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Industry Technical Acronyms
Industry Technical Acronyms - Overview

Industry Technical Acronyms



Brief Definition


Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting

A comprehensive security program used to control users’ access to corporate computer resources, enforce security policies, audit usage, and provide billing details. These services are often provided by a dedicated AAA server, which typically interacts with gateway servers and with databases and directories to verify users.


Automatic Alternate Routing

An alternate number is configured to be used to reroute calls through the PSTN or other network when the switch blocks a call due to insufficient bandwidth.


Alternating Current / Direct Current

In an alternating current, electrical charges periodically reverse direction as opposed to direct current, in which the flow of electrical charge is only in one direction.


Automatic Call Distribution

Call routing utilities that manage incoming calls. For example, a call that queued to a split/skill will be directed to an agent in that split/skill whereas a call that queued as a direct agent call will be routed to that specified agent.


Access Control List

A table that tells an operating system which access rights each user has to a particular system object such as a file directory or an individual file. It contains an entry for each system user with their associated access privileges. The most common privileges include the ability to read a file, write to a file, or execute a file.


Advanced Encryption Standard

A specification for the encryption of electronic data established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Advanced Encryption Standard

This 128-bit block data encryption algorithm used for securing unclassified but sensitive material by U.S. Government agencies.


Automatic Number Identification

Shows the recipient of an incoming call the number of the calling party. Commonly used by call center software to forward calls to different agent locations based on the incoming caller’s number.


American National Standards Institute

Founded in 1918, this membership organization coordinates the development of U.S. voluntary national standards in both the private and public sectors. These standards include programming languages, electrical specifications, and communications protocols.


Application Programming Interface

A set of routines, protocols, and tools used by programmers to build software applications. The advantage to users is that all programs using a particular API will have similar interfaces.


Automatic Route Selection

Used to automatically select the least costly route for a call.


Autonomous System

A unit of router policy, either a single network or a group of networks that is controlled by a common network administrator on behalf of a single administrative entity such as a business division.


Assured Services SIP

A variation on SIP defined by the Defense Information Systems Agency for mission-critical communications.


American Standard Code for Information Interchange

This code represents English characters as a defined number from 0 to 127. Since ASCII codes represent text, the program can be used to transfer data from one computer to another.


Automatic Speech Recognition

Voice recognition software used instead of or offered as an alternate to keypad entry when accessing an automated attendant menu.


Advanced Video Coding

A video compression standard also known as H.264 used to provide high quality video at low bit rates.


Backbone Edge Bridge

The boundary between the multicast and the shortest path bridging domain.


Busy Hour Call Completion

A measure of system processor capacity and a factor considered in traffic engineering representing the number of calls that a telephone system can complete during the busy hour of the day.


Basic Rate Interface

B-channels, which carry voice, data, and other services, and D-channels, which carry control and signaling information, are components of this ISDN service for home and small enterprise users.


Bring Your Own Device

The concept of employees connecting to the corporate network with their own personal devices on which to work. These include mobile devices, laptops, and tablets.


Communications as a Service

An outsourced enterprise communications solution that enables businesses to deploy communication modes and devices on an as needed basis.


Capital Expenditure

Expenditures made on fixed assets or adding to the value of an existing asset.


Call Control Extensible Markup Language

An XML-based language used to control the setup, monitoring, and teardown of calls.


Compact Disc

A portable optical disc used for digitally recording, storing, and playing back audio, video, and text.


Connectivity Fault Management

Component of network management concerned with detecting, isolating, and resolving connectivity issues.


Calling Line Identification

An identifier service that sends an unblocked caller's phone number to the called party’s receiving device during ringing.


Configuration Management Data Base

A repository that acts as a data warehouse used to keep track of items normally referred to as assets, such as products, systems, software, and facilities as well as the relationship between such assets.


Central Office

Refers to a local telephone company switching center. The two types are a local exchange that connects directly to the system that distributes calls to offices, and the end office that provides customer services that include call forwarding and call waiting.



A method of compression used to encode or decode a signal, such as converting a binary signal transmitted on a digital network to an analog signal for an analog network.


