DSL Network Guide Chapter 13: CLECs
The company that owns the telephone lines are refered to as ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier.) No matter who you purchase your local phone service from it always goes through the ILECs lines. Because of the Telecomunications Act of 1996 all ILECs must resell these lines to a competitor. These competative companies are called CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier.) The idea is to give consumers a choice of telephone companies and thus create competition. The effectiveness and fairness of this is a highly debated topic.
This becomes important when ordering DSL because you can only order DSL through the company that offers you your telephone service. Even if you order AOL DSL it is through your local phone provider. If your DSL is being offered by a company other than your local ILEC this can sometimes cause frustations when you have DSL issues.
When you call in your DSL problems to your DSL company their technicians should attempt to determine if it's an issue at your house or outside of your house. If it is outside of your house then problem needs to be turned over to the lines technicians. This should all be done internally between the two companies. Some ISPs do not do a very good job at this and this can cause you lots of frustrations. Some times customers are told to call their local ILEC telco. You should never have to do this unless you have dial-tone issues. Another problem some people have reported is that sometimes ILECs, not very happy about having to resell their lines, put CLEC requests to the back of the line or don't put too much priority on them. And in other cases the CLECs do a poor job at submitted these issues. Problems like these have made many people switch everything over to just their local ILEC.
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