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  • 1+ - What we call an "outbound" long distance call as in when you dial it (one plus the area code and number).
  • 10xxx - The generic representation for an "access code" that enables a call to be routed over a carrier that that line being used is not "PICed" to.
  • 800 - What we call an "inbound" call that is free to the caller because the toll charge is reversed and appears on the bill of the "callee".
  • Access Code - See 10xxx.
  • Agent - A person who represents a company's product line not as an employee of that company but as an independent contractor. Once the agent signs a customer up for the company's services the rights to that customer generally falls to the company. The agent is usually paid a commission for his or her services. 
  • ANI - The 10-digit number that designates a phone line. If a customer has 15 phone lines then all 15 separate and distinct ANIs must be identified to ensure that all long distance traffic is being switched from the old to the new carrier. If a customer doesn't know or have a list of all their ANIs (or even if they do) you should get the customer to sign an LOA so you can confirm all the ANIs through the local phone company.
  • Bad Debt - What happens when a customer you bring to a carrier doesn't pay their bill.
  • You must know from your agent contract what repercussion you will face. Must the bill be paid from your commissions? 
  • BOC - Bell Operating Company. Another name for the LEC, "baby bell" or local phone company.
  • Bypass - When a customer avoids using the LEC to connect to their long distance carrier.
  • BTN - Billed Telephone Number. The "main number" of a customer's service that the LEC uses as a customer's account number. It is usually also an actual ANI. Will generally have WTNs associated with it. Every separate, distinct phone bill a customer gets will generally have a separate BTN. Each BTN must usually be distinctly identified as well as its associated WTNs to prevent leakage. Just ask the customer "how many separate local phone bills do you get in a month?" Calling Card - See Travel Card & Prepaid Calling Card.
  • Carrier - That entity that connects the phone call. Generally refers to the long distance carrier that actually owns and operates the equipment that the long distance service provider is using. (e.g. NOS is the long distance company but WilTel is the underlying carrier.)
  • Channel Bank - That piece of equipment that allows T-1 digital line to plug into an analog phone system.
  • CO - Central Office. Refers to either the LEC's local building that provide dial tone to the customer and/or phone line coming from the central office. Is often used interchangeably with ANI.
  • Dialer - An external device that dials a long distance carrier's "access code" so that the following call will be routed over a specific network.
  • FUD - Fear Uncertainty & Doubt. What AT&T sews into the minds of their customers in order to keep them from switching to another carrier. "No one ever lost their job because they stayed with AT&T!" 
  • GTE - A local phone company that operates within many baby bell or LEC territories.
  • IEC - InterExchange Carrier. Another name for the long distance carrier or IXC.
  • IXC - See IEC.
  • KSU - Key Service Unit. That part of a phone system that is the "brain" or phone computer. It allows the intercom to work correctly
  • LATA - The odd little areas that Bellcorp broke phone state districts into. The LECs used to have a monopoly on all calls connected within a LATA and are generally prohibited from connecting calls between LATAs.
  • Leakage - That long distance traffic that is billing on another long distance carrier even though you were supposed to "pick it up". Leakage means that you most likely did not correctly identify all a customer's ANIs. It can usually only be spotted by physically reviewing a customer's other telecom bills looking for incidental long distance charges. It's important to do because if you say you're going to pick up all the traffic and then miss some it doesn't make you look very good in front of your customer.
  • LEC - Local Exchange Carrier. See BOC.
  • LOA - Letter of Agency. What the customer can sign to give some other entity additional authority to contact the LEC on their behalf  to facilitate the switching of long distance carriers.
  • Loop charge - That installation and monthly recurring fees charged by the LEC to connect a customer to their long distance carrier via T-1.
  • PBX - Private Branch Exchange. A really big KSU. Usually seen in companies with 20 or more phone lines. A fairly sophisticated phone computer.
  • PIC - Primary Interexchange Carrier. That carrier designated to automatically carry the long distance call on that specific ANI without the use of an access code. The use of an access code overrides the PIC.
  • PIC charge - The one-time fee charged by the LEC to the customer to change the PIC on an ANI from one long distance company's 10xxx access code to another.
  • Prepaid Calling Card - A card that has so many prepaid minutes of long distance already on it such that when all the minutes are all used up the card must be "recharged" or discarded.
  • Rebiller - An entity that resells another long distance company's service. Unlike an agent, the rebiller retains rights to the customer as the rebiller is the actual customer so far as the long distance company is concerned since the rebiller provides their own customer service to the customer and renders to the customer their own bill.
  • Reseller - See rebiller.
  • RESPORG - Responsible Organization. That carrier that has been designated to "be responsible" to ensure a customer's 800 long distance traffic is routed over the correct carrier. Must be identified as the resporg must be commanded to switch the customer's traffic to the network you represent. Can be verified by calling 800.959.2000 x 1.
  • SS7 - That phone magic that permits a long distance call to be connected really fast.
  • T1 - A digital phone line that can accommodate up to 24 or more voice phone conversations at one time if a customer has all the right special equipment. Connects a customer directly to their long distance carrier. Also known as a DS1.
  • TCM - Telecommunications Manager. that person within a customer's organization tasked with the responsibility for the phone system.
  • Travel Card - A telephone "credit card" that allows one to make calls from any phone and have the charges for that phone call appear on the long distance account associated with the card.
  • Trunk - Another name for the type of CO or ANI that goes into a PBX. May be identified not by the usual 10-digit designation but by "ters" or "terminal numbers". (e.g. ter 1, ter 2, etc.)
  • WTN - Working Telephone Numbers. Those ANIs that are subordinate to a BTN


  • In-state/Intrastate Calls
    Calls made within one state

    Initial/Minimum Billing Increment
    The minimum unit of time usually 1 minute or 30 seconds a provider bills for a completed domestic phone call.  are typically billed in 1 minute increments.

    Additional Billing Increment
    The unit of time charged for each call after the initial billing increment. With a one-minute additional billing increment, the calls are charged in minutes whether a call is 10 seconds or 30 seconds past each minute.

    An additional charge above the usual charge for a service.

    Toll Free Call
    A call that does not involve a charge to the caller, such as a call to a number with an 800, 833, 844, 855, 888, 877 or 866 prefix.

    Monthly Service Fee/Charge
    Charges for basic  each month. NACI's local and international call forwarding service does not carry such a fee.

    Minimum Usage
    The minimum amount of long distance required each month for the rate given without a service fee.

    Universal Service Fee
    Fee that carriers charge for  each month including taxes charged by the state.

    Interstate/State-to-state Calls
    Calls made from one state to another

    Local Toll Call
    A call that travels further than a local call and costs more; (in CA, a call of 13 or more miles). Also called local

    Carrier Line Charge
    A monthly fee that each carrier charges for each phone line

    Calls made between countries. You must dial special prefix codes to make international calls, for example 011 in the US and 001 in Japan. Calls made from within the US to Canada are usually considered to be domestic, not international, calls. Calls to other countries can be expensive on a per-minute basis.


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