Class of Service

Used to define permissions. Grouping various users under a single COS simplifies management as a change need only be applied once to have it affect the entire group.


Central Processing Unit

An essential internal computer component that interprets and carries out instructions.


Customer Relationship Management

Refers to various methodologies, software, business processes, and strategies to organize the management of customer interactions.


Call Session Control Function

A collection of functional capabilities in an IP Multi-Media Subsystem that provides signal control across different network domains.


Computer Supported Telecommunications Applications

A Lotus Sametime protocol that interfaces to external CTI applications to control the SIP endpoints.


Computer Telephony Integration

The use of computers to interact with telephone calls. Commonly used by call centers to provide services such as screen pops, automated dialing, phone control, and transfers.


Disk Array Enclosure

Data storage system that contains multiple disk drives and typically includes cache memory and disk enclosures. It efficiently distributes data across multiple drives and enables fault tolerance.


Distributed Communications System

Multiple autonomous computers communicating through a network.


Dynamic Host Control Protocol

A protocol that assigns and tracks static and dynamic IP addresses of devices on a network.


Direct Inward Dialing (also known as DDI in Europe)

A feature whereby the telephone company connects one or more trunk lines to the enterprise PBX. A range of phone numbers is then allocated to a trunk line(s), allowing phone numbers to be internally assigned without requiring an actual separate phone line for each one. The PBX then routes the call directly to an extension without operator assistance.


Distributed Multi-Link Trunking

A network protocol used to load balance network traffic across connections. It allows the ports in a trunk to span multiple units of a stack of switches or to span multiple cards in a chassis, preventing network outages when one switch in a stack or a card in a chassis fails.


Dialed Number Identification Service

A telephone service that identifies which specific number a caller dialed into so the PBX/switch can track the call for billing purposes or to pass the information into call center programs.


Dynamic Name Server

An Internet service that translates a domain name into its corresponding IP address.


Denial-of-Service/Distributed Denial-of-Service

An illegal attempt to interrupt services of a targeted server by inundating it with external communication requests so that it either can’t respond to legitimate requests or is slowed to the point of ineffectiveness.


Distributed Processing Environment

An industry standard software technology for setting up and managing computing and data exchange in a system of distributed computers.


Designated Router

A router that is designated as the chosen path for multiple routers in a multi-access network segment.


Dynamic Resource Scheduling

A utility that balances computing workloads with available resources in a virtualized environment.


Digital Signal Processor

A mathematical manipulation used to measure, filter, and/or compress continuous analog signals.


Digital Tone Multi Frequency

Commonly known as touchtone, DTMF refers to the dual frequency signals passed to the phone company when a telephone’s individual touch keys are pressed.


Digital Versatile Disk

A high-density optical disc used for storing large amounts of data.


File Transfer Protocol

A network protocol used to transfer files between two computers over the Internet.


Global Positioning System

A navigational system using satellite signals to fix the location of a radio receiver on or above the earth’s surface.


Global System for Mobile communication

A wireless telephony technology that digitizes and compresses data before sending it over a channel. Widely used in Europe and over 190+ countries.


Graphical User Interface

Instead of typing written commands to view images and text on a computer screen, the user interacts via icons, a mouse, a touch screen, or another means of display.


Hypertext Markup Language

A computer markup language used to define the layout and structure of a Web document.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol

An application layer network protocol standard that Web browsers and servers use to communicate.


Infrastructure as a Service

A provision model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support operations.


Internet Control Message Protocol

A protocol used by the operating systems of networked computers to send error messages and to relay query messages.


Intermediate Distribution Frame

A free standing or wall mounted rack for managing and interconnecting telecommunication cables between end user devices and a main distribution frame.


Intrusion Detection Software

A software application that monitors network or system activities for malicious activities or policy violations.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Described as “the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE's highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities.”


Internet Engineering Task Force

A voluntary non-membership Internet standards organization founded in 1986. Its purpose is to research and identify IP data networks issues and to propose technical solutions.


Inter-Gateway Alternate Routing

Provides optimal voice quality by uniquely monitoring latency and packet loss via automatically rerouting to the PSTN.


