Bad-Bar Code


When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better ” Mae West.

Bad Block

A defective unit on a storage medium that software cannot read or write.

Bad Line Button

A button on the console that lets the attendant remove a line from service when there's noise or static on it, or when it's just simply busted. Some bad line buttons simply mark the line to separate it from the rest so the phone company can quickly identify the problem. See Bad Line Key.

Bad Line Key

When the PBX attendant encounters a bad trunk, he/she pushes this bad line button on the console, automatically flagging the trunk for later checking and repair. See Bad Line Button.

Bad Line Reporting

Automatically reports a poor connection without interrupting the current call.

Bad Sectors

Defective areas on a hard or soft disk. The MS-DOS FORMAT command locks out bad sectors so they are never used. Other operating systems have similar commands. See also Hot Fix.


Billing format of the 0122 structure code defined by the Bellcore Automatic Message Accounting Format (BAF) Requirements TR#030#NWT-001100. This format identifies paths according to the resource they terminate on.


A partition used with a loud speaker to prevent air vibrations from the back of the diaphragm from cancelling out the vibrations from the front of the diaphragm. Particularly valuable in the reproduction of bass notes.

Bag Phone

A slang expression for a transportable cellular phone whose characteristics are 3 WATT output, heavy weight (for a portable), and a bag with a handle. Bag phones are not designed for carrying around. They are designed to carry from one place to another and used at that place for serious conversations, including possibly faxing and modemming. Bag phones' big "plus" is that they give off more power than a handheld cellular phone. This makes them useful for semipermanent "installation" in places like construction sites, etc. Bag phones are as powerful as a car phone, which also have 3 WATT output. That compares with handheld cellular phones which are typically 0.6 WATT.

According to my friends at Motorola, the main distinction that constitutes a Bag Phone is the lack of a self-contained battery. A Bag Phone, depending on the actual manufacturer, or more often the garage-shop assembler, was a mobile transceiver and handset that was placed in a soft-sided bag and powered via a cigarette lighter connected cord. At times, the dealer would sell a camcorder battery outfitted with a female cigarette lighter receptacle that was stuffed into the bag. Often a bag phone had a clip- or suction-mounted antenna that was affixed temporarily to the vehicle.

The formal name for bag phone was "Transmobile," a phone that could be moved from car to car, thus avoiding a fixed installation. A Transportable was a distinctly different category. Transportables had their own integral battery, and antenna, and therefore could be operated anywhere , independent of 12 volt DC power supply.


The Big Bagel. Zero. As in I bagelled him at tennis last night. I beat him 6-0.

Baggy pantsing

A reprimand to someone who incautiously left a terminal unlocked.

Bayh-Dole Act of 1980

The Economist refers to the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, together with the amendments in 1984 and augmentation in 1986, as "possibly the most inspired piece of legislation to be enacted in America over the past half-century." This Act basically unlocked all the inventions and discoveries that had been made in laboratories throughout the United States with the help of taxpayers' money. Before Bayh-Dole, the fruits of research supported by government agencies had belonged strictly to the federal government. Nobody could exploit such research without tedious negotiations with the federal agency concerned . Worse, companies found it nigh impossible to acquire exclusive rights to a government-owned patent. And without that, few firms were willing to invest millions more of their own money to turn a raw research idea into a marketable product. The result was that inventions and discoveries made in American universities, teaching hospitals , national laboratories and non-profit institutions sat in warehouses gathering dust. Of the 28,000 patents that the American government owned in 1980, fewer than 5% had been licensed to industry. Although taxpayers were footing the bill for 60% of all academic research, they were getting hardly anything in return. The Bayh-Dole Act, according to the Economist, did two big things at a stroke. It transferred ownership of an invention or discovery from the government agency that had helped to pay for it to the academic institution that had carried out the actual research. And it ensured that the researchers involved got a piece of the action. Overnight, universities across America became hotbeds of innovation, as entrepreneurial professors took their inventions (and graduate students) off campus to set up companies of their own. Since 1980, American universities have witnessed a tenfold increase in the patents they generate, spun off more than 2,200 firms to exploit research done in their labs, created 260,000 jobs in the process, and now contribute $40 billion annually to the American economy.


