Stands for Third Generation. This
refers to the network on your mobile phone and mobile broadband. 3G
provides download speeds of roughly 384Kbps. See kilobytes.
A slightly faster mobile
broadband than 3G, also called HSDPA or HSUPA - the latter two are
now outdated technology solutions used to deliver portable
stands for the fourth generation
mobile broadband technology. At the
moment mobile operators can choose to either base it on WiMAX or LTE (Long
The broadcast signal which delivers just five TV channels (BBC1,
BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) to your set via an aerial.
If your rooftop aerial is particularly old or if you have a
set-top aerial, you might need to upgrade your aerial to one that
can pick up the digital signal in order to receive digital
terrestrial channels. Our install and repair network can help you
It ties various parts of the
network infrastructure together and carries the majority of
traffic. It serves as a link between the broadband provider and
Refers to how much data is
flowing (i.e. being uploaded and downloaded) on an ISP's network.
Also known as traffic.
The UK Government's established
lowest acceptable broadband download speed. It is currently
considered to be 2Mbps.
Short distance wireless
technology which has been designed to share files via mobile
phones. It has since replaced the infrared direct linking
To use the internet and look at
web pages. See also surf
An application which allows you
to access the internet and look at web pages. For example: Internet
Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and many others
Business broadband provider
a company which provides
broadband internet to businesses solely. Also may be referred to as
a Business ISP
firm which provides internet
services. See also ISP.
While DSL uses telephone lines,
this solution supplies broadband via the cable television
infrastructure. The biggest cable broadband provider in the UK is
Cable television is just what it
says it is - TV pictures and sound sent through underground cables
to your home. One of the benefits of cable is that you can run home
phone and broadband through it too. Virgin Media is the country's
main cable-based digital service provider
A defined data allowance for a
set period of time that ISPs apply in order to prevent network
congestion due to overuse. An example of a broadband service data
cap is 20GB per month.
This stands for Capacity Based
Charging. A few DSL Internet Service
Providers are paying a charge for the bandwidth their clients are
likely to use to the telephone operators. During peak hours the fee
The Common Interface is an interconnect between a Digital TV or
a set-top box, and a separate module. By far the most common module
is the CAM (Conditional Access Module) which plugs into your
Digital TV or set-top box, and allows you to insert a viewing card
to watch certain subscription based TV services, for example
The areas that can receive digital television. Not all the
digital services are available everywhere in the UK. Search with
Simplifydigital to find out which suppliers you can get at your
This stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) - the DAB
service is radio's equivalent of digital TV. It gives
interference-free reception and has room for extra stations as well
as all the standard channels. It's available across most of the
country. You can receive DAB on personal, portable, tabletop or car
radios. Digital radio stations are also received by digital TV
set-top boxes and iDTVs (Integrated Digital Television). The
digital switchover does not affect radio services.
This is a type of narrowband.
It converts digital signals into analogue, which are then converted
by a fixed line broadband provider from a telephone line
This is required for watching digital TV - it sits usually on
top of your TV (see set-top box) and unscrambles digital signals
before turning them back into sound and pictures.
Television images are sent as compressed data which is then
unscrambled by a digital box. The signal is sent by cable,
satellite or through the air to your aerial. After switchover you
will only be able to receive a digital signal.
The process of switching over the UK's current analogue
television broadcasting system to digital, as well as ensuring that
people have adapted or upgraded their televisions and recording
equipment to receive digital TV.
A portable small modem that can
be connected to a PC, laptop or any compatible gadget. It is a
device which gives you access to mobile broadband.
The maximum amount of data you can download per month from the
internet. This includes songs, films and photos. Even reading
emails and simply browsing the web will eat into this limit (but
only by a tiny amount). If you or your family do a lot of
downloading, then you will need a broadband service with a high
download limit, or even unlimited downloads.
This is a measurement of how fast data can arrive at your
computer from the internet. The higher, the better (but it's
usually more expensive).
DTT or DTTV
This means Digital Terrestrial Television - which is received
via a rooftop aerial or set-top aerial. In the UK, this includes
the Freeview service (which includes the traditional terrestrial
channels - BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five) and for an
additional monthly subscription, Top Up TV.
This is a common abbreviation for digital television.
More specifically, it stands for
Digital Subscriber Line. This is an old technology which gives you
access to the world wide web through your telephone line. Also
referred to as fixed line. Types of DSL are as follows: ADSL ,
ADSL2 , ADSL2+ , SDSL , VDSL , VDSL2 as well as VHDSL.
Electronic letter. Digital letters that are received by the
second party as soon as they are sent out by the first. Users can
register for email services through websites (webmail) or use
programmes such as Outlook.
Stands for Electronic Programme Guide - an on-screen listing of
TV channels and programmes. You can use one to go to the programme
you want, or to select something to record
This is the cable that connects your computer or laptop to a
modem, router or adapter. Using an Ethernet cable to connect to
broadband means your connection is wired. See also wireless broadband.
Fair usage policy
This is a policy used by some broadband suppliers to restrict
the download speed of your connection at certain times of the day.