Internet Group Management Protocol

A communications protocol used by hosts and adjacent routers on IP networks to establish multicast group memberships. It can be used for online streaming video and allows more efficient use of resources.


Interior Gateway Protocol

A network protocol used for exchanging routing information between gateways.


Instant Messaging

The real-time exchange of text messages using software that requires both parties to be available for chatting.


Internet Message Access Protocol

An Application Layer Internet protocol used by email clients to access email held on a remote server until retrieved by the user.


IP Multi-Media Subsystem

A standardized architecture that defines session and connection control, as well as an applications services framework that facilitates the use of IP for packet communications over wireless and landline.



Refers to use of an input or output device to transfer data from or to an application. Bidirectional devices can do both input and output.


Internet Protocol

A network protocol used to send data from one computer to another over the Internet.


Internet Protocol Detail Record

Collects information about IP based service usage and other activities within the network infrastructure as defined by the service provider.


Intrusion Prevention System

Network security appliance that monitors network or system activities for malicious activity.


Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network

A network protocol that uses Internet Protocol for transmission in a Virtual Private Network.


IP Multi-Media Subsystem Service Control

Architectural framework for delivering IP multi-media services.


Integrated Services Digital Network

This set of communications standards are for the simultaneous digital transmission of video, voice, data, and other network services over the circuits of the PSTN.


Intermediate System to Intermediate System

A network protocol that uses packet switched networks to support efficient autonomous system routing for Internet service providers and large enterprises.


Inter Switch Trunk

One or more parallel point-to-point links that connect two switches together to create a single logical switch.


Information Technology Infrastructure Library

A widely adopted set of best practices that provide a framework for identifying, planning, delivering, and supporting information technology services to align with the needs of business.


Interactive Voice Response

An automated telephone system that interacts with the caller via either touchtone digits or spoken words, as per the needs of the specific application.


Java Database Connectivity

A programming interface used by Java applications to access a database via SQL.


Java Telephony Application Interface

A Java-based application programming interface for computer telephony applications.


Key Performance Indicators

A set of company-defined quantifiable strategic and operational measures used to compare performance to in order to track progress.


Link Aggregation Control Protocol

A method to control the bundling of several physical ports together to form a single logical channel in a network.


Local Area Network

A networked group of computers in close proximity to each other.


Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

An Internet protocol used to access an LDAP-supported directory listing.


Local Exchange Carrier

A public telephone company located in the U.S. that provides local service.


Link Layer Discovery Protocol

A vendor-neutral IEEE 802.1AB Link Layer protocol used by network devices to advertise their identities, capabilities, and neighbors on an Ethernet LAN.


Link State Data Base

In a link state routing protocol, a database that each router in an area generates from the link state advertisements that it receives from all other routers in the same area. Each router calculates the shortest path spanning tree based on the link state database.


Media Access Control

The lower of two sub layers of the Open Systems Interconnection model data link layer. This sub layer handles access to shared media.


Multi-point Conferencing Unit

Video conferencing hardware that allows multi-point conferences to be controlled and moderated from a single location.


Main Distribution Frame

A wiring rack used to connect external lines to internal networks.


Management Information Base

A virtual database used to manage entities in a communications network.


Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension

An Internet messaging standard that allows users to exchange email messages that have graphics, video, and voice attachments.


Multi Level Precedence and Preemption

Provides prioritized call handling service levels for users.


Multi-Link Trunking

A link aggregation port trunking technology that allows grouping of several physical Ethernet links into one logical Ethernet link to provide fault tolerance and high speed links between routers, switches, and servers.


Multiprotocol Label Switching

A mechanism that uses short path labels versus long network address to direct data from one network node to the next.


Media Resource Control Protocol

A network protocol that sets up and formats a session across a common interface to a range of speech processing services.


Multicast Source Discovery Protocol

Interconnects multiple IPv4 Protocol Independent Multicast Sparse Mode domains enabling a Rendezvous Point, redundancy, and inter-domain multicasting.


Mean Time Between Failures

Based on experience, the calculated average time between failures of a system, with failure defined as the system becoming totally inoperable.


Mean Time Between Repair

A metric that helps to provide information on operating reliability for information technology products and systems. It is often defined as the average operating calendar time between required repairs for a given product or set of products.


