Glossary of terms


21CN: an end-to-end, next generation IP network, designed to transform the customer experience by delivering new, converged services rapidly and cost effectively. It is one of the largest investments in the UK’s communications infrastructure by a private sector company

21CN Ethernet: a next generation wholesale Ethernet service and the first to be built on the 21CN platform. It will offer ten times the bandwidth of the core MPLS network, delivering high-speed data connectivity to corporate customers and mobile operators


ARPU: average revenue per user


backhaul network: the network linking a communication provider’s network with the BT exchange

broadband: comes from ‘broad bandwidth’ and is used to describe a high-capacity, two-way link between an end user and an access network supplier – capable of carrying a wide range of applications

BT Broadband Talk: enables customers to make and receive calls over a broadband connection, using a touch-tone telephone plugged into the router or BT Home Hub. Customers on BT Broadband Talk get a separate phone number

BT Broadband Voice: a voice over IP telephone service offering unlimited local and national calls for a fixed monthly subscription

BT Business Broadband: a broadband package specifically designed for small and medium businesses, which was superseded in January 2007 by BT Business Total Broadband

BT Business Builder: one of a series of SaaS (software as a service) applications designed to help small businesses with administration and cost control

BT Business Essentials: a package designed for customers taking their first online steps, which includes basic website creation tools

BT Business IT Manager: a selection of services to meet all small and medium businesses’ IT needs – from hardware supply and set up to advice on, and support for, systems

BT Business One Plan: the UK’s first triple-play landline, mobile and broadband calling package designed for businesses

BT Business Total Broadband: BT’s most complete broadband package specifically designed for small and medium businesses, powered by business-grade broadband with download speeds of up to 8Mb

BT Communications Complete: a simple, networked IP platform offering everything BT’s business customers need to improve their communications

BT Conferencing: a business within BT Enterprises offering global audio, video and web collaboration services

BT Corporate Fusion: a ground-breaking premises-based fixed-mobile convergence service for large organisations. It enables organisations to take advantage of fixed-mobile convergence and their increasing deployment of IP telephony and wi-fi coverage

BT Design: a BT internal functional unit responsible for the design and deployment of the platforms, systems and processes which support BT’s products and services

BT Digital Vault: a quick and hassle-free service for safeguarding files stored on customers’ PCs and laptops –including photos, emails, and other important personal information

BT Directories: a business within BT Enterprises offering directory enquiries, operator services and the phone book, as well as more recently developed on-line and CD-ROM services

BT Enterprises: a business unit within BT Retail encompassing BT Conferencing, BT Directories, BT Expedite, BT Payphones, BT Redcare and

BT Expedite: a business within BT Enterprises offering specialist store integration solutions and services

BT FON: global wireless broadband access for BT Total Broadband customers using BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots and the connection of other BT FON members

BT Fusion: a versatile tariff that includes unlimited calls to UK mobiles and UK landlines made from the office (within range of the BT Business Hub) or from a BT Openzone hotspot

BT Global Services: BT’s line of business providing global services (including managed networks, outsourcing and systems integration on an agile IP infrastructure) to multi-site organisations, such as corporate and government customers across Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific region. It also serves wholesale customers outside the UK

BT Home Hub: a stylish, powerful feature-packed ADSL router, designed to sit at the heart of the digital home. It can connect to up to 15 devices wirelessly, and supports BT’s full range of services including BT Total Broadband and BT Broadband Talk

BT Home IT Support: BT’s IT fix-it service for broadband customers, offering straightforward jargon-free advice and support over the phone or in the home for a wide range of computer issues

BT Ireland: a division of BT Retail. It operates in the consumer, business, major business and wholesale markets throughout the island of Ireland

BT Net Protect: anti-virus and firewall security products

BT Office Anywhere: a hand-held device which gives users on the move the functions of an office Windows PC. Unlike other smartphones, it comes with VoIP and the option of unlimited VoIP calls to UK landlines

BT Openzone: a convenient, easy to use broadband internet access service using wireless technology (Wi-Fi). Users can access email or surf the internet from around 40,000 hot spots throughout the UK and around the world

BT Operate: a BT internal functional unit responsible for the operation of the platforms, systems and processes which support BT’s products and services

BT Payphones: a business within BT Enterprises providing street, managed and private payphones and card services

BT Pension Scheme (BTPS): The BTPS is the group’s main final salary pension scheme, where benefits are based on employees’ length of service and final pensionable pay

BT Redcare: a business within BT Enterprises offering secure intelligent monitoring and tracking services, including alarm monitoring, CCTV, machine monitoring, secure mobile data solutions and vehicle tracking

BT Retail: a BT line of business offering a wide range of retail products and services to the consumer and small to medium business markets

BT Retirement Plan (BTRP): a defined contribution pension arrangement that was introduced for new BT employees from 1 April 2001

BT Softphone: an easy to download service giving free global PC-to-PC chat at any time of day

BT Together: a calling plan for consumer customers, offering three low-cost calling packages

BT Tradespace: an online trading community that brings businesses and individual sellers together with potential customers and partners

BT Total Broadband: the most comprehensive broadband packages yet seen in the UK. Powered by ultra-fast download speeds of up to 8Mb, it offers free internet voice calls, free video calls, and a suite of security software – all brought together through the BT Home Hub. BT Total Broadband even gives freedom to roam outside the home with Wi-Fi, via free BT Openzone wireless minutes. There are no connection charges, and the package comes with around-the-clock helpdesk support

BT Total Broadband Anywhere: the UK’s first fully-inclusive mobile broadband package which offers a high-end mobile device so that customers can always have their broadband with them – in or out of the home

