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Jargon Buster

The telecoms industry is full of acronyms and jargon, which can become confusing. To make sure you have a handle on your office phone system with the help of our useful office phone line glossary. If you have any further questions or want to understand a term not listed here, please contact us.

A

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) - This is the lengthy name for the technology that lets you receive broadband over your standard telephone line. It allows you to talk on the phone and surf the internet at the same time by splitting the signal on your telephone line in two. For this it requires a fully functional Microfilter (better described as a splitter). See also Microfilter

ADSL delivers fast download speeds but slower upload speeds.

ADSL2+ (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 2+) - ADSL2+ extends the capability of basic ADSL by doubling the number of downstream bits. The data rates can be as high as 24 Mbps downstream and up to 1.4 Mbps upstream depending on the distance from the local exchange to the customer's premises.

Analogue Line - Analogue lines are the original lines used for making telephone calls. It commonly refers to a single line from your house/office to the point at which the line connects to the main telephone network (aka PSTN). Analogue lines are different from ISDN lines.

Anonymous Call Rejection - Rejects calls where the caller withholds their number.

Answer 1571 - Takes messages for you when you are unavailable or your line is engaged.

Anti-Virus Software - Anti-virus software is a program that searches your hard drive for any known or potential viruses. It will let you know if it finds anything, and can put the virus into quarantine until it can be disabled and safely removed.

Audio conferencing - A conference call is a telephone call in which the calling party wishes to have more than one called party listen in to the audio portion of the call. The conference calls may be designed to allow the called party to participate during the call, or the call may be set up so that the called party merely listens into the call and cannot speak. It is often referred to as an ATC (Audio Tele-Conference).

Auto Attendant - An automated system designed to guide a caller through the options of a voice menu. Typically set to answer and route incoming calls.

B

Bandwidth - Bandwidth is the term for the amount of data and the speed that it can be transferred over an internet connection. The amount of data is measured in bits, and bandwidth is usually measured in bits per second (bps). The necessary bandwidth is the amount of spectrum required to transmit the signal without distortion or loss of information. FCC rules require suppression of the signal outside the band to prevent interference.

Bar Use of Call Return - Means callers to your number cannot use the Call Return option (i.e. pressing '5' if you are engaged so that it calls them back)

Broadband - Broadband is the term for a high speed internet connection that is always on, so that you don’t need to constantly re-connect. A cable or wire is used to carry large volumes of data at high speed. It has a wide bandwidth, which can be either ADSL or SDSL. ADSL can suffer from vast bandwidth changes. See also Dial up & Contention Ratio

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