Structured Cabling Subsystems Explained
Structured cabling systems comprise six distinct subsystems, serving as the physical backbone of the building’s internal network. Here’s how each one functions.
Entrance point (EP)
The Entrance Point (EP) is also known as the Minimum Point of Entry (MPOe) or Entrance Facilities (EF).
Although it contains an array of cables, connecting hardware, and network protection devices, the most crucial element of the EP is the demarcation point or demarc. The primary purpose of the demarc is to separate your building’s (internal) network from the telecom company or internet service provider’s (external) network.
An Equipment Room (ER) is telecom jargon for any room inside a building or office containing what is known as consolidation equipment: routers, network switches, PBXes, and additional cables. Server rooms are a specific type of ER.
Most equipment rooms contain dense concentrations of electronic equipment, all of which generate significant amounts of heat. For this reason, an ER must be tightly climate-controlled to combat overheating and eliminate humidity.
Patch panels inside ERs connect the Entrance Point to the building’s telecom rooms via the backbone cabling system.
The backbone cabling network (sometimes called riser cabling) is the dense array of twisted-pair or fiber optic cables running through your building. The purpose of backbone cabling is to connect equipment rooms to horizontal cross-connects, where horizontal cabling begins.
Although all backbone cabling runs from equipment rooms, they may fulfill one of two purposes down the line:
- Connecting the main cross-connect to the intermediate cross-connect
- Connecting the intermediate cross-connect to a horizontal cross-connect
Backbone cabling must adhere to the standards outlined in ANSI/TIA 568. 568.0 regulates the backbone cabling standards for residential buildings, whereas 568.1 covers commercial buildings.
The horizontal cabling array is the collection of cables, cable terminations, and cross-connects running from a telecommunications room to the outlets inside a work area.
As with backbone cabling, horizontal cabling is regulated and must conform to the standards outlined in ANSI/TIA 568. For instance, according to TIA 568-B, horizontal cabling connecting an outlet to a cross-connect is subjected to strict maximum length requirements; they cannot exceed 90 meters (295 feet).
Telecommunications room cabling
A telecommunications room or telecoms room (TR), also called a telecoms enclosure (TE), is a room that houses jumpers, patch cords, and horizontal cross-connects. TRs/TEs are where backbone cabling ends, and horizontal cabling begins.
Most office buildings usually have one TR/TE per floor, distributing the network’s vertical (backbone) cabling into a series of horizontal connections.
Work zone cabling
A work zone or work area is any room in the building where you can find equipment operated by the end-users. Examples include desktop PCs, laptops, wirelessly connected devices equipped with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and other equipment designed to be plugged into a wall outlet.
Besides the end-user equipment, the telecom cabling in a work zone also comprises Ethernet ports, Wi-Fi receivers, patch cables, and other outlets. Work zone cabling is designed to be as simple as possible, so end-users can add, upgrade, or remove equipment by themselves.
Services Provided by ASi-Networks
ASi-Networks offers a complete array of Structured Cabling Services In Los Angeles and low-voltage cabling services to ensure your business is equipped with all of the technologies you need to focus on growing your business:
Common Types of Cables Used
Structured cabling arrays primarily use three types of cables: fiber optic, twisted-pair, and coaxial.
Here are the primary applications for structured cabling:
- Audio/video needs: An office’s structured cabling includes all necessary high-quality cables and connectors to meet your A/V needs, from call centers to videoconferencing.
- Data center management: Structured cabling systems enhance data center management, making it easier to scale up or down, add new hardware, and reduce cabling footprint.
- Network cabling: Structured cabling helps streamline and tidy your building’s network, making it easier to manage.
- Security systems: Structured cabling supports modern security and surveillance systems, from access control and CCTV to IP-enabled security.
Do I need structured cabling system for my business?
A structured cabling network helps businesses of any size or type manage their devices and technological needs, no matter how complex their IT needs. They are also easy to scale up or down, ideal for fast-growing companies.
Can I install structured cabling myself?
No. Structured cabling systems should be installed by IT professionals; only they have the licensing and expertise to install this cabling legally.
What happens if I move my business after installation is complete?
If you move to a new location after installing structured cabling, you must contact an IT services professional to survey the new site, remove old wiring, and install new cables.
Will I have downtime during installation?
Although your networks will be unavailable during installation, the primary advantage of professionally installed structured cabling is organization and reduction of IT downtime.
How is structured cabling cost estimated?
Rates vary from one IT service provider to another. The equipment cost depends on the quality, technologies employed, conformity with the latest standards, and your business’s location.
What are the top cabling brands for fiber and twisted pair?
The top fiber optic manufacturers include Corning, Furukawa Electric, HTGD, and Sumitomo. Top twisted-pair cable manufacturers today are Lansan Industries, OTSCable, and Belden.