Our telecommunications glossary can help you become more familiar with the most important terms, services, and abbreviations in the industry.



Data Center


Cloud Computing


Definitions of terms


Connectivity Integrator

Connectivity Integrators (CIs) are provider-neutral technology experts who help customers research, price, design, obtain, implement, and offer support for integrated cloud, data center, networking, and telecom solutions. CIs often source these solutions from multiple service providers.

Universal Service Fund

The FCC manages a system of programs and policies in order to implement the principle of Universal Service. According to this principle, all people living in the United States should have access to communications services, including phone and high-speed Internet services. The Universal Service Fund refers to the subsidies and fees (paid for by telecommunications providers) that allow the FCC to promote Universal Service.

Data Center


Service that allows businesses to place their network, server, storage and other ancillary gear in specifically designed facilities, and interconnect them to a variety of telecommunications and other network service provider(s)

Content Delivery Network

Large system of data center-deployed servers that make digital media available to end users

Dark fiber

Unused network infrastructure, which can be useful to businesses that anticipate high levels of growth and change in their high bandwidth data connections

Power Usage Effectiveness

A measure of data center efficiency determined by dividing total facility power by total IT equipment power


DIA (Dedicated Internet Access)

Business-focused Internet solution that is delivered via a fiber network and that allows customers to use a specific amount of bandwidth designated solely for their use

Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks

An attempt to make a web service unavailable by flooding its bandwidth or resources with multiple traffic sources


A networking solution that allows businesses to easily extend their LAN environment to seamlessly serve other locations, resulting in greater operational efficiency

IP Transit

The transmission of network traffic over a computer network, thereby granting end users access to the Internet


The latest Internet Protocol version (a replacement of IPv4) that provides a much larger address pool than IPv4

MPLS Network

Multi-protocol label switching, which carries data over short path labels instead of long network addresses

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Simply put, a Service Level Agreement (or SLA) is a contract that outlines the level of service and performance standards that a customer can expect from a service provider.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A network that uses a public system (such as the Internet) to deliver information over a private network, such as a business’s internal network


fully managed, private, point-to-point service delivered over a state-of-the-art dense wave division, multiplexing network

Cloud Computing

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

The outsourcing of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to a third party service provider

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

A cloud-based data protection service that allows businesses to use applications and tools that are delivered from a geographically diverse, hardened and secure data center with built-in redundancy

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Roughly speaking, the physical part of the cloud, such as the applications, software, hardware, and storage that third parties host for their customers

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A cloud computing service that offers end users a platform or operating system with which they can develop, run, and manage applications

Software as a Service (SaaS)

software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted in the Cloud


SIP Trunking

Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) enables the digital streaming of voice and data, thereby using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology for telephony services

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

A solution that offers simplified message management that keeps messages organized into a single interface, accessible from a variety of different devices

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

A digital telephony service that uses the Internet to deliver dial tone and voice transmissions

Voice PRI

24 channel voice T1 with a channel dedicated to data