UK Network Structured Data Cabling Standards Explained 2022

Low-quality cabling systems – the bane of many a network administrator across the world.

But can the way your cables are fitted really have a profound impact on the performance of your network?

In short – yes, it absolutely can! 

Structured cabling is a godsend for any network, especially one that’s likely to be expanded in the future. As a result, it’s important that there are a set of standards that govern how exactly network cabling should be carried out.

WHAT IS STRUCTURED CABLING?

There’s a whole host of issues that could cause network downtime, but one of the predominant causes of network problems are poorly structured cables.

By adhering to high network cabling standards, structured cabling systems are able to build complex systems of network cables that are logically formed, easy to adapt and outperform unstructured networks.

Your structured cabling system controls all data traffic, be it video, voice, large files and much more; it’s important to get it right!

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of structured cabling, click here.

WHAT ARE THE STRUCTURED CABLING STANDARDS?

The structured cabling standards are a set of rules that specialists should follow throughout the cable layout and physical installation process of any network cabling.

The main network cabling standards are:

 

The ANSI/TIA-568-C

Since 1991, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) established the 568 standards for structured cabling. This has been regularly revised to keep up with the advent of new technologies (such as fibre-optic cabling).

The ANSI/TIA-568 standards cover the performance and compatibility of all manners of wiring and cabling.

Oftentimes, commercial buildings and campuses will be built piecemeal. Structured cabling standards are designed in order to keep everything consistent, even if they’re installed years apart, the cable installation standards make it so that everything remains compatible and functional well into the future.

 

The ISO/IEC 11801

The ISO/IEC 11801-1:2017 standard is an international standard that was designed to govern international cabling manufacturers, vendors and companies.

Its purpose is to ensure that products are up to the highest standards (the specification).

Without these cabling standards, wiring and cables would vary wildly in quality, build and more. It would be almost impossible to guarantee that the wires you were working with were compatible with ones already installed. Naturally, this would result in all sorts of technical failures, and other horrible malfunctions that don't bear thinking about.

These network cable standards ensure that the cabling that is used for your system are of the highest quality and are compatible with the widest range of hardware possible.

 

EN 50600-2-4

Developed by CENELEC, the EN 50600-2-4 is a series of European standards that covers data centre infrastructure and facilities, as well as telecommunication cabling infrastructure.

It defines requirements for cabling infrastructure pathways and architecture, but it doesn’t specify requirements for structured cabling types.

 

EN 50173-5

The second European standard serves to specify generic cabling that supports a wide range of communications services, covering balanced cabling and optical fibre cabling.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NETWORK STRUCTURED CABLING STANDARDS?

Data cable installation standards are designed to keep everything on a level playing field, to keep network cabling systems safe, and to ensure that courses and education are consistent across the board.

Imagine the chaos where every network uses a different style of cable, there’s no standardised methodology for structured cabling, and every Tom, Dick and Harry do their own thing.

By adhering to these standards, good network installation specialists are able to maintain the highest quality of network for businesses of all sizes.

NETWORK DATA CABLING TO STANDARDS WITH WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS

At Whitestar Solutions, we work closely with our clients to ensure that we have a comprehensive understanding of your business before any work gets done. Our UK-wide engineers specialise in data cabling, and are on hand ready to design, install, certify and manage fibre optic, RF and structured cabling systems.

With years of experience under our belt, no structured cabling job is too difficult. We work with organisations ranging from schools to hospitals, and everything in between, so get in touch with us today to talk with one of our specialists about your unique needs. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have, or to advise you on the next steps that you need to take.


