Need a Cabling Upgrade for Your Hotel Property? One Size Does Not Fit All.

Cabling Upgrade at Your HotelSo, your Hotel property needs to upgrade the wireless services? More often than not, your property will also require some upgrades to the low voltage infrastructure to accommodate the new network. However, when it comes to cabling, one size does not fit all. A well-designed network will factor in distance and bandwidth expansions needed for the property. Below are just some of the different designs used to retrofit an existing property with new cable.

Structured Cat 5e or 6 Copper Cable

The absolute minimum network should be a Gigabit network. For many smaller properties, pulling CAT 5e or 6 throughout the property will be the most cost effective and straight forward method to get the new infrastructure established.

Distances need to be within the 328’ specification for cable length, so be sure your vendor has this in their design and be sure that the Installer walks off the distances before landing any cabling!

Copper/Fiber Hybrid Cabling Design

For larger properties, it is common to install fiber cabling up the building riser (or into an adjacent building) to an intermediate networking closet, also called an IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame). From there, the data traffic can be routed over a copper cable down the hallway and into the rooms. The Fiber cabling “uplink” eliminates the 328’ distance limitation to be able to deliver ethernet signaling, as well as providing additional bandwidth capabilities for future use.

Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON)

GPON is a technology platform that uses a complete fiber optic cabling plant from the MDF (main distribution frame/ computer room) on-property all the way to the guest room. Many of the distance limitations noted previously are eliminated in the GPON designs, which makes this infrastructure popular with campus-style or resort properties. Also, traditional MDU’s (Multi-Dwelling Units) such as apartment buildings favor GPON deployments as they are also typically spread out among several buildings. GPON uses passive, non-powered “splitters” in these networks, which work very well where space and power are at a premium or unavailable.

Whatever physical network design you choose for your cabling needs, make sure that your technology partner is well versed and knowledgeable in the industry, provides detailed designs, documentation and clear concise SOW’s (scopes of work). Your partner needs to be properly insured and has a demonstrated understanding on how to deploy a trouble-free and secure network for guest and staff to use.

By Don Jensen
Former Vice President of Operations, Single Digits


Single Digits, as part of our Connected Life ExperienceTM, now offers a suite of cabling services and products, including consulting, professional design, deployment/installation, and high-grade quality materials. This can be bundled with our wireless projects as a true single source project experience, managed by a trusted integrator. Contact us to learn more.



71% of hotel guests complain about spotty WiFi coverage, and insufficient bandwidth is a problem for 43% of guests. Hotel guest needs and expectations are changing, and we’ve outlined just how so in our latest eBook. It also includes a checklist to evaluate if your hotel WiFi network is prepared for the future.

Get Your Copy

Now that you know what you’ve been missing,