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Identifying The Right Data Cabling Requirements For Your Network

Since 1995, when category 5 cabling was first introduced to the market, it wasn’t long before it gained momentum, quickly becoming the technology of the future. It was the replacement of the older version “cat 3” cables.

The key difference in the cabling technology was the fast and efficient speed it was able to transfer data. You could even say it’s the technology that revolutionised the way business was done. From paging, to conferencing, to managing financial accounts, it was all possible with the cat5 networks

As you can imagine, from Cat 3 in the early 90s’ to cat 5 in 1995, the speeds you see today are far greater and more sophisticated since way back then.

Times moved on to a newer version of cabling as the next introduction was the category 5e cable, the “enhanced” version.

This brought with it an improvement to the efficiency as it minimized NEXT, which is what’s referred to as near-end cross talk.

With both types of cat 5 cabling, it also brings with the addition of two way communications, which is required so you can speak on the telephone, while sending an email.

Next up was the category 6 cabling.

Currently among the most advanced data cabling you can find in the market.

A category 6 cabling network is able to deliver speeds suited to fibre optic broadband. In terms of data cabling installations to enhance existing networks, it’s the types of cabling used during the installation that will determine how your network performs.

The types of data cables explained

The most common type of cabled networks is the category 5 cabling. The cables come in two variations:

·         UTP – Unshielded Twisted Pair

·         SCTP – Screened Twisted Pair

The SCTP provides an extra shield designed to minimize interference. However, with the UTP cables you can also find them in solid or stranded copper.

The solid cables are the more solid of the two and they are best used over the longer distance cabling installations.

The stranded cat 5 cable offers more flexibility, so that’s extremely handy for patching on short distances, when the cables need to go around a bend etc.

Both the solid and stranded cat 5 cables are able to handle network speeds of up to 100MHz.

One of the reasons for the cat 5 becoming so popular was its two-way technology. The earlier cabling of cat 3, provided only one telephone line. With the network upgraded to cat 5, it offered internet access, simultaneously with the telephone line in use.

Cat 5e was then introduced

This is the enhanced cat 5 cable, as it comes with the capacity to transfer data at 100mbps.

The main upgrade to the enhanced cable though is the minimisation of near end cross talk. The more interference there is on a network, the slower the data transfer. With cat 5e, the speeds are able to be increased by minimising the interference to the network.

Most new systems being installed now are generally a cat 5e installation rather than a category 5 infrastructure.

You need a category 6 cabling job to super speed your network

The most efficient of all data cabling is the category 6, super sophisticated cabling, made of four piece twisted copper. The main aspect and the neatest feature is the longitudinal separator that it uses.

The longitudinal separator isolates each of the four parts of twisted copper wire and that’s what minimizes interference. Less NEXT, and more data transfer speeds.

Of course, with cat 6, you have the extra expense, as it doesn’t come cheap.

That’s why you need to know what type of network you need

Chances are if you’re running a network with hundreds of employees, where you need super fast and ultra reliable broadband, then the category 6 would be most suitable to that situation.

For the most part though, you aren’t going to need to go that expense. Any new network on the category 5e cabling will be efficient to give you a high-speed internet connection, with minimised near end cross talk

It can be expensive just to purchase the category 6 cables. It’s also labour intensive to install, as the terminations are much more complex than the cat 5 and 5e.

Unless you use a significant amount of data and need ultra fast service, the upgrade to your network would be much more cost efficient to go with category 5 or 5e and still achieve high data transfer speeds.

The category 6 cabling is more or less going to future proof your network, but for the most part, cat 5 or 5e will do everything you need your network to do. 
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0783 189 0975



Job status: Mike Belletty, Subcontractor
Availability: Immediate start.
Tel: 0783 189 0975
E-mail: jobs(at)
Location: Central London, Greater London, M25, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire
Skills: Data Cabling Installer, Cat6 Cabling, Structured Cabling Install, Cat5 Cable Testing, Validation, Termination

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