What is an MDF?
Con Georgiopoulos avatar
Written by Con Georgiopoulos
Updated over a week ago

If you've only ever lived in a house or a self-contained unit you may never heard of an MDF. For houses, the connection is generally from the exchange directly to your house.

For apartments, or Multi-Dwelling Unit's (MDU) it's a little more complicated. The modern apartment complex is built with centralised distribution frames. These are called Main Distribution Frames (MDF).

In telco land, this is called the Network Boundary Point (NBP). These distribution frames have both an 'A' and a 'B' side.

The 'A' side is where all incoming phone and internet lines from the exchange connect to.

The 'B' side is where the lines from the 'A' side are jumpered (connected to) so they can connect to your unit/apartment.

Where is the service provider's responsibility?

When a new service is ordered for an MDU, the network carrier (Telstra, Optus, nbnco, etc) will complete the connection in the Main Distribution Frame (MDF). The technician will generally tag the connection so the copper pair is identifiable.

The end-user (the customer order ordering the service) will need to organise a technician to jumper the connection from the 'A' side to the 'B' side. If this is a larger complex with strata, they may organise and pay for this on your behalf.

What is involved in MDF Jumpering?

MDF jumpering is the process of MDF jumpering the 'A' side of the MDF to the 'B' side of the MDF.

This is generally a relatively easy process where a technician will find the 'tagged' copper pair on the 'A' side of the MDF and then find the labelled copper pair going to your unit/apartment and then connect them together using a copper cable.

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