Barring of All Incoming Calls. A wireless telecommunications term . A supplementary service provided under GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).


Invented around 1920 by Dr. Leo Hendrick Baekeland, bakelite is a is a flour- filled (yes, wheat flour..!) phenol-formaldehyde resin, which superseded celluloid plastic. Bakelite is a "thermosetting" (versus " thermoplastic ") plastic. This means it sets with heat and cannot be remolded. Bakelite is a cast material, as opposed to Catalin plastic (a phenolic plastic invented by George Catalin) which is a molded material. Most 'Bakelite' jewelry is actually Catalin plastic, which is an inferior material due to its tendency to separate and flake apart, as seen in so many, valuable old radios of this composition (e.g. the Fada Bullet and the Emerson red tabletop). Genuine bakelite is only available in two colors: Black or Brown, whereas Catalin comes in a rainbow of hues. Both Catalin and Bakelite can be identified and distinguished from their modern look-alike imitations by this simple test: Rub the sample plastic hard with your thumb until it feels rather hot, then quickly smell the heated area. The distinct smell of phenol will be evident if the piece is authentic . Frank Svoboda and Bill Layer, who works for Viking Electronics, Hudson, Wisconsin contributed this definition. In the 1930s, bakelite replaced mother-of-pearl as for buttons on quality shirts.


To equalize load or current between parts or elements of a telephone line or circuit. Balancing helps get the best out of a phone line. In more technical terms, balancing a line is to adjust the impedance of circuits and balance networks to achieve specified return loss objectives at junctions of two-wire and four-wire circuits. See Balanced Line and Balanced Signal Transmission. See also Balanced Line.

Balanced Circuit

Telephone circuit in which the two conductors are electrically balanced to each other and to the ground. A balanced electrical interface generally allows data to be transmitted over longer distances than does an unbalanced circuit. See Balance.

Balanced Configuration

Point-to-point network configuration in HDLC with two combined stations .

Balanced Electrical Interface

An electrical interface on which each circuit consists of a separate pair of wires. A balanced electrical interface generally allows data to be transmitted over longer distances than does an unbalanced electrical interface.

Balanced Line

A transmission line which has two conductors and a ground. When the voltages of the two conductors are equal in strength with respect to ground but opposite in polarity, then you have a balanced line. Twisted pair is used for balanced lines. Coaxial cables are unbalanced, as the center conductor carries a charge, but the outer conductor, or shield, is maintained at zero voltage.

Balanced Mode Transmission

Data transmission with information conveyed by differences in voltages on two circuits to minimize effects of induced voltages.

Balanced Modulator

An amplitude modulating circuit that suppresses the carrier signal, producing an output consisting only of upper and lower sidebands.

Balanced Return Loss

A measure of the effectiveness with which a balanced network simulates the impedance of the two-wire circuit at a hybrid coil. More generally, a measure of the degree of balance between two impedances connected to two conjugate sides of a hybrid set, network, or junction.

Balanced Signal Transmission

Two voltages, equal and opposite in phase with respect to each other, across the conductors of a twisted-pair (commonly referred to as tip and ring). See also Balance.

Balanced To Ground

In a two-conductor circuit, a balanced-to-ground condition exists where the impedance-to-ground on one wire equals the impedance-to-ground on the other. This is the preferred condition for decent data communications.

Balanced Transmission Line

A line having conductors with equal resistance per unit length and equal capacitance and inductance between each conductor and ground. Coaxial cable, for example, is configured easily as a balanced transmission system by the use of resistance-to-ground terminators.

Balancing Network

A network used in a set ending a four-wire circuit to match the impedance of the two-wire circuit.

2. Sometimes employed as a synonym for balun.


A little platform up a telephone pole where people can work or sleep safely.

