Remote Station-Ringer Isolator

Remote Station

Any piece of equipment attached to a LAN by a telephone company supplied link. Technically, that includes all devices that aren't servers. Usually it refers to a workstation at a distant location, linked to the main LAN by a modem and connected through a serial port "gateway." See Modem

Remote Station Lamp Field

For use at multi-line phones, usually manned by secretaries who answer many phone lines.

Remote Switch Unit

RSU. A portion of a digital switching system which is deployed at a remote point from a host digital switch. Remote Switch Units have time-slot interchange capability for processing calls within their serving area.

Remote Switching System

An switch that is away from its host or control office. All or most of the central control equipment for the RSU is located in the host or control office. See also Remote Concentrator.

Remote Terminal

A terminal connected to a computer over a phone line.

Remote Termination

A device installed at the service user site that connects to the local loop to provide high-speed connectivity. Also referred to as the ATU-R.

Remote Traffic Measurement

Traffic and feature usage data can be transmitted by the system to a distant service technician.

Remote User Agent

RUA. An X.400 standard user agent that interfaces with the MS (Message Store) for remote X.400 communications.

Remote Workstation

A terminal or personal computer connected to the LAN (local area network) by a modem. A remote workstation can be either a standalone computer or a workstation on another network.


An SCSA definition. The Client and the Server are different (i.e., the application is on a different physical box than the service provider).

Removable Cartridge System

A high-capacity storage system that can be removed from the PC. A removable cartridge systems consists of a drive mechanism and the cartridges used to store data. The most well-known removable cartridge system is the Bernoulli Box by Iomega Corp.

Removable Media

Diskettes or cartridges that can be removed from a computer drive. For example, a Bernoulli box uses removable cartridges.


Ringer Equivalency Number. Part of the FCC certification number approving a telephone terminal product for direct sale to the end user as not doing harm to the network. The REN consists of a number and a letter which indicates the frequency response of that telephone's ringer. "A" = 20 Hz or 30 Hz "B" = a range from 15.3 Hz to 68 Hz. The remaining letters represent ringers that will work on very narrow ranges such as "C" = 15.3 Hz to 17.4 Hz, etc. The number indicates the quantity of ringers which may be connected to a single telephone line and still all ring. The total of all RENs of the telephones connected to the one line must not exceed the value 5 or some or all of the ringers may not operate .

Rendezvous Controls

A concept introduced in TAPI 3.0. The Rendezvous Controls are a set of COM components that abstract the concept of a conference directory, providing a mechanism to advertise new multicast conferences and to discover existing ones. They provide a common schema (SDP) for conference announcement, as well as scriptable interfaces, authentication, encryption, and access control features. See TAPI 3.0.


In the 1980s, the advent of new technology in the telephone industry made telephone service much more reliable. Fewer people were needed to run phone companies. Telephone company managers soon discovered that they could increase their companies' profitability by firing these managers, which they dutifully did. Unfortunately, by the time the mid-1990s came around, telephone managers discovered they were lacking the experienced expertise necessary to run their phone company. Bingo, the answer: hire the old managers back as consultants . Around NYNEX, this program was known affectionately as "Rent-A-Wreck."


An announcement, or 120 interruptions per minute tone, returned to the caller when his call is blocked in the network. See Reorder Tone.

Reorder Tone

The Reorder tone sounds like a busy signal but is twice as fast, i.e. a reorder tone is a tone applied 120 times per minute. The tone means that all switching paths are busy, all toll trunks are busy, there are equipment blockages, the caller dialed an unassigned code, or the digits he dialed got messed up along the way. Also called Channel Busy or Fast Busy Tone.


A shortened form of the word reorganization. It is used by people in companies which go through management reorganizations so often they don't have to figure what the latest organization means before the next one happens. And they certainly don't have the time to say the word "reorganization" in full. I first heard the word "reorg" from someone at Pacific Bell. He used the word as an excuse for not following up on something he had promised me.


Repertory dialing. Speed dialing. Some cellular phones are capable of storing 100 numbers .


REmote cable PAir Cross-Connect System is a PC controlled, metallic, automated cross-connect system that may be applied to Automated Distribution Frames , Building Terminals, Service Area Interfaces (SAIs) or cross-connect boxes and closures/terminals. It dramatically reduces dispatches, provides 100% record accuracy, facilitates multiple line testing (MLT), and operates without local or battery power as well as keeps people out of restricted or hazardous areas.

Repair And Quick Clean

RQC. A term in the industry which repairs telecom equipment. It means all equipment is repaired and fully tested with a burn-in (if required) and an operational systems test. It also includes minor cosmetic cleaning of the unit. Definition courtesy Nitsuko America. See also Like New Repair and Update and Update and Repair, Update and Refurbish.

Repair, Update And Refurbish

RUR. A term in the industry which repairs telecom equipment. It means equipment is repaired and updated to current manufacturer's specifications. Also includes minor cosmetic cleaning of metal cabinets , a full diagnostic test with burn-in (if required) and an operational test. Definition courtesy Nitsuko America. See also Like New Repair and Update and Quick Clean.

Repair Only

A term used in the secondary telecom equipment business. Equipment is repaired to original working condition, but does not include refurbishment or recycling except where required to bring equipment to working condition. See also Refurbished and Remanufactured.

Repair Service Answering

RSA. Functions that support the initial handling and entry of subscriber reported troubles. They enable subscribers to request trouble verification tests, to initiate a trouble report and to obtain information on the status of an open trouble report. Definition from Bellcore in reference to its concept of the Advanced Intelligent Network.

Repair Service Bureau

RSB. A centralized administrative point where the telephone company receives customer reports of trouble on their telephone circuits.

Repairman Revisit

RMR. A condition that exists when a dispatched technician is unable to fix the problem on the first visit.


a verb that means to change the current or default behavior of a software component or application by supplying new data (parameters) at time of execution.


The act of a station receiving a code-bit stream (frame or token) from an upstream station and placing it onto the ring to its downstream neighbor. The repeating station may examine, copy to a buffer, or modify control bits in the code-bit stream as appropriate.

Repeat Call

The name of a Bell Atlantic service. Dialing a busy number over and over is as time-consuming as it is frustrating. With Repeat Call, your phone will continuously monitor a busy number every 45 seconds for up to 30 minutes, without interrupting your incoming or outgoing calls. So you and your employees can do other things until your phone alerts you with a special ring when the call got through.

Repeat Dial

Another name for Automatic Callback. See also Repeat Dialing.

Repeat Dialing

A name for a phone company service which automatically checks a busy number and when the line is free, it rings you back and completes the call.

Repeated Service Deficiency

When you work a delay with a service provider ” a telephone or data carrier, you need to create certain definitions of service so that you can figure penalties if such levels of service are not maintained . For example, we might define service deficiency as being a service outage lasting for more than ten seconds. We might define Repeated Service Deficiency as a service deficiency that occurs at least four times in any given 30 day period. and we might define Chronic Service Deficiency as a service deficiency that occurs more than ten times in any given 30 day period. Of course, how these terms are defined will depend on the SLA ” Service Level Agreement ” which you sign with your carrier.


  1. Also known as a Regenerative Repeater and a Regenerator. A device inserted at intervals along a digital circuit to regenerate the transmitted signal. As the digital signal transverses the circuit, it loses its shape due to the combined effects of attenuation and noise. Attenuation is weakening of the signal as it transverses the circuit. Noise, or distortion, can be caused by EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference), RFI (Radio Frequency Interference, frequency shifts internal to the circuit, and various other factors. At some point, the original signal becomes incoherent unless a repeater is placed on the circuit at specific intervals, which are sensitive to the specifics of the circuit design. The repeater is capable of reading the signal, even though it is somewhat attenuated and distorted , reshaping it into proper "ones" and "zeros," and repeating (i.e., retransmitting) it at the proper level of signal strength. Repeaters are used exclusively in digital circuits, whether they are metallic (e.g., twisted pair and coaxial), radio (e.g., cellular, microwave, and satellite), or optical (e.g., optical fiber). Analog circuits make use of amplifiers , which simply serve to boost the signal strength, and which cannot reshape it. See also Amplifier .

  2. The simplest type of LAN interconnection device. A repeater moves all received packets or frames between LAN segments. The primary function of a repeater is to extend the length of the network media, i.e. the cable.

Repeater Coil

Also called a Repeat Coil. It's really just a transformer, which converts AC power to the voltages used to charge batteries and to power various devices such as PBXs. Repeater coils also are used for impedance matching, which serves to maximize the power transfer of a signal where two electrical circuits (e.g., twisted pair) are interconnected . The power transfer is improved through the elimination of echo, which is signal reflection back towards the signal source.

Repeater Hop

The action of a data transmission passing through a repeater in a communications circuit. IEEE 802.3 standards specify the number of repeater hops allowed for various types of repeaters. For example, Class II repeaters allow up to two repeater hops per segment.

