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We have a gigabit network and at each desk there is one outlet and a computer and a voip phone. The Voip phones have a 10/100 switch in them and then the computer needs to plug into the phone therefore eliminating the gigabit speeds.

Is there a small/micro device I can simply plug into the wall switch and have the ethernet power the device and then it gives me 2 gigabit ports?

I can't even find 2 port gigabit switches in my searches. I am thinking they are called something else.

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What value is a 2-port switch? I'd call it a "cable". – Nick T Jun 9 '11 at 3:23
Cisco, Avaya, and ShoreTel now make phones with built-in gigabit support. – PleaseStand Jun 9 '11 at 12:28
up vote 2 down vote accepted

HP IntelliJack Gigabit switches can be installed in a wall outlets and can be powered by PoE. They provide four switched Gigabit ports.

If the switch is powered by a 802.3at-2009 (PoE+) source (or a local DC supply), it can power up to two other devices.

HP IntelliJack Gigabit switch

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Just a link isn't very helpful. Could you include some info about what this is and how it solves the problem? – nhinkle Jul 7 '11 at 15:19
This is awesome and what a great solution! They run in the mid 100's & appears to be very clean and efficient. It includes PoE and PoE forwarding to 2 ports too! Here are the shopping results if anyone else is looking for these ~ (I emailed HP for a pricing inquiry & I did not hear back, that was around July 7th when the link was posted). – Elijah Lynn Jul 29 '11 at 22:02

The smallest Ethernet switch I've seen are 5-port units. Then there's the question of "would the switch allow PoE to pass through?" I think the answer is "no"; the VoIP phone probably has to be the very first device connected to the wall plate in order to receive power.

If you abandon the idea of using PoE and can use external power (e.g. wall warts) to power the phone and the Gigabit switch, then the solution is rather simple.

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The phones don't need PoE, they use a wall jack right now. I just don't want bug huge 5 port switches on all 15 desks, I want elegance and I realize the most elegant way would have been to run two cables to each outlet to begin with. Or to use VOIP phones with gigabit switches, which may still be an option. – Elijah Lynn Jun 14 '11 at 22:45
I think the only elegant solution is to use PoE phones with Gigabit ports, as PleaseStand mentioned, since you end up with minimal wiring/cables and no wall warts. It is the phone that prevents you from using Gigabit today, and is the root of the problem; replace the phone and the problem goes away. Using two Ethernet cables to each desk is a brute-force solution. – sawdust Jun 15 '11 at 18:42

Why not get a gigabit switch, with 4 to 8 ports, for your desk? There are several options available which are relatively inexpensive. To have the device powered through the Ethernet cable would require that the main gigabit network switch can supply Power over Ethernet, and that the local switch supports this.

Ethernet splitters only exist for 10/100MBit networks; they cannot be used for gigabit Ethernet because all 8 wires are required.

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Because they are ugly, bulky and we have 15 desks that would need one. Right now I have been buying a few 5 port and 9 port switchs where some of the desks are clustered together but it is quite an ugly site and looks pretty hackie. I am looking for the most elegant solution short of doing some more cable runs. – Elijah Lynn Jun 14 '11 at 22:48

I have one of these on my shelf. I've never used it, but this would fit the bill, I think.

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That looks pretty awesome but is not gigabit, "4 10/100 managed Ethernet ports". Is there hope for a gigabit version... because that is a sexy solution! – Elijah Lynn Jun 14 '11 at 22:46

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