Glossary Terms - B


backbone (backbone)
The primary connectivity mechanism of a hierarchical distributed system. All systems which have connectivity to an intermediate system on the backbone are assured of connectivity to each other. This does not prevent systems from setting up private arrangements with each other to bypass the backbone for reasons of cost, performance, or security. [Source: RFC 1208]
baseband (baseband)
Characteristic of any network technology that uses a single carrier frequency and requires all stations attached to the network to participate in every transmission. See broadband. [Source: RFC 1208]
BER (Basic Encoding Rules)
Standard rules for encoding data units described in ASN.1. Sometimes incorrectly lumped under the term ASN.1, which properly refers only to the abstract syntax description language, not the encoding technique. [Source: RFC 1208]
big-endian (big-endian)
A format for storage or transmission of binary data in which the most significant bit (or byte) comes first. The reverse convention is called little-endian. [Source: RFC 1208]
BITNET (BITNET)
Because It's Time NETwork. An academic computer network based originally on IBM mainframe systems interconnected via leased 9600 bps lines. BITNET has recently merged with CSNET, The Computer+Science Network (another academic computer network) to form CREN: The Corporation for Research and Educational Networking. See CSNET. [Source: RFC 1208]
BOC (BOC)
Bell Operating Company. More commonly referred to as RBOC for Regional Bell Operating Company. The local telephone company in each of the seven U.S. regions. [Source: RFC 1208]
bridge (bridge)
A device that connects two or more physical networks and forwards packets between them. Bridges can usually be made to filter packets, that is, to forward only certain traffic. Related devices are: repeaters which simply forward electrical signals from one cable to another, and full-fledged routers which make routing decisions based on several criteria. In OSI terminology, a bridge is a Data Link Layer intermediate system. See repeater and router. [Source: RFC 1208]
(Bridge)
A device that has now been surpassed by the LAN switch. A bridge is used to connect two LAN segments together which use the same protocols and filter data based on MAC addresses. Bridges function at the Data Link layer of the OSI model and are mostly software based. [Source: Internetwork Training]
broadband (broadband)
Characteristic of any network that multiplexes multiple, independent network carriers onto a single cable. This is usually done using frequency division multiplexing. Broadband technology allows several networks to coexist on one single cable; traffic from one network does not interfere with traffic from another since the "conversations" happen on different frequencies in the "ether," rather like the commercial radio system. [Source: RFC 1208]
broadcast (broadcast)
A packet delivery system where a copy of a given packet is given to all hosts attached to the network. Example: Ethernet. [Source: RFC 1208]
BSD (BSD)
Berkeley Software Distribution. Term used when describing different versions of the Berkeley UNIX software, as in "4.3BSD UNIX." [Source: RFC 1208]

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