Common Broadband Terms Explained: Definitions of Internet Terms |

Common Broadband Terms Explained


It’s becoming more and more apparent to Filipinos that the Internet has gone past being a luxury. With most of us transitioning from traditional to more online-based study and work, access to decent Internet has become a basic need.

Related: Compare Internet Providers in the Philippines

When you’re researching on the best internet plan and provider, there are a few terms you would encounter. Here is a list of common broadband terms and their definitions:


Common Broadband Terms

1. ISP

The first thing that you need to look for is an ISP or Internet Service Provider. Basically this is a company that provides Internet access like Globe, PLDT, and Converge.

Tip: Looking for an internet service provider? Check out this blog article so you can compare the best Internet providers in the Philippines


2. Fiber Optic

You may have heard of the term Fiber Optic and how it’s better than DSL. Without getting too technical, Fiber Optic is used to describe Internet connection made up of thin glass fibers rather than telephone lines (DSL) to transmit data.

What makes it “better” is that it transmits information faster compared to a DSL connection. Of course, this also means that it is more expensive than DSL or cable. If speed is your main concern, though, be sure to ask your provider for their Fiber Optic plans.


3. Broadband

Broadband is what allows you to use your Internet connection. It runs through a series of cables to deliver the Internet to your location and can come in different forms: DSL (Digital Subscriber Line); cable; satellite; and fiber optic.

Remember that depending on your location and the form of broadband you choose, your Internet speed will be affected.

Tip: Pay your broadband bills such as Smart Broadband, Globe Broadband, Converge, and more using your Wallet. (Read: What Bills Can I Pay using Wallet?)


4. WiFi

The way we connect to the internet without cables or through a wireless Internet signal is called WiFi. This is typically distributed through your WiFi modem and router and is received by your mobile phones, laptops, smart home gadgets, and other WiFi-enabled devices.


5. Bandwidth

While most people think that this means Internet speed, bandwidth actually refers to how much data can be transferred at a time. Think of it this way, most Internet connections have relatively the same speed. Bandwidth matters when you’re trying to download or upload large files because the higher your bandwidth, the more information can be transferred per second.


6. Mbps

Often confused for megaBYTES per second (MBps), Mbps is actually an abbreviation for megaBITS per second. Megabytes are typically a measurement for files (documents, audio, video, etc).

Megabits per second is a measurement of your bandwidth or the download rate of your Internet connection. The higher your Mbps, the more bits of data can be transferred per second.


7. Data Allocation/Allowance/Cap

This has to do with the amount of content you can download during a billing cycle. Most of the highspeed plans today come in unlimited packages. But if you’re not a heavy user and opt for the lower tier plans, your data cap/allowance/allocation will usually have limits measured in GB(gigabytes) or MB(megabytes).


8. Fair Usage/Fair Use Policy

Some ISPs impose bandwidth restrictions on heavy users that tend to regularly exceed thresholds for extended periods. This restriction falls under Fair Use or Fair Usage Policy.

This policy ensures that the small number of heavy users don’t take up most of the bandwidth consumption that’s supposed to be spread throughout all of the users — including the medium-use and light-use clients.


9. IP Address

IP is an abbreviation for Internet Protocol and your IP Address refers to a unique number designated to each machine used in your network. Think of it as a unique address where you can send and receive letters or information.


Whichever ISP you choose, you can pay your broadband bills using your Wallet from the safety of your home. Using prepaid internet? You can easily buy load for Globe, Smart, Sun, TM, and TNT!

Still undecided on what type of service to get? Here’s our guide to help you figure out whether Prepaid VS Postpaid WiFi is the best for you.

my phone is my wallet

Questions or feedback? Email us at or tap Send us a message in your app. Our operating hours are from Monday – Friday, 9AM – 6PM is regulated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). BSP Financial Consumer Protection Department: (02) 708-7087 or

 In Blog, Tips & Tricks
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