A property in material such as masonry, block, brick, concrete or gypsum board that does not support combustion even under accelerated conditions, i.e. really pushing the fire at the product.


  1. A material, device, or assembly of parts installed after penetration of a firerated wall, ceiling or floor area to prevent passage of flame, smoke or gases through the rated barrier .

  2. The use of special devices and materials to prevent the outbreak of fire within telecommunications utility spaces and to block the spread of fire, smoke, toxic gases and fluids through openings, cable apertures and along cable pathways . The techniques used are often mandated by local building codes.

Classifications are available under the rating criteria of ASTM: Rating/Achievement F: Withstands the fire test for the rating period without: Permitting flames to pass through the firestop flame occurring on any element of the unexposed side of the firestop (auto-ignition) developing any opening in the firestop that permits a projection of water beyond the unexposed side during the hose strength test.

Rating/Achievement T: Meets the criteria of an "F" rating and prevents the transmission of heart during the heating period so that the temperature rise is not more than 325 degrees Fahrenheit on any exposed surface, thermocouple or penetrating item.

Firestop System

A specific construction consisting of the material(s) (firestop penetration seals) that fill the opening in the wall or floor assembly and any items that penetrate the wall or floor, such as cables, cable trays, conduit, ducts, pipes, and any termination devices, such as electrical outlet boxes, along with their means of support.


The process of installing specialty materials into penetrations in firerated barriers to reestablish the integrity of the barrier.

Firestop Zoning

A unique group of architectural structures or assemblies that prevents the passage of fire or toxicity from one contained area to another, thus reducing the possible spread of combustion through the fire barrier. Refer to NFPA specifications for the intended application. See also Firestop.


A combination of hardware and software which limits the exposure of a computer or group of computers to an attack from outside. The most common use of a firewall is on a local area network (LAN) connected to the Internet. Without a firewall, anyone on the Internet could theoretically jump onto the corporate LAN and pick up any information on or dump anything to any of the computers on the LAN. A firewall is a system or combination of systems that enforce a boundary between two or more networks. There are several types of firewalls ” packet filter, circuit gateway, application gateway or trusted gateway. A network-level firewall, or packet filter, examines traffic at the network protocol packet level. An application-level firewall examines traffic at the application level ” for example, FTP, E-mail, or Telenet. An application-level firewall also often readdresses outgoing traffic so it appears to have originated from the firewall rather than the internal host.

NEC PrivateNet Systems Group issued a White Paper called Connecting Safely to the Internet ” A study in Proxy-Based Firewall Technology. In that White Paper, they defined an Internet firewall:

The primary purpose of an Internet firewall is to provide a single point of entry where a defense can be implemented, allowing access to resources on the Internet from within the organization, and providing controlled access from the Internet to hosts inside the organization's internal networks. The firewall must provide a method for a security or system administrator to configure access control lists to establish the rules for access according to local security policies. All access should be logged to ensure adequate information for detailed security audit.

A traditional firewall is implemented through a combination of hosts and routers. A router can control traffic at the packet level, allowing or denying packets based on the source/destination address of the port number. This technique is called packet filtering. A host, on the other hand, can control traffic at the application level, allowing access control based on a more detailed and protocol-dependent examination of the traffic. The process that examines and forwards packet traffic is known as a proxy.

A firewall based on packet filtering must permit at least some level of direct packet traffic between the Internet and the hosts on the protected networks. A firewall based on proxy technology does not have this characteristic and can therefore provide a higher level of security, albeit at the cost of somewhat lower performance and the need for a dedicated proxy for each type of connectivity.

Each organization needs to choose one of these basic types of technologies. The right choice depends on the organization's access and protection requirements. See Packet Filtering and Port Services.


FireWire is the IEEE 1394 standard high performance serial bus. For a longer explanation, see IEEE 1394 and USB.

Firm Order Confirmation

FOC. The form a local phone company submits to another phone company indicating the date when the circuits ordered by the other company will be installed. See FOC for a longer explanation.


Software kept in semipermanent memory. Firmware is used in conjunction with hardware and software. It also shares the characteristics of both. Firmware is usually stored on PROMS (Programmable Read Only Memory) or EPROMs (Electrical PROMS). Firmware contains software which is so constantly called upon by a computer or phone system that it is "burned" into a chip, thereby becoming firmware. The computer program is written into the PROM electrically at higher than usual voltage, causing the bits to "retain" the pattern as it is "burned in." Firmware is nonvolatile. It will not be "forgotten" when the power is shut off. Handheld calculators contain firmware with the instructions for doing their various mathematical operations. Firmware programs can be altered . An EPROM is typically erased using intense ultraviolet light.

First In, First Out


First Mile

See Last Mile.

First Office Application

The first office to have the guts to try a new system in a real, live production mode. The same thing as a beta test. See also Beta Test.

First Party Call Control

A call comes into your desktop phone. You can transfer that call. When the phone call has left your desk, you can no longer control it. That is called First Party Call Control. If you were still able to control the call (and let's say, switch it elsewhere) that would be called Third Party Call Control. First party call control is mostly done at your desk with your telephone or with a card in your PC, which emulates a telephone. Third party call control is usually done via a computer (often a server on a LAN) attached to a special link directly into your PBX. There are some evolving standards in call control ” chiefly Microsoft's Windows Telephony and Novell's TSAPI (Telephony Services API). There is no such animal as Second Party Call Control. See Call Control, Telephony Services and Windows Telephony.

First Point of Switching

The first exchange carrier location at which switching occurs on the terminating path of a call proceeding from the IXC terminal location to the terminating end office, or the last exchange carrier location at which switching occurs on the originating path of a call proceeding from the originating end office to the IXC terminal location.

First Ring Suppression

Caller ID in North America comes in just after the first ring. You don't want to answer the call before the second ring otherwise you will mess up your receiving of Caller ID information. You can simply not answer until the second ring. Or you can get a trunk-based gadget which will turn off the first ring so you or your voice processing equipment won't hear it.


Forms Interchange Standard.


  1. To push a stiff steel wire or tape through a conduit or interior wall. Pull through wires, cable or a heavier pulling-in is then attached to one end of the steel wire. The other end is then pulled until the wire or cable appears.

  2. First In Still Here. A non-standard term used in inventory accounting. Roughly equivalent to FILO (First In Last Out), but suggesting that the inventory is not moving because you aren't selling any of it.

Fish Food

  1. Webmasters who want to draw attention to new on-line content call the tidbits "fish food." The morsels are posted in "What's new" buttons or "Click here" icons on the home page, so, like the flakes that feed your guppies, they float at the top and attract hungry users. Contributed by Judy Ehrenreich.

  2. Fish food refers to sales leads among a group of salespeople. Basically sales people throw a lead out, like fishfood and all the others come up to see if they can sell it. Contributed by Dino Guglietta.

Fish Job

Running cables inside walls. Usage: "That fish job is too tough for a rookie."

