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Feb 24

Some Telecommunications Terms from the 90s that are still relevant today!

Aggregator- Was a person or company who offered lower long distance rates by grouping together several small long-distance users.  Now the aggregator is commonly interchanged with the notion of CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) who is able to bill multiple carriers on a single invoice to a client. 

Broadband- Transmission equipment and media that can support a wide range of electromagnetic frequencies 

Broadcast- Delivery of a transmission to two or more stations at the same time. 

Buffer- Storage device used to compensate for a difference in data flow or time of occurrence of events when transmitting data from one device to another. 

Circuit- A path for the transmission of electromagnetic signals to include all conditioning and signaling equipment.  

CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier)-  The original competitor to the ILEC (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier).  Example of CLEC may by AT&T in Verizon 13 state territory!!!  CLEC may be ‘switched’ or not.  Switched meaning there are collocated devices in the telephone company central office that allow the transfer of calls through the public switched telephone network. 

Common Carrier- A government regulated private company that provides the general public with telecommunications services and facilities. 

Fiber Optics- High speed transmission of information using light pulses to send images through a flexible bundle of glass fibers. 

Frame Relay- A means of moving LAN to LAN traffic through a carrier network transparently and was cost effective in its day.  Many frame relay networks morphed to MPLS and now SD-WAN. 

Modem- A modulator/demodulator unit used for data transmission on conventional voice grade data line. 

Multiplexer (MUX)- A device that enables the transmission of data from two or more sources simultaneously over a single channel without mutual interference. 

Network- A communication system enabling multiple stations to transmit and receive messages to each other. 

Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) – Basic service provided by the public telephone network without any added facilities.  This is the copper network that is being phased out and being replaced by wireless or cableco providers. 

Point to Point- A communication circuit between two terminations where there are generally no intermediate processing nodes.  This is moving towards ethernet connections where it may have been copper in the past. 

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)- A telecommunications switching system used by an organization to connect its stations to each other and to the public. A premise-based telephone system! 

Transmission – The electrical transfer of a signal, message or other form of data from one location to another. 

Trunk- Transmission paths that are used to interconnect exchanges in the main telephone network by connecting to a telephone system at the customer premise.   

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