Baldridge, Malcolm

Served as Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until his death in 1987. Baldridge was a proponent of quality management as a key to the prosperity and long-term strength of the United States. He took a personal interest in the quality improvement act that was eventually named after him and helped draft one of the early versions. In recognition of his contributions, Congress named an award in his honor , the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Congress established the award program in 1987 to recognize U.S. organizations for their achievements in quality and business performance and to raise awareness about the importance of quality and performance excellence as a competitive edge. The award is not given for specific products or services. Three awards may be given annually in each of these categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education and health care.


Device that modifies incoming voltage and current to provide the circuit conditions necessary to start and operate electric discharge lamps, e.g. fluorescent bulbs .

Balloon Help

  1. Place your cursor on a button or a command, in a couple of seconds a balloon pops up explaining in lesser or greater detail what clicking on the button or command will do.

  2. From Wired Magazine: When someone insists on explaining every obvious detail and function of an electronic device. Refers to the rarely used Balloon Help feature on Macs. "Um, I don't really need balloon help. Just give me the domain address."

Balloon Test

In cell site construction, a balloon test is the use of a large balloon as a visual aid to demonstrate the height of a proposed cell tower.


A release form that authorizes a customer's long-distance phone service to be switched to (another) long-distance carrier or reseller.


BALanced/UNbalanced. Baluns are small, passive devices that provide the physical and electrical interfaces between electrically balanced twisted pair and electrically unbalanced coaxial cable. Baluns are used often so that IBM 3270-type terminals, which traditionally require coaxial cable connection to their host computer, can run off twisted- pair. Baluns work for some types of protocols and not for others, and they often create some level of performance degradation.


The word bamboozle, meaning to fool or to cheat, traces back to the Chinese custom of punishing swindlers by whacking them on the hands and back with bamboo poles.


Billing Account Number. Used by telephone companies to designate a customer or customer location that will be billed. A single customer may have multiple billing accounts.


A telecommunications tool. A banana is an induction probe, usually yellow, size of a banana. w/ metal clip, (ears) for clipping a test set onto.


  1. Originally referred to AT&T's WATS Bands. AT&T WATS service was organized into circles of increasing distance from the caller. Each circle or BAND (also called SERVICE AREA), cost more per minute. But within each service area, each call costs the same per minute, even though the distances the calls travel might be different. There were typically six interstate bands covering the US and several intrastate bands (depending on how large the state is) which a customer can buy. The word "band" was invented by AT&T Communications (originally known as AT&T Long Lines) when it introduced WATS service.

    Recently it changed the word "band" to "Service Area." Nobody knows why. See Postalized and WATS.

  2. Band can also be the range of frequencies between two defined limits. For example, the band of frequencies able to be heard by the human ear ranges between 30 to 25,000 hertz. The ear can hear a band (or more correctly, a bandwidth) of about 25,000 hertz.

Band Elimination Filter

BEF. A filter that has a single continuous attenuation band, with neither the upper nor lower cut-off frequencies being zero or infinite.

Band Marking

A label placed on an insulated wire or fiber during installation or manufacture to identify it.

Band Pass Filter

BPF. A device which passes a specific range of frequencies and (in theory) blocks all others.

Band Splitter

A multiplexer designed to split the available frequency band into several smaller channels. A band splitter can use time division or frequency division multiplexing.

Band Stop Filter

BSF. A device which blocks a specific range of frequencies and (in theory) passes all others.

Band, Citizens

One of two bands used for low power radio transmissions in the United States ” either 26.965 to 27.225 megahertz or 462.55 to 469.95 megahertz . Citizens band radio is not allowed in many countries, even some civilized countries. In some countries they use different frequencies. CB radios, in the United States, are limited by FCC rule to four WATTS of power, which gives each CB radio a range of several miles. Some naughty people boost their CBs with external power. The author of this dictionary has actually spoken to Australia while driving on the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles. See also CB.

