Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLEC)

CLECs in the US still offer quality telecommunications alternatives

Local phone carriers have been around since the invention of the telephone. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) have only been around for about 12 years. In the old television shows "Green Acres" and "Petticoat Junction”, most everyone went down to the local exchange aka the Hooterville General Store to use the phone. Today's business owner needs always-available voice and data services provided at a cost that doesn't run their bottom line out of town on a rail.

Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) are relatively new telephone companies that have built their own networks and switching centers. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened the door for CLECs to enter the marketplace and compete with established local phone carriers. The CLEC mission is to be a more responsive and flexible alternative to the historically dilatory incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs). Here's how your business can identify and select cost-effective CLEC services, improving how you deliver products and services to your customers.

1. Determine what long distance and local exchange telephone services are key to your business.

2. Find Competitive Local Exchange Carriers that provide the best service and support in your area.

3. Choose from the best nationwide CLEC providers for more complex needs.

Audit your long distance and local exchange telephone services

Ask yourself the following questions: What does my business need phone service for? How often do employees call out? How often do my customers call in? Do we need an 800 number? Could we save money by switching to an unlimited long distance plan? Do I need voice mail? The answers to these questions will help you communicate with prospective providers. If your company has many/complex voice services, you may need help.

Compare local and regional CLECs in the United States

Focusing on US CLECs, there are still plenty around that provide great service and support. Small CLEC companies are attractive and offer a more "homey" feel, but regional CLEC companies will likely have more robust networks, larger support staffs and the ability to offer more competitive pricing.
Federal Communications Commission by selecting "CAP/CLEC".

Select an award-winning Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) with nationwide coverage

After comparing services, features, support quality, network quality, installation fees, package pricing and all the other variables, deciding on the right CLEC might come down to choosing award-winning CLECs with national footprints.

  • Do your homework. The more local phone carriers you research, the better your chances of finding the right fit for your business.
  • Decide up front what CLEC services are most important to your business. Is price the driving factor or do you need all the features?
  • If applicable, don't forget the importance of communicating between sites. If your business has multiple locations, larger CLEC providers may offer a better fit for your company.