All posts tagged: Structured Cabling

What do ISP and OSP mean?

ISP stands for Inside Plant and OSP stands for Outside Plant. According to Building Industry Construction Service International (BICSI), OSP is any network infrastructure installed external to buildings. Our scope includes optical fiber cabling, balanced twisted-pair cabling, and support structures to link locations.

OSP cables are underground, direct-buried, or aerial.  ICG specializes in direct-buried which utilizes trenches, pedestals, and communication maintenance holes.

ISP refers to cable installed inside of the building. This includes everything from the patch panel, patch cord, and switch to the cables and jacks.

Each may require a different type of cable and a different method of installation. ISP utilizes wall and ceiling drops, while OSP will likely require trenching.

Kathi BleaseWhat do ISP and OSP mean?
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What is an As-Built?

As-builts are another name for the blueprints a structured cabling company delivers to a building or campus network manager after the completion of a project. This will provide the network owner with data ports marked, usually with a triangle, as well as any other relevant ports (ex. TV, A/V, etc.). This is important for multiple reasons. Initially, it lays out a plan for the network design that will be installed by the structured cabling company. This then provides the cabling company an accurate view of the project, allowing them to give a fair and accurate quote. As-builts are also important throughout construction. They are the guide showing the structured cabling company where to pull and where to terminate cables.

Regarding installation: occasionally on the as-built, the ports are not clearly labeled, the IDFs are not properly marked and it can be unclear which IDF the cables are supposed to be directed to. This can create problems for the estimator and the installer. They must be remedied prior to installation to ensure both an accurate quote and an installation that satisfies that the end-user’s requests.

Upon completion, cables are labeled, typically with their IDF and the switch and port numbers. These labels and the corresponding as-built are the road map for any future adds, moves, and changes.

The as-built is also very important for the end-user. Network Managers and IT Professionals need to know the layout of their network to be able to troubleshoot. This could be anything from a faulty cable, patch cord, or jack to an AP that has interference issues, or a camera that stopped transmitting. Even if a structured cabling company is needed to fix the issue, the end-user can hire a new company, unfamiliar with the network layout to fix any network issues. With the help of a properly labeled as-built, the newly hired firm can quickly identify and solve any problems. Without this tool, problems can cause more than just headaches for a Network Manager. These problems can lead to network downtime and loss of revenue for a firm.

Because of the as-built, your network is not dependent on any one person or one company to correct these problems. Despite not being part of the installation team, a properly trained professional will be able to perform network adds, moves, or changes.

Kathi BleaseWhat is an As-Built?
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CapEx and OpEx

CapEx and OpEx

Capital Expenditure on a network has many dependencies. The choices your company makes here will affect the operating expenses down the road. Are you planning for future innovation in the telecommunication space so that your network can handle faster speeds? Are you preparing your office to handle new employees with extra jacks and wireless access points throughout your facility/campus? Do you want to power your devices via the network?

Choosing a more recent iteration of the Ethernet cable (6 or 6a) or fiber optics can ensure that you will not need to spend money well into the future on replacing your network. You may just have tweaks (adds, moves, & changes) as your company grows. This would amount to some of the operating expense.

You can also spend more upfront to switch to Power over Ethernet (PoE) for some of your devices. Security cameras, phones, Wireless Access Points (WAP), intercoms, and other devices can be added to your network and be powered by Ethernet cabling rather than Alternating Current (AC). This would reduce your operating expenses as you would spend less on power. You would also reduce operating expenses by switching to a Voice over IP (VoIP) system, significantly reducing your phone bill.

Additionally, all cabling is tested when termination is completed and once successfully tested your structured cabling contractor can provide you with a manufacturer’s extended warranty, ensuring that you don’t have to sink more money into upgrading your network for a significant amount of time.

Upgrading your network can be a win-win for you – with a one-time CapEx cost that prolongs your network’s useful life and reduces operating expenses.

 

Kathi BleaseCapEx and OpEx
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What Type of Low Voltage Cabling does your Business Need?

Structured cabling can sound complicated with multiple types of copper and fiber optic cabling available. So first let us explain the differences of each type of cable.

Fiber optics will provide you with the fastest speeds, although CAT 6 cables will support up to 10Gb/s which may be fast enough for your business.  Fiber optics has the additional benefit of transmitting light rather than electricity which means it is not subject to electromagnetic interference, it is much harder to intercept, and it is not subject to the hazards of electrical current. Alternatively  you can use Shielded Twisted-Pair (STP) copper cables to avoid electromagnetic interference as well.

