Horizontal cabling system installed by a commercial electric company

Factors to Consider When Designing a Horizontal Cabling System

A horizontal cabling system is an essential component of a structured cabling system that connects the telecommunications room to work areas or outlets on the same floor. It typically uses a star topology that connects each work area to the telecommunications room via a single cable.

Horizontal cabling system installed by a commercial electric company

Components of a Horizontal Cabling System

To properly design a horizontal cabling system, you need to know what components you’ll use within it. It all starts with a telecommunications room. Most modern buildings have a telecommunications room on each floor.

  • Telecommunications outlet – This is where the horizontal cable terminates in the work area.
  • Horizontal cable – Runs between the telecommunications room and the telecommunications outlet. Most of these cables are now fiber optic cables, but copper cabling is sometimes still used.
  • Patch panel – This is where the horizontal cables terminate in the telecommunications room. A good horizontal cabling system design makes accessing, connecting, and disconnecting cables easy.
  • Jumper – This short cable connects the patch panel to the telecommunications equipment.

Design Factors of Horizontal Cabling

These cabling systems are required to meet specific performance and reliability standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These standards are the most important factors to consider when designing a horizontal cabling system.

The following are some of the design factors for a horizontal cabling system:

  • Location – It’s vital to locate the telecommunications room on each floor in a secure, centralized location. Ideally, it should be near the same place on each floor of the building to make it easy to interconnect the networks between separate floors. This location should be in a secure area, only allowing authorized personnel to access the system.
  • Cable Type – The cable type you select depends on several factors. Copper cable is cheaper, easier to install, and better for rugged environments, but it does not work well over long distances or where there is a lot of electromagnetic interference. Fiber optic is the best solution for high bandwidth and doesn’t require additional equipment such as repeaters or signal boosters when transmitting over great distances.
  • Cable Length – This depends almost entirely on the space available within the building—copper wire takes up a lot more physical space than fiber-optic cable—and the work areas within the building.
  • Number of Cables – The number of cables needed impacts the size and accessiblity of the space between workstations and telecommunications room, as well as the number of workstations on the floor.

However, the most important element when designing your horizontal cabling system is the right company to design and install it. You need seasoned commercial electrical contractors with telecommunications experience to ensure that the installed cabling system meets all of your needs.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Install Your Horizontal Cabling System

At Tri-State Electrical, we are commercial electrical service specialists who design, install, and maintain horizontal cabling systems. For more information, get a quote for this, or any other, of your commercial or industrial electrical projects, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

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