Composite Second Order-Cyberpunk

Composite Second Order

An important distortion measure of analog CATV systems. It is mainly caused by second order distortion in the transmission system.

Composite Sync

A signal consisting of horizontal sync pulses, vertical sync pulses, and equalizing pulses only, with a no-signal reference level.

Composite Signaling

A direct current signaling system that separates the signals from the voice band by filters. Two pairs (a quad) provide talking paths and full-duplex signaling for three channels. Also called CX Signaling.

Composite Timing

See Composite Clock.

Composite Triple Beat

An important distortion measure of analog CATV systems. It is mainly caused by third-order distortion in the transmission system.

Composite Video

Composite video is a mixed signal comprised of the luminance (black and white), chrominance (color), blanking pulses, sync pulses and color burst. Composite video is a television signal where the chrominance ( color ) signal is a sine wave that is modulated onto the luminance (black and white) signal which acts as a subcarrier . This is used in NTSC and PAL TV systems. Composite video is the visual wave form representation used in color television. Composite video is analog and must be converted to digital to be used in multimedia computing. See also composite video signal, digital video and NTSC.

Composite Video Signal

The completed video signal that is the combined result of the primary colors of red, green and blue (RGB) producing all the necessary picture information, such as in the NTSC or PAL TV formats.

Composited Circuit

A circuit that can be used simultaneously for telephony and dc telegraphy, or signaling, separation between the two being accomplished by frequency discrimination.


A term used to designate an insulating or jacketing material made by mixing two or more ingredients .

Compound Document

The simple explanation: A compound document contains information created by using more than one application. It is a document often composed of a variety of data types and formats. Each data type is linked to the application that created it. A compound document might include audio, video, images, text, and graphics. Compound documents first became possible to the world of PCs with the introduction of Windows 3.1, which included OLE (Object Linking and Embedding). OLE allows you to write a letter in your favorite Windows word processor, embed a small voice icon in your document, send your letter to someone else, have them open your letter, place their mouse on the voice icon and hear whatever comments you recorded. To make this possible, both you (the creator) and your recipient would need access to programs that could read both the text and the voice. Ideally, you would both be on a LAN (Local Area Network) and would both get access to the identical applications software, resident, presumably, on the LAN's file server. See Compound Mailbox.

Compound Document Mail

See Compound Document.

Compound Mailbox

A mailbox for mail from all sources ” fax, voice mail, e- mail, pager, etc. See Compound Document.

Compressed Video

Television signals transmitted with much less than the usual bit rate. Full standard coding of broadcast quality television typically requires 45 to 90 megabits per second. Compressed video includes signals from 3 mb/s down to 56 Kbps. The lower bit rates typically involve some compromise in picture quality, particularly when there's rapid motion on the screen. See MPEG.


Compression is the art and science of squeezing out unneeded information in a picture, or a stream of pictures (a movie) or sound before sending or storing it. Without compression, you'd never get a movie onto a single DVD platter, and our cell phone network would accommodate a fraction of the people it does. The most famous compression of all involves MP3 audio files, which have actually been compressed twice. First, the analog data from the recording studio is squeezed down to a CD. To make an MP3, that sound is then compressed again, this time by as much as 90%. MP3 compression is brilliant . Most people can't tell that they've lost much of the information. In imaging, compression techniques vary by whether they remove detail and colour from the image. Lossless techniques compress image data without removing detail; lossy techniques compress images by removing detail. Compression typically reduces the bandwidth or number of bits needed to encode information or encode a signal, typically by eliminating long strings of identical bits or bits that do not change in successive sampling intervals (e.g., video frames ). Compression saves transmission time or capacity. It also saves storage space on storage devices such as hard disks, tape drives and floppy disks.

Compression Algorithm

The arithmetic formulae which convert a signal into smaller bandwidth or fewer bits.

Compression Artifacts

Compression artifacts are introduced by filtering, conversion transformation, quantization and transmission compression. Loss of resolution, quantization noise and block errors are typically observed as a result of these processes.

Compression Wave

An element of sound. When you speak in native mode, or acoustically, you create disturbances in the molecules in the air. Those disturbances vary in terms of frequency (i.e., pitch or tone) and amplitude (i.e., volume or power), and travel in a waveform. The wave comprises the compression phase and the rarefaction phase. The compression phase is the phase of high pressure in which the molecules are packed together more tightly than normal. The rarefaction phase, or decompression phase, is the phase in which the high pressure is relaxed and the molecules snap back into position.


See Companding.

Compromise Equalizer

Equalizer set for best overall operation for a given range of line conditions. This is often fixed but may be manually adjustable.


COMPrehensive SURFace Analysis. A Novell program that checks the surface of a hard disk, marks off sections that are lousy and therefore shouldn't be written to, and then low level formats the disk. The program is slow, but thorough and rigorous . No hard disk should ever be used on a file server on a Novell local area network without being subjected to this wonderful program. Don't believe Novell when it says that you don't need to subject new disks to COMPSURF. You should submit ALL disks.


Competitive Telecommunications Association. A national U.S. organization of competitive local and long distance carriers, most of which are facilities-based, and suppliers. ACTA (America's Carriers Telecommunications Association) merged into CompTel in December 1998.


Computing Technology Industry Association. An organization of over 7,500 computer hardware and software manufacturers, distributors , retailers, resellers , VARs, systems integrators, telecommunications, Internet companies, and others. CompTIA aims to provide a unified voice for the industry in the areas of public policy, workforce development, and electronic commerce standards. CompTIA certifies the competency of IT and service professionals.


Northern Telecom DMS central office link to computer interface. With Compucall, an agent can get a screen of information about a caller concurrently with receipt of a call. Callers can work with interactive voice response systems (VRUs) to deliver information to send their call to the appropriate agent.


A recent creation meaning the combination of telephones, computers, television and data systems.

Compulsory Arbitration

If something goes wrong in deal, you must go to arbitration before you sue each other. The idea is to save money (fewer lawyers ) and time (no lengthy court hearings). Arbitration means the hearing and determination of a case between parties in controversy by a person or persons chosen by the parties or appointed by some organization you agreed on when you signed the original contract.


An on-line, dial-up service ” one of the largest worldwide. CompuServe has everything from electronic mail to manufacturer-sponsored forums where you can download files for updated drivers, etc. CompuServe is one of the hardest on line services to find your way around. See the following definitions. CompuServe is now owned by American Online.

CompuServe Electronic Mail

You can send electronic mail to CompuServe addresses. Here's the formula: All CompuServe addresses are either of the form 7xxxx,xxx or 1xxxxx,xxx. (where each "x" signifies a digit from 0 to 7). There can be from 2 to 4 digits following the comma. To send mail to such an address from the Internet, change the comma to a period and attach "" as is shown in the following examples: or

CompuServe B+ File Transfer

This file transfer protocol is used by the CompuServe information service and no one else. Recovery of interrupted transfers is supported. In CompuServe B+, the host initiates the transfer. In contrast, in XMODEM, the receiver initiates the transfer, i.e. tells the distant computer to begin sending the file.

CompuServe Mail Hub

A facility of CompuServe which enables users on a local area network operating Novell Message Handling Service (MHS) software to exchange electronic messages with other MHS users, CompuServe Mail subscribers and users of other E-mail services that can be reached via a CompuServe gateway.

Compute Servers

Very powerful computers that sit on networks and are dedicated to heavy mathematical calculations. Brokerage firms use them for complex yield calculations, mathematical modeling, derivatives analysis, etc. Such servers often have as much as a gigabyte in RAM.


This is a definition straight from AT&T Bell Laboratories. "An electronic device that accepts and processes information mathematically according to previous instructions. It provides the result of this processing via visual displays, printed summaries or in an audible form." When it works, it's wonderful. When it doesn't, it's a disaster. The major lessons every computer user should learn: Save your work regularly. Back it up regularly. back it up to many different media. The value of your work on your computer exceeds the value of your computer many, many, manyfold.

Computer Aided Dialing

A newer (and allegedly less offensive) term for predictive dialing. See also Predictive Dialing.

Computer Aided Professional Publishing

CAP. The computerization of professional publishing (as opposed to desktop operations), including true color representation of the layout on the workstation screen.

Computer And Business Equipment Manufacturers Association

CBEMA. Association active before Congress and the FCC promoting the interests of the competitive terminal, computer and peripheral equipment industries.

Computer And Communications Industry Association

CCIA. Organization of data processing and communications companies which promotes their interests before Congress and the FCC.

Computer Cases

A series of three FCC inquiries beginning in 1970 that culminated in a 1990 federal court decision that established that the FCC, if it is to exercise its authority to re-think its post-divestiture policies in light of changed circumstances, must provide reasoned explanations for its policy decisions. The Computer cases involved what was then a new industry whereby providers of data processing used the transmission facilities of common carriers to deliver computer based information to customers' terminals. The FCC labeled telecomm services combining both data processing and communications components "enhanced services". The FCC had two competitive concerns in its Computer inquiries: discriminatory access (that carriers would gain an unfair advantage by discriminating in favor of their own enhanced service offerings over that of competitors because non-carrier providers of enhanced services needed access to the telecomm network through local exchange bottlenecks) and cross-subsidization (that carriers would exploit their monopoly in local exchange services by passing on costs of unregulated enhanced services business to telephone rate payers).

Computer I, 1970 - The FCC required that any telephone carrier offering enhanced services do so by means of a separate corporate subsidiary. This structural separation was originally thought not to apply to AT&T and their local exchange affiliates because those companies were under a 1956 consent decree barring them from offering data processing services. The FCC's separation requirements were intended to create an even playing field for the BOC's competitors.

Computer II, 1980 - The FCC continued to rely on structural separation to prevent cross- subsidization and discriminatory access, but it restricted the requirement to the Bell System and removed its application to all other carriers.

Computer III, - the FCC reversed course and announced its intention to relieve the BOCs of the separation requirements in favor of a plan that would allow the BOCs to integrate their basic and enhanced services upon implementation of behavioral safeguards such as engaging in open network architecture (ONA) and being monitored closely by accountants . The FCC had determined that the BOC's loss of efficiency was greater than the risk of anticompetitive behavior in a market which had changed drastically since the first Computer inquiry. State regulatory agencies brought suit, charging that it was irrational for the FCC to have abandoned its earlier position. The Court acknowledged that emergence of powerful competitors like IBM had reduced the BOCs ability to discriminate in providing quality access to the network, but it did not agree with the FCC that changed circumstances reduced the danger of cross-subsidization. In deciding that the FCC's substitution of non- structural safeguards was arbitrary and capricious, the Court established that if the FCC is to exercise its authority to re-think its post-divestiture policies in light of changed circumstances, it must provide reasoned explanations for its policy decisions. Here, the Court found that the FCC failed to meet its burden of showing that its preemption orders were necessary to avoid frustrating its regulatory goals. (California v. FCC, 905 F.2d 1217 (9th Cir 1990).

Computer Emergency Response Team

CERT. A group of computer experts at Carnegie-Mellon University who are responsible for dealing with Internet security issues. The CERT is chartered to work with the Internet community to facilitate its response to computer security events involving Internet hosts, to take proactive steps to raise the community's awareness of computer security issues, and to conduct research targeted at improving the security of existing systems. The CERT was formed by DARPA in November 1988 in response to the Internet worm incident. CERT exists to facilitate Internet-wide response to computer security events involving Internet hosts and to conduct research targeted at improving the security of existing systems. They maintain an archive of security- related issues on their FTP server at "" Their email address is "" and their 24- hour telephone Hotline for reporting Internet security issues is 412-268-7090.

Computer Fingerprinting

A concept relatively new to the computer forensics world is computer "fingerprinting" which, in effect, writes a copy of the owner's identity to all "empty" parts of the media ” typically the hard drive ” so that, if stolen, the media might later be recovered by law enforcement. This is also known as a variation on low level formatting. See Format.

Computer Fraud

Deliberate misrepresentation, alteration or disclosure of computer-based data to obtain something of value.

Computer Inquiry

A series of ongoing FCC proceedings examining the distinctions between communications and information processing to determine which services are subject to common carrier regulation. The FCC decision in 1980 resulting from the second inquiry was to limit common carrier regulation to basic services. Enhanced services and customer premises equipment are not to be regulated . This meant the Bell operating companies had to set up separate subsidiaries if they were to offer non-regulated services.

Computer Inquiry III, adopted by the FCC in May, 1986, removed the structural separation requirement between basic and enhanced services for the BOCs and for AT&T. CI III replaced that requirement with "nonstructural safeguards." This action resulted in the imposition of such concepts as "comparably efficient interconnection" (CEI) and Open Network Architecture (ONA). The FCC's jurisdiction regarding Computer Inquiry I, II and III has now been usurped by Judge Greene, who insists on fairly tight control over the non-basic telephone company activities of the Bell operating companies. Sometimes he gives dispensations (waivers). Sometimes he doesn't. His word these days is final law on what the Bell operating companies can and can't do.

Computer Port

The interface through which the computer connects to the communications circuit. The place where the circuit is "plugged" in.

Computer Security Service

An AIN (Advanced Intelligent Network) service providing for additional computer access security to be embedded in the network. Based on Caller ID or ANI (Automatic Number Identification), plus password protection and other authorization schemes, callers would be afforded or denied access to a networked computer on a customer premise. The network security service also would maintain an audit of all access attempts; the user organization could access that audit data in order to reconfigure access privileges, plug holes in network security, identify access anomalies, and so on. In this fashion, organizations supporting such applications as remote LAN access would realize an extra measure of security through a security system physically and logically separate from the premise .

Computer Server Farm

Picture a hall full of PC servers, lined one after another. Now you have the concept of a farm.

Computer Support Telephony

See CST.

Computer Telephony

Computer telephony adds computer intelligence to the making, receiving, and managing of telephone calls. Harry Newton coined the term in 1992. Computer telephony has two basic goals: to make making and receiving phone calls easier, i.e. to enhance one's personal productivity and second, to please corporate customers who call in or who are called for information, service, help, etc. Computer telephony encompasses six broad elements:

  1. Messaging.

    Voice, fax and electronic mail, fax blasters, fax servers and fax routers, paging and unified messaging (also called integrated messaging) and Internet Web-vectored phones, fax and video messaging.

  2. Real-time Connectivity.

    Inbound and outbound call handling, "predictive" and "preview" dialing, automated attendants, LAN / screen-based call routing, one number calling / "follow me" numbers , video, audio and text-based conferencing, "PBX in a PC," collaborative computing.

  3. Transaction Processing and Information Access via the Phone. Interactive voice response, audiotex, customer access to enterprise data, "giving data a voice," fax on demand and shopping on the World Wide Web.

  4. Adding Intelligence (and thus value) to Phone Calls.

    Screen pops of customer records coincident with inbound and outbound phone calls, mirrored Web page "pops," smart agents , skills-based call routing, virtual ( geographically distributed) call centers, computer telephony groupware, intelligent help desks and "AIN" network-based computer telephony services.

  5. Core Technologies.

    Voice recognition, text-to-speech, digital signal processing, applications generators (of all varieties ” GUI to forms-based to script-based), VoiceView, DSVD, computer-based fax routing, USB (Universal Serial Bus), GeoPort, video and audio compression, call progress, dial pulse recognition, caller ID and ANI, digital network interfaces (T-1, E-1, ISDN BRI and PRI, SS7, frame relay and ATM), voice modems, client-server telephony, logical modem interfaces, multi-PC telephony synchronization and coordination software, the communicating PC, the Internet, the Web and the "Intranet."

  6. New Core Standards.

    The ITU-T's T.120 (document conferencing) and H.320 (video conferencing), Microsoft's TAPI ” an integral part of Windows 95 and NT, Novell's TSAPI ” a phone switch control NLM running under NetWare. Intel's USB and InstantON. Natural MicroSystems / Mitel's MVIP and H-MVIP. Dialogic has SCSA. And the industry has ECTF.

That's today. But what really excites is the potential. It's huge. Despite the above, phone calls today are dumb, seriously bereft of common sense. Few phones have "back- space erase." 75% of business calls end in voice mail! Often in voice mail jail. Every call not completed is an irritated customer and a lost sale. Computer telephony addresses the waste. Computer telephony adds intelligence to the making and receiving of phone calls. Bingo, happier customers and more completed transactions.

The best news: We now have the technology, the resources, the computer power, the new standards and the muscle to back our hype. We also have many new players who are, thankfully, not burdened by the assumptions of yesteryear's telecommunications industry. We also have legions of developers and systems and integrators who are grabbing these computer telephony tools and are cranking out hundreds of customer-pleasing, productivity-enhancing solutions for your business. Computer telephony delivers. And fortunately, industry now wants it.

Once a year, typically in March , industry leaders meet at a trade show called Computer Telephony Conference and Exposition. There is also a monthly magazine covering the industry called Computer Telephony Magazine. See also Telephony, Telephony Services, and Windows Telephony.

Computer Telephony Integration

CTI. The integration of the telephony function with computer applications, commonly used to automate call centers.

Computer Telephony Integratiogon Assistance

Programs that help nonprofit organizations, small businesses and other groups conduct an assessment of their needs and select, implement and effectively use hardware and software that allows them to merge voice and data applications; and enables their computer to perform functions traditionally accomplished by the telephone and integrate them with other desktop functions. Outgoing calls, for example, can be made or forwarded by pointing to an address book entry; caller identification (if available) can used to automatically start an application or bring up a database file; and voicemail and incoming faxes can be integrated with electronic mail, all independently of telephone equipment. Voicemail and Voice over IP (Internet Protocol) are examples of computer telephony integration applications. See also Voicemail System Selection Assistance.

Computer Vision Syndrome

CVS. First there was carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as repetitive stress injury , a condition in which swollen and pinched nerves in your wrist result from long hours of repetitive activity like typing on your computer keyboard. Now comes computer vision syndrome, a complex of eye problems supposedly caused by staring at your computer screen for hours on end. Symptoms of CVS include headaches , redness, contact lens discomfort, blurred vision, light sensitivity, dry or burning eyes, focusing difficulties, and even pain in the back, neck, or shoulders. Thank goodness it's a temporary problem that can be relieved by taking short breaks. It is also recommended that you position the monitor to avoid glare, position the monitor 20-28 inches away from your eyes, and remember to blink. (Good Grief!) According to a Harris poll taken in early 2000, CVS is the #1 health complaint of U.S. office workers. See also Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but remember to blink first.


The name by which the LAN identifies a server or a workstation in lan Manager terminology. Each computername must be unique on the network.


The COMmunications SATellite corporation was created by Congress as the exclusive provider to the U.S. of satellite channels for international communications. COMSAT was once the U.S. representative to Intelsat and Inmarsat, two international groups responsible for satellite and maritime communications. Comsat Corporation ceased to exist as an independent company in August 2000, when it was acquired by Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT). LMT decided to split the company apart, selling the mobile communications division to Telenor Satellite Services Holdings, Inc. in January 2002, announcing the sale of the Intelsat line of business to Intelsat in March 2002, and planning to sell off the rest of the former Comsat assets in coming months.


COMmunications SECurity. A U.S. federal government term for "measures and controls taken to deny security unauthorized persons information derived from telecommunications and ensure the authenticity of such telecommunications." The government takes this very seriously.


A domestic communications satellite system from Comsat.


Circuit Order Number.

Concatenated STS-1

A signal in which the STS envelope capacities from several (i.e. N) STS-1s have been combined to carry an STS-Nc Synchronous Payload Envelope (SPE). It's used to transport signals that don't fit into an STS-1 (52Mbps) payload.

Concatenated VT

A virtual tributary (VT x Nc) that is composed of several (N) VTs combined. Its payload is transported as a single entity rather than separate signals.


Linking together in a series or chain. A SONET/SDH term. Concatenation is a mechanism for allocating very large amounts of bandwidth for transport of a payload associated with a "superrate service," which is a service at a transmission rate greater than the normal maximum rate of OC-1. The set of bits in the payload is treated as a single entity, as opposed to being treated as separate bits or bytes or time slots. The payload, therefore, is accepted, multiplexed, switched, transported and delivered as a single, contiguous " chunk " of payload data. Certain data protocols (e.g., ESCON and Fibre Channel) require huge chunks of bandwidth ” far more than can be provided by the STS- 1 data rate. In SONET, STS-1 is the electrical equivalent of OC-1 (Optical Carrier Level 1), which is 51.84 Mbps, which is T-3 at 44.736 Mbps, plus SONET overhead. Through the use of Concatenation Pointers, multiple OC-1s can be linked together, end-to-end. Hence the term "concatenation" ” to provide contiguous bandwidth through the network, from end-to-end. OC-3c and OC-12c are standardized. The same approach can be used at higher SONET OC-N levels, as well. OC-48c, for example is a concatenated OC-48 comprising 48 OC-1s, and supporting a datastream operating at approximately 2.488 Gbps. Concatenation applications include bandwidth-intensive video (e.g., HDTV) and high-speed data. Concatenation has two real benefits in support of such bandwidth- intensive applications. First, the ability to treat multiple OC-1s as a single entity eliminates much of the need to involve SONET equipment such as ADMs (Add/Drop Multiplexers). Such equipment is expensive, induces a small amount of latency (delay), and may fail on occasion. In other words, concatenation is cleaner and simpler. Second, only the first OC-1 in a concatenated SONET datastream requires the nine bytes (i.e., 72 bits) of Path Overhead (POH) for signaling and control purposes. This frees up 576 Kbps of bandwidth for data payload per subsequent OC-1, as each OC-1 frame is sent 8,000 times a second. See also SONET, OC-1, OC-3c, OC-12c, and OC-N.


