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Broadband Terms & Glossary

Broadband jargon buster 

If you’re confused about what something means, hopefully this jargon buster will help.  

4G: The latest generation of mobile internet. Much faster than 3G. 

3G: Refers to mobile internet. More coverage than 4G, but slower. 

ADSL: Widely available broadband, delivered through copper telephone wires. 

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transferred to and from your broadband, usually measured per second.

Cookies: A small file sent to your device to store information about a website you visit or a link you click. This enables faster loading times and some personalisation.

Download: Transfer data to your device from another (usually via the internet).

Download speed: How quickly data transfers on to your device from the internet. The faster the download speed, the better.

Early termination fee (ETF): A one-off charge for breaking your minimum commitment on a broadband contract.

ETP (external termination point): The “box” on your property that connects your home to the fibre broadband network in the street (see ONT for more).

Exchange: Where the broadband and phone connections in a local area meet.

Fibre: Ultrafast broadband, the newest and quickest broadband technology.  Far faster than ADSL, VDSL or mobile broadband connection types.

IP address: Your device’s IP address is a way websites/servers determine where you are. A little bit like a physical address. Your IP address is usually dynamically set by your ISP.

Latency (or response delay time): The time between your device requesting information from a website/server and that info being received.

ONT (optical network terminator): The “box” inside your house that connects fibre to your modem and router (see ETP for more).

Mbps: Megabits per second, a measurement of data transfer speed, used to describe upload and download speeds.

Megabit (Mb): A unit of size for digital information.

Modem: A device that converts data sent over a telephone line, allowing you to use the internet.

Router: A device that converts data from the modem and sends it to your device over WiFi or cables.

Streaming: Using data while it downloads (for example, video services such as Netflix). 

Upload: Transfer data from your computer to another.

Upload speed: How quickly you can send data from your computer over the internet. The faster the upload speed the better.

VDSL: The fastest type of broadband on the old copper network. 

WiFi: Allows devices to wirelessly connect to the internet.

Need to know something else?  Contact us for more information. 


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