Drop (telecommunication)

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A TV antenna with a long downlead visible at right

In a communications network, a drop is the portion of a device directly connected to the internal station facilities, such as toward a telephone switchboard, toward a switching center, or toward a telephone exchange. A drop can also be a wire or cable from a pole or cable terminus to a building, in which case it may be referred to as a downlead. These cables may be reinforced to withstand the tension (due to gravity and weather) of an aerial drop (i.e., hanging in air), as in "messenger" type RG-6 coaxial cable, which is reinforced with a steel messenger wire along its length.

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