A fundamental concept to telephony. Applies to a Switching Network (or portion of one) that has more inputs than outputs. For example, communications from a number of phones are sent out on a smaller number of outgoing lines. The theory is that, since not all the phones are being used at any one time, fewer trunks than phones are needed. Some phone system designs assume that only 5% of the phones will be in use at any one time. Some phone systems design assume 10%. In some phone-intensive industries, you can't make any assumptions about concentration. You have to assume one line per phone. No concentration. See Concentration Ratio.

Concentration Ratio

The ratio between lines and trunks in a concentrated carrier system or line concentrator. See Concentrator.


  1. A device which allows a relatively large number of devices or circuits (typically slow speed ones) to share either a single circuit or a relatively small number of circuits. In other words, the traffic is concentrated through a process of multiplexing, in which many relatively low capacity inputs from devices or circuits are folded together in order that they might share a single and typically higher capacity circuit which connects to a device or network of a higher order. Assuming that the capacity of the shared facility is sufficient to support all the lower order inputs in a satisfactory manner (i.e., transmission time and response time are not compromised to an unreasonable extent), the benefit of the concentrator is that communications costs are typically lowered through the process of sharing. An further, underlying assumption is that not all of the devices will be active at the same time. While a concentrator is akin to a multiplexer, it is limited to a single type of information stream and it is not capable of accomplishing some of the more sophisticated processes of the latter. For instance, an ATM concentrator might simply concentrate traffic from downstream ATM switches in a backbone LAN environment in order to share a very expensive high-capacity access circuit to an ATM WAN. The ATM adaptation process would have been accomplished previously either in the ATM LAN switch or in the workstation. In the realm of xDSL (generic Digital Subscriber Line) technology, a DSLAM (DSL Access Multiplexer) can be considered as a concentrator, as it simple concentrates traffic from xDSL circuits through a multiplexing process in order that the traffic might share a high- capacity circuit to the Internet backbone. See also DSLAM, Hub and Multiplexer.

  2. A Multistation Access Unit (MAU). Token Ring LANs make use of MAUs to concentrate traffic from multiple nodes (e.g., workstations) to the LAN backbone, which may consist of nothing more than multiple interconnected MAUs. Through these central points of connection, the nodes are attached in a physical star configuration, also called home run, typically using Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) for reasons of lower cost of connectivity. Assuming that the concentrator is able to support all attached nodes without seriously degrading their access to the larger network, MAUs offer the advantages of lower overall cost of LAN connectivity and increased manageability.

  3. A LAN hub. See also Hub.


In a wire or cable, the measurement of the location of the center of the conductor with respect to the geometric center of the circular insulation.

Concentricity Error

The amount by which a fiber's core is not centered in its cladding. The distance between the center of the two concentric circles specifying the cladding diameter and the center of the two concentric circles specifying the core diameter.

Concrete Fill

A minimal-depth concrete pour to encase single-level underfloor duct.


The shared use of resources by multiple interactive users or applications at the same time. Concurrency often means that a company need only buy as many licenses to a program as it has people using the program at one time ” concurrent users, in other words. See Software Metering.

Concurrency Control

A feature that allows multiple users to execute database transactions simultaneously without interfering with each other.

Concurrent Computing

When you process the same transaction in several places simultaneously on different equipments. This idea is to provide the ultimate in moment-to-moment disaster protection.

Concurrent Site License

Companies that buy software for multiple computers typically buy one copy of the program and a license to reproduce it up to a certain number of times. This is called a site license, though it may apply to its use throughout an organization. Site licenses vary. Some require that a copy be bought for each potential user ” the only purpose being to indicate the volume discount and keep tabs. Others allow for a copy to be placed on a network server but limit the number of users who can gain simultaneous access. This is called a Concurrent Site License. And many network administrators prefer this concurrent license, since it gives them greater control. For example, if the software is customized, it need be customized only once, namely on the server.


A device for storing up electrical energy and consisting of two or more conducting surfaces or electrodes separated by an insulating medium called a dialectic.

Condenser Antenna

An antenna consisting of two capacity areas.

Condenser Microphone

Microphone which operates through changes in capacitance caused by vibrations of its conductive diaphragm.

Conditioned Circuit

A circuit that has conditioning equipment to obtain the desired characteristics for voice or data transmission. See Conditioning.

Conditioned Loop

A loop that has conditioning equipment to obtain the desired line characteristics for voice or data transmission. See Conditioning.


The adjustment of the electrical characteristics of transmission lines to improve their performance for specific uses. Conditioning involves the "tuning" of the line or addition/deletion of equipment to improve its transmission characteristics. Conditioning may involve the insertion of components such as equalizers, resistors, capacitors, transformers or inductors. Long voice-grade, twisted-pair local loops , for instance, often have inductors, or "loading coils," installed every 6,000 feet or so in order to amplify the analog signal. Such "loaded" circuits, however, have a decidedly negative impact on data communications, especially at high transmission rates. Therefore, it is necessary to condition the circuit by removing all such electronics, thereby yielding what is known as a "dry copper " circuit. It often is required that the circuit be further conditioned by removing all bridged taps, ensuring that all pairs in the circuit are of consistent gauge, that all cross-connects are mechanically sound, and so on. Carriers provide two types of conditioning for leased lines. C conditioning controls attenuation, distortion, and delay distortion. D conditioning controls harmonic distortion and signal-to-noise ratio.

Conditioning Equipment

Equipment added to a circuit for the express purposes of matching transmission levels and impedances or equalizing transmission and delay to bring circuit losses, levels, and distortion within specified limits of CCITT standards, or in U.S. practice, common carrier tariffs. See Load Coil.


Busy. Voice Mail. Out of service. All the situations that a phone line is likely to find itself in.


A shared tenancy cable or shared ownership facility such as a transatlantic fiber cable. Multiple vendors such as Sprint, MCI and AT&T may all own a group of fibers with responsibility for maintaining their own operation while at the same time paying an overall "association" fee for the common maintenance of the overall cable.


The opposite of resistance; a measure of the ability of a conductor to carry an electrical charge. Conductance is a ratio of the current flow to the potential difference causing the current flow. The unit of conductance is Mho (a reversed spelling of Ohm).

Conducting Materials

Substances which offer relatively little resistance to the passage of an electric current.


A term used to describe the ability of a material to carry an electrical charge, i.e., to allow electrons to flow. Conductivity is the reciprocal of specific resistance. Usually expressed as a percentage of copper conductivity.


Some atoms do not hold their electrons tightly, and in materials made of these atoms , the electrons can drift randomly from one atom to the next very easily. These materials make good electrical conductors. Most metals have electrons that can move easily this way and are generally good conductors. The best conductors are silver, copper and aluminum. Another type of good conductor is an electrolyte. An electrolyte is composed of charged ions that are free to move, carrying a charge from one location to another. One example of an electrolyte is a solution of table salt in water. The positively charged sodium ions and the negatively charged chloride ions are capable of carrying charge from one part of the solution to another.


A pipe, usually metal but often plastic, that runs either from floor to floor or along a floor or ceiling to protect cables. A conduit protects the cable and prevents burning cable from spreading flames or smoke. Many fire codes in large cities thus require that cable be placed in metal conduit. In the riser subsystem when riser closets are not aligned, conduit is used to protect cable as well as to provide the means for pulling cable from floor to floor. In the horizontal wiring subsystem, conduit may be used between a riser or satellite closet and an information outlet in an office or other room. Conduit is also used for in- conduit campus distribution, where it is run underground between buildings and intermediate manholes and encased in concrete. Multiduct, clay tile conduit may also be used.

Conduit Run

The path taken by a conduit or group of conduits .

Conduit System

Any combination of ducts, conduits, maintenance holes, hand- holes and vaults joined to form an integrated whole.

Coney Island Whitefish

A condom. So called because used condoms are often found under the boardwalk.


Participant in a conference call who is not the call controller. This definition courtesy Hayes. According to Hayes, a "controller" is the person who sets up the conference call.

Conference Bridge

A telecommunications facility or service which permits callers from several diverse locations to be connected together for a conference call. The conference bridge contains electronics for amplifying and balancing the conference call so everyone can hear each other and speak to each other. The conference call's progress is monitored through the bridge in order to produce a high quality voice conference and to maintain decent quality as people enter or leave the conference.

Conference Call

  1. Connecting three or more people into one phone conversation. You used to have to place conference calls through an AT&T operator (you still can). But now you can also organize conference calls with most modern phone systems or a conference bridge. If conferencing is important to you, make sure your conferencing device has amplification and balancing. If not, it will simply electrically join the various conversations together and people at either end won't be able to hear each other. There are different types of conference devices you can buy, including special teleconferencing devices that sit on conference tables and perform the function of a speakerphone, albeit a lot better. There are also dial-in devices called conference bridges. But, however, you use these devices, they will requires lines (and/or trunks). If you install one inside your phone system, be careful to have the extra spare extensions. For a conference of 10 people, you'll typically need 10 extensions connected to your conference bridge. See Conference Bridge.

  2. "He's on a conference. He can't speak with you at present." Conf rence des administrations Europeanes des Postes et Telecommunications See CEPT.

Conference, Meet-Me

A conference call in which each of the people wishing to join the conference simply dials a special "Meet-Me" Conference phone number, which automatically connects them into the conference. It is a feature of some PBXs and also some special Conferencing Equipment. See Conference Bridge.


Several parties can be added to a phone conversation through Conferencing.

Confidence Interval

A confidence interval is the range of values within which the true value is assured to lie. Confidence level must be two figures.


A noise- cancelling microphone for use on a telephone in noisy places. A confidencer is not an easy device to use.

Confidential Reception

The ability to receive a facsimile transmission directly into memory which can be printed out or viewed at a later time.

Confidential Transmission

A facsimile message that is sent confidentially into memory or a private mailbox, to be retrieved by the receiver at a later time. It's usually retrieved by using a confidential passcode or password.


  1. The hardware and software arrangements that define a computer or telecommunications system and thus determine what the system will do and how well it will do it. This information can be entered in the CMOS and EEPROM setup programs.

  2. An ATM term. The phase in which the LE Client discovers the LE Service.

Configuration Databases

Rolm/IBM words for those databases which represent unique user specifications relating to system and phone features. These databases can be entered on-site and are not part of the generic software which runs the phone system.

Configuration File

An unformatted ASCII file that stores initialization information for an application.

Configuration Management

One of five categories of network management defined by the ISO. Configuration management is the process of adding, deleting and modifying connections, addresses and topologies within a network. See ISO.

Configuration Manager

  1. A SCSA system service which manages configuration information and controls system startup.

  2. An Intel Plug'n Play term. A driver, such as the ISA Configuration Utility, that configures devices and informs other device drivers of the resource requirements of all devices installed in a computer system. The Windows 95 Resource Kit defined configuration manager as the central component of a Plug and Play system that drives the process of locating devices, setting up their nodes in the hardware tree, and running the resource allocation process. Each of the three phases of configuration management-boot time (BIOS), real mode, and protected mode-has its own configuration manager.

Configuration Registry

A database repository for information about a computer's configuration.

Configuration Tool

  1. Service management tool with a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

  2. Element management service tool with a GUI.

Confirming Design Layout Report Date

CDLRD. The date a common carrier accepts the facility design proposed by the Telco.

Conformance Test

A test performed by an independent body to determine if a particular piece of equipment or system satisfies the criteria of a particular standard, sometimes a contract to buy the equipment. See also Compatible and Compliant.

Conforming End Office

Central office with the ability to provide originating and terminating feature group D local access and transport area access service.


A condition that arises when a communications link, path, or network experiences an offered load (i.e., the amount of traffic offered ) that exceeds its capacity.

For example, consider a T-1 link connected to the outgoing port of a switch. If the switch attempts to offer a traffic load in excess of 1.544 Mbps, a congestion condition arises, and can be resolved in one of several ways. First, the switch can simply discard the excess data. Discard Eligible (DE) data applications generally will not suffer beyond their expectations unless the congestion condition becomes extreme. Second, the switch can buffer the excess data until such time as the congestion condition eases; this process is known as "congestion control," and is limited to the maximum capacity of the buffers involved. If the congestion condition persists and the switch discards no data, eventually the congestion backs up all the way to the user terminal, and the application ceases to function in an acceptable manner. See also Utilization.

Congestion Collapse

Condition in which the retransmission of frames in an ATM network results in little or no traffic successfully arriving at the destination. Congestion collapse frequently occurs in ATM networks composed of switches that do not have adequate and effective buffering mechanisms complimented by intelligent packet discard or ABR congestion feedback mechanisms.

Congestion Control

The process whereby packets are discarded to clear buffer congestion in a packet-switched network.

Congestion Management

The ability of a network to effectively deal with heavy traffic volumes ; solutions include traffic scheduling and enabling output ports to control the traffic flow. See BECN and Ethernet Switch.


A direct electronic method of delivering CLEC and Reseller usage data files and Reseller bills, and transmitting CLEC ASRs. Available in several platforms including NDM-MVS for mainframe and NDM-PC for personal computers. Also known as Network Data Mover (NDM).

Connect Time

Measure of computer and telecommunications system usage. The interval during which the user was on-line for a session.

Connectable Mode

In Bluetooth terminology, connectable mode means a device that responds to paging (an attempt to establish a communication link) is said to be in connectable mode. The opposite of connectable mode is non-connectable mode.


  1. On line.

  2. A voice recognition term for words spoken clearly in succession without pauses. For recognition to occur, words or utterances must be separated by at least 50 milliseconds (1/20th of a second). Generally refers to digit recognition and sometimes used to describe fast discrete recognition.

Connected State

A state in which a device is actively participating in a call. This state includes logical participation in a call as well as physical participation (i.e., a Connected device cannot be on Hold).

Connected Time

The length of time a path between two objects is active.

Connected User

A Windows NT term. A user accessing a computer or a resource across the network.

Connecting Arrangement

The manner in which the facilities of a common carrier (phone company) and the customer are interconnected.

Connecting Block

A plastic block containing metal wiring terminals to establish connections from one group of wires to another. Usually each wire can be connected to several other wires in a bus or common arrangement. A 66-type block is the most common type of connecting block. It was invented by Western Electric. Northern Telecom has one called a Bix block. There are others. These two are probably the most common. A connecting block is also called a terminal block, a punch-down block, a quick-connect block, a cross-connect block. A connecting block will include insulation displacement connections (IDCs). In other words, with a connecting block, you don't have to remove the plastic shielding from around your wire conductor before you "punch it down."

Connecting Hardware

A device providing mechanical cable terminations.


  1. A path between telephones that allows the transmission of speech and other signals.

  2. An electrical continuity of circuit between two wires or two units, in a piece of apparatus.

  3. An SCSA term which means a TDM data path between two Resources or two Groups. It connects the inputs and outputs of the two Resources, and may be unidirectional (simplex) if either of the Resources has only an input or an output. Otherwise it is bi-directional (dual simplex). It usually has a bandwidth that is a multiple of a DS0 (64kbit) channel. Inter-group connections are made between the Primary Resource of each Resource Group.

  4. An ATM connection consists of concatenation of ATM Layer links in order to provide an end-to-end information transfer capability to access points.

Connection Master

Software from Mitel, which brings the Connection Control Standard to an even higher level for the MVIP developer. Connection Master interacts with circuit switches on multiple MVIP cards to make connections and resolve switching contention . It also interfaces between applications and makes connections in such a way that simple one-chassis applications become networked applications. Connection Master fully supports MC-MVIP, Multi-Chassis MVIP. See also MVIP.

Connection Number

A number assigned to a workstation that attaches to a server; it may be a different number each time the workstation attaches. Connection numbers are also assigned to print servers, as well as other applications and processes that use the server connections.

Connection Oriented

The model of interconnection in which communication proceeds through three well-defined phases: connection establishment (call setup), information transfer (call maintenance), connection release (call teardown ). Connection-oriented services ensure that all data follow the same path through the network. That is to say that all data travel across the same circuits, and through the same switches and other devices. Examples include ordinary circuit-switched voice and data calls, ISDN calls, X.25, TCP, Frame Relay, and ATM. See Connection Service and Connectionless Mode Transmission.

Connection Oriented Network Service

CONS. An OSI protocol for packet-switched networks that exchange information over a virtual circuit (a logical circuit where connection methods and protocols are pre-established); address information is exchanged only once. CONS must detect a virtual circuit between the sending and receiving systems before it can send packets.

Connection Oriented Operation

A communications protocol in which a logical connection is established between communicating devices. Connection-oriented service is also referred to as virtual-circuit service.

Connection Orientated Protocol

A protocol in which a connection is established prior to initiation of data transmission, maintained during transmission, and effectively terminated on completion of transmission. All data travel exactly the same path through the network. Examples include SPX, TCP, and Frame Relay.

Connection Oriented Transmission

Data transmission technique involving setting up a connection before transmission and disconnecting it afterward. A type of service in which information always traverses the same pre-established path or link between two points. See Connectionless Service.

Connection Protocol

A protocol in which it is not necessary to establish, maintain, and terminate a connection between source and destination prior to transmission. (Example: IPX, IP)

Connection Service

A circuit-switching service whereby a connection is switched into place at the beginning of a session and held in place until the session is completed. Also referred to as circuit switching. The circuit switched in place may be real or virtual. See Circuit Switching.

Connection Speed

The speed of a data communications circuit. Some circuits are symmetrical and can maintain the same speed in both directions; others are asymmetrical and use a faster speed in one direction, usually the downstream side.


The model of interconnection in which communication takes place without first establishing a connection and without immediate acknowledgment of receipt. Sometimes it is (imprecisely) called datagram. Examples: Internet IP and OSI CLNP, UDP.

Connectionless Communication

A form of communication between applications in which all data is exchanged during a single connection.

Connectionless Mode Transmission

A mode of data transmission in which the transmitting device accesses the network and begins transmission without the establishment of a logical connection to the receiving device. In other words, the transmitter simply begins "blasting" data. Connectionless mode is very much unlike "Connection Oriented Transmission," wherein communications involves a process of call set-up , call maintenance and call teardown. Connectionless mode is limited to LAN communications and SMDS, which essentially is a MAN extension of the LAN concept.

In connectionless transmission, each packet is prepended with a header containing destination address information sufficient to permit the independent delivery of the packet. In other words, each packet within a stream of packets is independently survivable . While this approach is characteristic of connectionless mode, it also is characteristic of connection-oriented protocols such as X.25 (packet switching), Frame Relay and ATM. See also Cloud, Connectionless Network, Connectionless Service, Connection Oriented, SMDS, X.25 and ATM.

Connectionless Network

A type of communications network in which no logical connection (i.e. no leased line or dialed -up channel) is required between sending and receiving stations . Each data unit (datagram) is sent and addressed independently, and, thereby, is independently survivable. IEEE 802 LAN standards specify connectionless networks. SMDS also is a connectionless network, as an extension of the LAN concept for broadband data communications over a metropolitan area. Connectionless networks are becoming more common in broadband city networks now increasingly offered by phone companies.

Connectionless Network Service

CLNS. Packet-switched network where each packet of data is independent and contains complete address and control information; can minimize the effect of individual line failures and distribute the load more efficiently across the network.

Connectionless Packet

A packet of data is broadcast over the network without targeting a specific recipient to receive the packet.

Connectionless Service

A networking mode in which individual data packets in a network (local or long distance) traveling from one point to another are directed from one intermediate node to the next until they reach their ultimate destination. Because packets may take different routes, they must be reassembled at their destination. The receipt of a transmission is typically acknowledged from the ultimate destination to the point of origin. A connectionless packet is frequently called a datagram. A connectionless service is inherently unreliable in the sense that the service provider usually cannot provide assurance against the loss, error insertion, misdelivery, duplication, or out-of-sequence delivery of a connectionless packet.

Connectionless Transmission

Data transmission without prior establishment of a connection.

Connections Per Circuit Hour

CCH. A unit of traffic measurement; the number of connections established at a switching point per hour.


A domain of connected components that adhere to a defined set of connection rules. The set of rules is termed Connectivity Architecture. Connectivity is the property of a network that allows dissimilar devices to communicate with each other. See also Connectivity Law.

Connectivity Law

The Law of Connectivity is another way to describe Metcalfe's Law. That is, the value of a network rises by at least, and probably more than, the square of the number of nodes, n, or units connected. For the Internet, the value is probably much greater than n-squared because, unlike most telephone connections, a single website can connect to more than one node at the same time. See Metcalfe's Law.


Connectoid is the icon you create for a connection in the Dial-up Networking window in Windows.


A device that electrically connects wires or fibers in cable to equipment, or other wires or fibers. Wire and optical connectors most often join transmission media to equipment (host computers and terminal devices) or cross connects. A Connector at the end of a telephone cable or wire is used to join that cable to another cable with a matching Connector or to some other telecommunications device. Residential telephones use the REJ- 11C connector. Computer terminals with an RS-232-C interface, use the DB-25 connector. The RS-232-C standard is actually the electrical method of using the pins on a DB-25. See RS-232-C.

Connector Plug

A male device used to terminate a cable.

Connector Receptacle

The fixed or stationary half of a connection that is mounted on a panel/bulkhead. Receptacles mate with plugs. Receptacles are typically female .

Connector Variable

The maximum value in dB of the difference in insertion loss between mating optical connectors (e.g., with remating, temperature cycling, etc.). Also called Optical Connector Variation.


Connection Oriented Network Service. See Connection Oriented Network Service.

Consent Decree 1982

The agreement which divested the Bell Operating Companies from AT&T. It took effect at midnight on December 31, 1983. Also known as the MFJ (Modified Final Judgment), as it modified the 1956 Consent Decree.

Conservation Of Radiance

A basic principle stating that no passive optical system can increase the quantity L/n2, where L is the radiance of a beam and n is the local refractive index. Formerly called conservation of brightness, or the brightness theorem.


