Simply put, voice and data cabling is a system of cabling that can, as the name suggests, handle voice and/or data. This includes basic phone system cabling, data network cabling, coax cabling, server room cabling, surveillance camera wiring, video cabling, wireless network infrastructure cabling. Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and Cat7 are the major voice and data cabling standards.
In other words, voice and data cabling is the infrastructure that makes up an office or campus network that has the capacity to adapt and expand with future technology and allows the business to expand year upon year.
The quality of cabling is vitally important for all businesses. The initial installation of your voice and data cabling may seem daunting, involving extensive drilling and fixing of cables, but the benefits more than justify this major undertaking. When installing voice and data cabling there are a few essentials to keep in mind.
As the technology involved is constantly evolving, it is important that businesses future proof with the appropriate wiring choice. The higher the specification of the cabling chosen, the longer the life of that network. As technology changes, it is imperative that your business has space to expand without any constraints needlessly imposed by your cable and wiring network.
It is essential that your voice and data cabling is tested on a regular basis. Getting a professional in to ensure that your wiring is still up to spec and allowing your network to perform optimally is hugely beneficial. Testing should occur at least every 10 years, although if any major changes are made, then it is clearly important to test again. Needless to say, it is also essential that your network is tested by certified and experienced engineers that have dealt with the technology before; by no means, all electricians have the requisite experience.
While it may be tempting to go for the cheaper option, low-cost cables come with a risk of defects and potential downtime for your business. Every component should be of the highest quality; this ensures that the network will function properly and you can be confident that everything will last the lifetime of your network. All components from the cables to routers, hubs and the switches are as important as each other. One weak point could potentially slow down the entire network and even cause downtime for the business and lost revenue.
Voice and data cabling is a crucial part of your infrastructure that ensures optimal performance from your network. Conference calls, video chat, VoIP telephone and more all rely on a robust, fast cable network. In addition to requiring high speeds, these technologies all require a great deal of bandwidth to function properly and avoid downtime.
By investing in a proper voice and data cabling system, businesses can future-proof their IT infrastructure and avoid these often costly problems further down the line. A robust voice and data cable system helps to ensure the availability of your infrastructure with a direct impact on the bottom line.
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Matt Nice, Director of ICT, Bristol Grammar School