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Definition: bridged tap

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.