Definitions of Telecom in Plain English —

All communications are connected. These are some common acronyms and terms. What’s an Access Point? What is an Access Point? An access point can be a piece of hardware such as a wireless router that serves as a gateway to other network devices. An access point can also be described as a device that acts as a bridge between routers or local area networks (LANs), enabling device connections. An access point can be thought of as an airport. A airport is home to the global airline branches that take passengers around the globe. The airport is a gateway to other destinations. Analog: What does it mean? Analog can be described by comparing it with digital. Digital signals will appear as intermittent bursts or energy. Either the energy is present, or it is absent. Analog signals, however, are a steady wave which rises and falls according to the input. An analog signal is useful in applications where a continuous stream of inputs must be measured. Analog speedometers are used in most cars. These devices continuously measure the vehicle’s speed change, and are continuous in their input as long as it is moving. Bandwidth is what? Bandwidth refers to the maximum data that can be transmitted through any network at one time. Bandwidth is the maximum bandwidth that a user can use to stream movies or play games on the Internet. The speed at which data is passed through the network in a single second determines its bandwidth. Your network bandwidth equals 4Gb if 4Billion bytes of data passes through it. Consider bandwidth like a water hose. You can think of bandwidth as a water hose. The longer the hose is, the more water will pass through and the quicker the task of watering plants. What’s a beam splitter? Any device capable of splitting light beams in different directions is called a beam splitter. Most beam splitters are made from glass that is shaped into a cube. When light shines onto the cube through half of the beam, the other half goes through the glass. In physics experiments such as measuring light speed, beam splitters are used. Fiber optic telecommunications is one of the real-world uses of beam splitters. Without a beam splitter, your broadband Internet connection could be difficult. Also, beam splitters can be found in optical equipment such as telescopes, microscopes, binoculars and cameras. Broadband: What does it mean? Broadband was first introduced years ago. Internet access used to be mainly via a slow, unreliable telephone line. Broadband was the name given to high-speed cable access when it became possible. This was in recognition of its superiority over “narrowband” dialup access. Broadband refers to a network’s ability to send large amounts of different data formats at high speed. It’s like having a larger pipe that can carry more water. This pipe allows for faster Internet access and is available all the time. What’s Dark Fiber? Imagine that you were excited about fiber optic communications and wanted to run extensive lines through your business. You realize you have only a handful of them and are left wondering what you should do with the remainder. These are the “dark fiber” optical fibers. They are not lit, and transmit light waves, but are much more efficient than optical fibers which send light pulses. Individuals and companies can lease or sell dark fiber strands to establish fiber-optic communications channels. The definition of dark fibre has changed over the years. It is now used to refer to leasing fibre optic cables from network providers or infrastructures that are not owned by large carriers. They are called “dark fibre” even though they may be in use. Ethernet is a communication protocol used to connect computers in what are called “local area networks (LAN) and “wide area networks (WAN)”. These connections connect devices such as printers, laptops, and other electronic equipment within small areas, including homes and buildings. The term Ethernet is often associated with the physical connection between two computers or routers. This is because most laptops have an Ethernet port that allows you to plug in one end and then connect the other with a router. The term eTOM, however, refers to the standard for communication. What exactly is the eTOM? The Business Process Framework (eTOM), is a list of the processes that are required for a service-oriented business. To be efficient, the processes must be completed in order of importance. eTOM has three components that pertain to critical focus areas of typical organizations–strategy, infrastructure, and product (SIP); operations; and enterprise management. What’s a Fiber Optic cable? The veins in our bodies are responsible for carrying the correct amount of oxygen to where it’s needed. Fiber optic cables look similar to veins. Fiber optic cables are data transmission cables made of thin strands. It transmits light pulses instead of electricity. This transmits information more quickly than traditional metal cables. The device also suffers from lower power loss which allows it to transmit data over longer distances. What is Forward Error Correction? Forward error correction (FEC), a method used to rectify common errors in data transmission, allows the receiver to do so without the need to ask the sender to redraft the message. When data is being transmitted over insecure communication channels, where errors can be expected, this error correction method is often used. FEC allows the sender to encode redundant data, so that the receiver still understands the message in spite of noise. It is not necessary for the sender to transmit the message again. FEC works in the same way as ordering furniture online. Extra bolts, screws and nuts would be included by the store so that you could assemble your piece even if a bolt gets lost in shipping. Because there are additional bolts included in the box, you don’t need to wait until a replacement is available. The Leaky Bucket Algorithm: Leaky bucket algorithms work on the principle that a bucket that has a hole in it will leak out more water than is poured into. This algorithm is used to regulate a series of events that match the container’s limits without it overflowing. It regulates traffic to the system of processing. This seems complex. Instead, think of it as this: A plant needs to be watered at the right rate or it will go dormant. To control how much water your plant gets, you drill a hole into a bucket. The bucket is then placed over the hole and filled with water. The bucket should not spill any water on your plants if it is full. Otherwise, it will die. What’s a Network Bottleneck? Network bottlenecks are conditions where data flow experiences delays because of limitations.

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