Wholesale: Products & Services

Switched Access Services - V7.0

History Log

Product Description

Switched Access Services, CenturyLink™'s most basic group of services, enables access customers, i.e., Interexchange Carriers (IXC), to complete end-user requests for intrastate or interstate long-distance calls.

To understand how Switched Access Service works, it is important to understand how the entire switching network operates. Below is a brief explanation.

End Office

The end office is the Central Office that serves the end-user(s). This is where the first point of switching will occur in originating calls. The end office provides a connection to and from the CenturyLink switch via a local loop to the end-user.

Depending on how it is used, the local loop may be a 2-wire or a 4-wire connection terminating at the Central Office main distribution frame, which provides the physical cross-connections (lineside and trunkside).

Tandems (Also Called Access Tandems)

Tandems are switches that consolidate traffic, reduce trunk group requirements, and switch interoffice traffic. CenturyLink has 57 digital tandems in 27 LATAs throughout CenturyLink QC. Information on CenturyLink Access Tandems can be located in the LERG (Local Exchange Routing Guide). Contact Telcordia for access to the LERG as well as to the ASOG (Access Service Order Guide).

More detailed Switched Access information, including diagrams, can be found in the CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Sections 6, and applicable state tariffs.

How the Service is Offered
Switched Access Service is available in several different serving arrangements and technical characteristics, e.g., services for lineside or trunkside connections, as well as in different Feature Group arrangements. The services are offered to Interexchange Carriers according to the terms and conditions of CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Sections 6 and 16, and applicable state tariffs.

Availability

Switched Access Service is available where facilities exist throughout CenturyLink QC.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions for the ordering, billing and provisioning of Switched Access Services are contained in CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, and applicable state tariffs.

Technical Publications

Feature Group D

  • TR-NPL-000002- Estimated Transmission Performance Switched Access Service Feature Group-D
  • TR-NPL-000258- Compatibility information for Feature Group D Switched Access Service

Feature Group A

  • TR-NPL-000377 - Compatibility information for Feature Group A Switched Access Service

Feature Group B

  • TR-NPL-000175 - Compatibility information for Feature Group B Switched Access Service
  • General
  • GR-334 - Switched Access Service: Transmission Parameter Limits and Interface Combinations

More Information:

Pricing

Rate Structure

The Switched Access Service rate structure is complex, and includes MOU (Minutes of Use) and flat recurring charges. Rates depend on the type of service requested.

Major rate categories for Switched Access Service:  
Switched Transport Month to Month

Switched Transport Pricing Plan (STPP) may reduce monthly payments.

See Switched Transport Pricing Plans - Description to view some of the various features associated with the Plan.
Local Switching  
Common Line (CL) Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge (PICC) or Carrier Common Line

Rates

Further information about these rate categories can be obtained in the CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 6 or state access tariffs or state access tariffs.

Summary of Rate Categories and Elements

Rate Element Explanation Type of charge
Rate Category: Switched Transport
Entrance Facility (EF) Dedicated switched transport facility from carrier's POP to CenturyLink Serving Wire Center (SWC) Monthly fixed rate, based on facility provided, e.g., DS0, DS1, or DS3
Direct Trunk Transport (DTT) Transport from the SWC of the customer's premises to an end office on dedicated circuits, and from the SWC to the Access Tandem Monthly fixed rate, plus monthly per mile rate based on facility provided, e.g., DS0, DS1, or DS3
Tandem Transmission (TT) Transport to/from end offices via common transport circuits Tandem MOU and per tandem MOU per mile, based on V&H coordinates
Tandem Switching (TS) Charge for all minutes switched by CenturyLink-owned Access Tandems Tandem MOU
Common Transport Multiplexing (CT MUX) Transport of all MOUs between Access Tandems and subtending end offices via common facilities Tandem MOU
Access Tandem Trunk Port charge (ATTP) Fee per trunk terminated on the SWC side of the Access Tandem Flat rate per trunk
Rate Category: Local Switching
Local Switching (LS) Switching for all minutes performed at the end office, host, RSS or RSM MOU
End Office Shared Port (EOSP) Transport charge for MOUs between the Access Tandem and end office MOU
End Office Dedicated Trunk Port (DED TP) Port connection linking the SWC of the POP to end offices Flat recurring per trunk
Rate Category: Common Line
Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge (PICC) PICC is a flat rate, per line charge assessed by price cap LECs on an end user's presubscribed IXC. If no presubscribed carrier is selected, PICC is charged to the end user. Flat recurring assessed on business-type presubscribed lines
Carrier Common Line (CCL) Carrier Common Line Access Service provides for the use of Telephone Company common lines by customers for access to end-users. MOU (in AZ, CO, ID, IA, MN, NM, ND, SD and UT. In MT, CCL Recovery Charge is bulk billed based upon market share.
Interconnection Charge (IC)(In AZ and SD only) Interconnection charge is a recovery of subsidies that were formerly included in the local transport charges. MOU
Rate Category: Nonrecurring Charges
Including, but not limited to:

Installation of Service

Installation of Optional Features

Service Rearrangements

Moves
One time charge for installation or change of services. flat rated

To aid in better understanding recurring rate elements, following is a picture depicting the Switched Access rate structure:

A customer can realize a discount on their transport rate elements by committing to certain terms and conditions. The current discounted transport plan is displayed in the following matrix:

Switched Transport Pricing Plan – Description

PLAN NAME Switched Transport Pricing Plan (STPP)
PRODUCT DS1 DS3
WHERE AVAILABLE In 9 states where CenturyLink has met the FCC'S definition of viable transport competition: AZ,CO,IA,,MN,NE,NM,OR,UT,WA
PROVISIONED AS BOTH PURE SWITCHED AND SHARED USE
RATE ELEMENTS EF, DTT, DS1-0 MUX Optical EF, Electrical EF, DTT, DS3-DS1MUX
TYPES OF DISCOUNT Term Discount only for all elements. Volume & Term Discount for EF. Term discount for DTT& MUX
HOW DISCOUNT IS OFFERED Specific term rates with built-in discounts. Specific term rates with built-in discounts.
MINIMUM PURCHASE TO QUALIFY FOR DISCOUNT None None
ANY SHORT-FALL CHARGES None None
TERM LENGTH [Months] PROVISIONED AS PURE SWITCHED
36, 60 (EF,DTT & MUX) 36, 60 (EF Elect. Cap. of 1, DTT & MUX)
PROVISIONED AS SHARED USE
36, 60 (EF,DTT & MUX) 12, 24, 36, 60, 120 (DTT, MUX & EF Cap. => 2 Opt. & Elect.)
TRANSPORT MILEAGE STRUCTURE 4 mile bands - fixed & per mile charge within each band. 4 mile bands - fixed & per mile charge within each band.
PORTABILITY None None
NRC % DISCOUNT PROVISIONED AS PURE SWITCHED - APPLICABLE TO SWITCHED RATE ELEMENTS & TRUNK WORK
25% for 36 mos. Plan when the access order is received within 90 days of plan establishment date. 50% for 60 mos. or 120 mos. plans when the access order is received within 180 days of the plan establishment date.
PROVISIONED AS SHARED USE - APPLICABLE TO TRUNK WORK
25% for 36 mos. plan when the access order is received within 90 days of plan date. 50% for 60 mos. or 120 mos. plans when the access order is received within 180 days of the plan establishment date.
TERMINATION LIABILITY PROVISIONED AS PURE SWITCHED
DISCONTINUE BEFORE COMPLETING 12 MOS. MSP (RECURRING)
(100% x balance of MSP x current switched monthly rates) plus 40% x current monthly rates x (term length less MSP). (100% x balance of MSP x current switched monthly rates) plus 40%x current monthly rates x (term length less MSP).
DISCONTINUE AFTER COMPLETING 12 MOS. MSP (RECURRING)
40% x current switched monthly rates x balance of term length. 70% x current switched monthly rates x balance of term length.

Tariffs, Regulations and Policies

Tariffs, regulations and policies are located in the CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 6 or state access tariffs.

Optional Features

Carrier Identification Parameter (CIP)

Carrier Identification Parameter, or CIP, is an optional switching feature which identifies and transmits the Carrier Identification Code (CIC) of the presubscribed carrier or the Access Code (101XXXX) dialed by the calling party to the customer as part of the Initial Address Message (IAM). CIP is available with originating CST3 and Feature Group D Switched Access Service from suitably equipped SS7 end offices and tandems on a per trunk basis.

