Structured cabling is the design and installation of a cabling systems that will support multiple hardware uses systems and be suitable for today’s needs and those of the future. With a correctly installed system your requirements of today and of tomorrow will be catered for and whatever hardware you choose to add will be supported.
Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that specify wiring data centers, offices, and apartment buildings for data or voice communications using various kinds of cable, most commonly category 5e (CAT5e), category 6 (CAT6), and fiber optic cabling and modular connectors. These standards define how to lay the cabling in various topologies in order to meet the needs of the customer, typically using a central patch panel (which is normally 19 inch rack-mounted), from where each modular connection can be used as needed. Each outlet is then patched into a network switch (normally also rack-mounted) for network use or into an IP or PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system patch panel. It is common to color code patch panel cables to identify the type of connection, though structured cabling standards do not require it except in the demarcation wall field.
Cabling standards demand that all eight conductors in Cat5e/6/6A cable are connected, resisting the temptation to 'double-up' or use one cable for both voice and data. IP phone systems, however, can run the telephone and the computer on the same wires.