structured cabling

The ultimate guide to structured cabling

For today’s organisations, solid connections are necessary to ensure internal operations can continue running and services are delivered to customers as soon as possible. Information technology (IT) infrastructures regularly support these connections. 

However, there is a less obvious area of technology – structured cabling – that business owners should be aware of when establishing and upgrading their IT systems.

A correctly installed structured cabling system (SCS) can ensure your company and employees remain patched into the latest telecommunications technologies and can converse with customers and stakeholders daily.

An overview of structured cabling

Structured cabling encompasses an organisation’s telecommunications cabling infrastructure. It includes the specific hardware components that comprise the cabling system that powers a business’s communication channels.

Structured cabling is a versatile solution for telecommunications. SCSs are explicitly designed according to the needs of the company. For example, a multi-storey commercial building’s SCS would be more advanced than a one-storey small business.   

The SCS is the backbone of any telecommunications infrastructure and its business. It connects all areas of a company, including individual offices, conference rooms, and data centres. It supports multiple communication channels simultaneously while streamlining digital infrastructures. 

How does structured cabling work, and what is it used for?

Before the development of structured cabling, organisations were forced to contend with point-to-point cabling – setups where a single cable ran from one device to its destination. This was a costly and inefficient solution as it was challenging to rearrange during times of digital transformation

Structured cabling organises and connects all of a company’s equipment to the main distribution area (MDA) via trunks and patch panels. The MDA is essentially the crossroad of your company’s information system. Your business’s information must pass through it during transit.

Structured cabling is typically used in the following situations:

  • Reorganising data centres.
  • Upgrading communication channels.
  • Implementing network cables into an organisation for a more robust technical ecosystem.

Australian businesses are no strangers to high-performing technology infrastructures, with IT spending predicted to reach over $109 billion in 2022. Companies’ networks are constantly evolving and need to be connected correctly to ensure operations are efficient and effective. By investing in structured cabling, your organisation can take advantage of fast data speeds and more organised infrastructures.

What does structured cabling consist of?

A solid SCS is comprised of various types of cables (depending on what the business requires) and six subsystems. SCS cables generally consist of (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Optical-fibre cables – supports larger amounts of data and bandwidth over greater distances.
  • Passive optical networks – leverages optical-fibre cables to support communication technologies, internet access, and more.
  • Twisted pair cables – uses wire pairs to connect organisations to their networks.

At the same time, subsystems provide businesses with identifiable locations to assess their cabling infrastructure. This allows you to easily manage the flow of information and data within your organisation while guaranteeing that your complex networks are organised and running efficiently

The subsystems include:

  • Equipment rooms – houses equipment, such as switches, routers, and more.
  • Entrance facilities – the spot where your business’s wiring and your access provider’s (AP) wiring meet.
  • Telecommunication rooms (TRs) – stores the connective equipment for backbone and horizontal cabling.
  • Horizontal cabling – the cabling setups that connect TRs and telecommunication tools.
  • Backbone cabling – connects AP spaces, entrance facilities, TRs, and equipment rooms into a unified network.
  • Work area (WA) components – connects WA tools to horizontal cabling.

From ethernet cables and patch cords, to speaker cables, audio cables, and indoor/outdoor fibre optic cables, it can be easy for business owners to feel overwhelmed by the telecommunication industry’s sheer number of cables and subsystems, not to mention their specific uses and installation requirements. 

However, organisations cannot afford to turn away from such a setup. Doing so increases the chances of poorly optimised communication solutions, ineffective data sharing, and unproductive business operations. 

What are the benefits of structured cabling?

From customer service to internal daily processes, employees and customers want fast solutions, and companies need to prepare themselves with innovative technological frameworks that prioritise speed, efficiency, and organisation. 

Structured cabling provides businesses with various benefits that can help them increase their revenue while lowering response times to the market. These benefits are: 

  • Increased scalability – less hardware and more organisation means changes can be quickly made to the SCS.
  • Enhanced efficiency – an SCS allows you to manage your company’s cables and information flows easily.
  • More profit and less resource wastage – a neatly organised system makes it easier to spot and fix issues when they arise, shortening the time your business is forced to perform at a reduced capacity.
  • More reliable connectivity – an SCS enables users to remain plugged into their systems with a reduced chance of experiencing downtime.

Enhance your business's connections with telecommunications experts

Your organisation is a highly efficient machine, and you deserve a structured cabling network that strengthens internal and external connections while ensuring that you are prepared for future market shifts. But, without the expertise to install an SCS correctly, your business could risk losing its competitive edge.

The unified communications specialists at Muscatech are experts in telecommunications and structured cabling. If you are struggling with your network cables, are eager to invest in audio cables or optical-fibre cables to improve your office setup, or are unsure of how to make the most of new telecommunication tools, talk to the team today.

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