New 475 Area Code to Join 203 Code to Serve Southwestern Connecticut

GREENWICH, Conn. - Beginning May 16, Verizon customers within the 203 area code should begin dialing the area code plus the seven-digit number for all local calls.

The Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control has ordered the implementation of the 203/475 area-code "overlay" to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers in the state. A statewide mandatory 10-digit dialing plan will also be implemented. 

An overlay is the addition of another area code - in this case, 475 - to the same geographic region as an existing area code (203).  An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code or phone number.  However, when two area codes serve the same region, callers are required to change the way they dial local calls.  The new procedure requires callers to dial the area code and then the seven-digit telephone number. This includes all calls that are currently dialed with just seven digits.

Effective May 16, callers should begin using the new dialing procedure whenever placing a local call in Connecticut. If callers forget and only dial the seven-digit telephone number, as they do today, the call will still be completed.  However, beginning Nov. 14, callers must use the new procedure and dial the area code plus the telephone number. If not, the call will not be completed and a recording will instruct the caller to hang up and dial again.

Beginning Dec. 12, Connecticut customers who are currently served by the 203 area code and request new telephone service, add a phone line, or, in some cases, move within the state, may receive the new 475 area code.

"It is important for all customers to begin thinking of their telephone number as a 10-digit number when providing it to family and friends," said Verizon external affairs manager John F. Butler. "The good news is that no current customers have to change their telephone number."

A local call today will continue to be a local call after the new area code is introduced. The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change. Callers can still dial just three digits to reach 911 and, where available, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811.

Verizon is urging its customers to begin reprogramming their telecommunications services and equipment to use the new 10-digit dialing procedure.  This includes telephones, speed dialing programs, modems, fax machines, automatic dialers, life safety systems, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, mobile phone contact lists, call-forwarding settings and voice mail services.. Customers should also check their business stationary, advertising materials, personal checks, and personal and pet ID tags to ensure that the area code is included in the telephone number.

Customers who have any questions regarding the area-code overlay and the new dialing procedure can call Verizon at the following toll-free numbers: Residence Service - 1-203-869-5222; Business Service - 1-203-625-9800, or access the following link for more information:  http://www.vzmultimedia.com/customersupport/areacodes/recent_changes.html

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 86 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.