Verizon Suggests New Year's Resolutions for Eastern Massachusetts Customers Getting Four New Area Codes

BOSTON -- Verizon suggests some New Year's resolutions for consumers and businesses in Eastern

Massachusetts who are getting four new area codes this spring.

  • Get in the habit of dialing 10 digits or "1" plus 10 digits for all local calls.

  • Reprogram computers that are used for Internet access, fax machines, speed dialing and call forwarding services

    and other equipment that dials phone numbers by April 2. (EDITORS: A list of some equipment and services that may

    require reprogramming follows this release.)

  • Check with your security company or the supplier of your PBX business phone system to make sure your systems

    are programmed to handle the new area codes.

  • Update phone lists, databases, Web pages, billing records and address books with the new area codes.

  • Include the area code when giving out your phone number.

These New Year's reminders are part of Verizon's campaign to inform residents and businesses in Eastern

Massachusetts about the four new area codes and how that will affect the dialing of local phone calls.

The new area codes will have the same geographic boundaries as the current 617, 508, 781 and 978 area codes.

These "overlay" area codes eliminate the need to split the existing codes into ever-smaller areas to create new phone

numbers and allow existing customers to keep their current numbers.

The new area codes will coincide with existing area codes as follows:

  • 857 will overlay 617

  • 774 will overlay 508

  • 339 will overlay 781

  • 351 will overlay 978

While telephone numbers in the existing area codes will not change, callers in Eastern Massachusetts will need to dial

10 digits -- the area code and seven-digit number - for all local calls and "1" plus 10 digits for all toll calls. If they

prefer, customers may complete all calls -- local, toll and long distance - by dialing "1" plus 10 digits.

This change affects Eastern Massachusetts customers only. Customers in the 413 area code in Western

Massachusetts will continue to dial all their calls as they do today.

"Customers in Eastern Massachusetts should get familiar with the new dialing method and reprogram their equipment

now so both are ready before April 2," said Rick Colon, manager for area-code customer education. "A few minutes

of preparation now will ensure that their calls go through once the dialing change occurs."

Beginning May 2, local telephone companies may assign numbers in the new 857, 774, 339 and 351 area codes to

customers who request new phone service or additional lines.

The demand for new telephone numbers is exploding as Massachusetts residents and businesses increasingly have a

choice of which company provides their local phone service. These competing companies require phone numbers for

their customers.

Just three years ago, two new area codes were created in Massachusetts by splitting existing area codes in half. The

781 area code was carved out of the 617 code and the 978 area code was carved out of the 508 area code. With

the addition of the four new overlay codes in 2001, Massachusetts will have nine area codes.

Nationwide, the number of new area codes also is increasing as a result of the heavy demand for additional phone


The additional area codes and new dialing pattern will not affect current telephone numbers, the price of telephone

service or local calling areas. In addition, customers will still dial 911 to reach emergency services.

Verizon is informing its customers about the dialing change and new area codes through letters to businesses, inserts in

phone bills, advertising, outreach to senior citizens and others, and special activities.

"Through our extensive educational campaign, we're doing all we can help our customers get ready for the new area

codes and dialing changes," said Colon.

More information on the area codes and dialing changes is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by

calling Verizon's toll-free Area Code Information Line at 877- 554-3685. Customers also may visit the company's

area code pages on the World Wide Web at www.verizon.com/support/areacode.html.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's

leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless

communications in the United States, with more than 101 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million

wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in

1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For

more information on Verizon, www.verizon.com.


617 / 508 / 781 / 978

Get Ready Now for Ten Digit or "1"+ Ten-Digit Dialing For All Local & Toll Calls

Customers with phone numbers in the 617 / 508 / 781 / 978 area codes need to reprogram any telephone equipment,

computer or service that currently dials seven-digit phone numbers. The change is necessary for the introduction of

new area codes in Eastern Massachusetts this spring. Customers should reprogram that equipment or service as soon

as possible so that it dials ten digits or "1" plus ten digits for all seven-digit numbers they dial today. This

reprogramming must be completed by April 2.

Examples of equipment or Verizon services that may need to be reprogrammed include:

  • Computers used for Internet access
  • Modems
  • Speed dialing lists
  • Automatic dialers
  • Cellular and mobile phones
  • Security systems (check with your security company)
  • PBX business phone systems (check with your PBX supplier)
  • Pagers
  • Fax machines
  • Home Voice Mail or Answer Call/Voice Mail features
  • Call Forwarding

In addition, be sure to update phone lists, databases, Web pages, billing records and address books to include area

codes and include the area code when exchanging telephone numbers.

For more information on Massachusetts area codes or how to dial calls, call Verizon's toll-free Area Code

Information Line on 877-554-3685. Customers also may visit the company's area code pages on the World Wide

Web www.verizon.com/support/areacode.html.