A fee charged subscribers or other telephone
companies by a local exchange carrier for the use of
its local exchange networks.
A signaling method that uses continuous changes in
the amplitude or frequency of a radio transmission
to convey information.
The capacity of a telecom line to carry signals. The
necessary bandwidth is the amount of spectrum
required to transmit the signal without distortion
or loss of information. FCC rules require
suppression of the signal outside the band to
Broadband is a descriptive term for evolving digital
technologies that provide consumers a signal
switched facility offering integrated access to
voice, high-speed data service, video-demand
services, and interactive delivery services.
CALLING PARTY PAYS
A billing method in which a wireless phone caller
pays only for making calls and not for receiving
them. The standard American billing system requires
wireless phone customers to pay for all calls made
and received on a wireless phone.
This term, often used for all wireless phones
regardless of the technology they use, derives from
cellular base stations that receive and transmit
calls. Both cellular and PCS phones use cellular
A service for persons with hearing disabilities that
translates television program dialog into written
words on the television screen.
COMMERCIAL LEASED ACCESS
Manner through which independent video producers can
access cable capacity for a fee.
In the telecommunications arena, the term used to
describe a telephone company.
A person who facilitates telephone conversation
between text telephone users, users of sign language
or individuals with speech disabilities through a
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). This service
allows a person with hearing or speech disabilities
to communicate with anyone else via telephone at no
A service through which subscribers pay to have
local television stations and additional programs
brought into their homes from an antenna via a
A practice in which customers are billed for
enhanced features such as voice mail, caller-ID and
call-waiting that they have not ordered.
Long distance services that require consumers to
dial a long-distance providerís access code (or
"10-10" number) before dialing a long-distance
number to bypass or "dial around" the consumerís
chosen long-distance carrier in order to get a
DIGITAL TELEVISION (DTV)
A new technology for transmitting and receiving
broadcast television signals. DTV provides clearer
resolution and improved sound quality.
DIRECT BROADCAST SATELLITE
A high-powered satellite that transmits or
retransmits signals which are intended for direct
reception by the public. The signal is transmitted
to a small earth station or dish (usually the size
of an 18-inch pizza pan) mounted on homes or other
Also called electronic mail, refers to messages sent
over the Internet. E-mail can be sent and received
via newer types of wireless phones, but you
generally need to have a specific e-mail account.
ENHANCED SERVICE PROVIDERS
A for-profit business that offers to transmit voice
and data messages and simultaneously adds value to
the messages it transmits. Examples include
telephone answering services, alarm/security
companies and transaction processing companies.
An informal meeting held by the Commission to hear
presentations on specific topics by diverse parties.
The Commissioners, or other officials, question
presenters and use their comments in considering FCC
rules and policies on the subject matter under
FREQUENCY MODULATION (FM)
A signaling method that varies the carrier frequency
in proportion to the amplitude of the modulating
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
A US satellite system that lets those on the ground,
on the water or in the air determine their position
with extreme accuracy using GPS receivers.
HIGH DEFINITION TELEVISION
An improved television system which provides
approximately twice the vertical and horizontal
resolution of existing television standards. It also
provides audio quality approaching that of compact
INTERACTIVE VIDEO DATA
A communication system, operating over a short
distance, that allows nearly instantaneous two-way
responses by using a hand-held device at a fixed
location. Viewer participation in game shows,
distance learning and e-mail on computer networks
FIXED SERVICE (ITFS)
A service provided by one or more fixed microwave
stations operated by an educational organization and
used to transmit instructional information to fixed
Traditional wired phone service.
LAND MOBILE SERVICE
A public or private radio service providing two-way
communication, paging and radio signaling on land.
LOW POWER FM RADIO (LPFM)
A broadcast service that permits the licensing of
50-100 watt FM radio stations within a service
radius of up to 3.5 miles and 1-10 watt FM radio
stations within a service radius of 1 to 2 miles.
LOW POWER TELEVISION (LPTV)
A broadcast service that permits program
origination, subscription service or both via low
powered television translators. LPTV service
includes the existing translator service and
operates on a secondary basis to regular television
stations. Transmitter output is limited to 1,000
watts for normal VHF stations and 100 watts when a
VHF operation is on an allocated channel.
A 1992 Cable Act term requiring a cable system to
carry signals of both commercial and noncommercial
television broadcast stations that are "local" to
the area served by the cable system.
