Difference Between Cat6 Cat6a Cat7 Cat7a Cat8


The age old question of “what Ethernet cabling should I install” is asked of me lot.

Lets run through it as simply as possible (2 minute read)

Terms used:

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transferred between two points in a Network in a given time. Ie Network capacity. Bandwidth is measured in Mhz

Data rate: This is the speed that the data can travel though the network and is measured in Gigabits per second (Gbps)  ISO11801 Standard sets out the performance requirements for ratified cable cable types.


Category 6 (class E)

Cat6 has a bandwidth of 250Mhz and is rated to carry 1Gbps over 100 metres without deteriorating

Cat6  is quickly becoming outdated for networks that require a large amount of data to travel in a timely fashion across your network.

Most people are happy to wait for a second or two. However large files with lots of users will simply take too long over cat6

TIP: Go for a shielded solution.  Alien Crosstalk becomes more prevalent at higher frequencies. Crosstalk is simply unwanted interference in the copper wires.

 Cat6A (class Ea) 



If you have longer length cable runs, very large files or you want to future proof your office then go for Cat6A.

While the typical PC or laptop uses 1Gbps NIC (network Interface card), you can install 10Gpbs NIC’s, so why not use that computing speed?

Cat6A has a bandwidth of 500Mhz and is rated to transfer data at 10Gbps over 100 metres.

Get a professional to correctly install your cat6A. Its tricky.

TIP: go for a shielded solution. Alien Crosstalk becomes more prevalent at higher frequencies. Crosstalk is simply unwanted interference in the copper wires.



Category 7 – the category that never was.  The cable was created before there was ever a need for it. So it wasn’t ratified as a standard.

 In anycase, the connectors are not RJ45, although you can get a hybrid patchlead to overcome this issue (GG45 to RJ45)

 Manufacturers rate it at a bandwidth of 600mhz for 10Gbps data rate. As you can see it isn’t much better than the much cheaper Cat6A

 It is often specified due to its shielding properties. It’s generally terminated with Cat6A shielded jacks

 Similarly, the Cat7A Link isn’t ratified, however the cable is also great for its shielding properties and has gained popularity with Audio Visual installers.

 Again, why bother? It’s not ratified, and equipment that supports it, also supports the Cat6A

 Category 8 – only ratified for distances up to 30 metres.  This 2000Mbps  / 40Gbps “monster” cable doesn’t really have any practical application. Try Fibre, it’s cheaper.



 The best solution?  Cat6A Shielded cable up to 90 metres of link length. Use Cat7 cable with a double shield if you really need to cut out the interference (alien crosstalk)  and terminate it with Cat6A STP jacks

 Have your installer test and give you a copy of the test results. The best tester is the Fluke DSX5000 cable tester and here at Elam we have four of them.

 If you’re in Sydney Australia – call us on 02 98092999 for a free quote on your next install.

 Written by Lyn Evans 17/11/2020

Fibre Optic and Data Cabling Installations

All organizations need computers to run their business. To do it you need a data cabling installation. Yet once the cabling has been installed, it’s assumed that it will work unfailingly. This is far from the truth.

Problems with Faulty Cable Installation

The initial installation of data and optical fibre cabling is crucial to any network. If the cabling is installed poorly then you will get:

  • Errors and dropouts
  • PC’s running slow
  • Printers slow to respond
  • Error messages
  • Excessive bandwidth

Using a reputable company like Elam Cabling Group will prevent these problems from occurring.

Over time, office layouts change and people move around. Warehousing systems are upgraded and new servers brought in. The Data Cabinet is a bundled mess of patchleads, overfull with new hardware and ad hoc additional cabling.fibre-optic-installation

Your backbone Fibre Link works OK for 100mpbs but you can’t upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet. Things aren’t running as smoothly as they used to.

That “cheapest quote” installation you had done initially is turning out to be exactly that: a cheap installation.

Why choose Elam?

