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Telecom Terms

Auditel’s Telecom Terms and telephone service glossary make up this telecom dictionary. Within this telecoms glossary we describe both old and new terms. Terms from central office to future tech, but this will continue to be a work in progress. As we will add the latest phone and technology terms. We hope this combination of both the old and new tech terms will be helpful to you and your business.

– A –

The PSC defines an AAV as: “AAVs provide private line service between an entity and facilities at another location, whether owned by the entity or an unaffiliated entity or access service between an end-user and an interexchange carrier by other than a local exchange telecommunications company. ”

Access is the method or facility used to enter the LEC or network is the access. There are two types of access services; switched access, and special access.

More on Access Charges

Access Charge
An access charge is also known as a fee charged by the service provider to gain access to their network is an access charge. Additionally, Federal Access Charge, Customer or Subscriber Line Charge, and Interstate Access Charges. These charges don’t have to be invoiced by the phone company. Certainly, they are watched by the FCC and have a maximum fee.

Access Time
Access time is the actual interval of time it takes for the originating call to be delivered by the LEC, and acknowledged it is received to the customer’s equipment. In other words, it’s the total time necessary to get from one section of the LEC medium to another.

An account is also used to setup new phone service  However, the account can be used for administrative, or security reasons. In addition, it can be used for communications and online services, specific accounts identify a subscriber for billing purposes.

Account Attribute
An account attribute used by the service providers is also known as a Field Identifier, or FID. These are indicators that identify how an account will be billed or processed through the billing system.

More Telecom Terms found in out technology dictionary and glossary

Account Number
An account number is a  specific unique number that may be based on your BTN, depending on the specific LEC.

Accunet Packet Service (APS)
An AT&T packet service transmitting analog and digital packets of data from 2.4 kbps to 56 kbps. See also APS in our telecom glossary.

ACC Uplink Message
An ACC Uplink Message is an analog control channel (in addition it’s also known as ACC) message sent from a wireless phone to the radio base station.

ACD is also known as Automatic Call Distribution. A system that automatically distributes incoming telephone calls to specific telephone sets based on the characteristics of the call. However, these characteristics can include an incoming phone number or options selected by a caller using an interactive voice response (IVR) system. ACD is the process of management and control of incoming calls to distribute the calls evenly to attendant positions. .

ACNA is also known as Access Customer Name Abbreviation. The three-letter code assigned to identify an IXC for identifying the owner of a billing account.

Anonymous Call Rejection (ACR)  blocks unwanted calls previously established with LEC. However, this feature will not allow any incoming call marked private or anonymous. Although, these callers will receive a message telling them the called party is not accepting anonymous calls or private calls.

We hope you are enjoying Auditel’s Telecom Dictionary

Additional Listings
An additional listing is a white page listing inserted into other local directory locations using the main account number. The additional listing helps callers find your business easier.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line is also known as ADSL. It’s a form of digital communications that can support up to 6 Mbps for downloading. This digital local loop normally runs on copper cables providing larger bandwidth in one direction than the other. This enables upstream connection speeds of 128 Kbps and downstream connections of speeds up to 1.5 Mbps. See also DSL in our telecom glossary.

Aggregator is also known as a seller of discounted network services who contracts for bulk services at significantly reduced rates.

Account Inquiry Center is also known as an AIC. It is a call center that receives and processes calls from customers regarding the status of their accounts.

An AirCard is a wireless modem often used to connect devices to the internet using a wireless network or cellular network. So, the aircards are typically used with laptops, or notebook style computers.

Alarm Lines
Alarm lines use either 1FB  or circuits to connect a location with the police, or fire department.

Alternative Local Exchange Carrier is also known as an ALEC.  A Telecommunications Company certificated by the Commission to provide local exchange telecommunications in this state on or after July 1, 1995.

Definition of Tech Terms and More

Allocated Circuit
An allocated circuit is designed and reserved for the use of a particular customer. We don’t recommend advertising an allocated circuit until the line is in use and connected at the Demarc.

Alternate Access Vendor
See also AAV in our telecom glossary.

Alternate Voice Data Circuits
Alternate voice data circuits are electrically conditioned to utilize both voice and data signals are called alternate voice data circuits.

Analog Communications
Analog communications is a method of voice transmission used in today’s telephone system. This method converts voice to electrical signals and amplifies them so that the voice can be sent over great distances. Analog transmission has been the standard way of communicating via modem. It is, however, the least effective at providing telecommunications bandwidth.

Analog Signal
The analog signal is a signaling method that uses continuous changes in the amplitude or frequency of the signal to symbolize or carry transmission signals, data or other information.

Analog Transmission
The traditional telephone signaling technology where information, such as sound waves, can be converted into electrical impulses of continually varying strengths.

ANI is also known as Automatic Number Identification.

Auditel Old and New Tech Terms and Glossary

Anonymous Call Rejection
Anonymous Call Rejection blocks unwanted calls previously established with LEC. However, this feature will not allow any incoming call marked private or anonymous. Although, these callers receive a message telling them the called party is not accepting anonymous calls or private calls. Sometimes LEC uses *77 to activate, and *87 to deactivate.

ANSI is also known as American National Standards Institute. It’s the primary standards organization for the United States.

APS is also known as Accunet Packet Service. An AT&T packet service transmitting analog and digital packets of data from 2.4 kbps to 56 kbps. See also Accunet Packet Service in our telecom glossary.

Arbitrated loop
An arbitrated loop is a shared data network that allows up to 126 devices and one switch to be connected. Arbitrated loops operate at 200 Mbps (full duplex).

Area Code
An area code is a 3-digit number that usually identifies a geographic area of a telephone system. In North America, the three digit Numbering Plan Area (NPA) is the area code.

ASIC is also known as an Application Specific Integrated Circuit . It is an integrated circuit (IC)  designed to provide specific signal processing functions. This is different from a general purpose IC that performs less specialized signal processing functions.

What is ASLC?

ASLC is also know as Analog Subscriber Loop Carrier. it is a highly efficient analog transmission system that uses existing distribution cabling systems to transfer analog information between the central office (system) and a user’s telephone.  Moreover, it employs bi-directional transmission over a single exchange grade cable pair used for control. One control pair derives 8 channels using FDM over a 8 to 144 kHz spectrum.

Asynchronous Communication
Asychronous communication is a form of data communications that transmits data one character at a time with start and stop bits used with modems.

All Trunks Busy is a measurement in a communication network of the amount of time, or number of times that all trunks in a group are busy. In other words, this means they are unavailable for service because they are in-use with other channels.

Asynchronous Transfer Mode is also known as ATM. It’s a form of fast packet switching allowing data transmission via Broadband ISDN, a faster form of digital communications than ISDN.

Commonly known as Ma Bell, AT&T is a Tier 1 Service Provider and phone company.

AT&T® “5ESS”
The name of central office equipment manufactured by AT&T. It is the leading telephone switch platform. These switches use Custom (proprietary) or NI-I software.

More Tech Terms

Automatic Busy Redial
ABR is also known as automatic busy redial. This is a usage based feature for automatically redialing a busy number at certain intervals.  ABR eliminates constant redialing, so once the line you were dialing is reached your phone will ring. It is also known as Repeat Dialing & Automatic Callback.This can also be a function key on an IP system.

Automatic Callback
See also Repeat Dial in our telecom glossary.

The telecom terms used in this technology glossary is a work in progress. Certainly, we continue to add to the telecommunications dictionary with the latest phone terms.

– B –

The B-Channel is also known as a bearer channel. It is also a 64 kilobit-per-second bearer channel. The standard BRI connection includes 2 B channels, for an uncompressed capacity of 28Kbps. The B-Channel is used for information transfer.

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be forced through a given channel. The greater the bandwidth, the more data able to travel at one time. The capacity of a line to carry signals.

Bandwidth Allocation Control Protocol (BACP)
Bandwidth allocation control protocol (BACP). The set of rules that manage bandwidth over PPP dynamic Multilink connections.

Basic Rate Interface (BRI)
Basic Rate Interface is also known as BRI. The standard ISDN line, consisting of 2 B-channels and 1 D-channel.

Additional Technology Terms

Basic Traffic Load
In trunk studies and forecasting, the average load offered on the first route available between two identified areas. Base load is found by averaging the traffic measured during the same 1-hour period each day over a period of several days.

Bearer Services
Bearer services are the communication connection’s capability to carry voice, circuit, or packet data. The 2 B channels in a BRI connection are bearer channels.

BCS is also known as Basic Class of Service. It’s the type of service the customer subscribes at the earning number level. Based on the USOC, the service order rating job assigns a three character service code for rating and classifying the service on a broader scale.

A Billing Data Tape is also known as BDT, or CBOS standard record layout.

Bell Communications Research is also known as Bellcore. This was the research arm of the RBOCs. Bellcore was part of Bell Laboratories before the breakup of AT&T. Bellcore played a leading role in developing ISDN standards and other ISDN activities among its member telephone companies.

Important Tech Terms Bring Savings

A benchmark is a group of restrictions used for multiple locations as a standard operating process. In addition, benchmarks can save your company money and will help in generating future refunds.

A BIBS is also know as BellSouth Industrial Billing System. BIBS is the old term for usage rating engine for Unbundled Network Elements (UNE) Usage.

Bill Consolidation
Billing consolidation is the combining of numerous service provider (or LEC) billings from the same carrier to consolidate.

Additional Glossary and Terms

Billing Aggregator
A billing aggregator is a company that gathers billing records from one or more companies and posts them to another billing system. Moreover, with this type of billing the customer pays the carrier, the carrier pays the aggregator, and the aggregator pays the value added service provider or the CLEC.

Billing Cycle
The cycle begins when Service Orders, Miscellaneous Input, and Usage are available for processing. The billing cycle includes the processing, rating, the activity and usage, along with  the generation of bills to be rendered. Typically, the CRIS cycle is the point at which it becomes billing period oriented.

Billing Increment
The smallest amount of time or resource that can be billed or charged. Billing increments include units of time (e.g. 1 minute or 6 second increments), number of messages, etc.

Billing Name
The billing name is also known as the BN. It is associated with the BTN for each service location. The BN is  the business name and information given to the LEC at phone service inception. Records must be changed if the business is sold. The new company must prove they own the number.

Billing Period
A Billing Period is the monthly billing cycle, usually lasting for 30 days. Therefore, the billing period is a recurring monthly period with consistent billing dates. Example: 1/5/2002 through 2/5/2002.

Terms to Learn

Billing Telephone Number
A BTN is also known as a billing telephone number. See also BTN in our telecom glossary.

Broadband ISDN is also known as BISDN. A type of ISDN service that uses fiber-optic lines and ATM to deliver bearer services with data transmission rates of more than 150 Mbps. Moreover, this is the next generation of ISDN service that will replace ISDN delivered via the copper wiring used today.