Any connection of two or more computers that enables
them to communicate. Networks may include
transmission devices, servers, cables, routers and
satellites. The phone network is the total
infrastructure for transmitting phone messages.
A term used to describe the capability of
individuals, businesses and organizations to retain
their existing telephone number(s) ĖĖ and the same
quality of service ĖĖ when switching to a new local
OPEN VIDEO SYSTEMS
An alternative method to provide cable-like video
service to subscribers.
OPERATOR SERVICE PROVIDER (OSP)
A common carrier that provides services from public
phones, including payphones and those in
A one-way mobile radio service where a user carries
a small, lightweight miniature radio receiver
capable of responding to coded signals. These
devices, called "pagers," emit an audible signal,
vibrate or do both when activated by an incoming
Any of several types of wireless, voice and/or data
communications systems, typically incorporating
digital technology. PCS licenses are most often used
to provide services similar to advanced cellular
mobile or paging services. However, PCS can also be
used to provide other wireless communications
services, including services that allow people to
place and receive communications while away from
their home or office, as well as wireless
communications to homes, office buildings and other
The charge the local exchange company assesses the
long distance company when a consumer picks it as
his or her long distance carrier.
The use of a wireless phone outside of
the "home" service area defined by a service
provider. Higher per-minute rates are usually
charged for calls made or received while roaming.
Long distance rates and a daily access fee may also
A radio relay station that orbits the earth. A
complete satellite communications system also
includes earth stations that communicate with each
other via the satellite. The satellite receives a
signal transmitted by an originating earth station
and retransmits that signal to the destination earth
station(s). Satellites are used to transmit
telephone, television and data signals originated by
common carriers, broadcasters and distributors of
cable TV program material.
SATELLITE HOME VIEWER
IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1999 (SHVIA)
An Act modifying the Satellite Home Viewer Act of
1988, SHVIA permits satellite companies to provide
local broadcast TV signals to all subscribers who
reside in the local TV stationís market. SHVIA also
permits satellite companies to provide "distant"
network broadcast stations to eligible satellite
SATELLITE MASTER ANTENNA
A satellite dish system used to deliver signals to
multiple dwelling units (e.g., apartment buildings
and trailer parks).
A radio receiver that moves across a wide range of
radio frequencies and allows audiences to listen to
any of the frequencies.
The rate plan you select when choosing a wireless
phone service. A service plan typically consists of
a monthly base rate for access to the system and a
fixed amount of minutes per month.
A telecommunications provider that owns circuit
The term used to describe what occurs when a
customerís long distance service is switched from
one long distance company to another without the
customerís permission. Such unauthorized switching
violates FCC rules.
The range of electromagnetic radio frequencies used
in the transmission of sound, data and television.
SUBSCRIBER LINE CHARGE (SLC)
A monthly fee paid by telephone subscribers that is
used to compensate the local telephone company for
part of the cost of installation and maintenance of
the telephone wire, poles and other facilities that
link your home to the telephone network. These
wires, poles and other facilities are referred to as
the "local loop." The SLC is one component of access
The documents filed by a carrier describing their
services and the payments to be charged for such
A free service that enables persons with TTYs,
individuals who use sign language and people who
have speech disabilities to use telephone services
by having a third party transmit and translate the
The word used to describe the science of
transmitting voice over a telecommunications
A type of machine that allows people with hearing or
speech disabilities to communicate over the phone
using a keyboard and a viewing screen. It is
sometimes called a TDD.
The term used to describe the access provided by
local exchange carriers so that other service
providers can buy or lease portions of its network
elements, such as interconnection loops, to serve
The financial mechanism which helps compensate
telephone companies or other communications entities
for providing access to telecommunications services
at reasonable and affordable rates throughout the
country, including rural, insular and high costs
areas, and to public institutions. Companies, not
consumers, are required by law to contribute to this
fund. The law does not prohibit companies from
passing this charge on to customers.
VERY HIGH FREQUENCY (VHF)
The part of the radio spectrum from 30 to 300
megahertz, which includes TV Channels 2-13, the FM
broadcast band and some marine, aviation and land
An audio narration for television viewers who are
blind or visually disabled, which consists of verbal
descriptions of key visual elements in a television
program, such as settings and actions not reflected
in dialog. Narrations are inserted into the
programís natural pauses, and are typically provided
through the Secondary Audio Programming channel.
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