office network

The idea of a generic communication infrastructure in buildings, was created in the early 1990s resulting in the first EIA/TIA 568 standard in 1993, soon followed by its sister documents ISO/IEC 11801 and EN50173. Besides particular individual differences, these standards share the same intent to create guidelines for IT professionals, to keep pace with fast developing networking challenges.

The logic of this concept is to build a fully operational network in sufficient port density, to serve every potential network with client devices such as printers, right from day one. Resulting in quicker, more efficient, and cost-effective moves, adds and changes to an initially limited network.

Cabling classification

Network operators first need to establish what service will run on the network, and determine the performance level needed to make it available to all connected outlets. Performance is always a matter of teamwork – cable and connecting hardware have to meet similar requirements; improving just one of these is simply not sufficient. Over the year, several cabling classes have emerged which are listed below.

Each category has a set carrying capacity, for example:

Class Hertz Category Kbps
Class A 100 Khz Cat. 1 Telephony
Class B 1 MHz Cat. 2 128 Kbps
128 Kbps 16 MHz Cat. 3 10 Mbps
Class C+ 20 MHz Cat. 4 16 Mbps
Class D 100 MHz Cat. 5 100 Mbps
Class D+ 100 MHz Cat. 5e 1000 Mbps
Class E 250 MHz Cat. 6 1 Gbps
Class EA 500 MHz Cat. 6A 10 Gbps
Class F 600 MHz Cat. 7 10 Gbps
Class FA 1000 MHz Cat. 7A 10 Gbps+
"Class G" 1200 MHz MULTIMEDIA 10 Gbps+

However, operators should not only consider applications for today, but anticipate ever increasing network speed and make provisions for future applications. With the network lasting 15 years and longer, performance headroom is key to creating sustainability in networking. Typical network cables in use as well as the network user interface, we deal with so called 'horizontal cabling' which is often related to building floor levels. The dominating technology in this area is twisted pair cable. Thanks to its ease of installation, versatility over a distance of up to 100m including remote powering through power over Ethernet (PoE) it made it's proved its worth in the 21st Century.

In riser and campus zones between floors or even buildings, networkers are faced with longer distances requiring fibre optic cabling. When it comes to data transmission cables, more and more users choose fibre technology. It's the undisputed number one in today’s Local Area Networks (LAN) – structured cabling in campus and riser networks. The decision to use either fibre optic, or copper data cables as an ideal solution for horizontal networks, depends on many factors like application environment, previous network basis and future needs. Whatever you choose, with fibre optic data cables of the UCFIBRE series designed specifically to meet the requirements of all structural levels of local networks, you're on the safe side for the future.

Transmission rates are developing exponentially, and new transmission protocols follow in ever shorter periods of time. 10 years ago, 1 Gb/s was state-of-the-art and only foreseen for communication between switches, servers and storage systems. Next-generation 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s are already here. Using MaxCap advanced optical fibres from Prysmian Group ensures that your network can be upgraded for new generations of networks, in all cases where the protocols are compliant.