Vantage Riser Systems

A growing trend in the commercial real estate market is the implementation of a comprehensive Riser Management solution. Due to recent legislation, multi-tenanted office property owners and managers are beginning to understand that their buildings internal cabling system is the property of the building owner and the day-to-day management of this valuable infrastructure falls to the building’s managers. While managers and owners alike have strict controls in place addressing what vendor is allowed to work on the buildings’ elevator system, electrical system or the HVAC system, they often allow almost any vendor or service provider to work on their riser system. At Vantage Riser Systems (VRS), we are successfully partnering with owners and managers alike to help them implement controls and standards for their riser system while meeting the needs and in most cases, exceeding the expectations of their tenants.

VRS can help building owner/managers develop internal policies regarding the use of their buildings cabling system by new and existing tenants as well as the removal of non-usable cabling by vacating tenants.

VRS can inform tenants as to the existing providers of telecom and data services at the building and which may best meet the tenants needs.

A typical vertical riser system is the part of a buildings internal communications infrastructure that is owned in most cases by the building owner and it is this infrastructure that VRS helps manage. By managing the riser system the owner/manager of a building is in no way limited the telco and data service providers that their tenants require.  They are simply ensuring that the delivery of these products and services are done so in a consistent manner and that the process is managed for the benefit of owners and tenants alike.

VRS manages building cable infrastructure such that tenants enjoy secure, efficient, and competitively neutral access to advanced telecommunications services.  VRS  handles all day-to-day operations, including circuit assignment and delivery, and provides 24-hour customer support.

We continually monitor circuit capacity relative to demand, with consideration to new technology, to be certain that the building will always have connectivity available for tenant applications. The security and efficiency of a managed cable infrastructure provides tenants with faster, more reliable access to services at better prices.  Neutrality further enables fair and effective competition.

Our team brings decades of experience to each interaction with tenants and service providers, thus ensuring a level of service not found elsewhere.  Rapid delivery of advanced telecommunications services to tenants can be a competitive advantage for your building.

VRS Riser Management Services may include:

  • Processing orders for circuit moves, adds, and changes.
  • 24-hour technical and repair service.
  • Billing and collections for circuit use.
  • Providing user information to tenants, carriers, and contractors.
  • Strategic planning for growth and new services.
  • Developing and maintaining schematic drawings of cable systems and spaces.
  • Emergency and Everyday Structured Cabling Services estimates and services.
  • Cable Abatement cable demo services, per King County Fire and Electrical Code.

Because of our significant experience with ILEC/CLEC/IXC operations and telecommunications cabling in buildings, VRS functions as a highly effective manager of your cabling infrastructure.  Please contact us to discuss how we may improve the integrity of telecommunications services to your tenants.

Building Owner Benefits

  • There is no upfront or reoccurring fee associated with the Vantage Riser Systems Riser Management program.
  • VRS can help the owner/managers through any issues regarding service provider access, rooftop installations, telecom contract negotiation, and installation (including cable companies, fiber providers, Direct TV, local bell companies, etc.)
  • VRS can work with building owners and managers to insure that the individual properties are regularly reviewing new telecom and related technology offerings to benefit the property and address tenant amenities.
  • VRS can help building owner/managers develop policies internally regarding the use of their buildings cabling system by new and existing tenants as well as the removal of non-usable cabling by vacating tenants.
  • The building owner and manager have a contracted, full-time cabling and wiring vendor who is an expert within that particular building and its unique telecom infrastructure. The building manager now has an “in-house” resource.
  • Owners have someone who can give them an accurate accounting as to the buildings current and potential cabling issues.
  • Building engineers and property managers’ valuable time is not spent addressing and correcting issues that are not their areas of expertise.
  • Each property is assigned dedicated technicians thereby creating a level of familiarity with the building engineer, property manager and security officers.
  • Allows building owner to drastically cut down on the number of vendors gaining access to the buildings core infrastructure, which helps with security.
  • Allows building owner to drastically cut down on the number of vendors gaining access to the buildings core infrastructure, which helps with security.

Tenant Benefits

  • Tenants have a readily available building expert to help them address new cable and wiring needs as well as understand existing cable and wiring issues in the building.
  • Small and medium sized tenants no longer have to use the yellow pages or rely on word-of-mouth or default to the local bell company to find a vendor.
  • Smaller tenants can (in most cases) use the VRS staff as an in-house Telecom department.
  • Allows tenant one-stop shopping as VRS can provide consulting services for telecom, data network, and equipment issues.
  • VRS can inform tenants as to the existing providers of telecom and data services at the building and which may best meet the tenant needs.
  • Tenants can get a response and the work completed much quicker as compared to the local phone company or other cabling providers.

Infrastructure Audit

Because of our significant experience with ILEC/CLEC/IXC operations and telecommunications cabling in buildings, VRS functions as a highly effective manager of your cabling infrastructure.  Please contact us to discuss how we may improve the integrity of telecommunications services to your tenants.

  • A complete Web-based inventory of the Riser System, documenting all telecommunications closets and pathways. Our Web-based inventory system fosters better, more efficient information retrieval for our clients.
  • Identification of deficiencies or problems in the riser and create an action plan to correct any deficiencies or problems (e.g., capacity issues, abandoned infrastructure).
  • Providing building audits for landlords during the due diligence process.

Structured Cabling

A structured cabling system (horizontal cabling) is a complete system of cabling and associated hardware, which provides a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure. This infrastructure serves a wide range of uses, such as to provide telephone service or transmit data through a computer network. It should not be device dependent.

