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Structured Cabling is defined as building or campus telecommunications cabling infrastructure that consists of a number of standardized smaller elements (hence structured) called subsystems.

Structured cabling falls into the following six sub-systems:

  1. Entrance Facilities is where the building interfaces with the outside world.
  2. Equipment Rooms host equipment which serves the users inside the building.
  3. Telecommunications Rooms are where various telecommunications and data equipment resides, connecting the backbone and horizontal cabling sub-systems.
  4. Backbone Cabling, as the name suggests, carries the signals between the entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications rooms.
  5. Horizontal Cabling is the wiring from telecommunications rooms to the individual outlets on the floor.
  6. Work-Area Components connect end-user equipment to the outlets of the horizontal cabling system.


Structured cabling design and installation is governed by a set of standards that determine how to wire a data center, office or apartment building for data or voice communications, using Category 5 or Category 6 cable and modular sockets. These standards define how to lay the cabling in a star formation, such that all outlets terminate at a central patch panel (which is normally 19 inch rack-mounted), from where it can be determined exactly how these connections will be used. Each outlet can be ‘patched’ into a data network switch (normally also rack mounted alongside), or patched into a ‘telecoms patch panel’ which forms a bridge into a private branch exchange (PBX) telephone system, thus making the connection a voice port.*

* From Wikipedia at

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