When installing a new network infrastructure it is only logical to question the expectant lifespan it will have. After all, a considerable amount of time and budget are being channeled into this project. Right?
What Affects Network Cable Life Expectancy?
It may prove tricky to determine a time span on a system made of so many varied components (each with a different life expectancy per manufacturer’s standard). On top of that, technology affected by this network is rapidly changing, which calls for updated wiring to support it. And if that is not enough, the quality of the cables itself, the level of professionalism on the installation and environmental impacts (heat, cold, dust, etc.) all take part in this calculation. So is it even possible to calculate a network cable life expectancy?
The Written Standards
According to A N S I / T I A / E I A5 6 9 – A Design Considerations claims that: “These standards are intended to provide for a generic structured cabling plant, capable of running any voice or data application foreseeable in the next 10 to 15 years.” Great, sounds fantastic, but is it realistic? Not always.
We know what current technologies need of a cable network. As long as the cables and their components meet the required electrical characteristics, and they are properly installed and all cable runs pass certification, the network will work. As for the application, we can usually make educated assumptions as to what’s to come in the near future based on what we are using today. So if your current network is appropriate for your current needs, unless a major change in our infrastructure occurs, you should be good for the next 10 years.
To take full advantage of this 10 year network cable life expectancy, it is important to invest in quality network cables and supporting components. It is also important to evaluate the climate your network will need to withstand and design the network accordingly. Lastly, assure your installer is professional. This will make a difference in your network cable life expectancy.