10 Essential Data Cabling Tips

  1. First and foremost “no license, no job” if you do not possess a current “open cabler registration” (approved registrars such as BICSI, ASIAL or ACRS), you cannot terminate data cables in Australia.

  2. You must be familiar with the network components to ensure compatibility across the network, cable, jacks, panels, tooling and basic testing procedures.

  3. Basic rules for a competent installation, cable bend radius, cable bundles, stripping distance for I/O's, horizontal run limitations, over tightening of tie wraps and proximity of electric cables and fluorescents can have an impact on the performance of your data cabling.

  4. UTP or FTP?  Consider carefully your installation environment e.g. presence of heavy-duty machinery or high voltage equipment will certainly indicate a shielded or fibre optic cable choice.

  5. Consider fibre where distance exceeds 100 metres or for campus environments where copper is no longer feasible and multimode or singlemode fibre links will be needed.  This will add significant cost and complexity to your project, specfic termination skills and specialist equipment will be required .

  6. Colour codes used in Australia and the USA are predominantly 568A whereas in Europe its 568B.  It doesn’t really matter once you use the same code at the patch panel and outlet ends, most I/O's will display both colour codes. Its still amazes me how many installers can wire two ends with different wiring codes which is a very costly mistake.

  7. Consider the lifespan of your cabling infrastructure.  Category 5e is the minimum standard now recognised but the NBN recommend Category 6 installation which has a life expectancy of ten years. We are seeing a strong push for Cat 6A now with LSZH jacket.

  8. TIA Standards

    Cat 5e

    Cat 6

    Cat 6A

    Cat 7*

    Cat 7A*

    ISO Standards

    Class D

    Class E

    Class EA

    Class F

    Class FA








    1000base t

    1000base t




    * Not recognised by EIA/TIA    

  9. To offer a 20 year warranty a Fluke test/certification of your work is essential. Simple to use a very costly but essential tool. Terms you need to be familiar with are NEXT (near end crosstalk), Attenuation (resistance in the copper/sheath), Return Loss (loss of signal due to reflections) and Alien Crosstalk (signal interference between adjacent cables) are to mention a few.

  10. Finally racking and cabinet enclosures need careful planning with height and depth considerations, cable slack etc, not to mention fitting the rack into an inadequate sized comms room that will allow your rack doors to open 180 degrees. Power and thermal management are important.  Horizontal and vertical cable managment is also worth considering.