Structured Cabling

Structured cabling is building or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure that is used for low voltage voice and/or data transmissions.


Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that specify wiring data centers and offices for data or voice communications using various kinds of cable, most commonly category 5e (CAT5e), category 6 (CAT6), and fiber optic cabling and modular connectors.

These standards define how to lay the cabling in various topologies in order to meet the needs of the customer, typically using a central patch panel (which is normally 19 inch rack-mounted), from where each modular connection can be used as needed.

Each outlet is then patched into a network switch (normally also rack-mounted) for network use or into an IP or PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system patch panel.

Structured cabling is the design and installation of cabling systems that will support multiple hardware systems and be suitable for today’s needs and those of the future.

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 Cat5e/6/6A 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 wires.

Regardless of copper cable type (Cat5e/Cat6/Cat6A) the maximum distance is 90m for the permanent link installation and an allowance for 10m of patch cords at the ends combined.

Cat5e and Cat6 can both effectively run PoE applications up to 90m. However, due to power dissipation there is better performance and power efficiently with Cat6A cabling running POE devices if being incorporated into a new design.

Structured cabling falls into six subsystems

Entrance facilities; is the point where the telephone company network ends and connects with the on-premises wiring

Equipment rooms; house equipment and wiring consolidation points that serve the users inside the building or campus

Backbone cabling; connects between the equipment/telecom rooms, called backbone because the rooms are typically on different floors

Horizontal cabling; wiring can be IW (inside wiring) or plenum cabling and connects telecom rooms to individual outlets or work areas on the floor, usually through the wire-ways, conduits or ceiling spaces of each floor

Telecom rooms; connects between the backbone cabling and horizontal cabling

Work-area components; connect end-user equipment to outlets of the horizontal cabling system.

ECS is an authorized Avaya reseller located in Seattle, WA & Portland, OR.

ECS provides local technicians for on-site work installing and servicing a variety of voice/data equipment, ie; Avaya Aura Servers, Gateways, Messaging, Telephones, Firewalls, Ethernet Switches, Low Voltage Cabling, WiFi, CCTV, POS, Paging, etc. 

ECS provides services in the states of Washington & Oregon, primarily in the greater Seattle & Portland areas.

Comments are closed.