Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that specify wiring data centers, offices, and apartment buildings for data or voice communications using various kinds of cable, most commonly category 5e (CAT-5e), category 6 (CAT-6), and fibre optic cabling and modular connectors.

These standards define how to lay the cabling in various topologies in order to meet the needs of the customer, typically using a central patch panel (which is normally 19 inch rack-mounted), from where each modular connection can be used as needed.

Each outlet is then patched into a network switch (normally also rack-mounted) for network use or into an IP or PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system patch panel


CAT 5 (Category 5)

Category 5 cable (Cat 5) is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. 

This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet.

It is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video.

The cable is commonly connected using punch down blocks and modular connectors.

Most Category 5 cables are unshielded, relying on the twisted pair design and differential signaling for noise rejection. 

Category 5 has been superseded by the Category 5e (enhanced) specification.