Repeater Set

A repeater unit plus its associated physical layers interfaces (MAUs or PHYs).

Repeating Coil

A transformer which connects one telephone circuit with another without any DC connection between the circuits. Here's a more technical explanation: A voice-frequency transformer characterized by a closed core , a pair of identical balanced primary (line) windings, a pair of identical but not necessarily balanced secondary (drop) windings, and a low transmission loss at voice frequencies. It permits transfer of voice currents from one winding to another by magnetic induction, matches line and drop impedances, and prevents direct conduction between the line and the drop.


In teletypewriter systems, a device used to punch a tape in accordance with arriving signals, permitting reproduction of the signals for retransmission. See also Chad.


RT. A teletypewriter unit consisting of a reperforator and a tape transmitter, each independent of the other.

Repertory Dialing

Sometimes known as "memory dialing" or "speed-calling." A feature that allows you to recall from nine to 99 (or more) phone numbers from a phone's memory with the touch of just one, two or three buttons .


A copy. See Replication.


Also known as data replication. Replication is the process by which a file, a database or some other computer information in one location is updated to match a mirrored version on another computer in another location. Replication includes the process of duplicating and updating data in multiple computers on a network, some of which are permanently connected to the networks. Others, such as laptops, may only be connected at intermittent times. The idea is twofold: Everyone should have access to the same information in the database/s. Second, many people can make changes to the same record and somehow, all those changes will meld themselves into the database/s and thus, everyone will have access to the new, updated information. In the old days (i.e. pre-Lotus Notes), networked databases were stored in one place, e.g. an airline database of reservations . Everyone who wanted to access information in the database needed to be physically connected to the network through some form of phone line. That's still the case in most databases. Along came Lotus Notes whose major claim was everyone could create their own database/s and carry it with them on their laptops and everyone could put their own information in and Lotus Notes would update the central database and update everyone's database every time they logged into the network. If Lotus is confused , it sends messages out asking for clarification as to what the right database entry was. In short, replication is a far more complex process than what the traditional English language definition of replication is, namely making copies of itself. In data replication, it's the coordination, updating and reconciling of constantly-being-changed databases. That's the hard part. As I wrote this, Lotus Notes had a big lead in this process of database replication. But others, like Oracle and Microsoft, were trying to catch up. The easiest replication strategy is one-way transfer. A simple case of one-way data replication is a mobile user who needs to update the information on his laptop, but not to update any information at the corporate site. See also Synchronization.


  1. A transmitted message which serves as a response to an original message. (What else?)

  2. An SCSA definition. An event which is a service provider's response to a synchronous or asynchronous request.

Report & Order

R&O. A Federal Communications Commission term. After considering comments and reply comments to Notices of Inquiries or Notices of Proposed Rulemakings, the FCC may issue a Report & Order amending the rules or deciding not to do so. Summaries of R&Os are published in the Federal Register. Issuance of an R&O triggers a 30-day period for Petitions for Reconsideration.

Report Mining

Coined by Gartner Group , Inc. for migrating legacy report data to a server so it can be accessed by desktop query tools and regenerated into a new report.

Report Program Generator

A computer language for processing large data files.

Report-Only Event

An event that the ASC (AIN Switch Capabilities) reports to a SLEE (Service Logic Execution Environment) but the ASC does not suspend processing events for the connection segment. Definition from Bellcore in reference to its concept of the Advanced Intelligent Network.


A database of information about objects and components. Synonyms include library and encyclopedia.


Messages that are repudiable are messages that you can deny receiving. Messages that are non-repudiable are messages that you cannot deny receiving, i.e. the system tracks that you received the message.


The formatted information that is sent to the switching domain as a result of a computing domain issuing a service across the service boundary.

Request For Comments

The name of the result and the process for creating a standard on the Internet. New standards are proposed and published on line, as a "Request For Comments." The Internet Engineering Task Force (ETF) is a consensus-building body that discusses and agrees on new standards. The reference number/name for the standard retains the acronym "RFC," e.g. the official standard for e-mail is RFC 822.

REquest for Service

A RES is a document/record created when a piece of maintenance work that a department/group is working on is to be passed onto another depart- ment/group within the company. A RES is usually in the form of a 'ticket' (which is the official name of the document/record) which one department hands the other. RES is basically telephone company language.

Request To Send

RTS. One of the control signals on a standard RS- 232-C connector. It places the modem in the originate mode so it can begin to send.


Special software loaded onto a networked workstation to manage communications between the network and the workstation. This software may also be referred to as a shell, redirector, or client, depending on the networking system in use.

Required For Service Date

A telephone company term. This is the date beyond which service impairment may be expected to occur if equipment relief is not available. This date is used for the Timing Arrow. By this date all balancing, testing, rearrangements, and trunk relief must have been concluded.


A fancy way of saying "need," which means exactly the same thing.


A short-term change in the routing of telephone traffic. Rerouting may be planned and recurring or a reaction to a nonrecurring situation.


  1. Residential Enhanced Service.

  2. See Request for Service.


Buying local and/or long distance phone lines in quantity at wholesale rates and then selling them to someone else, hopefully at a profit.

Resale Carrier

A long distance company that does not own its own transmission lines. It buys lines from other carriers and then resells them to its subscribers. Some resale carriers have their own switches. Some don't. Some have a mix of their own lines and leased lines. Most long distance carriers ” including AT&T, MCI and Sprint ” have a mix of their own lines and leased lines.


Reducing or increasing the number of pixels in an image to conform to a new size or resolution.


A company which purchases a block of cellular numbers from a cellular carrier for resale to its customers. Or a company which purchases a big block of long distance calling minutes or resale in smaller blocks to its customers. See Aggregator.

Reserve Power

A telephone system may be equipped with storage batteries to provide primary power during a commercial power failure. No loss of service will occur during transition to battery power. All this is a long way of saying your phone system is backed by batteries, typically lead acid (the same ones used in your car).


To restore a device to its default or original state. To restore a counter or logic device to a known state, often a zero output. In computer lingo, to reset a computer is simply to turn its power off, wait ten seconds and then turn it on. It's also called cold booting the computer.

Reset Generation

Young people who, when a situation becomes difficult or burdensome, quit and start over again in a different direction.

Reset Packet

A packet that identifies error conditions on an X.25 communications circuit. The reset packet does not clear the session but rather notifies the communicating DTEs of error conditions at a known point in the data-packet transfer sequence.

Resident Command

A command located in the personal computer's operating system itself, contained in the file COMMAND.COM.

Resident Program

See RAM-Resident Program.

Residential And Light Commercial Wiring

Refers to the wiring system and all of its appurtenances required to provide convenient and useful telephone services to residences and light commercial buildings .

Residential System Identifier

RSID. An signaling identifier sent from a cellular cell site, the RSID identifies the Personal Base Station (PBS) when the user is at home, and the cell phone is in cordless mode. The cell phone display shows "cordless, rather than the name of the carrier. When the user is out of reach of the PBS, the dual- mode phone becomes a digital cell phone, and the name of the carrier is displayed. The RSID is defined in IS-136. See also IS-136.

Residual Error Rate

The ratio of the number of bits, unit elements, characters or blocks incorrectly received but undetected or uncorrected by the error-control equipment to the total number of bits, unit elements, characters or blocks sent.

Resilient Packet Ring

RPR. A technological specification being developed by the IEEE as 802.17, RPR is intended to optimize Ethernet-based metropolitan ring networks for packet transport with resiliency matching or exceeding that of SONET rings. RPR will carry voice and other TDM (Time Division Multiplexed) traffic with the QoS (Quality of Service) and resiliency of SONET and ATM combined, while supporting LAN traffic with the efficiency of Ethernet. See 802.17.


The noun that comes from the verb to see the error of one's ways.


Resistance is the opposition to the flow of electric charge and is generally a function of the number of free electrons available to conduct the electric current. When the same amount of voltage is applied to an insulator as to a metal, less current flows through the insulator than the metal because the insulator has fewer free electrons. Resistance is a property intrinsic to a conducting material. Insulators have high resistance values while good conductors like copper have low resistance values. Other factors influence resistance as well. For example, the resistance of a conductor is directly proportional to its length: the longer the wire, the greater the resistance.

In short, any electrical conductor will resist the flow of electrical current. As it resists the flow of current, so the current becomes weaker. Resistance generates heat and occasionally light. It is technically defined as a property or a characteristic of a conductor, i.e. the metal through which the electricity flows. It is measured in Ohms.

Resistance Design

A telephone company design technique for subscriber loop circuits. This technique is designed to employ wire which will have the smallest diameter (least amount of copper), which will ensure a loop resistance less than the signaling limit of the central office equipment serving the loop.


A component made of a material (such as carbon) that has a specified resistance or opposition to the flow of electrical current. A resistor is designed to oppose but not completely obstruct the passage of electrical current.


An electronic destination you return to, time and again, to escape normal business.


  1. Any facility of a computing system or operating system required by a job or task, including memory, input/output devices, processing unit, data files, and control or processing programs.

