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Backbone(s)

The part of a premises distribution system that includes a main cable route and facilities for supporting the cable from the equipment room to the upper floors, or along the same floor to the wiring closets.

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Bandwidth

How much you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits per second. A full page of English text is roughly 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 57,000 bits per second whereas full-motion, full screen video would require some 10,000,000 bits per second, depending on compression. The more bandwidth your connection has, the faster the data travels along it.

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Baseband

A form of modulation in which data signals are coded directly onto the transmission medium without frequency division.

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Basic Rate

Abbreviated to BRI (basic rate interface) or ISDN2. An ISDN circuit providing 2 x 64 kbit/sec bearer channels for use by data or speech and one 16 kbit/sec control channel. Two independent calls can be carried at the same time on one BRI circuit.

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Baud

The number of signal transitions per second. Used for modems.

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BER

Bit Error Rate
The ratio of received bits that are in error (relative to the amount of bits received); usually expressed as a number referenced to a power of 10; e.g. 1 error in 10 5 bits - also referred to as a BER of 10 -5.