Category 5/6 Structured Cabling is a standard that enables you to connect all of your telephone and computer peripherals in a single, easy to manage, network cabling infrastructure, and once you’ve had structured cabling installed, you will wonder how you have managed all this time without it.
So, what does it take to install? Well initially, with the help of an office floor plan, you need to determine where all your telephones, fax machines, modems, PC’s, Printers, etc. need to be installed and working. Once this information is available, your next step is to choose a location in your building that can be your communications room or area (this may already exist).
A single cable can now be run, from the comm’s room or area, one to each location that you originally identified on your office floor plan. Depending on the size of your building and the nature of your business, a large number of cables may well need to be run, which means specific cabling routes will need planning and cable trunking will almost certainly be required.
It is very easy to underestimate the amount of outlets that you are going to need around your building and it is a wise idea to install extra ones for future expansion or in the event of office furniture relocations.
Once all the cables have been installed they need to be terminated. Special sockets can now be installed on the cable ends that are situated around your building, these are a type known as RJ45. The other end of the cables are presented together on patch panels, which in effect, are rows of RJ45 outlets, usually housed in a cabinet structure. Each socket is labeled with its own personal number and its corresponding patch panel outlet is marked with the same number in the patch cabinet.
After the structured cabling is all finished and tested thoroughly, you need to make this new infrastructure work for you. Into your new patch cabinet, you need to present your LAN in the form of a bank of switches or the older type hubs, and finally you require the same type of presentation in the patch cabinet from your telephone system
All your available telephone extensions can be presented on the same type of patch panels as the cabling uses, and their extension numbers marked on for each outlet.
All that’s left to do now is plug into the sockets, all your telephones, PCs etc. and make a list of the socket numbers you have used. At the patch panel end, you have to now connect the relevant socket outlet presentations to either a telephone extension or your LAN switches. This is done by using patch leads, which are leads with RJ45 plugs on each of their ends, to make the final connections necessary.
Any future changes or relocations off staffing positions can now be easily managed and you are now in full control of your communications networking infrastructure.