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Broadband Terms and Glossary

Although we do our best to keep Broadband Compare as jargon-free as possible, sometimes it’s unavoidable in a technical industry.

If you’re confused about what something means, hopefully this will clarify things and if you are still confused don’t hesitate to give us a call or use our online chat to help you understand broadband.


• 4G: The latest generation of mobile internet, and much faster than 

• 3G: Refers to mobile internet. Better coverage than 4G, but slower 

• ADSL: Widely available broadband, delivered through copper telephone wires - read more here

• Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transferred to and from your broadband, usually measured per second

• Broadband Checker:  A tool used to find the broadband connection available at your address - visit our Broadband Checker

• Cookies: A small file that’s sent to your computer to store information about a website you visit or a link you click

• Download: Transfer data from one device onto another, often via the internet

• Download speed: How quickly data will be transferred onto your device from the internet, the higher the download speed the better

• Early Termination Fee: A one off charge to allow you to break your minimum commitment on a broadband contract - read more here.

• ETF: Early Termination Fee - read more here.

• ETP: External Termination Point – the ‘box’ on your property which connects your house to the fibre broadband network in the street

• Exchange: Where all the broadband and phone connections in a local area meet

• Fibre: Ultrafast broadband, the best broadband technology and the newest and quickest.  Far faster than ADSL, VDSL or Mobile broadband connection types - read more here.

• Megabit (Mb): A unit of measurement for the transfer of digital information - i.e. Megabits per second (Mbps)

• Modem: A device that converts data sent over a telephone line, allowing you to use the internet

• Streaming: Using data while it downloads - for example with video services like iPlayer • Upload: Transfer data from your computer to another

• Upload speed: How quickly you can send data from your computer over the internet

• VDSL:  The next generation Very Fast Broadband that is possible to deliver on the traditional copper telecom network - read more here

• Wi-Fi: Allows gadgets to connect to the internet wirelessly


Need to know something else?  Just contact us for more infomation or check out the Wikipedia page on Internet in New Zealand


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