Fish Tape

Non-conductive tape with a reinforced fiberglass core and slippery outer nylon coating which slides easily through conduit without jamming. The idea is to push the tape through, attach it to the cable and pull the cable back. You also might use wire pulling lubricants to make the job even easier. They come in various formulations ” for use in different temperatures , for pulling different cable, etc.

Fishing Expedition

An investigation that has no clearly defined objective.The goal is to find something immoral, incriminating, unethical or illegal.


Fax a dISK. Method of sending information on 3 1/2" disks painlessly across phone lines. Plug your disk into a fisk machine, choose which files you want to send, dial the number you want to send your files to and walk away.


Fiber To The Curb. See FTTP.


FIber To The Home. (I kid you not. That's what it stands for.) See FTTP.


Fiber In The Loop. An outside plant architecture, deployed by some telephone companies for providing broadband services to subscribers. In the FITL architecture, SONET fiber runs from the telephone company central office to an optical networking unit (ONU) at the curb, which serves 8064 subscribers. Subscribers are served from the ONU in a star topology, each home with a drop of coax, twisted pair, or composite coax-and -twisted-pair. With FITL, an individual video or voice signal is switched to each subscriber. Therein lies the major difference between FITL and the alternative broadband architecture, a hybrid fiber/coax bus. In the bus architecture, all signals serving dozens of subscribers are multiplexed and sent to all subscribers. See also Fiber Optics, FTTC, FTTH, Local Loop and POP.

Five by Five

The term 5x5 describes the transmit and receive quality of teletype communications (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best) between two stations . Example, 1x5 means transmitting poorly but receiving excellent . The source of this info comes from Alan DiGilio's training, as a former Naval Flight Officer, in the use of cryptograhic radio teletype equipment. ("cratt" as we called it.) Amongst my comrades in arms, when we asked each other how transmissions went, we would slip into slang by saying "Fivers," to mean 5x5.

Five Nines

99.999%. Five nines typically refers to the reliability of a system (computer, telephone system, etc.) that works 99.999% of the time. This is far better than the present common standard of three nines, i.e. 99.9%.


See Five by Five.


Federal Internet Exchange. A connection point largely serving to interconnect network traffic from MILNET (MILitary NETwork), NASA Science Net and other federal government networks, as well as providing those network users with access to the Internet. FIX-EAST is located at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland; FIX-WEST is located at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffet Field between Sunnyvale and Mountain View, California. See also CIX, MAE and NAP.


Attached and permanent. The opposite of mobile. See Fixed Wireless.

Fixed Condenser

A condenser, the plates of which are stationary and the capacity of which cannot be changed.

Fixed Disk

Old name for a hard disk.

Fixed End System

F-ES. A non-mobile end system. A host system that supports or provides access to data and applications.

Fixed Format

A way of communicating in which everything to be sent follows a predetermined sequence, i.e. it fits into a specific length and format. The idea is to allow you to predict message length, the location of the message, where the control characters are, etc.

Fixed IP Address

See IP Addressing.

Fixed Length Records

A set of data records all having the same number of characters in them. Think of a database of name, address, city, state, zip. Clearly, not every- one's record will be the same length. In order to make a fixed length record, the computer will pad the record with "padding characters" which the computer will ignore when it reads the record. But by including the padding characters it has effectively given everyone the same fixed length record.

Fixed Line

A wired phone line. The one you have in your house, as compared to your wireless phone line, the one you have in your pocket.

Fixed Link

A communications link between two fixed points. Such links may be unidirectional (e.g carrying television program material to a transmitter) or bi-directional (e.g. carrying telephone traffic), and may be point-to-point or point-to-multipoint.

Fixed Loop

A services feature available in some switching systems that permits an attendant on an assisted call to retain connection through the attendant position for the duration of the call. The attendant will normally receive a disconnect signal when the call has been completed.

Fixed Priority-Oriented-Demand Assignment

FPODA. Medium access technique in which one station acts as master and controls channel based on requests from stations.

Fixed Rate

A fixed monthly price. See also Flat Rate.

Fixed Satellite Service

A radiocommunication service between Earth stations as specified fixed points when one or more satellites are used; in some cases this service includes satellite-to-satellite links, which may also be effected in the inter-satellite service, the fixed-satellite service may also include feeder linker for other space radiocommunication services.

Fixed Satellite System

FSS. A system of Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) satellites. GEOs are positioned in equatorial orbits approximately 22,300 miles above the Earth's surface. Positioned in this manner, they are synchronized with the rotation of the Earth. Therefore, they are always (more or less) fixed in the same physical location relative to the Earth's surface. This allows satellite antennas on the ground to be fixed and not have to move to follow the movement of the satellites. Actually, fixed orbit satellites do slide out of their orbit slightly. Their onboard rocket engines are then started and they are brought back into geosynchronous orbit . See also GEO .Contrast with LEO and MEO.

Fixed Wireless

See Fixed Wireless Local Loop.

Fixed Wireless Local Loop

FWLL. Imagine a community of 100 people spread out in a huge area in one of the Western states in the United States ” e.g. Montana or Wyoming. Imagine a city of people eager to get faster Internet access and better, cheaper phone service than their local phone company can provide. The local loop is best described as the "last mile" of phone service. It's the distance between you, the customer, and the switching office down the street or across the county that's owned by the local telephone company. In most cases, local loop service uses old-fashioned twisted copper wire installed and provided by the ILEC ” the incumbent local exchange company (your local phone company). However, several phone companies and several of their competitors are installing coaxial cable, fiber optics, their own cable and now fixed wireless, also called "Wireless Fiber." Such systems operate at the 38 GHz portion of the spectrum. They generally consist of a pair of digital radio transmitters placed on rooftops ” one at one end at the central office and the other end at the customers' offices. It's called "fixed" to contrast it with "mobile," e.g. cellular. In order to attract customers, some fixed wireless providers are offering higher data transmission rates than wire. In 1998, for instance, one firm announced a new, fixed wireless network that would carry 128 Kbps of digital transmission right into most households. Based on the 10 MHz spectrum, the new system would connect a home to a digital switching center via a neighborhood antenna mounted on a utility pole or other structure. A single antenna would serve up to 2,000 homes . Meanwhile, the customer would only need to secure a transceiver to the side of their house.


Fault Locating.


Fibre Channel term. Port that connects an FC-AL to a fabric.


  1. A variable in a program to inform the program later on that a condition has been met.

  2. In synchronous transmission, a flag is a specific bit pattern (usually 01111110) used to mark the beginning and end of a "frame" of data. Frame Relay and lots of other protocol use this approach in order to delineate one frame from another, and to allow the devices in the network to synchronize on the rate of transmission for purposes of improved bandwidth efficiency. See Frame Relay, Synchronous and Zero Stuffing.

  3. Fiberoptic Link Around The Globe. The longest man-made structure in the world, Flag is a 17,000 mile long fiber optic cable made of four strands of fiber, carrying 10 gigabits of data per second. The cable is laid mostly undersea, linking Japan to Britain, making land in China, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and six other countries. Companies in most of those countries own a share of Flag's bandwidth, however the United States Verizon is the biggest owner by far with a 38% share, which it leases out. Each strand of Flag's fiber is unidirectional, i.e. you need two to make a conversation, one for going and one for coming.

