BT Structured Cabling is defined by ‘category’. The category of any cabling solution will determine the rate at which data can be transferred across it. The following categories and options are available:
- Cat 5 cabling
Provides a reliable, open infrastructure that supports all LANs up to and including 100Mbit/s Ethernet.
- Cat 5e cabling
For LAN support up to and including 1000Mbit/s, look for systems guaranteeing Gigabit Ethernet support – the minimum level to which all BT Structured Cabling schemes are installed.
- Cat 6 cabling
Provides higher performance cabling systems, specified to 250MHz. Currently supports systems up to one Gigabit, with the potential to support higher speeds in the future.
- Cat 6a cabling
This is a new generation of structured cabling which is being introduced to support the operation of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GBASE-T).
- Cat 7 cabling
Specified to 600MHz, Cat 7 is a ‘fully shielded’ cabling system, which offers more than twice the bandwidth of Cat 6 but is also both bulkier and more expensive than Cat 5/6 cabling systems.
- Fibre Optics
This suitable for high speed fibre transmission systems, including Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet Backbone technologies, utilising second generation fibres such as OM1, OM2, OM3 and OS1.
- Bespoke solution cabling
This is for larger installations. BT can install any cabling scheme to supplied specifications.
- Branded schemes
There is a range of branded structured cabling schemes avaialble from suppliers including the SYSTIMAX structured cabling scheme (often the specified choice of international customers) and Krone.