Jargon busting — 10 broadband acronyms debunked

There’s no denying that the myriad of terms and abbreviations used to explain broadband can be confusing. But what does it all actually mean?

28 April 2022

There’s no denying that the myriad of terms and abbreviations used to explain broadband can be confusing. But what does it all actually mean?

Here, we’ve debunked the most common internet semantics, to cut through the jargon and provide definitions that everyone will understand…

FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) — the traditonal way of working, whereby a broadband connection utilises the big green cabinets you’ll have seen on pavements. This type of fibre broadband is still delivered over fibre optic cables, but will end at the cabinet itself – with copper wire carrying the signal from the cabinet to your home router. The power is there, but it’s a bit like pushing a golf ball down a hosepipe.

FTTP (fibre to the premises) and FTTH (fibre to the home) — this is the future of broadband, and means a fibre broadband connection is delivered not only as far as the green cabinet (as with FTTC), but across the entire distance to your home or business. This typically achieves higher broadband speeds than an FTTC connection and is the way to go if you’re looking for speed and efficiency.

FTTx (fibre to the x) — A collective term for all types of fibre infrastructure, this refers to any broadband network that uses fibre to provide a physical link or circuit known as ‘a local loop’ to achieve last mile connectivity.

ISP (internet service provider) — a company that provides internet services to individuals and organisations, such as ourselves!

GB (gigabyte) — the bigger, stronger, cousin to an MB, this equates to billion bytes, while still being a data measurement which can be applied to digital storage.

MB (megabyte) — is a data measurement applied to computer or media storage. It is a unit of information equal to one million, or strictly, 1,048,576 bytes.

Mbps (megabits per second) — is a measurement of broadband speeds. ‘Bits’ are tiny pieces of data with one megabit representing one million units, and the higher the number of Mbps you have, the faster your online activity should be.

VPN (virtual private network) — those who are clued up on their cyber security will know the purpose of this is to keep your digital data secure. A VPN will hide your IP address by routing your activity through another server and can also secure your internet connection and protect your privacy online.

Wi-Fi (wireless technology) — while everyone reading this has probably asked “what’s your Wi-Fi password?” at some point in their lives, this acronym actually refers to the connection that uses radio waves to allow mobile devices to access the internet wirelessly.

LAN (local area network) — a collection of devices located in one physical location, such as an office building or in your home. Typically used to set up home or corporate networks, a LAN will allow various devices to connect with each other.

And that’s the world of broadband demystified!

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All references to how many times faster our broadband service is, depends on you being able to access ‘superfast’ type broadband services of 70Mbps (or less) and selecting one of our packages at the advertised speed. Speeds shown may be affected based on the placement of the router in your property or the device you are using.

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