I'm ready for revB of my board. It's a small board supporting 32 outputs. One side is full of 8 RJ45 jacks; the other side has all SMD devices. I generally have used the thru-hole RJ45 jacks, but both the thru-hole pins as well as the un-plated mounting holes take up too much space on the back of the board. I'm now using SMD RJ45 jacks for the first time.

In reviewing the "artwork" before sending to fab, I noticed that the (electrically-isolated) mounting tabs on the RJ45 jacks create big islands of unconnected copper. It occurred to me that if I add them to the GND net, I can then have them part of the ground plane/copper pour (with thermal relief as normal for GND connections).

Is this a bad idea (or good idea/general practice)? By adding these tabs to the GND net/copper pour it creates a pretty solid ground plane and will (possibly/hopefully) help isolate the signals on the other side.

BTW, I'm using TE Connectivity (Tyco) 338088 jacks, drawing found here: http://www.te.com/commerce/DocumentD...txt=1-338088-3