Is Cat6 Shielded Plenum Cable Overrated? The Answer Will Surprise You

Cat6 Shielded Plenum costs more as compared to its counterparts such as the unshielded Cat6, Cat6 Riser, etc. And true to its cost, it is renowned for its high performance and reliability in LAN networks with a high-performance requirement.

Is it truly worth its price or is it a bit overrated? This is the question we will be looking at in this blog. Be sure to read it to find out what the 1000ft Cat6 Shielded Plenum truly is and if it is hyped too much for its performance and cost?

What is Cat6 Shielded Plenum Cable?

It is the most widely used Ethernet LAN cable in both business and residential LAN networks. It features 4 twisted pairs of 23 AWG conductors that are mostly made out of pure copper and on some occasions, they are made out of Copper-Clad Aluminum.

This is a Shielded 1000ft Cable which means that it has a protective shield of a metal foil or mesh around its conductors. The shield either deflects or absorbs electromagnetic interference and various kinds of crosstalk that are emitted by the cables in its vicinity.

Performance Specifications

It supports a data transfer speed of up to 1 GBit/s over 100 meters over a bandwidth capacity of 550 MHz. The Cat6 Shielded plenum cable with the bare copper conductors supports all high-speed ethernet applications including PoE, PoE+//++. It also supports 10 GBits/s transmission speeds at up to 50 meters of run length.

However, the shielded Cat6 with the CCA conductors does not support power over ethernet applications. This is due to the fact that CCA cables generally tend to overheat in high voltage applications. And the risk of a fire breakout or short-circuit is always preeminent in these cables. So, we can state that the Cat6 CCA cable is in fact overrated.

The Plenum Jacket

The plenum jacket of the shielded Cat6 cable is worthy of its talk, however. It is designed intending to prevent the propagation of flame in case of a fire hazard. Made out of state-of-the-art LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogens) materials, this cable jacket can be installed anywhere in a building from the open HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) ducts to the riser-rated elevator shafts.

But its ideal use is in plenum spaces such as raised floors and dropped ceilings. Also, it is an EIA/TIA-approved jacket which means the building inspectors endorse it. In that regard, the cable can be said to be up to the performance and reliability standards it is associated with.

Is it Over-Rated?

The simple answer is no. The shielded 1000ft Cat6 Plenum Cable comes equipped with all the specifications needed for its use. Bare copper conductors that support gigabit and 10-gigabit data transmission speeds, a shield to protect the cable transmission from EMI and crosstalk, and a communications multipurpose plenum jacket (CMP) that is not only safe for use indoors but also ideal for outdoor runs.

However, there are certain conditions in which using it might be a redundant investment. More on that in the next parts.

The Cost Factor

Fingers are raised on this cable because of its higher cost as compared to its counterparts. The cost of the Cat6 plenum Shielded cable is justified by its performance. It is an everlasting cable with heat, corrosion, and fade-resistant features.

It is also easy to install which brings down the installation costs as well. In both indoor and outdoor use, it will typically last a minimum of 10 years and it even comes with a warranty on some occasions.

Are there alternatives?

Well, the alternatives to this cable really depend on the purpose of use. If you are going to install it in indoor riser spaces, you can choose a Cat6 Riser cable. For residential spaces, some might not need the shielded plenum 1000ft cable because their network is not crowded with other cables.

Similarly, for outdoors, a much cheaper riser cable is used due to its affordability and sufficiency of specifications.

But to put it simply, the most ideal use of the Cat6 Shielded Plenum Cable is in indoor spaces where you need gigabit and 10-gigabit performance. And where the LAN cable network is dense with multiple wires running in parallel to each other.

Final Verdict

In short, the Cat6 shielded plenum cable is capable of handling all high-speed ethernet applications. For its cost, the user gets the best value for their money, and in the long run, it is a cost-effective solution. We hope this blog helped clear any ambiguities you might have had regarding this cable.

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