Bell Atlantic Launches Campaign to Get Callers Ready for New Area Code in Central, Northeastern Pennsylvania

Bell Atlantic Launches Campaign to Get Callers Ready for New Area
Code in Central, Northeastern Pennsylvania

New 570 Area Code Coming April 1999; Customers Should Start Dialing
New Code Dec. 5

December 3, 1998


Adam Theodore,

Harry Mitchell,

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic is launching a campaign to inform
central and northeastern Pennsylvanians about the introduction of a new
area code that customers should begin to use this month.

Beginning Dec. 5, customers from eastern Tioga to Pike counties and from
the New York border to portions of Schuylkill County will have a new area
code, 570. The new 570 code will be carved out of the existing 717 area
code to serve the north-central and northeastern parts of the state.

Customers in Harrisburg, Lancaster, York and surrounding areas will
continue to have the 717 area code. (NOTE TO EDITORS: Lists of
telephone exchanges -- the first three digits of a seven-digit phone number
-- that will stay in the 717 area code and those that will be switched to the
new 570 area code follow this release.)

"Callers should dial the new 570 area code to reach numbers that will get
the new code starting Dec. 5, -- said Sandra Scott, Bell Atlantic -
Pennsylvania manager-area code customer education. "Callers in the
current 717 area code should dial '1' plus the new 570 area code and the
seven-digit telephone number to reach a number in the new 570 area code
-- Wilkes-Barre, for example. However, their calls will still go through for
the next four months if they dial only the seven-digit number."

Similarly, customers in the region where the new 570 area code is being
implemented should dial '1' plus the 717 area code to reach numbers
remaining in that code -- Harrisburg, for example.

"Starting April 8, 1999, callers in the 717 area code won't be able to reach
a number in the new 570 area code by dialing the seven-digit number, and
callers in the 570 area code won't be able reach a number in the 717 area
code by dialing seven digits. Such callers instead will hear a recorded
message instructing them to first dial '1' plus the area code," said Scott.

The demand for new telephone numbers is exploding as people are using
more additional phone lines, cellular phones, pagers, computer modems
and fax machines. In addition, Pennsylvanians increasingly have a choice
of which company provides their local phone service, and these competing
companies require phone numbers for their customers.

This heavy demand for phone numbers is driving the need for new area
codes in Pennsylvania and across the country. In fact, the new 267 and
484 area codes will be introduced in the 215 and 610 area codes in
southeastern Pennsylvania, and the 724 area code was created in the
western part of the state by splitting the 412 area code into two parts
earlier this year.

What's Not Changing

The area code change will not affect the price of phone service, and a
customer's local calling area will remain the same, even if it includes both
area codes. As in the past, callers in the 570 and 717 area codes will dial
seven only digits to reach another number in the same area code, and "1"
plus the area code and seven-digit phone number for calls outside their area

What Is Changing

Starting Dec. 5, customers should prepare for the area code change by
taking the following steps:

  • Reprogram telecommunications services and equipment to include
    the new area code. This includes computer modems; Bell Atlantic optional
    services, including Call Forwarding (including Ultra Forward and Select
    Forward), Call Block, Priority Call, Bell Atlantic Easy Voice, Call Gate,
    Special Delivery service on Home Voice Mail Service and pager
    notification on features such as Home Voice Mail Service, as well as speed
    dialing lists -- particularly those on office phones, cellular phones and fax

  • Notify people who call you regularly. Tell friends, relatives,
    customers, employees, local affiliates, business associates, suppliers and

  • Make certain the new area codes appear in your company's ads and
    promotional materials. These include print ads, radio and TV spots, Bell
    Atlantic Yellow Pages advertising, classified ads, signs, Internet sites,
    recorded messages, cars and trucks, billboards or anything else that shows
    your new area code and telephone number.

  • Put the new area code on printed materials, such as stationery,
    business cards, invoices, purchase orders, brochures, catalogs, product
    packaging, internal records, checks, company directories and labels.

  • Check with your suppliers to make sure telecommunications
    equipment can accept the new 570 area code. Security and PBX phone
    systems also may need to be reprogrammed.

These changes will ensure that calls go through starting April 8 when
callers must use the new area code.

To prepare for the change, Bell Atlantic will reprogram or modify the
following services to reflect the new 570 area code: Centrex and Centrex
Extend services, Foreign Exchange Service, Remote Call Forwarding, Call
Restriction, directory listings and numbers blocked at the customer's

For customers who want an easy way to dial frequently called numbers,
Bell Atlantic currently has a special offer on its Speed Dialing 8 service.
With Speed Dialing 8, customers can program eight commonly called
numbers and then dial them by pushing one button. Customers who order
Speed Dialing 8 before June 1999 will receive the service free for three
months. Speed Dialing 8 is $1.50 a month per line for residential
customers and $5 monthly per line for businesses. Interested customers
should call 877-246-3095 (toll-free) to order.

Customer Education Campaign Begins

Bell Atlantic kicked off its customer education campaign with a newsletter
that describes the new area code, lists the telephone number prefixes that
will have the new code, and answers commonly asked questions about the
new area code. Called Extra!, the newsletter was included in customers'
November phone bills. Customers can check the list to see if their
telephone number will have the new 570 area code.

The company also plans to distribute information on the new area code at
upcoming community events throughout the region.

"We want customers to adapt to this new area code as comfortably as
possible, and we will do all we can to help minimize any confusion and
concerns," said Scott.

Pennsylvanians can get more information on the new 570 area code by
calling Bell Atlantic's toll-free Area Code Information Line (800-500-
. Another hotline (800-717TOLL or 800-717-8655) will help callers
determine in advance if the number they want to dial is a toll call.
Customers also can visit the company's special area code pages on the
World Wide Web (http://www.bellatlantic.com/areacode).

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight million wireless
customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of
advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless
services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell
Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-
growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in
23 countries.