3G – A marketing term for 3td generation wireless technology with transmission speeds generally less than 1Mbps.
4G – A marketing term for 4th generation wireless technology with transmission speeds greater than 1Mbps.
802.11 – IEEE 802.11 is a set of media access control and physical layer specifications for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication in the 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands. Here is a graphic depiction of related standards.
ADSL – Digital Subscriber Line that provides bandwidth for downloads at the expense of upload speeds and is the most common form of DSL used in home networking.
Anchor Institution – These are typically non-profit institutions that once established tend to not move location and include hospitals, universities, colleges, governmental entities and sport venues.
Asymmetric – In broadband asymmetric refers to different upload and download speeds.
Here’s another test.
Backbone – A backbone is a robust transmission line (or collection of transmission lines) that links many smaller local networks via known network access points. It can refer to a local backbone for a group of office buildings in a local area or it can refer to linking smaller networks to create a wide-area network or it can refer to the Internet itself.
Backhaul – Intermediate link between a local area network and a major Internet backbone interconnection point.
Bandwidth – The amount of data that can be sent in a time period
BICSI – (Building Industry Consulting Service International) is a professional association supporting the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. ICT covers the spectrum of voice, data, electronic safety & security, project management and audio & video technologies. It encompasses the design, project management and installation of pathways, spaces, optical fiber and copper-based distribution systems, wireless-based systems and infrastructure that supports the transportation of information and associated signaling between and among communications and information gathering devices.
Big Data – an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using most readily available data management tools such as spreadsheets, databases or traditional data processing applications.
Big Data Analytics – is the process of examining large data sets containing a variety of data types — i.e., big data — to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information.
Broadband – This refers to high-speed data transmission in which a single cable or fiber-optic pair can carry a large amount of data at once. From a consumer standpoint it means Internet access that is always on and faster than dial-up using a telephone modem. The FCC has set the speeds needed to be considered broadband to be a minimum download of 25mpbs and minimum upload of 3mbps. This definition is subject to being redefined as technology changes.
BTOP – is the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program which provided grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in three categories, Comprehensive Community Infrastructure, Public Computer Centers, Sustainable Broadband Adoption and is administered by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
Burstable – The ability to temporarily increase the capacity of a broadband connection for times when there is a dramatic increase in traffic.
Cable Modem – A device used for providing data in two directions over a cable TV network. Other people in your neighborhood use the same cable line, so the line can be subject to slowdown if many users share available bandwidth at the same time.
Carrier Hotel – is a secure physical site or building where data communications media converge and are interconnected. It is common for numerous service providers to share the facilities of a single carrier hotel. These are also called colocation centers.
Central Office – A physical building that houses inside plant equipment including routers, signal regeneration and amplification equipment.Telephone companies locate telephone switching equipment at Central Offices. Also known as a CO
CLEC – (competitive local exchange carrier) is a telecommunications provider company (sometimes called a “carrier”) competing with other, already established carriers (generally the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC)). Level 3 Communications is an example of a CLEC.
Cloud – is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). It is contrasted with using an organizations own servers or personal computers for running application software. Here is the National Institute of Standards and Technology Definition (pdf).
Co-location – is a type of data center where equipment, space, and bandwidth are available for rental to retail customers. Typically, a colo provides the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security while the customer provides servers and storage. Space in the facility is often leased by the rack, cabinet, cage or room. Many colos have extended their offerings to include managed services that support their customers’ business initiatives.
Commercial Carrier – in our context refers to both telecommunications service providers such as incumbent local exchange carriers and competitive local exchange carriers and mobile wireless companies along with internet service providers.
Community Area Network (CAN) – are high-speed communication networks that are collectively designed and managed to promote innovation, competition, and economic viability in local communities.
Cord Cutter – a person who cancels or forgoes a cable television subscription or landline phone connection in favor of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service. A popular way for cord cutters to view programming on their TV is with a streaming video box
CPE – Customer Premise Equipment, the “box” or device that is the interface with the customer to the broadband utility.
CWDM – Course Wave Division Multiplexing. This allows for a multiplication in capacity and bi-directional communications over a strand of fiber. Transmission of information via light over fiber can be thought of like a prism. Communication paths are colors in the spectrum. A CWDM system creates waves that have wide bands yielding a total 16 waves for a given path.
