Jargon Buster

simplifying ICT terminology

Helping you understand communications terminology



This stands for “Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line”. ADSL is used to transform the traditional copper pairs between the telephone exchange and the telephone socket into a digital line which provides a much higher speed, thus allowing broadband access on the line. ADSL can achieve fast download speeds but upload speeds are slow.


Analogue Line


The traditional and most common type of telephone line provided by telephone companies. This carries an analogue signal through the telephone cable via the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).




AUDITTS is a process we've developed in-house, utilising our considerable talent, experience and technologies. It is  a process of project fulfilment that's proven itself in delivering successful ICT for organisations of all sizes - time and time again.










Auto Attendant


This is an automated system which guides a caller through the various voice menu options. This will provide an automated greeting service for callers and route the incoming call accordingly.




Basically the capacity of the telephone line and what it can carry at any one time. The bandwidth required on a line is dependent upon what will be transmitted over the line. The bandwidth should be set appropriately to avoid distortion on the line or lost information through transmission.


Contention Ratio


The number of individual broadband users able to connect to a single point within a local telephone exchange at any one time. The ratio of users available on a single point in an exchange typically varies between 20:1 and 50:1 in the UK. This means that between 20 and 50 users will be sharing an internet point at a local exchange at any given time. The number of active users will then affect the speed on the line.




Changes in technology over recent years have now resulted in Voice and Data networks being run over the same LAN. In the past Telephone networks and Data networks (computer networks) were completely separate however businesses now run them both over the same network, which is called convergence. The use of convergence provides businesses with massive cost saving benefits and also increased productivity and efficiency of staff. Examples of convergence are Remote or Home Working via Virtual Private Network (see VPN below), IP Telephony, and VOIP etc.




This stands for Direct Dial Inbound. A DDI allows a user to rent individual telephone numbers without renting a physical line. This is a popular process which can enable a business to have numerous user extensions mapped across the main telephone line. When an incoming call is received, the DDI will then route the call to the desired extension or hunt group as programmed. A business can rent large volumes of DDI extensions without the need to rent a large volume of telephone lines.




The term used for the provision of cordless handsets which are linked to a wired telephone system. Stands for “Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications”.




“Direct Exchange Line”




The physical alternative to a wireless computer network. The Ethernet network transfers data throughout the LAN via physical cabling rather than wirelessly.


Hosted Telephony (Hosted IP Telephony)


This is an internet based telephone system which is hosted in a data centre. The customer sites all connect to the telephone system via an internet connection. Communication profiles can be controlled by individual users meaning they can make calls via their own phone profile from any internet connection. Hosted IP Telephony is particularly popular for multi-sited organisations as all calls made between customer sites are free. They can also be used internationally.


Hunt Group


A hunt group is a group of telephone users who are allocated to a single extension i.e. Service Calls or Sales Calls etc. When an inbound call is made to this department, the call will “hunt” through the programmed users until the call is answered.




This stands for “Information and Communication Technology” and relates to the merging of equipment such as the Internet, computers, telephone systems and other voice and data software.




Stands for “Internet Protocol” and is the standard method of communicating information over the internet. Information is organised into blocks of data (packets) and then transferred to the end user as requested.


IP Telephony


The method of carrying telephone calls over the internet rather than via a telephone line. Voice communications are organised into data packets and routed from the origin to the destination via an IP address.




“Integrated Services Digital Network”. This is a digital telephone service which was designed to provide better call quality and faster connections than the traditional analogue lines. Also allows use of DDI extensions.




Stands for “Local Area Network”. This is the data network which connects all servers, computers, and printers etc which communicate together, usually all within one physical location.




Provides a virtual WAN (Wide Area Network) thus being more flexible and cost effective than a physical WAN. “Multi Protocol Label Switching” allows data to be carried remotely from one network point (node) to another.




Stands for “Public Branch Exchange”, also referred to as PBAX (Public Automated Branch Exchange). This is a modern term for a Switchboard or Phone System




Stands for ‘Public Switched Telephone Network’. The standard telephone service which provides over analogue phone lines.




A device which communicates requested data from origin to end user via the internet.




This stands for “Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line”. Provides the same service as ADSL but provides high speeds on uploads as well as downloads. SDSL is commonly used on VOIP networks.


SIP Trunk


A SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) connection is a service offered by many Internet Telephony Service Providers that connects a company's Phone System to the existing telephone system infrastructure (PSTN) via Internet using the SIP VoIP standard.




Stands for “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol”. Standard transferring of data via electronic mail from one computer to another.


Unified Messaging


Allows a user to access voicemail, fax and text messages via a single telephone or email account.




Stands for “Virtual Private Network”. A means of allowing users to communicate privately via a public network via the internet. A secure connection is set up which requires the user to enter authentication and password information thus allowing them to access data stored within a private network from a remote location i.e. home-working or via a smart phone.




Stands for “Voice Over Internet Protocol”. Translates voice into data packets to allow it to be communicated via an internet connection. The data is then transformed back into voice when reaching the end user, thus allowing a telephone conversation to take place over the internet without the need for a phone line. VOIP communication is becoming particularly popular for multi-sited organisations and those which have multiple geographical locations as it eliminates expensive call costs.




Stands for ‘Wide Area Network’ A WAN connects multiple LAN’s together to allow them to communicate.



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