What Is Data Cabling?

These days, it’s hard to find a business in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area that doesn’t rely on computers in some way. From retail to restaurants to construction to offices, computers are now an integral part of how business is done. And for almost every situation where a computer is needed, there will also be a need for networking to let those computers communicate with each other, with other machines and with the outside world.

Networking is achieved with data cabling. But what is data cabling? Well, that’s not exactly a simple topic to explain. Basically, data cabling involves connecting computers to allow for the transfer of information. This can be everything from emails to coworkers to instructions for a laser cutter to carry out its task.

Here is some more information on data cabling for commercial operations.

Data cabling explained

At its core, data cabling is a method of connecting multiple electronic devices within an IT network. This is often handled by an IT professional or a certified commercial electrician. Cables are run from a central hub to the location where a machine will be located. This is often a junction box where a cable can be plugged in from the machine once it’s situated.

Copper cable

Not all cable is created equal. There are two main types of cable: copper and fiber. Copper is the old standard, and many cables are still made with this material. It does have limitations, however. For example, it can only be run up to 100 meters in length before it requires a signal booster.

CAT5e (Category 5e specification) and CAT6 (Category 6 specification) are two types of network cable that use copper. The difference is that CAT5e cables can handle data transfer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, while CAT6 cables can handle speeds up to 10,000 Mbps. There are different types of copper cables that can be used to make CAT5e and CAT6 cables:

  • UTP: This is an unshielded twisted pair, made up of pairs of wires twisted together.
  • FTP: This is a foiled twisted pair that offers an additional layer of protection with shielding around the individual wires.
  • S/UTP & F/UTP: This is a shielded or foiled unshielded twisted pair with an overall foil or covering on the four pairs of wire pairs.
  • S/FTP: This is a shielded and foiled twisted pair, which offers the maximum amount of protection from interference.

Fiber cable

Fiber does not use copper but, instead, is a flexible glass tube that allows light to travel through it. This has the advantage of being able to handle 10,000 Mbps for 500 meters to 2,000 meters, depending on desired speed.

Leave it to the professionals

Data cabling is a complex and integral service for every modern business. For this reason, it’s best to leave it to professional commercial electricians when you need any kind of data cabling service. When you need experienced and qualified commercial electricians in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, reach out to the team at C&F Electrical today.