Third-generation mobile networks, providing voice and data capacity at speeds above 128 kilobits per second.
3rd Generation Partnership Project: a collaboration between telecommunications associations to make a globally applicable 3G mobile phone system specification within the scope of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line: technology for sending data over copper telephone wires, using asymmetrical speeds: higher download and slow uploading speed.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 2+: a later higher speed variant of ADSL.
Agencija za komunikacijska omrežja in storitve Republike Slovenije/Communications Networks and Services Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenian regulator.
Autorité de régulation des communications electroniques et des postes, the French regulator.
Assured Service Quality.
British Broadcasting Corporation: a publicly owned and publicly financed broadcaster (see PSB).
Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications: regulatory body set up to help implement 2009 European telecoms laws.
Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group.
Broadband Stakeholders Group.
British Telecom: UK incumbent.
content, applications or services.
Competition Appeal Tribunal (UK).
Content Delivery Network: a means of caching content closer to the end user’s IAP.
Council of Europe: socio-cultural organisation established in 1948, currently with 47 members. See also ECHR.
Calling Party Pays.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission: the converged federal regulator of broadcasting and telecoms for federal Canada.
US Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998: a statute which obliges ISPs to take down material whenever they are notified of copyright infringement, under the Notice and Take Down (NTD) procedure.
Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification: the third generation of these cable broadband data standards.
Denial of Service.
Deep Packet Inspection: means by which IAPs can read into the packets of data they carry to analyse the contents as well as the header, in order to prioritise, deprioritise or even block the packets.
Digital Subscriber Line.
End to End: design principle governing Internet architecture.
European Commission: executive body of the EU, responsible for developing and implementing the acquis communautaire, the body of EU law.
Electronic Commerce Directive, 2000/31/EC, which limits ISPs liability for packets they host or carry over their networks without knowledge of the content.
European Convention on Human Rights, more formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in 1950 by Member States of the Council of Europe.
Electronic Communications Service Provider.
European Data Protection Supervisor.
European Digital Rights Initiative, a non-profit lobbying group on behalf of national privacy and Internet rights groups across Europe.
European Economic Area.
European Free Trade Association.
European Internet Science.
European Regulators Group: advisory body set up by the 2002 regulatory framework for European telecoms, the grouping of the Member State NRAs.
European Telecommunications Network Operators: association of predominantly incumbent network owners.
European Union, as established in the Treaty of Maastricht 1992 and formerly the European Economic Community (EEC).
Council of Ministers of EU Member States, responsible for proposing legislation to the European Parliament.
1000 Petabytes (1 million Terabytes or 1 billion Gigabytes).
Federal Communications Commission: the converged broadcast and telecoms regulator for the US at federal level.
fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, where a monopoly provider of facilities (whether patents and other intellectual property or physical goods) provides access to its competitors.
France Telecom: domestic incumbent in France, also owner of Orange mobile networks and formerly branded as Wanadoo IAP internationally.
fibre to the home: high-speed Ethernet-ready transmission wire offered as FTTH (home), FTTP (premises) and FTTC (cabinet – street furniture for telecoms normally available to each neighbourhood, therefore more local than the exchange), FTTrN (to remote nodes), FTTB (to building or basement) varieties.
Gigabyte (1024 megabytes).
Gigabit per second (1/8th of a Gigabyte per second, or 128 Mbps).
Government Communications Headquarters.
Global System for Mobile Communication, also known as 2G: second-generation mobile telephony.
Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet (High Authority for the Diffusion of Works and Protection of (Copy)Rights on the Internet): an agency established under the 2009 French Law against copyright infringement, more formerly known as the loi favorisant la diffusion et la protection de la création sur Internet.
high definition television.
Internet Access Provider: company providing access to the Internet for consumers and businesses. The largest in most Member States is the incumbent telecommunications provider. Mobile networks are also IAPs.
Internet Access Service.
Interception of Communications Commissioner.
Information Commissioner’s Office.
information communication technology.
Internet Engineering Task Force: a self-regulating technical standards body.
Internet Governance Forum: United Nations multi-stakeholder discussion forum initially held in Athens 2006, and to be held annually for at least four years thereafter.
Internet of Things.
