What Is Structured Cabling?

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(Last Updated On: April 10, 2023)

Structured cabling is a building or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure comprising a few standardized small elements (structured). A properly designed and installed structured cabling system provides a cabling infrastructure with predictable performance and flexibility to accommodate moves, additions, and changes, maximizing system availability. Provides redundancy; and future-proofs the usability of the cabling system.

This definition gives you a better sense of structured cabling and its purpose.

Regulations and Standards for Structured Cabling

Structured cabling must comply with specific design, installation, and management standards. With specific compliance, your network cabling will be safer and more secure.

Structured wiring in the United States should adhere to the wiring standards of EIA/TIA-568. These are industry standards used in the telecommunications and networking industries. Below are some basic criteria regarding allowable cable lengths.


UTP/STP cable from the telecommunications room to the workstation – up to 100m, Patch Cable from workstation to wall socket – up to 3 meters, Horizontal cabling runs from the work area to the patch panels in the telecommunications room – up to 90 meters, Telecommunications room patch cords from patch panels to switches or hubs – up to 6 meters


When you work with a trusted network cabling installer, you can trust them because they will comply with regulations and meet EIA/TIA standards for structured cabling.

What Does Structured Cabling Look Like?

To answer this question, I would like to use the word “organization.” Structured cabling is an organized method of wiring infrastructure. While it may seem backward, the easiest way for you to fully understand the concept is what structured cabling is not. The most commonly used cabling method in many data centers is “point-to-point.” This method connects jumper wires (or “jumpers”) directly to the hardware that needs to be connected.

In a structured cabling system, a series of patch panels and trunks are used to create a structure allowing hardware ports to be connected to a patch panel at the top of the rack. That patch panel is then connected to another via a trunk (multi-fiber assembly designed for use in conveyance) in the MDA (Main Distribution Area).

The MDA is the key aspect of structured cabling. This is where all the MACs (Moves, Adds, and Changes) can be made with short-length patch cords.

Structured cabling look like

What are the Benefits of Structured Cabling?

A structured cabling system can help your business succeed with improved efficiency and flexibility. Still, you’ll enjoy other benefits when you switch to this method of organization for your wiring.

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Cabling infrastructure shouldn’t be one of the growing pains every expanding business goes through. As you continue to expand your company, you deserve an easy transition around data communications. When your business can manage data quickly and efficiently, everyone can perform their job responsibilities more efficiently thanks to these easy transitions and trouble-free upgrades.

Because of the organization of structured cabling, you’ll find it easy to move, add extra wires, and make changes to your system. You can even upgrade your phone system to VOIP with the help of structured cabling, as the consistent connection is reliable.


Because it is so flexible and scalable, structured cabling is a much more cost-effective option. While the investment might feel expensive at first, you must consider the downtime you’ll save and the increased productivity you will gain from having this efficient system in place. With structured cabling, there are fewer interruptions to your daily operations thanks to the ease of identifying an issue and quickly remedying it. These simple fixes will allow your IT team to focus on their work or help them get back to work faster after an issue causes an outage.

Safer To Work With

Traditional cabling not only increases downtime but can also be dangerous. Crowding a switch with dozens of tangled cables prevents proper ventilation, which can cause overheating and potentially prevent the system from working correctly. There are no overheating or other special problems with structured cabling because the cables do not crowd the switch, and there are plenty of airflows.

Aesthetic Appeal

Another benefit you shouldn’t forget – is appearance! With traditional point-to-point wiring, your cable connections often look jumbled, making your building look unwelcoming or unprofessional. With a structured cabling solution, you can enjoy a sleek, easy-to-see layout that appears neat and organized. This structure will ensure your company maintains a put-together appearance that makes a good impression.

What’s the Difference Between Structured Cabling and Conventional Point-to-Point Cabling?

In traditional point-to-point cabling, on the one hand, you will find fiber optic cables connecting different parts of the network through a single line without division. On the other hand, structured cabling is a series of wires connecting things such as servers and switches through flexible paths. Since the optical cables under structured cabling have a division of labor and the length of the optical cables is shorter, it is easier to manage.

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Businesses are likelier to choose structured cabling because it is easier to manage than chaotic point-to-point cabling.

Why Use Structured Cabling?

We use structured cabling because no one wants to browse (or even look at) the jungle of wires for every route.

These cables transmit important data at high speed and are an important part of the building’s communication infrastructure (can be compared to the nervous system)

There are many benefits of structured cablings, such as their being cost-effective and reducing the risk of downtime.

With a structured cabling system, maintenance costs and power usage can be reduced when installed the first time correctly.

We are all human, and there will inevitably be some operational errors. If your system is properly organized and tagged, it will minimize errors that cause network and traffic disruption downtime.


If the question “What is structured cabling?” has likely crossed your mind as your business seeks to manage data more effectively, now you have the answer.

Contact us at HOLIGHT Fiber Optics today to implement structured cabling in your business! Our fiber optic solutions will help your business design a program that works for you. Structured cabling is critical to your enterprise’s connectivity, now and in the future! With structured cabling, you’ll gain better communications, greater adaptability, and an edge over your future competition.

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