In terms of today's telecom field, ILECs or Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers, are the "originals" of the industry. A closer look at ILECs will show readers how the companies went from regional providers after the AT&T breakup to individual competitors in today's market. Taking a look at some of the basic terms around ILECs will show businesses getting involved how ILECs work, how they formed and what they can provide to clients.
Baby BellsWhen the government broke up AT&T in 1984, the result was what some call the "Baby Bells." After more recent legislation, these companies became ILECs, as distinguished from others called CLECs. The story of these regional companies plays a part in understanding what ILECs represent today.
Telecommunications Act of 1996The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the legislation that made the Regional Bell Companies into ILECs. The ILECs now compete with other types of carriers to provide all kinds of modern telecom services.
CLECThe CLEC or Competitive Local Exchange Carrier is the challenger of the ILEC. These new companies are ones that cropped up after the previously mentioned legislation.
DSLDSL or the Digital Subscriber Line is a traditional offering of ILECS that delivers high speed Internet access through fiber optic lines. DSL has been a mainstay, but is being eclipsed by other kinds of Internet bandwidth options such as VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, where voice is provided over bandwidth, and digital voice mail is packetized and stored for remote access.
Landline telephonyLandline telephony indicates traditional fiber optic service. This is, according to experts, the main business of the ILEC. Other kinds of telecom services and digitized communications threaten to take over parts of the landline trade.
Federal Communications CommissionThe Federal Communications Commission or FCC is the federal agency that oversees ILECs and related companies. The FCC decides how different kinds of telephone exchange carriers can sell landline telephony and digital telecom services.
FCC at their website for figuring out what rules and regulations are applicable to certain areas of the telecom industry.