Understand Structured Cabling and Apply

What Is Structured Cabling?

Technology is constantly evolving and changing, sometimes faster than you could ever guess. These new tools can make businesses more productive, secure and agile. However, these tools need the right network to support them.

Structured cabling is an infrastructure that’s made up of smaller, standardized elements. You can install structured cabling systems in a building or across a campus. It’s this kind of network cabling that can support all of the rapidly-advancing technology coming to the workplace.

Since the advent of personal computers, the introduction of laptops and VoIP calling systems, the demand on a business’s cable network has only grown. In the past, point-to-point cabling was used, which meant every piece of hardware used its own cable. The cabling literally ran from point to point. This would lead to a jumbled mess of wiring and cables that could be accidentally unplugged or present a safety hazard for tripping. To accommodate the rising need for speed and more bandwidth, structured cabling systems came into use and are now the best solution for a business’s network.

Structured cabling systems are a kind of network cabling solution that organizes your infrastructure. The beauty of structured cabling is that it helps to future-proof your business by accommodating any new hardware you add while supporting the increasing amount of data businesses use every day. It makes things much easier to manage as your business grows!

To help you understand structured cabling systems, we’re taking a deep dive into what they are, how they work and how you can apply for a career in cabling systems.

servers demonstrating their purpose as structured cabling solutions

MASTER WHAT MAKES UP STRUCTURED CABLING

Subsystems

“Structured cabling” may lead you to believe that the system is only made of cables in your data center, but that’s not quite the case. A structured cabling system actually runs throughout a building or across a campus, with different points and dedicated areas

Besides cables, structured cabling solutions can include racks, network cabinets, hardware ports and more. All of these smaller pieces work together as part of the overall system.

The standardized elements that make up structured cabling are called “subsystems.” These subsystems are typically located across a building, so it’s important to know where they’ll be in your business location.

There are six different kinds of subsystems that go into structured cabling.

The Six SubSystems:

Entrance Facilities

The physical point where the premises’s wiring begins and the telephone company’s wiring ends

Equipment Rooms

Rooms inside the building or campus that house equipment or consolidation points

Backbone Cabling

Inter- and intra-building cable connections

Horizontal Cabling

Wiring that connects telecommunications rooms to outlets or work areas in the floor

Telecommunications Room

Connects the backbone cabling and horizontal cabling

Work Area Components

Connections between the end-user’s equipment and the outlets of the horizontal cabling system

Installing structured cabling solutions involves laying out and designing the system itself, which can be tricky in and of itself. This design process takes factors like heat, cooling and airflow into account and needs to be methodical for best results. A data cabling company will work with you to design a system that fits your current and future needs.

All six of these subsystems work together to support your business. Your cables and wiring will be accessible whether you need to fix something or want to upgrade in the future.

Defining the Types of Cables

You may be wondering what kinds of cables go into a structured cabling system. Each of these cables have different purposes, but they all still work as part of the structured cabling system.

Standards govern how the actual cables in your system are laid out, but one of the advantages to this is that it makes them much easier to identify. Cables should also be labeled for easy identification.

The kinds of cables your structured system will use depends on your needs. They can be made out of copper or fiber, with different specifications. Here are some of the major types of cables used in a structured cabling system.

Commonly Used Cables:

Structured Cabling Solutions 1
Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cables are a lot like electric cables, except they’re made out of optical fibers to carry signals and images. These optical fibers are made out of silica or plastic and coated with more layers of plastic inside the cable itself.

Different kinds of fiber optic cables may be used for long-distance telecommunication or high-speed connections between buildings on campus.

Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted pair cables are commonly used to connect residential homes and businesses with a telephone company. These kinds of cables date back to the era of radio and telegrams and were actually invented by Alexander Graham Bell!

There are two kinds of twisted pair cables:

  • Shielded twisted pair (STP)
  • Unshielded twisted pair (UTP)

UTP cables are used most commonly for telephones and computer networks.

close up of a twisted pair cable as it relates to structured cabling solutions
close up of a coaxial cable in structured cabling solutions
Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cables are a type of transmission line, carrying high-frequency electrical signals with low loss.