The second thing to consider is the scope of the job. You may be forced to used single mode fiber if your project spans multiple buildings (Outside Plant – OSP) or long distances. If it is a one building project (Inside Plant – ISP) you still need to choose between multimode fiber, cat 5e, cat 6, and cat 6a. This choice may come down to whether you must run cable outside or it may be personal preference of the business owner as multimode fiber is comparable to Ethernet when cabling in a small to medium size building.

Kathi BleaseWhat Type of Low Voltage Cabling does your Business Need?
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10 Signs It Could Be Time to Invest in Upgrading Your Structured Cabling

1. Your network requires constant repair

Are you repeatedly looking for and calling technicians to fix your network or troubleshooting problems with your network on your own? A single provider of the low voltage cabling needed to provide the backbone of a network could help you to organize your infrastructure and reduce costs.

 

2. You’ve moved into a new office and the current configuration doesn’t suit your needs

The cabling is CAT 3, and does not have the bandwidth for VoIP and your conference room AV needs.  A properly designed network infrastructure solves this problem by having a plan in place tailored specifically for your location with its current/future needs in mind.

 

3. You have no jacks for your cables, the computer is connected directly to the router or switch

Jacks not only organize your network and simplify the wiring by placing it in the walls or ceiling, they also increase the longevity of your network as the formerly exposed wires would need replacement. Now only the patch cord connecting the computer to the jack would need to be replaced in the event of an issue with the wiring.

 

4. You do not have a professional managing your network infrastructure

Do you still troubleshoot network issues on your own and is it taking up more of your time than you can afford? As a small business, you want to dedicate all your time to satisfying your customers’ needs. Repeated issues with the network can complicate your day and significantly reduce productivity.

 

5. Your network is not achieving required upload and download speeds

A properly cabled network will achieve higher speeds as it facilitates the transfer of data from your service provider to your computer using the properly rated cabling and correct infrastructure.

 

6. Wires are making your location a mess

A mess of wires is not only unappealing and dangerous, it can cost you money. Exposed wires often require replacement. This is money out of your pocket.

 

7. You still have an analog phone system (not VoIP)

Analog phone systems work but if you have one you are overpaying significantly for a service that could be provided to you at a much lower cost. This includes long distance phone calls. VoIP also allows interconnectedness between users within the network.

 

8. Your wireless network does not cover your entire location

Do you have a building or campus without adequate WiFi coverage? A structured cabling specialist can fill the holes in your network using Inside Plant (ISP) and Outside Plant (OSP) wiring and Access Points.

 

9. You need an IP Security System

Your current video security system isn’t sufficient to fit your needs. Maybe you can’t manage your security system digitally, store footage, or monitor it live over the network. An IP security system uses Power of Ethernet to power the cameras and can allow for high resolution video.

 

10. Some of your cables just don’t work

Your cable runs maybe be too long, the wires may be too tightly bunched or faulty, they may bend more than they are rated to, or they could be terminated improperly. A structured cabling technician can test every wire at your location to be sure your network is functioning at peak levels.

Kathi Blease10 Signs It Could Be Time to Invest in Upgrading Your Structured Cabling
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Why You Should Consider Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet is a technology that allows network cables to carry electrical power.  The benefits of PoE offer both improved network efficiency, costs saving and flexibility.   For example, a digital security camera normally requires both network cabling and an electrical connection.

Time and cost savings – with the ability to run one ethernet cable to each device a savings is realized by eliminating the need for the labor and material expenses associated with electrical power.  Applications across multiple market segments are numerous, including point of sale devices, nurse call systems, digital signage, video conferencing and access control.

PoE promotes network flexibility. Without the need to be reliant upon the location of electrical outlets, devices such as IP cameras and wireless access points can be installed throughout a building or campus environment where needed most. Network adds, moves, and changes can be accomplished faster with PoE-enabled switches and network devices. The business will not be impacted by delays in completing network modifications or upgrades. Additionally, PoE can facilitate temporary network deployments for offices, classrooms and conference rooms by eliminating the need for the installation of additional power to support networking devices.

If you would like to discuss the advantages of PoE as it relates to your facility’s needs, please call Intranet Communications Group at 561-367-7276 or contact us online.

