This document is intended to act as guidance for any new build, refurbishment or minor works at University of Suffolk that incorporates any networking related element of Information Technology (IT). It is impossible to provide for every situation in such a document, however it should cover most frequently asked questions and related issues expected to arise in such projects. 

Adherence to this document should ensure potential problems are minimised and handovers completed in a straightforward and timely fashion.

Deviations from this document will only be allowed by written permission from any of the below personnel:

  • Head of IT Services
  • Director of IT Services
  • A nominated delegate of the Head or Director of IT

The internal copper cabling is to be a Category 6a U/FTP installation conforming to ISO/IEC 

  • All installed cabling must be supplied with a minimum warranty of 15 years covering the cable work. 

  • The cable must be low smoke zero halogen sheathed. 

  • The components to be used must be complete end-to-end cabling systems with associated components. 

  • All cabling installation work must be carried out by qualified and OE Vendor approved/trained installation engineers. 

  • All internal cable routes must be agreed prior to commencing work with IT Services, and must only radiate from the agreed/specified Communications Rooms. 

  • The framework of the system must incorporate industry standard RJ45 plug and socket presentation and IDC cable terminations. 

  • The cable should be a U/FTP to a minimum performance level of Category 6a. 

  • The cable, patch panels, keystone jacks, modules and associated fixtures and fittings must be supplied by and/or approved by the Cable System OE Manufacturer thus ensuring that a full system guarantee can be issued. 

  • The length of cable from patch panel to room outlet will not exceed 90 metres. 

  • All cables shall be continuous from the user patch panel to the work area telecommunications outlet. 

  • Where a cable becomes damaged due to broken conductors or the sheath becomes torn or cut, the entire cable shall be removed and replaced with a known good one.  The practice of jointing cables shall not be accepted. 

  • A plastic cable tie will secure the cable to the termination block. 

  • Cables will be secured together in groups of no more than 48 by velcro straps to avoid cable damage. 

  • In special cases, the general cabling specification may be deviated from when agreed in writing from the Director of IT, Head of IT or Network Manager: 

  • Where a small number of additional data points are required, and to enable integration with existing patch panels or installed infrastructure (for example, installing 2x category 5e data points in a part populated cat 5e panel) 

  • Where specialist equipment requires a higher standard of cabling (for example, Category 7) 

The data outlets will be unshielded RJ45 presentation and modular in design wired to 258A (T568B) presentation. 

  • All Data Outlets must be fitted in pairs (Dual Outlets) 

  • A spring-loaded shutter must cover the entrance to the RJ45 jack. 

  • The outlet printed circuit board (PCB) and the patch panel PCB must utilise PCBs from the OE Manufacturer to ensure complete system compatibility. 

  • Port labelling and identification should be by way of a printed slide label running under a protective polycarbonate mask. 

  • Room outlet accessories should match the general electrical installation. 

  • Any work that involves the modification, reinstallation or relocation of a room outlet requires retesting and recertification to be completed. 

The Patching Panels must be cable OE Manufacturer approved panels, managed in groups of 24 RJ45 ports in each 1U segment. 

  • Each circuit should be individual modular PCB, wired to 258A (T568B) specification. Label identification should be by way of a printed slide label running under a protective polycarbonate mask. 

  • Cables should enter the patch panel from the side. 

The cable containment system will have usable space (BS EN 50174-1:2000, Section 4.8.2) that allows for double the initial quantity of cables. 

  • Data Points will be labelled as follows (each part seperated by a "/"): 

[Part A]/[Part B]/[Part C] 


Part A Comprises the floor (G = Ground, 1 = 1st Floor etc.) 

Part B Comprises the terminating Cabinet Number (supplied by IT Services) 

Part C Comprises a 3 digit serial number (001-999) 

  • All Data Labels must comprise laser cut, black text on a white background, rectangles protected by a perspex window 

  • All Patch Panels must be labelled in a corresponding fashion in ascending numerical order 

  • Data points should be labelled in a consecutive and logical manner (e.g. data points 25-48 in Room 'B' should follow data points 1-24 in the adjacent Room 'A' etc.) 


All test equipment used to characterise the performance of the installation shall be approved by the cabling system manufacturer, prior to system testing. 

  • Prior to system hand-over, a 100% test shall have been conducted on the installed cabling. 