Coaxial cables are commonly used for:

  • Cable television
  • Telephone
  • Broadband internet
  • Computer data
  • Connecting radio transmitter and receivers to antennas

What Makes a Structured Cabling System Work?

Patch panels, switches and trunks are three big components of any structured cabling system. These are all important pieces of a data center and your cabling infrastructure. You can think of them as the engine that helps your business run smoothly.

Structured Cabling Components

cables, patch panels and switches as part of structured cabling solutions and system
Cables connected to a patch panel
Patch Panels

A patch panel connects cables. They’re also called patch bays and are attached to network racks. Patch panels use cords to connect to a switch.

You can think of the patch panel as a connection hub. It bundles up all the connections to another network. Often, this is how a LAN connects to the internet. You can usually find patch panels in communication closets and data centers at a business.

cords running to a network switch in a structured cabling system
Cables running to a network switch
Switches

A switch, in cabling, is a component of the system that receives, processes and sends data. The switch connects your patch panels so you can connect devices to a network and share data and access the internet.

trunk cables in a switch as part of a structured cabling system
Fiber optic trunk cables
Trunk Cables

A trunk is a cable that connects to patch panels. You can think of trunks as a way of consolidating the number of wires running from patch panel to patch panel. They’re essentially a grouping of wires that are bound into one big cable to keep everything neat and organized.

KNOW THE USES OF STRUCTURED CABLING SOLUTIONS

If your business is small, then point-to-point cabling might have worked for you in the past. However, as businesses grow and add more technology to their arsenal, the amount of data used and sent increases. With a point-to-point system, it’s difficult to sift through all the connected cables just to move, add or change something. On top of that, pinpointing and locating a problem can take much longer if nothing is organized.

When you install a structured cabling system, you’re investing in a scalable infrastructure. The amount of technology used in the workplace will only grow, so it’s important your network can support all of your needs in speed and bandwidth.

Structured cabling solutions support video, voice, applications and any other tool you might use at your business. Different types of cables support different functions, but they all work together in the infrastructure. With new technologies and tools being added to the workplace every day, structured cabling can support you.

Here are just a few ways you can use structured cabling at your business.

Common Structured Cabling Uses

streaming a meeting using structured cabling solutions

Audio/Visual Needs

Distributed or remote teams are a growing part of the workplace. Streaming conference calls are the best way to keep everyone connected, no matter where they work.

Structured cabling solutions can support streaming, whether it’s in an office or a meeting room. It’s easy to start up a meeting and connect. Whether you need to present, stream a video or use a paging system, you’re all set!

woman accessing the internet with fiber optic installed in a structured cabling system

Fiber Optic Upgrades

Fiber optic is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to get online. Fiber optic cables are much faster at sending data than traditional cables. If you want to upgrade for lightning-fast speed, you’ll want a structured cabling system to support it.

data center using structured cabling solutions to operate

Data Center Management

The more data your business uses, the more support you need. Structured cabling systems can provide the right kind of layout and organization for your business’s data center. You’ll be able to easily move things around if you need to, or easily disassemble and reassemble your data center if you move business locations.

modem connected through structured cabling solutions

Distributed Antenna Systems

Structured cabling solutions can support distributed antenna systems for mass notification, Wi-Fi and wireless coverage. If you need or want to offer free Wi-Fi at your business, you can use a distributed antenna system to do it.

IoT thermostat connected by structured cabling solutions

Network Cabling

The Internet of Things is the next big thing in tech. IoT will connect all of your technology so they can send and receive data. You can use IoT at your business to better manage your resources. Say hello to smart lighting, efficient energy management and better connectivity.

security cameras connected using structured cabling solutions

Security

Your business’s security is important. Structured cabling solutions can connect all of your security cameras and surveillance equipment and control sensors across your building.

