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 2 | 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 STRATEGIES FOR OWNERS However, all is not lost. Several strategies can help owners understand and avoid these risks. Look before you leap. During due diligence when acquiring a property, make sure the wiring infrastructure is part of the technology survey so you can take the state of the wiring and the cost of any remediation into account. e survey should include physical inspection of the wiring in random units and sample testing using a tool called a certifier. is survey should, at a minimum, determine the quality and grade of the wire in place, the state of the jacks and patch panels and whether there is adequate slack to allow retermination of jacks when they wear out. is will arm you with information about whether you need to replace any of the wiring infrastructure, when you will have to do it and how much you will need to spend. Build it right. When building new construction, make sure the specification is adequate and the contractor and subcontractor that install the wiring follow those standards. Best practice is to conduct inspections during construction and have the technology operator audit the end result before move-in. Make sure your contracts enforce certification (not just testing) of all UTP drops. A well-installed, good-quality wiring system should have a life span of 20 years and beyond. Plan for a 10-year maintenance interval. Plan to replace all the jacks and reterminate and recertify all UTP wiring every 10 years or so. Jacks wear out after repeated insertions and removals, and student apartments are painted frequently, with contractors continually getting paint in the jacks. In the worst case, replace the wiring. When all else fails, you're left with limited options, and you may end up having to replace all the UTP wire at a property. is is both expensive and disruptive. COMMON MISUNDERSTANDINGS Owners often believe that in-building wiring is someone else's problem or not a problem at all. ese beliefs are usually based on misunderstandings. I don't need wiring because everything is going wireless. ose wireless access points need to be connected to a wired network – without it, they don't work. In addition, to provide the best user experience, game consoles, media streamers and TVs should be connected by wire to a wired network, which is faster than the wireless network. I installed Cat 6 wiring throughout my new property, so I don't need to be concerned. e physical wire is only one part of a Cat 6 system; unless all the other parts – patch panels, patch cables, jacks – are also Cat 6 components and have been installed to Cat 6 standards and certified, the system is not a Cat 6 system. In addition, sufficient slack or "service loop" needs to be left to allow several reterminations. Developers frequently pay for what they think is a Cat 6 system and then find that it will certify only at a lower standard. is is why good specifications are needed. My internet supplier or management company is on the hook to take care of this. Most, if not all, internet service contracts make inside wiring the responsibility of the owner. SUMMARY If you don't know what problems you may have in your portfolio, now is the time to find out. Have your properties surveyed, and make sure your capex plan takes the results into account. If you're building new construction or major rehabs, make sure you build to the right quality standard. v STANDARDS REFERENCES: ANSI/TIA-568.0-D, Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises, Ed. D, 09-2015 ANSI/TIA-568.1-D, Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard, Ed. D, 09-2015 ANSI/TIA-568-C.2, Balanced Twisted-Pair Telecommunication Cabling and Components Standard, Ed. C, Err. 04-2014 Andrew Marshall is CEO of Campus Technologies Inc., a national, vertically integrated, managed network service provider that designs, builds and operates wired and wireless networks in student housing. Contact him at 215-243-7010 or amarshall@campustech.net. See more at www.campustechnologies.com. TURN TIP: Buy a big bag of modular plugs – they're inexpensive – and make sure painters insert them into the jacks before painting and remove them when painting is complete. (Before use, they must be crimped to avoid damaging the jacks.) Figure 4: Ten years of turn painting takes its toll. This jack is not functional.

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