What does “local access” mean?

Local Access is telephone service that provides calling within the immediate area around your home, as is commonly called “Local Service”. To find out what calls are within your local access area, please click here.

What is a LATA?

LATA stands for “Local Access Transport Area” and is a designated geographical area where the Local Exchange Carriers provide long distance calling service. These areas are often called “local-toll” or “regional toll” calling areas.” The United States is divided into 198 LATA’s.

IntraLATA refers to calls made within your area code that are still considered long distance to you.

InterLATA refers to calls made outside your area code that are considered long distance to you.

What is a LEC?

LEC stands for Local Exchange Carrier and refers to a local telephone company that provides local services and intralata long distance service.

What is a RBOC?

RBOC stands for Regional Bell Operating Companies. These are companies that were divested from AT&T in 1984. These companies are also known as “Baby Bell” companies and are considered ILEC’s. Today they include AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, and CenturyLink. They provide local telephone services to the majority of users in most states.

What is an ILEC?

ILEC stands for Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier. These are companies that were providers of local telephone services prior to deregulation in 1996. This includes companies such as Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, U S WEST, GTE, Sprint, SNET, and many smaller companies.

What is a CLEC?

CLEC stands for Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. They are local telephone companies that compete with the main local phone company. They may be resellers of a facilities-based or other provider or they may provide their own facilities. Clear Rate Communications is considered a CLEC.

What are the different charges on my phone bill?

Bills for residential and business customers for LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) services include a variety of the following elements.

  • Recurring fixed charges for lines, trunks, and optional features
  • Usage charges for Local Calling and Extended Local Calling.
  • Usage charges for Long Distance Calling.
  • Usage charges for Directory Assistance, operator, and information services.
  • Charges for directory advertising.
  • Non-recurring charges associated with installation, change of services, and rate changes.
  • Taxes, surcharges, and fees imposed

In addition, your local provider may function as a billing agent for other companies such as long distance providers, directory listing companies, internet providers, and more. In such cases, the charges from those companies will be included on a separate section of your local telephone bill. Clear Rate generally bans most 3rd party billing to protect customers against unwanted and unauthorized charges from other companies.

What is DID?

Direct-Inward-Dialing refers to a feature of business lines that enables dialing directly from outside telephones to internal station numbers without an attendant’s assistance. This is accomplished via special trunks and customer-owned phone equipment.