Local Exchange Carrier (LEC)

A telephone company that is responsible for managing calls within a specific territory, such as a city or county. In the United States, wire line telephone companies are divided into two large categories: long distance (interexchange carrier, or IXCs) and local (local exchange carrier, or LECs). LECs are used to provide telecommunications access to subscribers in a rural area or LATA that is not governed by a larger telecommunications company. LECs are advantageous to these subscribers because they allow them to contact local residents and may do business with an IXC to provide their customers with long-distance calls as an additional service.

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