Glossary

Term Definition Category
Access Charge A charge for the use of their facilities from local phone companies to long distance companies. Fee
Activation Fee A one-time fee providers charge to start your service. Fee
Broadband Internet A generic term for internet which exceeds traditional dial-up speeds. May include Wireless, DSL, cable, or FiOS. Internet
Broadband Internet FiOS A type of broadband internet that uses fiber optic cables to provide a high-speed connection. Internet
Carrier Cost Recovery This fee is charged by some telecom providers to recover costs associated with providing interstate and international calling. Fee
Community WiFi A type of wireless internet service that is provided within a designated town, community, or neighborhood. A WiFi adapter is all that is usually needed to access this type of internet. Internet
Cooperative A cooperative is a corporation or association that functions as an ILEC. General
Cost Per Megabyte Price charged by the megabyte (MB) after going over the amount of data included. Wireless
Cost Per Text Amount charged per text after going over the included text message limit. Keep in mind that this charge may include both incoming out outgoing messages. Wireless
Customer Line Charge This is the same as the Network Access Charge, required by the FCC to help cover the local phone company's fixed operational and maintenance costs. Fee
Data Data may refer to either the use of web services, e-mail, or picture/video messaging (MMS). Wireless
Deactivation Time This is the amount of time service providers allow to cancel service before incurring any early termination fees (ETF). In many cases this will equal to a provider's return policy. General
Dial-up Internet service which is accessed over traditional telephone lines by dialing a number with a modem. If you have only one phone line, you will not receive calls while using the internet unless you have Call Waiting. Internet
Digital Phone A form of Internet Protocol Phone Service. This is a phone service which uses your existing broadband connection, rather than a traditional phone line. Local, Long Distance, and International Long Distance are available through this service. Please note: This phone service will not operate during power outages. No incoming or outgoing calls, including 911, can be made if your power or internet connection is disrupted. VoIP
Domestic and International Long Distance This is a long distance plan that includes in-state, interstate, and international calling. International rates may vary greatly between countries and type of phone called (i.e., landline or mobile). Long Distance
Domestic Long Distance This is a long distance calling plan that only includes in-state and interstate calling. International calling may not be available. Long Distance
DSL Abbreviation for "Digital Subscriber Line". DSL is a form of internet service that uses traditional telephone wires to transmit a broadband internet signal. The advantage of DSL over dial-up is that you can surf the web at much greater speeds, while still being able to make and receive telephone calls. Internet
E911 This is the fee for the Emergency 911 Service that is applied to your monthly bill, sometimes referred to as the emergency communications tax. Fee
EAS Abbreviation for Extended Area Service. This is local phone service whose calling area extends beyond the local exchange without incurring long distance or toll charges. Local
EAS Charge Extended Area Service charge. This may be either a flat rate monthly charge, or a by-the-minute measured rate. Long Distance
EAS Charge Measured Extended Area Service rate, charged by the minute. Local
EAS Charge Monthly Extended Area Service rate, charged as a flat monthly rate. Local
EAS Region When mulitiple exchanges want equal access to each other they form an EAS Region - in Oregon both Portland Metro and Southern Oregon are EAS regions. General
EAS Route This is the route connecting two exchanges. General
eMTA Abbreviation for "Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter". This is a combined cable modem and VoIP terminal that allows one to plug in a traditional telephone and place calls over the internet. VoIP
Equipment Fee The equipment fee may be a one-time purchase for equipment, or a monthly rental fee. Fee
ETF Abbreviation for Early Termination Fee. This is a penalty fee charged to you if you cancel service before your contract or plan agreement is completed. Always be aware of how long a contract or agreement is for before signing up for service. Fee
Exchange The local calling area - geographical area covered by a flat local rate. General
Extended Area Service Local phone service whose calling area extends beyond the local exchange without incurring long distance or toll charges. Local
Extended Local Service Local telephone service which includes Extended Area Service (EAS). Local
Family Mobile Plan Sometimes called "Shared" plans, these are wireless phone plans designed for multiple phones/lines. All lines on the plan deduct minutes from the total allowance. Wireless
FCC Approved Customer Line Charge Same as Network Access Charge, required by the FCC to help cover the local phone company's fixed operational and maintenance costs. Fee
FCC Charge for Network Access Required by the FCC helps cover the local phone company's fixed operational and maintenance costs. Fee
Federal Access Charge See FCC Charge for Network Access. Fee
Federal Excise Tax Seen on phone bills - it is a 3% tax mandated by the federal government and is applied to local calls billed separately from long distance. Fee
Federal Telecommunications Relay Service Enables phone conversations between people with speech/hearing impairments - all interstate carriers must support the Federal TRS and a percentage of customer's interstate long-distance charges is used for this. General
Federal Universal Service Fund Federal funding system that helps make phone service affordable to all Americans. Fee
FiOS Abbreviation for Fiber Optic Service. Internet
Flat Rate Monthly Charge - constant amount which does not change with usage. Local
Flat Rate Extended Local Service Local phone service that includes Extended Area Service (EAS), charged at a monthly flat rate. Local
