Glossary of Terms

Curious about DSLAMs and duet lines? Always wondered about the difference between call forwarding and call splaying? Our Glossary of Terms provides simple explanations of our telephone and internet-based services.

ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

The ACCC promotes competition and fair trade in the market-place to benefit consumers, businesses and the community. It also regulates national infrastructure services. (www.accc.gov.au).

ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority)

A statutory authority within the federal government portfolio of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The ACMA is responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, the Internet, radio communications, and telecommunications. (www.acma.gov.au)

Answer Point

For Inbound numbers, the number(s) to which you want your calls routed. An answerpoint can be any mobile or fixed line number, including phones, fax machines, and live answering services.

Call Barring

You can block unwanted phone calls, for example from a specific person or location. This not only helps to save you time by eliminating unwanted calls, it can also save you money on your Inbound Number by eliminating calls from locations that your business does not service.

Call Forwarding

A feature on some telephone services that allows an incoming call to be redirected to a different phone number (either mobile or land line). Options often exist to forward the call only under certain circumstances (e.g. the line is busy or is not answered with xx seconds).

Call Splaying

Incoming calls can be shared between multiple answer points (based on a pre-set ratio). This is a useful tool to help distribute calls, for example to share potential leads among the sales team, or to help free up customer service representatives by distributing work evenly.

Call Wating

An option that tells you if a new caller is trying to contact you while you are already on the phone (usually in the form of a discrete tone).

Carrier

A telephone or other company that sells or rents telecommunications transmission services.

Free Call

A number that is free for the caller to dial, where the business receiving the call pays the entire cost. (Also called a "reverse charge" and "toll free" calls.) 1800 numbers are examples of free call numbers.

Inbound Number

These are “virtual” numbers that customers dial to call your business. These numbers are routed to real numbers at which the call is answered (e.g. land line, mobile, live answering service, fax machine). These numbers are portable, and can be moved from ‘office-to-office’, and from ‘Telco-to-Telco’, as your business needs change. 13 numbers, 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers are examples of Inbound Numbers.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

An automated answering system that routes calls to the appropriate place, based on user defined steps and responses to prompts. For example, a typical IVR answers the call in the company name, and then provides a contact menu: “To speak to sales, press 1; to speak to support, press 2;” and so on.

Landline

Also called fixed line, main line, and land phone. Refers to a telephone line which travels through a solid medium (e.g. copper wire) as distinguished from a mobile cellular line, where transmission is via radio waves.

Local Exchange

The telephone exchange to which a customer is directly connected, usually the closest exchange to the customer. Many telcos show the location of their exchanges on their web sites.

Smartnumber®

A 13, 1800, or 1800 Inbound Number that spells a word or contains a pattern that makes it easy to remember. SmartNumbers are available from the government through the www.thenumberingsystem.com.au web site.

TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman)

A free and independent alternative dispute resolution scheme for small business and residential consumers in Australia, with unresolved complaints about their telephone or Internet services. (www.tio.com.au)

Toll Free Services

Telecommunications services where the caller pays nothing and recipient of the call pays for the remainder of the cost of the service. An 1800 number is an example of a toll free service.

Virtual Office Services

Virtual services include things like Live Answering (virtual receptionist), Inbound Numbers and Fax2Email. These services provide a business with all of the benefits and professional appearance of a large company, for a price that a start-up can afford.

Voice2Email

A “virtual” service that allows you to receive voicemail messages without the need for an answering machine. Messages are received at a central server, and are then converted (usually to a WAV file) before being forwarded to your designated email address.