Broadband Jargon Buster

Welcome to our comprehensive A-Z glossary of terms related to rural broadband and NotSpot technology. Whether you're curious about the basics of internet connectivity or seeking to enhance your understanding of networking concepts, this guide/ Broadband jargon buster offers clear definitions and explanations in simple language. Covering different types of broadband, VoIP systems and hardware, Mobile terms and much more tech talk.


3G (Third Generation):

3G refers to the third generation of mobile telecommunications technology.

4G (Fourth Generation):

4G is the fourth generation of mobile network technology, designed to deliver significantly faster data speeds and lower latency than 3G networks. It supports high-quality video streaming, online gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive applications. 4G networks are often used to power our Mastband Broadband service.

5G (Fifth Generation):

5G is the latest mobile data technology, offering speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G. This means streaming and downloads will be much quicker. 5G has started rolling out in some places and will be coming to the UK from late 2019.


Access Point:

An Access Point is device that enables wireless devices like laptops and smartphones to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi technology.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line):

ADSL, short for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, is a commonly used older type of broadband connection. It operates over existing copper telephone lines and is popular for home internet and small business use in areas that are yet to benefit from Fibre broadband. But typically provides much slower speeds than other solutions such as Mastband.

App (Application):

Applications, commonly referred to as apps, are software programs designed to operate on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. However, certain apps are also developed specifically for desktop use.



The maximum rate of data transfer over a network, affecting internet speed and performance for activities like streaming and gaming. The bigger the bandwidth the faster the speed of data transmission.


High-speed internet that’s always on and faster than old-fashioned dial-up, offering quick downloads and smooth online experiences. Broadband can be delivered in various different forms from ADSL & Fixed Wireless to Fibre Broadband. Not sure what’s best for you? Get in touch and we’ll check what’s available.

Bonded Broadband Solution

A bonded solution combines several broadband connections, such as ADSL, fiber, or ethernet, to deliver higher bandwidth than what would be possible with a single connection.


Bluetooth is a wireless technology enabling data transmission from one device to another in close proximity. Used on the majority of modern devices like Phones and Camera’s.


A ‘Byte’ is a measurement of how much information is in a message.
Megabyte = 1,000,000 bytes
Gigabyte = 1,000,000,000 bytes
Terabyte = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes
Petabyte = 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
Exabyte = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
Zettabyte = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes
Yottabyte = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes



A Carrier is a telecommunications brand/ organisation that owns their own Network that is used by others. E.g. BT


The area where internet service is available, crucial for ensuring connectivity across homes and businesses.

Cable Broadband

Broadband delivered in the UK via an upgraded network of coaxial cables. These cables were previously used to deliver cable TV. Virgin Media are the only carrier of this sort of broadband in the UK.

Contention Ratio

Contention ratio refers to the number of devices sharing the same internet connection provided by the broadband provider. For instance, a standard ADSL broadband package typically has a contention ratio of 50:1, allowing up to 49 other users to share the connection. Broadband providers offer different contention ratios, ranging from 20:1 to 1:1, which impact the level of shared bandwidth among users. This is why it’s crucial to have fully managed business WiFi to ensure for efficient operations.

CAT 5/6/7 Cables

Cat 5, Cat 6, and Cat 7 cables:

  • Cat 5 Cable: Cat 5 (Category 5) cable is a type of twisted pair Ethernet cable used in computer networks. It supports data transfer speeds of up to 100 Mbps and is suitable for basic networking tasks such as internet browsing and file sharing.

  • Cat 6 Cable: Cat 6 (Category 6) cable is an enhanced version of Ethernet cable that supports higher data transfer speeds of up to 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps). It provides improved performance and reduced crosstalk compared to Cat 5 cables, making it ideal for high-speed internet, video streaming, and large file transfers.