Flag Fall

Also spelled flagfall. Older taxis had a metering system which had a large metal lever facing vertically up. It was called a flag because it sort of looked like one. When a customer got into the taxi, the driver pulled the metal flag down. This action started the meter. All taxis typically charge a fixed money the moment you get into the taxi and then so much a mile and/or a minute after that. In some countries, that initial money became known as flag fall. In some countries, when you first make a phone call, they charge you a fixed amount however long the call is and then a certain amount of money based on how long you talk and how far you talk. That initial call setup charge has become known as a flag fall in some countries, including Australia.

Flag Sequence

HDLC, SDLC, ADCCP, Frame Relay. The unique sequence of eight bits (01111110) employed to delimit the opening and closing of a frame.


See Flag Fall.


An outpouring of verbal abuse that network users write about other users who break the rules. A wonderful term for getting mad via electronic mail. People who frequently write flames are known as "flamers." You can flame by simply sending messages ALL IN CAPS!!!!!!!!! See Flame Fest, Flame War and Mail.

Flame Bait

An intentionally inflammatory posting in a newsgroup or discussion group designed to elicit a strong reaction thereby creating a flame war.

Flame Fest

Massive flaming . See Flame.

Flame Mail

Slang term for rude electronic mail. Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, is said to be famous for the flame mail he sends to employees who don't perform according to his likings. Mr. Gates is famous for flame mail sent by him between midnight and 2:00 AM.

Flame Resistant

Insulated wire which has been chemically treated so it will not aid the spread of flames.

Flame Retardant

Constructed or treated so as not be able to convey flame.

Flame War

What happens when people send too much flame mail at each other. The online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debaters, rather than discussion of their positions . A heated exchange.


To send an insulting message, usually in the form of a tirade, sent via online postings but also as personal. Flaming is the verb. Flame is the noun. And too much of flaming can cause a nasty flamewar.

Flamingo, Pink

Don Featherstone, of Massachusetts, is the father of the pink flamingo plastic lawn ornament . He graduated from art school and went to work as a designer for Union Products, a Leominster, Mass. company that manufactured flat plastic lawn ornaments. He designed the pink flamingo in 1957 as a follow-up project to his plastic duck.

Today, Featherstone is president and part owner of the company, which sells an average of 250,000 to 500,000 plastic pink flamingos a year.


Measure of a material's ability to support combustion.


Flapping occurs when a routing table entry changes too often in a relatively short time. It is sometimes caused by a link going up and down or by receipt of conflicting routing updates. See also Bouncing Circuit.


Quickly depressing and releasing the plunger in or the actual handset-cradle to create a signal to a PBX or Centrex that special instructions will follow such as transferring the call to another extension.

Flash Chips

Flash chips are memory semiconductor chips, which retain data when electrical current is switched off. They are used in products such as cellular phones, pocket computers and digital cameras .

Flash Crowds

This refers to a published event (i.e. Victoria Secret's Fashion Parade) that receives an overwhelming amount of interest leading to network congestion. The term dates back to a 1973 Larry Niven science fiction story in which the development of teleportation causes thousands of people to suddenly teleport to a location where something interesting is happening.

Flash Button

A button on a phone which performs the same thing as quickly pressing the switch hook on a phone. See Flash, Flash Hook, Flashphone.

Flash Cut

The conversion from an old to a new phone system occurs instantly as one is removed from the circuit and the other is brought in. There are advantages and disadvantages to Flash Cuts. For one, they're likely to be much more dangerous than the opposite view, known as a Parallel Cut, in which the two phone systems run side by side for a month or so. Also known as Cutover and Hot Cut.


A type of EPROM that can be electronically erased. It differs from EEPROM in that generally the entire memory must be erased at once.

Flash Hook

Another name for Switch Hook. The little button on the telephone that you place your receiver into. It obviously hangs the phone up, releasing that line to receive another call. If you push the flash hook quickly, you can signal the switch at the other end (central office or PBX) to do something, such as place a call on hold and switch to the incoming one (call waiting), or transfer the call to another phone. See Flash and Flash Button above.

Flash Memory

Flash memory is nonvolatile storage ” i.e. storage that can retain information without electricity ” but which can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. Flash memory occupies little space and doesn't need continuous power to retain its memory. Some laptop companies, like Toshiba, are using flash memory as nonvolatile storage for the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and the instructions that start the computer (the bootstrap loader). See also Flash Rom and Memory Cards.

Flash RAM

Flash Random Access Memory. A very fast type of RAM that can quickly be erased and rewritten, Flash RAM also retains data when powered off. Typical applications include modems and removable storage media for devices such as PDAs and laptops. See also DDR-SDRAM, DRAM, EDO RAM, FRAM, Microprocessor, RAM, RDRAM, SDRAM, SRAM, and VRAM.

Flash ROM

Flash Read Only Memory. Read Only Memory that can be erased and reprogrammed, but stays on when power to your computer is turned off. Flash ROM is used in modems, for example, to hold software known as firmware. When a later software release comes out, you dial a distant computer which downloads new software into your Flash ROM, updating it. See Flash Memory.


A lady or guy who drives up to the toll booth , lifts up her shirt and exposes her breasts, then keeps driving. A fired telecom worker now collects tolls. He tells me one customer drives through every day and flashes the toll collectors in order to save the 95 cents toll. She has never been reported , stopped or arrested. The toll collector always pays the 95 cents out of his or her own pocket. The toll collectors only call the State Troopers on men who flash.


FlashPix is a new file format designed to optimize the electronic display, manipulation, and distribution of high-resolution images. Developed cooperatively by Eastman Kodak Company, Hewlett-Packard, Live Picture, and Microsoft Corporation, FlashPix has gained recognition as an enabling technology for companies seeking to sell and license images for reuse over the World Wide Web.


See Flash ROM.

Flat Base Mount

A system for mounting a mast on a flat roof using a ground mount plate. See Ground Mount.

Flat Color

A smooth expanse of color in Web design with no blends or interruptions.

Flat File

The simplest database structure. Data are arranged in a single table, with all records in identical formats (i.e., identical data field structures), and stacked together in rows and columns to form a large table similar to a spreadsheet. The term "flat file" comes from the fact that the file is two-dimensional, and that all data relevant to a given object are contained in a single file. See Relational Database.

Flat Monitor

Monitors are screens for PCs. Some people call flat monitors "flat panels." Others call them "flat screens." These two similar-sounding terms are yet another way to befuddle consumers. If you're looking for a sleek, thin, bright computer monitor, you're looking for a flat-panel screen. And you should be looking for a digital one. These flat panels are liquid-crystal display (LCD) monitors like those found on laptops, and bear no resemblance to television-type monitors. Makers of traditional monitors, which are losing ground to flat panels, have started using the term "flat screen" to describe boxy monitors with flat rather than curved glass on the front. Frankly, I still prefer the glass ones.

