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Glossary of Terms

ADSL
  Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. This is a DSL line where the upload and download speeds differ - typically the download speed is faster than the upload speed.
ATM
  Asynchronous Transfer Mode - an international standard for data transmission in which multiple service types (voice, video, data etc.) are conveyed in fixed-length (53-byte) 'cells'.
BT Central
  The name of the circuit used to connect the ADSL broadband ISP into the BT network - typically available in speeds from 2Mbit/s up to 622Mbit/s
CAT5   Category 5 cable.
CBT   Constant Bit Rate.
CHAP
  Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol.
CRC   Cyclic Redundancy Check.
DACS   Digital Access Carrier System.
DHCP   Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
DNS
  Domain Name Server or Domain Name System.
DSL
  Digital Subscriber Line. This is a method of transmitting data over standard telephone lines - in the UK a variant called ADSL is most common for providing broadband access.
DSLAM
  Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer - this is the device that connects many ADSL circuits to the BT network by multiplexing traffic onto one or more trunk lines.
Firewall
  Essentially a firewall is a traffic cop standing between two seperate networks (usually your network and the Internet) analysing the data packets wishing to pass from one network to the other. A firewall will prevent the packets from crossing unless they are explicitly permitted to do so. Firewall rules can be quite complex - usually based on the packet source, destination and type of traffic.
HTML
  HyperText Markup Language - web pages are typically written in HTML. If you are designing web pages yourself you often have little need to actually know the HTML language as there are many WYSISYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) web design programs like Microsoft Frontpage, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive etc. available.
ISDN
  Integrated Services Digital Network. ISDN is a digital dialup service often used where broadband access is not currently available. Typically available in 64kbit/s single channel or 128kbit/s dual channel (bonded) variants. A single ISDN channel is 'roughly' twice the speed of a normal modem but still only a fraction of the speed of ADSL broadband.
Kbit/s
  Kilobits per second.
ISDN
  Integrated Services Digital Network. ISDN is a digital dialup service often used where broadband access is not currently available. Typically available in 64kbit/s single channel or 128kbit/s dual channel (bonded) variants.
LCP
  Link Control Protocol.
L2TP
  Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol.
LSS
  Limited Service Selection - the ability for an ADSL broadband user to connect to multiple BT Central communication links.
Mbit/s
  Megabits per second.
MSO   Major Service Outage.
MSF   Major Service Fault.
MTU
  Maximum Transmittable Unit - this is the maximum amount (in bytes) of data sent in each data packet - some people experiencing lower than expected download performance 'may' improve this by altering the MTU - see here for more details.
NAT
  Network Address Translation. This is a system often used on routers to provide access for multiple computers on a network through one 'real' IP addresses assigned by their ISP. The router stores the internal 'private' network IP address, the destination IP address and port number in a routing table so when data returns the NAT can match the them up and forward the traffic correctly.
NTE   Network Terminating Equipment.
PBX
  Private Branch Exchange.
POTS   Plain Old Telephone System.
PPP
  Point to Point Protocol.
PPPoA
  PPP over ATM (the standard delivery method for ADSL servies).
PPPoE
  PPP over Ethernet.
PSTN
  Public Switched Telephone Network.
PVC
  Permanent Virtual Circuit.
RADIUS
  Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service.
RADSL
  Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line (also described as 'rate adaption'). This is a variant of ADSL that extends the maximum distance from your exchange by adjusting the upstream bandwidth based on line quality. RADSL increases the maximum distance supported from 3.5 to around 5.5 kilometres. This now means that typically 90% of people connected to an ADSL enabled exchange can get a broadband service. This option is only available on the 500Kbit/s services and due to the increased circuit length the maximum upload speed 'may' be lower than a normal ADSL circuit.
RIPE
  Réseaux IP Européens. RIPE was setup to oversee the administrative and technical co-ordination necessary to enable the efficient operation of a European IP network. See: www.ripe.net for more details. We are members of the RIPE NCC and a Local Internet Registry.
SDSL
  Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A variant of DSL where the upload and download speeds are the same. There are trials currently being run for SDSL in the UK - will post updates as we have more news!
SMDS   Symetric Multi-Megabit Data Service.
TCP/IP
  Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol - the 'language' of the Internet.
USB
  Universal Serial Bus - connection type used to connect most ADSL modems to the computer.
VCI   Virtual Channel Identifier.
VOIP   Voice Over IP.
VPI
  Virtual Path Identifier.
VPN
  Virtual Private Network. This allows a secure, encrypted connection between two points over the Internet.
WAN
  Wide Area Network.
   
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