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The Basics of Structured Cabling Explained: An Expert Guide

In the modern world, where everything we need immediately appears at our fingertips, it can be easy to forget that our technology relies on physical systems. Although the term “the cloud” can make it seem like our information lives in the atmosphere, everything on the internet is stored on physical servers. Those servers and all technical networks and systems need to be supported with proper design, setup, and maintenance to run efficiently and securely.

If you’re ready to get started on structured cabling solutions for your business in Tempe, Phoenix, Tucson, or the surrounding areas of Arizona, contact Corporate Technology Solutions today!

What Is Structured Cabling & Why Is It Important?

Structured cabling is a streamlined approach to telecommunications infrastructure for a building or campus. It simplifies and organizes a company’s digital infrastructure, avoiding the need for a lot of cables and making room for future growth.

What Came Before Structured Cabling?

In the past, all cables in a building’s digital infrastructure were “point-to-point,” meaning that there was a cable running from every single piece of hardware to what it needed to be connected to. Such a system is inefficient, disorganized, and difficult to modify as companies grow and add or change technology.

How Does Structured Cabling Work?

Structured cabling creates a “structure” for an organization’s digital infrastructure with patch panels and trunks, as it was developed as a solution to the modern reliance on technology. All cabling hardware is connected to an MDA (main distribution area), which acts as a hub for all the information that needs to move from one point to another.

What Are the Benefits of Structured Cabling?

Structured cabling is cleaner, more efficient, and more easily modified. It’s a fact of life that technology changes quickly. In the past, upgrading or adding technology meant changing out countless cables and disrupting operations for extended periods. With structured cabling, it’s a simple matter of unplugging the old tech and plugging in the new tech. This makes room for your company’s technology to evolve as it evolves.

To streamline your digital infrastructure with structured cabling, contact the expert team at Corporate Technology Solutions today. We serve clients in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and the surrounding areas of Arizona.

Common Uses for Structured Cabling

When point-to-point cabling no longer serves a growing company’s needs, investing in a structured cabling system is a good move that will serve the company far into the future. Companies commonly switch to structured cabling for some or all of these uses:

Red Circle featuring a computer displaying a video play button Increased audio/visual needs to support streaming and remote teams
Red circle with a white fiber optic cabling sillouette icon in it Upgrading to fiber optic cabling to obtain significantly higher connection speeds
Supporting a data center icon

Supporting a data center by enhancing layout, organization, and performance for data centers

wifi logo

Supporting a distributed antenna system for Wi-Fi and mass notification capabilities

A white circle with a white network cabling sillouette inside it

Network cabling to connect all of a company’s technology

CCTV security icon in a red circle

Better security to connect all of a company’s security equipment for enhanced surveillance and protection


The 6 Components of Structured Cabling

A structured cabling system is comprised of six subsystems that are located at different locations in a building.

  • Entrance facilities are where the service provider’s wiring ends and the company’s wiring begins.

  • Equipment rooms house equipment or consolidation points.

  • Backbone cabling provides interconnection between telecommunication rooms, entrance facilities, equipment rooms, or buildings. It is known as the “skeleton” of the network.

  • Horizontal cabling runs from a telecommunications equipment outlet to the telecommunications room or enclosure.

  • Telecommunication rooms connect the horizontal and backbone cabling to consolidate and distribute all digital traffic.

  • Work area components connect the end user’s equipment to the outlets of the horizontal cabling system.

What Are the Different Types of Cabling?

All cables transmit information, but not all cables are equal. A structured cabling system is made up of different types of cables that perform different functions. Cables that perform the same function often have differentiators such as speed, bandwidth, cost, and susceptibility to interference from neighboring cables. The types of cabling systems used in any network infrastructure are a critical aspect of building a system that serves a company’s needs and allows for future growth.

Commonly used cables include:

  • Fiber optic cables use optical fibers to transmit signals and images. In a structured cable network, they are used for high-speed connections between buildings on campus.

  • Twisted pair cables connect businesses to the telephone company and are used for computer networks.

  • Cat5e is a versatile and affordable enhanced Cat5 cable used for Ethernet and network applications. It can transfer up to 100 Mbps.

  • Cat6 is used for Ethernet and network applications. It is more expensive than the Cat5e but is significantly faster. It can transfer up to 10 Gbps.

  • Cat6A is an augmented Cat6 cable used for Ethernet and network applications. It can transfer up to 10 Gbps at a higher bandwidth than the Cat6. It also eliminates all interference.

  • PON/GPON, Passive Optical Networks, are short-haul networks of fiber-optic cable. They are used for Internet access, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), digital TV delivery, backhaul connections for cellular base stations, Wi-Fi hot spots, and distributed antenna systems (DAS).

Choose Corporate Technology Solutions for Your Structured Cabling Needs

Structured cabling is a versatile solution that ensures seamless growth for your company’s digital needs. At Corporate Technology Solutions, we use the latest design, materials, and installation techniques to ensure the flexibility of your infrastructure and help you meet changing technology needs. As a leading high-end, full-service low-voltage integration design firm, we’re dedicated to helping you develop the best solutions for your company’s needs.

Contact Corporate Technology Solutions today to discuss structured cabling solutions for your business in Tempe, Phoenix, Tucson, and the surrounding areas of Arizona.

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