university-of-west-london

University of West London

St Mary's Road Campus Project

7 Benefits of Structured Cabling

7 Benefits of Structured Cabling We’ve all seen a desk with cables dangling haphazardly from the back, or an office with network cables that are way too long looping out from the walls (or even running across the room!). If that’s you, then it might be time to consider some of the benefits of structured cabling. In this blog post, we’ll be running through the top 7 benefits of good, structured data cabling, and why our team at Whitestar Solutions are passionate about ensuring efficiency every time we implement a new data cabling system. WHAT IS STRUCTURED CABLING? Structured cabling is the act of logically arranging your cables to ensure proper functionality. Good data cable installation keeps everything organised and running smoothly by creating patch panels and multi-port trunks that logically route each cable to where they need to be.   Your organisation’s network infrastructure works almost like its nervous system, passing messages back and forth between your team, with each data cable acting like individual nerves. Poorly structured cables can be a nightmare to manage, and can cost your business more than you’d expect. That’s why we put together this introduction to structured cabling, helping you to understand exactly what the advantages of a structured cabling system are, and the basic principles of the process. 1. SAVE MONEY Inefficient cabling will prove costly in the long run, for several reasons: Disorganised cabling usually means installing cables that are longer than necessary. Longer cables are, generally, more expensive. When you scale that up, the costs can pile on. Whenever you hold routine network maintenance, it’s much harder for engineers to do their job when working with untidy cabling. Well structured cables will expedite the maintenance process, saving you from hefty fees. A highly flexible, well-planned cabling system will reduce power consumption, as fewer wires are required to perform critical tasks. So, is it worth the investment? Absolutely! You don’t have to pay a premium to get your network installed correctly, so make sure you’re working with data cabling professionals who will nail your cabling and save you money. 2. PLAN FOR THE FUTURE Holding a Teams meeting where people are dropping out or the connection is slow isn’t fun at all. One of the main advantages of a commercial data cabling system is that you’ll see higher bandwidth than before, with more efficient usage of network cables resulting in better connections and a reduced chance of issues. As businesses become more reliant on their network infrastructure, having this reliability will become paramount. 3. SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE A nice, organised cabling system will simplify many aspects of your day-to-day. In your average office, many devices will be interconnected. Many devices = lots of opportunities for something to go wrong. With a simplified cabling system, it’s far easier to identify any anomalies and to fix problems as soon as they arise. 4. HEALTH & SAFETY While this shouldn’t be an issue for most offices, we’ve definitely seen some health and safety nightmares in our time! Loose wires are a trip hazard, and tripping over cables can also result in expensive monitors, computers and more tumbling down from a desk. 5. IMPROVED SCALABILITY Your network should be able to grow alongside your business. A well-structured network will enable this growth by being far, far easier to adjust and expand. Any infrastructure changes will be faster to implement (or deconstruct). If you’re planning a move to a new office space, then you’ll be glad to have properly structured wires that can be moved without too much hassle. 6. LESS CHANCE OF DOWNTIME One of the main causes of network downtime? Human error. Organised cables are usually obscured behind panelling, meaning that there’s far less chance of someone accidentally tampering with critical cabling. 7. LOOKS GREAT! Last, but by no means least, good cabling looks superb! A structured cabling system will be an aesthetic improvement every time. As changes made are less likely to deteriorate, your attractive cabling will stay in place indefinitely, meaning that it always looks its best. STRUCTURED DATA CABLING SUPPORT WITH WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS At Whitestar Solutions, we work closely with our clients to ensure that we have a comprehensive understanding of your business before any work gets done. Our UK-wide engineers specialise in commercial data cabling services, and are on hand ready to design, install, certify and manage fibre optic, RF and other structured telephone and data cabling systems.  With years of experience under our belt, no data cabling installation job is too difficult. We work with organisations ranging from schools to hospitals, so get in touch with us today to talk with one of our specialists about your unique needs. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have, or to advise you on the next steps that you need to take. Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you There are lots of buzzwords in business. ‘Core values’ are not among them. Company values matter. They support an organisation’s purpose, enforce its culture, and encourage positive employee behaviours. This sense of purpose is key to business success. Corporate core values impact not just the internal workings of an organisation, but also how it interacts with its clients, stakeholders and the world around it. According to research, 73% of purpose-oriented people are satisfied with their jobs, compared to 64% of those who are not purpose-oriented. In terms of the bottom line, the same study found that 58% of companies with a clear purpose experienced growth of more than 10%, compared to 42% of companies without one. In short, strong company values help a business grow, thrive and be a success. OUR CORE VALUES To the untrained eye, Whitestar might seem like any other electrical installation company. But look a little closer and it’s clear we’re much more than that. We continually work to be the most ethical, trustworthy business partner to our clients and pride ourselves on our strong work ethic. Central to our purpose are our core
Wi-Fi Coverage

