For data and voice traffic either Category 5e (CAT 5e) or Category 6 (CAT 6) cables are being used. Even with an existing digital phone system it makes more sense to run CAT6 cable drops because there is always the possibility to upgrade the digital phone system to a voice over IP phone system in the future. Price difference between these two types of cables have become too insignificant ignore the benefit of running CAT6 cables as appose to CAT 5e cables. CAT6 offers less “cross talk" between its cable pairs this offering better signal to noise ratio. Higher signal to noise ratio delivers higher bandwidth. Both CAT 5e and CAT 6 support 1Gbps speeds. Category 6a is the newer addition to the family of data cables. CAT 6a supports 10Gbps speeds upto 100m distance. CAT6a uses extra shielding to reduce interference between its cable pairs inside and the interference from outside thus making it possible to achieve higher speeds. However CAT6a cable is more expensive than the CAT6 cable. Labor cost of running CAT6 vs CAT6a is almost the same.
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