Where Does Your Telephone, Internet and Electricity Wiring Connect To?

Your telecommunication, internet as well as electricity supply is probably something you take for granted in Malaysia due to the ubiquity and ease of access. However having a little insight may help in understanding how these necessities of life are generated and supplied to us.  Understanding the basics of wiring and electricity is important when you’re overseeing your house renovation projects, especially when it comes to wiring.


At the electric distribution substation that serves your home, the electricity is removed from the transmission system and passed through step-down transformers that lower the voltage. The electricity is then transferred onto your local electric co-op’s network of distribution lines and delivered to your home. There, the electricity’s voltage is lowered again by a distribution transformer and passed through your electric meter into your home’s network of electric wires and outlets.

A typical electrical transformer


Electrical wiring in Malaysia.

Electrical wiring is designed in a simple fashion. It is generally a simple twist of three copper wires that are either live, earthed or neutral. In Malaysia these three conduits are colour coded as such: Blue (neutral), Green (Earth/ ground) and Brown or Black (live). Each wire is encased in a first layer of plastic wire insulation and all three are the bundled in a thermoplastic jacket that is both heat and current resistant. 


Source: Howstuffworks


Source: Howstuffworks

Your wires must be attached to the right areas in the circuit in order for current to flow or it may result in a short circuit.

Telephone lines

A telephone line or telephone circuit (or just line or circuit within the industry) is a single-user circuit on a telephone-communication system. This is the physical wire or other signaling medium connecting the user’s telephone apparatus to the telecommunication network, and usually also implies a single telephone for billing purposes reserved for that user. Telephone lines are used to deliver landline telephone service and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet service to the premise. Telephone lines are connected to the public switched telephone network.

These wires were typically copper and are carried in balanced pairs separated by about 25 cm (10″) on poles above the ground, and later as twisted pair device that converts cables. Modern lines may run underground, and may carry analog or digital signals to the exchange, or may switch the analog signal to a digital one for transmission on a carrier system.

Often the customer end of that wire pair is connected to a  data access arrangement; the telephone company end of that wire pair is connected to a telephone hybrid.

In most cases, two copper wires (tip and ring) for each telephone line run from a home or other small buildings to a local telephone exchange. There is a central junction box for the building where the wires that go to telephone jacks throughout the building and wires that go to the exchange meet and can be connected in different configurations depending upon the subscribed telephone service. The wires between the junction box and the exchange are known as the local loop, and the network of wires going to an exchange: the access network.

Telephone wires at a switching station

Telephone Wires at a Switching Station


Source: corbisimages

Generally the type of cables used are two pairs of 22 AWG (0.33mm²) cables. In more modern homes and large offices, Category 5 cables or CAT5 (4 pairs of 22 AWG 0.33 mm²) solid copper is used which are generally faster and more secure in terms of connection.

Internet Wiring

There are three types of wiring for internet cables and they are: coaxial cables, copper phone lines or fibre optics.

Cable Internet requires a cable modem on the user’s end and a cable modem termination system at the cable operator’s facility. These two systems are connected using coaxial cable — the same stuff you use to get cable TV. The distance between the modem and the facility can be up to 100 miles for larger facilities and most nationwide cable providers operate out of several different hub.

Cable speeds are shared across users and the system is designed to distribute access evenly. If too many users use too much data, the backend can slow down for everyone.

To help limit users from taking up all available bandwidth, cable modems are programmed with rate limits. Higher tier packages often offer higher speeds. In recent years, a number of major broadband providers have also moved to offering metered rates, meaning users who use more data pay more than those who use less.

The speeds on cable can theoretically be as high as 100 Megabits per second down in homes and as fast as 20Mbits per second up.

Just as cable Internet uses the cable television system for its backend, DSL uses existing telephone networks. DSL is delivered simultaneously over a regular wired telephone line.

Most residential DSL is actually asymmetric DSL (or ADSL). This means download speeds can be faster than upload speeds. With the less common symmetric DSL (SDSL), download and upload speeds are equal.

Like cable, DSL works by connecting an ISP to the last mile for the user. In this case, it means connecting to a user’s copper phone line and a telephone exchange. The connection between a user’s phone line and the telephone exchange is limited to about 2 miles. The further away one gets from the exchange, the slower the speeds. As a result, DSL is best used in areas that are located within close proximity to a telephone exchange.

Download speeds on residential DSL are usually limited to 40Mbits per second down — though the average tends to be much less.

Multicolored computer internet cables

Source: depositphotos 

In recent years, cable and DSL have seen increasing competition from optical fiber systems. The benefit of optical fiber over coax or copper phone lines is that it can offer much higher data speeds over longer distances.

In fact, most Internet and cable backbones already use fiber optics for their backend infrastructure. These systems then switch to other technologies for the final delivery.

Speeds of 100 Mbits per second in both directions aren’t unheard of with fiber. In fact, Google Fibre hopes to bring 1000 Mbit connections in both directions directly to user homes.

Fibre Optic Cable

new-photoSource: imgkids



Right now, the biggest hold-up with fiber is deployment. Homes and buildings need to be wired for fiber and retrofitting residential locations can take a lot of time.

There you go, you know have some basic knowledge of wiring so that when an electrician or wireman comes over to your house to do wiring repair work , you won’t be clueless towards what’s happening.  Kaodim’s electricians are highly regarded by many Malaysians.  They’ve been very happy with their services and have left their reviews on the service providers’ Kaodim profile.  The next time you require electrical repairs services or wiring for your ‘rumah’, think of Kaodim.