Network Cabling

Computer Cabling Solutions - 25 Important Data Cabling Considerations – Part 2

Determining the proper data cabling solutions is vital to most businesses since they rely so heavily on their computer network. To understand exactly which computer cabling services will be necessary for your project, computer cabling companies will inquire about a lot of related matters. Most of these questions can be answered by the computer cabling contractor during the first site visit.

1. What type of cable should be used - 5e, 6 or 6A?

Your computer cabling contractor should discuss the advantages and benefits of plenum and other types of computer cables with you. Recommendations may be based in part on your occupancy status – do own the space, or are you there on a short term lease?

2. How many cables will be needed per drop?

A drop will be needed at every desk where a pc or printer may be located. Typically, one drop is used for voice, and one for data - based on your floor plan and computer cabling needs.

3. Is there a plenum ceiling, or is it a non-plenum space?

Most municipal codes require plenum rated cable to be used if the air space in not ducted. Plenum cable is more expensive than non-plenum cable, but the low-smoke values and flame-retardant treatment in the Teflon jacket that surrounds the cable is an important safety consideration in case there were to be a fire.

4. If this is a new construction site, is there a permit on the job - and who is responsible for obtaining the permit?

Your general contractor may obtain all permits or your computer cabling contract can apply for their own permit.

5. Is all cable terminated on a patch panel - and is the cable divided into voice and data?

More and more businesses utilize VoIP (voice over internet protocol) these days. Regardless of the voice and data system used, the number of patch panels will need to be determined by your computer cabling contractor.

5a. If not, where does the voice go?

110 or 66M150 blocks will be used. A 110 block is a type of punch block used to terminate runs of onsite wiring in a structured cabling system.

6. Who is responsible for extending the dmark?

Computer cabling companies often perform this work, unless it is in closed building that doesn’t allow multiple contractors. The building manager may be knowledgeable about the demark extension.

7. Is the building closed to contractors?

Not all computer cabling companies are allowed in all buildings. If you are moving to a closed building you will not be able to choose your contractors.

8. Who is the service provider?

It is important to determine which service provider (ATT, Comcast or another service provider) is going to be involved, since each of these providers offers different services. For example, Comcast installs their own coax cable, whereas AT&T may fiber pipe from demark to your suite.

9. Who is moving your phone system? Do you have a phone system – and a vendor to move it?

Your computer cabling contractor may be able to help you acquire and move your phone system.

10. What type of office furniture (cubicles) will be installed in your new space?

It is helpful to know what type of furniture system terminations we should expect.

11. Are the cubicles getting relocated, or will they be new?

If you are relocating the cubicles, then time needs to be dedicated dis-assembling and reassembling the cubicles. Typically, computer cabling contractors follow the assemblers from one cubicle to the next, pulling cables through the cubes after hours or over the weekend.

12. Will any work need to be done after hours?

13. Will any work need to be completed in the floor below ceiling space?

Considerations must be given to conference table cables that require cabling to be pulled through the floor below – you will need to get clearance from tenant in the suite below to work in their ceiling.

14. Who is the General Contractor?

Computer cabling companies need to coordinate with the general contractor.

15. Have you accounted for networked printers?

16. Have you considered wireless access points?

17. Will you have any card access requirements?

18. Will you have any audio/video requirements?

19. Will you have any TV’s?

If yes, RG6 or a four pair (5E, 6 or 6A) cable will be needed.

20. What do you want the patch panels mounted on - a wall mount rack or floor mount rack?

21. Will you be requiring any horizontal or vertical wire management?

Wire management services are often very helpful, but not necessary.

22. What color cable & jacks would you prefer?

23. Do you have the service provider relocation / new service order(s) in place?

24. Do you have any security requirements (cameras)?

25. Do you have a vendor moving your network hardware?