K-Key Map


  1. See K-Style Handset below.

  2. In metric terms it means one thousand (1,000) times, taken from the Greek word kilo. It's often appended to a measurement such as kiloHertz or kHz, which means 1,000 Hertz. In data communications, a kilobit means a thousand bits per second (kbps). In computer memory terms, it means 1,024, which is the figure for two raised to the 10th power, i. e. 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. See also Byte.

  3. Scientifically, K (Capital Letter) should be used ONLY for Kelvin (Absolute Temperature). k (lower case) means a thousand. See Kelvin.

K Band

That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the high microwave/millimeter range ” from 10.9 GHz to 36 GHz. See also Ka BAND and Ku Band.

K Plans

Also called keysheets. When designing a phone system, you need to assign features and line assignments to each extension. A keysheet or a K Plan is an organized way of figuring and keeping track of those features and assignments for system design and programming. Typically it's one page per extension. These days, keysheets are often done on computer.

K Plant

Old Bell System lingo for equipment used in key systems.

K Style Handset

A K-style handset is the newer , square telephone handset. The older, round handset is called the G-style handset.


Old Bell-Speak for 10-button (9-lines) key telephone.


Old Bell-Speak for 20-button (19 lines) key telephone.


Old Bell-Speak for 30-button (29 lines) key telephone.


K56flex was one of two pre-standard modem solutions for running data over dial-up phone lines at up to 56 Kbps one way and up to 33.6 Kbps the other way. The standard was developed for use on the Internet, with the 56 Kbps channel running downstream (i.e., flowing to you) and the 33.6 Kbps channel running upstream (i.e., from you). The logic is that at 56 Kbps, Web pages fill a lot faster on your screen. 56Kflex was developed by Rockwell Semiconductor and Lucent Technologies, two of the world's leading manufacturers of modem chips. More than 700 modem makers , PC manufacturers, including Compaq and Toshiba, and ISPs like Microsoft Network, supported this de facto standard. The competing 56 Kbps "standard" was called x2, and was developed by US Robotics. x2 was not compatible with 56Kbps. In other words, a 56flex modem cannot talk at 56Kbps to a x2 modem. On February 6, 1998, the ITU-T ratified a new standard called V.90 for Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) modems running at speeds to 56 Kbps. The idea of this V.90 was to create an international standard so that all 56 Kbps modems could talk to each other. Previous to the finalization of the standard, V.90 had been referred to informally and variously as V.PCM and V.fast. It allows speeds of up to 56 Kbps in one direction only, from the central site equipment to the end user. The "back channel" upstream from end user to the central site remains limited to 33.6 Kbps (V.34 speeds). Actually, in North American use, the modem is actually limited to only 53.3 Kbps. The reason for this? The FCC determined that running the modem at 56 Kbps, which it's perfectly capable of, would entail pumping out too much power, which might interfere with adjacent telephone circuit pairs in the same bundle. Some 56Kflex modems can be software upgraded to V.90. Others can't. See 56 Kbps Modem (for a longer technical explanation), V.91, V.92, and V.PCM.

Ka Band

That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the high microwave / millimeter range ” approximately 33 GHz to 36 GHz. Ka Band is used primarily in satellites operating at 30 GHz uplink and 20 GHz downlink and is intended for applications such as mobile voice. In short, Ka Band are a A band of frequencies in the 18 to 31 GHz range that are available for global satellite use. See Ku Band.


A popular implementation of TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and associated protocols for amateur packet radio systems.


See Ka Band.

Kahn, Robert Dr.

Dr Robert Kahn and Dr. Vinton Cerf are considered to the fathers of the Internet. While working at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), they published in 1967 a plan for a key forerunner of the Internet, something called ARPANET. The intent was to create a tool to link geographically dispersed research-center computers. The design incorporated the packet switching concept. Through packet switching, a message is divided into multiple packets of data that are transmitted individually and can follow different routes to their destination, where they are reassembled in their original order. ARPANET carried its first message in 1969. To transcend the network-specific boundaries of ARPANET, Kahn championed the idea of open -architecture networking, which would allow for networks of different designs to connect by means of a communications protocol. Kahn teamed up with Cerf to co-invent TCP/IP, which stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. See Internet and TCP/IP.


When England first took over Australia, colonists were astounded by the variety of previously unknown animals. One in particular puzzled them. When they asked an aborigine what it was, he replied "I don't know," which in his particular dialect is, "kan ga roo."


In German, kaput means broken. In bad French, it's capout.


Kazaa software, one of the most popular downloads on the Internet, is used for sharing music. Because Kazaa's file sharing relies on routing requests through individual users' computers instead of central servers (as in the old Napster), the record industry has been unable to shut down the service in court ” but not for lack of trying. See also Skype, which rhymes with hype. www.Kazaa.com.


