Microsoft's NetMeeting is a conferencing and collaboration tool designed for the Internet or intranet. I'm giving a lot of space to it in this edition of my dictionary, because I believe NetMeeting is an important product that will have a major impact on the way we communicate (voice, video, data, images, etc.) over the PSTN, over private corporate networks and over IP networks, such as the Internet and private IP networks, known as intranets .

NetMeeting, according to Microsoft, has the following features:

  • H.323 standards-based voice and video conferencing. Real-time, point-to- point audio conferencing over the Internet or corporate intranet enables a user to make voice calls to associates and organizations around the world. NetMeeting voice conferencing offers many features, including half-duplex and full-duplex audio support for real-time conversations, automatic microphone sensitivity level setting to ensure that meeting participants hear each other clearly, and microphone muting, which lets users control the audio signal sent during a call. This voice conferencing supports network TCP/IP connections.

  • Support for the H.323 protocol enables interoperability between NetMeeting and other H.323-compatible voice clients . The H.323 protocol supports the ITU G.711 and G.723 audio standards and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RTP and RTCP specifications for controlling audio flow to improve voice quality. On MMX- enabled computers, NetMeeting uses the MMX-enabled voice codecs to improve performance for voice compression and decompression algorithms. This will result in lower CPU use and improved voice quality during a call. With NetMeeting, a user can send and receive real-time visual images with another conference participant using any video for Windows-compatible equipment. They can share ideas and information face-to-face, and use the camera to instantly view items, such as hardware or devices, that the user chooses to display in front of the lens. Combined with the video and data capabilities of NetMeeting, a user can both see and hear the other conference participant, as well as share information and applications. This H.323 standards- based video technology is also compliant with the H.261 and H.263 video codecs.

Multipoint data conferencing using T.120. Two or more users can communicate and collaborate as a group in real time. Participants can share applications, exchange information through a shared clipboard, transfer files, collaborate on a shared whiteboard, and use a text-based chat feature. Also, support for the T.120 data conferencing standard enables interoperability with other T.120-based products and services. The following features comprise multipoint data conferencing:

Application sharing: A user can share a program running on one computer with other participants in the conference. Participants can review the same data or information, and see the actions as the person sharing the application works on the program (for example, editing content or scrolling through information.) Participants can share Windows-based applications transparently without any special knowledge of the application capabilities. The person sharing the application can choose to collaborate with other conference participants, and they can take turns editing or controlling the application. Only the person sharing the program needs to have the given application installed on their computer.

Shared Clipboard: The shared clipboard enables a user to exchange its contents with other participants in a conference using familiar cut, copy, and paste operations. For example, a participant can copy information from a local document and paste the contents into a shared application as part of a group collaboration. File Transfer: With the file transfer capability, a user can send a file in the background to one or all of the conference participants. When one user drags a file into the main window, the file is automatically sent to each person in the conference; they can then accept or decline receipt. This file transfer capability is fully compliant with the T.127 standard.

Whiteboard: Multiple users can simultaneously collaborate using the whiteboard to review, create, and update graphic information. The whiteboard is object-oriented (versus pixel-oriented), enabling participants to manipulate the contents by clicking and dragging with the mouse. In addition, they can use a remote pointer or highlighting tool to point out specific contents or sections of shared pages.

Chat: A user can type text messages to share common ideas or topics with other conference participants, or record meeting notes and action items as part of a collaborative process. Also, participants in a conference can use chat to communicate in the absence of audio support. A "whisper" feature lets a user have a separate, private conversation with another person during a group chat session.

TAPI 3.0 and NetMeeting both support core IP Telephony capabilities. Each platform offers unique benefits: TAPI 3.0 integrates traditional telephony with IP Telephony, providing a COM-based, protocol-independent call-control and data streaming infrastructure. NetMeeting SDK supports T.120 conferencing and application sharing in addition to IP Telephony. Applications using TAPI 3.0 and the NetMeeting API interoperate using H.323 audio and video conferencing.

Because TAPI 3.0 and NetMeeting both support core IP Telephony capabilities (including support for H.323), developers may want to consider the following guidelines when choosing an API for their IP Telephony applications: TAPI 3.0. This is the API to use if you are doing IP Telephony in your application. TAPI 3.0 is especially valuable in the world of client/server computer telephony integration, for combining IP Telephony with traditional telephony, and for IP multicast of voice and video.

NetMeeting API. This is the API to use if you are doing real-time collaboration and want to integrate voice, video, and data conferencing into your application. The NetMeeting API is useful for applications that want to integrate application sharing, whiteboard functionality, and multipoint file transfer with voice and video sessions.


The most extreme, ugly and deranged form of Net abuser.


Network Operations System.


See Network Computer and Thin Client.


Netscape was once the most famous Web Browser in the world. It owes its genesis to a software program called Mosaic, which Marc Andreessen and a small team of student programmers working for $6.85 an hour in 1993 wrote at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A year later, after becoming annoyed at the way the University had taken over his Mosaic creation, Mr. Andreessen proposed a "Mosaic Killer" ” a new and improved version of his own creation. The team was back at work by April 1994 in a company called Netscape. And by October, they had created a new version of Mosaic, called Netscape Navigator. Netscape went public in August of 1995 in one of the most successful IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) ever. When Microsoft started giving away its Internet Explorer Browser for free, Netscape fell on hard times. And in late 1998, America OnLine (AOL) bought it for a gigantic amount of money.


A file server used for distributing files directly related to the BITNET network.


The term Netscape Navigator uses to refer to a URL or WWW address.

Netsploitation Flick

Any one of the Hollywood films about the Internet.


A utility program used to show server connections running over TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and statistics, including current connections, failed connection attempts, reset connections, segments received, segments sent, and segments retransmitted.


In an Internet scenario, thin clients are known as NetPCs or Netstations. The NetStation is reliant on the server, which is provided by your company or a service provider (e.g., America OnLine, CompuServe, or your ISP). In addition to providing some combination of content and Internet access, the service provider's server will provide your client NetPC with access to all necessary applications (e.g., word processing and spreadsheet), will store all your personal files, will provide all significant processing power, and so on. In this Internet example, the Netstation differs from the standard thin client by virtue of the fact that it does contain a modem, a communications port and communications software, all of which are required for Internet access. See also Client, Client/Server, Client/Server Model, Fat Client, Mainframe Server, Media Server, and Thin Client.


An IBM product for management of heterogeneous networks that integrates the functions of three formerly separate Communications Network Management (CNM) software programs:

1. NCCF. Network Communication Control Facility.

  1. NLDM. Network Logical Data Manager, which uses functions from NCCF and helps pinpoint problems along the logical connection/ path of an SNA session.

  2. NPDA. Network Problem Determination Application, which displays various alerts using IBM equipment located at strategic points in the network and allows diagnostic information to be displayed. Also, NetView incorporates some of the functions from two other programs: VNCA (Virtual Telecommunications Access Method/Node Control Application) which monitors the status and current activity of all resources in a domain, and NMPF (Network Management Productivity Facility) which helps the network operator to install, learn and use many network management products. See also Network and Network Management.


