March 9, 2007 -- The Copper Development Association (CDA) has produced a CD-ROM designed to inform and educate homeowners about the growing importance of residential communications wiring.
Using audio, video and multimedia presentations, the CD-ROM, titled "Structured Wiring for Today's Homes -- Homeowner Edition," explains how homes can be wired for voice, data, video, controls and security.
According to the association, the CD-Rom addresses the following questions on a variety of structured wiring situations in homes:
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, digital television and audio jacks.
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 among them. Structured wiring can also connect 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?
The law now requires that all new or replacement copper telecom wiring be Category 3 (four twisted pairs of copper conductors) 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 that wiring 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.
For a free copy of the CDA's new CD-ROM on structured wiring, write to Structured Wiring CD-ROM, Attn: John Cowie, Copper Development Association, 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016.