Jargon Buster


A term used to describe fast internet access.

Fibre Broadband

A broadband connection running through a fibre optic cable. This type of broadband supports very fast speeds.

Copper Broadband

A broadband connection running over an ordinary copper phone line. This type of broadband generally only supports moderately high speeds.

Download & Upload Speed

The maximum download/upload speed that your connection allows. This will usually be given in Mbps (see Mbps/Gbps section for more info). The speed you will actually receive will depend on your contention ratio.

Contention Ratio

A term used to describe the number of individual broadband customers connecting to a single internet node at the local public exchange. High contentions ratios will cause vast speed differences depending on time of day and number local users on line.

Download Limit

The monthly limit (usually in GB) imposed by your internet service provider. A fee per GB is usually charged if you exceed this limit.


Units of computer storage. There are 1024 Megabytes (MB) in one Gigabyte (GB).

Mbps & Gbps

Units of data transfer. There are 1024 mega-bits-per-second (Mbps) in one Giga-bit-per-second (Gbps). There are 8 bits in a byte, therefore a 8 Mbps (mega-bits-per-second) connection will in theory give you a maximum download speed of 1 MBps (mega-bytes-per-second).


3G refers to the third generation of mobile telephony technology which wishes to unify the world's mobile computing devices through a single, worldwide radio transmission standard.


4G stands for fourth generation mobile technology, superseding 3G and allowing for even higher download/upload speeds for data, further expanding on the advantages of 3G. 4G allows more reliable bandwidth for applications such as video and streaming video on mobile devices.


A phone line that has a traditional telephone connection (not mobile).