Downloading very large amounts of data (films, for example) can
slow down other people's broadband connections in your area. This
is because many houses may share the same access point in the local
telephone exchange. So in order to keep things fair the broadband
supplier may restrict your usage at peak times.
Fibre optic broadband
This is a technology which
delivers superfast internet by sending information as pulses of
light through individual optical fibres.
Exchanging files over the
internet. This practice has a lot of grey areas and can be
considered an "unlawful" activity especially when copyrighted
content is shared.
The main UK digital terrestrial television service, transmitted
through an aerial. No subscription is required. See also Top Up
Meaning Free-To-Air or in other words a programme or service
that you don't need a subscription to get
Fibre-To-The-Cabinet. This is
when fibre optic cables reach only the
street cabinets from where copper wires stretch to the premises and
connect them to the internet. This is also often called "hybrid
fibre" as the speeds are slower than those delivered by "true
Fibre-to-the-Premises. This means
that fibre cables reach the premises
(homes or businesses) directly. This technology is also known as
"true fibre". FTTP technology can deliver the fastest download
speeds in the UK.
Fair Usage Policy - a
document/policy ISPs are likely to have on budget packages. It
gives information regarding what monthly service allowance
suppliers deem as "fair". See also cap.
Also GB and Gigabyte, refers to a
measure of data. A Gibabyte consists of 1000 Megabytes. 1GB could
be a size of a movie. If referring to speeds, this changes Gigabit
per Second, abbreviated Gbps - for example a fibre connection may
give consumers access to superfast download speeds of 1Gbps. See fibre.
A location where a wireless broadband network is installed,
i.e. restaurants, coffee shops or train stations.
High Definition Television - a new technology that enables
viewers to receive higher definition television pictures. HDTV has
four times as many pixels (dots on the screen) as standard TV
broadcasts, meaning a clearer picture and stunning detail on
Also known as High-Speed Packet
Access - a mixture of HSDPA and HSUPA, the technology aims to
provide quicker speeds especially when upstreaming. See also 3.5G.
Stands for HyperText Markup
Language. The "language" that web designers use to create websites
and the way they look.
Integrated Digital Television - a TV with a built-in digital
receiver which lets you receive Freeview channels through your
aerial with no need for an additional digital box. It can refer to
either a conventional cathode ray TV or one of the new flat panel
Instant Messaging. This is
software/application that allows users to send messages to each
other in real time. For example Skype, MSN Messenger or Facebook
This covers off all ways of interacting with a TV broadcast to
get more information - a bit like an extension of the traditional
Teletext service. For instance, you can select and watch a
particular tennis match from a multi-screen selection, find out
more information about a TV programme, cast a vote, or take part in
a quiz. Accessing interactive services is usually done via the red
button on your remote control.
This is an abbreviation of
Internet Protocol Television. Using your broadband connection to
watch television, an example of IPTV is BT Vision.
(plural - ISPs) Short for
Internet Service Provider. It's a company which provides broadband,
for example BT, Virgin Media or TalkTalk, among others.
This is a very small measure of
speed and data. The most popular abbreviation when referring to
data size is KB, and speed-wise Kbps (Kilobits per second). 1
Megabyte equals to 1000 Kilobytes. If internet access speed is
measured in Kbps, it usually means that it is very slow. See also
Meg or Gig.
Local Area Network. This refers
to the number of computers which are connected to the same Wi-Fi or
via Ethernet cables to the same
network. Users connected by LAN can easily access and share
documents and files. You can find LAN in offices or at home.
Stands for Local Call Rate. The
amount consumers have to pay to call within the same area (i.e.
from Birmingham to Birmingham).
The term is used to describe how
long it takes for data to go from one PC to the other.
Local Loop Unbundling. Various
ISPs, which base their services on DSL,
install their own kit instead of using BT's in the local telephone exchange. They provide
"unbundled" packages which are often cheaper as the company's don't
pay BT for equipment use.
Is an abbreviation for Long Term
Evolution. This technology is the main rival to WiMax in the mobile
broadband sphere. In theory, this option can deliver download
speeds of roughly 327Mbps and uploads of 86Mbps. It is still being
developed and can potentially be improved to supply speeds of up to
Migration Authorisation Code. It
is a 17 to 19-character unique code (i.e. BBIP12345678/AB01C) which
serves as a key to switching broadband providers in the
MAL is short for malicious. This
programme has been written to damage computers, spy on a user's
internet activity or carry out a similar malicious task.
Also Megabyte or MB. This is a
measure of speeds and data. Megabits per second Mbps - is a measure
of broadband speeds, whereas MB simply shows how big a file is. A
short high quality video clip might be 50MB.
The term used to describe
portable broadband which can be delivered via a dongle or mobile devices such as smartphones
or tablet computers.
Small plastic device which
separates landline from broadband signals so that the services
would run smoothly alongside one another without interfering.
A device which allows your
internet-enabled laptop or desktop computer to connect to the World
Refers to the now old dialup connection over copper wire. It
provides speeds of 128Kbps, which is considered below today's basic broadband of 2Mbps.
