Automated Meter Reading - collection and transmission of meter readings
and other data back to and from the Utility Network Operations Center
(NOC), using Power Line Communications or other means of communication
(see more in Broadband AMR).
The top level of a hierarchical communication network; the central connection;
the main data lines along which data is transferred. It is the portion
of a network that connects servers with others. Smaller networks are attached
to the backbone. A backbone can span a geographic area of any size, from
a single building to an entire campus - or even an entire country.
Unit of measurement that describes the volume of information being sent
through a connection. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second
Bluetooth is a technology that allows wireless communication within a
range of about 30 feet. Instead of connecting your computer and printer
or your PDA and cell phone by wires you bring them into proximity to share,
synchronize, or print information.
An analog-to-digital modulation device that uses BPL technology to transmit
broadband communication over powerlines. One end plugs into a standard,
wall-mounted power outlet socket, and the other to a computer's network
A bridge is a device that connects two similar networks together to increase
the distance or number of devices a given type of network can handle.
A band of frequencies used to transmit voice, data, or video signals simultaneously.
Use of broadband allows more information to be transmitted at the same
time. Broadband is like multi-lane highway.
over Powerline (BPL)
A technology that uses wide band frequencies to transmit data over Utility
power lines. BPL operates by modulating high-frequency radio waves with
the digital signals from the Internet. The radio waves are then fed into
the Utility grid at certain points, traveling along the power lines and
passing through the Utility transformers to subscribers' homes and businesses.
To receive broadband communication services, a subscriber installs a modem
that plugs into a standard power outlet socket. In addition, BPL technology
is used for broadband AMR, to enable the utilization of multiple Smart
Grid applications in parallel.
A hardware connection between two
or more PCs that forms a closed network or internal network for sharing
data and processing tasks among connected PCs.
A system that transmits any combination of voice, video and/or data between
computers such as an ethernet
network. The network includes the network operating system in the client
and server machines, the cables connecting them
and all supporting hardware in between such as bridges, routers
and switches. In wireless systems,
antennas and towers are also part of the network. Also see
The desirable or undesirable transfer
of energy from one medium (such as, metallic wire) to another medium (such
as, fiber optic). Alternatively, the transfer of power from one circuit
segment to another. In BPL technology, the term coupling refers to the
transfer of communication signals onto a medium-voltage power line without
directly connecting to the line, using inductive or capacitive couplers.
Wiring that is installed specifically
for communications. It includes twisted pair wiring used for Ethernet
networks, coax wiring used for cable TV, etc.
Subscriber Line (DSL)
A technology for bringing high-bandwidth
information to homes and small business over ordinary copper telephone
a general term referring to a class
of technology that lets electric utilities monitor and remotely control
their power distribution networks with two-way computer networking and
computerized data handling.
Coaxial cable used to network computers. The cable carries radio frequency
signals between the computers at a rate of 10 megabits per second. Faster
versions of Ethernet are becoming more widely available.
Existing wiring includes telephone
wires, coax cabling and power line wiring already in most homes today.
A generic term used for both plastic
and glass fiber optic cables.There are numerous types of fiber cables
with varying characteristics.Fiber optic cabling is used for high-speed
communications in many areas w/ very high-speed communications requirements.
A firewall is a set of related programs
located at a network gateway server that protects the resources of a private
network from users from other networks. (The term also implies the security
policy that is used with the programs.)
In a communications network, a network
node used for interfacing with another network that uses different protocols.
A gateway may contain devices such as protocol translators, impedance
matching devices, rate converters, fault isolators, or signal translators,
as necessary to provide system interoperability. In addition, a gateway
requires the establishment of mutually-acceptable administrative procedures
between the two networks.
This is a new home networking standard
for transmitting 1 Gigabit/second data a total distance of 100 meters
using CAT 5 twisted pair cable.In contrast to 10BaseT uses all four pairs
each operating at 250 Mbps to achieve its high speed.
Systems that provide convenient,
centralized access, usually via keypad or PC, to various controls and
appliances within a home. Home automation systems allow for the remote
control of such thinks as: lightning, thermostats, locks, pet care, pools
andspas, lawn watering, blinds and curtains, multi-media (A/V) systems,
An area in which an access point
provides public wireless broadband network services to users, through
a wireless LAN or Wi-Fi.
A home network interconnects electronic
products/systems,enabling remote access to and control of those products/systems,
and any available content such as music, video or data.
a home networking standard for an emerging market that allows people to
connect their electronic devices together, so they can share Internet
access, play video games, and enjoy music throughout the house.
device used to connects multiple computers.
Most commonly know as "WiFi,"
802.11b is a wireless local-area networking standard. Many PC and networked
home entertainment devices use 802.11b, which is capable of speeds up
Offering speeds up to 54 Mbps, 802.11g
is a wireless local-area networking standard that is also backward-compatible
with 802.11b devices.
The ability of a system or a product to work with other systems or products
without special effort on the part of the customer.
acts as a router to direct the flow of digital signals throughout a building.
Abbreviation for Internet Service Provider. Internet service can be provided
through the phone line, cable and power line.
The speed of data transmission measured as the number of thousands of
data bits per second.
Short for Local Area Network. LANs connect computers in a home, office
or building. Each computer in a LAN can run its own programs, as well
as access data on other computers on the LAN. The computers can also share
printer and allow users on the LAN to communicate with each other, by
sending e-mail or engaging in chat sessions.
