What is the National Broadband Network? A glossary of NBN terms

Understanding the NBN: An electronic version of an Alcatel-Lucent brochure that explains NBN-related jargon

RSP (Retail Service Provider)

RSPs and application/content service providers are those that have a direct relationship with users and provide them with services and applications.

In the context of the National Broadband Network, an RSP could be responsible for any or all of customer sales and assistance, products, pricing, billing and the customer premise equipment that will enable phone calls, Internet, video services and other emerging applications to be delivered. A user may employ multiple RSPs for the provision different services and applications at the same time.

Satellite Broadband

Often deployed in areas with rugged or remote terrain and with very low population densities that may make a fixed line alternative impossible, or at least, uneconomic.

Satellite broadband can be negatively impacted by the large physical distances between satellites and the earth’s surface, which results in latency (delay) in the sending and receipt of data.

Wholesale Service Provider (WSP)

A provider of infrastructure and services that deals only with other providers and does not have a commercial relationship with end-users or consumers. In telecommunications, a wholesale service provider allows other companies to lease access to equipment and services, and avoid the expense of building their own infrastructure. These retailers may choose to ‘add value’ to a wholesale service and develop services and applications that generate competition and market appeal for their branded offerings.


Wi-Fi is a trademark used to describe certain wireless technology products used to support Local Area Networks. Home or office computers are often connected to Internet modems via Wi-Fi instead of an Ethernet cable. As well as many personal computers, Wi-Fi technology is common in an increasing array of devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players, printers and game consoles.

Wireless Broadband

A family of access technologies (sometimes known as Fixed Wireless) used to deliver broadband without the use of fixed wires. Often deployed in areas with rugged or remote terrain and with low population densities that may make a fixed line alternative impossible, or at least, uneconomic.

An important characteristic is that, as opposed to Mobile Wireless, these technologies generally connect to a particular premises or location using an antenna that is generally permanently attached to the user’s building.

Wireless broadband technologies are limited by the availability of wireless spectrum and physical impediments such as hills and valleys interrupting signals.

Wireless Spectrum

Often referred to as Radio-Frequency Spectrum, this is the array of electromagnetic radio frequencies used for communications, including mobile broadband, television, AM and FM radio, defence and any other service employing a wireless technology. The spectrum is divided into many frequency ranges, or bands, and usually allocated for a specific technology, device, use or service.

Wireless Spectrum is a finite and regulated public asset, and in Australia is administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, often through a licensing regime.

World Wide Web (WWW or The Web)

The system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed used a web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and transmitted via the Internet.

About Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation, and governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced global services organisation in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 15.2 billion in 2009 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris.

For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent’s blog http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/blog and follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Alcatel_Lucent.

Reproduced with the permission of Alcatel-Lucent

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