CIP functionality allows the IXC to combine individual carriers or services on one trunk group between the End Office or Access Tandem and the IXC switches. The CIP allows the IXC to consolidate trunk groups by having the ability to identify the carrier or traffic type on the other end.

CIP is an optional SS7 parameter that supports Interexchange Carrier Interconnection using Integrated Services Digital User Part (ISUP) call signaling. The CIP is included in the SS7 Initial Address Message (IAM) used in ISUP connections. The ability to include the CIP must be present in Access Tandems and Equal Access End Offices that terminate on the IXC.

CIP functionality will not be available in the Ericsson offices. Depending upon the type of access tandem and the signaling used between the access tandem and the end office, CIP may or may not be available. In some instances the access tandem can create the CIP even when it is not passed by the end office. See table below:

Carrier Connection Access Tandem Type End Office Type Signaling between tandem and end office CIP available?
DTT to End Office N/A Ericsson SS7 No
DTT to End Office N/A Ericsson MF No
DTT to End Office N/A Nortel or Lucent MF No
DTT to End Office N/A Nortel or Lucent SS7 Yes
DTT to Access Tandem 5ESS Ericsson MF Yes
DTT to Access Tandem 5ESS Ericsson SS7 Yes
DTT to Access Tandem DMS200 Ericsson MF Yes
DTT to Access Tandem DMS200 Ericsson SS7 No
DTT to Access Tandem DMS200 Nortel or Lucent MF Yes
DTT to Access Tandem DMS200 Nortel or Lucent SS7 Yes

There are other optional features available for Switching, Transport Termination and Line Termination. These optional features are described in CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 6.3.

Features/Benefits

Service Features Benefits
Feature Group A
  • Lineside connection
  • LATA-wide terminations
  • 7 digit local number to collect long-distance traffic from multiple end users (origination)
  • Resale with second dialtone
  • Low capital investment
  • Access to Local Calling Area for originating traffic
  • Lower long-distance rates for end users
  • Inexpensive way to enter new markets
  • Local exchange tariff options
Feature Group B
  • Trunkside switching
  • Originating, terminating or 2-way trunking available
  • Nationwide 950-XXXX telephone number provided by NANPA
  • Available via direct routing to an end office or tandem switching
  • Provides answer/disconnect supervision
  • End user PIN (personal identification number) for validation and billing
  • Provides nationwide single number for end user customers
  • Better sound quality (than FG A)
Feature Group C
  • Available only to AT&T for trunkside access to non-EA end
  • N/A
Feature Group D
  • Trunkside switching
  • Originating, terminating or 2-way trunking available
  • Available via direct routing to an end office or tandem switching
  • Allows end user access via presubscription (1+) or casual dialing (101XXXX)
  • Provisioned with wink start, answer and disconnect supervision
  • Available with MF or SS7 signaling
  • Enables direct-dial service
  • Fewer numbers for end users to dial
  • Enhances International calling
  • Provides the best sound quality
  • Provides a full range of complementary services
  • Provides an equal opportunity for fair competition
  • With SS7 signaling, offers highly-requested end user services, such as CLASS
  • ANI (automatic number identification) and CDR (call detail records) in industry standard AMA/BAF format

Applications

CenturyLink Switched Access Service enables the carrier to offer the high quality voice connections that long-distance users expect from the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), at reasonable rates. For example ABC Carrier offers a host of products to end-user customers, including 1+ interstate long-distance service, and wants a low MOU rate that enables access to multiple end-users within selected LATAs.

Implementation

Product Prerequisites and Pre-Ordering

Interexchange Carriers that plan to originate or terminate intra or interstate traffic must determine if they need to apply to the local Public Utilities Commission or Corporation Commission to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN). The carrier must obtain an ACNA (Access Customer Name Abbreviation) and CIC (Carrier Identification Code) from Telcordia, and set up an account with the CenturyLink Wholesale Center for Customer Service. They must also submit a Letter of Intent to the CenturyLink Sales Executive or Service Manager on their company's letterhead.

The IXC's first point of contact is your CenturyLink Sales Executive or Service Manager.

Ordering

Switched Access Services are ordered using the Access Service Ordering Guidelines (ASOG) forms.

If CenturyLink, through its own fault, fails to meet the Company committed Service Date, the customer's bill shall be adjusted to reflect a Service Guarantee credit of 100% of the total nonrecurring charge for certain rate elements. See Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 5.2.1 C.1.

