Western Telecommunications Alliance

June 09, 2008 10:00 ET

10-Digit Dialing Two Weeks Away

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 9, 2008) - The introduction of 10-digit dialing is just two weeks away. If you haven't already re-programmed your phones and other telecommunications equipment, now is the time to do it.

To meet growing demand for phone numbers, the industry is adding new area codes to B.C. and Alberta - 778 in B.C.'s current 250 area code region and 587 across Alberta. A second area code means that people must dial 10 digits for local calls, adding the area code.

A "permissive dialing" period will begin on June 23, 2008 to help callers adjust to dialing 10 digits for all local calls. During this period, callers who dial seven digits will hear a recorded reminder to dial 10 digits next time they place a call. Beginning on September 12, 2008 all calls must be made with the area code included or they will not be connected.

In order to ensure a seamless transition, businesses and consumers need to make the necessary changes by reprogramming their communications systems and equipment, including telephones, wireless equipment, computers and fax machines. They should also contact their security system operators to ensure equipment is set up for 10-digit dialing.

These changes are in accordance with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved plan to extend the 778 area code currently in use in B.C.'s Lower Mainland to all of B.C. and to add a second area code - 587 - in Alberta to meet the increasing demand for phone numbers. Existing customers will not be required to change their current telephone numbers, nor will the geographic boundaries that govern long-distance calling be affected.

All three-digit numbers, including 211, 311, 411, 611, and 911 emergency service (where applicable) will remain the same and will not require the inclusion of an area code.

The Telecommunications Alliance, a grouping of Canada's major telecommunications companies, is working to inform all consumers and businesses about the upcoming change to 10-digit dialing. For more information on the changeover to 10-digit dialing, please visit www.dial10.ca.

About the Telecommunications Alliance

The Telecommunications Alliance is a partnership between the major telecommunications companies and industry associations across Canada. The Alliance's mandate is to educate and inform consumers and businesses about the implementation of 10-digit dialing.

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