  2. A network component such as a file, printer, or serial device that is shared by other components of the network.

  3. An SCSA term. A voice processing technology, such as voice store and forward, fax processing, voice recognition, or text to speech. Here's the official definition: The abstraction of a standardized vendor-independent interface of a physical device used for call processing as seen by the Application. All Resources have common methods across all implementations . Examples of Resources are voice store and forward, fax send and receive, text to speech conversion, voice recognition, etc. Resources are assumed to have at a minimum one input or output of circuit switched TDM on the internal switch fabric of the system. Resources are shared among multiple applications. Once a Resource has been allocated to an application, it is locked from the use of any other application until freed. It is assumed that applications specify at some level their resource requirements to the server prior to accessing them. This may either be through explicitly attaching them to a Group, or having the server implicitly allocate them based on usage.

  4. A Windows term. A resource is a program object, such as a button, menu or dialog box, that Windows treats differently than normal programs. Resources are developed either in a special resource language or using interactive tools. They can be loaded from separate files or bound directly to the executable file.

Resource Characteristics

An SCSA definition. Resources have a set of characteristics that define their behavior beyond that defined by the methods on their interfaces. These may vary or be optional for this Resource Type. Resource may be selected by the application on the basis of their characteristics and a client may query for the characteristics of a resource which it has claimed. See Resource.

Resource Class

An SCSA definition. A set of methods (in object-oriented terms, a class) for controlling resource instances (or a resource). May be abbreviated as just "class." See Resource.

Resource Dispenser

A service that provides the synchronization and management of nondurable resources within a process, providing for simple and efficient sharing by COM objects. For example, the ODBC resource dispenser manages pools of database connections. See also Open Database Connectivity.

Resource Group

An SCSA term. A resource group is a dynamically formed group of resource units that can be made to work together as if they were a single device. See Resource.

Resource Manager

A system service that manages durable data. Server applications use resource managers to maintain the durable state of the application, such as the record of inventory on hand, pending orders, and accounts receivable. The resource managers work in cooperation with the transaction manager to provide the application with a guarantee of atomicity and isolation (using the two-phase commit protocol).

Resource Module

A resource module is a card that slides into a PC and does everything from text-to-speech, to fax, to voice recognition, etc. Everything except interfacing to the network, which is done by another card or another part of the resource module card called the Network Interface Module. See Network Interface Module.

Resource ReserVation Protocol



  1. A standard by which the sharpness of a monitor is defined. The number of pixels that are used to form an image defines it. Example: A resolution of 800x600 signifies 800 pixels running horizontally and 600 lines running vertically, thus making up a total of 480,000 pixels. Beginning with the scan processing in the transmitter and ending with the display and/or printing process in the receiver, resolution is a basic parameter of any image transmission system. It affects the design of all its subsystems. In the scanner, the resolution is a function of the spot size which the scanner optics and associated electronics "look" at the scene and through which the system can uniquely identify the smallest distance along the scan line. Resolution is measured in terms of the density of the picture elements (pixels) and is the total number of pixels (horizontal x vertical) used to display alphanumeric characters of graphic images on the screen. High resolution images are composed of more dots per inch and appear smoother than low-resolution images. The higher the resolution, the better the display of details. See also Monitor.

  2. The minimum difference between two discrete values that can be distinguished by a measuring device. High resolution does not necessarily imply high accuracy.

  3. A measurement of the smallest detail that can be distinguished by a sensor system under specific conditions.


A program which translates between host names and their numeric Internet addresses. see gTLD.


The condition that exists when inductive reactance equals capacitive reactance. In a series circuit it results in maximum current at the resonant frequency. In a parallel circuit it results in maximum voltage at the resonant frequency.

Resonant Cavity

Closed metal container which has the characteristics of a parallel resonant circuit.

Resp Org

Responsible Organization ” the long distance company responsible for managing and administering the 800 subscriber's records in the 800 Service Management System (SMS/800). The SMS/800 only recognizes one RESP ORG for each 800 number. Management and record administration consists of data entry, changing records, accepting trouble reports and referring and/or clearing associated documents.


A test line that can make transmission and supervision measurements through its host switch under control of a remote computer.


An answer to an inquiry. In IBM's SNA, the control information sent from a secondary station to the primary station under SDLC.

Response Time

The time it takes a system to react to a given input. In voice recognition, response time typically refers to the amount of time required for a word (or utterance) to be recognized once the end of the word is detected . True response time is longer because silence often must occur before the end of the word can be declared. When operating a terminal connected to a computer, response time would be the time between the operator pressing the last key of a series of keys and the appearance of a response on the operator's display. In a data communications system, response time includes the transmission time, the processing time, the searching for records time and the transmission time back to the originator. Response time is very critical in applications like airline reservation systems. Here the customer is on the phone awaiting a reply. That time is critical in whether the customer perceives he's getting good or bad service. Response times of more than three seconds are not acceptable in situations where the customer is waiting on the phone to buy something. Response time is a function, inter alia, of the number of phone lines you lease or use. You can save a lot of phone line costs by cutting back on lines. But you'll extend response time. Life, as always, is a trade-off.

Responsible Organizations

RespOrgs. Telecommunications providers that have responsibility for obtaining 800 Service numbers from the Service Management System and building and maintaining customer records. See Eighthundred Service.

Rest Stops

Electronic malls and other online diversions provided for a small fee.


  1. A central office word or Apple Macintosh word for resetting a PC without turning it off (also called "warm boot" or "soft reset"). To restart an MS-DOS or Windows machine while it is on, press Ctrl + Alt + Del once or twice or press the reset button. See also Boot.

  2. In telephony, a system initiated action designed to restore overall service capacity.

Restart Packet

A block of data that notifies X.25 DTEs that an irrecoverable error exists within X.25 network. Restart packets clear all existing SVCs and resynchronize all existing PVCs between X.25 DET and X.25 DCE.

Restocking Fee

A fee for returning non-defective equipment. The fee is generally a percentage of the sales price, from 10 percent to 25 percent. Many buyers object to paying restocking fees. Check before you buy something ” especially in the used telephone equipment business, where restocking fees are not uncommon.


  1. Typically, to put a telephone system back into full operation.

Restore Button

A Windows term. The small button containing both an up and down arrow at the right of the title bar. The Restore button appears only after you have enlarged a window to its maximum size. Mouse users can click the Restore button to return the window to its previous size. Keyboard users can use the Restore command on the Control menu.

Restricted Cabling Licence

RCL. Australian license that replaced the Domestic Premises Cabling Licence, aimed at the small business and domestic cabling markets. The licensee may perform cabling work subject to certain restrictions.


Phone systems can disallow people or extensions from making certain calls. If they're not allowed to make long distance calls, this is called toll restriction. See Toll Restriction. There are other forms of restriction, like being able to only use the company's internal network.

Restriction From Outgoing Calls

Phone users may be restricted from placing outgoing calls. See Class of Service.

Restriction Override Password

A password which allows a caller to override restrictions when making an outside call. This Password must typically be entered before the call is dialed.

Restriction Services

These features allow the attendant to control the restriction of phones or groups of phones. It can be very useful in hotels and motels to turn off service to room phones during the time between check out and check in of quests. Here are some examples of restriction services:

  • Controlled outward restriction: Phones can be restricted from making dialed outgoing calls while inward calls are completed normally.

  • Controlled station-to-station restriction: Originating phone calls to other extensions in the system are blocked, however, normal incoming and outgoing calls can be completed.

  • Controlled termination restriction: Phones can complete outgoing calls normally, but incoming calls are directed to either the attendant or an intercept tone or recording.

  • Controlled total restriction: Restricted phone lines cannot make or receive any calls.


Preselected telephones and lines may be restricted from dialing certain telephone numbers (such as long distance, directory assistance and other toll calls).


Resumania is a term coined by Mr. Robert Half, founder of the placement firm of the same name. to describe the unintentional bloopers that often appear on job candidates' resumes, job applications and cover letters. Examples:

"I perform my job with effortless efficiency, effectiveness, efficacy, and expertise."

"Seek challenges that test my mind and body, since the two are usually inseparable."

"My compensation should be at least equal to my age."

"I am very detail-oreinted."

"I can play well with others."

"Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel."

"Objection: To utilize my skills in sales."

"My salary requirement is $34 per year."

" Served as assistant sore manager."

"Previous experience: Self-employed ” a fiasco."

"I vow to fulfill the goals of the company as long as I live."

"Reason for leaving last job: Pushed aside so the vice president's girlfriend could steal my job."


A power management feature that restores a portable computer from a power- suspended state to full operation. It is also called stand by or sleep mode. Do not confuse resume with hibernation., which I do not recommend. I do recommend resume and stand by.


The process of returning Novell NetWare SFT III (Novell's System Fault Tolerance) servers to a mirrored state after a failure. SFT III checks changes to all active servers and ensures that those changes are copied to the other servers. The time it takes the servers to complete resynchronization depends on the amount of memory and the disk storage in each server. Server memory synchronization is much faster than disk mirroring because disk mirroring speed is limited by the disk channel.

