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A 10 Megabit per second system based on "Thin Coax", or 2 mm 50W coaxial cable.

A 10 Megabit per second system based on Twisted pair cabling. Also 100BaseT (100MBps).

A 100 Megabit per second system based on optical fiber cabling.

A LAN unit or device powered by current. Also, a terminator that can compensate for variations in the terminator power supplied by the host adapter, through a built in regulator.

Attenuation to Crosstalk Ratio. The difference between attenuation and crosstalk, measured in dB, at a given frequency. Higher ACR values ensure that the signal transmitted down a twisted pair is stronger at the receiving end than any crosstalk interference signals.

A mechanical media termination device designed to align and join optical fiber connectors; often referred to as a coupling or interconnect sleeve.

A communications format that uses continuous physical variables such as voltage amplitude or frequency variations to transmit information.

Aramid Yarn
Strength elements that provide cable tensile strength, support, and additional protection of the optical fiber bundles. KevlarO is a particular brand of aramid yarn.

Additional protective element beneath the cable outer jacket used to provide protection against severe outdoor environments and gnawing rodents. Usually made of plastic-coated steel, it may be corrugated for flexibility.

Data transmission type which allows characters to be sent at irregular intervals, requiring a start bit and a stop bit to surround the data in question.

Asynchronous Transfer Mode. A network communications protocol standard with scalable bandwidth designed for multimedia transmission. A digital signaling transmission containing a 5 byte header immediately followed by 48 bytes of data.

The decrease in magnitude of signal power transmitted between points; a term used for expressing the total loss of an optical system, normally measured in decibels (dB) at a specific wavelength.

Attenuation Coefficient
The rate of optical power loss with respect to distance along the fiber, usually measured in decibels per kilometer (dB/km) at a specific wavelength; the lower the number, the better the fiber's attenuation. Typical multimode wavelengths are 850 and 1300 nanometers (nm); singlemode wavelengths are 1310 and 1550 nm.
Note: When specifying attenuation, it is important to note whether- the value is average, nominal, or maximum.

Attachment User Interface. Typically a 15 pin D-Sub connector in an Ethernet system.

American Wire Gauge. A standard for determining the size of a metal wire. As the AWG number gets larger, the diameter of the wire gets smaller.

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Backbone Cabling
The portion of premises telecommunications cabling that provides connections between telecommunications closets, equipment rooms, and entrance facilities. The backbone cabling consists of the transmission media (optical fiber cable), main and intermediate cross-connects, and terminations for the horizontal cross-connect, equipment rooms, and entrance facilities. The backbone cabling can further be classified as interbuilding backbone (cabling between buildings), or intrabuilding backbone (cabling within a building).

The data carrying capacity of a system. The higher the bandwidth value, the greater the capacity of the cable or system to carry data traffic. Measured in MegaHertz (MHz). For bulk cable, bandwidth is dependent on the length of the cable in question. The total bandwidth for a fixed length of cable is determined by dividing the value for the cable (MHz-km) by the length in km.

Bandwidth-Distance Product
The information-carrying capacity of a transmission medium is normally referred to in units of MHz-km. This is called the bandwidth-distance product or, more commonly, bandwidth. The amount of information that can be transmitted over any medium changes according to distance. The relationship is not linear, however. A 500 MHz-Km fiber does not translate to 250 MHz for a 2 kilometer length or 1000 MHz for a 0.5 kilometer length. It is important, therefore, when comparing media, to ensure that the same units of distance are being used.

A method of transmission in which data from different users is combined in a serial stream.

Bayonet Naval Connector. Used with thin coaxial cable for 10Base2 Ethernet networks.

Bend Radius (Minimum)
The smallest bend that may be put into a cable under stress without damage to the cable or impact on the transmission of a signal through it.

A logical system in which only "On" and "Off" states are used to determine condition.

In a binary system, the smallest unit of information.

An active device permitting communication between LAN's using similar data protocols.

Denotes transmission facilities capable of handling a wide range of frequencies simultaneously, thus permitting multiple channels in data systems, rather than direct modulation.

(1) A protective material extruded on the fiber coating to protect it from the environment (also known as tight-buffered); (2) extruding a tube around colored fiber to allow isolation of the fiber from stresses in the cable (also known as buffer tubes).

