When discussing voice cable, different applications and cable grades can come into play. With the advent of Voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) the future of telephone cabling may change dramatically. But the fact of the matter is, we are still seeing many companies wiring
for voice the same way it’s been done for the last 20 years: using voice grade wire and standard RJ11 jacks at the user end. In the wiring
closet, the terminations of choice are still 66 blocks, 110 style terminal blocks (developed by AT&T), Bix blocks and Krone fields.
These configurations give companies, and the majority of phone vendors, all the flexibility they need at a very reasonable cost. When
voice cable is being installed in conjunction with your network wires, the labor cost is minimal. When voice and data cables originate from
the same closet, we give a sizable discount for the voice cable installation. The cost of Category 3 cable, whether plenum rated or
non-plenum, is very reasonable in relation to Category 5e, and the jacks, usually 6 conductor USOC, are inexpensive. We generally split
the 4 pair voice cable at the user end, and install 2 RJ11 jacks. This is possible because the large majority of phone systems on the
market today require only 1 pair of wires, some others require 2 pairs. This gives our customers the option and flexibility to install any
combination of phones, modems and analog lines at any location.
For some customers we will install multiple Category 5e or Category 6 cables to each user. Their intention is to use one or more of these
cables for their telephones and modems. Obviously this configuration lends itself to great flexibility, because if they need a third or fourth
network connection the network cable is already in place, but at a large cost. Each cable is Category 5e rated and needs a separate
CAT 5e jack at the user end and a separate port on a rated patch panel in the wiring closet, all more costly than the Category 3
alternative. Unless the individual company has many heavy network users (those guys with more than 2 networked computers on their
desk) we usually recommend the good old-fashioned Category 3 solution.
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