Retail Therapy

My sister's term for shopping.

Retard Coil

A coil having a large inductance which retards sudden changes of the current flowing through its winding.


A telemarketing term. Refers to a marketing goal to keep current customers buying. The opposite is churn.

Retractile Cord

A coiled cord that springs back to its original length when you let it go. Telephone handset cords are the most common retractile cords. There are wide quality variations among retractile cords. Western Electric (oops AT&T Technologies) has set a very good standard for retractile cords. But not everyone conforms to it. If you want to quickly see the quality difference among various coil cords, take six from different manufacturers and hang them over your office door and come back in a week. You'll see a bunch touching the floor. Others will still be taut. Another way is simply to connect them to your phone, one by one, and listen to the differences. Some simply sound weaker. Cheaper ones tend to sound worse . (So what's new?)


Retraining is much like Handshaking, although it occurs after modems have been successfully sending and receiving data. Retraining is a feature of some modems which adapt to changing circuit conditions, which affect the maximum speed at which the devices can communicate. Relevant circuit conditions include amplitude response, delay distortions, timing recovery, and echo. Fax machines go through the retraining process at the end of each page transmitted. The processes of handshaking and line discipline take approximately 3-7 seconds per page, and can account for a significant portion of the total time involved in a fax transmission. See also Handshaking, Line Discipline and Protocol.


A method of error control in which hosts receiving messages acknowledge the receipt of correct messages and either do not acknowledge, or acknowledge in the negative, the receipt of incorrect messages. The lack of acknowledgment, or receipt of negative acknowledgment, is an indication to the sending host that it should transmit the failed message again.

Retransmissive Star

In optical fiber transmission, a passive component that permits the light signal on an input fiber to be retransmitted on multiple output fibers. The signal comes in on one fiber, hits a star-type connector which splays the transmission out. A retransmissive star is formed by heating together a bundle of fibers to near their melting point. Such a device is used mainly in fiber-based local networks. It's also called star coupler. When you see one you'll be surprised how crude this device looks, despite its fancy name.


After failing to complete a call, a person tries again. This is called a "retrial." The term is used in traffic engineering. It's critical in figuring needed trunking capacity. See Queuing Theory, Poisson and Traffic Engineering.

Retrofit Kit

A conversion kit which makes a standard pay phone into one which will accept credit cards.


In the bisynchronous protocol, the process of resending the current block of data a prescribed number of times until it is accepted.


A carriage return. This key on some keyboards is also called "Enter." Touching the CR ( Carriage Return) gives you two functions: a "line terminating function" and a "new line function", abbreviated "NL". Simply put, a Return at the end of a line, terminates that line and begins a new one.

Return Authorization Number

See RMA.

Return Call

Return Call automatically redials the number of the last person who called your number ” whether you were able to answer the phone or not. If that number is busy, Return Call continues trying to get through for up to a certain number of minutes, say 30 ” without interrupting your incoming or outgoing calls. It signals you with a special ring when a connection is made. Besides making a return follow-up call quick and simple, this service also lets you call back anyone who hung up when you couldn't pick up the phone in time.

Return code 50

Return code 50 is a term used a lot with billing done in the back office. Return Code 50 refers to a Carrier Services Billing/Exchange Message Interface (EMI) ” EMI record type 50 is used to return EMI Billing records that error or fail.

Return Loss

A measure of the similarity of the impedance of a transmission line and the impedance at its termination. Return loss is a measure of the signal reflections occurring along a channel or basic link and is related to various electrical mismatches along the cabling. It is a ratio, expressed in decibels, of the power of outgoing signal to the power of the signal reflected back from an impedance discontinuity.

Return Material Authorization Number

RMA. A code number provided by the seller as a prerequisite to returning product for either repair or refund. An indispensable tracking procedure, it operates like a purchase order system. If you return computer or telephone equipment without an RMA, chances are your equipment will be lost. RMA is also called a Return Authorization (RA) number.

Return To Zero

RZ. Method of transmitting binary information such that, after each encoded bit, voltage returns to the zero level.

Return-To-Zero Code

A code form having two information states called "zero" and "one" in which the signal returns to a rest state during a portion of the bit period.


The characteristic of a component that allows it to be used in more that the application for which it was created, with or without modification.

Reuse Limit

Customer penalty value at which point Sprint automatically stops dampening customer route announcements. The current Reuse Limit is 750. See Dampen and Dampening Limit.

Reuse Ratio

Lines of code reused per total lines of code.


A euphemism for laying people off. Also means changing the course of one's business.

Revenue Accounting Office

RAO. A telephone company center using mainframe computers for billing other data processing. Functions performed include receipt and processing of AMA (Automatic Message Accounting) data and preparation of the subscriber's bill. Definition from Bellcore in reference to its concept of the Advanced Intelligent Network.

Revenue Assurance

Telephone companies send out zillions of bills every day to businesses and homes . Most of the ones sent to businesses are wrong. They're too high or too low. There's always been a big business in "auditing" (i.e. checking) business phone bills, finding bills that were too high and getting refunds from the phone companies. Many consultants I know made a handsome living from this business for many years . Anyway, many phone companies have woken up to the fact that their bills are wrong ” often in the customer's favor. And they'd better start sending out accurate (i.e. higher) bills. The phone companies are forming new departments, call Revenue Assurance. One friend who just joined one such department sent me the following mouthful of a definition: Revenue assurance is a quality tracking process that identifies, and captures revenue leakage through revenue diagnostic, and revenue capture via assessment of a company's billings, sales, customer acquisition/retention, management information systems infrastructure, and financials. Its primary objective is to test the integrity of revenue generating processes, and to detect and eliminate fraud in order to maximize revenue goals. It is very common in telephone and Internet companies. See also Revenue Leakage.

Revenue Leakage

Some telecom service providers fail to capture up to 15% of all the revenue they are supposed to get, according to a November, 2001 report on revenue assurance from Chorleywood Consulting. Revenue leakage can include unbillable revenue (for calls completed more than three months ago), unbilled features, adjustments from trouble tickets and customer care and unidentified customers. Revenue assurance refers to the actions a service provider takes to ensure that bills sent to their customers are accurate, that revenue for services provided is collected and that fraudulent use of resources is detected and eradicated. In a poll of delegates from 240 U.S. service providers, telecom consulting firm Tarifica found that more than half of those surveyed said their company leaks up to 10% of revenues .

Revenue Recognition

How does a company report its sales? An example is a company sells a subscription or contract for goods and services to be delivered over time. How much of that deal gets booked as revenue in each quarter? And how much of the cost of pursuing and closing the deal gets booked as an expense in the current quarter as opposed to over the life of the contract. And what happens if the contract is extended or terminated ? The accounting rules are a mess. The simple approach is that revenues and expenses hit the books as the actual money flows in and out. But, the accountants could tell you lots of reasons why that simplistic approach is not completely appropriate. The result is rules that can be "gamed" by management to try to "manage earnings" (and revenues). And anyone who suggests that it would be "easy" to reform the revenue recognition mess is being misleading. Here's a simple problem not solvable by accounting rule changes: near the end of each quarter, management has discretion as to how to apply sales resources to attempt to close deals. If they really want a deal to happen this quarter to boost results, they can put extra resources on getting the deal closed. If they want to shift the revenue and income into the next quarter, they can simple hold back resources and the deal gets delayed. Sometimes, simply making or not making a critical phone call at just the right moment or expediting or delaying the signing of some documents can subtract or add weeks or a month to the time to close a deal. That's just ONE of the "tools" available to corporate management to manage the flow of revenues and earnings. The next simplest way to manage earnings is to defer or accelerate an expense like buying new computers or signing a lease.

Revenue Volume Pricing Plan

AT&T's Revenue Volume Pricing Plan gives discounts based on total monthly 800 and 900 billing after all other term discounts have been taken. One of two plans used by aggregators to resell 800 services, the other is Customer Specific Term Plan.

Revenue Requirement

How much money a regulated phone company is allowed to earn is typically determined by its rate base (depreciated value of its assets). It is allowed to earn a percentage on its rate ” just as you earn interest on your rate base (what you have deposited in the bank). So how the regulation works is (in principle) simple: Figure what the phone company's assets are. Figure what percentage you want the phone company to earn on its assets. Figure the calculation. Bingo you have the revenue requirement. Except you have to allow it to pay its expenses. So that gets added onto the revenue requirement. The formula is amount of return (rate base times rate of return ” ROR) plus operations expenses. See also ROE.

Reversible data-hiding

A procedure to verify the integrity and authenticity of digital images, which assures users they are viewing the original image, and can notify the creator if an image is misappropriated. The technique works by extracting and compressing minor details of the image and then embedding this packet of data within the file. A digital watermark is inserted into space created by the compression process, which is detected by authorized users to assure that the image is original. The procedure was under development by Xerox Corporation and the University of Rochester, New York as of early 2003.

