Equal-access meaning

Referring to the ability of a telephone subscriber to place a long distance call through any competing interexchange carrier (IXC) with equal ease, i.e., simply by dialing the telephone number.The implementation of equal access requires that subscribers be surveyed and afforded the right to pre-select an IXC. Users who do not respond are assigned a default carrier. All user choices and default selections are compiled in a centralized database that is queried as each call is placed. Based on the originating circuit number, the database is consulted, the Carrier Identification Code (CIC) associated with the preselected carrier is determined, and the call is routed through the designated IXC. Equal access rules were established in the United States in 1982 as part of the Modified Final Judgement (MFJ). See also access charges, carrier, CIC, IXC, and MFJ.
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