NetWare is an extremely popular and extremely good operating system for a local area network from Novell, Orem, UT. NetWare is actually its own operating system. This means it is the link between machine hardware (file servers, printers, modems, etc.) and people who want it use that hardware. NetWare is neither DOS, nor OS/2 nor Windows though it can be made to look and act like them. That's part (a small part) of its popularity. See Netware MHS, Netware Workstation Files, NETx.COM and Novell.

NetWare Bindery

Centralized authentication database for NetWare 3.xx LANs.

NetWare Directory Services.

See NDS.

NetWare Global MHS

Novell's implementation of MHS as a NetWare Loadable Module (NLM), providing powerful integration with NetWare services. This supports additional modules to connect to X.400, SNA and SMTP systems.

NetWare Loadable Module

NLM. An driver that runs in a server on a local area network under Novell's NetWare operating system and can be loaded or unloaded on the fly as it's needed. In other networks, such applications could require dedicated PCs. A telephony NLM might allow a workstation on a LAN to control a PBX attached to a NetWare file server. It might also allow the workstation to control one or more voice processing cards sitting on in a NetWare server. In early 1993, AT&T became the first PBX maker to ink a deal with Novell, the creator of NetWare, to put telephony onto Novell LANs. AT&T created a PC-card resident in a Novell File server. The card connects to the ASAI (Adjunct Switch Applications Interface) BRI port on the AT&T Definity PBX. Anyone with a PC on the Novell network and an AT&T phone on their desk can use telephone features, such as auto-dialing, conference calling and message management (a new term for integrating voice, fax and e-mail on your desktop PC via your LAN). The Novell/AT&T deal intends to create open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that third party developers can work with. A Novell/AT&T example of what could be developed: A user could select names from a directory on his PC. He could tell the Definity PBX through the PC over the LAN to place a conference call to those names . At the same time, a program running under NetWare would automatically send an e-mail to the people, alerting them to the conference call and giving them the agenda. All participants would have access to both the document and the conference call simultaneously. See Telephony Services.

NetWare MHS

Netware MHS, which is software that provides store-and-forward capability. Fax and E-mail systems that support MHS format their message transmissions according to MHS specifications. MHS reads compatible transmissions, determines the intended recipient and his location, and then sends the message to that location, regardless of the type of fax or E-mail system at the different ends. See MHS.

NetWare Telephony Services

See Telephony Services.


Networks are common in our lives. Think about trains and phones. A networks ties things together. Computer networks connect all types of computers and computer related things ” terminals, printers, modems, door entry sensors, temperature monitors, etc. The networks we're most familiar with are long distance ones, like phones and trains. But there are also Local Area Networks (LANs) which exist within a limited geographic area ” like the few hundred feet of a small office, an entire building or even a "campus," such as a university or industrial park. There are also Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). See also LAN and MAN.

Network Access Control

Electronic circuitry that determines which workstation may transmit next or when a particular workstation may transmit.

Network Access Line

NAL. A communications channel between a customer's premises and the central office.

Network Access Point

NAP. See NAP. A telephone company AIN term. Software within a switch capable of recognizing a call that requires processing by AIN logic which, upon recognizing such a call, routes the call to an SSP or ASC switch.

Network Accounting

A system or application software module that monitors and reports on packet-switched data network traffic, generally focusing on IP (Internet Protocol) traffic. Network accounting software captures data packets as they transverse the LAN, compresses them, and stores them on a centralized data repository to which the network administrator, cost center managers, and privileged others can gain access to run various reports. Much like a call accounting system in the circuit-switched voice domain, a network accounting system captures data output from a switch or router. The SDR (Session Detail Record) output is much like CDR (Call Detail Record) output from a voice PBX. Much like PBX CDR information identifies the originating and terminating extension/telephone number, a network accounting system captures the originating and terminating IP address, and can translate that into both the MAC address of the LAN-attached user workstation, and the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the Website the user has visited. Much like a call accounting system keeps track of the duration and time of day of a voice call, a network accounting system keeps track of the duration and time of day of a data network user's session. Network accounting systems are highly effective monitoring systems used by large corporations to ensure that expensive network resources are neither abused or misused. Such resources include both LAN resources (e.g., hubs, switches, servers, and routers) and high-speed (e.g., T-1 and T-3) circuits connecting to the Internet. See also Call Accounting, Electronic Communication Privacy Act, and Keystroke Monitoring.

Network ACD

Network ACD allows ACD agent groups, at different locations (nodes), to service calls over the network independent of where the call first entered the network. NACD uses ISDN D-channel messaging to exchange information between nodes.

Network Address

Every cardEvery node on an Ethernet network has one or more addresses associated with it, including at least one fixed hardware address such as "ae-34- 2c-1d-69-f1" assigned by the device's manufacturer. Most nodes also have protocol specific addresses assigned by a network manager.

Network Address Translation

NAT. Network Address Translation. A Cisco version of Port Address Translation (PAT), NAT enables a local area network (LAN) to use one set of IP addresses for internal traffic and a second set of addresses for external traffic. This allows a company to shield internal addresses from the public Internet. According to Cisco, NAT has several applications. You want to connect to the Internet, but not all your hosts have globally unique IP addresses. NAT enables private IP internetworks (i.e., Intranets) that use nonregistered IP addresses to connect to the Internet, or another public IP-based network. NAT is configured on the router at the border of a stub domain (referred to as the inside network) and a public network such as the Internet (referred to as the outside network). NAT translates the internal local addresses to globally unique IP addresses before sending packets to the outside network. You must change your internal addresses. Instead of changing them, which can be a considerable amount of work, you can translate them by using NAT. You want to do basic load sharing of TCP traffic. You can map a single global IP address to many local IP addresses by using the TCP load distribution feature. As a solution to the connectivity problem, NAT is practical only when relatively few hosts in a stub domain communicate outside of the domain at the same time. When this is the case, only a small subset of the IP addresses in the domain must be translated into globally unique IP addresses when outside communication is necessary, and these addresses can be reused when no longer in use.

A significant advantage of NAT, according to Cisco, is that it can be configured without requiring changes to hosts or routers other than those few routers on which NAT will be configured. NAT may not be practical if large numbers of hosts in the stub domain communicate outside of the domain. Furthermore, some applications use embedded IP addresses in such a way that it is impractical for a NAT device to translate. These applications may not work transparently or at all through a NAT device. NAT also hides the identity of hosts, which may be an advantage or a disadvantage . A router configured with NAT will have at least one interface to the inside and one to the outside. In a typical environment, NAT is configured at the exit router between a stub domain and backbone. When a packet is leaving the domain, NAT translates the locally significant source address into a globally unique address. When a packet is entering the domain, NAT translates the globally unique destination address into a local address. If more than one exit point exists, each NAT must have the same translation table. If the software cannot allocate an address because it has run out of addresses, it drops the packet and sends an ICMP Host Unreachable packet. A router configured with NAT must not advertise the local networks to the outside. However, routing information that NAT receives from the outside can be advertised in the stub domain as usual. See also NAT and Port Address Translation.

Network Addressable Unit

NAU. In IBM's SNA, a logical unit (LU), physical unit (PU) or system services control point (SSCP), which is host-based, that is the origin or destination of information transmitted by the path control portion of an SNA network.

Network Agent

A network agent is a device, such as a workstation or a router, that is equipped to gather network performance information to send to the network management agent. See Network Management Agent.

