As discussed in Part 1, when evaluating the cable types that will be required for an Ethernet cabling installation, there are several key aspects to consider. Part 2 will cover the Cat6a Disadvantages and Use Cases.

Cat6a Disadvantages

There are aspects of Cat6a that should be considered prior to choosing it over Cat6. Firstly, Cat6a cables are of greater thickness, which makes them heavier than Cat6 and older cable categories. As a result, attention must be paid to ensure that conduit and overhead racks can handle the additional weight and size of Cat6a.

Secondly, installations scheduled to support numerous 802.3bt devices via Cat6a have to make adjustments because the cable with not be as flexible and will require more effort to terminate, which is especially the case in cramped areas. Being aware that Cat6a will be more of a challenge and time-consuming will be helpful when planning cable installation.

Thirdly, Cat6a will be more expensive to purchase and install than Cat6. Although the cost of the cables has fallen the last few years, Cat6a is more costly than Cat6 by a substantial margin. Due to budget limitations, a mix of Cat6a and Cat6a cabling can be deployed on an installation as determined by the objective of a cable run.

Cat6a Use Cases

The following are several use case scenarios for Cat6a that justify the additional cost, time, and effort of installation.

  • WiFi 6 (and beyond) deployments
  • 802.3bt PoE demands
  • Surveillance cameras
  • Uplinks between switches

If the service life of a cabling installation is expected to be five years or greater, the additional expense and effort needed for installing Cat6a is justifiable. For certain facilities where it will be very hard to replace the cabling infrastructure, experts highly recommend that Cat6a is deployed for all new installations to ensure a longer service life.

Progressive Office Cabling

Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking cost-effective solutions. Working together, Progressive teams are committed to getting your data cabling, access control, and telecom systems installed and operating while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.