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The part of the network used as the primary path between network segments and lateral connections.


The through−put, or ability to move information through or from a device or system, usually measured in quantities of data per second. It is used to measure the information−carrying capacity of a communications channel. A rate of data transfer, measured in bits per second. It’s a network’s ability to carry information or data. Common circuits are 10Megabit, 100Megabit, 1000Megabit (Gigabit) for campus/office networking and 10Gigabit for long−haul, inter−campus/city connectivity. More and more, 10Gigabit is being deployed on the Metronet network by customers for data center backup and business continuity.

Carrier Hotel

A type of data center where multiple customers locate network, server and storage equipment and interconnect to a variety of telecommunications and other network service providers with a minimum of cost and complexity. Wikipedia

Union Station is one of Indiana's two carrier hotels and has the South Bend region's only technology mall.

Carrier Neutral Facilities

A fiber network (including access points) that is open to all. The provider makes the network available to all entities on an equal basis.

Central Office or Point of Presence (POP)

An access point to telephone and cable companies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other businesses requiring telecommunications services, data transport, etc. A point of presence is a physical location, either part of the facilities of a telecom provider that an ISP rents or a separate location from the provider that houses servers, routers and other equipment. A CO/POP provides local users with access to the long haul trunk lines.

Chicago National Network POP

A key International Connection Point for intercontinental long−haul fiber networks. Other locations include New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle and Los Angeles.


The term Conduit means a structure placed in the ground in the duct bank in which cable or wires may be installed.

Dark Fiber

Dark fiber refers to unused fiber optic cable. The dark strands can be leased to establish optical connections between locations. The entities leasing the fiber provide the necessary components to make it functional.

Dense Wave Division Multiplexing

Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) is an optical technique used to increase the carrying capacity of a fiber network beyond what can currently be accomplished via dark fiber pairs. Different wavelengths of light are used to transmit multiple streams of information along a fiber pair.

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber−optic communications is based on the principle that light in a glass medium (cable) can carry more information over longer distances than electrical signals can carry in a copper or coaxial medium. With few transmission losses, low interference, and high bandwidth potential, optical fiber is an almost ideal transmission medium.

Optical fiber can be used as a medium for telecommunication and networking because it is flexible and can be bundled as cables. Multimode Fiber supports propagation of multiple modes of light and is used in short distance campus−networks. Single mode fiber allows only one mode of light signal transmission and used in long distance (beyond 2 miles) network transmission. Metronet uses single mode fiber.

Gigabit Per Second (GBPS)

Gigabits per second is a measure of bandwidth in a digital transmission system equal to one billion bits of data per second.


An enclosure, below ground level lying adjacent to and abutting with the conduit, used for the purposes of installing, accessing, operating, maintaining, repairing and restoring any and all Facilities in the conduits.


The "last mile" fiber path that connects a user to the backbone.

Long−Haul Trunk Lines

Transcontinental cable infrastructure for transmission between distant points that connects central offices and carrier hotels. This network is then typically interconnected to local Metronet infrastructure for connections to communications entities.

Metronet Backbone Loops

The Metronet fiber network is comprised of several single−mode fiber optic backbone rings (Downtown, Blackthorn, Mishawaka, etc.) that facilitate interconnection and redundancy. The fiber is housed in conduits throughout St. Joseph County and is connected to several carrier locations. The fiber is accessed via lateral fibers at hand−holes along the paths.

Ringed Network

A ringed network is configured in a loop or ring to provide redundant service to any users connected to the ring. In the event of a cut cable, the signal can be transmitted on the other side of the loop while the cut is repaired.

Supercomputing Definition

Supercomputing in its current usage is a somewhat fluid term, but generally refers to the use of a powerful computer that can process vast amounts of data at very high speeds. Generally, such computers are custom-designed to perform highly advanced functions in specialized applications. Supercomputing typically involves processing hundreds of GB, even TB, of data at one time.

Here’s an example. Imagine that a researcher on campus is sitting at a terminal that has a statistical modeling software program. The researcher also has a flash drive with 2GB of data that she needs analyzed. She connects the flash drive to the terminal and clicks "run." At this moment, the 2GB of data zings its way to the supercomputers at Union Station and the algorithms are processed. After the data is processed, it is sent back to the terminal on campus and the researcher can view the results on her machine. And it can all be done in a matter of minutes, rather than hours or days of time.

Technology Mall

Location of a variety of vendors where consumers can pick and choose the services they need ’a la carte.’ Vendors can manage the complexity of the modern telecommunications world, allowing end−users to concentrate on their own business and services.


A common telecommunication connection service for transmitting signals over a telephone line at 1.5 Megabits. Service providers utilize T1s for telephone, Internet, and point to point connections.