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Common Data Cabling Terms Explained


Common Data Cabling Terms Explained

Common Data Cabling Terms Explained

Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could use the same data cabling lingo as your office cable installation resource? We’ve come up with a quick user’s guide to help with your next office move or expansion, in order to speak/understand their language.

What is Data Cabling?

Sometimes called ethernet cable, data cables connect different devices on networks, such as PCs, printers, routers and switches.

What is Cat5 Cable?

Cat5 replaced Cat3, which was the great-Grandpa of data cabling, handling data speeds of a mere 10 megabits per second (mbps).

Cat5, has lower data-carrying speed capabilities (10Mbps and 100Mbps) than the newer data cabling, however, if the cable is carrying data a short enough distance, you may get faster speeds. Cat 5 is frequently seen with  older routers, switches or networking device. Cat5 is no longer used in new office data cabling installs.

What is Cat5e Cable?

Cat5e is made to support faster speeds up to 1000 Mbps “gigabit” speed, and is the most commonly used ethernet cable used in new office cubicle installs. In addition to faster speeds, Cat5e cuts down on “crosstalk”, which is interference from another nearby cable.

Before we move on, it occurs to me, you may need help understanding a “gigabit”. If so, check out this infographic from

What is Cat6 Cable?

Just like it’s predecessors, Cat6 cable offers improvements. This time, faster speeds up to 10 gigabit, plus further crosstalk reduction.

What if I have Cat5 in my existing set-up? Can I expand to Cat 5e, or even Cat6?

Data cabling is backward-compatible. If you are still using Cat3 anywhere in your office, however, it is highly advised you upgrade.

Knowledge of these basic terms will help with this integral part of an office expansion, move or new installation. If you think about everything data cabling provides—computers, printers, networks—the power of expertly laid out and installed cabling is imperative to your success. Planning communications during an office move or expansion is critical. Along with electrical and voice, it’s the primary step before installing new cubicles.

ROSI knows cabling and follows the guidelines of BICSI. Our data plans consider the customers’ current needs as well as, allowing for future growth and changes in technology.

ROSI’s complete office solutions include, remanufactured, new and pre-owned cubicles, free space planning and design, office furniture, casegoods (conference tables, cafeteria tables and chairs, structured cabling, work station rentals, moving, storage, teardown and reconfiguration services. ROSI is your complete solution. Contact us to price your project, today.

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