A Bit is the smallest unit of information (data ) that a computer can process.

Are you using a Broadband Local Exchange Carrier?

Broadband Local Exchange Carrier. A service provider offering broadband services locally. See Broadband.

Building Local Exchange Carrier. The building owner provides LEC services to the tenants or customers in their buildings.

Bell Operating Company. A company that provides telecommunication services within a regional area. BellSouth is an example of a BOC.

Bold Listings
Bold listings are the printing of a white page directory listing in a bolder, heavier type of font.

Bouncing Busy Hours
A busy hour not occurring at the same time each day over several days. (See also Last Trunk Busy Meter, and Busy Circuit).

Bandwidth On Demand Interoperability Group. The merging of two or more B channels to form a single channel with a bandwidth greater than 64Kbps.

The bits per second is also known as BPS. It’s the unit of measurement for data transmission speed over a data communications line.

Tech Terms to Remember

Basic Rate Interface is also known as BRI. It’s a defined interface to ISDN that includes two B channels and one Data channel. Commonly referred to 2b+d.

A bridge is a device that connects two or more networks, and forwards information (packets) between them, it’s also a data link relay. A bridge is typically simpler and less expensive than a router, but the bridge can only carry limited information from one network to another.

Broadband is a term associated with high-speed data transfer (internet access). In consumer access networks, broadband often refers to data transmission rates of 1 Mbps (megabits per second) or higher. When referring to LANs, MANs, or WANs broadband data transmission rates are 45 Mbps or higher. 2-radio bandwidth is a frequency bandwidth that is much greater than the required bandwidth to transfer the information signal.

Broadband Communications
Voice, data, or video communications where rates are greater than wideband communications rates (1.544 Mbps).

A Billing Telephone Number is also known as a BTN. The BTN is the FID used to identify the account to which usage for a charge number should be billed.

When a user exceeded their committed information rate (CIR) in a frame relay network.

Busy Circuit
A condition of a line or trunk that is in use or in trouble, resulting in the inability to complete an additional customer’s call.

What is a Busy Study?

Busy Study
The busy study is a report given from the LEC after a study of incoming and outgoing call activity. during a specific time frame. Busy studies or “traffic studies” refers to the telephone calls. Above all, it records the incoming call attempts and outgoing calls and reports if the lines were busy, or if the calls were answered. Also giving the duration of the call.  Although studies were free in the past, many are no longer free.

We certainly hope you are enjoying using our telecom terms and technology dictionary.  So, please keep in mind our tech glossary is a work in progress. Certainly, we will continue to add to the telephone dictionary with the latest wireless terms.

– C –

Carrier Access Billing System is also known as CABS. It’s a computer-based system for maintaining records of toll usage and tariff information. It’s updated daily from service orders, payments and adjustments. Moreover, CABS produces billing information for access charges associated with Interlata calls.

See also Customer Access Line Charge in our telecom glossary.

A call is the term used for a completed communication between two stations on a network.

Call 54
See also Reverse Directory Assistance in our telecom glossary.

Call Accounting System
A call accounting system (CAS) is a piece of equipment or may be part of your business phone system used to keep track of outbound calls by extension and department. It may be set up to run a traffic study. Check with a call accounting system provider for the features available.

More Technology Glossary and Terms

Call Again
The call again feature is also known as Repeat Dial. See also Repeat Dial in our glossary.

Call Appearances
A call appearance is a supplementary ISDN service that allows multiple incoming calls. Each directory number can have multiple call appearances, depending on the switch type.

Call Attempt
A call attempt is the term used in a traffic or busy study for an attempted inbound call or an originating outbound call.

Call Block
A Call Block is a service feature blocking all telephone calls 24 hours per day, or just at particular times.

Call Completion
A call completion is generally a fee based service used when dialing directory assistance to complete your call. The operator will ask you if you would like your call to be completed.  If your reply is no, then you can write down or memorize the number and dial the call. This feature is usage based and billed per call with the number of call completions placed on the LEC bill. See also Courtesy Completein our glossary.

Call Detail Record
A call detail record  is also known as CDR. It is a data record that holds information related to a telephone call. The call detail record shows the origination and destination address of your call, the exact time the call was connected, and the call duration.

More Types of Call Forwarding

Call Forward
The call forward (CF) feature when activated will route your call automatically to a number other than the number dialed. However,  two types of call forwarding are regional call forwarding, and call forwarding variable. Call forwarding is activated through using the CO number, or by dialing *72 or 72#, or it can be activated or deactivated by dialing codes *73 or 73#.

Call Forward Busy
The call forward busy feature is used in conjunction with voice mail when your line is busy. This in turn activates the call forward busy function and the caller reaches the predetermined number (or voicemail) instead of a busy line. Sometimes LEC uses *90 to activate and *91 to deactivate.

Call Forward Don’t Answer
See also Call Forward No Answer in our telecom glossary.

Call Forward No Answer
The call forward no answer feature may be used with voice mail to answer your calls when you can’t. You can set this feature to forward after a predetermined number of rings (usually 3 or 4).  Sometimes LEC uses *92 to activate and *93 to deactivate.

More on Caller ID

Caller ID
The caller ID gives the subscriber the ANI of the incoming call. An optional service that transmits the telephone number of the originating caller to a receiving telephone device.  Some Caller ID may also provide directory name listing information services.

Caller ID Type 2
An optional service using the Caller ID system. This system has the capability of displaying the phone number of the caller who is calling in while the line is in use via call waiting.

We hope you are enjoying our Telecommunications Dictionary

Call Return
Also known as *69. A calling feature from the LEC which allows you to hear the telephone number of the last incoming call by dialing *69 on a touchtone phone. It also allows you to call back the last incoming number by prompting the central office to redial the number. If the line is free, your call will go through. If it is busy, then call return will check the line for 30 minutes and let you know when the line is free with a distinctive ring.

More on Call Return

Call return only works on the last incoming call, and only if that call originates within your local service area. If you have a rotary phone you may be able to dial 1169 for the same service. This feature may be available on an unlimited basis for a flat monthly fee instead of usage based. Also known as Last Call Return, Call Again, and Missed Call. Call return may be disconnected with some LECs by dialing *89.

Call Screening
To screen calls from the last number that called you, dial #01# after you hang up from the call.

If you ever need to have a call tracked – check out call trace!

Call Trace (*57)
Call trace is also known as star 57. This is a dialing feature code that you can use to identify an unwanted or harassing telephone call. This call trace feature temporarily stores the dialed digits and alerts the telephone service operator to “tag” the originator’s number to allow authorities to investigate the originator of the unwanted or unauthorized call.

Important Terms to Remember

Call Transfer
Call transfer is an access service provided by most LECs which allows the subscriber to transfer an incoming call to another phone within a Centrex system or outside the system.  Next, place or answer a call from line with added call transfer feature. Then depress flash button or switchhook. Next listen for special dial tone (usually 3 beeps followed by a dial tone). Dial third party’s number, then when they answer, either notify them you are transferring a call or hang up.

Call Waiting
Call waiting is a feature that will notify you that another person is attempting to call. The caller does not receive a busy signal. To deactivate Call Waiting with some LECs, dial *70.

CAPI is also known as Common ISDN API. It’s a collection of functions for handling ISDN communications at the messaging level.

Competitive Access Providers is also known as CAP. It provides users with access to both local and long distance services, sometimes by bypassing the LEC. Often the CAP compete with the LECs.

CAROT is also known as Carrier Centralized Automatic Reporting On Trunks. This is a system that automatically and routinely reports on the performance of trunk lines to ensure high availability and to avoid potential failures. In addition, the reporting system may check for performance of the trunk lines in return loss, line noise, timing precision, transmission and call processing criteria.

Telecoms Terms To Remember with Definitions from Auditel

Carrier Line Charge
See also PICC in our telecom glossary.

CABS Billing Output Specifications is also known as CBOS Standards. These are guidelines with formats for billing usage.

Central Office (CO)
A Central Office is also known as a CO. It’s the facility (or switch) used by the LEC that connects subscribers to each other. Central Offices have End Office Switches and Tandem Office Switches. See CO for more detail.

Central Office Local Area Network
A central office local area network is a service for Centrex customers that enables communications between a customer’s computers through the networking and switching facilities of the central office.

Centrex is a service provided by a central office that provides a virtual PBX to a set of extensions. It offers features such as transfer, conference, and forward within that set of extensions.

CH is an identifier for channel mileage used for interexchange mileage to calculate the distance per airline mile or fraction thereof between channel terminals. Another definition of a telecom channel is a communications one way link that passes through a signal. The type of transfer or transmission used is the channel.

Channel Bank
Channel bank is equipment allowing analog conversion to digital and multiplexing of signals. Moreover, this multiplexer can merge 24 voice grade analog trunks and/or data circuits into a single T-1.

Charge Number
Charge number is the number under which usage may be recorded.

More Telecommunications Terms

Check Loop
A device that links the go path to the return path of a circuit at the incoming end of the circuit to permit the outgoing end to verify the continuity on a loop basis. Check loops are in the Signaling System 7 protocol. These help in testing, and tracking maintenance activities. See also Loop Maintenance.

Carrier ID is also known as CIC. It’s a three or four digit code assigned by Telcordia to identify each IC.

Committed Information Rate is also known as CIR. It is the guaranteed amount of traffic that the network will support at any given time. This measurement is determined by bits per second, and burst intervals.

Circuit Switching
The circuit switching is a form of communication where an information transmission path between two devices is routed through one or more switches.

Class 3
Interexchange Carriers (IXC, IC) are known as Class 3 Switches.

Class 4
This switching system used for voice connections to interconnect local telephone switching systems. Also known as tandem switches.

Class 5 (5ESS)
Class 5 (5ESS) is a switching system used by the LEC for the last point in the network prior to the customer equipment.  Term 5ESS is a trademark of ATT. See also ATT® “5ESS”.

Are you using a CLEC?

A CLEC is also known as a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. However, it’s a telecommunications company competing for the same Local customer market as an Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC).

More Terms

A Common Language Location Identificatin is also known as a CLLI. It is used by the network to identify the physical location of recording offices  and can locate equipment like poles, and such.

A cloud is a commonly used term that refers to any large network in a frame relay.

Customized Large User Bill is also known as a CLUB. This was the term Bellsouth used as an option for large customers to have their bills combined and printed on 8 ½” x 11” papers.

Central Office is also known as the CO. It is the site where the local telephone switches reside for all the telephone system’s call routing and other functions.  Central Offices have End Office Switches and Tandem Office Switches.

Codec is also known as the Coder or Decoder. It transfers analog data into a digital data form and converts digital data back to analog form.

Collect Call
A collect call is a call paid for by the party receiving the call. Collect calls require approval of the person taking the call.

Common Carrier
A Common Carrier is telephone companies that provide long-distance telecommunication services, such as AT&T and MCI. See also IXC or IXE.