Cyber-Security – is the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. In a computing context, the term security implies cybersecurity.
Dark Fiber – refers to unused fiber-optic cable. Often times companies lay more lines than what’s needed in order to curb costs of having to do it again and again. The dark strands can be leased to individuals or other companies who want to establish optical connections among their own locations.
Data Center – is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. Data centers provide support infrastructure such as uninterruptible power sources (UPS), electrical generators, computer room air conditioners and physical security systems that support and protects the information technology equipment such as servers, data storage systems, network and communication equipment.
Data Storage Sizes – in data storage the basic unit is called a byte which is the unit most computers use to represent a character such as a letter, number, or typographic symbol (for example, “g”, “5”, or “?”. Multiples of bytes are prefixed indicating the number of bytes. These prefixes are kilobyte (KB) which is 1024 bytes, megabyte (MB) which is 1024 kilobytes, gigabyte (GB) which is 1024 megabytes, terabyte (TB) which is 1024 megabytes, petabyte (PB) which is 1024 terabytes, exabyte (EB) which is 1024 terabytes, zettabyte (ZB) which is 1024 exabytes and the yottabyte (YB) which is 1024 zettabytes.
Dig Once – is a broadband deployment policy focused on increasing coordination between government agencies and utility companies to decrease the frequency of highway excavation and to reduce private companies’ costs of expanding their high-speed internet networks. It typically includes the installation of conduit during any type of earth work construction.
Digital Divide –
Digital Inclusion – is the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies.
Digital Literacy – is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information; it requires both technical and cognitive skills.
Digital subscriber line (DSL) – is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines. In telecommunications marketing, the term DSL is widely understood to mean asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), the most commonly installed DSL technology, for Internet access. DSL service can be delivered simultaneously with wired telephone service on the same telephone line. This is possible because DSL uses higher frequency bands for data. On the customer premises, a DSL filter on each non-DSL outlet blocks any high-frequency interference to enable simultaneous use of the voice and DSL services.
Disaster Recovery – involves the policies and procedures needed to enable recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human induced disaster.
DOCSIS – an international telecommunications standard that permits the addition of high-bandwidth data transfer to an existing cable TV (CATV) system. It is employed by many cable television operators to provide Internet access over their existing hybrid fiber-coaxial infrastructure.
DSLAM – This stands for digital subscriber line access multiplexer. These are usually located at telephone company exchanges, and the further away your home is to one, the slower your broadband connection will be.
Duct Bank – are groups of conduits that are often buried and are designed to protect and consolidate cabling. In a duct bank, data cables are laid out within PVC conduits that are bundled together; these groupings of conduit are protected by concrete and metal casings.
DWDM – Dense Wave Division Multiplexing. This allows for a multiplication in capacity and bi-directional communications over a strand of fiber via waves.A DWDM system creates waves that have thin bands yielding 80 waves total for a given path. Compare with CWDM.
Fiber-Optics – are strands of optically pure glass that carry digital information over long distances by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber. They are made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair. The fiber cable consists of a core, cladding, and a protective outer coating.
Fiber-to-the-home(FTTH) – also called “fiber to the premises” (FTTP), is the installation and use of optical fiber from a central point directly to individual buildings such as residences, apartment buildings and businesses to provide unprecedented high-speed Internet access.
Firewall – A security system designed to protect a network from external threats (hackers). A hardware and software combination usually makes the firewall that separates a Local Area Network (LAN) from a Wide Area Network (WAN) and prevents unauthorized access to the LAN through the use of electronic security mechanisms such as IP filtering and address remapping.
Fog Computing – is a paradigm that extends cloud computing and services to the edge of the network. Similar to cloud, fog provides data, compute, storage, and application services to end-users. The distinguishing fog characteristics are its proximity to end-users, its dense geographical distribution, and its support for mobility. Services are hosted at the network edge or even end devices such as set-top-boxes or access points. By doing so, fog reduces service latency, and improves QoS, resulting in superior user-experience. Fog computing supports emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) applications that demand real-time/predictable latency such as industrial automation, transportation, and networks of sensors and actuators.
