Common Types of Communications Cable

As the subscriber, and no matter if you live in Plymouth, Yelverton or Tavistock, you have no control over the cabling from the exchange to the entry point of your premises as this is always provided by BT Openreach™. However, the cable used on your internal telephone extension wiring and the cable used to connect the router to your Broadband service is the users' responsibility and can often be the biggest cause of connection problems.

Using the wrong cable may degrade the performance of your broadband service.

Some older properties may not have a modern master socket and it would be advisable to have a new NTE-5 socket fitted.

I can install new wiring in Plymouth, Tavistock, Yelverton and beyond.




Flat IPC Telephone Cable

Flat IPC Telephone Cable FCC68/CW1311

This type of cable is commonly supplied in ready made DIY telephone extension kits; the type that are plugged in rather than require hard wiring. The reason this cable is so common is that it is very cheap and it is easy to install. Also it is quite popular due to its low profile, making it easy to hide. Typically the RJ11 cable supplied with a modem is also made from this cable. While the short length of just a couple of metres as supplied with the modem will not usually cause any problems for most people, this type of cable is by far the worst type of cable to use for ADSL so long lengths should be avoided. If you are near the limits for receiving ADSL or experiencing problems, this type of cable should be avoided altogether.

Alarm Cable

Non-Twisted Telephone/Alarm Cable

Most telephone cables that you can buy in a DIY store are not twisted pair. They are cheaper, general purpose low voltage cable as used for house alarms. You often see it labeled as telephone/alarm cable. This cable has straight through connections that have no rejection to interference. This cable is adequate for voice but can only be used in short runs in a typical home/office environment where there are lots of sources of electrical interference. It is not a good idea to use this sort of cable for an ADSL installation, especially if more than 5m of cable is required, it would be best to avoid this type of cable altogether.

CW1308 Twisted Pair

CW1308 Twisted Pair

Authentic telephone cable is twisted pair (the official standard is BT reference number CW1308). It is typically manufactured from 0.50mm solid tinned copper and each of the pairs of wires is colour coded and loosely twisted together. This is the same type of cable that a I will use if you have an extension installed.

This cable is used for voice and DSL. Its twisted pair construction provides some resistance to interference. As the CW1308 cable is essentially the same specification that is used throughout the whole telephone network, its reliability is proven. A long run of CW1308 cable can be used for ADSL, 50m can typically be achieved without any noticeable degradation. CW1308 is a economical way to ensure a reliable connection and its small diameter means it is not unsightly and easy to pin to skirting boards etc.

CAT6 cable

CAT5e/CAT6/CAT7 Network cable

Quite often CAT5 cable is often recommended as the ideal cable to use for ADSL wiring. CAT5 cable is a twisted pair cable so it is perfectly suited for the purpose. CAT5 cable is designed for Ethernet networking applications that run at much higher frequencies and higher data rates than those of ADSL. As a result the wire used is thicker and the cable has a higher number of twists per metre than CW1308 cable. There is very little benefit in choosing CAT5 or CAT6 cable over the standard CW1308 cable as the extra twists will not benefit the ADSL signal. CAT5/6 cable is a little bulkier than CW1308 as it typically has 4 pairs (8 wires) and is usually supplied in a grey finish which can make it more difficult to hide.This cable must be routed through either conduit or mini trunking because stapling this cable will reduce it's capabilities.