Local exchange carrier
Local Exchange Carrier is a regulatory term in telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

s for the local telephone company.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, wireline telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 companies are divided into two large categories: long distance (interexchange carrier
Interexchange carrier
An Interexchange Carrier is a U.S. legal and regulatory term for a telecommunications company, commonly called a long-distance telephone company, such as MCI , Sprint and the former AT&T in the United States...

, or IXCs) and local (local exchange carrier, or LECs). This structure is a result of 1984 divestiture of then-regulated monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 carrier American Telephone & Telegraph
American Telephone & Telegraph
AT&T Corp., originally American Telephone and Telegraph Company, is an American telecommunications company that provides voice, video, data, and Internet telecommunications and professional services to businesses, consumers, and government agencies. AT&T is the oldest telecommunications company...

. Local telephone companies at the time of the divestiture are also known as Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier
Incumbent local exchange carrier
An ILEC, short for incumbent local exchange carrier, is a local telephone company in the United States that was in existence at the time of the breakup of AT&T into the Regional Bell Operating Companies , also known as the "Baby Bells." The ILEC is the former Bell System or Independent Telephone...

s (ILEC).

The divestiture created local exchange carriers for the management of local telephone lines and switches, and provisioning of local phone services within their business area, as well as the long distance calls originating or terminating in their business area. The vast majority of the United States are served by LECs called Baby Bell
Regional Bell Operating Company
The Regional Bell Operating Companies are the result of United States v. AT&T, the U.S. Department of Justice antitrust suit against the former American Telephone & Telegraph Company . On January 8, 1982, AT&T Corp. settled the suit and agreed to divest its local exchange service operating...

s, or RBOCs (Regional Bell Operating Companies). The rest of the United States, most commonly in rural or outlying suburban areas, are served by independent LECs, known in the industry simply as the "independents." Although independent companies
Independent telephone company
An Independent telephone company in the United States was a telephone company providing local service that was not part of the Bell System group of companies, "Ma Bell", before the 1984 Bell System divestiture or breakup of the Bell system...

 typically serve these areas, RBOC LECs still have vast territories of low population density regions of the country. Therefore independents generally exist as pockets of territory within a greater RBOC region. Popular independents are CenturyLink
CenturyLink, Inc. is a United States telecommunications firm, headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana. The company, founded as Central Telephone & Electronics Corporation in 1968, later changed its name to Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc. in 1971, and then was called CenturyTel, Inc. from 1999 to 2010...

, Frontier Communications, and Windstream Communications
Windstream Communications
Windstream Corporation is a local telephone provider. With headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., Windstream is an S&P 500 communications and technology company with operations in 29 states and the District of Columbia and about $4 billion in annual revenues...


Local call
Local call
In telephony, the term local call has the following meanings:# Any call using a single switching center; that is, not traveling to another telephone network;# A call made within a local calling area as defined by the local exchange carrier;...

s are defined as calls originating and terminating within a local access and transport area
Local access and transport area
Local access and transport area is a term used in U.S. telecommunications regulation. It represents a geographical area of the United States under the terms of the that precipitated the breakup of the original AT&T into the "Baby Bells" or created since that time for wireline...

 (LATA) which is defined by the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

. All the Baby Bells, as well as other LECs, typically operate businesses in more than one LATA yet their services of local telephone calls are still defined by LATA boundaries, not their business areas.

Residential Local Exchange Services

The following information applied to residential local telephone service
Local telephone service
Local telephone service is the provision of telecommunications networks and services within a limited geographic region.Traditionally, local telephone service was provided by small companies based in given cities and towns as opposed to larger, national or international companies...

 in the Detroit, Michigan area during the 1970s and 1980s. Much about this subject has changed dramatically since that time, and continues to do so.

A local exchange carrier is a carrier of telephone calls and other communication services carried by telephone lines. A local exchange is generally either an exchange within one's own LATA or in an immediately adjacent LATA. A call that is neither local nor long distance is called a local toll call. A local exchange carrier normally sells package deals that include local and local toll calls. Local calls are customarily billed in by the call, or in blocks of calls. Residential local exchange carrier service typically charges , where is the monthly minimum and covers the first calls, is the price per local call, and is the total quantity of calls consumed. Local toll calls are each billed at , where is minimum charge for a local toll call, is the per-minute charge, and is the duration of the call in minutes. Local toll calls are traditionally grouped into two price ranges, called "near zone" and "far zone", with values of and higher for far zone.


Generally, the local exchange carrier has the following duties:
  • Resale - The duty not to prohibit, and not to impose unreasonable or discriminatory conditions or limitations on, the resale of its telecommunications services.
  • Number portability
    Local number portability
    Local number portability for fixed lines, and full mobile number portability for mobile phone lines, refers to the ability to transfer either an existing fixed-line or mobile telephone number assigned by a local exchange carrier and reassign it to another carrier...

     - The duty to provide, to the extent technically feasible, number portability in accordance with requirements prescribed by the Commission.
  • Dialing parity - The duty to provide dialing parity to competing providers of telephone exchange service and telephone toll service, and the duty to permit all such providers to have nondiscriminatory access to telephone numbers, operator services, directory assistance, and directory listing, with no unreasonable dialing delays.
  • Access to right-of-way
    An easement is a certain right to use the real property of another without possessing it.Easements are helpful for providing pathways across two or more pieces of property or allowing an individual to fish in a privately owned pond...

     - The duty to afford access to the poles
    Utility pole
    A utility pole is a pole used to support overhead power lines and various other public utilities, such as cable, fibre optic cable, and related equipment such as transformers and street lights. It can be referred to as a telephone pole, power pole, hydro pole, telegraph pole, or telegraph post,...

    , ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way of such carrier to competing providers of telecommunications services on rates, terms, and conditions that are consistent with section 224.
  • Reciprocal compensation - The duty to establish reciprocal compensation arrangements for the transport and termination of telecommunications.

External links

  • Local Calling Guide Local calling, area code, and LATA
    - People :* Lata Mangeshkar, an Indian playback singer* Lata Pada, Bharatanatyam dancer* Latha Sethupathi, South Indian film actress* Lata , a famous Telugu writer- Places :* Lata Mountain, the highest point in American Samoa...

     information for Canada, the United States of America, and other countries which are part of the North American Numbering Plan
    North American Numbering Plan
    The North American Numbering Plan is an integrated telephone numbering plan administered by Neustar which encompasses 24 countries and territories, including the United States and its territories, Canada, Bermuda, and 16 nations of the Caribbean...

  • Using the Local Calling Guide Instructions Using the Local Calling Guide and Google to do a phone company lookup by Zip Code instructions.
  • Look up the Local Exchange Carrier From any US Phone Number - Also look up LATA
    - People :* Lata Mangeshkar, an Indian playback singer* Lata Pada, Bharatanatyam dancer* Latha Sethupathi, South Indian film actress* Lata , a famous Telugu writer- Places :* Lata Mountain, the highest point in American Samoa...

    , and more information obtained from our database.
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