Suffolk County's New 631 Area Code To Be Launched Nov. 1

Suffolk County's New 631 Area Code
To Be Launched Nov. 1

Callers Should Begin Dialing New Code, Reprogramming
Phone Equipment

October 21, 1999


John Bonomo,

NEW YORK -- Residents and businesses in Suffolk County on Long
Island will get a new 631 area code beginning Nov. 1. Callers are urged to
use the new code starting that day when trying to reach someone in
Suffolk County.

Last April, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) decided
to split the existing 516 area code to create millions of new local numbers
to meet growing consumer telecommunications needs.

As a result, Nassau County residents will keep the 516 code, and Suffolk
residents will have phone numbers with the new area code. In May,
Lockheed Martin, the administrator of the North American Numbering
Plan, selected 631 as the new area code for Suffolk County.

From Nov. 1 until April 1, calls placed to Suffolk using the 516 area code
will still go through while callers become familiar with the new 631 code.
After April 1, however, calls to Suffolk County telephone numbers must
include the 631 area code to be completed.

Callers who forget to dial the 631 area code after April 1 will hear a
recording instructing them to redial the number with the new area code.

"There will be a period of adjustment for residents and businesses in
Suffolk County," said John Rollo, Bell Atlantic executive director
for Community Affairs. "We expect the next five months will give
them the time they need to minimize the impact on their businesses and
their routines."

Customers within the 631 area will continue to dial seven digits to reach
another resident or business within the 631 area. Similarly, calls from a
customer with a 516 number to another customer with a 516 number will
be dialed with seven digits.

To place a call between the two Long Island area codes, customers will
dial "1" plus the area code, plus the standard seven-digit
number, just as they do when calling another area code across the country.

Creation of the new area code will not affect rates or local calling on Long
Island. 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.
Those who are near the area code boundary are the most likely to make
calls using "1 plus the area code" local calling. Charges for
calls to 411 (directory assistance service) will remain the same, and the
new area code will have no effect on calls to 911 emergency services.

Bell Atlantic has begun a customer education program to inform Island
residents and businesses of the changes and to urge them to reprogram
their telecommunications equipment and services -- including computer
modems; autodialers; speed dialing; call forwarding; and voice dialing
features, as well as security and medical alarms -- to reflect the new area

The company will insert notices in October phone bills; advertise the new
area code; provide a 24-hour, toll-free recorded information line (1-800-
in English; 1-800-882-7818 in Spanish, and 1-800-299-2630 for
TTY users); meet with community groups; provide information to
community newsletters, and more. Much of the communications will be
multi-lingual and accessible by TTY for people who are deaf or hard of

In addition, the company's Web site,
, has
a full description of area code changes throughout Bell Atlantic's Maine-
to-Virginia service area.

"With multiple area codes now in service throughout the New York
City area, Bell Atlantic is advising its customers to think of their telephone
numbers as 10 digits -- the area code and the seven-digit number -- when
providing it to family and friends," Rollo said.

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, since
Bell Atlantic has opened its telephone markets across New York, dozens
of other communications companies now offer local phone service, and
these competing companies require phone numbers for their customers.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and more than 10 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.