When Coverage Isn’t Everything: Ditching Your Outdated Wi-Fi Designs

When Coverage Isn’t Everything: Ditching Your Outdated Wi-Fi Designs WHY IS MY INTERNET SLOW WHEN I HAVE A FAST CONNECTION? When you experience a juddering connection with lagging Zoom meetings and a painfully slow connection, the first thing you look at is the Wi-Fi icon in the corner of the screen. However, if you want to improve your business network connectivity, there is more to look at than your signal. And if the little Wi-Fi icon is displaying four or five bars of green, you may wonder what next step to take. It may be time to update your Wi-Fi system. The traditional coverage approach of investigating Wi-Fi signal issues may be appropriate in the home, but in a modern workplace with more than fifty employees, each of who may be connected with two or three devices, signal strength is of much less importance. The local network is being asked to cope with far much more usage than when it was first set up. It’s time to look at the latest business connectivity services. HOW TO IMPROVE WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY WITH WI-FI REPEATERS There are several things you can do to boost connectivity. With a Wi-Fi repeater, for example, you can recover the Wi-Fi signal from your router and broadcast it in a poorly covered area of your workplace. Apart from the power supply, there is no need for any additional cables as Wi-Fi repeaters work by finding the signal from the router and simply repeating it by themselves. Some repeaters have a wireless signal amplifier function to enhance your speed and achieve a few hundred metres of Wi-Fi coverage. It can be tricky to find the best position for a repeater. It must be at a distance away from the router to significantly boost the range of Wi-Fi, without being too distant to receive enough speed. WiFi repeaters are also fitted with functions to safeguard your connection and enable the transference of personal files without worrying about them falling into the wrong hands. Some repeaters use Wi-Fi Mesh technology, which optimises the capabilities of the router and enables the same network name throughout the building. Contact Whitestar Solutions for more advice about whether repeaters could be the best solution for you. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR EXISTING POWER OUTLETS If the breadth of your walls or hallways does not permit the Wi-Fi signal to be broadcast from one room to another within your office, there is another solution in the form of CPL and CPL-Wi-Fi kits. These enable you to extend your network and receive an Internet connection via Wi-Fi from any wall socket in your electrical installation. This solution only works on a single electrical circuit. REPLACING THE ROUTER If you are wondering how to improve wireless connectivity, upgrading the router is a straightforward solution. Depending on the age or generation of your router, the Wi-Fi protocol may be more or less effective. If your elderly Wi-Fi router, for example, is configured for connectivity at 300 or 400 Mbit / s, a fibre subscription with speeds of 1 Gbit / s will offer any advantage. The fibres in the box are too insignificant to be able to take advantage of the Internet speeds offered by the provider. Today, the number of connected devices has vastly grown encompassing computers, consoles, tablets and smartphones, and other Wi-Fi connected devices. Investing in a powerful Wi-Fi router is essential to avoid annoying drops in connectivity. Here at Whitestar Solutions, we offer high-quality solutions to ensure a better connection for your business. When you choose Whitestar Solutions for your wireless network, you do not need to worry about this issue, we will consider everything in order to ensure you are presented with a high-quality outcome. We provide a wide range of wireless networking solutions which start with a thorough and realistic survey of your workplace to provide you with a solid foundation on which to develop your Wi-Fi solution. This survey takes place so that our team of experts can compile a reliable, cost-effective, and secure solution to meet your requirements. The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care To rewire or not to rewire is the big question when it comes to an older – or what we refer to as ‘legacy’ – building. The short-but-inconclusive answer is: it depends. When wiring a new building – be it school block, hospital ward or office block – the process is relatively straightforward. You need to build to regulations, with cables which are up to the job and don’t pose a fire hazard. As per our blog post on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), every power, data and telecommunication cable that is intended to be permanently installed in a construction works now must display a CE-marked label and have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) drawn up and made available. SHOULD YOU REWIRE YOUR LEGACY BUILDING? Legacy buildings aren’t subject to the CPR in the same way that new buildings are. If the cabling in the building isn’t posing any health and safety risk – and isn’t hampering operations in any way – it doesn’t have to be ripped out and rewired with CE-marked cabling. But that isn’t to say you shouldn’t do a complete rewire anyway. As we said, it depends. So, what does it depend on? If your building has undergone any recent damage, or there are lights and sockets that have ceased to function as normal, then these are signs that the building needs to be rewired. Damage to the casing of wires can be a serious hazard. So, if you find any exposed wires then the best thing to do is get in touch with a contractor who can assess the full extent of the issue and advise on the next steps. WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?   If you’re not sure when the last rewiring of the building took place, or
customer service data

