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Low Voltage Cabling: Category 5e and Category 6a

What are the differences and which is best for your business?

In our previous post, “Infrastructure is A Requirement For Reliable Network”, we discussed the importance of gigabit infrastructure to your network.  In today’s business environment, requirements from Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) and increased volumes of data exchange place high demands on your network.  One of the building blocks for a sustainable network is low voltage cabling.  In this page we will give a breakdown of the most common types of low voltage cabling and recommended uses of each.

Cat 5e

Category 5e cabling delivers voice and data throughout the network at speeds up to 1 Gigabit and runs up to 300ft without a repeater or a switch.   For some small businesses without exceptionally high internal data exchange demands, this type of cabling is cost effective for the time being.  Cat5e may be especially relevant for businesses utilizing cloud based applications and storage rather than exchanging data internally.  This is because the internet speed will typically limit the speed of data exchange before the cabling does.  However, as data demands increase, more performance is necessary.

Cat 6a

Category 6a cabling delivers voice and data throughout the network at speeds up to 10 Gigabit over 150ft of cable without a switch or repeater.  With higher performance speed of Cat 6a, cabling runs can cost somewhere between 30% and 40% more than Cat5e runs.  However, for businesses exchanging a large volume of data internally it’s a necessary investment to share and save files quickly.

For low voltage cabling in any organization, it is important to have at least Cat 5e, providing Gigabit speeds.  In the business environment of rapidly increasing data exchange and sharing, Teoma recommends at least Cat6 to stay competitive, efficient, and cost effective.  Again, this is explained further in “Infrastructure is A Requirement For Reliable Network”.  In addition, Teoma uses all plenum and shielded cabling.

About Teoma Systems

Founded in 1993, Teoma Systems is a leading IT systems integrator.  We provide voice, video, and data solutions, as well as IT professional services, support and supplemental staffing.  Our reach extends to over 1000 Michigan-based companies.  We also support global organizations with offices throughout Metro Detroit and the Midwest United States. Our solutions improve returns by giving customers a sustainable competitive advantage.  The Teoma Systems team is passionate, experienced, certified, honest and responsive. We are a principled partner and view moral character as our most compelling asset. It’s not about making a sale – it’s about building a longstanding partnership.

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