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10-Digit Dialing coming on June 5


On Saturday, June 5th, 2010, residents and businesses in North Alabama will transition to mandatory ten-digit dialing on wired and wireless devices and equipment. On Saturday, July 10th, new telephone lines or services may be assigned with a new 938 area code. Please share this brief question and answer document with the appropriate people within your organization to address inquiries that may come to you from your customers and constituents. Thank you.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT NEW 938 AREA CODE AND MANDATORY TEN-DIGIT DIALING

Why is this change necessary?
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the 938 area code is being added to the area served by the 256 area code. Since two area codes will now serve the same geographic region, the area code must be included when dialing any telephone number, including calls within the same area code.

When will the change begin?
Beginning June 5, 2010, customers must use a new dialing procedure for all calls. If they do not use the new dialing procedure, their call will not be completed, and a recording will instruct them to hang up and dial again. Beginning July 10, 2010, new telephone lines or services in the area served by the 256 area code may be assigned numbers with the new 938 area code.

What is the new dialing procedure?
To complete calls from a landline phone, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial the area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 256 area code need to be dialed using the area code + telephone number. To complete calls from a cellular or mobile phone, callers may dial the area code + telephone number or 1 + area code and telephone number whenever placing a call from a phone number with the 256 area code.

What else will phone equipment users need to do?
In addition to changing their dialing procedure, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed with a seven-digit telephone number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new 10-digit dialing procedure. Some examples are PBX systems, life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions. Users need to also check their business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and pet's ID tags to ensure the area code is included.

What will remain the same?
Customers' telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change. The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will also not change because of the new dialing procedure and area code. What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed. Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, and 811.

Where should additional questions be directed?
If customers have any questions about the impact of these changes, please ask them to call their communications services provider at the customer service number on their bill.

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