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Glossary of Telecommunications Terms

The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) understands that the telecommunications arena may be confusing to some people, particularly when you consider the plethora of services that are available, the many fees and surcharges that appear on the bill, and to put "icing on the cake," the use of terms (and abbreviations) that are unfamiliar to some consumers.
Following is a list of terms with accompanying definitions or descriptions used in telecommunications that the Commission believes will give you a better understanding of this complex industry.
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Automatic Dialing and Announcement Device (ADAD) -

A device used to deliver computer-generated calls and prerecorded messages for the purpose of advertising goods, services, or property that is for lease or sale.

Alternate Operator Services (AOS) -

Companies that resale telecommunications services and provide telephone operator services.

Competitive Local Exchange Company (CLEC) -

A company that received authority to provide local telephone service subsequent to the enactment of the Georgia Competition and Development Act of 1995 and the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. The rates charged by CLEC's are not regulated by the Commission.

Cramming -

Billing for unauthorized products and/or services.

Extended Area Service (EAS) -

An arrangement that allows a telephone customer to call an area(s) that was formerly long distance as part of the customers' local calling area. Subscribers in the affected areas share the costs associated with receiving the benefits of EAS.

Independent Local Exchange Company (ILEC) -

A company that provided telephone service in a specific geographical location prior to deregulation of the local telephone service market.

Institutional Telecommunications Services (ITS) Provider -

A private telecommunication company that provides pay phones services to institutions, as an example, correctional facilities.

Interstate Call -

A call that begins in one state and ends in a different state. As an example, a person living in Chattanooga, Tennessee calls a person living in Roswell, Georgia.

Intrastate Call -

A call that begins and ends in the same state. As an example, a person residing in Atlanta, Georgia calls a person residing in Augusta, Georgia.

Jamming -

Occurs when a telephone company (that has a customer-initiated pic freeze on file) refuses to honor a request from another service provider to switch the customer's service. Customer has to contact original carrier to request that the pic freeze be removed.

Local Number Portability (LNP) Charge -

A charge that allows local telephone companies to recover certain costs of providing LNP to its customer. Provides residential and business telephone customers with the ability to retain, at the same location, their existing local telephone numbers when switching from one service provider to another. The fixed LNP charge may appear on a customer's bill for five years from the date the charge was first assessed to the customer.

N11 -

The generic term for a three-digit telephone number assigned for special services (i.e., 911 for emergency assistance, 211 for United Way or 811 for pay-per-call services).

Optional Extended Area Service (OEAS) -

An arrangement that allows a specific customer to call a specific area an unlimited number of times for a flat monthly fee.

Primary Interexchange Carrier (PIC) Freeze -

A request to the local telephone company identifying the consumer's preferred service provider. Local company will not honor a request to change without customer's authorization.

Phishing (also called "carding" or "brand spoofing") -

A high-tech scam that uses spamming to trick consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, computer passwords and other sensitive information in order for the "phisher" to get personal information to use to wreak havoc on a consumer's good name.

Slamming -

The unauthorized change in a consumer's preferred telephone service provider.

Spamming -

Unwanted commercial e-mail sent to large numbers of people to promote products or services.

Subscriber Line Charge (SLC) pronounced "slick" -

The charge that covers the cost of providing local telephone lines to deliver telecommunications services. The state SLC pays the costs associated with intrastate and local exchange services. The Federal SLC covers the costs pertinent to interstate and international services. On the Federal level this charge may appear on the telephone bill as: "FCC Charge for Network Access." "Federal Line Cost Charge," "Interstate Access Charge," "Federal Access Charge," "Interstate Single Line Charge," "Customer Line Charge" or "FCC-Approved Customer Line Charge."

Tariff -

A schedule that contains the company's rules and regulations, as well as the fees and rates for services offered.

Telephone Service Observing Equipment (TSOE) -

A device attached to a telephone system that allows calls to be monitored.

Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) -

A service that allows hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals to communicate with individuals who do not have a hearing or speech impairment. Does not require that the hearing person invest in any special equipment.

Universal Access Fee (UAF) -

A fund established by O.C.G.A. 46-5-167, administered by the Georgia Public Service Commission, for the purpose of offsetting reductions in access fees charged by local exchange companies.

Universal Service Fund (USF) also called "Universal Connectivity Fee" -

the USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans. Congress mandated that all telephone companies providing interstate service must contribute to the USF. It is a carrier's choice to pass the USF contribution costs on to its customers.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) also known as "Internet Voice" -

a technology that allows one to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.

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