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Earlier, we looked into maintaining legacy network cabling and tips on how to keep your older copper network cabling going for as long as possible. Our recommendations included quarterly infrastructure tests, routine physical wire diagnostic checks, and routine data diagnostics checks. As your legacy ages, however, it will eventually cause enough difficulties that newer fiber optic network cabling infrastructure will need to be invested in, installed, and most important maintained. Here is a short list of common mistakes made when it comes to network cabling and how to avoid making them.

Mistake One: Not Installing Proper Cabling Infrastructure

Cabling racks, ladder racks, cabling trays, and other equipment may incur significant cost when installing new network wiring. It’s common for a business to look at the initial cost and choose instead to install cheap, lower-quality infrastructure or to utilize cheaper contractors instead of professionals for the installation itself. This can lead to chaos later on, when cables are unorganized, no one knows where anything goes, and it takes four times as long just to find the repairs — not to mention how much longer it will take to fix the actual problem.

While the investment may seem daunting, all that extra work will pay off in the end. Choosing to invest in quality equipment and a professional network management team means choosing more affordable maintenance, easier and faster repairs, and much less productivity loss due to downtime should network problems arise. When installing cabling, make sure you have a master list of every single cable in your network, color-coded by use. You want to ensure you know where every cable in your network goes and what use it is meant for.

Mistake Two: Creating EMI

EMI, or Electro-Magnetic Interference, occurs in network cabling due to its inherent magnetic properties. For the vast majority of cabling, shielding the cable with a jacket helps to stave off EMI. Overtime, however, wires will break down, which will begin to cause interference.

Never lay network cabling parallel with electrical wiring. Even though fiber optics cabling doesn’t suffer from EMI, legacy network cabling laid parallel with electrical cable actually worsens EMI problems, causing network lines to be distorted, noisy, and to prematurely fail over time.

Mistake Three: Excessively Long Cabling

When laying cables for your network, follow this general rule: the longer your cable becomes, the more distortion it will likely produce. In this case, more individual cables is definitely the better answer. Never run a network cable more than 100 meters without coupling onto another cable. In the case that you choose to run your cable for larger stretches of distance, make sure that cable is of the highest quality — category 6A or above.

Mistake Four: Not Testing Your Cabling

Never trust network cables to operate effectively without testing them first. When you install network cabling you’ll need to run diagnostics checks, pump signal through, and put it through any conceivable use that your company might need it for later. This testing helps to ensure that you don’t install network cables that can’t handle the needs of your business and also that they will be able to grow with you as your business grows later on.

Bay Area Computer Solutions is a licensed low-voltage contractor in the state of California, and we have helped companies large and small get the kind of network infrastructure they deserve. We’d love to schedule a consultation with you to discuss your company’s needs, and how our network cabling services are customized to fit your needs. Interested in learning more? You can reach us by phone at (650) 887-4601 or contact us online today!

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Published on 28th October 2015 by James Berger.