When planning an office move, especially from an IT and network infrastructure perspective, there are three basic considerations:
1. What are your office’s current technology needs?
2. What are your future technology and infrastructure needs?
3. What is your budget?
Why do I need all the bandwidth of category 6? As far as I know, there is no application today that
requires 200 MHz of bandwidth.
Bandwidth precedes data rates just as highways come before traffic. Doubling the bandwidth is
like adding twice the number of lanes on a highway. The trends of the past and the predictions for
the future indicate that data rates have been doubling every 18 months. Current applications
running at 1 Gb/s are really pushing the limits of category 5e cabling. As streaming media
applications such as video and multi-media become commonplace, the demands for faster data
rates will increase and spawn new applications that will benefit from the higher bandwidth offered
by category 6. This is exactly what happened in the early 90’s when the higher bandwidth of
category 5 cabling compared to category 3 caused most LAN applications to choose the better
media to allow simpler, cost effective, higher speed LAN applications, such as 100BASE-TX.
What is the general difference between category 5e and category 6?
The general difference between category 5e and category 6 is in the transmission performance,
and extension of the available bandwidth from 100 MHz for category 5e to 200 MHz for category
6. These improvements provide a higher signal-to-noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current
applications and higher data rates for future applications.
Will category 6 supersede category 5e?
Yes, analyst predictions and independent polls indicate that 80 to 90 percent of all new
installations will be cabled with category 6. The fact that category 6 link and channel requirements
are backward compatible to category 5e makes it very easy for customers to choose category 6
and supersede category 5e in their networks. Applications that worked over category 5e will work
over category 6.