Buffer Tubes
Extruded cylindrical tubes used for protection and isolation of optical fiber(s). See Loose Tube.

Many individual fibers contained within a single jacket or buffer tube. Also, a group of buffered fibers distinguished in some fashion from another group in the same cable core, such as with colored binder threads.

Eight "bits" of digital code.

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Optical fibers and other material(s) assembled to provide mechanical and environmental protection for the fibers.

Cable Assembly
Optical fiber cable with connectors installed on one or both ends. Cable assemblies are generally used for interconnection of optical fiber cable systems and opto-electronic equipment. If connectors are attached to only one end of a cable, it is known as a pigtail. If connectors are attached to both ends of a low fiber count cable, it is known as a jumper or patch cord.

Cable Bend Radius
Cable bend radius during installation is the smallest radius bend for a cable experiencing a tensile load. Cable bend radius installed is the smallest diameter bend for a cable that is under no tensile load.

Copper Distributed Data Interface. Governed by the ANSI X3T9.5 standard for 100MBps over UTP. A registered trademark of CISCO.

Central Member
The center component of a stranded loose tube cable. It serves as an anti-buckling element to resist temperature-induced stresses. The central member material is either steel, fiberglass, or glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).

Centralized Cabling
A cabling topology used with centralized electronics connecting the optical horizontal cabling with intrabuilding backbone cabling passively in the telecommunications closet.

Chromatic Dispersion
The spreading of a light pulse as it travels along an optical media, caused by the different rates at which different wavelengths travel through the media. The sum of waveguide and material dispersion, as chromatic dispersion increases, bandwidth decreases.

A layer of material, usually glass, surrounding the core of an optical fiber. Cladding has a lower refractive index than the glass in the core to keep the light inside the core.

A method of breaking an optical fiber to produce a clean, flat surface free of defects or flaws prior to splicing the fiber to another cleaved surface.

A material applied to a fiber during the manufacturing process to protect it from the environment and handling.

Coaxial Cable
Cable with a central conductor surrounded by dielectric and then a tube shaped outer conductor, which also acts as a shield.

Composite Cable
A cable containing both fiber and copper media.

Plastic or metal pipe or tubing used to protect cables, typically underground.

Connecting Hardware
A device used to terminate an optical fiber cable with connectors and adapters providing an administration point for cross-connecting between cabling segments or interconnecting to electronic equipment.

A mechanical device used to align and join two fibers together to provide a means for attaching to and decoupling from a transmitter, receiver, or another fiber. Commonly used connectors include the MT-RJ, LC, MU, 568SC (Duplex SC), STO compatible, FDDI, ESCONO, or FC.

Connector Panel
A panel insert designed for use with patch panel housings. Connector panels often contain pre-installed adapters.

Connector Module
A connector panel with a pre-installed cable assembly on the back plane which can be spliced to backbone cable fibers (designed for use with patch panels).

The central glass of an optical fiber that carries a light signal. It has a higher refractive index than the cladding. Typical core sizes are 140 or 50 or 62.5 microns (Multimode), and 9 microns (Singlemode).

See Adapter
Critical Angle
The angle at which light undergoes total internal reflection. At lower angles, light is refracted from the core into the cladding and is lost.

Unwanted signals transferred from a transmitting pair to an adjacent pair in a multipair cable. Crosstalk only occurs in metal based cable; fiber optic cables are immune.

Cutoff Wavelength
The longest wavelength at which a single mode fiber can transmit two modes. At shorter wavelengths, the fiber will not act as a single mode fiber.

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Data Circuit-terminating Equipment. The designation given to equipment such as a modem.

Data Center
A collection of mainframe data storage or processing equipment at a single site.

Decibel (dB)
One tenth of a Bel. A unit of measure used to express the gain or loss in power of a signal relative to its original power level. This is a logarithmic comparison.

A material used in a cable to insulate one conductor from another or from a shield. Dielectric materials are non-conductive, but allow electromagnetic forces to pass through them.

A transmission signal that is sent as an electrical signal in discrete voltage pulses, represented in binary as 0 or 1.

