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Adelaide - Data Cable Installation

Why install Data Cabling?

The short answer – for reliability and speed.

But really, there's so much to be gained from having data cabling available in your network, it makes a lot of sense to install at least some.

Connecting as many of the devices in your network as possible by cable, frees up Wi-Fi bandwidth for the devices that solely rely on it, like phones, tablets, etc. This ensures everyone enjoys the most bandwidth available.

For gaming, video streaming, file transfer, generally all bandwidth hungry applications, cabled connections are really the best way to go

A good rule of thumb is to apply the adage ‘if it has a network port, use it’. Follow that as a guideline and you can't go too far wrong.
Data cabling can dependably deliver speeds up to 20x faster than Wi-Fi. Also, unlike Wi-Fi, it isn’t affected by interference from other networks, distance from the router, walls, or the number of users competing for signal bandwidth.

Structured cabling (data cable) has the ability to carry other services as well, not just LAN and Internet traffic. For instance, HDMI can be converted to stream over a CAT6, or CAT6A cable to distribute video throughout your home. Also VoIP, TV signals, audio, CCTV, and PoE (Power over Ethernet) are some other services.

How many data points per room?

Purely as a guide, it's currently considered 'standard practice' to install two points into bedrooms, and four to six points into study areas and entertainment areas.

If you consider that a typical entertainment area might house a ‘Smart TV’, a media streaming unit (‘Apple TV’ etc), and Xbox or PlayStation, and a Foxtel set top or Fetch box, with four points you're at capacity already.

Choosing your data cable installer -
The 4 key requirements to ensure the best outcome.

Network faults aren’t usually caused by someone spilling coffee on the server, they’re usually the result of faulty cabling. Poor quality materials, inexperienced installers, poor installation practices. We’ve seen it all in the 25 years working in this industry.

Whether it’s a commercial data-centre, or a home cabled for everyday Internet distribution, it’s crucial that four key fundamentals are applied during the installation. Compromise on any one of these four and potentially, in the long term, the future cost in wasted time, money, and the stress of having a faulty network can be significant.

# 1:  Workmanship / Experience

Not all installers are the same. There's no substitute for hands-on experience. With so many different building practices out there, old and new, renovations and extensions, tilt slab, Hebel, steel frame etc, installing cables in an existing building is a skill learnt over a long time. And like most skills, there are no shortcuts to learning the trade.

The problem with domestic cabling

The fact is, new cables installed into existing buildings aren't generally visible unless you go looking for them in roof spaces, or under houses. And this means that shortcuts are commonplace during the installation. It’s domestic cabling’s dirty little secret.

Having been in the industry for over 25 years, it's no exaggeration to say that at least 95% of domestic data cabling, installed after the house was built, does not comply to Australian Standards, not even close, compliance not even attempted.

The standards are there for good reason

The Australian Standard for structured cabling states that cables must be fixed at regular intervals, horizontally and vertically. In domestic installs, it’s usually going to be fixed to truss timbers or catenary wires.
Unfortunately, this practice is almost universally ignored, even though there are valid reasons for securing/fixing cabling. The three main reasons in a domestic installation being;

  • To maintain the correct separation from power cables.
  • To ensure cables aren’t being stepped on by everyone climbing around the space.
  • To ensure cables aren’t being caught between joins in timber joists/trusses.

The reality is that most installers simply drag cables from point A to point B.
It’s common to see cables laying on top of power cabling (inducing Electromagnetic Interference which can cause packet loss).

Cables that have slipped into the space between joining timbers are a common cause of faults we attend. As the building moves with heat and cold, the timbers will pinch the cables and over time, crush them completely causing a short.

And, obviously as the cables are dragged along the path the installer used to get around the space, the same path is likely to be used by the next person in the roof. Each time the cables are likely to be stepped on - A fault waiting to happen.

But when all the customer sees is the wall plate neatly fixed, it's "job well done". This applies to 95% of domestic data cabling.

eTechs technicians secure/fix all cables we install, and if that’s not possible, we use conduit to maintain separation to keep the cables safe from crushing while maintaining a physical barrier from electrical wires.

#2:  Accreditation

Ask if the installation technicians you choose have the right accreditations. Your installer must be registered with the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) as a Master Cabler.

They must have ‘OPEN’ registration with the ‘STRUCTURED’ endorsement to complete any data cabling, ‘COAXIAL’ endorsement for any HFC NBN installation work, and ‘FIBRE OPTIC’ to install fibre optic cabling for fibre networks or NBN FTTP.

This accreditation, with the right endorsements, shows they have completed not only the right training, but also completed, at least, the minimum 600 hours of hands on work installing communications cabling.

Be aware that some companies can leave partially trained apprentices or trade assistants on-site alone to install cable. The fully accredited cabling licence holder will sign off on the work at the end of the job without really having laid hands on the installation.

Always ask who will be doing the installation and what experience, accreditation they have.

#3:  Testing before hand-over

At the end of the installation, every cable link must be tested and proven to be working.
This ensures each new data outlet is not only functional, but is also able to handle the bandwidth it’s rated at.

