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Networking+ Guide to Networks (Fifth Edition) Tamara, Dean - Transmission Basics and Networking Media - important terms

alien cross talk

EMI interference induced on one cable by signals traveling over a nearby cable


A signal that uses variable voltage to create continuous waves, resulting in an inexact transmission


Eight bits of information. In a digital signaling system, broadly speaking, one byte carries one piece of information.

cable plant

The hardware that constitutes the enterprise-wide cabling system.


Abbreviation for the word category when describing a type of twisted pair cable. For example, Category 3 unshielded twisted pair cable may also be called Cat 3.

coaxial cable

A type of cable that consists of a central metal conducting core, which might be solid or stranded and is often made of copper, surrounded by an insulator, a braided metal shielding, called braiding, and an outer cover, called the sheath or jacket.


The pipeline used to contain and protect cabling.


The pieces of hardware that connect the wire to the network device, be it a file server, workstation, switch, or printer.


The central component of a cable designed to carry a signal.

crossover cable

A twisted pair patch cable in which the termination locations of the transmit and receive wires on one end of the cable are reversed.

cross talk

A type of interference caused by signals traveling on nearby wire pairs infringing on another pair's signal.

DCE (data circuit-terminating equipment)

A device, such as a multiplexer or modem, that processes signals.

demarcation point (demarc)

The point of division between a telecommunications service carrier's network and a building's internal network.


As opposed to analog signals, these signals are composed of pulses that can have a value of only 1 or 0.

fiber-optic cable

A form of cable that contains one or several glass or plastic fibers in its core. Data is transmitted via pulsing light sent from a laser or light-emitting diode (LED).


A type of transmission in which signals may travel in both directions over a medium simultaneously

half duplex

A type of transmission in which signals may travel in both directions over a medium, but in only one direction at a time.


The delay between the transmission of a signal and its receipt.


A technique for formatting signals in which one property of a simple carrier wave is modified by the addition of a data signal during transmission.


The unwanted signals, or interference, from sources near network cabling, such as electrical motors, power lines, and radar.

RJ-45 (registered jack 45)

The standard connector used with shielded twisted pair and unshielded twisted pair cabling.

rollover cable

A type of cable in which the terminations on one end are exactly the reverse of the terminations on the other end. It is used for serial connections between routers and consoles or other interfaces.


A type of transmission in which signals may travel in only one direction over a medium.

structured cabling

A method for uniform, enterprise-wide, multivendor cabling systems specified by the TIA/EIA 568 Commercial Building Wiring Standard. Structured cabling is based on a hierarchical design using a high-speed backbone.

telecommunications closet

Also known as a "telco room," the space that contains connectivity for groups of workstations in a defined area, plus cross-connections to IDFs or, in smaller organizations, an MDF. Large organizations may have several telecommunications closets per floor, but the TIA/EIA standard specifies at least one per floor.


The amount of data that a medium can transmit during a given period of time.


In networking, the application of data signals to a medium or the progress of data signals over a medium from one point to another.

twist ratio

The number of twists per meter or foot in a twisted pair cable.

twisted pair cable

A type of cable similar to telephone wiring that consists of color-coded pairs of insulated copper wires, each with a diameter of 0.4 to 0.8 mm, twisted around each other and encased in plastic coating.


The distance between corresponding points on a wave's cycle. Wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency.

WDM (wavelength division multiplexing)

A multiplexing technique in which each signal on a fiber-optic cable is assigned a different wavelength, which equates to its own subchannel.

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