Copper Cabling

Cooper Cabling is one of the two basic types of physical cabling media (the other being glass, or fiber-optic cabling).

What is Cooper Cabling?

One of the two basic types of physical cabling media (the other being glass, or fiber-optic cabling). Copper cabling is cheap and flexible, but it is susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI), has limited range because of attenuation, and generates electromagnetic radiation that can be intercepted by nearby equipment.

The types of copper cabling commonly used in networking include

  • Twisted-pair cabling, such as unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling and shielded twisted-pair (STP) cabling
  • Coaxial cabling, such as thinnet and thicknet

For more information on these types of copper cabling, refer to their individual entries in this work.

TIP

UTP cabling of category 5 grade is the most commonly used copper cabling in networking environments today. Category 5 cabling (CAT5 cabling) comes in either solid core or stranded cabling.

Solid core cabling is stiffer, but it has better conductivity and less attenuation, and it is simpler to terminate than stranded cabling. Stranded cabling is more flexible and easier to work with than solid cabling, and it is more resistant to breaking or fracturing.

Use solid core UTP cabling for fixed horizontal cable runs, cross-connects, and backbone cabling; use stranded UTP cabling for locations where equipment is frequently moved, for short cable runs between computers and wall plates, or as patch cables in the wiring closet.