competitive local exchange carrier - Investment & Finance Definition
A telecom company that was created to compete with the established local telephone service providers, such as the former regional Bell operating companies. In contrast to an unbundled network element provider, a CLEC competes with telecom companies by using its own switching equipment and network. The opportunity to establish CLECs was created in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was intended to promote competition among long-distance and local phone service providers. See also UNE-P.