Cat6 Cabling Trays Company Pittsburgh PA
Written by Stu Kushner

Backbone and Horizontal Cabling for Facilities Explained – Part 2

Part 2 will discuss Horizontal Cabling Overview, Cables Used for Horizontal Cabling, and Differences Between Backbone and Horizontal.


Horizontal Cabling Overview


Horizontal cabling spans from a Telecommunications Room (TR) to individual workstation outlets or a Work Area Outlet (WAO). Typically, a horizontal installation is laid out in a star topology linking every work area to the TR.


Cables Used for Horizontal Cabling


Ethernet cable and fiber optic cables can be utilized for horizontal cabling. Cat5e, Cat 6 cable, and Cat6a cables are typically recommended for voice applications. Fiber optic cables are used commonly to transmit data.


Regardless of the type of cable type, horizontal cabling must be limited to a length of 90 meters between the WAO and a termination point, such as a patch panel, in the TR to comply with TIA standards.


Patch cords for connecting a patch panel to switches and hubs in the TR should not exceed 6 meters in length. Cables that connect a user’s computer to an outlet should not be longer than 3 meters.


Differences Between Backbone and Horizontal


What differentiates backbone cabling and horizontal cabling is their coverage of different telecommunication service areas. Backbone cables connect entrance facilities, equipment rooms, and TRs, and they also connect floors. In contrast, horizontal cabling connects TRs to individual outlets on a floor.


Even though backbone and horizontal cabling utilize identical kinds of cable, backbone cables have different technical requirements from horizontal cables. Running between floors, backbone cables are required to comply with specific fire-rating specifications.


A cable that is Optical Fiber Non-Conductive Riser (OFNR) rated can be used in vertical passages that connect one floor to another. Backbone cables passing through spaces in the building utilized for air return in air conditioning (plenum areas) must be Optical Fiber Non-conductive Plenum (OFNP) rated. Unlike horizontal cables, backbone cables must be strong enough to support their own weight. They must also be properly secured.


Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking cost-effective solutions. Working together, Progressive teams are committed to getting your data cabling, access control, and telecom systems installed and operating while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

About Stu Kushner

Stu Kushner earned an Engineering Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. From there he worked at Boeing Commercial Aircraft, Hexcel Corporation and Case-Rixon as a computer design engineer and systems manager. He now works as the marketing director and project manager here at Progressive Office since its founding in 1986.