In telecommunications and networking, an MDF (main distribution frame) is a central point (hub) where connections from various internal and external lines are terminated and managed. Originally used with analog telephones, MDFs are now a critical component in networking too, utilized for broadband services and data transmission. Examples of areas where MDFs are commonly used include telephone exchanges, data centers, and other facilities where large-scale network connections are required.
The broader appeal of a main distribution frame is that it provides telecommunication services at a higher capacity and lower cost than the smaller patch panel. An average MDF can accommodate hundreds of thousands of jumpers, which, in this context, refer to twisted-pair cables that are individually linked to a specific telephone line. Skilled professionals can change several of them daily for decades without encountering any tangling issues.