  1. A large telephone which a PBX attendant uses to answer incoming calls and transfer them around the organization. Before you buy a PBX for your company, make sure your operator has checked out its console. Some are very difficult to use. Some are easy. Some operators hate some consoles. Some consoles hate some operators. You can measure the efficiency of consoles by counting keystrokes to do simple jobs and comparing them ” e.g. answer an incoming line, dial an extension and transfer the call. How many keystrokes does your PBX take?

  2. The device which allows communications between a computer operator and a computer.

  3. The console is the Novell NetWare name for the monitor and keyboard of the file server. Here you can view and control the file server or router activity. At the console, you can enter commands to control disk drives, send messages, set the file server or router clock, shut down the file server, and view file server information. NetWare commands you can enter only from the console (for example, MONITOR) are called console commands. Keep your file server locked up and away from prying eyes. It's clearly not just a case of changing passwords and getting in and mucking around. There have been examples of thieves simply removing the file server's hard disk, putting it in their briefcase and walking off with it.

Consoleless Operation

Some PBXs can work without a console. Some must have a console. It's good to check. Consoles are expensive. If you don't want one ” because your company is small ” you don't want to be forced to buy one, only to have it sit idly by.

Consolidated Carrier

Carriers that provide connection both as interexchange carriers and international carriers.

Consolidation Point

CP. A location for interconnection between horizontal cables extending from building pathways and horizontal cables extending into furniture pathways .

Constant Bit Rate

CBR. A data service where the bits are conveyed regularly in time and at a constant rate, carefully timed between source (transmitter) and sink (receiver), i.e., following a timing source or clock just as members of a marching band follow the beat of the drummer . Examples include uncompressed voice and video traffic, which have to be transported at constant bit rate because they are sensitive to variable delay and, as such, have to be transported without any interruptions in the flow of data.

Constant Carrier

Physical line specification selection indicating full duplex line in bisync network. See SNA.

Constant Holding Time

A telephone company definition. Certain devices used in dial equipment for setting up calls may well have practically constant holding times. For estimating the probabilities of congesting, the result of substituting a constant holding time equal to the average of a varying holding time seems to be of negligible moment from a theoretical standpoint. (See Holding Time).


The assemblage of satellites in a LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) or MEO (Middle Earth Orbiting) system. See LEO and MEO.

Constraint-based Routed Label Distribution Protocol.


Constraint-Based Routing

Procedures and protocols that determine a route across a backbone take into account resource requirements and resource availability instead of simply using the shortest path.

Construction Budget

A detailed plan of placement, removal, and rearrangement of facilities to modernize and expand the capacity of the facilities network. A telephone company term.

Construction Zone

The building of the new information infrastructure by telecommunications and cable companies.


  1. To ask or seek the advice of another.

  2. To seek another's endorsement of a decision you've already made.


A person who gets paid more than you to tell your boss what you told him. See Consult and Consultant Liaison Programs.

Consultant Liaison Programs

Large users often use communications consultants to help them choose systems and long distance phone lines. In recognition of the important role consultants play, many suppliers have consultant liaison programs. Such programs typically consist of a toll-free number and somebody on the other end to answer technical and pricing questions, a three-ring binder containing information on all the company's products and services, occasional seminars and, for those extra-privileged consultants, all expense paid trips to exotic places and "something" else. With MCI that "some- thing else" is a dial-up, toll-free, bulletin board. Dial it up with your PC, you can download MCI's latest prices and services. It's truly splendid as most of the paperwork others issue is obsolete the moment it's issued.


See Consultation Hold.

Consultation Hold

PBX feature which allows an extension to place a call on hold while speaking with another call. The idea is "consulting with" someone while you have someone else on the phone.

Consultative Committee for International Telegraph and Telephone



You buy a $200 "photo quality" printer. The printing is fabulous. Looks just like a Kodak glossy photo. You ask yourself: How can they afford to produce such gorgeous quality when they charge so little money for the printer? Easy. They charge an enormous amount for the ink and the paper ” what's known as the "consumables." They're the things we consume every time we print out another photo of Baby Jane. And they're very expensive. In the old days, this marketing strategy was known as sell the razor blade strategy. Sell the handle cheap. Sell the razors expensively. This naming concept fell into disrepute when razor handles themselves became expensive.

Consumer Consultative Forum

CCF. A forum convened by the ACA (Australian Communications Authority) to consult with consumers and their representatives about communications issues.


A strip or piece of metal which makes an electrical contact when some electromechanical device like a relay or a magnet operates. Contacts are often plated with precious metal to prevent them from oxidizing (i.e. rusting) and thus messing up the switch.

Contact Card

See Smart Card.

Contact Center

A fancy name for a call center, except that it also includes email and instant messaging, in addition to phone calls.

Contact History

A log of all the contacts, either by phone or letter, made with a prospect or customer. This is an important factor in building up a marketing database which can be used to accurately target prospects.

Contact Image Sensor

Uses a flat bar of light-emitting diode that directly touches the original. It eliminates the step of having the diodes move through the lens, which causes poorer resolution. This method is more sophisticated than the charged- coupled device scanning method.

Contact Management

A business has customers and prospects. In computerese, they're called "contacts." Software to "manage" your customers and prospects is called contact management software. It has three elements: First, a screen or two of information about that contact (address, phone number, notes about your conversations, etc.) Second, the ability to print lists, and mailers, etc. And third, often a tie-in with your phone system to let your computer dial your clients and fax them stuff. With many newer phone systems, you have one extra benefit ” namely when your phone rings, your contact management software will receive the calling phone number and pop up the screen or two about your contact. This way you'll be a little prepared before you answer the phone. See also ANI and CLID.

Contact Management Software

See Contact Management.

Contact Region

The section of the jack wire inside the plug opening as shown in Subpart F of FCC rule 6B, figures 6B.500 (a) (3) and 6B.500 (b) (3).

Contactless smart card

An awkward name for a credit card or loyalty card that contains an RFID chip to transmit information to a reader without having to be swiped through a reader. Such cards can speed checkout, providing consumers with more convenience.


See Continental Telecom Inc.

Contended Access

In local area networking technology it's the shared access method that allows stations to use the medium on a first-come, first- served basis.

Contending Port

A programmable port type which can initiate a connection only to a preprogrammed port or group of ports.


In today's information rich and hyped society, " carriage " is the new name for transmission. And "content" is the new name for what we carry. Content is a more than just phone calls, of course. It's movies, music, games , on-line books, information, etc. Content used to be called information. Now it's called content. You figure. If words, pictures, sound or video are used as part of buying or selling, they are "transactive content," says Stanley Dolberg, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. In the computer world, according to William Safire, content means "information on a Web site." Companies who provide content are called content suppliers, or OSPs (on-line service providers). A content provider was once called an information provider. See also Content Supplier.

Content Addressable Memory

CAM. Imagine you're building a machine to switch conversations on the Internet. Since the Internet uses packets switching, you have to read the packets that come flying at you, figure quickly where to switch them (based on rules and a database) and switch them quickly. A CAM does holds the rules and the database and works very quickly. Today's CAMs let you ask them millions of questions each second. CAMs are used in today's heavy duty IP (Internet Protocol) routers. Here's a technical definition:

A CAM is a semiconductor integrated circuit that allows a table of data to be stored in a memory array that incorporates special circuitry to permit a search function. In addition to read, write and special CAM specific operations (e.g., invalidate entry, move entry, etc.), the CAM storage array allows a search word or "comparand" to be applied to the device whereby the CAM performs a massively parallel compare of the comparand to all of the valid entries stored within the CAM. If a match is found, the address of the matching entry is outputted from the CAM. In the case where multiple entries match the comparand (as is frequently the case with "ternary" CAMs that permit entries to have bits with a "don't care" state that match against either a "1" or a "0"), the CAM may have a priority encoder to resolve the address of the highest priority matching entry (typically the matching entry at the address closest to 0).

CAMs are now used in data packet forwarding and classification in networking equipment, commonly called routers and switches. Here, CAMs perform look-up functions based on elements of a cell/frame/packet/datagram header to make intelligent forwarding decisions at wire speed. To satisfy the constant need for increasing bandwidth and table size , CAMs have become very fast and dense. State-of-the-art CAMs are pipelined to increase the look-up rate of the device, allowing several look-up functions to be executed in parallel, achieving look-up rates of up to 100 million look-ups per second. Ternary storage densities of up to nine megabits is becoming possible in one device. CAMs also typically include the ability to "cascade" whereby several devices are connected together to form very large tables capable of storing well over one million entries.

Content Data Network

See CDN.

Content Delivery

On the Internet, content delivery (sometimes called content distribution or content caching) is a service that entails copying pages from a Web site to geographically dispersed servers and, when a page is requested , dynamically identifying and serving the page from the closest server to the user, enabling faster delivery. See also Content Delivery Service Providers.

Content Delivery Network

CDN. When web traffic gets heavy, performance suffers and connections can become excrutiatingly slow. A growing number of organizations are using content delivery networks (CDNs) to solve the problem. By storing data on different servers across the Internet on content delivery service providers, it is possible to ensure that content is closer -- and more quickly accessible ” to users. Such network architecture are devised to maximize the efficiency of distributing and delivering information across public Internet and large-scale private networks. A CDN uses intelligent switches, cache servers, traffic managers, content routers, and other technologies. See Content Delivery Service Providers.

Content Delivery Service Providers

These companies own servers that reside on the Internet and basically guarantee the delivery of Web content to end-users. Customers of these content delivery providers are heavily trafficked Web sites, e-commerce sites, and push content providers such as news channels. The main idea is to place content as close to customers as possible to help speed delivery. Once a data request comes into a Web site, instead of the original Web site's server handling the request, a content delivery service provider takes over the task. These service providers all use proprietary software algorithms and probing techniques to guarantee that the content gets from their servers to the end-users quickly. Typically, the data that reside on these content delivery service provider's servers for transmission to end-users have been bandwidth- intense data flow such as streaming video or audio. Some of the early content delivery service providers were Akamai Technologies, Adero, and Sandpiper Networks (acquired by Digital Island).

Content Filtering

The filtering of email based on the contents of the header and the body of the email message.

Content Management

CMS. A method of managing unstructured content (i.e., information) for Web-based (i.e., Internet, Intranet, and Extranet) access via a browser. A CMS is an applications software system, commonly modular in nature, that performs a number of functions. Once the content (e.g., a white paper, article, brochure, spreadsheet, drawing or schematic, or executable program) has been developed, it is checked into the content repository, which resides on a content server. Along with the content, various meta- data (i.e., data that can change, and can help others find and view the content), is checked in. The content is then transformed into a Web-viewable format though a refining process, and all words in the content are indexed for future searches. The publishing module may be capable of handling dynamic content "on the fly," which feature is critical if fast-breaking news must be posted in near-realtime. Finally, the content is run through a content publisher module, which creates a file in a content folder, and establishes links to files and folders containing previously published content. The publishing process typically is template- based. The CMS also may include a security mechanism that grants or denies access to content, perhaps at the content, folder, or even page level. Such a security mechanism is particularly important if links are available to databases, as access privileges to sensitive data must be managed carefully. An embedded search engine might support searches by subject, full-text description, author, department, date range, or content type. Content subscription may be supported, allowing the subscriber to be automatically notified via e-mail when specific content changes. The CMS may also automatically reformat content for access by cellular phones, PDAs, pagers , and other Web-enabled wireless devices.

Content Processing

Voice processing is the broad term made up of two narrower terms ” call processing and content processing. Call processing consists of physically moving the call around. Think of call processing as switching. Content consists of actually doing something to the call's content, like digitizing it and storing it on a hard disk, or editing it, or recognizing it (voice recognition) for some purpose (e.g. using it as input into a computer program).

Content Provider

  1. In the worlds of the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW), the Content Provider is the company which provides the material (content), rather than the network. NTT DoCoMo runs a cell phone company whose users can access thousands of special NTT pseudo-Web sites and do things ” like download ring tones for their phones, find out what the price of their favorite stocks are, read their astrology forecast for the day. The people who run these sites are typically called content providers. When AOL bought Time Warner, it did so because it wanted an assured supply of content. See Content Supplier.

  2. A fancy name for a writer, also called a language therapist by William Safire in the Sunday New York Times Magazine of January 28, 1996.

Content Service Provider

CSP. Another name for a content provider. See Content Provider.

Content Supplier

Content is a new fancy name for what telecommunications facilities carry. It includes movies, music, games, on-line books, information, etc. Content suppliers are thus movie studios , publishers, and music companies.

Content Switching

See Layer 7 Switching.


Contention occurs when several devices (e.g., phones, PCs, or workstations) are vying for access to a line and only one of them can get it at one time. Some method is usually established for selecting the winner (e.g., first in, first out; or camp on) and accommodating the loser (e.g., giving them a busy tone or putting it in queue). When you cannot get an outside line from your PBX extension you have been in contention and lost.

Context Corporation

An independent consultancy headed by Ray Horak, Senior Editor of Newton's Telecom Dictionary. In fact, and according to Horak's mother, wife and children, The Context Corporation is the world's greatest consultancy, headed by the world's greatest, sweetest, most intelligent and most handsome man. Note: Horak's ex- wives and girlfriends have offered alternative (and unprintable) definitions.

Context-Based Access Control


Context Dependent Soft Keys

Many telephones now have an LCD screen. Sometimes such screens have unmarked keys underneath them and/or at their side. What these keys do depends on the "labels" appearing on the screen. They are called "context dependent" because what those keys do depends on where the call is at that time. The first context dependent soft keys were on the Mitel SuperSet 4 phones. When the hand- set was resting on the phone, only three of the six context sensitive keys had meaning. One said "Program," one said "Msg" and one said "Redial." When you picked the phone up, three buttons would now be alive . One would say "Page," one would say "Redial" and one would say "Hangup." If the phone rang and you picked it up, one button would now say "trans/conf" (meaning transfer/conference. When another phone was ringing. one button would say "Pickup," letting you push that button and answer someone else's phone. And so on. The neatest implementation of context sensitive keys was probably on the Telenova (now no longer manufactured). At one point when you were in voice mail, this phone's six buttons looked exactly like a cassette recorder ”- record, play, fast forward, fast reverse, etc. It was brilliant. No one has ever made using voice mail so easy.

Context Keys

Buttons on a phone or device that have a display next to them. The buttons perform different functions depending on the what the screen shows when you press the button. See Context Dependent Soft Keys.

Context Sensitive

A term from the computer industry which means that "Help" is only a keystroke away. Hit F1 and Help information will flash on the screen. That information will be relevant to what you're doing now, i.e. that help is within the context of what's going on right this moment. See also Context Dependent Soft Keys.

Context Switch

The act of stopping one running task in a microprocessor and starting another. Context switches are performed by the kernel. The technique with which an Intel microprocessor handles multitasking is called a context switch. The CPU performs a context switch when it transfers control from one task to another. In the process, it saves the processor state (including registers) of one task, then loads the values for the task that is taking control. Context switching is the kind of multitasking that is done in standard mode Windows, where the CPU switches from one task to another, rather than allocating time to each task in turn , as in timeslicing.

Contextual Ecommerce

Imagine you receive a email from your friendly CD supplier. In it, he talks about the latest from Madonna. The email mentions the name of the CD. You notice its title is in blue and underlined ” like a hot link to a Web site. You click on it. Instantly, you've bought the CD. You receive it the next day by Fedex. Bingo, we now have contextual ecommerce.

Contiguous Port

Ports occurring in unbroken numeric sequence.

Contiguous Slotting

This term refers to the process of selecting individual DS-0 circuits, within a DS-1 circuit or DS-3 circuit, which are adjacent to one another. Due to the timing difference which can result when non-adjacent channels are selected, contiguously slotted channels are preferable when the end equipment is designed to multiplex the individual low-speed channels into a single, higher speed connection.

Contiguous United States

CONUS. The area within the boundaries of the District of Columbia and the 48 contiguous states as well as the offshore areas outside the boundaries of the coastal states of the 48 contiguous states, (including artificial islands, anchored vessels and fixed structures erected in such offshore areas for the purpose of exploring for, developing, removing and transporting resources therefrom) to the extent that such areas appertain to and are subject to the jurisdiction and control of the United States within the meaning of the Outer Continental Shelf Land Act, 43 U.S.C. Section 1331, et seq. CONUS is often used to refer to the footprint (i.e., area of coverage) of a satellite that covers the contiguous United States.

Continental Telecom Inc.

CONTEL. A telephone company made up of more than 600 small phone companies. In 1990 it merged with GTE in a tax-free swap of shares. CONTEL was formed and grown by Charles Wohlstetter, an ex-stockbroker, who became financially comfortable (to say the least) in the process of growing CONTEL. In late 1990, CONTEL merged with GTE, which is a euphemism for GTE buying CONTEL. The folks who used to work for CONTEL call themselves "ex-cons." According to Ray Horak, my Contributing Editor and once a CONTEL Vice President, some of them should still be behind bars. Talk to Ray about this, and leave me out it.

Continental Morse Code

See Morse Code.


An uninterrupted electrical path.

Continuity Check

A check to determine whether electrical current flows continuously throughout the length of a single wire on individual wires in a cable.

Continuity Check Tone

CCT. A single frequency of 2000 Hz which is transmitted by the sending exchange and looped back by the receiving exchange. Reception of the returned indicates the channel is working. See ITU-T Recommendation.271.


A word used in voice recognition to mean a type of recognition that requires no pause between utterances.

Continuous DTMF

This is a feature of some phones (especially cellular phones) that sends touchtone sounds for as long as the key is held down, allowing access to services such as voice mail and answering machines that need long-duration tones. Some phones automatically have continuous DTMF; some don't. It's worth checking. Continuous DTMF makes a lot more sense.

Continuous Information Environment

A term for the world we live in ” in which information (text, voice, video, images, etc.) is flowing at us continuously. And our job is, somehow, to manage the information. The idea is to use the new computer telephony terms to manage the information.

Continuous Phase Modulation

CPM. An efficient means of modulation for purposes of digital transmission over a radio system, such as microwave. CPM modulates the signal by changing its phase, or position, much as does Phase Shift Keying (PSK) in modems. CPM is a memory-dependent technique which requires that the receiving device compare the value of the starting phase of the transmitted signal to the value of the ending phase of the previously transmitted signal. Thereby, the value of the transmitted symbols can be determined, as long as the transmitter and receiver are carefully synchronized and the bit intervals, therefore, are consistent in time. Each value can represent one or more bits, depending on whether a compression technique is used to improve the efficiency of data transmission. See also PSK.

Continuous Waves

CW. A series of electromagnetic waves or cycles, all of which have a constant or unvarying amplitude. Continuous wave usually refers to the output of a device (e.g., an optical fiber laser) which is turned on, but which is not modulated with a signal.

Continuously Variable

Capable of having one of an infinite number of values, differing from each other by an arbitrarily small amount. Usually used to describe analog signals or analog transmission.


For the purpose developing applications in the telecommunications industry, there are two types of contracts: Active and Passive. An active contract is one you must sign. A passive contract is the type of contract you find in a software package. By opening the shrink wrapped package, you are committing yourself to the terms of the contract inside the package ” the terms of which mostly consist of not duplicating the software in an unauthorized way.


In switching systems, the overall control of the switches. This includes monitoring to determine when action is needed, logic to determine what action is needed, and command, to initiate the actions.

Control Cable

A multiconductor cable made for operation in control or signal circuits.

Control Channel

A control channel is a logic channel carrying network information rather than actual voice or data messages. Within a cellular telephone system, several of the channels are assigned as 'control' channels. Instead of supporting voice communications, these channels allow the base station to broadcast information to the cellular phones in its area. Cellular phones continuously monitor this broadcast information, selecting the base station that provides the best signal.

Control Character

A non-printing ASCII character which controls the flow of communications or a device. Control characters are entered from computer terminal keyboards by holding down the Control key ( marked CTRL on most keyboards) while the letter is pressed. To ring a bell at a remote telex terminal, an operator could hold down the CTRL key, and tap the "G" key, since Control-G is the BELL character. Most computers display Control as the "^" character in front of the designated letter. For example, ^M is the Carriage Return character.

Control Circuit

X.21 interface circuit used to send control information from DTE to DCE.

Control Connections

A Control VCC links the LEC to the LECS. Control VCCs also link the LEC to the LES and carry LE_ARP traffic and control frames. The control VCCs never carry data frames.

Control Equipment

  1. The central " brains " of a telephone system. That part which controls the signaling and switching to the attached telephones. Known as the KSU (or key service unit) in a key system.

  2. Equipment used to transmit orders from an alarm center to remote site to enable you to do things by remote control.

Control Field

Field in frame containing control information.

Control Flag

A cellular phone term. A 6-bit flag transmitted in the forward channel data stream, comprised of a 5-bit busy/idle flag and one bit of the 5-bit decode status flag.

Control Head Roam Lights

Indicates that the cellular phone is outside the "home" system.

Control Messages

Signalling messages that provide the control of setup, maintenance, and teardown of L2TP sessions and tunnels. See L2TP.

Control of Electromagnetic Radiation

  1. Measures taken to minimize electromagnetic radiation emanating from a system or component, or to minimize electromagnetic interference. Such measures are taken for purposes of security and/or the reduction of interference, especially on ships and aircraft.

  2. A national operational plan to minimize the use of electromagnetic radiation in the United States and its possessions and the Panama Canal Zone in the event of attack or imminent threat thereof, as an aid to the navigation of hostile aircraft, guided missiles, or other devices.

