What Is Structured Cabling And Why Use It?

Structured Cabling

In the data cabling world, structured cabling is commonly used term. Many people use this term. However, most of them do not know its true meaning. Structured cabling is a data transmission system that supports information, several voices, video, and countless management schemes. This post seeks to explain the definition and functioning of structured cabling.

What is structured cabling?

It is building or campus communications cabling infrastructure made up of several standardized smaller structured elements. A typical structured cabling system features an assembly fashioned by a sequence of patch sheets and trunks. It allows you to connect computer hardware ports to a patch panel at the top of a frame. The patch panel is then linked to additional patch panel via a trunk in the Main Distribution Area. The MDA is the main element of structured cabling.

Structures cabling features six key subsystems that contribute to its functioning. The subsystems are:

Entrance facility: this subsystem comprises network demarcation points, cables, connecting hardware, protection devices, and devices that connect with customers on-premise cabling.
Equipment room: This centralized location houses apparatus and cabling consolidation points. It serves building or campus users.
Telecommunication room: also known as an enclosure, this subsystem is designed to house telecommunication equipment, cable ends, cross-connects, and dispersal frames. The size of the telecommunication room depends on the service area.
Backbone cabling: also known as virtual cabling, this subsystem offers a connection between entrance facilities, telecommunication, and equipment rooms. Backbone wiring is typically completed between floors and buildings. Cables connected no more than 30 m are used to connect equipment in this subsystem.
Horizontal cabling; this is cabling between telecommunication information outlets in a work zone and the parallel cross-connect in broadcastings rooms and enclosures. Horizontal cabling usually runs either overhead the ceiling or underneath the floor.
Work area: is where work zone mechanisms are used to link end-user apparatus to various communication outlets. Work space apparatuses are also identified as cable components.

Why use structured cabling?

Structured cabling is a great alternative for conventional point-to-point cabling systems as it helps prevent the bulk of electrical wires and carries increasing data at higher rates. Structured cabling plays a critical part in communication setups. There are numerous other reasons why structured cabling is ideal for use;

Cost efficiency

Structured cabling is one of the most organized cabling systems. The organization reduces power and maintenance costs.


A structured cabling system features a cleaner look than a point to point networks for cabling. This is primarily because its changing is done in the MDA instead of the hardware. The hardware can be cabled up to avoid messes. Also, the hardware is not touched most of the time. This allows the cabling at the front of the switch to remain aesthetically pleasing.

Reducing downtime risks

Structured cabling also reduces the potential for downtime by reducing the risks of human error. Human mistakes can disrupt the flow in a cabling network, resulting in significant issues. Structured cabling systems are usually highly organized and easy to identify. This reduces the risk of downtime.

Easy relocation

With structured cabling, relocating, adding, and making changes is much easier. This is because they are done in the MDA and not along with the patch cords from the equipment racks.


Structured cabling networks are also easier to install because you need not worry about cable and port tracing. The organized and logical approach also makes changes easier.

Better airflow

One of the primary issues of point to point data wiring ecosystems is that they are usually congested with cabling bulk, limiting the airflow needed for the systems to function. This results in underfloor cooling, cabling congestion, and hindered airflow. Structured cabling eliminates this issue.

Final word

The trick to enjoying all the benefits of this cabling system is to develop a decent organized cabling design. The designing process includes developing the wiring patch ways, bearing in mind airflow and preservation issues, and selecting the right cabling solutions. Various devices can be used in structured cabling. The trick is to choose a device based on your needs. You would also benefit from employing a good data cabling installation expert, like ACCL. It is worth mentioning that structured cabling systems are specified by standards that provide guidelines for data centre designs, management, and operation.