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Questions From Your Cable Installer: What Type and How Many Voice and Data Drops Are Needed?

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A “drop” is basically one run of cable from a starting point (usually the wiring closet or server room) to the end point (usually an office or cubicle).  Remember that for each office, cubicle or workstation, you will generally need one drop for the phone line (voice) and one for the computer (data).

Will the new space require plenum or non-plenum cabling?  The answer to this will depend on the type of construction used in the new location.  If your cabling will need to run above a ceiling that is also used as a space for the circulation of air in heating, air-conditioning and ventilation system (plenum space), then you will be required to use plenum-rated cable.  Plenum cable is jacketed with a fire retardant plastic jacket of either a low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP), which limit the amount of toxic fumes in the event of a fire.  Plenum cabling costs slightly more than non-plenum wiring, but it is necessary to maintain code compliance.

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