Kathi BleaseWhy You Should Consider Power over Ethernet (PoE)
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Intelligent Lighting Solutions

Facility managers are continually seeking new ways to improve building functionality. With lighting as one of the highest use of power in many office buildings, installing an LED Intelligent Lighting Network Solution can not only improve functionality, but can reduce lightening cost up to 75%.  This has been one of the key challenges for facility managers in addition to meeting sustainability objectives, improving space utilization with safety and security while staying compliant and up to date with building codes.

By moving towards some LED intelligent lighting system owners can optimize space utilization while improving workforce productivity. For example, Intelligent lightening can be integrated with conference room scheduling apps that will make organizations more effective when planning for an upcoming meeting.

As commercial and government markets move towards adapting LED technologies it is essential that new systems are developed to meet the needs of LED lighting. Historically traditional lightening controls are not equipped to take full advantage of LEDs. In comparison between high voltage cabling and a digital lighting Infrastructure both power and control are provided through RJ-45 Ethernet Cabling, resulting in a reduction of material and labor cost. This equates to a high energy savings over the lifetime of the system.

As the market continues to evolve with innovative ways to cut cost for facility managers and tenants, Intranet Communications Group (ICG) continues to serve as a resource for improving building functionality. Please click here to learn more about our services and project experience as a contractor.

Kathi BleaseIntelligent Lighting Solutions
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Disaster Relief Update

Intranet Communications Group (ICG) has been completely restored and is here to help with any disaster related recovery projects throughout the Southeast region of the country. Currently holding a GSA Schedule 70 contract, we are prepared to assist with all services from low voltage cabling, IP security and IT services.

New Field Project Manager

William has worked for Intranet Communications Group (ICG) as technician for almost three years with 26 years of Fiber Optic Cabling experience. He is now increasing his responsibility with his new role as Field Project Manager. His experience is enhanced by BICSI and multiple manufactures

As a Field Project Manager William will oversee commercial projects and government task order awards from beginning to end, manage several other technicians at ICG and complete site visits for commercial projects. He will also work with Vice-President, Craig Blease on all project aspects of developing and management of commercial projects and ensuring efficiency with customers

Kathi BleaseDisaster Relief Update
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Connecting as a Woman Owned Small Business

Since 1997 Intranet Communications Group (ICG) has made noteworthy accomplishments in the Telecommunications arena under founder Craig Blease. As of March 2017, Katherine Blease President and CEO of Intranet Communications Group is now majority shareholder of ICG and holding the designation of Woman Owned Small Business.

To continue to preserve the 20-year history and legacy, Katherine Blease will take the company’s evolution from a traditional structured cabling contractor to a Total Systems Solution Provider which will speak to vision and the mission of ICG.

This new branding project will display ICG as being proactive in creating innovative ideas to anticipated challenges while implementing the latest trends that are groundbreaking to the industry.

Introducing “ICG, we connect” tells our customers we value relationships and partnerships internally and externally as an efficient way to establish trustworthiness and new business.

During the course our company’s evolution, our technicians will undergo a continuing education program that will meet the needs of our current and future customers while maintaining efficiency.

Kathi BleaseConnecting as a Woman Owned Small Business
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New President and CEO of Intranet Communications Group

Katherine Blease is excited to announce her new role as President and CEO of Intranet Communications Group. As majority shareholder, the company now holds the designation of a Woman Owned Small Business.

Mrs. Blease has been with the company since 2008 and has a successful track record of creating strategic business plans and meeting significant results in operations, sales, human resources and finance. Overall, she has spent more than 20 successful years as a strategic leader with demonstrated results in the telecommunications, event management and construction industries.

The ability to work closely and communicate effectively with clients has made her a respected leader in her field. Intranet Communications Group (www.icgconnects.com) is a licensed full-service provider of telecommunications cabling and IP security solutions offering immediate and long-term solutions for Local Area Networks (LAN), Campus Area Networks (CAN), Wireless Networks, CCTV and Access Control.

ICG was founded and established in 1997 by Craig Blease, who is serving as Vice President/COO and now oversees the commercial division of the company.  

As a communications contractor and systems integrator, ICG’s project portfolio includes expansion of businesses, integration of multi-building campuses and renovation of existing facilities throughout Florida and across the United States. 

Through the leadership and vision of Mrs. Blease, ICG will continue to make substantial  strides of growth and success during the 2017 fiscal year.  She believes to ensure the success of the company is it necessary to implement effective mentoring and development of our future team members.

“A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.” – David Gergen

 

Kathi BleaseNew President and CEO of Intranet Communications Group
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