By Ronna Davis, CommScope
I’m a proud bargain shopper. I love nothing more than getting a great product or service for a great price. I may put more effort into bargain hunting than most, but I believe most people appreciate a good deal. My extensive shopping experience tells me that Category 6A cabling is the best technology bargain available today.
Often my teammates and I are asked by clients about the cost difference between Category 6 and 6A cabling. While pricing discussions can be uncomfortable for everyone involved, I enjoy having this discussion. There’s not many instances where you get so much more capability with so little additional investment than upgrading from Category 6 to 6A for your network.
The upgrade costs vary from 10 to 20 percent depending on network architectures and your local labor markets. That’s not to suggest 10 to 20 percent isn’t a significant budget consideration -- it is. However, it’s important to remember that it’s an additional 10 to 20 percent on approximately 5 percent of your overall IT budget.
That’s right. While the performance of all your IT systems is highly dependent on the performance of your structured cabling system, it makes up a relatively small part of your IT budget. Your structured cabling system is typically expected to last through 2-3 technology refreshes. If it doesn’t last, it will have negative implications on your IT budget. And nobody wants to consider the cost and disruption of a refresh if the cabling has been under specified.
So, what do you really get for your additional investment in Category 6A?
I have yet to find a bargain that matches that of upgrading from Category 6 to 6A. It’s literally 1,000 percent more performance for 10 to 20 percent more cost. It’s the network equivalent of getting a Tesla Model S P90D that goes 0-60 in under 3 seconds for only 20 percent more cost than the 2012 Mia Electric Car that goes 0-60 in 30 seconds. The Mia retailed for approximately $17,000 USD in 2012. Could you pass up the Tesla for $20,400? Precisely.
That’s why Category 6A is the best technology bargain available today.
Happy bargain hunting!
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