What is Regional Long Distance?
Consumer Brochures


man on the phone    For years consumers have been able to choose a long distance carrier to handle most of their long distance calls. The most common of those calls were interstate and international calls. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC or the Commission) would like to tell you about the changes that recently have been made to give consumers greater choices to their in-state long distance calling. In-state long distance refers to all long distance calls made to and from a place within Maryland.


Effective May 7, 1999 residential and business consumers are allowed to have two presubscribed primary interexchange carrier (PIC) selections. One PIC is for InterLATA calls and the other PIC is for all IntraLATA calls. InterLATA calls are long distance toll calls that are not within the local telephone company's Regional Calling Area. These calls have always been handled by your chosen long distance carrier. IntraLATA calls or "short distance toll calls" refer to calls to an area outside of your local calling area, but generally not as far away as those covered by standard long distance toll service providers. These calls are in-state and part of the Regional Calling Area listed in the consumer section of the telephone directory. These calls are listed separately from local calls and are itemized on your bill by the local telephone company.Prior to May 7, 1999 Bell Atlantic handled exclusively all calls that were within its Regional Calling Area. If a consumer wanted another carrier to handle the short long toll calls they had to dial around to a long distance carrier's access code (101XXXX) before dialing the phone number. Now consumers can presubscribe to another carrier so that those calls are handled automatically by a preferred long distance carrier. If the consumer does not make any selection, the consumer's local phone company will continue to handle those calls. Additionally, if the consumer chooses a preferred carrier, he or she can still "dial around" and use another carrier to handle those calls. In doing so, the consumer will be billed that company's non-subscriber rates. Below are some additional facts concerning this important change:

  • All local exchange carriers (LECs) and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) are required to offer intraLATA presubscription to their customers. The local phone company may charge up to $5.00 per line for all intraLATA PIC changes. Between May 7 to August 4, 1999 existing customers will not be charged for the first IntraLATA PIC change. New customers and existing customers ordering an additional line will be able to make a FREE intraLATA PIC choice within 30 days from the time they sign up for the service. Customers may obtain a list of IntraLATA carriers by calling 1-888-611-6980. Customers may dial 1 + (area code) + 700-4141 to verify their intraLATA presubscribed carrier.
  • Customers may dial 1 + (area code) + 555-4141 to verify their interLATA carrier.



If the customer dials:

right arrow

Then the call is handled By:
Area Code + 7 Digit Number Local Phone Company
0 Local Phone Company
0 + Intraexchange Local Phone Company
1 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number Presubscribed IntraLATA Toll Provider
0 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number Presubscribed IntraLATA Toll Provider




CIC - Stands for carrier identification code. A CIC is a unique numeric code that is assigned to carriers or other entities that access a local exchange carriers' (LEC) network. LECs use CICs to identify, bill, and route traffic to access customers. Access customers may include inter-exchange carriers (IXCs), wireless carriers, competitive access providers and large corporate users.

CAC - Stands for carrier access code. It is not the same as the CIC. It is a numeric code that consists of a prefix followed by a carrier's unique CIC. Consumers may dial a carrier's CAC in order to access another carrier to handle a long distance call without making a change in long distance carriers.

PIC - Stands for primary interexchange carrier. Your PIC is the carrier you selected to provide your primary long distance service. From your home telephone you can access your PIC by dialing 1 + the area code and the seven digit number. Beginning May 7, 1999 consumers are allowed to have a two PIC option. One PIC for the IntraLATA calls and the other PIC for all other long distance calls.

LATA - A continuous geographic calling area established by a Federal Court with the divestiture of AT&T. Each LATA is referred to in the telephone directory as a Regional Calling Area. All local telephone companies provide local service within a LATA or Regional Calling Area. Maryland is divided into four LATAs: Baltimore, Hagerstown, Salisbury and D.C.


The PSC's Office of External Relations will assist you if you have any questions concerning intrastate long distance service.

Have a Question??
Maryland Public Service Commission
Office of External Relations
William D. Schaefer Tower
6 St. Paul Street, 15th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Voice:(410) 767-8028 or (800) 492-0474
Fax: (410) 333-6844
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