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Structured Cabling Standards

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Structured wiring or cabling is a preplanned cabling system that is designed with growth and reconfiguration in mind. Structured wiring forms an infrastructure that is usually hierarchical in design with high-speed backbones or interconnects. The backbone or interconnects must be high speed because periphery networks connect to it. Enterprise hubs and switches are at the top of the hierarchy. Departmental or workgroup hubs and switches connect to these. Then entire systems may connect to a data center.

The EIA and the TIA developed a wiring standard for commercial buildings called the TIA/EIA 568 Commercial Building Wiring Standard. This standard provides a uniform wiring system and supports multivendor products and environments. It defines cables, communication connectors, jacks, plugs, adapters, baluns, patch panel systems, and electronic components. It also defines cable distance limitation, topologies, and physical specifications. Thus, a building can be wired without any prior knowledge of the data communication equipment that will use it. The cable plant is easy to manage and faults are easy to isolate.

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