  • Cat 7 Cable: Cat 7 (Category 7) cable is a more advanced type of Ethernet cable designed to support even faster data transfer rates, reaching up to 10 Gbps (10,000 Mbps) over distances up to 100 meters. It features additional shielding to minimize interference and is suitable for demanding applications like online gaming, multimedia streaming, and professional networking environments.

These definitions highlight the differences in performance and capabilities among Cat 5, Cat 6, and Cat 7 cables, which are commonly used in various networking setups and environments.



In terms of Broadband Data is a term that is used broadly, but to summarise data often is referred to when regarding internet access.

Data Cap

When purchasing data is is important you figure out how much data you will need. You can purchase your data in various amounts, the amount you select is your Data allowance. The reason that it is so crucial you get your data usage correct is because if you go over your Data Cap (amount of data in your allowance) you may be charged by your supplier. To stop this happening many people opt to put restrictions on their package to ensure they don’t exceed their Data Cap.

Dial-up or narrowband

Rarely used in the UK nowadays, dial-up was a popular method for accessing the internet during the 1990s. It involved connecting to an internet service provider using a modem that dialed a phone number, which meant you couldn’t use the internet and make phone calls simultaneously due to the shared phone line.



A standard technology for wired local networks, allowing devices like computers and printers to connect and share information.

Ethernet Cable

Ethernet cables are the backbone of any computer network. They are cables that transfer your data from one device to another and help build a smart home/office.



Fibre (short for Fibre-Optic) is a technology for transmitting telephone signals and internet connectivity using optical fibres. Fibre is often more cost-effective than copper and is resistant to electromagnetic interference. Also tends to be a much faster and more reliable method of broadband. To see if you could benefit from fibre broadband get in touch with us today at Obedio/ Noitspot to see if our Upbyte Fibre is available to you.

FTTC (Fibre-to-the-cabinet)

Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) is the term for broadband network architecture that brings fibre connectivity from the telephone exchange to the street cabinets. From here, it is connected to the premises with a further copper sub-loop. Bandwidth is determined by the distance from the cabinet—the closer the destination point is to the cabinet, the faster the download and upload speeds will be.

FTTP (Fibre-to-the-premises)

Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) delivers end-to-end fibre connectivity from the exchange directly to the destination site, eliminating the use of copper lengths in the network. This results in significantly faster speeds compared to Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC), offering superior performance for high-speed internet, video streaming, and online gaming applications.


Fibre optics is a high-bandwidth transmission technology that utilises light to convey digital information. A single fibre telephone cable can accommodate hundreds of thousands of voice circuits. These cables, known as light guides, replace traditional coaxial cables and wire pairs. Fibre transmission systems require much less physical space for equivalent capacity, making them advantageous in congested ducts. Optical fibre is also resistant to electrical interference. Fibre-optic cable is poised to replace older copper cable used for telephone lines, offering enhanced performance and reliability.


A firewall is a critical component within a network or computer system designed to identify and prevent unauthorised access from external sources. It acts as a barrier, protecting against potential security threats and ensuring network integrity and data confidentiality. Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, applying security rules to allow or deny access based on predefined criteria. Implementing a firewall is essential for safeguarding sensitive information and preventing cyberattacks in modern digital environments.

Fixed Line

Fixed line broadband refers to internet service delivered through a physical cable, such as fibre optic or ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). This method contrasts with mobile or satellite broadband, which transmit data wirelessly over cellular networks or satellite connections.


GPS (Global Positioning System):

Satellite-based navigation system used for location tracking and navigation apps. An example of this is the GPS rural equipment trackers that we offer at Obedio. Get in touch for more info.


A gateway is a crucial node within your network that serves as an interface to connect with other networks. It’s typically the device through which desktops and workstations access the internet. Usually, a gateway is linked with a router, facilitating communication between devices in your network and external networks like the internet.

Gigabyte (Gb)

A Gigabyte is a unit of messurment equaling 1000 Megabytes (Mb)



A location where Wi-Fi is available to the public, such as cafes or airports.

