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  • Alyssa O'Brien

What is the Shelf Life of Your Cable Plant?

From one perspective, asking about the shelf life of a cable plant seems ridiculous – new cable plants are routinely expected to last 25-30 years. However, it’s precisely because cable plants – from a physical perspective – are expected to last a long time, it’s important to ask this question. Is the cable plant properly designed to accommodate emerging technologies? While the cable plant will physically endure for 25-30 years, is it designed to service technologies that will be in place in 5 years? Or will the significant investment made in the cable plant be rendered obsolete by new technology developments?


More About Cable Plant Design and Why it’s Important


The problem — Most of us have been conditioned to accept the ever-increasing pace of technology change. However, few corporate officers – even CIOs – stop to consider how these technology changes will impact the significant investment they make in their cable plant. As a result, cable plants are designed to accommodate current technology. However, new technology developments can shorten the useful life of this investment. In order to maximize the shelf life of the cable plant, the cable plant designer must understand technology trends and their impact on the cable plant that supports that technology. For example, PoE (Power over Ethernet) has enabled technology system design to move beyond the traditional confinements of electrical outlet placement. However, what do you design your cable plant to support – PoE, PoE+ or PoE++? Understanding the strategic direction of various different types of technology is necessary in order to avoid over- or under-spending on a cable plant and ensure the maximum longevity – or shelf life – of the cable plant.


The result — It’s no longer sufficient to “know” cable in order to properly design a cable plant. Understanding the interplay between each cable type’s transmission properties and the trending direction of the technologies that the cable plant must support are both required in order to deliver a cost-optimized cable plant that supports current and emerging technology, while maximizing the investment in the cable plant.


The solution — TMC, with a decades-long understanding of technology, is uniquely qualified to deliver a cable plant design that accommodates current and emerging technologies in an optimized cost-value configuration, ensuring that you maximize the shelf life of the investment you make in your cable plant.


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