Internet Protocol Television: video programming delivered over IP networks rather than broadcast (cable, terrestrial and satellite) networks.
Independent Regulators Group
Internet Service Provider
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
International Telecommunications Union: United Nations body established to coordinate global telecommunications, successor to International Telegraph Union founded in 1865.
Internet Watch Foundation: UK ‘hotline’ for illegal content reporting, established 1996.
Kilobits per second.
Local Loop Unbundling: the regulated process whereby competitors can access the incumbent telecommunications provider’s connections from telephone exchanges to the customer premises, using regulated access prices and conditions.
Long Term Evolution.
monthly active user.
Megabyte (1024 kilobytes).
Megabits per second.
State Member State of the EU: 28 in total as at 2016.
Member of the European Parliament.
mobile network operator.
Multiprotocol Label Switching: a standard set for NGNs.
multi-stakeholder governance: the process by which civil society groups are included in regulatory discussions with governments and corporate interests.
Next Generation Access: the use of new technologies (such as FTTx) to offer high-speed connections between the subscriber’s premises and the main NGN.
Next Generation Networks: all-Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
National Regulatory Authority: in reference to independent national bodies established under national law in the Member States of the European Union, which implement the European communications framework. NRA can also be used to refer generically to any national authority, such as the Canadian CRTC or US FCC.
Notice and Take Down: regime by which ISPs can avoid liability for potentially damaging content by removing such content on receipt of notice from a third party.
Organisation for Ecomic Cooperation and Development: a ‘think-tank’ for developed nations, with 30 national members. Membership is limited by commitment to a market economy and a pluralistic democracy. Formed in 1961 and grew out of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), established in 1947.
Office of Communications Regulation: UK converged regulator of broadcasting and telecoms, established in 2002 and operational from December 2003.
The FCC Open Internet Advisory Committee.
peer-to-peer: usually used in reference to file sharing amongst many peers, an efficient form of many-to-many information sharing as compared to a broadcast model using a central server. P2P is the method of distribution used by Skype, BitTorrent and many other information-sharing programmes.
provider of electronic communications to the public.
1000 Terabytes (1 million Gigabytes).
Providers of Internet Access Service.
Public service broadcaster, granted special licensing conditions ostensibly in exchange for educational and news programming. Members of European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Quality of Service: protocols and standards designed to offer guaranteed QoS have been mooted for many years, but none has yet been successfully marketed on the public Internet.
Radio Frequency Identification.
Reference Interconnection Offer.
Receiving Party Pays.
transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate.
Software Defined Network.
significant market power: measure of dominance in European competition law, with a specific application to telecoms law.
Transmission Control Protocol.
telecommunications provider: the term normally used for incumbent former national monopoly providers. There are also ‘competitive telcos’ – all other providers of switched telecommunications services except the national incumbent.
1000 Gigabtyes (1 million Megabytes).
Traffic Management Practices.
User Datagram Protocol.
ultra-high definition video streaming and downloading.
Universal Service Obligation: for European consumers the right to a 33 Kbps telephone line. The USO will be upgraded as broadband network speeds increase.
very high bit rate digital subscriber line.
Voice over Internet Protocol: technology to digitise sound in packets sent over the Internet. Its primary advantage is that distance does not affect the cost of the call between two VoIP-enabled phones (or PCs attached to the phone or a data system).
Virtual Private Network.
WWW Consortium, a self-regulatory organisation.
social networking applications using blogs, podcasts, wikis, social networking websites, search engines, auction websites, games, VoIP and P2P services. These services, which are based in part on the Ajax mark-up language, makes user-generated and distributed content central to consumers’ internet experiences.
standard for WLAN designed to Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.11a/b/g specification.
Wissenschaftliches Institut für Kommunikationsdienste GmbH: a telecoms economics research institute based in Bonn, well known for its work on behalf of the EC, German regulators and DT and its subsidiaries, and many other clients.
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access: a broadband wireless technology.
Wireless Local Area Networks, which often use the Wifi technology standards.
The World Wide Web: a set of standards including those for graphical user interfaces using hypertext mark-up languages for displaying Internet information, invented by Tim Berners-Lee, now standardised by the World Wide Web Consortium.
1000 Exabytes: ameasure of annual network traffic.