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Technical Jargon

Penny
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Technical Jargon

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As the only non-techie 'superuser' here, I must admit that in recent weeks the increasing use of technical jargon (esp re changes from FTTC to FTTP) has made it significantly more difficult to understand the technical-type conversations without looking up many of the terms each time they appeared.

So I figured a post/thread about what some of them mean, or stand for, might be useful to anyone else here without a technical background.  I've just looked up the basic ones I've encountered - hopefully other people here might be able to add to the list in due course, or expand/amend anything that's not clear.

 

ADSL – "ADSL stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line, also known as standard broadband. It's a type of broadband that provides an internet connection through the same line as your home phone. It's the most basic and commonly available type of connection.” - https://www.moneysupermarket.com/broadband/adsl/

Attenuation - "Attenuation is a general term that refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal. Attenuation occurs with any type of signal, whether digital or analog. Sometimes called loss, attenuation is a natural consequence of signal transmission over long distances." - https://www.techtarget.com/searchnetworking/definition/attenuation

BTOR – (BT) Openreach – "When it comes to broadband (as well as TV and phone packages), there's the network that carries the data and then there's the broadband and TV bundles that you order for your home. We supply network services to more than 650 service providers, for example Sky, BT, Vodafone, and TalkTalk, who use them to bring broadband packages to you." - https://www.openreach.com/

CPU – "The CPU, Central Processing Unit (or simply processor) is the main chip in a computer responsible for carrying out all tasks. It's responsible for telling all the other components in a computer what to do, according to the instructions it is given by the programs (software) running on that computer." - https://www.trustedreviews.com/explainer/what-is-a-cpu-2950255

DHCP – "The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network management protocol used on Internet Protocol (IP) networks for automatically assigning IP addresses and other communication parameters to devices connected to the network using a client–server architecture." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Host_Configuration_Protocol

DSL – "DSL ( Digital Subscriber Line) is a common technology for bringing high-bandwidth (broadband) information to homes and small businesses over standard (copper) telephone lines. DSL comes in many different flavours, such as SDSL and ADSL2." - https://www.ispreview.co.uk/broadband_DSL.php

DSLAM – "A digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) is a networking device that connects multiple DSL subscribers to one Internet backbone. DSLAM is used by Internet service providers (ISP) or telecommunication providers to share high-caliber Internet bandwidth between DSL subscribers through multiplexing techniques." - https://www.techopedia.com/definition/3163/digital-subscriber-line-access-multiplexer-dslam

Ethernet – "If two or more connected devices on a shared network attempt to transmit data packets at the same time, a packet collision occurs. Ethernet technology provides rules that allow network-connected devices to talk to one another without packet collisions."  - https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/enterprise-networks/what-is-ethernet.html

FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet

FTTP – Fibre to the Premises

GPON - Gigabit Passive Optical Network – "GPON is an alternative to Ethernet switching in campus networking. GPON replaces the traditional three-tier Ethernet design with a two-tier optic network which eliminates access and distribution Ethernet switches with passive optical devices." - https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/switches/catalyst-pon-series/216230-understand-gpon-techn... 

GUI – "GUI means Graphical User Interface. It is the common user Interface that includes Graphical representation like buttons and icons, and communication can be performed by interacting with these icons rather than the usual text-based or command-based communication." - https://www.educba.com/what-is-gui/

ISP – Internet Service Provider

LAN – Local Area Network

LLU – "Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) is the process that allows companies other than BT to provide broadband services using BT's network infrastructure." - https://www.cable.co.uk/broadband/guides/llu/

MVNO – "MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operators. These are third-party companies that lease telephone and data spectrum from the main operators." - https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/guides/mvnos-a-guide-to-coverage-and-pros-and-cons-of-virtual-networ...

NIC – "A network interface controller (NIC) provides a method of connecting to a network. A NIC offers an interface port for a wired connection. A wireless NIC provides a radio transceiver for connecting wirelessly." - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zvspfcw/revision/4

OLT – "An OLT (optical line terminal), also known as optical line termination, acts as the endpoint hardware device in a passive optical network. The OLT contains a central processing unit (CPU), passive optical network cards, a gateway router (GWR) and a voice gateway (VGW) uplink cards." - https://www.fiberopticshare.com/basic-knowledge-optical-line-terminal-olt.html

ONT - Optical Network Terminal – "ONT is an interface between the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the end user of fiber Internet. It's an integral part of the fiber optic internet system because it converts optical signals into information your computing devices can digest. In other words, it works as a modem if you get your broadband Internet through Fiber to the Premises (FTTP)." - https://www.stl.tech/blog/a-quick-guide-to-ont-optical-network-terminal/

OR - Openreach – "When it comes to broadband (as well as TV and phone packages), there's the network that carries the data and then there's the broadband and TV bundles that you order for your home. We supply network services to more than 650 service providers, for example Sky, BT, Vodafone, and TalkTalk, who use them to bring broadband packages to you." - https://www.openreach.com/

PON – Passive Optical Networking – "Passive optical networking (PON), like active optical networking, uses fiber optic cabling to provide Ethernet connectivity from a main data source to endpoints." - https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/switches/what-is-passive-optical-networking.html

PSTN – "Landline phone calls have traditionally been delivered over the old telephone network - this is known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). BT has taken the decision to retire the PSTN by December 2025 and other providers plan to follow a broadly similar timescale." - https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2021/upgrading-landlines-to-digital-technology

