06.08.1999Corporate

New Jersey's 856 Area Code To Be Launched Saturday

New Jersey's 856 Area Code To Be Launched Saturday


Callers Should Begin Dialing New Code, Reprogramming Phone Equipment


June 8, 1999







Media contact:

Cliff Lee, 518-396-1095
Soraya Rodriguez, 973-649-2279


NEWARK, N.J. -- About half of the residents of southern New Jersey will have a new area code Saturday and callers are urged to begin dialing the new 856 code on that day.

In early February, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted to split the existing 609 area code to create millions of new local numbers to meet growing consumer telecommunication needs. The new code will be created through an east-west split of the 609 area code, with the eastern side retaining the 609 numbers and the western side receiving new 856 numbers.

"There will be a period of adjustment for residents and businesses in southern New Jersey," said William Freeman, president of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey. "It is our hope that this adjustment will be as painless as possible for our customers and that the next five months will give them the time they need to minimize the impact on their businesses and their routines."

For the five-month period of June 12 to Nov. 12, calls placed to telephone numbers in the 856 area code will be completed whether or not the new code is dialed. Beginning Nov. 13, calls to the new area code will not be completed unless the 856 code is dialed. For a limited period of time after that date, callers who forget to first dial the 856 area code will hear a recording that tells them the calls cannot be completed as dialed, reminds them that a new area code has been implemented and instructs them to redial the number with the new area code. Bell Atlantic is urging all its customers to tell their friends, family and business associates about the area code changes so that they do not miss calls.

(A list of exchanges in the new 856 area code are included at the end of this release.)

Creation of the new area code will not affect rates or local calling within the region. Local calls will still be local calls, even though some customers may have to dial a "1" and the area code to complete the call. Such "1-plus the area code" local calling is most likely to occur for persons living near the new area code boundary.

During the next five months, Bell Atlantic will conduct a customer- education program to inform area residents of the changes and urge them to reprogram their telecommunications equipment and services, including computer modems, autodialers, speed dialing, call forwarding, voice dialing, security and medical alarms, to reflect the new area code.

The demand for new telephone numbers is exploding as people are communicating more than ever using additional phone lines, cellular phones, pagers, computer modems and fax machines. In addition, with Bell Atlantic having provided an open telephone market in New Jersey, dozens of other communications companies offer local phone service, and these competing companies require phone numbers for their customers.

Further information about the area code changes may be obtained by calling Bell Atlantic at 1-800-409-8773 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by visiting the Bell Atlantic Web site at www.bellatlantic.com/areacode.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine 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.


Local Exchange Codes To Be Included In New 856 Area Code

205     210     216     218     222     223     224     225     227     228     231     232

233     234     235     237     240     241     244     245     246     248     249     251

253     255     256     262     270     271     273     274     276     277     284     289

293     299     302     303     307     309     310     312     317     318     321     322

323     325     327     328     331     337     338     339     342     346     349     350

351     354     355     356     357     358     359     363     365     367     374     377

379     380     384     385     401     414     415     416     422     423     424     427

428     429     433     435     437     438     439     445     446     447     451     453

454     455     456     459     461     464     467     468     470     473     474     475

477     478     479     481     482     483     486     488     489     507     515     521

531     532     533     535     536     537     539     540     541     542     543     544

545     546     547     549     563     564     565     566     568     573     574     580

582     589     591     593     595     596     598     600     608     610     613     614

616     619     622     623     627     629     630     635     642     644     649     650

651     657     661     662     663     665     667     668     669     672     674     675

678     681     686     690     691     692     694     696     697     701     715     718

719     721     722     727     728     733     736     738     740     741     742     746

751     752     753     754     755     756     757     761     762     764     765     767

768     769     770     772     773     776     778     779     782     783     784     785

786     787     788     793     794     795     796     797     802     809     810     813

821     824     825     829     831     833     837     840     842     843     845     848

851     853     854     855     857     858     863     864     866     869     873     874

875     878     879     881     885     891     899     901     910     914     916     917

931     933     935     938     939     940     946     960     962     963     964     966

968     969     974     975     979     983     985     988     994     996