Band, Frequency

The frequencies between the upper and lower bands. See also BAND. Here is the accepted explanation of "bands:"

               Below 300 Hertz         ”         ELF         ”          Extremely low frequency

           300 ”3,000 Hertz         ”        ILF             ”          Infra Low Frequency

                                   3 ”30 kHz         ”        VLF             ”        Very Low Frequency

                           30 ”300 kHz         ”         LF                 ”         Low Frequency

                300 ”3,000 kHz         ”        MF                 ”        Medium Frequency

                                3 ”30 MHz         ”        HF                 ”        High Frequency

                        30 ”300 MHz         ”        VHF             ”        Very High Frequency

               300 ”3,000 MHz         ”        UHF             ”        Ultra High Frequency

                                   3 ”30GHz         ”        SHF             ”        Super High Frequency

                           30 ”300GHz         ”        EHF                 ”        Extremely High Frequency

               300 ”3,000 GHz         ”        THF                 ”        Tremendously High Frequency


Band                     American                     European

P                            0.2-1.0 Ghz         0.2-0.375 Ghz

L                                          1-2 Ghz         0.375-1.5 Ghz

S                                          2-4 Ghz            1.5-3.75 Ghz

C                                          4-8 Ghz                3.75-6 Ghz

X                               8-12.5 Ghz                6-11.5 Ghz

J                                                                 “             11.5-18 Ghz

Ku                         12.5-18 Ghz                                             “

K                            18-26.5 Ghz                 18-30 Ghz

Ka                         26.5-40 Ghz                                             “

Q                                                                 “                    30-47 Ghz

Banded Memory

In a PostScript printer, virtual printer memory is a part of memory that stores font information. The memory in PostScript printers is divided into banded memory and virtual memory. Banded memory contains graphics and page-layout information needed to print your documents. Virtual memory contains any font information that is sent to your printer either when you print a document or when you download fonts.

Banded Rate

A price range for regulated telephone service that has a minimum floor and maximum ceiling. The minimum covers the cost of service; the maximum is the rate filed in the price list.

Bandit Mobile

A mobile subscriber that is revealed in the toll-ticketing records as having an invalid ESN, invalid telephone number, or other problem that warrants denial of service to that mobile.


Also called beaver tail. Used to connect devices to modular jack wiring for testing. See Modular Breakout Adapter.

Banjo Clip

See Modular Breakout Adapter.


A continuous circumferential band applied to an insulated conductor at regular intervals for identification.


The range of frequencies that a channel will transmit (i.e. pass through) without excessive attenuation.

Bandpass Filter

A device which transmits a band of frequencies and blocks or absorbs all other frequencies not in the specified band. Often used in frequency division multiplexing to separate one conversation from many.

Bandpass Limiter

A device that imposes hard limiting on a signal and contains a filter that suppresses the unwanted products of the limiting process.


  1. In telecommunications, bandwidth is the width of a communications channel. In analog communications, bandwidth is typically measured in Hertz ” cycles per second. In digital communications, bandwidth is typically measured in bits per second (bps). A voice conversation in analog format is typically 3,000 Hertz, carried in a 4,000 Hertz analog channel. In digital communications, encoded in PCM, it's 64,000 bits per second. Do not confuse bandwidth with band. Let's say we're running a communications device in the 12 GHz band. What's its bandwidth? That's the space it's occupying. Let's say it's occupying from 12 GHz to 12.1 GHz. This means that it's occupying the space from 12,000,000,000 Hz to 12,100,000,000 Hz. This means its bandwidth is one hundred million cycles or one hundred megahertz (100 MHz). Affiliated terms are narrow- band, wideband and broadband. While these are not precise terms, narrowband generally refers to some number of 64 Kbps channels (Nx64) providing aggregate bandwidth less than 1.544 Mbps (24x64 Kbps, or T-1), wideband is 1.544 Mbps-45 Mbps (T-1 to T-3) and broadband provides 45 Mbps (T-3) or better.

  2. The capacity to move information. A person who can master hardware, software, manufacturing and marketing ” and plays the oboe or some other musical instrument ” is "high bandwidth." The term is believed to have originated in Redmond, WA, in the headquarters of Microsoft. People there (e.g., Bill Gates) who are super- intelligent and have generally broad capabilities, are said to have "high bandwidth."