Tech Glossary Defined

Common Traffic Channel
A common traffic channel is a forward or reverse logical point to point channel used to carry short data bursts associated with the data service in the dormant/burst sub-state of the dormant state. However, It shares access among mobiles and/or PLICF instances.

Compression is a process for reducing the number of bits required to transmit data. However, when compression is applied to an ISDN connection, the data transmission speeds up to 4 times faster.

Conference Call
Connecting 3 or more phone lines or telephones to a telephone conversation.

Control Packet
A contol packet is used to control the transmission within frame relay.

Continuous DTMF
Continuous DTMF is a process used by PBX and mobile phones to allow a dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signal to be transmitted as long as the key is depressed. However, some phones have a fixed (predefined) time limit. Short DTMF tones may not allow access to voice mail and answering machines.

What is continuous redial?

Continuous Redial
See also Repeat Dial in our telecom glossary. To activate with some LECs dial *66 and to deactivate dial *86.

Courtesy Complete
The courtesy complete is also known as a Call Completion feature available from the LEC. A directory assistance call completion available for business to offer to pay for their callers to receive call completion service free of charge.

Customer Premises Equipment is also known as CP’E. It’s the equipment after the point at which the telephone company terminates the line to the premises. End users must purchase or lease, install, and maintain their own CPE.

Familiar with Cramming?

Cramming is when Service Providers also known as phone companies, charge the customer for services they did not request or order. Some common services include caller-id, call waiting and voicemail.

Customer Records and Information System  is also known as CRIS. It is a computer-based system for maintaining records of customer service and equipment, updated daily from inputs, such as service orders, payments, adjustments, and tolls. Above all, the purpose of this system is to produce customer’s bills and reports.

We hope you are enjoying our tech glossary!

Circuit-Switched Datai is also known as a CSD. It is used to divide the data between two users into packets, and is assigned for the duration of a call at a constant, fixed rate.

CSR is also known as a Customer Service Record. It details services by using USOCs. Above all, it’s the official record of a customer’s account.

CSU is also known as a channel service unit.

A CSU.DSU is a device used to access digital data channels.

Customer Access Line Charge (CALC)
A Customer Access Line Charge is also known as CALC. It’s a federal tariff for hooking up your ISDN line. Also referred to as an End User Common Line Charge (EUCL), or Subscriber Line Charge (SLC). See also Federal Subscriber Line Charge.

Customer Loop
A customer loop is a dedicated communications channel, usually a pair of wires and/or a digital loop carrier channel, between a user’s phone and a serving CO. See also Local Loop.

Customer Service Record
See also CSR in our telecom glossary..

This telecommunications dictionary and technology glossary, is full of telecom terms. However, we plan to continue to add to the telecoms dictionary with the latest telephone terms.

– D –

Directory Assistance DA services are provided when you dial the Operator.

DAB is also known as a Diskette Analyzer Bill. This was an old term that BellSouth used for CLUB bills that were put on a CD.

Data  terminals use these data lines for 24×7 dedicated data transmissions.

One of the three standard channels on a Basic Rate ISDN line is also known as a D-Channel. At 16 kilobits per second, a D-channel can carry signaling information and low-speed packet data.

Delay is the time it takes for a packet to be sent, until the time it is received over the network.

The “demarcation point”, or the point where the telephone company’s wiring stops and your wiring begins. In other words, the phone company will charge you extra for any wiring work performed on your side of the demarc.

A destination is a routing switch term defining the point (route) a source signal is directed.

Destination Code
A destination code is an alphanumeric code that identifies the location that output data should be sent. In the North American Numbering Plan, the unique 10-digit number assigned to a station (2-station). It is a 3-digit numbering plan code, a 3-digit central-office code, and a 4-digit station number.

What is a DI?

Department Identifier is also known as a DI. It’s the name or identifier used by some LECs to identify the account on a summary or Club billing.

Dial Around
Dial around is when you choose to pre-dial the long distance service provider instead of having your line PICC. It bypasses or dials around” your chosen long-distance carrier in order to get a better rate.

Dial Up
The ability to dial up to a network using a modem and a telephone line.

What is the difference between Digital and Analog Services?

Digital is the method using differences in voltage, frequency, amplitude and location to process, or carry binary (0 or 1) transmissions for sound, computer, data, video or other media.

More Communication Terms

Directory Assistance
Directory assistance is also known as DA, or 411. By dialing 411 you can reach directory assistance. You can also dial the area code plus 555-1212.

Discard Eligibility (DE)
Discard Eligibility is also known as DE. It predetermines which frames can be discarded in a frame network. This allows the system to selectively discard data packets that are not essential. This is accomplished with the set CIR.

Distinctive Ring
Distinctive Ring is the LEC feature that allows a single phone line to have up to 2 additional phone numbers including different sounding rings. This is a good feature for small business or employees working from home. The user can tell by the ring whether the call is personal or business.

Have you ever heard the tech term DLCI before?

Data Link Connection Identifier is also known as DLCI. It’s a  ten bit frame relay virtual circuit number.

DLCI Routing
The DLCI routing allows data coming into a frame relay switch (node) to be routed to a specific address within the frame relay network. First, it checks the integrity of the frame using FCS. Next, if an error is found the frame is discarded. Then, it looks up the DLCI in a table and if the DLCI is not defined for this link, it discards the frame.  It ends up relaying the frame towards its destination by sending it out on the trunk or port specified in the table. This gives more routing options, so, if one route is down, the system packet still gets there.

DMS-100 is the name of central office equipment manufactured by Northern Telecom.

Directory number is also known as a DN. They are telephone numbers for ISDN. However, each BRI connection can have up to two directory numbers, one for each B channel.

More Digital Definitions

Digital Subscriber Line is also known as a DSL. It is a generic name for enhanced speed digital services provided by LECs. DSL services use twisted pair wires to transmit voice and data transmissions.

Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer is also known as DSLAM.  It’s the technology located in the CO concentrates traffic in ADSL implementations.

DSO Path Terminating Equipment
The DSO path terminating equipment is the network elements that multiplex and de-multiplex DSO channels.

Digital Subscriber Signaling System No. 1 is also known as DSS1. The network access signaling protocol for users connecting to ISDN. It also includes the CCITT Q.931 and Q.932 standards.

Digital Service Unit is also known as a DSU. This device is used to access digital access channels. Normally used in conjunction with CSU.

Digital Signal Level Zero is also known as a DSO. It is an abbreviation for a 64 kbps telephone service. It is also a 64kbps voice signal. The digital equivalent of an analog voice grade channel. See also PCM.

Important Telecom Terminology

A DS1 is also known as a T-1. A high speed digital trunk carrying 24 64Kbps/channel (1.544Mbps) also called voice channels. These DS1 signals can be transmitted in unframed form where frames are 192 bits at a data transmission rate of 1.536 Mbps.

A DS3 is also known as a T-3. A high speed digital transmission system carrying 44.736 Mbps (45MB). A DS3 provides 28 DS1 channels.

DTE is also known as Data Terminal Equipment.  Any device that converts information into digital signals for transmission or reconverts digital information into another form.

Dual Tone Multi-Frequency is also known as touchtone. It works by using in-band audio tones to transfer information from a user to the telephone network through signaling. Moreover, these frequencies represent each digit or character. There are 8 tones that are capable of producing 16 combinations; 0-9, *, #, A through D are normally used for military telephone systems. See also Continuous DTMF.

Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation
The dynamic bandwidth allocation is a feature of ISDN remote-access devices that allows automatic adjustment of the numbers of B channels in use depending on the volume being sent and received.

This telecoms terms and telephone glossary, is a work in progress. Certainly, we plan to continue to add to the communications dictionary with the latest technology terms.

– E –

Earning Number
An earning number is an alphanumeric number that earns revenue. However, this is a number under which the customer’s service is provided. And, these earning numbers are organized in telephone number format.

Enhanced Billing Services were also known as EBS. It was an old field organization within all BellSouth States that handled CLUB, DAB, RSB, EDI, CEPS, etc. Members of this group developed solutions for their companies.

Electronic Data Interchange is also known as EDI. The automated exchange of billing transactions (CLUB bills for BellSouth) in a standard format between computers.

Electronic Key Telephone Service is also known as EKTS. It’s the National ISDN-1 standard for working with supplementary service on an ISDN telephone or analog telephone connected to an NT1 Plus device.

A process of sending messages in electronic format. These messages are usually in text form but they can include images, video clips, spreadsheets, and graphics.

Email To Fax
Conversion of electronic mail (ASCII Text) into fax image format, suitable for sending to a fax machine is known as Email to Fax.

Exchange Message Interface is also known as EMI. It’s a Telcordia standard for message record (used interchangeably, see also EMR).

Expanded Message Record. is also known as EMR. It’s a standard format for toll call details which replaced the 80 column care format. The record length may be up to 175 characters.

Auditel Old and New Terms

End Office Switches
End office switches are also known as LEC switches inside the Central Offices used to directly connect end users and give them exchange services. This is the final termination location for purposes of interconnection to trunks. It is the combination of the remote switching module and its host.

EO is also know as the End Office, or a Class 5 Central office that normally provides only intra-office switching. However, the termination used in a BOC switching system within a LATA for customer’s loops. The EO is used for interconnection with Class 4 offices (tandem offices) or Class 3 –IXC toll centers which connect with other loops and to trunks. This is the final central office before the end user’s telephone.

Did you know about E-Rate Funding?

The FCC is helping schools and libraries get internet and broadband services. Moreover, these E-Rate discounts range from 20 percent to 90 percent.

We hope you are enoying our Telecommunications Glossary

ESN is also know as the electronic serial number. Moreover, this number is embedded within the signal to tranmit  every time a cellular call is placed.

ETCS is also known as the Electronic Toll Collection System, or more importantly it’s an automatic switch polling system.

Ethernet is a cable used to connect PC’s that don’t have a wireless network card. They can connect your PC to a LAN also known as a local area network. Typically, most Ethernet networks support data transmission speeds up to 10 Mbps.

The name of central office equipment manufactured by Siemens Stromberg-Carlson.

See also central office.

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Exchange Area
An exchange area is the geographical area with a uniform set of tariffs for telephone service are in place. A call placed within any two points inside an exchange area is considered a local call.

The exchange service from the CO facility that provides users with basic line services along with any other service provided to the subscriber via a telephone connection to a unique telephone number address on the PSTN.

Extended Area Service (EAS)
An extended area service is also known as EAS. It is a billing plan arrangement where unlimited calls to specific areas outside of a normal flat-rate area are offered to a customer for a fixed monthly fee (usually through a calling plan).

Our telecom glossary and telephone dictionary though full of technology terms, is stil a work in progress. However, we plan to continue to add to the wireless dictionary with the latest telephone terms.