Provisioning and Installation

Feature Group B and D (FG B-D) services provide a trunkside termination and are provided at CenturyLink-designated end office switches routed either directly to an end office or via CenturyLink Access Tandem switches.

When trunked directly from the carrier's point of termination (POP) to the end office, FG B-D services provide originating and/or terminating service to only the NXXs served by that end office.

When trunked to an Access Tandem, FG B-D services provide originating and/or terminating service to all end offices that subtend that tandem.

When FG B-D services are directly routed to an end office, the Switched Transport configuration is composed of an Entrance Facility (EF) and Direct Trunked Transport (DTT) facility to an end office. When it is switched through an Access Tandem, the configuration is composed of an EF, a DTT facility between the Serving Wire Center and the Access Tandem, and Tandem Switched Transport (TST) from the Access Tandem to the end offices subtending the access tandem. For additional flat and usage elements see diagram FCC 6.1.2 and our diagram.

FG B-D services can also be provided jointly with other telecommunication providers. If you have questions about jointly provided Switched Access, see the Jointly Provided Access Services PCAT.

Maintenance and Repair

When Switched Access facilities are out of service for 30 minutes or more, a credit of 1/1440 of the monthly charge for each 30 minute period or major fraction thereof, is allowed.

When usage sensitive rate elements are out of service for 24 hours or more, a credit of 1/30 of the monthly charge for each 24 hour period or major fraction thereof, is allowed.

See CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 2.4.4 B.4.

An IXC can initiate a report of trouble by calling the Account Maintenance Support Center (AMSC).

Billing

CenturyLink bills Switched Access Services using our Integrated Access Billing System (IABSTM). IABS billing is described in Billing Information - Integrated Access Billing System (IABS™).

Feature Group service is a usage sensitive service. The Telephone Company at either the end office switch or the Access Tandems records Minutes of Use (MOU). All Feature Group usage is billed on the CenturyLink Integrated Access Billing System (IABS) bill on a Switched Billing Account Number. These charges are in addition to the flat, recurring charges that are billed for Switched Transport elements, such as Entrance Facility, Direct Trunked Transport, and Multiplexing (MUX) that are billed on the IABS Facility Billing Account Number.

Jointly provided Switched Access billing arrangements are discussed in the Jointly Provided Access Services PCAT.

Feature Group usage sensitive elements are billed on the Switched Access Bill, as well as the flat-rated trunk port charge(s).

  • Access usage per MOU elements:
    • Local Switching
    • Interconnection Charge
    • Tandem Transmission Fixed and Variable
    • Tandem Switching
    • Common Transport MUX
    • End Office Shared Port
  • Flat-rated elements:
    • Access Tandem Trunk Port
    • End Office Dedicated Trunk Port
    • Direct Trunked Transport
  • Breakout of individual message type

Feature Group flat-rated elements are billed on the Facility bill:

  • Flat-rated elements:
  • Entrance Facilty
  • Direct Trunked Transport
  • Multiplexer

Training

Access Service Request (ASR) Switched Access Customer Training

  • The process for requesting Switched Access services from CenturyLink is presented in this instructor-led course. Participants will learn how to identify the difference between Switched and Special Access service. Ordering requirements and form submission will be explained in detail. Please click here to learn more about this course and to register.

Understanding Switched Access

  • This self-paced, web based training is designed to give a basic understanding of Switched Access Services. It will provide a general overview of products and services, along with questions to test your understanding. Please click here to access this training.

Contacts

CenturyLink contact information is located in Wholesale Customer Contacts.

For existing Customers operating in CenturyLink territory, please contact your Service Manager for all questions. If you do not know who your CenturyLink Service Manager is, click here for additional information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can an Interexchange Carrier order 950 (Feature Group B) over Feature Group D?
Per CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 6.3.1.S.1, FG B (950) can be provisioned over FG D only if the FG B and D Carrier Identification Codes (CIC) are identical.

2. What are the current PICC charges?
See CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 4.7.2. As of July 2001, PICC no longer applies to residence, single line business or ISDN BRI services.

3. If an Interexchange Carrier orders tandem routed service can they request blocking to one or more of the subtending End Offices?
No, per the tariff, service is routed to/from all the End Offices which subtend the tandem when service is ordered as tandem versus direct routed.

