I’ve done some research about CLEC, and i found out that they are a competitive carrier, but I haven’t been able to find any companies like it, How can I find CLEC companies? and how do there rates work? are they like .4 cent per minute to U.S. and Canada?

CLEC is not a specific provider (unless some one is using it as a biz name - which i doubt). In general a CLEC is a type of phone company. Your best bet for good rates is to look around. try, google and the asterisk biz list (

as Dovid said, a CLEC is an entire class of companies. CLEC is not a single company but rather a group of a few hundred at least.

The telecommunications act of 1996 required phone companies to open their systems to independent competitors who could sell local and long distance phone service to consumers. However the local phone wiring must be maintained by one company (otherwise it would be a disaster) so the ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers, aka the baby bell phone company that services your area) maintain control but are required to sell access to the system to competitors at wholesale prices. The CLECs (competitive local exchange carriers) could then sell competing phone service to local residents, paying the ILEC only for the physical line itself.

This worked decently well however CLECs have now moved to provide something far more useful to us- VoIP access to the PSTN. Because they already have their PSTN links, they can accept VoIP calls and send them to real telephones. There are a small handful of large CLECs like XO, Level(3), global crossing, etc that have a lot of PSTN links and sell huge numbers of minutes to VoIP reseller providers like Vonage etc.

Generally a CLEC won’t want to deal directly with you unless you plan on pushing a relatively large volume of calls, 100k-1million minutes/month minimum. In other words, service providers only. However you can buy service from a reseller and pay very reasonable costs that way.

There are two types of resellers- ones that sell ‘voip lines’ and wholesale providers.
Wholesale providers (ie- sell you the pieces and you pay as you use them. You can get a DID (phone number) either for a flat monthly fee of around $10-15 or some sell DIDs for $2-3 with a per-minute fee. You also pay for outgoing minutes on a per-minute fee. With a wholesale provider, you pay for only waht you use. You can also set your own callerID number for outgoing thru a wholesale provider. These providers usually lack features like voicemail, forwarding, etc as you are expected to provide this yourself.

Other providers sell ‘voip lines’. This is where you pay a flat monthly fee (usually around $20-30) for unlimited calling in the US/canada and a few other places. You can’t set your caller id but it does include unlimited in/out usage and features like voicemail. examples:, may also have more useful info

and also the providers i suggested are good ones, give them a shot

What would be the best solution if I were going to start a ITSP? shoule I just buy cheap minutes or make contracts?

If you want to start your own ITSP you want to set up contracts with one or more CLECs. You could become a CLEC yourself however that puts you only in one area, with only access to that area’s phone numbers (DIDs) to sell to your customers and also any outgoing calls are going to be long distance for you.

On the other hand if you contract with existing CELCs it will be far easier- they are CELC’d with a great many local systems so you will have access to DIDs almost anywhere, and also they can route the call over IP most of the way which saves money and thus lowers costs down the line.

If nothing else you want a contract because of DID availability. If you CLEC in one place you will have maybe two or three prefixes (NPA-NXX-xxxx) to offer your clients, and you can only port or offer numbers from in those prefixes. OTOH if you contract with one of the big guys, you will have most of the country covered.

hope that helps

Thaks you have been A LOT of help, but I had some trouble finding a CLEC. Do you know any good ones?

keep in mind that starting an ITSP you may not have the volume to deal with one directly. You may want to start by going through a reseller. You can find many of those here: … viders+B2B

As for CLECs you can look up and try to deal with, off the top of my head: XO communications, Level(3) communications, Global Crossing… there are a ton of them.

What area are you looking to serve?

I’m from a CLEC - InteGlobe Communications. We are only tariffed in NY, NJ, PA, MD, and FL for legacy TDM services, but can do SIP termination and origination in any state.

We can provide you DID’s with local termination in any state. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email, gbove[!a]nyigc[dot]com.

We are also very * friendly (we use a * as our feature server).