A non-technical definition is the commercial wholesale bandwidth provider who offers Quality of Service (QOS) guarantees to the retailer. Backhaul generally refers to the side of the network that communicates with the global Internet, paid for at wholesale commercial access rates to or at an Ethernet Exchange or other core network access location. For example, while cellphones communicating with a single cell tower constitute a local sub-network, the connection between the cell tower and the rest of the world begins with a backhaul link to the core of the telephone company’s network (via a point of presence). Cell phone towers must be directly connected to fiber optic, replacing older T-1 connections. 

Glossary Terms