“9-1-1” – The three-digit telephone number that has been designated as the “Universal Emergency Number,” for public use throughout the United States to request emergency assistance. It is intended as a nationwide telephone number giving the public direct access to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) which will be responsible for taking the appropriate action.
ACD Queue – The system of arrangement for automatic call distribution. It determines how to handle calls – routes and prioritizes, according to who needs to handle them. The system’s order for the call jobs in a queue depends on the priority system being used. Usually, calls are moved in the same order that they were placed in the queue. But in some cases, certain calls are given higher priority.
ALI (Automatic Location Identification) A 9-1-1 Feature by which the name, address and responding agencies associated with the number of the telephone used to dial 9-1-1 is displayed at the PSAP at the time the call is answered.
ANI (Automatic Number Identification) – The number transmitted through the network identifying the calling party.
Auto-Attendant – An automatic response such as voice or music that monitors incoming calls within the system.
Centrex – A varied way of acquiring PBX service – all switching occurs at a local telephone office instead of on a company’s site.
Communications platform – The structure or standard needed to support communications, the transmission of data between two points, either by telephone or computer or integration of both in a PBX system.
Cross-platform – Formats, applications or devices that work on different or multiple platforms.
DID (Direct Inward Dialing) – A service offered by telephone companies which allows the last 3 or 4 digits of a phone number to be transmitted to the destination exchange.
For example, a company could have 10 incoming lines, all with the number 234 000. If a caller dials 234 697, the call is sent to 234 000 (the company’s exchange), and the digits 697 are transmitted. The company’s exchange then routes the call to extension 697. This gives the impression of 1000 direct dial lines, whereas in fact there are only 10. Obviously, only 10 at a time can be used.
E-911 (Enhanced 9-1-1) – A method of routing 911 calls to a Public Service Answering Point that uses a customer location database to determine the location to which a call should be routed. E-9 .1 .1 service includes the forwarding of the caller’s Automatic Number Identification (ANI) to the PSAP where the ANI is used to retrieve and display the Automatic Location Identification (ALI) on a terminal screen at the answering Attendant’s position displaying name, address, and telephone number. It usually includes selective routing.
Enterprise System – A business organization that generally relies on computers and internally- linked computer networks or systems to do business.
Erlang – A measure of the traffic density in a telecommunications system, based on an hour.
EUCL (End User Common Line Charge) – A FCC tariff term defined in FCC Rules 69.104 as follows: “A charge that is expressed in dollars and cents per line per month shall be assessed upon end users that subscribe to local exchange telephone service, Centrex or semi-public coin telephone service to the extent they do not pay carrier common line charges. Such charge EUCL shall be assessed for each line between the premises of an end-user and a Class 5 office that is or may be used for local exchange service transmissions. Each Single Line Service is charged one CALC or EUCL. The amount varies by state.”
Fault tolerance – The description of a systems ability to maintain a dependable operating status in response to unpredictable hardware or software failure. Levels of tolerance range from ‘low’ – continued operations, to ‘high’ – mirrored operations capability guaranteed by a duplicate backup system. For example, in the event of a power failure on one computer, telephone or system, another can take over.
Follow-Me Calling – A call that is routed, or forwarded, to another telephone number or a list of pre-configured telephone numbers.
IDS – Intrusion Detection System – A security function that monitors all inbound and outbound network activity. It looks for suspicious patterns that may indicate a network or system ‘hack’ or attack. It follows an alert procedure, reducing the risk of system attack or compromise.
LOA (Letter of Agency) – This is exchanged between telecom companies, or between a customer and a telecom company granting permission for the receiver to install telecom service to the sender.
LAN (Local Area Network) – A data communications network that is geographically limited (typically to a 1 km radius) allowing easy interconnection of terminals, microprocessors, and computers within adjacent buildings. Ethernet and FDDI are examples of standard LANs.
Because the network is known to cover only a small area, optimizations can be made in the network signal protocols that permit data rates up to 100Mb/s.
PBX – Private Business Exchange – A PBX is a computerized private telephone network used within a business although the network often extends to multiple locations. Users on the exchange network have a separate internal call routing system. External lines may be integrated, but they are shared and distinct. They route an organization’s inbound and outbound calls.
Port – When used as a noun, a port (also known as a basic level network access channel connection) is the interface between the local loop and the appropriate LEC Central Office switching equipment. When used as a verb it means the act of directing existing telephone numbers into or out from another hosted PBX service.
PSTN (Public Switched Telecommunications Network) – The PSTN is composed of all transmission and switching facilities and signal processors supplied and operated by all telecommunications common carriers for use by the public. Every station on the PSTN is capable of being accessed from every other station on the PSTN.
Queue – A job group or call line-up, or the process of how calls line up and wait to be handled.
Resp Org – Responsible Organizations are entities designated to manage and administer a customer’s Toll-Free number using the SMS/800 system.
Router – A device, with routing intelligence, that connects parts of local and remote networks together. Because they use routing tables to look up addresses for each message, routers introduce delays into networks.
Routing – A telephone call’s path from source to destination. Routing is usually managed by a router, which directs the call or message to pass from one monitor to another.
Scalable or Scalability – The ability of a system to adjust to shifting demand. A scalable system for business means one that grows reflectively with the business, starts with basics but features upgrade options to meet greater business demands.
Toll Free – When calling a Toll-free number (area code/NPA 800, 888, 877), the dialing party incurs no toll charges.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) – VoIP is a term used to describe all hosted telecommunications that involve replicating the traditional telephone experience without relying on physical phone switches or physical, on-site PBX systems.
VirtualPBX – A business phone system that operates from a public-switched telephone system, without requiring customer-installed equipment. Integrated with existing equipment and public service, VirtualPBX provides call routing, Follow-Me Calling, voicemail, fax-mail, and automatic call distribution queues.
WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) – This is an internet access network for a local business or entity that doesn’t rely on a physical link for use. Any Wi-Fi location is also effectively an interchangeable term for WLAN.