4. What is CenturyLink's FG D blocking policy?
CenturyLink will not provide blocking on Feature Group D trunks based on the line class of service (e.g., coin, multiparty, hotel/motel), or service prefix indicator (e.g., 00+, 00-, 0+, 0-, or 1+). The exceptions to this policy are International DDD service, multiparty calls from 900 Access, and for calls dialed 101XXXX from inmate service.

5. What is Pricing Flexibility?
On 8/5/99, FCC issued the Pricing Flexibility Order. Allows competitive pricing on Interstate Private Line and Switched Transport services in specific MSA's.

  1. Describe the phases in Pricing Flexibility and the criteria to meet them.

    Phase I: Allows Volume Term and Discounts, Contract Tariffs

    Competitors have Collocated in wire centers accounting for 30% of the entrance facility and transport revenue

    Competitors have Collocated in wire centers accounting for 65% of the end users channel terminations

    Phase II: Service no longer subject to rate structure or price cap rules; able to file tariffs on one day's notice, but offerings must still be generally available*

    Competitors have Collocated in wire centers accounting for 65% of the entrance facility and transport revenue

    Competitors have Collocated in wire centers accounting for 85% of the end users channel terminations

    * To be eligible for Phase II flexibility, these MSAs automatically have to reach, and surpass, the Phase I triggers so in addition to the Phase II flexibility described above they also have Phase I relief.

  2. How did CenturyLink respond to the FCC's Pricing Flexibility Order and what was the end result?
    On 12/31/01, CenturyLink filed a petition asking for Phase I relief in 33 MSAs and Phase II relief in 31 MSAs. The FCC granted our petition with an effective date of 4/25/02.
  3. Which switched access services were granted pricing flexibility?
    The FCC granted only flat-rated products such as Entrance Facilities and Direct Trunk Transport.
  4. Are Minute of Use (MOU) switched products included in this pricing flexibility Plan?
    No. A separate filing is required to offer incentives for MOU based products.
  5. Did CenturyLink make tariff filings after receiving Pricing Flexibility relief from the FCC?
    Yes. On 5-31-02 CenturyLink filed new tariff sections in our CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11 for Phase II MSAs. Section 16 contains the rates for Switched Access Services in Phase II MSAs.
6. What are CenturyLink's policies in regards to disconnecting of trunks?
The preferred method in disconnecting a partial group is for the customer to disconnect trunks at the end of the group. However, if the customer wants to disconnect trunks in the middle of the trunk group, a subsequent C-Order is required so CenturyLink translations personnel can remove and reinstall the trunks in the correct sequence.
  1. Are there charges associated with disconnecting trunks?
    It depends on whether the trunk is at the end or in the middle of the trunk group. There is no charge to disconnect trunks at the end of the group. However, when a trunk is disconnected at the middle of the group Rearrangement charges apply for the removal and re-installation of the trunks. A description of the charges for a Rearrangement is outlined in CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11, Section 6.7.1.C.3.e.
  2. How does CenturyLink apply the terms of its CenturyLink Operating Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 11 Tariff when a carrier desires to perform a service rearrangement on a facility by removing trunk numbers in the middle of the numbering sequence for the facility?
    This activity would be considered a rearrangement per Section 6.7.1.C.3 of the tariff. That section defines a rearrangement as, "… changes to existing services installed which do not result in either a change in the minimum period requirement . . . or a change in the physical location of the point of termination at a customer's premises or a customer's end user premises."

    Section 2.3.6 of the tariff provides that, "...the customer shall be solely responsible, at its own expense, for the overall design of its services and for any redesigning or rearrangement of its services which may be required because of changes in facilities, operations or procedures of [CenturyLink], minimum protection criteria or operating maintenance characteristics of the facilities (emphasis added)." The operations and procedures of CenturyLink QC referenced in the tariff require the customer to disconnect trunks (when not disconnecting the entire facility) sequentially. They must place an order to disconnect them from the highest numbered trunk down. Those operations and procedures govern the relationship between the parties as referenced in the tariff.

    Section 2.1.8.A of the tariff provides that CenturyLink can refuse to complete any pending orders for services if customer fails to comply with the regulations in Section 2.3 (e.g., the operations or procedures of CenturyLink). Section 2.1.8.A further provides that CenturyLink applies these actions uniformly across its service territory.

Please contact your CenturyLink Account Representative for information

Last Update: May 1, 2013