By Steven deSteuben, Jul 3 2014 03:14AM
Perhaps you have noticed that there are many companies that offer Data Cabling and Structured Cabling installation planning and design. Some Electricians will even offer these services, often at far less then Data Cabling Companies. What are the differences, and what should you look for?
First off I personally work with a few very good electricians which we sub out some of our 120/240 work to. They are great guys. However, any one who specializes in an area of study will do a better job then a general all around guy. Take your primary care doctor. No doubt you trust them a lot, but when you need surgery you call the expert in the field.
Data Cabling is really the same thing. It does require a special understanding of how computer networking works, what environmental factors will effect the data Transmission, and all the special parts that will give you a neat install.
Cat 5e and Cat 6 Cables are actually rather fragile. While Building codes do spec some requirements for Data and Phone cabling, there are many "good idea" points about installing a computer network, or a VOIP phone network, which are not described in the building codes. Only computer network, and IT pro's would really know what they need from these installs.
At Nashua Data Solutions, we ensure that our Patch Panels are installed in a way that everything is neat and labled. We build in wire Management into our racks so that your network closet stays neat.
Second thing to consider is that not all cable that says Cat5e or Cat 6 is the same from brand to brand. We recently had a job which needed a special color. We were not able to order it from our normal supplier because this was an emergency job that had to be done in less then 1 day. So we went to our local Electrical Supply Store which had that color in stock. However, it was made by Honeywell. This cable was physically 1/2 the size of the cable we normally use. While running the cable we noticed that the outer jacket of the Cable was very easy to tear, almost by hand. When the install was complete, we ran our Network Certification Tester on these cables. The results were terrible. While they technically passed the test, the brands we normally use rate much higher and have less delay these "generic" cables that most shops use. We did end up having to replace those drops with the higher quality cables.
The end result is, Price is not the only factor to consider. What brands will your vendors use? Will they be Plenum when its required? Will they use outdoor rated when its in wet locations, or outside the building? Will they certify the network to 1gigabit speeds, or are they only going to give you a "pin out" Test?
We always recommend quality brands of cable, and take the extra time to run cables in a way that protects your network speeds.
Give us a call today to see how we can make your network wiring project a success.