When trying to set up a new office environment or revamping an old one, some things may get overlooked in the whirlwind of things you need to do. However, if you rush through the complex process of running network cable in your office, you may find your company facing hidden costs, maintenance headaches, and slowed network performance. So when you’re running network cable through your office, be sure to avoid these network cabling mistakes.
#1. Focusing Only on Immediate Cabling Needs
We understand: you want to get your company’s office up and running as quickly as possible. But you shouldn’t ignore the potential future needs of your business in favor of expediting the process now. Consider what your company may need within a few years when running network cable. Is 100 Mbps going to be sufficient for your company in a year? Two years? Ten years? With 1 Gbps becoming more and more common, it may be something to consider, especially if you intend on growing your business. Labor is the most expensive part of the network cable laying procedure, so if you take the future into account now, you may save later when you don’t have to upgrade your network infrastructure.
#2. Using Different Cabling for Voice and Data
Managing and designing separate cabling infrastructures for voice and data is no longer an ideal path to take while running network cable. Again, this ties in with planning for the future, as you may not know which users will require voice, data, or both. As a result, twisted pair cabling may be a better option, or you may consider using VoIP for your company’s phone services, reducing the need to run multiple cables.
#3. Ignoring Cable Management Resources
Cable management may be more expensive now, but it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, and it can prevent a lot of maintenance mishaps. Remember, one of the biggest network cabling mistakes is not planning for the future needs of your company; running network cable does not end with the initial installation. You may need to add more cables, change cables or equipment around, or make a host of other modifications or updates, so it’s best to organize it all during the setup stage. Ladder racks, pegboards, labels, loose cable ties, and many other resources are available for managing your cables so you can make your network infrastructure a lot easier to maintain. In addition, cable management prevents hanging cables, which can stretch and cause physical stress on the core of the cable. By prioritizing proper cable management during the process of running network cable, you can prevent signal degradation in the future, meaning you won’t have to replace cables as frequently.
#4. Forgetting to Leave Space to Remove Cables
Things are always changing in an IT environment, and sometimes hardware becomes obsolete. When you replace old tech, you need to be able to remove the cables. If there is no room to do so, you may be forced to leave the unused cables, paving the way for safety and operational hazards in the future. So, when running network cable, leave a little extra space to facilitate the easy removal of these cables.
#5. Running Network Cable near Interfering Wires, Devices, and Fixtures
Data cabling is particularly sensitive to alterations in its electromagnetic field. Electrical wires, fluorescent light fixtures, air conditioning motors, and other similar devices can cause interference to network cables. Network cabling best practices also include keeping cable coolers on a different power infrastructure in order to prevent power ripples. Make sure power cables run as far from network cables as possible to avoid noise spikes.
#6. Ignoring Distance Limitations when Running Network Cable
EIA/TIA network cable laying standards dictate that 100 meters is the maximum cable length, and this includes patch leads. Longer patch leads face more issues with reliability than just staying within the distance limitations of the cables you are using. If the data needs to travel farther and over several or longer patch leads, the information may not arrive at its destination quickly or intact.
#7. Failing to Have a Plan for Keeping Your Network Cables Cool and Dry
Moisture and heat can have a significant impact on the ability of the cable’s copper to transmit data. Network cabling standards and practices have requirements and recommendations regarding the methods by which you keep your cables cool and dry, as failure to do so causes problems not only for operations but also for safety. Make sure you include cooling and humidity control in the planning stage of your network cable laying procedure.
#8. Ignoring Network Cable Laying Standards, Codes, Laws, or Ordinances
No matter what kind of cabling project you are undertaking, whether you are installing network cable in walls or along the floor, or elsewhere, you need to be aware of federal, state, and local standards, codes, laws, and ordinances. Federal and international standards bodies such as EIA/TIA offer in-depth network cabling standards and practices to follow during any cabling project. If you do not pay attention to these requirements and guidelines, you could find yourself facing fines or, worse, safety hazards.
#9. Activating Your Network without Testing It First
Once you have finished running network cabling, don’t forget to test it with the appropriate tools to make sure that all of the cables will work for their intended uses. If the cables are not verified, you may miss errors that can cause problems with data transmission or even safety concerns.
#10. Skipping Out on Running a Network Cable You Actually Need
If you try to run network cables through multiple switches and mini-switches, you may find that the data bottlenecks and slows down your overall network. Nowadays, cables are less expensive than they were in the past, so you might as well run an extra cable unless there is a compelling reason not to.
BONUS MISTAKE: Not Asking for Help with Running Network Cable When You Need It
There are a lot of mistakes to avoid when running network cable for your business, and inexperienced personnel who try to do so are more apt to make these mistakes, which can lead to a host of major issues. If you need help, contact Customer 1st Communications. Our experts in network cable laying procedure have extensive experience with and knowledge of network cabling standards and practices, and we can create an affordable, customized cabling installation plan for your company. For a free consultation on running network cable, call 1-855-TECH-C1C (1-855-832-4212) or fill out our short online form.