Acuity - Clarity In A Complex World
Telecom Glossary
  • Access Point
    A wireless LAN radio that is used to connect wireless users to the physical network.
  • Backbone Cabling
    Backbone cabling connects the telecom rooms together whether they are in the same building or in different buildings. Backbone cabling can consist of multipair copper cables for voice or multi-strand fiber optic cables for data.
  • Building Industries Consulting Service International – BICSI
    A non-profit professional association for those engaged in voice\data cable plant design and installation. Administers the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and LAN Specialist certifications and provides related training.
  • CAT (Category)
    Describes the Category of UTP copper cables, such as CAT 3, CAT 5, CAT 5E, CAT 6.
  • CDT (Construction Document Technology Certification)
    The Construction Documents Technology (CDT) Program provides a comprehensive overview for anyone who writes, interprets, enforces, or manages construction documents, and specifically CSI specifications. Project architects, engineers, contractors, contract administrators, material suppliers, and manufacturers’ representatives are all realizing the advantages of being Construction Documents Technologists.
    By being able to understand and interpret written construction documents, CDTs perform their jobs more effectively. By understanding the roles and relationships of all participants, CDTs improve communication among all members of the construction team, and facilitate a more comprehensive, better coordinated design, with significantly fewer problems and changes during construction.
  • CO (Central Office)
    COs usually have less than 100,000 telephone lines. A CO is a major equipment center designed to serve the communications traffic of a specific geographic area. CO coordinates are used in mileage calculations for local and interexchange service rates.
  • Cross-connect
    A point in a network where an electrical or optical circuit is connected from one cable to another by a relatively short length of cabling. Example: A patch cord from a patch panel to another patch panel is a cross-connect.
  • CTI (Computer Telephony Integration)
    The integration of telephony function with computer applications.
  • Demarcation Point
    The point between the regulated carriers / service providers / public network services and the customer premises services.
  • Entrance Facility
    Usually an enclosed space (room) needed to house the connection from the outside cabling to the inside cabling. Sometimes also called a MPOE.
  • Ethernet
    A system by which computers are connected to one another, and one of the most common network architectures used today.
  • Horizontal Cabling
    Horizontal cabling extends from the telecom closet to the outlet in the work area. The horizontal cabling supports the transmission of voice, data, video and other communications services. The maximum distance for the Horizontal Cabling is 90 meters (or 295’) from the IDF to the outlet, and is 100 meters (or 328’) including patch cords & cross-connections.
  • Hot Spot
    A retail location that offers wireless Internet access, most commonly for a fee.
  • ISP (Inside Plant or Internet Service Provider)
    Inside Plant: The portion of the telecom cabling, conduit, or other pathway that is inside of a building.
  • Internet Service Provider:
    The company providing Internet connectivity service.
  • LAN (Local Area Network)
    A data communications network typically serving a single building. LANs allow resources, such as printers and servers, to be shared among multiple users. The most common LANs are often referred to a 10Base-T (10 Mbps) or 100Base-T (100Mbps) systems.
  • Mbps (Megabits per second)
    The amount of data transmitted per unit of time – in this case one million bits per second.
  • MB (Megabytes)
    A measure of size, typically used to describe the size of memory, or storage space, such as a hard drive, or a document’s size. One megabyte is one million bytes. A byte is 8 bits. A bit is a single “1” or a “0”.
  • MDF (Main Distribution Facility)
    An enclosed space (room), which houses the main communications equipment (such as PBX, servers, etc.), backbone cable terminations, and the main cross-connect.
  • MPOE (Minimum Point Of Entry)
    The location where of the service provider’s cabling terminates, including any and all equipment necessary for this services termination (e.g., cable termination, digital network equipment such as a multiplexer, etc.). In other words, where the service provider’s responsibility ends and the customer responsibility begins.
  • Multimode Fiber
    Optical conductors (coated glass fibers) protected by plastic “buffer” and covered with an outer sheathing. The most common sizes of the multimode fiber is 62.5 micron and 50 micron. Multimode fiber is generally used for shorter distance facility applications such as backbone data cabling. Sometimes multimode fiber is abbreviated as MM.
  • OSP (Outside Plant)
    The portion of the telecom cabling or conduit that is outside or on the exterior of a building.
  • PBX (Private Branch Exchange)
    A PBX is a voice telephone switch used to serve a customer facility.
  • PE (Registered Professional Engineer)
    “Professional Engineer,” refers to a person engaged in the professional practice of rendering service or creative work requiring education, training and experience in engineering sciences, as well as the application of special knowledge of the mathematical and physical sciences. A Professional Engineer is typically engaged for consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning and design of buildings or projects, and supervision of construction for the purpose of securing compliance with specifications and drawings for any such work.
    When your project requires the services of an engineer, be sure that he or she is properly licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Unlicensed persons are allowed to offer or perform professional engineering services only if they are working under the direction of a licensed engineer. Electrical engineers design the electrical systems in commercial buildings, educational facilities, and other projects. Electrical engineering generally includes the design of power distribution, lighting, communications, and other electrical based systems. For further information, go to:
  • PoE
    Power over Ethernet: a solution where electrical current is run to networking hardware over the Category 5 or higher data cabling. No extra AC power cord is needed at the product location, minimizing the amount of cables needed and/or the hassle of installing extra outlets.
  • RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer)
    An RCDD is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer who has attained the status of exceptional excellence in the field. The RCDD designation is recognized industry-wide as indicating superior design expertise. RCDDs are accomplished professionals.
    When you hire a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD), you immediately add a unique level of knowledge to your organization. You take on an individual who has completed a rigorous, in-depth program. It is a program designed to single out and present those individuals who are recognized as having demonstrable skills and professionalism in this highly specialized, demanding field. These outstanding individuals maintain their high status through an organized program of continuing education. It is the educational program that keeps them on the leading edge of rapidly developing technologies.
  • Singlemode Fiber
    Optical conductors (coated glass fibers) protected by plastic “buffer” and covered with an outer sheathing. Singlemode fiber is generally used for applications such as high-speed data transmission (10Gbps & higher), long distance installations (>2 km), and broadcast video – to name a few. Sometimes singlemode fiber is abbreviated as SM.
  • SONET (Synchronous Optical Network)
    An advanced, high speed, fiber-based network. It is typically configured as a ring, which allows it to re-route traffic with no service interruption if a fiber is cut – also called “self healing”.
  • TGB (Telecommunication Grounding Busbar)
    A busbar placed in each IDF and bonded by means of the TBB for telecommunications grounding, and to the power service equipment ground.
  • TMGB (Telecommunication Main Grounding Busbar)
    A busbar placed in a convenient and accessible location, typically in the MDF, and bonded by means of the bonding conductor for telecommunications to the power service equipment ground.
  • UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair)
    A communications medium comprised of multiples of insulated electrical conductors (copper wires) twisted together in pairs and covered with an outer sheathing. There is no metallic component within the outer sheathing.
  • WAN (Wide Area Network)
    A network of computers or computing devices connected by telephone lines that extend beyond an area code’s service area. WANs are typically used by companies with multiple locations to connect them together.
  • WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy)
    A security protocol for wireless local area networks (WLANs) defined in the 802.11b standard. A weak form of security.
  • Wi-Fi
    Wireless Fidelity, refers to the IEEE 802.11b standard. Provides wireless Ethernet at 11 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz frequency range.
  • WLAN
    Wireless Local Area Network