Asymetric Digital Subscriber Line - asymetric meaning it's faster downstream than upstream.
Advanced Services Access Manager (also known as Alcatel 7300). This is an older type of DSLAM which is ATM based. Most ASAMs are subtended from another ASAM. They're slowly being replaced with ISAMs. See DSLAM's as well.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode - a method of encapsulation which is capable of many virtual circuits. With these, providers (ISP's) can split an ATM connection (155Mbit or 622Mbit) up into many connections. ATM isn't just used for DSL but in the case of DSL it's used to provision each customer.
Generally in areas where ADSL isn't available, these are subtended from an ASAM. The bandwidth is fairly limited and is shared with all users on the Conklin (this could be up to 60 depending on how many expansions there are). These are slowly being replaced with ASAMs.
A contention ratio is the number of users to xMbit of bandwidth. In New Zealand I don't know of any providers who publicly advertise their ratio, or who use them, but they are likely to arrive here soon. For example with 2Mbit Telecom DSL, it's 50:1, meaning 50 users to 1Mbit of bandwidth. In countries such as the UK you can buy residential broadband packages and select your contention ratio, the cheaper plans having a higher ratio, and the more expensive plans having a lower ratio.
Customer Premises Equipment, the term that describes the equipment used on the customer end of a connection, for example your DSL modem/router, cable modem, black box on Wired Country etc.
Digital Subscriber Line.
Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer - one or more of these are placed in each exchange that has DSL enabled, when your modem syncs up and the DSL light comes on, it means you are connected to the DSLAM. When data travels down your connection, it goes from the CPE -> DSLAM -> RAN -> ISP (or in the case of Jetstream it doesn't go to the ISP and instead goes to Netgate). There are a few types of DSLAMs used in NZ, see ASAMs, ISAMs, Nokia N50s and Conklins.
Edge Routing Exchange. See RAN.
The bit after the @ on your username, ie @xadsl.xtra.co.nz or @jetstart.jet.net.nz or @dsl.maxnet.co.nz and so on. If someone asks you to check this then this is what they're asking about.
Telecom's backhaul network for carrying traffic from the customer to the ISP, ie carrying traffic from RAN's to ISP's.
Intelligent Services Access Manager (also known as Alcatel 7302). This DSLAM is ethernet based and supports ADSL2+, and in some cases has a hybrid card (NVLT-C cards) which will be able to support VDSL2 for future proofing. These are being deployed in new cabinets/exchanges across the country. See DSLAM's as well.
L2TP Network Servers - Each (wholesale) ISP has an L2TP Tunnel coming from the Telecom Wholesale handover to carry the PPP sessions - this is the ISP endpoint that would pass the attempts onto the ISP's RADIUS server.
Not as common as ISAM/ASAM and not as advanced. ADSL1 only like an ASAM and your ISP won't be able to check your line remotely. It's basically an ASAM, but it has remote shelves, not subtends. See DSLAM's as well.
This is primarily used for Go Large/Big Time customers now (13/04/2010). It's set up as a virtual router within all the RAN's around the country. One of Telecom's brands - they provide national/international connectivity.
Ping or Latency
Not many people seem to know what a "ping" actually is. A ping measures the time in milliseconds that it takes for a packet to travel from your computer to a remote computer and back to you again. Just because you can't ping a given host - for example Xtra's homepage doesn't mean it's down, quite a lot of providers are beginning to filter ICMP (pings come under this protocol) traffic because it is commonly used to attack hosts and wastes a lot of bandwidth.
Many providers also give low priority to ping (ICMP) traffic which may mean your ping at a command line isn't very good, but in say a game, things may be fine.
Regional Access Node (not Remote Access Node!). These aggregate many DSLAM's connections and then feed the data to an ISP or to Netgate. Telecom have recently replaced their Nokia Redback RAN's with new Juniper ERX's.
Also known as a login realm.
Round Trip Time - the time it takes in milliseconds for a packet to go from A to B and back again. See ping.
Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line - symmetrical meaning the same speed up and down. In New Zealand Telecom is using SDSL to provision new frame relay links where possible as it is much cheaper.
Thanks to DaNzA for bringing this up. So many people post using incorrect units. Please please please learn the correct units.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UPPER AND LOWER CASE:
MB = MegaBytes
Mb = Megabits
kB = KiloBytes
kb = Kilobits
MB/s = MegaBytes per second
Mb/s = Megabits per second
kB/s = KiloBytes per second
kb/s = Kilobits per second
1kB = 8kb
256kb = 32kB/sec
1MB = 1024kB
1Mb = 128kB/sec
2Mb = 256kB
If you're unsure, then specify the FULL TERM in your post, ie I have a 2Mbit connection, don't say 2MB - that implies you have a 16Mbit connection.
Contrary to what people seem to think - wireless does not suck. Wireless can ping very nicely depending on the technology used and again the contention ratio the provider uses. Examples of nice wireless connections are Wired Country with their 3.5GHz gear and those providers using things like 2.4GHz (802.11b), 5.3GHz (802.11a) and 5.8Ghz. Woosh uses another technology, WCDMA for their wireless - however it appears the pings are high on it, whether this is related directly to WCDMA or just Woosh's implementation I'm not sure yet - but in exchange for a poor ping time you can hurtle down the motorway at 100km/h and keep using the internet. It is worth noting that 2.4Ghz WISP's are more susceptible to interferance issues than WISP's operating in the 3.5Ghz and 5.x Ghz frequencies.
I did type this all up pretty quickly so there could be errors - please PM me if there are and I'll fix them, don't tear my head off/call me a newbie.