Flat Rate Extended Local Service Digital Local digital phone service that includes Extended Area Service (EAS), charged at a monthly flat rate. This is a phone service that uses your existing broadband connection, rather than a traditional phone line Local
Flat Rate Extended Local with Long Distance Local phone service that includes Extended Area Service (EAS), charged at a monthly flat rate, with an attached Long Distance Plan. Local
Flat Rate Extended Local with Long Distance - Digital Local digital phone service that includes Extended Area Service (EAS), charged at a monthly flat rate, with an attached Long Distance Plan. This is a phone service that uses your existing broadband connection, rather than a traditional phone line. Local
Flat Rate Local Service with Measured Extended Service Local phone service that includes Extended Area Service (EAS) charged at a measured, or by-the-minute, rate. Local
Franchise Fee Covers the phone company's cost of operating within the city or municipality. Includes the payments to maintain the company's right to place poles, cables and wires along pubic streets, etc. Fee
FTTH Abbreviation for Fiber to the Home another term for residential fiber optic telecom service. This specifically refers to fiber optic lines that go directly to a residence. Internet
ILEC Abbreviation for Incumbent Local Exchange carrier. This is a telecommunications utility OR cooperative with a certificate of authority issued under ORS 759.025. General
In-State Calling This refers to long distance calls made to other locations within the state. Many telecom providers will have different rates for in-state calls than calls made to other states (interstate). Long Distance
Individual Mobile Plan Wireless phone plan designed for use with one phone/line. Wireless
Initial Charge This is the minimum amount you will be charged for each call you make. If your call is shorter than the amount of the Initial Charge, you will still be charged for that minimum amount. Long Distance
Inter-exchange Measured By-the-minute charge for long distance calls made to other areas of the state. Local
Internet Protocol Phone Service Generic term for VoIP or Digital Phone. This is a phone service which uses your existing broadband internet connection, rather than a traditional phone line. Local, Long Distance, and International Long Distance are available through this service. Please note: This phone service will not operate during power outages. No incoming or outgoing calls, including 911, can be made if your power or internet connection is disrupted. VoIP
InterState Rate By-the-minute charge for long distance calls made to other states. Local
ISP Abbreviation for "Internet Service Provider". Internet
IXC This is an abbreviation for Inter-exchange Carrier. These are authorized to provide switching services between exchanges. General
Local Number Portability Companies are allowed to charge a flat rate monthly amount to cover the expenses of changing your phone number when you stay in the same location but change your service provider. This can only stay on your phone bill for 5 years. Fee
Long Distance Included This is the amount of long distance minutes that are included with the monthly charge. These minutes are not subject to the long distance rate. Long Distance
Long Distance Rate This is the by-the-minute rate charged for long distance calling. Long Distance
Measured Extended Local Service Local phone service that includes Extended Area Service (EAS), both charged at a by-the-minute rate. Local
Measured Extended Local Service with Long Distance Local
Measured Local Service Local
Measured Rate Charge per minute - most often used with long distance calling. Local
Minimum Usage Some plans have a minimum amount of time or money you must use per month in order to receive the rates of the plan. If you fail to meet this minimum, you may incur a minimum usage fee. Long Distance
Minimum Usage Fee Fee charged for not meeting the minimum usage requirement of your service plan. Long Distance
Minutes Included The amount of minutes available with the plan. Overage charges may apply after allotted minutes are used up. General
Mobile Internet A type of wireless internet service that is allows you to use the internet anywhere that there is coverage. This is good for laptop users who like to have internet on the go. This service is usually provided by a mobile phone carrier. Internet
Mobile Phone A mobile phone (also called mobile, wireless phone, cellular telephone, or cell phone) is an electronic device used for two-way radio telecommunication over a cellular network of base stations known as cell sites. Mobile phones differ from cordless telephones, which only offer telephone service within limited range through a single base station attached to a fixed land line, for example within a home or an office. Wireless
Mobile to Mobile A feature of some mobile phone plans that offers free calls to other mobile phones that use the same network provider. Wireless
Monthly Maintenance Fee A recurring monthly charge by the service provider for maintenance. Fee
Monthly Plan We are using this term to define a VoIP service plan that is based on a recurring monthly charge, as opposed to a prepaid service plan. VoIP
Monthly Plan w/Adapter We are using this term to define a VoIP service plan that is based on a recurring monthly charge, as opposed to a prepaid service plan. These plans also use a phone adapter, which allows you to connect your phone directly to the internet, without using your computer. VoIP
Network Access Charge Required by the FCC to help cover the local phone company's fixed operational and maintenance costs. Sometimes referred to as NAC. Fee
Night & Weekend Minutes Some wireless plans offer discounted or free minutes during nights and weekends (sometimes called "off-peak"). The time that a provider considers nights to begin varies by plans and provider. Wireless
Optional Services Add-on services - can include call waiting, caller ID, paging, blocking, voicemail etc. Local
OPUC Abbreviation for Oregon Public Utility Commssion. General
