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Abbreviated Dialing - A telephone service feature that - a) permits the user to dial fewer digits to access a network than are required under the normal numbering plan, and; (b) is limited to a subscriber-selected set of frequently dialed numbers. Synonym: speed dialing Access - (1) Point at which entry is gained into a circuit or a network interconnection; may be switched or dedicated. (2) Ability to obtain data from a storage device or peripheral. (3) Type of connection between customer premises equipment (CPE) and an interexchange carrier' s network. Access Charge - A fee charged to subscribers or other telephone companies by a local exchange carrier for the use of its local exchange network facilities. After the break-up of AT&T in 1982, the FCC adopted access charge rules to govern the way the local phone companies recover these costs. Some of the costs of providing access to the "local loop" are recovered through a flat, monthly line charge - sometimes called a subscriber line charge (SLC) - that they assess directly to consumers. The local phone companies recover the remainder of their costs attributable to the use of the "local loop" through charges they assess long distance companies. Both of these fees, which recover the costs that local telephone companies incur in providing their facilities, are referred to as "access charges." Access Line - (1) Circuit between a subscriber and a switching center. (2) Private lines feeding a common control switching arrangement or enhanced private switched communications service switch from a PBX. Access Tandem - A tandem switch that is used to interconnect between carriers for equal access. Typically, this used to interconnect ILECs with IXCs, but now also includes CLECs. The Act - The Telecommunications Act of 1996. Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) - A network functionality that permits specific conditions to be programmed into a switch which, when met, directs the switch to suspend call processing and to receive special instructions for further call handling instructions in order to enable carriers to offer advanced features and services. Affiliate - A corporation or other entity directly or indirectly controlled by, controlling or under common control with such Party. "Control" means the power to direct the management and policies of the entity whether through the ownership of voting securities by agreement, or otherwise. Aggregator - Any person or business who, in the normal course of business, provides a public telephone for the use of patrons through an Operator Service Provider (OSP). American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) - The standard code used for information interchange among data processing systems, data communications systems and associated equipment in the United States. ASCII code letters, numbers, punctuation and actual control systems in digital codes of "0"s and "1"s. Note 1: The ASCII character set contains 128 coded characters. Note 2: Each ASCII character is a 7-bit coded unique character; 8 bits when a parity check bit is included. Note 3: The ASCII character set consists of control characters and graphic characters. Note 4: When considered simply as a set of 128 unique bit patterns, or 256 with a parity bit, disassociated from the character equivalencies in national implementations, the ASCII may be considered as an alphabet used in machine languages. Note 5: The ASCII is the U.S. implementation of International Alphabet No. 5 (IA No. 5). Analog - Analog is "shorthand" for the word analogous, which means "similar to." The signal being sent - voice or video - is sent as a stream of changing radio waves and is 2 similar to what is received. This produces a nearly square video picture with generally a 480 line resolution picture. Area Code (AC) - A three digit number identifying geographic areas of the United States and Canada which permits direct distance dialing on the telephone system. A similar global numbering plan has been established for international subscriber dialing. Synonym: Numbering Plan Area (NPA). Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) - A digital line that uses the existing twisted pair copper telephone network to achieve speeds of up to 6 megabits per second up to 12000 feet, or 1.5 megabits per second up to 18000 feet. Asymmetrical - Providing differing bandwidth in different directions. 56K modems are asymmetrical; they offer a maximum speed of 56K for downloading, but only 28.8 K or 33.6K for uploading. Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) - An advanced technology that transports data in packet form. Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) - Device that handles heavy incoming call volume. It sends a call to the first available answering position or, if all positions are busy, plays a recorded message and puts calls in a queue until an answering position becomes available. Automatic Location Identification (ALI) - A technology advanced by the FCC to help identify and locate the source of emergency 911 calls made from mobile phones. See E911 Automatic Number Identification (ANI) - A service feature in which the directory number or equipment number of a calling station is automatically obtained. Note: ANI is used in message accounting. Automatic Route Selection - Electronic or mechanical selection and routing of outgoing calls without human intervention.

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