Mean Time To Repair

The average time required to fix a failed component or device and return it to production status.


Multicast VirtualLAN Registration

A network protocol that controls access to a single network wide VLAN most commonly used for transmitting multicast traffic across a service provider’s network.


Network Address Translation

An IETF standard implemented in a router, firewall, or PC that converts a machine’s IP address on an internal private network to a public IP address. It tracks these in an internal table in order to perform the reverse conversion.


Network Interface Card

A computer circuit board or card used to make the physical connection between the PC and an Ethernet network cable.


Network Management System

A system composed of hardware and software used to manage, monitor, and control a communication network.


Network to Network Interface

An interface that specifies signaling and management functions between two networks.


Open Database Connectivity

A Microsoft database programming interface that provides a common language used by Windows applications to access databases on a network.


Original Equipment Manufacturer

A company that allows other companies to resell equipment under the reseller’s brand name.


Operational Expense

The expenses incurred in the course of ordinary business.


Operating System

A critical component that uses a set of programs to manage the computer hardware and provides services for application software.


Open Shortest Path First

A routing protocol developed for IP networks that gathers device connectivity information and identifies the best or shortest route to other network segments.


Private Branch Exchange

An in-house telephone switching system that connects telephone extensions to each other and to the PSTN.


Personal Computer

Any desktop or laptop computer.


Payment Card Industry

A rigid set of security standards required by the credit card industry to protect credit cards during and after a financial transaction.


Power Distribution Unit

A device fitted with multiple outputs designed to distribute electric power to racks of computers and networking equipment.


Protocol Independent Multicast

A set of four specifications that define modes of Internet multicasting to allow transmission of information.


Protocol Independent Multicast-Sparse Mode

A PIM mode for routing IP packets to multicast groups within multiple Internet domains.


Protocol Independent Multicast-Source Specific Multicast

A PIM mode whereby paths originate at a single defined source.


Personal Identification Number

A user-created alphanumeric or numeric code used as a security authentication method to access various applications.


Public Key Cryptography Standard

A set of inter-vendor standard protocols for making possible secure information exchange on the Internet using a Public Key Infrastructure.


Power Over Ethernet

Used to enable remote network devices to receive power over an Ethernet cable versus needing to be plugged into an AC wall outlet.


Post Office Protocol

A simple interface used between users’ email programs and a mail server that downloads incoming messages and attachments when users check their mail.


Plan of Record

A formalized project plan covering the schedule and breakdown of tasks and deliverables typically created once a project is approved and a commitment to execute it has been made.


Primary Rate Interface

B-channels, which carry voice, data, and other services, and D-channels, which carry control and signaling information, are components of this ISDN service for larger users.


Public Safety Answering Point

Also known as a public safety access point, this call center facility is staffed with trained operators to dispatch emergency services in response to 911 calls.


Post Office Protocol

A simple interface used between users’ email programs and a mail server that downloads incoming messages and attachments when users check their mail.


Public Switched Telephone Network

The public voice telephone network, also known as POTS (plain old telephone system).


Quality of Service

A traffic management technology that guarantees a specified level of service for such things as bandwidth and delivery time.



AAn ISDN-based signaling protocol used between PBXs that allows interoperability between disparate vendor communications systems.


Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service

A standard used by network access servers to interface with the AAA server.


Redundant Array of Independent Disks

Data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy or performance improvement.


Random Access Memory

The main memory of a computer.


Routing Information Protocol

An interior network gateway protocol that specifies how routers exchange routing table information.


Rack Mount Unit

A unit of electronic equipment that is housed in a metal framework called a rack. A rack unit equals 1.75 inches and is a standard of measure used to describe the height of a server, network switch, or other similar device.


Return on Investment

An accounting formula, usually expressed as a ratio, used to obtain a perceived future value or savings realized of an expense.


Read Only Memory

A chip in a computer that contains permanently stored data.


Reverse Path Forwarding

A technique used with a multicast routing protocol to ensure loop free forwarding of multicast packets.


Routed Split Multi-Link Trunking

A Layer 2 link aggregation technology that allows multiple physical network links between two network switches and another device to be treated as a single logical link and load balances traffic across all available links.


