A telephone company
) provides telecommunications
services such as telephony
and data communications. Most of the largest telcos are or were at one time nationalized or state-regulated monopolies
With the advent of cellular telephony, telcos now include wireless carriers.
Most telcos now also function as ISPs, and the distinction between telco and ISP may disappear completely over time.
The comedian Lily Tomlin satirized the attitudes of many telcos with the quote:
- "We don't care.
- We don't have to.
- We're the phone company."