It is mind bugling to discover
how many houses are being build today without proper infrastructure
to accommodate technology currently available and with no room for
expansion for technologies not far away from hitting the market.
Today's home wiring includes more than the standard suite of electrical
connections. Dedicated wiring for data, telephone, audio, and video
are fast becoming standard options.
Structured wiring distributes a variety of data signals
to electronics in the home, such as cable television, telephones
and Ethernet computer networks. A structured wiring system
designed with "home run" cables from each room in the
house back to a central distribution box. Structured wiring typically
uses RG6 cabling for video signals rather than the prior standard
of RJ59, which cannot transfer digital images. For voice and
data transfer, the system uses Category 5 wire, which is, four
pairs of twisted, unshielded, solid copper. Category 5 wiring
allows much faster data transfer rates — equal to bandwidth — than
In 2002, the Federal Communication Commission began requiring
new wiring installations and modifications to use a minimum
of Category 3 wire for voice and data transfer. Category 3
wires is similar to Category 5, except it has two pairs of
wire instead of four, resulting in less bandwidth; today that
platform has become obsolete.
With greater bandwidth, Category 5 wires is more expensive and often
avoided by home builders since their job is simply to past inspection
and not spend a cent more. The bottom line is that when it comes
to Home Infrastructure Wiring you have two choices; spend a little
extra now or pay a lot later.
The total installation cost of a structured wiring system depends
on the size of the home, the number of desired technologies, and
the number and types of devices connecting the whole-house system
to each technology. Besides the improved networking capabilities,
Category 5 wiring can also become the basis for extensive home automation
systems, including security systems, energy use controls and more.