Q: What is PoE?
A: PoE stands for Power over Ethernet. Power over Ethernet is a method of providing electrical power to devices via low voltage communication cables, such as Category 5e, 6 and 6A cables. Power is provided over two or four pairs in the cable, depending on the amount of wattage necessary to power the device. Standard PoE is characterized as providing up to 12.95 watts of power over 2 pairs. Powered devices include phones, wireless access points, cameras, access control devices, LED lighting and more. Power is supplied via individual power injectors or a rack mounted power supply which is usually located in the telecommunication room with the networking electronics. IEEE standard 802.3af (Type 1) identifies the techniques for transmitting power in this manner. A new PoE standard identifying 96 watts of power is currently in development. As the power transmitted over Ethernet increase, so does the variety of devices that will be powered. The main advantages of powering devices over category cable versus electrical wiring are the significantly reduced installation costs and quicker/simpler moves and additions.