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What is the difference between ILEC vs LEC?

I know that ILEC is "incumbent local exchange carrier". In practical terms though, can you give me an example on how ILEC operations differs from the LEC?

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Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: What is the difference between ILEC vs LEC?

Hello Marlon,

this terminology has been introduced in US telephony market.

A way to describe the difference between an ILEC and a LEC is the following:

the ILEC is the operator that was the single operator in an area before unbundling took place, it is the owner/user of CO buildings.

A LEC is a relative newcomer that after derugulation unbundling has started to place its own equipment in CO, an end user can ask to be connected to a LEC.  The local loop is rewired in CO to LEC CO equipment.

Here, in Europe the incumbent operator is the operator  that in each country was the national phone company before market had been opened.

They were usually public companies that now have become private companies.

Hope to help

Giuseppe

New Member

Re: What is the difference between ILEC vs LEC?

The ILEC is the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier.  In most markets this would be Qwest, ATT, Verizon, etc.... Then you have your CLEC.  The Competitive Local Exchange Carrier.   These carriers colocate equipment in the ILEC's facilities to gain access to the Local Loop, which the ILEC owns, but is required by law to lease to CLECs. So if you ask, what is a LEC?  It could be either one.  Both CLECs and ILECs are LECs.  Although in most cases when someone refers to the LEC, they are most likely talking about the ILEC.  Clear as mud? 

I suppose I should note that I work for a CLEC in the USA.  If these terms take on different meanings in other countries I'm sure someone else could explain those definitions better than I.

Let me know if I wasn't very clear or if you have additional questions.  I would love to help if I can.

DW

2 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: What is the difference between ILEC vs LEC?

Hello Marlon,

this terminology has been introduced in US telephony market.

A way to describe the difference between an ILEC and a LEC is the following:

the ILEC is the operator that was the single operator in an area before unbundling took place, it is the owner/user of CO buildings.

A LEC is a relative newcomer that after derugulation unbundling has started to place its own equipment in CO, an end user can ask to be connected to a LEC.  The local loop is rewired in CO to LEC CO equipment.

Here, in Europe the incumbent operator is the operator  that in each country was the national phone company before market had been opened.

They were usually public companies that now have become private companies.

Hope to help

Giuseppe

New Member

Re: What is the difference between ILEC vs LEC?

The ILEC is the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier.  In most markets this would be Qwest, ATT, Verizon, etc.... Then you have your CLEC.  The Competitive Local Exchange Carrier.   These carriers colocate equipment in the ILEC's facilities to gain access to the Local Loop, which the ILEC owns, but is required by law to lease to CLECs. So if you ask, what is a LEC?  It could be either one.  Both CLECs and ILECs are LECs.  Although in most cases when someone refers to the LEC, they are most likely talking about the ILEC.  Clear as mud? 

I suppose I should note that I work for a CLEC in the USA.  If these terms take on different meanings in other countries I'm sure someone else could explain those definitions better than I.

Let me know if I wasn't very clear or if you have additional questions.  I would love to help if I can.

DW

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