G.fast – is a digital subscriber line (DSL) standard for local loops shorter than 500 m, with performance targets between 150 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s, depending on loop length. High speeds are only achieved over very short loops
GPON – Gigabit Passive Optical Networking. This is the type of networking commonly deployed in fiber-to-the-home networks and can provide 622 Mbps symmetrical (same speed up and down the link) to 2.5 Gbps down and 1.25 Gbps up.
Hackathon – (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development and hardware development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects.
Hand-hold – An opening in a conduit or sheath to access fiber-optic cable and wires for splicing.
Headend – in a CATV system it is a master facility for receiving television signals for processing and distribution over a cable television system.
Hetnet – Heterogeneous Network involving a mix of radio technologies and cell types working together seamlessly. Includes coordinated radio network, integrated WiFi, advanced traffic management and high performance backhaul.
Hosted Server – is a type of Internet hosting in which a client leases an entire server not shared with anyone else.Typically, this involves providing a client with a dedicated piece of hardware that is housed in a data center rather than at the clients premise.
Hybrid Cloud – is a cloud computing environment in which an organization provides and manages some systems and applications in-house and obtains or uses other applications or services from an external organization. See the National Institute of Standards and Technology Definition (pdf) for more details.
Hybrid Fiber (HFC) – a hybrid fiber-coaxial cable system connects from the cable system’s distribution facility to local communities through optical fiber trunk lines where a box called an optical node translates the signal from a light beam to electrical signal, and sends it over coaxial cable lines for distribution to subscriber residences.
ILEC – (incumbent local exchange carrier) is a local telephone company which held the regional monopoly on landline service before the market was opened to competitive local exchange carriers. In much of the United States, these were originally Bell System companies, although various regional independents (including GTE) in the US held incumbent monopolies in their respective regions. BellSouth (AT&T) is an example of an ILEC.
Innerduct – Located within a conduit or sheath, innerduct seperates strands of fiber-optic cable from others. A sheath or conduit may be made up of multiple bundles of fiber, each enclosed with its own innerduct and sometimes owned by separate providers.
Interconnection – The linkage, by wire, radio, satellite, or other means of two or more existing telecommunications carriers or operators with one another for the purpose of allowing the subscribers of one carrier to reach the subscribers of other carriers.
Internet Exchange – is a location where the networks of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications carriers, content providers, and webhosters meet to exchange IP traffic with one another. This exchanging of regional, national, and international IP traffic is generally known as peering in a cost-neutral situation.
Parties generally peer at an Internet Exchange in order to decrease network costs, improve network performance, and make their network more redundant. Improving network performance is achieved by accessing many networks directly at the exchange which otherwise would have taken a longer route through other providers. Redundancy is created by having many routes at the exchange through which traffic can be sent.
Internet of Things – (IoT) is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.
Internet Service Provider – (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet. Internet service providers may be organized in various forms, such as commercial, community-owned, non-profit, or otherwise privately owned. ISPs can be grouped into tiers reflecting their connection to the Internet backbone. A tier 1 network is one that can reach every other network on the Internet without purchasing IP transit or paying settlements, AT&T or Level 3 Communications are examples of tier 1 networks. A tier 2 network peers with some networks, but still purchases IP transit or pays settlements to reach at least some portion of the Internet, Florida LambdaRail is an example of a tier 2. A tier 3 network is one that solely purchases transit from other networks to reach the Internet, the Escambia County network is an example of a tier 3 network.
IP (Internet Protocol) – A protocol (method) within TCP/IP by which computers communicate with one another (and identify one another) over the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique Internet Protocol address (IP address) that identifies it to other computers on the Internet.
IP Address – is an identifier for a computer, device or object on the Internet. The original version is known as IPv4 and provided about 4.2 billion unique addresses. The current version is IPv6 which will provide 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 unique addresses.
IPTV – This stands for internet protocol television. It refers to the technology which delivers television through an internet connection. A set-top box is required to access this technology, allowing you to watch television programs on demand.
IRU – (Indefeasible Right of Use) means the exclusive, unrestricted, and indefeasible right to use the relevant capacity (including equipment, fibers or capacity) for any legal purpose. An IRU gives the purchaser the right to use some capacity on a telecommunications cable system, including the right to lease that capacity to someone else. However, with that right comes an obligation to pay a proportion of the operating cost and a similar proportion of the costs of maintaining the cable including any costs incurred repairing the cable after mishaps. For information from an accounting perspective see this Ernest & Young paper “IRU arrangements: A purchaser’s guide to identifying and classifying leases“
LAN (Local Area Network) – A computer network that spans a relatively small area connecting computers, workstations, files servers, printers, and peripherals. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings. However, one LAN can be connected to other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves. A system of LANs connected in this way is called a Wide Area Network (WAN).
