Whether you're upgrading the data cable in a building, adding cabling to a building that's never had it before or installing it in a completely new building, you have a lot of decisions to make. You'll need to decide not only what type of cable is right for you in terms of the traffic it will carry, but also the location in which you'll be installing it and who you want to do the job. Here are a few key points to consider while planning your installation.
Type of cabling
The type of data cabling you'll need depends on the speed of the internet connection to the building. If you're connected to the internet through a slow connection, fast internal cabling won't make any difference. For most residential and commercial needs, you won't need more than standard Cat5e cable. However, it's worth ensuring that you won't have to replace the cable soon as higher-speed connections become common. Investing in Cat6 cable doesn't cost much more and will save on replacement in the long run.
If you need a faster internet connection for your home or business, you want to make sure your internal cable doesn't become the weak link in the chain. Here, you might want to invest in fibre-optic data cable, which is more expensive but capable of supporting much higher bandwidth.
It isn't just your data needs that determine what type of cabling you need. Location matters as well. If you're running a connection outside the building itself -- for example, if you're linking a security camera to a hub or extending the internet connection to a granny flat or outbuilding -- you'll want a more robust flooded Cat6 cable. This is the same as normal Cat6 cable, but housed in a rugged, gel-filled sheath that helps keep it safe from water and other sources of damage.
Whether you have your cable installed by a telephone technician or a commercial electrician, the basic principle is the same. Your installer will need a current license from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). You can examine the license to see which specific types of cable they're qualified to work with. You're going to be working with your cabling for a long time, so it's important to know that it was installed by an expert -- not to mention the fact that it's the law. With an ACMA licensed technician, you know that your data cabling will be installed effectively and safely.
Once you've decided on the type of data cabling you need and found an installer, installation is usually a speedy process, although of course installation times vary depending on circumstances. In most cases, though, you'll be online and working before you know it.