Cat6 Office Cabling Dallas TX Pittsburgh PA

Why Your Company Should Avoid CCA Cabling – Part 2

30 Oct 2018

Cat6 Office Cabling Dallas TX Pittsburgh PAAs discussed in Part 1, companies that have a limited budget for network infrastructure may end up buying copper clad aluminum (CCA) cabling to save money. Although marketed as a sufficient substitute for solid copper cabling, CCA cables are far from being the right answer for trimming budgets. Part 2 will continue discussing CCA cabling related issues and counterfeit copper cabling.

Shortened Cable Runs

As lengthier CCA cable runs approach the 100-meter maximum, there will be a decrease of signal strength in comparison to solid copper CAT5e cabling. Reduced signal strength can result in data loss because increased packets of data must be retransmitted.

Unsuitable for Power Over Ethernet (PoE)

Since CCA wires have a higher DC resistance (about 55% greater) than solid copper, its conductors may need to be 60% larger than solid copper to compensate. Without resistance compensation, the drop in voltage will be greater for any channel length.

Longer cable runs of 65 meters or more will surpass TIA’s channel DCR requirements, limiting the available voltage for the device. In addition, higher resistance will result in a faster buildup of radiant heat, which may damage the device.

How to Identify CCA Cabling

CCA wire is also much more brittle than solid copper wire. Identifying CCA is easy because all you need to find is the silver color of the tip of the conductor. Another way is scraping away the thin copper surface of the conductor to reveal the aluminum.

CCA cables also weigh much less than solid copper cables. Go to the CCCA website for the CableCheck™ mobile app (, which provides the approximate correct box weights to help detect CCA conductors being used to fraudulently substitute for solid copper conductors.

When a CCA cable is labeled as a Category 5e, 6 or 6A cable or CMP or CMR rated, it is counterfeit cable. It will also be non-compliant with industry performance standards and will pose a hazard by being unable to pass UL fire safety testing.

Progressive Office Cabling

Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Office Cabling ,Network Cabling

Planning – Network Design Requirements

5 Aug 2018

Office Cabling ,Network CablingAfter receiving the requirements for a network, it is common for designers to prioritize their implementation and integrate them into the format of the design. Occasionally, they initially rely on best practices, instead of focusing on planning. This is unfortunate because the planning process often leads to discovering multiple viable design solutions.

Designers should first make business-centric decisions determining either the solution or design that supports the company’s objectives or strategy. Although it is advisable to follow best practices for network design, reliance on them is more typical on occasions when a network is being designed from the ground up, which is usually not the case for large service providers and enterprises.

Let’s consider optimizing office buildings as a comparison. The standard procedure for civil engineers and architects is to perform an evaluation of a building by identifying existing problems, understanding the organization’s goals, and gathering business requirements. Afterwards, they begin optimizing the office building’s existing features. As examples, this may involve replacing the elevators or expanding the lobby.

The above is similar to the procedure for revamping network design. There will always be faulty designs that were poorly planned. Sometimes they are unable to scale, or adopt emerging technologies, or adapt to changing business conditions. Thus, designers must first make a comprehensive study of the existing business problems, IT requirements, and network design. Next, they should develop solutions that will optimize the present architecture. This may entail redesigning several components of the network. It can also require the addition of a new data center.

In order to choose the correct design choices and technologies, network designers must gather the necessary information that will allow them to make a sound analysis during the planning stage. This also lets them correctly determine the new requirements that will support the company’s business goals. At this point, network designers typically utilize the decision tree and the decision matrix for easing and simplifying the process.

Progressive Office Cabling

Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

voip-phone, Network Cabling, Data Cabling

Constraints of Network Design

17 Jul 2018

voip-phone, Network Cabling, Data CablingThe constraints of network design are existing factors that cannot be altered, often impacting architecture and functional requirements. These constraints can have a significant effect on network design and must be taken into account. Below are the most familiar design constraints that must be addressed by a network designer.


Cost is certainly a limiting factor that must always be considered during the design process.

Experienced & Expensive Staff

In order to quickly adapt to new technology, a company may decide to hire technical employees who are expert in the new technologies, but cost more in salary. The greater operational costs for their expertise may exceed the benefits from the decreased TCO (total cost of ownership) derived from the latest technology.

Expertise of Staff

It may be the case that the most efficient, cost-saving design with state-of-the-art technology was presented by the network design team. However, the current staff may not have the experience or know-how to implement this new technology.

Infrastructure Equipment

In cases where an organization has not planned how to replace legacy network devices, the situation can lead to severe limitations on network design. This is quite apparent when new protocols and features cannot be supported.


