The IT Law Wiki


Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, there are two similar, but somewhat different, definitions of the term telecommunications carrier:

[A]ny provider of telecommunications services. . . . A telecommunications carrier shall be treated as a common carrier under this act only to the extent that it is engaged in providing telecommunications services. . . ."[1]
(A) means a person or entity engaged in the transmission or switching of wire or electronic communications as a common carrier for hire; and
(B) includes —
(i) a person or entity engaged in providing commercial mobile service (as defined in section 332(d) of this title); or
(ii) a person or entity engaged in providing wire or electronic communication switching or transmission service to the extent that the Commission finds that such service is a replacement for a substantial portion of the local telephone exchange service and that it is in the public interest to deem such a person or entity to be a telecommunications carrier for purposes of this subchapter; but
(C) does not include —
(i) persons or entities insofar as they are engaged in providing information services; and
(ii) any class or category of telecommunications carriers that the Commission exempts by rule after consultation with the Attorney General.


  1. 47 U.S.C. §153(44).