Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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TECHNOLOGY 5 0 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 Avoid the Wiring Trap In-building wiring is essential for the stable internet access all residents demand. Sound strategy and planning can help asset managers, operators and developers avoid the worst wiring pitfalls. By Andrew Marshall / Campus Technologies Inc. O wners rarely think much about the low-voltage wiring in their properties once they've been built and residents have moved in. Why should they? e wiring works, and it's invisible. If the properties were all built in the last few years and built to the correct specifications, there may not be much to worry about. However, older properties, or even newer properties built to unknown and possibly subpar specifications and standards, could be a cause for concern. In fact, they could be ticking time bombs – a six-figure problem per property. WHY WORRY ABOUT WIRING? Even in a wireless-centric student living community, the wired network is an essential component. It's the workhorse that delivers data to connected gaming consoles, TVs and streaming devices in each unit; to the wireless access points that deliver wireless signals; and increasingly to closed-circuit TV and access control systems as well. e wiring used in most buildings is unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) wiring, sometimes referred to as Category or Cat 6 (or its predecessors, Cat 5 and Cat 5E). Why is it a problem? When properties are built, UTP wiring is an easy, common target for value engineering, aka saving money. Using lower-grade or no-brand components, using unqualified installers, not following an appropriate specification – all these things may save money in the short term, but in the longer term, they can and will cause problems. Even low-voltage wiring that hasn't been value engineered may not have been built to an adequate standard. In some cases, the wiring infrastructure may just be too old – some properties were wired 15 to 20 years ago, and the wiring isn't up to the job. In others, the wiring is fit for purpose, Figure 1: A student apartment wall jack after several years of painting and repairs

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