Unfortunately, we find that some installers do not test new data outlets at all, not even at the most basic ‘continuity’ level.
We regularly attend faults where the issue is with the installation, wires not terminated to the right pin in the socket.

It’s lazy workmanship, and the consequence is that the installation doesn’t work.
If the customer doesn’t use the link from the first day (in the case of a new home build, for instance) the issue won’t be found until sometimes much later on. By then, if the warranty has expired, it’s up to the customer to engage someone to troubleshoot the issue at their own expense.

It’s not always backyard installers who do this either.
Over the years, we’ve also repaired many un-tested installations by some of Adelaide’s ‘big name’ companies. Possibly the worst yet, a home in St Peters had six faulty terminations in the eleven data points installed during a renovation.
These points were installed by one of Adelaide's largest electrical contractors.

The point is, it’s not always the biggest that are the most thorough. It will pay in the end, to research first.

Types of Testing Cable Verification Testing:
The most basic testing

Pinout / Continuity / Verification Testing

Verification test instruments perform the most basic continuity function tests. They ensure that each wire in the cable connects to the right ‘pin’ in the socket or RJ Connector. This is the very minimum type of testing that should be done.

Passing this test will generally assure that the link will work. However, verfication testing does not test for link speed, or the quality of the signal. Importantly, it also doesn't test for high resistance terminations (poor contact).
A ‘High Resistance’ fault causes intermittent connectivity issues and can be the hardest type of fault to find.
The cost of finding HR faults can become considerable. Usually, equipment is replaced before the cabling is suspected. Then, once it’s clear the cabling is at fault, costs grow exponentially depending on the number of links that need to be tested.

Loss of productivity from network downtime has all sorts of commercial consequences for businesses relying on constant uptime.

Cable Qualification Testing:
Suitable for most installations

Qualification test instruments determine what type of network speeds and technologies a cable link can support.

Qualification testers are a very good tool for testing whether a cable link can handle “Fast Ethernet” (100Mbps), VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), or Gigabit Ethernet.
They are a good tool to assess the available bandwidth and find defects in the cable that negatively affect the bandwidth.

They are widely used to qualify and troubleshoot Industrial Ethernet cabling.

eTechs use Fluke CableIQ Qualification test instruments as a standard.

Cable Certification Testers:
For large commercial installations

Certification test instruments are used to guarantee newly installed cable links comply to industry standards. This is the highest level of testing.

Certification instruments will test for compliance to industry standards (ISO, TIA) etc.
They give a PASS/FAIL result, independent of network technologies. In other words, they test the cable for the highest level of transmission capability. This allows future technologies to be developed, knowing they will work over the standardised cabling.

Many structured cabling manufacturers require installations to be certified before they grant their warranties.
These units are mostly used in the commercial realm due to their expense.

#4:  Quality of Materials

The quality of the materials used for your data cable installation is important.

There are endless suppliers offering cheaply imported cables and components, and many installers will use them to save costs.
The savings per metre of cable, per wall plate, per CAT6 module can be up to 50%. Materials are not usually a large part of cabling cost. The main cost is labour. So using cheap, poorly tested components does not make long-term sense. By the time an issue arises, the job will usually be out of warranty, and the owner will be stuck with the cost of fault location and repair.

Always ask what brand of cable and components the installer will use. Research those brands before committing to using them and if not sure, call your local electrical wholesaler for brand advice.

eTechs only uses high quality brands such as Clipsal, ADC Krone, Panduit.

Warranty

  Lifetime Warranty

No need to worry, we have you covered

With over 25 years of Telecommunications and data cabling experience around Adelaide, you can count on us to deliver a quality installation that meets all relevant Australian Standards. We pride ourselves on being very meticulous. In fact, we are so confident in our work that we offer a lifetime warranty on our workmanship.

Click here for warranty details
Best Prices

   Best Prices

No hidden costs - fairest pricing

We present honest and fair pricing on every installation we complete.

  •   No over-blown pricing
  •   No cheap / inferior materials
  •   No shortcuts

We use only the best quality materials (Krone, Clipsal, Panduit, etc). So you can rest assured you will have the best technicians using the best materials, guaranteed!

Quality

   Top Technicians

We hire only the best technicians

Our fully licensed and insured installers have many years of experience.
Because we offer a lifetime warranty on our workmanship, our team consists only of people with the right skills and attitude we trust to deliver top quality installations.

Free Quotes

   Free Quote

$0 Cost quotation

  •   No cost, no hassle quotation process
  •   Fixed quotes, no hidden costs

We will never charge you to quote your cabling requirements. One of our technicians can attend and quote your needs.

On smaller jobs, if the quote is approved, time permitting, we can complete the work there and then.

Call now to arrange a free quote on 08 8463 1161, or use our booking form to arrange a site visit.

Excellent Service

  Your Installation

On time, meticulous and precise work

Your technicians will be well presented and courteous. We understand that we are sometimes working in a busy home or business environment.
We aim to cause as little disruption as possible during the installation process.

Data Cabling
Data Cabling
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