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If you live in a large metropolitan area, and most of your family lives in outlying areas, check with your telephone service to see if they provide the extended area service. My father, niece and sister live 30 miles away, and calls would normally be long distance. With the extended service ($26/mo) I can keep in touch with my dad on a daily basis, niece and sister 3-4 times a week at no extra cost. Cheaper than long distance. Check with your telephone company for availability in your area.