– F –

Facilities are the transmissions lines, (cables, telephone poles, conduit, microwave, or carrier equipment, central office equipment) used by a telephone to provide telecommunications services. Additionally, this includes long distance services. Moreover, facilities are the circuits available to make calls.

Facility Based CLEC
A facility based CLEC is also known as a Facility Based  Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. They are the CLEC who own the switch or NPA-NXX and RAO code. They sometimes interconnect with other CLECs or LECs network.

Federal Communications Commission. The US government agency responsible for regulating the telephone industry. The FCC is the agency in charge of interstate telecommunications service. For complaints and inquiries contact: Sharon Lee, Chief of Consumer Protection, 1919 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20554; or call 202-418-7534.

FCC Access
See also PICC in our telecom glossary.

FCC Approved Customer Line Charge
See also Federal Subscriber Line Charge

FCC Primary Carrier 1st Line
See also PICC in our telecom glossary.

Foreign Central Office – This Central Office is located outside user’s Local Central Office. When using an FCO, a line may provide (for a fee charged to owner of line)a seemingly local connection to a calling area normally requiring a toll. See also Foreign Central Office.

Frame check sequence.

More Telecommunications Glossary

Feature Charges 
By looking at your phone bill you can’t normally see your feature charges. Therefore, you will need to review the monthly services and records search to find out what’s inside your invoice. Are you using the features you are billed for? Some features are call voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, and three way calling.

Federal Access Charge
A fee charged to subscribers or other telephone companies by a local exchange carrier for the use of its local exchange networks. See also Federal Subscriber Line Charge.

Federal Excise Tax
See also Federal Tax

More on Federal Taxes Important Telecom Tax Terms

Federal Subscriber Line Charge
The federal subscriber line charge is a charge billed by the LEC used to pay some of the cost the LEC has when providing a phone line to your home or business. It is designed to help LECs recover the cost of providing “local loops” and other equipment connecting you to the telephone network. This is not a tax. It is a charge that is part of the price you pay to your LEC. Neither the FCC, PUC, or any other governmental agency receives the Federal Subscriber Line Charge. The FCC does place a maximum cap on this charge.

Federal Tax
A federal tax that appears on your local and long distance phone bills. It is a percentage charged by all phone companies. Also known as FET, and Federal Excise Tax.

Important Fees and Surcharges

Federal Universal Service Fee (FUSF)
The Federal Universal Service Fee is also known as the FUSF.  It’s the financial mechanism which helps compensate telephone companies or other communications entities for providing access to remote areas. Moreover, it brings telecommunications services at reasonable and affordable rates throughout the country, including rural, insular and high costs areas, and to public institutions. Certainly, the law does not prohibit companies from passing this charge on to customers.

Feature Group D. The Equal Access Connections is a trunk side switched access connection.

Fiber Optics
A new generation of telecommunications wiring that uses light beams sent through thin strands of glass.

Field Identifier is also known as a FID. It’s a code used to identify a billing preference or attribute of a customer’s account.

Do you know these Telephone Bill Terms and Definitions?

Five One One (511)
Five one one is also known as 511. It’s a North American traffic report number. This term was designated by the US FCC in the year 2000 as the universal telephone number for vehicular traffic reports.

Flat Rate
A Flat Rate is a price setting guidelines for a service provider that wishes to charge the same fee for calls regardless of the number of calls made, or the duration of each call.

Flat Rate Service
A billing guideline in which specific services are provided for a fixed monthly rate, regardless of actual usage. (See measured rate service)

Foreign Central Office (FCO)
A Foreign central ofice is also known as a FCO. This Central Office is located outside user’s Local Central Office. When using an FCO a line may provide (for a fee charged to owner of line) a seemingly local connection to a calling area normally requiring a toll.

Foreign Exchange (FX)
Foreign Exchange is also known as FX. It is used for lines outside the CO’s territory to maintain local fee for person calling. These are outside LEC’s local calling area, usually in a another city.  See also FX in our telecom glossary.

Foreign Listing
These are normally used for advertised numbers and placed in white page directories. These directories are in calling areas other than their local directory.

What is a four wire circuit?

Four Wire Circuit
A communication circuit that uses separate pairs for each direction of a
transmission. Typically associated with synchronous, dedicated communications where simultaneous two-way, full duplex transmission is required.

Frame Relay Access Device is also known as FRAD. It’s also known as a Frame Relay Assembler. I’ts the piece of equipment (device) used within a communications network to convert data from the user’s network into the format required by a frame relay network.

Where the Cloud Technology Started

Frame Relay
A switching method which transmits frames of data by using shared network resources. Since frame relay uses packet switching technology to offer advanced error protection with retransmission. It usually requires a Local Loop at each end of the connection giving higher bandwidth technology. Frame relay is more cost effective with less network downtime, and more efficient to use.

The process of obtaining or using telecommunications service without authorization. This usually occurs when people use your telephone facilities to make non-business calls or use your electronic mailboxes. It sometimes occurs when people charge unauthorized items to your telephone bills. Long distance has the greatest occurrence of fraud.

Frame Relay Network Device is also known as FRND. It’s a packet switch that also operates as a gateway to the frame relay network. This device passes frames that it receives from the FRAD to other frame relay switches that forward packets toward their destination network. Frame relay switches connect to FRADs at the edge of a network over a digital local loop.

Full Duplex
The bi-directional communication capability in which transmissions can travel in both directions simultaneously.

Telecommunication Definitions

Functional Devices
A classification of ISDN operational functions used to describe what tasks different components of an ISDN configuration perform. For example, the Network Termination 1 function defines the NT1 device that presents your premises as a node on the ISDN network. Another functional device is the terminal adapter, which defines the role of an adapter to convert some other form of communication to ISDN. Another example is a TA allowing an analog telephone to communicate over an ISDN device.

Foreign Exchange is also known as an FX . This is the term used for lines outside the CO’s territory. However, the FX is used to maintain local fee for the person calling. These are outside LECs local calling area, usually in a another city.

This telecommunications glossary and technology dictionary, is full of telecom terms and is a work in progress. Certainly, we plan to continue to add to the telecommunications dictionary with the latest technology terms.

– G –

Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge
See also State and Local Taxes in our telecom glossary.

Group 3 Fax
A 1980 term used for faxing with speeds from 2600 to 9600.  facsimile protocol, which operates over analog telephone lines or with a terminal adapter over ISDN.

Group 4 Fax
Group 4 fax is also known as G4. It’s a fax that allows high-speed,  of up to 64,000 bps on digital fax machines to operate over ISDN.

We hope you are enjoying telecom dictionary terms

– H –

Half Duplex
Data transmission that only takes place one direction at a time.

A hotspot is a physical location used as an access point where devices using WiFi can connect to the internet.However, many smartphones can be used as a hotspot also known as wifi tethering. See also Wi-Fi and mobile hotspot.

The point on a network where circuits are connected is also known as the Hub.

This is a feature which allows calls directed to one number to forward automatically to other lines on the phone system. This hunting pattern is set up at the CO and can’t be changed without customer order requests to the LEC Business Office. These are sometimes called Rotary lines or roll over.

– I –

Interexchange Carrier is also known as an IC. An IC is also known as IXC. The Interexchange Carrier provides connections between LATAs and serving areas.  For example, AT&T and MCI are Interexchange Carriers. Interexchange Carriers can also be referred to as common carriers and Interexchange Companies. See also IXC, IEC in our telecom glossary.

I Called
A service available from Qwest LEC offered to a caller who attempts to call a number but doesn’t reach the party intended after 3-4 rings. This I Called Feature service asks the caller if they would prefer to leave a message for the party they are dialing. This saves the caller time and assures message delivery. See also Message Delivery in our telecom glossary..

Interexchange Carrier is also known as an IC.

More Tech Glossary from Auditel

IEEE 803.2
The protocol that defines an Ethernet network at the physical layer of network signaling and cabling.

Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier. One of the original seven Baby Bell Companies. Incumbent companies created during the divestiture in 1984.

In-band Signaling
In-band signaling is carried in the same channel as the bearer traffic.  Touch Tone signals are an example of in-band signaling.

Incoming Peg Count
The indicator used for measurement of the number of attempts counted at the incoming end of a trunk group which seize a trunk in the group. This peg count measures the incoming calls entering into a circuit.

Inline Repair
See also Inside Wiring Repair Plan.

Inside Wiring
Inside wiring is the connected cable wiring your service to the service provider demarcation. This is the work on your side of the demarc and you are responsible for it.  Typically, you have category 5 wiring inside your home with the option of installing the wiring yourself or having a vendor, or the LEC install the wiring at an extra charge.

Are you paying for an inside wiring plan?

Inside Wiring Repair Plan
Corporate users are responsible for repair and maintenance of telephone wires located inside the walls of their buildings and throughout their business. Some LECs offer an optional plan where the customer cab pay a monthly fee to help cover any potential repair costs. When renting a building, or in newer facilities, or if you are already using a dedicated phone vendor it is not a recommended item to purchase. Inside wiring is also known as Line Backer, and Inline Repair.

More Glossary Terms

The process of connecting one local telephone network to another so that customers of each network can call one another. The networks can either be competing with one another for customers or be serving different, adjacent territories.

A specification that defines the protocols used at a particular reference point in a network,. The Basic Rate Interface (BRI) refers to an access interface to ISDN.

Interlata Calls
Local calls originating in one local access transport area (LATA) and terminating in another LATA, or outside of a LATA. Long distance carrier (IXC) handles these calls and lines may be PICC’d to preferred long distance carrier.

Internet Call Manager
A feature available from some LECs which opens a window displaying the caller’s name and phone number. The user is allowed to act in several ways: 1)Leave caller a message stating that you will answer after logging off. 2)Give another

Internet Call Manager
Internet call manaer is also known as ICM. They are number such as cellular or another line in which to call. 3) Play customized messages. 4) Send caller to voicemail. 5) Ignore the call.

Two pieces of equipment are interoperable when they work together. Standards make device from different vendors work with each other.

Interstate Access Charge
See also 9zr and FCC Access in our telecom glossary..

More Auditel Terms

Interstate Calls
Interstate calls are toll calls originating in one state, and terminating in another state, This is a long distance call. These toll calls cross a state boundary.

Intralata Calls
Intralata calls are also known as Local toll calls within a LATA. The services, revenues and functions that relate to originating and terminating calls within a single local access transport area (LATA). The 1982 Modification of Final Judgment (MFJ) allows LECs to handle these calls without an IEC.

Intrastate Calls
Long Distance calls originating and terminating within the same state. The State PSC also known as the Public Service Commission regulates and oversee Intrastate calls (calls made within each state).

INWATS is defined as Inward Wide Area Telecommunications Service (WATS). A service enabling customers to receive incoming long-distance calls billed on a bulk basis, it has been replaced by 800 service. These calls are free to the user and billed to the party receiving the call.

What is ISDN?

