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Bell Atlantic Applauds SCC Decision on Northern Virginia Area Code
November 23, 1998
The following statement is in response to a recent order by the
Virginia State Corporation Commission calling for a new "overlay"
area code within the current '703' area of Northern Virginia. Attribute
to Hugh Stallard, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Virginia.
"The State Corporation Commission, in its wisdom, has adopted
a plan that is clearly in the interest of all our customers. It's a plan that has
been received well in nearby Maryland and in other parts of the country.
"The adoption of an overlay area code means our current '703'
customers will not have to change their phone numbers. It won't be
necessary for people to reprint stationery and business cards. It also means
that Northern Virginia will not have to be carved into smaller and smaller
"We intend to conduct a major informational campaign to help our
customers get ready for the new area code."
OVERLAY AREA CODE
A new area code is assigned to the same geographic area as the existing code.
When the existing code is "exhausted" new telephone numbers are assigned
in the new code.
- No existing telephone numbers change.
- Retains community of interest. Does not create new splits in counties
and municipalities between different area codes.
- Minimal impact to existing customers since there is no need to notify
constituents, friends, relatives or customers of change in telephone
- Less costly to business, government and consumers since existing
telephone numbers are retained. No unnecessary expense to change
databases, signage, stationery, advertising, speed-dialing lists, etc..
- Maintains the current geographic association with the area code since
the boundaries are not changed.
- Creates uniform local dialing pattern from Northern Virginia. Calls to
Md., D.C. and within Northern Virginia will consistently use ten-digits.
- Makes it easy to add subsequent new codes when needed.
- Requires 10-digit dialing for all local calls. May require re-
programming of automatic dialing equipment and, in some cases,
upgrading of equipment to accept ten digits.
- Since two area codes will serve the same geographic area, it is possible
to have telephone numbers with both codes in the same residence or