In telephone communications, any cable pair spliced into the main pair. Many unused bridged taps remain from the early days when party lines were the norm and two or more taps were made on every line. The extra taps were later cut, taken off the termination block and buried into the wire maze, making them difficult to locate. Bridged taps cause undesirable reflection that can distort the high-frequency signals in modern transmission technologies.
A section of cable that is not on the direct physical path between the user premises and the central office (CO), but is bridged, i.e., temporarily spliced, onto the path.A bridged tap results in multiple appearances of the same cable pair, usually as a result of old drops to premises where previous subscribers had telephone service, but that were not removed when they disconnected service. Bridged taps cause signal distortion due to reflection and are best removed, especially if high frequency services such as ADSL are to be provisioned over the cable pair. See also ADSL, cable, CO, distortion, drop, pair, premises, and reflection.