Recently I began a presentation to a network professionals group of mostly under 30 year olds by asking if they had heard of CommScope. I was met with blank stares and I immediately regretted asking the question. Two people raised their hands. I should have expected that response from such a young crowd. The proliferation of wireless and workplace mobility has shifted network infrastructure attention from wired to wireless but I was there to talk about POE and POE REQUIRES WIRES.
In the last few years we have seen a decrease in the number of network cables to the workstation. With more devices going mobile this isn’t a surprise, but with the potential of POE is reducing the quantity of network cables in your building a good idea?
The POE++ standard is nearing completion. It is expected to cover devices up to nearly 100 watts. Take a moment to think about your building and all the devices and appliances that require less than 100 watts of power. Laptops, desktops, TVs, information kiosks, nurse call, PTZ cameras, access control, lighting, building management systems, video conferencing and high power wireless are all expected to run on POE in the near future.
Additionally, there are many devices in the building that require low power and low data. Some of these low power low data devices run on wireless networks with battery power but the benefits of POE for these devices is clear, reliability and no battery maintenance. Low power low data devices that serve a critical building purpose are best served with a wired connection and a reliable power source.
So, is reducing the quantity of network cables in your building a good idea? There is no right or wrong answer as all buildings and client requirements are different, however it may be the appropriate time to evaluate your situation given the potential changes that POE, POE+ and POE++ will bring.
If you are upgrading your network, remodeling or building out a new space, CommScope recommends installing Category 6A cabling. It provides improved electrical performance for POE and a 6A system supports network speeds up to 10g. If you decide to run Category 6, Category 6A or a combination of Category 6 and 6A, remember that POE, POE+ and POE++ is likely to change your infrastructure requirements in the near future and POE REQUIRES WIRES.