Thursday, July 10, 2014

You need 10 digits to make a local call now

September 19. 2013 3:37PM
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Callers in the 570 area code in northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Towanda, Dallas, Clarks Summit, Wellsboro, Montrose, Tunkhannock, Hazleton and Williamsport, are now required to dial 10 digits (area code and the seven-digit telephone number) to complete their local phone calls.

Ten-digit dialing is necessary as the area’s telecommunications providers prepare for the October introduction of northeastern Pennsylvania’s newest area code – 272. Known as an “overlay,” the new 272 area code will serve the same geographic boundary as the current 570 area code and will eliminate the need to split the existing area code into smaller areas.

If callers forget to dial 10 digits, they will hear a message instructing them to dial both the area code and seven-digit telephone number.

Even with the dialing change, local calls will still remain local calls. However, customers will need to reprogram any automatic dialing equipment or services that are programmed to dial a seven-digit number. This includes life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up modems, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings and voice mail services.

Business customers should check with their telecommunications vendors to ensure their telephone systems are reprogrammed to handle 10-digit dialing and also to ensure that business stationery or advertising materials include the area code.

On Oct. 21, customers who request new service, an additional line or, in some cases, move their service to another address, may be assigned a number in the new area code, depending upon availability of numbers in the 570 area code. The addition of the 272 area code will not change local calling areas for customers, dialing 911, or telephone rates.

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