This article is intended to provide a basic understanding of internal wiring and will walk you through different aspects of cabling infrastructure in residential and commercial buildings.
Let's take a look at the way the internal cabling is usually arranged in single residential dwellings (see the picture below). The DSL line arrives to the entry point located in technical area and is connected—either via the socket or directly—to the modem/router, from which the signal is distributed to rooms and areas using ethernet cables.
In case of multi-dwelling residential buildings, offices complexes or shopping centres, the path the line takes is the same, except for the building entry point being located in the main distribution frame. This adds the necessity of patching the line from the main to individual technical areas.
1. Technical area
The technical area is the focal point of the indoor telecommunications facility. It terminates all the cables and provides a convenient way of connecting the individual room sockets to a central network switch device (modem/router or switch). It should be located at the same place as the entry point of the housing is located (usually in the same room as the electricity meter) and be installed on an interior wall or an insulated exterior wall at a height of at least 100 cm from the floor.
The area also needs to be protected from moisture and dust and be ventilated in order to avoid overheating.
The technical area normally includes:
- Proximus entry point
- TF2007 socket acting as NTP to which the signal is patched (learn what it is and why it may be needed)
- Modem/router and, if needed, ethernet switch
- Power sockets for the equipment
- Patch panel to mount and connect the cables (optional)
- Enough space to accommodate additional network infrastructure you have or that you may install later
What is entry point and where it's located
The entry point (also referred to as demarcation point, or DMARC) facilitates the transition from outdoor (underground or aerial) cabling to indoor cabling. The lead-in cabling is connected to the entry box at the external wall of the building and will be interconnected to the indoor termination equipment via one or more indoor “tie” cables.
For a single residential dwelling, the building entry point is likely to be located near the electricity enclosure (meter panel or switchboard) to ensure the access to the box and to keep it away from any gas cylinders that may be installed at the building.
In multi-dwelling residential buildings, offices complexes or shopping centres the entry point is usually located at the main distribution frame. Building owners are advised to pre-cable their building from the entry point to intermediate distribution frames near the units (shops or offices) using multi-core cables. This will reduce the need to run individual telephone wires and hence enhance the aesthetic of the buildings.
In such a case, TF2007 sockets are usually installed in the individual technical areas of the units, to where the signal needs to be patched from the entry point.
2. Internal cables
In order to guarantee an optimal connection, we recommend using standard 4-pair Unscreened Twisted Pair (UTP) data cables.
Few guidelines on how to mount the cables:
- It is recommended to embed the cables in the living rooms and to leave them visible and easily accessible in the technical areas.
- Avoid electrical wiring as much as possible. AC cables can interfere with ethernet if you run them together. When you run UTP in parallel with electrical cables, and the communication will likely become noisy and garbled.
- For protection reasons, it is advised to put the cables in flexible corrugated pipes of a small diameter (between 16 and 20 mm), which will not only protect the wiring, but will also facilitate the installation in hard-to-reach and exposed places.
- The cables, patch leads and PVC pipes should comply with ANSI/TIA-568-C, IEC 60332-1, IEC 61034 and IEC 60754 standards.
Which cable should I choose?
As almost everything else, it depends on what you need now or may need in the foreseeable future.
Most of modern data equipment that contains an Ethernet port will support the three common forms of Ethernet, namely 10Base-T (“standard” Ethernet), 100Base-TX (“Fast” Ethernet) and 1000Base-T (“Gigabit” Ethernet).
If you decide to install network cabling in your home you'll be asked whether you want so-called Category 5, Category 5e, Category 6 or Category 6a cable.
These are standards governing the physical construction of the cable and how fast it will carry data around the home. While Cat5 cable is now no longer recommended for new installations, its successor, Cat5e, supports speeds up to 1000 Mbps and is perfectly fine for most local networks.
Category 6 cabling is the next step up from Cat5e and includes a few more improvements. It has even stricter specifications when it comes to interference, and is capable of 10-Gigabit speeds at the distance up to 37 meters. Cat6a can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at 100 meters.
If you are likely to need 10 Gigabit network speeds in the foreseeable future you should probably specify Cat 6a cable, patch panel and room sockets. Otherwise Cat6 or Cat5e is fine. It's important to note that your internet speed is different to your network speed, and upgrading the cables won’t make your internet connection faster. On the other hand, the hardware gets upgraded over time, it may be easier to upgrade modems and routers than it is to lay in new cabling. The choice comes down to what equipment you have, how long you will be at your current building, and of course your budget.
When used for 10/100/1000BASE-T, the maximum allowed length of a Cat5e or Cat6 cable is 100 meters: 90 meters of solid "horizontal" cabling between the patch panel and the wall sockets and up to 10 meters of equipment connecting cords and patch cords. For 10GBASE-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet), an unshielded Cat 6 cable should not exceed 55 meters and a Cat 6A cable should not exceed 100 meters.
3. Ethernet sockets
Ethernet jacks should be of the same category as internal wiring and at least cat5.
Be sure to understand what you're trying to accomplish with your home network and check beforehand how many rooms you would like to be wired, how many ports do you need in each of them, and what paths the cables may take.
The wall plates come in 1, 2, 4, and 6-jack configurations.
You can purchase them at your local network supplies store. However, if the works are done by a professional cabler or a cabling company, they should be able to source the hardware more cheaply.
Google low voltage installation companies or companies that specializes in structured cabling installation in your area and give them a call.
In case of multi-dwelling residential buildings, offices complexes or shopping centres, the works need to be done under supervision of building owner or a person responsible for internal wiring.
In order to let you use ISDN PBX on edpnet connection, we usually install OneAccess IAD, the device that simulates ISDN network and is equipped with either BRI or PRI ports.
IAD will be connected to the modem/router and will normally be located in the same technical area as the latter. If your PBX is situated in another area, ensure that you have free internal wiring in order to connect the devices.
Just contact our customer service, we'll be happy to assist you!