A Brief Explanation Of The Concepts Of Structured Cabling Systems

23 Oct

A structured cabling system is a complete system of cabling and associated hardware, which provides a telecommunication infrastructure. This infrastructure is used as telephone service or to transmit data through a computer network. It is not device-dependent. In simple terms, the structured cabling products are to integrate voice, data, video and other functioning of a building.

The cabling specifications revolve around the use of high-quality unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and fiber optic cabling. The structured cabling systems are specified by certain standards like TIA/EIA-568. These standards provide guidelines for data center design, management, and operation. This can be classified into 6 subsystems. They are as follows:

Work area:

They extend from the telecommunication outlet/connector end of the horizontal cabling system to the work area equipment. At least two telecommunications outlets (permanent links) should be provided for each work area. Multiuser telecommunications outlet assemblies, if used, are part of the WA.                                                                                             

Horizontal cabling system:

This includes cable termination, more than one transmission point, cross-connections, horizontal cable, mechanical terminations; patch cords located in the TR or TE and may incorporate multiuser telecommunications outlet assemblies (MUTOAs). The maximum horizontal cable length can be 90 m (295 ft.), independent of the media type.

Backbone cabling:

The backbone cabling acts as an intermediate between the telecommunications closet, equipment room, etc. Any type of cable that links two telecommunication points is known as backbone cabling.

Cabling subsystem 2- Backbone cabling is the cabling between the horizontal cross-connect (HC) and the intermediate cross-connect (IC).

Cabling subsystem 3-Backbone cabling is the cabling between an intermediate cross-connect (IC) and the main cross-connect (MC).

Equipment room: 

This holds the equipment used inside a building. It usually encompasses the main cross-connect, intermediate cross-connects or horizontal cross-connects. The Workstation Equipment Subsystem consists of all passive or active media and related components required to form the physical connection between station (copiers, terminals, scanners, PC, printers and telephone handsets) and the communications outlets provided at the workstation. The components used will be highly variable, depending on the type of equipment used at a particular time and time.

Telecommunication system:

This contains all the termination points of horizontal and backbone cables connected to the hardware junctions. It is intended to serve a smaller floor area than a complete room and may be used in addition to the minimum "one TR per floor" rule. The following are the general requirements for this subsystem:

• It should be as close as possible to the core of the area it is serving.

• It should be for communication equipment only.

• A minimum of one telecommunication closet should be made available per floor.

• All telecommunication closets should align vertically (as a stack) within a building.

• It should contain a telephone for communications.

• It should be of sufficient size to accommodate all passive or active premise video, data and voice equipment.

Entrance facility:

This structured cabling system deals with the telecommunication service entrance to the building. This consists of cables, hardware, connecting equipment, etc. It also includes the connection between outside t and inside wiring.

Advantages of a structured cabling system:


The same cabling system can be used for everything.


The same design and network can be used as this contains multi-vendor equipment. Hence even if the vendor is changed, the same system can be reused.

Simplify moves/ add changes:

If any changes in the room need to be done like sharing up of a single printer between multiple computers, or shifting the system from one place to another, then the process can be streamlined by using structured cabling.

Easy troubleshooting: 

After successful installations, some cable wiring may fail. With structured wiring, this can be identified and rectified easily.

Future usage: 

The structured cabling systems well-suits the upcoming updates also.

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