Broadband Glossary

1xRTT - Single Carrier (1x) Radio Transmission Technology

It is an operational mode for CDMA2000 wireless communications that specifies a single (1x) 1.25MHz channel for data transfer. The theoretical network voice capacity of basic 1xRTT systems is approximately 144 kilobits per second ( Kbps ) although in practice the highest attainable speed is approximately 80 Kbps.

2G – short for ‘Second Generation’ wireless telephony technology

A digital mobile communications standard allowing for voice calls and limited data transmission. The name given to original GSM, CDMA, and TDMA networks. It uses the spectrum more efficiently than analog (1G) systems and offers digital encryption of conversations. 2G networks introduced data services for mobiles starting with SMS.

3G Broadband – short for ‘Third Generation’ wireless telephony technology

It refers to the third generation of mobile phone technology following on from 2G. 3G allows for faster access to the internet and allows services including video calls and wireless internet.

4G Broadband – short for ‘Fourth Generation’ wireless telephony technology

The next generation of mobile access technology that supersedes the speeds of 3G technologies. It is also referred to as LTE (Long Term Evolution technology.)


It is any software, hardware or process that is used to combat the proliferation of spam or to keep spam from entering a system.


Anti-spyware software programs can be used solely for detection and removal of spyware software that has already been installed into the computer. This kind of anti-spyware can often be set to scan on a regular schedule.


A utility that searches a hard disk for viruses and removes any that are found. Most antivirus programs include an auto-update feature that enables the program to download profiles of new viruses so that it can check for the new viruses as soon as they are discovered.

Application Server

A program that handles all application operations between users and an organization’s backend business applications or databases.

ARPANet - Advanced Research Projects Agency Network

The precursor to the Internet; developed in the late 60′s and early 70′s by the US Department of Defense. It was was one of the world’s first operational packet switching networks, the first network to implement TCP/IP, and the progenitor of what was to become the global Internet.


a unit of transmission speed equal to the number of times a signal changes state per second.

In common usage the ‘baud’ of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is the number of times per second that the carrier signal shifts value.

For example, a 1200 bit-per-second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300= 1200 bits per second).

Baud rate

A number related to the speed of data transmission in a system. The rate indicates the number of electrical oscillations per second that occurs within a data transmission. The higher the baud rate, the more bits per second that are transferred.


Information consisting entirely of ones and zeros. Also, commonly used to refer to files that are not simply text files, e.g. images.

Bit - Binary DigIT

A single digit number in base-2, in other words, either one or zero. The smallest unit of computerised data. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second.

bps - bits-per-second

A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 56K modem can move about 57,000 bits per second.


A client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of internet resources.


A high-capacity transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies, which enables a large number of messages to be communicated simultaneously.


A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 Bits in a Byte, depending on how the measurement is being made.

CGI - Common Gateway Interface

A set of rules that describe how a web server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software talks to the web server.


A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a server software program on another computer, often across a great distance. A web browser is a specific kind of client.


It refers to a piece of information that the browser is expected to save and to send back to the server whenever the browser makes additional requests. They might contain information such as login or registration information, online shopping cart information, user preferences, etc.

Contention Ratio

Ratio of the potential maximum demand to the actual bandwidth. The higher contention ratio, greater the number of users that may be trying to use the actual bandwidth at any one time and, therefore, the lower the effective bandwidth offered, especially at peak times.

Dial-Up Access

A device to a network via a modem and a public telephone network. Dial-up access uses normal telephone lines, the quality of the connection is not always good and data rates are limited. In the past, the maximum data rate with dial-up access was 56 Kbps (56,000 bits per second), but new technologies such as ISDN are providing faster rates.

Download Speed

It refers to how quickly a file can be downloaded from a remote source. To ‘download’ something means to obtain it on your computer, usually through the internet. This is typically from a website that has the file that you want, or from another user that allows you to download the file directly from them. The download speed is measured by how much of the file is transferred to you over a certain amount of time.

Domain Name

The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.

Dynamic IP Address

An IP address that is assigned automatically by the system to a device, account or user when it is connected to the network. It is assigned as needed and not in advance.

DSL – Digital Subscriber Line

A family of technologies that provide internet access by transmitting digital data using a local telephone network. DSL technology theoretically supports data rates of 8.448 Mbps, although typical rates are 1.544 Mbps or lower.


A system for connecting a number of computer systems to form a local area network with protocols to control the passing of information and to avoid simultaneous transmission by two or more systems.

Ethernet Cards

An Ethernet card is one kind of network adapter. These adapters support the Ethernet standard for high-speed network connections via cables. Ethernet cards are sometimes known as Network Interface Cards (NICs).

