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[Discuss] Future-proofing a house for networking -- what to run?

For future demands, I recommend a Siamese multi-mode fiber to each drop, 
run to a central patching station. Choose the most common connectors, 
but be sure all your "edge" devices are fiber capable and are designed 
both for multi-mode fiber (not single-mode) and the connectors you 
choose. For existing devices, you can buy 75-ohm coaxial cables combined 
in a common jacket with Cat 5 wire pairs, and that's my recommendation 
for "legacy" technology.

*Warning:* If you buy "Non-plenum" cable, you cannot run it in your 
attic or in any other void that also serves to return air to the air 
conditioning or heating system. Non-plenum rated cable must be enclosed 
in conduit if it is in the plenum. See this Wikipedia article 
<> for details.

There is often a (tempting) compromise available: if your house is 
already wired for "CATV", then the RG-59 or RG-6 coaxial cables can be 
used for Ethernet by installing specialized converters, or by 
buying/renting multiple "cable modems" for each room, to use the coaxial 
cable as-is. However, If the walls really are open, /now is the time to 
prepare for the future/, so while leveraging existing CATV coax can be 
tempting and cost less, it's a "work around" intended mostly for rental 
properties or commercial settings where access or work interruption is a 

Remember that the most expensive item is the labor required to run the 
wires/fiber, so if you do everything at once,? then you can relax 
knowing that the fiber will "future proof" your house while the coax and 
Cat 5 do the job for a few years. BTW, most "fiber" technologies being 
touted right now are actually "fiber to the curb" or "fiber to the 
vault" arrangements, where coaxial cable is used for the "drop" 
connection to and inside your home, so having coax run to your wire 
closet will save you the aggravation of watching a cable tv or telco 
droid run coax on the outside of your home.


Bill Horne

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