Control Of Flow Language

Programming-like constructs (IF, ELSE, WHILE, GOTO, and so on) provided by Transact -SQL so that the user can control the flow of execution of SQL Server queries, stored procedures, and triggers. This definition from Microsoft SQL server.

Control Panel

The control panel on the Apple Macintosh is for general hardware and software settings. Icons allow a user to customize the system or application, or select a particular service, such as a specific printer, set the sound level, the date and time and choose an Ethernet connection through the network control panel.

Control Plane

The ATM protocol includes a Control Plane which addresses all aspects of network signaling and control, through all 4 layers of the model.

Control Point

CP. In IBM SNA (Systems Network Architecture) networks, a Control Point is a type of NAU (Network Accessible Unit, previously known as Network Addressable Unit). A CP manages the network resources within its domain of control, controlling the activation and deactivation of resources and the monitoring of their status. Such resources can include physical resources such as links and nodes, and logical resources such as network addresses. As a Network Accessible Unit, a Control Point is accessible over the SNA network itself. See also SNA.

Control Segment

A worldwide network of Global Positioning System monitoring and control installations that ensure the accuracy of satellite positions and their clocks.

Control Signal

  1. In the public network, control signals are used for auxiliary functions in both customer loop signaling and interoffice trunk signaling. Control signals are used in the customer loop for Coin Collect and Coin Return and Party Identification. Control signals used in interoffice trunk signaling include Start Dial (Wink or Delay Dial) signals, Keypulse (KP) signals or Start Pulse (ST) signals.

  2. In modem communications, control signals are modem interface signals used to announce, start, stop or modify a function. Here's a table showing common RS-232-C and ITU-T V.24 control signals


Control Signal




Request-To-Send (RTS)




Clear-To-Send (CTS)




Data Set Ready (DSR)




Carrier Detect (CD)




Data Terminal Ready (DTR)




Ring Indicator (RI)



Control Station

On a multi-access link, a station that is in charge of such functions as selection and polling.

Control Theory

The mathematical analysis of the systems and mechanisms for achieving a desired state under changing internal and external conditions.

Control Tier

An AT&T term for the tier within the Universal Information Services network node that provides the transport network's connection control function.

Control Unit

An architectural component of a processor chip which orchestrates processor activity and handles timing to make sure the processor doesn't overlap functions.

Controlled Access

When access to a system is limited to authorized programs, processes or other systems (as in a network).

Controlled Environment Vault

CEV. It is a low maintenance, water-tight concrete or fiberglass container typically buried in the ground which provides permanent housing for remote switches, remote line concentrators , pair gain and fiber transmission systems. Because it is buried, it can often be installed in utility easements or other places where local building laws may be a problem. This below ground room that houses electronic and/or optical equipment is under controlled temperature and humidity conditions.


  1. In the truest sense, a device which controls the operation of another piece of equipment. In its more common data communications sense, a device between a host and terminals that relays information between them. It administers their communication. Controllers may be housed in the host, can be stand-alone, or can be located in a file server. Typically one controller will be connected to several terminals. The most common controller is the IBM Cluster Controller for their 370 family of mainframes. In an automated radio, a controller is a device that commands the radio transmitter and receiver, and that performs processes, such as automatic link establishment, channel scanning and selection, link quality analysis, polling, sounding, message store and forward, address protection, and anti-spoofing .

  2. Participant in a conference call who sets up the conference call.

Controller Card

Also called a hard disk/diskette drive controller. It's an add-in card which controls how data are written to and retrieved from your PC's various floppy and hard drives. Controller cards come in various flavors, including MFN and SCSI. Controller cards are the devices used to format hard drives. Controller cards are not hard drive specific (except within categories). Controller cards will format many drives. But once you have a hard drive that has been formatted by that one controller card, it tends to prefer talking to that controller card forever. If you switch your hard disk to another machine, switch the controller card along with it. If you switch your hard disk to another machine, but not the controller card, then format the hard disk. That's not a "100% Do It Or Else You'll Be Disappointed" rule. But just a "Play It Safe and Switch Them" rule.

Controllerless Modem

A modem that shifts all the protocol management, error detection and correction, and data compression onto software running on the system's CPU. This allows the modem manufacturer to make a much cheaper modem that does not require the memory or processing power of a traditional modem. Also known as a soft modem.


In digital facsimile, density step lines in received copy resulting from analog-to-digital conversion when the original image has observable gray shadings between the smallest density steps of the digital system.


A term for CONtiguous United States (lower 48 states). See Contiguous United States.

Convection Cooling

Design techniques used in switching system construction to permit safe heat dissipation from the equipment without the need for cooling fans.


The device which covers the steam heating radiator in buildings and typically sits underneath a window. Also called a weathermaster.

Convector Area

An area allocated for heat circulation and distribution. Convector areas, typically built into a wall, can be used as a satellite location only if a more suitable area is unavailable.


A rule of conduct or behavior which has been reached by general agreement, commonly by a standards-making body, whether formal (e.g., the ITU) or ad hoc (e.g., Bell Telephone Laboratories) in nature. For example, the T-1 framing conventions were developed by Bell Labs for use within the Bell System network in North America, and later were formalized at the international level by the ITU-T. See also Bell Telephone Laboratories, ITU-T, and T-1.

Conventional Signaling

The inter-machine signaling system that has been traditionally used in North America for the purpose of transmitting the called number's address digits (telephone number) from the originating end office to the switching machine that will terminate the call. In this system, all dialed digits are received by the originating switching machine, a path is selected, and the sequence of supervisory signals and outpulsed digits is initiated. No overlap outpulsing, ten-digit Automatic Number Identification (ANI), information digits, or acknowledgment wink are included in this signaling sequence.

Converged Network,

Used to describe trends toward the bundling of services by operators. Principally found in the United States, where regulation historically has separated the local and long distance carrier functions.


  1. A measure of the clarity of a color monitor. A measure of how closely the red, green and blue guns in a color monitor track each other when drawing a color image. The other measures are focus and dot pitch.

  2. A routing term. The point at which all the internetworking devices share a common understanding of the routing topology. The slower the convergence time, the slower the recovery from link failure.

  3. The word to describe a trend ” now that most media can be represented digitally ” for the traditional distinctions between industries to blur and for companies from consumer electronics, computer and telecommunications industries to form alliances, partnerships and other relationships, as well as to raid each others markets.

  4. The word "convergence" as a fashion word of the "new" management was set in motion in 1992 when Tele-Communications Inc. chairman John C. Malone told a cable- show audience that his vision of all-digital, fiber- optic networks would enable TCI and other cable operators to offer 500 TV channels, interactive programming, electronic mail, and telephony. According to Business Week Magazine of June 23, 1997 that picture of digital convergence was so compelling that cable, media and phone companies promptly hopped on the bandwagon. Business Week continued, "Several billion dollars later, it become clear that convergence was a bust. Cable companies, perennially strapped for cash, scaled back on their plans to upgrade their networks to handle huge amounts of interactive data. Phone companies that had hoped to offer television service ” on their own wires or in joint ventures with cable companies ” went back to their core businesses." However, such concerns should never let a good word die. In the May 17, 1998 issue of The New York Times, Richard C. Notebaert, chairman and chief executive of the Ameritech Corporation, wrote, "Conventional wisdom holds that convergence ” the gradual blurring of telecommunications, computers and the Internet ” is primarily about technology and the inevitable clash of voice and data networks. But that narrow viewpoint misses the bigger picture...Convergence is about fundamental changes in the way we work ” even behave." Now the latest concept of convergence is that all communications ” the Internet and the PSTN (the public switched telephone network) ” shall run over one IP telephony network. As Notebaert says, "Our public voice network will become the public multimedia network and the Internet as we know it will cease to exist. With such a robust and ubiquitous network, we'll never have to go to the time and trouble of dialing into a private network when we want to surf the Web. In essence, we'll always be on line. And that will let us develop applications we can't even dream of today." No industry is immune from the convergence fever . Every year, a trade magazine or two changes its name to include the word convergence in the hope that major profits will magically appear. (They never do.) By far the most interesting obsession with the word convergence was the formation of a trade industry association called the National Convergence Alliance. See NCA.

Convergence Billing

Also known as convergence or composite billing. This is a fancy name for one phone company ” local or long distance ” providing a total communications bill to the customer. That total bill would include everything the customer buys in telecommunications services ” from local, long distance, Internet access, cell phones, paging, etc. In late 1996, the belief developed in the telecom industry that if you "controlled" the bill to the customer, you would be in far better shape to sell the customer more services. The concept has some validity, especially if you also believe in fairies.

Convergence Sublayer

CS. An ATM term. SEE CS.


Convergent billing software is software which allows telecom companies (such as local and long distance companies) to bundle services, such as long distance, cellular, paging and cable, together onto a single monthly invoice. Bundling helps service providers offer competitive rates, boost revenue per customer and reduce customer turnover . Customers love the simplicity and convenience of one bill for all their telecom services. One company calls itself a "one stop shop with an integrated bill."

Conversation Path

The route from originating port to terminating port for a twoway call. A conversation thus typically requires two ports on most PBXs.

Conversation Time

The time spent on a conversation from the time the person at the other end picks up to the time either of you hang up. Conversation time plus dialing, searching and ringing time equal the time your circuit will be used during a call.

Conversational Mode

Also called chat mode. Interactive data communications carried on between data terminals in a fashion similar to speech conversation.

Conversational Mode Telex

An MCI International product providing real time exchange between Telex terminals or other compatible devices that allows instantaneous, two-way conversations in writing.


In signaling, the substitution of one, two, or three digits for received digits for the purpose of directing the call through the next office.

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is a Web term. It is a measure of the people who log on to your site and then click through to a second page. The higher that percentage is, the more interesting the site looks to them. Basically, a web site owner wants to get people off the first page and into the areas that make you money.


  1. A vacuum tube which combines the functions of oscillator and mixed tube.

  2. A device for changing AC to DC and vice versa. An ancient radio term.

  3. An adapter, such as one that allows a modular phone to be plugged into a 4-hole jack.

  4. A British term. A repeater that also converts from one media type to another, such as from fibre (British spelling) to copper. Often called a media adaptor.

  5. A device used in RF distribution systems to convert from one frequency to another. May also control channel access.

Convolutional Code

Error protection code encoding data bits in a continuous stream. An error-correction code in which each m-bit information symbol to be encoded is transformed into an n-bit symbol (n>m) where the transformation is a function of the last k information symbols, and k is referred to as the constraint length of the code. Convolutional codes are often used to improve the performance of radio and satellite links.


The first batch of cookies were originally cooked up as simple mechanism to help make it easier for users to get to their their favorite Web sites without having to go through the lengthy process of identifying themselves every time they visited. A cookie is now a simple text file on your hard disk that has been placed by a web site you visited. For example, some shopping cart technologies allow you to return to shopping at a later time. What this means is that a "cookie" containing your order is placed on your computer for the site's computer to retrieve when you return. A cookie is a basically a mechanism which is a feature of the HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol) protocol used in the Internet and WWW. In this client/server environment, a cookie allows the server side of the connection to both store and retrieve information on the client side. When connecting to a WWW computer in the form of a server, that server can store information on your client PC. This process takes place when the server returns a HTTP object such a graphic or screen to the client computer; at that point, the server also may send a set of "state" information which is stored on the client hard drive. This information is persistent, meaning that it remains in memory for subsequent use by the specified URL (Uniform Resource Locator, which is the address of the Web site) or group of URLs. As future client requests are made against the server, the cookie is automatically passed from client to server.

Cookies are used widely in the client/server environments of the WWW element of the Internet, as well as in Intranets. Their advantage is that they can automatically identify the client to the server, thereby shortening or eliminating the user identification element of the log-in process. For example, an electronic shopping application can use a cookie to identify the shopper during subsequent access sessions, storing information about shopping preferences. Further, the service provider can alter the content of the accessed Web site to appeal more to the client user based on that specific user's profile. The downside is that cookies are placed on the client computer without the knowledge of the user, giving rise to concerns about privacy through electronic trespass. Some Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator will alert the user to the desire of the server to apply a cookie, thereby providing the user with the option of rejecting that request. Cookie blocking also can be accomplished through the use of "Cookie.Cutter," developed by Phil Zimmerman, who gained fame with his development of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption software.

So, why are people so concerned about cookies? Let's consider an example. I recently was cruising the Web and tapped into the Web site of a book distributor. I had the opportunity to develop a profile of my interests. I chose not to do that for the same reason that I choose to shop for clothes without the assistance of a salesperson. Basically, I don't want to be slotted into a particular style, price range, etc. Rather, I prefer to scan the options, quickly, unassisted and without pressure. When I need the assistance of a salesperson, I'll ask for it. Further, I prefer that my identity be a private matter. I like Caller ID (when I am the calling party), but there may be times when I want to make a conscious decision to block it. I especially don't like cookies downloaded to MY computer, and I really especially don't want someone else taking the liberty of putting stuff into my computer without my OK. It's sort of like putting something in my car or in my house without my approval. It may be harmless and well-intentioned, but it's a "privacy" thing. See Client/Server, Cookie File, HTTP, URL and Caller ID.

According to Microsoft, "A cookie is a very tiny piece of text we're asking permission to place on your computer's hard drive. If you agree, then your browser adds the text in a small file. Its purpose is to let us know when you visit This text, by itself, only tells us that a previous visitor has returned. It doesn't tell us who you are, or your email address or anything else personal. If you want to give us that information later, that's your choice.

So why do we offer cookies? Cookies help us evaluate visitors ' use of our site, such as what customers want to see and what they never read. That information allows us to better focus our online product, to concentrate on information people are reading and products they are using. And guess what? A cookie can help you. If you accept a cookie, nothing affects you immediately. But you know what happens whenever you want to download software, access a premium site or even request permission to use a Microsoft logo on your Web page? You get asked questions like who you are and your email address. And that happens every time you want to download stuff. If you have accepted a cookie, however, those questions eventually will be asked just once, no matter how often you download software or how many Microsoft sites you visit. In the future, a cookie will allow you to tell us what information you prefer to read and what you don't. If you're a gamer, for example, we can advise you on content specific to games. Why are we telling you all this? Because we want you to know why we ask you to accept a cookie. We want to be sure you understand that accepting a cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any personal information about you. Cookies are harmless, occupying just a few bytes on your hard drive. They also can be a Web site browser's very good friend.

That having been said, consider the concept of a "third party cookie," also known as a DoubleClick cookie, after DoubleClick Inc. (, but don't touch that website unless you want to run the risk of eating a DoubleClick cookie). After being planted by a participating Web site, a third-party cookie will follow you around the Web, recording your movements and interests.

Cookie File

The file (usually in your browser's directory structure) where cookies are kept. The file name is cookie.txt, just in case you'd like to delete it. See Cookie.

Cookie Jar Reserves

A kind of corporate slush fund used to doctor quarterly earnings reports ” typically to make earnings seem to grow more consistently. Enron created such slush funds in late 2000 and early 2001 in order to reduce its profits and so dampen the likely political firestorm that might occur, especially in California, which had suspected Enron of "price gouging."


When I was growing up, things that were fun were "hot" or "groovy." Now they're "cool," which means they're in fashion. I first heard the word used by some Microsoft employees in the early 1990s. Ray and Margaret Horak say I should remove this definition since they used the term in the 1950s, when they were cool and I was groovy.

Cooperation for Open Systems Interconnection Networking in Europe


Cooperative Processing

Mainframe and intelligent workstations dividing application code between them.


A made-up word which means that you partner with your competition. In short, the word is a blending of cooperation and competition. You might be a wholesaler of PCS services who is now partnering with one of your retailers to create a new service which might compete with you, at some point. That's coopetition. Joe Nacchio, head of Qwest, uses the term to describe the love/hate relationship of telecom carriers who compete with each other but often find themselves sharing facilities, equipment, resources, and personnel.


"Thank you for all your coordinates." A cool way of saying "Thank you for your address, phone and fax numbers and email addresses." The origin of the noun is in geometry. George Crabb in 1823 defined co-ordinates as "a term applied to the absciss and ordinates when taken in connexion," later better known as the magnitudes that determine the position of a point; geographers and navigators still later used coordinates to describe the use of longitude and latitude in locating a spot on the globe.


Cable Organizer Panel. A place to organize cables in a rack-mounted telecom system.

Copernicus, Nicolaus

Polish astronomer (1473 - 1543) who advanced the theory that the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun (the "heliocentric" theory). This was highly controversial at the time, since the prevailing Ptolemaic model held that the Earth was the center of the universe, and all objects, including the sun, circled it. The Ptolemaic model had been widely accepted in Europe for 1,000 years when Copernicus proposed his model.


Latin for abundance . Steve Hersee called his Wheaton, Illinois all-things-fax company, Copia International in the hope that he would become rich as a horn of plenty. See Cornucopia in your normal dictionary.


Compound resulting from the polymerization of two different monomers.

Copper Distribution Data Interconnection

CDDI. CDDI is an FDDI technology that is adapted to work over copper wires rather than fiber.


Bob Metcalfe of InfoWorld Magazine coined coppertone for bare copper wire which you can rent from your local phone company. By "bare" he means that the copper you rent will contain no electronics on it anywhere , will be unloaded, unconditioned and unpowered. How might you use such copper wire? Let's say you have an office in New York City on on 12 West 21 Street and home on 215 West 19 Street. Let's say the office LAN had a T-1 connection to the Internet. Let's say you wanted to extend the LAN with its T-1 to your home. Simple, add networking equipment on your LAN and add similar equipment at your home. Bingo, your home is now on your LAN. Can it be done easily? Yes, but only if your phone company will rent you coppertone, i.e. bare copper wire. If they gave you something else ” like one of their tariffed items ” e.g. a 56 Kbps circuit ” you would find yourself with a slower, more inconvenient, less flexible and most likely, more expensive solution. Telephone companies don't like to rent you coppertone to do this, for obvious reasons; in fact, several now refuse to lease coppertone except to " legitimate " burglar alarm companies. See also ADSL, HDSL, and Dry Copper.

The story goes that Metcalfe got his inspiration for the term coppertone because of the old Coppertone suntan oil advertisements, picturing a dog partially pulling down a child's bathing suit and exposing (hence, the term "bare") the pale butt of an otherwise very tan child. They had billboards of this all over Southern California for years.


An additional processor which takes care of specific tasks , the objective being to reduce the load on the main CPU. Many IBM PCs and IBM clones have the capacity to install a coprocessor chip which does only arithmetic functions. This significantly speeds up your computer if you do a lot of calculations. See Math Coprocessor.


Common Open Policy Service. A standard under consideration by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) for exchanging policy information in order to support dynamic QoS (Quality of Service) in an IP (Internet Protocol) network. Such policy information is exchanged between PDPs (Policy Decision Points) and PEPs (Policy Enforcement Points). The PDPs generally are in the form of network-based servers that decide which types of traffic (e.g., voice and video) are afforded priority treatment. The PEPs are in the form of routers or IP switches that implement the decisions made by the PDPs. COPS-PR is a derivative used for device provisioning. COPS currently is intended to work in conjunction with RSVP (Resource Reservation Protocol), but may well take evolve to the level of independence. COPS enjoys broad vendor support, and is thought to be a likely replacement for SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). SNMP offers device-monitoring capabilities, but does not do an effective job of documenting device-configuration. COPS also involves active participation between PDPs and PEPs, while SNMP is a polling protocol. See also IETF, IP, Policy-Based Networking, SNMP, and QoS.


Customer Owned Premises Wire. You own the telephone wiring in your office.


A nice new telephone system programming feature. We found it on Northern Telecom's Norstar phone. With this button, certain programmed settings can be copied from one line to another, or from one telephone to another. Line programmable settings that can be copied on the Norstar are Line Data, Restrictions, Overrides, and Night Service. Telephone settings that can be copied are Line Access, Restrictions, Overrides, and Permissions.


A copyright protects the original author of a story, software program, song, movie, piece of sculpture, or other original work from direct copying. Copying may be inferred where the alleged copyist had access to the copyrighted work. The copyright notice (the copyright symbol (c in a circle), or the word "Copyright", the year of creation, and the name of the copyright owner) should be provided on each copy of the work. Copyrights may also be registered with the Library of Congress, but this is not necessary in all cases. Copyright protects the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. (In appropriate cases, patents can be used to protect the idea.) Where the idea is so simple that there is only one way to express it, the idea and its expression may merge, preventing copyrightability. This logic was used successfully in defense of several suits involving "clean room" reverse engineering of microcode : A first group hacked out the code, and prepared a complete functional specification defining the function of each instruction. A second group then wrote new code implementing these functions. Since there had been no copying, there could be no copyright infringement; the fact that both versions of the code for some instructions were identical merely showed that the idea and expression had merged. There are only so many ways to code an ADD instruction, after all. See Intellectual Property, Patent and Trade Secret.


Functionality that provides the capability to deny certain call attempts based on the incoming and outgoing class of restrictions provisioned on the dial peers. This functionality provides flexibility in network design, allows users to block calls (for example, to 900 numbers), and applies different restrictions to call attempts from different originators. COR specifies which incoming dial peer can use which outgoing dial peer to make a call.


Common Object Request Broker Architecture. An ORB (Object Request Broker) standard developed by the OMG (Object Management Group). CORBA provides for standard object-oriented interfaces between ORBs, as well as to external applications and application platforms. The yield is that of interoperability of object-oriented software systems residing on disparate platforms. Additionally, CORBA provides for portability of such systems across platforms. See also Object Request Broker and OMG.


  1. A small, flexible insulated wire.

  2. The Cibernet On-Line Roaming Database. CORD is an on-line database that acts as a repository for information that wireless carriers need to exchange in order to support roaming in their territories .

