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CNN Today

Long-Distance Phone Calls Now Free on Some Web Sites

Aired March 9, 2000 - 1:38 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, maybe you are trying to keep up with all the Internet freebies and goodies. We are going to let our expert take you on a tour.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Interactive correspondent Allison Tom -- hi, there, Allison -- joins us with advice on how to line up free long-distance phone calls from your computer -- Allison.

ALLISON TOM, CNN INTERACTIVE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Thanks guys.

What we have found now is that the latest with making phone calls over the Internet, is that it's gotten a lot easier for consumers to do, and there are also a few sites that are actually allowing you to make free long-distance phone calls for free.

The first site we are going to take you to is Dialpad.com. This site, you need to actually join as a member and walk through the sign- up process here, going along with whatever it is that they ask you to agree upon. You will find that there is a lot of things you have to fill out here, a lot of personal information on this particular Web site. But once you do, you will be able to actually make long- distance phone calls for free.

Now, the site will also come up with a lot of different banner ads on the site. So, that's one thing that you will have to be aware of when you are using the free long-distance phone calls.

And the things that you will need to, or need to have, of course, is having an Internet connection. You will also need to have a sound card, as well as a speaker or a microphone, so that you can talk and hear. And, usually, a headset is best to use because it will reduce the amount of echo that you have in the voice that you are talking back and forth to.

What you will have to do is fill out this information, and then it will bring up -- oops, sorry, we will bring this up -- it will show you the dial pad, and then you dial the phone call.

Now, what this does is it is actually a PC phone call into an actual regular telephone call. So, what you do is you dial from your computer desk, and it will then ring somebody on the other end that's using a regular telephone call. And you really can't notice the difference. Again, the only difference here with this site is that you'll see some of the banner ads on the top, and the sound quality is a lot like a cell phone.

Now, the last site that I want to show is coming up here, which is I-Link.com. This site will allow you to make free long-distance phone calls.

The best thing about this is that you don't need any equipment and it is very easy to use. You dial in your phone number that you are at here, and then you'll put "next" and type in the phone number that you're supposed to be talking to -- except for we are going to pull that up again.

And, essentially, what it will do -- it's not coming up, but we will show you again. And you put in both of the phone numbers here, and it will -- sorry, we're not -- we are having some problems with our touch screen.

But the idea is that, once you put in the phone number on one side, you then put in the number of who you are trying to call on the other end. And you don't need to be on the Internet. You merely both pick up the phone, and you can talk that way. It's relatively clear, but sometimes you will hear a little bit of echo.

Back to you, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. We are marching forward, aren't we, in technology? Thank you, Allison.

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