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Telephone company

Telephone company

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Encyclopedia
A telephone company is a service provider
Service provider
A service provider is an entity that provides services to other entities. Usually, this refers to a business that provides subscription or web service to other businesses or individuals. Examples of these services include Internet access, Mobile phone operators, and web application hosting...

 of telecommunications services such as telephony
Telephony
In telecommunications, telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide communication over distances, specifically by connecting telephones to each other....

 and data communications access. Many were at one time nationalized or state-regulated monopolies
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

. These monopolies are often referred to, primarily in Europe, as Postal Telegraph and Telephone
Postal Telegraph and Telephone
A postal, telegraph, and telephone service is a government agency responsible for postal mail, telegraph, and telephone services. Such monopolies existed in many countries, though not in North America or Japan. Many PTTs have been partially or completely privatized in recent years...

s (PTTs).

Telephone companies are common carrier
Common carrier
A common carrier in common-law countries is a person or company that transports goods or people for any person or company and that is responsible for any possible loss of the goods during transport...

s, and in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 are also called Local Exchange Carrier
Local exchange carrier
Local Exchange Carrier is a regulatory term in telecommunications for the local telephone company.In the United States, wireline telephone companies are divided into two large categories: long distance and local...

s (LECs). With the advent of cellular telephony, telephone companies now include wireless carriers, or mobile network operator
Mobile network operator
A mobile network operator , also known as mobile phone operator , carrier service provider , wireless service provider, wireless carrier, or cellular company, or mobile network carrier is a telephone company that provides services for mobile phone subscribers.One essential...

s.

Most telephone companies now also function as internet service provider
Internet service provider
An Internet service provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. Access ISPs directly connect customers to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or fiber-optic connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and host other people servers...

s (ISPs), and the distinction between a telephone company and an ISP may disappear completely over time, as the current trend for supplier convergence
Supplier Convergence
Supplier convergence is a business model in which a company offers a combination of services or products that were previously supplied by separate companies...

 in the industry continues.

Popular culture

  • Comedian
    Comedian
    A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. This might be through jokes or amusing situations, or acting a fool, as in slapstick, or employing prop comedy...

     Lily Tomlin
    Lily Tomlin
    Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin is an American actress, comedienne, writer, and producer. Tomlin has been a major force in American comedy since the late 1960's when she began a career as a stand up comedian and became a featured performer on television's Laugh-in...

     frequently satirized the telephone industry (and the country's then-dominant Bell System
    Bell System
    The Bell System was the American Bell Telephone Company and then, subsequently, AT&T led system which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. In 1984, the company was broken up into separate companies, by a U.S...

     in particular) with a skit
    Sketch comedy
    A sketch comedy consists of a series of short comedy scenes or vignettes, called "sketches," commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comic actors or comedians, either on stage or through an audio and/or visual medium such as broadcasting...

     playing the telephone operator
    Telephone operator
    A telephone operator is either* a person who provides assistance to a telephone caller, usually in the placing of operator assisted telephone calls such as calls from a pay phone, collect calls , calls which are billed to a credit card, station-to-station and person-to-person calls, and certain...

     Ernestine. Ernestine, who became one of Tomlin's trademark characters, was perhaps most famous for the following line: "We don't care; we don't have to. We're the phone company."
  • In the satirical 1967 film The President's Analyst
    The President's Analyst
    The President's Analyst is a 1967 satirical comedy film written and directed by Theodore J. Flicker, starring James Coburn. The widescreen cinematography was by William A. Fraker, and Lalo Schifrin provided the film's musical score...

    , "TPC, The Phone Company," is depicted as plotting to enslave humanity by replacing landline
    Landline
    A landline was originally an overland telegraph wire, as opposed to an undersea cable. Currently, landline refers to a telephone line which travels through a solid medium, either metal wire or optical fibre, as distinguished from a mobile cellular line, where transmission is via radio waves...

    s with cell phones.

See also


  • Bell Telephone Company
    Bell Telephone Company
    The Bell Telephone Company, a common law joint stock company, was organized in Boston, Massachusetts on July 9, 1877 by Alexander Graham Bell's father-in-law Gardiner Greene Hubbard, who also helped organize a sister company — the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company...

    , forerunner of AT&T in the U.S.
  • Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP)
  • Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) (in the U.S.)
  • Communications Service Provider
    Communications Service Provider
    A communications service provider or CSP is a service provider that transports information electronically. The term encompasses public and private companies in the telecom , Internet, cable, satellite, and managed services businesses.The market in which a communication service provider specializes...

  • History of the telephone
  • Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) (of the Bell System)
  • List of telephone operating companies
  • List of mobile network operators
  • Mobile network operator
    Mobile network operator
    A mobile network operator , also known as mobile phone operator , carrier service provider , wireless service provider, wireless carrier, or cellular company, or mobile network carrier is a telephone company that provides services for mobile phone subscribers.One essential...

  • Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)
  • Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) (in the U.S.)
  • Service provider
    Service provider
    A service provider is an entity that provides services to other entities. Usually, this refers to a business that provides subscription or web service to other businesses or individuals. Examples of these services include Internet access, Mobile phone operators, and web application hosting...

  • Telecommunications Service Provider
    Telecommunications Service Provider
    A telecommunications service provider or TSP is a type of communications service provider that has traditionally provided telephone and similar services...

  • The Phone Company
    The Phone Company
    The Phone Company is a volunteer network providing a free email-to-fax service.It is one of the few grandfathered users of the '.int' domain. It takes its name from the similarly named organisation in the film The President's Analyst....

    , free, non-commercial email-to-fax service
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)


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