Reverse Address Resolution Protocol

RARP. A TCP/IP protocol for determining the IP address (or logical address) of a node on a local area network connected to the Internet, when only the hardware address (or physical address) is known. Although the acronym RARP refers only to finding the IP address, and Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) technically refers to the opposite procedure, the acronym ARP is commonly used to describe both procedures.

Reverse Battery Signaling

A type of loop signaling in which battery and ground are reversed on the tip and ring of the loop to give an "off-hook" signal when the called party answers. Some systems employ reverse battery, either for a short period or until the call is finished, to indicate that it is a toll call. In some PBXs this is used to provide toll diversion .

Reverse Battery Supervision

A way of telling the originating central office that the called telephone has been answered (i.e. it has gone off-hook). The voltage of the line at the originating end is reversed. Reverse battery supervision, which puts a signal at the user's premises, is very useful for devices like call accounting systems (knowing precisely when to begin the billing cycle) and telemarketing systems (knowing precisely when to transfer the machined-dialed call over to the operator). See also Answer Supervision.

Reverse Channel

  1. A (typically) small-bandwidth channel used for supervisory or error-control signaling. Signals are transmitted in the opposite direction to the data that is sent.

  2. The channel in a dial up telephone circuit from the called party to the calling party.

Reverse DNS

Also called the name space, as in "inverse-ARPA," referring to ARPAnet, the predecessor to the Internet. Reverse DNS is the reverse of the DNS (Domain Name Service) process. A DNS allows you to find a resource (a computer) on the WWW (World Wide Web) by entering a "domain name" in the form of a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), such as Once entered, the URL is searched against the database of all URLs contained in a Domain Name Server, and is translated into an IP (Internet Protocol) address. Reverse DNS allows you to enter an IP address, and map it back to the URL, using a separate but similar DNS table. It's much like looking up a person's name and address by looking up the telephone number through a "crisscross" directory. Telemarketers do it all the time. Their predictive dialing systems just dial telephone numbers at random. When you answer the phone, the system matches your telephone number to your name, which they invariably will mispronounce.

Reverse DNS is used if you want to gather statistics from the domain where a particular service is used. For instance, your company wants to track all of the activity originating from Australia. You won't get that information from the traffic statistics on your server, because it only tracks the originating IP address. Reverse DNS will look up the originating URLs from the IP addresses, so you could see all of the originating URLs with a suffix of ".au," which is the Internet country designation for Australia.

Reverse DNS also is good for security purposes. Thieves, hackers, spammers, pornography dealers and other unsavory characters will not support Reverse DNS on their web sites because they wish to mask their identities. If you are a corporate Web-Master or an IT manager, you will reject any attempted access to your internal host resources if Reverse DNS is not supported for the IP address of anyone trying to gain access. Also, if you want to restrict access to particular machines (servers) in a particular multi-server domain space, you would insist on Reverse DNS support. When you register a domain name in a DNS, it generally also is registered in a Reverse DNS. You might not want to do this for security reasons. However, and for similar security reasons, many WWW, FTP and Telnet servers on the Internet will refuse connections to any connected host that does not have both forward and reverse DNS entries. Think of it this way: I have Caller ID. When someone calls me, and I don't see a telephone number and name on my Caller ID box, I don't answer the phone. The caller deliberately has chosen to mask his identity. I don't accept calls from anyone who wants to take up my time and energy, but insists on hiding behind a mask. See also ARPAnet, DNS, FTP, IP, Telnet, URL, and WWW.

Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering essentially is the process of taking the program or product apart, analyzing its makeup , and then putting it back together again. This technique is used in debugging programs and in developing products that mimic or improve the original, or interface to the original.

Reverse Interrupt

In Bisync, a control character sequence (DLE) sequence sent by a receiving station instead of ACK1 or ACK0 to request premature termination of the transmission in progress.

Reverse Lookup

You have a phone number. You want to find out to whom it belongs. That's called "reverse lookup." It's called reverse because the non-reverse, i.e. "normal" way is to have the person's name and their address and get their phone number. You can find "reverse lookup" ability on various phone number sites on the Internet. See also Reverse Matching.

Reverse Matching

Attaching the name and address to a phone number. A It's a job usually done by a specialized service bureau. Called "reverse" matching because the service bureaus started in business by attaching phone numbers to lists containing names and their addresses. With ANI (Automatic Number Identification), we get the phone numbers of people calling us. But we don't get their names and addresses. We need to get this information for many reasons. The obvious being that getting this information on-line and fast saves asking the caller for it and typing all the stuff in. That saves time on the phone ” as much as 20 seconds. And fewer questions about boring stuff like phone number, address, city, state, zip means less typing time (also called data entry time, less clerking time) and more time to explain the specials we're selling today. In short, the fewer questions we ask, the less we type and the more stuff we can sell. Reverse matching can be done instantly on-line via a direct data hookup to a distant specialized service bureau or it can be done at the end of the month when we receive our 800 phone bill containing the phone numbers of the people who called us that month. See also Reverse Lookup.

Reverse Multiplexing

Another name for Inverse Multiplexing.

Reverse Operation

Briefly running a shredder in reverse to clear jams.

Reverse Transfer

An Inter-Tel term for a phone feature in which a call on common hold at any phone may be retrieved from any phone anywhere in the phone system.

Reverse Video

A video display with all the characters reversed. Characters which are normally white on the screen appear black. And blacks appear white. Reverse video is used to emphasize or enhance things ” like those characters to be printed in italics or bold.

Revertive Pulse

Ground pulses sent back to the sender in the originating panel office from the various selector frames to control the selection process.

Revertive Pulsing

In telephone networks, a means of controlling distant switching selections by pulsing, in which the near end receives signals from the far end.


See RSA.

Revisable-Form Document

An electronic document with its formatting information intact, readable and modifiable.

Rewritable Optical Disks

They look like CD-ROM disks but they're not. On one side you can store 284 megabytes or 335 megabytes depending on how large you make the sectors ” either 512-byte sectors or 1,024-byte, respectively. All the optical disks conform to standards set up by ISO. Compared with hard drives , they are very slow.


Routine Exercise.


REstructured eXtended eXecutor. An interpreted script language, or procedural programming language, developed by IBM originally for users of large operating systems in a mainframe environment. REXX was designed for ease of learning and ease of use for both programmers and non-programmers. REXX offers powerful character manipulation in terms of symbolic objects (e.g., words and numbers) with which people normally deal, automatic data typing and debugging capabilities. REXX can be compared with other interpreted script languages such as Microsoft's Visual Basic, Netscape's JavaScript and Larry Wall's Perl.


Radio Frequency. Electromagnetic waves operating between 10 kHz and 3 MHz propagated without guide (wire or cable) in free space. If you have a home computer that lets you use your home TV set as a video display device, then the computer has an rf Generator. This means that this device is generating an rf carrier to carry the video signal information.

For the purposes of the FCC's regulation of cable television systems, this term includes any carrier, modulated or unmodulated, whether radiated over the air by an antenna or carried by a coaxial cable. This term dates from the early days of radio (hence, the name "radio" frequency) when the only uses for RF were AM broadcasting and ship-to-shore communications. The term is still in use today, even though it now includes video and control signals as well as audio.

RF Channel Number

An identifier assigned to a Radio Frequency (RF) channel to distinguish it from other rf channels. A cellular radio term.

RF Channel Pair

Two associated Radio Frequency (rf) channels, one forward and one reverse. The former is used to support forward transmissions from the Mobile Data Base Station (MDBS) to the Mobile End System (M-ES). The reverse channel carriers data information from an M-ES to an MDBS, and is a contention based communications channel.

RF Choke

Also known as a load coil. A coil of wire that filters out high frequencies. See Load Coil and RF Leakage.


Radio Frequency Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. RF CMOS is a developing technique for the manufacture of chips based on CMOS technology for a wide variety of RF-based devices such as cellphones, wireless LANs, and wireless peripherals such as headsets keyboards. The advantage of RF CMOS is its low cost compared to chip technology based on GaA (Gallium Arsenide) and various alumina hybrids. The problem is the high level of noise created by combining analog, digital and RF technologies on a single CMOS chip.

RF Leakage

RF Leakage is defined as the amount of energy which "leaks" from the connector and/or component. Although rf Leakage will vary with frequency, it is typically tested at only one frequency. Leakage, like Insertion Loss, is expressed in dB. Very large negative dB values indicate that the device does not radiate much energy.

RF Line Filter

A device installed on a phone line next to your phone which filters out sounds at frequencies you select. Those frequencies might be caused by adjacent machinery, nearby power lines or radio towers .

RF Modulator

See Modulator.

