Telecommunications Closet

What Does Telecommunications Closet Mean?

A telecommunications closet (TC) is a small room that encloses telecommunications network systems and devices. This closet is the central junction point for all wiring equipment and wiring for devices connected in the local area network. It often contains access to wiring conduits large enough for service personnel to access in order to service or install cabling networks within buildings.

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A telecommunications closet is also known as a wiring closet.

Techopedia Explains Telecommunications Closet

TC systems and devices include:

  • Backbones, distribution panels, cross-connects
  • Horizontal cabling termination points
  • Circuit administration points
  • Auxiliary workstation power supply

Other devices commonly found in a TC include routers, bridges, patch panels, wiring hubs and switches.

TCs are allocated by network size. For example, hospitals with large networks spanning multilevel buildings have TCs on every floor.

Basic TC requirements include:

  • At least one TC per floor for large networks
  • Several TCs if one floor exceeds 1,000 square meters
  • TC size based on serviced areas
  • At least one meter equipment and cross-connect clearance
  • Appropriate grounding and bonding for cable shields and metallic pathways
  • Minimum ceiling height: 2.6 meters (false ceilings forbidden)
  • Fully open and lockable doors (center posts or door sills forbidden)
  • Fireproofing of all terminated backbone pathways
  • Multiple TC interconnectivity by floor
  • Door opening direction cannot impact equipment access or movement
  • Preventative measures regarding static electricity and dust elimination
  • Close proximity to served area center for reduced horizontal cable length (maximum: 90 meters)

The telecommunications closet plays a critical role in networking as it connects the IT infrastructure with the end users. It helps in keeping track of wires, storing hardware and helps in making hardware changes to the devices in the network easier and simplified. It also helps in identifying unnecessary connections and devices in network and thus avoids the clutter in the large network topology.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.