Packet: A group of bits switched as a unit block of data used for transmission in a packet switched network.
Pay Cable: A network or service available for an added monthly fee. Also called premium. Some services, call mini-pay, are marketed at an average monthly rate below that of full-priced premium.
Pay Cable Unit: Each premium service to which a household subscribes is counted as one unit.
Pay-Per-View: Pay service that enables a subscriber to order and view events or movies on an individual basis.
(PBX) Private Branch Exchange: A private telephone system switch that interconnects telephone extensions to each other, as well as to the outside telephone network.
(PCM) Pulse Code Modulation: The sampling of a signal and each sample is then digitized so as to have it transmitted over a medium.
(PCN) Personal Communications Network: A kind of wireless communications system that transmits through low-power antennas and uses lightweight and inexpensive handsets.
(PCS) Personal Communications Service: A wireless service concept that allow users to communicate with the combination of terminal and personal mobility. The allocation of spectrum in the 1800-1900 MHz band is called the PCS band.
Pedestal: "Ped" An above ground outside plant (OSP) enclosure that is made from metal or hardened plastic that houses telecommunications infrastructure. Typically, peds are used for interconnection points to the provider network whereby "drops" are provided to the end user/customer. dslam guts.jpg
Penetration: The number of homes actually served by cable in a given area, expressed as a percentage of homes passed (e.g. cable penetration in November 1998 was 67.4 percent nationwide).
(PIC) Primary Inter-Exchange Carrier: The carrier for interstate and international calling that can be accessed without being required to dial extra digits. Calls get automatically routed to the customer's “PIC”.
Point of Presence: A site where telecommunications companies (such as cellular and long distance providers) physically interconnect their systems with other networks (such as local telephone companies or cable companies).
Pole: Telephone pole. Used to support "aerial" plant for a particular service provider. Aerial plant is typically comprised of copper (twisted pair and/or coaxial) and/or fiber optic cabling.
Pole Attachment: The place where, for a fee, cable systems attach their wires to telephone or utility poles.
(POP) Point of Presence: The location at which a line from a long distance carrier (IXC) connects into a local telephone carrier's switching network facility.
(POTS) Plain Old Telephone Service: The basic telephone lines connecting most residential and small business users to the public telephone network.
(PPP) Point-to Point Protocol: A data link protocol that is popular for Internet access and for carrying higher level protocols, while supporting both asynchronous and synchronous lines.
Premium Services: Individual channels such as HBO and SHOWTIME which are available to cable customers for a monthly subscription fee.
Progressive: A scanning format used by computer monitors and some television sets where each picture frame is presented sequentially and is scanned continuously from the top left of the screen down to the bottom right corner (compare with INTERLACED).
(PRI) Primary Rate Interface: An interface standard for integrated services digital network providing a total of 1.544 MBPS.
(PSC) Public Service Commission: Also known as the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a state regulatory body that oversees public utility service providers.
(PSN) Packet Switching Node: A node in a packet-switching network, supporting the formatting, transmitting and routing packets.
(PSTN) Public Switched Telecom Network: The common domestic telecommunications network that is access by private branch exchange trunks, telephones, and Centrex systems.
(PTM) Packet Transfer Mode: A technique of packet switching and transmission that enables more effective sharing of network resources by various users.
(PUC) Public Utility Commission: A state regulatory body that is responsible for establishing and implementing public policy and regulating intrastate utilities.
(PVC) Permanent Virtual Connection: A point-to-point virtual connection scheduled ahead of time for a long-term connection between data terminal equipment.