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Alfonica quick guide to telecom abbreviations

If you have ever had to choose a telecoms solution for your company, you will probably have been baffled by the vast array of esoteric abbreviations the industry uses to describe its products and services. So, if you don’t know the difference between FTTC and FTTP and have no idea what ISDN and ASDL do, then read on as we present our quick guide to telecom abbreviations.

ADSL – or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, is a type of data communications technology that is typically used to supply broadband to your organisation. It enables faster transmission over copper telephone wires. The asymmetric bit means that the speed is greater for the download when compared to the upload.

ISDN – or Integrated Services Digital Network, is a type of communications technology that integrates voice and data over the same line. It is a circuit-switched telephone network system that also provides access to packet-switched networks. It provides better voice quality than an analog phone. BT have recently announced that ISDN will be switched off by 2025, so if your company has a telephone system based on ISDN, you should now start thinking about alternatives,

FTTC – or Fibre To The Cabinet, is a telecoms system that uses fibre-optic cables to run a connection from the exchange to a ‘cabinet’. The ‘cabinet’ can be the green box you notice at the end of your road which one or more offices or private houses connects to, to receive their internet and telephone line. Although fibre is quicker than ADSL or ISDN lines, there is still the problem that the last part of the journey, from the cabinet to your premises, is through the traditional copper wiring and so will be slower.

G.fast – G.fast is a half-way house between FTTC and FTTP (see below) in that it is a device that sits on the aforementioned cabinet and boosts the signal for the last part of its journey over copper wires to your premises.

FTTP – or Fibre To The Premises, is a blanket term that embraces both FTTH (Fibre To The Home) and FTTB (Fibre To The Business). As its name suggests the fibre cable, which for FTTC stops at the cabinet, goes all the way to your business or home. Typically, this is now the standard for all newly built commercial premises or homes. It offers faster speeds and an uncontended signal (i.e. not shared with anyone else).

Hopefully, the above has helped lift some of the fog over all the abbreviations you see in the telecoms industry. But, if you have any questions, please get in touch, we’ll be happy to explain.

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