  • The testing shall identify any faults due to open circuits, cross or split pairs as well as a series of performance faults. 

  • The testing must satisfy the manufacturers installation guidelines in order to carry the manufacturer backed warranty. In some cases a representative of the manufacturer may be required to witness the testing. 

  • University of Suffolk reserves the right to witness some of the testing. 

  • All test results shall be recorded and certification handed to IT Services on completion. Any cabling failures will require resolution of the fault and retesting before completion. 

  • Change Approval will not be granted to connect untested Cable Installations to the network. 

  • Unless otherwise agreed with IT Services, equipment shall not be connected to any part of the University network until it has been properly registered in the CMDB, an IP address and a hostname has been allocated, and the relevant switch port has been patched and configured. 

  • Requests for allocation of IP addresses for “Plant/Static Equipment” type devices such as BMS, CCTV, EPoS, Access Control, emergency lighting, alarm systems, Room Registration Terminals and other equipment can be made by raising a call via the IT Service Desk. 

  • Only the contractor actually installing the equipment may request device registration. Note that it may take several days to complete requests. 

  • Equipment shall be labelled with the hostname allocated by University of Suffolk IT Services, and this name must be included in any communication with IT Services. 

  • If any equipment is relocated or replaced, University of Suffolk IT Services must be informed of the change of location or MAC address and the new or relocated equipment shall not be reconnected until authorised. 

All buildings on campus are to be connected to two other identified building by diverse cable routes. 

  • Fibre optic cables that span outdoor spaces will follow a duct route to be identified by IT Services. 

  • All buildings require singlemode OS2 (9/125) fibre cores. A minimum of twenty-four cores (12 pairs) of each type of fibre are required to each connected building. 

  • Fibre routes should be kept separate as far as practically possible both within and without the building as well as within the communications room. 

  • The current campus infrastructure has both traditional multicore fibre as well as blown fibre varying by location. The project must identify with the aid of IT Services what sort of fibre installation will be suitable. 

  • All fibres will be installed in one continuous length without any intermediary joints. Any cable faults found on installation will require replacement of the faulty cable. 

All fibre optic cores are to be terminated in 19” rack mount patch panels. 

  • The fibre bundle will enter the patch panel through a cable gland at the rear of the panel. 

  • The patch panel will be equipped with Duplex LC connectors. The LC connectors will be colour coded such that singlemode connectors are white and multimode connectors are aqua. 

The most suitable cable containment method must be indicated before work is undertaken. Normally this would be basket, or tray work for large amounts of cable but pvc may be suitable for small amounts of cable. 

  • Tray work or basket must be initially installed with no more than 75% of the capacity used to allow for expansion in future. 

  • Existing tray work along the cable path can be reused. If the existing containment is full then IT Services should be consulted in order to determine whether or not the existing containment should be replaced or supplemented. 

All fibre tubes should be labelled at each building entry point with their fibre number and the names of the buildings at each termination point. 

  • All Fibre Cables installed in underground service ducting must have clear labelling affixed to the cable at every inspection chamber. 

All Fibre Panels must be labelled according to the following label scheme: 

  • [Part A]-[Part B]-[Part C]-[Part D]-[Part E] For example [STSC-C01-ARTS-C01-SM01] 

  • Part A Comprising the 'A' End Terminus Building, Abbreviated as listed below 

  • Part B Comprising the 'A' End Cabinet/Rack Identifier 

  • Part C Comprising the 'B' End Terminus Building, Abbreviated as listed below 

  • Part D Comprising the 'B' End Cabinet/Rack Identifier 

  • Part E Comprising a unique cable run identifier combined with the cable type (SM = SingleMode, MM = Multi-Mode) 

Building Abbreviations 

  • STSC - Sir Thomas Slade Court 

  • ARTS - Arts Building 

  • ATRM - Atrium Building 

  • LBRY - Library Building 

  • WF - Waterfront Building 

  • JHB - James Hehir Building 

  • NPTN - Neptune Building 

  • LONG - Long Street Building 

  • EAST - East Building 

The University may elect to rename buildings from time to time, as a consequence, some legacy labelling such as the list below may be in use: 

  • TBLK - East Building (Formerly known as 'T' Block) 

  • OBLK - Atrium Building (Formerly known as 'O' Block) 

  • WEST- Atrium Building (Formerly known as the 'West' Building) 

Post installation a random selection of cable containment will be visually inspected to ensure that the provided cable containment meets any agreed standards and principles. 

