optical fibre cabling...

    , the International Organization for Standardization
    International Organization for Standardization
    The International Organization for Standardization , widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial...

     standard for generic cabling for premises
  • On-premises wiring
    On-premises wiring
    In telecommunication, on-premises wiring is customer-owned communications transmission lines. It is also called customer premises wiring . The transmission lines can be metallic or optical fiber, and may be installed within or between buildings.Premises wiring may consist of horizontal wiring,...

  • TIA/EIA-568-B, the Telecommunications Industry Association
    Telecommunications Industry Association
    The Telecommunications Industry Association is accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop voluntary, consensus-based industry standards for a wide variety of ICT products, and currently represents nearly 400 companies...

     standard for telecommunications cabling in commercial premises
  • Registered jack
    Registered jack
    A registered jack is a standardized physical network interface — both jack construction and wiring pattern — for connecting telecommunications or data equipment to a service provided by a local exchange carrier or long distance carrier. The standard designs for these connectors and their wiring...

    , a set of standards for telephone cabling termination (including RJ11, RJ15, and RJ45)
  • Entrance facility
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