Commonly Used Fibre Optic Terms and their Definitions


Download speed
The speed at which the user receives data from the Internet — for example, the speed at which a large file can be downloaded from a website.

Fibre optic line
A type of cable that uses glass threads or plastic fibres to transmit data using pulses of light. Fibre can offer much faster speeds than, for example, copper wires.

Fixed wireless
A type of wireless service for providing high-speed Internet to a fixed location, such as a home or business. The wireless signal is typically transmitted from a tower to an antenna installed on the roof of the home or business in question.

Gigabits per second (Gbps)
There are 1,000 megabits in a gigabit. Therefore, 1 gigabit per second means 1,000 megabits per second.

Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
A standard for wireless communications (e.g., for smartphones and other devices). LTE is commonly referred to as 4G (fourth generation) cellular technology.

Low-Earth orbit (LEO) constellation
A system of satellites that orbit much closer to the earth than traditional communications satellites. A LEO constellation can have hundreds of satellites.

Megabits per second (Mbps)
The most common unit of measurement for describing the speed of high-speed Internet connections.

Network resiliency
The ability of a network to provide “back-up” service in the event of an issue with normal network operation.

Passive infrastructure
Generally refers to the non-electrical elements needed for network deployment. Examples of passive infrastructure include telephone poles, underground ducts or conduits, and wireless towers.

The ability of network infrastructure to be upgraded later to offer higher speeds.

Airwaves used to transmit sound and data wirelessly.

A method of providing health care services remotely using digital technology including computers and mobile devices.

Upload speed
The connection speed at which the user can send data, such as the speed to upload a video to a social media website.

A connection using wireless signals rather than wiring. For example, a signal can be transmitted from a wireless tower to mobile devices such as phones or to fixed locations such as houses.

An Internet connection provided directly to a home or business using some form of wire or cable.