All patch leads for the project will be supplied by IT Services. Patch leads from any other supplier will not be used. 

  • External ducts for Data services between buildings shall be twin walled rigid duct, minimum 100mm diameter, externally ribbed with a smooth interior. 

  • Manhole covers over splicing or access chambers shall be robust and suitable for the chamber environment (e.g. appropriate load and security ratings where required) 

  • Access chambers for data ducts shall be independent of access chambers for other services, such as power, heating, BMS systems, water, control cabling, etc. 

  • All ducts shall be provided with draw ropes to permit pulling of cables at a later date. 

  • Data Ducts must not be used for any other purpose (e.g. LV/HV Electrical or other services) 

  • As-Built Drawings for ducts and Fibre routes must be provided to both IT Services and Estates electronically in DWG formats. 

  • BT Openreach Telco Ducts should be requested and provided by the Primary Contractor where the building use or future use may require the installation of POTS connected Fibre or Copper networks. Contractors are encouraged to read the "BT Openreach Developers Guide" 

Where more than 1 cabinet is installed in a single comms room the cabinets can be joined together at the side to form a row. 

  • There should always be 1 metre of clear space around each side and to the rear of each rack, or row of racks to allow for people and installation/maintenance of equipment. Any protrusions in the room should be deducted from this allowance. 

  • There should always be 1.2 metres of clear space to the front of each rack, or row of racks. Any protrusions in the room should be deducted from this allowance. 

  • Walls should be painted white for maximum light. 

  • Lighting shall be 500 lux in the horizontal plane and 200 lux in the vertical plane, measured 1 m (3 ft) above the finished floor in the middle of all aisles between cabinets. 

  • Sufficient lighting must be present in the room to illuminate every side of the racks. If motion detection is used to control the lights the sensor must be able to detect a single person in any position in the room. 

The Electronic Equipment in all comms rooms and cabinets should be provided with an in-line, pure sine wave uninterruptable power supply, rated to provide a minimum autonomy of 30 minutes. This may be achieved either through the use of a room based UPS or individual rack-mounted UPS Units. 

Each cabinet within the comms room shall be provided with two dedicated 16A BS4343/IEC309 outlet. These need to be switched/interlocked type and a suitable plug supplied with each socket installed.  Each socket must be on a dedicated radial socket.  Also, where these socket outlets are installed beneath raised floors, the socket outlet must be fully accessible once the data cabinet is in place.  Exceptions may be made in small installations to use one or more 13A BS1363 outlet instead under agreement with IT Services. 

RCD/RCBO's must be rated 'Type C' or higher, to tolerate high inrush current loads after any power outage. 

If the room has a raised floor the outlets can be mounted beneath the raised floor. In this instance the electrical outlets must not be mounted under any tiles that can not be lifted. 

In the absence of a raised floor the outlets can either be mounted immediately above the rack at a height not exceeding 2500mm or on a nearby wall. If wall mounted it must be possible to feed a suitable cable from the rackmount PDU to this outlet in such a way that the cabinet can still be fully closed and the cable not present a trip hazard. 

Each cabinet must be individually earth bonded in accordance with BS7671:1992. 

Each cabinet must be fitted with a suitable 16A input APC switched PDU capable of being managed by ethernet. In a 48U floor standing rack this should be a ZeroU PDU vertically mounted at the rear of the rack with C13 outlets. In a wall mounted rack this should be a 1U PDU mounted horizontally at the front of the rack with C13 outlets. 

The Communications Room should be supplied with sufficient cooling to accomodate thermal loads of 1KW per rack, suitable for Industrial Use (capable of self-recovery after a power failure etc) and fault tolerant to N+1. 

Communications Rooms must be kept between 21-24 Celsius and 20-80% Relative Humidity. Temperature's must be kept stable at their set point throughout all seasons and all weather conditions. 

Communications rooms on campus have enhanced security requirements due to their contents or strategic importance. 

  • All Staff and External Contractors are required to observe the Communications and Hub Room Access Policy 

  • These locations will not be shared with departmental or tenant equipment. 

  • With the exception of a small quantity of Cold Spares directly related to the operation of Network equipment in these rooms (such as for example spare patch leads) These locations must not be used for the general storage of materials. 