Flat Network

A term used primarily in the LAN (Local Area Network) domain to describe a network employing bridges, hubs, or OSI Layer 2 switches. As all such devices are protocol-specific , they are relatively inexpensive and are very fast. Such devices read the address of the target device, which address is contained in the packet header, and forward the packet. Some such devices also can filter packets or encapsulate them to resolve protocol differences (e.g., between Ethernet and Token Ring), although this latter function is accomplished at a relatively low level in order not to compromise speed of packet transfer. Flat networks are fairly easy to configure, but tend to be limited in terms of scalability (i.e. size they can grow to); they also can suffer from congestion caused by broadcast traffic. Flat networks are distinguished from hierarchical networks, which employ more complex router technology, operating at OSI Layer 3. See also Hierarchical Network, Bridge, Hub, and Router.

Flat Panel Display

A very thin display screen used in portable computers. These screens usually use LCD (liquid crystal display) technologies, which are backlit to make them more readable even in bright light.

Flat Rate Service

FR or FRS. A fast- disappearing method of pricing local phone calls in North America. The concept was that for a fixed amount of money ” say $10 a month ” you received a plain old desk telephone and an unlimited number of local calls. For years , most residential and most business phones were on a flat rate service. The first thing to go was the phone instrument. You had to pay a dollar or so a month to continue renting it, or you could send it back and buy your own. Second to go was the size of the local calling area you could call. It got smaller. Third to go were the phone calls themselves . This happened first with businesses and now increasingly with residential service. Under this new "pay-per-call" you get charged a "message unit" for each local calls. A message unit is typically eight to ten cents. But psychologically, "message units" sound better than dimes. Fourth to go was the definition of local calls. What was now a "local" call got smaller, i.e. you could call less far for the price of a local call. And what was now a "local" long distance call changed. Calls which, years ago, were free (i.e. on flat rate service) have now become long distance calls. You can witness this phenomenon of changing local pricing in California, New York and Jersey. In other states, it's taking a little longer. There are cities where flat rate service still exists. Treasure them. They're disappearing, too.

Flat Screen

See Flat Monitor.

Flat Top Antenna

An aerial consisting of one or more parallel horizontal wires supported between masts. The "T" type and the inverted "L" type belong in this class.

Flat Topping

Flat topping is where the frame relay carrier limits the ability of the customer to burst above the CIR (committed information rate), thereby flat topping the customer to only the CIR. This is especially important when the customer expects to be able to burst above the CIR. In practice, many customers burst all the time above the CIR to their port speed.

Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, was completed in 1902 for the George A. Fuller construction company, one of the most notable in NYC history. This 22 storey building became immediately a Midtown landmark with a unique triangular shape at the diagonal crossing of Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

The building has a steel frame which is covered with a non-load- bearing limestone and terra-cotta facade built to resemble a classical column with protruding and ornamented base and top. The mid-facade undulates slightly with a vertical wave pattern of decorative protrusions. Above the arcaded top floors a continuous, triangular cornice runs around the whole building.

The building's lobby is located in the middle of the long facades, with entrances from both sides. Along with the elevator banks, the first floor is divided into retail space. When opened, the building was equipped with an electric generator to provide it with its own electricity and heating.

Originally called the Fuller Building, after the Fuller Construction Co. that built it and originally occupied the building (later the firm moved to the Fuller Building in Midtown), the triangular shape gave the building its nickname "Flatiron" and subsequently the name stuck.

It must be noted that contrary to a popular belief (including mine for a long time), the Flatiron has never been the world's tallest building.


In general microwave usage, a miniature hermetic package for MIC components , designed for a minimum height, with pins for RF and DC connections exiting through the sides (narrowest dimensions), and designed to be surface mounted or "dropped in" to a cutout in a micro-strip printed circuit board. The leads and the largest surface of the package are in parallel planes.

Flatter Giggle

What Rona Peligal does out of politeness. Rona is married to Aaron Brenner, who needs the ego boost, according to Rona.


The art of telling someone exactly what he thinks of himself. Flattery is the most powerful sales tool.


See Flat Topping.


A slang expression meaning type or kind, as in "Unix comes in a variety of flavors."


Fiber Loop Carrier. A FITL (Fiber In The Loop) system. FLC comes in several flavors. FLC-A is the Analog version. FLC-B is for a Building, as in an MTU (Multi-Tenant Unit). FLCC is to the Curb, as in FTTC (Fiber To The Curb). FLC-N apparently is the Next version. There also are FLC-D, FLC-S, FLC-X, and probably some others. There's not a lot of information available on this, except in Korean.


If humans could jump like fleas, they'd be able to leap over a 100-story building in a single bound.


Forward Looking Economic Cost. The general pricing methodology adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in its implementation of the Local Competition Provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, August 8, 1996, FCC 96-325. FLEC consists of two parts: the total element long-run incremental cost of the network element and an allocation of common costs. The total element long-run incremental cost is the cost of providing the total quantity demanded in the future of a network element based upon an efficient network configuration, projected values of the cost of capital and economic depreciation rates. The allocation of common costs is required to be forward-looking as well. Appropriate common costs are those that are realized by an efficient company that cannot be attributed directly to a network element or set of network elements. FLEC has been contested in Federal Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, vacated the specific FCC rule requiring that state commissions use FLEC in arbitration proceedings. However, state commissions have adopted versions of FLEC as an acceptable methodology to be used in arbitration proceedings . This definition courtesy Douglas Meredith.

Fleeting Alarm

An alarm condition that is sporadic and/or irregular in occurrence. See also Alarm Soaking.


One of the communications protocols used between paging towers and the mobile pagers /receivers/beepers themselves. Other protocols are POCSAG, ERMES, GOLAY and REFLEX. The same paging tower equipment can transmit messages one moment in GOLAY and the next moment in ERMES, or any of the other protocols. In mid-February, 1997 Motorola announced tht its Products Sector was now shipping its 68175 FLEX chip paging protocol IC (integrated circuit) in volume to customers worldwide. FLEX protocol, an open paging standard developed by Motorola, offers product developers, according to Motorola, a common set of rules that ensure applications work across different service providers' equipment. Currently the FLEX protocol has been adopted by service providers around the world, including providers in China, Southern Asia, India, Japan and the Middle East, along with North America and Latin America. According to Motorola, the FLEX chip IC processes information that has been received and demodulated from a FLEX radio paging channel, selects messages addressed to the paging device, and communicates the message information to the host. In a press release dated August 3, 2000, Motorola, Inc. the developer of the FLEX protocol, said that FLEX was "the worldwide de facto standard for high-speed wireless messaging."

Flex ANI

Flexible Automatic Number Identification. Additional two-digit ANI identifiers for PSPs (Payphone Service Providers). Flex ANI provides a means of identifying the specific class of service associated with the originating telephone number in order that the PSP can be compensated properly for originating long distance calls. Flex ANI also provides for enhanced routing, call screening. Carriers can order Flex ANI to identify calls originating from 1) dumb payphones with switch-generated coin signaling, 2) smart payphones with coin signaling resident in the phone, and 3) inmate/detention facility payphones. A FCC mandate (March 1998) requires that facilities based LECs (Local Exchange Carriers) deploy Flex ANI. Flex ANI is provided per end office (central office) on a CIC (Carrier Identification Code) basis; FGD (Feature Group D) is required. See also ANI and CIC.