Cord Board

The earliest manual PBX. Usually an elegant wooden device consisting of lots of cords with plugs on them. These cords sat horizontally sticking up, like missiles in a silo. Each cord corresponded to an extension. Whenever the phone rang, the cord board attendant would answer it. Each incoming line was a vertical hole. When the operator had figured for whom the call was, he/she would simply plug the cord corresponding to the desired extension into the hole corresponding to the incoming trunk. The operator would reverse the process if the internal user wanted to make an external call. Either the operator would dial the call first, or simply plug in the user's extension and thus allow the user to dial the call directly. The tip of the plug and the circular ring of the plug gave the term "tip and ring" to telephony. In electronics, it's known as positive and negative. See Cord Circuit.

Cord Circuit

A switchboard circuit, terminated in two plug-ended cords, used to establish connections manually between user lines or between trunks and user lines. A number of cord circuits are furnished as part of the manual switchboard position equipment. The cords may be referred to as front cord and rear cord or trunk cord and station cord. In modern cordless switchboards , the cord circuit is switch operated. See Cord Board.

Cord Lamp

The lamp associated with a cord circuit that indicates supervisory conditions for the respective part of the connection. See Cord Board.

Cord Switchboard

A switching system consisting of positions at which trunk-to- trunk and line-to-trunk connections are established by operators using cords and plugs. In other words, the calls are connected by taking the caller's phone line and plugging it into the phone line of the person he wants to reach, or the next operator along the way. Such switching systems were called cordboards. They were useful because of the enormous level of service they provided phone users. The operators were often delightful. Cordboards, however, are very slow, and very labor intensive. Someone once estimated that, if they hadn't invented automatic people-less switching systems, everybody in the world would have needed to become a telephone switchboard operator.


See Cord Board.

Cordless Switchboard

A telephone switchboard in which manually operated keys are used to make connections. See Cord Board.

Cordless Telephone

A telephone with no cord between handset and base. Each piece contains a radio transmitter, receiver, and antenna. The handset contains a rechargeable battery; the base must be plugged into an AC outlet. Depending on product design, radio frequency, environmental conditions, and national law, range between handset and base can be 10 feet to several miles. Cordless phones were once all analog. Now a breed of digital ones is out. They work much better in electrically noisy environments ” like the typical office.

Cordless Telephony Generation 2

CT-2. CT-2 is a European-designed, low-cost telephone system that is based on TDMA technology. The network operates with small, light, and inexpensive handsets. The CT-2 system consists of microcells that are several hundred yards wide. The service is designed to overcome the shortage of pay phones in certain areas.

Cordless Telephony Generation 2-Plus

CT-2+. CT-2+ is an expansion of the CT-2 interface specification that would extend network capabilities and allow backward compatibility with CT-2 handsets.


The central glass element of a fiber optic cable through which the light is transmitted (typically 8-12 microns in diameter for single mode fiber and 50-100 microns in diameter for multimode fiber). This light conducting portion of the fiber is defined by the high refraction index region. The core is normally in the center of the fiber, bounded by the cladding material. See also CORE.


Council Of REgistrars. An organization proposed to be charged with the responsibility for establishing and maintaining a new set of gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) for the Internet. Effective March 1998, those gTLDs were to comprise the following: .arts (enti- ties emphasizing cultural and entertainment activities); .firm (businesses, or firms); . info (entities providing information services); .nom (individual or personal nomenclature , i.e., a personal nom de plume, or pen name); .rec (entities emphasizing recreation/entertainment activities); .shop (businesses offering goods to purchase); and .web (entities emphasizing activities related to the World Wide Web).

The administration of the new gTLDs was contracted by CORE to Emergent Corporation, which was to develop, maintain, and operate the Shared Registry System (SRS). SRS is a neutral, shared, and centralized database of the new gTLGs. As many as 90 independent entities, known as "registrants," were authorized to register domain names , or URLs (Uniform Resource Locators), with each relying on the SRS. A URL, such as www.happypaintings.arts (this is not a real URL, at least not at the time of this writing), is translated into an IP address by a Domain Name Server (DNS), also known as a resolver. At the time of this writing, the proposal for new gTLDs has been forestalled. See also Core, DNS, IP Address, SRS, TLD, and URL.

Core Class

A public class (or interface) that is a standard member of the Java Platform. The intent is that the Java core classes, at minimum, are available on all operating systems where the Java Platform runs. A 100% pure Java program relies only on core classes, meaning it can run anywhere. All core classes reside in the Java Package.

Core Gateway

The primary routers in the Internet. Historically, one of a set of gateways (routers) operated by the Internet Network Operations Center at BBN. The core gateway system formed a central part of Internet routing in that all groups would advertise paths to their networks from a core gateway, using the Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP).

Core Network

A combination of high-capacity switches and transmission facilities which form the backbone of a carrier network. End users gain access to the core of the network from the Edge Network.

Core Non-Circularity

The percent that the shape of the core's cross section deviates from a circle. Sometimes referred to as core ovality.

Core Processing Unit

CPU. The card or shelf that controls the system or part of the system. It's called the CPU because all the RAM, subprocessors, buffers, clocking circuitry and ROM are included in this part of the system.

Core Router

In a packet-switched star topology, a router that is part of the backbone and that serves as the single pipe through which all traffic from peripheral networks must pass on its way to other peripheral networks.

Core Size

Primary description of a fiber. Stated in microns. Does not include cladding. Determines end surface area which accepts and transmits light.

Core Switch

A Broadband Switching System (BSS) which is located in the core of the network. Conceptually equivalent to a Tandem Office in the voice world, a core switch serves to interconnect "Edge Switches," which provide user access to the broadband network much as do Central Offices in the circuit switched voice world.

Core Wall

A wall that runs between structural floor and structural ceiling to separate stairwells, elevators, etc. from the rest of the building.

Cornea Gumbo

A visually noisy, overdesigned Photoshopped mess. "We've got to redesign that page, it's become total cornea gumbo."

Corner Reflector

  1. A device, normally consisting of three metallic surfaces or screens perpendicular to one another, designed to act as a radar target or marker.

  2. In radar interpretation, an object that, by means of multiple reflections from smooth surfaces, produces a radar return of greater magnitude than might be expected from the physical size of the object.

  3. A reflected electromagnetic wave to its point of origin. Such reflectors are often used as radar targets.

  4. Passive optical mirror, that consists of three mutually perpendicular flat, intersecting reflecting surfaces, which returns an incident light beam in the opposite direction.

  5. A reflector consisting of two mutually intersecting conducting flat surfaces.


A Siemens protocol for PBX-to-PBX signaling over a Primary Rate connection.

Corporate GSM.

This is how Opuswave defines the term on its web page: "Corporate GSM seamlessly integrates public wireless (GSM), enterprise voice (PBX) and enterprise data (LAN) communications networks and integrates fully with the legacy infrastructure of the enterprise." Personally , I think it's a made-up term, but my friend Joel Solkoff sent it and he wants it in. So it's in. Let's see if the term sticks.

Corporate Network

Also called an internetwork or a wide area network. A network of networks (the mother of all networks) that connects most or all of a corporation's voice, data, and video resources using various methods, including the phone system, LANs, private data networks, leased telecommunications lines, and public data networks. Connections between networks are made with bridges and routers.

Corporate networks come in many shapes and sizes. Often, they will consist of networks within the same building or facility. Here, networks are combined using bridges and routers. Corporate networks may also span great distances. Such internetworks require different types of connections than single-facility internetworks, though the fundamentals are similar. Internetworks that connect remote facilities usually rely on some type of public or leased data communications network provided by the phone company or a data network service company. Bridges and routers are still required to connect networks to the long-distance data service, whether it's an X.25 packet switched network, a T-1 line, or even a regular phone line. See also Bridge and Router.


The AMA (Automatic Message Accounting) function that permits the association of AMA data generated at the same network system or at physically separate network systems. There are three levels of correlation that affect Advanced Intelligent Network Release 1: record level, service level, and customer level. Definition from Bellcore in reference to Advanced Intelligent Network.

Corresponding Entities

Peer entities with a lower layer connection among them.

Corridor Service

A term that Bell Atlantic is using for calls to and from the New York City area to and from Northern New Jersey, or between Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.


The destruction of the surface of a metal by chemical reaction.


  1. See Class of Service.

  2. Compatible for Open Systems.

  3. Corporation for Open Systems international. A Federal Government blessed organization which aims towards standardizing OSI and ISDN. COS members include everyone from end-users to manufacturers. COS deals with private and public networking issues.


Cooperation for Open Systems Interconnection Networking in Europe. A program sponsored by the European Commission aimed at using OSI to tie together European research networks.

Cosmic Rays

Atomic nuclei (mostly protons) and electrons that are observed to strike the Earth's atmosphere with exceedingly high energy.


Consortium for School Networking A non-profit organization that promotes the use of telecommunications in Kindergarten to 12th grade education to improve learning. Members represent state and local education agencies, as well as hardware and software vendors, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and interested individuals.


Identifies class of service SNA.

Cost Component

The price of each element of telecommunications service and/or equipment that comprises a configuration.

Cost Of Service Pricing

A procedure, rationale or methodology for pricing services strictly on the basis of the cost to provide those services.

Cost per Phone Hour

A call center term. Basic unit of resource measurement. Total costs (fixed, variable and semi-variable) divided by the number of workstation call hours that are projected or actually achieved.


  1. Continuity Check Message. The second of the ISUP call set-up messages. Indicates success or failure of continuity check if one is needed. See ISUP and Common Channel Signaling.

  2. Central Office Terminal or Termination. The termination of a local loop facility at the central office. See Digital Loop Carrier.

  3. Customer Originated Trace. A CLASS (Custom Local Area Signaling Services) feature that allows the customer (e.g., you) to originate a trace to track harassing callers. When you get a nuisance call, you depress the switchhook and release it quickly. Then you listen for a special stuttered dial tone. You then depress *57 on your touchtone dial pad, or dial 1157 on your rotary phone. If the last call has been successfully traced, you'll hear an announcement. The results of the successful trace are recorded by the telephone company, and are released only to law enforcement agencies, after you have signed an authorization. Your telephone company may charge you for this service, and the charge may be as high as $100. See also CLASS.

Coterminated Plant

Plant which has an assumed retirement dependent upon the retirement of some other item of equipment or building, etc. A telephone company term.


  1. COnnection Transport Service.

  2. Commercial Off The Shelf.

Couch Commando

A couch potato who insists on taking charge of what he and the rest of the couch potatoes are watching on the TV.

Couch Potato

A person who spends their life sitting on a couch surfing TV channels with a remote control TV device. See Mouse Potato.


The quantity of electricity transferred by a current of one ampere in one second. One unit of quantity in measuring electricity.

Council of Registrars

CORE. An organization charged with the responsibility for development, implementation, and maintenance of a set of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) for the Internet. See CORE for a longer explanation.


An arrangement whereby two signal paths, one in each direction, exist in a ring topology.

An arrangement whereby two signal paths, one in each direction, exist in a ring topology. See Counter Rotating Ring.

Counter Rotating Ring

An arrangement whereby two signal paths, the directions of which are opposite, exist in a physical ring topology. Such rings typically are described as "Dual Counter Rotating Rings," such as described in SONET and FDDI standards. In such a physical configuration, one or more transmission paths operate in a clockwise manner, while one or more other paths operate counter-clockwise, or anti-clockwise. Should the primary path suffer catastrophic failure, the secondary path comes on line. It does this to ensure virtually uninterrupted communications. See also FDDI and SONET.


A system of electrical conductors used to complete the antenna system in place of the usual ground connection.

Country Code

  1. The one, two or three digit number that, in the world numbering plan, identifies each country or integrated numbering plan in the world. In short, the one, two or three digits that precede the national number in an international phone call. This code is assigned in and taken from Recommendation E.163 (Numbering Plan for International Service) adopted by the ITU-T. There's a list of country codes and key country area codes in the Appendix at the back of this book. See also and

  2. In international record carrier transmissions, the country code is a two or three alpha or numeric abbreviation of the country name following the geographical place name.

  3. A two-character alphabetic code suffixed to a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for use in communications over the Internet and WWW (World Wide Web). The country code is a portion of the Top Level Domain (TLD), and is used when the domain of the target country differs from that of the country of origin of the transmission. For example, if you send an e-mail from the U.S. to South Africa, the e-mail address would be in the format "" Example country codes include .au for Australia, .jp for Japan, .sw for Sweden, .us for United States, and .za for South Africa.


For the purposes of the FCC's cable television rules, this term includes:

  • Borough (in Alaska).

  • District (in District of Columbia).

  • Independent City (in Alaska, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia).

  • Municipio (in Puerto Rico).

  • Parish (in Louisiana).

Coupled Modes

  1. In fiber optics, a condition wherein energy is transferred among modes. The energy share of each mode does not differ after the equilibrium length has been reached.

  2. In microwave transmission, a condition where energy is transferred from the fundamental mode to higher order modes. Energy transferred to coupled modes is undesirable in usual microwave transmission in a waveguide. The frequency is kept low enough so that propagation in the waveguide is only in the fundamental mode.


An optical device that combines or splits power from optical fibers.


Any means by which energy is transferred from one conductive or dielectric medium (e.g., optical waveguide) to another, including fortuitous occurrences. Types of electrical coupling include capacitive (electrostatic) coupling, inductive coupling, and conductive (hard wire) coupling. Coupling may occur between optical fibers unless specific action is taken to prevent it. Coupling between fibers is very effectively prevented by the polymer overcoat, which also prevents the propagation of cladding modes, and provides some degree of physical protection. See also Inductive Coupling.

Coupling Loss

The power loss suffered when coupling light from one optical device to another.


From Britain: A tear-off slip to encourage response to advertisements or to a promotion on packaging. The information is keyed into a telebusiness system which automatically handles the follow-up. This may be a phone call, acknowledgement letter, brochure, distribution of a lead to a distributor and so on.


A dumb French word for email. The word came because the French government, in its infinite wisdom, did not like the use of email, which it regarded as a bad American word.


A combination of Web pages, E-mail, threaded discussions, chat rooms, listservs and distance learning tools used to provide online educational services or supplement regular classroom instruction.


Control Over Voice. Mitel's proprietary signaling protocol which they use between their PBX and their proprietary analog phones.

Cover Page

The first page of a fax message. It generally includes a header, typically the sender company's logo; the recipient's name and fax telephone number; the sender's fax and voice telephone numbers; the system's date and time; a message; a footer.


The percent of completeness with which a metal braid covers the underlying surface.

Coverage Area

The geographic area served by a cellular system; that is, the area in which service is available to users of the system. Once the mobile telephone number has traveled outside the coverage area, the mobile telephone will show "NO SERVICE."

Covert Couture

Designer one-offs modeled after off-the-rack merchandise. For example, Gucci might make you a handbag just like the one in the store but add a monogrammed lining - for say, $17,0000. As The New York Times put it: "The finished item may not look so very different from the store-bought version, but it's secretly special."


Cellsite On Wheels. A COW is trailer used to house transmitting/receiving equipment. A COW can be temporary, providing cell phone service during network expansions, emergencies and short duration events. When replacing an existing cellsite, the COW processes traffic while the permanent cellsite is changed out. In the case of a change out or upgrade, the COW will use existing components, such as antennas, batteries, network facilities whenever possible. Some components may be re-engineered and expanded. Antennas may require duplexers, power may have to be reconfigured, batteries may have to be upgraded, additional network facilities may be arranged. In the event, the COW is used at a "new" site or for a special event, network access, power, generators, remote testing and repair are arranged and a temporary tower may be placed until a permanent tower can be erected. The use of the COW may or may not require a cellular system redesign depending on the application. Since the COW can be used for omni or single-directional applications, each deployment of the COW will require a review of the RF Plan for the given area. COWs come with climate control and can be configured in any manner, depending on the physical restrictions of the trailer. The COW is especially useful to get service in place while the permanent network is being built because COWs can roll through a network from site to site as the Project demands. Since the COW contains the same network equipment as a permanent cellsite, it can be removed from the COW and installed in a permanent building if that is part of the network plan.

COW Interface

Character-Oriented Windows Interface. An SAA-compatible user interface for OS/2 applications.

Cowboy Coding

Cowboy Coding or Cowboy Software and means shooting from the hip and not really planning how you go about a particular process.


India is the only country in the world that has a Bill of Rights for Cows.


See Control Point.


Control Program for Microcomputers. An erstwhile popular operating system for primarily 8-bit microcomputer systems based on the family of Intel 8080 family of microprocessor chips. The CP/M system was originally written by Gary Kidall a programmer and consultant who later formed a company called Intergalatic Digital Research (later just Digital Research). Sadly, that company never upgraded CP/M to 16-bit machines. Thus it left the way open for Bill Gates and the company he formed, Microsoft, to create MS-DOS, which, in its initial form, bore a remarkable resemblance to CP/M.


Cost Per Action. Consider an advertisement on a Web site. There are basically four ways you can pay for such an ad.

  1. You can pay a flat monthly fee for it.

  2. You can pay a cost per viewer, per eyeball.

  3. You can pay a cost per click.

  4. You can pay a "cost per action." You pay if someone seeing your ad actually does something. CPA pricing can range from registration forms filled out, contests entered, questionnaires answered , or cost per ultimate product purchase, and lots of other variables along a continuum of steps toward the sale. Advertisers often favor such pricing strategies because they pay only for measurable results. The problem for publishers is the guy putting up the Web is that they carry all the risk - if a poorly designed or badly targeted ad (something the Web site owner has no control over) draws low activity levels. And the poor Web site gets no money for his precious real estate space.


  1. See Calling Party Control.

  2. Calling Party Connected.


Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. A CPCN is required from the FCC (47 U.S.C. S 214(e)(2)) for the "construction, extension, acquisition, operation, or discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service", or more generally, to provide interstate phone lines from point A to point B. For intrastate lines, a CPCN is required from the state public utilities commission. As the name implies, CPCNs are awarded based on whether there is a public need for the service. Given FCC and Congressional policy to promote competition, the requirements are not onerous and are even less so for resellers who do not need to construct facilities.


An ATM term. Common Part Convergence Sublayer: The portion of the convergence sublayer of an AAL that remains the same regardless of the traffic type.


An ATM term. Common Part Convergence Sublayer-Service Data Unit: Protocol data unit to be delivered to the receiving AAL layer by the destination CP convergence sublayer.


Customer Provided Equipment, or Customer Premises Equipment. Originally it referred to equipment on the customer's premises which had been bought from a vendor who was not the local phone company. Now it simply refers to telephone equipment ” key systems, PBXs, answering machines, etc. ” which reside on the customer's premises. "Premises" might be anything from an office to a factory to a home. GTE once used CPE to refer to "Company Provided Equipment." It doesn't any longer. What the Americans call CPE, the Europeans now call CTE, which stands for Connected Telecommunications Equipment. See CTE Directive.


  1. Computer to PBX Interface. This proprietary hardware/software interface provides direct connectivity between a PBX's switching network and a host computer to allow switched access between the host computer and data terminal equipment connected with the PBX. The interface is based on the North American Standard T-Carrier specification (24 multiplexed 64 Kbps channels operating at a combined speed of 1.544 Mbps). Developed by Northern Telecom, Inc. this interface uses in-band signaling and provides bidirectional data transmission at speeds up to 56 Kbps synchronous per channel. See Open Application Interface.

  2. Cost Per Inquiry. The total advertising cost divided by the number of inquiries received. Used for analyzing the efficiency of a medium or vehicle.


IBM SAA Common Programming Interface-Communication between SNA and OSI environments.


Short for Carrier Pigeon Internet Protocol. Using birds to send datagrams from one network node to another, where they are scanned and sent on electronically . A group of Norwegian Linux enthusiasts pulled it off. Why? Because they could.


Call Processing Language. Based on XML (Extended Markup Language), CPL is used to describe and control Internet telephony services. Currently in development within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), CPL is unique insofar as it is specifically geared towards service creation by end users. This makes it a complement to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) when considering advanced Internet telephony services that integrate VoIP with existing Web and Email features.


Complex Programmable Logic Device. Also known as Complex Programmable Gate Array (CPGA). A user-configurable logic device very similar to the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The difference is that the basic logic cells are more complex and structured than those used in FPGAs; the logic cells are larger and more capable at the expense of interconnect routing resources. See also ASIC and FPGA.


  1. Customer Premise Management.

  2. Critical Path Method. See also CP/M.

  3. Cable Plant Management. See Cable Management.

  4. See Continuous Phase Modulation.

  5. Cost Per Thousand. A way of comparing the price of advertising. Assume your ad is running for a month on Lycos' home page, how much will the CPM be? It will be the price of the ad divided by the number of people visiting that site for a month. For example, let's say that the ad cost $200,000 and was visited by 10,000 people. That means that the cost per thousand (the CPM) is $20.


  1. Computer PBX Network.

  2. Customer premises network.

  3. Calling Party Number. See Calling Party Number.


Customer Proprietary Network Information. Information which is available to a telephone company by virtue of the telephone company's basic service customer relationship. This information may include the quantity, location, type and amount of use of local telephone service subscribed to, and information contained on telephone company bills. This is the definition of CPNI that the independent voice mail and live telephone answering industry uses.


Compression Priority Demand Assignment. Another protocol for converting voice into data bits. See also PCM.


Calling Party Pays. A billing option that changes the billing of landline calls received by wireless subscribers so that the originating caller is billed for calls to the wireless subscriber. A new concept in cell phone service in the U.S. An old concept in Europe where GSM has always had it and the caller has always paid more to call a cell phone.


