Backbone(s)

The part of a premises distribution system that includes a main cable route and facilities for supporting the cable from the equipment room to the upper floors, or along the same floor to the wiring closets.

Bandwidth

How much you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits per second. A full page of English text is roughly 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 57,000 bits per second whereas full-motion, full screen video would require some 10,000,000 bits per second, depending on compression. The more bandwidth your connection has, the faster the data travels along it.

Baseband

A form of modulation in which data signals are coded directly onto the transmission medium without frequency division.

Basic Rate

Abbreviated to BRI (basic rate interface) or ISDN2. An ISDN circuit providing 2 x 64 kbit/sec bearer channels for use by data or speech and one 16 kbit/sec control channel. Two independent calls can be carried at the same time on one BRI circuit.

Baud

The number of signal transitions per second. Used for modems.

BER

Bit Error Rate
The ratio of received bits that are in error (relative to the amount of bits received); usually expressed as a number referenced to a power of 10; e.g. 1 error in 10 5 bits - also referred to as a BER of 10 -5.

Bit

Binary Digit
A bit is the smallest unit of data in a computer. A bit has a single binary value, either 0 or 1.

BlackBerry

A handheld device made by RIM (Research In Motion) that competes with another popular handheld, the Palm , and is marketed primarily for its wireless e-mail handling capability.

BLF

Busy Lamp Field
 - Visual indication of the status of lines or extensions through Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

Bluetooth

A Personal Area Network (PAN) technology operating at 721 Kbit/s in the 2.4 GHz radio band.

BRI

Basic Rate ISDN2 - 
Access to the public switched network comprising of two 64 kbit channels and 16 kbit signalling – Basic rate.

Bridge

A device that interconnects local or remote networks no matter what higher level protocols (such as IPX or TCP/IP) are involved.

Broadband

Broadband is the common term for a high bandwidth internet connection.

Building Backbone Cable

A cable that connects the building distributor to a floor distributor. Building backbone cables may also connect floor distributors in the same building.

Bulletin Board

An electronic version of a notice board. Users can access the bulletin board to obtain information. When applied to voicemail systems it indicates a system of menus that allow the caller to navigate to the information he wants, for example to find out what films are showing at a cinema.

BYTE

Unit of memory, enough to store one character.