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What Is Data Cabling?

14 August 2019

Data Cabling is a method of connecting multiple devices e.g PC’s, Printers, CCTV cameras, servers within an IT network. There are mainly two types of data cable, copper and fibre, within these two types of cable there are different grades which ultimately result in different standards.

Cables are ran to a floor box or wall mounted point close to where the device will sit, it will be run from a central location where a communication cabinet will be installed, in most cases all cables go back to the same cabinet but for a large scale deployment you could have a cabinet per floor. Fibre cables can be ran much longer distances than copper, for this reason fibre normally connects multiple cabinets together while copper cables connect individual devices and will go back to the closest cabinet.

Types Of Data Cabling

What is CAT5e?

CAT5e data cabling can run at the following speeds: 10/100/1000Mbps, typically these speeds can be achieved over a distance of 100 metres, all pairs of the copper cable are used when a 1000Mbps connection is negotiated with a network switch.

What is CAT6?

CAT6 data cabling can run at the following speeds 10/100/1000/10000, because CAT6 is still a copper cable you can only run it up to 100 metres in total length.

Here are some different styles of copper cable, the right cable will be determined by a number of environmental factors and you should always seek advice before selecting the cable or alternatively let an expert do it for you.

UTP – Unshielded Twisted Pair

The UTP cable consists of pairs of wires twisted together. This is one of the most basic methods used to help prevent electromagnetic interference.


FTP – Foiled Twisted Pair

FTP offers an additional layer of protection with shielding (also called screening) wrapped around the individual twisted wires. This protects against EMI/FRI and crosstalk.


S/UTP & F/UTP – Shielded/ Screened or Foiled Unshielded Twisted Pair

This has an overall foil or braid screen covering the 4 pairs of unshielded twisted pairs.


S/FTP – Shielded and Foiled Twisted Pair

A combination of the two above, with foil shielding around the individual twisted wires and an overall screen which can sometimes be a flexible braid. This provides the maximum level of protection from interference and is found in the highest performance cables.

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