Last-Mile – Components of a broadband infrastructure project that provide service to end-user devices. In most cases, the last-mile connection goes to the end-user device in a home, business or a community anchor institution.
LATA – (local access and transport area) is a term in the U.S. for a geographic area covered by one or more local telephone companies, which are legally referred to as local exchange carriers (LECs). A connection between two local exchanges within the LATA is referred to as intraLATA. A connection between a carrier in one LATA to a carrier in another LATA is referred to as interLATA.
Lateral – A fiber path extending from the backbone of a network to an organizations network.
Local Loop – An access circuit from the network edge to the customer premises, a local loop (aka last mile) is a short haul circuit for access to a local exchange (typically telephone related).
LOST – (Local Option Sales Tax) is a special-purpose tax implemented and levied at the city or county level. A local option sales tax is often used as a means of raising funds for specific local or area projects, such as improving area streets and roads, or refurbishing a community’s downtown area.
LTE – (Long Term Evolution) is a 4G wireless broadband technology developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an industry trade group and represents the next step (4G) in a progression from GSM (a 2G standard) to UMTS (the 3G technologies based upon GSM). LTE provides significantly increased peak data rates, with the potential for 100 Mbps downstream and 30 Mbps upstream, reduced latency, scalable bandwidth capacity, and backwards compatibility with existing GSM and UMTS technology. Future developments to could yield peak throughput on the order of 300 Mbps.
Make Ready – Everything that needs to be done to make a facility ready to receive the fiber-optic cable or similar preparations necessary to build fiber along a given route. This could include permitting, masonry, electrical work, moving existing cabling to make room for new attachments. A common example is moving existing communications cabling on power poles to make room for additional cabling.
Managed Services – is a business model where a communications service provider offers day-to-day operation and management of the network between customer locations under an agreed service level agreement. Typically, the customer pays a monthly fee to the service provider and receives a pre-determined network bandwidth that can vary on a per location basis.
Meet-me-room – is a place within a colocation center (or carrier hotel) where telecommunications companies can physically connect to one another and exchange data without incurring local loop (last mile) fees from the local telephone company.
Middle-Mile – Components of a broadband infrastructure project that provide broadband service from an Internet point of presence to one or more centralized facilities (i.e. the central office, the cable headend, the wireless switching station or other centralized facility), which allows a last-mile provider to provide Internet access to a home, business or community anchor institution.
MSO – Multiple System Operator. The FCC defines a cable system as one that serves a single community, so an MSO is an operator of cable systems in multiple communities.
Multicast – A process of transmitting data from one source to many destinations.
NAP – Network Access Points. Commonly referred to as Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and are places in which large network providers converge for the direct exchange of traffic. Typically, an ISP or network provider will access Tier 1 global providers and their networks via a NAP. NAPs also serve as meet-me points for like networks. Also known as Carrier Hotels or ISP shopping malls.
Node – A node is any device connected to a computer network and can be computers, cell phones, tablets, or various other network appliances. On an IP network it is any device with an IP address.
NTIA – National Telecommunications and Information Administration which is part of the Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that is principally responsible by law for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.
Open Access Network (OAN) – a network architecture and business model that separates the physical access to the network from the delivery of services. In an OAN, the owner or manager of the network does not supply services for the network; these services must be supplied by separate retail service providers. There are two basic models, in the two layer model there is a network owner and operator, and multiple retail service providers that deliver services over the network. In the three layer model the physical layer is owned by one company, the operations and maintenance of the network and the provision of services is run by a second company, and the retail service providers provide the third layer.
OTT – (Over-the-Top) In broadcasting, OTT refers to delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator (cable company) in the control or distribution of the content. The Internet provider may be aware of the contents of the network traffic but is not responsible for, nor able to control, the viewing abilities, copyrights, and/or other redistribution of the content. This model contrasts with the purchasing or rental of video or audio content from an Internet service provider (ISP), such as pay television video on demand or an IPTV video service, like AT&T U-Verse. OTT in particular refers to content that arrives from a third party – such as Hulu or Netflix – and is delivered to an end-user device, leaving the ISP only the role of transporting IP packets.