Network Analyzer

A microwave test system that characterizes devices in terms of their complex small-signal scattering parameters (S-parameters). Measurements involve determining the ratio of magnitude and phase of input and output signals at the various ports of a network with the other ports terminated in the specified characteristic impedance (generally 50 ohms).

Network and Services Integration Forum


Network Application Architecture

A generalized architecture allowing interoperability at the application level. Examples are Digital Equipment Corp.'s Network Application Support (NAS) and IBM Corp.'s Systems Application Architecture (SAA).

Network Application Support

Digital Equipment Corporation's set of open software which allegedly allows its customers to integrate, port and distribute applications across different computer systems, including VMS, UNIX, MS-DOS, OS/2 and Apple MacIntosh.

Network Architecture

The philosophy and organizational concept for enabling communications between multiple locations and multiple organizational units. Network architecture is a structured statement of the terminal devices, switching elements and the protocols and procedures to be used for the establishment effective telecommunications. See Architecture.

Network Attached Storage

NAS. Network Attached Storage is simply one or more storage devices (e.g., disk arrays) associated with a single server which exists as a node on a LAN (Local Area Network). The server assumes the responsibility for all data storage, offloading that responsibility from application servers, and making the data available to all users on the network. Besides basic storage and file sharing NAS devices can also be configured to provide services. For instance, a NAS device could be an Internet cache to increase the speed of surfing certain web sites, they could provide multimedia content across the network, or backup services for important content. As with all storage devices that are made available to the general network security is a concern. To protect sensitive information contained on NAS devices several security features can be put in place such as access control lists (ACL), encryption, antivirus, and packet filtering to regulate who has access to the stored information. Currently, NAS devices are relatively inexpensive compared to other available technologies and quality ranges from home-use units to full- featured commercial models. NAS devices available for the enterprise network have survivability options such as backup power and RAID support. However, they are still limited in scalability and performance when compared to storage area network (SAN) technologies. Advances in NAS technology are overcoming these hurdles by using Gigabit Ethernet networks and newer storage technologies. At some time, the gaps between SAN and NAS technologies will disappear. A Storage Area Network (SAN), by contrast, is a much more complex, high-speed dedicated sub-network. See also SAN.

Network Balancing

  1. Lumped circuit elements (inductances, capacitances and resistances) connected so as to simulate the impedance of a uniform cable or open-wire circuit over a band of frequencies.

  2. Moving circuits around in a multi-node switching network such the switching loads on each of similar switching modules are roughly equal.

Network Basic Input/Output System

NETBIOS. Within the context of the MS-DOS operating system, the software or software and firmware services that implement the interface between applications and a network adaptor, such as a CSMA\CD or token-ring adaptor.

Network Board

  1. A circuit board installed in each network station to allow stations to communicate with each other and with the file server.

  2. An SCSA term. A board device designed to act as an interface between a computer- based signal processing system and a telephone network.

Network Border Switch

The latest "modern" way to move and switch phone calls is via packet switched IP (Internet Telephony). The problem is that standards aren't universal. Most carriers have their proprietary technology, which is fine if you stay on their network. Carriers trying to connect their IP voice networks with those of other carriers face a string of challenges. Maintaining quality of service: Carriers must understand markers used by their peers to designate voice-quality service and tag packets accordingly . Keeping call records: Details of which customers make use of the networks must be gathered, maintained and shared in a format compatible with billing software. Resolving addresses: The networks must support network address translation to deliver traffic to devices with private IP addresses that sit behind firewalls. Handling signaling differences: Calls initiated using H.323 signaling must be able to cross networks where Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) signaling is used. Minimizing delay: Protocol conversions and re-forming of packets can't be allowed to introduce enough delay to hurt voice quality. In early 2004, Sonus Network introduced software that lets its switching gear connect phone calls between IP networks run by different carriers even if the networks use different protocols. In doing so, Sonus is naming a new category of network device ” the network border switch ” that it says is needed to link carrier IP-voice networks. Sonus says its new software can translate signaling from a network that uses the H.323 standard and one that uses Session Initiation Protocol. This is necessary if the two networks are to set up and control calls. Carriers must resolve private IP addresses of IP phones with those of the firewall that protects them, something some firewalls can handle and that can be resolved by session controllers, which are separate devices. Using network border switches can avoid the need for traditional voice switches at the junction of carrier networks. Typically, a carrier using IP to carry voice on its network converts the traffic to TDM in a tandem switch that connects to a similar TDM tandem in the other carrier's network. Carriers can accomplish the same ends, but it takes multiple devices, Sonus says. Putting the features of many such devices on one piece of hardware simplifies networks and reduces maintenance costs, along with the need for power and space. It also can reduce provisioning time because there are fewer devices to configure.

Network Byte Order

The Internet standard way of ordering of bytes corresponding to numeric values.

Network Channel Interface

See NCI.

Network Channel Terminating Equipment

NCTE. A device or devices at the user's premises used to amplify, match impedance or match network signaling to the customer's equipment connected to the network. Basically, network channel terminating equipment is a general name for equipment linking the network to a customer's premises. When NCTE connects to digital circuits, it typically consists of DSUs and CSUs. They are used for balancing of signals and providing for loop-back testing.

Network Computer

NC. Larry Ellison of Oracle's idea of a $500 (or so) PC that lacks a hard disk and may lack a monitor but can be used to browse the Internet and run applications on a server on the Internet or corporate intranet. Ellison, who is Oracle's chairman, sees the NC as a "universal digital appliance."

The New Yorker of September 8, 1997 discussed the implications of the network computer thus: Microsoft's worries about Ellison and NCs are not trivial. After a prolonged period of being in denial about the rise of the Internet, Gates and his team now understand that it is the central fact of the next phase of computing, and that it poses a real threat to Microsoft's power. In 1995, Sun Microsystems introduced an Internet-centric programming language called Java, which creates programs that can run on any operating system and is fast becoming the standard lingo of the Net. In a Java-fuelled future, the reign of the PC might be challenged by the NC which would let users " borrow " programs from the Net and would have no need for Microsoft's Windows ” developments that would create enormous upheaval in many of the software markets that Gate's firm now dominates. See also Internet Terminal, NetPC and NetStation.

Network Computing System

NCS. A RPC (Remote Procedure Call) system developed by Apollo, and used in DEC and Hewlett-Packard computer systems. The NCS protocol later was adopted by the Open Software Foundation (OSF). See also OSF.

Network Control Center

A physical point within a network where various management and control functions are implemented.

Network Control Program

NCP. An IBM Systems Network Architecture (SNA) term. This is the program that switches the virtual circuit connections into place, implements path control, and operates the Synchronous Data Link Control (SDLC) link. The Network Control Program is normally resident in the communications controller or the host processor.

Network Control Signaling

The transmission of signals used in the telecommunications system which perform functions such as supervision, address signaling and audible tone signals to control the operation of switching machines in the telecommunication system.

Network Control Signaling Unit

A telephone set that controls the transmission of signals into the telephone system which will perform supervision, number identification and control of the switching machines.

Network Controller

A powerful microprocessor device designed to perform communications protocol translations between various terminals and computers and an X.25 packet switching network.

Network Data Management Protocol

NDMP. An Internet draft specification from the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), NDMP is an open protocol for enterprise-wide, network-based data backup. NDMP is a secure backup technique which makes use of the TCP/IP protocol, running on networked file servers.

