It is a fact of modern life that everyone and every business needs internet access to operate. As this is a crucial requirement, it pays to start thinking IT when you start your building planning rather than leaving it as an afterthought.
Perhaps surprising to some, Wi-Fi is not entirely wireless and the technology still relies heavily on the cabling infrastructure in the premises. An accurate site survey to determine the placement of access points for maximum coverage and throughput can pay dividends in the long term.
Good data cabling, reliable Wi-Fi and high-speed internet access have become invaluable for business operations. When these basics do not work it can cause real problems, so get the foundation right when planning your build or renovation.
Netitudes Top 10 data cabling and wi-fi tips for your build project:
- Always think about cabling as a future investment – the use for the room today may not be the use for the room tomorrow – ensure you have enough data points to allow for change of use.
- It’s the labour in the cable installation that costs the money – so install at least 2 points wherever you need one.
- Do not skimp on cheaper Wi-Fi products, as technology moves forward more and more devices rely on Wi-Fi to work – install the right kit once, buy cheap buy twice!
- Invest in a full site audit, this can often reveal the best position of your access points to minimise the number required – again, the better products might be more expensive but you may find you need less of them.
- Don’t forget about HEAT – structured CAT5 or CAT6 cabling requires a central point for the cables to be routed back to – this room, if it contains a lot of equipment can get hot – and the tech doesn’t like the heat, think about external walls and ventilation.
- Commercial grade Wi-Fi access points are powered by “PoE” or Power over Ethernet – this means the network cable also conducts the power – this can make the installation a lot neater with no need for unsightly power blocks and cables.
- Make sure your installer knows CAT5/6 structured cabling systems – every single socket requires cabling to the main hub – don’t get caught out thinking the sockets work in a “daisy chain” environment like phone or mains cable.
- Make sure your installer uses good quality cable (that fits building regulation requirement for smoke and fume etc), connectors and sockets – cheaper cable degrades quickly and cheaper sockets will often break.
- Check what internet services are available when looking at a building, if you have a high bandwidth requirement you may need to look at dedicated “leased line” fibre optic connections – if so, order early the lead times can be very very long.
- Over all, good quality, well thought out structured cabling and Wi-Fi infrastructure not only improves the use of your building and the ease of adoption of technology, it can also add value to your building and make it more appealing to prospective tenants and buyers – something that should always be considered.