A fee charged by a local exchange carrier to subscribers
or long distance companies for the use of its local exchange network
In telecommunications, a type of transmission of voice
or video where the signal is sent as a stream of changing radio
waves and is similar to what is received.
Alternative Operator Service Providers (AOS)
Alternative Operator Service Providers
(AOS) are basically nontraditional companies providing telephone
operator services. Operator services involve operator assistance in
placing a call. The most common services are alternative methods of
paying for a call, such as:
Charging the call to a third party
by credit card (either a major credit card or telephone company
are resellers who also provide operator services to:
is a form of wireless telephone that uses FM radio waves to transmit
conversations. Cellular calls are transmitted using either digital
or analog technology. Through analog transmission, your voice is actually
carried on the airwaves. Digital transmission transforms the human voice
into computer language, providing greater system capacity.
Cloning is when a wireless phone has been programmed to
duplicate another wireless phone. This is often used to mislead
a wireless carrier by placing illegal calls without any intention
of payment. The misleader uses the fake or "cloned"
numbers until detected, placing as many calls as he or she can.
Wireless phones which are 100% digital cannot be cloned.
Cordless phones are a type of telephone set that offer customers
portability in their premises. They send radio signals from
a base unit to the handset and from the handset back to the base.
Signals from cordless phones can be picked up by a number of other
devices including radio scanners, baby monitors, radios and other
that charges were added to your telephone bill for services that were
not ordered, authorized, or received. Nationwide, cramming is
the fastest-growing category of complaints received by the FCC.
In Wisconsin, cramming complaints in 1998 were up 460% over 1997 totals.
Custom Calling Features
Custom calling features
are optional services that are meant to help customers make better use
of their telephone service. Examples include call waiting, call forwarding,
three-way calling, and voice mail. They are available from your local
telephone company at additional monthly rates. The menu of custom calling
features varies by local company. Not all companies offer the same services
and the names of the features may also differ.
Directory assistance is
a service provided by telephone companies to their customers whereby
customers may access directory assistance operators to obtain telephone
Extended Area Service (EAS)
Service (EAS) is the ability to place local calls to other exchanges.
Many companies do not charge separately for this service, but include
it in the rate for local service. Other companies charge either a flat
fee , a rate per call, or a rate per minute for these EAS calls.
Extended Community Calling
ECC is a service to promote
equality of local calling areas. ECC is charged per minute (at rates
generally lower than long distance), but at a lower rate than toll calls.
ECC only affects calling that was previously considered toll calling
to exchanges that are either neighboring to or within 15 miles
of the caller's exchange. Mileage is based on the location of the rate
center for each exchange; for most exchanges this is the location of
the switching center.
Exchange boundaries define the area connected to a
particular telephone company switch. In the early days of telephone
service, switches were generally located in cities or villages
and the lines extended in all directions until they encountered
customers receiving service from the opposite direction. Eventually,
companies defined their exchanges so that customer service requests
could be met and facilities could be planned and constructed to
meet expected needs.
Federal Subscriber Line Charge (SLC)
a federally-approved monthly fee paid by the telephone subscribers that
is used to compensate the local telephone company for part of the cost
of the investment and maintenance of the telephone wire, poles, and
other facilities that link a home or business to the telephone network.
These wires, poles, and other facilities are referred to as the "local
loop". The SLC is one component of access charges. For residential
customers, the SLC is now $3.50 per month for one line, but is higher
for additional lines.
Internet Voice Communication
Communication is a way that you can talk over the Internet
with no traditional long distance charges. You do have to pay
the cost to be connected to the Internet and any long distance or extended
community calling charges to reach your internet service provider. If
you have a microphone, speakers and sound hardware, you can talk to
other people through the Internet. But some other Internet Voice
Communication features have different computer system requirement. You
may need to upgrade your computer to get started.
calling means calls placed to other customers within the caller's
exchange. The exchange is a basic building block of telephone service.
Local service facilities in an exchange radiate from the central office
(the wire center) over telephone cable and wires to homes and businesses
in the urban area and outlying rural areas. Calling within the exchange
is local service
These are programs
that help qualify low-income households afford local telephone service.
Lifeline assists with monthly telephone bills and Link-up assists with
connection and installation charges.
Local Access and Transport Areas (LATA)
Wisconsin is divided into four primary geographic LATAs. You may
have different choices for calls within your LATA than for calls
that cross LATA boundaries. IntraLATA calls (also known
as local toll calls) are calls made within your Local Access Transport
Area (LATA) but are billed similar as long distance calls.