Short for National Call Rate. It
is the price consumers are likely to be charged when calling
numbers which are outside of the local area. See LCR.
being connected or getting
disconnected from the internet.
process of being connected to a
network/having access the Internet.
Stands for peer-to-peer. Software
which allows users to share files directly between each other, i.e.
BitTorrent. See File
A combination of letters and
numbers that users need to type in to access email or a protected
area of a website or application.
Stands for Pay as You Go. Often
refers to mobile broadband or wireless broadband services where you
pay for a fixed amount of minutes/data.
This is an additional one-off payment for a particular film or
sporting event on satellite or cable/internet TV.
This is merely a way of delivering or receiving digital TV.
Typical platforms are terrestrial, cable, satellite and the
Using imagery and copy to trick
users into thinking that a website/email is legitimate with a
malicious purpose of gathering personal data.
Stands for Personal Video Recorder. This is a device that
records programmes to a hard drive (like a computer does) instead
of to a video tape or disc. Programmes you want to record can be
selected directly from the on-screen EPG. Many suppliers such as
Sky and Virgin Media have PVR functionality integrated into their
Using your mobile phone abroad
(i.e. outside your local network) to place calls or browse the
A television aerial on the roof
of your house
A device which gives users the
opportunity to connect several handsets or computers to the
Internet simultaneously. Also known as wireless router.
A satellite, as you're probably aware, is a space-enabled craft,
the function of which is to bounce signals of all kinds around the
globe, since the signal can't pass through it. Satellite TV is sent
from the source to your dish this way.
The dish on the side of people's houses that picks up programmes
that have been transmitted and bounced off a satellite.
Programmes received by the dish on the side of your house.
An alternative way to connect to
the internet using satellite dishes. It does not require a phone
line. Often considered the best solution of getting broadband in
rural and isolated areas.
An aerial on top of your TV.
A kind of digital box that sits on top of your TV set,
unscrambling the digital signal.
A marketing term for internet
users who are 50 years of age or more.
These are unsolicited and
unwanted emails sent in bulk often carrying malicious attachments
such as Viruses. SPAM can also appear in
social media, instant messaging and comment sections of websites
carrying links with possibly system damaging URLS or advertising.
A programme that installs itself
without consent/notifying the user with the intention of gathering
personal data, monitoring web activity, collecting passwords. It
often generally slows down the machine, be it a desktop computer or
Stands for Set-Top Box. See also digital box.
To use the Internet to browse
through online content, use email and web-based applications.
This is a location where an
area's telephone and broadband network equipment is stored. The
exchange makes sure data traffic and telephony services are
delivered to and from the local premises (houses and
TV transmissions - analogue or digital - that are broadcast over
the air directly to your TV aerial.
This means that you pay a single
set price for the service (i.e. broadband) your provider supplies
and will not be charged extra for excessive use or discounted for
not using enough.
This is what marketing
departments call "a big amount" - usually when users cross the
limit, the provider starts applying a FUP
(fair usage policy), restricting speeds or charging for over-use.
See also cap.
Stands for Uniform Resource
Locator. It is somewhat synonymous with the word link, www.simplifydigital.co.uk is a URL of our
website and clicking on the link mentioned will take you to our
A small portable gadget which
allows you to back up your files or go online i.e. dongle, can be easily connected to PCs.
Video cassette recorder - the machine on which you have probably
been recording and playing tapes for years. It can be used to
record analogue or digital TV but records in fairly low analogue
Software which was written with
the intention to cause damage to computers and its memory. It is
spread by sending SPAM email with attached viruses masqueraded as
legitimate files. This false pretence pushes the user to open the
malicious script that will consequently damage the system; some of
it might be irreversible. See also malware.
Virtual Internet Service
Provider. A firm that provides services under its own name but uses
another company's network infrastructure thus has little control
over prices and products.
Video On Demand. It gives users
the ability to watch TV programmes/shows after its original air
date. Websites such as BBC iPlayer provides VoD services. See also
Voice Over IP, it allows
consumers to use the Internet to call people. Some VoIP software
such as Skype allows you to place calls for free from your
The ratio of the width to the height of the TV picture is 16 to
9 - often called 16:9 format. Nearly all major TV channels now make
and broadcast their programmes in this widescreen format. Older
programmes were in the narrower 4:3 format. If set up correctly,
your TV and set-top box should display the picture on your screen
in 16:9 or 4:3, as appropriate for the programme.
It is the main competitor to LTE in the fight for 4G
dominance. Mobile WiMAX is capable of delivering high speed mobile broadband over a wide radius (i.e. 30
miles). It is theoretically capable of delivering download speeds
of more 100Mbps.
A broadband connection which
requires no wiring as it sends out signals that allow devices to
connect to the internet. These waves can be sent from a router, hub or hotspot all of which provide a wireless
connection. Also referred to as Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity).
Stands for World Wide Web. It is
the most popular reference to access webpages, i.e. www.simplifydigital.co.uk.