Network DDE Service

A Windows NT definition. The Network DDE (dynamic data exchange) service manages shared DDE conversations. It is used by the Network DDE service.

Network Demarcation Point

The network demarcation point is the point of interconnection between the local exchange carrier's facilities and the wiring and equipment at the end user's facilities. The demarcation point is located on the subscriber's side of the telephone company's protector.

Network Design and Optimization

Network design and optimization is a process which balances network performance (availability) against cost. There are two fundamental tools in network design and optimization: a traffic usage recorder and software to interpret the results and make recommendations. A traffic usage recorder (TUR) is a device which connects to a network element in order to capture and record traffic statistics. Most network elements (e.g., PBXs, ACDs, data switches and routers) have special ports to which such a device can connect, usually via a RS-232 cable. As traffic flows through the network element, various information about that traffic is sent to the TUR in real time. The TUR holds that raw data in buffer memory until such time as it is polled by a centralized computer and the data is downloaded to that centralized computer. Later, the data is processed and reports are generated by traffic analysis software. That software will help you figure out which circuits you need, what speeds, to where, etc.

Network Design Order

NDO. See Telephone Equipment Order.

Network Design Request

NDR. Process required to establish the scope of a network project and to develop preliminary timeframes for providing service to a CLEC .

Network Device Driver

Software that coordinates communication between the network adapter card and the computer's hardware and other software, controlling the physical function of the local area network adapter cards.

Network Distribution

The physical facilities of a communications carrier which are located outside the carrier's buildings . It includes cables, pole lines, conduit, etc.

Network Diversity

A simply concept that says if you have a network which is important you need to have multiple ways of moving information around that network. Some of those ways should be provided by circuits from one vendor and some should be provided by circuits from several vendors. In other words, there should be diversity in both circuits and vendors . As an example of the necessity of taking network diversity very seriously, consider the year 1991. In 1991, nearly 30 million residential and business customers, more than one hundred thousand airline passengers and an alphabet soup of state and federal agencies were temporarily crippled by nine major telephone network outages. Also in a 12-month period, the FAA (Federal Aviation Commission) reported a total of 114 phone service failures that disrupted air traffic facilities around the nation. Between June 10 and July 1, 1991, six major outages in three states comprised the largest series of network outages in history.

Network Drive

A disk drive that is available to multiple users and computers on a network. Network drives often store data files for many people in a work group.

Network Economy

The network economy is a term economists use when they apply the law of increasing returns to our entire economy. The idea is that one fax machine is worth nothing. Connect a hundred of them together and they're now worth something. Connect one million of them and suddenly you have something truly valuable. By the end of 1998, there were 350 million email addresses worldwide. Bingo, the network economy.

Network Effects

As the name implies, these refer to the implications of being networked. A product that is part of a network has the property that its value to the user is a function of the number of other users of that product. A telephone or cellular phone becomes more valuable as the number of people who have one increases . The concept is also known as a positive feedback loop or self- reinforcing virtuous circle. It helps explain the super-fast growth that many products or services experience over a segment of their life cycle.

Network Element

As defined by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the The term 'network element' means a facility or equipment used in the provision of a telecommunications service. Such term also includes features, functions, and capabilities that are provided by means of such facility or equipment, including subscriber numbers, databases, signaling systems, and information sufficient for billing and collection or used in the transmission, routing, or other provision of a telecommunications service. See also Network Elements.

Network Element Control Protocol


Network Elements

NE. Processor controlled entities of the telecommunications network that primarily provide switching and transport network functions and contain network operations functions. Examples are: Non-AIN switching systems, digital cross-connect systems, AIN switching systems, and Signaling Transfer Points (STPs). In SONET, five basic network elements are: add/drop multiplexer; broadband digital cross-connect; wideband digital cross-connect; digital loop carrier; and switch interface.

Network Entity Identifier

NEI. A cellular radio term. An Internet protocol address, or ConnectionLess Networking Protocol (CLNP) address, or any other protocol addressing used by the provider in transmission and receipt of Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) services. The address that identifies that a user is authorized to use the service.

Network Equalizing

A device connected to a transmission path in order to alter the characteristics of that path in a specified way. Often used to equalize the frequency response characteristic of a circuit for data transmission.

Network Extension Unit

NEU. An AT&T thing which sits in a telephone satellite closet (their words) which links up to 11 Starlan daisy chained clusters of PCs, etc. in a star configuration through standard telephone wiring, modular cords and plugs.

Network Externalities

First seen in an article by John Cassidy in The New Yorker Jan 12, 1998 issue. In plain English, "network externalities" means that the value of a product increases along with the number of other people using it. Few people care about how many people are buying corn flakes or pizzas. But it usually applies to high-tech goods for two reasons. They have to be compatible with one and other (how useless is a Betamax videocassette today?). Second, the buyers are often linked to a network. The more people on the network, the more valuable the product becomes. Clearly, one person and one phone has no value. Two people and two phones have more value. 10,000 people and 10,000 phones have even more value, etc.

Network Fax Server

An network fax server is typically a PC on LAN. The PC has one or more fax/modem cards. Its job is to send and receive faxes for everyone on the LAN. As a result it is connected to dial out phone lines. See Server.

Network File System

NFS. A method developed by Sun Microsystems Inc. for distributing files within a heterogeneous network. NFS has become a de facto standard. It requires special software drivers to suit specific vendor hardware and operating system software. NFS hardware and software gateway products are also available.

Network Harm

The reasoning behind the Bell System's insistence that the public could not hook its own equipment to the telephone line for fear it would produce "Irreparable Harm To The Network". A Bell System publication quoted the National Academy of Sciences as identifying four areas of potential harm. They were: Excessive signal power, hazardous voltage, improper network control signaling and line imbalance. Since the Carterfone Decision in the summer of 1968, the FCC has seen fit to allow devices, which pass an FCC Registration program, to be connected to the network, and while the quality of the stuff is occasionally poor, the fears of Network Harm have proven groundless. The fears were, of course, raised to preserve the Bell System's erstwhile almost monopoly on the manufacture of telephone equipment in the U.S.

Network Information Center

NIC. Centers providing user assistance, document service, training on the Internet.

Network Information Management System

NIMS. Provides customers with browsing capability in their 800 and VNET databases.

Network Interface

The point of interconnection between Telephone Company communications facilities and terminal equipment, protective apparatus or wiring at a subscriber's premises. The network interface or demarcation point shall be located on the subscriber's side of the Telephone Company's protector, or the equivalent thereof in cases where a protector is not employed, as provided under the local telephone company's reasonable and nondiscriminatory standard operating practices.

Network Interface Card

Also called a NIC card. A printed circuit board comprising electronic circuitry for the purpose of connecting a workstation to a LAN. A NIC usually is in the form of a card that fits into one of the expansion slots inside a PC. Alternatively, it can fit into a slot of a MAU (Multistation Access Unit), which serves multiple LAN-attached devices, such as workstations and printers. In the context of IEEE standards, NICs operate at the MAC (Medium Access Control) layer. In the context of the OSI Reference Model, NICs operate at Layers 1 (Physical Layer) and 2 (Data Link Layer). The basic job of the NIC is to take data from the transmitting workstation, form it into the specific packet format demanded by the LAN protocol you are running (e.g., Ethernet or Token Ring), and present it to the shared medium (usually a cable). On the receiving end, the process is reversed , of course. Hard-coded into the NIC at the time of manufacture is a MAC address, unique in all the world to that NIC card; the MAC address effectively identifies the LAN-attached device with which it is associated. A NIC works with the network software and computer operating system to transmit and receive messages on the network.