Overlashing – a method of installing aerial fiber by lashing to an existing lashed fiber or copper cable instead of a dedicated messenger cable.
Passive Optical Networking (PON) – A passive optical network is a system that brings optical fiber cabling and signals all or most of the way to the end user. The passive simply describes the fact that optical transmission has no power requirements or active electronic parts once the signal is going through the network. A PON consists of an Optical Line Termination (OLT) at the service providers location and a number of Optical Network Units (ONUs) near end users. Typically, up to 32 ONUs can be connected to an OLT.
POP – Point of Presence. The point at which local Internet Service Providers connect to regional and national networks. Distance to the POP can influence service availability and pricing.
POTS – Plain old telephone service, an industry accepted acronym that defines the telephone lines connected to most residential users.
PSTN – Short for Public Switched Telephone Network, which refers to the international telephone system based on copper wires carrying analog voice data. This is in contrast to newer telephone networks base on digital technologies, such as ISDN and FDDI. Telephone service carried by the PSTN is often called plain old telephone service (POTS).
Public-Private Partnership (PPP or P3) – is a contractual arrangement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity. Through this agreement, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public. In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.
Web Resource: National Council for Public-Private Partnerships
Server – is a computer that provides data to other computers. It may serve data to systems on a local area network or a wide area network over the Internet. Many types of servers exist, including web servers, mail servers, and file servers. Each type runs software specific to the purpose of the server.
Service Level Agreement – (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its internal or external customers that documents what services the provider will furnish. They measure the service provider’s performance and quality in a number of ways such as availability and uptime, specific performance benchmarks, application response time, help desk response time and may include a plan for addressing downtime and documentation for how the service provider will compensate customers in the event of a contract breach.
Slack loop – Excess fiber between coil-line equipment. The slack loop provides additional fiber along the path to be used for fiber repairs, splices, etc.
Small cells – is an umbrella term for operator-controlled (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) low-powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade Wi-Fi. Small cells typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred meters. Types of small cells include femtocells, picocells and microcells – broadly increasing in size from femtocells (the smallest) to microcells (the largest). Any or all of these small cells can be based on ‘femtocell technology’ – i.e. the collection of standards, software, open interfaces, chips and know-how that have powered the growth of femtocells.
Smart Meter – is usually an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to a utility for monitoring and billing. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system.
Triple Play – A marketing term used by telecommunication providers to describe the availability of vice (telephone), video (television) and data (Internet) generally bundled as a combined service.
Under-served area – is typically an area where no more than 50 percent of households have access to broadband service at greater than the minimum broadband speed; or the rate of broadband subscriber-ship is 40 percent of households or less.
Unserved area – is typically an area where at least 90 percent of households lack access to broadband service, either fixed or mobile that provides a minimum of 25mbps download and a minimum of 3mbps upload speeds.
VDSL2 – (Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line 2) is an access technology that exploits the existing infrastructure of copper wires that were originally deployed for traditional telephone service as a way of delivering very-high-speed internet access. The main high-speed link (e.g. a fiber optic connection) terminates at a hub near the customers’ location. The existing copper wire infrastructure is then used to carry the high speed connection for the short remaining distance to the customers. It can be deployed from central offices, from fiber-optic connected cabinets located near the customer premises, or within buildings. It has been defined in standard ITU-T G.993.2 finalized in 2005.
VOIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – Technology that enables broadband users to send and receive telephone call over the Internet.
Wavelength – Commonly referred to as a Wave. It is the distance between identical points in the adjacent cycles of a wave form signal (color of light) propagated in space or along a wire.
WDM – Wavelength-division multiplexing. A method of combining multiple signals on laser beams at various infrared wavelengths for transmission along fiber optic media.
Wide Area Network (WAN) – A large computer and voice network. Typically it is larger than a metropolitan area. The wide area network uses communications technologies to link its network segments, which can be one big network or linked local area networks (LANs). Computers connected to a wide area network are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites.
Wi Fi – is a wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. It describes network components that are based on one of the 802.11 standards developed by the IEEE and adopted by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Examples of Wi-Fi standards, in chronological order include: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac