Structured Cabling Systems

Structured Cabling goes by many names - from commonly used but technically inaccurate terms to terms that are accurate but difficult to understand. And unless you are an expert matter in the field, the information might be aggravatingly technical when you just want to find a solution to your business need. In these pages of our website, we want to help you navigate to what you're looking for with the understanding that you may be here because you need a solution for your business and have no desire to learn about the subject, or you may be a subject matter expert and want to partner with Fidelis for your next project.

We've arranged these pages to give an overview of the different types of cabling, show design considerations of how Fidelis can provide your business with the various solutions, answer frequently asked questions, and provide resources for further help.

To start, the overarching umbrella that is "Cabling" is called Structured Cabling Systems (SCS). It is the mainstay of Information Communications Technology (ICT) and is the foundation of the capabilities of your network. A Structured Cabling System is the collective configuration of cabling and associated hardware that has been designed and installed to provide comprehensive Information Transportation System (ITS) infrastructure. This infrastructure is intended to serve a wide range of uses. Twisted-pair copper and optical fiber cable systems should not be device or application dependent – it should be designed to perform for any application created to (run) on this technology. The structured cabling system begins at the point where the service provider terminates and ends at the user's device (computer, phone, camera...)

Our expertise spans Information Communications Technology, so we consider the whole picture when advising on your cabling and engineering a solution. We also understand that cost is a considerable factor in the decision, so we work with you to devise a solution that meets both your budgetary and your network needs.

With two BICSI certified RCDDs on staff, we are qualified to design your Communication Transport Systems and related infrastructure, ensuring a well-designed start to the rest of your network.

Here is how Fidelis can help your business design and build its ICT and SCS:

  • Network Cabling – Horizontal Cabling, Data Cabling, Voice Cabling, Category Cabling (CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6a, CAT8…), Coax Cabling
  • Backbone Cabling – Multi-Mode Fiber and Category Cabling
  • Pathways – Cable support systems
  • Spaces – Data Centers, Server Room, Computer Room, Equipment Rooms (ER), Telecommunications Rooms (TR), Data Racks and Enclosures, MDFs…
  • Audio & Video (AV) – Conference and meeting spaces
  • Paging
  • Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)
  • Wireless
  • Data renewal projects – reorganize and clean up an existing data room.
  • Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) – Design and plan review
  • Cable removal and wreck out
  • Certification and Testing
  • Lifetime product and performance Warranties - are available for qualified projects.

 

Classic Accessories - Project Showcase

We use best-in-class cable systems in our Structured Cabling Systems so you can enjoy uninterrupted connections

Here is how Fidelis can help design, install and certify your Network Cabling:

  • How long will the Business be at the location?
  • Current and future data speeds
  • Business Growth plan
  • Flexibility
  • Work Area designs
  • Floor plans
  • Network Topology
  • Data Cabling
  • Voice Cabling
  • Coax Cabling
  • Backbone Cabling
  • Audio/Visual plans
  • Wireless
  • Pathways and support
  • The connecting equipment
  • Data Center requirements
  • Security
  • Codes
  • Standards
  • RCDD design approval

 

Classic Accessories - Project Showcase

We use best-in-class cable systems in our Structured Cabling Systems so you can enjoy uninterrupted connections