High-Speed Broadband

Fast internet connection suitable for streaming, gaming, and large file downloads.


IP Address

A unique identifier (a sequence of numbers) assigned to devices connected to the internet, like a home address for computers.

IoT (Internet of Things)

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the vast number of devices worldwide that are connected to the internet to send and receive data. IoT devices can include various everyday objects like appliances, CCTV, sensors, and machinery. SIM cards are available for devices that use mobile networks to stay connected. These SIM cards are useful for applications such as elevator or alarm systems that rely on mobile connectivity for communication.


ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a type of technology that allows digital transmission of voice and data over traditional telephone lines. It provides faster and more reliable connections than analog systems and was widely used for internet access and telephone services before broadband became common. In the UK ISDN is expected to be switched off and erridacte in BT’s Big Switch Off in 2025.



Jitter is referred to as the variability in the delay of data packet delivery over a network, affecting real-time applications like video calls.



A Kilobyte (Kb) is a unit of measurement equalling approximately 1000 bytes.



A landline is a traditional telephone service that is delivered to your home via copper or fibre optic cable.

LAN (Local Area Network)

LAN is a network connecting devices within a limited area, such as a home or office.


Latency is the duration it takes for a data packet to travel from one point to another in a network. Higher latency can significantly impact the user experience, especially in interactive applications like web browsing. Low latency is crucial for advanced IP applications such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), video telephony, and PTT (Push-to-Talk) services.

Leased Line

A leased line, also called a dedicated line or Ethernet circuit, is an advanced ‘All IP’ connectivity solution tailored for businesses with demanding data needs and mission-critical operations. Unlike shared connections, a leased line offers exclusive, symmetrical bandwidth for improved performance and reliability. Businesses benefit from consistent speeds, minimal latency, and secure connections, empowering them to run bandwidth-intensive applications, facilitate real-time collaboration, and access cloud services seamlessly. By adopting a leased line, organisations can build a robust network infrastructure that delivers scalable and high-performance connectivity to meet evolving business demands effectively.

LTE (Long Term Evolution)

LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution and is also known as 4G LTE, represents a wireless data transmission standard that enables incredibly fast downloads of music, websites, and videos. Compared to the earlier 3G technology, LTE offers significantly faster speeds, enhancing your online experience with quick access to multimedia content.



A megabyte (MB) is a unit of digital information storage or transmission capacity, equivalent to approximately one million bytes or 1,000 kilobytes (KB). It is commonly used to describe the size of files, such as documents, photos, and videos.

MOH (Music On Hold)

MOH refers to the background track that is playing while and end user is placed on hold. At Obedio we can help you set up a professional voicemail and hold set up for your UtterVoIP phone system, just give us a call on 0333 322 3434

Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband works by connecting mobile devices to the internet through wireless signals transmitted by cellular networks. Users can access the network using portable modems, wireless modems, or mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, enabling convenient internet access on the go. This technology leverages the widespread coverage of cellular networks to deliver internet connectivity beyond traditional wired connections.



A network is a collection of interconnected computers, devices, or nodes that communicate and share resources with each other.


A NotSpot is a location with poor or no internet connectivity, often found in rural or remote areas. Notspot’s are our thing (you may have guessed from our company name). We are yet to find a Notspot we can’t supply with internet access! If you are based in your very own Notspot get in touch, we love a challenge.


Open Reach

Openreach (OR) is the division of BT responsible for maintaining the telephone cabling, cabinets, and exchanges across the UK that provide connections to nearly all homes and businesses.


A period when internet service is unavailable due to technical issues or maintenance.


Packet Loss

The failure of data packets to reach their destination, causing delays and disruptions in internet use.


A network utility measuring the round-trip time for data to travel from one point to another, useful for network diagnostics.


The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is a global system that links public telephone networks using copper-based materials. It supports voice calls, fax machines, card processing terminals, and older dial-up internet connections. PSTN forms the basic infrastructure that enables DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) services to operate.