QoS – "Quality of service (QoS) is the description or measurement of the overall performance of a service, such as a telephony or computer network, or a cloud computing service, particularly the performance seen by the users of the network." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_of_service

SOADSL – "SOTAP, also known as SOADSL, will be used where Openreach fibre is unavailable. It will deliver a copper path between end customer's premises and the exchange, providing ADSL broadband for..applications like IP Voice." - https://digitalwholesalesolutions.com/2019/10/beginners-guide-to-broadband/

SOGEA – Single Order Generic Internet Access – "SoGEA stands for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access, this is VDSL2 service without analogue telephone service." - https://www.draytek.co.uk/support/guides/kb-openreach-sogea  

SOGFAST – "SoGFast Fibre Broadband is the GFast variant of SoGEA Fibre Broadband, this is GFast (FTTC) without analogue telephone service." - https://www.draytek.co.uk/support/guides/kb-openreach-sogea

SOTAP - Single Order Transitional Access Product – "SOTAP is a new product..which will deliver a copper path between network terminating equipment (NTE) at..customers' premises and a main distribution or jumper frame at the exchange." - https://d1haref.openreach.co.uk/cpportal/products/copper/sotap

STATIC IP – "A static IP address is an IP address that was manually configured for a device instead of one that was assigned by a DHCP server. It's called static because it doesn't change vs. a dynamic IP address, which does change." - https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-static-ip-address-2626012

VDSL – "VDSL stands for Very High Speed Digital Subscriber line. In the UK, the most common standard is VDSL2 connected via FTTC, often on a BT Openreach subscription, although other telephony firms using the cable network infrastructure include EE and Plusnet." - https://www.trustedreviews.com/explainer/what-is-vdsl-4228792

VOIP – "VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that allows you to make calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines or cellular connections. Although its name suggests that it only enables voice calls, modern VoIP services are far more capable and can offer video calls, file transfer, group calls, and much more." - https://www.howtogeek.com/824939/what-is-voip-voice-over-ip-calling-explained/

VPN – Virtual Private Network – "When you use a VPN, it routes your internet traffic through an encrypted connection to a server controlled by the VPN company. From there, your traffic exits onto the web as normal. If you only connect to websites secured with HTTPS, your data will continue to be encrypted, even after leaving the VPN." - https://uk.pcmag.com/vpn/138/the-best-vpn-services

WAN – Wide-Area Network – "In its simplest form, a wide-area network (WAN) is a collection of local-area networks (LANs) or other networks that communicate with one another.  A WAN is essentially a network of networks, with the Internet the world's largest WAN." - https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/switches/what-is-a-wan-wide-area-network.html

xDSL – "xDSL refers to the sum total of digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies. Line-length limitations on DSL signal transmissions from the telephone exchanges speeds have resulted in the many types of DSLs." - https://www.techopedia.com/definition/10392/xdsl

 

speedtests:

https://speedtest.btwholesale.com/ 
https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest 
https://www.speedtest.net/ (Ookla) 
PN Broadband Status: https://portal.plus.net/member-centre/broadband

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Penny Rollo * * * joined Force9 on 17/02/98 * * * with PlusNet from 2000 onwards * * * personal website at pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Project HappyChild website (free educational resources for kids and schools, plus directory of charities helping children) 1998 onwards
Superusers are not PlusNet staff but do have a direct line of communication into the business to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the Community.
7 REPLIES 7
jab1
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Re: Technical Jargon

Nice one, @Penny . Although I think the comment at the end of the ADSL description is rather out-of-date/inaccurate - I would suspect there is only a very small percentage of users still on pure ADSL.

Thanks for the post. 👍

John
Longliner
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Re: Technical Jargon

As John says, a big Thank You! Being old-fashioned I have printed your post on old-fashioned paper to help understand these increaslngly technical posts, a long way since we started with 2MB on Toucan, tune-up tips and tweaks, and re-running my phone line away from the mains supply which caused interference. 

I'm relieved to read the explanation of DSLAM, which had me worried. The only SLAM I experienced came courtesy TalkTalk who caused us two months' downtime of both phone and BB ... 

 

Mike

Penny
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Re: Technical Jargon


@jab1 wrote:

I think the comment at the end of the ADSL description is rather out-of-date/inaccurate - I would suspect there is only a very small percentage of users still on pure ADSL.


 

... yeah. We've maybe already passed the tipping point between mostly-adsl and mostly-fibre.

The words used were a quote from the linked article, btw.

 

Hopefully the technical content of that article (and all the others linked on the first post) will remain valid even if the passage of years renders it all, eventually, a snapshot of the past.

For now it's just a question (for me, anyway) of just trying to *understand* the rather technical details of how the telecomms world is rapidly changing around us.

Interesting times we live in.
.

Penny Rollo * * * joined Force9 on 17/02/98 * * * with PlusNet from 2000 onwards * * * personal website at pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Project HappyChild website (free educational resources for kids and schools, plus directory of charities helping children) 1998 onwards
Superusers are not PlusNet staff but do have a direct line of communication into the business to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the Community.
jab1
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Re: Technical Jargon

Fair enough, @Penny  - but do you know anyone still on ADSL? 😉

John
shutter
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Re: Technical Jargon

I was,..... until I dump[ed the rip off annual increase line rental system !   ( about a year or so ago )

Champnet
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Re: Technical Jargon

My old Boss, who lives just south of the Houses of Parliament, can only use ADSL as the local council won't allow any non essential roadworks or additional pavement furniture.................

jab1
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Re: Technical Jargon

London - the powerhouse of the UK...NOT! 😀

John