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How-To Guide
NetDay Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you're pitching a NetDay event to parents, educators, businesses, or the media, you're likely to hear certain questions. Here are our answers to the toughest ones.
Question Who are the NetDay sponsors and what are their responsibilities?

NetDay Sponsors are organizations and individuals who provide one or more of the following:

Technical Sponsors

  • Businesses and individuals with the technical skills to design and test Category 5 installations

  • Contractors with the staff and tools necessary to complete a NetDay installation

  • Suppliers of Category 5 cable, patch panels, information ports, and other related components

  • People and institutions who can train volunteers

  • Skilled workers responsible for delivering the equipment, ensuring its proper use, and returning it to the sponsoring organization or individual

Financial Sponsors

  • Individuals and organizations wishing to pay the above sponsors to provide their goods or services to a school or schools

  • Businesses or individuals providing the funds necessary to purchase one or more

  • NetDay kits, which contain Category 5 cable and related materials
Question What is a NetDay kit?

It has been estimated that cabling classrooms using traditional commercial methods would cost more than $1,000 per classroom, including engineering, materials, equipment, labor, and administration. That cost accounts for the running of cables through all kinds of walls, around asbestos, underground, and in the air. Often, the size of a wiring project is daunting enough to stop any school from proceeding.

NetDay is designed to use the volunteer talent of people experienced in installing high-technology equipment, with labor, engineering, administration, and tools being provided at no cost to schools. NetDay kits contain the materials required for a minimal installation: Category 5 cable, a patch panel to install at a central point in the school, and two RJ45 jacks for each of five classrooms and a computer lab or library. Through volume buying and a variety of funding strategies, we've negotiated kit prices below $300 (for kits containing non-plenum cable). NetDay encourages use of the easiest installation routes to minimize the need for penetrating exterior walls or constructing expensive wireways.

Donate your time, and the cost drops. Donate a NetDay kit, equipment, or funds to your school, and the cost drops. Do something on NetDay, and your children will be one step closer to being connected to the world.

Will our school's telephone bill now go through the roof?

As with every other educational resource, it is up to each school to select and pay for what it feels is appropriate to meeting its educational goals.

What are the hidden costs to the school, district, and county?

The cost of the materials necessary to complete a minimum NetDay installation covering five classrooms and a computer lab or a library is usually less than $300 (using non-plenum cable) computer equipment and services after NetDay is up to each school, district, and county.

Question How much will NetDay cost?

The standard NetDay kit contains 2,000 feet of Category 5 cable (plenum and non-plenum are available), a 24-port patch panel, and 12 RJ45 jacks. This is enough material to cable five adjacent classrooms and a library, computer lab, or media center, with two drops per room.

Who pays for the NetDay kits?

A sponsor, a school group, or a school itself can raise funds to pay for each kit. A kit with non-plenum cable usually cost less than $300, and NetDay continues to negotiate to reduce that cost even further. See NetDay Kits for details on kit contents, prices, and ordering.

Can kits be customized?

Yes. Most of the providers listed on our kits pages will customize the kit to your needs. (You will have to negotiate your own price.) In addition, many providers offer networking alternatives, such as wireless and fiber. Contact one of the kit vendors listed for details and a cost estimate.

What is Category 5 cable?

Category 5 cable consists of pairs of copper wires twisted around each other in a manner that cancels out the interference typically caused when an electrical current passes through wire. This reduction in interference increases the data throughput of the wire. Category 5 cable allows the transmission of more than 100 megabits per second for up to 328 feet (100 meters).

Who is installing the cable? Is there one company or are there many? How do we contact them?

The cable will be installed by community volunteers supported by more technically experienced volunteers. NetDay volunteers and organizers are responsible for recruiting skilled technicians by contacting local businesses or posting notices in the school newsletter or local newspaper.

What are the facility requirements? Will we have to dig at the school?

Facility requirements vary, but NetDay's initial focus is on installing cable in five classrooms and a library or computer lab, to avoid complicated installations, the need to penetrate exterior walls, and the difficulty and cost of trenching between buildings or stringing wire overhead from building to building.

It is important to follow appropriate precautions and requirements, as well as city, county, and state laws and guidelines, when dealing with asbestos, lead paint, or other potential hazards.

Check with your school and district for guidelines.

How does the work get inspected?

At the end of the day on NetDay, the same technical groups responsible for the design of the installation will be responsible for testing it and certifying that it meets Category 5 standards, or identifying and correcting any problems that may exist.

We want all our classrooms wired. Is that possible?

The number of classrooms that schools can wire on NetDay is only limited by a school's ability to organize its volunteers, partners, and other resources. Be sure to set reasonable goals - don't expect to wire an entire school in one day with just a few volunteers. It is imperative that you purchase kits from the same manufacturer if more than one kit is to be purchased for a school.

I can't find any information that defines the specific requirements of the "site survey." Can you tell me what specific information I need?

The site survey should be completed well in advance of NetDay and should be performed by a technical volunteer accompanied by the school or district facilities manager or engineer and your school's NetDay organizer. The survey team will identify a location for the patch panel and decide what classrooms will be wired, and they will specify the tools and equipment that will be necessary to complete the cable installation on NetDay. The site survey will act as a road map for the technical volunteer as he or she organizes volunteers to carry out specific tasks on NetDay.

See Site Survey and Wiring Plan in the NetDay How-To Guide for details.



Is this a project for all schools, private and public


All K-12 schools, private and public can organize NetDay wiring events.


Can a NetDay project use the NetDay or NextDay logo's on printed materials?


NetDay is copyright protected within the United States. NetDay recognizes that the NetDay brand recognition is a very important asset to schools who are organizing a NetDay event. Therefore, NetDay encourages appropriate use of the NetDay logo.

NetDay does allow K-12 projects that are organizing a NetDay wiring project to use the NetDay logo without formal permission from NetDay. This use of the NetDay logo can include written materials such as press releases, newsletter articles, T-shirts, hats, etc.

The NetDay logo can also be used electronically by organizations wishing to link to the NetDay Web site.

The use of the copywrited NetDay logo for any purposes beyond the wiring of K-12 schools is not permitted.

Download the NetDay logo.