Continuing Property Record. Assigned by Telcordia to provide a methodology for property record number assignment for retirement units and less than retirement units. These record numbers are used by telephone service providers to maintain detailed records of telephone equipment assets throughout the lifecycle of the equipment usage. CPR numbers classify equipment into hardwired, deferrable plug-in, non-deferrable plug-in, capital tool and portable test set, minor item, and expense item. See also CLEI Code.


Characters per second, or cycles per second. In asynchronous communications, there are typically 10 bits per character ” 8 bits for the character and one stop and one start bit.


Customer Premises Satellite Interface. The interface between a satellite, a satellite receiver on the premises, and a user computer network, the CPSI is envisioned as an open interface that support high speed Internet access through broadband satellites.


See Central Processing Unit.


Call Pickup Group. All the phones in an area that can be answered by each other by simply punching in a couple of digits. See Call Pickup.


  1. Carriage Return. The key on a computer called Carriage Return or sometimes "ENTER." Touching this key usually signals the computer that the entry has been completed and is now ready for processing by the computer. See Carriage Return.

  2. Critical (alarm status). Indicates a failure affecting more than 96 customers. An AT&T definition.

  3. Call Reference.

  4. Call Register. It is a place in memory in a telephone switch that dialed digits are stored when placing a call.


Constraint-based Routed Label Distribution Protocol. An alternative to RSVP (Resource ReSerVation Protocol) in MPLS (MultiProtocol Label Switching) networks. RSVP, which works at the IP (Internet Protocol) level, uses IP or UDP datagrams to communicate between LSR (Label Switched Routing) peers. RSVP does not require the maintenance of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) sessions, although RSVP must assume responsibility for error control. CR-LDP is designed to facilitate the routing of LSPs (Label Switched Paths) through TCP sessions between LSR peers through the communication of label distribution messages during the session. See also MPLS.


ewUsers of Research In Motion's Blackberry.


A person who "cracks" computer and telephone systems by gaining access to passwords, or by "cracking" the copy protection of computer software. A cracker usually does illegal acts. A Cracker is a "Hacker" whose hacks are beyond the bounds of propriety, and usually beyond the law. The term "cracker" is said to derive from the word "safe- cracker." See also Hacker, Phreak, Script Kiddies, and Sneaker.

Cradle Cams

On-line cameras attached to computers attached to the Internet that allow parents to monitor their children from their desks at their offices. Cradle cams (cam- eras) ” also known as Kiddie cams ” are often installed in daycare centers and grade schools .


  1. Cooperative Research Action For Technology.

  2. Craft. Nonmanagement telephone company staff. Many craft employees are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) least they used to be.

Craft Terminal

A PCS wireless term. A craft terminal is a device built specifically to provide a man-machine interface that is otherwise not available. The interface is customized to provide a view into a particular device's operation such as a proprietary switch or BSS, which is a Base Station Sub-system charged with managing radio frequency resources and radio frequency transmission for a group of BTSs, which is a Base Transceiver Station, used to transmit radio frequency over the air.

Craft Test Set

Also called Goat or Butt-Set. Portable telephone used to test analog phone lines.


In the phone industry, a craftsperson has two distinct meanings. First, it is the person who toils to install phones, repair outside plant and fix problems inside central offices. This person typically carries tools and dresses in jeans . Second, craftspeople are at the bottom of the management hierarchy in most phone companies. They typically belong to a union. Craftspeople are not "in management." See Level.


A practice in which customers are billed for unexpected and unathorized telephone charges or telephone services, which the companies didn't order, authorize or use. "Cramming" refers to the fact that the charges are crammed onto the telephone bill in an inconspicuous place in order that such charges will go unnoticed by the customer. Most of us poor, dumb customers don't bother to check our telephone bills, and quickly write a check for the total. We really don't examine phone bills in great detail since most of them are incomprehensible. Cramming is a practice of only the most unethical and desperate phone companies, i.e. most of them. (That's a tasteless joke.)


An ATM term. A mechanism for partially releasing a connection setup in progress which has encountered a failure. This mechanism allows PNNI to perform alternate routing.


A poorly written or totally useless Java applet. "I just wasted 30 minutes downloading this awful crapplet!"


A crash is the complete failure of a hardware device or a software operation. The term usually is used to mean a "fatal" crash in which the device or software must be started from a "power up" condition. The crash of a Windows machine often is accompanied by a blank blue screen known lovingly as the "blue screen of death." A Macintosh crash is accompanied by a blank screen with a small text box that contains a graphic of a bomb with a lit fuse. See also Boot.


Cryptograhic Radio TeleType equipment. See also Five By Five.


See Bot.


The minute cracks that can be found on the suffice of plastic materials such as cable insulation.


Cyclic Redundancy Check. A process used to check the integrity of a block of data. A CRC character is generated at the transmission end. Its value depends on the hexadecimal value of the number of ones in the data block. The transmitting device calculates the value and appends it to the data block. The receiving end makes a similar calculation and compares its results with the added character. If there is a difference, the recipient requests retransmission. CRC is a common method of establishing that data was correctly received in data communications. See CRC Character.

CRC Character

A character used to check the integrity of a block of data. The character is generated at the transmission end. Its value depends on the hexadecimal value of the number of ones in the data block. And it is added to the data block. The receiving end makes a similar calculation and compares its results with the added character. If there's a difference, there's been a mistake in transmission. So, please, re-send the data.


Contention Resolution Device.

Cream Skimming

Selecting only the most profitable markets or services to sell into. Choosing the cream of the market. An erstwhile popular economic theory to deny new entrants into the telephone industry.

Creative Disruption

Economist Joseph A. Schumpeter's theory that entrepreneurs generate innovation by rendering their predecessors' ideas obsolete. See also Disruptive Technologies.


A way of establishing, via a trusted third party, that you are who you claim to be.


Conduit, Risers, Equipment space, Ducts and FACilitieS. Collective term for pathway elements used in communications cabling.

Credit Card Phone

A pay telephone that accepts credit cards with magnetic strips on them instead of coins .

Credit crunch

People use the term "credit crunch" to describe any situation in which banks seem to be unwilling to lend to businesses, consumers, or both. A true credit crunch, however, is a sudden disruption in which the credit markets stop working.

The term dates from a specific economic episode in 1966. Back then, Depression-era government rules (notably the Federal Reserve's Regulation Q) capped the interest rates that banks could pay on most deposits. In 1966, rates on short-term securities zoomed higher than the federal cap, and banks suffered sudden, massive withdrawals as depositors shifted funds from savings accounts into money-market securities. Banks were forced to liquidate assets at distress prices to meet the outflow, and briefly stopped lending to anyone ” institution or individual ” at any price. The crunch ended quickly when the Fed cut short-term rates and flooded the markets with liquidity, which probably also forestalled a recession .


Corporation for Research and Educational Networking. An organization formed in October 1989, when Bitnet and CSNET were combined. CSNET is no longer around, but CREN still operates Bitnet.

Crest Factor

The crest factor is the ratio of the crest (peak, maximum) value of a current to the root-mean-square (RMS) value. A square wave of current has a crest factor of 1. A sine wave has a crest factor of 1.414. The current drawn by a typical computer power supply when powered from a typical wall outlet has a crest factor of 4. The crest factor in this case results from a complex interaction between the power supply and the utility power sine wave. The crest factor of a computer or telephone system power supply is usually reduced when it is operated from a UPS. The reduction in crest factor when operating from a UPS does not adversely affect a computer or telephone power supply, and in fact actually makes it run cooler . Crest factor is always a property of the interaction between a load and a source, so it is meaningless to attribute to either a load or source independently. Factors which generally affect the ability of a UPS to supply high crest factors are: output impedance at harmonic frequencies, output distortion, and current limit. Although a high crest factor rating of a UPS has been considered to be a measure of UPS output stability and quality, differences in measurement techniques make product comparisons on this basis useless. A preferred method is to specify the output voltage response to a step load or output voltage distortion under load. Definition supplied by APC. See also Peak-to-Average Ratio (PAR).


Custom Toll Restriction.


  1. An ATM term. Cell Relay Function: This is the basic function that an ATM network performs in order to provide a cell relay service to ATM end-stations.

  2. An ATM term. Connection Related Function: A term used by Traffic Management to reference a point in a network or a network element where per connection functions are occurring. This is the point where policing at the VCC or VPC level may occur.

Crimp Die

These are the part of the crimp tool that actually come in contact with the connector that is being crimped. They slide into the jaws of the crimp tool. Crimp dies are interchangeable and many types are available. See Crimp Tool.

Crimp Tool

Crimp tools form connectors onto cables. They are used for BNC, F-Type and RJ-11, RJ-45 connectors, among others. They have a padded handle and jaws where the crimp dies are inserted. Crimps are installed by inserting the cable into the crimp, then the crimp into the crimp die, and squeezing the handles of the crimp tool. See Crimp Die.


  1. Cryptography & Information Security Research Laboratory.

  2. Customer Record Information System. A data format used by some LECs for billing end user customers.

  3. See Customer Record Information System.

Critical Angle

The smallest angle at which a ray will be totally reflected within a fiber.

Critical Mess

An unstable stage in a software project's life when any single change or bug fix can result in two or more new bugs. Continued development at this stage leads to an exponential increase in the number of bugs .

Critical Technical Load

That part of the total technical power load required for synchronous communications and automatic switching equipment.


  1. An ATM term. Cell Rate Margin: This is a measure of the difference between the effective bandwidth allocation and the allocation for sustainable rate in cells per second.

  2. Customer Relationship Management. A fancy name for putting software, hardware and networking in place that improves a company's dealings with its customers. In the simplest example, a customer might like to be able to access his supplier's shipping system, so he can find out if the goods were shipped, when they were shipped and where they are now. CRM includes such customer touch functions as help desk, marketing, order entry, technical information and sales automation. According to a study I saw in late 2001, the primary applications of CRM software were field sales (26%), marketing (24%), call center service (23%), call center sales (8%), distributor sales (4%), field service (2%), online sales (2%) and other (11%).


Complete with Related Order. FID used on service orders identifying two or more orders that are dependent upon each other for proper completion. Orders must be completed together.

Crooked Nose

In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose. There's hope for us all.

Cross Assembler

An assembler that can run symbolic-language on one type of computer and produce machine-language output for another type of computer.

Cross Browser

Netscape had the biggest

Cross Compiler

A compiler that runs on one computer but produces object code for a different type of computer. In short, a cross compiler generates code for a different environment than where it is run. Cross compilers are used to generate software that can run on computers with a new architecture or on special-purpose devices that cannot host their own compilers. Cross-compiler: For example, normally a compiler that runs on a Motorola 68020 will generate code that runs on a Motorola 68020. A cross-compiler might run on a Motorola 68020, but generate code for an Intel 80960.

Cross Connect

Cross connect can be written with or without a dash, i.e. cross connect or cross-connect. I've read 15 definitions of cross-connect. They're all awful. Let's try to do better. Let's imagine you have an office that you need to wire up for voice and data. So you wire every desk with a bunch of wires. You punch one end of the wires into various plugs at the desk. You punch the other onto some form of punchdown block, for example a 66-block. That punchdown block may be in a closet on the same floor or it may be down in the basement . Then you bring the wires in from your telecom suppliers. The T-1s, the ATM, the frame relay, the local lines, the analog lines, the digital lines, etc. You punch them down on another punchdown block, for example a 66-block. Now you have two sets of blocks (they can be any form of punchdown block) ” one for those going to the office and those coming in from the outside world. You now have to join them in a process known as "cross-connecting" in the telecom world. You simply run wires from one 66-block (or other punchdown device) to the other one. The reason you use cross-connect wires rather than just punching down an incoming phone line, for example, directly to your phone system is that moves, adds and changes would, over time, horribly confuse things, screw connections up, and eventually become a total mess. Easier to simply have all the changes accomplished through the cross-connect wires and wiring. Follow the short wires. Easy to see what's connected to what. Easier for labeling, documentation, etc. In short, cross-connect is a connection scheme between cabling runs, subsystems, and equipment using patch cords or jumpers that attach to connecting hardware on each end. Cross-connection is the attachment of one wire to another usually by anchoring each wire to a connecting block and then placing a third wire between them so that an electrical connection is made. The TIA/EIA-568-A standard specifies that cross-connect cables (also called patch cords) are to be made out of stranded cable. See also Cross Connect Equipment, Cross Connect Field, DACS, and Patch Panel.

Cross Connect Equipment

Distribution system equipment used to terminate and administer communication circuits. In a wire cross connect, jumper wires or patch cords are used to make circuit connections. In an optical cross connect, fiber patch cords are used. The cross connect is located in an equipment room, riser closet, or satellite closet.

Cross Connect Field

Wire terminations grouped to provide cross connect capability. The groups are identified by color-coded sections of backboards mounted on the wall in equipment rooms, riser closets, or satellite closets, or by designation strips placed on the wiring block or unit. The color coding identifies the type of circuit that terminates at the field.

Cross Connection

See Cross Connect.

Cross Coupling

The coupling of a signal from one channel, circuit, or conductor to another, where it becomes an undesired signal. See Cross Connect.

Cross Extension Cable

When you make an REJ-11 extension cable, the wiring crosses over. Conductor 1 becomes 4. Conductor 2 becomes 3. Conductor 3 becomes 2. And conductor 4 becomes one. Next time you have an REJ-11 extension cable in your hand, hold the REJ-11s next to each other and compare them. You'll notice the cross-over of the conductors.

Cross Modulation Distortion

The amount of modulation impressed on an unmodulated carrier when a signal is simultaneously applied to the RF port of a mixer under specified operating conditions. The tendency of a mixer to produce cross modulation is decreased with an increase in conversion compression point and intercept point.

Cross Over Cable

See Crossover Cable.

Cross Phase Modulation

A fiber nonlinearity caused by the nonlinear index of refraction of glass. The index of refraction varies with optical power level which causes different optical signals to interact.

Cross Pinned

See Crossover Cable.

Cross Plan Termination

The conversion of ten-digit telephone numbers to seven digits, or vice versa.

Cross Polarization

The relationship between two radio waves where one is polarized vertically and the other horizontally.

Cross Selling

You buy a shirt from me. I sell you a tie. You buy a car from me. I sell you a mobile phone for your car. There is another term. It's called "up selling." That's when I sell you a more expensive shirt or a more expensive car.

Cross Subsidization

Supporting one area of a business from revenues generated by another area. Local phone companies in the U.S. have long argued that if they are required by government or regulatory decree to provide "universal service" to households, they should be allowed to price business service higher. This way they can cross subsidize low-priced residential with high-priced business service. At least that's the theory. There are, however, many other cross-subsidies in the telephone business ” people who stay longer with one phone line cross-subsidize those who move frequently; international service in most countries is priced high and the profits used to provide other services. The problem with cross-subsidies is that everyone knows they exist, but no one knows the actual financial extent of them. The problem is of allocation. A phone company runs with one plant ” switches and wires. Those switches and wires provide everything from local to international calling. How to figure how to allocate how much is used for what? It's a question that has provided millions of dollars in consulting fees for thousands of economists over the years. Despite the money, there are no conclusive answers. See also Tariff Rebalancing.

Cross Tabulation

Method for describing frequency distributions of two variables simultaneously.

Cross Wye

A cable used at the host system, or network interface equipment that changes pin/signal assignment in order to conform to a given wiring standard (USOC, AT&T PDS, DEC MMJ, etc).


See Cross Connect.


Non-permanent wire connections that run between terminals of a cross-connect field. See Cross Connect.


Xbar. A switching system that uses a centrally -controlled matrix switching network of electromagnetic switches which work with magnets and which connect horizontal and vertical paths to establish a path through the network. Crossbar switches are circuit switches, typically in the form of voice PBXs and Central Offices (COs). Crossbar was known for its reliability, at least in comparison to earlier Step-by-Step (SxS) electromechanical switches, but is now largely obsolete because it takes up a lot of space and isn't programmable. The first crossbar switch was a central office installed in Brooklyn, NY in 1937. For a bigger explanation, see Xbar.

Crossbar Tandem

A 2-wire common-control switching system with a space-division network used as local tandem, toll tandem, and CAMA switching. While originally designed to switch trunks, some systems have been locally modified to accept loop-start or ground-start lines.

Crossed Pinning

Configuration that allows two DTE devices or two DCE devices to communicate. See also Crossover Cable.


An X.25 link connecting two XTX NCs on the same level.

Crossover Cable

Another word for a null modem cable or a cross-pinned cable. Such a cable is a RS-232 cable that enables two DTE devices or two DCE devices to be connected through serial ports and transmit and receive information across the cable. The sending wire on one end is joined to the receiving wire on the other. In an RS-232 cable, this typically means that conductors 2 and 3 are reversed. See RS-232-C.

Crosspinned Cable

See Crossover Cable.


A single element in an array of elements that comprise a switch. It is a set of physical or logical contacts that operate together to extend the speech and signal channels in a switching network.

Crosspolarized Operation

The use of two transmitters operating on the same frequency, with one transmitter-receiver pair being vertically polarized and the other pair horizontally polarized (orthogonal polarization).


Crossposting is putting one copy of an electronic file up on the Internet in such a way that it can be viewed from any of several newsgroups (discussion areas). Today's Internet software lets readers avoid seeing a widely crossposted article more than once. They see it in the first group they find it. Crossposting is frowned upon in the Internet when it becomes excessive and off-topic. Crossposting is a less serious offense than spamming, which is seriously frowned upon. See Spamming .


Crosstalk occurs when you can hear someone you did not call talking on your telephone line to another person you did not call. You may also only hear half the other conversation. Just one person speaking. There are several technical causes for crosstalk. They relate to wire placement, shielding and transmission techniques. CROSSTALK is also the name of a once popular telecommunications software program for 8- and 16-bit microcomputers.

Crosstalk Attenuation

The extent to which a communications system resists crosstalk.


  1. Command repeat.

  2. Cabling Reference Panel (of the Australian Communications Industry Forum).

  3. Customer Routing Point. AT&T's terminology for third-party processors that accept routing requests from the CCSS7 network. Within the ICM, the Network Interface Controller (NIC) acts as a CRP.


An ATM term. Cell Relay Service: A carrier service which supports the receipt and transmission of ATM cells between end users in compliance with ATM standards and implementation specifications.


Cathode Ray Tube. The glass display device found in television sets and video computer terminals. See Cathode Ray Tube.


Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. The Canadian equivalent of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the US. The CRTC has its origins in the Royal Commission on Broadcasting (1928). In 1906, amendments to the Railway Act granted the Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada the power to regulate telephone and telegraph companies under federal jurisdiction. In 1936, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) was formed. It wasn't until 1976 that the CRTC was formed to assume regulatory responsibilities for radio, television, telegraphy and telecommunications.


  1. The steps and operations performed in converting encrypted messages into plain text without initial knowledge of the key employed in the encryption.

  2. The study of encrypted texts . The steps or processes involved in converting encrypted text into plain text without initial knowledge of the key employed in the encryption.


A term used to describe encrypted information. The use of encryption on data communications circuits lessens the chance that the information will be successfully copied by eavesdroppers.


A complete system of crypto-communications between two or more holders. The basic unit for naval cryptographic communication. It includes:

  1. the cryptographic aids prescribed;

  2. the holders thereof;

  3. the indicators or other means of identification;

  4. the area or areas in which effective;

  5. the special purpose, if any, for which provided; and

  6. pertinent notes as to distribution, usage, etc. A cryptochannel is analogous to a radio circuit.


The process of concealing the contents of a message from all except those who know the key. Cryptography is unregulated in the United States. See Clipper Chip.


A piece of natural quartz or similar material that has been ground to the proper specification which determines the operating frequency of the quartz.

Crystal Microphone

A microphone, the diaphragm of which is attached to a piezo-electric crystal, which generates electrical currents when torque is applied, due to the vibration of the diaphragm. The earliest form of microphone, now obsolete. See also Condenser and Electret Microphone.


  1. Convergence Sublayer. The upper portion of BISDN Layer 3. As an ATM term, it covers the general procedures and functions that convert between ATM and non-ATM formats. It describes the functions of the upper half of the AAL layer. It is also used to describe the conversion functions between non-ATM protocols such as Frame Relay or SMDS and ATM protocols above the AAL layer. The exact functions of the CS are dictated by the particular AAL (1, 2, 3/4, or 5) in support of the specific Service Class (A, B, C, or D). SEE AAL.

  2. Capability Sets. CSs. Stages of implementation of the Intelligent Network architecture (as proposed by the ITU and the ETSI). Each stage (CS) is actually an incremental subset of the full IN (Intelligent Network) architecture.


Capability Set 1. Term used by ITU-T to refer to their initial set of Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) standards. Contains 18 trigger detection points. Bellcore (Bell Communications Research) plans to adopt the CS-1 terminology for its own AIN.


Conjugate Structure-Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction. Standardized by the ITU-T as G.729, CS-ACELP is used for voice compression at rates of 8 Kbps. VoFR (Voice over Frame Relay) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) both make use of CSACELP, among other compression options. See also ACELP, CELP and LD-CELP.


Circuit Switched-Cellular Digital Packet Data. A variation on the CDPD theme. Developed in July 1995, the expanded specification provides for packet radio transmission on a circuit-switched basis over the analog AMPS cellular network. See also CDPD.


  1. CallPath Services Architecture. IBM's computer host to PBX interface. It links computer and telephone systems. See Callpath Services Architecture for detail. See also Callbridge and Open Application Interface.

  2. Canadian Standards Association. A non-profit, independent organization which operates a listing service for electrical and electronic materials and equipment. It is the body that establishes telephone equipment (and other) standards for use in Canada. At least in part, CSA is the Canadian counterpart of the Underwriters Laboratories. CSA also, by way of example, is heavily involved in the development of the ISO 9000 series of standards on quality and the ISO 14000 series on Environmental Management.