The ‘Prism’ range of cabinets are preferred but others may be considered by approval of IT services. 

  • Floor standing 48U cabinets are much preferred however it is understood that this is not always possible or practical. In such situations a smaller floor standing cabinet is preferred to a wall mounted installation. 

  • No more than 336 room outlets shall be terminated in a single 42U rack without explicit permission from IT Services. 

  • The cabinet will have 19” rack mounting strips to both the front and rear. 

  • The front mounting strip will be recessed at least 150mm from the front door. 

  • Where more than one cabinet is in any one location, all cabinets shall be connected together side by side using the manufacturers baying kit.  All internal sides shall be removed. 

  • Cable tray/basket will be mounted inside the rack and to the side for the full height of the rack. A clearance space in the centre of the rack of 450mm must be maintained to allow fitting of equipment. 

Where a floor standing cabinet is used: 

  • The cabinet must be at least 800mm x 800mm 

Where a wall mounted cabinet is used: 

  • The depth of the cabinet must be at least 500mm 

  • The cabinet must either hinge away from the wall for access or allow the side panels to be removed. Removable side panels must be able to be locked. 

  • The cabinet must not be mounted with the top of the cabinet at a point higher than 2.1m above floor height. 

  • The cabinet must have adequate ventilation and cooling 


Typical Cabinet Layout 

blank space for rack top fan 

OS2 LC patch panel 

OM3 LC patch panel 

cable management bar 

building aggregator switch 

building aggregator switch 

cable management bar 

UTP patch panel 

cable management bar 


access switch 


cable management bar 


UTP patch panel 


UTP patch panel 


cable management bar 


access switch 


cable management bar 


UTP patch panel 


UTP patch panel 


cable management bar 


access switch 


cable management bar 


UTP patch panel 


UTP patch panel 


cable management bar 


access switch 


cable management bar 


UTP patch panel 


UTP patch panel 


cable management bar 


access switch 


cable management bar 


UTP patch panel 


UTP patch panel 


cable management bar 


access switch 


cable management bar 


UTP patch panel 


UTP patch panel 


cable management bar 


access switch 


cable management bar 


UTP patch panel 

Data Centres are where data is stored and held in some form rather than a communications room where data is in transit. Broadly speaking if an IT room has a server in it it should be considered a data centre. They have differing and more specialised requirements and as such are out of scope of this standards document. Where these requirements are in contradiction to the communications room standards then the data centre requirements must be used. 

University of Suffolk’s strategy for wireless networking is to implement ubiquitous wireless access in all buildings. This means all buildings must have complete coverage in the interior and, where identified, at the exterior of the building. 

  • IT Services maintains delegated responsibility for the use of 2.4 and 5ghz radio spectrum on the University Ipswich Campus 

  • The Installation and Operation of RF emitting devices on campus is subject to a Change Control and Approval Process, with the exception of standard consumer hardware, including: 

  1. Wi-Fi Client Devices; 

  1. Mobile Phones operating on OFCOM approved frequencies; 

  • The operation of Wireless Access Points, Routers and Femtocell devices are expressly forbidden on the University campus, with the following exceptions: 

  1. In exceptional circumstances by prior agreement and on approval of a Change Request by the Network Manager, Head of IT or Director of IT; 

  1. Where the device in question is broadcasting a Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot that is (i) not connected to any University network or equipment and clearly intended for personal use, (ii) does not broadcast an SSID in use by the University or one of its tenants, or an SSID constructed to deceive or otherwise fraudulently attract client connections and (iii) is operating for a short duration and on a temporary basis; 

  • IT Services Monitors Campus Buildings for unauthorised (commonly referred to as ‘rogue’) Wireless Networks. Where these networks are found, The University reserves the right to undertake lawful measures necessary to block or remove the rogue device(s).  

  • IT services are solely responsible for the procurement of the relevant wireless network equipment. 

  • Third party suppliers equipment must not be used. This will be at cost to the project. 

  • All refurbishments and alterations affecting the layout or altering the use of an existing interior space must be subjected to a wireless survey by IT Services and, where required, wireless infrastructure alterations are provisioned for within the project. e.g. 