Integrated Services Digital Network: A completely digital telephone/telecommunications network to upgrade existing analog telephone networks. These are used for carrying voice, data, images, and video at high speed by sending digitally-encoded signals. ISDN provides “end-to-end” digital service and can work on the copper wiring phone lines that are in most homes and businesses today. There are two types of ISDN used in North America; PRI and BRI.

ISDN address
The ISDN address is used to identify a specific ISDN device. It comprises an ISDN number plus additional digits that identify a specific terminal at a user’s interface. An ISDN number is the network address associated with a user’s ISDN connection.

ISDN Ordering Code
A predefined number that tells the phone company how to provision your ISDN line based on the requirements of your ISDN hardware.

ISDN Telephone
A telephone designed for ISDN service. It typically includes programmable buttons for managing call features and an LCD display for viewing caller information.

Internet Service Provider. Is an entity or organization that provides its subscribers or users with access to the internet. Most people think of an ISP as an access provider, though there are quite a few differing types of ISP’s – Wholesale, Transit, Virtual etc.

Independent Telephone Company. In the U.S., a telephone company that was not owned by AT&T prior to divestiture.

More on Itemized Calls

Itemized Calls
The billed calls listed by number listing the specific call with date and time specified.You can find more on itemized calls in Call Detail Records CDR.

International Telecomm unications Union. An organization under the United Nations that prepares telecommunication recommendations or standards, including many related to ISDN. The ITU was formally the CCITT.

Interactive Voice Response IVR is a process of automatically interacting with a caller through computerized audio prompts instead of human intervention. The IVR process is used to request information and store responses from the caller. The responses can be in the form of touch-tone(tm) key presses or voice responses.

Interexchange Carrier (also known as IC). Carrier that provide connections between LATAs and serving areas.

This glossary with telecoms terms is packed with telecoms terms. Although it is a work in progress, certainly, we plan to continue to add to the telecoms dictionary with the latest technology terms.

-J –

A jack is used to interface a line with your equipment. The jack is the demarcation point between the LEC and the customer responsibilities. There are over 40 different types of jacks available. The  RJ11 jack is used for connecting the single line telephones or fax lines to the equipment.

– K –

Kilobits per second. The unit of measurement in thousands of bits per second for data transmission. One kilobit is equal to one thousand bits.

Key Systems
Telephone equipment with extra buttons that provides users with more functionality than regular telephones. ISDN phones and NT1 Plus devices that support analog telephone include key systems. A key system in a protocol invoked when you press a sequence of keys on the analog or ISDN telephone’s dialing pad.

– L –

Location Area Code (LAC) is a code assigned by the system operator to identify specific areas of operation. These LAC identifiers can be used to indicate regions with different billing codes. These can also identify the types of authorized service features.

A Local area network is also called a LAN, A group of computer and other devices linked via a network operating system.  The LAN is normally limited to less than a mile in distance.

Traditional wired phone service are also called landlines.

Last Call Return
See also Call Return in our telecom glossary..

Last Trunk Busy Meter
Last trunk busy meter is also known as a LTBM. In addition, a traffic meter, is often called an LTB meter, that records a last-trunk-busy condition. This is the number of times that the last trunk in a selected group becomes busy.

Telco Dictionary Terms Bring Savings

Local Access Transport Area also known as LATA. The Local exchange carriers (RBOCs) provide service within a LATA. Typically, a LATA comprises multiple area codes.

The term Long Distance is also known as LD.

LD Line Charge
See also PICC in our telecom glossary..

Local Exchange Carrier. The local telephone company. Moreover a LEC is any company certificated by the Public Service Commission to provide local exchange telecommunications service  Also know as a cal Exchange Telecommunications Company.

Line Information Database is also a LIDB. Maintains calling card verification data by most RBOCs. IXCs contract with RBOCs for this service.

Lineline is a program from the FCC that gives a monthly discount on communications services (internet and broadband) for low-income consumers.

Line Backer
See Inside Wire Repair Plan in our telecom glossary..

Line Extension
A means for providing ISDN at distances beyond the normal limit between the central office and your location.

Line Study
See Busy Study and Traffic Study in our telecom glossary..

Do you know your tech terms?

See Bold Listings, Additional Listings, Foreign Listings, Standard Listings.

Loop Maintenance Operating System used to record customer trouble reports and to track subsequent maintenance activities for telecommunications service.

See also Local Number Portability in our telecom glossary..

Local Loop
The pair of copper wires that connects the end user to the telephone company’s central office. These wires, originally installed for analog communications, are the same wires used for ISDN service but require new equipment at the end user’s premises and at the telephone company.

What is Portability?

Local Number Portability
The local number portability fee allows local telephone companies (LEC)  recover the costs associated with upgrading their networks . The LNP to allow users to retain their existing telephone number when switching to a different CLEC. Since this is not a tax, but a surcharge that is part of the price you pay to your LEC, the LEC can choose whether to pass on the LNP costs. See Number Portability Service Charge, or LNP.

The diagnostic test for a signal to transmit while the sending device waits for the signal to return to the source.

Loop Maintenance
The loop maintenance is known as LMOS and in most LECs is the maintenance system used to input, test and track POTS trouble reports.

Loop or Line Qualification
A test that your phone company runs to make sure that your ISDN line meets the distance and quality requirements of 18,000 feet from the central office that provides the ISDN service to you.

Loop Start
A method of demanding dial tone from the CO by completing an electrical pathway between the outbound and return conductors of a telephone line.

Logical Channels
Logical channels are the three available channels of a BRI connections also known as ISDN system channels.

Do you know what an LPIC is?

Local Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier LPIC is a customer choice to identify through the LEC which LEC or LD carrier will handle their Intralata traffic. These LPICs are identified by a four digit numeric code known as the LPIC.

Line termination is also known as LT. It defines the local loop at the telephone company side of an ISDN connection to match the NT1 function at the customer end of the local loop.

We hope you are enjoying our telecoms glossary, it is a work in progress. Certainly, we will continue to add the latest tech terms.

– M –

Moves, adds and changes are also known as MAC. Configuration changes to existing service or equipment.

MACD is also known as Moves, adds, changes and disconnection of telecom services. Commonly known as MACDs in the TEM space.

Master Billing Account (Q Account)
A master billing account also known as a Q account, is required by a CLEC to order UNE services from the CRIS Billing System on which BIBS UNE usage is billed.

Mega bytes per second is also known as MBPS. It is millions of bits per second used in the measure of bandwidth on a data transmission medium. Moreover, some examples include twisted-pair copper lines, optical fiber, or coaxial cable.

Measured Service
Measured service is usage-sensitive based with calls priced on a basis of distance, duration, frequency, and time of day. Calls may be rated on a full minute incremental fee basis.

A computer record that contains detailed information about a telephone call, such as the originating and terminating telephone numbers, the start date and time, and the ending date and time.

Message Delivery
A LEC usage based service allowing caller to leave a message when dialing a party and receiving a busy signal.

More on Old and New Terms

Message Rate Service
Message rate services is a guideline used by the LEC for billing on a per call basis where each call is charged a fee for usage. Moreover, these calls are normally broken into zones (or calling areas) and rated according to the tariff within each LEC.

MIFI is also known as Mobile WiFi. A portable device that provides a wireless LAN that can utilize both WiFi LANs and a mobile providers 3G, 4G, and 5G network to provide internet access using a compatible SIM card.

Important Money Saving Telecommunications Terms

Minimum Monthly Fee
Some LEC and Long Distance Carriers may have a minimum monthly amount you must spend within a calling plan they offer. However, this is not the same as a monthly fee. Moreover, if the calling plan requires that you spend $20 per month but you make only $10 worth of calls, the LEC or LD carrier will charge either the difference of $10 as a minimum monthly fee, or an additional $20 as a minimum monthly fee.

Missed Call
See also Call Return in our telecom glossary..

Mobile Asset
A mobile asset is a mobile device. For instance, a tablet, smartphone, or a data card.

Mobile Hotspot
Mobile hotspots are battery-powered standalone devices using your phone’s cell network to create a wireless internet connection. Moreover, the mobile hotspot is used on a laptop or other device.

A modem is signal conversion equipment. In other words, in computer terms, a device that can modulate digital signals from a computer into analog signals that can be transmitted over analog communications channels, and vice versa. Moreover, it provides the interface between digital terminals and analog carrier systems.

Monthly Fee
Some LEC and Long Distance Carriers may charge a per month fee in addition to other fees. Regardless of the number of calls you make or the dollar amount spent, the company will assess this fee.

Moves, Adds, & Changes
See also MAC or MACD in our telecom glossary.

What is MPLS

Multiprotocol Label Switching MPLS is an overlay technique for data transfer designed to simplify and improve performance in telecommunications networks. Since the early 2000’s MPLS was the predominant means of building wide area networks WAN. Since the protocol uses short-path node to node lookups rather than long addresses among other techniques to minimize router workload, increasing network speed and efficiency.

Multi-link PPP
Allows you to combine two or more B Channels into a single, faster PPP connection. With Multi-link PPP, you could have a 128 kilobit/second PPP connection over a Basic Rate ISDN line. The next releases of Windows 95 and Windows NT will include Multi-Link PPP support.

Multi-Location Discount Aggregator
A company contracts with unaffiliated entities to obtain bulk/volume discounts under multi-location discount plans from certain underlying carriers, then offers resold service by enrolling unaffiliated customers.

This telephone glossary includes telecommunication terms. Certainly, it is a work in progress. Nonetheless, we plan to continue to add to the dictionary with the latest telephone terms.

– N –

North American Numbering Plan is also known as NANP. It is the familiar ten-digit numbering system used today in the US., Canada, and Mexico, which includes the three-digit area code
followed by the seven-digit local telephone number.

NAPs is also known as Network Access Points . These NAPs are switching point through which a call is processed. The NAP switches the call based on routing instructions from the NCP.

National Access Fee
See also PICC in our telecom glossary.

National ISDN
National ISDN is also known as N1-1. Defined by Bellcore, National ISDN 1 (NI-1) is an agreement among telephone companies and CPE vendors to jointly provide the first phase of standards-based ISDN. NI-1 is a collection of standards to allow CPE to work across different telephone company switches using the Basic Rate Interface.

Network Driver Interface Specification is also known as NDIS. Developed by Microsoft NDIS. Provides a common set of rules for network adapter manufacturers and network operating system (NOS) developers to use for communication between the network adapter and the NOS.

A network connects a  group of computers connected together to share data, programs, and operations. The network is connected through a wireless or cable platform.

More Technology Terms

Network Elements
The components making up the local home network required to deliver phone calls from one point to another. Some elements are central switch, trunk lines, and the local loop.

Network Interface Box
The network interface box is a device at the point where the telephone company and the end users wiring meet.

Nine-One-One Service Fee (911)
The nine one one (911) service fee is charged by each county to support the cost of emergency telephone service. The LEC collects the fee and sends it to each county.

