telecom - telecommunications, a general terms describing the activities, operations and technologies related to analog and digital communications, including telephone service

carrier - provider of telecommunications services (i.e., local telephone company)

CLEC - competitive local exchange carrier, a provider or carrier who "competes" with an already-established carrier (ILEC) by providing its own network and switching (e.g., PriorityONE)

ILEC - incumbent local exchange carrier, a provider in a specific geographic area who was the local provider of telephone services (typically under the original Bell System) prior to the enactment of the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996

FCC - Federal Communications Commission, the US government agency that regulates the industry

NID - Network Interface Device, the book-sized enclosure typically affixed to an outside wall of your house or building that houses your incoming phone line connections

TN - telephone number

LD - long distance

Port or convert - to transfer your telephone number from one telecommunications service provider to another (under a scheme whereby your number remains constant regardless of who your service provider is)

PIC - Primary Interexchange Carrier, a four-digit code required to route your LD (long distance) traffic to a third-party LD service provider

MRC - monthly recurring charge

NRC - non-recurring charge

Letter of Agency or LOA - formal authorization required by the FCC to be submitted by you and kept on file by your telecom service provider. It is you giving your permission for that provider to be your phone service provider.

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