  • The erection or demolition of partition walls of any material (including glass) 

  • The change of use of a space from Office to Lecture Room etc 

  • The installation of substantial furniture or equipment (for example, bookshelves or racking) that may affect signal propogation 

Projects must supply a suitable floor layout plan to IT Services. IT services will then return a labelled plan showing where data sockets should be installed to connect the wireless access point. We prefer the data point to be installed in a discrete/unseen location but must be accessible.  The contractor must provide a wire-way (conduit) from this point to the location of the wireless access point.  This will accommodate the patch lead to connect the wireless access point to the data socket.  This process should be iterative between the project and IT Services to identify unsuitable or improved locations for the access point. this may be due to building materials, cable containment or similar.  The fitting of the wireless equipment will be responsible by the project. 

Access points should be installed on a horizontal plane for best performance. Installations on a vertical plane will only be considered in consultation with IT Services. This may be because the ceiling is above fixed furniture or equipment which would hinder access for maintenance or installation, or it may be that the ceiling is too high for access with ladders. 

Wireless access points can be installed on false ceiling grid systems, plasterboard or concrete using suitable fixings.

University of Suffolk IT Services will be solely responsible for the procurement and fitting of network switches within campus buildings. Network switches or any other active network equipment provided by third parties will not be used. 

University of Suffolk does not permit the connection of unmanaged of Bridges/Range Extenders, or any other technology that forwards or retransmits network traffic. 

It is important to establish an early and clear dialogue with IT Services on projects that have any sort of IT impact. Failure to do so may result in delays to the project or incorrect installation which will not be accepted. The standards below have been developed with reference to Sector Best Practices. As a general overview of IT and Estates Joint Project approaches, we particularly recommend reviewing the GÉANT document "Guidelines for the Design of HE Buildings, ICT and AV Infrastructure". 


  • Larger projects should contact either the Network Manager or Head of IT 

  • Smaller projects should contact the IT Services Service Desk in order that the request is directed to the correct person. 


IT Services should be issued with the following documentation: 

  • Floor layouts plans 

  • Communication room locations and layouts 

  • Cabling containment route plans 

  • Number of data outlets terminated at each comms room 

  • List of all building network connected services (e.g. BMS, intruder alarms etc) 

Costs and Budgets

The project is responsible for funding all IT costs. This includes but is not limited to: 

  • Construction work to connect into the data duct system 

  • Supporting Power Systems (UPS) and Cooling 

  • Installation of specified fibre optic cables 

  • Installation of internal building fibre and copper cabling 

  • Purchase and installation of data cabinets 

  • Purchase and installation of power distribution units within each rack Purchase of active networking equipment (switches, wifi and optics) Purchase of patch cabling 

  • Purchase of network installation equipment 

  • IT Services produces 3 different types of cost: 

IT Services must be consulted during any budget forecasting and costing exercises for IT Infrastructure requirements within any proposed projects. Any budget or forecast that does not have the express, written sign-off of the Director of IT, Head of IT or Network Manager should be considered invalid. 

IT Services provide 3 levels of costing for the purposes of budget forecasting and financial planning; Preliminary, Budgetary and Firm costs. All Estimates and Costs are only valid for the agreed use-cases and must be read in conjunction with the assumptions supplied by IT Services. 

Note that external IT specialists are generally required to provide costings and supporting elements on large or complex projects, such as High or Low Level Design, Architecture and Specifications. Consequently these have attendant costs that must be met by the project budget. 

Preliminary Estimates 

An estimate based on high-level guideline industry parameters and/or cost modelling techniques. This value should only be used in circumstances where a project or proposal is being considered for financial viability. Information from the business on proposed use-cases and other low level information vital to establish accurate costs is not available at this stage, and this information should not be used to set the final budget for any IT Infrastructure spend. Margin of error should be considered +/-30% and valid for 12 months. 

Budgetary Estimates 

An estimate based on information supplied (or an agreed set of assumptions) by the business on proposed use-cases, used to determine budget levels. Some High-Level Design will have been completed to support this stage of the project, and budgetary quotes obtained from suppliers. Margin of error should be considered +/-15% and valid for 6 months. 

Firm Costs 

Firm costs are based on Low-Level Designs for IT Infrastructure, and supporting Plans or As-Built Documentation to determine accurate costings. firm quotes will be obtained from suppliers and will be valid for 30 days. The margin of error is generally +/- 10%.