How to get a better broadband deal by understanding jargon

Broadband terminology is often confusing. We explain what it all means, to help you negotiate a better deal on your next contract.

Friday, 2 June, 2023

Every industry has its own language of acronyms, abbreviations and jargon, but broadband terminology is especially significant because it affects all of us.

Only tax professionals need to know about BPR (business property relief), TRS (trust registration service) and ATED (annual tax on enveloped dwellings).

You’d have to be a motoring devotee to care about the differences between stability control, traction control and what the Germans call antriebsschlupfregelung.

Yet every household is affected by download speeds, GHz bands and asymmetric lines.

The construction and operation of this wholly digital industry makes it a minefield in terms of jargon and abbreviations.

Little wonder that industry regulator Ofcom told the UK Government in April that many customers are confused by the terminology used in broadband contracts and advertising.

Key broadband terminology to be aware of

These are some of the terms you might encounter when shopping around for your next home broadband deal, followed by plain-English translations of what they actually mean…

Speaking the ISP’s language

Armed with your newfound broadband terminology knowledge, you should be better placed to find an optimal contract for your household, starting right here on

You can read more on this topic in our guide to what line speed terminology really means, including the differences between high-speed, superfast and ultrafast connections.

You’ll also note some ISPs advertise inclusive calls and TV packages with their deals. These are known as triple play or quad play contracts, the pros and cons of which are discussed here.

Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!