Flex Life

The ability of a cable to bend many times before breaking (stranded). See also Flex Strength.

Flex Strength

The ability of a wire or cable to withstand bending and twisting. See also Flex Life.

Flexible Dialing Pattern

A PBX dialing pattern that allows you to set your PBX so it can have one, two, three or four digit numbers for its extensions. See also Flexible Numbering of Stations.

Flexible Drill Bit

A long drill bit that bends and is used for pulling cable and wire through walls in one operation. This means you drill the hole and then reverse the drill and it pulls the cable through the hole, while the drill bit is still inserted. Diversified Manufacturing of Graham, NC, makes such a marvelous product.

Flexible Intercept

Allows you to assign "operator intercept" service to those extensions you wish for whatever reason, unassigned number, temporary disconnect, etc.

Flexible Line Ringing

A PBX feature which allows different phones to have different ringing for incoming calls from inside the building and from outside. Different ringing for intercom calls, different for inter-net calls, different ringing for outside calls, etc.

Flexible Numbering of Stations

A PBX feature which allows you some flexibility in the way you number the extensions off your PBX. How much flexibility depends on the particular PBX and the number of extensions you have. Hotels like giving their hotel phones the same number as the rooms. Makes sense. See Flexible Station Numbering.

Flexible Pricing Tariffs

A regulatory procedure which permits rates for certain services to be changed quickly to meet market conditions, i.e. competition.

Flexible Release

The ability of the switching system to release a connection when either party hangs up.

Flexible Ringing

Also called Distinctive Ringing. A PBX feature that lets phones ring differently. Useful to separate inside and outside calls. Also good when phones are close to each other because people can recognize their phone instantly.

Flexible Routing

The ability to choose different physical paths through a network for different calls as circumstances warrant .

Flexible Service Logic

FSL. The concept of supplementing application program logic through the use of non-executable code (i.e., data). In FSL, the logic the data represents is stored in a decision graph. The decision graph once loaded into the SCP or other network element can be interpreted by the decision graph traversal capability. See SCP and SS7.

Flexible Station Numbering

A feature that allows telephone extensions to be numbered according to their physical location or departmental location, etc. No rewiring is required for in-place telephones. It's all done in software. See Flexible Numbering of Stations.

Flex Strength

The ability of a wire or cable to withstand bending and twisting.


The quality of a cable or cable component which allows for bending under the influence of outside force, as opposed to limpness which is bending due to the cable's own weight. Also refers to the ability of a cable to bend in a short radius.


The wavering or unsteady image sometimes seen on monitors. A major cause is a refresh rate that's too low. Above 60 Hz, flicker disappears completely. See Monitor.


A FLash and a wINK makes a flink signal.

Flip Chip Pin Grid Array


Flip Flop

A device or circuit which can assume either of two stable states. Flip flop devices are used to store one bit of information.

Flip Phone

Slang name given to mainly Motorola brand wireless phones with a flip down lid or cover to expose the keypad on the phone.


You're chummy with a company who's about to go public, i.e. do an initial public offering. It's a hot company, whose shares are likely to rise significantly above what the shares are sold to the public. It would be a real coup if you could get some shares before it went public. You do. And, bingo, the shares, which you paid $10 for, are now selling on the market, on their first day of trading at $20. You sell your shares instantly.

That's called "flipping" in the United States and "stagging" in Australia and Great Britain. Flipping often pits the flipper against the brokerage firm/ underwriter . The broker wants to control the trading in the IPO immediately after it goes public, i.e. keep the price up. Brokers try to curb flipping by individual investors by imposing waiting periods and fees on sellers. However, the largest institutional investors and mutual funds continue to flip with impunity because of their size and influence. See also Spinning.

Float Charging

The battery charging technique for which sealed lead acid batteries are designed. A float charger maintains a voltage on the battery known as the "float voltage". The float voltage is the ideal maintenance voltage for the battery which maximizes battery life. When the float voltage is applied to a battery a current known as the "float current" flows into the battery, exactly cancelling the batteries' own internal self discharge current. Sealed lead acid batteries require float charging at least occasionally or they will become permanently degraded by a process called "sulfation". Maximum lifetime is obtained when a sealed lead acid battery is permanently float charged. This definition courtesy APC.

Floating Batteries

The normal technique for powering telephone equipment in which batteries are simultaneously charged from a commercial source or generator and discharged to operate the telephone equipment.

Floating Point

Using an exponent with numbers to indicate the location of the decimal point. It's more precise than integer but slower. See Floating Point Arithmetic.

Floating Point Arithmetic

Calculations performed on floating point, or exponential numbers. These numbers have two parts, a mantissa and an exponent. The mantissa designates the digits in the number, and exponent designates the position of the decimal point. Essentially floating point arithmetic allows the representation of very large numbers using a small number of bits. The speed of scientific computers is often rated in the Millions of FLoating Operations Per Second (MFLOPS) they can perform.

Floating Selection

An imaging term. A selected area that is conceptually floating above the image, allowing it to be manipulated without affecting the background (for example, the contents of the Clipboard).

Floating Virtual Connection

FVC. The ability to resume an on-demand connection on a port other than the port on which the original on-demand connection was established.

Floating Virtual Tributary Mode

The timing of the virtual tributary is not locked (in frequency or phase) to the timing of the STS-1, but is allowed to float. A VT pointer is used to locate the VT Synchronous Payload Envelope (VT SPE).

Flood Attack

See Domain Name Server Flood Attack.

Flood Projection

In facsimile , the optical method of scanning in which the original is floodlighted and the scanning spot is defined by a masked portion of the illuminated area.

Flood Search Routing

A routing method that employs an algorithm that determines the optimum route for traffic within a network, avoiding failed and congested links.


From Wired's Jargon Watch column. Individuals who send you email inquiries and, after receiving only a slightly favorable response, begin flooding you with multiple messages of little or no interest to you.


A packet-switched network routing method whereby identical packets are sent in all directions to ensure that they reach their intended destination.

Floor Distributor

FD. The international term for horizontal cross-connect. The distributor used to connect between the horizontal cable and other cabling subsystems or equipment.

Floor Feed

An access point in a raised or cellular floor used for the exit of communications or power cables. Floor feeds can be fixed or drilled as required, depending upon the floor type.


FLoating point Operation. Performing an operation on a floating point number. One measure of microprocessor speed is FLOPs per second, or MFLOPs (million flops per second).

