BT glossary - B

This glossary is here to help you understand some of the acronyms you may encounter in this site. Select a letter below that your word begins with.

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y
Abbreviation Term Definition


A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative - a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network.


Backbone network

The name given to a core network connecting major sites.



The maximum amount of information you can receive over your line at one time, measured in Kilo (thousands) or Mega (millions) bits (binary digits) per second. Bandwidth and broadband 'speed' are different ways of describing broadband capacity.


Basic Input/Output System

A fundamental element of PCs and other computers. It is a kind of built-in software that determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk.


Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

A computer programming language.


Binary digit

Computers can only process information that is formatted as a series of zeroes and ones - binary digits or bits - so all letters, documents, sounds and visuals are held as bits. Bandwidth and broadband speed are measured by how many thousands or millions of bits per second can be delivered or received.



The use of measurable biological characteristics to provide authentication to computer systems. These characteristics currently include techniques such as fingerprint recognition, voice recognition, retina scans and iris scans.



Bluetooth technology lets you connect devices such as mobile phones, handheld PCs and personal digital assistants (PDAs) wirelessly over short distances.


Bits Per Second

A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move 28,800 bits per second.


British Standards Institution




Broadband is the common term for a high bandwidth internet connection - one that can send or download information many times faster than with a standard telephone and modem. 'Broadband' is used to describe any service that offers bandwidth of 128Kbps (kilobits per second) or greater.



A browser is a programme that allows you to view pages on the internet, ie, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera or Mozilla Firefox.


Buddy lists

A list of email addresses for close personal contacts or buddies.


By The Way

Computer jargon, short for 'by the way'.



Eight bits make a byte. A byte is best thought of as the number of bits a computer requires to represent a single letter, numeral or punctuation point. Documents and other files are measured (sized) in thousands or millions of bytes.