Long Distance Phone Informationby Laura Gittins
When a customer makes a call to a telephone number outside of his local calling area, he is making a long-distance call. These calls usually have extra charges applied to them in addition to local charges.
The first long-distance line connected New York to Philadelphia in 1886. In 1892, that line extended to Chicago, roughly 950 miles away. On January 25, 1915, Audion tubes made the first transcontinental long-distance call possible and the participants included Alexander Graham Bell, President Woodrow Wilson and AT&T President Theodore Vail.
A person can dial "1" and then a 10-digit phone number to make a long-distance call. An 800 number applies long-distance charges to the telephone carrier. Similarly, collect call charges go to the recipient, if she accepts them. International calls start with the digits 011 followed by a country code and then the phone number.
Customers have the option to make direct long-distance calls. However, many phone companies offer long-distance calling plans at reduced rates for a monthly fee. Consumers also can purchase prepaid calling cards that allow a certain number of minutes of long-distance calling.