November 1, 1995
NYNEX CONTACT: Media Relations,
New Area Codes Require Businesses To Make
Critical Equipment Changes
Targets PBX System Owners, Offers Test Numbers
ALBANY, NY -- It is the nightmare of a patient awaiting a transplant:
a hospital phone system that cannot connect to the on-call service
that works against the clock to transport organs to patients in
critical need. It is a businesspersons nightmare: a phone system
that cannot connect to that important customer in another city.
New area codes use 2 through 9 in the middle digit. Some older
branch exchange equipment (PBXs) -- phone switching equipment
widely-used by businesses, hospitals, and other multi-line facilities
to place and receive phone calls -- cannot complete direct dialed-calls
to the new area codes. (These older systems, which can only complete
calls to the new area codes through operator assistance, calling
and similar third-party billings, continue to work for incoming
It is believed that many organizations needing to upgrade have
The result: they may not be able to reach regions with new area
including Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Houston and other major metropolitan
By the end of 1996, there will be 23 of these new area codes in
North America -- 15 will be added by the end of 1995, with another
scheduled for 1996. Furthermore, private equipment owners must
in order to complete calls to the new toll-free "888"
area codes that
will be in operation by March 1, 1996.
To create awareness of the national and international implications
the change, the telecommunications industry -- including local
carriers, long distance companies, equipment manufacturing companies,
state utility commissions, the United States Telephone Association
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is launching a
campaign, "Dont Get Stuck in the Middle," targeting
institutions using PBX systems, key, or other types of programmable
telephone equipment. An important element of the campaign is to
encourage PBX owners to call a test number to determine whether
their equipment can complete calls to the new area codes.
Wednesday, November 1, is designated National Area Code Day --
Take The Test. Owners of PBX telephone systems and other consumers
are encouraged to call the test number: 281-792-9999. If the call
does not go through, callers should then call the Area Code Hotline
at 1-800-218-6436, to report the difficulty.
The advent of the new area codes came about when the 144 original
area code numbers -- those with a 0 or 1 as the middle digit --
depleted. Industry experts point to tremendous growth in the use
cellular phones, modems, fax machines, pagers and other
telecommunications services as the reason behind the increased
for additional telephone numbers.
"All business owners should call the test number to ensure
phone systems can read the new area codes," said Thomas Mazzucco,
NYNEX area operations manager - Technical Operations and Support.
"Telecommunications plays a vital role in business today,
organizations that have private systems are a critical part of
expanded network. The ever-expanding array of services will continue
to drive demand for additional telephone numbers, and we are committed
to making changes in this dynamic network, such as the introduction
new area codes, as simple as possible. Working with business owners
to identify older PBX systems is one way we can assist customers
their telecommunications needs," stated Mazzucco.
The specific upgrade required by an organization will depend entirely
on the system it owns. For this reason, owners of PBXs and similar
private systems should consult their equipment providers to determine
their particular needs.
NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides
a full range of services in the northeastern United States and
high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom,
Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland,
Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications,
cable television, directory publishing
and entertainment and information services.
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