This is a difficult kind of constraint because location involves limitations that have an indirect effect on design. To illustrate, a rural site might be in a region where fiber infrastructure is not present and wireless is the only connectivity.

Staff Training

Due to the lack of experience of technical staff in a newer technology, issues may take longer to detect and repair until they are adequately trained. This will lead to longer downtimes that render a data center nonfunctional, resulting in business losses.


When choosing an architecture or technology, time becomes a constraint when the time frame plays a part in remaining on schedule for the completion of the project.

Progressive Office Cabling

Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Structured Cabling, Cabling, Washington DC

The 5 Most Common Structured Cabling Errors – Part 1

19 Oct 2017

Structured Cabling, cablesStructured cabling systems are so standardized that good practices should merely entail following ISO/IEC, CENELEC or Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) documentation for panel and outlet standards, cable pathway standards, maximum cable and patch cord lengths, patch testing standards, etc. Strictly doing so will invariably result in an installation that is professional and trouble free. In addition, as data speeds grow faster and faster, following industry standards becomes even more crucial.

Improperly installed cabling made up of shorter runs, which do not overly stress the system, may function well enough. In addition, data speeds may be quite beneath the cable specification capacity. As an example, CAT5e carrying 100Mbps and capable of 1Gbps will have ample margin of error. However, structured cabling systems still need qualified technicians for proper installation supporting maximum data speeds over the entire network as required.

The following will discuss the five most common errors of structured cabling. Remember to call an experienced and expert cabling installation team to get the best results for your company’s project.

Error No. 1

Considering cables as merely wiring is the first error. They are actually very important electronic components that provide the pathway for data from point to point within a network. These points may be a desktop PC, a network switch, server, router, and wireless access point. When you consider that cables make these connections possible, then you can understand how important it is to make sure that the cabling is of high quality and properly installed.

Error No. 2

Running data cables near power cables is the second error. Even when cables are screened, this practice is unsound. When data cables are running near and parallel to   power cables, noise emitted by power cables may infiltrate data cables. As the load carried by power cables fluctuate, resulting spikes or surges may radiate into the data cables, creating undesired noise decreasing the quality of the data transmission.

Part 2 will discuss three more common errors of structured cabling.

Progressive Office Cabling

Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Cat5e Cat6/6a Cabling,cable installations

What is Certification and is it really necessary?

10 Aug 2015

Environmental Problems with Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6A Cable

Cable must be installed so that external environmental factors do not have an effect on the performance of the network. Problems can occur at the patch panel punch down, at the wall plate jack and anywhere along the cable itself. Maybe an inadvertent kink is in the cable. Or there is a snag in the cable as it got pulled across a rough surface in the rafters above the drop ceiling. Or maybe the cable got too close to an electric line. Any one of these issues can degrade the performance of an individual cable.

There are two basic kinds of testing that is performed during the installation of cabling:

  1. Continuity Testing

  2. Certification

Continuity Testing

Continuity Testing is a test to insure that the wires in the connectors at the faceplate and at the patch panel are connected up correctly. There are 4 pairs of wires and each wire is color-coded. So, as the technician is connecting everything, a particular sequence is required. If a wire is connected in the wrong order, the cable will fail. This is a basic wire-mapping test. If this test fails, the connector and wires are re-examined and re-terminated. All of our cable installations include continuity testing.

But the only way to insure and guarantee full speed to every cable is to do Certification Testing on each cable.


Certification Testing is a performance test that utilizes a precision device that sends a signal from one end of the cable to the other. This test is the only way to test the data-carrying capacity of each cable. For example, Cat6A cable is rated to run at 10G/sec. But if you have an issue, the cable will work but it might be running at a slower speed. It passes the continuity test but it's not performing at 100%. Certification will find the fault, pin-pointed to its exact location so that our technician can fix it, retest it and fully certify it as 100% top-speed rated.

The Fluke DSX-5000 is a very expensive test device that we employ to test and certify our cabling jobs. It costs about an extra $10 per cable to get everything tested and certified. But without this test, we can't guarantee top speeds throughout your network. And, considering that most cabling projects have a useful lifespan of 15 - 20 years, this investment upfront is very cost-effective. It means you will have full speed to every device for the entire lifetime of your cabling infrastructure.

Certification includes a PDF report showing every cable and the test results.

Do you have an upcoming cabling project?

Network Cabling Structured Cabling

Are you Ready for 1gb Internet?