Floppy Disk

A thin, flexible plastic disk resembling a phonograph record upon which computer data is stored magnetically. Called a floppy disk because it is flexible and can (and will) flop inside a drive as it is being turned. And it may sound as though it is flopping. Floppy disks were never designed as the permanent storage many people are using them for at present. Floppy disks were designed by IBM as a way of having its sellers and engineers carry programs and program updates to its customers. Floppy disks were lighter and less cumbersome than carrying heavy spools of magnetic tape. IBM designed its floppy disks to be thrown away once their information was loaded into the mainframe computer. The moral of this story is that floppy disks are NOT permanent reliable storage. Anything stored on floppy disks should be backed up at least once and, if possible, twice. Floppy disks come in three diameter sizes ” 3 1/2, 5 1/4 and 8 inches. Floppy disks can be now safely put through X-ray machines at US airports.

Floppy Mini

A floppy disk smaller than the traditional 5 1/4 inch diameter floppy disk. Now most commonly the 3 1/2 inch size invented by Sony, and used by the Apple Macintosh, among others. All MS-DOS laptop computers have 3 1/2 inch disks.

Floptical Technology

The combination of optical servo track positioning and magnetic read-and-write technologies used in 3 1/2-inch Very High Density floppy disk drives. Floptical is a registered trademark of Insite Peripherals.

Flow Control

The hardware, software and procedure for controlling the transfer of messages or characters between two points in a data network ” such as between a protocol converter and a printer ” to prevent loss of data when the receiving device's buffer begins to reach its capacity. In flow control, you can also deny access to additional traffic that would further add to congestion. (Think about flow control and the airlines.) See Flow Control Procedure, Rate-Based Flow Control, QFC and ER.

Flow Control Parameter Facility

X.25 facility that allows the negotiation of packet and window sizes in both directions of transmission.

Flow Control Procedure

The procedure for controlling the rate of transfer of data among elements of a network, e.g., between a DTE and a data switching exchange network, to prevent overload.


A graphic or diagram which shows how a complex operation, such as programming, takes place. The flowchart breaks that operation down into its smallest, and easiest -to-understand events.

Fluidic Self-Assembly

A manufacturing process for RFID tags, patented by Alien Technology. It involves flowing tiny microchips in a special fluid over a base with holes shaped to catch the chips.

Fluoride Glasses

Materials that have the amorphous structure of glass but are made of fluoride compounds (e.g., zirconium fluoride) rather than oxide compounds (e.g., silica). Suitable for very long wavelength transmission.

Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene

FEP. Also known by the trade name Teflon, a registered trademark of Dupont. FEP is the insulation of choice for high performance cable and wire systems installed in return air plenums. As FEP is really slick, it makes the wire really easy to pull through conduits , around corners, and so on ” the same property that makes it so wonderful in the kitchen. FEP's fire retardant properties have led many countries to require its use, particularly in plenum ceilings. See Plenum.

Flush Jack

  1. A telephone or data-connection jack mounted on and recessed in a wall. Each flush jack can have up to six connections on its face.

  2. A toilet in a casino that works even after you have lost all your money (you still have to tip the attendant).

Flush Protocol

An ATM term. The flush protocol is provided to ensure the correct order of delivery of unicast data frames .

Flushing Out the Queue

A call center term. Changing system thresholds so that calls waiting for an agent group are redirected to another group with a shorter queue or available agents .


A cordless headset with a noise cancelling microphone so you can't hear a toilet flush when on the phone in the bathroom.


A rapid change in an electrical signal. The change may be in strength, frequency or phase. Distortion due to variation in loss resulting from the simultaneous transmission of a signal to another frequency.


  1. In soldering, a substance used to remove oxides from metal so the metal can be wet with molten solder for soldering.

  2. A magnetic field that develops around a conductor of electricity.


In traditional airplanes, the controls pilots moved were attached to heavy cables and hydraulic systems which themselves physically moved the rudder or the flaps, etc. Fly-by-wire replaced these wires and the hydraulic systems with computers and thin electrical wires. There are two main advantages to fly-by-wire. The computers can continuously adjust the aircraft's controls without the input of the pilot, trimming control surfaces so that the plane slides through the air with a minimum of air drag. Second, by eliminating heavy control cables and cutting down on hydraulic lines you can cut several hundred pounds off the weight of the plane, thus saving huge amounts of fuel over the life of the plane.

Flying Lead

A grounding lead that exits the back of the connector hook on the outside of the cable jacket. It's normally attached to the drain wire or shield and then connected to the chassis of the switch, modem, etc.


A flywheel is a large heavy wheel used in electrical power generation. It's connected to an electrical power generator and will keep the generator spinning after the power source (a waterfall, or whatever) is unavailable.


  1. Fault Management. A network management function designed to receive fault information into a centralized management function. The faults are monitored , tracked, and resolved.

  2. Frequency Modulation. See Frequency Modulation.

  3. Freaking (or other similar word) magic. When something dead suddenly starts to works, it's "FM." In other words, nobody knows how or why it suddenly started to work. But we're all pleased.

FM Blanketing

That form of interference to the reception of other broadcast stations, which is caused by the presence of an FM broadcast signal of 115 dBu (562 mV/m) or greater signal strength in the area adjacent to the antenna of the transmitting station. The 115-dBu contour is referred to as the "blanking area."

FM Cable service

The offering of FM radio signals over a cable system for a fee. A cable is connected to the subscriber's FM stereo receiver for service. Such a service hasn't been especially popular. More popular has been cable modem broadband service.

FM Capture

A cellular radio term. In cases of extreme co-channel interference, a receiver may experience "FM capture", which is a co-channel interference condition where is selected. Cellular users often experience FM capture as a momentary burst of someone else's conversation.

FM Stereo Separation

A measure of a radio tuner's ability to separate the left and right hand channels of a stereo broadcast. The higher the number, the greater the separation. The unit of measure is the Decibel (dB), a logarithmic unit which expresses the ratio between two voltage, current or power levels, usually relating to a standard reference level, or a background noise level.

FM Subcarrier

One-way data transmission using the modulation of an unwanted portion of an FM broadcast station's frequency band .

FM Threshold

That point at which the input signal power is just strong enough to enable the receiver demodulator circuitry successfully to detect and recover a good quality television picture from the incoming video carrier. Using threshold extension techniques, a typical satellite TV receiver will successfully provide good pictures with an incoming carrier noise ratio of 7db. Below the threshold a type of random noise called "sparkles" begins to appear in the video picture. In a digital transmission, however, signal is sudden and dramatically lost when performance drops under the threshold.


Facility Maintenance and Administration System.


Fixed Mobile Convergence. It means one phone, one telephone number (instead of our current private, business, mobile and fixed telephone numbers). With FMC, subscribers get to have one handset and one phone number, using that single handset and number to make and receive calls in the home, the office, or on the move with a similar "look and feel" to a service. I don't know who made this semi-silly term up. It sure sounds to me like FMC is a fancy word for having a cell phone, carrying it with you everywhere and using it as your main phone ” wherever you are. Good luck. I've never found cell phones to be that reliable, that good quality or their service so cheap that I'd give up my wired phones.


