Telephone FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions about our landline telephone service.

What is a PIC Freeze?

A PIC Freeze (Primary Interexchange Carrier Freeze) is an option with Albany Fiber Communications to block your telephone line(s) from being switched to another long distance carrier without your prior authorization. It is designed to protect you from unscrupulous long distance carriers.

What is slamming?

You have the right to choose any certified long-distance carrier that offers you service and to change your preferred interexchange carrier (PIC) whenever you wish. Slamming is the unauthorized and illegal switching of a customer's preferred long-distance company. By implementing a PIC freeze you are protected from slamming. If you've been slammed, you have the right to be switched back to your chosen carrier at no cost.

What is the Federal Universal Service Charge on my long-distance bill? Do all long-distance companies charge the same fee?

This charge (also called the Universal Connectivity Fee or Carrier Universal Service Charge) is similar to the FUSC for local service. All telecom providers, including long-distance companies, are required to contribute to the support of Federal Universal Service. Federal regulators are responsible for assessing, currently on a quarterly basis, the long-distance FUSC as a percentage of your state-to-state and international toll charges.

Are there alternatives to the national long-distance companies?

We offer Albany Fiber Communications Long Distance service that's quite unlike what you may be used to: competitive rates and calling plans, but with the advantage of service from the people you know at Albany Fiber Communications. We're in the community ... you're not served from far-away, impersonal service centers.

How do I sign up for the Do-Not-Call list that prevents telemarketers and others solicitors from calling me at home?

In response to consumer concerns about unwelcome telemarketing calls, the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission established the national Do-Not-Call Registry.

The registry applies to all telemarketers (with the exception of certain non-profit and political organizations) and covers both interstate and intrastate telemarketing calls.

Commercial telemarketers are not allowed to call you if your number is listed on the registry.

You can register your phone number for free, and it will remain on the national Do-Not-Call Registry. You may remove your name from the list at any time.

The Do-Not-Call Registry will not prevent all unwanted calls.

  • Calls from organizations with which you have established a business relationship;
  • Calls for which you have given prior written consent;
  • Calls which are not commercial or do not include unsolicited advertisements;
  • Calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations.
  • Consumers may register their residential telephone number, including wireless numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call Registry at no cost by telephone or on the Internet.

To register by telephone, you should call 1–888–382–1222. For TTY, call 1–866–290–4236.

You must call from the phone number you wish to register. You may also register by Internet at Inclusion of your telephone number on the national Do-Not-Call Registry will be effective three months following your registration.

Can I get one bill for my local and long-distance charges?

With Albany Fiber Communications, you get the convenience of one bill for all your telecom services. It's a great decision--thank you for choosing us today!

How are PIC freeze orders accepted?

The FCC requires that customers be able to impose (or lift) a PIC freeze by contacting their local telephone company. Local companies may not accept freeze orders from a carrier on your behalf. You can make a PIC change and a PIC freeze at the same time, but in such cases, we must verify both your carrier change and freeze requests.

I still get telemarketing calls! Are there any other options to stop telemarketers from calling me at home?

Yes! Call our office to sign up for Terminating Call Manager (TCM). This is a free service that blocks telemarketers and any other numbers you want to block from calling your number.

How does being a member of a cooperative benefit me?

Anyone who purchases telephone, with TV and Internet options, becomes an automatic cooperative member. After we invest in and maintain your communication system, any net profit is shared with you and other members in the form of capital credits. That means you automatically get cash back just by buying services you need anyway.

Payments are less frequent in early years, but over time, the cash back really adds up. You'll probably average getting 20-30%, or more, of what you spend with us returned to you in cash payments over time. That money flows back to you and other community members, not private owners or shareholders. Plus as coop member, you have a voting right to elect a local board member to represent you and guide activities at the cooperative.

How do I opt-out of receiving phone books?

Any customer who does not wish to receive phone books can opt out of receiving them by visiting the National Yellow Pages Consumer Choice website found at This site will provide you with a listing of the local phone books published in your area and will allow you to select those publications that you do not want to receive.

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