Home » Blog » Guides and Tips » Busting Broadband Buzzwords
Blog header with guide title

3 months ago

Busting Broadband Buzzwords

Welcome to the world of broadband, where the language can sometimes feel like a maze of technical terms and acronyms. Navigating through the jargon associated with business broadband and other telecom services can be daunting, especially for those who need to be better versed in technology.

In this broadband jargon buster, we demystify high-speed internet terminology with straightforward and concise explanations. Let’s get into it:


Simply put, broadband is a high-speed internet access solution that's faster than a traditional dial-up connection. Most businesses looking for an internet connectivity solution opt for broadband as it's the most appropriate option that meets their needs.


Getting an internet connection is more complex than just finding a low price. You need to get the right connection for your business. Bandwidth is the amount of data you can transmit over a network in a given amount of time.

Wireless internet router deviceYou'll typically see bandwidth measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

Mbps (Megabits per second)

If you compare business internet connections, speed should be a big factor in your decision-making. Mbps is a unit of measurement for network speed, indicating the number of megabits transmitted per second (see Bandwidth above).

The Difference Between Mbps and MBps

When it comes to Mbps and MBps, the capitalisation of the 'b' makes a big difference. As covered above, Mbps means megabits per second, and MBps means megabytes per second. There's an 8x difference between these representations of internet speed, so 1MBps is the equivalent of 8Mbps.

Thankfully, in the UK, it's rare to see internet speeds measured in MBps, but if ever you see this measurement used, you just need to multiply it by eight to get the speed in Mbps.

Fibre Optic

This technological advancement is one of the main components of high-speed internet in the UK. Fibre optic technology uses thin strands of glass or plastic to transmit data via pulses of light. Fibre is used to provide reliable, high-speed internet connections.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

You've probably encountered 'DSL' if you're familiar with internet acronyms. DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line, which is a broadband internet connection that uses existing copper telephone lines to transmit digital data.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is similar to DSL, the only difference being that rather than having different download and upload speeds, the speeds are symmetrical, meaning they're the same.

Cable Internet

While many businesses receive their internet connection through a fibre or copper wire connection, some use Cable Internet, an Internet service provided through the same cable infrastructure that delivers cable TV to homes and businesses.


Once you have an internet connection, your business needs a way to make that connection usable. That's where your modem comes into play. A modem is a device that ‘modulates’ and ‘demodulates’ analogue signals, allowing you to transmit digital data over communication lines.


While your modem makes your internet connection usable, you need a way to distribute your internet connection. A router is a device that directs data on a network, connecting multiple devices to the internet.


If your business has been around long enough, you may remember the days of a wired connection being the standard. Thankfully, technology has moved on. Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that allows devices to connect to the internet without needing physical cables.


Although Wi-Fi is useful, a wired internet connection is sometimes preferable, especially if you require heightened internet security or a more stable internet connection. Ethernet is a wired technology that uses a system of cables and connectors to transmit data between devices on a local network at a high bandwidth.


Your business has undoubtedly had issues with a ‘laggy’ internet connection at some time or another. Latency is the time delay between the sending and receiving data. In today’s world of high-speed broadband, milliseconds are the measurement you'll typically see for latency.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

In the same way that you need a contract with an energy provider to get electricity to your business, regardless of whether the cables are in place to deliver the internet to your business, you need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to allow you to connect. An ISP is a company that provides internet access services to customers, whether residential or commercial.

Download Speed

Whether you want to download files or browse the internet faster, you need a great download speed. Download speed is the speed at which data is transferred from the internet to your device, covering anything your device pulls from the internet, meaning it's not just limited to downloads; it can cover streaming and other services, too. Mbps is the measurement typically used for download speeds.

Upload Speed

Converse to downloading, if you want to send anything via the internet, you need a fast upload speed. Upload speed is the speed at which your business transfers data across the internet. Uploads can include video calls, sending emails and sending files to customers and colleagues. As with download speeds, Mbps is the measurement typically used for upload speeds.


Your business's internet isn't just affected by upload and download speeds. Ping plays a part, too. Network utility tools typically use ping to test the reachability of a host, such as a website page host or an internet-based service provider, with your internet protocol (IP) network.

Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC)

There are various types of broadband connections, and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) is just one of them. FTTC is a connection method where fibre optic cables carry the signal from an ‘exchange’ to a roadside cabinet. Conventional copper phone lines then distribute broadband services to your business.

Fresh tarmac covering new fibre optic connectionsA downside to FTTC connections is that while fibre optic cables have a high bandwidth, much of this bandwidth is lost through old-fashioned copper phone lines.

Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP)

Resolving the issue of lost bandwidth over old-fashioned copper phone lines, Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) provides some of the fastest internet speeds available to businesses in the UK. FTTP is a broadband network architecture that uses fibre optic cables to provide high-speed internet directly to your home or business rather than to an exchange.


Before high-speed internet with broadband, we had dial-up. Dial-up is a method of internet access that uses a standard telephone line and a modem device. Dial-up is now considered a slow and outdated technology.

Broadband over Power Lines (BPL)

Another uncommon type of internet collection in the age of common FTTP connections, Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), is an internet connection provided via power lines, offering an alternative to traditional cable or DSL connections.

Satellite Internet

For remote or rural areas where high-speed broadband connections are either impossible or costly, satellite Internet can be a saving grace. It's an Internet service that uses satellite technology to provide connectivity.

Mesh Network

While network extenders might be an acceptable compromise for residential internet connections, businesses typically need a more robust network solution. A mesh network utilises multiple Wi-Fi nodes working together to provide widespread coverage and improved reliability.

Making Business Broadband Simple

Navigating the realm of business broadband can be a formidable task, with a wide array of providers, plans and technical details to consider. At BusinessComparison, we simplify this challenge by making securing the perfect broadband deal straightforward.

We help businesses make informed decisions tailored to their needs, ensuring you stay connected while saving time and money. Say goodbye to the hassle of sifting through confusing jargon and intricate details - we’re your partner in simplifying the search for the ideal business broadband deal.

Let us Help Your Business

We help you compare essential business products and services, ensuring you get the best deal and helping you with your bottom line. Save time and money with us by comparing today.

Business Loans icon

Business Bank Accounts icon

Invoice Finance icon

Business Energy icon

Business Broadband icon

Card Machines icon

Business Credit Cards icon

Business Insurance icon

Leased Lines icon


Sam White