RF Splitter

Want to put attach two (or more) TV sets behind your satellite antenna? Easy, go down to Radio Shack and buy an RF Splitter. Screw the line into one side of the splitter and your two TVs sets into the other. Bingo, your two TVs will play the signal coming in from the splitter ” which might be a satellite antenna, a CATV hookup, an outdoor antenna, etc. You can buy RF splitter than will allow you to hookup almost as many TVs as you, or want to have. See also Splitter.


Restricted Forced Authorization Code. A forced authorization code that is valid only if it is entered from a specific telephone extension.


Request For Comment. The development of TCP/IP standards, procedures and specifications is done via this mechanism. RFCs are documents that progress through several development stages, under the control of IETF, until they are finalized or discarded. RFC#### documents Internet "Request For Comment" documents (i.e., RFC822, RFC1521, etc.). The contents of an RFC may range from an official standardized protocol specification to research results or proposals. A set of papers in which the Internet's standards, proposed standards and generally agreed-upon ideas are documented and published. RFCs are the official document series of Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and are achieved permanently. They are never deleted. See the RFCs below.

RFC 1144

This RFC (Request For Comment) will provide overhead compression for the TCP/IP protocol down to 5 octets. It does this by anticipating that the next packet in a file transfer sequence will have the same address as the previous and will have the same sequence number plus one. This compression technique will be useful where SDLC encapsulation, or other bridging protocol encapsulation, is being used with low-speed PVCs (Private Virtual Circuits.) In these cases, the slight increase in processing power to perform the compression is more than balanced by the increase in application performance and throughput.

RFC 1294

This Request For Comment is Inverse ARP, which allows the automatic discovery of the addresses on the router at each end of another router's DLCIs. Right now, the RFC only applies to IP, but some equipment vendors have already expanded the protocol support to include Novell, AppleTalk, Vines, and DECnet. The benefit of the RFC is to simplify network configuration.

RFC 1315

This Request For Comment is the frame relay MIB (management information database), which standardizes what management information is made available on frame relay devices and where/how that information is accessed. This simplifies the process of integrating frame relay devices into your network monitoring and management process and programs.

RFC 1490

This Request For Comment, RFC 1294, now renumbered RFC 1490, is for multiprotocol encapsulation. The bottom line benefits are to increase interoperability between frame relay devices from different vendors. This means that you can use one vendor's routers (or other equipment type) at some locations, and a different vendor's equipment at other locations. This ability to mix and match allows you to pick the best and most cost-effective tool for the job.

RFC 1577

Under control of the IETF, Request For Comments (RFCs) are documents used to develop standards, procedures and specifications for TCP/IP. RFC 1577 is the document for classical IP.

RFC 1695

Definitions of Managed Objects for ATM Management or ATM MIB.

RFC 1918

This Request for Comment describes IP address space for building private networks, which is nowadays being used quite often for NAT. The reserved address spaces are: - (10/8 prefix), - prefix) and - (192.168/16 prefix)

RFC 2338

This Request for Comment describes the Virtual Router Reduncancy Protocol (VRRP). See VRRP for lots of detail.

RFC 822

This standard specifies a syntax for text messages that are sent among computer users on the ARPA Net (the precursor network to the Internet), within the framework of "electronic mail". The standard supersedes the one specified in ARPANET Request for Comments #733, "Standard for the Format of ARPA Net- work Text Messages". In this context, messages are viewed as having an envelope and contents. The envelope contains whatever information is needed to accomplish transmission and delivery. The contents compose the object to be delivered to the recipient. This standard applies only to the format and some of the semantics of message contents. It contains no specification of the information in the envelope. A distinction should be made between what the specification REQUIRES and what it ALLOWS. Messages can be made complex and rich with formally - structured components of information or can be kept small and simple, with a minimum of such information. Also, the standard simplifies the interpretation of differing visual formats in messages; only the visual aspect of a message is affected and not the interpretation of information within it. Implementors may choose to retain such visual distinctions. The formal definition is divided into four levels. The bottom level describes the meta-notation used in this document. The second level describes basic lexical analyzers that feed tokens to higher-level parsers. Next is an overall specification for messages; it permits distinguishing individual fields. Finally, there is definition of the contents of several structured fields.

Messages consist of lines of text. No special provisions are made for encoding drawings, facsimile , speech, or structured text. No significant consideration has been given to questions of data compression or to transmission and storage efficiency, and the standard tends to be free with the number of bits con- sumed. For example, field names are specified as free text, rather than special terse codes. A general "memo" framework is used. That is, a message con- sists of some information in a rigid format, followed by the main part of the message, with a format that is not specified in this document. The syntax of several fields of the rigidly-formated ("headers") section is defined in this specification; some of these fields must be included in all messages. The syntax that distinguishes between header fields is specified separately from the internal syntax for particular fields. This separation is intended to allow simple parsers to operate on the general structure of messages, without concern for the detailed structure of individual header fields. In short, a message consists of header fields and, optionally , a body. The body is simply a sequence of lines containing ASCII charac- ters. It is separated from the headers by a null line (i.e., a line with nothing preceding the CRLF).


Request For Discussion. A period of time during which comments on a particular subject are solicited. An Internet term.


Radio Frequency Fingerprinting. A process in which the radio signal information and characteristics produced by the transmitter are captured and analyzed by the receiver for purposes of detecting a cloned device from accessing the network. Bursts of control data are captured and analyzed using complex signaling techniques; the data is compared to the characteristics of the legitimate transmitter in order to determine whether access should be granted or denied . Primarily used in secure military applications, the technique has been evolving since WWII; it is being considered for application in cellular telephony.


  1. Request For Information. General notification of an intended purchase of equipment or equipment and lines sent to potential suppliers to determine interest and solicit general descriptive product materials, but not prices or a formal request. See RFQ for a detailed explanation.

  2. Radio Frequency Interference. All computer equipment generates radio frequency signals. The FCC regulates the amount of RFI a computing device can leak past its shielding. A Class A device is sufficient for office use. A Class B is a more stringent classification for home equipment use. See EMI and Radio Frequency Interference.


Radio Frequency IDentity. RFIDs are tiny chips and wireless radio antennas that can be embedded into products and used for various identification purposes. The first application I read of was the idea of embedding them into banknotes as another protection against counterfeiting. (Other security features on bank notes include holograms, foil stripes , special threads, microprinting, special inks and watermarks.) RFID is a contactless solution that works with proximity readers. There are two high level versions ” those that actually store data and those that simply store a reference key for lookup on a host system. Both have specific applications. They also come in highly secure variations as well. The actual proximity varies with the type of RFID solution in use. For example, longer distance RFID are being used on some toll highways and toll bridges and tunnels. In and around new York, they're called EZ-Pass. Exxon/Mobil uses them to help its customers buy gas faster. They're called SpeedPass. RFIDs were also used in a local marathon in ankle bracelets that were attached to every competitor and were readable at various points of the race including the finish line. Some RFIDs need batteries ” and that's their weakest link. The newer RFIDs don't need batteries, which means they don't have to be replaced regularly. See RFID Tag.


A microchip attached to an antenna that picks up signals from and sends signals to a reader. The tag contains a unique serial number, but may have other information, such as a customer's account number. Tags come in many forms, such smart labels that are stuck on boxes; smart cards and key-chain wands for paying for things; and a box that you stick on your windshield to enable you to pay tolls without stopping. RFID tags can be active tags, passive tags or semi-passive tags.


Reason For Outage.


Request For Proposal. A detailed document prepared by a buyer defining his requirements for service and equipment sent to one or several vendors. A vendor's response to an RFP will typically be binding on the vendor, i.e. he will be obliged to deliver what he says in his RFP at the prices and following the conditions explained in that RFP. See RFQ for a detailed explanation.


Request For Quotation. A document prepared by a buyer defining his needs for service and equipment in fairly broad terms and sent to one or several vendors. The RFQ is much less detailed than the RFP. Let's start at the beginning of the buying process. We have a buyer who wants a phone system. His first step may be to issue a formal or informal RFI ” Request For Information. In effect, the RFI says "Please tell me what you have. I have a vague idea of what I want but I don't know exactly what is available to suit my needs. Please send me some information."

After a buyer gets his responses to his RFIs, he may issue an RFQ ” Request For Quotation. An RFQ may include a tentative configuration of the type of phone system the user wants, plus some listing of features the buyer is interested in. In the RFQ, the buyer asks for a "ballpark" ( approximation ) of the possible price for such a system. Usually the "price" is within plus or minus 10% of where it will eventually be in the final configuration. In short, an RFQ's purpose is not to buy, but to find out what's out there and what it might cost. The purpose may be to allocate a budget or to put aside some money for the forthcoming purchase.

An RFP ” Request For Proposal ” is much more formal and definitive. Its purpose is simple. The buyer wants to buy something. The RFP contains a list of what the buyer wants, when he wants it, how it should be installed, how it should delivered, what financing may be necessary. It is now up to the vendor/s to respond with their configuration, their precise prices and their terms and conditions of sale. Whatever the vendor responds with ” called a Response to an RFP ” constitutes a definite offer. At this point, the buyer can negotiate the terms of the vendor's Response to his RFP. This will lead to the writing, and eventual signing of a contract. Or the buyer may simply decide to accept the Vendor's Response. Often that Response may have a line at the back of it ” "I accept the terms and conditions of this response." If the buyer signs this, then the Response to the RFP becomes a valid contract.


