What does vertical cabling mean?

Updated March 23, 2017

Computer networks require complicated and specific wiring, particularly in business or academic settings. The cables used in wiring the networks must be made from certain materials.

Vertical Cabling

Vertical cabling is also called backbone cabling or wiring. These are the wires that extend from floor to floor, across a campus, or from telecommunications closets to an equipment room. This is contrasted with horizontal cabling, which connects individual workstations to the network.

Media Required

When setting up vertical cabling, several types of media can be used: unshielded twisted-pair or UTP cable, shielded twisted-pair (STP) cable, fibre optic cable, or coaxial cable. Equipment should be connected by cables of no more than 30 meters (98 feet).

Requirement Differences

Although the same types of wiring are used for both horizontal and vertical cabling, the requirements of each are different. Cables used for backbone wiring must meet particular fire-rating specifications, usually OFNR or Optical Non-Conductive Riser rated. Vertical cables must be able to support their own weight, unlike horizontal cables, and must be secured correctly.

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About the Author

Ashley Seehorn has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on a variety of websites including: eHow, Answerbag and Opposing Views Cultures. She has been a teacher for 20 years and has taught all ages from preschool through college. She is currently working as a Special Education Teacher.