The Copper Development Association has completed production of a new CD-ROM that informs and educates homeowners about the important basics of today's residential communications wiring. Using multimedia presentations, the new CD-ROM, "Structured Wiring For Today's Homes - Homeowner Edition," explains how homes can be wired for voice, data, video, controls and security.
If any of the following questions describe the situation in your home, then you could benefit from more information about structured wiring.
Do you have old-style phone wiring in your home now?
Structured wiring is a general term for today's high-capacity telephone, video, data-transmission, security, control and entertainment wiring systems. Installations usually include a central distribution panel where all connections are made, as well as outlets with dedicated connections for phone, data, television and audio.
Are you an active Internet user?
If the Internet is important to your home lifestyle, or if you rely on the Internet for a home business, then your need for data-transmission speed will only increase in the future. High-speed Internet connections such as DSL, cable modem or satellite are available in most residential areas. They provide a high-speed data highway into and out of your home. The lack of structured wiring inside the home can impede Internet connections to your computer.
Do you own more than one computer, and are they networked?
A structured wiring system can help link computers in a home network and is critical to high-speed connections between them. Structured wiring can also connect your computers with printers, scanners, telephones, fax machines and even home security systems and home entertainment equipment.
Is structured wiring needed when adding new computer or phone lines?
Federal law requires that all new or replacement copper telecom wiring must be "Category 3" or better. Today Category 5e or even Category 6 wiring, properly installed, is the foundation of most structured wiring systems, along with RG-6 coaxial cable. You'd be smart to use it to replace all of the phone lines in your home, so you'll be ready for all future communications needs.
Is rewiring an existing home too difficult or expensive?
This job can be done quickly and affordably in most cases, and homes with attic and basement space make it even easier. To an installer with the proper tools and training, no obstacle is insurmountable. Will you be selling your home anytime soon?
Even if you're not an Internet or computer user, chances are your potential buyers will be. As more new homes are built with structured wiring, these systems will be required in existing homes as well. Without such a system you could be at a competitive disadvantage at resale. The new CD-ROM is available free to interested homeowners. To obtain a copy, write to, the Copper Development Association, Structured Wiring CD-ROM , 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016. Please also visit CDA's Telecom Publications section for additional information.