  1. Ready for Service.

  2. Remote File System. The ability to mount a disk drive somewhere on a network ” but it's not on your competitor.


Radio Guide. RG numbers are used to designate various standard types of coaxial cable, all of which "guide" a "radio" frequency signal. The term was established by the U.S. military in the 1930s. The term waveguide is used to describe the similar function accomplished by optical fibers that channel light signals, and various types of tubes used to channel radio signals in microwave systems. By the way, the RG numbers, themselves, have no significance. Rather, they are just like pages in a book. See the various RG numbers following.


Coaxial cable with 50-ohm impedance used by Thinnet.


A coaxial cable type often used in television.


Coaxial cable with 93-ohm impedance used by ARCnet.


RG/U or RG-U is the military designation for coaxial cable. U stands for general utility.


Red. Green. Blue. The three primary colors used in video processing, often referring to the three unencoded outputs of a color camera or VTR. A color model based on the mixing of red, green, and blue ” the primary additive colors used by color monitor displays and TVs. The combination and intensities of these three colors can represent the whole spectrum. Color television signals are oriented as three separate pictures: red, green and blue. Typically, they are merged together as a composite signal but for maximum quality and for computer applications the signals are segregated.

RGB Cutoff

An advanced color control that lets you set your monitor to maintain color balance across different gray scales .

RGB Gain

An advanced color control that lets you adjust red, blue, and green levels individually.

RGC 1604

An acronym used in a BellSouth proposal to the State of GA. The salesman who wrote the proposal didn't know what it was. It relates to Frame Relay Service.


Request Header or Response Header.


Regional Holding Company. Also called Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC). See RBOC for a fuller explanation.


Rural Health Care Corporation. See that term for a full explanation.


A variable resistor.


A manufacturer of voice processing componentry based in Campbell, CA. Inspiration for the company's name came from the word rhetoric, which is the art of effectively using speech and language.


The name comes from the French caillou du Rhin. It came because the colorless, hard-glass artificial gems were originally made at Strasbourg on the Rhine.

Rhombic Antenna

An antenna composed of wire radiators describing the sides of a rhombus. It is usually terminated and unidirectional; when unterminated, it is bidirectional.


Ring Indicator. An RS-232 control line asserted by the DCE when a call has come in for the DTE.


Routing Information Base. A database of routing information. BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) routers build and maintain RIBs on the basis of the reachability of other routers across various routes. They then exchange that information with their peers, and subsequently exchange incremental updates to the RIBs. Thereby, the individual Autonomous Systems (ASs) act act on the advice and with the assistance of peer ASs to route IP (Internet Protocol) traffic between endpoints across the most logical network routes, hopby-hop. See also BGP.

Ribbon Cable

Multi-wire cable that is flat instead of round. In ribbon cable, the conductors are laid side by side. Ribbon cable can be more easily laid under carpeting because it is flat and thus, can extend phone and computer services to places otherwise hard to reach. There are disadvantages to ribbon cable. Because ribbon cable is flat, it's hard to twist its individual wire conductors around each other (thus humming can be a problem).

It is hard to put a metal shielding around the twisted wire pairs. It is hard to put coax cable into ribbon cable. It is hard to make ribbon cable sufficiently strong to withstand thousands of high heels trampling it. It is hard to make ribbon cable which turns a corner... But there has been enormous progress in ribbon cable. And ribbon cable is finding greater use in buildings. These days it even carries commercial A.C. power.

Ribbon Fiber Cable

A cable that accommodates one to 12 ribbons , each ribbon having 12 fibers for a cable size range of 12 to 144 fibers. Ribbon cables are designed for use in larger distribution systems where small cable size and high pulling strength are important.

Ribbon Of Highway

Fiber optic cable.

Ridge Mount

An antenna mounting device used for connecting a mast to the ridge of a roof.


  1. Rate Increase Factor. This factor by which the cell transmission rate may increase upon receipt of an RM-cell. See also ATM and RM-Cell.

  2. Routing Information Field. In the Token Ring protocol, a optional field which is used when the transmitting frame must pass through multiple Source Routing Protocol (SRP) bridges. Within the RIF, the value of the RII, or Routing Information Indicator, (1 or 0) indicates to the bridge whether the frame should be either forwarded to another ring or confined to the local ring. See also Bridge.

  3. Reduction In Force, another way of saying layoffs. A euphemism. Like saying someone passed away, when you realy mean they died.


Resource Interchange File Format. Platform-independent multimedia specification (published by Microsoft and others in 1990) that allows audio, image, animation, and other multimedia elements to be stored in a common format. See also Media Control Interface (MCI).

Right Hand Rule

A rule for indicating the direction of magnetic effect. Grasp the wire with the right hand and with the thumb extended along the wire in the direction of current. The curved fingertips will indicate the direction of magnetic flow. Not totally relevant for including in this dictionary. But cute. See also Rule of Thumb.

Right Of Entry

A legal right to enter the premises owned by another, and, in this case, for the purpose of providing telecommunications services to the tenants of a Multiple Dwelling Unit (MDU), e.g. an apartment building. Under the terms of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) is required to negotiate with a building owner a Right of Entry and License Agreement in order that the CLEC might provide service to the tenants. The terms of such an agreement will specify the capital improvements to be made, in the form of a demarcation point (demarc), inside cable and wire systems, and various other equipment which might include DSL Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs), switches or routers, concentrators , and distribution frames and wiring closets. If the CLEC is a wireless provider, "roof rights" must be addressed for the placement of antennas. If the CLEC is a wireline provider, Right of Way must be included in order that a trench can be dug across the property and a hole bored through an exterior wall, usually sufficient to accommodate multiple optical fibers. The CLEC will suggest that the Right of Entry should be without cost, as the communications infrastructure of the building will be improved and, as a result, the competitiveness of the property will be enhanced. The building owner generally will be highly amused by this position, and charge the CLEC an annual fee anyway. See also CLEC, DSLAM, Right of Way, and Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Right Of Way

A legal right of passage over land owned by another. Carriers and service providers (telephone companies, CATV companies, cellular providers, etc.) must obtain right-of-way to dig trenches or plant poles for cable systems, and to place wireless antennas. In return for right-of-way, the owner of the land is usually given some money. Some people don't like antennas in their backyard, no matter how much money they are being paid. When MCI was young, it needed to erect a 400 foot (or so) microwave antenna in the middle of mid-western farmland. It went looking for a place, found the ideal location. However, the lady who owned the land wouldn't allow anything as grotesque as a 400ft tower in her backyard. (Would you?) So MCI sent Jack Goeken, its president at the time, out to negotiate. Jack came back with a deal whereby the tower went up if MCI agreed to deck it with Christmas lights and light it every Christmas. Since it was visible for many miles, the thing became a navigation aid to planes, The lady got herself the largest "Christmas tree" in the world. Sadly, the tower has been obsoleted by unromantic buried fiber cable.

Right Thing

Abba Eban once said that men and nations will always do the right thing in the end - after they exhaust every other possibility.

Right To Use

See RTU.

Rights-of-Way Easements

Right of access to land; used by telecommunications providers to place their facilities.


Another term for re-engineering. See Re-Engineering.


Routing Information Indicator. A Token Ring term. See RIF for an explanation.


Remote ISDN Line Drawer.


RelayNet International Message Exchange, a multi- tier communications network which exchanges messages among member bulletin board systems.


The inline memory module used with RDRAM (Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory) chips developed by Rambus Inc. A RIMM is similar to a DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module). Trademarked by Rambus Inc., RIMM really isn't an acronym, although it is claimed by some to stand for Rambus In-line Memory Module. See also DIMM and RDRAM.

Rimm Job

A bogus academic study masquerading as legitimate science. Named after Marty Rimm, author of the dubious "cyberporn" study from Carnegie Mellon University that Time magazine gullibly took as gospel.


  1. As in Tip and Ring. One of the two wires (the two are Tip and Ring) needed to set up a telephone connection. The ring is typically the negative wire.

    click to expand
  2. Also a reference to the ringing of the telephone set.

  3. The design of a Local Area Network (LAN) in which the wiring loops from one workstation to another, forming a circle (thus, the term "ring"). In a ring LAN, data is sent from workstation to workstation around the loop in the same direction. Each workstation (which is usually a PC) acts as a repeater by re-sending messages to the next PC in the ring. The more PC's, the slower the LAN. Network control is distributed in a ring network. Since the message passes through each PC, loss of one PC may disable the entire network. However, most ring LANs recover very quickly should one PC die or be turned off. If it dies, you can remove it physically from the network. If it's off, the network senses that and the token ignores that machine. In some token LANs, the LAN will close around a dead workstation and join the two workstations on either side together. If you lose the PC doing the control functions, another PC will jump in and take over. This is how the IBM Token-Passing Ring works. See Topology, Bypass Cable and Token Ring.