  3. Microsoft jargon for schedule. For example, "I have a bandwidth problem" means that I have an overloaded schedule.

  4. The combined girth of a rock band. By way of example, the band "Meatloaf" is broadband, largely due to the individual girth of the singer by the same name. On the other hand, the "Rolling Stones" are narrowband, due largely to the svelte Mick Jagger. While the "Rolling Stones" are older, they are also richer than is "Meatloaf." So, bandwidth isn't everything.

Bandwidth Allocation

See Bandwidth Reservation.

Bandwidth Augmentation

Bandwidth augmentation is the ability to add another communications channel to an already existing communications channel.

Bandwidth Broker

Imagine you're a long distance carrier and suddenly you need T-3 capacity for one of your customers from New York to Washington for a week. You go to someone called a "bandwidth broker" and ask to rent the capacity. That broker has some form of connecting device, to allow you to connect your network to someone else's network. The bandwidth broker will physically do the connection and charge a fee for doing it. That connecting device is called a pooling point. That device could be anything from a patch panel to a full-fledged real-time expensive switch. Here are some words from the web site of, a bandwidth broker. "The exploding telecommunications market has made inevitable a day when bandwidth will be traded as a commodity, much as electricity is today. The bandwidth market is likely to center around three areas: (1) a central Bandwidth Trading Organization ("BTO"), functioning much like a commodities exchange, (2) an independent auditor (Pooling Point Administrator or "PPA") and (3) electro-optical switches to effect the physical delivery and Quality of Service verification (Pooling Points or "PPs")."

Bandwidth Compression

A technique to reduce the bandwidth needed to transmit a given amount of information. Bandwidth compression is used typically in "picture type" transmissions ” such as facsimile, imaging or video-conferencing. For example, early facsimile machines scanned each bit of the document to be sent and sent a YES or NO (if there was material in that spot or not). More modern machines simply skip over all the blank spaces and transmit a message to the receiving facsimile machine when to start printing dots again. A facsimile "picture" is made up of tiny dots, similar to printing photos in a magazine. Today, bandwidth compression is used to transmit voice, video and data. There are many techniques, few of which are standard. The key, of course, is that if you're going to compress a "conversation" at one end, you must "de-compress" it at the other end. Thus, in every bandwidth compressed conversation there must be two sets of equipment, one at each end. And they better be compatible.

Bandwidth Exchange

See Bandwidth Broker.

Bandwidth Envy

I have a dial-up connection to the Internet. You have a DSL line. You're running 20 to 30 times faster than me. I envy your good luck. I have bandwidth envy.

Bandwidth Glut

In the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia the rapid expansion of fiber optic systems in the late 1990s resulted in a bandwidth glut, forcing many carriers into bankruptcy. But most other parts of the world suffered a bandwidth shortage.

Bandwidth Junkie

One who worships brute speed when it comes to Internet connections. He's the type of person who has a T-1 line in his bedroom. Eric Smestad,, wrote me, "After reading your definition of "Bandwidth junkie" I started to feel rather worried, you see, I am afraid that two of my friends and I may be bandwidth junkies. We live in the same apartment building and have ethernet cable ran from apartment to apartment, a switched hub, and a T-1 line to the Internet with a Cisco router. These seem to be obvious symptoms, is there a cure?" Answer, there is no cure.

Bandwidth Limited Operation

The condition prevailing when the system bandwidth, rather than the amplitude (or power) of the received signal, limits performance. The condition is reached when the system distorts the shape of the signal waveform beyond specified limits. For linear systems, bandwidth-limited operation is equivalent to distortion- limited operation.

Bandwidth On Demand

Just what it sounds like. You want two 56 Kbps circuits this moment for a videoconference. No problem. Use one of the newer pieces of telecommunications equipment and "dial up" the bandwidth you need. An example of such a piece of equipment is an inverse multiplexer. Uses for bandwidth on demand include video conferencing, LAN interconnection and disaster recovery. Bandwidth on demand is typically done only with digital circuits (they're easier to combine). Bandwidth on demand is typically carved out of a T-1 circuit, which is permanently connected to the customer's premises from a long distance carrier's central office, also called a POP ” Point of Presence.