Non Recurring Charges
One time charges normally for facility installation.

Do you know your NPA?

Numbering Plan Area NPA is a three character numeric code that indicates the calling area in which the call originated or terminated. This NPA is used in conjunction with an NXX to determine the end office.

NT-1 (Network Termination-1)
The device that connects to your ISDN hardware and works as a converter between an ISDN U-interface and an ISDN S/T-Interface. Some ISDN adapters have a NT-1 already built into them. This is easier and less expensive than an external NT-1, but may prevent you from connecting other equipment to your ISDN line.

NT1 Plus device
A device that includes a built-in NT1 as well as ports to connect other devices (analog or ISDN). or X.25) to an ISDN line.

Network Termination 2. A device that handles network termination and switching functions, typically embodied in PBXs (Private Branch Exchanges). An NT2 device performs intelligent operations such as switching and concentrating traffic across multiple B channels in a PRI line.

Number Portability
Number portability allows a subscriber to change its local service provider and retain its phone number. See also Local Number Portability

A three character numeric code that indicates the calling area in which the call originated or terminated. An NXX is used with the NPA to determine the end office.

The technology terms in this glossary as a work in progress, but, we plan to continue to add to the tech dictionary with the latest terms.

– O –

OC3 is also known as a fiber optic line capable of 155 megabits per second (155,000K).

OC-48 is also known as a fiber optic line capable of 2400 megabits per second (2,400,000K).

Operating Company Number is also known as OCN. This is the code used to identify a telephone company.

Open Data Interface  is also known as ODI. It is the specification developed by Novell for supporting different adapters.

Another Local Exchange Carrier is also known as OLEC.

One Reach
One reach is a LEC feature allowing a call to ring on up to 2 additional phones simultaneously. The first phone to answer the call is connected thus, reducing the number of  various lines to be remembered by caller.

Dial zero from your phone to reach the LEC operator and OO to reach the IXC operator.

Operator Service Provider
The operator service provider is when a company provides or plans to provide alternative operator services for IXCs; or toll operator services to call aggregator locations; or clearinghouse services to bill such calls.

More Glossary Terms

An Off Premise Extension is also known as an OPX. Directly connect user’s telephone system with secondary remote location’s equipment that is located off the premises of the phone system that is transferring the telephone call.

Originating Number
The originating number is the telephone number of the device that originates a call.

Originating Office
The originating office is the central office or switching base location where a call or service originates.

Originating Point (SS#7)
SS#& is also known as the originating point. It is the signaling location a message is generated from.

Out-of-band Signaling
Out of band signaling allows telephone network management signaling functions and other service to be sent over a separate channel rather than the bearer channel. Moreover, ISDN uses out-of-band signaling via the D channel. Out-of-band signaling used in ISDN consists of messages rather than audio signals, as in the case with the Touch Tone analog telephone system.

OUT-WATS is also known as  Outbound Wide Area Telecommunications Service. It permits customers to make high-volume long-distance calls within assigned geographic areas. The calls are bulk billed rather than individually billed.

What is Overflow Traffic?

Overflow Traffic
Overflow traffic is also known as switched traffic requiring more trunks than are available resulting in a busy signal to caller.

Over-provisioning is also a technique of providing more capacity (more circuits, trunks, switched services) than is actually needed for a given application. Sometimes the intent is to reduce delay and/or to simplify the overall system design.

The telecoms terms and dictionary contain a glossary packed with telecom descriptions. Although, it is a work in progress. However, we plan to update it with the latest telecom terms.

– P –

A packet is also known as a bundle of data. The packet delivery is the most relevant measure of an IP network.

Packet Switching
Packet switching is a data transmission method where data is transferred via packets. Since a packet is a block of data, packets are sent using a store-and-forward method across nodes in a network so various routes can be taken efficiently to avoid overloading the single facility. Paths are not permanent but transient and powerful.

PAP is also known as Password Authentication Protocol. It is a security language that establishes a two-way handshake to verify the identity of two computers. In PAP, passwords are sent in text format.

Parallel to Serial Conversion
A parallel to serial conversion is also known as the conversion of a stream of multiple data elements received simultaneously into a stream of data elements transmitted in time sequence.

More Tech Glossary

Parallel to Serial Converter
A parallel to serial converter is a device that converts parallel input data into a sequenced stream of signal elements (usually data bits).

Passband is also known as the frequency spectrum that determines the amount of data that can be transmitted through a channel. However, the passband is what determines the band width of a channel.

Passive Bus
Passive Bus is also known as the ability to connect multiple devices to a single BRI connection without repeaters to boost the signal. The configuration of the passive bus combines the terminating residence for all the devices connected to your ISDN line to add up to 100 ohms.

Do you have a PBX system?

A PBX is also known as a Private Branch Exchange . This is a private telephone switch that provides switching (including a full set of switching features) for an office or campus. Moreover,  PBXs often use proprietary digital-line protocols, although some are analog-based.

PCM is also known as Pulse Code Modulation.  It is the method used to convert analog audio to digitized audio.

Do you know anything about telecom traffic studies?

Peg Count
Peg count is the total number of any incoming or outgoing traffic event (incoming call attempts or outgoing attempts) that occur during a given period. An example is the number of times a switching-system component functions during any given hour. The peg count gives the raw output of your switch’s traffic info by providing the number of attempted calls, and the duration of each call documented on an hourly basis on the busy study. A busy study is also known as a traffic study.

Peg Count Measurement
Peg count measurement is the count of the number of calls (bids) attempted on a group of trunks or a specific piece of common control equipment in a given time period. Additionally, a trunk seizure is a bid for service on the trunk.

Short term for PICC. Pronounced “Pick”.

Do you know your PICC?

Pre-subscribed Inter-exchange Carrier Charge is also known as a PICC. When a user selects long distance for their telephone number, the long distance company pays the LEC a fee. Moreover, this fee compensates the local telephone company for costs associated with the “local loop”. However, the method of recovering this fee will vary based on carrier.

Some companies don’t charge the fee as a separate line item, instead the costs are part of the long distance charges. If you don’t have a long distance company selected, the LEC may charge this fee. Also known as FCC Primary Carrier 1st Line, Carrier Line Charge, National Access Fee, LD Line Charge, or Presubscribed Line Charge, Regulatory Related Charge.

Point-to-Multipoint Configuration
Point to Multipoing configuration is also known as the physical connection in which a single network termination supports multiple terminal equipment devices. This configuration in supported by the S/T-interface.

Point-to-Multipoint Connection
Point to multipoing connection is also known as a connection established between one device on one end and more than one device on the other end.

Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
PPP is known as Point to point protocol. It’s a protocol that allows a computer to use TCP/IP to connect to other computers over a standard phone line using a high-speed modem.

Do you know what a PON is?

A PON is also known as a purchase order number.

A Pop is also known as a Point of Presence. This is the location of an IXP hub or base. Also a local dial-n point for an Internet Service Provider.

The port is also knosn as the Connection to the end office switch. The port offers vertical services.

Did you know there are portability fees?

Portability Fee
Portability fees vary with each service provider. So, always check when porting a wireless number if there are portability fees and if they can be waived.

The term Ported is also known as a telephone number which receives local exchange service from a company different from the LEC which originally assigned the TN (telephone number).

Ported In/Ported Out
The term Ported in / ported out is also known as a TN served by another LEC but now served by LEC other than original LEC or vice versa.

Port/Loop Combo
A Port/Loop Combo is also known as the entire path from the premise to the end office switch. These also offer vertical services like Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, and Caller ID.

POTS is also known as Plain Old Telephone Service: an analog (non-digital) telephone line.

Point-to-Point Protocol/Multilink Protocol is also known as PPP/MP. The new Point-to-Point Protocol for ISDN connection that allows use of both B channel for remote access to the Internet. However, PPP/MP also allows different remote access devices to communicate with each other.

Pre-subscribed Inter-Exchange Carrier Charge
See also PICC in our telecom glossary.

Presubscribed Line Charge
See also PICC in our telecom glossary.

More Glossary Terms

Priority Call
Prioirty Call is also known as a LEC based feature allowing user to define priority numbers. This service allows change of callers and easy on and off properties. The benefits are that you can only receive important calls during special times. This feature also allows calls to be marked by a special ring.

Primary Rate Interface (PRI)
Primary Rate Interface is also known as PRI. It is a type of ISDN service that offers 23 B channels at 64 kbps and one D channel at 64 kbps (23B+1D). In Europe, PRI provides for 30 B channels and two D channels (30B+2D).

Protector Block
The protector block is also known as the point just before the network interface box at the demarc.

Protection Plus Plan
See also Inside Wiring in our telecom glossary.

Provisioning is also konwn as the combination of device and service options that make up your ISDN line. You order your ISDN line, but the telephone company provisions the line, i.e.– it configures your ISDN service according to the physical capabilities of the switch, as well as the options you choose.

Public Switched Telephone Network is also known as PSTN. It’s an underground copper wire using old technology for connecting networks to homes primarily used to transmit analog voice data.

What is the PUC?

Public Utilities Commission is also known as PUC. It is overseen by the United States Government. The PUC has jurisdiction over local, intrastate, toll, and access for telephone companies. The PU Commission does not regulate mobile and wireless service proiders, cable TV companies. Look up your state to find the PUC location for your state. The Public Service Commission ensures your services are safe and reasonable.

–Q –

Q Account
Master Billing Account is also known as a Q Account. It is an account required before a CLEC can order UNE services.

Query Indicator
Query Indicator is also known as the identifier in the routing path that a LNP query has been performed.

Quiet Time
Quiet time is also known as a LEC feature allows user to block incoming calls while still allowing important calls to get through. This feature gives incoming callers a message during Quiet Time announcing that the caller they are trying to reach is unavailable at this time. If voicemail is on the line you can designate all calls go directly to voicemail during quiet time.

The telecom terms in this technology glossary contain work in progress. But, we certainly plan to add updates.

– R –

R Reference Point
The R Reference Point is also known as the ISDN reference point that sits between the non-ISDN device and the terminal adapter (TA) functional device.

Revenue Accounting Office is also known as RAO. This was the old term used for a BellSouth billing system processing site.

Rate Adaptation
Rate Adaptation is also known as a system that allows two pieces of data equipment operating at different data transmission rates to inter-operate.

Do you remember the divestiture in 1982?

Regional Bell Operating Company is also known as an RBOC. One of the local exchange carriers that were created during the breakup of AT&T. RBOCs provided telephone service in a region of the U.S.

Recurring Charges
Recurring charges are also known as the charges repeating on LEC or other Telecommunications bills assessed on a regular basis i.e. monthly, quarterly or annually. Example line fees, features, etc.

Reference Point
A reference point is also known as a specific point in the model of how ISDN works. Each ISDN component can be identified using a reference point. For example, the U reference point defines the local loop of an ISDN connection. Reference points are nterfaces.

