Questions about data-cabling costs?
After more than 20 years of installing data cabling — including low-voltage cabling, fiber and coaxial/copper in all types of facilities — we know there is more to this question than meets the eye.
First, don’t make cabling an afterthought when planning new construction or renovation projects. By considering cabling needs early, you can realize cost savings and benefit from a well-considered design that is easier to maintain and scalable for growth. Older or existing buildings have unique considerations as well. The number of employees involved is another factor.
Keep these points in mind:
- End-to-end solutions with warranties – This refers to a design that uses both data jacks and cabling made by the same manufacturer or cooperating manufacturers. Manufacturers typically offer 20- to 25-year warranty coverage for the jacks and cable (if the installed cabling is not disturbed). You can also sell the warranty along with the building if such opportunities arise. Therefore, end-to-end solutions may offer a tremendous warranty advantage.
- Data closet location – Don’t let the location of the data closet be an afterthought when constructing a facility. The price of the cabling only goes higher the farther the closet is from workstations, conference rooms, etc. Centralizing the closet or using a “star configuration” when designing your data cabling and connections may offer tremendous advantages on costs.
- Installation practices — Proper planning, adequate pathways and installations adhering to industry standards allow for future changes and adds without undue costs. One thing certain is changes always occur, even with the best-planned projects. Tip: With installations involving drop ceilings, don’t install the cabling so it’s lying on the tiles. The cables are required to be installed above them.
- Plenum vs. non-plenum ceilings – A plenum ceiling uses its cavity as the return air vent instead of using duct. Plenum ceilings require plenum-rated cabling, which burns slower if exposed to fire or extreme heat, thereby emitting lower amounts of chemicals. This is required by code, but some clients install plenum in all circumstances as an extra safety measure. However, since it’s plastic coating is thinner, plenum tears easily compared to non-plenum. Installers have to be careful when routing plenum around corners or edges to prevent tears. If tears happen, you may have to reinstall the cabling, which can drive up costs and frustrations.
- Wireless pros and cons – Wireless networks may offer an alternative to cabling for small offices with two or three people. The cost is negligible and, of course, doesn’t compare to cable installations. Unlike cable, however, wireless only allows one-way communication and not simultaneous communications, such as multiple phone conversations or Internet use. Wireless was never designed to carry high traffic. If a firm takes on more employees and communications needs, the wireless network can bottleneck and stop operating. When deciding if wireless is right for you, keep potential growth in mind because that will affect performance.
Codes and standards checklist — Make sure all installations are in accordance with current editions of the following:
- National Electrical Code®
- BICSI Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual
- BICSI Cabling Installation Manual
- Latest issue of ANSI/TIA/EIA Standards as published by Global Engineering Documents as TIA/EIA Telecommunications Building Wiring Standards
- All local codes and ordinances
Adhering to codes and standards is the right thing to do. This ensures absolute professionalism, safety and a smoother installation. Failing to meet these requirements can lead to headaches and additional costs, so keep these points handy for your next project.
These are a few considerations that can affect price. Click “Free Consultation” and we’ll follow up by giving you a clear look at costs and options. Or call 502-583-6000. We’ll give the answers you need to help ensure your cabling project is a success, including price and performance.