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Glossary - Page 2

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  • PBX (Private Branch Exchange)
    When businesses reach a certain size, they often convert their phone systems from simple business lines or Key Systems to a PBX, which is a piece of equipment that acts as the company's own internal telephone "switch," or central office. The PBX handles internal company calls and all the connections to and from the public telephone network. It also manages the availability of outside circuits so the employee's phones, computers, and fax machines can get through. PBX systems typically allow businesses to take advantage of sophisticated features offered by local phone companies. For example, with DID (direct inward dialing) service, a PBX allows each employee to receive calls directly at their desk via a dedicated phone number, even if there are many more employees than available circuits.
  • Private Line
    A dedicated circuit to connect a company's equipment at both ends. Used most often for data transfer among multiple company locations - for example, retail stores, bank branches, manufacturing sites, and branch offices.
  • RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company)
    Any one of seven local phone companies that were formed out of the old AT&T/Bell system: Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell (SBC), and US West. Before deregulation, RBOCs were the only companies authorized to sell local service in most areas of the United States. Also known as the "Baby Bells."
  • Redundancy
    Having one or more back-up communications systems to prevent system failure if one goes out. Modern telecommunications networks have redundancy built in to every critical component of the network.
  • Regional Toll Call
    A call placed to a location outside your local service area, yet within the area served by your local phone company. These calls are typically not covered by the monthly local service fee and are billed based on incremental (per minute) use.
  • Resale
    Some companies buy local and/or long distance service in large quantities and repackage it for "resale" to their customers. Most resellers do not own their own networks, but in many cases they discount prices to their customers. In some cases, they also add value in the form of consolidated billing or more customer service.
  • Server
    A computer dedicated to providing specific service to client computers. A computer that shares its resources - such as printers and files - with other computers on the network.
  • Spam
    Term used to describe unsolicited e-mail or newsgroup posts, often in the form of commercial announcements. The act of sending a spam is called spamming.
  • Station
    A term to describe a telephone based on how it is connected to the local central office (for example, the station lies behind the PBX [private branch exchange] or Key System). Can also refer to the line between an individual extension and the PBX or Key System.
  • Switch
    Equipment that routes a call. Many businesses refer to the "switch" or PBX (private branch exchange) in their phone closet. The term is more typically used to describe the huge computer switching centers that make up a phone company's central office. A switch responds to incoming signals and then connects or "switches" calls to the desired destination. The modern digital switches used in the newest phone networks are very advanced computer systems, providing sophisticated calling features and handling million of calls without interruption.
  • Switched Service
    A term describing regular local or long distance phone service that is "switched" or run through the local central office. All residential and many business services are switched services. Unlike "private line" service, where lines carrying only one customer's phone traffic run between two points, switched service is carried on the public telephone network.
  • T-1
    Also called a DS-1. T-1 service transmits information at the rate of approximately 1.5 Mbps (megabits per second), enough capacity to carry about 24 simultaneous voice conversations. Growing businesses sometimes find it economical to upgrade to T-1 service as an alternative to paying for an increased number of individual phone lines. Another reason to lease a T-1 connection is to use the capacity or bandwidth for high-speed data transmissions or Internet connections. The right phone equipment, such as a digital PBX (private branch exchange), must be owned to utilize T-1 Service.
  • Trunk
    A high capacity connection, usually between the PBX (private branch exchange) equipment in your office and your phone company's local central office. Trunks can be configured to handle only incoming calls, only outgoing calls, or a combination of both.
  • Two-way
    Also referred to as "combo trunk." A circuit that can be configured for either incoming calls to your company or outgoing calls by employees.

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