Regulatory Related Charge
See also PICC in our telecom glossary.

Relay Charge
Legislature has authorized a set monthly fee for the relay charge to help with the costs of providing special equipment for deaf, severely hearing impaired, or speech impaired individuals to have access to the telephone system. Also known as Telecommunications Relay Services.

What is Remote Access to CF?

Remote Access to Call Forwarding
Remote access to call forwarding is also known as a call forwarding service that enables a customer to access the call forwarding feature whether the customer is at their office or a remote site. To access this feature it requires using a predetermined number along with a PIN.

Do you know what remote call forwarding is?

Remote Call Forwarding
Remote call forwarding is different from Remote access to Call forwarding. It is a phone service offering in which calls to a given directory number are redirected to another number. Moreover, these calls are not manually routed from your phone, they are established via the central office and often directed to another city.

Remote Switching Module (RMS)
The remote switching module is also known as a switch away from its host or control office.

Remote Terminal
A remote terminal is also known as a terminal connection to another terminal over a phone line.

Repeat Dial
Since repeat dial is a usage based feature for automatically redialing a busy number at certain intervals, it eliminates constant redialing by automatically redialing the number up to 30 minutes until the line is reached. Also known as Automatic, or Automatic Callback, Call Again, and Continuous Redial. To activate this feature with some LECs dial *66 and to deactivate dial *86.

Equipment used to amplify a signal to boost the range of the signal over larger distances.

What is a Reseller?

A Reseller is also known as a Company that primarily leases the transmission facilities of other carriers. However, many Resellers have or plan to have one or more switches. Moreover, Resellers bill their own customer base for services used.

The reveal feature is used in conjunction with Caller ID. It stops calls marked unidentified by Caller ID before they reach destination and asks callers to input their phone number. This feature helps avoid telemarketing calls.

Have you ever used Reverse Directory Assistance?

Reverse Directory Assistance
The reverse directory assistance feature is only available from certain LECs. It is only offered on published numbers. See also Call 54 in our telecom glossary.

A device that connects two or more networks is also known as a router. The router works like a bridge, but has greater capabilities. A router determines where the destination computer is located, and then finds the best way to get there.

Do you have common telephone wiring?

The RJ-11 is also known as the most common telephone jack in the world, a six-conductor modular jack wired with 4 wires. You probably have RJ-11 jacks in your house.

An 8-pin connector jack used with standard telephone lines, and required by some ISDN hardware. A little larger than an RJ-11 jack.

An industry standard for serial communications connections. host PC’s include one or more RS-232 ports for connecting devices such as a modem or a mouse.

This telecoms glossary is a work in progress. But, we certainly plan to continue to add additional updates that will contain the latest technology terms.

– S –

Software Defined Wide Area Network. A cloud based virtual WAN architecture that allows businesses or other network operators to utilize differing or a combination of data transport services, including MPLS, LTE, Broadband etc.

Selective Call Forwarding
See Call Forwarding in our telecom glossary.

Pertaining to the sequential processing of elements of data through a single facility, where progress must proceed successively from the first element through the next.

Serial Access
A serial access is located in data storage with access technique where blocks are read, one after another, until a desired block is located.

Seven-One-One Service Fee (711)
Telecommunications Relay Service Fee. (See Relay Charge)

SIP Trunk
Session Initiation Protocol. Service providers utilize this protocol the enable the user to receive and make telephone calls over the internet to anyone with a phone number by establishing VoIP connectivity between a public switched telephone network and the user’s phone system.

S reference point
The S reference point is an ISDN reference point that represents where a CPE connects to a customer switching device, such as a PBX system.

Shared Tenant Service (STS)
Any certificated telecommunications company that provides service that duplicates or competes with local service provided by an existing LEC and is

Shared Tenant Service (STS) Continued
furnished through a common switching or billing arrangement to tenants by an entity other than an existing local LEC.

What is Slamming?

So, slamming is what occurs when a customer’s long distance service is switched from one long distance company to another without their permission. Such unauthorized switching violates FCC rules.

See Federal Subscriber Line Charge in our telecom glossary.

We hope you are enjoying our telecom dictionary

Service Order Number. The system generated alphanumeric indicator (up to 10 characters) that appears on the first line of the “Other Charges and Credits” detail. It is used to identify the service orders that are placed in the billing period.

Special Access
Dedicated access for private line services.

Speed Calling
This is a feature available from the LEC which allows a customer to store numbers called frequently and then retrieve them by touching just one or two numbers on the phone pad. Some phone systems come equipped with predefined keys used for speed dial numbers -this is a similar feature.

Service Profile Identifier SPID is a number or set of numbers assigned to an ISDN line by the phone company. One SPID is assigned to each channel in The switch uses SPID as unique identification numbers for each ISDN line, so it can determine where to send calls and signals.

Signaling System Number 7. A well known channel signaling system that performs network signaling functions. This is used to establish ISDN call functions. See also Origination Point.

Standard Listings
These are white page directory listings which are allowed for each separately billed main account number.

State and Local Taxes
Also known as Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge, State Additional Charges, Interstate Tax Surcharge, State Universal Service Fund, State Infrastructure Maintenance Fee.

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State Infrastructure Maintenance Fee
See State and Local Taxes in our telecom glossary.

The part of the ISDN line that connects to the computer or phone Switch. The brand of equipment and software revision level that the telephone company uses to provide you with ISDN service. There are only a few types of switches in the world and usually just one in countries other than the United States.

Subscriber Fraud
Fraud perpetrated by the subscriber in which false user ID information or fraudulently obtained customer information was used to obtain service. Perpetrators of this type of fraud obtain your personal information and use it to set up a cell phone account in your name.

Get to Know your Telecom Terms in our technology dictionary

Subscriber Line Charge (SLC)
A monthly fee paid by telephone subscribers that is used to compensate the local telephone company for part of the cost of installation and maintenance of the telephone wire, poles and other facilities that link your home to the telephone network. These wires, poles and other facilities are referred to as the “local loop.” The SLC is one component of access charges.

Subscriber Loop
The pair of copper wires that connect the end user to the telephone network. These same wires are used to provide ISDN service but need the addition of the NT1 at the end-user location and the line termination at the central office.

Supplementary Services
The collection of voice communication services available via ISDN. These services include call management features such as call appearances, conference calling, and call forwarding.

Are you familiar with all the various Telephone Surcharges?

An additional charge for a service that is in addition to the phone bill basic charge. Examples of surcharges include additional charges for using pay telephone, calling cards, or toll free access lines.

The switch is at the Central Office, it’s the facility at which the customer’s local and long distance call is switched and routed to the trunk lines which direct it to the called number. The equipment that connects users of the telecommunications network. Each subscriber has a dedicated loop to the nearest telephone switch. All of these switches have access to trunk lines for making calls beyond the local exchange area.

Do you know what switched access is?

Switched Access
Access, via the local network, to the end users served by the network.  Services provided over the PSTN.

Switchless Rebiller
This company has no switch or transmission facilities but may have a billing computer. Switchless Rebillers aggregate traffic to obtain bulk discounts from underlying carriers. They rebill end users at a rate above heir discounts. Their rates are normally below the rate end users would pay for un-aggregated traffic.

The telecommunications terms and glossary contain works in progress. Certainly, we plan to continue to add updates.


T reference point
The ISDN reference point that represents where an ISDN device connects to an NT1 functional device.

Terminal adapter. The ISDN functional device that allows non-ISDN devices to work with ISDN.

Talking Call Waiting
This LEC feature is used in conjunction with Caller ID so that when you are on a call and hear a tone for call waiting you know who is calling prior to interrupting your current call. This feature identifies caller’s phone number or unidentified caller, allowing the user to make the decision on whether to answer the call or not.

Tandem Switch
A switch connecting trunks to each other. The tandem switch is a high level switch that connects the originating call with final call destination. This tandem office also serves as an end office. It can provide access for nonconforming end offices. Also known as a level 4 switching system.

Do you know what a telecom tariff is?

A rate and availability schedule for telecommunication services that is filed with and approved by a regulatory body to become effective. Tariffs also include general terms and conditions of service. The documents filed by a carrier describing their services and the payments to be charged for such services.

Tariff Violation
When billing and CSR reflect incorrect tariff, an order must be placed to correct the billing error. Credit received will depend on the date the item went into effect and the State it occurred in.

What is TCP/IP?

Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol. These two networking protocols transfer packets of information from node to node and check to ensure that the receiving end collects all the data that was sent. TCP takes care of frame relay errors. TCP/IP stacks the software that allows a computer to communicate via TCP/IP.

More Tech Terms

Terminal Equipment is a term for any device connected to an ISDN line.

Terminal Equipment 1. Any ISDN ready device that connects directly to ISDN. An ISDN telephone is an example of a TE1 device.

Terminal Equipment 2. Any non-ISDN device that must be used with a terminal adapter to work with ISDN. An analog telephone is an example of a TE2 device. The combination of a TE2 and a TA has the same functionally as a TE1.

Telecom Audit
An Auditel telecom audit is a combination of telecom bill review, telecom tariff analysis, review of telecom contracts, comparison of wired and wireless service usages, fees, surcharges, and taxes plus any tax exemptions available for each telecom expense. In addition, we deliver maximum telecom refunds with our telecom audits.

More Telecommunications Terms

Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
The telecommunications relay service is a free service for people with TTY machines. The TTY machine can translate to text and is used by people who are speach impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. People on both ends of the conversation must have the TTY machines. Is the TRS service still used today? Yes, the service is not obsolete, but barely used these days.

The combining of computer industry with telecommunications. The word used to describe the science of transmitting voice over a telecommunications network.

Third Party Calls
Calls between two parties billed to a third number (usually the callers).

Three Way Calling
This is a feature billed by the LEC and available on most modern phone systems. This feature allows three parties to be on the same line at the same time. This feature is available through most LECs on a pay per use basis. Some LECs offer a plan for a flat monthly fee with unlimited usage.

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Tie Lines
Tie lines are a connection via trunks that connect one user’s location to a different, separate location.

Toll Fraud
A crime in which a hacker obtains telecommunications services by breaking computer security using or selling stolen long distance credit card codes or accessing private branch exchange (PBX) and using its communications facilities illegally. Toll fraud is estimated to cost U.S. companies $1.2 billion per year.

Toll Restrictions
Services available from the LEC can be restricted by Toll Restriction blocks. Ex: Collect Call Blocks, 3rd Party Blocks, 900 Blocks, etc.

See DTMF in our telecom glossary.

Traffic Study
These traffic study reports also known as busy studies used to measure the active telephone service provided by the LEC by request. These are useful in determining calling patterns, analyzing lines needed, verifying billing, planning for changes in service and sometime used to check for abuse and to control it. See also Busy Study.

Does your company have and trunk lines?

A communication connection between two switching systems that is used for establishing an end to end connection.