  • Does my project need a permit?
    • Most likely the answer is yes. Each Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) follows the National Electric Code (NEC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 70), then the State, County, and City codes.
  • Should my jacks be numerically layout according to my floor plan?
    • No. An accurately marked floor plan is all you need. Not convinced? Here are some more reasons to consider: it takes longer to install, costs more and doesn’t accommodate future additions.
    • Fidelis will absolutely install SCS this way. Just make sure when comparing bids this was clearly spelled out in all proposals.
  • Do I need to wreck out the old cabling?
    • Yes – AHJ are enforcing the codes included in the NEC and NFPA. Both have codes that say abandoned cables shall not be allowed to accumulate. Cables not identified for future use shall be removed. Also, property management companies over the past few years have been adding clauses about removing abandoned cable in their leases.
  • What Cabling Topology should we use?
    • Cabling should be installed in a physical or hierarchal star topology. The Star Topology is the most common because of its flexibility in meeting a wide variety of applications.
  • CAT5e vs. CAT6 - Should we install CAT5e or CAT6?
    • Fidelis recommends a minimum of Category 6 be installed to each work area to keep up with the growing bandwidth and speed demands. Now that the latest standard of CAT8 is available, it is only a matter of time before CAT5e is a no longer accepted standard.
  • CAT5e vs. CAT6 - What is the difference between category 5e and category 6?
    • The general difference between category 5e and category 6 is in the transmission performance and extension of the available bandwidth from 100 MHz for category 5e to 250 MHz for category 6. This includes better insertion loss, near end crosstalk (NEXT), return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk (ELFEXT). These improvements provide a higher signal-to-noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates. AKA – Better Performance and Faster!
    • Fidelis will absolutely install SCS this way. Just make sure when comparing bids this was clearly spelled out in all proposals.
  • CAT6 vs. CAT5e - Will category 6 supersede category 5e?
    • Yes – CAT6 is now the most common standard installed today.
    • Analyst predictions and independent polls indicate that 80 to 90 percent of all new installations will be cabled with category 6. The fact that category 6 link and channel requirements are backward compatible with category 5e makes it very easy for customers to choose category 6 and supersede category 5e in their networks. Applications that worked over category 5e will work over category 6.
  • Can CAT3 still be installed?
    • CAT3 is no longer accepted as a standard for horizontal cabling but can still be used in Backbone applications.
    • CAT3 is still an accepted Backbone standard. Usually installed in large multi-pair cables like 300, 100, 50 and 25 pairs. Great way to extend the analog services, T1’s, PRIs and paging.
  • How long can a data cable run be?
    • Maximum 300’ from the patch panel to the jack and 328’ with the patch cords.
  • How much room should be around my data rack?
    • The standard is 3' from the back of the rack to the wall, 3' of clearance on the front and at least 1' on each side. This spacing will allow work to be performed in and around the rack.
    • How big should my data room or Equipment Room (ER) be?
    • The standard Equipment Room (ER) size.
    • The amount of space allocated for the ER will be dictated by the size and variety of the systems that are installed and the size of the area that the room will serve.
    Serving Area
    (the size of the floor plan)
    Equipment Room Size Standard
    10,000 ft2 10’x11’
    8,000 ft2 10’x9’
    5,000 ft2 10’x7’
    Fewer than 5,000 ft2 Minimum 150 ft2 room
  • Do I need more than one data room or Equipment Room (ER)?
    • Maybe – the maximum data cable length is 300’, so if each workstation cable can make in 300 or less, one ER would work. Note cable does not run as the crow flies, it follows designed pathways and contains service loops.
  • What industries most commonly require a DAS solution?
    • Any industry that requires increased access to first responders such as:
      • Hospitals
      • Schools
      • Colleges
      • Government
      • Public Spaces
    • Any industry wanting to improve the BYOD plans
  • Our business needs some mobile boosts throughout our building but doesn’t require a total overhaul. Is there such a thing as a small DAS deployment?
    • Yes, there are some very cost-effective options Fidelis offers.
  • How many RCDDs does Fidelis employ
    • Two
  • How many hours of continued education must an RCDD have?
    • 45 hours in a three year period and one annual BICSI conference.
  • What is an RCDD?
    • Registered Communications Distribution Designer
    • Established in 1984, the RCDD is the most prestigious of all BICSI credentials. RCDDs have demonstrated the ability to design, integrate and implement ICT and related infrastructure components across multiple disciplines and applications.
  • What does it take to be an RCDD? Prerequisite Requirements
    • To sit for the RCDD examination, you must first have five years of information and communications technology (ICT) industry design experience within the last ten years.
    • Letters of reference
    • The Exam - The examination is drawn from BICSI’s Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM).
  • Did you know that the RCDD is a U.S. Department of Defense requirement?
    • Page 3 of the Department of Defense UFC lists the RCDD as a requirement for all telecom design projects. View the UFC here.
  • When should an RCDD be brought into the building design process?
    • An RCDD has been taught the importance of achieving an efficient, cost-effective, future-ready system, no matter what the stage of the project.
      • Initial Planning Stage: An RCDD has learned how to create a smart design, evaluating the proper amount of space needed today and for years to come. By minimizing costly change orders, an RCDD can save you valuable time and money.
      • Mid-project: RCDDs who manage the infrastructure installation can guide the design so that it is followed correctly and make any necessary modifications as needed.
      • Project Completion: An RCDD adds credibility to a project by signing off when the project is complete.
  • Should we install a TV or Projector?
    • TV - With the low cost and quality of TVs these days for your average meeting space they work great.
    • Projector – most projectors these days can join the wireless network to allow wireless screen sharing.

 

Classic Accessories - Project Showcase

We use best-in-class cable systems in our Structured Cabling Systems so you can enjoy uninterrupted connections


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