The broadening of light pulses along a length of the fiber. Two major types are (1) modal dispersion caused by different optical path lengths in a multimode fiber; (2) chromatic dispersion which is the sum of material dispersion and waveguide dispersion in singlemode fiber. Material dispersion is pulse spread caused by different index of refraction for light of various wavelengths of light in a waveguide material. Waveguide dispersion is caused by light traveling at different speeds in the core and cladding of singlemode fibers.

Dispersion Shifted
In singlemode fiber, optical fiber that has its zero-dispersion point shifted to 1550 nm instead of the regular 1310 nm in step index designs.

Data Terminal Equipment. The RS232-C standard referring to equipment that transmits data on pin 2, and receives data on pin 3. This typically applies to printers, PC's and terminals.
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Electro Magnetic Interference. Noise generated in electrical conductors when they come under the influence of unwanted electromagnetic fields, inducing currents in those conductors.

Entrance Facility
An entrance to a building for both public and private network service cables including the entrance point at the building wall and continuing to the entrance room or space.

Equipment Room
A centralized space for telecommunications equipment that serves the occupants of a building. An equipment room is considered distinct from a telecommunications closet because of the nature or complexity of the equipment.

Enterprise Systems CONnection. A 200 Mbps optical fiber transmission architecture using a unique, highly reliable duplex connector system. Used primarily in mission critical mainframe processing and storage applications. A registered trademark of IBM.

An IEEE network protocol standard for a 10 Mbps local area network. Also see Fast Ethernetand Gigabit Ethernet.
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Fast Ethernet
An Ethernet LAN operating at 100 Mbps.

Fiber Distributed Data Interface. A 100 Mbps optical fiber standard for LAN's. Also, the duplex fiber connector used for this application, MIC.

The part of an optical fiber connector with a central hole that is used to contain and align the optical fiber. Typically zirconia ceramic, stainless steel, and occasionally polymer or plastic.

Far End CrossTalk. Crosstalk measured by applying a signal to one pair in a multipair cable and measuring the signal transfer on disturbed adjacent pairs at the other end.

Thin filament of glass; an optical waveguide consisting of a core and a cladding that is capable of carrying information in the form of light.

Fiber Optics
Light transmission through optical fibers for the purpose of communication or signaling.

Fiber Optic Test Procedures; defined in TIA/EIA Publication Series 455.

The number of times a periodic action occurs in a unit of time. The number of alterations (cycles or Hertz) completed by an alternating current in one second.

Fresnel Reflection Losses
Reflection losses that are incurred at the input and output of optical fibers due to the differences in refraction index between the core glass and immersion medium.

Foil shielded Twisted Pair cable.

Full Duplex
A connectivity system allowing signal transmission in either direction at the same time.

The actual operation of joining fibers together by fusion or by melting.

Fusion Splice
A permanent joint produced by the application of localized heat sufficient to fuse the ends of two optical fibers, forming a continuous single light path.
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Gigabit Ethernet
An Ethernet LAN operating at 1000 Mbps.

Gigahertz (GHz)
A unit of frequency that is equal to one billion cycles per second, 109

Graded Index
An optical fiber core in which the refractive index of the glass gradually decreases as it approaches the cladding, to refract the light back into the center of the core. This reduces modal dispersion and increases bandwidth.

An electrical connection to the earth.
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Half Duplex
A connectivity system allowing signal transmission in either direction but not at the same time.

Consists of the elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine. Harmful to breathe.

One cycle per second. A unit of frequency.

Horizontal Cabling
That portion of the telecommunications cabling that provides connectivity between the horizontal cross-connect and the work-area telecommunications outlet. The horizontal cabling consists of transmission media, the outlet, the terminations of the horizontal cables, and horizontal cross-connect.

Horizontal Cross-Connect (HC)
A cross-connect of horizontal cabling to other cabling, e.g., horizontal, backbone, equipment.

High Speed Serial Interface. A spin-off of SCSI.

Point in a network at which multiple circuits are connected together.
aHybrid Cable
Cable consisting of a mix of media types, such as singlemode and multimode fiber, under a single jacket.
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Insulation Displacement Contact. A type of wire terminating system in which an insulated wire is pushed between two blades, cutting through the insulation and making contact with the wire.

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. This body issues standards. ANSI members.

