Originally posted on Bluebird Network

The abundance of acronyms and abbreviations can make it seem daunting to learn the unique language of the telecom industry, but education is key. At Bluebird Network, we are committed to making the digital landscape more accessible to everyone. Through this blog series, we aim to unravel some of the most commonly used terms you may encounter. For a look at some of the other key terms, check out Blog 1 and Blog 2 of this three-part series.

This blog will focus on the following terms: SOC Certifications – both Type I and Type II, Dark Fiber, Redundancy, SD-WAN, MPL and Cloud On-Ramps.

SOC2 Certification (Type I and Type II)

SOC2, or Service Organization Control 2, is a standard set by the American Institute of CPAs (another commonly seen acronym, AICPA) that focuses on a service organization’s controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of customer data. SOC2 Type I assesses the design of these controls at a specific point in time, while SOC2 Type II evaluates their effectiveness over a period of time, typically six months or more. Data centers often undergo SOC2 audits to demonstrate their commitment to data security and reliability and receive an effective way to communicate standards to clients.

Dark Fiber

Dark fiber, originally laid during the late 1990s technology boom, refers to unused or unlit optical fiber cables initially installed by companies in anticipation of future capacity needs but left “dark” until they were leased or activated. Data center operators may lease or purchase these fibers to expand their network capacity. Operators can control the equipment and data transmission over these fibers, allowing them to meet increasing data demands efficiently. We encourage you to read more on the benefits of dark fiber in one of our previous blogs here.


This refers to a strategy used in data centers that involves duplicating critical components such as servers, power supplies, and network connections to ensure high availability and minimize downtime. Failover, the other side of the coin, is the process of switching to backup components or systems in case the primary ones fail. Redundancy and failover mechanisms are essential for maintaining uninterrupted operations, especially in mission-critical applications.


Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a technology that simplifies the management and operation of a wide area network (WAN) by decoupling the network hardware from its control mechanism. By taking a software-based approach, this allows for centralized control, improved network agility, better application performance, and cost savings. Data centers often use SD-WAN to optimize connectivity between different locations and enhance their network’s efficiency.


Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a system used to route data packets efficiently in a telecommunications network. It labels data packets, making it faster and more predictable than traditional IP routing. MPLS is often employed in data centers to ensure reliable and low-latency connections, making it suitable for applications that require real-time data transmission.

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