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Structured cabling is a standardized telecommunications infrastructure that provides your business with an organized wire and cable management system. A structured cable system connects data and communication subsystems. It is a "must have" for companies that demand fast and reliable network connections. The installation of a structured cabling system will not only pay immediate dividends! It will also ensure that the expansion of your company and changes in technology can be easily accommodated. To find out more about structured network cabling, including how much it costs, continue reading this buying guide.
An Overview of Structured Network Cabling
Once you've decided that your business will benefit from structured cabling installation, you should start contacting vendors for pricing information. But before you do, you'll first need to gather certain information so that contractors can provide accurate estimates.
First of all, you'll need to provide the building's age and blueprints. New buildings are easier to wire, and floor plans allow structured cabling installers to see the layout of the office and how many drops (workstations, offices, conferences, etc. that require cabling) there are.
Vendors will also want to know whether the job is a brand new rewiring project or an upgrade to the existing structured network cabling. In addition, you'll need to tell them what kind of data connections you need (voice and/or data), and whether your offices utilizes VoIP technology.
Once vendors have this information, they can visit your office and assess the job. Among the things they will determine during an on-site evaluation are the drop locations, how and where the wiring will be placed, and the location of the server room and telephone closet (the termination points of all wiring).
During this time, structured cabling companies will also evaluate the condition of your existing cable infrastructure, and whether or not it can easily be upgraded, or needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt. Finally, vendors will perform a building inspection to make sure that the new structured wiring can adhere to industry standards, such as those specified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Electric Industries Association (EIA), and the Telecommunications Industries Association (TIA).
Once these steps are completed, vendors can provide you with specification documents that explain the details of the cable management project, including what needs to be done, the equipment required, how long it will take from beginning to end, and how much the work will cost.
Structured Cabling Average Costs
Individual vendor prices will vary considerably based on your location and specific needs. As a result, the following structured cable pricing information should only serve as a rough overview.
Many vendors charge per drop. Prices can range anywhere from $100 to $500 per drop. The cost depends on the amount of the equipment, quality of the equipment, the number of drop locations, and the ease of installation. Generally, the price per drop will come down the larger the job is as structures cable services will be eager to earn your business.
- For large jobs, installers will specify a total project cost, not per drop (for example $25,000 for 100 drops).
Structured Cabling Sample Costs
For a better idea of how much installing structured cabling in your workplace might cost, take a look at actual prices paid by businesses nationwide:
- A New Jersey retailed paid around $25,000 for 110 completely new dual runs.
- A Tennessee realtor paid approximately $100 per drop for new computer and phone wiring.
- A Pennsylvania financial services manager paid roughly $85 per hour for new cabling installation.
- A California engineer paid approximately $350 per drop for upgraded cabling and additional hardware.
- A Georgia administrative assistant paid around $80 per drop to upgrade cables and patch cords.
- A Texas CEO paid roughly $200 per drop to add voice and data cabling to an existing system.