Acronyms & Terms

Broadband-Related Acronyms and Terms for Reference

ACP – Affordable Connectivity Program

BEAD – Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment

BTA – Broadband Technical Assistance

CASF – California Advance Services Fund (within the CPUC)

CDT – California Department of Technology

CPUC – California Public Utilities Commissions

FCC – Federal Communications Commission

NTIA – National Telecommunications & Information Administration

RCRC – Rural County Representatives of California

USDA RD – US Department of Agriculture Rural Development

The Internet – The interconnected network of servers around the world that provide website information and online services to people through computers, tablets, cellphones and other devices.  It’s not a black box with a little red button on top that was shown to a group of employees at Reynholm Industries.

Internet Access – The availability of Internet service in a given area.

Broadband Adoption – The use of broadband connections by consumers, typically expressed as the percentage of households that are subscribed to Internet Service.

Broadband – A high-speed connection to the internet; the Federal Communications Commission and State of California have established a minimum standard of 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed to be considered “served” in terms of broadband Internet service.

Download – receiving information on your computer or device from a server connected to the Internet.

Upload – sending information from your computer or device to a server connected to the Internet.

Units of measure for speeds and data – Metric units of measure, abbreviated with capital letters.

  • Kilo = 1,000
  • Mega = 1,000 x Kilo, or 1,000,000
  • Giga = 1,000 x Mega, or 1,000,000,000
  • Tera = 1,000 x Giga, or 1,000,000,000,000

Internet Speed – Measured in bits per second, or bps.  Abbreviated with a small b, as in 500Kbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps.

Data – Measured in Bytes (8 bits = 1 Byte).  Abbreviated with a capital B, as in 100MB, 10GB, 1TB.

Data Cap – A limit on how much data can be downloaded within a specified period.  Some providers establish data caps for cellular data plans, resulting bandwidth throttling or blocking downloads altogether.

Bandwidth Throttling – slowing download speeds once the subscriber’s data download has exceeded the data cap.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) – An entity that provides internet connections to consumers. ISPs can include private companies, such as cable or telephone companies, electric and telephone cooperatives, and municipal utilities.

Last-mile network – The segment of a broadband network that connects a local ISP to a customer, such as via a cable line to the home.

Middle-mile network – The part of a broadband network that connects the backbone to the last mile.

Open-access network – A network that sells wholesale access to its infrastructure, enabling any ISP to transport data or provide service to customers for clear and transparent rates.

Fiber-optic – a very thin strand of glass that is used to send optical pulses representing data between networking devices.  The data transmission capacity of a fiber-optic cable far exceeds that of a copper cable.

DSL – Digital Subscriber Line, an improvement over traditional dial-up Internet access.  Speeds can reach 25Mbps or faster, but the distance between the DSL MODEM and the provider’s equipment is a factor.

Dial-up – An archaic technology that uses a MODEM to send and receive digital data over a telephone line, typically at speeds of 56Kbps or slower.

Domain – A space or realm that is identified with its own address name. and are domains.

Website – A set of files that link to each other, typically within the same domain.

URL – Universal Resource Locator, a web address, typically including a domain name with a subordinate page address.

Browser – A program that requests files from servers and displays the information based on the format or code in those files.  Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari are web browsers.

The Cloud – “Someone else’s computer.”  Applications or services that are hosted or running on servers not within your organization’s datacenter, typically accessed through a web browser.