California regulators have ruled that long-distance calls made via the Internet should be billed as local calls, meaning that Pacific Bell will have to refund tens of millions of dollars to competitors who helped place the calls. The 3-2 vote by the Public Utilities Commission means that San Francisco-based Pacific Bell and GTE Corp., which originate calls to Internet service providers, or ISPs, must pay termination or interconnection fees to local phone companies that process the calls at the other end. The rule is contained in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the federal law that deregulated the telephone industry. Pacific Bell had argued that once a call is transferred to an ISP network, it should be considered long-distance. The PUC has yet to decide how much is owed or when Pac Bell must pay.