Phone and Data Wiring

twisted pair utp cable

twisted pair utp cable (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An IT job would note be complete without the need to specify, oversee, test, and occasionally do-it-yourself wiring for phone and data connections. There is a whole telecom language for all of the termination standards, cabling types, connectors, etc. It takes a while, but over time you will learn most of the important terms and specifications required.

Here are some of the common terms that you might need for a typical phone or data wiring job:

  • 66 Block (25 Pair Phone Termination)
  • 110 Block (Common for punch-down side of Cat5 & Cat6 data patch panels)
  • Patch Panel (data or phone distribution – many ports in a row)
  • RJ45, 8P8C Connector (standard data jack or matching plug)
  • Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a (high speed data cable)
  • 25 Pair cable (for phone wiring)
  • UTP, STP (Unshielded Twisted Pair, Shielded Twisted Pair)
  • Plenum vs Riser (Fire code rating for cable – Plenum is ventilation air return in drop ceiling)
  • Relay Rack or Wiring Distribution Frame
  • TIA/EIA-568-B and TIA/EIA-568-A (T568B and T568A) (Four Pair wiring color code)

This is a very high level start for a basic phone and data wiring “vocabulary”. You should find these terms and more in use by telecom, data center, and IT wiring design and implementation teams. Good luck on your wiring projects! 🙂


About notesbytom

Keeping technology notes on to free up my mind to solve new problems rather than figuring out the same ones repeatedly :-).
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