MPSC - MI Public Service Commission | LARA MI Public Service Commission | LARA
MPSC - ITSP Glossary


The definitions in this glossary have been drawn from many sources and are meant to promote universal understanding of telecommunications acronyms. However, this glossary does not supersede or modify definitions used in statutes, administrative rules, Michigan Public Service (MPSC) orders, tariff provisions, or contracts.

Broadband Provider
A Broadband provider is defined as retail service capable of transmitting data over an access line at a rate greater than 200 kilobits per second.

Competitive Access Provider
A Competitive Access Provider (CAP) offers to other providers an alternative means of connecting another carrier to an IXC, bypassing the ILEC. CAPs are facilities based and also known as a "carrier's carrier" or a wholesale provider of capacity. A tariff must be filed with the MPSC per Sec. 202 of the Michigan Telecommunications Act (MTA).

Competitive Local Exchange Carrier
A Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) is a licensed basic local exchange provider that competes with an local exchange carrier by providing service through its own network and switching or by reselling service from an incumbent local exchange carrier. A tariff must be filed with the MPSC per Sec. 202 of the MTA.

Eligible Telecommunications Carrier
An Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) is a common carrier that has been designated to receive Lifeline and other universal service support in the area for which the carrier is designated an ETC. To be designated an ETC a carrier must file an application with the MPSC and meet all Federal and state ETC criteria.

Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier
An Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) is a licensed telephone company providing local service before competition was permitted by the Michigan Telecommunications Act. (See also Sec. 252 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 - FCC.) A tariff must be filed with the MPSC per Sec. 202 of the MTA.

Interexchange Carrier
An Interexchange Carrier (IXC) is a long distance facilities based inter/intra-LATA service provider. Examples of IXCs include AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. A tariff must be filed with the MPSC per Sec. 202 of the MTA.

Lifeline Program
The Lifeline Program is a government approved program that provides telephone service discounts for eligible low-income customers. Qualified Michigan residents can receive a monthly credit on their basic local telephone bills. Wireless providers also offer various Lifeline discounts. Lifeline is one of four universal service programs authorized by the federal government.

Lifeline Provider
A Lifeline Provider is a telecommunications carrier that offers the Lifeline program discounts to its customers. In Michigan, although only basic local telephone service providers are required to offer the monthly Lifeline credit to their income-eligible customers, there are wireless carriers that also provide Lifeline discounts. Only telephone providers that have been authorized as ETCs, however, can be reimbursed for the federal Lifeline credits they give to their customers.

Operator Service Provider
An Operator Service Provider (OSP) is a company that provides long distance or local telephone service that includes automatic or live assistance to a person to arrange for completion and billing of a telephone call originating in the state that does not involve 1) a direct-dialed call, 2) a call dialed with an access code or proprietary account number or 3) call completion in association with directory assistance services. An OSP must file a registration form and pay a filing fee to the MPSC.

Pay Phone Provider
A Payphone Provider (PP) in Michigan provides telephone service from a public, semipublic or individually owned and operated telephone that is available to the public, and is accessed by the depositing of coin or currency or by other means of payment at the time the call is made. A payphone provider must file a registration form and pay a filing fee to the MPSC.

Toll Reseller
A Toll Reseller (TR) purchases blocks of long distance minutes from an interexchange carrier and resells those minutes to telephone customers. Toll resellers may bill customers directly or use a billing agency, or use the local carrier to bill a customer. A tariff is not required, but may be filed under Sec. 402 of the MTA.

Voice over Internet Protocol
A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) carrier transmits voice conversations over a data network using the Internet Protocol such as the Internet or a corporate Intranet.

Wireless Provider
A Wireless Provider (WP) allows customers to transmit and receive information without wires, commonly via a "cell phone."