What is Structured Cabling?
To start off, let’s break this subject down a bit further. Structured cabling is defined as a complete system of cabling and its associated components, which then provides an organized and comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure. This telecommunications infrastructure might sound scary, but it is simply the system of cables that provides your telephone service or transmits data for your computers. A structured cabling system prevents a chaotic and messy installation that results in tangled wires and placement issues by keeping the layout of the cabling well organized.
It’s like a map of a city! The cables are like streets on the map. Streets can’t just cut off a city block, they will wrap around it, just like your cables that have to be placed around architectural components in the space that it is being housed in.
Every structured cabling system is going to be unique for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons include the building’s layout that the cabling system is housed in, the installation’s function (is this a phone line or ethernet patch cables for your computer?), the types of devices and equipment the system can support, and of course, your own unique needs. Understandably, a cable system that provides telephone service throughout a home or school is going to look a bit different than the cable system for all the computers at a data service center.
Guarantee Your Quality Standards
Why wouldn’t you want to be completely confident in your network’s construction and its capabilities? Certifying your structured cabling system ensures that everything is working properly as it should and is performing at the industry’s break-neck standards. Certifying your structured cabling is essential after its initial installation, whether it is copper or fiber optic or a good mixture of both, to make sure that everything was hooked up correctly and that your cabling isn’t hindering your network’s performance speeds. It is highly encouraged to have your structured cabling certified after a big upgrade to your network as well. It is best to cover the whole nine yards and nip issues in the bud than to let a network problem frustrate you every day at your place of business. It could be something as simple as a cable replacement or even moving the cable just a hair to the left. The smallest things can make a world of a difference.
Who is the Culprit?
Is your network being bogged down by some type of internal setback? Cabling is responsible for over fifty percent of connectivity issues! If your structured cabling system is certified, then you know that is not the problem at hand when a possible speedbump comes along down the road, and you can focus your attention elsewhere for the solution. There are quite a few factors that come in to play that could possibly lead to poor performance results from your network, even a freshly installed or upgraded one! Low-grade, or poorly made elements that make up your structured cabling, such as connectors, cables, and switches in your network system can cause interference in your network speeds or can possibly result in obnoxious crosstalk. Incorrect installation is a common cause that is often responsible for performance glitches after having a new cabling system put into place. Little mistakes are easy to make, and they happen all of the time. That is why it is best to have your structured cabling certified after putting in a new cabling system in your business.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Who should be working on your structured cabling system? Structured cable certification and testing is required to be completed by a qualified technician that has the proper and specific testing tools and devices. These technicians will be looking for improper installation, faulty components, or poor-quality products such as connectors, switches, or patch cables.
The assessment that the technician will run helps them determine if there is any fiber optic cable system loss, incorrect wiring placement, damaged or kinked cables, cable runs that are too long for their capabilities, or inappropriate cable terminations. A kinked wire or maybe one that has been placed at a funky angle could be basic issues happening within your faulty network system. Thankfully, both of these issues have easy fixes. Improper cabling is often a common issue as well; your network system could have Cat3 ethernet cables installed instead of Cat5e cables that can run higher transmission speeds at longer distances. This issue also has a simple fix: replacing your current outdated cabling with an upgraded, newer Category of cable.
Remember that the certification assessment should always be completely by a trained technician; they are going to be the most qualified to interpret the test results. They will be able to let you know what is going on with your cabling, whether there is something wrong or if it is in perfect working order! If there are issues, the technician can identify them, explain them to you, and then give you options as to how to solve your network issues. After you make a decision on how to repair your cabling system, the technician can get you all fixed up and then run another certification test to make sure the work that they did was pristine.
Are You Certified Yet?
Were you on the fence about certifying your structured cabling before? Hopefully if so, that is no longer the case! Certifying your cabling is the only way to be fully confident in your network’s capabilities and to ensure that you don’t have any bugs hiding up under the hood. Always make sure to hire a qualified technician to test and repair your structured cabling. Certifying your cabling now, guarantees the quality of your system for the next foreseeable future as well. It should be able to handle any new technologies that develop in the next few years. Preventative measures are always preferred over cleaning up a mess after something has gone wrong. So, I shall ask you again: Is your structured cabling certified yet?!