Ethernet Cable

Computer network cabling (wired Ethernet as defined by IEEE 802.3) consists of 4 pairs of copper cabling that can be utilised for both voice and data transmission. The use of two wires twisted together helps to reduce crosstalk and electromagnetic induction.


an intranet that can be partially accessed by authorized outside users, enabling businesses to exchange information over the Internet in a secure way.

FUP – Fair Usage Policy

A policy that applies to unlimited broadband and phone usage contracts and is designed to ensure that connection speeds at peak times are not slowed down by users uploading and downloading lots of large files.


A combination of hardware and software that separates a network into two or more parts for security purposes.

Fixed line

It denotes or relates to telecommunications systems using cables laid across land, as opposed to cellular radio systems.

FTP — (File Transfer Protocol)

A very common method of moving files between two Internet sites. FTP is a way to login to another Internet site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files.

Gbs – Gigabits

A unit used to describe the speed at which data travels across an internet connection (also sometimes seen written as Gbps, or gigabits per second). Current broadband connections are measured in Mb (megabits per second) – there is 1024Mb in 1Gb.

GBs – GigaBytes

It is the measure of computer data storage capacity. There are 1024 bytes in a kilobyte (KB), 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte (MB), and 1024 megabytes in a gigabyte.


A specific geographic location in which an access point provides public wireless broadband network services to mobile visitors through a WLAN. Hotspots are often located in heavily populated places such as airports, train stations, libraries, convention centers and hotels.


Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services, such as SMTP (email) and HTTP (web).

HTML — (HyperText Markup Language)

The coding language used to create hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web.

HTTP — (HyperText Transfer Protocol)

The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program (such as Apache) on the other end.

IP address – Internet Protocol address

A unique string of numbers separated by full stops that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.


A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use.

IRC – Internet Relay Chat

Basically a huge multi-user live chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers around the world which are linked to each other.

ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network

Basically a way to move more data over existing regular phone lines. Unlike DSL, ISDN can be used to connect to many different locations, one at a time, just like a regular telephone call, as long the other location also has ISDN.

ISP — (Internet Service Provider)

An institution that provides access to the Internet in some form, usually for money.

LAN – Local Area Network

A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.

Leased Line

Refers to line such as a telephone line or fiber-optic cable that is rented for exclusive 24-hour, 7-days-a-week use from your location to another location. The highest speed data connections require a leased line.


Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not a secret.
Verb: the act of connecting to a computer system by giving your credentials (usually your username and password)

MAC address – Media Access Control address a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment. MAC addresses are used as a network address for most IEEE 802 network technologies, including Ethernet.

Meta Tag

A specific kind of HTML tag that contains information not normally displayed to the user. Meta tags contain information about the page itself, hence the name (‘meta’ means ‘about this subject’)


A device that connects a computer to a phone line. A modem allows a computer to talk to other computers through the phone system. Basically, modems do for computers what a telephone does for humans. The maximum practical bandwidth using a modem over regular telephone lines is currently around 57,000 bps.


The etiquette on the Internet i.e. the correct or acceptable way of using the Internet.


Any single computer connected to a network.


It is a URL that points to a specific blog posting, rather than to the page in which the posting original occurred (which may no longer contain the posting.)

Proxy Server

A server (a computer system or an application) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.


A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the connection between 2 or more Packet-Switched networks. Routers spend all their time looking at the source and destination addresses of the packets passing through them and deciding which route to send them on.

Spam (or Spamming)

An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn’t ask for it.


A somewhat vague term generally referring to software that is secretly installed on a user’s computer and it monitors use of the computer in some way without the user’s knowledge or consent.


1000 gigabytes. <hyperlink to broadband glossary post>

Trojan Horse

A computer program either hidden inside another program or that masquerades as something it is not, in order to trick potential users into running it. For example a program that appears to be a game or image file but in reality performs some other function.

TRAI – Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

It is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol

It is a specification and various technologies used to allow making telephone calls over IP networks, especially the internet. Just as modems allow computers to connect to the internet over regular telephone lines, VoIP technology allows humans to talk over internet connections.


A chunk of computer programming code that makes copies of itself without any conscious human intervention. Some viruses do more than simply replicate themselves, they might display messages, install other software or files, delete software of files, etc.

Wi-Fi – Wireless Fidelity

A popular term for a form of wireless data communication. Basically Wi-Fi is “Wireless Ethernet”

WAN – Wide Area Network

A network that covers a broad area (i.e., any telecommunications network that links across metropolitan, regional, national or international boundaries) using telecommunication lines.

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