Cabling is an evolutionary process. New challenges require new capabilities, and based on past trends and future projections, data rates will double about every 18 months. Running applications at 1 Gb/s pushes the limits of category 5e cabling, so doubling the bandwidth is like adding two or more lanes on a highway – you get faster and more efficient data “traffic flow”.
Streaming media applications such as video and multi-media are now commonplace, so the demand for faster data rates are increasing. These new applications will require the higher bandwidth of category 6 cabling.
The general difference between CatHYPERLINK “http://www.broadbandutopia.com/cat5en.html”5e and CatHYPERLINK “http://www.broadbandutopia.com/category6.html”6 is transmission performance, extending the available bandwidth from 100 MHz to 200 MHz for Cat 6. The improved higher signal-to-noise ratio allows higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates for future applications. Analysts predict that 80 to 90 percent of all new installations will be cabled with category 6. Category 6 link and channel requirements are ‘backward compatible” to category 5e, making it easy for category 6 to replaces category 5e in their networks. Applications that worked over category 5e will work over category 6. Also, improved transmission performance and better immunity from external noise allows CAT6 cabling systems to have fewer errors. This means fewer re-transmissions of lost or corrupted data, which translates into higher reliability for Cat6 networks.
It is difficult to replace cabling inside walls, ducts, floors and other difficult places, so it is always better to install the best cabling available. Equipment running at higher data rates require better cabling, and it will be more expensive to pull out Category5e cabling at a later time; so why not do it now?