Termination rates are the fees charged by one telecommunications company to another for terminating calls on their network.

The consumer pays for the following on every long-distance call in the United States:

• Origination (dial tone service): connecting the call from the originating customer’s equipment to the central office or exchange of the telephone provider. This was usually provided by a single provider in each town throughout the age of wired local telephone service (slowly coming to an end with the ubiquity of mobile service, beginning in the 2010s).

• The signal (the call) is transported to another telephone company office near the call receiver.

• Termination, which completes the call from the receiving company’s central office to the equipment of the receiving subscriber.