The Importance of Following Structured Cabling Best Practices
There is increasing pressure being placed on hotels to keep up with the growing demand for bandwidth, therefore following best practices for hotel network infrastructure design and planning to meet and exceed future requirements is more critical than ever. Following best practices for hotel network infrastructure design will help hotels to avoid costly overruns, delayed openings, and the inability to meet Public Safety DAS and 911 location-based services laws.
Hotels must deliver a network infrastructure that is scalable and that can meet higher bandwidth demands of guest Wi-Fi, voice services, guestroom entertainment, guest streaming devices and Over the Top services. The infrastructure that supports your network is important and its effectiveness is dependent upon the structured cabling.
What is Structured Cabling?
A structured cabling system or a low voltage system, is a complete system of cabling and hardware, that is essential to the performance and maintenance of your network. Structured cabling provides a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure to communicate data and information and supports Wi-Fi, Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), IoT technology, security systems and audio-visual systems.
Why is Structured Cabling Important?
Structured cabling is network cabling that supports the advancing technological needs of businesses and is an essential part of every business network. Structured cabling organizes your infrastructure and helps hotels to accommodate new hardware and the increasing amount of data usage. A well-designed structured cabling system will ensure that hotels can deliver a reliable hotel network that is flexible and can easily adapt to the advancement in communication technology.
Structured cabling supports some critical services that both hotels and guests rely on, such as Wi-Fi service. Hotel Wi-Fi is one of the most important amenities for guests and the quality of the hotel’s Wi-Fi can have an impact on which hotels guests decide to book. In order to ensure reliable service and the functioning of critical systems, hotels must ensure that the Wi-Fi infrastructure is in place that is capable of supporting these demands and a well-designed structured cabling system makes this possible.
Structured cabling is also essential in allowing first responders access to emergency radio signals in critical areas of a building during an emergency. Public Safety DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) is a public safety communication system that allows first responders to maintain wireless communication within buildings. It is a legal obligation and building owners must ensure that DAS systems can transmit and receive emergency frequencies in all areas, including parking garages, elevators, and stairwells.
IoT technology is in high demand by guests and structured cabling supports this technology and enables smart room features, such as control of lighting, the thermostat, the window shades, and the in-room entertainment, that can all be controlled by smartphones or other smart devices. Structured cabling also supports your hotel’s security needs by connecting all your security systems and supports surveillance equipment and CCTV technology.
Structured Cabling Standards
Before beginning the installation of structured cabling or low voltage cabling for your building, owners must ensure that they are aware of the telecommunications code standards. Structured cabling encompasses all the cabling that runs throughout your property and there are specific standards that govern the structured cabling installation in your building.
The American Telecommunications Industry Associations (TIA) and The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) are two entities that issue standards that provides guidance for all aspects of structured cabling installations. The International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) releases manufacturing and testing standards that cover commercial communications.
The Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI) provides guidance on the installation of telecommunications and information communication technology (ICT). BICSI standards gives property owners guidance on installation practices that meet the National Electrical Code requirements (NEC) and the National Fire Protection Association code requirements (NFPA). BICSI standards provides minimum requirements and procedures for the installation of infrastructure that supports telecommunication and ICT, that are used for voice, data and video data applications. BICSI also issues the Registered Communications Distribution Designer Certification (RCDD) which demonstrates the knowledge of project management of telecommunications and data communications technology.
Benefits of Structured Cabling Best Practices
Hotel owners have a lot to take into consideration before undertaking their structure cabling projects. Owners must follow best practices for hotel network infrastructure design to ensure that their structured cabling system is reliable, easily adaptable and have the ability to accommodate changes, additions to the network and moves.
Investing in a hotel-specific vendor will ensure that hotels meet all the requirements for structure cabling installation. A hotel-specific vendor will be more costly, but installations will be done properly the first time, hotels will meet all required standards and will see long term benefits of increased productivity and growth. Structured cabling done by a hotel-specific vendor will ensure that as communication technology advances and the needs of your business grow, your network will be able to easily adapt.
Structured cabling standards aids businesses in the wiring installation process by reducing cabling bulk and congestion. Downtime is reduced, as installations are tangle free and wiring infrastructure is well organized.
A well-designed structured cabling system can quickly identify issues that may arise with your network, issues with cable connections are spotted and replacements are made easily.
Supports Future Upgrades
There has been a lot of advancement in communication technology systems and hotels and businesses must be adaptable to the constant changes. When structured cabling standards are followed, it allows for effortless upgrades that poses very low risk to the infrastructure.
Flexibility and Reduced Install Time
A well-designed structured cabling system can easily accommodate changes, additions to the network’s infrastructure and moves. Since structured cabling maintains wiring in an organized manner, this reduces the overall installation time and improves network performance.