Network Interface Controller

Same as a Network Interface Card. See above definition.

Network Interface Device

  1. NID. A device wired between a telephone protector and the inside wiring to isolate the customer's equipment from the network.

  2. A device that performs , functions such as code and protocol conversion, and buffering required for communications to and from a network.

  3. A device used primarily within a local area network to allow a number of independent devices, with varying protocols, to communicate with each other. This communication is accomplished by converting each device protocol into a common transmission protocol.

Network Interface Module

Electronic circuitry connecting a system (typically a PC) to the telephone network. Network interface modules come in as many versions as there are ways of connecting to the telephone network. They range from a simple loop start telephone line to complex ISDN PRI circuits. Usually the network interface modules slides into one of the expansion slots inside a PC. The card transmits and receives messages from the resource modules and provides access to the telephone network.

Network Interface Unit

  1. A Network Interface Card (NIC) or Multistation Access Unit (MAU) that attaches to a LAN. It implements the local network protocols and provides an interface for device attachment. See also NIC and MAU for much more detail.

  2. NIU. A semi- intelligent device that serves as the point of physical and logical demarcation between the LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) and your residential or small business premise . The NIU includes a silicon-based protector that trips the circuit in the event of a lightening strike or some other form of aberrant voltage that otherwise would fry your telephone and burn down your house. The NIU also has enough intelligence to allow the carrier to conduct an automated loopback test, which tests the integrity of the electrically- based, twisted-pair, local loop from the central office (CO) to your premise...and back. See also Loopback and NIU.

Network Interworking

A Frame Relay/ATM term. Network internetworking is a method of connecting two frame relay devices over an ATM backbone network. This approach leaves the entire frame relay frame intact, including header, payload and trailer; the ATM devices act to set up the connection on a cut-through basis through the use of a tunneling protocol. Network internetworking is defined in the FRF.5 specification from the Frame Relay Forum, and is recognized by the ATM Forum. Contrast with Service Interworking.

Network Inward Dialing

NID. A service feature of an automatically switched telephone network that allows a calling user to dial directly to an extension number at the called user facility without operator intervention.

Network Intrusion Protection


Network Layer

Third layer of the OSI model of data communications, sometimes called the packet layer. Involves routing data messages through the network on alternate routes. See OSI Standards.

Network Layer Address

NLA. An address appended to the LAN packet that, unlike a MAC name, indicates exactly where a computing device is located within an internetwork. TCP/IP, DECNet and IPX support network layer addressing and each has its own unique NLA format. Protocol dependent routers use the NLA to make routing decisions.

Network Layer Protocol Identifier

NLPI. An identifier allowing entities providing different Network Layer protocols to be distinguished from each other.

Network Location

In a URL, the unique name that identifies an Internet server. A network location has two or more parts , separated by periods, as in Also called host name and Internet address.

Network logon

Logging onto a machine via the network. Typically, a user first interactively logs onto a local machine, then provides logon credentials to another machine on the network, such as a server, that they are authorized to use.

Network Management

A set of procedures, software, equipment and operations techniques designed to keep a network operating near maximum efficiency. Several standards bodies have established frameworks for network management. The ISO (International Organization for Standardization), for example, has provided a framework known as FCAPS (Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, and Security). FCAPS and other network management frameworks generally comprise five broad management areas:

  1. Fault Management addresses the identification, isolation and correction of network faults (i.e., hard, or catastrophic, failures. Once the corrective action has been taken, Fault Management supports the testing and acceptance of the action, and the creation and maintenance of a database containing the fault history of a given network, subnetwork, or network element. Such tools allow the network management staff to discover failure conditions in real-time or near real-time, provide them with the necessary information to correct the failure, and to work around the failure during the restoration process. Fault location and management tools have strong error and alarm characteristics.

  2. Configuration Management deals with installing, initializing, "boot" loading, modifying, and tracking the configuration parameters of network hardware and software. Configuration Management supports the identification and tracking of both physical and logical elements of a network, which process is central to the ongoing management of any network.

  3. Accounting Management applications take a number of different forms, including traffic and usage analysis, capital and operations costs, and cost allocation. Accounting Management addresses all physical and logical network resources, including hardware, circuits, and software.

  4. Performance Management Tools support the monitoring and improvement of the performance of networks, sub-networks, and the network elements that comprise them. Closely related to Fault Management, Performance Management deals with performance issues, rather than hard failure conditions. Through regular and intensive network monitoring, Performance Management develops real-time or near real-time information of the performance of the network, and develops and maintains historical databases that are used for constant trending and analysis of overall network operation. Such tools show, for example, the number of packets being transmitted over a given circuit at any given moment, the level of bandwidth being consumed, the number of users logged into a specific server and application over specific ports, the level of error performance over the circuit, and the levels of congestion being experienced . Corrective techniques also may be suggested to the network management personnel.

  5. Security Management Tools allow the network manager to manage access to network resources, maintain confidentiality, ensure data integrity, and provide auditability of usage. Password protection typically is supplemented with authentication and encryption mechanisms, and firewalls commonly are employed.

Network Management Control Center

NMCC. A central place from which the network is maintained and changed and from where statistical information is collected.

Network Management Forum

NMF. Now known as the TeleManagement Forum (TMF). An international consortium of service providers and suppliers working toward the development of "practical solutions for cost-effective integration of support systems for improved management of services and networks...through a common, service- based approach." NMF is not a standards organization. Rather, it picks up where the standards bodies leave off through highly-focused activities, oriented toward standards implementation. See Network Management and TeleManagement Forum.

Network Management Software

The software that manages and controls all network functions within a network.

Network Management Station

NMS. A network management station is a dedicated workstation that gathers and stores network performance data, obtaining that data from network nodes (computers) running network agent software that enables them to collect the data. The NMS runs network management software that enables it to compile the information and perform network management functions. See NMS.

Network Management System

A comprehensive system of equipment used in monitoring, controlling and managing a data communications network. Usually consists of testing devices, CRT displays and printers, patch panels and circuitry for diagnostics and reconfiguration of channels, generally housed together in an operator console unit. See NMS.

Network Mask

A filter that selectively includes or excludes certain values. For example, when defining a database field, it is possible to assign a mask that indicates what sort of value the field should hold. Values that do not conform to the mask cannot be entered.

Network Monitor Agent

A service that can be installed on an NT workstation, NT server or Windows 95 that lets that computer collect statistics about its network performance, such as the number of packets sent from and received. It gathers the information through its NIC about NetBEUI and NWLink (IPX/SPX) traffic that passes through it.

Network Name Automatic Routing

A system for getting network-delivered faxes delivered to individual users. The fax network assigns each user a name (usu- ally the user's network login name), and the sender uses this name. The receiving fax system detects this name and routes the fax to the intended recipient.

