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Public Switched Telephone Network

The nationwide and worldwide telephone systems accessible on-demand from telephones and modems. It includes individual dialup subscriber lines as well as high capacity circuits that are shared by multiple users on a first come first served basis. It does not include dedicated local and long distance lines (e.g. dedicated T-1) provided by telephone companies to large organizations, to Internet Service Providers, and Network Service Providers. Sometimes PSTN is used to mean only those facilities accessible by analog dial and to exclude ISDN. (See modem, dialup, subscriber, circuit-switched network, dedicated line, T-1, backbone, and Internet Service Provider in the hard copy dictionary.)

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