IT & Telecoms Jargon Buster: The A to Z of Connectivity

The IT, communications and cloud industry is peppered with technical jargon and confusing acronyms that can be difficult to get your head around. That’s why we’re creating a series of handy guides, explaining all the specialist terms that you need to know for a successful future in the Channel.

First up is Connectivity! Read on to become an expert in the terminology and impress your colleagues with your knowledge.

Access Point Name (APN)

The gateway between a mobile network and another computer network, frequently the public internet. Any mobile device that is making a data connection must have an APN to present to the carrier. This information is then used by the carrier to determine the type of connection needed.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

An advancement of historical dial-up broadband services, where connectivity is delivered over telephone lines, with a copper line running from the exchange to the customer’s premises.


A service that enables users to connect to the internet over a shared fixed infrastructure in the ground.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – Provides an internet connection over telephone lines, separating the signals into three bands of frequencies, to allow for calls to take place simultaneously with upload and download activity.


A dedicated business grade service offering symmetrical, synchronous bandwidth.

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)

A form of connectivity using a combination of copper and fibre-optic cables for superfast broadband. Can also be used with Ethernet technology (EoFTTC).

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

A full fibre connection from the exchange to the end user premises for ultrafast broadband.

Generic Ethernet Access (GEA)

A form of Ethernet connectivity that utilises FTTC technology between the premises and the exchange before data is transmitted to the Ethernet network.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

A high-speed internet service, utilising copper phone lines to provide an internet connection.

Internet Protocol (IP)

A communications protocol used for transmitting data between a source and destination over an internet network.

Local Area Network (LAN)

A computer network that spans a small area such as a single room, building or group of buildings.

Megabit (Mb)

A unit of digital measurement, usually used to describe internet upload and download speeds, e.g. 10Mb per second.

Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)

Wide Area Networking technology that allows users to link sites and manage the flow of data across the network.

Point of Presence (POP)

The point at which two or more different networks or communication devices connect. POP usually refers to an access point, location or facility that connects to and helps other devices connect to the Internet.

Quality of Service (QoS)

A way of measuring the overall performance of a network, particularly the performance seen by the users. To quantitatively measure QoS, several related aspects of the network service are often considered, such as link availability, bit errors, latency and jitter.

Single Order

A new technology that provides internet connectivity without using telephone lines. Openreach are currently working on three different types; SOGEA, SOTAP and SOG.Fast to replace traditional broadband when they shut off the PSTN and ISDN in 2025.

Software Defined Networking (SDN)

An efficient method of network management that is closer to cloud computing in compar¬¬¬ison to traditional approaches.

Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD WAN)

Cloud-based WAN infrastructure that allows organisations to utilise one network across multiple sites, using a centralised function to securely direct traffic across the network.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A safe, encrypted connection over a network that may not be secure (e.g. the public Internet). Tunnelling protocols are used to encrypt outgoing data and decrypt incoming data.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A telecommunications network extending over a large geographical area.

Wireless Access Point (WAP)

A networking hardware device allowing other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)

A wireless distribution method to link two or more devices to form a local area network within a limited space, e.g. an office or school.

Want to learn more about the world of Connectivity? Check out our Beginner’s Guide series


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