This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources.Find sources: "Overhead information" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2017)

Overhead information is digital information transferred across the functional interface between a user and a telecommunications system, or between functional units within a telecommunications system, for the purpose of directing or controlling the transfer of user information or the detection and correction of errors.

Overhead information originated by the user is not considered to be system overhead information. Overhead information generated within the communications system and not delivered to the user is system overhead information. Thus, the user throughput is reduced by both overheads while system throughput is reduced only by system overhead.