Structured Cabling

Colac & Geelong optical fibre cabling & structured data cabling for Australian businesses

What is Structured Cabling?

What is Structured Cabling and why do I need it? It’s a common question for the StevCom team that provide this service to clients across Australia. There are many technical explanations of Structured Cabling but at StevCom we strive to provide straightforward and simple explanations of our products and services, and it’s no different with Structured Cabling. Think of it this way: When you have a PC, printer, Smart TV or other device that requires connection to the internet and speed is important, you need Structured Cabling. For another example, the security system installations by our Geelong and Colac technicians incorporate Structured Cabling. There’s no question. It doesn’t matter whether you are a home user or a large business, connecting devices by cable is much better and more reliable than wifi.

Structured Cabling types have evolved over the years from coaxial cable to a category-based cable system. During the past 20 years we have had many forms of Category Cable from Category 5 (Cat5), Category 5 Enhanced (Cat5e), Category 6 (Cat6), Category 6 Augmented (Cat6a), Category 7 (Cat7) and even Category 8 (Cat8). The most commonly used cable is Cat6 but Cat6a is slowly making its move.

This is where Structured Cabling gets a bit more interesting as we move to Optical Fibre cabling. Once again there are few types of Optical Fibre available and once again it is speed and distance that tells us what is required. Once again let’s keep it simple.

What is optical fibre cabling?

There are two types of Optical Fibre used today, namely Single-Mode and Multi-Mode. Single-Mode, or OS2 as it can be called, gives the fastest speed over longest distance. Multi-Mode comes in different types but the main one used now is OM3 and OM4.

At StevCom we keep our Geelong and Colac Structured Cabling technicians trained on all the latest technologies. StevCom is a CommScope NETCONNECT-certified partner which means we can offer a 25-year warranty with our installations. All of our technicians are also highly trained, with all of our team members obtaining industry standard qualifications.

StevCom also maintains the latest in terminating and testing equipment. StevCom uses the latest Fluke DSX-8000 tester with modules for testing up to Cat8 and both Single & Multi-mode fibre. We also have the OTDR module, so we can test the performance of your fibre and also fault-find on existing cables.

When to use Structured Cabling

The last piece of the Structured Cabling puzzle is what to use and where. The most common scenario is Category Cabling from a desk back to a data cabinet. The data cabinet has the connection to the internet and the switch that connects the workstations to the internet. If you have a multi-storey building or a large site with multiple buildings, Optical Fibre is the pipe that connects them all together.

Microwave Link technologies

The other technology we need to discuss is Microwave Link. Although in the past Microwave Links have been expensive and are not been the most reliable technology to use, they do have a place. There is a range of different types of Microwave Links available to you, mainly being a Class Link and Apparatus Link.

The differences are that the Class Links uses a public frequency – normally 2.4Ghtz or 5Ghtz – while an Apparatus Link uses a licensed frequency which you own. If you choose an Apparatus Link you will need to apply for a frequency from the Australian Communications and Media Authority. There are upfront costs with Microwave Links and there might also be ongoing fees.

The other things to keep in mind if considering using microwave links are they are a line of sight device. When you have two links pointing to each other there is a space in the middle called the Fresnel zone – see the diagram – which is an important space when considering a Microwave Link. It is important to keep as much of that area obstacle free.

microwave links Colac & Geelong

The best advice we can give is to contact StevCom to discuss your needs. We are happy to visit your site to look at what you have and discuss what is needed to bring you to current standards. StevCom provides a wide range of data and communications services, including NBN, Telstra SIP, alarm systems and CCTV system installations by our Geelong and Colac technicians, who work throughout Victoria and interstate.

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