Dialing Changes Set For Some Delaware Phone Customers

Dialing Changes Set For Some Delaware Phone Customers

New Calling Pattern Will Help Bell Atlantic Meet Growing Demand for New Telecommunications Services

August 25, 1997

Media contacts:

Ells Edwards



WILMINGTON, Del. -- Starting Sept. 1, telephone customers in New

Castle and Sussex counties should include the area code when they dial

toll-free local calls into neighboring areas of Pennsylvania and


Bell Atlantic-Delaware customers have been able to make these local

calls into other area codes by dialing only the local seven-digit

number. However, the region is running out of phone numbers because

of exploding demand for new numbers by Bell Atlantic customers and

competing phone companies. The change in dialing local calls from

Delaware to Pennsylvania and Maryland will make 500,000 new telephone

numbers available to Pennsylvania and Maryland residents.

Approximately 205,000 customers who live in communities that straddle

the 610 and 410 area codes will be affected by the change.

Dialing extra digits will not cost more money. Local calls made

across area code boundaries that are toll free today will continue to

be toll free using the new dialing pattern.

There will be no change in the current method of dialing 911, long

distance and in-state toll calls. However, FAX machines, speed

dialers, alarms and modem software will need to be reprogrammed to

include the area code when automatically dialing toll free local calls

across area code boundaries.

For the next six months, calls made without the area code still will

be completed, but beginning March 1, 1998, callers will need to dial

the area code + the local number every time they make toll-free local

calls to another area code.

Bell Atlantic-Delaware plans a customer education campaign to

familiarize customers with the new dialing method. The company will

use bill inserts and newspaper advertising to inform customers, and

will provide a reminder message for two months after the change

becomes mandatory.

The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and

NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and

entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and

5.5 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 21 countries.