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757 Area Code Required on Calls Starting Feb. 1
Eastern Virginia Bids Farewell to 804 Area Code
January 27, 1997
RICHMOND, Va. -- The new 757 area code for Hampton
Virginia's Eastern Shore becomes official Feb. 1. On that date,
callers must dial 757 to reach phone numbers in the eastern portion of
Virginia. The old 804 area code will no longer work.
The state's telephone industry carved the 757 area code out of the
existing 804 area last July 1. Since then, callers have been able to
dial calls using either the old or the new area codes. That grace
period ends Saturday.
The 757 area code serves the Peninsula (Williamsburg, Newport News and
Hampton), South Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk
and Virginia Beach) and the Eastern Shore. The 804 area code will
continue to serve central Virginia, including Richmond, Charlottesville,
Lynchburg and Danville.
Beginning Saturday, callers who misdial the 804 area code will hear a
recording advising them to dial 757. Bell Atlantic plans to use the
announcement for one year.
The new area code has no effect on phone rates. Any call that was a
local call before the new area code was introduced will still be a
local call. A dwindling supply of telephone numbers in the 804 area
prompted the introduction of the new area code. Only 55 of the 756
exchange codes (first three digits of a phone number) in the 804 area
code are still available. A single exchange contains as many as
10,000 phone numbers.
The growing demand for phone numbers is sparked in large measure by
the popularity of fax machines, pagers, cellular phones, modems and
other communications devices.
In addition, new companies getting into the local telephone business
are reserving large blocks of telephone numbers to serve their
The boundary of the 757 area code begins at the North Carolina border,
just west of the community of Boykins. It runs northward, west of
Franklin and Williamsburg, to the York River. Communities to the east
of the line and south of the York River are in the 757 area code.
Those to the west of the line are in 804.
The introduction of 757 gives Virginia four area codes. The 540 area
code began serving customers in the western part of the state in 1995.
The 703 area code serves northern Virginia.
The telephone industry already announced that a fifth area code soon
will be needed to relieve the drain on phone numbers in northern
Virginia. Bell Atlantic has recommended that the new area code follow
the same geographic boundaries as the 703 area code. This "overlay"
approach to creating a new area code would allow current phone
customers to keep their current numbers. New customers would be
assigned the new area code.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission will decide whether the new
code will be created through this overlay approach or by splitting the
current 703 area in half.
Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is at
the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.