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In telecommunications, a long-distance call is a telephone call made outside a certain area, usually characterized by an area code outside of a local call area (known in the United States as a Local Access and Transport Area or LATA). Long-distance calls usually carry long-distance charges that, within certain nations, vary between phone companies and are the subject of much competition. International calls are calls made between different countries, and usually carry much higher charges. These calls are charged to the calling party if the called party declines a collect call.
In the United States, long-distance can refer to two different classes of calls that are not local calls. The most common class of long-distance is often called interstate long-distance, though the more accurate term is inter-LATA interstate long-distance. This is the form of long-distance most commonly meant by the term, and the one for which long-distance carriers are usually chosen by telephone customers.
Another form of long-distance, increasingly relevant to more U.S. states, is known as inter-LATA intrastate long-distance. This refers to a calling area outside of the customer's LATA but within the customer's state. While technically and legally long-distance, this calling area is not necessarily served by the same carrier used for "regular" long-distance, or may be provided at different rates. In some cases, customer confusion occurs as, due to rate or carrier distinctions, a local long-distance call can be billed at a higher per-minute rate than interstate long-distance calls, despite being a shorter distance.
Often, in large LATAs, there is also a class known by the oxymoronic name local long-distance, which refers to calls within the customer's LATA but outside of their local calling area. This area is normally served by the customer's local telephone provider, which is usually one of the Baby Bells, despite attempts by some CLECs to compete in the local telephone market.
In California, in addition to intra-LATA and inter-LATA calling, there are ZUM (Zone Usage Measurement) areas within the local Service Areas.
Callers are usually offered a variety of rate "plans" depending on usage, although which plan is cheapest for a given amount of usage is often not obvious. Plans may be "unlimited" or may package an initial amount of minutes and charge additional minutes at a flat rate, and further varieties abound. Some plans can be compared easily if the number of minutes of usage will be estimated in advance, but others are not as clearly comparable. Some of these plans can be found on Web sites that compare a variety of long-distance phone and phone card options, giving consumers useful and timely information ... Learn more at Wikipedia
212-757-9901 Male - We're sorry but since you did not select a long distance company this call can not be completed as dialed To place this call in an emergency dial 0 and an operator will assist you You may designate a long distance company to handle this type of call by calling a New York Telephone Service representative during regular business hours - Kayara
570-387-0050 We're sorry long distance dialing has been restricted from this telephone number If you need assistance please call your local service providers business office during normal work hours - natas
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