Kb is Kilobit, which is one thousand bits. KB is kilobyte, which is 1,024 bytes. Kilo is one thousand. See also Kilobyte. See Byte and Bps for much more detailed explanations .


Thousand Busy Hour Call Attempts. See BHCA.


KBps is kilobytes per second. Kbps is kilobits per second. In short, one thousand bits or bytes per second. For a much better explanation, see Bps.



Kearney System

An AT&T numbering scheme for telecom parts . See KS Number.

Keep Alive Bits

See Fill Bits.

Keep Alive Signal

A generic term for a signal transmitted when a DTE detects a loss of input from the customer's equipment for a specified period of time (sometimes called a blue signal or AIS). T-carrier systems, for instance, transmit a keep-alive signal during periods of circuit idleness which exceed 150 msec. The purpose of the keep-alive signal is to maintain the circuit during periods of idleness; otherwise , the circuit would time out and the logical connection between devices would be terminated .

Keg of Nails

Putting thousands of metal shards into a 16,000 mile per hour counterorbit against the U.S.'s low- orbit satellites. Such keg of nails would be designed to destroy low orbitting satellites.


A Japanese term describing a group of affiliated corporations with broad power and reach. In Japan, six giant keiretsu ” Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Dai Ichi, Kangyo, Sumitomo, Sanwa, and Fuyo ” dominate much of the country's economic activity.


A mobile phone, a cell phone, a portable phone in Japanese. NTT DoCoMo's phones are called Keitais.


A unit of absolute temperature, equal to 1/273.16 of the absolute temperature of the triple point of water, equivalent to one degree Celsius. A temperature in kelvin may be converted to Celsius by subtracting 273.16. Named after the British physicist William Thomson, first Baron Kelvin.


A security system for client/server computing. Kerberos is a scheme, developed at MIT in the 1980s, to enable secure multiple system access to a client/server computing environment. Named for the three-headed dog, Cerberus, who guarded the gates of Hades in Greek mythology. Kerberos is a UNIX-based distributed database used for user authentication.


An asynchronous file transfer protocol originally developed at Columbia University in New York City in 1981. The protocol has become popular because of its flexibility. One of the clearest advantages of Kermit is its ability to be tailored for virtually any equipment. File transfer protocols like Kermit break a file into equal parts called blocks or packets, with the data (also known as text or payload) preceded and succeeded by specific control data. The receiving computer checks each arriving packet and sends back either an acknowledgement (ACK) or a negative acknowledgement (NAK) to the sending computer, explicitly indicating the arrival of the packet and its arrival condition. Because modems use phone lines to transfer data, noise or interference on the line will often mess up the block of data. When a block is damaged in transit, an error occurs. The purpose of a protocol is to set up a mathematical way of measuring if the block came through accurately. And if it didn't, ask the distant computer to re-transmit the block until it gets it right. Kermit believers say that Kermit is robust, platform-independent, medium-independent, extensible, and highly configurable. XMODEM, YMODEM, and ZMODEM are the file transfer protocols most commonly compared with Kermit, and which are found in numerous shareware and commercial communication software packages. XMODEM and YMODEM are stop-and-wait protocols; XMODEM uses short blocks (128 data bytes), YMODEM uses longer ones (1024 data bytes). ZMODEM is a streaming protocol. In the results of tests of file transfers shown to me, ZMODEM and Kermit are closest in terms of speed and efficiency of transfer, with Kermit edging out ZMODEM for first place. The Kermit Project can be found at www.columbia.edu/kermit/. The Kermit newsgroups are comp.protocols.kermit.misc and comp.protocols.kermit.announce.

Here are words excerpted from The Kermit Project at www.columbia.edu/kermit/:Kermit - What is it? Kermit is a file transfer protocol first developed at Columbia University in New York City in 1981 for the specific purpose of transferring text and binary files without errors between diverse types of computers over potentially hostile communication links, and it is a suite of communications software programs from the Kermit Project at Columbia University. Over the years , the Kermit Project has grown into a worldwide cooperative nonprofit software development effort, headquartered at and coordinated from Columbia University. The Kermit protocol was named after Kermit the Frog, star of the television series, The Muppet Show, used by permission of Henson Associates, Inc. Since its inception in 1981, the Kermit protocol has developed into a sophisticated and powerful tool for file transfer and management, incorporating, among other things:

File group transmission; File attribute transmission ( size , date, permissions, etc); File name , record-format, and character-set conversion; File collision options, including an "update" feature; File transfer recovery Auto upload and download; Client/Server operations; Recursive directory-tree transfer, even between unlike platforms; Uniform services on serial and network connections; and An Internet Kermit Service Daemon. Kermit software has been written for hundreds of different computers and operating systems, some of it by volunteer programmers all over the world, some of it by the Kermit Project staff. The major features of the most popular Kermit programs are:

  • Connection establishment and maintenance for a wide variety of connection methods (dialup, TCP/IP, X.25, LAN, etc).