Structured cabling has a variety of uses, making it versatile and able to meet your business’s needs. Unlike point-to-point cabling, structured cabling solutions can grow with your business and it’s easy to add more workstations or hardware as you need.

Structured cabling has a variety of uses, making it versatile and able to meet your business’s needs. Unlike point-to-point cabling, structured cabling solutions can grow with your business and it’s easy to add more workstations or hardware as you need.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you’re interested in a career in structured cabling with an experienced data cabling company will have the resources and expertise to make sure you have the support you need.

NETWORK STRUCTURED CABLING

The standard tasks of the position include installing, commissioning, programing, configuring, troubleshooting, diagnosing, servicing, and maintaining of access control, video management, weapons detection, visitor management, intercom, alarm, notification, and other physical security technology systems.

The network cabling technician applies specialist knowledge to design and install Wide Area Networks (WAN), Local Area Networks (LAN), and Cable TV. They utilize an understanding of the different types of cables and how they work together to create a successful network. They work in computer software firms, low voltage system integration companies, wire and cabling companies, digital firms, IT services firms, etc.Cable Installation – Ethernet, LAN Wiring, network wiring diagram, CAT-5 Wire Pairs. The four wire pairs in a CAT-5 cable are distinguished by the color of their insulation. The four colors are (in order) blue, orange, green and brown. Thus, when refering to the “second pair” of wires, it is the orange pair.

Data Network Cabling Installation (ethernet cabling) using Cat 5, Cat5e, and Cat 6 cable installation Security Camera Installation (CCTV, IP Security Cameras, Wireless Cameras, & Video Surveillance Install)

WE SPECIALIZE IN:

• Network Cabling: Cat 5, 5e, 6, 6a
• Fiber Optic Cabling
• Voice & PBX Installation
• Wireless
• Data Centers and Call Systems
• Paging Systems
• Coax

Apply here

Components

May include; door hardware, electronic locks, card readers, request to exit devices, access control panels, reader boards, power supplies, cable pathways, cameras, monitors, DVRs, NVRs, video work stations, video encoders, ACS work stations, badging stations, dedicated routers, ACS and VMS software, servers, and databases.
Individual system components may be analog, digital, IP based, wired, wireless, locally managed, or cloud based.
Installing and terminating cabling for the above systems may including COAX, CAT, Fiber, and low voltage wiring.

This role maybe called upon to provide technical expertise, testing assistance, training, and support for service and inspections.

Contribute to the development and implementation of technical policies, standards, and operating procedures.

Maintain system documentation in the form up Move/Add/Change updates, system configuration charts, equipment inventories, panel sheets, device placement drawings, As-Builts, etc.

Prepare and deliver oral and written reports and presentations.

Develop and maintain effective working relationships with peers, internal customers, and vendors.

Diagnose hardware, software, and configuration failures of all security equipment and perform or secure repairs.

Provide remote software installation, configuration and support for customer facing projects.

Voice and Data Infrastructure Cabling

  •  Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 Cabling Services. Complete Voice and Data Inside Wiring Contractors in Texas. Coax Cabling for Broadband and CCTV Installations. Existing Site Cabling Diagnostics, Mapping, Repair, and Certification Solutions. Telecom Voice Cabling for PBX and VoIP Telephone Services. Network Clean-up, 
    • network wiring contractors – cabling installation company – data cabling contractor
    • Phone System Installation Service – business telephone installers – business phone system installers
    • Paging Systems
  • Security Camera System Installation – Home and business security monitoring – 
  • Install surveillance camera – security camera systems for business-commercial surveillance camera systems – industrial security camera system
  • An integrated Surveillance and Access Control system is a vital part of securing any commercial space. Not only do these systems protect inventory and guard against theft, installing security cameras can help lower insurance rates, protect from frivolous lawsuits, deter criminal activity, and help promote a safe environment for all occupants.

Texas State Security Licensed Certified Technician (markpointe.com)

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