Network News Transfer Protocol

The protocol used to distribute network news messages to NNTP servers and to NNTP clients (news readers) on the Internet. NNTP provides for the distribution, inquiry, retrieval, and posting of news articles by using a reliable stream-based transmission of news on the Internet. NNTP is designed so that news articles are stored on a server in a central database, thus users can select specific items to read. Indexing, cross-referencing, and expiration of aged messages are also provided. Defined in RFC 977.

Network Node

See Node.

Network Number

The part of an Internet address that designates the network to which the addressed node belongs.

Network Numbering Exchange

See NNX Codes.

Network Operating System


Network Operations

Functions that provide, maintain and administer services supported by the network systems. These functions reside in network systems or network operations applications that interface directly to network systems and include memory administration, surveillance, testing, network traffic management and network data collection. Definition from Bellcore in reference to its concept of the Advanced Intelligent Network.

Network Operations Center

A name for the central place which monitors the status of a corporate network and sends out instructions to repair bits and pieces of the network when they break. In more formal terms, monitoring of network status, supervision and coordination of network maintenance, accumulation of accounting and usage data and user support.

Network Outward Dialing

NOD. A service feature of an automatically switched telephone network that allows a calling user to dial directly all network user numbers without operator intervention.

Network Penetration Testing

Network penetration testing uses tools and techniques to check how vulnerable your network is to being hacked, to being broken into, to being compromised. Network penetration testing helps refine a company's security policies, identify vulnerabilities and ensures that the security implementation (what the company has in place) actually provides the protection the company needs.

Network Printer

A printer shared by multiple computers over a network. See also local printer.

Network Problem Determination Application

NPDA. A host resident IBM program product that aids a network operator in interactively identifying network problems from a central point.

Network Processor

A network processor is a specialized piece of silicon

Network Professional Association

NPA. A self-regulating, not-for-profit organization with the mission of advancing the network computing profession by educating and providing resources for its members . Membership is approximately 7,000 in 100 chapters, worldwide. NPA runs a program called CNP, which stands for Certified Network Professional. That program is designed for individuals whose career is to design, integrate, manage and maintain networked computing environments.

Network Protection

A term used to describe an array of strategies to protect your network from crashing around your ears should a disaster happen. The ultimate network protection means duplicating every item in the network ” including the people who operate it. Obviously anything else (which is what we are all forced to do) is a compromise. The typical network protection these days tends to focus on alternate routing and duplication of network lines, including local loops and long distance lines.

Network Protection Device

NPD. A device which provides isolation between PBX circuits and CO trunks or tie lines.

Network Protocol Data Unit

NPDU. Network Layer Protocol Data Unit. The NPDU comprises the Network Layer Service Data Unit and the Network Layer protocol Control Information.

Network Redundancy

Network redundancy means that the network topology has been constructed such that a failure of a network component can be automatically and/or rapidly recovered by using identical components engineered into the network for recovery purposes. For example, IXC network redundancy may take the form of spare network capacity on geographically diverse IXC circuits so that applications can be recovered to an alternative network path in the event of a failure on the primary path.

Network Relay

A device which allows interconnection of dissimilar networks.

Network Reliability Council

A committee comprising senior-level officials from a cross-section of telecommunications service providers and user organizations. Organized under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the council provides recommendations to both the FCC and the telecommunications industry to enhance the reliability of the nations telecom networks.

Network Resource

A facility or device that supports call processing.

Network Server

A powerful computer on a LAN designed to serve the needs of all the people on the LAN with everything from database, email, fax, images, voice messages, communications, etc. See also Email Server and Fax Server.

Network Services

In IBM's SNA, the services within network addressable units (NAUs) that control network operations via sessions to and from the SSCP.

Network Slip

In a digital circuit, such as a T-1, if you lose timing (because the clocks are not operating correctly) you start to lose information. The smallest loss of information is a network slip. A slip is defined as a one frame (193 bits) shift in time difference between the two signals in question. This time difference is equal to 125 microseconds. What's the penalty to a network slip? Does the connected equipment stop working? Not usually. Voice equipment tends to re-acquire frame synchronization quickly, resulting in a pop or click, which is not usually a problem. Data circuits lose some number of bits depending on the data rate being transmitted, and on whether or not forward error correction is being used. Some multiplex equipment that provides add and drop services interrupt all output trunks while a new source of synchronization is acquired . Such interruptions, if due to circuit noise, may render a network temporarily useless, as the slip causes further slips downstream (called error or slip multiplication). A decent clock system provides a stable frequency source during circuit impairments.

Network Supervisor

A network supervisor is responsible for monitoring network-wide call activity.

Network Synchronization

Within a data transmission network, especially one using multiplexers, the need for network synchronization is two-fold:

  1. The network must transmit data to the receiving DTE device at the same rate it is being received from the transmitting DTE; and

  2. The data originating from the low-speed channels must be capable of being inserted into the composite link (and vice versa) without the loss of any information (channel signaling rate too low) or the creation of unwanted information (channel signaling too high). The need for network synchronization is necessary with networks with time division multiplexing and synchronous data. It does not arise with time division multiplexing in which only asynchronous data is transmitted, because asynchronous data contains "start" and "stop" bits and therefore doesn't need the synchronization of a single master clock. When time division multiplexers are to multiplex synchronous channels, it is essential that the composite links and the low-speed channels are strictly synchronized, i.e. that their clocks operate at precise multiples of the basic clock rate. A single clock, therefore, must be in overall control of the whole network. See Synchronous.

Network Synchronization Unit

See Network Synchronization and NSU.

Network Systems

A telephone company AIN term. Processor controlled entities of the telecommunications network that provide ancillary network functions and contain network operations functions. Examples are: Service Control Points (SCPs), Adjuncts, Service Nodes (SNs), and Intelligent Peripherals (lPs).

Network Terminal Number

NTN. The number assigned to a data terminal under the Data Network Identification Code system. In the ITU-T International X.121 format, the sets of digits that comprise the complete address of the data terminal end point. For an NTN that is not part of a national integrated numbering format, the NTN is the 10 digits of the ITU-T X.25 14-digit address that follow the Data Network Identification Code (DNIC). When part of a national integrated numbering format, the NTN is the 11 digits of the ITU-T X.25 14-digit address that follow the DNIC.

Network Terminal Option

NTO. An IBM program product that enables an SNA network to accommodate a select group of non-SNA asynchronous and bisynch devices via the NCP-driven communications controller.

Network Terminating Equipment

NTE. See NTE and Network Terminating Interface.

Network Terminating Interface

  1. NTI. The point where the network service provider's responsibilities for service begin or end.

  2. NTI. The interface between DCE and its connected DTE.

Network Terminating Unit

NTU. The part of the network equipment which connects directly to the data terminal equipment.

Network Termination

See NT.

Network Termination Type 1

NT1 or NT-1. An ISDN term. The NT1 is a device which provides the interface between an ISDN local loop and the customer premises. The NT1 provides the functions of physical and electrical connection to the ISDN local loop, thereby operating at Layer 1 of the OSI Reference Model. In a BRI implementation, the NT1 is in the form of a special NIU (Network Interface Unit). Many TAs (Terminal Adapters) also perform NT1 functions; some ISDN-compatible terminal devices (e.g., ISDN phones and PCs) also include NT1s. The basic NT1 functions are:

  • Line transmission termination. The ISDN local loop is a multichannel, full duplex loop which may be presented physically in the form of either a two-wire or four-wire connection. In a BRI implementation, this function typically is provided by the NIU; in a PRI implementation, by the DSU (Data Service Unit), which generally is embedded in the intelligent switching or concentrating device.

