LEC is an acronym for local exchange carrier and it refers to a public telephone company that provides local services. Generally, LECs are large companies such as the regional Bell operating company, which was created when the AT&T monopoly was diversified more. The main focus of their local service capabilities is the local exchange system they rely on. This is called the central office or CO.
Technipages Explains LEC
That central office serves businesses as well as homes in a specific region, for example, a district in a city or a region in a country. Local exchanges are connected to the home office, and further to other local exchanges through local access and transport area carriers called LATA, or through long-distance carriers like Sprint ar AT&T. As for LATAs – Local access and transport area is a term used in U.S. telecommunications regulations. Outside of the US, the term is not used.
When in 1984 the existing AT&T network was broken up and split between short and long-distance carriers. The majority of the regional services are referred to as Baby Bells – spin-offs affiliated with larger carrier companies. The ones that aren’t are usually referred to as the independents – they are, as the name implies, independent companies that serve mostly rural areas in the US not already covered by other services. The Bell System was broken up in 1982 because of an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T – the result was the local and long-distance carriers that make up the current setup.
Common Uses of LEC
- LECs are local telephone companies that, combined with LATAs, provide phone networks.
- Although LECs are usually affiliated with bigger companies, independent ones exist.
- AT&T’s Bell monopoly was broken up into LATAs and LECs.
Common Misuses of LEC
- An LEC provides virtual phone services to small to medium businesses.