GLOSSARY OF TERMS P

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Packet - A transport mechanism that carries data through networks. (Think of packets as cars carrying passengers on a highway.) Packet Switching - The method used to transmit data on the Internet. In packet switching, all the data coming out of a machine is broken up into chunks; each chunk has the address of where it came from and where it is going. This enables chunks of data from many different sources to co-mingle on the same lines, and be sorted and directed to different routes by special machines along the way. This way many people can use the same lines at the same time. Pair Gain System - A transmission system that uses concentrators or multiplexers so that fewer wire pairs may be used than would otherwise be required to provide service to a given number of subscribers. PBX - A private telephone system connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). See Private Branch Exchange Personal Communications Services (PCS) - A term coined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it describes a two-way, voice and digital, wireless telecommunications system. PCS encompasses cordless phones, cellular mobile phone, paging systems, personal communications networks, wireless office phone systems and any other wireless telecommunications systems that allow people to place and receive voice/data calls while away from home and office. Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) - Regular analog phone service, as opposed to ISDN, ADSL and other digital phone services. Point of Presence (POP) - A local dialing point for a network user (i.e. Internet Service Provider.) Pole Attachment - A communications relay or receiving device attached to a pole, duct or conduit owned or controlled by a utility company. Prescribed Interexchange Charge (PICC) - The PICC is a fee that a customer's long distance company pays to the local telephone company to help the local phone company recover the costs of providing the "local loop" to the customer. Presubscription - Term used to describe the selection of a particular long-distance carrier to handle all calls for "1 + dialing" zones. Price Cap Regulation - An obsolete and mostly disbanded form of regulation that places a ceiling and in some instances a floor on prices rather than attempting to assess costs and rates of return. Primary Interexchange Carrier (PIC) - The PIC is the main long-distance carrier used for "1+dialing" through which all interstate long-distance toll calls are made. Private Branch Exchange (PBX) - (1) A subscriber-owned telecommunications exchange that usually includes access to the public switched network. (2) A switch that serves a selected group of users and that is subordinate to a switch at a higher level military establishment. (3) A private telephone switchboard that provides on-premises dial service and may provide connections to local and trunked communications networks. Note 1: A PBX operates with only a manual switchboard; a private automatic exchange (PAX) does not hava switchboard, a private automatic branch exchange may or may not have a switchboard. Note 2: Use of the term "PBX" is far more common than "PABX," regardless of automation. Primary Rate Interface (PRI) - An industrial grade ISDN line. Consists of 23 64K bearer channels and a 64K delta (controller) channel. Private Line Service - Dedicated telecommunications channels provided between two points or switched among multiple points. Privately leased for high-volume voice, data, audio or video transmissions. Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) - An answering location for 911 calls originating in a given area. A PSAP may be designed as Primary or Secondary, which refers to the order in which calls are directed for answering. Primary PSAPs respond first; Secondary PSAPs receive calls on a transfer basis only, and generally serve as a centralized answering location for a particular type of emergency call. PSAP's are staffed by employees of Service Agencies such as police, fire oremergency medical agencies or by employees of a common bureau serving a group of such entities. Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) - The domestic telecommunications network usually accessed by telephones, key telephone systems, private branch exchange trunks and data arrangements. Note: Completion of the circuit between the call originator and call receiver in a PSTN requires network signaling in the form of dial pulses or multi-frequency tones.

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