BT Vision: next generation TV service combining the appeal of TV with the interactivity of broadband. Customers can watch what they want when they want, and not be tied to TV schedules. The service does not require a regular monthly subscription

BT Wholesale: a BT line of business providing network services and solutions within the UK. It services more than 700 communications providers, including other BT businesses

Business in the Community: an organisation of more than 700 of the UK’s top companies committed to improving their positive impact on society


Childline: the UK’s free, 24-hour helpline for children in distress or danger

convergence: has various interpretations. It can mean the delivery of voice, video and data across all networks. It also refers to the integration of fixed and mobile solutions, sometimes on a single handset

CP: communications provider

CPS: carrier pre-selection enables customers to choose to have certain call types carried by another network operator

CRM: customer relationship management

CSR: corporate social responsibility

‘cycle time’: the time between the start and finish of each and every customer experience – for example the time elapsed between a customer’s initial attempt to contact BT and receipt of the relevant service and payment of the bill

D a business within BT Enterprises, it is one of the UK’s leading internet retailers of IT and technology products

Dow Jones Sustainability Index: assesses 2,500 companies worldwide on their performance in areas such as corporate governance and ethical practices, investor relations, environmental management, community investment, human rights, health and safety, diversity, supply chain and risk management

DSL: digital subscriber line – a broadband service where existing wires between the local telephone exchange and a customer’s telephone sockets are transformed into a high-speed digital line


Ethernet: a popular standard or protocol for linking computers into a local area network

Ethernet Backhaul Direct: Openreach’s new backhaul product designed to meet the increasing need for high-bandwidth backhaul capability from customers wishing to connect their local access circuits back to their core networks

EMEA: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

EMP: Equivalence Management Platform – Openreach’s transactional platform that underpins all its interactions with communications providers. It can process up to 100,000 orders a day

EPS: earnings per share

ESIP: Employee Share Investment Plan – a plan under which BT can provide free shares to employees, and employees can buy shares in BT from pre-tax salaries


Gb: gigabits (per second)

GCTO: BT Group Chief Technology Office – responsible for creating BT’s innovation strategy


HDTV: high definition TV


IASB: International Accounting Standards Board – the board which sets International Financial Reporting Standards

ICT: information and communication technology

IFRS: International Financial Reporting Standards

IP: internet protocol – a packet-based protocol for delivering data – including voice and video – across networks

ISDN: integrated services digital network – an all digital network that enables a host of services to be carried together on the same circuits. It makes it possible for any two compatible pieces of connected equipment to talk to each other

ISO 9001: the international quality management standard

ISO 14001: the environmental management standard

ISP: internet service provider


LAN: local area network – a network that operates within a limited geographical area, such as in a building. It connects a variety of data devices, such as PCs, servers and printers at a very high data rate

LLU: local loop unbundling – the process whereby BT’s exchange lines are physically disconnected from BT’s network and connected to other communication providers’ networks. This enables operators, other than BT, to use the company’s local loop to provide services to customers


managed solutions: where BT has complete responsibility for end-to-end design, implementation and control of managing and monitoring customer networks and services

Mb: megabits (per second)

MPLS: multi-protocol label switching – supports the rapid transmission of data across network routers, enabling modern networks to achieve high quality of service

MVNO: mobile virtual network operator. A mobile operator which does not own its own spectrum, and usually does not have its own network infrastructure. Instead, MVNOs have business arrangements with traditional mobile operators to buy minutes of use for sale to their own customers


N3: the national broadband network that BT is building for the NHS

narrowband: non-broadband, fixed access network or line

NCC: network charge control

new wave: a collective name for networked IT, broadband and mobility products and services, to differentiate them from traditional voice services


Ofcom: the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services

Openreach: Openreach looks after the ‘first mile’ of network, from the exchange through to homes and businesses. Its role is to provide services to all communications providers – including other BT lines of business – on a fair, equal and open basis


PPC: partial private circuit

PSTN: public switched telephone network


Queen’s Award for Enterprise: the UK’s most prestigious award for business performance


re-usable capabilities: a set of re-usable components for use in product and service development. Instead of creating new systems, and deploying new hardware/software to build a product, product managers, network and systems designers will increasingly pick from a catalogue of common capabilities.

‘right first time’: the most important measure of whether we are keeping our promises to our customers and meeting or exceeding their expectations

Route2Learn (R2L): BT’s learning management system


SME: small or medium-sized enterprise

SMP: significant market power


Undertakings: a series of legally-binding commitments BT made to Ofcom, designed to bring greater transparency and certainty to the regulation of the telecommunications industry in the UK. They led to the formation of Openreach

UK GAAP: United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

US GAAP: United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

USO: universal service obligation


V-box: BT Vision is delivered through a set-top box – the V-box. This contains a personal digital recorder able to store up to 80 hours of content, pause or rewind live TV, and record programmes at the touch of a button

VoIP: voice over internet protocol – a method of transporting speech over the internet


WAN: wide area network – a network spread over a large geographical area

Wholesale Broadband Connect: a next generation 21CN broadband service offering a range of benefits including speeds up to 24Mb, guaranteed service level agreements, the ability to trade speed for stability and enhanced line diagnostics

Wi-Fi: wireless networking – the ability to connect to a network or a PC using radio as opposed to a physical (cabling) connection

wireless cities: an initial group of 12 cities with networks set up by BT providing wire-free, high-speed broadband coverage which can be used for easy access to information and services in city centre locations and offer a range of new services for consumers, businesses and local authority workers

WLR: wholesale line rental – enables communications providers to offer their own-branded telephony services over the Openreach network