We further define a structured cabling system in terms of ownership. The structured cabling system begins at the point where the service provider (SP) terminates. This point is the point of demarcation (demarc) or Network Interface Device (NID).

For example, in a telephone system installation, the SP furnishes one or more service lines (per customer requirements). The SP connects the service lines at the point of demarcation.

Every Structured Cabling System is unique. This is due to variations in:

  • The architectural structure of the building, which houses the cabling installation;
  • The cable and connection products;
  • The function of the cabling installation;
  • The types of equipment the cabling installation will support — present and future;
  • The configuration of an already installed system (upgrades and retrofits);
  • Customer requirements; and
  • Manufacturer warranties.

The methods we use to complete and maintain cabling installations are relatively standard. The standardization of these installations is necessary because of the need to ensure acceptable system performance from increasingly complex arrangements.

The U.S. cabling industry accepts the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in conjunction with TIA/EIA, as the responsible organization for providing and maintaining standards and practices within the profession. It has published a series of standards to design, install, and maintain cabling installations. These help to ensure a proper cabling installation.

The benefits of these standards include:

  • Consistency of design and installation;
  • Conformance to physical and transmission line requirements;
  • A basis for examining a proposed system expansion and other changes; and
  • Uniform documentation.

The industry standard term for a network installation that serves a relatively small area (such as a structured cabling installation serving a building) is a local area network (LAN). There are also metropolitan area networks (MANs) and wide area networks (WANs).

Structured cabling installations typically include: entrance facilities; vertical and horizontal backbone pathways; vertical and horizontal backbone cables; horizontal pathways; horizontal cables; work area outlets; equipment rooms; telecommunications closets; cross-connect facilities; multi-user telecommunications outlet assemblies (MUTOA); transition points; and consolidation points.

The entrance facility includes the cabling components needed to provide a means to connect the outside service facilities to the premises cabling. This can include service entrance pathways, cables, connecting hardware, circuit protection devices, and transition hardware.

An entrance facility houses the transition outside plant cabling to cabling approved for intrabuilding construction. This usually involves transition to fire-rated cable. The entrance facility is also the network demarc between the SP and customer premises cabling (if required). National and regional electrical codes govern placement of electrical protection devices at this point.

The location of the entrance facility depends on the type of facility, route of the outside plant cabling (e.g. buried or aerial), building architecture, and aesthetic considerations. The four principal types of entrance facilities include underground, tunnel, buried, and aerial. (We will cover only aerial entrances in this article.)

In an aerial entrance, the SP cables provide service to a building via an overhead route. Aerial entrances usually provide the lowest installation cost, and they’re readily accessible for maintenance. However, they’re subject to traffic and pedestrian clearances, can damage a building’s exterior, are susceptible to environmental conditions (such wind and ice), and are usually joint-use installations with the power company, CATV company, and telephone or data service providers.

Backbone cabling. From the entrance facility, the structured cabling network branches out to other buildings, as well as from floor to floor within a building on the backbone cabling system. We use the term backbone to describe the cables handling the major network traffic.

The ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A standard defines backbone cabling as follows: “The function of the backbone cabling is to provide interconnections between telecommunications closets, equipment rooms, and entrance facilities in the telecommunications cabling system structure. Backbone cabling consists of the backbone cables, intermediate and main cross-connects, mechanical terminations, and patch cords or jumpers used for backbone-to-backbone cross-connection. Backbone cabling also includes cabling between buildings.”

Interbuilding and intrabuilding are two types of backbone cables. Interbuilding backbone cable handles traffic between buildings. Intrabuilding backbone cable handles traffic between closets in a single building.

This standard identifies two levels of backbone cabling. First-level backbone is a cable between a main cross-connect (MC) and intermediate cross-connect (IC) or horizontal cross-connect (HC). Second-level backbone exists between an IC and HC.

The main components of backbone cabling are:

  • Cable pathways: shafts, conduits, raceways, and floor penetrations (such as sleeves or slots) that provide routing space for the cables.
  • The actual cables: optical fiber, twisted-pair copper, coaxial copper, or some combination of these. (Note: You should avoid areas where potential sources of EMI or electromagnetic interference may exist when planning the routing and support structure for copper cabling.)
  • Connecting hardware: connecting blocks, patch panels, interconnections, cross-connections, or some combination of these components, and
  • Miscellaneous support facilities: cable support hardware, firestopping and grounding hardware. Note: The terms horizontal and backbone (previously called riser) evolved from the orientations typical for functional cables of these types. However, the physical orientation of the cabling has no bearing on classifying the cable as horizontal or backbone.

The useful life of a backbone cabling system consists of several planned growth periods (typically three to 10 years). This is shorter than the life expectancy of the premises cabling system.

Cabling connectors. A connector is a mechanical device you use to interface a cable to a piece of equipment or one cable to another. The role of the connector is to provide a coupling mechanism that keeps loss to a minimum.

In the case of fiber, it allows light impulses to transfer from one connector to another. For copper, it allows electrical signals to transfer from one connector to another.

A good connection requires aligning the connectors, preventing the connectors from unintentional separation, and efficient transferring of light or electricity from one connector to the other.

A connector demonstrates durability by withstanding hundreds of insertion and withdrawal cycles without failing. We calculate this as mean time between failures (MTBF).

Connectors are as essential to the integrity of the entire telecommunications network as is the cable itself. Connectors align, attach, and decouple the media to a transmitter, receiver, another media of same or similar type, an active telecommunications device, or a specified passive telecommunications device.

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