What is Data Cabling and Why Do I Need It?

Before you get your Impos system installed, you will need to make sure that your data cabling is done and there are enough data points in the locations you need them. The Cable Diagram (see below) supplied to you by the Onboarding team will have this information. (For an explanation of the Cable Diagram, please see this article.)


Example POS Cable Diagram



What is data cabling?

Put simply, your data cabling is the network of cables, usually concealed within your walls/fitout, that allow you to connect two or more network devices together. It is worthwhile considering not just your POS when you are installing your data cabling, but also any other network devices you may need to run, such as security cameras, customer wifi networks, audio/video systems etc.

Your cabling and network infrastructure is the most important part of your network and it is vital that you get this right at an early stage. While everything else, including routers and switches can be easily changed, the cabling and infrastructure is an entirely different matter. Running new cables in a busy restaurant causes all sorts of headaches. Some common elements of good data/network infrastructure are:

Comms Box
This is one area where most restaurants fall down and they end up hiding all the equipment in behind the POS terminal. It is important to have a secure and spacious cabinet to house your broadband modem, router, switches and any other network equipment you may have. Ideally it should have restricted access so that only the right people can access it.

Patch Panels
Patch panels are placed in your comms cabinet and and it is where all of you cables throughout the restaurant will come back to. The cables are terminated (connected) to the back of the patch panels so that it is easy to connect network cables in and out. Sometimes you might see loose cables just being connected to a switch which is not good practice. Even if you only have a small network, a small patch panel inside your comms area is a must have. Another important point – make sure they are clearly marked so you know where the cables behind the panel run to.

All of your network devices need to be connected by cable back to the comms cabinet, specifically back to the patch panels within the comms cabinet which should be clearly marked. There are a few important considerations here. First, if possible, run two cables to each location, each one terminated to a wall plate as it is possible that one cable could get damaged over time and you will be very relieved to have a backup. Secondly, use the highest spec cable as possible. As of today CAT6 cable, while not being the most recent standard, is the best option to use.

Network Points
The cables are terminated to network points, which are fitted to the wall close to the area where you need the network. It is important to terminate the cables to a network point and not having loose cables lying around a bar counter or similar. These will run directly back to your patch panel, and should be clearly marked.


Why do I need data cabling installed?

Data cables are the pipes through which data moves in your venue. Without data cabling, your Impos devices, such as printers and terminals, won't be able to communicate with one another, connect to the internet, or access the database. 


Can Impos run wirelessly?

For very small venues, or in extreme circumstances, there are wireless solutions available. However, these are more costly and less reliable than cable connections. Network cabling is typically at least 20 times faster than a wifi connection and isn't affected by walls, distance, interference from other sources or competing wifi networks. This frees up wifi capacity for devices that can't use anything else and means you will have a fast, reliable connection for the rest.


Can anyone do data cabling?

The short answer is no they can’t. If you need cabling done in your venue you will need to get a professional data cabler (usually an electrician).


Does Impos install data cabling?

No. You will need to have this ready prior to the installation of your Impos hardware. 


What happens if my data cabling isn't done prior to install?

Unfortunately, if there are insufficient data points available, cabling isn't run or the fitout isn't completed, our Impos technicians will be unable to complete the installation of your POS, and may need to reschedule with you after your cabling is complete. If this is the case, you will be liable for extra installation charges.






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