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Reply To: Switched service

Mark Webb

Carrier access codes have come in to vogue here in North America. A series of digits can be used as prefix calling digits followed by desired telephone number. The carrier access code (such as 1010321) is used by the telephone company/ Local Exchange Carrier to “switch” the call to the LD carrier specified by the code. Each LD carrier has it’s own unique code, and some LD carriers market different services and rates by use of unique carrier access codes.

Carrier access codes have been used for many years here in U.S – but it is only recently that several second or third tier carriers (those smaller than the big guys like AT&T, MCI and Sprint) have begun to actively market the use of carrier access codes. There is no pre-subscription required for basic use of a code. This gives someone the ability, from their home or business, to choose multiple LD carriers. You can also access the big carriers through these access codes.

While it is of benefit to the carriers in marketing, selling, and gaining new business, it has it’s drawbacks. For instance, less than honest employeees of a business can uses a carrier access code instead of the businesses preferred access method. Dedicated access or special contracted switched rates to presubscribed carriers can be thwarted by employees selecting alternative carriers through use of carrier access codes. Businesses need to protect themselves from this exposure by coding software in the PBX/ telephone systems to deny this ability to manually select the codes.

Our firm uncovered a rather unique situation relative to a client’s business. The client was billed incorrectly for many years because the access code presubscribed to on their lines – 10732 – was the AT&T carrier access code with special discounts. The client had a special contract and discounts with AT&T, but only if 10732 was used. However, the client’s particular telephone system was coded to send 10288 – another AT&T access code. 10288 was the standard AT&T code used by anyone to send LD switched calls to AT&T. Without receiving calls via 10732 AT&T could not bill the client appropriately. Our firm discovered the software problem and arranged for it to be modified, thus saving the client many $$$hundreds of thousands of dollars$$$.

Again, or 502-719-1012 with any additional questions.