Opposition that a circuit offers to the flow of current at a particular frequency.

Index-Matching Gel
A gel with an index of refraction close to that of the optical fiber used to reduce reflections caused by refractive-index differences between glass and air.

Index of Refraction
The ratio of light velocity in a vacuum to its velocity in a given transmission medium.

Insertion Loss
Loss caused by inclusion of a splice or connector in a cabling system.

Material that does not conduct electricity and is suitable for surrounding conductors.

Interbuilding Backbone
The portion of the backbone cabling between buildings. See Backbone Cabling.

Intermediate Cross-Connect (IC)
A secondary cross-connect in the backbone cabling used to mechanically terminate and administer backbone cabling between the main cross-connect and horizontal cross-connect.

Intrabuilding Backbone
The portion of the backbone cabling within a building. See Backbone Cabling.
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Optical fiber cable that has connectors installed on both ends. See Cable Assembly.
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Strong fibrous synthetic material that does not stretch. Used in bulletproof vests, and fiber optic cables to prevent damage to the glass fibers from tension and crushing. A trademark of Dupont., See Aramid Yarn.

Unit of measure of tensile strength. Thousands of pounds per square inch. 100 KPsi is the recognized standard of optical glass strength when submitted to proof testing.

Kilometer (km)
One thousand meters, or approximately 3,281 feet. The kilometer is a standard unit of length measurement in fiber optics. Conversion is 1 ft. = 0.3048 m.
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See Local Area Network.

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A device generating coherent directional light in a narrow range of wavelengths, typically centered around 780 nm, 1310 nm, or 1550 nm. See VCSEL.

Light Emitting Diode. Semiconductor diode used for light emission in optical fiber systems. LED's produce light with a more broad range of wavelengths than a laser, and thus are more susceptible to loss and attenuation. Used only for multimode applications.

A telecommunications circuit between any two telecommunications devices, not including the equipment connector.

Local Area Network (LAN)
A geographically limited communications network intended for the local transport of voice, data, and video; often referred to as a customer premises network.

Loose Tube
Cable design in which multiple optical fibers without a "tight buffer" protective layer are packaged together in a single protective tube filled with gel to block water migration.

Low Smoke Zero Halogen. A European rating for cable jacket flammability characteristics. AlsoLSFROH.

Drop in signal strength between two points in a network. See Attenuation.

Loss Budget
Accounting for all loss or attenuation in an optical fiber system between a transmission point and the designated receiving point.
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Large bends in optical fiber allowing loss of light.

Main Cross-Connect (MC)
The centralized portion of the backbone cabling used to mechanically terminate and administer the backbone cabling, providing connectivity between equipment rooms, entrance facilities, horizontal cross-connects, and intermediate cross-connects.

Multi Station Access Unit. This is a concentrator used to form a star-wired ring topology.

One Million bits per second of data transmitted.

Medium Density Polyethylene; a type of plastic material used to make cable jacketing.

Mechanical Splice
A connector which joins two cleaved optical fibers by physically holding their ends together.

Megahertz (MHz)
A unit of frequency that is equal to one million cycles per second.

Media Interface Connection. See FDDI.

Micrometer (um)
One millionth of a meter; 10-6 meter; typically used to express the geometric dimension of fibers, e.g., 62.5 um.

Tiny bends or kinks in an optical fiber allowing loss of light.

Modal Dispersion
Dispersion caused by differences in times needed for various light modes to travel through a multimode optical fiber.

The path taken by a light wave through a multimode optical fiber.

Mode Field Diameter
The diameter of the one mode of light propagating in a singlemode fiber. The mode field diameter replaces core diameter as the practical parameter in singlemode fiber.

Coding of information onto the carrier frequency. This includes amplitude, frequency, or phase modulation techniques.

Multifiber Push-On connector.

Multifiber Cable
An optical fiber cable that contains two or more fibers.

Consisting of multiple modes of light, as from an LED. Or, the system of transmitting the same.

Multimode Fiber
An optical waveguide in which light travels in multiple modes. Typical core/cladding sizes (measured in micrometers) are 62.5/125 and 50/125.

A device used to combine two or more signals for transmission along a single channel.

