My experience is with Verizon also. In my area Bell Atlantic preceeded
Verizon and Chesapeake and Potomac Tel. Co. preceeded Bell Atlantic.
Many of the homes in my neighborhood, as well as the neighborhood I
lived in about 12 years ago, never had demarc boxes installed.
The previous owner of my home had 2 lines. There are 2 cables that come
directly from a utility pole, attach to the side of the house with standoffs,
go down to the sill plate and enter the basement at the gap between the
siding and the sill plate. They continue about 10 feet into the basement
where each cable is connected to a separate junction block. The same
large-gauge, exterior wire connects one of these blocks to a third
block located about 25 feet away in another part of the basement. Each
block has several cables connected to it for the different extension
locations. Some of these cables are so old that they are cotton-covered.
A few rooms still have the old 4 prong phone jacks.
I have had a few problems with our phone wiring over the years. I have
_ASKED_ Verizon to PLEASE install a demarc box on several occasions but the
service techs just won't do it, instead they come into the house and "fix"
the immediate problem. We have never been billed for these "fixes." I
would rather have Verizon install a box, and rewire the house with
modern cabling myself. Perhaps one day Verizon will install the demarc
and I can go ahead with that plan
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
Feel free to do whatever wiring you like, WHEN you like.
Just because there is no "official" SNI/D doesn't mean you can't do your
own wiring. You simply begin your wiring at the point where the telco
drop wire terminates - usually on a protector block.
With the simple installation of a RJ11 block and short line cord, you
can build your own "interface" just immediately beyond the telco's
If I were to completely rewire a home, I would place a dedicated "home
run" to each outlet (as opposed to the "series" type of wiring) and
terminate each cable to a point that is walk-up accessible on a utility
room wall. From that location you simply run ONE cable to the demarc.
Fumbling around in the joists, along with the darkness and spider webs,
is a PITA.
That is where a "66" block comes in handy. Loop the telco pair through
the left side using the "no cut" side of the punch tool and bring all
of your home runs to separate pairs on the right side (using the "cut"
side). Bridging clips makes the final connection and removing them 2
at a time will isolate any home run to aid in trouble shooting a
Agreed. However, some folks object to PAYING for, and installing
themselves, that which SHOULD (and eventually might) be installed for
"free" by the telco.
While it sounds easy enough, keep in mind that service providers take a
VERY dim view of unauthorized persons messing with THEIR property.
In my experience, those that did work on the telco side of the demarc
did so in a shoddy, uninformed manner. Most often the ground was
omitted. Ignorant or, more likely, careless alarm system installers
were most likely to work "ahead" of the demarc. In many cases, they
would make their "line seizure" tap AHEAD of the protector, routing the
unprotected pair to the alarm system panel, then back to the protector
where it was finally protected.
There is a potential, significant ADVANTAGE to NOT having an official
network interface, particularly IF the customer does NOT subscribe to an
inside wiring maintenance plan: In the event of inside wire trouble,
where the subscriber is unable to UNPLUG from the network, a trouble
isolation charge is NOT levied. It is during this isolation process
that the repair tech is SUPPOSED to install a SNI/D, especially if the
customer does NOT subscribe to an inside wire maintenance plan. That
way, if inside trouble occurs again, the isolation charge ($) CAN be
On numerous occasions, I encountered and performed just as I described.
I would install the interface. Then, if the trouble was on just ONE of
the station wires, I would leave that one disconnected, usually
restoring service to the rest of the customer's system.
If there was only one pair leaving the old protector (series-wired
home), the customer remained out of service until the inside trouble was
In either case, I would show the customer their new SNI and demonstrate
its operation. I would then explain their options for repair including
an offer to fix the inside trouble myself at my company's exorbitant
A SNI/D (Standard Network Interface Device) does NOT necessarily improve
service as it provides NO improved protection compared to the old,
grandfathered "hard-wired to the protector" service. The SNI/D simply
provides an OFFICIAL point of demarcation between the service provider
and the customer AND a convenient means to disconnect from the network
for trouble isolation purposes.
So you are saying that I should modify wiring that belongs to the
phone co? :) Yeah, I know I could install a box myself, but I guess I can
be just as stubborn as the phone co. I've added new wiring where the house
needs it, but I'd just rather not do Verizon's job for them.
Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
Which was a real blessing! They will still do the wiring though, if you
want them to. And you're right, these days they have a cadre of
"approved" contractors do the wiring. But it's not cheap.
It used to be done by their own technicians "back when" but no more.
You can even do your own digital wiring these days of course and it's
much easier and a lot clearer what to do now; you almost can't go wrong
with digital except that there are so many different kinds. For those,
excepting some DSL lo speed stuff, you really have to have CAT5 or the
new CAT6 depending, or the lines just won't work well. I ran new CAT 5
for all my wiring as soon as I discovered we were goint to get DSL so I
don't know how bad it gets with the old wiring. Pretty bad I imagine,
esp if it's old enough to not be twisted pair cable.
I haven't seen it, but I understand you can even get CAT5 or 6 cable
with a sheath for grounding; I guess Faraday lives on!
Actually, the ownership of inside station wiring was transferred to the
property owner shortly after Divestiture: January 1, 1984.
...and it was NOT a blessing for at least 7-8 years.
Shortly after it became legal for non-telco personnel to install inside
wiring, every electrical contractor forced their employees to install
wire that was made improperly (no twist).
