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  Long Distance Ins & Outs  
  Long distance service begins with you. Only a few people think of what goes into making a call.  
How long distance Works
Most of us take the ability to place a prepaid long distance call for granted. Within seconds, you can be talking to another person who is thousands of miles away, even separated by a vast ocean. Few people actually think of what goes into making a call.

Also, many phone service providers have popped up since the regulatory breakup of AT&T in 1984. This company, which essentially had a monopoly on phone service until it was broken up, was cut down, and "baby bells" were formed as separate phone service providers cropped up. Many of those former "baby bells" now provide prepaid long distance phone service.

Most of the larger phone service carriers have their own fiber-optic networks equal to AT&T in quality, and there are hundreds of smaller companies that are known as "resellers," which means that they lease time on the larger companies' networks and avoid the cost of installing their own wires. Fortunately, this creates an extremely competitive market, which allows the savvy consumer to save money.

In the next few paragraphs, we'll discuss the science behind telephone calls.

How it all works

Prepaid long distance phone service begins with you. When you pick up your handset at the home or office, the device turns your voice into an analog signal, or electrical impulse, which travels along the wire. Digital signals are also available now, though analog is still widely used. The signal travels through a phone line composed of two copper wires originating in your house, which disappear into a box if you have underground wiring, or are suspended between poles near your house if you have aerial wiring. Near your house, your phone line will join with your neighbors' lines, and all these cables are spliced into a 25- or 50-pair wire. The analog signal travels along the cable, through the neighborhood, until it reaches another, bigger box, which is the junction connecting your neighborhood wires to the main line running past it.

The main line may be made of fiber-optics, co-ax, or copper wires. They all do basically the same thing, but some are ever more efficient and easier to obtain than others. The big box at the junction of the phone lines is powered or activated, and contains digitizers. It is here that your call joins the mainstream or multiplexed line ending in your local switch and the fiber-optic national network. So, your phone lines work much like your neighborhood streets emptying onto a large highway: like roads, there are smaller pathways or cables, that join up at a major intersection to meet with your national network or pathway, which connects you to the rest of the country, and the world.


 

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Learn More: Language of Prepaid Phone Cards - How Prepaid Calling Cards Work? - History of International Phone Cards
History of International Long Distance - How Prepaid Long Distance Works? - Long Distance Phone Terms
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