  3. Carrier Serving Area. A concept which categorizes local loops by length, gauge and subscriber distribution in order to determine how a specific geographic area can best be served. The concept is critical when LECs evaluate the potential for deployment of services which challenge the capabilities of the embedded voice-grade, twisted-pair cable plant. Such services include xDSL, e.g., ADSL and IDSL.

CSA T527-94

Canadian guidelines for Grounding and Bonding for Telecommunications in Commercial Buildings.

CSA T528-92

Canadian Design Guidelines for Administration of Telecommunications Infrastructure in Commercial Buildings.

CSA T529-M91

Canadian Design Guidelines for Telecommunications Wiring Systems in Commercial Buildings.

CSA T530-M90

Canadian Building Facilities Design Guidelines for Telecommunications CEC Canadian Electrical Code, Part I - 1994.

CSA T-530

Canadian equivalent of EIA-569 standard. Also has Rcv Clock, and both Xmit Clocks for synchronous systems.


  1. Customer Service Center.

  2. Customer Service Consultant.

  3. Customer Service Coordinator.

  4. Customer Support Center.

  5. Customer Support Consultant.


Circuit Switched Cellular Data. A developing alternative to CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) for transmitting data over analog AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) networks. The problems with CDPD are that it is optimized for short messages (smaller than 1KB), it is expensive (approximately $.10 per KB), and it is not universally available. CSCD is optimized for large files, typical of contemporary e-mail transmissions. It also is billed at the same rate as a voice call. Unlike CDPC, CSCD does not require a TCP/IP interface on both ends of the connection.


Circuit Switched Digital Capability. AT&T defines it as a technique for making endto-end digital connections. Customers can place telephone calls normally, then use the same private connection to transmit high-speed data. CSDC is a circuit-switched, 56 Kbps, full-duplex data service that provides high-speed data communications over regular telephone lines.


IBM Communications Subsystem For Interconnection: networking software.


  1. Called Subscriber Identification. This is an identifier whose coding format contains a number, usually a phone number from the remote terminal used in fax.

  2. Capability Set I. A set of service-independent building blocks for the creation of IN services developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and the ITU-T.


ComputoService Inc./National Independent Billing.


Calling Station ID. When you receive a fax from someone, you'll see on the top of the page the phone number of the fax machine that sent the fax to you. That's called the Calling Station ID. Most people think that that number is the phone number from which they're receiving the fax. In fact, it's not. It's the number you enter yourself into your fax machine when you first set it up. You could happily put in a completely different phone number to the number you're sending from. And no one would be any the wiser.


Carrier Sense Multiple Access. In local area networking, CSMA is a way of getting onto the LAN. Before starting to transmit, personal computers on the LAN "listen" to make sure no other PC is transmitting. Once the PC figures out that no other PC is transmitting, it sends a packet and then frees the line for other PCs to transmit. With CSMA, though stations do not transmit until the medium is clear, collisions still occur. Two alternative versions (CSMA/CA and CSMA/CD) attempt to reduce both the number of collisions and the severity of their impact. See CSMA/CA and CSMA/CD.


Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance. A MAC (Media Access Control) protocol designed to avoid the potential for data collisions between devices sharing a transmission medium, e.g. a local area network. There are several implementations of this approach. The IEEE 802.11a standard for wireless LANs, for example, requires that a device that desires to transmit send a RTS (Request To Send) packet. The RTS packet contains the source and destination addresses, and specifies the duration of the desired transmission. If the network is available, the destination station responds with a CTS (Clear To Send) packet. All other devices on the network recognize this ACK (positive ACKnowledgement) mechanism, and back off until the transmission is completed. If the source station doesn't receive a CTS within a specified period of time, it retransmits RTS packets until such time as a CTS reply is received. See also 802.11a and CSMA/CD.


Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection. A MAC (Medium Access Control) technique used in Ethernet LANs. CSMA/CD requires that all devices attached to the network listen for transmissions in progress (i.e., sense the carrier frequency) before starting to transmit (multiple access). If two or more begin transmitting at the same time and their transmissions crash into each other, a data collision occurs. All stations that sense the collision (i.e., collision detection) transmit a collision notification over a sub-carrier frequency, which all stations likewise monitor. The stations that were transmitting during this time backs off, and calculates a random number of milliseconds before again attempting to transmit.

If you didn't understand the above definition, try this one: CSMA/CD: Abbreviation for Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection, a method of having multiple workstations access a single transmission medium (multiple access) by listening until no signals are detected (carrier sense), then transmitting and checking to see if more than one signal is present (collision detection). Each workstation attempts to transmit when it "believes" the network to be free. If there is a collision, each workstation attempts to retransmit after a preset delay, which is different for each workstation. It is one of the most popular access methods for PC-based LANs. Think of it as entering a highway from an access road, except that you can crash and still try again. Or think of it as two polite people who start to talk at the same time. Each politely backs off and waits a random amount of time before starting to speak again. Ethernet-based LANs use CSMA/CD. See also CSMA/CA, Ethernet and IEEE 802.3.


Centralized Station Message Detail Recording.


Call Screening, Monitoring and Intercept.


  1. Central Services Organization. An Internet service that makes it easy to find user names and addresses.

  2. Corporate Security Officer.


  1. Competitive Service Provider. A general term for all companies competing to deliver telecommunications service to companies and individuals. The term includes the RBOCs, the CLECs, the IXCs and the ILECs.

  2. Certified Service Provider. Initially developed for the automotive industry, a CSP is an ISP which has met the mission requirements of performance, reliability, security, and manageability for the big three auto manufacturers and their trading partners (suppliers) to exchange critical transaction and planning documents over the web.

  3. Commerce Service Provider. Service providers that build and host e-commerce Web sites. CSPs relieve merchants of the complexity and expense of building, maintaining, and securing their own e-commerce sites.

  4. See Carriage Service Provider.


Circuit-Switched Public Data Networks.


Customer/Supplier Quality Process is a program designed to help suppliers improve the quality of their products and services and strengthen customer relationships. I first heard about CSQP from Newbridge Networks, which told me that it had been nominated for the program by several regional Bell operating companies because of the volume of products it was selling to these customers. These RBOCs funded Bellcore to work with Newbridge to assist in improving product and service quality to attain CSQP registration. The CSQP program is built upon ISO9000 standards, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality criteria and additional Bellcore criteria. According to Newbridge, CSQP establishes clear, concise requirements for each element of the requirements, including the ISO elements. Evidence of compliance must be given to the CSQP Management Team for all elements or action items opened in order to track the problem area to closure.


  1. Customer Station Rearrangement (as in Centrex).

  2. Customer Service Representative. A customer care agent that provides direct customer support.

  3. Customer Service Record. Computer printout that details the fixed monthly charges billed by your local telephone company. The CSR is composed of computer codes called USOCs, which in turn correspond to a particular tariffed service. USOCs tell the telephone company's billing system what tariff rate should be billed for a particular service. In order to ensure your telephone bill is correct you must request and review this document. No telecom manager should be without this important document.

  4. Cell Switch Router. A technology which is proposed in the form of an IETF submission to fill gaps in ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) standards. The objective of CSR is to provide a standard means of building enterprise backbones or carrier-level infrastructures which support high throughput, multicast, and QoS (Quality of Service) capabilities. CSR offers ATM-level connectivity from edge-to-edge of the network via cut-through paths in support of legacy networks such as Ethernet, bypassing packet-level switch processing at the intermediate and core switches.


  1. Cascading Style Sheets. See Cascading Style Sheets.

  2. Capability Sets. Stages of implementation of the Intelligent Network architecture (as proposed by the ITU and the ETSI). Each stage (CS) is actually an incremental subset of the full IN (Intelligent Network) architecture.

  3. Cellular Subscriber Station. A cellular phone.


Computer Supported Telephony, a term coined by Siemens. Here is an explanation from Dr. Peter Pawlita of Siemens. "More people communicate by telephone than by any other means. The reason is simple: The telephone bridges any distance, saves travel time and can be used spontaneously and is universally available. Unfortunately telephone usage is often associated with annoying delays and frayed nerves resulting from such things as time wasted in finding a number, dialing errors, and the absence of the dialed party. Added to this the person to whom you are speaking does not have the knowledge you require, or has to spend a long time looking for documents. What could be more obvious, therefore, than to turn these problems over to the computer ” to implement Computer Supported Telephony (CST). CST denotes the functional connection of a computer system to a PBX at the application level. CST applications can automatically initiate calls, receive incoming calls, and provide "just-in-time" business data, documents and notes on the screen. All this makes telephony more convenient , time-saving, efficient and largely error-free."


Computer Supported Telephony Application. A standard from the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) for linking computers to telephone systems. Basic CSTA is a set of API calls agreed upon by the ECMA. See also CST and Open Application Interface.


Customer Specific Term Plan. See Customer Specific Term Plan.


  1. Channel Service Unit. Also called a Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit or CSU/DSU because it contains a built-in DSU device. A device to terminate a digital channel on a customer's premises. It performs certain line coding, line-conditioning and equalization functions, and responds to loopback commands sent from the central office. A CSU sits between the digital line coming in from the central office and devices such as channel banks or data communications devices. A Channel Service Unit is found on every digital link and allows the transfer of data at a range greater than 56 Kbps. A 56 Kbps circuit would need a 56 Kbps DSU on both ends to transfer data from one end to the other. A CSU looks like your basic "modem," except it can pass data at rates much greater and does not permit dial-up functions (unless it has an asynch dial-backup feature).

  2. Channel Sharing Unit. Line bridging device that allows several inputs to share one output. CSUs exist to handle any input/output combination of sync or asynch terminals, computer ports, or modems and thus these units are variously called modem sharing units, digital bridges, port sharing units, digital sharing devices, modem contention units, multiple access units, control signal activated electronic switches or data-activated electronic switches.


See CSU.


Canadian Satellite Users Association. Trade association of satellite users.


Comma Separated Values. Commonly used no-frills text file format used for importing from and exporting to spreadsheets, HTML editors and SQL databases. What *.txt is to word processing, *.csv is to the spreadsheet industry - a simple, common format.


  1. Call Type.

  2. Cordless Telephone.

  3. Computer Telephony. See Computer Telephony.

CT Connect

A computer telephony call control server software that connects a wide range of telephone switches (PBXs and ACDs) to a variety of data processing environments. By bridging the PBX and IT infrastructure, CTI applications such as screen pops and intelligent call routing are easily implemented in call centers. CT Connect runs on Windows NT and SCO UnixWare and supports standard programming interfaces such as TAPI, TSAPI and DDE. See Computer Telephony.


Cordless Telephony Generation 1. A new type of low-cost public cordless telephone system getting popular in Europe. You carry a cheap handset. You go to within several hundred yards of a local antenna and you make your phone call. You can't receive calls as you can on a cellular radio. You can't make calls unless you're close to the antenna. The service helps overcome the serious lack of street-side coin and public phones in Europe. CT1 is the analog version of the interface specification. See CT2, CT2+, CT3 and DECT.


Cordless Telephony Generation 2, interface specification for digital technology, currently in use in the U.K. for telepoint (payphone) applications. Think of telepoint phones as cellular phones but using micro-cells. By having smaller cells than normal cellular cells, CT2 phones can be smaller, cheaper and lighter. The first generation of these phones didn't do well, since they weren't smaller and lighter; there weren't many micro-cells and you couldn't receive an incoming call. See CT1.


An expansion of the CT2 interface specification that would extend network capabilities and allow backwards compatibility with CT2 handsets. See CT1 and CT2.


Ericsson's proprietary cordless phone system.


Competitive Telecommunications Association. Trade association of alternate long distance carriers (resellers) in Canada.


See Communications Trouble and Analysis Center.


A Carrier Test Access Switch is a device that sits in a carrier's telecom network and is used to test multiple copper pair local loops. Such testing device is often used to test the quality of lines that will be used for high-speed DSL data service.


Canadian Telecommunications Consultants Association. Professional organization of telecommunications consultants.


  1. Continuity Tone Detector.

  2. An ATM term. Cell Transfer Delay: This is defined as the elapsed time between a cell exit event at measurement point 1 (e.g., at the source UNI) and the corresponding cell entry event at measurement point 2 (e.g., the destination UNI) for a particular connection. The cell transfer delay between two measurement points is the sum of the total inter-ATM node transmission delay and the total ATM node processing delay.


  1. Connected Telecommunications Equipment. The European term for what the Americans call CPE ” Customer Premises Equipment. See CPE and CTE Directive.

  2. Channel Translation Equipment.

  3. Coefficient of Thermal Expansion.

CTE Directive

CTE stands Connected Telecommunications Equipment. The European term for what the Americans call CPE ” Customer Premise Equipment. The CTE Directive refers to a paper on the proposed European-wide regulation of telecommunications terminals. That paper was published in the summer of 1997 by the European Commission. The proposed title is "European Parliament and Council Directive connected telecommunications equipment and the mutual recognition of the conformity of equipment". The timetable indicated by the EC is for a common position to be agreed by the end of 1997 with formal adoption by the Parliament and Council by mid 1998 and the legislation coming into force one year later ie, July 1999. The new Directive is designed to complement other relevant "horizontal" legislation such as that on electrical safety, EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) and ONP (Open Network Provision);

Conformity assessment will be based upon the principle of manufacturers' declarations and the principle that products reaching the market which do not conform to the applicable essential requirements will be considered to be defective, with the possibility of heavy penalties ” equipment using radio comms techniques is included;

CTRs and ACTE disappear with the repeal of Directive 91/263 but a new Telecommunications Conformity Assessment and Market surveillance committee (TCAM) will advise the Commission and Notified Bodies still have a role. CTRs remain applicable until replaced;

Operators of all networks will be required to publish, and regularly update, accurate and adequate technical specifications of the available network termination points and the terminal types supported.

Flexibility is achieved by means whereby the essential requirements applicable to new network termination types can be determined in a timely manner. The essential requirements are restricted to:

  1. Prevention of misuse of public network resources causing a degradation of service to third parties.

  2. Interworking via the public network(s) and Community-wide portability between ONTPs specifying a basic level of interworking, e.g. simple voice telephony but excluding supplementary services.

  3. Effective use of spectrum allocated to terrestrial/space radio communication and used for radio services recognizing that trades-off will be necessary between the quality, capacity, and availability.

For each type of Connected Terminal Equipment (CTE) formerly defined as Telecommunications Terminal Equipment, the essential requirements applicable are to be selected from a master list contained in the Directive. The technical requirements will be defined in appropriate technical specifications. These will be harmonized European standards or, in cases where such standards do not yet exist, other appropriate technical specifications. The specifications of essential requirements will take into account the following additional requirements for the common good:

  1. Protection of health, e.g. minimizing the health hazards of radio frequency radiation.

  2. Features for users with disabilities .

  3. Features for emergency and security services.

  4. Protection of individual privacy.


Computer Telephone Integration. A term for connecting a computer (single workstation or file server on a local area network) to a telephone switch (a PBX or an ACD) and having the computer issue the telephone switch commands to move calls around. The classic application for CTI is in call centers. Picture this: A call comes in. That call carries some form of caller ID ” either ANI or Caller ID. The switch "hears" the calling number, strips it off, sends it to the computer. The computer then does a lookup for the numbers in a database, sends the switch back instructions on what to do with the call. The switch follows orders. It might send the call to a specialized agent or maybe just to the agent the caller dealt with last time. Meantime, the agent sees a screen pop of information about the caller ” such information having been pulled up out of the server's database, using the caller ID information.

CTI and CT (computer telephony) are often confused . In fact, CTI is the older and smaller term. CTI has been the dismal part of computer telephony ” the difficult integration of reluctant, closed phone systems with outside computers to which they were never meant to talk. Computer telephony (or CT) is more exciting because it's building new phone systems with fantastic new features based on open standards, open hardware and open software. CTI covers integration with switches. CT covers that AND a lot more ” like callback, the UnPBX (communications server), the central office in a PC, IP telephony, one number find me, predictive dialing, unified messaging, interactive voice response, fax blasting and serving, etc.

See also Computer Telephony, TAPI, TAPI 3.0, TSAPI and Windows Telephony.


Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, aka Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. The name change was made to reflect the increasing focus on wireless Internet access. Based in Washington, D.C., the CTIA is a trade association representing the interests of the wireless telecommunications industry. CTIA also is the parent of CIBERNET Corp., which provides the cellular industry with inter-company billing protocols, roaming administration tools, and financial settlement programs.


Computer Telephony Interface Products. Adapters that allow telephones to work with computers. An example is the Konexx connector, which fits between the handset and the phone, and allows a connection to a PC modem or fax machine. This definition contributed by Larry Kettler of San Diego.


  1. See Call Tracking Number.

  2. Consumers' Telecommunications Network. A telecommunications association in Australia that represents consumers and looks after their interests: the CTN is part of the Australian Communications Authority's Consumer Consultative Forum (CCF). See Consumer Consultative Forum.


See Chief Technology Officer.


Control. The label on the control key on your computer.


  1. Clear To Send. Pin 5 on the 25-conductor RS-232-C interface or an RS-232-C signal used in the exchange of data between the computer and a serial device. In short, Clear to send is one of the nine wires in a serial port used in modem communications, CTS carries a signal from the modem to the computer saying, "I'm ready to start when you are."

  2. Communication Transport System. CTS is The Siemon Company's proprietary structured wiring system. It consists of the methodology and the connecting hardware products to plan, design, and implement the communications wiring infrastructure for commercial buildings (for more information see the company's CTS Design Workbook and CTS Training Videotape). The Siemon Company is based in Watertown, CT.

  3. Conformance Testing Services.


Coax To The Curb. An approach that provisions a multiline remote terminal to deliver voice and data to concentrated residential applications.


Centralized Trunk Test Unit. An operational support system providing centralized trunk maintenance through a data link on a switch.




Console TeletYpe, a contraction of "Console" and "TTY" (TeleType). A terminal keyboard associated with the console of a computer system, such as a PBX. Also, the designation for the cable that connects the CTY to the computer system. See also Console and TTY.


A popular videoconferencing and videophone product that works over the Internet. CU-SeeMe was originally developed at Cornell University and is available free for the PC and the Macintosh. An enhanced commercial version that adds an electronic chalk- board is available from White Pine Software. The software is designed for personal use and for use in instruction and in business communications.


Common User Access. The policy of using the same command for a given function in all software. This makes the software easier to learn and use because you only have to learn one set of commands. Windows has a set of CUA guidelines which many Windows programs follow. For example, Alt+F4 always means close this window.

Cube Farm

An office filled with cubicles. See also Prairie Dogging.


See Customized User Billing Interface System.


Telecom slang for some 6- and 10-button models of AT&T 1A2 wall phones shaped vaguely like traditional cuckoo-clocks. These were probably the first multi- line phones to come with handsets that plugged into the base with Trimline-style 5-pin plugs, before the current modular connectors were adopted. Often seen in hospitals on TV shows.


Closed User Group. Selected collection of terminal users that do not accept calls from sources not in their group and that are also often restricted from sending messages outside the group.

Curie Point

The temperature at which certain elements (usually so-called "rare earth" elements) relax their resistance to magnetic changes. In a magneto-optic disk drive the surface to be marked is heated briefly by a laser light to its Curie point. Magnetism is then applied in the proper polarity to make the spot a "1" or a "0." It cools, and is locked in that position, until it is re-heated and changed again. This is how magneto-optic drives can be erasable.


A measure of how much electricity passes a point on a wire in a given time frame. Current is measured in amperes, or amps. The abbreviation for current is I. See Ohm'S Law.

Current Carrying Capacity

The maximum current an insulated conductor can safely carry without exceeding its insulation and jacket temperature limitations.

Current Limit

The function of a circuit or system that maintains a current within its prescribed limits. A circuit breaker terminates current flow when current exceeds the trip limit. Most UPS systems have an electrical subcycle current limit that regulates the output current to a value within the UPS design limits. This subcycle current limit may activate when a load demanding high inrush current (like a computer or phone system) is switched on. The activation of the subcycle current limit protects the UPS from damage but allows the output voltage to become distorted or even collapse momentarily. Most on-line UPS systems will have the subcycle current limit activated by computer load switching and use a bypass in order to maintain load continuity when the current limit activates. Standby and line-interactive UPS systems can draw on the utility grid directly to supply load switching current transients and therefore do not activate the subcycle current limit or need to use the automatic bypass feature. This definition from APC.

Current Loop

Transmission technique that recognizes current flows, rather than voltage levels. It has traditionally been used in teletypewriter networks incorporating batteries as the transmission power source. In this serial transmission system, a pair of wires connecting the receiving and sending devices transmits binary 0 (zero) when no current flows and binary 1 (one) when current is flowing.

Curriculum Vitae

CV. Latin for resume. CV is summary of your academic and work history. That's the traditional definition. I personally believe that your resume should include less history and more on your accomplishments ” since that's what employers are interested in.


A symbol on a screen indicating where the next character may be typed. Cursors may be solid, blinking, underlines, etc. Many programs, computers and phone systems allow you to reprogram the cursor to what you like. One author of this dictionary, Harry Newton, likes a non-blinking solid block, which came standard with his original CP/M version of WordStar, but doesn't any longer.

Cursor Submarining

A liquid crystal display on a computer laptop screen does- n't write to screen very fast. When you move a cursor across your screen or move your mouse quickly across the screen, the cursor disappears. This phenomenon is known as cursor submarining. Cute.

Curves And Arcs

A computer imaging term. Paint packages handle curves and arcs in a variety of ways. Examples include spline curves, where-in you specify a series of points and the package draws a curve that smoothly approaches those points, and "three point" curves, in which the first two points anchor the ends of the curve and the third selects the apex.

Cus Code

See Customer Code.