A type of machine that allows people with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate over the phone using a keyboard and a viewing screen. It is sometimes called a TDD.

Twisted Pair
Another term for regular telephone wiring. Each telephone “wire” is actually a pair of wires.

Two-One-One Service Fee (211)
This fee may be added for access to government agencies.

Two Wire Circuit
A communication circuit using one pair of wires for both directions of a transmission is called a two way circuit.

The technology dictionary and glossary of telecom terms contained herin, are a work in progress. Moreover, we also plan to add tech updates.

– U –

Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter. UART chips are the part of your PC’s com port that handles communication between the CPU and the device on that com port.

U-Interface Point
U reference point. The reference point of an ISDN connection that includes the local loop wiring up to the NT1 functional device.

Unbundled Elements
Unbundled elements are Individual components of the local phone network. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires an ILEC to sell components of the local phone network separately, so that companies wanting to enter the local market can buy only the service they need.

Unbundled Network Elements allow a CLEC to purchase portions or parts of BST services. Once the services are purchased, the CLEC groups different services together and offers them to their end users.

Universal Service Charge
See USF in our telecom glossary.

Unregulated Services
Unregulated services are optional services the LEC may offer to their customers. Such services include Caller ID, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, and Inside Wire Repair Plans. These services are not required for basic service. However, the services are optional and therefore not regulated.

What is a USF fee?

Universal Services Fund USF is a charged to all companies providing telephone service between states. They must contribute to the USF since it helps to provide affordable telephone service access to customers with low incomes. USF also helps consumers living in areas where the cost to provide service is extremely high, as well as to schools, libraries, and rural health care providers.

The LECs are allowed to recover these costs from their customers. As a result, they are also allowed to determine the method used to recover the charges. However, some LECs do not charge this fee to their customers. Also known as Federal Universal Services Fund or FUSF.

Universal Services Fund Charge
See also USF in our telecom glossary.

Usage Sensitive
The cost of a service, such as ISDN or analog telephone service, that is based on the time you actually use the service.


Do you know what a UPS is?

UPS is an uninterruptible power supply, This is a device that ensures a back-up power supply for electrical devices in the event of a power outage. ISDN, NT1 Plus devices can include UPS for maintaining power for analog voice communication during a power outage.

Uniform Service Order Code. The Uniform Service Order Codes are either 3 or 5 characters, and are either alpha, numeric or a combination of both. The USOCs are a standardized method of coding used on service orders and equipment records to identify items of service and equipment.

– V –

A network that can create virtual circuits that allow multiple customers to share the resources of a communication network. A data network, usually packet-switched, that provides products or services beyond the basic transport of information, often, the services are offered by a private vendor over facilities leased from a common carrier. Value added services include databases, time sharing facilities, network management, error control, protocol conversion, end-user support, applications development software, and/or electronic mail.

Value Added Reseller. A company or organization that adds software, or documentation to products made by another manufacturer or service provider so they may be sold in the VAR’s sales and distribution system. VAR’s may modify a basic item for use in a specific industry. This is called vertical application.

Services not part of the standard telecommunications services associated with a basic communication service. VAS services include voice mail, information services and content delivery. Most services offered by prepaid providers (i.e., voice mail, fax store and forward, interactive voice response, and information services) in addition to calling time.

Value added tax. A tax that is added on to the value of the product or service.


Terms and Glossary often called telecommunications dictionary

Volume Term Agreement.

Voice Messaging
Another term used for voice mail. This LEC feature allows flexible ways to retrieve messages from anywhere at anytime.

Voice Mail System
A system which stores messages spoken by a user. These messages can be retrieved by the intended recipient when that person next calls into the system. This operates just like a touch-tone controlled answering machine.

Voice Mail Box
An electronic storage mail box offered by the LEC. These are used today as replacements for answering machines. They operate better than answering machines during electrical outages since CO continues receiving messages when answering machines shut down without power signal. This allows a subscriber to receive and play back messages from a remote location (such as a PBX telephone or a cell phone). These Voice mail boxes are billed a recurring monthly fee and some have usage fees based on number of voicemail received.

There are other benefits over answering machines such as call forward busy to voicemail. Additionally, see Call Forward Busy, or Call Forward No Answer.

Voice Over DSL
Sending voice transmissions over DSL networks.

Voice Over Frame
A process of sending digitized voice signals over frame relay data networks.

Voice Over IP
Converting voice transmissions to packets of data, then transmitting them over an IP network such as the Internet.

The telecommunications terms in this glossary contain works in progress. However, we plan to keep adding technology dictionary updates.

-W –

Wide Area Telephone Service (WATS)
Dedicated connection to access switched network, usually long distance connections. These dedicated connections are being replaced by 800#’s and trunks. Billing devised of flat rate versus measured rate per call basis.

WiFi is a wireless technology or facility that allows users to access the internet over wireless network connections. The term WiFi is trademarked term and networking standard that is specifically defined as “wireless local area network (WLAN) products that are based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 802.11 standards.” Wireless LAN’s, and hotspots utilize radio waves to provide internet over wireless network connections. People also use the term hotspot when discussing Wifi.

Winback is a telephone number (TN) that was ported (or moved) to another service provider, then returned to original LEC provider.

Wired Services.
Wired services are internet services that are delivered by wired technology (phone lines, coaxial cable, etc.). Eventhough they are not wires, fiber optics are usually classed as wired service. For example DSL, cable television, etc. On the other hand, wireless equipment combined with a router can deliver internet services wirelessly.

See  also Inside Wiring in our telecom glossary.

What is WISP?

Wireless Internet Service Provider. A wireless ISP provides a fixed line-of-sight connection from an internet backbone access point to an endpoint receiver. This is done via technologies such as WIFI, and Millimeter wave (mmW) and can also operate in the open 900MHz band and 2.4GHz – 5.8GHz range. Additionally, the WISP can utilize licensed frequencies, or UHF including LMDS and MMDS.

– X –

The protocol for packet-mode services as defined by CCITT. A CCITT interface standard that allows computing devices to communicate via wide area packet-switched data networks.


We hope you are enjoying this glossary and technology dictionary

– Y – Z

– 1 –

*10-10 (NPA-NXX)
Dial around to another IXC provider. Example: Sprint 10-10222, ATT 10-10288, MCI 10-10333 etc.

– 2 –

211 Service Fee
The 211 service fee may be added for access to government agencies.

The term 2G is a second generation mobile network.

2 Wire Circuit
A communication circuit that uses one pair of wires for both directions of a transmission.

– 3 –

Third generation mobile network giving better signal than 2G mobile network.

3rd Party Calls
Calls between two parties billed to a third number (usually the callers).

3 Way Calling
This is a feature billed by the LEC and available on most modern phone systems. This 3 way calling feature allows three parties to be on the same line at the same time. Additionally, the feature is also available through most LECs as usage based. Some LECs offer a flat monthly fee with unlimited usage.

This technology dictionary is a work in progress. But, we have plans to keep the glossary updated.

– 4 –

Directory Assistance for the local area. Provides information services in your area.

Fourth generation mobile network with speeds that were over ten times faster than 3G mobile networks.

– 5 –

North American traffic report number. This term was designated by the US FCC in the year 2000 as the universal telephone number for vehicular traffic reports.

Fifth generation mobile network with super fast speed for better signal and has made the way for betterit easier for online gaming, chat, and quality movie watching.

Reverse Directory Assistance. This feature is only available from certain LECs. It is offered on names and addresses that customers have already agreed to have published in directories. Non published numbers will not be disclosed. See also Call 54.

Call Trace. A dialing feature code that is used by a customer to identify the calling telephone number of an unwanted or harassing telephone call. This call trace feature temporarily stores the dialed digits and alerts the telephone service operator to “tag” the originator’s number to allow authorities to investigate the originator of the unwanted or unauthorized call.

– 6 –

Repeat Dial. A usage based feature for automatically redialing a busy number at certain intervals. It eliminates the constant redialing by automatically redialing the number up to 30 minutes until the call is answered. Once the call is connected then your phone will ring. Additionally, *66 is also known as Automatic Callback, Call Again, and Continuous Redial with some LECs. This feature may be activated on a per call basis or unlimited use depending on LEC availability. To activate this feature some LECs dial *66 and dial *86 to deactivate.


Do you know what Call Return is?

Call Return. Star 69 is a calling feature from the LEC which allows you to hear the telephone number of the last incoming call by dialing *69 on a touchtone phone. It also allows you to call back the last incoming number by prompting the central office to redial the number.

So, if the line is free, your call will go through. If the line is busy, then call return will check the line for 30 minutes and let you know when the line is free with a distinctive ring. So, call return only works on the last incoming call, and only if that call originates within your local service area. However, this feature may be available on an unlimited basis for a flat monthly fee instead of usage based. Also known as Last Call Return, Call Again, and Missed Call. This feature may be disconnected with some LECs by dialing *89.

– 7 –

700 Services
These 700 services allow callers to use specialty toll free services. The services are sometimes billed similarly to 900#. 700 numbers are different from all other NANP numbers because the destinations are dependent on the long distance network the caller has selected.

711 Services
A number to access TRS services, designated by US FCC in 2000 for TRS use.

Call Forward (*72 )is a feature that will route the call automatically to a number other than the number dialed. However, there are two types of call forwarding are regional call forwarding, and call forwarding variable. Moreover, each LEC may name their product with their particular term. The call forward feature is normally activated through a CO number and through use of *72 or 72#, or it may be activated and deactivated by codes *73 or 73#.

The telecom terms in this telecom glossary are a work in progress. However, we are often adding new technology dictionary terms.

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800 Data Base Service
An intelligent network service that facilitates the efficient provisioning of the 800 exchange access service through “number portability.” The service enables subscribers to change carriers without changing their 800 number. Moreover, subscribers can select any unassigned 800# and use it with any participating carrier’s 800 service.

800 Number
Toll Free Calling which gives caller from allowed, open area (generally Interstate usage) a free call into a long distance site. The called party is charged for the call, rather than the party making the call.

800 Number Administration and Service Center
A communication center that allows toll free service providers (800, 888, 877, 866, 855) to access an administrative computer system providing toll free data base services.

880, 881, and 882 Numbers
These prefixes are used to allow toll free calling past the borders of the country the subscriber paying for the calls resides in. These codes have been used to allow Caribbean callers to have toll free access in the US. With this type call the party placing the calls pays for the International portion of the call and the US (called subscriber) pays for the US portion of the call. This works within most countries using the North American Numbering Plan.

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900 Services
A pay per call service with fee designated by the subscriber of the 900#. In addition, some of the 900 services include information services, tech support lines, polling, fax services or other pay-per-use services.

A 911 fee is charged by each county inorder to support the cost of emergency, fire, and rescue services.  The LEC collects the 911 fee and sends it to each county.

FCC charge for network access.

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