Bandwidth Reservation

Bandwidth Reservation is the process of assigning bandwidth to users and applications served by a network. This involves assigning priority to different flows of traffic based on how critical and delay-sensitive they are. This makes the best use of available bandwidth, and if the network becomes congested , lower-priority traffic can be dropped. This is also called Bandwidth Allocation.

Bandwidth Throttling

A feature in some Web server software that allows the system administrator to control or alter the proportions of bandwidth available to the services that the server provides.

Bandwidth Trading Organization

BTO. See Bandwidth Broker.


An exclamation point (!) used in a Unix-to-Unix Copy Program (UUCP) electronic mail address. People who are on AT&T Mail often give you their mail address as "Bang Their Name." My AT&T Mail address used to be Bang HarryNewton, i.e. !HarryNewton.

Bang Path

A series of UUCP nodes mail will pass through to reach a remote user . Node names are separated by exclamation marks nicknamed "bangs." The first node in the path must be on the local system, the second node must be linked to the first, and so on. To reach user 1 on sys2 if your computer's address is sys1 you would use the following address:

sys1! sys2! sys3! user1


A row of similar components used as a single device, like a bank of memory. Banks must be installed or removed together. See Bank Switching.

Bank Switching

A way of expanding memory beyond an operating system's or microprocessor's address limitations by switching rapidly between two banks of memory. In MS-DOS, a 64K bank of memory between 640K and one megabyte is set aside. When more memory is needed, the bank, or page, is switched with a 64K page of free memory. This is repeated with additional 64K pages of memory. When the computer requires data or program instructions not in memory, expanded memory software finds the bank containing the data and switches it with the current bank of memory. Although effective, bank switching results in memory access times that are slower than true, extended memory.


See Chapter 11 and Chapter 7.


An advertisement on an Internet page that is usually "hot linked" to the advertiser's site. A rectangular graphic, usually 468 x 60 pixels, which is used as an advertising element on a Web page. See Banner Ad.

Banner Ad

You're visiting a web site, for example,, a purveyor of telephone accessories. As I look at this site, I can see an advertisement for a product called Polycom at the top of the page. Information about Hello Direct starts below the Polycom ad. That ad is a "banner ad." It stretches across the top of a web site such as a banner would stretch across a road, e.g. "Welcome Lions' Club Members" across the main street of a small town. So the first aspect of a banner ad on a Web page is its placement across the top of a home page. The second aspect is that when you slide your cursor over it, your cursor changes to a hand and you are now able to click on the banner ad and go elsewhere. In other words, a banner ad also contains a hyperlink to some place else, typically the location on the Web of what the banner ad is advertising.

Banner Ad Rotator

Displays alternating banner ads and includes an administration area with the ability to add, edit and delete banners from the rotation list.

Bantam Connector Plug

A plug and jack used to connect test equipment with digital circuits such as (DS1, DS3, STS1). Wired to DSX patch panels.


Barring of All Outgoing Calls. A wireless telecommunications term. A supplementary service provided under GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).

Bar Code

A standard way of identifying the manufacturer and product category of a particular item. The barcode was adopted in the 1970s because the bars were easier for machines to read than optical characters . Barcodes' main drawbacks are they don't identify unique items and scanners have to have line of sight to read them. In short, a bar code is a bunch of lines of varying width printed on something. The bar code is designed to be read optically by some data capturing device. Bar codes are turning up on letters . They are read by image scanning devices in the post office and allegedly help the mails move faster. Bar codes are on most things you buy now in supermarkets. By scanning those bar codes at the checkout counter, the supermarket knows what's being sold and not being sold. And presumably the supermarket , or its computer, can order supplies to keep the supermarket stocked with goods that are selling and not re-order those which aren't. Bar codes will eventually be replaced by RFID tags. See RFID.

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