OPUC Fee Oregon PUC Fee. Fee for local and long distance land-line services that recovers the amount the phone company pays to the Oregon PUC for the cost of regulation. Fee
OR-USF Abbreviation for Oregon Universal Service Fund. This fund supplements the Federal Universal Service Fund to ensure high quality and affordable phone service to all Oregonians. Fee
Oregon Emergency Communications Tax This is a $0.75 per month per access line to support the 911 reporting system for each device. Fee
Oregon PUC Fee Fee for local and long distance land-line services that recovers the amount the phone company pays to the Oregon PUC for the cost of regulation. Fee
Oregon Universal Service Fund This fund supplements the Federal Universal Service Fund to ensure high quality and affordable phone service to all Oregonians. Fee
OTAP/Lifeline Services OTAP stands for the Oregon Telecommunications Assistance Program which is the state program in charge of the national Lifeline program. Lifeline is a program that provides up to $13.50 worth of credit towards your monthly phone bill if you are eligible. For more information visit the Resources page and read about Special Services. General
Overage Charge The rate charged for going over the alotted amount of minutes/texts/data in a service plan. Fee
Overage Minutes The rate charged for going over the alotted amount of minutes in a service plan. Wireless
Pay-per-call Services Information and entertainment services provided through 900 numbers, some 800 numbers and some international phone numbers. The charges are set by the service provider, not the phone company. Local
Prepaid Mobile Plan Wireless plan that requires prepayment for phone activation and use. An alternative to other phone plans which are billed monthly, and a great way to prevent overage charges. Wireless
Prepaid Service We are using this term to define VoIP plans that require prepayment with a credit card before making a call. The by-the-minute rate of your call is then deducted from your prepaid amount. VoIP
Promotions Many service providers offer promotions for customers. These are often limited time advertised rates significantly reduced from the standard non-promotion rate. Always note the length of the promotion, and keep in mind that this rate will revert to the non-promotion rate when that promotion time period expires. Promotions may require a contract or be available only to new customers. General
PUC Abbreviation for Public Utility Commission. General
Recovery Fee This fee is charged by some telecom providers to recover costs associated with providing interstate and international calling. Fee
Residential Line Charge Basic monthly charge for local phone service - may be a monthly flat rate OR include usage charges. Local
Residential Service Protection Fund Surcharge A surcharge in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide those who cannot use standard phone service relay service, for Oregonians with speech/hearing impairments. It also assists low-income customers with paying their phone bills. Fee
Residential WiFi Residential WiFi is a home wireless network that you can set up in addition to your internet service. Residential WiFi requires a wireless router. Sometimes a service provider will charge a monthly fee or one time charge for the Residential WiFi network. Internet
Rounding Increment This is the increment of time that calls are rounding up by once they end. The larger the increment, the more you may be charged for time for time not actually used on the phone. Long Distance
RSPF Residential Service Protection Fund Surcharge. The purpose of the Residential Service Protection Fund (RSPF) surcharge is to fund the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program (OTAP) and the Telecommunications Devices Access Program (TDAP), a program for the deaf. Local
Satellite Internet Internet service that is provided via satellites in orbit around Earth. An outdoor satellite dish must be mounted somewhere on your property in order to receive this type of internet. This is an option for extremely rural locations that have no other broadband internet options. Internet
SLC This is an abbreviation for Subscriber Line Charge. See FCC Charge for Network Access. Local
Subscriber Line Charge See FCC Charge for Network Access Fee
Subscription Service 2 Lines We are using this term to define a VoIP service plan that is based on a recurring monthly charge, as opposed to a prepaid service plan. This plan offers a second VoIP line included. VoIP
Telecom Abbreviation for telecommunication, which pertains to technologies used for communication including Landline and Wireless Phone Service, Internet (all types), Television, Radio. General
Text Messages Included Amount of text messages included with the mobile phone plan. Text messaging is a quick and convenient way to communicate with other mobile phone users when a phone call isn't necessary. Wireless
Toll Another word for long distance. Local
TRS Federal Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) enables phone conversations between people with speech/hearing impairments - all interstate carriers must support the Federal TRS and a percentage of customer's interstate long-distance charges is used for this. General
USF Abbreviation for Universal Service Fund. Federal funding system that helps make phone service affordable to all Americans. Fee
VoIP Stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol". This is a phone service which uses your existing broadband internet connection, rather than a traditional phone line. Local, Long Distance, and International Long Distance are available through this service. Please note: This phone service will not operate during power outages. No incoming or outgoing calls, including 911, can be made if your power or internet connection is disrupted. VoIP
WiFi Wireless Internet that works over a local area network. Most residential internet services can be made wifi with the proper equipment. Internet
Wireless Broadband Internet High-speed internet which is transmitted through the air. May still requires a reception device by the consumer, such as a satellite dish, wireless modem, or wireless broadband USB device. For purposes on this website, this is not considered the same as WiFi Internet. Internet