Area Network (LAN)
A term used for any telecommunications technology that carries signals
along the short distance between the main public telecommunications network,
and the home or business premises (i.e., the infrastructure at the neighborhood
level, or local loop). The actual distance of the "Last Mile"
A network of personal computers
and peripheral devices configured to share information over a short distance,
usually within one home or building.
The speed of data transmission measured as the number of millions
of data bits per second.
An interface for remote-readable electricity meters.
Per Second (Mbps)
Mbps stands for millions of bits per second of megabits per second and
it a measure of bandwidth (the total information flow over a given time)
on a telecommunications medium.
As a measure of computer processor storage and real virtual memory, a
megabyte (abbreviated MB) is 2 to the 20th power byte, or 1,048,576 bytes
in decimal notation.
MHz is a unit of alternating current (AC) or electromagnetic (EM) wave
frequency equal to one million hertz (1,000,000 Hz) and is commonly used
to express microprocessor clock speed.The unit is occasionally used in
measurements or statements of bandwidth
A network configuration where data is routed between nodes (devices) on
the network. This node-to-node connection offers improved reliability
and expanded range compared to other network configurations.
Short for modulate/demodulate, a modem modulates outgoing digital signals
from a computer or other digital device to analog signals for a conventional
copper twisted pair telephone line and demodulates the incoming analog
signal and coverts it to adigital signal for the digital device.
Multi-room audio refers to any audio system that can distribute sound
to speakers in multiple listening areas. In its most basic form, a multi-room
audio setup contains a source component, like a CD player, an amplifier,
like a home theater receiver, andis connected to speakers in at least
two different rooms.
Multi-room networks can be built by connecting two cluster networks together
or by extending a single cluster into a second room.
abbreviaton for Powerline Communications.
The transmission of information using the existing power line as the method
of transmission without running new wires.
using the powerlines to bring the Internet to your home or office from
an Internet Service Provider.
Powerline networks transmit data (phone calls and faxes as well as e-mail
and Web pages) over regular electrical wiring, transforming every electrical
outlet in the immediate area into a network connection. Wires and sockets
are used simultaneously for electricity and data, without disrupting each
PowerPacket technology uses the same powerline that provides electricity
to your computer to network it to other computers in your home or in an
office. PowerPacket uses a process called Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplexing (OFDM) to handle high speed data transmission between computers.
OFDM detects changes within the powerline and maintains network communication
even during power fluctutations.
A device that connects your home to the Internet via an Internet service
devices which allows you to share one internet connection among multiple
a computer program that provides services to other computer programs or
Streaming video is a sequence of "moving images" that are sent
in compressed form over the Internet and displayed by the viewer as they
arrive. Streaming media is streaming video with sound. With streaming
video or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to download
a large file before seeing the video or hearing the sound. Instead, the
media is sent in a continuous stream and is played as it arrives. The
user needs a player, which is a special program that uncompresses and
sends video data to the display and audio data to speakers.
a central device that connects PCs at higher speeds than a hub.
The use of the internet for phone calls and faxing. Three new services
are now or will soon be available:
- normal voice phone calls where the
phone rings at the location of the person called through the Internet
at the price of a local call
- sending faxes at very low cost through
a gateway point on the Internet in major cities
- sending voice messages along with
Plug and Play
an initiative to simplify the interconnection of PCs, appliances,
networks and services by extending plug and play to include networking.
Powerline Bus (UPB)
A proprietary networking standard
developed by Powerline Control Systems, Inc. that enables remote control
of devices such as lighting, HVAC and appliances using a home's existing
powerline (line voltage) wiring rather than dedicated structured wiring.
Short for Voice over IP. This refers to any technology offering voice
telephony services over the internet.
Short for Wide area network. This refers to a communication network that
- telephone lines
- satellite dishes
- radio waves
to span a larger geographic area then
can be covered by a local area network (LAN).
Wireless Fidelity - a form of short-range
(up to 0.1 kilometers) wireless networking, supporting download rates
of up to 54Mbps. This technology enables the connection of two or more
computers, without the necessity for physical cabling between them. Wi-Fi
is used in many community wireless networks and in the provision of wireless
'hotspots' set up in hotels, coffee shops, airports, etc. Wi-Fi may also
be used to create a wireless network in the home or office.
A term used to describe telecommunications
systems, where a service is provided over some form of cabled or wired
network (e.g. copper, fiber optic) as opposed to a wireless or radio network.
A whole-house network involves multiple types of cluster networks connected
to each other through devices called gateways. This type of network is
the most complex but it also provides the most functionality.
a communications language that allows you to control lights,
appliances and other equipment in your house via the existing electrical
wiring in your house. No rewiring is necessary.
A relatively new wireless home networking
standard that allows compatible devices to share small packets of data,
such as on/off commands or temperature readings, for example. Similar
to other mesh networks, which use device-to-device communication tomultiple,
redundant paths for data to flow, ZigBee's conservative range is estimated
to reach over 300 feet. Considering its extremely low-power requirements,
ZigBee-enabled devices will likely include household appliances, consumer
electronics products,light switches, security sensors and controls, key
fobs, smoke detectors and thermostats, to name just a few possibilities.
A proprietary, low-power
networking standard developed by Zensys Inc., which uses a mesh network
to transmit control and sensor data among compatible devices. Like ZigBee,
Zwave technology is ultra-low power and can be used in appliances, home
automationdevices, switches, thermostats, etc.