CLEC – Competitive Local Exchange Carriers

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What is a CLEC?


Competitive Local Exchange Carriers – better known as CLEC – are communication providers that compete with the local incumbent providers. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 made it possible for smaller companies – now known as CLECs – to compete with incumbent providers. They generally offer the same services at a lower price.

Bicom Systems offers tools and products to support CLECs or to start your own CLEC as an ITSP.

How to Start a CLEC

In order to start a CLEC, you need to make some key decisions about the company, followed by a certification process. The first step is to decide whether the CLEC will be facilities-based or resale. After making that decision, the CLEC must undergo certification in the state(s) where it will offer services. The certification process varies by state, but tends to include the following steps:

  1. Create a legal entity
  2. File the CLEC in the state(s) where it will offer services
  3. Participate in a public hearing
  4. File a tariff
After certification, the CLEC will begin negotiation with an ILEC and eventually setup a connection and begin to offer services.
ILECs are Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers that compete against CLECs and existed prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.Another good source of information on how to start a CLEC can be found at
We have a similar article on How to Start an ITSP. In today’s market, any CLEC must consider its route to ITSP.

For more information, see our product package specifically for CLEC: CLEC Product Package

Also, visit our CLEC wiki – What is a CLEC – CLEC Florida


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