Glossary of Terms


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The telecommunications and fiber industries are full of terms and acronyms. Our glossary of terms attempts to capture some of them.

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P2P: See Peer-to-Peer.

PacketFront: PacketFront ( is a fiber to the premises network equipment manufacturer. In 2007 PacketFront entered the North America services market through the acquisition of DynamicCity. In 2008 PacketFront divested its North America services division.

PAL: See Property Access License.

PARP: See Principal Assumption and Repayment Program.

PAS: See Provider Access Switch.

Passed: A residence or business that has access to the network is considered to be "passed". As a ftth network is constructed, it will generally be built through a neighborhood before individual houses or businesses are connected via a drop cable (which is also a fiber-optic cable). When a house or businesses is"passed", it means they are eligible to sign up for services (which may require a technician to install and/or hook up the drop cable).

Passive Optical Network (PON): A fiber architecture that shares bandwidth with multiple subscribers through passive splitters. The most well known PON project is Verizonís FiOS.

PBX: See Private Branch Exchange.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P): This is a type of network or service that allows computers to connect directly to each other rather than organizing them via hierarchical connections. This term is most often used to describe a type of file sharing that has greatly increased bandwidth usage and allow faster downloading of the same file from multiple computers. Peer-to-peer technologies, such as BitTorrent, can greatly reduce the cost of distributing content to a large audience but also have been used to exchange copyrighted materials without permission. P2P connections generate a lot of traffic and are often throttled or denied access by broadband providers.

PEG: PEG is an acronym for Public Access, Educational, and Government video programs. These are commonly programming options made available to the community by the cable company as part of its franchise agreement in return for access to the community's rights of way.

Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS): The basic single line switched access service offered by local exchange carriers to residential and business end users, using loop-start signaling.

PND: See Premises Network Deployment.

Point of Presence (PoP): A physical location where one network hands off to another.

PON: See Passive Optical Network.

PoP: See Point of Pressence.

POTS: See Plain Old Telephone Service.

Premises Network Deployment (PND): When a parcel or group of parcels requires significant additional effort to bring fiber from the curb to provide service, the effort is defined in a premises network deployment.

Principal Assumption and Repayment Program (PARP): A program provided by the Live Oak Group to provide asset collateral to help projects meet lender needs. Learn more about how OHIvey uses the PARP.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX):

Property Access License (PAL): The legal document granting UTOPIA rights to place equipment on a residential subscriberís property.

Provider Access Switch (PAS): A switch with service provider access access to the network as the primary purpose.

PSTN: See Public Switched Telephone Network.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN): The worldwide collection of interconnected public telephone networks that was designed primarily for voice traffic. The PSTN is a circuit-switched network, in which a dedicated circuit (also referred to as a channel) is established for the duration of a transmission, such as a telephone call. This contrasts with packet switching networks, in which messages are divided into small segments called packets and each packet is sent individually. Packet switching networks were initially designed primarily for data traffic.

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