Custom Network Jargon Buster

One of the things we say here at Lumos is that our technology comes with people. And if we’re providing a custom network solution for you, we want to make sure you’re crystal clear about the terms we use. There’s a lot of alphabet soup in the custom network game, but using jargon isn’t helpful when you’re communicating with a wide audience. That’s why we’ve provided this custom network jargon buster, to identify and explain some of the key terms people need to know.

Any to Any

Any to any connectivity is a telecommunications term which means that one subscriber can connect with another, no matter what network they are on.


Bits per second (bps) is the unit of measurement for network performance and data transfer. A bit is a single unit of data. These days, network speed is more commonly measured in Kpbs (kilobits per second), Mbps (megabits per second) or Gbps (gigabits per second), depending on the amount of data carried. This is not to be confused with Bps (bytes per second): a byte comprises 7 or 8 bits.


Colocation allows businesses to extend IT networks and plan for backup and disaster recovery by housing some of their servers and data in data centers and renting additional space in those centers as needed.

Learn more about Lumos Networks’ colocation service.


Dedicated internet access (DIA) allows enterprises to connect to their network and enjoy a high-bandwidth, stable connection suitable for running cloud applications and video streaming.

Learn more on TechTarget.


Invented by Robert Metcalfe, an engineer, Ethernet technology links local area networks (LANs) via cables to facilitate data transmission. Originally available at 10 Mbps, Ethernet is now available at more than 1000 Mbps and 10 gigabit Ethernet.


A local area network (LAN) links computers that are close to each other in a single physical location. This is a smaller network than a WAN (see below).


Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is used to provide cost-effective, private WANs (see below). It allows a network to handle data and voice traffic from multiple sources and route it efficiently and securely to its destination.


Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) covers interoperability among network and telecommunications providers. It provides a reference for message transmission. It divides the communications into seven layers, explained here by TechTarget.

Point to point

Point to point is a connection that links two circuits on your network.


Primary Rate Interface (PRI) is a method for providing telephone services. It subdivides a T1 line to provide 23 phone lines and 1 data channel with a capacity of 64Kbps per channel.

SIP Trunks

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunks carry voice over IP (VOIP) calls over your network. You can run multiple SIP trunks over a high speed fiber line. This is usually more cost effective than a traditional phone service.


The Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) is an interface layer technology allowing the transmission of data via fiber optic cables over long distances. It was originally created for the US telephone network by the American National Standards Institute in the 1980s.This technology allows telecoms products from different vendors to work together (interoperability) by ensuring standardization of network interfaces. It operates at high bandwidth speeds.


T1 is a digital transmission service used in the US, Canada and Japan. It carries 1.544 megabits per second and has 24 channels. Learn more about the T-carrier system.


A wide area network (WAN) is a network covering a large area. Your WAN may cover your country, or state. WANs usually connect LANs often via virtual private networks. The Internet is a big WAN.

Have something to add to this list? Comment below or ask us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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