In the world of low-voltage data cabling services, the undisputed ruler, at least for now, is the Cat5e cable. This type of cabling is the one being used in most modern offices these days because unlike the outdated Cat5, the Cat5e can make full use of today’s high speed DSL connections. But the days of the Cat5e as the king of the hill may be numbered because a new contender is starting to gain popularity, the Cat6 cable.

Cat6 (or Category 6) cable, like the Cat5e, is a twisted pair cable that is used for data transmission. Many IT Departments struggle with managing multiple locations nationally and internationally forming a demand for a Onsite IT Computer Services that acts as a single source point-of-contact (POC), offering a wide array of onsite computer, networking and data communications services in an ongoing day-to-day support capacity and as their IT infrastructure continues to develop over time.

All of these networks are based upon a design that has many components and moving parts – all of which encompass the IT infrastructure from the low-voltage data cabling (Cat5, Cat6, Fiber Optic, coaxial, etc.) through the network hardware and software for any organization which ultimately have to be put in place and managed by live technicians, not just robots and scripts. But these days, telecommunications companies are starting to roll out the 10GBASE-T connections; these are basically internet connections that have blazingly-fast speeds of up to 10Gbps. With gigabit internet already straining the capacity of Cat5e cables, newer, much more efficient cabling is needed, and this is where Cat6 cables come into play.

Besides increased data transmission capabilities, Cat6 and Cat6a (augmented Cat6) has thicker and better insulation. This thicker covering is much better in preventing crosstalk and improves performance of the cabling. Although the thicker insulation makes the Cat6 and Cat6a more efficient, they do have a downside to them.

Thicker cables mean a lesser number of Cat6 cables can fit in the same amount of space as Cat5e. Switching the cables in your network from Cat5e to Cat6 cables will require a full re-installation because the allowable crush factors in existing cable supports used for Cat5e will not be suitable for the more robust Cat6. Another reason why most people are still not clamoring for Cat6 data cabling services is because not only will they need to replace the cabling, they also need to replace their routers, switches and other hardware to ones that can support 10-gigabit transfer speeds. The good news is that since the size of the cables are relatively the same, you can still use the same connectors as in your regular Cat5e cables in your newer Cat6; so even if you are using these robust cables, you can still use your old hardware while you are waiting for 10-GBASET connections come your way.