UK Telecoms and ICT Index and Links - A

ACCESS CODE
A short number beginning with 1 that enables callers to reach services provided on a telecoms network, such as 118xxx for directory enquiries, or to select a choice of carrier.

related index entries:TELEPHONE NUMBERS


ACCESS LINE
A telephone circuit connecting a customer location to a public network switching centre.


ACD - Automatic Call Distribution
A method for handling large numbers of in-coming calls. Ensures that calls are dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible, by distributing them between answering positions in a pre-programmed sequence.

related index entries:CALL ROUTING


ACTs - Advisory Committees on Telecommunications
Committees established under the 1984 Telecommunications Act to advise Oftel on telecoms regulation issues. Awaiting revival in some form under Ofcom.

external links:Advisory Committees on Telecommunications
ACTS became defunct after Oftel was absorbed into Ofcom

related index entries:CFB - Communications for Business
DIEL - Advisory Committee for Disabled and Elderly People
NIACT - Northern Ireland Advisory Committee on Telecommunications
SACOT - Scottish Advisory Committee on Telecommunications
WACT - Welsh Advisory Committee on Telecommunications


ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
A broadband connection between a subscriber and the local exchange using existing copper wires. Can send a large quantity of data (eg a TV picture) in one direction (download speed) and a small quantity (eg a telephone call) in the other (upload speed). Also known as one 'flavour' of xDSL.

external links:ADSL Guide
Broadband Stakeholder Group
Group of several hundred representatives of 'stakeholders' in the establishment and use of a broadband infrastructure in the UK. It includes public and private, supplier and consumer interest organisations and seeks to inform and influence government policy.
BT broadband services
BT broadband speed availability check
BT openworld
Oftel's Local Loop Unbundling Fact Sheet
This Fact Sheet in the Oftel archive on the Ofcom website gives an overview and some details of the LLU process.
PlusNet
World of ADSL
Information about ADSL roll-out in the UK including links to aggregation campaign sites.

FAQs:I can't get ADSL. Is there an alternative?

information sheets:Getting connected to the Internet
How to choose a business broadband provider
Improving Internet connectivity with ISDN, ADSL, cable, broadband and mobile broadband
Introduction to telecoms terms and technologies
ISDN, ADSL, cable, broadband and mobile telecoms services availability
local loop unbundling (LLU)

features:Broadband - a Guide for Small Businesses
Broadband bandwidth download speed
Rural broadband connectiion

related index entries:BROADBAND
CONNECTIVITY
RADSL - Rate Adaptive DSL
SDSL - SYMMETRICAL DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE


ANALOGUE
An analogue signal varies considerably with time, taking any value within certain limits. The human voice is an analogue signal, varying in both frequency and volume. The standard telephone system uses analogue signals, which can be converted to digital signals using a modem.

related index entries:DIGITAL


ANONYMOUS CALL REJECTION
Stops calls from being connected where a caller has withheld their number.

related index entries:CLI - Calling Line Identification


ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange
The basic standard for digital communication. All computers can communicate using ASCII, but more feature-rich applications need higher level standards or proprietary protocols.


ASP - Application Service Provider
An ASP hosts applications, for example accounting software or groupware, on servers in their own data centre. Users access applications over a network through a browser. Pricing is usually on a per-user basis, and includes the server, application and all upgrades, as well as maintenance and help desk services.

features:Voice and data convergence


ASYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION
Examples of asynchronous communication are e-mail and discussion forums, where communication does not take place in real time.


ATM - Asynchronous Transfer Mode
A fast broadband network protocol used in telecoms infrastructure and large networks. ATM allows all types of information (data, voice and video in any combination) to be transported by a single network infrastructure.

related index entries:BROADBAND


AUDIOCONFERENCING
Using a terminal or bureau service for voice communications, generally involving more than two people.

information sheets:Telemeetings, telephone conferencing or teleconferencing
Telephone, data and videoconferencing over the Internet

features:Conferencing calls, teleconferencing and videoconferencing

related index entries:CONFERENCE CALLING
TELECONFERENCING


AUTOMATED ATTENDANT
A facility which answers all in-coming calls and presents callers with a menu of call routing options, accessed via the key pad on their phone.

related index entries:CALL ROUTING
IVR - Interactive Voice Response


AUTOMATIC DIALLER
A device which automatically dials telephone numbers on a network.

related index entries:CTI - Computer Telephony Integration




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