Quality of Service (QoS)

Technologies ensuring reliable performance and priority for critical applications over a network.


A waiting line for data packets in networking devices, managing traffic flow for efficient data transmission.



A device that forwards data packets between computer networks, allowing multiple devices to connect to the internet.

Radio Frequency

The range of electromagnetic frequencies used for wireless communication, including Wi-Fi and cellular networks.


Roaming enables mobile users to access cellular services outside their home network, including automatic switching between GSM networks, SIM-based roaming with different network SIM cards, and roaming across various technologies. This can occur within a country or across borders. In Wi-Fi networks, roaming happens when a device moves between access points. International roaming may lead to high charges for users.



A server is a key computer in a network responsible for storing and delivering information, like websites, upon request. It responds to requests from other networked devices to provide different network services. Servers can operate on dedicated hardware known as “the server,” but many networked computers have the capability to host servers for providing network services.


A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is a unique name/term which allows you to locate your network between others when connecting to a device over WiFi.


Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a way for voice, video, messaging, and other communication apps to start, manage, change, and end real-time sessions between two points on an Internet network using IP technology.

SIP Trunking

SIP Trunking leverages Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to link an existing telephone system with an IP telephony platform, enabling businesses to maintain their usual phone operations for making and receiving calls. This approach offers the advantages of advanced VoIP without requiring a complete system replacement. By integrating SIP trunking into their current telephone setup, businesses can benefit from top-quality voice communications through our UtterVoIP service. This not only reduces costs compared to traditional phone lines but also provides scalability for business expansion.


Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) is an alternative broadband service that resembles FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and can be ordered in various exchange areas. With SOGEA, you get broadband without needing a separate PSTN line, making the connection more reliable and less susceptible to interference or instability. Obedio can provide SOGEA through our Upbyte fibre service, offering a dependable and robust broadband solution.


Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) is a form of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) that uses telephone network copper wires to transmit digital data. Speeds can vary depending on location and specific product, with potential speeds reaching up to 22.5 Mbps. It’s rare in the UK to find many still using this type of connection due to the availability of high speed alternatives.

Superfast Broadband

Broadband speeds that range between 24Mbps and 300Mbps fall into the category known as ‘superfast broadband’. Speeds below 24Mbps are considered standard ‘broadband’, while speeds exceeding 300Mbps are classified as ‘ultrafast broadband’.



The actual rate of data transfer achieved in a network, affected by bandwidth and network conditions.


This term describes a practice by internet service providers where they intentionally slow down (throttle) internet connections for specific customers or during certain times. This practice is also known as ‘traffic management’ or ‘traffic shaping’. It is typically implemented during peak broadband usage periods or against customers who exceed usage caps or fair usage policy terms. These measures are usually temporary and are used to discourage excessive data downloading.



The process of transferring data from a local device to a remote server or network.


The direction of data transmission from a user’s device to the internet, such as uploading files or sending emails.

UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)

A UPS is a secondary power device that can supply power to equipment while the primary source/ supply has been disrupted. This can be crucial in some businesses where they can’t afford to be with out power for anytime at all.



Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that allows voice calls to be transmitted over the internet, replacing traditional phone services. With VoIP, voice signals are converted into digital data packets using internet protocols and sent over IP networks. This provides a cost-effective and flexible way to communicate, integrating smoothly with existing infrastructure. Utter VoIP offers this service, providing high-quality voice calls for businesses and individuals.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A VPN is a secure network connection protecting the data transmitted over public networks. It is used by many businesses to protect both themselves and customers from any malicious data attacks.

VoIP Hardware

VoIP Hardware is simply the physical products that are part of your VoIP set-up. Whether this is your VoIP phone itself or maybe a compatible headset. At Obedio our UtterVoIP service has a range of affordable VoIP hardware that we’d be happy to supply to anyone who is interested and help them switch over to VoIP.



WiFi is a wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet access.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network that links multiple broadband or Ethernet connections across a broad geographic area.

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