  • Line maintenance functions and performance monitoring. Through the D Channel, the ISDN local loop is supervised and monitored from the central office to the user premises in order to ensure that it performs at a satisfactory level. Loopback testing is included in this functional grouping. In a BRI implementation, this function typically is provided by the NIU; in a PRI implementation, by the DSU (Data Service Unit).

  • Multiplexing. This function allows multiple devices to share access to the multi- channel digital local loop. In a BRI implementation, this function typically is provided by the TA; in a PRI implementation, by the PBX, ACD, or other CPE switching device.

  • Interface termination, including multi drop termination and contention resolution. At the physical level, the devices which access to an ISDN loop may connect through 2, 4 or more wires; the ISDN loop is in the form of a physical circuit of either two or four wires. Physical interconnectivity is resolved through the NT1 functional grouping, generally in the form of a TA for a BRI implementation; a PBX, ACD, router, or other intelligent switching or concentrating device performs this function in a PRI implementation. Contention resolution is the process of resolving access issues as multiple physical devices contend for a limited number of ISDN logical channels. Contention resolution generally is performed by a TA in a BRI implementation; a PBX, ACD, router, or other intelligent switching or concentrating device performs this function in a PRI implementation.

See also ISDN and Network Termination Type 2.

Network Termination Type 2

NT2 or NT-2. An ISDN term for a functional grouping embodied in an intelligent switching device such as a PBX, ACD, router or concentrator. Depending on the requirements of the specific device, NT2 functions fall into Layer 1 (Physical Layer), Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) and Layer 3 (Network Layer) of the OSI Reference Model. A full description of Layer 1 functions is described immediately above in the definition of Network Termination type 1. NT2 functions, again depending on the requirements of the specific device, also include the following:

  • Protocol handling at Layers 2 and 3.

  • Multiplexing at Layers 2 and 3.

  • Switching at Layer 2.

  • Concentration at Layer 2.

See also ISDN and Network Termination type 1.

Network Time Protocol

NTP. A protocol built on top of TCP that assures accurate local time keeping with reference to radio and atomic clocks located on the Internet. This protocol is capable of synchronizing distributed clocks within milliseconds over long time periods.

Network to Node Interface

A set of ATM Forum-developed specifications for the interface between two ATM nodes in the same network. Two variations are being developed: an interface between nodes in a public network and an interface between nodes in a private network.

Network Topology

The geometric arrangement of links and nodes of a network. The geography of a network. Networks are typically of either a star, ring, tree or bus topology, or some hybrid combination.

Network Traffic

The number, size , and frequency of packets transmitted on the network in a given amount of time.

Network Traffic Management

NTM. Functionality that maximizes the traffic throughput of the network during times of overload or failure and minimizes the impact of one service on the performance of others. This is done through centralized surveillance of maintenance conditions and traffic, and centralized control of traffic volumes being originated in network systems. Definition from Bellcore (now Telcordia) in reference to its concept of the Advanced Intelligent Network.

Network Trunks

Circuits connecting switching centers.

Network Vehicle

A network vehicle is basically a car equipped with PC-like gadgetry. Such a car, according to the Economist Magazine, "could tap into a regional road system not only to get directions but also to map out a route around rush-hour snags. Drivers and passengers will be able to send and receive email, track the latest sports scores or stock quotes, surf the Web and even play video games . Apparently one of Detroit's largest suppliers of electrical and electronic hardware to the automotive industry, United Technologies Automotive (UTA), has licensed Microsoft's CE operating system. Writing about the deal, the Economist commented, "Any driver familiar with the flakiness of some early releases of Microsoft's products need not fear, however: his car will not crash each time the operating system does. The UTA/Microsoft system will, according to a spokesman, be rigorously tested ; and to start with, it will only be put in charge of office- type tastes and certain " comfort and convenience" fripperies such as a garage door open, or more extravagantly, temperature-controlled cup-holders.

Network Virtual Terminal

A communications concept wherein a variety of DTEs, with different data rates, protocols, codes and formats, are accommodated in the same network. This is done as a result of network processing, where each device's data is converted into a network standard format and then converted into the format of the receiving device at the destination end.

Networked Multimedia

This definition courtesy Intel: Just as standalone PCs bring you rich audio, video, animation and three dimensional graphics, so networked multimedia brings these same capabilities to PCs connected to networks and the Internet. You could create an electronic letter with an embedded video clip of yourself in the salutation. Include hotlinks to your company's web site for more information on new products. Allow the receiver to have the entire letter read aloud by a real human voice. Hold a virtual conference in shared interactive spaces, with people in different locations virtually meeting and interacting. Videoconferencing and broadcasting over the Internet will become commonplace. With innovations such as real-time video streaming and multicasting, your company could design a live instructional video that covers their problem. If they wanted more help, they might click and initiate an interactive video conference with a customer supper engineer. In the personal sphere, networked multimedia will create many new applications, from real-time multi-player games between people scattered all over the world, to interactive chat sessions complete with voice-enabled and video images of participants, to virtual amusements.

Networked PBXs

Two or more telephone systems that communicate to each other through an Hub.


Neural network agents . Neugents are nifty pieces of programming that monitor systems and applications to detect behavior patterns ” be they a computer network, an online shopper or a manufacturing process. Once installed on a system, Neugents begin crunching numbers to come up with a basic model of how that system normally behaves. Neugents begin looking for abnormalities to predict when a problem may occur, and then can trigger an action to deal with the abnormality. The longer a neugent has been installed on a system, the smarter it gets. See Neural Network.

Neural Network

A neural network, or ANN (Artificial Neural Network), is designed to take a pattern of data and generalize from it, much as would the human brain, even if the data are " noisy " or incomplete. Thus, if the data are daily temperatures in New York City over two years , the neural network should emerge with a simple undulating curve that describes the way temperature rises in summer and falls in winter. It does this in effect by a sophisticated form of trial and error, or, in the jargon, varying the strengths of connections between individual processing elements (analogous to neurons in the human brain) until the input yields the right output. The two essential features of neural network technology are that it improves its performance on a particular task by trial and error (neural networkers prefer to say that "it learns"), and that it can be a "black box." Neural networks commonly comprise multiple processors residing on multiple host computers, and tackle a problem through an advanced form of parallel processing. The first ANN was Perceptron, invented in 1958 by psychologist Frank Rosenblatt to model how the human brain processes visual data and learns to recognize objects. Thanks to the Economist Magazine for help on this definition. There are two methods for training a neural network. A self-organizing ANN, or Kohonen after its inventor , discovers patterns and relationships in a large set of data. Such an approach often is used when dealing with experimental data. A back-propagation ANN is trained by humans to perform specific tasks . During the training period, neural weightings are reinforced if the output is correct, and diminished if the output is incorrect. This approach is used in cognitive research and for problem-solving applications. ANNs are used in bomb detectors in airports. Large financial institutions use them to improve performance in areas such as bond rating, credit scoring, and detection of likely fraud in credit card transactions. See Neural Network Computer.

Neural Network Agent

See Neugent.

