common carrier definition by Webster's New World
common carrier definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One that is in the business of transporting the public, goods, or messages for a fee.
- A company that provides telecommunications services, as by telephone or satellite, to the public.
common carrier - Computer Definition
- A company transporting goods, persons, or messages for a fee, at uniform rates available to the public.
- In telecommunications, a company that is licensed to provide message transport services to the general public and generally is regulated to a considerable extent, at least with respect to fundamental aspects of service such as availability and basic rates. Such a license grants the holder certain rights, such as the right to control and assign globally unique telephone numbers (i.e., E.164 numbers), the right to collect certain fees from other carriers when handling calls jointly, and status under certain laws and regulations requiring interconnection. Common carrier status also imposes certain responsibilities, including collecting taxes from users, publishing tariffs, providing interconnection arrangements to other carriers, and paying certain fees to other carriers. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the state public utilities commissions (PUCs) regulate incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), i.e., telephone companies or telcos, and interexchange carriers (IXCs) to various extents. See also FCC, ILEC, IXC, and PUC.
A government-regulated organization that provides telecommunications services for public use, such as AT&T, the regional telephone companies and Western Union. The term also refers to transportation companies such as airlines and railroads. Contrast with private carrier.