  • When it comes to Optical Fibre and Structured Data cabling, Elam has a wealth of knowledge and experience for even the most demanding of projects.
  • We can design, install and maintain your cabling so that it will work for as long as you need it.
  • Elam backs this up with a 15 year warranty on parts and labour.
  • Elam staff are experts in fault finding and repairs.
  • We use the latest testing equipment and can locate the problem areas quickly.
  • We even have fusion splicing equipment to enable professional repairs on fibre cabling.

Heritage Building Cabling

You do not want heritage building cabling contractors who will blow out a 200 year old wall!

Heritage building cabling to upgrade lighting in the Great Hall Sydney University

Heritage Building Cabling requires precise planning, design and action. Cabling is an important part of every building, but it’s not something you want to SEE. This becomes even more essential when dealing with a heritage building. Cabling should be hidden from view, or if it must be surface mounted, the pathway must be carefully designed to fit into the existing structure’s look, feel and architectural lines.

Elam have had the pleasure of working with every single Heritage listed building in Sydney University’s Camperdown Campus. This has given us years and  years of trialing, testing, discussing and designing heritage cable pathways. We have worked side by side with Heritage Building Architects to solve difficult cabling situations. Heritage Building Cabling requires an eye for detail and an art of disguise. Be careful who you put in charge of drilling holes into your precious Heritage Building for cabling!


Heritage building cabling to floor-box for power and data in Great Hall Sydney University

Recent Heritage Building Cabling Works within the last 12 months:

  • The Great Hall, Sydney University – Lighting project
  • The Nicholsen Museum, Sydney University
  • Anderson Stuart Building, Sydney University – entire comms room, fibre backbone and horizontal cabling replacement and upgrade
  • The Macleay Museum Sydney University – entire comms room, backbone and horizontal cabling replacement and upgrade
  • Physics Building – Sydney University
  • 50 Bridge St Department of Education – Installed all new fibre backbone
  • 23 Bridge St Department of Primary Industries – running fibre, data and power cabling. Needed detailed design works to penetrate structural walls.

Many of our recent projects required not only a couple of new data outlets, but entire cabling upgrade pathways! This is a massive modification to an old building that was not built to accommodate things like “internet” and “wireless” cabling. There has been many barriers and instances where we have had to think on our feet or go back to the drawing board. Take advantage of our lessons learned and call us in to have a look at your heritage building cabling requirements. We can give you a free quotation and discuss how our expertise can help with your project.

Click here to send us some information on your heritage building project.


Superior Fibre Optic Terminating and Testing

Superior Fibre Optic Terminating and Testing.

Optical Fibre terminations need to be done right the first time. Fibre can be expensive if you do not choose a trusted company that has a proven track record of quality fibre cabling installations.

So, what can go wrong?

  • Glued connections, where the glue become brittle over time, cracking the fibre glass face.
  • Inexperienced people doing the terminations. Poor terminating techniques lead to high Db Losses, which limits the speed and quality of the signals
  • Harsh environments not taken into consideration. Fibre requires a clean environment
  • Inferior Connectors and patch lead
  • Lack of vermin control (mice love fibre!)

Fibre Cabling termination

Elam completes terminations using Fusion Splicing. We have Fusion Splicers designed to ensure that DB losses at the connectors are well within Australian Standard tolerances.  Fusion Splicing gives a high quality, low loss result

With technology moving quickly, we can also terminate to your required standard, rather than waiting for Australian Standards to catch up.

Elam is a trusted name in the industry. We complete Fibre terminations for many other electrical and cabling companies. We also complete Optical Fibre cabling for Universities, Schools as well as businesses and industrial companies.

Fibre Optic Cabling termination

Using the latest in Testing equipment, we can quickly pinpoint faults in your fibre optic cabling and make repairs immediately.

Once the Optical terminations are completed, we can supply Test reports on request. There is also peace of mind with our automatic 20-year warranty.

We have two vans equipped to fault find and terminate both Single mode and Multimode Fibre Optic cabling.

