Verizon Urges West Virginians to Resolve to Dial 10 Digits for Local Calls in New Year

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - West Virginians should add an important New Year's resolution to their list for 2009 - getting ready for the state's upcoming change to 10-digit dialing for all local calls.

Verizon urges residents and businesses to reprogram fax machines and other equipment and services to dial the area code plus seven-digit phone number on all calls that previously only required seven digits.  In addition, customers should practice 10-digit local dialing now so they're used to the change when it becomes mandatory at the end of February.

In March, West Virginia will add the 681 area code to the same geographic region as the 304 area code.  The new code will help create more telephone numbers in the state for the many providers in the state's telecommunications market.  

To prepare West Virginians for the new area code and local dialing change, a permissive dialing period began in July and will end Feb. 27, 2009.  During this time, local calls can be made by dialing either seven or 10 digits. 

Mandatory 10-digit local dialing begins Feb. 28, 2009.  On this date and thereafter, callers must use 10 digits for all local calls.  Otherwise, calls will not be completed and callers will get a recording instructing them to hang up and dial again.

Services that will require reprogramming with 10-digit numbers include life-safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, security systems and gates, speed dialers, call-forwarding settings and voice-mail services.  Businesses' private branch exchange (PBX) equipment also will need to be programmed for 10-digit dialing.

The change to 10-digit dialing will not affect the price of a call or local call coverage areas.  A local call that now uses seven digits will still be a local call when 10 digits are required.  And the 911 emergency number will not change.

West Virginia residents and businesses can get more information on the dialing change and equipment that needs reprogramming by visiting one of the following Web sites: http://www.psc.state.wv.us/10_DigitDialing/default.htm or http://vzmultimedia.com/customersupport/areacodes/westvirginia/westvirginia.html.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 71 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.