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A Quick Rundown on Fiber Optic Cabling

Compared to copper cabling, fiber optic cabling is a relatively new technology considered to have enormous potential for future applications. In fiber optic cabling, light transmissions are channeled through glass fibers measuring barely the width of a hair. Using high speed LASER or LED light, data or voice information is transmitted through the fiber digitally.

This creates a highly focused beam of light that is cycled on and off at very high speeds. Computers (or related equipment) at the transmitting end convert this data or voice into bits of information.  The information is then sent through the fiber by the presence– or lack– of light. Computers on the receiving end then translate the light pulses back into data or voice.

This modern concept was actually the idea of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, who theorized that voice could be transmitted by pulses of light.  Unfortunately, the technology for making this a reality did not come until much later. Most of the advances for fiber optic cabling came about in the 1970s, when glass-purifying and other fiber-optic manufacturing techniques were developed. Fiber optic cabling went on to be used more heavily over the next twenty years– especially as the internet became more prevalent in the 1990’s.

The light in fiber optic cabling is prevented from escaping by what is referred to as total internal reflection. This process describes what takes place when a light ray travels through a medium with an Index of Refraction higher than that of the medium surrounding it. In this type of cabling, the fiber core has a higher refractive index than the material around the core. The light hitting that material is reflected back into the core where it then continues to travel down the fiber.

A single fiber optic cable can have the capacity to transmit large amounts of data consistently and is mostly immune to most kinds of interference. With the ability to do so much more with so much less, it is no wonder fiber optic cabling is the preferred medium of the telecommunications industry.

Four Elements that Determine the Best Cabling for Network Systems

Determining the cabling for network systems can rely on a number of factors but there are four that rank at the very top of the list. The first is your existing bandwidth needs; the second, your network environment; third, your anticipated bandwidth and fourth, your budget.  Answering each factor thoroughly (rather than relying on an “educated guestimate”) will keep your business from experiencing an installation nightmare.

Bandwidth requirements can vary based on the size of the network. Obviously, a dozen or so workstations will require a lower bandwidth than a network needing to support a hundred or more. But it’s not only that. Be sure to account for the type and volume of data your network will be supporting. For instance, will your company be doing a lot of graphic design or video editing–or simple document work? Do not forget to factor in the future expansion of your business as this will determine your bandwidth needs as well. It is always cheaper to modify or upgrade cabling for network systems than it is to replace it once it no longer meets the demands of your company.

Cabling for network systems needs to be compatible with the network environment it will be installed in. Though the choice is usually between copper and fiber optic cabling, there are certain environments where one choice is better than the other. Sometimes, fiber optic cabling just won’t work for some networks. Likewise, there are environments where copper cabling is not the best idea.

Budgeting for cabling for network systems has no magic number to go with it; however, the old adage “you get what you pay for” needs to ring loud and clear. Though it is smart to get several quotes, this is simply one area where you do not want to skimp and go with the lowest possible bidder. You want a knowledgeable and experienced data and cabling contractor who knows everything there is to know about cabling for network systems and who will do everything right the first time.

The Kansas Cabling and Wire Contractors Best Friend

When cabling and wire must be run across long spans under the floor or overhead, Kansas cabling and wire contractors use different types of cable trays to get the job done. Cable trays are designed to provide support for network infrastructures so that wiring does not become overheated, pinched or susceptible to electromagnetic interference. They can be linked together to create a support structure that is very basic or highly complex.

The type of cable trays Kansas cabling and wire contractors can find themselves using often depends on the job and the structure they will be installed in. However, in each case, they are installed in such a way that makes any future maintenance and modifications easy to attend to. To ensure the safety of the infrastructure wiring, Kansas cabling and wire contractors must install cable tray systems to the appropriate specifications and standards.

Basket-style cable trays are the most common type of cable tray in use because they can be mounted along walls, hung from the ceiling or run below a raised floor. They are typically made of steel and may or may not have a powder coat or zinc plating. The spaces in basket-style cable trays allow for air to flow through and keep wiring well-ventilated.

Fiberglass cable trays are non-conductive and do not need to be grounded like metal cable trays. Though lightweight, they are extremely durable and less likely to corrode due to contact with water or chemicals. They are often UV-resistant as well. Kansas cabling and wire contractors tend to consider fiberglass cable trays a good choice for outdoor use.

In the case of fiber optic cabling, PVC cable trays are deemed the more appropriate option. This type of cable tray has an open top with side walls and a solid floor. The flat bottom ensures bend-sensitive fiber optic cabling can lay does not sag or have any risk of becoming pinched. It is also one of the more cost effective cable management solutions when installed by experienced Kansas cabling and wire contractors.

