Residential Telecommunications



One of the biggest problems I had when rewiring the telephone network in my home was figuring out which connection standards to use and how to make connections between components that use different colour schemes and support different numbers of telephone lines. Have a look at all the possible jack and plug arrangements at Jacks and Plugs - Voice to see what I mean. It lists 11 different ways a single residential phone jack can be wired. Some are Registered Jack (RJ) standard configurations and others are non-standard configurations sometimes used by installers.

After sorting all that out though, I later learned about the ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-B Residential Telecommunications Cabling Standard. Wonderful, I thought. Not only is it simpler than the RJ standards (it uses a single connection scheme, T568A, throughout) but it also specifies other important areas such as cable selection, topology, outlet placement, etc. Sounds like exactly what I need to know for any future work. Unfortunately, after looking into the standard further I bumped into a few roadblocks that will prevent me from fully implementing it in my home any time soon.

  1. The standard document is not freely available. Purchasing a copy would cost me US$160 (priced as of 2007-06). My local public library, university library, and standards organization do not have copies.
  2. The standard calls for 8 Position jacks at all telephone outlets, something I'm uncomfortable with for reasons listed at Jacks and Plugs - Voice - Using 8 Position Jacks for Telephone Lines.

Note that all the ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-B information on SQL Snippets™ comes from various online sources which only discuss specific components of the standard. In the information to follow components that I believe meet ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-B standards are presented in highlighted text. Unhighlighted components may or may not meet the standard.

Note also that the standards and equipment shown here may not be applicable, available, or legal in your geographic region.


ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-B also covers residential LANs. As with voice networks I can't really say whether my home LAN is ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-B compliant or not because I don't have a copy of the standard. I think I have the most important parts covered though, Category 5e cabling, Category 5e connectors, and T568A connections throughout.

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