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Easy Telecommunications Inventory

June 7th, 2021

Managing telecommunications inventory for more than just a few locations has always been tedious work. Getting an accurate inventory is the first challenge. Traditionally, companies have paid technicians to visit each of their locations to tone, test and tag the different circuits. Not only is this method expensive (which runs counter to our objective of reducing the costs of telecommunications), but is becoming less and less accurate over time.

With the advent of telecommunications competition, and carriers delivering a significant amount of services over T-1 lines, the ability for a technician to tone and test each line to develop an accurate telecommunications inventory is diminishing. Further, this telecommunications inventory process is disruptive. Lines have to be taken out of service and access needs to be coordinated with the building management. Frequently, the site personnel are not technical, so their ability to assist the technician in finding the variety of circuits that may be in use is limited.

Fortunately, there are short-cuts that provide a significant comfort level that the inventory is captured “reasonably accurately”. Let’s face it, unless you have 50 lines coming into a location (and if you do, you should consider a more efficient service), using carrier records is a reasonable alternative. If your intention is to reduce your telecom expenses by reviewing your telecommunications inventory, what is important is what you are paying for.

You can establish your telecommunications inventory fairly accurately from your billing information, and not spend anything to do it. What you then need is a system the help you keep that inventory up to date and a methodology to review the telecommunications inventory to find cost savings. Finding a web-based tool at little or no cost is the best approach to maintaining a telecommunications inventory over time. With a web-based telecom inventory, you can have individuals at each location manage their own information.

Structured Cable Systems for Telecommunications Rooms and Enclosures

April 7th, 2021

Telecommunications rooms and telecommunications enclosures refer to sections in a building that house network equipment such as patch panels and cross-connects. The horizontal network cabling originates from these rooms.

Usually, the horizontal network cabling is terminated in termination blocks or patch panels and then it is distributed to other parts of the work area using horizontal pathways. Other networking equipment that may be found inside the telecommunications room include switches, LAN hubs, repeaters and routers. It is also the place in the network where the backbone cables and equipment terminate.

The main purpose of the telecom enclosure is to serve a floor area that is quite smaller compared to that served by the telecom room. The cost of setting up a cabling system will differ depending on whether you are using telecom rooms or enclosures.

According to a comparison that was done by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), you will save a lot of money by using many telecom enclosures on a floor as compared to using telecommunications rooms. This research by TIA indicated that you could save up to thirty percent of the money that you could have used to set up telecommunications rooms.

If you choose to use telecommunications rooms, the design and specifications you will use will be very important. The best design will be to stack the telecommunications rooms vertically between floors. When setting up the telecommunications rooms, you will need to do it with utmost care to avoid tight bends, cable stress, wrapping the cable too tightly, staples as well as excessive tension to the cables. With good cable management techniques, managing such pitfalls should not be a big problem.

When setting up a network, usually there are specifications or goals that you would like to achieve. You will therefore need to make sure that the cables and cable products are compliant to the goals that you would like to achieve both in the short run and in the long run. Short term goals you may want to achieve may include efficiency of operations in your company and fast delivery of services to customers. In the long run, you should ensure that the products you use will accommodate future expansion without causing problems.

When setting up telecommunications rooms, also make sure that horizontal cabling terminates directly to a telecom outlet and not to a device that is application-specific. Use equipment cords or patch cables to connect the networking equipment with the cables. For instance, you should never setup a horizontal cabling in a manner that it directly comes out of the wall and then you plug it to a network adapter or phone.

Apart from the telecommunications rooms and the telecommunications enclosures, it is also important to ensure that all other parts of the network are setup properly. The only way to come up with a good structured cable system is to seek services of experts in this field. There are many structured cabling companies out there but you will need to choose the best among them if you want the best system.