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How-To Guide
What is a NetDay Kit?

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 $350, 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. We currently have one provider (listed on our kits pages) who 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 our kit vendor 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 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.