Ring Again

The PBX remembers the last number called by a phone and will redial it when the feature is activated.

Ring Back Tone

The sound you hear when you're calling someone else's phone. The tone you hear is generated by a device at your central office and may bear no relationship to the sound the phone at the other end is emitting ” or not emitting. If your call didn't go through the first time, always call back at least once. See Ringing Tone.

Ring Banding

A method of color coding insulated conductors by means of a small band of colored ink applied circumferentially at regular intervals along the axis of the insulated conductor.

Ring Battery

Commonly unfiltered - 24 VDC source that supplies operating power to all local KSU components. Also called the B Battery.

Ring Cadence

Your phone rings. In North America, it rings for two seconds and does- n't ring for four seconds. That's called ring cadence. Ring cadence is important because customer-owned telephone switches (like PBXs) expect the two second ring and silence for four seconds. If ring cadence changes to three second ring, three second silence, for example, the customer-owned phone switch may no longer answer incoming calls. See Cadence and Ring Cadence Acceptance.

Ring Cadence Acceptance

Your phone rings. In North America, it rings for two seconds and doesn't ring for four seconds. That's called ring cadence. Ring cadence acceptance is the ability of your customer-owned switching listening device to understand whatever variation of ring cadence it's presented with.

Ring Conductor

One of the two conductors in a cable pair used to provide telephone service. This term was originally coined from its position as the second (ring) conductor of a tip-ring-sleeve switchboard plug.

Ring Cycle

A ring cycle in North America is typically six seconds long, two of ringing, four of silence, then repeated.

Ring Down Box

Ring down boxes, also known as CO simulators or telephone line simulators, are simple devices used for generating POTS calls ” without a central office. You connect a phone to both sides of the device. When one side goes off-hook, the ring down box will "ring" the other side. When both sides are off-hook, both sides are coupled together, the line is powered and the sides can talk. Ring down boxes are available with various options and configurations. These include the ability to provide dial-tone to the caller side (required to test applications with modems, faxes, or other automated out dialing devices), caller ID, and disconnect supervision. They are generally available in one to four line sizes, although special configurations may support more. Ring-down boxes are used for giving demonstrations and testing. We use them in our test labs to test drive new computer telephony systems.

Ring Down Circuit

A tie line connecting phones in which picking up one phone automatically rings the other phone. In a ringdown circuit, a ringing current (AC) is sent down the line. That current may light a lamp, set off a bell, buzz a buzzer. The idea is to alert the person at the other end to the incoming call. A ringdown circuit is often used in an elevator or other emergency situation.

Ring Down Interface

A private line two-wire interface also called Loop Start Trunk.

Ring Generator

A component of virtually all phone systems, ranging from large central offices to small key systems, that supplies the power to ring the bells inside phones, typically 90 volts AC at 20 Hz.

Ring Group

Collection of Token Ring interfaces on one or more routers that is part of a one-bridge Token Ring network.

Ring Indicator

Modem interface signal defined in RS-232-C which indicates to the data terminal equipment that a call is coming in.

Ring Isolator

A device placed on a telephone line to disconnect the ringer when it is an idle state. It is used for noise prevention.

Ring LAN

See Ring.

Ring Latency

In a token-ring network, the time measured in bits at the data transmission rate, required for a signal to propagate once around the ring. Ring latency includes the signal propagation delay through the ring medium, including drop cables, plus the sum of propagation delays through each data station connected to the token-ring network. See also Token-Ring Network.

Ring Network

A network that links PBXs, computers, terminals, printers and other devices in a circular communications link. See Ring.

Ring Out

This definition contributed by Gregory Maffett. Here is the process with Ring Out: You make a cable with say 25 wires that are supposed to send signals to 25 pins at the other end. After soldering them together, you want to know if pin A on one end goes to pin A on the other end. You apply a signal to one end and put a voltmeter on the other. If the needle moves, you have success on that pin. Repeat 24 more times and you have rung out the cable successfully. Or you go back and rewire it.

Ring Protection Switching.

RPS. Nortel's "Introduction to SONET Networking" tutorial handbook ( talks about "Automatic Healing of Failed or Degraded Optical Spans in a Two-Fiber BLSR." The handbook says "in the event of failure or degradation in an optical span, automatic ring protection switching (RPS) reroutes affected traffic away from the fault within 50 milliseconds , preventing a service outage."

Ring Signal

The pulse ringing voltage output of the local Interrupter KSU. Typically, this signal is 105 VAC with a duty cycle of 2 seconds on and 4 seconds off.

Ring Splash

A brief "splash" of a "ring" which announces an incoming telephone call. Ring splash is a technique used by premise -based telephone switches such as PBXs and ACDs in order to reduce the size of the "glare window," which is the length of time in which "glare" can occur. Glare is a condition in a trunk simultaneously is seized by switches at both ends. For instance, a PBX or ACD user might seize a trunk for an outgoing call at precisely (or virtually so) the same time that a central office (also called public exchange) might choose to connect an incoming call over the same trunk. In order to avoid such embarrassment, the properly equipped PBX or ACD will send a ring splash in the form of a 500 ms (millisecond) ring that is splashed to the station immediately prior to the normal ring cadence. Thereby and in the context of the North American standard ringing cycle, the glare window might be reduced from a maximum of 4 seconds to a maximum of 200 ms (two hundred thousandths of a second, or one-fifth of a second). While the ring splash may make the beginning of the ring cadence sound slightly odd, the risk of embarrassment is reduced substantially. Have you ever picked up the phone, dialed in another person's ear, and then said something impressive like "Hello, Bob. Hello?" That's really embarrassing. Ring splash solves the problem. See also Glare and Ring Cycle.

Ring Tone

An audible, call-progress signal connected to the calling line to indicate that the called station is being rung. the industry standard is a mixture of 440 Hz and 480 Hz, interrupted at the same rate, or ring cycle, as the ringing current being applied to the called station. See also Ring Cycle and Ring Tones.

Ring Tones

Ring tones are those ubiquitous, monophonic song recordings programmed into seemingly every teenager's mobile phone. A study released in January 2003 by London-based Informa Media Group said that authors' collection societies collected $71 million in royalties from ring-tone sales in 2002, up 58 percent from the previous year. Informa's senior analyst Simon Dyson said the royalties figure ” which is typically 10 percent to 15 percent of the total sales from ring tones ” would suggest that the overall market is over $700 million annually, and quite possibly as high as $1 billion. The proceeds are divided between operators, labels and the artists . Ring tones started off as a promotional gimmick, with labels offering up decidedly low-fidelity renditions of new singles to Web sites and mobile phone operators as a way to keep fans humming along to their favorite artists. Despite the poor sound quality, the practice of customizing one's mobile phone with a favorite song grew with surprising speed. Now record labels regularly grant rights to mobile operators and Web sites to sell ring tones. Informa said download costs vary widely by country. For example, Russia's largest mobile phone operator, MTS, charges 30 cents per download, while Vodafone in Australia charges $1.83.

Ring Topology

A network topology in which nodes are connected to a closed loop, no terminators are required because there are no unconnected ends.

Ring Trip

The process of stopping the AC ringing signal at the central office when the telephone being rung is answered.

Ring Wiring Concentrator

A site through which pass the links between repeaters, for all or a portion of a ring.

Ring Wiring Configuration

The same as daisy chain wiring, except the last jack is connected to jack 1, thus completing a ring.


The tone heard by a calling device when, at the called-device's end, the telephone is ringing or the system is otherwise being alerted of the incoming call.


A circuit or method of signaling where the incoming signal is started by alternating current over the circuit.


A bell in a telephone which indicates if a phone call is coming in. These days "ringers" are electromechanical and clunky (old-style) or small and electronic (new style). The new electronic ones are cheaper, but less interesting to listen to. Most sound like bleating sheep in heat.

Ringer Equivalence Number

REN. A number required in the U.S. for registering your telephone equipment with the phone company. Add together the RENs of all the telephones on a single line. The sum of those numbers should never exceed five otherwise none of your bells will work and you won't hear an incoming call. (Your central office simply doesn't send sufficient current down the line.) The alphabetic character after the number refers to the ringing frequency of the alternating current sent down the line to ring the bell. If the letter is "A", the ringer frequency is about 20 Hertz. Most single line phones have a Ringer Equivalence of 1.0A. If the letter is "B", the ringer will respond to any current coming down the line. Any other letter, and you are probably on a party line where the ringer frequency is used for party selection. In Canada, they use the term "Load Number" instead of Ringer Equivalence. The numbers are different, but the concept is the same. See Load Number.

Ringer Isolator

A device in the phone which disconnects the ringer when ringing voltage is not present.

Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
ISBN: 979387345
Year: 2004
Pages: 133 © 2008-2017.
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