Local long distance service
Local long distance refers to calls outside of your
local calling area, but within your Local Access and Transport
Area (LATA). Wisconsin is divided into four LATAs. These calls
are also referred to as local toll, or intraLATA calls.
A call from Madison to La Crosse or Milwaukee to Kenosha, are
local long distance or IntraLATA calls. This category of calls
has been opened up to competition, so Wisconsin customers may
choose a carrier for these calls. Some may need to dial
an access code to reach the company of their choice.
Local telephone number portability (LNP)
number portability allows customers to keep their existing
telephone number when they switch to another local telephone company.
Network Interface Device (NID)
Interface Device (NID) is the demarcation point between the telephone
company facilities and the wiring in a home or business. A NID
allows the customer who is experiencing trouble, such as noise or lack
of dial tone, to perform preliminary tests of service by connecting
a telephone at the NID to locate the source of the service problem themselves.
In many cases, the utility has installed a (NID) where the phone line
enters the home.
Pay- per- call and information services
900 or 976 numbers are called "pay-per-call" services. Charges
for number starting with 900 or 976 number calls, which are often much
more than regular long-distance rates, are set by the 900 or 976 number
companies, not by the government or by the telephone companies that
carry the calls. Pay-per-call
and information services are often used interchangeably. Pay-per-call
is a specific type of information service while information services
is a broad term that includes 900 number pay-per-call services and services
that are offered by dialing numbers other than 900 numbers. Customers
can have access to these numbers blocked on their lines.
Personal Communication Service
a form of wireless which uses digital technology.
This term is used to describe the selection of a particular long
distance carrier to handle all calls dialed with 1 plus the area
code and phone number.
Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge (PICC)
PICC is a charge on the long distance portion of your
phone bill and may appear as "Presubscribed Interexchange
Carrier charge", "Presubscribed Line Charge",
or "Carrier Line Charge". The FCC allows local
phone companies to charge long distance companies for the use
of local telephone line. Many long distance companies recover
these cost by charging the consumer.
Primary Interexchange carrier (PIC)
The PIC is the main long distance carrier used for 1+ dialing
through which all long distance toll calls are made.
A carrier that does not own transmission facilities, but obtains communications
services from another carrier for resale
to the public for a profit.
Rights-of-way and private easement
Rights-of-way (R/W) and easements are defined as the right to
pass over, through, or underneath property owned by another party
or a right afforded to a person to make limited use of another's
real property. The most typical types of rights-of-way are granted
in the form of blanket and private easements. A blanket
easement may be granted by a municipality to a utility for installing
its facilities on road rights-of-way. In the case of a private
easement, the landowner grants the utility permission to install
a cable or building facility on the privately owned property.
This easement is filed with the county register of deeds and will
appear on the property deed.
occurs when a customer's long distance service is switched from one
long distance company to another company without the customer's permission.
Such unauthorized switching violates FCC rules.
A statement by a communication company that sets forth
the services offered by that company, the rates, and terms and
conditions for the use of those services.
Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Legislature passed a law requiring local phone companies
to pay into the state's Universal Service Fund (USF)
through a TEACH
assessment. The TEACH program makes lower cost data lines and video
links available to schools and libraries. The law also allows local
phone companies to pass these costs to consumers through increased rates.
For more information about the TEACH programs, please visit its web
site at www.teachwi.state.wi.us.
Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP)
The TEPP is to help
persons with disabilities buy equipment they need in order to use basic
telephone services. The TEPP is one of several different programs paid
for by the Wisconsin Universal Service Fund (USF)
established by the Public Service Commission. Money collected from Wisconsin
telephone service providers goes into the USF.
Universal Service Fund (USF)
To promote and protect affordable telephone service to low-income persons,
to persons with disabilities, to customers in high-cost areas, and to
schools, libraries and health care providers, both state and federal
laws have established a USF
to keep rates low and provide specific support to telephone companies
or specific users. Providers are assessed by these USFs to fund
is a radio technology that enables the user to make and receive telephone
calls virtually anywhere they go (within wireless coverage areas). Wireless
(radio) technology is used in many familiar devices. For example,
television remote controls, garage door openers, AM/FM radios and televisions.
More recent examples would include cellular phones, personal communication
service, pagers, and cordless phones.