- Telephone company
A telephone company (or telco) provides
telecommunicationsservices such as telephonyand data communications. Most of the largest telcos, whatever their origins, are or were at one time nationalized or state-regulated monopolies. These monopolies are often referred to, primarily in Europe, as PTTs.
Telcos are also known as
common carriers, and in the Unites States as local exchange carriers. With the advent of cellular telephony, telcos now include wireless carriers, or network operators.
Most telcos now also function as ISPs, and the distinction between telco and ISP may disappear completely over time, as the current trend for
supplier convergencein the industry continues.
On the American comedy program "
Saturday Night Live", guest host comedian Lily Tomlinonce satirized the telephone industry (and the country's then-dominant Bell Systemin particular) with a skitin which she played one of her trademark characters, telephone operatorErnestine. In the skit, she disconnects the phone service for a large area, and utters the now-famous quote:
:"We don't care.":"We don't have to.":"We're the phone company."
In the satirical 1967 film "
The President's Analyst", "TPC, The Phone Company," is depicted as plotting to enslave humanity.
The Phone Company
VoIPVoice over Internet Protocol
ITSPInternet Telephony Service Provider
List of telephone operating companies
List of mobile network operators
Mobile network operator
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