We use the latest S179 Fusion Splicers, OTDRs and Fluke testers

So, call us on 02 98092999 / 0418647250

Fibre, Cat6 & Cat6A Data Cable Installation

Fibre, Cat6 & Cat6A Data Cable Installation


Data cable installation – Fibre, Cat6 and Cat6ATalk to us about your data cable installation project. We have installed data cabling into places like Taronga Zoo, Sydney University Chemistry Laboratories, Vet Hospitals and the Sydney University’s Vice Chancellors Office.

We are trusted professionals with experience in many different environments. Your project will be in good hands with Elam.

A good data cabler is not just a person who installs cabling well. Good cablers go to the extra effort to close the gap between IT professionals and builders, or the end client and the IT company employed by them.

Many places requiring cabling have groups of professionals from different backgrounds meeting in the middle to work on a project.

Through years of experience in data cable installations, we have found that this network of professionals can sometimes have holes in it.

IT workers can assume that the builder will understand the needs of his patching environment and be let down when a switch is installed before the gyprock is sanded.

An endless number of bad things can go wrong, and many jobs require a middle-man who can fill the gap.

Elam has been employed and trusted for data cable installations, especially by IT professionals, for years. For us, the job does not usually end until the link lights are up and flashing on the switch.

Two examples of turnkey data cable installations that we regularly complete;

Cat6A and Fibre – Wireless installations for DEC SchoolsData cable installation – Fibre, Cat6 and Cat6A 2

(Elam is on the ICT Scheme, SCM0020)

  • Data cable installation
  • Fibre cabling between cabinets
  • Fibre terminations
  • Testing and commissioning
  • Wireless unit and network switch purchase
  • WAP units mounted to ceilings
  • Switches installed into cabinets
  • Patch leads and SFPs necessary for uplink are purchased and installed
  • All components plugged and patched and working before Elam leave site

Wireless installations for Sydney University Cat6A

  • Data cable installation
  • Testing and commissioning
  • Wireless unit and network switch pickup
  • WAP units mounted to ceilings
  • Switches installed into cabinets
  • Patch leads and SFPs necessary for uplink are picked up and installed
  • All components plugged and patched and working before Elam leave site
  • Network labelling and switch port address submitted to IT in excel format to be configured

If you would like to see a seamless progression through your next project, appoint an Elam representative to be by your side.

Upgrade to digital CCTV to Keep your business safe

Upgrade to digital CCTV to keep your business safe. Upgrade to digital CCTV to Keep your business safe with Vision-surveillanceIf you have an existing analog video system in place it may only be working as a mild deterrent for criminals.

Imagine all the ways a criminal could affect your business, then have a think about the cameras you have in place already. Do you feel safe and confident that you have eyes where you need them?

Ways an upgrade to digital CCTV system can help get evidence after a crime:

  • Catch number plates to identify vehicles
  • Picture clarity – Show detailed features of the persons height, weight, hair colour etc.
  • Give you an exact time of the incident
  • Show different angles of an area to avoid ‘blind spots’

Watch some impressive zoom clarity on a Rhino Co camera

Elam-cable-installer-terminating-digital-CCTV-network-cabling. Upgrade to digital CCTV to Keep your business safeMost companies realise that it is well worth the upfront cost to upgrade to digital CCTV. You can start small and easily add more cameras later down the track, investing only the amount you want to spend right now. This is great as no business owner should delay important security measures. If you want to discuss keeping old analog cabling, give us a call to ask about your situation, it may not be quite as straight forward.

Buying new cameras to fit into an existing coax cabling system may leave you with limitations on locations and distances of the cameras. This type of system is also difficult to add to later.

Another benefit of  an upgrade to digital CCTV to keep your business safe is that you can view footage remotely from your smart phone or tablet! This is not only perfect for easily viewing who is standing at your front door with a flick of your phone, but also handy for other areas of your business.

Imagine being concerned about an important delivery, you are running late on the way back to your office, what if your delivery gets left out the front unattended?! If you have upgraded to digital CCTV cabling you will be able to check your phone and see if your parcel has been delivered.

Have a look at the Elam CCTV Page for more details on products we specialize in.

For a free quotation give us a call now on (02)9809 2999.


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