13 Jun 2015

Your city might be poised for a dramatic increase in Internet speed into your office. Right now, you might have DSL Internet running on Cat5e cable at speeds of up to 25 - 30mb. But 1gb Internet is coming. New high-speed fiber optic networks are being built that will bring 1gb Internet to your office's network. It's coming.

So, are you ready for it?

The answer to that question lies primarily in the cabling that exists in your office. Most offices in the US have Cat5e cabling. Cat5e is not fully capable of handling 1gb speeds and will likely create speed issues at the desktop as users demand more bandwidth from advanced online and desktop applications. Cat5 cable is even slower. So, you will first need to figure out what kind of cable you have. The best way to do this is to look at the cable. Go to you wall closet or server room and look behind the patch panel. The patch panel looks like this.

And behind the panel is a bundle of cables. These cables have writing on them that describe the type of cable.That might look like this.

You should be able to see printed right on the cable the words "CATEGORY 5" or "CATEGORY 5E". If it says, "CATEGORY 6" or "CATEGORY 6A" than you are fine. Otherwise, you have cable that will not fully support 1gb Internet speeds into your office. Cat6/6A cabling is designed for 1gb and higher throughputs of data.

But getting ready for 1gb Internet is not just about the cable. You need the right cable and you also need the Cat6 compatible connectors, patch panels and a 1gb switch too. So, now you have a big decision to make.

The Big Decision

What should you do? Recabling an office is a big deal. It's disruptive and it's expensive. But, wait. Is it really such a big expense and does it need to be disruptive? The cost of installing Cat6 cabling in an office is about $125 - $200 per drop. Each computer will need one drop. And you might have a few printers on your network too. So, the cost is about the same as a cheap computer monitor. And the boost in productivity will go on for many years to come.

Will it be disruptive? We can install new cabling in parallel to your existing network at night and on weekends. The switch-over is a weekend job too. Then we finish up by pulling out all of the old cable. That's called demolition. It might get a little dusty. But our team will do it's best to keep things as tidy as possible.

So, are you ready for 1gb Internet? If the service is available and you want a free on-site survey, contact us. We will be happy to come by and look at your office and prepare a Proposal for you at no charge and no obligation. If you aren't sure about the availability of 1gb Internet, contact us and we will find out for you.

structured cabling, Data Cabling ,Cat5e, Cat6/6a Cabling

Powerful Networks in Structured Cabling

16 May 2015

structured cabling, Data Cabling ,Cat5e, Cat6/6a CablingIt is known that structured cabling systems are fabricated to guarantee that information flows efficiently through the network. Such system are made up of transmission products installed based on appropriate guidelines in engineering design. These enable users to put into operation voice and data systems that capitalizes on speed.

This particular configuration has emerged as shared platform for multiple information technology applications. These include voice and data, building automation, security mechanisms, telecommunications conferencing, and fire alarms. This union transformed the structured cabling platform into the most essential network element. Therefore, it calls for a crucial investment in a very reliable, adaptable and scalable cabling structure.

High-performance Networks

This efficient and complex cabling scheme segregates the whole infrastructure into controllable blocks. After that, it puts them together to come up with a high-performance network. This end product is the vital link for many enterprises and all data hubs. Such a system facilitates consistency across the network particularly for commercial building structures. Consistency generates cost-effectiveness by standardizing maintenance processes, cutting down on manpower requirements, and improving reliability.

The “structured” design makes possible easy management by identifying specific distribution points, regular labeling and color codes, cabling management, and distribution techniques. As a rule, data facility managers use dynamic methodologies to fill the center with information technology equipment. This accommodates the evolving needs of business operations which frequently compel the need for the most modern IT equipment. Since companies rely on equipment as well as infrastructure, management believes requirements for additional IT capability should be made promptly. If the infrastructure is below par, upgrades will be much more difficult.

Crucial Concerns

The best IT specialists see to it that problems in structured cabling systems are dealt with immediately. One of the primary concerns is to employ highly competent service providers and coordinate entry points/space for each provider. This procedure enhances flaw tolerance of the overall system design. The high-performance model supports aggregate telecommunications requirements and thereby leads to a maximum returns on investments.

Centralized Intermediate Distribution Frames (IDFs) should be in centralized locations in the office facility. This will produce efficient cable management and will ease the addition of new equipment. This design technique has been adopted to avoid any disruption of the data unit or minimized once changes or upgrades are implemented. Telecommunications rooms contain the IDFs, main distribution frames and entrance facilities. Switches are installed in the middle of server rows for economical management.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your office network cabling.