Backbone cabling refers to the main cables that connect all of the devices in a network to each other. It is used to link together all of the devices in a network, including servers, switches, and routers. The backbone cabling typically consists of a set of wires or fibers that are run through conduits or cable trays, which provide protection and support for the cables. The backbone cabling is usually made up of high-speed and high-capacity cables, such as fiber optic cables or Category 5e or Category 6 twisted-pair cables. It is important to use high-quality backbone cabling to ensure that the network has the necessary bandwidth and reliability to support the needs of the users.
What role do Fiber Optic Cables Play in Backbone Cable?
Fiber optic cables are often used as the backbone cabling in a network because they are capable of transmitting data over long distances at high speeds with very low signal loss. They are made of thin strands of glass or plastic that are used to transmit data using light signals, and they are much faster and more efficient than traditional copper wires. Fiber optic cables are also immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI), which makes them suitable for use in environments where there is a lot of electrical noise, such as near power lines or electrical equipment. Additionally, fiber optic cables are more durable and longer-lasting than copper wires, which makes them a good choice for use in the backbone cabling of a network.
What About Copper Cables?
Copper cables, such as twisted-pair cables, can also be used as backbone cabling in a network. Copper cables are typically less expensive than fiber optic cables and are easier to install and terminate. However, they are not as fast or as efficient as fiber optic cables and are more susceptible to signal loss over long distances and to EMI. Copper cables are also not as durable as fiber optic cables and are more prone to damage. For these reasons, copper cables are more commonly used for shorter runs or for connecting devices that are located in close proximity to each other, rather than as the backbone cabling of a network.
Who Installs it?
Backbone cabling is typically installed by trained and certified professionals, such as network technicians or cable installers. These professionals have the knowledge and experience to design, install, and maintain the cabling infrastructure of a network. They are responsible for running the cables through conduits or cable trays, making sure that the cables are properly supported and protected, and connecting the cables to the devices in the network. They may also be responsible for testing the cables to ensure that they are functioning properly and meet the necessary specifications. In addition to installing the cables, these professionals may also be responsible for troubleshooting any issues that arise with the cabling and for making any necessary repairs or upgrades to the network.
Related: What is Structured Cabling?