Flexible MVIP Interface Circuit. The FMIC provides a complete MVIP compliant interface between the MVIP bus and a variety of processors, telephony interfaces and other circuits. A built-in digital time slot switch provides Enhanced-Compliant MVIP switching between the full MVIP bus and any combination of up to 128 full duplex local channels of 64 kbps each. An 8-bit microprocessor port allows real-time control of switching and programmable device configuration. On board clock circuitry, including both analog and digital phase-locked loops , supports all MVIP clock modes. The local interface supports ST_BUS (Mitel), PCM Highway (Siemens), CHI (AT&T) signal formats at programmable rates of 2.048 MHz, 4.096 MHz, and 8.192 MHz as well as parallel DMA through the microprocessor port. See MVIP.


Forced Management Plan. It's AT&T's euphemism for firing its people.


Fair Market Value. A special lease for IRS purposes. Be careful. With Fair Market Value (FMV) leases, there is a catch to having the lessor guarantee the dollar amount or the percentage of your buyout. In order to be a FMV lease there must be a risk. That is why you are paying a lower rate of interest. If you agree on an amount up front, make sure it is not in writing, otherwise it does not meet the IRS test for a FMV lease. With A FMV lease, the lessor owned the asset and depreciates it; lessee expenses monthly payments and deducts them for tax purposes. If the buyout is determined in writing and the IRS can prove it, then it is a financing lease and lessee owns asset and depreciates it. Beware of this. This advice from Jane A Blank, telecom consultant, Westerville OH.


A Brussels-based strategic alliance, which exists to facilitate global communications connections for companies in the financial services sector. The 12 founding FNA companies are Stentor of Canada, AOTC of Australia, RTT-Belgacom of Belgium, France Telecom, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom of Germany, Hong Kong Telecom, Italcable of Italy, KDD of Japan, Singapore Telecom, Telefonica of Spain, Mercury Communications of the United Kingdom, and MCI of the United States.


Federal Networking Council. The body responsible for coordinating networking needs among U.S. Federal Agencies. A US group of representatives from those federal agencies involved in the development and use of federal networking, especially those networks using TCP/IP, and the connected Internet. The FNC coordinates research and engineering. Current members include representatives from the DoD, DOE, DARPA, NSF, NASA and HHS.


F..iing New Guy. A term for the new, ignorant guy on the team. Originated in the military. It was used in the movie Forrest Gump, when Forrest and Bubba first meet Lieutenant Dan.


Foreign numbering plan area.


Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. FCC jargon. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) makes rules and regulations that govern the conduct of federal telecommunications business in the United States. When an issue is identified, the FCC conducts research, holds hearings to gather information, solicits opinions, and develops a position. Before they make a ruling , they publish a Notice of Proposed RuleMaking (NPRM). Opinions are offered , and the process begins anew. The NPRM then becomes a FNPRM. Sometimes this goes on for years. It can be a slooooooooooooooow process.


Fixed Network Reconfiguration.


Fiber Network Systems.


Fiber Optics.


  1. First Office Application. A telephone company term for what you and I know as beta testing.

  2. Fiber Optic Amplifier. See Fiber Optice Amplifier for a full definition.


Free On Board. Term indicating where the seller's responsibility ends and the buyer's begins. You buy something, F.O.B. The seller puts it on a truck or railroad , plane, i.e. some carrier. He's responsible for getting it on the carrier. It's FOB, the truck. You ” the buyer ” are responsible for paying for the cost of the freight of getting you the goods you ordered. The opposite of F.O.B. is C.I.F. That stands for Cost, Insurance and Freight are included. That means the seller pays the freight. See FOB, FOB Destination, FOB Place of Delivery and FOB Shipping Point.

FOB Destination

Seller retains ownership until delivered to buyer. See FOB.

FOB Place of Delivery

Seller retains ownership until delivered to buyer. See FOB.

FOB Shipping Point

Seller responsibility ends when item is turned over to carrier. The buyer is responsible for payment if goods are damaged in transit. The buyer also handles any insurance claim. See FOB.


Firm Order Confirmation. An FOC is a confirmation that a telephone company received a order from a customer, has processed it, and has provided a due date back. For most practical applications, the Due Date from the FOC is "firm", but not always set in stone. For instance in between when the FOC is issued and the Due Date, a backhoe cuts the fiber in the ground or a rainstorm floods the basement of an office building. The due date is going to change. Therefore the date is no longer firm.


A measure of the clarity of a color monitor, CRT or LCD. Focus is the harpness of a pixel or series of pixels on the CRT face plate. Also measured as the spot size. Focus relates to the sharpness of a monitor's electron beam as it paints the face of a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). The other measures are convergence and dot pitch.


Fax On Demand. See Fax Back.


Fiber Optic Distribution Unit. A FODU is the fiber equivalent of a DSX panel, which is a Digital System Cross-connect frame. A DSX is a manual bay or panel to which T-1 lines and DS1 circuit packs are wired. A DSX permits cross-connections by patch cords and plugs, i.e. by hand.


Fiber Optic Ground.


In computer graphics, fogging is (surprise, surprise) simulating the effects of fog, smoke and haze. Fogging takes considerable processing power.


Freedom of Information Act 1982. Australian legislation dealing with access by the general public to information gathered and held by Commonwealth Government agencies.


A slang term for an overhead transparency. The expression "he gives good foil" reflects an executive's ability to make great presentations using overhead transparencies . In the 1970s and early 1980s, so many managers at IBM made presentations that some senior executives actually got overhead projectors built into their desks.


Foil is a slang term for an overhead transparency. There are various iterations in the development of a product. One of the first is a description of the product on overhead transparencies. Such overheads are often used to convince investors to put money into the company or to convince distributors to sell the product. This often happens long before the product actually exists. Sometimes the company will pretend with its foil- ware that its products actually exist. In this case, the products then become the foilware. See Foil.


Fax Over IP (Internet Telephony). A FoIP server is a VoIP endpoint used specifically for receiving and sending faxes. FoIP Servers don't use any specialized fax, instead they use VoIP gateways to send and receive faxes. This has several advantages:

  • Share and leverage existing hardware deployed for voice application (and vice versa);

  • Consolidate and reduce the cost of phone lines by sharing them between voice and fax applications; and

IT specialists can now manage data/voice/fax network with a single set of skills. Just like VoIP-based phone calls, the FoIP server uses standard signaling protocol like SIP and H.323 to establish calls. At that point there is absolutely no difference between a FoIP and a VoIP call. The difference lies in what is transported during the call. Voip devices use voice codecs like G.711 and G.723 to transport the voices of the calling parties. A FoIP server uses a T.38 fax codec instead. While G.711 and G.723 are specialized to transport human voice, T.38 is specialized to transport fax machine language (i.e., T.30 messages exchanged between fax terminals). Both T.30 and T.38 are ITU standards, T.30 defines how fax machines communicate together over analog lines and T.38 defines how T.30 messages can be transported over a packet network.

A FoIP server can handle several hundred simultaneous fax calls. For each one, a virtual T.30 engine simulates a fax terminal. From that point FoIP servers behave like regular LAN fax servers, all faxes are queued until they are routed/delivered and they are archived for future retrieval.