Multiuser Outlet
A telecommunications outlet used to serve more than one work area, typically used in open-systems furniture applications.
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National Electrical CodeR (NECR)
An advisory document published by the NFPA and which includes building flammability requirements for indoor cables. Note: Local codes take precedence but may refer to or require compliance to the NEC.

Nanometer (nm)
A unit of measurement equal to one billionth of a meter; 10-9 meters; typically used to express the wavelength of light, e.g., 1300 nm.

Near End CrossTalk. Crosstalk measured by applying a signal to one pair in a multipair cable and measuring the signal transfer on disturbed adjacent pairs at the same end.

Numerical Aperture
The ability of an optical fiber to gather light. The sine of half the maximum angle at which light will be accepted and propagated through the fiber, multiplied by the refractive index of the core.

Nominal Velocity of Propagation. See Velocity of Propagation.
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Optical Fiber Non-conductive Plenum rated. See Plenum Cable.

Optical Fiber Non-conductive Riser rated. See Riser Cable.

Optical Fiber
A dielectric filament, commonly made of glass or plastic, used to transmit light. See Fiber.

Optical Time Domain Reflectometer. This device measures transmission properties by sending a pulse of light down an optical fiber and observing backscattered light with respect to time. 
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Commonly, a twisted pair of conductive wires from a signal pair. The data and data-naught (Tx+/ Tx- or Rx+/Rx-) signals are paired to reduce crosstalk from conflicting fields.

A LAN unit or device not powered by current.

Patch Cord
A length of copper cable or fiber cable with connectors at each end to join circuits at a cross connect or patch panel level. Typically, a 2 fiber optical cable or a copper cable up to 4 pairs.

Patch Panel
A point at the cross connect which serves to implement administration of wiring changes, moves, or add-ons.

Polyethylene; a type of plastic material used for outside plant cable jackets.

Optical fiber cable that has connector terminated on one end only.
PIN Diode
A semiconductor device used to convert optical signals to electrical signals in a receiver.

Plenum Cable
Cable whose jacket is made of fire retardant material that generates little smoke and meets code requirements for installation in air spaces without the need for conduit or raceway. The standard for testing to the plenum level is UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 910.

A connection established between two specific locations such as between two buildings.

A low current electric arc used to clean the fiber end prior to fusion splicing.

Propagation Delay
The time required for a signal to pass from one point in a circuit to another through a defined transmission channel or media.

Power Sum Near End CrossTalk. Power Sum crosstalk is the summation of all the elements of interference in a cable or wiring circuit upon a single signal pair. This stringent test differs from NEXT in that all pairs except for the one under test are agitated, and the impact on the pair under test measured. See NEXT.

PolyVinyl Chloride. Also SR-PVC (Semi-Rigid PVC). A general purpose thermoplastic used for conductor insulation as well as jacket material of many Riser and LSZH rated cables.
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An electronic package that converts optical signals to electrical signals.

Reflectance is the ratio of reflected power to incident power at a connector junction or other component or device, usually measured in decibels and typically stated as a negative value, e.g., -30 dB. The terms return loss, back reflection, and reflectivity are also used synonymously to describe device reflections, but are stated as positive values.

Refractive Index
The ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a given material. Symbol: n

A device that receives, amplifies, and re-transmits a weak or attenuated signal to allow an increase in the system length.

The opposition a material offers to current flow, measured in Ohms (W). It results in the dissipation of power and heat. Resistance values for AC and DC power travelling through the same media are not identical.

Restricted Mode Launch (RML)
A test method for measuring the laser bandwidth of multimode fibers; detailed in TIA/EIA-455-204 (FOTP-204).

Return Loss
See Reflectance.

Radio Frequency Interference.

Relative Humidity.

Ring Topology
A LAN configured such that nodes are connected in a loop or circle.

A strong cord placed under the jacket of a cable to aid in removal of a long length of jacket.

Riser Cable
Cable used in pathways for indoor cables that pass between floors. The standard for testing to the riser level is UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 1666.
A device in a large network that detects the destination of a signal and selects the best route for transporting it to that destination. Routers support multiple signaling protocols. 
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The loss of signal power (light) from the fiber core caused by impurities or changes in the index of refraction of the fiber.