Really Simple Syndication

A syndication format that aggregates updates to blogs and news sites.


Right to Use

The legal right to use software or hardware. This is commonly granted as a license.


Software as a Service

A software distribution model in which applications are hosted and made available to customers over a network.


Storage Area Network

A network of multiple servers connected to a centralized pool of disk storage to simplify management and provide offsite backup of critical information as part of a disaster recovery plan.


Session Border Controller

A VoIP network device that governs the way in which calls or other interactive media are initiated, conducted, and terminated between a private network and the Internet.


Secure Copy

Based on the SSH protocol, SCP can be used to securely transfer computer files between a local and a remote host or between two remote hosts.


Small Computer System Interface

A hardware interface typically used in servers, mainframes, and SANs to allow any two devices to communicate at one time.


Software Development Kit

A base set of software routines and utilities used by programmers to write applications for a particular product.


Session Initiation Protocol

Based on HTTP and MIME, this text-based application protocol is used to initiate and terminate any real-time media transmitted over an IP network, including voice, video calling, and conferencing. Its flexibility also allows it to be used for integrated voice and data applications, such as click-to-dial from a website.


Service Level Agreement

An agreement in which the levels of service and performance metrics are formally defined as part of a service contract.


Simple Loop Prevention Protocol

A Layer 2 network protocol used to protect against network loops. Once a loop is detected the port is shut down.


Split Multi-Link Trunking

A Layer 2 link aggregation technology that allows multiple physical network links between two network switches and another device to be treated as a single logical link and load balances the traffic across all available links.


Short Message Service

Commonly known as texting, this cell phone and handheld device service is used continuously to send a maximum of 160 character messages. Like IM, the message is instantly sent; in contrast, the recipient does not need to be active in order to receive it.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

An Internet protocol used for exchanging email. Typically, SMTP is used for sending email and IMAP is used to read it.


Simple Network Management Protocol

A widely used protocol for controlling and monitoring networks across all the major platforms due to its Unix origin.


Service Oriented Architecture

A business model based on organizing software so that common functions are accessible internally and externally.


Simple Object Access Protocol

A message-based protocol that employs XML syntax to send text commands across the Internet for accessing services on the Web.


Shortest Path Bridging

The IEEE 802.1aq standard, is a computer networking technology that simplifies the creation and configuration of networks, while enabling multipath routing. SPB is the replacement for the older spanning tree protocols (STP) Rapid STP (RSTP) and Multiple STP (MSTP) that permitted only a single path toward the root bridge and blocked any redundant paths that could result in a layer 2 loop. SPB allows all paths to be active


Shortest Path Tree

A routing algorithm in which each router uses the length of the path to determine the shortest path spanning tree.


Structured Query Language

A language supported by all database management systems that use a client/server environment. SQL commands can be used to interrogate and process data in a relational database or can be embedded within a programming language.


Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol

A secure IP protocol that provides confidentiality and message authentication to the real-time transmission of voice and video streaming.


Split Multi-Link Trunking

A Layer 2 link aggregation technology that allows multiple physical network links between two network switches and another device to be treated as a single logical link and load balances the traffic across all available links.


Secure Shell

A security protocol that supports a variety of authentication methods, including providing an encrypted session for transferring files, executing server programs, and serving as a secure client/server application connection.


Secure Sockets Layer

The most widely used Internet security protocol that serves two purposes: (1) validates a website’s identity and (2) creates an encrypted connection for sending credit card information and other personal data. A closed lock icon indicates the user is on a secure SSL or TLS connection.


Single Sign-On

Single sign-on systems permit corporate users to access all authorized resources in the local network using the same username and password.


Spanning Tree Group

A network group comprised of one or more VirtualLANs that share the same instance of the Spanning Tree Protocol of 802.1D.


Scalable Video Coding

A Codec that allows video transmission to scale between differing types of end points so that content is delivered without degradation.


Total Cost of Ownership

The actual cost of a product plus the peripheral associated costs, including staff, training, and upgrades.


Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

An IP-layer protocol that routes the source and destination address of the host computer and the network the computer resides in. Each node requires an IP address. The Internet is the world’s largest TCP/IP network.


