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I'm looking to install ethernet ports in a small business. There are 7-8 groups of cubicles each with 4 desks. Ideally I'd like to run a cable to each desk but if my math is correct I'm looking at nearly 6,000+ feet of cable to do that.

I saw something about multi-pair cables but I'm pretty sure thats just for voice. Is there such a thing as a Cat5e or even Cat6 cable that would run something like 32(4x8) wires that can be split and terminated into a wall outlet rather than 4 individual ethernet cable drops?

If not, besides adding a switch, what could I do to accomplish the goal "professionally"?

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  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can post and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Jan 3 at 5:56
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6,000+ feet... so? Cable is CHEAP compared to the labor to install it. If you're constrained by budget, skip the terminations (the patch panels back at the 'core' and the jacks at the 'ends'.)

Figure out what you really need, (the number and type of cable needed to serve the existing users/systems). And then install MORE; I'd suggest install TWICE what you currently need. But if you're pulling into those little columns in the cube corners, maybe just leave the extra cables up in the ceiling (labeled!), or only pull two extras per current four... or something like that.

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  • You're probably right. I was mainly wondering if their was a cheaper, more efficient way to run the drop ports. I was hoping to quote the owner about $300-500 for parts. With the square footage and prices of Cat6 it looks like its going to be closer to $900-1300. He currently has a couple lines run alongside the baseboards to switches and half the desks are crimping the cords so he really does need it. Its just going to be a tough sell but doing it on the cheap is going to be way more expensive in the future when it has to be done all over again. – Anonymiter Apr 23 '14 at 23:23
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For some large-scale temporary locations that I've worked at. The business ran 25-pair with amphenol ends on both sides. This allowed them to just remove the patch panel and breakout boxes when they left....leaving the very expensive 25 pair.

Anyways, They had an amphenol patch panel which had short patches to all the switch ports. The had an amphenol break-out box where all the users in that area would patch to. This gave them 6 ports per "drop". I'll see if I can find a picture or part number of the breakout box.

Careful when purchasing 25 pair though as it may not conform to cat5/6 standards.

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