An Internet videoconferencing system that enables up to eight users to see and hear each other on their computer screens. Pronounced "See You, See me."


Well-written program. Excellent work. A program that does all that it says it will, and more, is said to be cuspy.

Custom Calling

A group of special services available from the central office switching system which the telco can offer its subscribers without the need for any special terminal equipment on their premises. Basic custom calling features now available include call waiting, 3-way calling, abbreviated dialing (speed calling), call forwarding, series completing (busy or no answer) and wake up or reminder service.

Custom Chip

A type of microchip that is custom-made to perform a specialized job or is customized to provide a particular function or feature not found in standard microchips.

Custom Controls

Controls are software objects that you embed in a Visual Basic or other Windows development tool. In the old days you would compile your DOS program with a "library" of some precompiled subprograms and functions. Controls take the idea a step further and give you tremendous power, all within the Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI). The original Visual Basic "custom controls" were programmed by third parties and behave identically to controls shipped with Visual Basic:

  • They appear in the Visual Basic toolbox.

  • You control their behavior from your software.

  • They generate events that your program can respond to.

  • And they have properties that your program can change. There are hundreds of controls out there for Visual Basic for database management, multimedia presentations, imaging, host connectivity, etc. The ones that concern us do computer telephony stuff (though anything can be leveraged, like host connectivity for IVR, etc.):

Custom ISDN

A version of ISDN BRI (Basic Rate Interface) provided off an AT&T 5ESS central office. It actually offers more features and is easier to install than a National ISDN-1 BRI line. We are all awaiting the specifications on National ISDN-2, which is meant to be "standard." Meantime, Custom ISDN is the most popular, most versatile and most understood ISDN service in North America. See ISDN.

Custom Local Area Signaling Services

CLASS. A generic term (like WATS) describing several enhanced local service offerings such as incoming-call identification, call trace, call blocking, automatic return of the most recent incoming call, call redial, and selective forwarding and programming to permit distinctive ringing for incoming calls. See Class.

Customer Access Line Charge

CALC. Also known variously as Access Charge, EUCL (End User Line Charge), and SLC (Subscriber Line Charge). See Access Charge.

Customer Account Record Exchange

An Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, ATIS industry standard for formatting exchange of subscription information. See CARE.

Customer Acquisition Cost

Customer Acquisition Cost is the average cost to a carrier of signing up an individual subscriber. Some of the factors included in this cost are handset subsidies, marketing, advertising and promotions.

Customer Aggregation Points

See Leaf POP.

Customer Care Center

A term created by Alex Szlam, the president of Melita International, Norcross, GA to describe a telephone call center with three basic elements: First, the database technology and the marketing savvy to fill that database with individual customer preference information. Second, the ability to intelligently handle inbound phone calls. Third, the ability to intelligently make outbound calls. See also Customer Sensitivity Knowledge Base.

Customer Code

Cus Code. A new Customer Code is assigned to distinguish a converted CLEC sub-account from the old Verizon end user account.

Customer Contact Zone

A term invented by Keith Dawson, editor of Call Center Magazine. It refers to all the information a customer requires which is delivered through multiple media, including manned call centers, interactive voice response machines, fax back devices, etc.

Customer Control

An AT&T term for the ability for an end user to monitor, choose, modify, redesign and/or program the type of service received from a network.

Customer Identification Number

CIN. A unique number that identifies a customer. Also known as Master Customer Number.

Customer Information Manager

CIM. An MCI definition. A component of the NCS which supports the creation and maintenance of customer databases for Vnet customers. Customers have remote access to and control over their portion of the NCS database via a terminal at the customer's location.

Customer Interaction Software

Customer Interaction Software is a vague term for software that handles your entire relationship with your customers. See also Contact Management.

Customer Intimacy

A measure of the closeness of an organization's relationships with its customers. Research has shown that better, or more intimate, relationships with customers contribute to customer loyalty, increased sales, and higher profits, even when there is an unfavorable price differential. A Lucent definition.

Customer Network Management

CNM. An ATM term. CNM allows users of ATM public networks to monitor and manage their portion of the carrier's circuits. Thus far, the ATM forum has agreed that the CNM interface will give users the ability to monitor physical ports, virtual paths, usage parameters, and quality of service parameters.

Customer Originated Trace

See COT.

Customer Premises Equipment

CPE. Terminal equipment ” telephones, key systems, PBXs, modems, video conferencing devices, etc. ” connected to the telephone network and residing on the customer's premises. What North America calls CPE, Europe calls CTE ” for Connected Telecommunications Equipment.

Customer Premises Satellite Interface


Customer Proprietary Network Information

CPNI. Information which is available to a telephone company by virtue of the telephone company's basic service customer relationship. This information may include the quantity, location, type and amount of use of local telephone service subscribed to, and information contained on telephone company bills. This is the definition of CPNI that the independent voice mail and live telephone answering industry uses.

Customer Provided Loop

The customer assumes responsibility for ordering, coordinating, maintaining, and billing for the local loop.

Customer Provided Terminal Equipment

Or just Customer Provided Equipment (CPE). Terminal equipment connected to the telephone network which is owned by the user or leased from a supplier other than the local telephone operating company.

Customer Qualification

Same as Customer Validation.

Customer Record Information System

CRIS. A Verizon database containing end user information used for billing.

Customer Relationship Management

See CRM.

Customer Retrial

A subsequent attempt by a phone users to make a phone call within a measurement period.

Customer Routing Point

See CRP.

Customer Sensitivity Knowledge Base

A term created by Alex Szlam of Melita International, Norcross, GA to describe a complex database that would keep track of your customers' preferences. Such a database would be updated almost automatically based on every contact you had with the customer. The database would probably be object- oriented since the idea is to define customer preferences based on individual preferences, not on a statistical analysis of conglomerate preferences such as those typically gleaned from existing character databases.

Customer Service Center

CSC. MCI organization responsible for installing, verifying, and maintaining MCI customers and customer service.

Customer Service Record

CSR. Computer printout that details the fixed monthly charges billed by your local telephone company. The CSR is composed of computer codes called USOCs, which in turn correspond to a particular tariffed service. USOCs tell the telephone company's billing system what tariff rate should be billed for a particular service. In order to ensure your telephone bill is correct you must request and review this document. No telecom manager should be without this important document.

Customer Service Unit

CSU. A device that provides an accessing arrangement at a user location to either switched or point-to-point, digital circuits. A CSU provides local loop equalization, transient protection, isolation, and central office loop-back testing capability. See also CSU/DSU.

Customer Specific Term Plan

A Customer Specific Term Plan is an option offered by AT&T on the purchase of its 800 services whereby customers can earn additional discounts by committing to a multiyear contract. This also is one of two plans used by aggregators to resell 800 services. The other is the Revenue Volume Pricing Plan.

Customer Switching System

A switching system that provides service for a customer, typically a business customer. Systems in this category include key telephone systems, private branch exchanges (PBXs), automatic call distributors (ACDs), and telephone answering systems.

Customized User Billing Interface System

CUBIS. A system that allows InterExchange Carriers to monitor and update subscriber service orders. This assists in maintaining an accurate end-user customer database for billing purposes.


To transfer a service from one facility to another.

Cut Back Technique

A technique for measuring optical fiber attenuation or distortion by performing two transmission measurements. One is at the output end of the full length of the fiber. The other is within 1 to 3 meters of the input end. Without disturbing the source-to-fiber coupling, access to the short length output is accomplished by "cutting back" the test fiber.

Cut Down

A method of securing a wire to a wiring terminal. The insulated wire is placed in the terminal groove and pushed down with a special tool. As the wire is seated, the terminal cuts through the insulation to make an electrical connection, and the tool's spring-loaded blade trims the wire flush with the terminal. Also called punch down.

Cut Through

  1. Cut-through, in voice processing, is what stops voice prompt playback when a touchtone key is pressed. Some of the speech recognition solutions also add cut-through that will stop voice prompt playback as soon as you start talking. Only voice cards that support continuous speech recognition are able to provide cut-through. Cut- though can be a problem in some cases. Imagine yourself at the airport trying to make a call using a speech recognition system. At the start of a new prompt, the airport public address system blares out a last boarding call for a flight. If cut-through is active, it would stop playing the prompt and wait on your response. Now what do you do?

  2. The act of connecting one circuit to another, or a phone to a circuit. This is when a user dials the access code for the circuit and is immediately "cut through" to the tie line. The user controls the call. It is a tie line operation.

  3. See also Cut Through Switch.

Cut Through Dialing

10 + CIC = telephone number followed by an authorization code for intraLATA calls.

Cut Through Resistance

A measure of an insulation's ability to withstand penetration by sharp edges.

Cut Through Switch

A type of switch algorithm in which the destination address of a packet is read and the packet immediately forwarded to the switch port where the destination MAC address device is attached.

Cutting Edge

When you're ahead of the curve, on the leading edge, you're also on the cutting edge.

Cutting The Cord

A term that refers to the phenomenon whereby landline telephone subscribers get themselves a wireless cell phone and decide they like it so much they cancel their landline phone.

Cutoff Attenuator

A waveguide of adjustable length that varies the attenuation of signals passing through the waveguide.

Cutoff Frequency

  1. The frequency above which, or below which, the output current in a circuit, such as a line or a filter, is reduced to a specified level.

  2. The frequency below which a radio wave fails to penetrate a layer of the ionosphere at the angle of incidence required for transmission between two specified points by reflection from the layer.

Cutoff Mode

The highest order mode that will propagate in a given waveguide at a given frequency.

Cutoff Wavelength

In fiber optic systems, the cutoff wavelength is the shortest wavelength at which only the fundamental node on an optical waveguide is capable of propagation. For single mode fibers, the cutoff wavelength must be smaller than the wavelength of the light to be transmitted.


The physical changing of lines or trunks from one phone system to another, or the installation of a new system. It's usually done over the weekend , accompanied by heavy praying that everything will go right. There are two types of cutovers ” flash cuts and parallel cuts. Parallel cuts occur when the old phone system is left functioning and the new one, central switching equipment and phones, is installed around it. This means that for some period of time there are two sets of phones, two sets of wires, two switches, two sets of phone lines, etc. The parallel cut is a far more reliable method of cutting over a new switch. But it's also more expensive. A flash cut occurs in a flash. On Friday, everyone is using the old switch. When everyone comes to work on Monday, the old switch and its phones have disappeared. In its place, there's a brand new system. Sometimes it works. More often than not, there are remaining nagging problems. With any cutover, it's a good idea to set up a complaint or cutover number. Thus, if anyone's having trouble with their phone, they can call this number and get their problems taken care of. How well these problems are taken care of will determine how well the cutover went and how well the employees perceive the new switch is working. Perception, not reality, is what's at stake here. A flash cut also is known as a hot cut.


  1. Old Bell-Speak for single-line phone. It stands for Combined Voice. In old Bell-Speak it meant that the two parts of the phone that dealt with voices were combined into one unit (the handset). Before this, there were phones like the HH (Hand-Held) where there was a piece you spoke into and another piece you put to your ear. From CV, you get CVW (CV Wall phone) and later on, KV (Key Voice) and KVW (Key Wall phone). Later on all this crept into the USOC codes ” the Universal Service Order Code numbering systems the local Bell operating phone companies used to identify products and services. See USOC.

  2. Checksum Value.

  3. Code Violation. A violation in the coding of a signal over a digital circuit. A transmission error detected by the difference between the transmitted and the locally calculated bit-interleaved parity. Also called Coding Violation.

  4. Curriculum Vitae. See Curriculum Vitae.


Chemical Vapor Deposition.


Compressed Volume File. A Microsoft term which refers to a file on a compressed disk. The term was first introduced in MS-DOS 6.0, which first had double-your-disk-space technology. That technology was later removed when Stac Electronics, originator of Stacker disk doubling technology, took Microsoft to court and won.


  1. Certified Vertical Partner.

  2. A British term: Co- operative Voice Processing, gives the caller the ability to move seamlessly between an Interactive Voice Processing device and a live agent.


Computer Vision Syndrome.


Continuously Variable Slope Delta modulation. A method for coding analog voice signals into digital signals that uses 16,000 to 64,000 bps bandwidth, depending on the sampling rate.


  1. Call Waiting (as in Custom Calling Service).

  2. Continuous Wave.


Communications Workers of America. A national union of telephone industry employees, currently very worried about its future membership growth given the phone industry's propensity to let surplus workers go.


Coarse wavelength division multiplexing; A form of optical wavelength division multiplexing which relies upon wider spacings between channels in order to lower component costs. The latest standards specify a 20 nm (2500 GHz) channel separation, notably wider than the 0.8 nm (100 GHz) commonly used by dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). Although this yields less aggregate fiber bandwidth (typically on the order of 10-16 wavelengths ), CWDM yields significant savings in laser transponder costs, power requirements, and footprints. This technology works in smaller, cost-sensitive edge/access applications such as enterprise and storage area networking. See WDM.


Compact Wireless Markup Language. A stripped-down version of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), which is used between client and server in support of the World Wide Web over wired connections. CML is used in support of i-Mode, the DoCoMo technology used to support wireless Internet access from cell phones and other devices in Japan. CML is similar to WML (Wireless Markup Language), which is used in WAP (Wireless Access Protocol). See also i-Mode, WAP, and WML.

CX Signaling

A direct current (DC) signaling system that separates the signal from the voice band by filters. Also called Composite Signaling.




Commerce XML, a new set of document type definitions (DTDs) for the Extensible Markup Language (XML), will be released to the public in March 1999 for an open comment period and pilot testing. cXML is an explicit meta-language to describe the characteristics of items available for sale. It enables the development of 'intelligent shopping agents' that help to do the dirty work of corporate purchasing. By programming the characteristics you're seeking into request messages and releasing them to the network, your request will return exactly what you're seeking or nothing at all ” which in itself is sometimes important to know. Think of cXML loosely in terms of 'bar coding' for the Web, but with a far richer set of attributes to uniquely identify and describe products, and can be incorporated into computer programs. www. webreference .com/ecommerce/mm/column21/index.html.


Five letters which can, seemingly, be attached to a word and made into a noun or a verb. The first Cyber word was Cyberspace , a term coined by science fiction writer William Gibson in his 1984 fantasy novel "Neuromancer" to describe the "world" of connected computers and the society that gathers around them. The idea of Cyberspace is that this world of computer networks can be explored with the proper addresses and codes.

People who use the system for hours on end are said to be lost in cyberspace. Today, many people say that world has arrived in the form of the Internet. And, so with projections that there will be 100 million users of the Internet by the year 2000, the word Cyber has become popular. There's "The Cyberbrary of Congress" (books Congress has on on-line). According to William Safire writing in the New York Times Magazine of December 11, 1994, "Cyber is the hot combining form of our time. If you don't have cyberphobia, you are a cyberpiliac." The US News & World Report labels its election night on-line forum a cybercast. The Washington Post wrote that "battlefield valor belongs not to the brawny soldier but to the astrophysics major who invented smart bombs ," somebody who's called a cyberwonk. See all the following definitions which begin with Cyber.


A company that does most of its business on the Internet is called a Cyberbusiness.


An Internet term. The electronic equivalent of a lounge lizard .


Establishment with both coffee and Internet access. Trendy in some places, unknown in others. Often used as a retail store to sign up customers to Internet service by a local ISP.


An electronic payment system integrated into E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce) servers, which typically make use of the Internet. Also called digital cash, the term "Cybercash" was coined by CyberCash Inc. to describe its systems for verification of credit cards and processing of payments. See also E-Commerce.


The computer equivalent of bureaucratese. There's also a lot of it found on email systems. It looks like useless clutter, but it's important and the better interfaces hide it.


Electronic stuff for the cyberpeople. An advertisement in the November 12, 1995 issue of the New York Times (Sunday) Magazine showed Cyberia covering everything from modern chairs to laptop computers, to cellular phones to an Apple Newton PDA.


A Web site designed for online shopping, shared by two or more commercial organizations.


A term invented in 1948 by Norbert Wiener, the automation genius, who declared "We have decided to call the entire field of control and communications theory, whether in the machine or the animal, by the same term Cybernetics." From the Greek "kybernetes," meaning "pilot, "steersman" or " governor ." The science of communication and control theory which is concerned most especially with the comparative study of automatic control systems. Examples include the brain and nervous system, and mechanical/electrical/electronic communication systems.


An Internet term. Used to describe dark, trippy , weird "cyber" films and shows like "Wild Palms," "Tank Girl," and "VR.5."


Government money flowing to well-connected information superhighway contractors.


A work coined by a book called "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier" by Katie Hafner and John Markoff. The book defines Cyberpunk as what you and I know as a computer hacker ” a person who manages to get into other people's computer systems. He does this usually through telephone lines. In most cases, hackers see themselves as harmless electronic joyriders. But they occasionally steal data, inject viruses and misleading information and disrupt legitimate business and research. Sometimes they get caught.


Adult-oriented computer games, images and chat lines. A place where people can discuss their sex lives and wanton desires with total strangers in online (over phone line) forums, even falling in love without having ever met face to face.


Browsing the Internet. See Cyberspace.


See Snoopware.


A term coined by science fiction writer William Gibson in his 1984 fantasy novel "Neuromancer" to describe the "world" of connected computers and the society that gathers around them. The idea of Cyberspace is that this world of computer networks can be explored with the proper addresses and codes. People who use the system for hours on end are said to be lost in cyberspace. Today, many people say that world has arrived in the form of the Internet. John Perry Barlow, a rock-'n'-roll lyricist turned computer activist, defined cyberspace in Time magazine as "that place you are in when you are talking on the phone." Thus by Barlow's definition, just about everybody has already been to cyberspace. I prefer Gibson's definition.


Let's say you register and the names of the 100 most common corporate names in America. When the company comes to you and demands the Web site, you ask for $250,000. That practice is called cybersquatting.

Basically you're squatting on someone else's property. The analogy between electronic squatting and physical squatting isn't 100% accurate. But you get the idea. Stories of big profits being made got around and the Federal government enacted the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (15 U.S.C.S. 1125(d)), which provides a cause of action against a domain name registrant based on the bad faith registration of a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to, or in the case of a famous mark, dilutive of, the trademark owner's mark or marks. Since then, a number of cases have succeeded in U.S. courts using the newly enacted legislation. Similarly, the global community is keeping busy fighting cybersquatters, including the creation of new anticybersquatting laws, litigation in a variety of countries, and arbitration before the World Intellectual Property Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations. According to Adrian Copiz, an attorney in Washington, D.C, "although a good number of the disputed registrations may be legitimate, it looks like the days of quick profits and holding domain names hostage may be over."


A term I first saw in the mid-December, 1997 injunction from Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson of the U.S. District Court in Washington. Judge Jackson ruled that Microsoft could not force PC makers to load a Windows operating system bundled with Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer. In making the ruling , Judge Jackson controversially appointed a "special master", Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig to review the "complex issues of cybertechnology and contract interpretation" in the Microsoft antitrust case. Cybertechnology has come to mean the areas of technology that deal with the Internet and the World Wide Web. Including web design, web development, web marketing, web management, networking, databases, programming, scripting, graphics, and multimedia.


State one quickly gets in while waiting for the screen to change on busy (or just plain slow) sites.


A contraction of CYBERnetics and ORGanism. A human being who is linked to one or more devices on which he is dependent for survival in a hostile environment. See Cybernetics.


A person who makes a living doing online research and information retrieval (comes from cyberspace librarian). According to one definition I read, a cybrarian is a futurist librarian who swims in the electronic ocean of cyberspace. The term is alleged to have been coined by Michel Bauwens of BP Nutrition. A cybrarian is also known as a data surfer or a super searcher.


One complete sequence of an event or activity. Often refers to electrical phenomena. One electrical cycle is a complete sine wave. (A complete set of one positive and one negative alternation of current.) In the battery business, a cycle is the process of one complete battery discharge and recharge. See Cycle Life.

Cycle Brokering

The farming out of number- crunching tasks to a distributed network of consumer PCs.

Cycle Life

In the battery business, cycle life is the useful life of a rechargeable battery, expressed as the total number of discharges and recharges.

Cycle Manager Extraction

An MCI system which selects processable calls from Distribution and forwards them to the appropriate MCI Reference System for billing.

Cycle Master

Part of the bus management scheme used in the IEEE 1394 connection technology. The cycle master broadcasts cycle start packets, which are required for isochronous operation. An isochronous resource manager, for DV and DA applications, is also included for those nodes that support isochronous operation. Also included is an optional bus master.

Cycle Pools

Where dial-up call records are stored in MCI's Revenue System until extracted for billing.

Cycle Slip

A discontinuity in the measured carrier beat phase resulting from a temporary loss-of-lock in the carrier tracking loop of a Global Positioning System receiver.

Cycle Time

The time to complete a cycle. The amount of the time between one RAM access and the next.

Cyclic Distortion

In telegraphy, distortion that is not characteristic, bias, or fortuitous, and which in general has a periodic character. Its causes are, for example, irregularities in the duration of contact time of the brushes of a transmitter distributor or interference by distributing alternating currents.

Cyclic Redundancy Check

See CRC.


A hard disk drive contains a number of platters, which are divided into tracks. A cylinder is a collection of all corresponding tracks on all sides of the platters in a disk drive. Think of a hard disk consisting of dozens of concentric cylinders, each of slightly different diameters. These distinct concentric storage areas on the hard disk roughly correspond to the tracks on a floppy diskette. Generally, the more cylinders a hard disk has, the greater its storage capacity.


According to the New York Times, cyperpunks are a movement of American computer mavens, a largely libertarian group espousing the idea that advanced computer encryption technologies can create electronic privacy and provide liberty and freedom from potential government Big Brothers.

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