A Glossary of Telecommunications Terms, on telecommunication ... Terms. A Glossary of Telecommunications Terms. A Glossary of Telecommunications Terms. A Glossary of Telecommunications

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    PPPPPrepared by therepared by therepared by therepared by therepared by thePPPPPublic Serublic Serublic Serublic Serublic Service Division Office of Pvice Division Office of Pvice Division Office of Pvice Division Office of Pvice Division Office of Public Affairsublic Affairsublic Affairsublic Affairsublic Affairs 1998

  • FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION WASHINGTON D.C

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    PPPPPrepared by therepared by therepared by therepared by therepared by the Office of P Office of P Office of P Office of P Office of Public Affairsublic Affairsublic Affairsublic Affairsublic AffairsFFFFFederal Communications Commissionederal Communications Commissionederal Communications Commissionederal Communications Commissionederal Communications Commission

    PrefaceThis 1998 edition of the glossary of telecommunicationsterms was prepared by the Public Service Division of theOffice of Public Affairs of the Federal CommunicationsCommission contains many words and phrases used todescribe telecommunications terms which commonly ap-pear in Commission documents and other publications orarticles on telecommunication technology. If you needfurther information please contact the Public Service Di-vision at (202) 418-0200 or by writing to: Federal Com-munications Commission, Public Service Division, StopCode 1160A1,1919M Street NW, Washington, D.C.

    This publication can also be found on the FCC WorldWide Web at http://www.fcc.gov/Consumers/glossary.html

    http://www.fcc.gov/Consumers/glossary.html

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    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION WASHINGTON D.C

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  • FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION WASHINGTON D.C

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    Access ChargeA fee charged subscribers or other tele-phone companies by a local exchange car-rier -- for the use of its local exchange net-work facilities.

    Active SatelliteA functioning satellite that receives andtransmits or retransmits radio-communica-tion signals to or from a base station.

    Advanced Television (ATV) New television technology that providesbetter audio and video quality than the cur-rent standard television broadcast system.High Definition TV (HDTV) is a form ofATV.

    AffiliateA broadcast station that airs a networksprograms and commercials, but is notowned by that network.

    Agenda ItemAt the FCC, a term that refers to the docu-ment which is to be voted on by the Com-mission at an agenda meeting. The finaldocument is released to the public the sameday or as soon as possible.

    AggregatorAny person or business who, in the normalcourse of business, provides a public tele-phone for the use of patrons through anOperator Service Provider(OSP).

    AnalogAnalog is shorthand for the word analo-gous, which means similar to. The signalbeing sent voice or video is sent as astream of changing radio waves and issimilar to what is received. This producesa nearly square video picture with gener-ally a 480 line resolution picture.

    Amateur Radio Operator ("HAM")A noncommercial, private radio operator.There are six classes of amateur radio li-censes that can be earned after passingFCC-administered examinations.

    American Standard Code for InformationInterexchange (ASCII)

    ASCII is a uniform code used in computerand data communications systems. ASCIIcode letters, numbers, punctuation and ac-tual control systems in digital codes of 0sand 1s. For example, the capital C is100011 and a 3 is 0110011.

    AAAAA-C-C-C-C-C

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    munications uses, each cell has its own basestation; each base station is interconnectedwith other base stations and with the pub-lic switched network.

    Basic Trading Area (BTA)Geographic boundaries that segment thecountry for licensing purposes. BTAs arebased on Rand McNallys Commercial At-las & Marketing Guide. BTA boundariesfollow county lines and include the countyor counties whose residents make the bulkof their shopping goods purchases in thearea. The FCC has used BTAs to license anumber of services including broadbandand narrowband Personal CommunicationServices.

    BaudA measure of the speed at which data istransmitted, computed in number of ele-ments changed per second. The BaudRate is the speed in which a computerscan transfer data through a modem usingcommunications software.

    BaudotA seven bit code, only five of which areinformation bits. Baudot is used by sometext telephones to communicate with eachother.

    Amplitude Modulation (AM)A type of transmission used in either thestandard radio broadcast band at 535-1705kilohertz, shortwave broadcasting, and insome private radio services such as citizensband (CB) and aviation.

    Auxiliary Service StationA type of station used by television andradio stations to facilitate the broadcast ofprogramming to the general public.

    Audio TextThe term used to describe a system that pro-vides automated interactive telephone in-formation, such as stock prices, sportsscores and personals

    .Bandwidth

    A range of frequencies in the broadcastspectrum that is occupied by a signal. (Forexample, a television channel may have abandwidth of 6 MHz.) The necessarybandwidth is the amount of spectrum re-quired to transmit the signal without dis-tortion or loss of information. Commis-sion rules require suppression of the signaloutside the band to prevent interference.

    Base StationA land station in the land mobile service.For example, in cellular and personal com-

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    Bidding CreditA spectrum auction term. It is a credit givento eligible FCC auction applicants whichallows them to receive a discount on theirwinning bids in an auction.

    BirdA colloquial expression used to refer to acommunications satellite.

    Binary Information Unit orBinary Digit (BIT)

    The smallest unit of digital information. Asingle digit number in base-2, either a 0or a 10. Bandwidth is usually measured inbits-per-second (bps).

    BlackoutA term used to describe the non-broadcastof a live event (i.e. sports, cultural) usuallyimposed by the sponsor(s) of the event.

    BoosterA television or FM broadcast station, op-erating at relatively low power that receivesa distant input signal, amplifies it, and re-transmits it on the same channel.

    BroadbandBroadband is a descriptive term for evolv-ing digital technologies offering consum-

    ers a single switched facility offering in-tegrated access to voice, high-speed dataservices, video-demand services, and in-teractive information delivery services.Broadband also is used to define an ana-log transmission technique for data orvideo that provides multiple channels. Acable TV system, for example, employsanalog broadband transmission. (SeeBandwidth)

    BroadcastTo transmit a signal over the spectrum tobe received by two or more receiving de-vices.

    BrowserA software program used to query, searchand view information on computer sitesconnected to the Internet.

    ByteA set of bits that represent a single char-acter. Usually there are eight bits in aByte.

    Cable Converter BoxEquipment often provided by a cable com-pany in a subscribers home that allowsaccess or controls interference to cableservices.

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    AAAAA-C-C-C-C-Carea. The use of many small cells in an area,with low transmitter powers, permits theintensive re-use of channels, thereby in-creasing system capacity.

    ChurnThe term used to describe turnover rate ofsubscribers to a service or product.

    CircuitA two-way communications path.

    Circulation (FCC term)An FCC term, circulation is the procedurewhereby items are routed to Commission-ers for notation voting without a need fordiscussion at an open or closed agendameeting. Voting is done electronically fromeach Commissioners office.

    Clear ChannelA clear channel protects stations designatedas Class A stations from objectionable in-terference within their primary and second-ary service areas. The secondary serviceareas of the stations may extend outwardfor a distance of up to 750 miles at night.To provide this wide area service, Class Astations operate within a power range of10 to 50 kilowat