It was a mess: Non-standard (crosstalk) wire installed by those that
were MAD because they felt forced to add it to their existing job - and
they felt it was NOT their job. They were not privy to the politics of
The confidence with which you write belies your expertise; rather, your
LACK of it.
Inside (deregulated) wiring is still done today, EVERY day, by telco
employees - not just contractors.
Just what *IS* "digital" wiring?
I respectfully disagree.
Particularly with DSL, data-rated cable (Cat 5e, etc) is NOT required.
Think about it: The DSL signal is delivered to the end user over as
much as 3-4 MILES of non-data-rated cable that was made before DSL was
even thought of. It makes no sense to attach Cat 5e wire when its fed
with (probably) "Cat 2-1/2" cable.
Data-rated, twisted pair cable is required for high-speed networks - not
the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) system. And DSL - ALL "flavors"
of it - are delivered over the POTS network.
Nice wire but unnecessary for DSL (phone line-to-the-modem).
Not bad as long as the pair is good. In fact, DSL will operate, albeit
more slowly, on a faulted pair on just ONE conductor (the other being
Nope. You can deliver a reliable DSL signal to the modem using well
insulated bailing wire. Of course, I would avoid running that hack near
any motors, ballasts or other working pairs.
That is otherwise known as shielded cable. It, too, is overkill on the
POTS side of things - DSL included.
The Bell System break-up, the "Divestiture", occurred on January 1, 1984.
The first, official Standard Network Interface Devices (SNI/D) began
appearing some months thereafter.
Protectors (not SNI/D) had been often mounted on the outside of the home
for 10-20 years before that. During that period, it depended on the
whim of the installer as to whether the protector was located inside or
outside the premise. Those installed in the winter months were usually
located indoors. <grin>
You, kind sir, are mistaken.
The yellow/black pair in the old "light olive green D-Station Wire" was
most certainly - and commonly - used to provide a second line within the
same cable (along side the red/green pair). This is true whether in a
residential or commercial application.
This practice was enumerated in the BSPs (Bell System Practice)s.
A telco will - and does - work on such a two-line arrangement to this
day. It's "legal", proper and [ta da!] works just fine.
The OP read your words just fine. They were wrong.
I have 2 lines here and the few old sections of the original wiring
from the 60s had terrible crosstalk when you used both lines at the
same time. That really became obvious when you had a modem on one of
I ended up rewiring the whole cludge with twisted pair to stop it
It's pretty simple: If there is crosstalk, the cable is made wrong.
Western Electric's old, light-olive gray D-Station wire (quad wire)
would NOT crosstalk even though it had very little twist. The red and
green conductors were across from - not NEXT to - each other. Likewise
for the yellow and black conductors. They were stacked like this if
viewed as a cross section:
red - black
green - yellow
This configuration prevented POTS crosstalk. The introduction of
Touchtone<r> and, later, dial-up modems, created some cross, but it was
usually only audible if the CUMULATIVE length of the quad was great.
Following divestiture, the big cable manufacturers (Rome, Cerro,
General, etc) saw a potentially huge, untapped market. They all jumped
on their looms and began cranking out UNTWISTED cable.
They never bothered to inquire of Western Electric or the incumbent
telcos as to how we got 300 people on a 400 pair cable yet they never
heard one another (crosstalk).
There was a period of about 7-8 years after Divestiture where virtually
all new construction was done with garbage wire.
This situation wasn't discovered by the homeowner until they added a
second line - right about the time that dial-up internet was coming on
strong. Suddenly, they reported HOOL (Hears Others On Line). It didn't
take long for us to figure out what was going on.
Heck, for the last twenty years of my career, I installed and maintained
the service to a true MANSION. It is a gated estate complete with
gargoyles and all the toys. During construction, the place was
independently wired with about two bucks-worth of crosstalk quad!!
Of course, this was insufficient from about day one as the owner (a VERY
successful businessman) peaked at about 5 lines and one FX (foreign
exchange) line. He also added a four-wire, high-speed data setup years
before there was DSL.
I installed two, multi-line SNIs on the outside of the huge home and we
"walked away" from the garbage wire inside. Independent phone
contractors dealt with the inside from that day on.
My favorite encounter there in later years was the independently
installed 6-pair station in the third-floor "cupola" room centered in
the middle of the roof - an island in the roof.
The "technician" bored a hole through a window sill, shoved out the
wire, climbed onto the roof and proceed with the installation. When
done, the 6-pair INSIDE cable lay across the sloped roof and ran down
the INSIDE of the downspout! At the bottom, the installer bored a hole
in the elbow near the SNIs, fished out the wire and connected it. I
never did learn how long that hack lasted. Not long, I'm sure.
On Mon, 25 Aug 2008 12:24:11 -0400, "TWayne"
A lot of the materials I've seen (including wiring diagrams for jacks)
say yellow/black is for a second line. Also, if you have a third pair,
blue/white for a third line.
I don't know about key systems, but aren't the lights (that use
Hmm, please cite your source? I'd like a look at them for myself. I'm
wondering if you aren't mixing up different RJ families of connectors or
something or whether something has changed. At least from CFR data on
the 'net, nothing has changed so it would have had to have happened
within the last say two to three years at the most. But there are of
course, multi-line phone jacks and cabling required to cable them up.
But you can't plug a "normal" telephone into them; they're made for
Blue/White for what it's worth is part a large jack/connector
combination and nothing you would ever find in the home or even stores
that sell phone equipment unless they also sold key sets, PBXs and what
not. I've never even seen pure blue here in the states; only in the UK.
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