Neural Network Computer

A very different kind of computer. Neural network computers are built from webs of randomly connected electronic neurons. These machines are designed to be trained, not programmed. In design and in function, they are meant to closely resemble the human brain. As in the brain, the neurons send signals to one another through thousands of adjustable connections, or synapses. As the machine learns, the settings of these controls are automatically turned up or down. And the chaos of connections evolves into a finely tuned machine, one that can read handwritten letters or recognize the spoken words. With a neural network computer, a trainer simply speaks words to the machine, rewarding it if it acts correctly and punishing it when it acts incorrectly. There is hope that neural network computers may perform better than traditional computers in running artificial intelligence software. See Neural Network.


The use of functional MRI (Magnetic Response Imagery) to scan consumers' brains for clues to subconscious responses to advertising.

Neuromorphic Electronics

A class of electronic circuits and systems whose forms are based on pieces of biological nervous systems. The nervous systems of even the simplest of animals efficiently extract and process information in an unconstrained environment in a way that puts to shame the best of our algorithms running on our most advanced computers. The idea underlying the enterprise of neuromorphic systems engineering is that by building electronic systems organized along similar lines to those of nervous systems, we can build artificial systems that perform similar tasks as those done easily by nervous systems with similar levels of efficiency.


See LNP.


The ac power system conductor that is intentionally grounded on the supply side of the service disconnect. It is the low potential (white) side of a single phase ac circuit or the low potential fourth wire of a three-phase Wye distribution system. The neutral provides a current return path for ac power currents whereas the safety ground (green) conductor should not, except during fault conditions.

Neutral Central Office

See NCO.

Neutral Ground

An intentional ground applied to the neutral conductor or neutral point of a circuit, transformer, machine, apparatus, or system.

Neutral Hosting Company

Imagine you're a big convention center. Imagine that you run different events ” trade shows, rock concerts, political conferences, etc. At various times, various telecom carriers working for their varioius clients want to get into your facility in order to film the event, to rent out cell phone usage, to set up Internet access, etc. So you employ a company which exclusively brings in fiber, equipment, antennas, wires up your building, and then rents out telecom facilities to everyone else, then does the billing and remits you (the Convention Center) a share of the action. For now, we call this company a neutral hosting company.

Neutral Transmission

Unipolar transmission. A form of signaling which employs two distinct states, one of which represents the existence of a space as well as the absence of current.

Nevada Bell

The Nevada Bell Operating Company (BOC) which, along with Pacific Bell (California), formed Pacific Telesis (PacTel). PacTel was one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) formed in 1984 by the Modified Final Judgement (MFJ). As PacTel was acquired by SBC Corporation (Southwestern Bell) in 1996, Nevada Bell is now a subsidiary of SBC.

Never-Busy Fax

A fax service offered by LECs and IXCs. Here's how it works. You identify the telephone line dedicated to your fax machine, only. If someone tries to send you a fax, but your fax line is busy, the carrier redirects the fax call to it own fax server, which receives the fax and stores it. The fax server then periodically tries to forward the fax to you. After a predetermined number of tries or after a predetermined period of time has elapsed, an exception report is created so that the carrier personnel can call you on your voice line to advise you of the waiting fax.


A term used in the secondary telecom equipment business. Generally defined as being sold by authorized vendor of the OEM and carrying the OEM's standard warranty. See Unused.

New Economy

See Internet Time.

New Line

ASCII character 10, abbreviated "NL". This character replaced the abbreviation "LF" which meant Line Feed. Newer terminals accept the NL character to mean both CR (Carriage Return) and LF functions for "end of line" sequences. The function of transmitting an "end of line" sequence to a printer or remote computer system is to designate to a computer to print what follows on the next line of a print out. This usually consists of transmitting the characters CR, LF (Carriage Return, followed by Line Feed). On older printing terminals, these two characters would be followed by a number of null characters whose job would be to waste time until the print head got back to the left margin before printing the first letter of the next line on the page. Otherwise, that character would be in the middle of the page, and the second character would start the line. Telex machines usually send the sequence CR, LF, CR as a New Line sequence to give the head enough time to get back.

New Media

Old media is magazines and TV, etc. New media is Internet and web "magazines." The term became important when America Online (new media) announced it had agreed to buy Time Warner (old media) in January, 2000.

New York Stock Exchange

On May 17, 1792, a group of New York brokers who had been buying and selling securities under an old buttonwood tree met to formalize rules and methods for securities trading. A agreement was composed and signed by the local brokers. These were the humble beginnings of the New York Stock Exchange.

New York Telephone

A phone company that once was part of the Bell System. When AT&T was broken up in 1984, it was lumped with New England Telephone to become Nynex. Then in January of 1994, Nynex decided to eliminate the names New York Telephone and New England Telephone and call them both Nynex. A public relations spokesman told me the reason for this name change had something to do with consistency of marketing image. Frankly, I never understood the necessity for the name change, nor its cost ” which included painting the 16,700 trucks the two companies owned. Then Nynex got bought by Bell Atlantic, which changed its name to Verizon after it bought GTE. The trucks have been painted many times over the years.


A newcomer to cyberspace ; usually applied condescendingly, the way sophomores talk about freshmen. Somebody new to the Net. Sometimes used derogatorily by net. veterans who have forgotten that, they, too, were once newbies who did not know the answer to everything. "Clueless newbie" is always derogatory.


ISPs (Internet Service Providers) get their newsgroups from different news- feeds, or news sources, by transferring them over the Internet or other networks. See Newsgroup.


A USENET newsgroup is a place on the Internet where people can have conversations about a well-defined topic. Physically it is made of the computer files that contain the conversation elements to the discussions currently in progress about the agreed- upon topic. See Newsfeed.

Newsgroup Distribution Software

A set of computer programs used to manage the distribution of USENET news groups and articles.

Newsgroup Feed

One remote computer receiving USENET newsgroups from another remote computer.

Newsgroup Management Software

A set of computer programs used to manage USENET newsgroups and articles.


Software for reading and posting articles to newsgroups on the Internet. A newsreader is a program that organizes conversations in a sensible and presentable manner. The news reader allows the person using it to read and/or participate in those conversations.


  1. The name of Apple's personal communicator, or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). In its day, the Newton was truly revolutionary. Sadly, Apple Computer Inc. announced on February 27, 1998 the demise of the Newton operating system and Newton OS-based products, including the MessagePad 2100 and eMate 300.

  2. The author of this dictionary, Harry Newton, has reached a pinnacle of achievement, of sorts. According to Susan, his wife of over 21 years, he has become a sex symbol for women who no longer care. The photo on the back cover (in case you hadn't already figured) is years old. Maybe decades old.

Newton, Isaac

English cleric and scientist, 1642 - 1727, discovered the classical laws of motion and gravity. The story with the apple is probably apocryphal.

Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation

From Sir Isaac Newton. Two bodies attract each other with equal and opposite forces; The magnitude of this force is proportional to the product of the two masses and is also proportional to the inverse square of the distance between the centers of mass of the two bodies.


Next Generation. NexGen is used to describe emerging technologies. NexGen switching, for example, can refer to Gigabit Ethernet (GE) in the LAN domain, and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) or Internet Protocol (IP) in the LAN and WAN domains. NexGen network access can refer to Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technologies such as ADSL and RADSL. Hopefully, these NexGen technologies will be widely available, and even affordable, before the NexGen of people.

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