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Telecom Management Acrimonious Acronyms

Posted by Chris Thierry | April 7, 2011 9:30 AM
Can you spell PRI? IP? ISDN?
Do you think a USOC is a boxing term?

What comes to mind when you hear the word RESPORG? PIC order?  PORT order?   - No! It is not a Star Trek species or a command to initiate a molecular transport.

Telecom Acronyms You Need to Know

Enough with my attempt at humour...

The challenge in blogging about Telecom acronyms is where to begin.  Recently I have been working with a US client only to realize,   yet again, there are new techno lingo and a deluge of acronyms yet to be learned.  Fluency in Bell and Telus does not translate verbatim to Qwest and Verizon. Every vendor adopts a varied set of acronyms and service identifiers in an effort to differentiate their unique take on the service from that of the competitors.  I would heckle at such a claim, but I have witnessed instances where a feature or configuration could not be replicated.  Bell’s Megalink service is a primary example of product differentiation for a common PRI service. (See PRI definition below). 

Where to start....

at the beginning I propose.  I will attempt to focus on acronyms that a TEM (Telecom Expense Management) platform would manage on an ongoing basis.  Because the use of acronyms is so vast and forever evolving, I will restrict this to a few of the more common wire line, voice-related terms, and look at data and wireless terminology in a later blog.

MACD: Telecom billing begins with a MACD – aka – an order for a Move, an Add, a Change or Deletion of services. 


USOC: Universal Services Ordering Code developed by AT&T and partially adopted by the (FCC) Federal Communications Commission so you will see it used by other Telecom Carrier as a means of identifying telecom equipment and services.  The breakdown of a wire-line service into its feature components is often expressed as a “USOC”.  Examples would be a jack installation for a business line, the business line, the 911 fee and so forth. 

PRI, BRI, Microlink, 1FL, DSL, Analog Trunk:  These are a collection of circuits that typically carry voice and video from the PSTN (public switched telephone network) into an organization or residence. They vary depending on the service type, scale of operation and the terminating equipment.


PRI –  A Primary Rate Interface circuit – also known as a Megalink – is the (ISDN) integrated service digital network (North American Standard)  that carries multiple channelized voice from  the (CO) central office to your telephone system.  That means multiple concurrent conversations or data streams are carried across a single wire known as a T1 (Oops, here we go a again – a data circuit that runs at the original 1.544 Mbit/s line rate).  Think of it as a pipe that can be sliced 24 (64 kb ea) ways to support 24 concurrent conversations.

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BRI – A Basic Rate Interface – also known as a Microlink - carries digitized voice, data, or video streams  to the PSTN and is typically used for Video Conferencing. IP (Internet Protocol) is quickly replacing BRI for video transmission.

1FL – literally translates as 1 “flat” line.  The flat means “not measured” – unlimited local calling.  The industry refers to this as a common business line that carries a single voice service from the CO to your premises.  This is typically used for a single fax or telephone service.

DSL – Digital subscriber line is for transmitting digital data over a phone line.  This is widely used to provide fast internet access over a conditioned phone line.

Analog trunk – this service usually comes in multiples and carries voice from and to the central office terminating on your premise equipment.  The multi-trunk configuration is accessed through a single phone number and rolls over the next available circuit until all are actively carrying a conversation or data stream. At this point the caller would get a busy signal

That leaves me with RESPORG, and a few more thrown in for good measure for next week’s blog. Be sure to subscribe so you get it automatically in your mailbox!!

 Authored By: Kim Leahy

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Topics: Acronyms

Written by Chris Thierry

Visionary and founder of Cimpl, Christopher Thierry is a dedicated leader in the IT industry. Focused on facilitating businesses in their journeys towards digital transformation, Cimpl’s President aims to deliver a technology expense management platform that evolves with ongoing and ever-changing business needs. In offering and all-in-one, consolidated expense management solutions Christopher is taking businesses beyond TEM to manage the Enterprise Digital Footprint.

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