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Ethernet increasingly being built into structures

By Donna Donnowitz
October 26, 2011
Pricewaterhouse Coopers is constructing a new office complex in downtown Toronto. EllisDon, the company heading the construction, recently announced it will be working to install fiber-optic cables and other Ethernet infrastructure as part of the project. This will make the new office the first facility in downtown Toronto with built-in Ethernet infrastructure.

According to a recent Technorati report, the Pricewaterhouse Coopers building is representative of a growing trend in the industry. Historically, companies simply built their offices, filled them with computers and other equipment and installed network infrastructure to connect those devices.

This is changing fast as everything from HVAC systems to lights, sprinklers, mobile devices and traditional office systems are all being networked together in smart infrastructure. As a result, more organizations are constructing buildings with the Ethernet systems built into the design instead of implementing it later in a less efficient, reactionary manner, the report said.

Building automation and the internet of things is emerging as a key motivating point behind this movement. The internet of things is a movement that involves connecting just about anything to the network so it can be managed and controlled remotely. Building automation is, to a great extent, a product of the internet of things, as the practice involves connecting a diverse range of structural objects to a network.

While building automation is key to driving networking integration in building construction, it is not the only factor encouraging such practices. The report said the rising use of voice and video services within enterprise networks is creating much higher bandwidth requirements, pushing companies to find better ways to manage their infrastructure. Voice and video data can overwhelm internet service providers, using large quantities of bandwidth. However, having the fiber-optic network infrastructure built in through a facility and connecting efficiently to copper cables where necessary can improve data transmission and make it easier for ISPs to meet a business' service requirements.

Handling video in enterprise settings can be a major challenge, regardless of the amount of bandwidth businesses have in place. A recent Sys-Con Media report explained companies that depend heavily on videoconferencing and other advanced capabilities can turn to WAN optimization to improve video transmissions, as it can reduce the impact video-related data has on the network as a whole.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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