Telecommunications Device for the Deaf / Teletypewriter

Both terms refer to the same device used by the hearing impaired to send text over the phone to a similar device that produces a printed readout of the conversation or a computer.


Time Division Multiplex

A method of transmitting multiple data streams simultaneously over a single path by slicing lower-speed signals into one high-speed transmission. The receiving end divides the segments of the single stream back into its original signals.


Trivial File Transfer Protocol

A simplified version of FTP used for transferring files between network devices.


Transport Layer Security

An SSL-based IETF protocol that uses encrypted digital certificates to authenticate both the user and the network.


Type Length Value

Allows optional information to be encoded as an element in data communication protocols. This includes a Type code, a specified Length of a Value field, and data in the Value field.


Telephony Services Application Programming Interface

A programming interface created by Novell and AT&T to provide interoperability between a NetWare server and a PBX.



The use of speech synthesis software to convert text into speech. Originally developed for the blind to hear written material, it’s commonly used today to hear messages over a telephone.


Telephone User Interface

Providing input and access to menus via the touchtone keys on a telephone.


User Acceptance Testing

A test to determine if the requirements of a specification or contract have been met. Testing generally involves running a suite of tests on the completed system.


Unified Communications

The integration of real-time communication services that allow an individual to send a message in one medium and receive the same communication on another medium via the TCP/IP network. An example would be accessing a voicemail message via email.


User Datagram Protocol

A protocol used in place of TCP when a reliable delivery is not required; including streaming audio and video, VoIP, and videoconferencing.


Underwriters Laboratories

Known for its product safety testing, the UL mark is a verified stamp of approval on goods and materials that have passed stringent testing.


Uninterruptible Power Supply

This battery backup device provides power should the electrical power fail or drop to an unacceptable voltage level


Uniform Resource Identifier

A compact sequence of characters used to identify an abstract or physical resource on the Internet.


Universal Serial Bus

Commonly used for connecting a mouse, printer, external drive, keyboard, and flash drive to a PC.


VLAN Identifier

A 12 bit field specifying the VLAN to which the frame belongs.


Virtual Link Aggregation Control Protocol

An extension of the network Link Aggregation Control Protocol to provide a Layer 2 handshaking protocol that can detect end-to-end failure between two physical Ethernet interfaces irrespective of intermediary devices and enables link recovery in less than one second.


Virtual Local Area Network

The use of software to combine user stations and network devices into a single unit on a LAN. Isolating traffic this way reduces administration time for such things as moves, adds, and changes.


Voice over IP

A digital service that uses one or both Internet telephony protocols, SIP and H.323, for handling telephone connections via the public Internet and private backbones. Supported applications include voicemail, caller ID, and call forwarding.


Vector Directory Number

A virtual extension used for routing an incoming call to the switch to a specific vector, which determines call routing based on that vector’s commands.


Virtual Private Network

A private network configured within a public network. By providing encrypted connections over the Internet, VPNs are widely used to permit remote workers to securely access the corporate network.


Virtual Routing and Forwarding

A technology included in IP network routers that allows multiple instances of a routing table to exist in a router and work simultaneously. This increases functionality by allowing network paths to be segmented without using multiple devices.


Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol

A networking protocol that provides for automatic assignment of available IP routers to participating hosts. This increases the availability and reliability of routing paths via automatic gateway selections on an IP sub network.


Voice Extensible Markup Language

An open-standards extension to XML that enables access to the Internet via telephones and video services.


Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol

An XML-based protocol used for real-time communications in applications such as instant messaging, presence information, and content syndication.


Wide Area Network

A communications network covering a large geographic area, including the Internet as a whole. WANS can be deployed publicly or can be privately used by companies to connect remote offices.


Wireless Fidelity

Wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal.


Wireless Local Area Network

A communications network that provides connectivity to wireless devices within a limited area. The connection can be via a secured or unsecured router or device, and can combine wired and wireless access in a single unit.


Web Services Description Language

An XML-based language that defines the protocols and formats a Web service uses to perform the functions an application requires.


Extensible Markup Language

An open standard that developers can use for defining the contents of elements on a Web page.

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