Unified Communications: The Super Tool for Ambitious Companies

Unified communications has come about because it’s been found that The Average Joe (and Jane) uses more than one form of communication during the course of a normal business day. Rather than stopping to check one’s telephone, then email, then voicemail or chat or fax for messages, the technology is now here to converge all these communications technologies into one platform.

How will this benefit your business? A key advantage of unified communications is reduced latency. Messages are delivered quicker and therefore attended to in a much timelier manner. Unified communications is also a valuable tool for those with careers that have them on the road–or at least resulting in spotty office desk attendance. One of UC’s best features is it allows other users to see if the person they need to contact is working and whether or not they are available to talk.

Research has shown that using UC technology has the ability to save some workers over forty minutes a day when it comes to managing emails, voicemails, faxes and the like from a single inbox. In the end, it’s all about providing end users with the means to choose how, when and where to be reached and to access key data instantly. With monthly costs going down over time and the productivity higher, UC’s return on investment is considered quite favorable.

As data connections including broadband get faster and more reliable, more applications and uses will be added to the unified communications theatre. Video technology is the latest newcomer and is already being rolled out in larger organizations as a standard feature. Telecommunications companies are making large strides in video technology believing this is where the future of communications lies. It is only a matter of time before unified communications video technology becomes a more common feature in software sets for mainstream markets.

Kansas Data Cabling Installers: Keeping Up with the Band…width

Over the years, Kansas data cabling installers have watched the demand for more bandwidth take on a steady rise. Since one can hardly go without the other, infrastructures are now designed to support voice, data and video systems on a large scale. Without a greater bandwidth, there’s no way to combine data with video conferencing, cable TV, security applications or any combination thereof.

To efficiently manage a system transmitting so much data at once, Kansas data cabling installers are trained to deal with large systems by breaking them down into smaller components known as subsystems. This makes it easier to locate and repair problems, effectively keeping downtimes to a minimum. Though there are actually six, the following are the three fundamental structures of the subsystem.

  • Backbone cabling- the chief part of the subsystem where Kansas data cabling installers connect entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications rooms. (In campus environments, this can include cabling between the entrance facilities of different buildings or vertical connections between floors.)
  • Horizontal cabling- the part of the subsystem that connects telecommunications rooms to specific outlets on the floor. (For example: cables from the patch panel to the work area, telecommunications outlets, cable terminations and cross connections, where permitted.)
  • Telecommunications rooms- the part of the subsystem that houses the equipment connecting the backbone and horizontal cabling. (For example: networking equipment such as LAN hubs, switches, routers, and repeaters.)

Though subsystems may have most of the same components, Kansas data cabling installers must have a proclivity for detail as certain elements will always vary based on the organization’s industry and its needs. When maintained regularly and proficiently an organization can expect their network infrastructure to last a decade if not more. What matters most is that Kansas data cabling installers capably utilize the best wiring applications for the job.

Backbone Cabling 101: The Basics

Backbone #2

To understand backbone cabling, it helps to understand the six subsystems of structured cabling. These subsystems are often found throughout a building or complex and are connected together so that various types of data can be transmitted consistently and securely.

Entrance Facilities. These rooms are where both public and private network service cables communicate with the outside world.

Equipment Rooms. A room (or space) with equipment that serves the users inside the building.

Telecommunications Rooms. These rooms contain the telecommunications equipment that connects the backbone and horizontal cabling subsystems.

Backbone Cabling. A system of cabling that connects the entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications rooms.

Horizontal Cabling. The system of cabling that connects telecommunications rooms to individual outlets or work areas on the floor.

Work-Area Components. These connect end-user equipment to outlets of the horizontal cabling system.

Backbone cabling is the key part of a network infrastructure because it connects every main server and device and enables the exchange of data and information over the cabling, connectors, terminus points and other components that that stretch across a building or complex. When this type of cabling goes between buildings, it is referred to as campus backbone. When it goes between floors or closets in a building, it is referred to as building backbone. Therefore, it may be buried underground, run through ductwork or installed using other types of cable management systems.

Though the amount and physical configuration of backbone cabling varies depending on the size of the facility, it is often designed to handle high capacities of data. It must be meticulously installed in such a way that supports current needs and will afford future expansion. With so many organizations dependent on computer, phone and related systems, many buildings are now designed with features that specifically accommodate backbone cabling.