  • Terminal emulation.

  • Error-free file transfer.

  • Numeric and alphanumeric paging.

  • Character-set translation during both terminal emulation and file transfer ” a unique feature of Kermit software.

  • Script programming to automate complicated or repetitive tasks . The one feature that distinguishes Kermit protocol from most others is its wide range of settings to allow adaptation to any kind of connection between any two kinds of computers.


The level of an operating system or networking system that contains the system-level commands or all of the functions hidden from the user. In Unix, the kernel is a program that contains the device drivers, the memory management routines, the scheduler, and system calls. This program is always running while the system is operating. See Kernel-Based Window System.

Kernel Based Window System

Kernel-based window systems are those in which the software application executes and displays in the same physical machine. Examples include personal computers and Macintoshes. The advantage is speed. The disadvantage is that applications are closely tied to the system environment and are therefore not portable. Kernel-based window systems also do not allow users/developers to use the network as a means of sharing computer resources.

Kernel Driver

A Windows NT term. A driver that accesses hardware.

Kerr Effect

When polarized light is shone onto a magnetized surface, the light is reflected back at an angle and in a different direction, depending on the polarity of the magnetism . This quirk of nature is called the Kerr Effect and it is the basis of magneto-optical (erasable) discs. The Kerr Effect also affects optical fiber transmission systems. This phenomenon is manifested where the index of refraction of a fiber optic cable varies with the intensity of the transmitted light signal. This nonlinear phenomenon occurs in systems with milliwatt transmitters and very long span lengths, resulting in self phase modulation of the signal, which is not a good thing.


An aramid fiber that belongs to the nylon family, Kevlar often is used in strength members surrounding optical fiber cables. Aramid fibers most commonly are used in riser cables (i.e., cables which rise vertically through a building), increasing the tensile strength of the cable so that it doesn't break under its own weight. Kevlar is a trademark of the Dupont Company. Kevlar is also used in bulletproof vests worn by police. See also Aramid.


  1. One or more characters or perhaps a field within a data record used to identify the data and perhaps control its use.

  2. The physical button on a telephone set. What normal people call a "Switch", telephone people call a "Key."

  3. The physical button on a key telephone set. In a KTS (Key Telephone System environment, the user selects an outside line or intercom line by depressing the appropriate key. The term "Key" originated in the manual switchboard (cordboard) systems, with the operator flipping a key (switch) to set up a talk path . What normal people call a "Switch," telephone people call a "Key."

  4. In encryption, a key is a data string which, when combined with the source data according to an algorithm, produces output that is unreadable until decrypted. A key can also be used to decrypt a data string. See Key Holder.

  5. The device which unlocks your front door or perhaps your terminal or computer, assuming that you haven't lost it. I have been told that all of my lost keys will be waiting for me on my desk in my next life.


A keylogger is a trojan virus that monitors every keystroke its victim types ” including passwords and confidential email messages ” then secretly mails out copies to whoever planted the virus. Anyone who spreads this Trojan would be able to quickly harvest huge amounts of sensitive personal information. Essentially it's automated identify theft via telecommunications.

Key Escrow

A Key Escrow is a system that keeps copies of encryption keys so that those keys can be accessed by an authorized agent to decrypt any messages created by those escrowed keys.

Key Exchange

A procedure by which the value of a key is shared between two or more parties. See also Encryption.

Key Generation

The process of creating a key.

Key Holder

In encryption, a key is a data string which, when combined with the source data according to an algorithm, produces output that is unreadable until decrypted. A key can also be used to decrypt a data string. In the mid-1990s in the United States, there was great controversy about software that could encrypt electronic communications. Under U.S. laws, such software could not be exported. There was a movement to change the law and create organizations called "key holders." These would be organizations that would be given copies of an individual's decryption key or codebreaker. Such organizations, the theory went, would, under court order, give an individual's decryption key to a law enforcement agency. This might happen with or without the individual's consent .

Key Illumination

A lamp under a button (called a "key" in telephony) which flashes at different rates to signal an incoming call, a steady busy and "wink" (fast) hold.

Key Management

Digital cryptography systems are based on the use of keys. Before secure transmissions can take place, the appropriate keys must be obtained for use by the sender and the receiver. The total operations and services related to the use and distribution of cryptographic keys is known as key management.

Key Map

A MIDI patch-map entry that translates key values for certain MIDI messages, for example, the keys used to play the appropriate percussion instrument or a melodic instrument in the appropriate octave.

Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
ISBN: 979387345
Year: 2004
Pages: 133

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