Why customer service is key in today’s day and age

Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Any business worth its sale knows the importance of providing a quality customer experience. And the best way to achieve that? Providing great customer service. Actually, not just great customer service. Exceptional customer service. Happy customers mean loyal customers. The better their experience working with a company, the more likely they are to come back. Anything less than amazing customer service and businesses risk losing customers forever. MAKING THE BEST IMPRESSION It’s more than just meeting the needs and expectations of customers – businesses need to exceed them. First impressions matter. But so too do second, third, fourth and fifth impressions. In fact, every customer service interaction is key to future success (and sales). The stats prove it: according to research, 96% of consumers say that customer service is an important factor when choosing a brand. And as for those all-important sales: even just a 5% rise in customer retention can boost company revenue by 25% to 95%. Arguably, customer service matters even more in difficult times. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, businesses able to give customers the care they deserved also offered them much-needed stability, convenience and value. GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE, GREAT CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS Of course, knowing that customer service is important is the easy part. Start implementing it into your business and you’ve got your work cut out. At Whitestar, we go out of our way to ensure that we offer exceptional customer service to all our customers. We aim to exceed customer expectations and do that in a number of ways… Dedicated team of contractors Firstly, we approach people as people, not just another job. When it comes to assigning teams, we match them to a particular client. That means however many jobs you need completed over a period of time, you’ll be dealing with the same people from Whitestar. No stream of contractors coming through your doors. Just one team of experts with an in-depth knowledge of the site they are working on – and more importantly an understanding of you, the people they are working with. From a purely practical point of view, this allows our teams of contractors to get on with the job faster and more efficiently, because there’s no need for briefings or client details for each job. While from a customer service point of view, this helps build trust and reliability between us and our clients. No subcontracting We know the score. As soon as you hear the word ‘contractor’, you automatically start wondering whether that also means subcontractors. At Whitestar, we can say: absolutely not. We never subcontract any jobs. It’s just not how we roll. Your team of Whitestar contractors are just that – Whitestar employees who are committed to delivering comprehensive, top quality solutions. Being a subcontractor-free zone makes life simpler. We understand what you need and you know the work is going to be tailored to your business and easily scalable for future business growth. Our customer service promise At Whitestar, we pride ourselves on our work ethic, track record and quality of service. Our six core values – respect, honesty, commitment, teamwork, empathy and integrity – help us deliver the level of customer service you expect from an infrastructure service provider. We value each and every business we work with. From simple cabling projects to complete building refits, we always work to the highest industry standards and take a customer-centric approach to each job. Our focus is on solving problems, not creating new ones. We work hard to understand the challenges you face, and create bespoke solutions to help you overcome them. That’s our promise to you. WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS: YOUR STRATEGIC PARTNER At Whitestar, our customer service is focused on building strong relationships with our customers and crafting tailored solutions and experiences. We never under-estimate the power of positive impressions, and are confident we can give you the level of service you and your business deserve. Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you Our core values and promises are what makes us stand out from the crowd. Read on to find out how Whitestar can help your business grow. How to make your infrastructure project a success Ensuring that your infrastructure is reliable and secure is essential to your business’ productivity. Read more to see how Whitestar can help. Cabling for Smart Buildings Cabling for Smart Buildings Modern buildings must adapt and change to the ever-increasing amounts of device usage and occupancy. Designing new structures, or modifying existing ones, requires careful planning to allow the building to expand seamlessly as more devices are added, or more people are employed. Since every building is only as strong as its foundations, designing and installing proper cabling infrastructure creates the ideal foundation for your building to grow while still keeping up with new technologies and challenges. WHAT MAKES YOUR BUILDING SMART? Smart building solutions help make life better for employees, so they can focus on their work and not mundane tasks that could be automated. If your building is set up correctly, powerful interactions can occur throughout the network. Imagine a building that works around your personal schedule, from turning on lights for you as you enter a room, to adjusting heating settings to accommodate your tastes. It realises when you are on the move to another location and can alert others that may need to be aware of your movements. Think of a smart building as your own PA, that also happens to communicate with everyone else’s PA constantly. Safety protocols such as checking the health of fire extinguishers can be done in real-time by your smart building, alerting you when they require maintenance. Automating manual tasks like this can greatly increase the productivity of staff, saving large amounts of time while reducing energy costs. THE BEST SOLUTION FOR YOUR BUSINESS There is no one-fits-all solution to making your building smart, but planning ahead is key since there is no point in being smart today if this does not continue

Hertfordshire Police

A comprehensive site survey conducted by Whitestar in preparation for redevelopment at Hertfordshire Police HQ.
rail-operating-centre

Rail Operating Centre

Brand Rex 10GPlus F/FTP (Category 6A) Cabling Solution installed at newly built Rail Operating Centre in the Midlands.