Sure, we all get along as people, however the rules of power
and data separation are to be followed closely, as the two
definitely don’t mix.
Electrical cables that are closely run, and/or run parallel
to data cables can cause electromagnetic interference (EMI) or
‘Noise’. This EMI causes distortion (errors) in the transfer of
data down the cable, making it difficult or impossible for the
receiver to ‘decode’ the information.
There is often confusion regarding the rules that govern the
minimum distance allowed to prevent EMI happening, as this is
somewhat dependent upon whether the cable is shielded or
unshielded and whether a divider is used between data and
electrical. As a general rule though, for bare unscreened power
cables and unshielded data cables without a metal divider
between them – 200mm is the minimum distance they should be kept
Failure to observe these rules may resort in distorting
‘noise’ which will have a significant impact upon the network,
and also could mean non-compliance with the Electricity at Work
Regulations 1989 & MC Regulations 2006.