PSTN Definition

other

Synonymous with PSTS (Public Switched Telephone System). The generic term for the domestic public telephone network, which is traditionally is a public utility providing a circuit-switched network optimized for voice communications. The PSTN comprises all of the telecom infrastructure, including inside plant (ISP) and outside plant (OSP) owned by the carrier or carriers. Customer premises equipment (CPE) and other equipment and facilities owned by end users are considered private and, therefore, not part of the PSTN. As voice increasingly shifts to IP-based networks employing packet switching, and to alternative competitive carriers, such as cable television (CATV) providers, the term PSTN becomes somewhat vague. Global switched telephone network (GSTN) is the generic term for the international public telephone network that comprises the national PSTNs and the facilities that interconnect them. See also CATV, circuit switch, GSTN, IP, ISP, OSP, packet switch, and utility.

Webster's New World Telecom
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