Coaxial Cable

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What Does Coaxial Cable Mean?

A coaxial cable is a type of shielded and insulated copper cable that is used in computer networks and to deliver cable TV services to end users. It was first commercially implemented in the early 1940s and is used for both baseband and broadband data communication services.


Coaxial cable is also known as coax, which is derived from the geometric axis created between a shield and insulator.

Techopedia Explains Coaxial Cable

A coaxial cable is used by cable TV service providers to stretch transmission lines from their branch or control offices to residential and business subscribers.

It consists of four primary components, as follows:

  • A core copper wire, which serves as the primary channel
  • A dielectric plastic insulator, which surrounds the copper
  • A braided copper/aluminum sheath beneath the insulator. This is used to protect from external electromagnetic interference.
  • The last layer, which is made of Teflon or plastic coating, is used to protect the inner layers from physical damage, such as fire and water.

Coaxial cables tend to carry signals at a greater distance and are a good choice for weak signals, due to their layered protection. There are several types of coaxial cables, which are classified by the inner copper core diameter and number of protective sheaths.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.