Sine both the telephony and fax services share the same VoIP infrastructure, it is possible to provide a single number for fax and voice communications. If a fax call is detected by the telephony service, the call is transferred automatically to the FoIP server.


Fiber Optic Inter Repeater Link. Defined in IEEE 802.3 and implemented over two fiber links, transmit and receive, this medium may be up to one kilometer in length, depending on the number of repeaters in the network. A FOIRL is the perfect transmission medium to join a local area network on the eleventh floor to the fourth floor of the same building.


A subdirectory or a file folder. The Apple Macintosh was the first to use them. Microsoft picked up on the idea when it introduced Windows 95.

Follow Me 800 Service

Basically, Follow Me 800 Service is call forwarding of your personal 800 line. MCI announced this service in the Spring of 1991. It differs from local call forwarding in that you can dial into MCI from anywhere in the world and change the number your 800 line will send its calls to. Your 800 number always stays the same. What changes is the number it calls. A simple explanation: We buy a personal 800 line from MCI. The number is 800-555-6534. When someone calls that number, MCI looks up a database, checks where to send the number and sends it to my office at 212-691-8215. However, one day I go traveling. So I call another MCI 800 number, punch in my identification number and then give it the new number I will be at ” namely 212-206-6660. From then on, MCI will send all my calls to that number ” until I call and change the number again.

Follow Me Call Forwarding

Progressive Call Forwarding. Allows a previously forwarded call to be forwarded from that to another phone extension.

Follow Me Roaming

The ability for the cellular system to automatically forward calls to a roaming mobile that has left it's primary service area. Without this feature, the calling party must know the location of the roamer and place a call to that area.

Follow Me Services

Also called One Number Services. Follow me systems and services are based on the premise that people are mobile (e.g., they move around a lot in and out of the office), and have many phone numbers or places they might be. A person could have an office number, a cellular number, a voice mail number, a home number, and a pager number. Which phone number will a caller be at? Follow me systems will "track- down" the user being called no matter where they are and connect the caller to the user. The caller need only dial a single phone number. Usually, network or local switch provided call data (or data gathered by a voice response unit) is used to identify each call as being intended for a specific user. Based on options the user has selected, the caller will hear an answering prompt customized to that user, and the one number system will then automatically attempt to locate the user at one of several locations. The tracking-down process varies considerably between follow me systems. Some systems try multiple locations at once, others will try the possible destination locations sequentially. Almost all follow me services provide the caller an exit to voice mail at various points of the call.

Follow The Sun Dialing

A technique used in call centers whereby the agents call those parts of the country where it's convenient to call and move the calling across the country as the sun moves. Our agents might call New York households between 6 P.M. and 9 P.M. When the time hits 9 P.M., the agents stop calling New York households and start focusing calls on households in the central time zone. To accomplish Follow The Sun Dialing, a call center needs software which knows in which phone numbers are in which time zones.


Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access. FOMA is the brand name used in Japan for NIT DoCoMo's 3G (WCDMA) service. Launched in October of 2001. FOMA net additions have come in well short of company estimates due to a variety of issues: lack of backward compatible handsets and expensive handsets. K~)Dl's 1x service, which added 510,000 lx subscribers in September, has achieved a much faster subscriber uptake than to date than I DoCoMo's s FOMA service.


Federal Open Market Committee. The Federal Open Market Committee consists of twelve members: the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and, for the remaining four memberships, which carry a one-year term, a rotating selection of the presidents of the eleven other Reserve Banks. The FOMC's main job is to set interest rates. It's the group primarily responsible for monetary policy in the United States. It holds eight regularly scheduled meetings per year.

Fonda, Jane

See Barbarella.

Fonline 800

Sprint's inbound service for small to medium- sized customers with applications up to 500 hours per month.


Alphanumeric and other printable or displayable text characters of a single distinctive style and size. The actual representation of a single character is known as a "glyph." The basic design of the style or "face" of the font is known as the "typeface." The size of the type and fonts is measured in archaic units known as "points," with one point being approximately 1/72 of an inch. The point size does not measure the size of an individual character, by the way. Rather, it measures the distance from the highest part of a letter that reaches the highest (e.g., lower case "f") to the lowest part of a letter that reaches the lowest (e.g., lower case "g") Common fonts are Arial, Helvetica, and Times New Roman.

Font Family

A group designation that describes the general look of a font.

Font Size

See Point Size.


An Internet term. A place-holder for nearly anything ” a variable, function, procedure, or even person. "A given user foo has the address ''."

Foo Foo Dust

Magic dust when sprinkled on equipment makes the equipment work perfectly . Foo foo dust doesn't exist, of course. It's just a term for the machine suddenly coming to life when someone "talks" to it or "touches" it. In other words, a fluke situation. Also spelled fu fu dust. See also Foo Foo School.

Foo Foo School

This one was sent to be me in 2003 by a disappointed graduate. A foo foo school is a telecommunications school that offers assistance in job placement upon graduation. My reader commented "What better magic to put to work what you learned." See also Foo Foo Dust.


No product can never be made to be foolproof, since they will always make a bigger fool.


Also called Aerial Service Wire Splice. A device used to splice aerial service wire shaped a bit like a football when it's installed.


  1. The area on the earth's surface where the signals from a specific satellite can be received. A footprint is shown as a series of concentric contour lines that show the area covered and the decreasing power of the signal as it spreads out from the center.

  2. The area on a desk a device occupies, i.e. the computer's footprint.


Forbearance is the power of a regulator not to regulate a service or market if it believes the market is "workably competitive."

Force Administration Data System


Force Feed

An arrangement in an outbound telebusiness unit where agents are force fed with a new call which is automatically dialed , a pre-determined time after finishing the previous call.

Forced Account Code Billing

A telephone feature which prevents call from being completed if the user does not pushbutton in a billing code. That billing code may correspond to the department within the company. Or it may conform to the client and to the client's matter number the call must be billed to.

Forced Authorization Code

FAC. A PBX feature which requires all or certain users to enter a code before dialing an outside number.

Forced Hop

A channel hop made by the Mobile Data Base Station (MDSB) because non-Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) activity is detected on the channel that is currently in use.

Forced on Net

Calls that originate via switched access are forced to terminate to an on-net location.

Forced Perfect Terminator

A type of terminator containing a sophisticated circuit that can compensate for variations in the power supplied by the host adapter, as well as variations in bus impedance of complex SCSI systems.

Forced Release/Disconnect

The switching center's automatic hang-up if the calling party fails to do so at the end of a conversation.

Forced Route Override

Allows a PBX user to automatically redirect an outgoing call to a different trunk if the first trunk is busy or the connection is poor.


Ford makes jet engines under license from General Electric, Ford built thousands of jet engines over the years for the USAF KC-135 fleet . When an engine failed, it is noted in the log as a FORD failure (Found On Runway Dead).


Taking historical data (what happened in the past) from your ACD and using that information to predict what might happen in the future. Has your call volume always doubled on Tuesday? It will probably double next Tuesday too. A very important function of call center management software.

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