Providing an internationally standardized structured cabling system and consolidating cable-delivery methods for all the systems can reduce initial construction costs for the cabling infrastructure of a modern intelligent building by up to 30 percent.
The Electronic Industries Association/Telecommunications Industry Association (EIA/TIA) and International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) have created industry standards for cabling voice and data systems. These standards address the cabling and cable-delivery methods (pathways and spaces) and are based on a structured subsystem architecture or cabling elements.
Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that determine how to wire a building for data or voice communications, using Category 5 (CAT 5E) or Category 6 (CAT 6E) cable and modular sockets.
These standards define how to lay the cabling in a star formation, such that all outlets terminate at a central patch panel (which is normally 19 inch rack-mounted), from where it can be determined exactly how these connections will be used. Each outlet can be 'patched' into a data network switch (normally also rack mounted alongside), or patched into a 'telecoms patch panel' which forms a bridge into a private branch exchange (PBX) telephone system, thus making the connection a voice port.