How Do Long Distance Calls Work Today?

How Do Long Distance Calls Work Today? - Blog - Long Distance Consolidated Billing - 104764965

With the advancements in communication over the last few decades, it’s easy to take long distance calls for granted. Since cell phone and internet communication is so easily accessible, many people don’t need - or think they don’t need - a designated long distance service. While this is true for most individuals, many commercial entities still rely on long distance phone calls for conducting business and maintaining relationships.

Yesterday’s Long Distance Calls

In the past, local phone offices were connected to long distance offices by copper wire. The process of placing a long distance call went something like this:


  • The local operator would connect to one of the lines going to a long distance office
  • She would speak to the operator in the long distance office who would connect her to the office in the area code of the party the caller was trying to reach
  • The local operator would give the number to the long distance operator who would then connect to another office
  • The operator at that office would connect the caller to the long distance office
  • Finally, the local operator would connect the caller to the long distance line where he would be able to speak with the other party


While very simple and easy to understand, this process was long and expensive. Not only was the copper wire connecting the offices a considerable expense, paying for operators to work the system was also expensive. Eventually, operators were replaced by machines who would automatically patch the lines through to outside phone offices.

Today’s Long Distance Calls

Today, the process of placing long distance calls is much faster, far less expensive, and more efficient. The biggest difference between today’s system and the way things used to work is that phone offices are no longer connected by copper wires, but rather, fiber optic cables that transmit a digitised version of each caller’s voice.

When you make a long distance call today, the switch in your local phone office accesses a database that has a record for each phone number that is connected to the switch. It also uses a PIC (Primary Interchange Carrier) code that indicates your long distance carrier. After your local switch connects you to a long distance switch for your carrier, the call is routed to the local carrier of the person you’re trying to call, and the local carrier finally puts the call though. This entire transaction requires billions of dollars worth of computers, switches, wire, and fiber optic cable - and it all happens in the blink of an eye.


If you frequently communicate with far away people and businesses, it’s in your best interest to find an affordable and reliable long distance provider. Whether you need long distance service for your personal use or for your business, contact Long Distance Consolidated Billing Co. today to choose your perfect plan.


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