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Gatwick upgrades cabling

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The Civil Aviation Authority's Safety Regulation Group (SRG), needed to upgrade the cabling at its Gatwick base. Terry Taylor of the CAA (right) inspects the installation

The building was originally flood-wired with Category 3 cabling, but when the first phase of the refurbishment programme for the east wing started in November 2000, it became clear that this needed to be upgraded. On the advice of Systems Installation Services, CAA decided to opt for Category 5e/6 from Siemon.

Terry Taylor, technical support manager at CAA comments: “Siemon's history of involvement in standards development, the company's product quality and the fact that Siemon Category 6 connectors were used by the testing organisation were important factors.”

The refurbishment of the east wing's ground floor was completed in February 2001, with 800 outlets to Category 6. Attention then moved to the rest of the building and CAA started a competitive tender process for the project, which specified that Siemon Category 6 products must be used.

When the tender process was completed in May 2002, Cable and Wireless won the contract, which was to be managed by Allnet, a division of C&W, with SIS as the subcontracted installer. The final phase of the project was completed on time and within budget in August 2003.

In total, the installation consisted of just over 4,000 ports, one communication room and two distribution points in each floor/wing. Category 6 cabling was required for all under floor cabling with Category 5e to the desktop. Eventually, the whole building will be Category 6, but this is not required by existing applications at the current time.

All work needed to be done without moving staff, so installation was undertaken out of normal office hours.

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