Small Computer System Interface. An intelligent parallel bus signal transmission system for sending data between a variety of devices. Implementations include Fast, Wide, Fast Wide, Fast-20, and Fast-40 SCSI. Based on a 50 pin Centronics type connector.

The second generation of SCSI, this introduced Fast and Wide SCSI. Based on a 50 pin high density D-subminiature interface connector typically mated using latches.

The third generation of SCSI, this introduced Fast-20 and Fast-40 improvements to the parallel bus. Based on a 68 pin high density D-subminiature interface connector typically mated using 2-56 threaded screws. This standard also introduced high-speed serial bus architectures such as SSA, Fiber Channel, and IEEE 1394.

Computer on a LAN that runs network software and provides communications and applications services for the entire network.

Foil shielded Twisted Pair cable with an additional Shielding layer of tinned copper braiding.

Typically a spring loaded flap or flange that prevents dust contamination of an outlet when a cable is not plugged into that outlet.

A metallic layer placed around a conductor or group of conductors to prevent EMI/RFI interference between the enclosed wires and any external fields or influences.

A connectivity system allowing signal transmission in one direction only at all times.

Singlemode Fiber
An optical waveguide (or fiber) in which the signal travels in only one mode. The fiber has a small mode field diameter, typically around 9 um.

The delay between the fastest and slowest pairs of a multipair copper cable or a multifiber optical cable. The velocity of propagation of individual fibers or copper pairs will vary due to construction (twist lengths), material quality, or varying insulation materials. See NVP.

Splice Closure
A container used to house cable splice points and organize and protect splice trays; typically used in outside plant environments.

Splice Tray
A container used to secure, organize, and protect spliced fibers.

Joining of bare fiber ends to one another. See Fusion Spliceand Mechanical Splicing.

Serial Storage Architecture. A high speed full duplex transmission system based on implementing only 4 wires, used with a 9 pin micro D-subminiature (MDSM) interface.

Star Topology
A LAN configured such that all nodes are connected individually to one common point or hub.

Shielded Twisted Pairs. See FTP and S-FTP.

Wire made up of multiple filaments to form a single conductor.

A data transmission system with regular time intervals between successive characters or bits.
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Telecommunications Closet (TC)
An enclosed space for housing telecommunications equipment, cable terminations, and cross-connects. The TC is the recognized cross-connect between the backbone and horizontal cabling.

An electrical circuit connected to the end of a signal bus to minimize signal reflections.

Telecommunications Industries Association. A standards creating body that works through EIA.
Tight Buffer
A thermoplastic extruded directly over a coated glass fiber. Typically used in indoor designs.

Tight-Buffered Cable
Type of cable construction in which each glass fiber is tightly buffered by a protective thermoplastic coating to a diameter of 900 micrometers, providing ease of handling and connectorization.

Total Internal Reflection
Reflection of light back into a material after reaching an interface with a material of a lower refractive index. This occurs at the core / cladding interface in an optical fiber.

An electronic device used to convert an electrical information signal to a corresponding optical signal for transmission by fiber. Transmitters are typically Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), VCSELs, or Laser Diodes.

A multifiber cable used to connect mainframe computers in a data center environment. Also, a twisted pair copper backbone of 25 pairs or more, for data or voice transmission.

Twisted Pair
Two wires twisted together along their length to reduce susceptibility to interference.
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Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Unshielded Twisted Pair cable
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Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser. These "low cost" lasers operate primarily in the 850nm optical window wavelength.

Velocity of Propagation
The transmission speed of energy in a length of cable compared to its speed in free space.

Very High Density Connector Interface. Sometimes called SCSI 4 or SFF (Small Form Factor) SCSI, a 68 position connector based on leaf style contacts with 0.8 mm spacing.
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Wide Area Network. A data network designed to serve a large geographic region.

Distance traveled by an electromagnetic wave in the time it takes to oscillate through one cycle.

Work-Area Telecommunications Outlet
A connecting device located in a work area and at which the horizontal cabling terminates to provide connectivity for work-area patch cords.
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Zero-dispersion Wavelength
In singlemode fiber, the wavelength at which net chromatic dispersion is nominally zero, arising when waveguide dispersion cancels out material dispersion in an optical fiber

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