Area codes a part of everyday dialing

Now is the time to start reprogramming phones and other telecommunications equipment as the 10 digit dialing system is now underway.

  • Jun. 25, 2008 5:00 p.m.

By Eraina Hooyer

Staff Reporter

Now is the time to start reprogramming phones and other telecommunications equipment as the 10 digit dialing system is now underway.

The 10 digit dialing system will meet the growing demand for numbers and make sure that the province has enough phone numbers by adding a new area code. Another area code means that people must dial 10 digits for local codes, adding the area code.

“The bottom line is that Alberta needs more phone numbers and this way there will be more phone numbers to go around,” said Shawn Hall from TELUS.

A recording prompting the caller to dial the area code before the number began on June 23 and will continue until September 8.

“Right now there is a grace period just to help make it easier for people to get used to, once people here the recording two or three times, it prepares them and makes it easier for them to remember for the next time,” said Hall. “People eventually get used to it and it just becomes a way of life. We’re trying to make it as easy as we can with phasing in the 10 digit dialing,”

Hall also encourages people to make changes with their communications systems to ensure that the transition will be smooth.

“It would be a good idea to reprogram cell phones, speed dials on home phones, fax machines and alarm systems, make it easy for yourself and reprogram everything to 10 digit dialing,” he said.

Hall also advises that people with alarm systems should double-check with their alarm company to make sure everything has transitioned.

All three digit numbers including 211, 311, 411, 611 and 911 emergency service will remain the same and will not require dialing the area code.

These changes are in line with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved plan to add another area code, 587, in Alberta to meet the demand for more phone numbers.

Current customers will not be required to change their telephone numbers and the land boundaries that govern long distance calling will not be affected.

Phone number changes are also currently being made in British Columbia and have been successfully executed in other parts of Canada.

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