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Definition: provision

To set up a telecommunications line or network for a customer. The term comes from the telephone industry, in which the telco was responsible for configuring their computers to switch customer lines into the appropriate networks. The term migrated to networking in general and refers to setting up user accounts, servers or other network-related equipment.

Do It Yourself
"User provisioning" or "automated provisioning" allows customers to set up their own services and make changes from a Web browser or other client interface without having to contact the telecom or network provider and wait hours, days or weeks for the final results (see cloud computing).

A Very Old Term
The term is centuries old. Before ships would sail from Europe to the New World, they had to be "provisioned" with food, rope, weapons and instruments. See also user management and provisioning.