The new National Broadband Network (NBN) has come along quite quickly, and because of the amazing new technology being used in the rollout, has some confusing terminology attached. So to help all YOURLifeChoices readers understand every aspect of the NBN’s complexity, we have provided a glossary of terms which are often used when describing technology and particularly that related to the NBN.
· Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
ADSL is a type of DSL broadband communications technology that is used for internet connection. ADSL allows for data to be sent over existing copper telephone lines, instead of traditional modem lines.
Bandwidth refers to how fast the data flows through the route by which it travels to your computer. It is measured in three ways, kilobits, megabits or gigabits per second.
Broadband is a term used to refer to high speed internet. In simple terms, broadband is defined as ‘always on’. In times past broadband was simply a faster alternative to dial-up, but today broadband is more commonly associated with the speeds equal to or greater than those provided by ADSL, that is, a minimum download speed of 265 kbps and minimum upload speed of 64 kbps.(see Kilobits per second)
A unit of storage measurement – a byte is made up of eight bits. All information on your computer is stored as bits and bytes, which are used to establish the size of the document, picture, video clip, etc which you intend to send via email or download.
A download is an activity which transfers data to your computer from another source, usually over the internet. Even viewing a web page is a form of downloading, because all the words, pictures and links on the webpage have to be transferred to your computer and contribute to any download limits placed on your account by your Internet service provider. Activities such as email, Skype, buying music and movies and more all contribute to your download limit.
· Internet Service Provider (ISP)
An organisation that sells access to the Internet to customers. Some examples of ISPs are Telstra, iiNet, Optus
· Kilobits per second (Kbps)
Bits per second (bps) is a common measure for data transmission speed. The speed in bps is equal to the number of bits transmitted or received each second. kbps is kilobits per second and is one thousand bits per second.
· Megabyte (MB)
Megabyte is a term used to describe a unit of data. Many internet access plans operate on a usage limit, which is a tally of data being downloaded and/or uploaded. This allowance is measured in MB or GB (Gigabytes).
One Megabyte is equivalent to about one million bytes. In current usage, that is a small amount of data. A 25 page Microsoft Word document containing only text is on average about 1 MB in size. Digital photographs (depending on how they are saved) can be up to 2 or 3 MB each. Short film clips can run up to 8MB and a typical film takes up about 800MB depending on the quality of the download.
· Megabits per second (Mbps)
A megabit per second (Mbit/s or Mb/s or Mbps) is a unit of data transfer rate equal to 1,000,000 bits per second.
Wireless technology allows users to create a network within their home, business or office using radio frequencies. Usually requiring a wireless router, wireless technology is mostly used to allow access to the internet from a home or business modem to a laptop computer.